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2 wins, 14 losses

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2 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

I don't know how many times I need to write this but Tom McDonald did not have preseason surgery and is not on injury reports.  If he had an 'interrupted preseason' I would like someone to present the info.  If people are thinking his double ankle surgery, it was the previous year ie prior to his sensational 2018 season. 

Yes, he was withdrawn from this year's AFLX apparently with patella soreness and there are mixed reports whether he simply had a cortisone injection or a minor procedure to clean it up.  Either way he played in both JLT games a week or so later, kicking 2 and 1 goal respecively.  So he had a full preseason.  His poor form is not related to the preseason issues.  And his poor form is one of the major reasons we are where we are. 

On a more general note, we know about our preseason and depth woes but surely no one still thinks that is the reason we have fallen from 4th to 17th.  If it was the club would not have beefed up the development resources nor made the line coaching changes.  

Preseason surgery has become the escape clause and people say things like "Put it all together and you get what we have now".  We have been crap for a variety of reasons and to not acknowledge those other reasons is simply head in sand stuff.  Thankfully, the club recognises those other reasons and will fix them.

Fair dinkum LH if you could not see with your own eyes he was carrying an injury up until the last couple of games before his season ending injury I don't know what to say.

It has been plain as day. 

For petes sake there were reports of him having to wrsr runners all rge time and having to raje his shoes ot at a wedding to look after his feet.

 

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5 minutes ago, binman said:

Fair dinkum LH if you could not see with your own eyes he was carrying an injury up until the last couple of games before his season ending injury I don't know what to say.

It has been plain as day. 

For petes sake there were reports of him having to wrsr runners all rge time and having to raje his shoes ot at a wedding to look after his feet.

I didn't say he was not carrying an injury.  I said he did not have preseason surgery, he did not have an interrupted preseason and the preseason is not the cause of his poor form.  So I would like people to stop claiming so.

I saw poor form for 15 weeks.  An injury?  Maybe, maybe not.  There could be any number of reasons:  poor coaching, poor fitness, taking the #1 defender, poor delivery, poor injury management etc

If he did have an injury, surely he should not be played continuously for 2 JLT and 15 weeks without resting!   If that is the case it is very poor player management and it invites the inevitable - a more significant injury which is what happened:  given he had patella soreness before the AFLX and played 17 games without resting is it any surprise he tore his mensicus? 

People need to look a bit more deeply before putting all our woes down to the 'preseason'.

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52 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

I don't know how many times I need to write this but Tom McDonald did not have preseason surgery and is not on injury reports.  If he had an 'interrupted preseason' I would like someone to present the info.  If people are thinking his double ankle surgery, it was the previous year ie prior to his sensational 2018 season. 

Yes, he was withdrawn from this year's AFLX apparently with patella soreness and there are mixed reports whether he simply had a cortisone injection or a minor procedure to clean it up.  Either way he played in both JLT games a week or so later, kicking 2 and 1 goal respecively.  So he had a full preseason.  His poor form is not related to the preseason issues.  And his poor form is one of the major reasons we are where we are. 

On a more general note, we know about our preseason and depth woes but surely no one still thinks that is the reason we have fallen from 4th to 17th.  If it was the club would not have beefed up the development resources nor made the line coaching changes.  

Preseason surgery has become the escape clause and people say things like "Put it all together and you get what we have now".  We have been crap for a variety of reasons and to not acknowledge those other reasons is simply head in sand stuff.  Thankfully, the club recognises those other reasons and will fix them.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/coupler.foxsports.com.au/api/v1/article/amp/afl/afl-2019-melbourne-board-preseason-reportedly-warned-about-injury-toll-and-possible-sluggish-start/news-story/ac5c04b3f5fc1f0bbab2e3fd40b471bf

The numbers amplified the array of players that endured interrupted off-seasons due to off-season surgeries. Some of those included Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca, James Harms, Jake Melksham, Neville Jetta, Aaron vandenBerg and Mitch Hannan.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, dazzledavey36 said:

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/coupler.foxsports.com.au/api/v1/article/amp/afl/afl-2019-melbourne-board-preseason-reportedly-warned-about-injury-toll-and-possible-sluggish-start/news-story/ac5c04b3f5fc1f0bbab2e3fd40b471bf

The numbers amplified the array of players that endured interrupted off-seasons due to off-season surgeries. Some of those included Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca, James Harms, Jake Melksham, Neville Jetta, Aaron vandenBerg and Mitch Hannan.

