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Who are our bottom six? And where do they rate?

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3 minutes ago, ProperDee said:

Ted Hopkins says g'day.

And you only had to go back 47 years to find an example?

The Dogs won the flag in 2016 - weird outliers can happen.

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Surely the middle tier counts. Everyone has stars, everyone has youngsters but that middle group has to be what wins it.

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1 hour ago, layzie said:

Surely the middle tier counts.

I think in the end the strength of the 'bottom 6 importance' case is that it necessarily includes the whole team. Not so much an argument of 'these specific six players must do well' as it is about looking at the contribution that can be expected of any player in the 22.

Illustrated by the debates in this thread about who is in that bottom six. Fritsch, Vandenberg, O.Mc. 

I would reckon that when our bottom six becomes full of players that can be debated about as having too many merits or playing their roles too well to be considered bottom six, we'll be laughing all the way to the trophy cabinet!

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2 hours ago, Fifty-5 said:

And you only had to go back 47 years to find an example?

The Dogs won the flag in 2016 - weird outliers can happen.

Every GF throws up surprise players who have big impacts over the superstars ones I recall in the last 20 odd years without going over game stats

1997 Shane Ellen

2001 Shaun Hart

2005 Lewis Roberts-Thompson, Nick Fosdike,

2006 Andrew Embley,

2008 Xavier Ellis, Clint Young, Stewie Dew who was passed it

2012 a young Hanneberry, Mitch Morton

Lake & Stratton during the Hawks years

2016 Joel Hamling, Dale Morris

2017 I would argue the hard running pressure players changed this game

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2 minutes ago, Pennant St Dee said:

Every GF throws up surprise players who have big impacts over the superstars ones I recall in the last 20 odd years without going over game stats

1997 Shane Ellen

2001 Shaun Hart

2005 Lewis Roberts-Thompson, Nick Fosdike,

2006 Andrew Embley,

2008 Xavier Ellis, Clint Young, Stewie Dew who was passed it

2012 a young Hanneberry, Mitch Morton

Lake & Stratton during the Hawks years

2016 Joel Hamling, Dale Morris

2017 I would argue the hard running pressure players changed this game

Good list there. I'm gonna say Nibbler for 2018!

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Now more than ever, and I thought this after trying to rate 1-22, it truly is about playing your role, I know that sounds like a terrible cliche made for TV, but every name you think of, you think of some 'mission critical' function you want the player to perform, and the consequence of that not happening. It makes the idea of top 6 and bottom 6 a little redundant from how the team will go overall, because if the bottom 6 do the role designed for them (I don't think anyone is being gifted a game) then we will win, but we also need the top 6 and middle 6 to do their bit as well. The days of a few individuals putting 'the team on the back' I think, while still possible are far less likely. Therefore @Pennant St Dee and @layzie are not so far from it, the idea of ANB with his hard running pressure (team role) breaking the game open.   

@Yung Blood I based it on current season, with a feel for recent form, as much as Petracca has improved the last few weeks, I am probably marking him a little harder after rating him on potential for so long. Re Jones, yes an argument could be made for 10-15, I am personally finding it hard to rate him correctly. I think he is a senior player and does provide leadership, however a few have gone past him and calculating the intangibles is hard. I also rate his ability very highly to kick Captains goals, more than one his running has put him in position to slot a high pressure kick and the way it lifts the team is a pleasure to behold.

Out of the other players you mention, Garlett, Hunt could be best 22 if they wanted to be (over Hannan/JKH), their form drop off is the disappointment of 2018. Lever is top 10 (VDB would give way) and Stretch (after that teasing cameo before injury) could have an argument for knocking Spargo out (I think 2019 will see even more heat for places)

I can only see Vince getting back in with serious injuries that I do not wish to happen. are depth, ranking 25 to 29i.e. Wagner, Kent, Joel Smith, Pederson, Bugg (had hoped he'd get back).

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geelong’s problem is their bottom six has 10 players in it!

if we play with maturity and the occasion doesn’t get to us we should win. 

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1 hour ago, Pennant St Dee said:

Every GF throws up surprise players who have big impacts over the superstars ones I recall in the last 20 odd years without going over game stats

2004 Josh Mahoney! (kind of our very own, or is now, anyway)

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On 8/30/2018 at 9:56 AM, Axis of Bob said:

Before Hogan was injured he took 24 contested marks and McDonald took 28.

Since Hogan has been out of the team, McDonald hasn’t taken any, while Weideman has taken 6.

It’s funny what happens when you have to play on the number 1 key defender each week.

 

On 8/30/2018 at 10:01 AM, SFebes said:

And since Hogan has been out, we have beaten two top 8 sides. And McDonald has still snagged two lots of 3 and continues to play well against sides that matter.

