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...is that they drive the modern game: a product of fitness, power running, and high footy IQ. And also belief, confidence, and trust - in yourself as a player and your teammates. Jnrmac (the poster) mentioned in the Sylvia thread the importance of said KPI and I love KPIs so I had a little look at what has happened with that stat recently. I found that we went from -12 Uncontested Possessions compared to our opponent in 2011 to -39 in 2012, to -76 up to the point Neeld was moved on. Thoroughly ridiculous and dire numbers for a thoroughly ridiculous and dire situation under Neeld. The juicy morcel that I must mention (that almost makes me want to waste a couple days retroactively looking at 2013) is that since Craig has come in we have an Uncontested Possession count compared to our opposition of -3. An improvement of 73... ! Leaving aside the low numbers from the slopfest down at Mordor (Geel 148 Melb 129), our UP numbers have increased by 47 a game to 228 in the other 3 Craig-led games with opposition UP dropping 31 a game to 226. It does not mean you win, or even look like being close (the Sydney game) but it does mean you are running hard and trusting your teammates to get you the footy, and when you are being aggressive offensively it takes away time for the opposition to attack - attack is the best defence. While Paul Roos would be a fantastic option for the MFC over the next few years with excitement and hope renewed immediately, Craig has shown to be the catalyst for improvement in his short time at the helm, even with an unwanted record of impotence in getting the ball forward arriving last week. Hopefully the improvement will continue over the following 7 weeks.
Something is seriously wrong at our Melbourne Football Club. We have slumped to one of our lowest points, and I don't need to provide the detail as to where we're at, it's plain and obvious for all to see. What's most troubling is the uneasy quiet of concession by members and supporters that we no longer even care to feel the hurt any more. This spells very dangerous times for the club. In such a position, we tend to seek answers as to what's missing, or what we can do to turn things around. Is it the coaching staff? Is it the players? Is it our foot skills? Decisions making? Willingness to run? Is it the administration? Is it the strategy? Is it the recruiting? What can we change?... The reality is that like all AFL clubs, we have a capable administration, playing list and coaching staff. Capability doesn't bring success, nor does it even bring competitiveness. I love Australian Rules Football because it is not just by measurable and definite qualities that can ensure success, as success comes to those who believe that it is theirs to take, and that they can take it. The MFC lacks confident self belief. The players don't believe that they can win. The supporters don't believe that we can win. The coaching staff must be beginning to have doubts. The administration must also be doubting our ability to win. The thing about confident self belief is that it holds a very strong inertia. It's contagious and self affirming. It feeds on itself, with success breeding confident self belief, and confident self belief breeding success. It's distinct from false or extrinsic belief, it can't be learned. It must be boldly asserted. It's elusive yet real, I know myself playing that I could do amazing things when confident, and the opposite true when I wasn't. The other side of the equation holds equally true. The lack of confident self belief ensures failure, which in turn compounds the lack of self belief. Like any unsuccessful person or organisation, this is the condition we find ourselves in. We often look to the wrong things to resolve this condition. Changes to the personnel (be it playing, coaching or administration) are not an effective remedy to the condition, as there is never a complete turnover of personnel. Every MFC player that runs out shares a common thread of Red & Blue with every player who has played. There's a large part of last week's team in every round. It's been that way for 154 years. Even if there were a wholesale change in personnel, the condition exists in the entity of the club itself through the image it has in the mind of the general public. We can't dig ourselves out of this hole by changing personnel, so let's just kill that idea here and now. How can we develop confident belief? Here's a positive. Confident self belief is contagious, so once we start to develop it, the inertia of it can help it to feed itself. The difficult part is finding out where it comes from at such a low point. This is something which can't be forced, but may be taken by any true leaders at the club (whoever they may be), and then slowly transferred. There is an opportunity for every player on our list to simply become great by starting to lead. There's nothing formal about leadership, it's open to all. Where and when this spark will come I don't know, but a good starting point is an awareness of this. Every player and official at the club needs to know that they are capable, that they do have the ability to win a premiership, all they need to do is just assert it, because success is there for the taking, but only for those who are prepared to take it. Who will stand up?