I was suggesting for a very short period we may have actually been better without Gaff in the side. In so many ways things we thought went greatly against us last season actually resulted in some of our greatest wins. Gaff going down potentially leading to Sheed and Redden's amazing finals series, Sheppard going down resulting in one of, if not the best 1 on 1 performance by a defender in schofields grand final vs de goey etc.So now we were actually better off without Gaff. OK.
And Sheed has now developed into the Bull we always wanted.Don't rate Gaff off one game. That wasn't Gaff at his best, that was like a warm up under pressure. If he plays like last year he's a better user of the ball than the other two if ball retention is the goal. Shuey has had some shocking disposals this year to go with his brilliant ones and Yeo isn't really at the same level as boots or Gaff but is by no means a poor kick (Dangerfield for example).
Gaff is courageous, runs both ways and is very capable with his head over the ball. He's less likely to wrestle a ball out but he'll run over a ball keep his feet and most times pick it up and cop a hit.
I voted Shuey, but I think it's a pretty hard choice between the three of them. Shuey and Yeo are just much better tacklers, but Gaffy is was better at covering space and standing in the hole of leading forwards which is also a defensive attribute.
Sorry to disagree but Gaff is an outstanding midfielder. One of thr very best in tha AFL and at least as good as Yeo and Sheuy albeit a different player. Perhaps we just dont fully appreciate his 30+ quality possessions every game like clockwork.I think of Gaff as a game saving midfielder. He busts his gut, gets to space, gets the outlet ball and generally disposes of it tidily. His role is very important to our structure but the role in itself is nowhere near as hard to replace as the roles of a burst midfielder, an intercept key defender like mcgovern or a dominant key forward.
In so many ways if you have great runners who work hard defensively and a mature side you can overcome the loss of gaff or players of a similar ilk. I thought we were done last year when nicnat went down, then i thought we were done when gaff went down and i was certain of it after we lost shep. The truth is that guys like Masten, Redden, Sheed or even say Josh Smith can play the role that Gaff plays. They may not play that role quite as well but the defensive side of his game in particular is about being an outlet and then releasing the ball to more dynamic players. I listed Masten and Smith as examples of runners who will play a similar role and also because both are not a touch on gaff however masten in particular if you discount his abhorrent ability to overestimate the amount of time he has and his ability to out-muscle other players (it's his technique that is wrong not overall strength) can play the role just as well. We have seen Sheed and Redden combine to play a combination of inside mid + gaff's role while gaff was out and perform at a level as good as or better than gaff does.
It is why this role is consistently played by less dynamic players with less hurt factor than the primary central mids. In the same way that Priddis was very vanilla as an inside mid and it allowed him to be run off by his opponent, coaches will try and tag Shuey or Yeo instead of gaff because they see him and his role as being of less importance and less influence on the result. Very much in the same way as taggers themselves are lesser players than the players they guard.
Please I don't want people to think that i see gaff as a poor player, someone who should be fazed out or anything like that. I see him as being close to the best at his role in the league but I just don't see his role winning us games directly. Shuey, Yeo, Hurn, McGovern, Kennedy, Nicnat directly win us games. I just have Gaff pegged as being at the top of the next tier down. Along with guys like Darling, Sheed and Sheppard their absolute best can have this effect but imo can't be relied upon to win games. It's 5-15 on a list importance rather than top 5 imo.
Gaff's 2018 was incredible. He took his game to another level and started hurting on the scoreboard too. Was easily our best mid. Yeo and Shuey did have big games here and there but Gaff was our No.1I still rate gaff as our best he might not be a game breaker like yeo and shuey but he consistently does it more and has improved marginally bit by bit each year
I think it heavily favours score involvements and metres gained. Plus i assume you lose points for turnovers, ineffective disposals, free kicks etc, as already mentioned by another poster.Can someone please explain player ratings to me.
They have Gaff down as the fifth worst player of the collingwood game. Fifth worst out of both teams!
He got equal high contested possessions.... I just don't get it
I rememeber his introduction to AFL being him bowled over on the boundary line! Bounced right back up.From day one, you could just see Shueys desire to win.
Gaffs escalation in toughness has been remarkable. with all his other qualities, it does make him a legitimate A grader.
As said before, we have a very good mix of midfielders, and they have been enjoyable to watch.