Autopsy Round 5 vs Essendon

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Themanbun

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Our players do not believe in Scott's game plan.

We need to play like we are an 80-100 tackle per game team instead of a 43 tackle team, we perform better from stoppages around the ground, it is our major source of scoring when we play well so we want stoppages. We want to stop the opposition taking uncontested marks so the kicker is under pressure when he kicks, makes it harder for him to hit a target with a kick we can't pressure the receiver. Everything hinges on that intent to pressure and tackle. That is instinctual with someone like Anderson, he only played 66% ToG but laid 10 effective tackles, without Anderson we would have had a Fremantle-esque 30ish tackle game. You can't give someone an Anderson, Archer or Pickett type of instinct, but you can get everyone to focus on that instead of ball watch, to run aggressively instead of waddle between the arcs.

Despite the evidence of last year where we pressured contenders and beat them quite comfortably, we refuse to be prepared to do the hard work because we never hold players accountable for slacking off so we now end up with team-wide efforts and you can't drop almost everyone. We have no on-field leadership and we don't have a good match day coach and based on the evidence a mediocre development and strategic coach.

This just isn't a winning formula. He should put a video up of the West Coast or the other good games from last year side by side with our pathetic efforts this year and he should ask the players who were here for both games why they aren't prepared to do what they did in those games.

Something has to give, either the players have to stick their hand up and say we need to shape up or ship out or else if they can't or wont perform for the coach he has to fall on his sword and say he can't get the players to execute the game plan. If nothing happens we will just fade into mediocrity like Carlton did when they let their players call the show.
While I agree for the most part, I think every single AFL player in this day and age knows how important tackling and pressure are. You don't get to that level without knowing it.

I'm not 100 per cent certain it's an issue of intent. In order to lay a tackle, you need to be close to the ball in the stoppage. There are players who appear to have been designated as outside receivers who we can visibly see fighting their instincts to run in there and lay a tackle or hunt the ball for themselves. Positioning around the ball and around the stoppage is what makes tackling possible. It's all well and good to say "you need to tackle more" to a player like Polec, but if he's being instructed to sit 3-5m off the contest, and doing that effectively, then it's pretty difficult for him to be in a position where it is possible to pressure the opposition.
 
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After some time to settle and think I wonder if the boys just need to get out there and enjoy footy and the contest. We clearly came out with intensity against Adelaide after a bad start, but we kicked poorly at goal. Is our goal kicking a reflection of our current mental state? Working so hard to play well and meet expectations that we put ourselves under immense psychological pressure.

It's clear no one goes out with the intent to lose like we did against Essendon. I thought we looked okay to start off with, but after not getting reward for effort the pressure builds and takes it toll on our confidence.

The club need to step back and take a simple approach. Thrive for the contest and put opposition under pressure with quick ball movement. That's just my opinion anyway.
 

Tas

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While I don’t agree with the method, it did attract media attention.

The more attention the issue gets can only be seen as a good thing, because to date Brad has had the luxury of us having a low media profile.
Richmond got a lot of media when they dumped a truckload of **** in front of the club, it didn't do them much good. Things didn't change for the better until after they got a board that was better. Even though Hardwick was under the pump they had made progress in terms of recruitment, development, fitness, etc and they recruited players suited to the game style. Are you happy with our recruitment/drafting/development/fitness/injury management/assistants/etc at our club?

If the club is so clueless/dysfunctional that it needs a lot of negative media to do anything then you should have zero confidence in any decision the board makes in terms of changes. We need to be professional or else we are ******.
 

Themanbun

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During the week I'm going to go over the footage from the stoppages against *

After my earlier observations about the pigeon holing of our midfielders, I just had a quick look at the first few stoppages of the game, and it is *exactly* how Cameron Ling suggested re: Higgins, which spurred my observation. The live footage supports the stats I found which show the discrepancies between our inside and outside players.

1st centre bounce: Higgins, Anderson, Cunnington. Higgins runs forward of and outside of the contest while Jed and Ben contest the ball. Tap goes straight to Higgins' direct opponent who is in a few metres of clear space. Delivered straight into the F50 no pressure. Goal to Fantasia.

