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Game plans, tactics and all that jazz



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6 hours ago, binman said:

 

  • But maybe the mots important element in building on field team chemistry is time playing together 

The late Dean Bailey used to say that a group needed to play about 70 games TOGETHER to bond with trust, understanding and cohesion. We are getting there with the core group of Tracca, Clarrie, Gus, Salem, Maxie, Harmes and others.

Add to the mix Kozzie, Jacko, Rivers, Langdon togerther with the experience and stability of Lever and May and we have the makings. I had always predicted 2020 as the year when it all came together but in the midst of this madness it is hard to be confident.

Watching the game from high up behind the goals is the best way to gain an appreciation of movement, tactics and plans. It is still my favourite view but these days I am MCC and don't get behind the goals but still sit top deck. Coaches needn't sit up top so long as they have watchers who do and can relay relevant information (I think NFL do this).

Go dees. It has been easier to watch the past 2 weeks. Long may it continue.

 

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Some interesting discussion about stoppages, which has been a theme since we were dominant here in 2018. A few interesting things from the weekend: This is a typical stoppage from the weekend.

Thanks for starting a stand alone thread @binman, I really enjoy this type of analysis. For a bit of context in how I view games, and my lens is slightly different from most I suspect, I'm a psyc

A nice analysis on what we’ve changed up in our structure and how it’s helped us get to 6 and 0: https://theshinboner.com/2021/04/29/melbourne-rising-whats-behind-the-demons-unbeaten-start-to-202

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Lots of talk about who we move out of our team come the end of the year, this popping up today on SEN from our old assistant coach
https://www.sen.com.au/news/2020/08/10/hed-certainly-be-an-asset-at-any-team-melbournes-midfield-dilemma/

I don't understand the conundrum, Gerard Whateley (who I think is a right [censored]) said that Viney and Brayshaw are the same player, clearly has not watched us very closely, this is not a Brayshaw vs Viney issue.

To me its clear, it's a Oliver and Viney issue.

Now I would never want to trade either of these two, Viney is the one player who I think bleeds the most for the football club and Clarry is a freak who comes around not too often. I've been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks and I hope the concussion to Viney has shown Goodwin that this is the case.

Both Viney and Clarry are see ball, get ball players they hunt it and often to the detriment of each other, how many times have we seen Melbourne players clash into eachother and the opposition get it to the outside?

The Hunter (Viney or Oliver) The Explosion (Petracca) and a Smooth Mover (Brayshaw or ?)

My solution is simple, Viney to become a burst midfielder, and Forwardline stoppage expert. We all know how damaging he can be around the ball and has shown not just recently he can take a decent ping at the goals, he will negate a dangerous backman and has strong hands overhead for a "little guy". 

Pop him in the middle when we need a statement or in finals, put a bit of fear in the opposition and give Clarry a rest down forward or on the bench.

There's my two cents, I made a whole new account to do it haha.

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5 hours ago, binman said:

Ahh, i knew there was someone i missed in my list of posters who have made some insightful posts about tactics of late deanox.

Is the GPS on the AFL app displayed as the heat maps? I haven't really looked at them in any detail.

How do you use the heat maps (assuming that is what you are reffering to)?

 And is there other in game data, apps etc you look at?

When you watch the game live on the AFL App you can watch it either as the tv video or as a top down plan of the ground with the little player numbers moving around (their GPS locations). It's a few seconds delay from live but if you delay your Kayo stream you can see the full ground at all times.The ball is shown as well, probably hand drawn in thus the delay. 

I use it a lot late last year, and some may recall posts I made about Tomlinson playing the defensive wing position which you don't see on tv.

It's really frustrating that they don't publish the data or the heat maps after the game. 

 

 

Honestly, I think most of the published AFL stats are rubbish,  or at the least they don't infer what the media claims they do. Contested possessions (picking up a loose back under no pressure or running a physical contest in the backline) and DE% (hit a player on the chest or bomb it long to disadvantage in a 4 v 4 pack) are the classic ones. For example, to gauge pressure I'd be interested to see effective corrals and total tackles, not just tackles that cause possession spills.

