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Snoopy

It's The Preseason Stupid

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One thing stopping me from buying into this theory is that we were as bad in the Prelim last year (i.e., before surgeries) as we have been all this year.

Unless all our players went in for surgery on the Saturday morning after we beat Hawthorn, I think our problems run way deeper.

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57 minutes ago, TGR said:

 

Richmond should be applauded for taking a punt on a rough diamond in Stack.  The culture of the MFC would never do that in a million years.  We recruit people that we would like our daughters to marry, rather than taking a punt on someone that would beg, bleed and fight for you.  Time we started looking elsewhere than the Young Liberals, on and off-field.  The private school mentality that we deserve x, rather than we will fight for y.

Fake news. 

Marty Hore says hi.

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Bad preseason does not equal bad skills or playing stupid dumb football. 

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4 hours ago, Snoopy said:

In an effort to move past the teeth gnashing and knee jerk reactions to this year's disappointments it's time to acknowledge that the real reason probably started a few days after the loss to WCE in the Preliminary Final last year when something like 17 players were scheduled for end of season operations to fix ankles, shoulders, hips, knees and heavens knows what else. This cruelled our preseason which most recognize is the foundation stone of strong on field performances.  Fitness is a non negotiable in footy and we just don't have it.

It was reported here that Craig Jennings (I think) said that at one stage in the preseason we had 12 players fit enough to complete the main session indicating that the injuries we had went well beyond those who had operations.  Key players effected included:-

  • Our entire starting midfield had interrupted preseasons - Viney, Harmes and Oliver had operations and Jones and Brayshaw had injuries. If my memory is correct none started with the main group until February and some not until March.
  • Three of our best forwards had interrupted preseasons - Tmac had both ankles operated on, Melk had hammy issues and Trac a knee operation
  • Our best defenders had interrupted preseasons - Jetta a knee, May with his issues and Lever recovering from an ACL.  From memory Hibberd might also have had a operation.

This is a list of the "main crew" who had little or no preseason..  Then there were players like Stretch, Hannan, Oscar Baker and Hore who were also significantly disrupted. 

Through no fault of anyone, unless you want to suggest we send 13 of our Preliminary Final players off for end of season surgery in August, these players lack fitness because of the lack of a proper preseason. I think this lack of fitness underlies the majority of the issues we have faced this year including:-

  • an inability to run out games
  • inability to play 4 quarters
  • basic skill errors - these occur when plays fatigue
  • a lack of confidence
  • a lack of connection
  • a lack of two way running

Compounding this has been a wretched run of injury in season.  AVB, Smith, May, Melksham, Hibberd and Jetta have been significant losses.  JKH, Stretch, KK and Garlett have added to our issues.

On Champion Data stats we lost 89 games to injury to our best 22 in the first 10 games - 50% more than any other team and this on top of a poor preseason.  You can carry some injuries but there reaches a stage when you lose so many that the game just falls apart because you're playing too many players who are NQR.  We've seen this with Richmond and Collingwood.  Is it any surprise that Geelong and Brisbane are doing surprisingly well.  They've had no injuries of note.  And is it any surprise that Gawn and Salem have performed so well.  To my knowledge they had good preseasons.

The vitriol directed at players, coaches and fitness staff beg the reality of our situation.  Calls to rebuild, change the coach and radically change the game plan ignore core issues that have led to our situation.  Posters are far too keen to find blame rather than find reasons.

I've never been more confident that we've got the building blocks to be very good.  There are some gaps in our list we need to fill and we could well do that in this trade period.

This has been a disappointing year but is not reflective of our Club or the players and staff.

 

 

 

 

You haven't mentioned Hannan and Vandenberg either.

Good post.

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19 minutes ago, Chook said:

One thing stopping me from buying into this theory is that we were as bad in the Prelim last year (i.e., before surgeries) as we have been all this year.

Unless all our players went in for surgery on the Saturday morning after we beat Hawthorn, I think our problems run way deeper.

I think this is an astute observation. We have been badly beated in a similar way a number of times - last year and this year.

Our game plan can't adapt to personell changes or to the opposition getting hold of us on the outside. That's not good enough

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2 hours ago, rjay said:

There's no doubt injury is playing a role in our performances this season.

....but another problem started well before the Preliminary final and was shown up in that game.

We are too one dimensional with personal (FD & players) and game plan.

Was just writing the above when you posted this 'steve'...I'll leave it there and let you fill in the blanks. Pretty much agree with what you are saying here.

...and have expressed similar in my "Writing on the Wall" thread.

I just hope Goody is smart enough to learn the lesson...couldn't stand going through another coach.

People with short memories want to forget Melbourne was literally the spent and walking wounded when they played the Prelim last year.