2nd centre bounce: Ben and Jed chase the ball as it heads goal side for North. Higgins sits 5m off the contest while Polec moves in from his wing and waits for the receive. Jed wins the ball, hands off to Polec who has two guys on his hammer - THEY KNOW - Polec back to Anderson, and then gut runs around the back of the contest, gets the handball receive and with two guys again on his hammer, goes laterally to Pittard. It works out due to Polec's cool head, Pittard's smart kick finds Goldy who gets a shot on goal.

1st ground stoppage actually occured because Jed and Ben were next to one another. Jed won the ball who gives to Ben half a metre away from him. Ben instead of going forward looks for the receiver. They're not there in time (sitting too far off the contest) and Ben gets run down.

----

3/3, the Bombers were onto exactly what we were trying to do. It worked once, thanks only to Polec's repeat efforts and good decision making.
 

Roosurgence

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If the club is so clueless/dysfunctional that it needs a lot of negative media to do anything then you should have zero confidence in any decision the board makes in terms of changes. We need to be professional or else we are ******.
That is the issue, I don’t have any confidence in the board to make change.

If it takes negative press to bring the heat, then bring it on.

No club or board wants to be the subject of critical media attention. If the noise becomes loud enough they will need to act or be seen to be complicit.

Don’t underestimate the power of negative press to be a firestarter for change. At the moment the majority of supporters feel like they have no voice under the current administration as see the media as one of the few avenues of getting their message across. The other and more destroying will be when the stop showing up, let’s hope it doesn’t reach that point.
 

Tas

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While I agree for the most part, I think every single AFL player in this day and age knows how important tackling and pressure are. You don't get to that level without knowing it.

I'm not 100 per cent certain it's an issue of intent. In order to lay a tackle, you need to be close to the ball in the stoppage. There are players who appear to have been designated as outside receivers who we can visibly see fighting their instincts to run in there and lay a tackle or hunt the ball for themselves. Positioning around the ball and around the stoppage is what makes tackling possible. It's all well and good to say "you need to tackle more" to a player like Polec, but if he's being instructed to sit 3-5m off the contest, and doing that effectively, then it's pretty difficult for him to be in a position where it is possible to pressure the opposition.
Since I brought up the West Coast game from last year I will use it as an example of a good game, it wasn't our best defensive effort but we put them under a lot of pressure on every line. I am sure you aren't suggesting our game plan has changed from that game to this game. So why is there such a difference in application between efforts we know gets results and efforts we know do not get results?

Players who play both games: (WCE game/Ess game) for tackles
Cunnington 10/1
Simpkin 8/3
Anderson 6/10
Higgins 4/2
Goldstein 4/1
Turner 4/3
Thompson 3/1
Ziebell 3/3
Dumont 3/2
Ahern 3/0
Tarrant 2/1
Atley 2/1
Wood 2/0
Macmillan 1/2
Wright 0/1
Brown 0/2

Those who didn't play both games
Walker 4/-
Daw 3/-
Williams 3/-
McDonald 3/-
Clarke 3/-
Hrovat 2/-
Hall -/4
LDU -/2
Pittard -/1
Polec -/1
Zurhaar -/1
Scott -/1

Even though we went from 18/10 from those who didn't play the game last year vs the new guys, most of the guys that are missing weren't the on-field leaders or massive tacklers in general, these guys tend to follow the tone set by the leaders/experienced players. It was going 55/33 from the core group that was the problem, particularly from people in the engine room where the bulk of the variance lays.

If anyone expects Polec and Hall to lead the hardball stuff by example while our inside sags off then people have unrealistic expectations.
 

Only Forwards

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Wouldnt he only be captain for like 2 years at best? Hard to say how much longer Robbie can go on and also be the player that lifts the team on game day during crucial moments which requires a certain level of physicality and skill.

I would keep him in the leadership team, but honestly I'd go with a captain that will embody the next team going forward after the Scott era.
Yeah

But who is that person?

Atley?

Brown?

Our leadership is rooted.

Jacks been crap but what the f*** is coming in next?
 

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archereleven

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I didn’t know where else to put this but does anyone else find it disappointing that Corey McKernan offered to help at the club but was knocked back?
Sounds about right for a club that's lost its identity...

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Roosurgence

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I didn’t know where else to put this but does anyone else find it disappointing that Corey McKernan offered to help at the club but was knocked back?
This club stinks!