I've been looking for a good stats and tactics analysis website for a while but am struggling to find much. I've recently read posts here but I struggle to find much more detailed. 

https://www.statsinsider.com.au/afl/stats-that-matter-the-tactical-evolution-of-afl

 

I'm particularly interested in positioning and zone movement vs ball movement because I think that's key in 2020.  The post above by @Axis of Bob lays out the few available strategies so simply, everything after that is tactical execution but it just never gets described that way. 

At the ground I usually sit level 2 behind the goals, so @binman your post resonated with me.  The last few years we have been more exciting to watch than most teams because of Goodwins experimental set ups and positioning (diamond defence anyone) and I was very frustrated when 666 came in and stiffled that innovation. 

Edited by deanox
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4 hours ago, DemonSam said:

Lots of talk about who we move out of our team come the end of the year, this popping up today on SEN from our old assistant coach
https://www.sen.com.au/news/2020/08/10/hed-certainly-be-an-asset-at-any-team-melbournes-midfield-dilemma/

I don't understand the conundrum, Gerard Whateley (who I think is a right [censored]) said that Viney and Brayshaw are the same player, clearly has not watched us very closely, this is not a Brayshaw vs Viney issue.

To me its clear, it's a Oliver and Viney issue.

Now I would never want to trade either of these two, Viney is the one player who I think bleeds the most for the football club and Clarry is a freak who comes around not too often. I've been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks and I hope the concussion to Viney has shown Goodwin that this is the case.

Both Viney and Clarry are see ball, get ball players they hunt it and often to the detriment of each other, how many times have we seen Melbourne players clash into eachother and the opposition get it to the outside?

The Hunter (Viney or Oliver) The Explosion (Petracca) and a Smooth Mover (Brayshaw or ?)

My solution is simple, Viney to become a burst midfielder, and Forwardline stoppage expert. We all know how damaging he can be around the ball and has shown not just recently he can take a decent ping at the goals, he will negate a dangerous backman and has strong hands overhead for a "little guy". 

Pop him in the middle when we need a statement or in finals, put a bit of fear in the opposition and give Clarry a rest down forward or on the bench.

There's my two cents, I made a whole new account to do it haha.

I think Oliver improving his drive out of contests will help this because he has the ability to become a power player not just a ball winner.

https://www.facebook.com/AFL/videos/2824933957729828/

Also that clip is all about Petracca, but I'd like to highlight Olivers understanding of where the kanga were in space around him.  By changing direction he put an effective sheppard on both Dummont (14) and Hall (43) and gave Petracca the clear run into space. It's subtle but it's the reason the got the ball out like that. 

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17 minutes ago, deanox said:

When you watch the game live on the AFL App you can watch it either as the tv video or as a top down plan of the ground with the little player numbers moving around (their GPS locations). It's a few seconds delay from live but if you delay your Kayo stream you can see the full ground at all times.The ball is shown as well, probably hand drawn in thus the delay. 

I use it a lot late last year, and some may recall posts I made about Tomlinson playing the defensive wing position which you don't see on tv.

It's really frustrating that they don't publish the data or the heat maps after the game. 

 

 

Honestly, I think most of the published AFL stats are rubbish,  or at the least they don't infer what the media claims they do. Contested possessions (picking up a loose back under no pressure or running a physical contest in the backline) and DE% (hit a player on the chest or bomb it long to disadvantage in a 4 v 4 pack) are the classic ones. For example, to gauge pressure I'd be interested to see effective corrals and total tackles, not just tackles that cause possession spills.

I've been looking for a good stats and tactics analysis website for a while but am struggling to find much. I've recently read posts here but I struggle to find much more detailed. 

https://www.statsinsider.com.au/afl/stats-that-matter-the-tactical-evolution-of-afl

 

I'm particularly interested in positioning and zone movement vs ball movement because I think that's key in 2020.  The post above by @Axis of Bob lays out the few available strategies so simply, everything after that is tactical execution but it just never gets described that way. 

