What is our game plan?

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doggies ftw

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 22, 2008
19,690
21,650
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Can somebody explain to me the type of footy were actually trying to play? Deadly serious here I just see no resemblance of an actual, sustainable, cohesive style of football we’re trying to replicate here.

Even in the autopsy thread you see a number of posts come through “oh if we sustain that pressure in the 2nd half for a whole game we’ll beat anyone” yeah right heard that for years. So we need to play an unsustainable style of manic pressure, 4 quarters a game, 22 games a season - to even put ourselves in the potential spot to kick a winning score.

Good sides are good sides because they play to a sustainable game plan that leads to easy wins when they’re not at their best. Even at our best we make hard work of literally everything.

We rely on individual brilliance and manic pressure (levels required which are unsustainable) and always have - as we’ve seen if we get it right we can have periods of success and luck our way into a premiership - maybe another one if we’re lucky.

But that’s not being a good side, that’s playing good football for a brief period of time - we are not a good side and possibly never have been under Bev other than brief runs of form.

It’s not talent related either - our top end talent is hands down the best in the league or at least very very close. Why are we scrapping our way to close losses or scrappy wins when we’re lining up with generational talent in the side like Bont, Macrae and Naughty. Weapons in the backline no one else has like Dale, Daniel & Williams. A Plan b midfield including the likes of Baz, Treloar & Dunkley. Yes there’s gaps in the list, as is with every list, but then we haven’t even tried to fill these gaps so whose fault is that?

It’s game plan! Now what is our game plan? Please somebody enlighten me…

The way I see it is right now we completely rely on midfield dominance and territory - we want to back our midfielders (as we should because they are elite) to win majority of contests and move the ball forward at any cost. Yet we neglect the ruck? A very very important part of a contested ball/stoppage heavy gameplan - completely mind boggling. We refuse to play enough key forwards most weeks, which also goes against our territory dominated game plan.

So why are we selecting a team which completely goes against our very limited overall game plan?

Our strategy at stoppages is to flick the ball around and get ourselves in space for an uncontested kick forward - awesome, we took the league by storm with this and did it great, 5 years ago… teams have adapted and found this out - they no longer get sucked into the contest they cover the outlets and we flick the ball around get into trouble and turn it over. Not only have teams adapted but we do not have the personnel required to play this style.

We have wayyyy too many sloppy role players in this 22 to attempt that style - nothing against these guys as they’re battlers and try hard and are great depth or 21/22 on the team sheet, but how often is a chain of possessions broken down by someone like Rourke, Vandermeer, Hannan etc just not having the quick hands and skills required to affect a millimetre perfect style of play like this. It’s countless, and leads to turnovers which puts our slow, short backline in trouble… onto our backline.

Okay what the * is even going on down there? I understand the quality in our talls is not great, but what are we trying to do here? Whose role is what? Because what I see when I watch our backline is ******* chaos. 6 players flying for the same ball, zero sweepers out the back, just *ing carnage. You don’t need elite back man to have some sort of structure and and strategy to perform a well drilled team defence. Whose job is it to fly? Everyone’s by the looks of things.

Okay we don’t have great intercept markers or very quick talls, true - so why does everyone set up 10m in front of their opponents when they’re not capable of taking a mark in front anyway - and are too slow to get back to affect a contest when the opposition is inevitably on a quick break.

When we try to move the ball from the backline it’s literally always to a contest unless we put the ball in Daniels & Dales hands and they make things happen - this isn’t gameplan. This is just having two of the most lethal kicks in the game with great vision and confidence who make things happen on their own. Our whole style of working the ball up the ground from defence is long to a contest - okay territory fine…. BUT WE DONT HAVE MARKING TALLS! SO WHY TAKE THIS OPTION?

We beat up on s**t teams through sheer midfield dominance, we rely heavily on individual brilliance to win us games.

What parts of our gameplan have developed in 6 years? What have we changed to improve, how are we expecting to get better. Why are we selecting teams that go against the way we play; What even is our aim ingame when trying to execute a way to kick a winning score.

Somebody please answer these questions for me because I am genuinely at a loss, my mind is 100% blown at how incomprehensible a lot of what we do is.

In saying that I believe we’ll make top 4, as we have a ******* good list, despite the challenges put in place and if the planets align hey we might even fluke another flag. But the football this team plays is ******* very average.

