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Everything posted by Deespicable

  1. Like many of us, I've been gobsmacked that Preuss keeps being overlooked but the dewy evening conditions up in Darwin won't suit him. That probably means he's a monty to play. I think most of us would agree that six players have to go after that dismal first three quarters - C.Wags, Lockhart, Petty, Spargo, O.Mac and Jeffy. But of the six, Jeffy should be given one final game in Darwin as a send off. Lever will play unless his ankle is worse than expected. Salem and ANB are certain ins if fit and Jordy was the pick of the lads at VFL level so has to come back. Hannan didn't have a great game in the VFL I believe, so probably needs another week. JKH is another who may need another week. Both should play against the Pies. So my five changes this week are: In: Lever, ANB, Salem, Lewis and a decision on which of Weid or Preuss plays. Out: C.Wags, Spargo, Lockhart, Petty, Oscar Mc B: Salem Frost Hore HB: Jones Lever J.Wags C Stretch Harmes Lewis HF: Baker T.Smith Petracca F: Hunt T.Mac Garlett Ru: Gawn Brayshaw Viney Int: Fritsch, Oliver, ANB, Preuss/Weid
  2. I will expand on this when I do my mid-season review in two weeks time, but essentially we were beaten well before quarter time. How can a coach pick 7 players under 6 ft (Viney, Jones, Hunt, Spargo, Lockhart, Garlett, Corey Wagner) against a side called the Giants who are actually a huge side is beyond belief? It's hard to fathom how you could leave out an aggressive tall in Preuss for a game where aside from Mummy, they had Tomlinson, Taylor, Davis, Cameron, Himmelberg, Finlayson and Haynes who are all well and truly 192cm plus. Not surprisingly we were smashed aerially, except for Gawny who more than held his own. Of course the answer is that we have some major injuries and unfortunately almost all of them have been to our mid-size brigade - Hannan, Joel Smith, Vanders and more recently Hibberd and Melky and you can throw KK into that mix as well. The injuries to May and Lever have meant that we've been forced to play slows in Oscar Mc and more recently Petty and been exposed on the lead. On the positive side our injuries have given a lot of players a chance to see if they are up to AFL level. Baker showed a bit today, Stretch again covered plenty of territory and Josh Wags was resolute in defence, but clearly many of our fringe player are just not up to the level. Have a look at the stats - Garlett, Corey Wags, Lockhart and Spargo had a combined 32 disposals - that's eight touches each on average. Petty and Oscar Mc combined for 13 disposals and three marks, whilst their opponents Himmelberg and Finlayson had 16 marks and shared six goals.
  3. 6 Gawn 5 Hore 4 Viney 3 Harmes 2 Josh Wagner 1 Frost Plenty of players looked good in final term junk time led by Petracca and Fritsch.
  4. Topic said changes, so i'll stick to that. Structural 1) Switch Angus back to middle. Yes I know the Jonesy on a wing didn't work, but losing Angus from the wing hasn't either. And we finally have some run out there - even if both Stretch and Baker are error prone, both work their butt off. 2) Send Jonesy to half-back. We have a plethora of left foot defenders going down the left wing all the time. Is it a crime to go down the right side on occasions? Can't any of our forwards catch a ball when they lead left? By the way I thought Jonesy was exceptional in the first half against Eagles, but tired and was ineffective when it counted after half time. We have to find a spot for him to play on next year and defence is the only option left. 3) Make Preuss a late inclusion. Gawn was a superstar for three quarters and we had great run up the middle with Tim Smith leading up well and giving it off, but when Gawny tired in last quarter against Hickey and Vardy, it hurt us. Mummy will be told to work Gawny over, so it would be nice if we had back up and Preuss is a player who can work Mummy over as well. Bringing him in late will upset their balance and force a rethink. 4) Play Lewis as a forward. We can't have Jordy, Jonesy, O.Mac and Petty all in our back seven (we become way too slow), but Jordy has the smarts to at least position himself well in the forward line. He is still a dead-eye accurate kick as well. 5) Back in the attack down the spine method. With five first choice defenders still out, we are going to be exposed if we try and chip it around, but how good was the manic handball run and carry of the second term against Eagles. Until we get Lever, May, Hibberd and Jetta back, it's better to go down fighting than playing a precision brand that can be intercepted anyway. 