At the ground I usually sit level 2 behind the goals, so @binman your post resonated with me.  The last few years we have been more exciting to watch than most teams because of Goodwins experimental set ups and positioning (diamond defence anyone) and I was very frustrated when 666 came in and stiffled that innovation. 

Thanks, i will watch that on a tablet when i watch the game on Sat. I will find that super helpful, particularly at stoppages. I assume it helps to visualise how their zones are set?

 It drives me spare that on the tv coverage they don't show a graphic at say centre ball ups after a goal and after a point showing where all the players are on the ground  or even match ups. It would be so easy.

As would a box in the corner when teams are exiting the back half with a shot from behind the goals so you could see what options there are down the ground.

As an example in the lions game after the goal umpires called for that stupid goal review the commentators said  Jones was free on the wing. Why not show it? 

On the 666 rule Goodwin made the point a number of times befire and during the 2919 season he had stopped using the player off the back of the square about half way though 2018 so he didn't think 666 was a factor. It was at this time, probably not coincedeetally that our zone become much less aggressive in terms of how high we push up.

I actually dont think the 666 rule has made much difference to footy, and not really to us either. Our issues last year were about personnel. 

I didn't expect it would but one surprised the ability to run out of the square after a point would see some innovation. But i guess the risk reward ratio works against taking risks kicking out of the backline.

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Evidence as to why Goodwins philosophy hinges on the contested ball/clearences is found in this article, but perhaps not in the way you would think. I'm assuming all FD's across the league are abreast of this info... I need to think about it, to see how it feeds into what it looks like we are trying to do.

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8 hours ago, binman said:

Thanks, i will watch that on a tablet when i watch the game on Sat. I will find that super helpful, particularly at stoppages. I assume it helps to visualise how their zones are set?

 It drives me spare that on the tv coverage they don't show a graphic at say centre ball ups after a goal and after a point showing where all the players are on the ground  or even match ups. It would be so easy.

As would a box in the corner when teams are exiting the back half with a shot from behind the goals so you could see what options there are down the ground.

As an example in the lions game after the goal umpires called for that stupid goal review the commentators said  Jones was free on the wing. Why not show it? 

On the 666 rule Goodwin made the point a number of times befire and during the 2919 season he had stopped using the player off the back of the square about half way though 2018 so he didn't think 666 was a factor. It was at this time, probably not coincedeetally that our zone become much less aggressive in terms of how high we push up.

I actually dont think the 666 rule has made much difference to footy, and not really to us either. Our issues last year were about personnel. 

I didn't expect it would but one surprised the ability to run out of the square after a point would see some innovation. But i guess the risk reward ratio works against taking risks kicking out of the backline.

I think the 666 rule stiffled innovation that was only just beginning. It may not have affected us (according to public comments by the coach) but it took away one of the few things the coach can control on game day - positions - limiting opportunities to implement tactics based on positions. 

 

 

RE the GPS positioning: I think it helps with match ups and a bit with zones. It is good to as ego is where, who is in space, how the switches are working in real time and what is unfolding forward of the ball. Give it a try! I'm not satisfied its perfect and it does go haywire occasionally but it's much better than just the tv. 

 

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Good point about the 666 change in terms of stifling innovation, at least immediately after a goal is scored

And who knows with goody. I mean he made those comments in the context of not allowing the change to be used as an excuse.

I think why 666 has not had much impact is that it only really comes into play at centre bounces. After that things go back to how they were, with teams putting play ers behind the ball etc.

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The 666 is only a minor tweak that happens for a very short time, but I do think it has an impact.

1) With numbers behind the ball a hack kick forward from a rushed centre clearance is barely worth anything because it will be cleaned up by the extra numbers. We do see quite a few goals from the centre bounce, which is good.

2) It makes it a bit like an onside kick in NFL when the game is reasonably close late in the game. There is an increased ability to score, so there's always the faint hope that you could kick 3 quick goals in the last 3 minutes to win the game, even if you've only kicked 4 goals for the game in total.'

It makes the game a bit more chaotic. It's probably the most exciting part of the game now.

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1 hour ago, Axis of Bob said:

The 666 is only a minor tweak that happens for a very short time, but I do think it has an impact.

