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Game plans, tactics and all that jazz


binman
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Just an update on Richard Little's analysis. A lot of that analysis relied on access to the API behind the AFL app's "AR Tracker" which gave you access to the location of every possession, disposal, along with many other stats.

It may be a coincidence (but probably not), but The West Australian ran an article last Friday morning with some of the data from the API and by Friday night the API was returning a 403 Forbidden response! It may not be possible to undertake that level of analysis any longer which is such a shame.

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Posted (edited)

These stats are supplied by old mate @WheeloRatings - thanks, we're often bereft of data when trying to make sense of what we observe.

For those that bemoan that we are not offensive enough.

  2022 2021
Team For Against % Diff For Against % Diff
Melbourne 25.9 17.4 148.4% +8.4 25.2 17.2 146.4% +8.0
Fremantle 22.9 16.4 139.2% +6.4 22.0 22.7 96.6% -0.8
Geelong 27.1 19.7 137.9% +7.4 22.3 20.2 110.5% +2.1
Brisbane 25.3 20.3 124.6% +5.0 25.2 20.7 121.8% +4.5
St Kilda 23.9 20.7 115.6% +3.2 20.9 22.5 92.5% -1.7
Carlton 25.0 21.8 114.8% +3.2 22.5 24.2 93.2% -1.6
Sydney 25.0 21.8 114.8% +3.2 23.7 21.3 111.0% +2.3
Port Adelaide 23.3 20.3 114.8% +3.0 22.7 20.5 111.0% +2.3
Western Bulldogs 23.9 21.1 113.2% +2.8 24.8 19.8 125.2% +5.0
Collingwood 23.7 22.9 103.4% +0.8 19.6 21.5 91.3% -1.9
Richmond 25.4 25.6 99.6% -0.1 21.7 22.3 97.6% -0.5
Gold Coast 21.7 22.2 97.5% -0.6 19.3 23.8 81.3% -4.5
Hawthorn 22.8 25.6 89.1% -2.8 19.7 22.8 86.5% -3.1
Greater Western Sydney 20.9 24.4 85.5% -3.6 21.5 22.9 93.8% -1.4
Adelaide 20.8 25.3 82.0% -4.6 21.2 24.4 86.9% -3.2
Essendon 21.9 26.9 81.4% -5.0 23.2 22.0 105.7% +1.3
North Melbourne 15.7 28.9 54.2% -13.2 18.5 26.4 70.3% -7.8
West Coast 14.8 28.6 51.8% -13.8 21.2 23.2 91.6% -2.0

League Average 2022        22.7    22.7 

My interpretation of the table is that we are better than 3 shots on goal a game  than the league average ; and 5 shots less a goal on game better than the league average against.

Now I aint a maths boffin, so happy for some guidance or other interpretations - but this makes me quite excited that against the expected average, 9 rounds in - we are 8 shots on goal better than the average opposition.

I can't quite recall the shots on goal vs point % - but I suspect it's around 50% - so 4goals 4 equates to a 28 point margin.

Hello, that looks familiar - it's a 4-5 goal win...

 

Round by Round

Round Opponent For Against Diff
1 Western Bulldogs 27 16 +11
2 Gold Coast 22 19 +3
3 Essendon 29 20 +9
4 Port Adelaide 18 16 +2
5 Greater Western Sydney 25 18 +7
6 Richmond 31 14 +17
7 Hawthorn 26 26 +0
8 St Kilda 23 15 +8
9 West Coast 32 13 +19
    233 157 +76
    25.9 17.4 +8.4

 

Edited by Engorged Onion
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  • 2 weeks later...

In the words of supertramp

”won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned?”

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It's been a few weeks but below is an update of the defensive stats.  I have also added the 2021 numbers for comparison.

If you look at 2021, Brisbane were #2 defensively (scores from oppo i50s) and miles behind us (5.2% worse).  And Brisbane's mids don't defend well which shows up as in their #11 ranking for i50s conceded this year (#11 last year so they have not fixed the issue). 

Freo's improvement this year is ridiculously good defensively.  It has clicked for them. They are #1 for conceding i50s, #1 for conceding scores from i50s, and #1 for field position of turnovers (closer to goal)  We are #1 for intercepts (Freo are #3) but the difference is small.  Last year we were #1 by miles.  This year our intercepting has been based on structure, not pressure on the ball carrier like last year.  Freo are intercepting with both pressure and structure and that's a dangerous combination.

