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  1. stevethemanjordan

    Backline Setup and Structure

    I wish to bring this issue up as a point of discussion even though I'm aware that many posters are talking about it in other threads. Our two major problem areas are clearly our inability to convert inside 50's into genuine scoring opportunities and our inability to limit the opposition scoring when they enter their forward 50. For the former, the answer is seemingly more clear cut. We clearly lack players who possess high enough levels of composure, foot skills and smarts. Evidenced time and time again by our players entering the forward 50 with almost no care for what the outcome will be. Be it quick scrap kicks from stoppages from players like Petracca yesterday or pointless torpedos to a forward line that contains one key position height forward. This is not okay. I don't for one second believe that Goodwin has instructed our players to kick the ball aimlessly into our 50 in the hope that our crumbers will score from that type of play every single time. It is simply unsustainable and amatuer. There are so so many times I can see clear space for our players to kick into to the advantage of our forwards, but they simply don't. This issue hasn't been addressed at all since the beginning of the season. I believe it's a player issue and Goodwin must now either play two key talls in our forward line or send a heavy message to those who continue to move the ball into our forward line with no system to their thought. It's putrid. The latter/second point that is less clear cut to me is the way we setup as a defensive back six. In my opinion, the aggressive zone that Goodwin has implemented is in no way conducive to the type of backmen we have who are meant to be executing this type of setup. Is it not obvious that in order to successfully execute an aggressive zone defence, you need one of two strengths as a backline unit, preferably both. Kicking skills/composure and speed? Playing in an aggressive zone means you're guarding space rather than standing side by side to your opponent. Which also means you need fleet footed individuals who can read the play and have quick reaction times. Aside from Hunt and Frost who both lack composure and foot-skills anyway, we have nobody else in that backline who is quick. In fact, Lewis, Vince, Oscar, Lever and Jetta are all slow with Hibberd being the only one whose pace is good.. Out of that group, I'd say Lewis, Vince, Oscar and Hibberd are generally solid users of the ball however, Lewis is the only player who more often than not shows composure and calmness. The rest of our backline group are far too inconsistent with the way they handle pressure situations. (Although Lewis didn't exactly set the world on fire in that regard yesterday.) Take spoiling as an example. Does anyone believe that Goodwin instructs 3 or 4 players to go up in a contest, all with the intention of spoiling the same ball whilst their opponents run amok once the ball hits the deck? How many times do we see opposition sides score easy goals because of this? That's only one example. But it is directly related to this defensive zone that we play. If our players don't have direct opponents as such, then your backline group need to have the utmost trust, composure and decision making skills in each other to know when to fly, or when not to etc. I believe Goodwin needs to show some maturity and an ability to change when something isn't working and in my opinion, I'd love to see us fall back and play a much less aggressive type of zone that suits players like Oscar, who I must admit was really good yesterday. He is a one-on-one defender. Not a zone playing key position defender. Lever would benefit from a tighter playing backline group, go and look at how Adelaide play and why he was so good for them. Lewis, Vince and Jetta would all benefit from playing closer to their opponents due to their lack of speed. I can't understand it and I really hope Goody can show some humility just like Hardwick did last year and rejig the backline structure. It's okay to be wrong as a coach. As upset as I am with yesterday, I still hold hope that this group will click. I'm certainly beginning to question some of Goodwin's plans though. Thoughts?
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