1) With numbers behind the ball a hack kick forward from a rushed centre clearance is barely worth anything because it will be cleaned up by the extra numbers. We do see quite a few goals from the centre bounce, which is good.

2) It makes it a bit like an onside kick in NFL when the game is reasonably close late in the game. There is an increased ability to score, so there's always the faint hope that you could kick 3 quick goals in the last 3 minutes to win the game, even if you've only kicked 4 goals for the game in total.'

It makes the game a bit more chaotic. It's probably the most exciting part of the game now.

I'll cop that. In dying seconds it is definitley game on despite being 2 out 3 kicks behind. 

But I do miss the tactical battle of position in the early quarters. 

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As per what I wrote in the EPL thread, here we go, @binman.

We don't press as highly in the forward 50 as the Liverpool style, but that's because they're different games - Liverpool would press right up to the box. We tend to zone across half forward and then press hard between half forward and the wing if the opposition tries to run and carry the ball out of our offensive zone. Usually teams are out if they get through that forward press, but this year we've tweaked our zone, so we play a double wall in effect. One zone across half forward and then another zone set 20m or so back from that. It's that second zone that provides the press between wing and half forward.

One of the interesting things is that teams seem to try to play quite narrow in order to get through our first forward  zone at their half back. There is usually enough width to our zone to enable one or two defenders to get back and cover if both zones are pierced, and then the likes of Langdon get back to sweep as well.

They also talk about getting delay on the footy. Melksham mentioned this in the post game interview on the website. This is obviously so that it gives our zone time to set itself and cover any opposition transition. In this respect, the AFL is quite different from soccer, in that there's a lot more space that a zone needs to cover, so holding up the opposition is akin to taking a yellow card and bringing a runner down when a side is on the counter in soccer. Our version of getting delay on the footy is tackling, corralling and zoning.

There is a similarity between the way Guardiola plays and the way we are best served. Guardiola's teams pass the ball around midfield and the wings in a similar way to Klopp's team, but Guardiola's try to use pace to get in behind the defence once the zone is spread thin, whereas Klopp's innovation has seen an evolution of that - the backs playing as wingers and ensuring the wingers can provide those crosses or an extra outlet to get overlap and pierce the defensive zone. Man City do it a bit too, but the system isn't second nature to them, because they've relied on pace to get in behind traditionally.

I think in comparison to the Guardiola and Klopp examples of attack above, we prefer the Guardiola version, IMO, where we move the ball quickly inside 50, via the corridor or around the wings (essentially getting in behind the opposition), but with devastating efficiency of disposal. So 3 or 4 40m kicks from half back result in our team walking in a goal or getting to a good position in front of goal.

Where we've struggled is when teams have denied us 'getting in behind' as it were and we've had to work our way forward slowly from centre wing onwards. This requires us to hit up those little leads and use the width of the ground where possible in order to either get it to an inside 50 target or take a shot from just outside 50. My sense is we'd prefer to hit someone up closer to goal and get a higher percentage shot than taking aim from outside 50. I think we need to have a mixture of both approaches. 

Here is the article from the EPL thread.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2020/jul/28/premier-league-2019-20-what-we-learned-tactically-klopp-liverpool-guardiola-manchester-city?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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Fantastic thread I think I've been waiting for something like this for a long time. Thank you everyone for the recommendations I've got plenty of articles to read a little later!

I have to agree with sitting up high at the MCG or any ground. I enjoy watching from pretty much anywhere, level 1, 2, wing, flank, behind goals but I love to head up to the top deck every now and then to see the game from a tactical view.

Really like the EPL comparisons because although the two sports are different the mentalities are very similar. I find the TIFO Football channel on Youtube really good for some short videos on how the game in England and the rest of Europe has changed over time. In addition to the brilliant Guardian article AF mentioned this is a great little video that also explains Liverpool's game style for the people interested https://youtu.be/WzcT3hu2BQg

 

 

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Some terrific discussion and also some top notch descriptions of the zone system fro AoB and A F.

I will try and work out how in the OP i can edit to include links to posts that explain things, such as the zones well, as i couldn't believe how hard it was to find  any decent information about this and other tactical information on the web.

