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The Thing about Uncontested Possessions

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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.

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Nice work.

What's the stats on turnovers with the same inputs you used above. Interesting to see if using the ball more has decreased the turnover count as well.

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The simple fact is that if you have the ball and have it uncontested the opposition can't score and it also takes away from the the time they have to get it back and score.

Therefore if you can move the ball from one end of the field to another with uncontested possession and have a shot on goal you will do very well. It's the basis behind the Hawthorn style of attack.

Neeld was focussed on very quick ball movement with playing on quickly and going wide to counter quick turnovers. Unfortunately he didn't have the cattle and even if he did that game plan is still very hard to perfect. Craig has told the players to play on instinct more and use the ball as the feel is right at the same time to not panic and rush. It's more sharing of the ball and less frantic. But runs the risk of over possession.

Personally I like the idea of our players actually getting the ball and using it. And would encourage the play to speed up when we have a raft of key forwards operating well and also hopefully some added midfield run to both create space and work defensively.

Playing in Darwin this week favours a direct approach without over using the ball but at the same time we can't just bomb the ball around we'll get smashed by the Lions defense.

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It's not just our uncontested possession, but the opposition's too. I've been banging on about it since round 1, while Neeld supporters shouted me down with their over emphasis on contested possessions and "combative footy". I think a big reason is our structures and positioning, as we are now generally closer to our opposition and able to put more pressure on attempted link up play.

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It's not just our uncontested possession, but the opposition's too. I've been banging on about it since round 1, while Neeld supporters shouted me down with their over emphasis on contested possessions and "combative footy". I think a big reason is our structures and positioning, as we are now generally closer to our opposition and able to put more pressure on attempted link up play.

Yeah, it's down 31. It's in the OP.

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Im not sure where this stat would exist but in line with the 'number' Id be very interested to know how much TIME the opposition have the ball compared to us.( in the same vein, i.e uncontested ) Im not big on stats but this ought to be self evident as to its relation to how we play.

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i think Uncontested possession comes down to 3 things.

1. workrate, the harder you run off the ball, the more uncontested possession.

2. Confidence, once the players get confident enough to run off there players to work for the ball than that will be evident.

3. general will and hunger to win.

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Grimesy gets the trifecta :)

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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.

Well done for putting in the analysis! What I see most weeks is our players will take a mark and go back (without looking downfield). Then turn around and wait for options. Others don't do that. They take off immediately and kick to space (not directly to the player) Lo and behold a teamate runs into that space and takes possession ie: no turnover. Its kind of simple.

It seems to be changing with Craig but not fast enough,

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The last month has shown how much better we are at this. I don't have the numbers, but I'd hazard a guess that our numbers for uncontested marks are up, too.

We seem to be positioning better and running a little bit harder, as well as using those options more than we used to (i.e. better, calmer, more intuitive decision-making).

Having said all that, UP and UM aren't going to get you there alone. Our clearance work is abysmal, our contested possession work varies from acceptable to unacceptable. If we can lift those areas to be consistently competitive, then our work on lifting UP and UM will begin to pay off, I think.

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It's funny that only a couple of years ago, the key stat was 'Contested Possessions'. Neeld kept trying to get us to play a game following that trend and it didn't get us anywhere, he clearly wasn't moving with the times. But I bet we'll be back to a contested ball focus in a couple of years.

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It's funny that only a couple of years ago, the key stat was 'Contested Possessions'. Neeld kept trying to get us to play a game following that trend and it didn't get us anywhere, he clearly wasn't moving with the times. But I bet we'll be back to a contested ball focus in a couple of years.

in the end theres only two things that matter, who has the ball ( longest ) and the scoreboard.

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It's funny that only a couple of years ago, the key stat was 'Contested Possessions'. Neeld kept trying to get us to play a game following that trend and it didn't get us anywhere, he clearly wasn't moving with the times. But I bet we'll be back to a contested ball focus in a couple of years.

Our last two coaches have been guilty of the same thing. Bailey tried to get us playing a free-flowing, uncontested game a la Geelong of 2007-2009, but the Colingwood press of 2010 and then Sydney's higher pressure game meant Bailey's plan was made to look pathetic.

Then Neeld came in and tried to get us to play Collingwood's pressing, pressure game, with contested marking and boundary-based movement, and was left to watch the competition speed up and pass us by.

Truth be told, trends in football come and go every year. The good clubs and good coaches are able to adapt and mould their playing group to fit the bill. Neither Bailey nor Neeld were able to do that, not even close.