Thank you. 

It says Tom but I'm pretty sure they mean Oscar who had hip surgery but is not mentioned in that article.  Tom does not appear on the more reliable club or AFL list of surgeries or injury reports whereas Oscar appeared regularly. 

Edited by Lucifer's Hero

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13 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

I didn't say he was not carrying an injury.  I said he did not have preseason surgery, he did not have an interrupted preseason and the preseason is not the cause of his poor form.  So I would like people to stop claiming so.

I saw poor form for 15 weeks.  An injury?  Maybe, maybe not.  There could be any number of reasons:  poor coaching, poor fitness, taking the #1 defender, poor delivery, poor injury management etc

If he did have an injury, surely he should not be played continuously for 2 JLT and 15 weeks without resting!   If that is the case it is very poor player management and it invites the inevitable - a more significant injury which is what happened:  given he had patella soreness before the AFLX and played 17 games without resting is it any surprise he tore his mensicus? 

People need to look a bit more deeply before putting all our woes down to the 'preseason'.

The situation with TMac has bothered me all year. Throughout the season many posters, myself included, alluded to his fitness or lack thereof. I remember being at a game earlier in the season when he could barely make 40 metres from a set shot. It was clear to all that something was seriously amiss.

Yet they continued playing him. 

What I would like to know is why? Why continue risking him? What was to be gained? It was another of those baffling decisions we supporters have seen far too often this season.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Bitter but optimistic said:

The situation with TMac has bothered me all year. Throughout the season many posters, myself included, alluded to his fitness or lack thereof. I remember being at a game earlier in the season when he could barely make 40 metres from a set shot. It was clear to all that something was seriously amiss.

Yet they continued playing him. 

What I would like to know is why? Why continue risking him? What was to be gained? It was another of those baffling decisions we supporters have seen far too often this season.

Agree Bbo, for most of the year he couldn't jump, run or kick and we could all see that something was amiss.  My earlier posts were to try and dispel some of the myths around Tom and our preseason woes.

So I put his poor form down to some non-injury issues and poor player management as much as injury.

Who knows why we kept playing him.  Desperation?   I don't see his latest knee injury as bad luck.  And now he is out for the season.

Edited by Lucifer's Hero
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Make no mistake  @Lucifer's Hero weareat the desperate  stage. Way past wallpapering  over cracks...

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23 minutes ago, dazzledavey36 said:

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/coupler.foxsports.com.au/api/v1/article/amp/afl/afl-2019-melbourne-board-preseason-reportedly-warned-about-injury-toll-and-possible-sluggish-start/news-story/ac5c04b3f5fc1f0bbab2e3fd40b471bf

The numbers amplified the array of players that endured interrupted off-seasons due to off-season surgeries. Some of those included Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca, James Harms, Jake Melksham, Neville Jetta, Aaron vandenBerg and Mitch Hannan.

Even if it means omac that means at least 9 of the pl a years who played in our prelim had interrupted pre seasons. And I actually think it was close to 15.

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, binman said:

Even if it means omac that means at least 9 of the pl a years who played in our prelim had interrupted pre seasons. And I actually think it was close to 15.

Binman, I have never down played the role of preseason surgeries and injuries.  I am simply trying to keep claims about particular players ie Tom, factual. 

Some people here go on about the preseason and neglect to mention other problems or if they do it is lip service.  Its never as simple as one issue.  So, I'm simply trying to remind people that we have other and perhaps deeper issues.  Otherwise why would the club beef up development resources and change the forward coaches mid year? 

Edited by Lucifer's Hero
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

Preseason surgery has become the escape clause and people say things like "Put it all together and you get what we have now".  We have been crap for a variety of reasons and to not acknowledge those other reasons is simply head in sand stuff.  Thankfully, the club recognises those other reasons and will fix them.

'Should' fix (the reasons for the poor output) not necessarily 'will' fix them LH.

If we were a ruthless club I'd have a lot more faith & trust but we often fall short of how we go about it. 