The articles dee man linked to on ABC news are really terrific and i like how the y use giphs to demonstrate things, very helpful

As dee man notes there are some videos on Youtube from FootyA2Z. They are pretty basic really, (though they don't pretend to be otherwise but the only others i could find dated back to 2012! 

One of their clips explains the zone defensive system pretty well, once you get past the mogodon voice over!

A couple of question  for AoB, A F and deanox (and anyone else who has a view) about zones:

  • I heard a pundit say, not sure where or who but i presume on fox (though it could have been on radio) that an evolution of the zone this year has been that rather then set horizontally, as described in the video above, they are being set diagonally across the ground.
  • The idea being that doing so  provides less opportunities to switch and forces opposition teams to either kick down the ground or take on a higher risk switch or kick to the corridor. I saw vision of Port forcing Gawn to kick to a high risk spot rather than down the line after taking away the switch option (something they did to great effect all game against us)
  • I have heard a number of commentators talk about questioning why teams so often go down the line rather than crossing more often to the fat side and i suspect this is the reason. I
  • I'm pretty sure we employ this tactic, but have no real way of knowing (though deanox's ingenious use of the AFL app might help)
  •  
  • The first question i have is does that observation (diagonal zone) ring true?
  • And if so doe we employ it?
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52 minutes ago, binman said:

Some terrific discussion and also some top notch descriptions of the zone system fro AoB and A F.

I will try and work out how in the OP i can edit to include links to posts that explain things, such as the zones well, as i couldn't believe how hard it was to find  any decent information about this and other tactical information on the web.

The articles dee man linked to on ABC news are really terrific and i like how the y use giphs to demonstrate things, very helpful

As dee man notes there are some videos on Youtube from FootyA2Z. They are pretty basic really, (though they don't pretend to be otherwise but the only others i could find dated back to 2012! 

One of their clips explains the zone defensive system pretty well, once you get past the mogodon voice over!

A couple of question  for AoB, A F and deanox (and anyone else who has a view) about zones:

  • I heard a pundit say, not sure where or who but i presume on fox (though it could have been on radio) that an evolution of the zone this year has been that rather then set horizontally, as described in the video above, they are being set diagonally across the ground.
  • The idea being that doing so  provides less opportunities to switch and forces opposition teams to either kick down the ground or take on a higher risk switch or kick to the corridor. I saw vision of Port forcing Gawn to kick to a high risk spot rather than down the line after taking away the switch option (something they did to great effect all game against us)
  • I have heard a number of commentators talk about questioning why teams so often go down the line rather than crossing more often to the fat side and i suspect this is the reason. I
  • I'm pretty sure we employ this tactic, but have no real way of knowing (though deanox's ingenious use of the AFL app might help)
  •  
  • The first question i have is does that observation (diagonal zone) ring true?
  • And if so doe we employ it?

It's so hard to say from watching on TV, but I'd pretty confidently bet that teams are zoning in a way to try cut out 45-degree kicks.

It would align with what I'm seeing from us, with our players on the mark always wheeling around to the side to cut off the 45-degree kick and force the kicker to go down the line.

I also wonder whether the predominant grounds teams are playing on this year (Optus, Adelaide, Metricon, the Gabba) are conducive to this or not (e.g. do they have wider/narrower wings?). 

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25 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

It's so hard to say from watching on TV, but I'd pretty confidently bet that teams are zoning in a way to try cut out 45-degree kicks.

It would align with what I'm seeing from us, with our players on the mark always wheeling around to the side to cut off the 45-degree kick and force the kicker to go down the line.

I also wonder whether the predominant grounds teams are playing on this year (Optus, Adelaide, Metricon, the Gabba) are conducive to this or not (e.g. do they have wider/narrower wings?). 

The way they man the mark is really noticeable. I reckon that is more worth of a 50 than encroaching the protected zone.

Intetsing point about the smaller ground. Optus is mcg size but the others are way shorter, which on hand makes zones more difficult to penetrate wirh slow play (I assume) but ate easier to score on from centre bounces or stoppages as kicks go in deeper from the centre square.