6) Back in Stretch and Baker. Yep I did see their errors, but at what point on Friday night did anyone think we were slow and not quick to man up - could it have had anything to do with having two team oriented runners on the wing sharing the role with Angus. Even when Fritter let Ryan run into the pocket it was because he decided that with so many bigs already back there, he should zone off the lead options. It backfired, but hey we lost it because of our errant shots earlier in the night. Baker deserves another shot and Billy deserves a fairly long extended crack at it. Don't judge their games by possessions. Judge it more by their run and pressure. 7) Play Petty again. The move to having a big backline in Perth was not the disaster many of us expected, although I suspect it would have been if it was greasy conditions. The Giants have plenty of talls up forward with Cameron, Himmelberg and Finlayson, so there's a role for Petty again before Lever comes back in. Out: Obviously our concussion boys are all in doubt, but I suspect one of them at least will play. If only one of them is out, then it would be hard not to argue for Fritter to go back to VFL. He's a talent but watch the last term replay and tell me he didn't panic twice under pressure. He needs to go back to VFL and play in the middle and learn to cop contact and hold onto the ball in a tackle. IN: Lewis and Preuss. B: N.Jones Frost Hore HB: Petty O.Mac Salem (if OK) C Stretch Oliver Baker HF: Petracca T.Mac Lewis F: Garlett Hunt Preuss Ru: Gawn Harmes Brayshaw Int: Viney (hard tag on Kelly when on), Lockhart, Wagner, T.Smith (if fit), ANB (if fit) Emerg: Fritsch
  5. The start of what could be a horror four weeks for our boys and now without Hibberd and possibly Lewis and Melky. West Coast's bigs were one of the reasons why we recruited Preuss, so if we don't play him, Goody needs an inquisition. Yes they got rid of Lycett and have lost Tom Hickey, although he may be ready for a recall, but they still have Vardy and young Allen. The Eagles also have bigs Kennedy and Darling along with Gov, so we will be killed in the air with a small side. Any chance we have must be to stretch their defence which is still missing Barrass, so Tim Smith also has to play, that's a given. He did well against the Tigers before injury and is coming off a game in the VFL that we rarely see. It could also be time to blood Oskar Baker, yes I know his disposal is not always great, but we need to know if he can step up a level in the seniors before we decide to delist him. He's an everyready battery, so maybe it's time to send either Billy or Angus back to half-back to provide some clean ball down the right-hand side from defence. Cripps has been damaging anyway, so he needs a strict player like Billy or Angus. Then there's the elephant in the room - what to do with O-Mac again. What are we up to now - 65 games and counting! Surely it's time to send him back to the VFL and see if we can turn him into the forward we recruited him as. But with Darling, Kennedy and their resting ruckman, we will need one more tall back there. If it were up to me I'd send Keilty back there and see if he can cope with that role at AFL level, but i'm just as happy if Goody decides to give Petty a chance in that role. But most likely Goody will play O.Mac again and we will all cringe. So I have four outs and four ins with Baker to miss if Lewis or Melky pass their fitness tests. In: Preuss, T.Smith, ANB, Baker Out: Hibberd, Lewis, Melky (all in), O.Mac B: Salem (Ryan/Petro) Frost (Kennedy) Keilty/Petty (resting ruck - Allen or Hickey) HB: Billy (Cripps) Fritsch (Darling) Hore (Venables) C Brayshaw Harmes (Shuey) Viney (Gaff) HF: Trac T.Mac T.Smith F: Garlett Hunt Preuss R: Gawn Oliver (Yeo will go to him) Jones (Sheed/Redden) Int: Baker, ANB, Lockhart, J.Wagner
  6. 6 Harmes - he's really got back to his end of 2018 level and was inspired in the last quarter. 5 Oliver - the other member of the gang-tackling middlemen society. Sent it forward a bit more this week. 4 Salem - our silk out of defence. 3 Frost - seemed to be reading the play better than normal. 2 Jones - kept working his butt off. His wing/midfield switch with Angus has helped, although Gussie is now not so prominent. 1 Fritsch - I was critical of him last week but he intercepted well once Hibberd went off and provided run out of defence.