It’s just hard to fathom how much they seem to be going out of their way to make everyone disenchanted with the club.

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would guess they are AFL plants setting us up to relocate.
 

Themanbun

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Since I brought up the West Coast game from last year I will use it as an example of a good game, it wasn't our best defensive effort but we put them under a lot of pressure on every line. I am sure you aren't suggesting our game plan has changed from that game to this game. So why is there such a difference in application between efforts we know gets results and efforts we know do not get results?

Players who play both games: (WCE game/Ess game) for tackles
Cunnington 10/1
Simpkin 8/3
Anderson 6/10
Higgins 4/2
Goldstein 4/1
Turner 4/3
Thompson 3/1
Ziebell 3/3
Dumont 3/2
Ahern 3/0
Tarrant 2/1
Atley 2/1
Wood 2/0
Macmillan 1/2
Wright 0/1
Brown 0/2

Those who didn't play both games
Walker 4/-
Daw 3/-
Williams 3/-
McDonald 3/-
Clarke 3/-
Hrovat 2/-
Hall -/4
LDU -/2
Pittard -/1
Polec -/1
Zurhaar -/1
Scott -/1

Even though we went from 18/10 from those who didn't play the game last year vs the new guys, most of the guys that are missing weren't the on-field leaders or massive tacklers in general, these guys tend to follow the tone set by the leaders/experienced players. It was going 55/33 from the core group that was the problem, particularly from people in the engine room where the bulk of the variance lays.

If anyone expects Polec and Hall to lead the hardball stuff by example while our inside sags off then people have unrealistic expectations.
I'll hold off on a proper response to this, as I'm still going through the replay of Saturday. First quarter at the stoppages, though, and our players for the most part weren't positioned where they could lay a tackle. I've no doubt that there are intensity discrepancies between our best performances and our worst, don't get me wrong. But we need to look at each individual play and ask ourselves: "is it possible for someone (other than Jed) to apply themselves at 110% here and stick a tackle?"

Taking a look at the first quarter stoppages - our best quarter against Essendon - the answer I'm coming up with is "no, they're not in the position to do so."

The very first centre bounce was evidence of this. Higgins ran goalside, five metres off the contest. His direct opponent was in 3-5m of clear space, with two Essendon players around to offer protection. There was no way that our positioning in that contest could have led to an effective tackle. Shiel (I think it was Shiel) got a pressure free kick off and Fantasia converted the goal. You need to be in the right positions for intensity to matter. And you're right, intensity feeds into that positioning too.

Intensity can go up, but if we don't fix our midfield's running patterns, positioning and the apparent heavy compartmentalization of their playing roles, all the intensity in the world won't improve us to the degree that it should.

I'll just repeat, I'm not disagreeing with you. The stats show that when we tackle a lot, we win. The intensity needs to be there and it does vary from game to game, which hurts us.

But there's something deeper going on here that I don't think intensity alone is going to fix.
 
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Danni_Benson

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After some time to settle and think I wonder if the boys just need to get out there and enjoy footy and the contest. We clearly came out with intensity against Adelaide after a bad start, but we kicked poorly at goal. Is our goal kicking a reflection of our current mental state? Working so hard to play well and meet expectations that we put ourselves under immense psychological pressure.

It's clear no one goes out with the intent to lose like we did against Essendon. I thought we looked okay to start off with, but after not getting reward for effort the pressure builds and takes it toll on our confidence.

The club need to step back and take a simple approach. Thrive for the contest and put opposition under pressure with quick ball movement. That's just my opinion anyway.
Like this.

Unfortunately there’s no simple solution and as Pagan used to say if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

I do feel for the team and you could see the look of relief on their faces after their win last week. Meant a lot. They were super united.

The best part of last week’s win wasn’t even the win itself for me but it was the pressure the team put on collectively and the aggression they played with. We know Adelaide are struggling but it was just a real team effort. It was the old North Melbourne. The team who was hard to play against no matter what.

Would just love to see that consistently and unfortunately we don’t with our current team for whatever reason.

As the saying goes ‘winning is not everything but making the effort to win is’.