Have at it
 

Testekill

Don't look at me like that
Dec 3, 2009
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Theoretically it's probably "intercept at CHB and then rebound with our quality ball users" but the big thing about a tactic like that is that our midfielders need to pressure the ball carrier so that the forward 50 entries are sloppy. Instead they're clean entries under no pressure because Beveridge refuses to man up against the sweeper or set us up properly.
 

doggies ftw

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 22, 2008
19,690
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Theoretically it's probably "intercept at CHB and then rebound with our quality ball users" but the big thing about a tactic like that is that our midfielders need to pressure the ball carrier so that the forward 50 entries are sloppy. Instead they're clean entries under no pressure because Beveridge refuses to man up against the sweeper or set us up properly.
Which is also a fine tactic - but we don’t have very good intercept markers - possibly the worst at this in the league? And we play our best intercept mark as a lockdown full back.

We don’t play a ruck so the opposition gets first use and like you said clean entries against us.

So surely this isn’t our plan? If we were going to give up the ruck and play a backline with few intercept mark options surely we’d play a man on man defence and make sure we kill the entries and then try to rebound with our good ball users
 

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Struggle

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 9, 2014
9,821
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Run away on the mark allowing them to drive flat uncontested kicks to leading forwards that are near impossible to defend. Give up 45m on kick ins and 10-15 on every other mark

Kick it high and long to Naughton and hope he pulls out a miracle. If he doesn't, there's no crumbling forwards in the side to deal with the spill

Take any clearance sideways or backwards instead of our the front of the stoppage towards goal

Use anything but a ruckman inside 50 because who likes a hit out that results in an easy stoppage goal anyway

our ball movement seems to rely on fast effective use but our team is full of players with the opposite of that, Roarke, VDM, Hunter, Hannan and Dunkley absolutely kill us when they get it in transition with slow decision making or poor skills
 
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ThePhreshOne

Premium Gold
Apr 5, 2016
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Maybe, just maybe, the year last year has had an impact.

Let's look at it from a different perspective. We didn't get the euphoria and galvinsation that winning a premiership does, in fact we had the opposite, a deflating and embarassing defeat. You know who else had that? Geelong.

They started 2021 similarly to us. They were 1-1 after a blatant wrong umpiring decision cost Brisbane the game in round 2. If not for dubious set shots last night we win the game (I maintain that we wouldn't have been deserving winners but winners nonetheless).

Not all teams have a clear cut game plan, it's not easy to explain and that's why we pay professionals to coach and not randoms on a footy forum.
 

SonOfScray

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 7, 2002
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We don't really have brand of footy at the moment, I think. Not particularly cohesive in transition, not especially tough in the clinches, not really explosive running with the footy. Just fairly methodical and competent in a decent chunk of components that make up the game. Don't know what to make of it.

The thing I am certain of is that it is not really fun to watch as a fan. Might have to adjust my expectations.

I'd like to see one of the following elements really emerge:
a commitment to hard nosed aggressive ball winning, a la Clay Smith
a return of some line breaking running a la prime JJ
 

Cudi

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 24, 2005
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Pray our mids dominate the opposition mids in clearances and winning the ball, and with that pepper the scoreboard enough to manufacture a winning score.
 

Maverick Dog

Club Legend
Oct 30, 2003
1,164
1,521
Kennel
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Western Bulldogs
No game plan, as above rely on a dominant midfield to overwhelm opponent. Good tactical coaches know how to set up to counter us but our individual brilliance will most of the time get us over the line.
 

ScottyDogg

Club Legend
Oct 17, 2015
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Not sure what the game plan was the first two weeks but it should be exactly what made us successful for the first 10 weeks last year.

Two rucks with Tim playing the three headed monster up forward. We have been a shadow of ourselves since we went back to a single ruck against Melbourne in Round 10 last year.

Bevo realised the error in his ways for the preliminary final (brought in Stef) but was too stubborn to pull the trigger on Marra to give us a third forward threat.

Bring in O’Brien down back, add Sweet or Stef and keep Marra in the team and we will not lose a lot of games.

Nothing to do with those players individually, everything to do with structure and game plan.

Combat the 666 with a physically dominant ruck at Centre bounces, let English stretch teams all over the ground. Let our superior midfield depth over run teams and let proper forward threats kick bags off of quantity of entries. It’s not that difficult.

In that set up we will kick 100+ points just about every week and our tall defensive achilles heal won’t be an issue.
 