Well run clubs never throw out the excuses in advance but we do it.  Before the start of the season we were hearing about the pre-season and off-season surgeries whilst previously we heard that it would take 2 or 3 years to get the players fit (2012)

Prior to that it was the 'development' reasoning during the Bailey years.  "Take the losses now but we'll be a good team down the track.  We're rebuilding through the draft alone." (another flawed concept)

It's just excuses in advance and in big sports around the world,  those sorts of comments are largely unheard of.  But our sport isn't even semi professional by comparison thus the naive and amateurish comments from certain clubs.

They should just get on with it and get the job done but the club has a history of yapping on too much about what our (the members & supporters) expectations should be. 

Roos made mention of the player managers upon arriving at the club which read to me as the players ruling the roost.  But if the players are ruling the roost it means our Board,  Admin & FD are weak.  An across-the-board club issue rather than one particular aspect.

In essence,  scapegoating or finger pointing is not the answer.  It never is. 

e.g.  ... we sacked Neeld but then Roos sacked 30 players (over 3 off-seasons) At the same time we changed our board and Jackson embarked on a clean-out within the club (FD & Admin included)

But many just wanted to get rid of Neeld as if it was just him being the problem.  The same sort of thing is happening (to a lesser degree) with Goodwin but whilst Goodwin himself might be an issue,  it's much more than that.  It has to be.

Edited by Macca
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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Macca said:

'Should' fix (the reasons for the poor output) not necessarily 'will' fix them LH.

If we were a ruthless club I'd have a lot more faith & trust but we often fall short of how we go about it. 

Well run clubs never throw out the excuses in advance but we do it.  Before the start of the season we were hearing about the pre-season and off-season surgeries whilst previously we heard that it would take 2 or 3 years to get the players fit (2012)

Prior to that it was the 'development' nonsense during the Bailey years.  "Take the losses now but we'll be a good team down the track.  We're rebuilding through the draft alone." (another flawed concept)

It's just excuses in advance and in big sports around the world,  those sorts of comments are largely unheard of.  But our sport isn't even semi professional by comparison thus the naive and amateurish comments from certain clubs.

They should just get on with it and get the job done but the club has a history of yapping on too much about what our (the members & supporters) expectations should be. 

Roos made mention of the player managers upon arriving at the club which read to me as the players ruling the roost.  But if the players are ruling the roost it means our Board,  Admin & FD are weak.  An across-the-board club issue rather than one particular aspect.

In essence,  scapegoating or finger pointing is not the answer.  It never is. 

e.g.  ... we sacked Neeld but then Roos sacked 30 players (over 3 off-seasons)

Agree: 'should fix' - I am clinging to some hope that Pert will shake the place up.  No one else will.

Re the preseason 'excuse'.  I have been saying for a while the club should just shut up about the preseason stuff but Bartlett, Mahoney and Goodwin are still talking about it either directly or indirectly.  While the preseason was an issue, I see their constant reference to it as diversionary tactics to stop the media from digging deeper and keep the blowtorch at bay.  eg When the media tried probing the success of mid-year coaching changes, at Goodwin's most recent press conf he said something like 'that is internal business and we are a happy camp'.  One can draw their own conclusions.

I could go on about players ruling the roost but it will probably meltdown this thread, so shall refrain.

A quiz: what is the common factor during the Bailey, Neeld, Roos and Goodwin reigns.  Anyone can answer.

Edited by Lucifer's Hero
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

Agree: 'should fix' - I am clinging to some hope that Pert will shake the place up.  No one else will.

Re the preseason 'excuse'.  I have been saying for a while the club should just shut up about the preseason stuff but Bartlett, Mahoney and Goodwin are still talking about it either directly or indirectly.  While the preseason was an issue, I see there constant reference to it as diversionary tactics to stop the media from digging deeper and keep the blowtorch at bay.  eg When the media tried probing the success of mid-year coaching changes, at Goodwin's most recent press conf he said something like 'that is internal business and we are a happy camp.  One can draw their own conclusions.

I could go on about players ruling the roost but it will probably meltdown this thread, so shall refrain.

A quiz: what is the common factor during the Bailey, Neeld, Roos and Goodwin reigns.