All of which shows that stats don't always mean much

1 hour ago, DaisyDeeciple said:

Now more than ever, and I thought this after trying to rate 1-22, it truly is about playing your role, I know that sounds like a terrible cliche made for TV, but every name you think of, you think of some 'mission critical' function you want the player to perform, and the consequence of that not happening. It makes the idea of top 6 and bottom 6 a little redundant from how the team will go overall, because if the bottom 6 do the role designed for them (I don't think anyone is being gifted a game) then we will win, but we also need the top 6 and middle 6 to do their bit as well. The days of a few individuals putting 'the team on the back' I think, while still possible are far less likely. Therefore @Pennant St Dee and @layzie are not so far from it, the idea of ANB with his hard running pressure (team role) breaking the game open.   

@Yung Blood I based it on current season, with a feel for recent form, as much as Petracca has improved the last few weeks, I am probably marking him a little harder after rating him on potential for so long. Re Jones, yes an argument could be made for 10-15, I am personally finding it hard to rate him correctly. I think he is a senior player and does provide leadership, however a few have gone past him and calculating the intangibles is hard. I also rate his ability very highly to kick Captains goals, more than one his running has put him in position to slot a high pressure kick and the way it lifts the team is a pleasure to behold.

Out of the other players you mention, Garlett, Hunt could be best 22 if they wanted to be (over Hannan/JKH), their form drop off is the disappointment of 2018. Lever is top 10 (VDB would give way) and Stretch (after that teasing cameo before injury) could have an argument for knocking Spargo out (I think 2019 will see even more heat for places)

I can only see Vince getting back in with serious injuries that I do not wish to happen. are depth, ranking 25 to 29i.e. Wagner, Kent, Joel Smith, Pederson, Bugg (had hoped he'd get back).

The last couple of games in particular, they played as a well oiled unit in a manner that  I cannot really remember (well, since 1964 anyway).

It was very hard to pick the better players (after Max, anyway) and the 'bottom six' excluding the two injured early would make about as interesting a discussion as the top six.   And both of these debates are refreshingly new ... rather like Bulldogs 2016 and Richmond 2017 .... and ???2018???

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6 minutes ago, monoccular said:

and ???2018???

I believe (I also hope like hell Collingwood wins week one)

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3 hours ago, DaisyDeeciple said:

 ........

I can only see Vince getting back in with serious injuries that I do not wish to happen. are depth, ranking 25 to 29i.e. Wagner, Kent, Joel Smith, Pederson, Bugg (had hoped he'd get back).

PS I meant in my previous reply to raise ..... hasn’t Bernie already announced his retirement?

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Who will live without fear this September?

The bottom six may replace the top six for all we know.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Pennant St Dee said:

Every GF throws up surprise players who have big impacts over the superstars ones I recall in the last 20 odd years without going over game stats

1997 Shane Ellen

2001 Shaun Hart

2005 Lewis Roberts-Thompson, Nick Fosdike,

2006 Andrew Embley,

2008 Xavier Ellis, Clint Young, Stewie Dew who was passed it

2012 a young Hanneberry, Mitch Morton

Lake & Stratton during the Hawks years

2016 Joel Hamling, Dale Morris

2017 I would argue the hard running pressure players changed this game

2018 Sam Frost

This year at the 'G we are:

1-5 with Sam Frost out of the side
4-1 with Sam Frost in the side. 

For the way we play, Sam Frost is a pivotal player for us at the MCG…and no one would put him in our best players, that's for sure.

Edited by Chook
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40 minutes ago, Chook said:

2018 Sam Frost

This year at the 'G we are:

1-5 with Sam Frost out of the side
4-1 with Sam Frost in the side. 

For the way we play, Sam Frost is a pivotal player for us at the MCG…and no one would put him in our best players, that's for sure.

I actually agree with your general point but it did remind me of something my brain dug up from the archives.

And since the topic is the 'importance of the bottom 6', well, is there any better case for it than the great, the only, the unique, Simon Godfrey.

2006 Demons with Simon Godfrey - 10 wins 1 draw 5 losses

2006 Demons without Simon Godfrey - 3 wins 3 losses.

Come to think of it, any chance Demonland can bring him in for a podcast. Maybe ask him if he ever forgave Robertson for stealing the 3 votes in his epic game against Richmond that year, and any tips for tagging Ablett, who happens to be the only player still active from the 2005 final.

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Posted (edited)

Oooh, adding to the bottom-6 Hall of Fame, Nathan Carrol's tackle on Fraser Gehrig, the single most important moment the last time we won a final.

By coincidence I found the Demonland match report when I was looking for video of the incident.

