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DeeSpencer last won the day on January 22

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    Previously GRRM and the master.
    Chicago Bears

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  1. Yep Lewis did a good job manning up Grimes and drew a couple of sneaky free kicks. The next step is to have a forward capable of getting away from him and team mates smart enough to know where he’ll be. At least on paper we can pick a team that can run with Richmond now - for shorter quarters anyway. We didn’t stand a chance last year.
  2. Roos’ defensive plan was to chuck everyone in the backline, drag the other team down to our level and then beat them with experience. It was rubbish but enough to see us through 14/15. We weren’t even trying to lock the ball forward and defend the whole ground in those years. It’s pretty easy to keep the oppositions scores down if you have no attacking intent. Goodwin’s zone defending and change the angle corridor ball movement - with the basis of a fit decent group of veterans led to our best coached season in 2016. The same plan worked well enough until the end of 2018. 5 of our back 7 and the two wingers have played almost no football together. Our forward line had 2 guys who have barely played in years and Kozzie in his second game. There’s a lot of change from last year yet alone 2018. The forward press leaks like a sieve and we can’t hit the side of a barn going inside 50. The coach has to fix those problems. I can’t blame him if he’s using selection to fix problem A before turning to problem B.
  3. Half this board still whips themselves in to a frenzy with any mention of Roos and defensive mantra. Yet Goodwin tries to get a defensive plan sorted so we have a base to build on and he’s an awful coach? Melksham is the only guy who I think is really disappointing with his defensive efforts right now and he’s playing as our second key forward.
  4. Obviously it's unusual circumstances with so little team training so it's hard to judge too much right now, but I thought our mids and in particular Viney did a decent job knowing when and how to safely kick forward from a stoppage and when to take on a man and release a handball. (Apart from the times he slipped over which is probably due to wearing the softer boots on his feet which I fully endorse). It doesn't always look pretty but I like that Viney is willing to attack from the contest, I wish Oliver would do it more rather than the hot potato stuff. The most perplexing thing is our players don't know when they've got time and space away from the packs and free team mates to give easy handballs or short kicks too. I'm hoping it's a lack of talk and cohesion that can be quickly fixed and not all down to ingrained poor decision making. Unfortunately 9 haven't uploaded the grab from footy classified. It really was an eye opener on how our forwards and runners were finding space. It didn't look like last year when there was no options - until the kicks went exactly where they shouldn't have!
  5. 3 examples that had nothing to do with forward talent, structure or coaching and all to do with midfielders making awful decisions and skill errors. Unfortunate it’s 2 of our leaders burning easy handballs in Viney and Gawn. Sidenote: Funny that Ross didn’t know who Lockhart was. He had 21 disposals and 2 goals against Freo last year.
  6. I think McDonald is likely to play CHF on whoever the Tigers bring in and Hannan/Hunt/Fritsch/Melk etc will be as much chance of beating Broad and Vlastuin as any of our leftover talls. So I'd stay small and mobile and attempt to spread the Tigers out and work them over like the Hawks did. Fritsch is dropping marks and missing goals but he's getting his hands to the ball, I'm not too worried about his form for now. He's getting to the right spots. Melksham has often played his best footy when given a significant defensive role or responsibility. I'd start him at full forward and tell him his job is to hit that half forward spot as Burgoyne did twice in the first quarter and more through the rest of the game. It's all about coordinating with team mates so they know if Grimes drops a kick behind then Melksham will be up in that pocket of space.