  7. Extraordinary call on ANB - his best game of season and as stated so well by Rusty Nails - coming off a game where his statistics make it all but impossible not to pick him! Clearly the skipper had to come back in and given his influence in his 3 games, I would have thought Preuss, if fit, had to play as well. When you are coming off a win, hard calls have to be made, but I just don't get the logic on this one. Viney's a midfielder and so it made sense to remove a midfielder for him and all bar one performed Ok or better on the weekend - Jones (what a great second half), Stretch (coming off his best game v Richmond) could not be left out. Fritta who started on wing and then played a fair bit up forward was the only one who under-performed. Fritta is a class act and had a huge pre-season but he has yet to have a breakout game this year. It's reached the stage this season where he needs to go back to the VFL and really dominant a game - most likely play in the middle so that he toughens up even more. He can pretty much play anywhere and do anything, hence there was also scope to retain him and send him to defence again and remove one of our defenders - at least three of whom had pretty ordinary games. But alas we pulled the pin on ANB. I'd love it if the selection committee had a compulsory explanation paragraph for each omission. ANB (out - did everything we asked of him, crumbed, tackled, kicked efficiently - normally his weakness - and ran his butt off as normal. He also plays in a different spot to our skipper, but hey we just don't like hyphens!)
  8. As to team for this week, if Preuss is fit, then he has to come in and if that's the case then one of Keilty or O-Mac should be left out. If Viney is fit, then it may be time to send Fritter back for a refresher in dominating a game at VFL level - he was so impressive pre-season, but sometimes you just need a reminder of why you want to play AFL.
  9. Nice to see a couple of fairly logical posts about O-Mac's good points for a change. I also share your view that his kicking skills are elite - they always have been. But I have real doubts about the physical side of his game - his intensity when he gets the ball in pressure situations is poor and he rarely shrugs a tackle or even baulks an opponent like his brother enjoys doing. His lack of strength means he has limited intimidation factor and he does not have the pace to keep up with an opponent on a lead or to make ground quickly enough for a key intercept. He has quite a good tank like his brother, but he lacks good leg speed. He is a nice safe kick (probably in our top five percent in this area) but he does not thump 65m low flat line-breaking kicks down the line that his predecessor Lynden Dunn did and certainly he does not have Dunny's booming deep voice that quickly won him plaudits as a leader at the Pies, even though our own coach didn't rate this when discarding him. I hope I am wrong and I hope Oscar is tried for a while as a forward before his contract next year runs out, but at this point in time, I feel he is as likely to make it as Jimmy Toumpas. Skills only get you so far. And my worry now is that his brother Tom, who is a harder-working McDonald clan version with incredible aerial judgment and endurance fitness, has lost the necessary speed to recapture his 2018 form. I am very happy to write Tom off for this season as well, but in his case, I suspect a really good new fitness advisor plus a turf-toe free pre-season will get him back up on his toes and running with enough alacrity to make an impact again.
  10. A bit surprised to see that O.Mac played as a defender in VFL, so have to assume that either Preuss (if fit) or Keilty will replace Weid. Sparrow will also come in, whether he replaces Viney or ANB (both injured) I am not sure. If both are available it's either Jeffy or Lockhart who both struggled after half time. I hope they give Hibberd another tagging role - this time on the Worpedo, but the key match-up will most likely be stopping the Hawks small forwards Breust, Wingard and PouPou on the break. I'd go Salem, Fritter and Jones respectively and I'd send Lewis forward to provide the smarts/leadership up there against his old side.
  11. The big difference now is that we do have a strong group of middle-aged leaders to replace Jonesy, unlike in Junior's day. To me, the key is whether Jonesy can show he needs to be kept on and by that it means becoming a best 22 player again. The wing is a graveyard for him because he likes a contest and is too slow to match up on the pacey types, but as we saw against Richmond, there's a spot down back now with Jetta out. I am not sure he did enough on Baker and Rioli to warrant major excitement but hopefully he gets a couple more weeks at it because he is a strong tackler and he can turn out of trouble.