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Our last two coaches have been guilty of the same thing. Bailey tried to get us playing a free-flowing, uncontested game a la Geelong of 2007-2009, but the Colingwood press of 2010 and then Sydney's higher pressure game meant Bailey's plan was made to look pathetic.

Then Neeld came in and tried to get us to play Collingwood's pressing, pressure game, with contested marking and boundary-based movement, and was left to watch the competition speed up and pass us by.

Truth be told, trends in football come and go every year. The good clubs and good coaches are able to adapt and mould their playing group to fit the bill. Neither Bailey nor Neeld were able to do that, not even close.

That's exactly why we need an experienced senior coach, someone who has been in footy a long time and knows the trends, can anticipate change and adapt quickly. Thank God it looks as though we'll get one this year.

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in the end theres only two things that matter, who has the ball ( longest ) and the scoreboard.

truth be, only one of those...........no prizes for guessing

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Best use of an exclamation mark, ever.

Yes Craig is clearly in the driver's seat for the coaching role, and he has proven he has the players on-side. If the Roos dream falls through I will be happy with Papa Craig.

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I've been banging on about this for a while now. I still think our biggest problem is combination of not running hard enough to make position and take an uncontested mark when no option is on, and not taking a quick option that presents before it closes up.

I'd love to see us kick sort to a 15 m option quickly more often, I'd a long kick to contest is then forced we have the benefit of an extra 15 m.

It seems to me that players from other clubs run harder into position for quick over the top cos and also that we don't honour these leads when they are offered this less likely to repeat and do it again.

A great example of one was Sylvia against Sydney: busted his gut for 80 m to make position and take a mark on the southern stand flank at the Punt Road end. Didn't see any of these against Geelong.

Remember of we have the ball the positron can't score. We should just hold it as long as we can and get confidence with ball in hand, even if we can't move it forward. Little chips forward and sideways to hard running leads, eventually gaps and options will own up.

Edited by deanox

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Ok, I got a graph that show the correlation between winning and uncontested possessions:

image002.png

The margin correlates to the 'margin' of uncontested possessions quite clearly I think.

This next graph shows the dramatic improvement in the first 8 games of Craig's tenure over the last 11 of Neeld's.

image001.png

This graph shows the average margin and the average UP margin of the two tenures. There is no comparison really, the lines don't even cross...

The players simply did not want to run and be bold and take the game on during the first 11 games of the season.

I don't put these up to illustrate a desire for Craig to stay on, although I can see the argument for that, I say it because I want people to know that there is hope and that improvement so marked like above can come in such a dark season then imagine what a good coach would be able to do with a summer to work with.

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Ok, I got a graph that show the correlation between winning and uncontested possessions:

image002.png

The margin correlates to the 'margin' of uncontested possessions quite clearly I think.

This next graph shows the dramatic improvement in the first 8 games of Craig's tenure over the last 11 of Neeld's.

image001.png

This graph shows the average margin and the average UP margin of the two tenures. There is no comparison really, the lines don't even cross...

The players simply did not want to run and be bold and take the game on during the first 11 games of the season.

I don't put these up to illustrate a desire for Craig to stay on, although I can see the argument for that, I say it because I want people to know that there is hope and that improvement so marked like above can come in such a dark season then imagine what a good coach would be able to do with a summer to work with.

pls dont take offense

but when anything tries to show footy as charts they lose me

Footy is really a lot simpler than that. The game isnt that complicated and it eventually comes down to that stat called the scoreboard

Theres good coaching,,,,and then theres us.

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Uncontested: we've got it so can we use it well?

Contested: no-one has it and we want it.

Turnover: they had it and screwed up with or without out help.

All this stuff is just bumf that isn't worth a pie wrapper without context. All stats are.

We really need to focus on hard, accountable, belief footy. If we do that - and the cattle are up to being AFL players - then the stats will take care of themselves.

Edited by Carrot Top

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The correlation between the score margin and the uncontested possession differential is interesting; remarkable, even.

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I'm sorry I couldn't help myself.

The top chat is fantastic. That correlation is amazing and id be surprised if there isn't a causal relationship.

The second chat in bit so impressed with - because they are cumulative averages they ate a bit fluffy.

Congrats on the top graph though, great proof of what we have been saying would love to see a similar graph for other teams. I suspect it will be more accurate for to and boron shows than middle sides which have more close games.

Great work.

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