We were/are a [censored] team.

Edited by Bitter but optimistic
tense issue
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

Should fix.  I am clinging to some hope that Pert will shake the place up.

I have been harping on for a while that the club should just shut up about the preseason stuff but Bartlett, Mahoney and Goodwin a still talking about it either directly or indirectly.  I see it as diversionary tactics to stop the media from digging deeper.  When the media tried probing the success of mid-year coaching changes at Goodwin's most recent press conf he said something like 'that is internal business and it is a happy camp.  One can draw their own conclusions.

A quiz: what is the common factor during the Bailey, Neeld, Roos and Goodwin reigns.

With regards to Pert shaking the place up I'm not sure he can just wave a magic wand LH.

We have a number of FD issues and quite frankly,  our list is way short of being in any sort of premiership window.  We need an injection of real experience with our assistants.  Especially in the designated areas. 

A lot can change from one year to the next but we're now being exposed big time for our lack of skill,  pace,  marking strength up forward and our general goal-kicking ability and game plan. 

Amongst other on field issues including our terrible conversion rates in terms of scoring.  The collective strength of our players being able to use their non-preferred side is deplorable.

The other clubs have now done their homework on us where as previously we were just easy-beats.  Hunters for a season or 2 and now we're being hunted.

That's what happens in big time sport and there are footy clubs out there who do act professionally as if it is a big time world sport. 

Edited by Macca
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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Macca said:

With regards to Pert shaking the place up I'm not sure can just wave a magic wand LH.

We have a lot of FD issues and quite frankly,  our list is way short of being in any sort of premiership window.  We need an injection of real experience with our assistants.  Especially in the designated areas. 

A lot can change from one year to the next but we're now being exposed big time for our lack of skill,  pace,  marking strength up forward and our general goal-kicking ability and game plan. 

Amongst other on field issues including our terrible conversion rates in terms of scoring.  The collective strength of our players being able to use their non-preferred side is deplorable.

The other clubs have now done their homework on us where as previously we were just easy-beats.  Hunters for a season or 2 and now we're being hunted.

That's what happens in big time sport and there are footy clubs out there who do act professionally as if it is big time world sport. 

Don't disagree with any of that.

Answer to the Quiz re Common Factors from Bailey to Goodwin eras: 

1. Mahoney (with mfc in 2008). 

2. Viney (with mfc in 2010). 

Their roles have changed but both have been and are in critical positions to decide list management and coaching selections.  Their methods and attitudes are entrenched and in many respects moulded our culture of the last decade. 

They have built a team in their image on and off the field:  our team is see ball and get ball types without much finesse, speed or skill.  That has become exaggerated since Roos left as Goodwin's game plan requires more of the see ball get ball type.  The coaching panel is full of people they (or Goodwin) were friends with. 

A decade is long enough. 

I have long stated it is time to shake up our football department not just the coaching panel.  My experience is people (in any type of organisation) cannot or will not revamp what they have created.  eg There is little doubt in my mind the mid-season coaching changes would not have happened if Pert and Bartlett didn't make it their business to go in and find out what was wrong.

So, I am firmly of the view that our club will not really move forward until one or both are no longer at mfc.  That is why my last hope is Pert.  Agree Pert can't wave a magic wand and it will take him several years to revamp the football department.  But I feel he is our only chance to avoid another decade without regularly going deep into September.

Edited by Lucifer's Hero
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@Lucifer's Hero

Well done....seriously. ..you get it. 

Going to my old walking stick called "by design"  you've  just nailed the two principal  designers.  There's  a couple of other accomplices but youve nailed the ringleaders.

Many here will simply not believe you.

 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

Don't disagree with any of that.

Answer to the Quiz re Common Factors from Bailey to Goodwin eras: 

1. Mahoney (with mfc in 2008). 

2. Viney (with mfc in 2010). 

Their roles have changed but both have been and are in critical positions to decide list management and coaching selections.  Their methods and attitudes are entrenched and in many respects moulded our culture of the last decade.  They have built a team in their image on and off the field:  our team is see ball and get ball types without much finesse, speed or skill.  That has become exaggerated since Roos left as Goodwin's game plan requires more of the see ball get ball type.  The coaching panel is full of people they (or Goodwin) were friends with. 