 

Edited by Little Goffy
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, brendan said:

Rate the top 6 from both sides going into our game 

1.dangerfield

2.gawn

3.oliver

4.selwood

5.mcdonald

6.hawkins 

Am I being biased?

this is why harmes on danger could be our most important matchup, and stopping Hawkins from kicking a bag 

The whole point of the post was that many of the experts are saying it is not the top six which are critical in winning finals, it is the bottom, hence my claim that that gives us an advantage over most teams. Many will disagree I’m sure, but it certainly looks like we have it over most teams in that respect, especially Geelong who fall away quite quickly with their bottom 10 because of their salary cap skew towards the big 3 mid fielders and Hawkins. 

Edited by Dees2014

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If Lever, Hogan and Tyson were fit*, I reckon our bottom six would be something like this:

Frost
OMac
Hannan
Neal-Bullen
Tyson
Vandenberg

If only..!

*I've squeezed out JKH, Weid and Spargo.

12 hours ago, Fifty-5 said:

It's the top 6 that win finals. 

I think this is more important than the deck chairs.

If our big guns like Gawn, Oliver, Brayshaw and TMac don't fire, then I don't think fringe players like JKH, Tyson, Weid and Spargo get us over the line on grand final day.

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The idea that its bottom 6 for grand finals comes from the thinking both teams top 6 are going to perform similarly (they made it to the grand final so the talents there), most teams are even for the next few players and then the winner will normally be the team with the better lower ranked players. Its the whole 22 and who bats deeper. 

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21 hours ago, Fifty-5 said:

It's the top 6 that win finals.

You've had one poster laugh at your post and another say, "Not your finest work", but, of course, you're (mainly) right.

I wrote the following (in part) in July, 2009:

A few years ago Craig Cameron effectively denounced the widely held belief that “a team is only as good as the bottom 6 of its best 22”. He argued and conclusively proved to me that a team is only as good as it ‘best 6’. He pointed out that if one analyzed the end of year ladders over recent seasons there was a strong correlation between the ‘H&A’ ladder at round 22 and the quality of a club’s top 6 players. In most cases the ladder at year’s end mirrors the quality of the team’s top 6 players. Naturally, it won’t be absolute due to vagaries such as injury, but the pattern is undeniable. And it’s not to say that the bottom 6 isn’t important to a team’s flag chances, as we know that all great sides have good depth, but it’s the stars that determine how well a team can be built and how deep it will go into September.

Now, I need to add that I've shifted my view somewhat, as the game HAS changed.  In the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s the team that had the most talent nearly always won.  It was predominantly a 'man on man' contested game. Flooding and zones were coming in, but even so more often than not the most talented teams won, especially prior to 2005.  The evolution of the game is fascinating and right now the team with the most talent at the top end is far more regularly beaten by less talented teams due to game-plans, systems, and the fact that talent is now spread over 18 teams.  I mean, who really thinks Clarkson's team is a top 4 team on talent alone ?  Obviously, the best combination is a highly drilled pressure team that scores well and has the most top end talent.  As 'Old' has mentioned, the Bulldogs were an anomaly, but also testament to the shift in football.  

So, as we know there are exceptions to every rule, but I still hold firm to the view that 'stars' win you flags.  They make lesser players better and give those bottom six players the opportunity to make a difference.  Those bottom six players don't get the chance to shine without the influence of their team's elite.

The perfect combination is having one of the competition's elite top 6-8, a rock solid contested game-plan, and the depth of talent so no-one in your 22 gets exposed.  That they can shine in pivotal moments.

But be under no illusion, your top end talent is far more important to your fortunes than your bottom end talent.  Especially in finals.  I don't hold the view that your best 6 are cancelled out by the opposition's best 6 and that the bottom 6 are left to duke it out.  It's possible that variations of this can occur, but in the main you need your best players shading the opposition's best players, which allows your core players the best opportunities to perform.

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13 hours ago, Smokey said:

Fritter surely isn't in our bottom 6? He's proven to be highly skillful and incredibly versatile. He plays tall and his kicking is well above average.

Truth!

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6 hours ago, ProDee said:

Now, I need to add that I've shifted my view somewhat, as the game HAS changed. 

I can make an argument that the skills or lack of skills of the bottom 6 is possibly less important in the modern game.  It more important that they can follow team rules and execute their defined role.

In a tight GF finish, luck - Milne's bounce; and skill - Scarlett's toe poke can make the difference.  I plead guilty of saying earlier this year that ANB's skill errors could cost us a GF but really that's not right, he plays his role very well and will be hit and miss with his finishing.  List management and the salary cap means every team will have an ANB in it.  Ultimately it's a combination of every team member adhering to a successful team system and whether enough the top echelon can deliver excellence on the day that matters.