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On 8/10/2020 at 3:57 PM, Axis of Bob said:

The real issue that makes a zone so effective in AFL is the speed of the ball through the air, and the man on the mark. 

You can cover space because the ball generally travels relatively slowly through the air as well as from decision to kick (ie, a step or two, drop the ball, then swing the leg .... it takes time) and defenders are able to use this time to cover territory. So you don't need as many people to cover the ground against the medium/long pass and instead you can use these extra numbers where you need them .... to cover the long kick down the line. 

The other big issue is the man on the mark. In order to clear the man on the mark, you need to kick the ball in the air, which means that you don't need someone in your zone covering that spot behind them, or you can force the player to kick away from a particular area. You can see this as the kicks will either be long down the line, backwards, or 90 degrees. The most attacking kick is actually the one 45 degrees inboard, which opens up the play on to clear the opposition zone or a long switch to the opposite side away from the zone.

The aim of a team, defensively, is to force the opposition to kick the ball down the line because that's where your extra players will be. It's also the most likely to cause a stoppage (and a 50/50 chance of winning the footy back). They key to defending is to take away time and space, create stoppages and force the opposition to kick to contests (especially outnumbered ones down the line). 

 

The aim of a team, offensively, is to get the ball past the zone where you have a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2, giving you an excellent chance of scoring, or getting the ball forward before the opposition has time to set up the zone.

You can do the former by going around the zone (switching the ball), going over the zone (by a short kick and then play on, or handball to a runner, and the long kick from there being able to clear the zone) or by going through the zone (either a running link of handballs or a big mark down the line and quick play on).

You can do the latter by winning clearances (especially centre clearances) when the numbers are relatively even at each end, or by forcing turnovers (which mean that the opposition can't set up their zone in time).

The keys to attacking are winning the clearances and, as EO says, taking positive risks. This means often attacking quickly even when the odds are against you ..... just less against you than they usually are. Examples are carrying the football further, giving a forward handball, a quick play on, taking on the corridor when the opportunity is there (eg. go to one on ones) etc. 

Very good insight Bob thanks

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Some overall commentary on the use of analysts in AFL and media.

http://figuringfooty.com/2016/08/17/4-things-stopping-analytics-from-providing-afl-club-success-part-1/

http://figuringfooty.com/2016/08/24/2-things-holding-back-quality-footy-writing-and-analysis/

 

The AFL have Little Incentive to Share Data

In order to do any sort of quantitative analysis, you first need rich, accurate data. When it comes to the AFL, rights to any match scores and statistics are exclusively held by Champion Data, a company owned 49% by the AFL itself.

Champion Data goes to great effort in hand collecting detailed data on each and every event that occurs in a match.2 They then make money by selling a watered down version of these data to clubs and the media who are obliged to buy it in order to remain competitive."

Edited by Engorged Onion
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This is an excellent thread. This type of discussion is why I prefer Jobe Watson and Jimmy Bartel doing special comments on TV. They talk team tactics. Others, such as Matthew Richardson and Cameron Ling tend to discuss individual player efforts which I find somewhat unnecessary. Wayne Carey does a bit of both but because he's been out of the game for nearly 20 years, his tactical knowledge isn't as current as Watson and Bartel. 

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4 hours ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

This is an excellent thread. This type of discussion is why I prefer Jobe Watson and Jimmy Bartel doing special comments on TV. They talk team tactics. Others, such as Matthew Richardson and Cameron Ling tend to discuss individual player efforts which I find somewhat unnecessary. Wayne Carey does a bit of both but because he's been out of the game for nearly 20 years, his tactical knowledge isn't as current as Watson and Bartel. 

Agreed and i would add Gazza, Johno Brown and Lewis in that mix as well.

Some good info and links from all contributors.