Anyway, I’m keeping the faith and will be at our next game hoping to see some of the old North Melbourne spirit shine through.
 

shinboner magic

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Seriously what are we trying to do out there - thought the little league was out there playing as we were going across the ground more often than forward.

Pack of crabs
Jack , Jmac , Simpkin, turner and goldy should all be in the gun
 

Tas

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There can be only one...

Does anybody want to take a guess at what Cunnington, Higgins and Anderson are doing here?
Cunnington vs Heppell
Higgins vs Shiel
Anderson vs Merrett
Polec vs Guelfi
Simpkin vs ???
Hall vs nobody
Goldstein vs Bellchambers

Cunnington shoves off Heppell, body blocks Merrett and goes to the designated spot at the feet of Goldy, Goldy gets beaten in the ruck contest and taps the ball over Cunnington's head straight to Heppell, Cunnington is only 2m away but flat footed.

Seconds from disaster... At this point, the ball is in Heppell's hands.

Higgins plants his feet and stops while Shiel guns it to run on their defensive side of the pack.
Anderson ran to the defensive side of the center circle and stops, is flat footed, he is about 2m away from Merrett.
Hall is half way between the square and the circle and jogs towards the middle, stops in the middle of nowhere and ball watches.
Polec meanders into the square, looks confused and stops instead of rush in to maybe impact the contest.
Simpkin runs from the forward 50 into the center with some conviction then stops.

Lost and confused...

Heppell dishes the ball to Merrett...
Goldy realises he lost the hitout and lopes towards Merrett who dishes off to Shiel and puts the body block on Goldy.
Higgins is still flat footed now more than 15m away from Shiel probably cursing whoever is on Shiel, it is YOU sunshine!
Anderson still flatfooted, 10m away from Merrett.
Jy coming in from the attacking side, could have run directly at Shiel, decides to jog into the center circle.
Hall about 30m from his man, hasn't decided yet what he should do. How about stand here in the middle of nowhere, yeah, sounds like a plan.
Polec meanders back out of the center square leaving his side of the square vacant.

The pain train...

Shiel fumbles the ball.
Anderson realises he is too far away from the action, comes in but Merrit kicks the ball off the ground towards Heppell who is still 5-10m in the clear of Cunnington.
Simpkin reaches the centre circle parallel with the ball but decided to go somewhere where the ball wasn't so stops and thinks about his life choices.
Hall meanders towards Simpkin probably thinking, how great is it to be out here in the middle of nowhere without a man, if we can miraculously win this contest, I am in the clear! Perhaps you should try and impact the contest? Nah, **** that.

Heppell picks up the ball, Cunnington realises oh ****, while I was standing here gathering moss, Heppell has moved to beyond arm reach so he waddles after Heppell.
Anderson has a **** this **** I am going to kill someone in a tackle look on his face and runs after Merrett/Heppell but he has given him too much room after standing still for an eternity.

Heppell dishes it off to Shiel, who doesn't drop it this time, runs 10m because **** knows where Higgins has vanished to and bombs it long inside their forward 50 and eventually kick a goal after a series of failed one-on-one defensive efforts.
 
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kangatime

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Even if this was preplanned which I’m sure it was, after that disgraceful performance they should have had the balls to pull it and confront the media properly.


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Na, that’s ridiculous. The kid has been looking forward to it for weeks. If we pulled the kid from going it would have got out and then we would have been absolutely smashed in the media. Completely and utterly ridiculed.

What we should have done is rolled out the kid, spoken about them and the fundraising and then ushered the kid away. Scott then address and media and says: right, now let’s talk about how bad we are and what we are going to do about it.
 

Themanbun

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Does anybody want to take a guess at what Cunnington, Higgins and Anderson are doing here?
Yet another, even more blatant example of it. They realised they had a choice between 'move to the designated positioning' or 'contest the contest and pressure the ball carrier'. They couldn't do both at the same time so they chose the former.

It's 100% coaching.
 

Heaps of fun

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Time will tell on TT.

I’m still getting over Will Walker at such a high pick when all the experts believed he was a fourth or fifth rounder if lucky.

We love reaching with our picks.

Durdin, Nielson McKay just to name a few more.


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1. Will Walker looked great last year.
2. That's factually incorrect.
3. He's injured and the last of our problems.
4. You're wrong about Durdin too. If anything he slid on draft day.
 
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