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Very happy with Watts' game yesterday, he certainly knows how to play up forward - now he needs to put on 15 kg and become a real power forward.

Will be interesting to see how Watts, Hogan, Clarke and Dawes work out - not sure there is room for all three, assuming all three are fit at the same time.

Garland and McDonald very good down back - with the return of Frawley it's a good start to a solid backline.

Now for the midfield!

Watts should maintain his current weight, but work more on his one-on-one stuff, though he's improving. He should look to fill the Gunstan-type role in our forwardline. I think there's a place for all of them in our forwardline. They're all very mobile which gives them and the side flexibility. Clark and Watts can play in the middle or on the wings. Dawes and Hogan can play as lead up CHFs or deep FFs. Win-win. We just need a couple of dangerous crumbers at their feet. Hawthorn's Shane Savage is number one on my hit list. I hope Blease can play a role in there one day too.

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And gets dropped.

I live well north of the Brisbane line so watched game via foxtel. Watching footy on the tele is inferior to live but I can faithfully report that Gerard Healy is a certified,100% anti-Melbourne [cens

It wasn't worse.

What about the 50m against Davey?? A stKilda player got first hands on it, it bounced up and was caught by another StK player who was awarded the mark, Davey tackled as it was clearly no mark and bang 50m. Disgraceful

One could also question why Watts didnt get a 50 meter penalty when he took a mark on the half forward flank and then the st kilda player pushed him in the back sending him to the ground clearly after he took the marking had been completed. Umpires certainly assisted St Kilda on the scoreboard, but even so we need to do a lot more work on kicking and decision making. Too many times someone got the ball and then did not know what to do with it, even when they had another player free down field they hesitated looking for better options which rarely came. Some try to hard to do it all by themselves.
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Guess what. The modern game is about uncontested possession and your ability to get the ball into space, not kicking to contested situations and packs. To say nothing of being thoroughly predictable, as we have been under Neeld.

No doubt the trend in the game at the moment is a more uncontested style of play - being able to retain possession, get the ball out in space, use it well and not turn it over are what the top sides are doing really well.

But while the trends change all the time in home and away footy, I still think finals football remains pretty much the same. Finals are a different ball game - very contested and congested, less time and space, heavy tackling and pressure. If you have too many players that can't win their own ball in finals footy then you are not going to win too many big finals.

While I still think it's important to get a lot better at winning contested footy, I agree with you that under Neeld our uncontested game just completely fell apart. Neeld was obviously not big on disposals - he said as much - but I think disposals and uncontested ball are important for two key reasons.

1) Retaining possession and getting your hands on the footy increases a player's and the team's confidence. Anyone who has played the game would know you get confidence out of touching the footy. Under Neeld we just could not string together possession chains and players weren't getting their hands on the footy.

2) When you have the ball, it means the opposition doesn't. That means less touches for them and potentially less scoring opportunities. It's like the old soccer saying about the virtues of possession: 'the opposition cannot score when you have possession'.

Clearly disposals and uncontested possessions are not everything, but I do think they are important and you only have to look at our results and our disposal differentials to see that is the case.

I was pleased last night that we looked to retain possession a bit more, but I guess it was against ordinary opposition. It will be interesting if we can improve in this area when we play some better sides in the run home.

Edited by Scoop Junior
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It's the bikes. I tell you, it's the bikes. Look at his calves. Way too thick.

Blease has got a lot of work to do on his game if he's going to make it. To be honest, probably more than quite a lot of other demons. I'm not saying he can't make it, but he has some hurdles to overcome. He lacks endurance, an ability to run the other way and makes poor decisions. There's also the disposal efficiency. I watched him in the VFL a few weeks ago. He is a massive confidence player. Hopefully the new coach can nurture him a little more and increase that disposal efficiency. He must ensure he works the other way though.

I'm not sure I'd be sticking him alongside Davey. If Aaron trains at all like he plays, I'd suggest he's very, very lazy. Used to love him, but he's done and was so two years ago.

I just meant that he should train with him because Davey has to have one of the most effecient kicks on the list. His ability to hit some marks last night were great.

Davey's work ethic has to be one of the best on this list I reckon. Come back from being seriously out of form and earnt himself another year.

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Perception is funny isn't it.

Dawes points and he's "teaching" and "leading". Moloney points and he's a "dummy spitter".

Just saying...

Spoiling for a fight Stuie?

Beemer would not run to pick up an opponent but instead point to a space as if to say to others 'go and pick up that player' or 'go and fill that space'. All the while he was standing by himself doing nothing. Lazy, could only run one way player.

The stories have now come out about his 'I know better than the coach" attitude and he not only refused to do what was asked of him but actively went against coaches orders.

Can't have that at a club. See ya later Beemer.

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Finally some possession football.

We played keepings off for most if the second qtr and were able to string together successive possessions without a turnover.

This to me is a massive difference and will only improve the club.

We also played the ball through the middle a lot more. The players seemed lost on the centre pitch as they haven't been there for the last year and a half.

I agree with this and tonight, watching Moloney win an amazing game for Lions v Geelong, could not help thinking how bloody useful he would be at present.

