Strategy The midfield

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Jeremias

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There has been a lot of discussion creeping into other threads about our midfield, but it deserves its own thread.

We enter 2020 still reliant on an experienced few, though the depth we have managed to build in this area of the ground is seriously impressive. We now have a glut of talent who could feature prominently, albeit many are very young and require further development.

The proof will as always be in the pudding, but it is very hard to not get excited about what this group may produce in 2020 and beyond, and it all starts in the midfield.

For a while now I have wanted to take a deeper look into our midfield, and 2020 is finally the year to do it.
I will be posting in this thread a weekly update on formations, success rates and any other stats relevant to the midfield debate.

In the meantime, I am keen to hear what you think is our optimal midfield setup come R1 vs the Tigers?
What are your expectations for our midfield group in 2020?
What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of our midfield options, both individually and as a collective?
Are there any specific types you think we need to target come the player movement period at the end of 2020?

For reference, this is the midfield group we recently voted as being our consensus best 22:

C: Sam Walsh, Patrick Cripps, Will Setterfield
FOL: Matthew Kreuzer, Ed Curnow, Marc Murphy
INT: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Zac Fisher, Jack Newnes

Whether or not you agree with this as being our best setup to start the year, there is no doubt this is a very talented group. Even more telling perhaps is the caliber of footballers who would be waiting in reserve.

Have at it.
 

RobR

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Thanks for the effort Arr0w

That's a snapshot of what Teague felt would win him games and would be quite different to the way things were under Bolton.
As you pointed out, it does seem odd that Setterfield was used as sparingly as he was...quite odd, given it's over a period of one third of the season.

As at this point in time, Setterfield looks likely to occupy the time JSilvagni had in the centre, but given how much JSilvagni was used (more than I thought) he may not be completely squeezed out just yet and used as a stopper when required.

Interesting also, Gibbons had one centre square involvement in 7 games. That's it. I thought it would have been a lot more than that.

That table seems to be telling us what we know (sort of know) that Cripps, Walsh, ECurnow and Murphy will take on the majority of centre square involvements and on viewing to date, Setterfield will likely be next in line and that makes it the five players that will be involved in the majority.

I know we're hearing Cuningham & Martin and now even mentioning Williamson, Newnes and O'Brien, but it just doesn't pan out that way, as the proven are likely to be continued to be used, given what we've seen and given Teague (The club) will be aiming for wins over any development at the premium level.
I brought up Williamson as an option for this weeks game while Cripps wasn't playing.
 

Stamos

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Ok, I stand corrected... probably had a few lagers that game, maybe my memory isn't what I thought it was.

I'm still expecting us to line up round 1 with Cripps, Murph & Ed in the square and Walsh & Setters on the wings.

Hopefully Setters can start transitioning a little inside over the course of the season. Walsh still feels another year or so off due to his frame, when comparing his 'value' inside versus outside.
I think we'll play at least one pure wing (Newnes/L'OB, maybe Willo). Walsh and Setters will be rotated through the square.
 

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HARKER

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It is about identifying when a certain element in a current situation is lacking eg pace, contested possession etc etc. and then recognising elements in certain players that aren’t necessarily recognised as ‘full time mids’ that can assist with that, as well as surprise opposition game plans. This should be seen as an asset, not a detriment.
Throwing Silvagni onto Fyfe is a great example of this. By having an open mind as to what players are capable of, literally won us the game.
Without imagination, you’ll never achieve anything.
I agree to a point and I can only play by the rules that have taught me well; If it doesn't sound/feel/look right, the chances are it probably won't be.....and it's not as much about imagination but for a practical understanding of what one can get out of their personnel and what they cannot.

I picked JSilvagni early on, as someone who may be used at stoppages. I did laugh though (as did Teague reluctantly) when we talked up Polson as a forward.
i.e. One made sense given the players' traits and one made no sense at all.
It made sense trialing Jones as a back-man.....It also made sense with Casboult and I only saw that once, but once was enough and not just for the fact he could play in the back-line, but for what it could have done for the whole.

I don't want to see Newnes play in the middle. Too slow, not great vision and a bit of a fumbler to boot.
Cuningham starting from the centre? It may work from time to time, but I wouldn't be relying on him, given he's not great at finding the ball, but if he can play the second 'hands on ball' role, that may change....but he's just not a clearance player in the way good midfielders are.