  7. One of the most important things to do to beat Richmond in the last few years is to work out how to score against their defensive zone. It used to be Rance and then became Grimes who would almost always be the deepest defender and would read the play to drop back a good kick behind to stop teams getting out the back. They'd then rely on Broad, Astbury, Vlastuin etc to compete on the wings/half back. With excellent pressure up the ground they'd force long kicks to Grimes often standing by himself for easy marks or letting him come forward and have easy one on one wins due to better positioning. The Hawks did a great job of combating this when they played a couple of weeks ago. I thought I'd present a few examples of how they worked him around. 1. Burgoyne was playing full forward and he positioned himself perfectly to play off Grimes and get used in the play. In this first instance from a stoppage just back of the wing he pushes up and wide away from Grimes whilst the rest of the Hawks forwards and up the ground and towards the corridor. Grimes attempts to stay deep a good kick from the play as he likes to be. Wingard takes the short kick and Burgoyne can then run the ball and kick long away from Grimes - with an assist from a hard charging Scully - to Gunston who draws a free and goals. 2. From a centre bounce that is hacked forward Burgoyne comes up to get involved in play, but as soon as he gets the ball he thinks Grimes will be back where he left him and looks boundary side. The Tigers defender makes a good spoil and surprisingly the Hawks actually had a good lead from the square as Grimes was caught in no mans land, but more often than not the smart play of instinctively ignoring the long bomb will be the right move. 3. In this next example after the Tigers win a centre clearance but turn it over the Hawks forwards push hard to the wing. The Hawks rebound breaks the lines so the Tigers defenders then leave their opponents to press up much like our defenders do. Burgoyne realises this and this time instead of coming up he drops back away from Grimes in to clear space (see second image), then it's an easy kick to the pocket for a shot on goal. The other thing the Hawks did very well was both Burgoyne and later in the quarter Gunston drag Grimes up to forward line stoppages leaving other Tigers as the deeper defenders. That helped create goals because other defenders were unable to intercept mark or clean spoil and the Hawks beat out Stack in a one on one and forced a holding the ball from him. Adjusting our game plan to take away Grimes' influence and beat the Tigers zone will be crucial to winning. I'd suggest Melksham with a dose of Fritsch as the right match ups. Clever forwards who can get to the right spaces and then use the ball once they get it. The other forwards need to be aware of how to position around the match ups and how to take advantage of how the Tigers play.
  8. I thought he said could play finals. Which is probably true of 16 teams this year. Port are the standout good team so far, Freo (great effort, lack talent) and Adel the battlers. Everyone else is pretty even.
  9. Backline: Easily gone from 4/10 to 7/10 Instant full back - Collins. Instant back pocket - Budarick. Hanley back. Lukosius - pick 2 in his second year. Ballard a very good kid becoming a man. Hanley fit. Harbrow. Bowes. midfield: Greenwood, Ellis, Rowell, Anderson. 4 very good players. Instant transformation from ordinary to at least competent when combined with Witts, Miller and Swallow forwards: Day finally healthy. Sexton, Ainsworth both quality. King ready enough early in the season before wear and tear to produce. 4 capable mids when you’ve got plenty of talent at either end will boost any side. The amazing thing is that not only did they get Anderson and Rowell but they conned they afl in to 4+ other priority picks. They’re going to be good for a long time
  10. Impossible to know from the outside but I guess the first thing to establish is just what does he do? What are his core responsibilities? 1. Manages the salary cap 2. Manages the football spending - coaches, fitness staff medical staff etc 3. Controls the media access to the football department 4. Supports the senior coach with their duties 5. Has an overall plan for the football department 6. Executes trades/recruiting What are his major accomplishments: - Landing a number of major player recruits - Signing Darren Burgess - Signing Goodwin and Alan Richardson (rightly or wrongly) - Avoiding scandal or drama with the media What are his apparent failures: - Being reactive with player recruitment, we spent so much on tall defenders and wingers because we didn't have any developing. The overall strategy of loading the list with inside mids and slow flankers was very costly - Keeping Dave Misson when he was a lame duck - Apparently being very easy at trade time. He refuses to push when we have leverage for small gains that can add up - Extending veterans - Garlett, Vince, Lewis, Jones extra years they were never going to perform in But my biggest concern is this: He wasn't a recruiter with a trained eye for talent. He wasn't an experienced coach who had coached his own side and either studied the technical side of the game or experienced the culture of coaching. He doesn't have successful business experience with an edge like the banker the Saints hired or lawyer the Swans hired, he was handed a 20+ Million dollar core business department to run because Neeld needed someone and he did a Harvard business course. If he is good at his job it's because he's done the on the job learning and soaked up a lot from Paul Roos in 3 years and is bright and inquisitive and uses those study tours and connections to advantage. Otherwise you compare his CV to Neil Balme and what hope do does he have? My current opinion is he's good at solving problems but not proactive about finding the winning edges we need. And when you've got a coach who's going from an advantage in 2018 to a problem now then that doesn't help that coach turn things around.
  11. Did you miss his game against Carlton where he was everywhere? 17 touches against the Cats in a shortened game is still a really good effort and he was heavily involved late.