  12. And which player that you know runs fast not in straight lines!
  13. Apart from Tim Smith, not one of our forwards - Weid, Jeffy, Trac, Lockhart, ANB and in the last term Fritter could get a sniff of the ball last night, although they were often cramped by the Tigers zone and there professional screening. But to me the big issue up there is that none - except Trac - plays with attitude and arrogance - and you need that when you are getting blocked out. So Goody has to go back to the drawing board again and figure out his forward line restructure. If Preuss is fit, he will play up there and you'd imagine if he isn't then Keilty will make his debut. I'd be happy for Jordy Lewis to be sent forward because whilst we know he is slow, he does have attitude and could direct things a little. It was nice to see Goody experimenting a bit against the Tigers and I think he'll need to do it again a bit which means Olly, Melky and Trac may have to rotate out of the goalsquare. I'd also play Oscar as a forward at VFL level this week - that's why he was recruited, although his lack of aggression will still be a worry.
  14. Agree with his comment from you Wiseblood. Given our draw we are staring down the barrel of being 2-10 at the bye and even with what I hope will be a late flurry, we seem to be heading for a 6-8 win season. Finishing bottom six will help our draw next season, but you can't just rest on that and take it for granted that we will bounce back. We have four huge areas to fix. 1) With Misson retiring and our second half failures this season, it's clear that the appointment of our new fitness guru is major. 2) Tubby may need terminating and definitely needs more help in recruiting. He will probably have up to 10 picks and only one of them (our top pick at 4-6) will be easy to decide in terms of placement overall. He needs to be across all the interstate leagues and our own NAB League. And he will need clear direction on where our list needs improving. 3) Goody's loyalty and game style. When a side fails dismally to reach expectation, the pressure mounts on the coach. I am sure Goody will respond by tweaking the game plan and toughening up his role players. He has already made a few hard calls on players whom he rated highly (O.Mac and Spargo) and sadly he will have to do the same at the end of the season with a couple of greats (Lewis and Jones) and several fringe players. You would not want to be out of contract at the Dees right now. If I was Weid's manager, I'd just ask for a one-year deal on a base wage! Our game style is not as out of whack as some think at the moment, our big issue is finding someone to lead into space and mark up forward and our two most likely medium-sized marking forwards (Hannan and Joel Smith) along with VDB's grunt have been majorly missed. 4) Weightroom guru. Watching Weid, Fritsch and O-Mac (previous weeks) being pushed aside so easily just makes you wonder why they haven't bulked up. It's not like it's their first season anymore. Are they skipping sessions? But I agree that provided we make good off-season plans, we should bounce back hard and unlike a few years ago, we now have genuine stars - Gawn, Olly (when not going backwards), Angus and Salem as a base along with the courage of Viney and Harmes to take us into the 20s. If that group is backed by a handful of exciting youngsters, then it will be happy Dees again.
  15. And perhaps the biggest one was the year before when Tubby Taylor was very proud of how we got Harrison Petty (No.37) as a steal, yet we all now know how much we need quick forwards like Jack Petruccelle (Pick 38), Gryan Meiers (57), not to mention James Worpel (45). The whole recruiting thing will now take on greater emphasis as it does when your side underperforms. Four years ago Tubby hit paydirt with Oliver ahead of Parish and rookies such as VDB and Harmes, although his credits have now dried up. We've done quite well with our VFL selections in the past three years - Hannan, Fritsch, Hore and our Casey loyalty to T.Smith, Keilty and Lockhart and C.Wagner is admirable but in recent times Tubby has shown no knowledge of what lower order longshots to take - Johnstone, Filipovic are examples but there's been no Tom Stewart among our Casey boys either.
  16. 6 Gawn - Lost his battle with Nank in the second term but came out after break and did his stuff - even clunked a few nice marks. 5 Hibberd - nice to see a bit of variety in the match-ups from Goody and he seemed to enjoy his battle with Dusty. Dusty not being in Tiger best five means move worked. 4 Stretch - I hope Goody pulled him aside and apologised to him for virtually not playing him for three years now. He works his butt off and his smart with his positioning and now has the strength to become a player in the Phillips/Lambert mould. 3 Hore - Tremendous first half as our intercepter but not as effectual when under siege after half time. 2 Melky - Found it hard to find a target up forward, but another who appreciated a slight change up in roles. 1 T.Mac - Beat Lynch for most of the night and needs a few games back there getting his confidence back until May returns. Perfect for Roughy this week and maybe Cameron the week after. But his mobility is still a worry. Note: I deliberately left out our 3 prime midfielders. Viney was brilliant in the first quarter but, even before he was hit, had dropped out of game a bit. Brayshaw was smart and methodical, but like Melksham failed to hit enough targets and Olly again looked the part at times but have a look at his decision to turn backward in the second quarter to a safe option when he had a chance to flow forward. That shows where his confidence is at.