I agree it's not just about the top 6.  I'm confident we'll be good against Geelong this week and it's reasonably clear their top 6 players are superior to ours.  We lost at Geelong this year because Ablett and Hawkins got a hold of us in the last quarter.  Dangerfield, Ablett, Selwood, Hawkins, Duncan and Stewart are probably better than the best 6 we will field - that's partly because some of our best players are still young and have not reached their peak and partly because Hogan and Lever are out.  I do think Geelong's quality drops off faster than ours.  But I think it's our contested game style and attacking power that will make us competitive and Max and Clarry will need to fire.

 

Edited by Fifty-5
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20 hours ago, Chook said:

2018 Sam Frost

This year at the 'G we are:

1-5 with Sam Frost out of the side
4-1 with Sam Frost in the side. 

What a great stat,  he should be confident then.   and we should win !!

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Bit of debate in here about whether the top 6 or bottom 6 matter more.

Across the home and away season, I think the bottom 6 are as important as anyone else. Teams who fall away and have a weak bottom 6 I think struggle to win enough games through 22 rounds. 

But when it comes to finals, I think the top 6 become more important. In one game, where everything is on the line, the teams with absolute stardom at the top tend to shine through.

As for our bottom 6, assuming Hannan and Viney replace Tyson and Kent, I'd consider them to include JKH, Spargo, Weideman, Hannan, VDB and Frost. These are our fringe players, the ones who have been in and out of the side (VDB due to injury of course, and Spargo's been more in than out). They're good, and can be match-winning (e.g. Hannan vs West Coast, Frost vs GWS), and I think they stand up with most other sides' bottom 6. But there's always room for improvement and in players like JKH and Spargo, plenty of room.

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10 hours ago, ProDee said:

You've had one poster laugh at your post and another say, "Not your finest work", but, of course, you're (mainly) right.

I wrote the following (in part) in July, 2009:

A few years ago Craig Cameron effectively denounced the widely held belief that “a team is only as good as the bottom 6 of its best 22”. He argued and conclusively proved to me that a team is only as good as it ‘best 6’. He pointed out that if one analyzed the end of year ladders over recent seasons there was a strong correlation between the ‘H&A’ ladder at round 22 and the quality of a club’s top 6 players. In most cases the ladder at year’s end mirrors the quality of the team’s top 6 players. Naturally, it won’t be absolute due to vagaries such as injury, but the pattern is undeniable. And it’s not to say that the bottom 6 isn’t important to a team’s flag chances, as we know that all great sides have good depth, but it’s the stars that determine how well a team can be built and how deep it will go into September.

Now, I need to add that I've shifted my view somewhat, as the game HAS changed.  In the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s the team that had the most talent nearly always won.  It was predominantly a 'man on man' contested game. Flooding and zones were coming in, but even so more often than not the most talented teams won, especially prior to 2005.  The evolution of the game is fascinating and right now the team with the most talent at the top end is far more regularly beaten by less talented teams due to game-plans, systems, and the fact that talent is now spread over 18 teams.  I mean, who really thinks Clarkson's team is a top 4 team on talent alone ?  Obviously, the best combination is a highly drilled pressure team that scores well and has the most top end talent.  As 'Old' has mentioned, the Bulldogs were an anomaly, but also testament to the shift in football.  

So, as we know there are exceptions to every rule, but I still hold firm to the view that 'stars' win you flags.  They make lesser players better and give those bottom six players the opportunity to make a difference.  Those bottom six players don't get the chance to shine without the influence of their team's elite.

The perfect combination is having one of the competition's elite top 6-8, a rock solid contested game-plan, and the depth of talent so no-one in your 22 gets exposed.  That they can shine in pivotal moments.

But be under no illusion, your top end talent is far more important to your fortunes than your bottom end talent.  Especially in finals.  I don't hold the view that your best 6 are cancelled out by the opposition's best 6 and that the bottom 6 are left to duke it out.  It's possible that variations of this can occur, but in the main you need your best players shading the opposition's best players, which allows your core players the best opportunities to perform.

Good post as usual. Who are our top 6 and do we have enough star power to get the job done this September?

Gawn, Oliver, Viney and then maybe Brayshaw? Hibberd? Petracca? Jetta? TMac? It's possible, but I don't think we have enough at this stage. We'd really have to play out of out skins for the next month.

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Talk of the bottom six winning flags is simply a short-cut to refer to depth. If two teams somehow had an even spread of talent, it's not the performance of the bottom six that will decide games/flags - it's the performance of the top players. We may target our lesser lights in the event of a loss, but besides Petty getting horribly exposed vs. the Saints, it's not the JKHs losing us games - it's our top tier failing to fire in unison. 

 

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