IMO Freo are the biggest threat to us come finals and I'm still calling a Freo v Melb GF.    

image.thumb.png.4867d73e10cbb1f37642c04db7bec7da.png

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I think we need to develop a Plan B a bit like how Hawthorn attack from defence for situations where we get well behind. Our game plan works well most of the time, but failed us against GWS last year and against Freo when we needed to come from behind.

I also think we need to be a bit more flexible going inside 50 to a congested forward line depending on who is the kicker. It makes no sense for Pickett, Fritsch or Spargo to kick to a contest on entry. They should be targeting a lead or a kick to advantage.

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1 minute ago, Fat Tony said:

I also think we need to be a bit more flexible going inside 50 to a congested forward line depending on who is the kicker. It makes no sense for Pickett, Fritsch or Spargo to kick to a contest on entry. They should be targeting a lead or a kick to advantage.

Need a chest marking leading forward like a Gunston. Our forwards are all overhead markers.

Balance is nqr

Hunt showed that trait in 2019?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Watson11 said:

It's been a few weeks but below is an update of the defensive stats.  I have also added the 2021 numbers for comparison.

If you look at 2021, Brisbane were #2 defensively (scores from oppo i50s) and miles behind us (5.2% worse).  And Brisbane's mids don't defend well which shows up as in their #11 ranking for i50s conceded this year (#11 last year so they have not fixed the issue). 

Freo's improvement this year is ridiculously good defensively.  It has clicked for them. They are #1 for conceding i50s, #1 for conceding scores from i50s, and #1 for field position of turnovers (closer to goal)  We are #1 for intercepts (Freo are #3) but the difference is small.  Last year we were #1 by miles.  This year our intercepting has been based on structure, not pressure on the ball carrier like last year.  Freo are intercepting with both pressure and structure and that's a dangerous combination.

IMO Freo are the biggest threat to us come finals and I'm still calling a Freo v Melb GF.    

image.thumb.png.4867d73e10cbb1f37642c04db7bec7da.png

I totally agree on freo. In my opinion they are the biggest threat, with the saints, who have really improved their all team defence, not too far behind.

Leaving aside the issues we had in the second half (may out, trac struggling, langers role not adequately covered etc) we got a good look at how difficult freo are to score against when on.

We got a real taste of our own medicine. Once we fell behind we couldn't find a way to generate scoring opportunities and resorted to high risk kicks to the corridor.

That might work against the lions, as it did in round 12 last year after half time (after being nearly four goals down), but we can't afford to get 3 plus goals down against freo. 

The lions and the blues are not strong enough defensively to be a real contender in my opinion. 

As I posted in another thread, I'm  amazed the lions did not retool their defensive system over the preseason and move to a model similar to ours and freos. Their old school defensive system won't cut it in 2022.

Edited by binman
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, binman said:

I totally agree on freo. In my opinion they are the biggest threat, with the saints, who have really improved their all team defence, not too far behind.

Leaving aside the issues we had in the second half (may out, trac struggling, langers role not adequately covered etc) we got a good look at how difficult freo are to score against when on.

We got a real taste of our own medicine. Once we fell behind we couldn't find a way to generate scoring opportunities and resorted to high risk kicks to the corridor.

That might work against the lions, ad it did in round 12 ladt year, but we can't afford to get 3 us goals behind freo

The lions and the blues are not strong enough defensively to be a real contender in my opinion. 

As I posted in another thread  amazed the lions did not retool their defensive system over the preseason and move to a model similar to ours and freos. Their old school defensive system won't cut it in 2022.

I'm not convinced we really gave up much against Freo.

In the second half we were playing -2 at stoppages, so we could get +2 behind the footy (to cover May and Petty), but then we were hopeless once the ball hit the ground.

If you don't win contested footy, you don't really get a chance to expose any defence.

I'm not saying Freo aren't extremely good, they are now, but I'm looking forward to the rematch at Optus, even with Fyfe.

We're usually happy to give up -1 at stoppage as a rule, but rarely -2. We were completely disorganised around stoppage in the second half.

It's a different game if our mids break even and Freo's set up behind the ball can be better tested.

Edited by A F
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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, A F said:

I'm not convinced we really gave up much against Freo.

In the second half we were playing -2 at stoppages, so we could get +2 behind the footy (to cover May and Petty), but then we were hopeless once the ball hit the ground.

If you don't win contested footy, you don't really get a chance to expose any defence.

I'm not saying Freo aren't extremely good, they are now, but I'm looking forward to the rematch at Optus, even with Fyfe.

We're usually happy to give up -1 at stoppage as a rule, but rarely -2. We were completely disorganised around stoppage in the second half.

It's a different game if our mids break even and Freo's set up behind the ball can be better tested.