  12. I can't see Cameron leaving unless it's for crazy money, and I can't see us affording to pay him crazy money whilst offering an attractive team to join. We've got a very expensive midfield and a lot of cash locked up in two tall defenders. And no first round pick. I'd imagine we're looking around the key forward market but otherwise we'd be shipping out a lot of players and turning over the list dramatically to bring Cameron in. Worth a phone call and to find out what Brisbane are offering, but if North and Carlton are already involved then I'd imagine it's at the silly money level already.
  13. It was a desperation move to find a serviceable wing player but that's all he is. Lockhart struggles for fitness and hunts the ball a bit too much to be a smart winger. Now we're back on the MCG I'd stick with Tomlinson just to cover the KM's but yeah his long contract is going to look like dead weight.
  14. Melk on ball was tried in round 1 and did not look good at all. That was a long time ago and might be worth another shot. Personally I'd try the wing at some stage where he played a lot for Essendon. But I'm worried the more he's asked to do defensively the more he'll struggle, he just doesn't look keen to run both ways and he misses those late in quarter red time moments when the game opens up. Haven't we seen over the last two years that Tom is so much better when using his tank to run up the ground and get on the lead? I think burying him deep will only frustrate him and lead to his form tailing off. He's got to keep hitting up and crashing packs and eventually he'll hold more of them. There's a decent argument for a second tall but Tom has to be played where he can do what he does best which is repeat leads. I'd like to see more of a rotation of the deep forward, be that a second tall or Melk/Hunt/Hannan as it was on the weekend, but Fritsch is so close to being one of the best full forwards in the game - which is both an indictment on the game and praise for Bayley. 2 goals 7 and about 5 marks slipping through his fingers in easy scoring range so far, if there was ever a guy to just hold firm with in much the same role until his luck turns it's got be Fritter. I'd love to move Salem but it's not just kicking out of the backline it's composure around a pack to find some clearing handball receives and a defensive zone that needs continuity. If Salem comes up to the midfield then are we really trusting ageing Jetta and Hibberd and youthful Rivers and Lockhart to control things back there? Nev's never had attacking drive. We saw unrestrained Hibbo in round 1. Lockhart's not ready for a bigger role with the ball and that's a lot to put on Rivers. I guess Harmes go back, but he's more of an aggressive runner than the composed use that is still vital from half back. I don't think the new and improved Trac tank is ready for full midfield and I still think he's so dangerous around half forward it's not the best idea either. You've then got at least a 5 man midfield rotation - I assume Harmes is back to half back - of which Viney has to play 75% midfield as well. All of a sudden you're looking at a lot of Oliver forward and Gus playing where I don't know? I thought the coaches did pretty well on the weekend with the midfield rotations. Harmes back in got the speed and line breaking back. Brayshaw in limited minutes played as well as he had for a long time and started to look more like the balanced midfielder who's outside game (whilst up and down) can be a huge asset. Tracc played a nice balance and Oliver - getting to play a bit forward too - was his usual self. I think we forget what Harmes, Oliver and Brayshaw can do as inside midfielders capable of running, crashing off and through tackles and kicking long to space. We can have really good forward entries without excellent hit up kicks. Brisbane are a side that achieves it with Lyons, Berry, Neale. Hawthorn as well - Mitchell, O'Meara, Shiels and Worpel aren't exactly great kicks.
  15. Tomlinson was caught holding the ball at half forward, he was caught scrambling to chase faster opponents constantly all game, he's there with them but he's not really catching them. There's no point running all day if you're always behind. One very nice kick to Hunt against Carlton and one good I can remember yesterday, but so often he gets caught unwilling or unable to break a line, has to take a tackle and give a backwards handball or go behind the man on the mark. We've spent a tonne of cash on getting a bigger Dom Tyson with a slightly nicer kick. It's not his top end speed that's the problem, it's his inability to change direction and accelerate to both defend and take the game on with the ball. It's the trade off for being 6'4 on the wing and given he doesn't use his height at all I don't see how he's ever going to be more than depth. With the change of opponent especially if the Tigers keep Caddy and McIntosh I'd leave Tomlinson in for this week, but I still think Melksham, Vanders and Bennell are medium term wing options who have a lot more upside.
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