A decade is long enough.

I have long stated it is time to shake up our football department not just the coaching panel.  My experience is people (in any type of organisation) cannot or will not revamp what they have created.

So, I am firmly of the view that our club will not move forward until one or both are no longer at mfc.  That is why my last hope is Pert.  Agree Pert can't wave a magic wand and it will take him several years to revamp the football department.  But I feel he is our only chance to avoid another decade without regularly going deep into September.

Whilst I won't pinpoint it all down to Mahoney & Viney,  it's not as though they are as valuable as Roos & Jackson so making the appropriate changes in order to try and get better is often necessary. 

It's nothing personal in the way I look at it whilst others play personalities.  It's strictly business unless that person in the sights has been of excellent value.  And that's why you have to be careful with regards to building great culture.  It's not a matter of just sacking everyone.

For instance,  a club like Hawthorn can ship out their former greats and get away with it but when we've done the same thing it has hurt us.  So it's horses for courses. 

And if it were Bailey or Neeld shipping out Frawley,  Howe and others then the aftermath works differently if (as it was) when it is Paul Roos making those decisions.  And the much loved PJ kept Mahoney & Viney on.  Roos rubber-stamped that decision by default.

But I believe in making changes to try and get better.  In World sports that practise of making changes is exercised as a matter of course.  It's all about winning 'right now' elsewhere.

Edited by Macca

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Macca said:

Whilst I won't pinpoint it all down to Mahoney & Viney,  it's not as though they are as valuable as Roos & Jackson so making the appropriate changes in order to try and get better is often necessary. 

It's nothing personal in the way I look at it whilst others play personalities.  It's strictly business unless that person in the sights has been of excellent value.  And that's why you have to be careful with regards to building great culture.  It's not a matter of just sacking everyone.

For instance,  a club like Hawthorn can ship out their former greats and get away with it but when we've done the same thing it has hurt us.  So it's horses for courses. 

And if it were Bailey or Neeld shipping out Frawley,  Howe and others then the aftermath works differently if (as it was) when it is Paul Roos making those decisions.  And the much loved PJ kept Mahoney & Viney on.  Roos rubber-stamped that decision by default.

But I believe in making changes to try and get better.  In World sports that practise of making changes is exercised as a matter of course.  It's all about winning 'right now' elsewhere.

Apologies if it came across as it being personal with Mahoney and Viney.  Not intended and have tried to use publicly available information.  Just think a decade is long enough of presiding over a relatively unsuccessful team. 

Moving out players is a bit different to changing football admin staff.  And, Goodwin moved out Watts and Hogan and we survived the aftermath. 

But definitely agree change needs to be handled very carefully which is why I think any changes in the broader football department will take several years for Pert to implement. 

Edited by Lucifer's Hero

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4 minutes ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

Apologies if it came across as it being personal with Mahoney and Viney.  Not intended and have tried to use publicly available information.  Just think a decade is long enough. 

Moving out players is a bit different to changing football admin staff.  And, Goodwin moved out Watts and Hogan and we survived the aftermath. 

But definitely agree change needs to be handled very carefully which is why I think any changes in the broader football department will take several years for Pert to implement. 

The support for Goodwin diminished somewhat  after he got rid of Watts.  It wasn't pronounced but a number of people here aren't as all-in with him after he made that decision. 

With Hogan it was different ... Jesse wanted to go and we let him go.  And given all the circumstances,  we made the right move. 

The issue I've got is that we haven't replaced both players with upgrades.  In fact,  we were all-in with T-Mac & Weideman and it hasn't worked.

Are people here happy to go with those 2 next season after what we've seen this season?  A big risk if so.

I see our forward line as our biggest issue and I was calling for the club to recruit at least 1 key forward as soon as it was obvious that Jesse was going.  Not late to the party here.

 

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Posted (edited)

@Macca

it was Macca that instigated Watts going.

(Not you...that other one lol )

Edited by beelzebub

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1 minute ago, beelzebub said:

@Macca

it was Macca that instigated Watts going.

(Not you...that other one lol )

Goodwin makes the ultimate decision though.  So it's on the coach. 