  17. Just hoping Goody bites the bullet on a few non-performing players who were originally part of his best 22 thinking. And being a night game it will be greasy, so there's no need for the three bigs up front format and we also need to send Hunt back to defence to cover at least one of Richmond's pacey forwards - Rioli/Castagna or Butler if selected? I suspect they will bring back Oscar to play on Tom Lynch, but I'd prefer this doesn't happen given the pressure that will be applied at night. If T.Mac passed his mobility test then he could play back there but my suspicion is that T.Mac needs two weeks of serious agility training before playing again. That would leave Frost on Riewoldt and we could try Hibberd on Tom Lynch with a view to him providing run off him and Gawn/Preuss dropping back to support him in the down the line aerial battles. I reckon a tough decision has to be made on the Wagners. Corey works his butt off, but hasn't done quite enough, while Josh has been serviceable but with our plethora of left-footers down back we need a right-footer. Happy for him Josh to play as a defensive forward on Houli though if they decide ANB isn't right for that role. Harmes and Brayshaw can play back and the former is an obvious match up for Dusty when he rests there. Unless Lewis or Jones is sore from Saturday, then both should play with Lewis a good match up for Caddy or Baker and Jones suited to Ellis on a wing. Out: Jetta (inj) T.Mac (rested?), Weid, Spargo, C.Wagner, J.Wagner In: Stretch, Lockhart, Garlett, T.Smith/Keilty, ANB, Sparrow B: Hunt Hibberd Hore HB: Harmes Frost Salem C Jones Oliver Fritsch HF: Melksham T.Smith/Keilty ANB/J.Wagner F: Garlett Petracca Preuss Ru: Gawn Brayshaw Viney Int: Stretch (mid), Lockhart (forward/mid), Lewis (back), Sparrow (fwd/mid)
  18. Interesting comments by many on Goody and I'm sure he will now be rethinking his game philosophy as will Longmire, Brad Scott, Bevo and others. What few have made a point of is that so far this season we have had a predominantly warm and dry start to the season, so our emphasis on stoppage work has been less integral to the outcome of most games. What we have all seen is how our high press has been exposed on the counter and we haven't had enough pace to stop this flow on effect. This is not a new problem, go back to when we were 2-3 last year after our loss to the Tigers and you will find the comments about being exposed over the back the same. All sides now are getting better at playing soccer-style triangles in defence which means it's harder to get intercepts and you have to wonder if our press is working - maybe that's one of the big adjustments required, although wet weather and night games sees the ball spill and the high press become more beneficial. Certainly we are not getting any benefit out of superior forward entries - partly because of a lack of quality talls (Mac and Weids failure) and lack of quality smalls (Spargo and ANB and Sparrow before him), which forced Hunt to be sent into that role and will most likely mean Jeffy gets another shot at it on Wednesday. The other point I'd make is that we need more out of Oliver. He still wins clearances but he has to take the game on and risk getting caught. He is our most damaging mid and he's playing safe with dinky gives that help his stats but do nothing for the team. We need him to take ownership of going forward and it's not happening and my worry is that he won't have time to make the adjustment to his game for this season. But please, even if we fail again dismally throughout this season, don't call for Goody's exit. As with other coaches, he needs time to re-strategise and come up with a more long-lasting style, just as Hardwick did in 2017, Simmo and Bucks did in 2018 and Chris Scott, Hinkley and Richo have done this year.