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I knew we would have to work our way into the season, but we still haven’t more than half way in. We haven’t fought  hard enough. Compare Richmond to us. They’ve found a way to grind out the season through injury and can now have a crack. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm pretty sure all these points im about to make are already in motion, but god helps if they aren't.

-Take the picks if we can't attract top end talent.

-Continue to blood the youngsters.

-Lockdown a proven reliable fitness guru NOW.

-Start searching NOW for new assistant coaches.

-Settle on a sustainable coaching setup and fully focus on preparations for 2020. 

Let's just hope we look back on this year and say, "its the gap year we had to have".

Edited by Win4theAges

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59 minutes ago, frankie_d said:

I think this is an astute observation. We have been badly beated in a similar way a number of times - last year and this year.

Our game plan can't adapt to personell changes or to the opposition getting hold of us on the outside. That's not good enough

Sorry, it's not. I went to the preliminary. It was hot, we were coming off two intense games, had to travel.accross the country and we were totally cooked half way through the first.

West coast, who went on to win the premiership had a weeks rest and played at home. Way too much has been made of that lost.

Exactly as snoop dog says  people have bagged us for following others plans. We have ours. Now it might not be the right one, but this is not the year to be definitive about that. And last year's prelim is one game. We beat the same team (albeit missing Kennedy) 3 weeks earlier.

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1 hour ago, Pipefitter said:

I knew we would have to work our way into the season, but we still haven’t more than half way in. We haven’t fought  hard enough. Compare Richmond to us. They’ve found a way to grind out the season through injury and can now have a crack. 

 

My head is seriously going to explode

 Our situations are not comparable 

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20 minutes ago, binman said:

Sorry, it's not. I went to the preliminary. It was hot, we were coming off two intense games, had to travel.accross the country and we were totally cooked half way through the first.

First minute...and it wasn't just this game.

The warning signs were there through the year.

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1 hour ago, DemonOX said:

Bad preseason does not equal bad skills or playing stupid dumb football. 

It does. It completely and utterly does.

What do you think it takes to maintain, yet alone improve, skills at an elite level? Yet we've had a substantial number in the team who couldn't even kick a ball, yet alone practise overhead marking, for months on end.

Same for "dumb" football. It's about a) decision-making and b) you being aware of what's going on around you. Both of which you need to practise. At the moment, not only do players not really know what those around them are going to do (due to lack of time together), half the time I wonder if they even know WHO is around them, the team has been so unsettled since last year's finals.

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35 minutes ago, bing181 said:

It does. It completely and utterly does.

What do you think it takes to maintain, yet alone improve, skills at an elite level? Yet we've had a substantial number in the team who couldn't even kick a ball, yet alone practise overhead marking, for months on end.

Same for "dumb" football. It's about a) decision-making and b) you being aware of what's going on around you. Both of which you need to practise. At the moment, not only do players not really know what those around them are going to do (due to lack of time together), half the time I wonder if they even know WHO is around them, the team has been so unsettled since last year's finals.

And add to that the fact that in all sports, all sports poor technique is exposed by fatigue. From darts to football and everything in between poor technique is made worse under pressure and fatigue.

And we 80% of our players have terrible technique. So it stands to reason that we make more mistakes than say last year when the team as whole is nowhere near as fit.

 

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3 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

I wouldnt let May, Oliver, Gawn, Preuss, Jones or Viney marry my daughter... 

Marty Hore however...

image.png.40474e0c390727fbd0698843e5a10481.png

I quoted this simply for the photo of Marty. Lovely young man. This brightened my day. Thanks!!😍

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, rjay said:

First minute...and it wasn't just this game.

The warning signs were there through the year.

Oh please we made the preliminary final for pete's sake. With a team missing Lever, nominally our best defender. It wasn't a fluke. We were the highest scoring team and from round 12 the best defensive unit in the AFL. And that's without Lever. We were doing plenty right. 

Look at the pies and west coast this year. Both are nowhere near as effective. Maybe their much vaunted chip kick game plan has already had its day.

Edited by binman
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35 minutes ago, bing181 said:

It does. It completely and utterly does.

What do you think it takes to maintain, yet alone improve, skills at an elite level? Yet we've had a substantial number in the team who couldn't even kick a ball, yet alone practise overhead marking, for months on end.

Same for "dumb" football. It's about a) decision-making and b) you being aware of what's going on around you. Both of which you need to practise. At the moment, not only do players not really know what those around them are going to do (due to lack of time together), half the time I wonder if they even know WHO is around them, the team has been so unsettled since last year's finals.

We are going to have to agree to disagree bing. 

Hitting a target by foot or hand and marking the footy is basic footy skills. Most of the group have been together for a number of years so this area of our game should be better than it is. 

We are by far the worst skilled side in the afl which is appalling imo. We are a professional footy team but don’t play like one. 