But I never had a problem with shipping Watts out even though I could see his value if we kept him. 

It wasn't a black and white issue and as much as Watts was great with ball in hand,  he was average to poor in a lot of other areas. 

Garlett is in the same boat and it will interesting to see if Jeff is kept on the list. 

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13 hours ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

I didn't say he was not carrying an injury.  I said he did not have preseason surgery, he did not have an interrupted preseason and the preseason is not the cause of his poor form.  So I would like people to stop claiming so.

I saw poor form for 15 weeks.  An injury?  Maybe, maybe not.  There could be any number of reasons:  poor coaching, poor fitness, taking the #1 defender, poor delivery, poor injury management etc

If he did have an injury, surely he should not be played continuously for 2 JLT and 15 weeks without resting!   If that is the case it is very poor player management and it invites the inevitable - a more significant injury which is what happened:  given he had patella soreness before the AFLX and played 17 games without resting is it any surprise he tore his mensicus? 

People need to look a bit more deeply before putting all our woes down to the 'preseason'.

 

7 hours ago, Macca said:

The support for Goodwin diminished somewhat  after he got rid of Watts.  It wasn't pronounced but a number of people here aren't as all-in with him after he made that decision. 

With Hogan it was different ... Jesse wanted to go and we let him go.  And given all the circumstances,  we made the right move. 

The issue I've got is that we haven't replaced both players with upgrades.  In fact,  we were all-in with T-Mac & Weideman and it hasn't worked.

Are people here happy to go with those 2 next season after what we've seen this season?  A big risk if so.

I see our forward line as our biggest issue and I was calling for the club to recruit at least 1 key forward as soon as it was obvious that Jesse was going.  Not late to the party here.

 

T Mac’s dramatic unexplained and unexpected  drop in form has been a huge factor in our fall from grace.   (I do accept and realize that one man does not make a team but his absence has been enormous).

Hopefully, whatever it was, has passed and the presumably unrelated meniscal tear will recover quickly and he can get a full and uninterrupted pre season and a full and productive 2020.

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8 minutes ago, monoccular said:

T Mac’s dramatic unexplained and unexpected  drop in form has been a huge factor in our fall from grace.   (I do accept and realize that one man does not make a team but his absence has been enormous).

Hopefully, whatever it was, has passed and the presumably unrelated meniscal tear will recover quickly and he can get a full and uninterrupted pre season and a full and productive 2020.

The bigger issue is our depth of key forwards

There is none that I can see and the ones that we've got aren't exactly A grade. 

Yet we have any number of NQR inbetweeners on the list ... year after year after year.  A list management re-think needs to occur.

Take rucking for instance ... we used to have an excess of back-up and now we're getting the total number of ruckmen on the list right (as the game has changed) The mid season draft covers the need for an extra ruckman.

Key forwards aren't as effective as they once were due to how the sport is played but you've still got to have good ones otherwise a forward line can be rendered ineffective.  Backmen make mistakes when they're under seige or if they are confronted with goal kicking forwards.

And September footy often sees the key forwards stand out more.

Since '64 we've played finals about 13 times and nearly every time those finals years were on the back of good functional forward lines.  Conversely,  we've struggled nearly every other time because our forward lines were ineffective.

 

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11 minutes ago, Macca said:

 

Since '64 we've played finals about 13 times and nearly every time those finals years were on the back of good functional forward lines.  Conversely,  we've struggled nearly every other time because our forward lines were ineffective.

 

Key stat. And people brush finishing 17th as just a "bump in the road". Trends. 

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14 hours ago, binman said:

Fair dinkum LH if you could not see with your own eyes he was carrying an injury up until the last couple of games before his season ending injury I don't know what to say.

It has been plain as day. 

For petes sake there were reports of him having to wrsr runners all rge time and having to raje his shoes ot at a wedding to look after his feet.

 

Someone needs a hug..... that's some serious rage-typing Bin

:p

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9 hours ago, praha said:

Key stat. And people brush finishing 17th as just a "bump in the road". Trends. 

We were the highest scoring side last year and that was the case even in the games Hogan didn't play (i.e. with the same forward line as we have this year).

Four previous seasons of W-L improvement is a more relevant "trend".

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