I  agree, and said as much last night on the podcast.

I was really surprised goody didn't seem to try and respond to their midfield dominance in the second half of the third q or in the last, for example by as you say at least one extra to stoppages.

It felt really similar to the round 17 game against the dogs. They also had two extras at stoppages and smashed us. And goody never brought am extra up, which he had done earlier in tbe season against I think the swans.

I'm sure he didn't because he was keeping his tactical powder dry that day, confident that when whips started cracking come finals trac, viney and Oliver would cover the extra.

It felt thst a way a bit on Saturday. That feeling was reinforced by how much ruck tome Jackson, who was struggling (training loads? He struggled at exactly the same point last year) was given in the last quarter.

Not saying goody played possum, but my gut feel is once they got their lead he was happy to leave the players to their own devices and try and dig themselves out of tbe hole they were in.

(Weed back was as much about how ineffectual he was up forward as it was to try and stop their aeriel dominance I reckon).

Edited by binman
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2 minutes ago, binman said:

I  agree, and said as much last night on the podcast.

I was really surprised goody didn't seem to try and respond to their midfield dominance in the second half of the third q or in the last, for example by as you say at least one extra to stoppages.

It felt really similar to the round 17 game against the dogs. They also had two extras at stoppages and smashed us. 

I'm sure he didn't because he was keeping his tactical powder dry that day, confident that when whips started cracking come finals trac, viney and Oliver would cover the extra.

It felt thst a way a bit on Saturday. That feeling was reinforced by how much ruck tome Jackson, who was struggling (training loads? He struggled at exactly the same point last year) was given in the last quarter.

Not saying goody played possum, but my gut feel is once they got their lead he was happy to leave the players to their own devices and try and dig themselves out of tbe hole they were in.

(Weed back was as much about how ineffectual he was up forward as it was to try and stop their aeriel dominance I reckon).

Another reason we didn't grind our way back was pointed out by @The Mongrel Punt  with the "Get out of Jail" marks.  Freo took 11 for the game (most by any side this season).  We setup our zone to get repeat inside 50s, but 11 times Freo mark a long kick down the line that relived the pressure.  And as Mongrel Punt pointed out, then Frederick etc ran damn hard and exposed us down field. We really missed May spoiling those kicks.  

https://themongrelpunt.com/afl-season-2022/2022/05/28/fremantle-v-melbourne-the-big-questions/

Outside tactics I just think we are not where we need to be with the pressure we apply.  We have done it for probably no more than 1 or 2 qtrs in any game. 

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3 hours ago, Diamond_Jim said:

Need a chest marking leading forward like a Gunston. Our forwards are all overhead markers.

Balance is nqr

Hunt showed that trait in 2019?

BB is a leading type forward thats where he got all his goals at north, he is also not bad at one on one but what we need is a pack marking forward.`What we are now doing is heading to pockets in packs instead of separating.

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17 minutes ago, Watson11 said:

Outside tactics I just think we are not where we need to be with the pressure we apply

Was reading how we're  ranked 17th for pressure applied this year. Not sure what exactly we were ranked last year but a curious stat given our spot on the ladder. 

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4 hours ago, binman said:

I  agree, and said as much last night on the podcast.

I was really surprised goody didn't seem to try and respond to their midfield dominance in the second half of the third q or in the last, for example by as you say at least one extra to stoppages.

It felt really similar to the round 17 game against the dogs. They also had two extras at stoppages and smashed us. And goody never brought am extra up, which he had done earlier in tbe season against I think the swans.

I'm sure he didn't because he was keeping his tactical powder dry that day, confident that when whips started cracking come finals trac, viney and Oliver would cover the extra.

It felt thst a way a bit on Saturday. That feeling was reinforced by how much ruck tome Jackson, who was struggling (training loads? He struggled at exactly the same point last year) was given in the last quarter.

Not saying goody played possum, but my gut feel is once they got their lead he was happy to leave the players to their own devices and try and dig themselves out of tbe hole they were in.

(Weed back was as much about how ineffectual he was up forward as it was to try and stop their aeriel dominance I reckon).

I haven't listened to the podcast this week, so will do.

I wrote in the post game thread that I reckon we treated the entire second half as an exercise. A learning. To experiment. Build strength against adversity. Clearly didn't work.

- Could we maintain a lead and cover May and Petty?

- Could we win contest with -2 at stoppage?

- Throw Weid behind the ball when the game is basically over to see if he can take some marks.

- Try Spargo on the wing and give Melksham another week on the wing.

I don't recall us trying ANB on a wing, which is odd given is aerobic capacity and the fact we couldn't lock the ball inside 50 anyway.