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To draw a Seinfeld analogy, season 2019 has been Melbourne’s “summer of George” ,  leading in our expectations were so very high that this was going to finally be our year to contend, and then it turned sour, so very quickly, finally into an unmitigated disaster. So completely Melbourne like in its way, that most of us are not actually surprised that this has happened. It is very much a shade of 1999, 2001 and 2003 . 

I’m still hoping that much of this is simply a short term blip, most due to the preseason , amplified by a league high injury list and further exacerbated by some of key players being shockingly out of form. A quick reset of assistant coaching, more work on the game plan , a clean run at it for the preason , and maybe some drafted outside run might actually, get things back on track .

otherwise this may as well be as comical as George and his mates 

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4 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

I wouldnt let May, Oliver, Gawn, Preuss, Jones or Viney marry my daughter... 

Marty Hore however...

image.png.40474e0c390727fbd0698843e5a10481.png

Very amusing mr onion. And yes M Hore is not bad at all

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33 minutes ago, binman said:

Oh please we made the preliminary final for pete's sake. With a team missing Lever, nominally our best defender. It wasn't a fluke. We were the highest scoring team and from round 12 the best defensive unit in the AFL. And that's without Lever. We were doing plenty right. 

Look at the pies and west coast this year. Both are nowhere near as effective. Maybe their much vaunted chip kick game plan has already had its day.

Don't oh please me 'bin'....Yep, the Pies are 2nd and WC 3rd...where are we?

I wish we were near as ineffective as those 2 teams.

... it wouldn't surprise me to see them play off again this year by the way.

You are making excuse upon excuse, clutching at straws. 

WC won the flag with a team missing NicNat, nominally their best player, Gaff best mid and Sheppard a quality defender.

It was obvious that we had some problems that needed to be sorted.

Those problems have been amplified this year.

We need to reset and move forward...

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Chook said:

One thing stopping me from buying into this theory is that we were as bad in the Prelim last year (i.e., before surgeries) as we have been all this year.

Unless all our players went in for surgery on the Saturday morning after we beat Hawthorn, I think our problems run way deeper.

The problems with the game plan were evident last year vs Hawthorn, Richmond, Collingwood, Port, St. Kilda and Sydney during H&A. Some would even argue the 2x Cats games.

Teams lose games, not saying that losing in itself is cause for alarm. But the way we lost those games (and the Prelim) showed we experienced the same problems last year that have been evident more frequently this year (or more teams seem to have worked us out).

Combine this with our structure being messed with due to 6-6-6 (no longer able to run 2 off the back of the square) and the loss of Hogan up forward and there is legitimate cause for concern from the supporters. I'm not saying woe is me, we're doomed but I'm not sitting here supremely confident things will be different next year.

Of course if TMac gets back to his best, Weid comes on like we hope, May and Lever can actually stay on the park and our mids start playing with greater composure and actually hit up leading targets I think we'll be pushing for top 4. That's the optimistic view.

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3 hours ago, Pipefitter said:

I knew we would have to work our way into the season, but we still haven’t more than half way in. We haven’t fought  hard enough. Compare Richmond to us. They’ve found a way to grind out the season through injury and can now have a crack. 

 

I think that's what the coaches were banking on too. Had we won the game in Darwin and won another couple against any two of Port, Bombers, Saints or Lions we would have set ourselves up for a strong run home into September. Unfortunately we didn't bank some of those early games we might've expected to and now the season is done.

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4 hours ago, Lord Nev said:

So, if injuries are to blame, why did we have a midseason internal review that resulted in a coaching structure change?

Excellent point ... and that won't be the end of it either as I'm reckoning that we'll make some more moves with the coaching structure at seasons end (with Goodwin staying of course)

And we'll probably move up to 10 players on and maybe 1 or 2 more than that if we trade aggressively in the off-season. 

As for the current skills that we witness ... a massive improvement is needed.  Also, we weren't switched on for the first 6 games this season so that's another issue.  And the gameplan looks outdated.

So a lot has to happen if we're to climb the ladder again.  The OP made a number of good points but our reality reveals other problems that can't be ignored.

I'm neither confident nor despondent about our chances next season.  But there is a lot of work ahead if we're to win more games than we lose.

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There is cause for hope. Start with Dr.G's last paragraph and add that if only a small adjustment results in a workable and effective game plan then we are on our way and off to the finals.

My reservation is that, unless there is a "dees" specific game plan that builds on our strength,s then we might never reach the ultimate prize.

We have the cattle and with an earlier start to a more productive pre-season with more players available there is only the game plan to go.

2020

Go dees.

 

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Hearing Jordan Lewis speak on AFL 360, one of the disappointing things about the Brisbane game was an attitude issue, in that some players were off their usual behavioural standards (e.g deciding not to chase/defend). It’s behaviours like this that keep me worried. The only  acceptable excuse for this is the reason they decided not to chase/defend because they’re too tired/not fit enough due to the aforementioned pre-season.

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