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TiAn_

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 19, 2006
5,456
13,730
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The reality is we entered the season still without a settled structure.

Rd 1, Cordy is CHF, Schache is on a wing and we have 2 KPDs.

Rd 2 Cordy is CHB and we have 3 KPDs, Schache is dropped and Marra is CHF.

Maybe others read it differently but I’ve always felt Bev leans towards picking a team and adjusting the structure to fit that group of players, rather than the other way around, and he’s not always inclined to make like for like changes. Sometimes it extracts great results when injury depleted, other times it exacerbates our weaknesses.

Putting the structure aside, the big problems so far this year have been getting absolutely creamed in the contest around the ground and the inability to prevent scores once the opposition goes inside 50. They’re related. It's easy to just lay it at the feet of our midfield, but our half backs and Hunter are all well down on CPs across the first two games compared to last year's averages, and with the way we press up and bring our half backs into the midfield contest and rely on them and our wingmen to halve contests to prevent easy transitions, we can't afford to have 4-5 players in those roles all down on their impact at contested ball. How much is mental and how much is strategy, I don’t know.
 
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Norm De Guerre

Left of the dial.
Mar 27, 2004
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Win the ball in the centre and kick it to our two dominant marking talls inside 50 and the rest will take care of itself...


Oh, wait.
 

Mr. Walker

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2002
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If you want to know what our game plan is, if fact if you want to know anything at all listen to SEN. I do and they are a fantastic source of knowledge on a huge range of topics. You listen to SEN and you can find out , among a thousand other things,:
  • where to buy bitcoin
  • where to put a bet on with mates
  • where to buy sustainably sourced coffee
  • find a better home loan rate
  • how to control your heating and cooling
  • details on a credit card packed with value
  • who are the trusted tyre experts and where to get 30% off new tyres ( strangely the two providers are different, not sure how they reconcile that but hey information is power.)

And so much more. They sometimes even provide information on sport.
 

D Mitchell

Premiership Player
Jul 28, 2006
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If you want to know what our game plan is, if fact if you want to know anything at all listen to SEN. I do and they are a fantastic source of knowledge on a huge range of topics. You listen to SEN and you can find out , among a thousand other things,:
  • where to buy bitcoin
  • where to put a bet on with mates
  • where to buy sustainably sourced coffee
  • find a better home loan rate
  • how to control your heating and cooling
  • details on a credit card packed with value
  • who are the trusted tyre experts and where to get 30% off new tyres ( strangely the two providers are different, not sure how they reconcile that but hey information is power.)

And so much more. They sometimes even provide information on sport.
Kick it to Naughton
 

ScottyDogg

Club Legend
Oct 17, 2015
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If you look at the premiership winning teams from the last 10 years (I couldn’t be bothered going back further) they all played a minimum of two legitimate rucks + 2 or 3 genuine tall forwards.

The only exception being Tigers in 2020 when due to injury they could only put one ruck on the park and Dustin put the team on his back.

It’s glaringly obvious what works.
 

Struggle

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 9, 2014
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If you look at the premiership winning teams from the last 10 years (I couldn’t be bothered going back further) they all played a minimum of two legitimate rucks + 2 or 3 genuine tall forwards.

The only exception being Tigers in 2020 when due to injury they could only put one ruck on the park and Dustin put the team on his back.

It’s glaringly obvious what works.
Didn't they use Grigg as backup ruck for 17/18?
 

Dogsman16

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 19, 2012
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I'd love to know the structure/instructions regarding our manning the mark philosophy. In my mind it completely contradicts the whole team press philosophy that has been an absolute no negotiable under Beveridge.

Basically you have Harry Mckay all game leading up to the wing. Keath follows him, conceeds the mark then retreats the 5m leaving him in absolute no mans land. Too far away to push Mckay back on the mark (giving time for the zone defence to push back), but hes too close in that he can't impact the next contest 30 - 50m down the line.

If we are going to continue with this retreat off the mark plan, we are better off going full Melbourne in which they often don't even bother following the forward target up field. That allows May to sit back 50m from the mark and basically do what the **** he wants down the line, forcing opposition teams to switch, or chip and get nowhere.

Lets be honest though, this retreat off the mark plan is bs, go back to the full press up the ground and outnumber and cut off attacks by defending aggressively. Not this half in half out bull s**t.
 

TMoney22

Cancelled
Sep 15, 2010
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Yep, its another Easton Wood going forward. Won't be long til its dropped.
 

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