If our boys had heavily loaded prior, perhaps we figured we may as well experiment in the second half as we were likely to drop away as the game wore on? Who knows if I'm giving too much credence to any of this, but a tag from Aish wouldn't normally stop Oliver. I think he faded. Viney started brilliantly in the first half and then faded. Through the third quarter, the young guys like Bowey, Sparrow and even LJ fumbled, failed to contest strongly enough and made uncharacteristic skill errors - almost like they were knackered. 

The response against Sydney will be instructive. Langdon back will be massive, as will Salem's poise, McDonald's competing in the air (hopefully) and Harmes' running. Fresh legs will be important, because if the loading theory is right, we'll surely be sluggish again until at least the bye.

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It was strange anb didn’t get some time on the wing as he is the only player close to langers in terms of aerobic capacity, as evidenced by the fact he us second behind langers in average ks covered.

And anb has the defensive mindset to do that job too.

I also thought Bedford could have been a good option.

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12 hours ago, binman said:

It was strange anb didn’t get some time on the wing as he is the only player close to langers in terms of aerobic capacity, as evidenced by the fact he us second behind langers in average ks covered.

And anb has the defensive mindset to do that job too.

I also thought Bedford could have been a good option.

The way Bedford faded and tends to fade in and out of games, I think playing him wing may have been dangerous. Does he have the tank? Or the concentration.

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The wing is always a difficult one to select for, players you think aren't suited for it can excel with a lot of training (Brayshaw) then there's guys you think could be good fits but don't end up quite right for it. It's definitely a spot that needs a lot of positional training through pre season in my view. 

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Interested to hear where everyone thinks we are at tactically and what adjustments are needed.

A few sobering stats.  Intercepts are way down and for the last 2 weeks have been bottom 4 in the afl level. Scores from opposition inside 50s have been at bottom of the afl level.  These stats we were #1 in last year by a long way, and #1 or 2 this year until a few weeks ago, so we have dropped to bottom 4 level pretty quickly. 

I think we have a rock solid game plan and structures, but our pressure (and probably motivation) has not been super high.  For the first 10 weeks, it seems no teams tweaked that we were not the 2021 version of ourselves, and other than Hawthorn played into our hands with slow ball movement.  Fast ball movement against the 2021 version of ourselves (#1 for score from turnover) would be suicide. But Freo, and Sydney tweaked that our pressure is substandard this year and did a couple of things that have exposed us.

First, at stoppages they seem to not rush with very few dump kicks forward and are getting much deeper and better clearances than what happened against us last year.

Second, from backward of centre they are taking the game on and running it out and moving the ball quickly, a lot through the corridor, and getting deep inside 50s to one on one’s.

Freo we’re the big surprise here, as they were ranked #17 in the afl for speed of ball movement but in the 2nd half they moved the ball super quick. 

Both of these tactics have taken Lever’s intercepting out of the game.  Not helped by May out either.  We have been down by 8 and 12 intercepts per game versus last years and the early season average for us and exposed our defence. 

I’m not sure how you get an entire team that all played full ground defence to perfection last year to suddenly flick the switch.  Should Jordan go back into the midfield.  He was our best tackler and defensive mid for the first half of last year.  Should Brayshaw go back to the wing?  Interested in thoughts. 

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There’s 3 things to blame for our scoring woes.

1. Key forwards that can’t clunk ‘em.

2. Midfield that can’t hit up short kicks

3. inability to pressure and create turnovers  in dangerous spots, leading to turnover scores.

Not much can be done about number 1 for now.

Number 2 requires individual improvement but it also needs more corridor and quick ball movement. Hitting up short kicks with 30 players inside D50 is near impossible.

Number 3 requires a rethink of our defensive plan IMO. Our drop off defensively zone is excellent once we hold a team up. But when we are attacking quickly we have to make sure we’ve got numbers to the drop of the ball inside 50 and the mids and half backs have covered exits. 

At the moment we seem scare of getting burnt on transition and so are folding back way too quickly. Thus forfeiting prime scoring chances that come from forward half turnovers. 

We’ll see how the 8 day break and bye help us but the glaring absence from our game right now looks like a lack of run. 

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Psychologically, I wonder how it's interpreted by the players and the FD that over the last two weeks that we essentially can get out to a 6 goal lead by the end of the first half against two premiership contenders, and then... give it up.

Is there solace in that fact that we can get out to that margin by the first half?

Is it a threat now, that there is evidence that we give up a lead of that margin?

Does it mean that teams have worked us out?

Hmmmm....

 

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