I could go on but in a nutshell; Different players have different traits. Get the most of each individual for what they do well and hold back on educating them up for something common sense and observation tells you they really can't. This should be straight forward enough....just don't confuse too many, too much of the time.

I still feel Weitering would make for a terrific forward and we can take him out of the backline and train him up for a forward role and when he proves that he can play forward, I may say, "I told you so" but I'm not interested in that because it's the net sum of these moves that matters. We may pat ourselves on the back for having a 10% better forward, but may lose for a situation the incoming back-man may be 30% worse. It's the net outcome that matters. We don't have to be too clever.....just clever enough.
 

blue_trinity

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I agree to a point and I can only play by the rules that have taught me well; If it doesn't sound/feel/look right, the chances are it probably won't be.....and it's not as much about imagination but for a practical understanding of what one can get out of their personnel and what they cannot.

I picked JSilvagni early on, as someone who may be used at stoppages. I did laugh though (as did Teague reluctantly) when we talked up Polson as a forward.
i.e. One made sense given the players' traits and one made no sense at all.
It made sense trialing Jones as a back-man.....It also made sense with Casboult and I only saw that once, but once was enough and not just for the fact he could play in the back-line, but for what it could have done for the whole.

I don't want to see Newnes play in the middle. Too slow, not great vision and a bit of a fumbler to boot.
Cuningham starting from the centre? It may work from time to time, but I wouldn't be relying on him, given he's not great at finding the ball, but if he can play the second 'hands on ball' role, that may change....but he's just not a clearance player in the way good midfielders are.

I could go on but in a nutshell; Different players have different traits. Get the most of each individual for what they do well and hold back on educating them up for something common sense and observation tells you they really can't. This should be straight forward enough....just don't confuse too many, too much of the time.

I still feel Weitering would make for a terrific forward and we can take him out of the backline and train him up for a forward role and when he proves that he can play forward, I may say, "I told you so" but I'm not interested in that because it's the net sum of these moves that matters. We may pat ourselves on the back for having a 10% better forward, but may lose for a situation the incoming back-man may be 30% worse. It's the net outcome that matters. We don't have to be too clever.....just clever enough.
No one is saying do something that doesn’t feel right (Would have thought this goes without saying). But this is what coaches are paid for, to understand players strengths and utilise them to full effect, wherever that may be.

Of course there has to be some sort of practicality to it. That’s obvious. Call it whatever you want, imagination, creativity, lateral thinking... doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is, successful teams practice this and get it right, unsuccessful teams either get it wrong or don’t action it enough. Simple as that.
 

HARKER

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No one is saying do something that doesn’t feel right (Would have thought this goes without saying). But this is what coaches are paid for, to understand players strengths and utilise them to full effect, wherever that may be.

Of course there has to be some sort of practicality to it. That’s obvious. Call it whatever you want, imagination, creativity, lateral thinking... doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is, successful teams practice this and get it right, unsuccessful teams either get it wrong or don’t action it enough. Simple as that.
I understand that but they get it wrong also.

It's easy for us to put forward what we see, because we don't have to wear the repercussions of making those moves, but humans will be humans and some will be overly-conservative and some will be wide-eyed for the 'possibilities'.

Where would I want to be for us - Somewhere in the middle and don't do anything unless the whole is to benefit.....in the main team.
By all means, play Marchbank on the wing in the NB's but let's not be too clever for the sake of looking clever, again.


EDIT: What's happening with this thread? Posts are disappearing, appearing and then disappearing again. :)
 

Aphrodite

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I understand that but they get it wrong also.

It's easy for us to put forward what we see, because we don't have to wear the repercussions of making those moves, but humans will be humans and some will be overly-conservative and some will be wide-eyed for the 'possibilities'.

Where would I want to be for us - Somewhere in the middle and don't do anything unless the whole is to benefit.....in the main team.
By all means, play Marchbank on the wing in the NB's but let's not be too clever for the sake of looking clever, again.


EDIT: What's happening with this thread? Posts are disappearing, appearing and then disappearing again. :)

Nothing in this thread has disappeared reappeared then disappeared again.

