We play the anchor player a lot, but it often gets thrown out the window when the momentum goes against us.
Obviously, this is a pretty common thing in footy. Players going away from structures when the going gets tough. The great teams stick to their structures, no matter what is happening with the momentum or the scoreboard.
Having Vince and Lewis back there isn't great. Both are slow and neither are great leaders IMO.
It's worth noting that I think we played a much deeper (less aggressive) press against Geelong and it enabled us to restrict scoring significantly in the second half. I don't think we should employ the high press anymore, at least not until we've got 2 KPFs in the team. I wonder if we've fallen into the higher press in recent weeks? Surely though, that would be a simple adjustment in quarter or at worst, at the breaks?
I understand the attempt to model our game on Richmond (the smaller forward line, the ruck rover ruckman, forward press), but it's not playing to our strengths though.
I'd consider going one-on-one a lot more often than we've tried. We've got a lot of guys who I'd usually back in to beat their man one-on-one.
But I have a sneaking suspicion our current game plan may well work really well against Richmond, who basically get the ball forward at all costs and then press up to the next contest. Our aggressive press going back the other way, could well lock them in and at worst, catch them out in transition, as Hawthorn got us.
I think like a lot of our defenders, he's playing reactionary football, rather than instinctive beat your man and then look to run and carry (vintage 2017).
He came straight in against Richmond last year and looked to be the outlet off half back. He's done that a few times this year, but nowhere near as much as last year.
This year he's looking to lock down a bit more and his run and carry is being stifled as a result.
Likewise, Lever is being asked to lock down, rather than float within a deeper defensive set up.
Good to see you've finally acknowledged Oscar, Steve. But I agree with the rest of your post. And I'd also add that Jetta, Hibberd and even Hunt have historically all been excellent one-on-one players.
This is what I mean about not playing to our strengths. If we play that less aggressive press you've mentioned (which I agree with), it leaves more one-on-ones, but it also allows Lever to zone off his man.
I commend ingenuity from a coach, in fact I cried out for it for years. And it must be said that Goodwin and his FD have certainly tried a host of bold moves from the Diamond Defence to running the half forwards off the back of the square, to playing with no wings etc. I really like the inventiveness, but when it's not working and we actually have really good defenders (three of which were in the 40 man AA squad), it's time to play a different system that will play to their strengths.
I reckon it'd be interesting to see us employ the press we used against Geelong more often, which was far less aggressive than even 2017's press. But certainly, our current defensive system is far too all or nothing. It's kamikaze-like the way we race out and try to tackle the ball carrier and as we know, too often sides that have decent enough skills can pierce this zone.
I'd argue it's the other way around. He played all last year as the running back, but also got back to the last line at times. This year they seem to be trying to play him deeper and demanding more accountability. The same goes for Lever. And as I've said here, it's not playing to either of their strengths.