  19. Obviously Goody has to restructure again and decide on whether he will stick loyal to a few players whom he had pencilled in as his best 22 at start of the year. He also has to make a few tweaks to his game plan, but that's difficult in four days. But I have four certain outs. T-Mac - I said three weeks ago he does not look fit and by that I mean speed and agile fit. He's had turf toe and whilst I suspect he can still run a very fast marathon, I can guarantee you he would not be able to pass any zig zag test with speed at the moment. He should not be allowed to play VFL or AFL for two weeks, he has to go back to getting his body right. He carried a huge weight for us last year but he's been carried for five weeks now and Goody has to say no more. Spargo - Another coach and fan favourite who has to get the chop. I love the way he goes about it, but he's just not able to break from tackles and he's not impacting on the scoreboard. His inboard kicking howler made the VFL non-negotiable. Weid - yep he looks like Tarzan but unfortunately he just can't get it and the dropped mark off the inspirational Petracca play made it clear he has to go back to the twos and get some confidence back. Five goals in five games is bad enough but one tackle and just 15 pressure points tells the other story. The other out for me is Corey Wagner and it's not that he doesn't have a strong work ethic, it's just that he just isn't providing the link up excellence that we need. I also suspect Nev will be out injured and to be honest we can't carry injuries at this time and especially given the short break will mean at least one player from either side will most likely get sore very early. The three certain ins are: Garlett - Spargo gets to the crumbs but hasn't got the pace or strength to break free. Jeffy isn't clean but invariably gets free and we need his pace up front and it will allow Hunt to go back and take one of their very quick forwards. Stretch - A straight swap for C.Wagner. Billy is cleaner with the ball and makes position well. Goody doesn't rate him, (we know that because he has been given so few chances in the past three years) but he deserves a decent shot at it. The Richmond game will probably get ugly but he's the only guy in the twos at the moment who can probably make a difference if he can step up a level. Lockhart - Over his injury and ready to again have a solid crack at it. The fourth in is between Keilty and Oscar. Oscar will probably get the nod because Goody has always rated him and will have to play on Tom Lynch because Riewoldt will be back. The good thing is that Lynch is still slow in movement from his knee, so that gives Oscar a chance of keeping up with him. Assuming Nev is also out, then the final spot comes down to either Sparrow or Keilty and conditions should determine that. Personally I'd still have ANB in because even if he butchers it a bit, he will cover 14-16km and the night conditions suit his style more.
  20. Put myself through the replay last night to check if my eyes weren't deceiving me and came up with following. 6 Salem - Our only defender who regularly laid a tackle. 5 Brayshaw - our only midfielder with the confidence to go forward - unlike Clayton who looks as if he is in fear of being tackled and flicks it off sideways/backwards nearly every time. 4 Frost - The critics won't like it but there were no major howlers and he worked really hard on Bruce (two marks). 3 Petracca - Yes he made mistakes, but he was our only lively forward all day and the only one who looked dangerous even if he ballsed it up on occasions. 2 Hore - Plenty of intercepts and in general safe with his kicking. 1 Viney - Huge first half trying to lift the guys. Preuss had some memorable moments early but faded again and big Max spanked Marshall, but the stat that worries me was just 11 pressure points.
  21. 6 Gawn - Our only clear winner, although their three rucks nullified him after half time. But a brilliant first half by our big boy. 5 Brayshaw - Would have liked him to have hit a few more targets, but he kept having a go. 4 Hunt - Our liveliest forward all night. 3 Oliver - Great second term with his run and carry but went back to his pissy little handballs after the long break. Not sure but he may have been a bit of a downhill skier in second half as well. 2 Hibberd - I suspect he got a major rev up from Goody at half time, because he was one of the few that lifted after the break. 1 Harmes - spanked by Shiel but least he did work hard to the end.