No posts have been deleted or moved to other threads since this thread was started back in December.
 

HARKER

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Nothing in this thread has disappeared reappeared then disappeared again.

No posts have been deleted or moved to other threads since this thread was started back in December.
Aph. There are definitely posts missing.
I set out to reply to one......and just like that.....it was gone :)

EDIT: Hang on....I get it. The top post # 49 is locked. That's why I have that jump from 49 to 151. Posts are on the previous page.

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 1.32.16 pm.png
 

ferrisb

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I think all the argy-bargy here is due to differing views on what it means to be a midfielder

For some people, midfielder = players at centre bounces
For other people, midfielder = part of the army of 'running players' that move in waves with the ball (inside mids, outside mids, wings, attacking HBFs, mid-fwds)

The first definition suggests we have about 3-4 midfielders plus cameos
The second definition basically means anyone that isn't a KPP, ruck or Eddie Betts

Some kind of consensus terminology on midfielders vs running players might cut arguments by like 75%. Of course that might not work for those select few who like arguing and measuring appendages...
 

Aphrodite

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Aph. There are definitely posts missing.
I set out to reply to one......and just like that.....it was gone :)

EDIT: Hang on....I get it. The top post # 49 is locked. That's why I have that jump from 49 to 151. Posts are on the previous page.

View attachment 828709

Told you nothing was gone and magically reappeared Harks. :p

J stickied his post and it appears at the top of every page.
 

Stamos

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Read my post, i was talking about this weeks game only.
Yeah, but to what ends?
We've got 2 practice matches left before the real stuff starts. Why would we bother playing a player who won't play mid this year in the midfield?
 

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Beer n Skittles

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I think all the argy-bargy here is due to differing views on what it means to be a midfielder

For some people, midfielder = players at centre bounces
For other people, midfielder = part of the army of 'running players' that move in waves with the ball (inside mids, outside mids, wings, attacking HBFs, mid-fwds)

The first definition suggests we have about 3-4 midfielders plus cameos
The second definition basically means anyone that isn't a KPP, ruck or Eddie Betts

Some kind of consensus terminology on midfielders vs running players might cut arguments by like 75%. Of course that might not work for those select few who like arguing and measuring appendages...
Calling everyone in team bar 3 players a midfielder kind of takes the meaning out of the word IMO
 

Stamos

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I think all the argy-bargy here is due to differing views on what it means to be a midfielder

For some people, midfielder = players at centre bounces
For other people, midfielder = part of the army of 'running players' that move in waves with the ball (inside mids, outside mids, wings, attacking HBFs, mid-fwds)

The first definition suggests we have about 3-4 midfielders plus cameos
The second definition basically means anyone that isn't a KPP, ruck or Eddie Betts

Some kind of consensus terminology on midfielders vs running players might cut arguments by like 75%. Of course that might not work for those select few who like arguing and measuring appendages...
It's a lot more clearly defined with the 6-6-6 starting positions.
Those who regularly attend centre bounces are mids.

Sure, there's a difference between certain players who start on the wing (eg Ed, Murphy, Setterfield, Walsh) and those that play pure wing (LOB, Newnes), but if you're starting every bounce inside 50 (forward or defensive) you're not a mid.
 

T2B_

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I think all the argy-bargy here is due to differing views on what it means to be a midfielder

For some people, midfielder = players at centre bounces
For other people, midfielder = part of the army of 'running players' that move in waves with the ball (inside mids, outside mids, wings, attacking HBFs, mid-fwds)

The first definition suggests we have about 3-4 midfielders plus cameos
The second definition basically means anyone that isn't a KPP, ruck or Eddie Betts

Some kind of consensus terminology on midfielders vs running players might cut arguments by like 75%. Of course that might not work for those select few who like arguing and measuring appendages...
I thought it was just anyone that fit the "but can they run through the midfield?" criteria...
 

JustaBattler

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I think the messy forward entries became less of an issue when we shifted more experience back into the midfield. They don't necessarily win the clearances more often than the kids (see Arrow's post), but they are better at ensuring clearances become goals.
In a perfect world on ballers shovel the ball out to runners and kickers - I reckon we have on ballers(not enough) I reckon we have runners - but I think we don't have kickers - apart from LoB and (ironically) Jack Silvagni - I haven't seen anyone else kick a dart to a advantage into the forward fifty from a wing too often - it is these types of kicks I am referring to - the ones that go over the top of a press and give defensive structure no time to actually structure up - Harry/McGovern Levi would feast on one on one contests.
 