Let the Moloney doubters, those who reckon he can't play against quality opposition, watch his last quarter. Moloney, through the centre in 2010/11 was great news, absolute disaster that we lost him

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No doubt the trend in the game at the moment is a more uncontested style of play - being able to retain possession, get the ball out in space, use it well and not turn it over are what the top sides are doing really well.

.......

.......

I was pleased last night that we looked to retain possession a bit more, but I guess it was against ordinary opposition. It will be interesting if we can improve in this area when we play some better sides in the run home.

A very considered pov. I think theres a very important aspect that you highlight , that there are nuances of differences and that there are times and places where these occur and apply. All separately and together at the same time. Often observers and commentators attempt to paint things with too simple a pallette.. It wasnt this, or that...or on and on as you might imagine.

There are always two sides to a coin and there are two sides ( at least ) to any moment of play. One team has the ball , one doesnt , but that can change in an instant and therefore the mode of play might change, might. One instant the ball isin traffic the next its switched to an open piece of paddock.

You can see a pattern, or lack of really.. The game is a kaleidoscope wrapped in a patchwork quilt. I often feel too much training focusses on too many set plays and strings. You have to have these as subsets of any game plan but ive often considered the best teams, the most accomplished and successful ones have one thing in common. They have players who embody the essential skills of the game together with an inherent understanding of how to utilise them in the game as it swings from one play to another.

I see it too often , especially with our lot is player X gets ball moves it towards player Y ( in the prescribed and written manner ) only for someon e to upset the applecart and then the next bloke, lets call him Z looks like a very close cousin to a stunned mullet as hes all lost at sea, All because the practiced scenario has come unstuck. Golly, who'd have ever thought this would occur.

Good teams have more than a handful of good football brains on their playing list. They compensate some others who are a bit lacklustre but are good worker ant types.

I want Craig , in his remaining weeks , to sow some seeds and from these I want the players to start thinking and playing more from instinct and common footy sense .

You have to have a framework to a gamestyle but I think weve attempted too regimented a gameplan. Most gameplans start unravelling after 10 mins.

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Spoiling for a fight Stuie?

Beemer would not run to pick up an opponent but instead point to a space as if to say to others 'go and pick up that player' or 'go and fill that space'. All the while he was standing by himself doing nothing. Lazy, could only run one way player.

The stories have now come out about his 'I know better than the coach" attitude and he not only refused to do what was asked of him but actively went against coaches orders.

Can't have that at a club. See ya later Beemer.

I think u mean Beamer

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Watts should maintain his current weight, but work more on his one-on-one stuff, though he's improving. He should look to fill the Gunstan-type role in our forwardline. I think there's a place for all of them in our forwardline. They're all very mobile which gives them and the side flexibility. Clark and Watts can play in the middle or on the wings. Dawes and Hogan can play as lead up CHFs or deep FFs. Win-win. We just need a couple of dangerous crumbers at their feet. Hawthorn's Shane Savage is number one on my hit list. I hope Blease can play a role in there one day too.

A little confusing here AF - 'Clark and Watts in the middle or on the wings'? - I agree they are all mobile, but Clark and Dawes need to get over injury problems (doubts), whereas Watts and Hogan appear to be the future. I agree MFC needs crumbers for all these big guys.

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Finally some possession football.

We played keepings off for most if the second qtr and were able to string together successive possessions without a turnover.

This to me is a massive difference and will only improve the club.

We also played the ball through the middle a lot more. The players seemed lost on the centre pitch as they haven't been there for the last year and a half.

I haven't watched the entire game yet but not the first time we've done this. Obviously the last quarter against GWS (which most would argue doesn't count), but we also controlled most of the 3rd quarter by foot and hand against the Hawks.

The 2nd part to your post sounds very promising. The natural instinct (probably under instruction from Neeld) was to roll and look outside as the main option when transitioning from half back or even from stoppages on the wing. Lets hope Craig is already turning this part around. Will make a huge difference once the boys start looking and rolling inside more often instinctively. However, after watching the first quarter i still saw too many players continually looking laterally and in many cases behind them as first instinct from half back for the easy give off. In some cases this is necessary in order to work the switch but i just feel we take these options far too often as the easy way out instead of taking risks and the opponents on with attacking flair. Hopefully with more confidence in disposal skills this will begin to change.

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Hit outs 47 us to 28 them

Clearances 29 to us 49 to them

That was the main difference, the first use of the ball.

This has been a huge problem for a long time - Jamar has for a long time lead the hit out numbers, but they are just so predictable and rarely convert to clearances, making hit outs a pretty hollow stat.

Lots of Garland love again from me. What a game. Back to the wall the entire game, but I'd love to know how many spoils he affected. He took the game on as well. There were good and bad signs from both Watts and Toumpas too.

Garland shows genuine passion for the game and the lib - hope it can rub off on more of his colleagues.

Continues to defy logic wearing the clash jumper against St.Kilda. It is an even greater clash than if we wore our traditional jumper.