  22. We all sat through some impressive pre-season videos that made us all think we'd arrived and Champion Data backed it up saying our list depth made us flag favourites. Well it's fair to say that won't be happening now. I have four big requests for next week, not that it matters now as the errors have been made and a mid-table finish is all we can hope for now. The intensity in our game is gone and it's almost like we've morphed back into the nice old Demons. I am aware that this is borderline trolling, but it has to be said by someone. 1) Tom Mac - Yes he has a big heart, but he is injured. He has never been a superstar that the club and media made out pre-season, but he has shown enough as a forward to make us all think he can play a key role. But so far this year he has been carried. he is not fit, he can barely run and his return - two goals in three games is abysmal, What's worse is that Hurley went to our only reliable target in Melksham, that's how little the Dons were worried about T-Mac. If he plays against Sydney, there is no point even turning up. 2) KK - An inquiry should be done into who decided to rush him in two weeks ago and that person should have to write 1000 times "I must apologise to Billy Stretch". KK is loping around the field like Jack Watts. He looks good except he rarely gets it and his decision not to take the game on in the second term made you wonder why he is even on our list. He started wing and when he finally got his first effective kick in the third term it was a ripper - he thumped it 60m across ground and you got a glimpse why he was highly rated at Gold Coast as a defender. So what do we do, we send him forward to be largely ineffective, although he did kick one long goal. But FFS, why was he rushed in. He's barely played for two seasons because of concussion issues and we throw him and the team in the deep end after just one VFL practice match. He still might be a player, but Goody please make him earn it via the VFL. He is the biggest selection rush since Petty v St Kilda last year. And we know what a mistake that was back then. And if and when he does regain his mojo in the VFL, let's see him play where he once made it with the Suns - in defence. 3) O-Mac - You can't have a defender who is the slowest in the league and also possibly the least intense being the cornerstone of your defence. He is an unbelievably accurate kick, but he lack's strength physically. He is Brent Grgic 2.0. He has played more than 60 games but will never make it to the top tier. He just doesn't have AFL level intensity and he's too slow to be part of our zone. It is now time to stop hoping his skill level will win through and just accepting you got it wrong - Neale Daniher did the same thing with Grgic. Try him as a forward Goody if you have a contract stipulation that you must play him for a certain number of games, but please, don't keep insulting us. 4) ANB - Yes we all love his workrate but he's just not linking up how we hoped when he was brought into the role by Goody three seasons ago. He needs to go back to the VFL for confidence and I'm sure he will play useful games for us down the track - just not at the moment. A run on the ball is not such a bad idea, but it needs to be after a few weeks of Lachie Neale type stats in the twos. Nibbler is such a hard worker that I give hime three games tops before he is banging the selection door down again. Other than those four, everyone else had their moments when they looked the part and moments when they looked like Old Melburnian Amos standard. Weid - Started the game dropping the simplest of marks on a lead from Salem. But he did take a couple of marks later in the game and even won some clearances in the ruck. His long goal from a tight angle in the third made him look like a superstar again. But that's the problem, he looks like a beauty but so far he's not even averaging a goal a game. Jonesy - Started like a million dollars finding the pill on his wing, creating and linking like Ablett in form. But after quarter time you had to check if he played and when thrown on to the ball in the third quarter, he lost a couple of clearances that made you wonder where to now. Goody won't drop him yet, but it's getting close. Olly - He looked a class above everyone else in the second term with his run and carry but then he went back to his poxy short handballs and quick kicks and if that's where he's at, our season is over. He will lift next week I'm sure but he just has to realise that he's a gun, he has to act and play like one. Parish outplayed him tonight - my god I can't believe I said that! Frosty - He had an incredibly good second term when he got on tops of their bigs and became a defensive wall but after that he's lucky that his cohort in defence Oscar made him look respectable. Must have given away three stupid frees at least. But until May returns, he must play, it's as simple as that. Trac - Had a chance to be a hero in the first term and couldn't hold the mark and later that term dropped a Jonesyesque sitter. But from then on he did actually contest and whilst there's no doubt he's down on confidence, it is hard to see how you could say he wasn't worthy of a spot based on that game. I won't keep going on, but I was rapt with Gawny's first half and Hibberd did return to his AA form in the second half after looking disinterested up to half time. Hunt applied pressure and was dangerous up forward but we lost his dash from defence and Lockhart has a go, although he may be too small to really make it as a player long term. Corey Wagner had a super first term and was a terrier until then as well but I think he got a bad corkie (injuries will confirm this). Angus and Salem both were among our best, yet neither was able to grab control of things and Harmesy could not contain Shiel but he did end up kicking a couple of late goals to also be one of our better players.