Thanks to Bin...Interesting to have a team focussed thread rather than usual player analysis focus much of the time👍

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As i said in the OP Engorged Onion posted about this article a couple of weeks back about the tactical evolution in the EPL, a post that got me thinking about creating this thread 

Engorged onion made the following comment about the article:

  • 'ive just read through this article and cannot help see some similarities as to what Goodwin is trying to do at the Dees... even if you’re not that interested in soccer, this is a great piece on how tactics fit into soccer more generally, and how certain elements fit into our game. Particularly the high press'

I totally agree with EOs suggestion it is very relevant for Goodwin's game plan, and in fact the game more broadly.

Johnathon Wilson, the author of the article, makes some observations that i think can be applied to Goodwin and Buckley and provide an interesting perspective on tomorrow's game from a tactical perspective.

The first is this comment

  • 'at the elite level, two attributes separate the very best managers from the rest: their capacity to manage the transition from attack to defence; and their ability to organise an attack, particularly against deep-lying opponents'

I think Goodwin has done a brilliant job mastering the transition from attack to defence. Wilson makes the point that at the heart of the Liverpool success under Klopp is their brilliance at defending, noting that 'after 31 games of the season, the week the title was confirmed, Manchester City had scored seven more goals than Liverpool; Liverpool had conceded 12 fewer goals'.

In a nutshell Liverpool defended better. And won the title because of it. 

Though, Importantly, Wilson also makes the point that Liverpool's success is also a result of their ability to score against much lower ranked teams that go into the match with the sole aim of stopping Liverpool scoring by flooding their defensive zone. 

Like the EPL, in the AFL a defence first philosophy is the dominant tactical model. Arguably it has been for at least 2 or 3 decades (remember the debates about Blights 'beautiful', yet ultimately unsuccessful, approach at the Cats). But i think the influence of soccer has become increasingly important in the AFL.  

Wilson credits Liverpool defensive prowess in part to the players at his disposal but mainly to his mastery of the so called 'Swabian school of pressing, of which he is the leading practitioner'.

If i understand it correctly a key point of difference of this model is that the press is less aggressive (ie not so high) as the model favored by say Guardiola at Man City (and may other managers no doubt)

Since mid 20181 i think Goodwin has moved to a model not dissimilar, at least in AFL terms, to the Swabian school of pressing. His press is certainly less aggressive than it was and he employs a keeper/sweeper role (call it what you will) deep as well. The result is since that time we are one of the hardest teams to score against the AFL.

Teams find it extremely hard to transition the ball from their back half (our attack) to their forward 50. And like Liverpool (and unlike Man City and the demons in the 2017 and the first half of 2018) we rarely concede a goal anymore when the ball gets behind the press.

I know the roos were struggling, but they were all at sea against us all game in terms of getting the ball forward. They simply couldn't at one point. Which is why even though we were only 10 points up with 4 mins to go of the third (right before Tracc kicked that brilliant goal) it felt like we were way on top and no chance of losing (at least to me).

This stat jumped off the page for me: we kicked 14 points and not once could the roos transition the ball from the kick out to inside their 50. Not once. By way of comparison we did so 3 of 5 times. I reckon that is simply remarkable. And a fantastic demonstration of the Goodwin zone in full effect.

I have no doubt that the Buckley has similar philosophy and as result they they too are extremely hard to score against.

So both Buckley and Goodwin have mastered the transition from attack to defence. The three phases of the game goody talks about.

The issue for both clubs is the coaches ability to organise an attack, particularly against deep-lying opponents.

However there is a big difference between Goody and Buckley. We get it inside 50, so transition pretty well from our back half.  But struggle to score once inside 50.

The pies defend well, but don't get inside 50 as often. And their scores reflect this. They are incredibly low scoring for a one time premiership favorite, this year and last.

And i know which problem i'd rather have. Much better to get in the scoring zone then not even get the chance to shoot at goal.

Which leads me to the second observation;

  • 'Klopp and Guardiola favour pre-practised moves that are drilled so they can be deployed when the circumstances are right, the semi-automation speeding up exchanges. José Mourinho considers football so random pre-arranged moves are pointless; he prefers to generate in his players a mindset that will enable them to make the right decision in whatever situation is thrown up by the game. To say one approach is right and one wrong feels reductive, but what is clear is that the organisation of attacking is becoming increasingly important in differentiating the best from the rest.'