JustaBattler

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I thought it was just anyone that fit the "but can they run through the midfield?" criteria...
I reckon anyone who plays predominantly between the arcs is a midfielder - some sides play six some play 5 some play 8 - Bolton tried to play 12 since he didn't believe in forward line structure.
 

ferrisb

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I haven't seen anyone else kick a dart to a advantage into the forward fifty from a wing too often - it is these types of kicks I am referring to - the ones that go over the top of a press and give defensive structure no time to actually structure up - Harry/McGovern Levi would feast on one on one contests.
Pretty sure that is what a Jack Martin is for....
 

HARKER

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I think all the argy-bargy here is due to differing views on what it means to be a midfielder

For some people, midfielder = players at centre bounces
For other people, midfielder = part of the army of 'running players' that move in waves with the ball (inside mids, outside mids, wings, attacking HBFs, mid-fwds)

The first definition suggests we have about 3-4 midfielders plus cameos
The second definition basically means anyone that isn't a KPP, ruck or Eddie Betts

Some kind of consensus terminology on midfielders vs running players might cut arguments by like 75%. Of course that might not work for those select few who like arguing and measuring appendages...
It is but my interest was in first-deployed centre stoppages players and how we may transition into the newer, younger mids on the books.

The definition of players alone doesn't count for a lot, but the abilities of those players will count towards them being regarded as midfielders in the wider football community.
I have also tried to keep 'flankers' out of things (Newnes & O'Brien) aren't stoppage players and from what I'm hearing/feeling, wingmen may again be important for the particular role they play.

I have a particular interest in stoppage players and I'm just trying to work out who'll be involved and for how much, after the most likely first five used.

This is a thread about midfielders and not about flankers nor wingmen and to me at least, there is a difference. :)
 

Beer n Skittles

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In a perfect world on ballers shovel the ball out to runners and kickers - I reckon we have on ballers(not enough) I reckon we have runners - but I think we don't have kickers - apart from LoB and (ironically) Jack Silvagni - I haven't seen anyone else kick a dart to a advantage into the forward fifty from a wing too often - it is these types of kicks I am referring to - the ones that go over the top of a press and give defensive structure no time to actually structure up - Harry/McGovern Levi would feast on one on one contests.
So a bit like Yarran? Pretty sure we persisted with him in the backline purely for his ability to carry & kick over a press to break the ground open. I think Williamson is going to be pretty good at this if he can get a run of games in
 

HARKER

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And the pigeonholing continues.....
This is a bit tedious but one last time - What's the issue?

1. Should we not call players wingmen?
Is this something you'd like to see taken out of the football vocabulary, because I'm hearing a lot more of it and understand why those two of the widest flankers may have a name attached to their roles.

2. Backmen push up the ground and find themselves around the centre. Does this in your world, define them as midfielders also?

3. Forwards push up the ground and find themselves around the centre. Does this in your world, define them as midfielders also?

I've stated my interest and findings in regards to stoppage players, but somehow unless someone is reciting you verbatim, they must be wrong, need to dig deeper, or just aren't really thinking, but when they do - They make too much sense for 'this place' :) Now that's funny....sort of.
 

RobR

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This is a bit tedious but one last time - What's the issue?

1. Should we not call players wingmen?
Is this something you'd like to see taken out of the football vocabulary, because I'm hearing a lot more of it and understand why those two of the widest flankers may have a name attached to their roles.

2. Backmen push up the ground and find themselves around the centre. Does this in your world, define them as midfielders also?

3. Forwards push up the ground and find themselves around the centre. Does this in your world, define them as midfielders also?

I've stated my interest and findings in regards to stoppage players, but somehow unless someone is reciting you verbatim, they must be wrong, need to dig deeper, or just aren't really thinking, but when they do - They make too much sense for 'this place' :) Now that's funny....sort of.
You don't think that a flanker would be involved in any centre square strategy?
 

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