  23. Yes I liked McGuane's assessment and agree it was almost laughable the dominance in the third quarter followed by the ball going up the other end for a goal via a dubious Rohan free kick (dubious because the umps also missed the Hawkins shove in the back on May before he and Hunt collided high on Rohan. But here's my issue, our forward line is malfunctioning and yet we made just the one minor change to it for tonight (Sparrow out), so Goody and the selectors in part are hoping that playing a lesser opponent that is down on form and on our home ground will help solve the scoring problems of the first two rounds. He's also decided to stick fat with underperforming forwards - something that will be highly credible if they turn things around tonight, but seem ludicrous if they don't. Hopefully we will turn things around and win easily, but there's also a chance that we will again dominate the midfield and struggle to score, rendering the game a tight, tense low-scoring affair that will be won on the flip of a kick or the mouth-whistling ability of an umpire. Of course, Goody and the players may have already made adjustments, but given how reluctant we are to swing players around these days (and practice in their three set groups) I can't really see much of a change. That means the spotlight will once again be on our four down-on-form forwards. If they succeed tonight it is happy days for Sydney, if they don't, the same hard questions will arise. Petracca - why hasn't he been sent down to VFL to try and remedy some serious flaws in his game and at the same time dominate at the lower level to restore confidence. This has been a lament of mine for two years no with him. Among his flaws are his high ball drop which causes him to at times, when harassed, misqueue his kick. He also still fails to get back on his mark far enough when he gets a free or takes a mark and on occasions his opponent on the mark touches his low flat pass to a leading opponent. Obviously we'd all love him to find an extra yard of pace, but that may not be possible (genetically) and it's not a death sentence even if it is. Please note that ultimately, Trac is our best chance on our list of providing the Stringer/De Goey type forward and with both Hannan and Joel Smith out, there are precious few options. On paper at this stage, finding another player of this type (eg: Cats and Rohan last year), is now our No.1 recruiting need. Weideman - he spent all of last year learning the back-up ruckman craft but his form against Port in this area was abysmal and the Dons have added a third ruck (Zac Clarke) to their set-up for tonight. His manager pestering for a $700K contract would also be distracting, but more than anything he needs to get back to working again on his agility like he did pre-season last year and it is a surprise to me that Goody has persevered with him this week ahead of going with the Preuss option. Neal-Bullen - Almost everyone's most hated player but I have always loved his workrate and believe that you need at least one small forward playing this type of sacrificial role each week on your forward line. Obviously we'd all like it if his disposals were neater like Robbie Gray, but it ain't happening at the moment. He may need time in twos for a confidence boost, especially now that the 6-6-6 has stopped him getting involved by running off the back of the square. T-Mac - It's been clear that he's not quite as maniacally fit this year and a turf-toe relapse and shoulder ops obviously hasn't helped, plus he now cops the No.1 tall defender each week. To me, the solution is to give him a week down back and the obvious swap is with Oscar, who Goody seems to have forgotten was a forward for much of his time in the TAC and is a lovely kick and has high endurance running-ability, even if his speed off the mark is now being questioned. Playing Oscar forward for a bit would be an extra part in his evolution as a defender anyway, giving him a close up look at how opponents are blocking and positioning on him. Playing T-Mac down back is not a long-term solution (we all recall that he mixed moments of courage and class with a high clanger kicking rate), but it may get his marking confidence back and give him a refresher in the importance of pressure before he returns to the forward line. I haven't included Melky in this group, because I've been pretty impressed by how quickly he's come back from his pre-season setbacks and his body-positioning on opponents taller than him is superb. Based on the side chosen tonight, I imagine Lockhart and Corey Wagner will also play as small pressure forwards, although I wouldn't be surprised if Goody sends Hunt or Fritter forward at some point. But to me if our forwards malfunction again, it really is time for Goody to experiment again, just as he did at the start of last season. And by that I basically mean, removing Weid for a bit and playing Preuss - I don't expect this to be a fail-safe move as I am aware BP is slow, but he does bring a presence and fear factor that Weid can't provide and when on the ball he allows Gawn to spend time up front where he is also a fear-factor presence for opponents. With Joel Smith and Hannan out for a while yet, Goody has to decide if he can switch his best Petracca-replacement options from their current roles. By this I mean whether he is willing to rob Peter to pay Paul and send one our our quality midfield troika - Harmes, Oliver, Brayshaw - forward to play the third/fourth tall role that Trac has failed in. Such a move is not ideal, but in the short-term it may be necessary. But alas we should win tonight and the mild conditions will help our forwards, so such experimentation by Goody may not be required - at least for another week or two.
  24. So far he's kicked 17 goals in 21 games and his ruck work, as we saw last week, needs a lot of work. The Pies wouldn't offer more than 300K a season for him on those figures, but if they are really keen then I'd suggest we offer a direct swap for Mason Cox!
  25. The key factor missed here is that, as with the prelim final, it was mild night. Richmond's manic press works best under greasy conditions and both times against the Pies they copped perfect conditions for kicking and marking and both times they went small in the hope that the ball would be spilling onto the ground - which it wasn't.
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