Thinking about how the dees set up our attacks on goals i have little doubt he has adopted the philosophy of employing 'pre-practised moves that are drilled so they can be deployed when the circumstances are right'.

For me this is what he is referring to when he talks about ''çonnection".  

And it is this semi-automation that can be so frustrating for fans. Think of all the angst about all the seemingly mindless bombing to the hot spot. Perhaps this is simply a function of the belief in semi-automation.

Similarly fans (myself included) get frustrated when a player does not take shot and instead handballs or kicks, and sometimes to a spot not a player.

Maybe this sort of play could be put down to simply following teams rules but i think it is deeper, more complex than that.

Watch where we take a lot of our set shots. form the corridor. It is not rocket science to aim to take shots from the corridor as the probability of kicking a goal is obviously higher the more square the shot on goals is. But some of the sharply angled 45 degree kick back into the corridor look a bit mechanical, not 'natural.

By that i mean normal footy instinct would be to kick towards the goal square or a forward leading at you when say 60 metres out. Or have shot from inside 50. But these kicks are increasingly difficult with all the congestion, zones and pressure.  Hence the need for the pre practiced attack. And such a set up would need to be drilled over and over so everyone (kicker, multiple leads, player screening, player blocking to create a hole to lead into etc etc) is in their right spot and doing their job.

Automated. Deployed when the circumstances are right. 

There are a number of examples of such kicks that come to mind in the roos game. The kick by fritter to Melksham and even the two darts from Kossie from about 70 to a leading dees player at the 40 (i think the weed both times - he dropped one and missed the st shot with the other), which looked like great vision but may well have been a set play.

In basketball teams are drilled and drilled on general sef plays, so much so they become instinctive and teams naturally go them all the time. However teams also practice set plays specifically for clutch moments. The big difference to soccer and footy is the coach can call time out and also have direct the team to run a specif play. The same is true of gridiron.

In AFL and soccer the players have to run their own set plays, hence the need for more pre arranged moved triggered by a particular circumstance (for example kozzie is hand balled the ball from a pack 70 metres from goal).

Which leads me to a final point.

I think increasingly this point Wilson makes about the EPL AFL is  becoming just as critical for the AFL:

  •  'but what is clear is that the organisation of attacking is becoming increasingly important in differentiating the best from the rest'

And i think Engorged Onion is right about he influence of Klopp's philosophy on Goody.

Two years ago he tried to beat the zone by getting past it quickly, before it could be set up. Getting in behind the zone in soccer parlance. And whilst of course we will look to do so when possible more times than not we are still gong to be faced with crowed inside 50s and opponents players guarding space

And the more i think about it he more i am confident goody is on the right path and therefore so are the dees.

We are getting closer to having the perfect combination of  an excellent transition from attack to defence and an ability to organise effective attack, particularly against deep-lying opponents (which in footy is the swamp of players ahead of the ball camped inside our 50).

And in terms of our game tomorrow , leaving aside personnel and the difference in preparation, this is the key reason why  i think we win.

We have extremely similar tactical models but i think goody is becoming much better than the buckley at organising effective attacks. 

 

 

Edited by binman
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50 minutes ago, binman said:

In basketball teams are drilled and drilled on general sef plays, so much so they become instinctive and teams naturally go them all the time. However teams also practice set plays specifically for clutch moments.

My basketball team won a tournament final against the host team many years ago with a clutch set play that our coach has us start practicing 3 months before the tournament.  I remember thinking  'this is a good play but when are we ever going to use it' .  2.4 seconds was all we needed.  Even the (local) time keeper trying to put us off by pretending not to know the rules around when to start the clock couldn't stop the inevitable.

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12 minutes ago, Trisul said:

My basketball team won a tournament final against the host team many years ago with a clutch set play that our coach has us start practicing 3 months before the tournament.  I remember thinking  'this is a good play but when are we ever going to use it' .  2.4 seconds was all we needed.  Even the (local) time keeper trying to put us off by pretending not to know the rules around when to start the clock couldn't stop the inevitable.

That sounds brilliant. Can you write it down on a napkin and post the play for us??

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