Of course, but since when did any skerric of logic apply to AFL policy on clash jumpers. I totally agree, from the few clips I have managed to see of this game, far more confusing than our true jumper.

He just needs to learn how to direct those taps a little better.

.

Reinforces what is have said just above. The clearance players need to work more with the rucks so that they can read him, and also direct him. A double edged sword sort of situation.

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We have no depth. Our best 22 is our only 22 but our best today would have beaten the saints today and by a few goals IMO.

Clisby and Toumpas were positives. The effort was good across the game and the stats back that up.

We really need to seize our opportunities in front of goal... We let 4 or 5 easy goals slip with poor kicking.

Clark and a fit Dawes and Grimes could have made the difference.

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The stories have now come out about his 'I know better than the coach" attitude and he not only refused to do what was asked of him but actively went against coaches orders.

Turned out he was right.

Oh and he was pretty much the game winner in the Lions upset over Geelong, but you know, he nenver plays well against good teams hey...

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Finally saw the game. I think there were a few individuals who stood up and showed something, but on the whole not a lot different from previous weeks. We still committed ritual suicide by turnover.

Very impressed with Garland right now. He's leading the backline in every way, dominating opponents, directing teammates and generally being a huge presence.

Tommy McDonald smashed Saint Nick. As far as I'm concerned he conceded one goal, given that the other two were disgraceful umpire calls that gifted him shots at point blank range. Pretty much every disposal Nick got was on the wing.

Nate Jones continues to lead the midfield. It's all been said before, but he's having a great season.

Sylvia looked good in patches (hasn't that been said before as well?)

Watts had a real presence about him, just needs to work on his hands. He dropped a few easy marks that would have turned into scoring shots. We can't afford to be dropping the uncontested ones.

BIG step forward for Spencer. He's finally showing that he might make it. Fitz not as big a step, but an improvement over last week. Loved his pass to Jones.

Clisby was pretty decent for a first game.

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A little confusing here AF - 'Clark and Watts in the middle or on the wings'? - I agree they are all mobile, but Clark and Dawes need to get over injury problems (doubts), whereas Watts and Hogan appear to be the future. I agree MFC needs crumbers for all these big guys.

Yeah, I was basing this on the proviso that all were fit and over their injuries. Without knowing the ins and outs of Clark's injury, I wouldn't be surprised if he never plays again. But if he does, he's proved capable and influential when playing in the middle previously. He'd rotate forward of course. Equally, I could see him simply sitting at FF and Dawes playing CHF, Hogan in the pocket next to him. Watts could play on a wing, but I'd really like to see him stay forward if possible.

We're still yet to see Clark and Dawes on the field at once. We can certainly carry both of them and Hogan in the same side. Watt's flexibility and disposal efficiency gives him a game for mine too.

The thing that makes Hawthorn so dreaded for me is their imposing tall timber and the infusion of x-factor from half forward and the middle (SB and CR). The great thing about our potential tall set up is that at least two of them are extremely mobile and versatile talls (JW and MC). This would allow us to carry them all and really push sides with our height, but not get exposed for pace at the same time.

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Turned out he was right.

Oh and he was pretty much the game winner in the Lions upset over Geelong, but you know, he nenver plays well against good teams hey...

Very, very rarely, Stu.

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garland would be all australian if he played for a stronger side, really emerging as one of the comps best medium defenders

That's selling him pretty short (pardon the pun) I reckon, DF26. He plays on the talls more regularly than the smalls. He's a KPD for mine.

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That's selling him pretty short I reckon, DF26. He plays on the talls more regularly than the smalls. He's KPD for mine.

I think he should be in contention for an AA spot as a third KPD/Mid sized back. I think the closest he's come to being beaten this year was Cloke, he plays big or small as required,he's getting a lot of ball and is hurting opponents with his rebounding. Having a really great season.

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I think he should be in contention for an AA spot as a third KPD/Mid sized back. I think the closest he's come to being beaten this year was Cloke, he plays big or small as required,he's getting a lot of ball and is hurting opponents with his rebounding. Having a really great season.

I'd say at the moment he wouldn't be featuring, but if he continues his form from the last few weeks, he might be a shot.

I agree if he were to be named in the AA team now, it wouldn't be a key position. It'd likely be a back pocket or flank. But as with your Cloke example, there's no doubt he's playing KPD for us.

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Garland should be an AA without doubt

we concede 100 disposals a week and our defense is under massive pressure thanks to our pathetic midfield, and yet he still destroys his direct opponent every week

but he wont get AA cos he plays for us, unfair really.

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I'd like to see Neil Craig get the job if the team lifts for the remainder of the season. Or, if he doesn't get the nod, he should at least fulfil his contractual commitments rather than being payed. If Paul Roos is not successfully recruited, then other top candidates that are not widely talked about in this forum include Malcolm Blight as he's proven and is doing some great mentoring now at the Gold Coast; and Gary Ayers, given he's a premiership player, coached at AFL level for about a decade and recently had great coaching success at VFL level.

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A good mate who passed away during the week

Cheers, I got a pm about it earlier. Wonderful effort by Sam to still play after what would have been a very tough week

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