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Game plans, tactics and all that jazz


binman
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Just a couple of observations from me:

1) We have lost contested marks the last 3 weeks (and badly). You’d be hard pressed to find a game last year where we lost that stat and from rounds 1-10 we won contested marks every match. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

2) Opposition efficiency inside 50. Most of 2021 teams would average around 20-30% against us. In rounds 1-10 it was still mainly 30% with an occasional 40% and one 50%. The last 3 weeks the opposition is scoring >50% of the time for each entry which is just unsustainable. Is this from Steven May not being there or is it more related to our poor pressure on the ball carrier?

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On 6/14/2022 at 3:40 PM, roy11 said:

We had a relatively soft start to the year opponent wise (for the most), we didn't really put the sword through any team, just did a professional job and did what was required for the win. If that is is on purpose, would be curious how easy it would be to turn the switch back on pressure wise/being relentless for longer periods etc.

We can only beat teams according to the scheduling - and how important was it banking those first 10 wins.  It means we can afford not to panic at this stage.

2021 we had a dream run with injury: 2022 we are having a horror run not only between games but within games.

I know we only have a mini bye off (can't see any of our guys partying in Bali) but lets see if we can reset, and by necessity play a slightly different game style.

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On 6/16/2022 at 1:38 PM, Dr. Gonzo said:

Our firm doesn't concern me but our injuries do. I'm very interested to see how we perform after the bye.

I’m also interested to see who we bring in and how we perform without Max, although I think we’ll have to wait until round 17 against Geelong to really see the impact of Max sans loading 

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On 6/16/2022 at 1:34 PM, JV7 said:

Call me crazy but I think the loss of Gawn may actually help our forward line connection... Many times he is flying for the mark with Brown & Fritsch and he invites our long bombing inside 50...

As strange as it may be his absence may be the catalyst to fixing our forward entries & connection. 

I think in the long-run, we can be better for the period without him if we learn some alternative strategies that stand us in good stead. As you said, marking inside 50, looking for the more precise option, rather than the safer - When he returns, the habits we form, if we use this period wisely,  will fit Max back into the forward line as 1 of 3-4 options in space, rather than be the centre of gravity again for a dump kick. Also centre clearances, we may not  be as proactive and thus can work on reading the other ruckman, being more defensive and corralling opposition, When Gawn returns, we perhap can combine the two approaches and be far more resilient to opposition momentum swings - switching our approach to contain. 

The players that step up over this next month will be getting some invaluable experience that could Also stand them in good stead. Weideman and Jackson most notably. This could actually be a catalyst for Weid as a ruck/fwd, if we go with him, and boy does he need something like this for him to step up - and Jackson of course, gets to hone his craft further.

I'm sure the next month will be very difficult, and we will be debilitated, but i think we match up well enough with Bris/Geel to come out even or win both, and we should be professional enough to just get it done over in Adelaide. What might help us is that I'm sure Bris/Geel have been doing 9 months of homework on how to beat us with Max lol, and that gets thrown out the window and introduces an element of randomness to our encounters, which could benefit us, in a weird kind of way. It's not going to be something sustainable, but it could be the kind of chaos that gets us a much needed win to keep us in the top 2 calculations.

There was a segment on Wednesdays 360 with Montangna talking about how our mids have reverted to the 2019 style of bombing it long from 1 or 2 steps, instead of doing what we were doing earlier in the season and last, and running extra yards up to the 50-60 range and pin-pointing passes into the 50. Apparently Trac/Oliver for every inside 50, have only hit 2 marks out of 50 or so entries. I know the loading topic is floating around so far, but this seems like one aspect of our game we can tweak pretty easily that will radically help with the marks i50 if we are fit enough to improve there. 

Just trying to be positive about it though, this could all get thrown out the window if we don't respond positive/creatively to the opportunities there for the taking in the next month.

Edited by John Demonic
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Agreed,

Gawn isn’t a natural forward hence he’s leading patterns are not great. Quiet often you will see him float forward & just stay stagnant & stick his hands in the air & gesture to get it into him to which he is just a sitting duck waiting to get picked off. 
 

I would be interested to see his ruck/forward % this year vs last year & also over the past month where suggestions he was carrying a niggle. We also miss Tmac massively, his ability to work up the ground & create space inside 50 is highly underrated, he also has great leading patterns & leads up at the kicker which gives the kicker confidence to lower their eyes & hit him up. Weid is the opposite to this so how we structure our forward line post bye is going to be very interesting. 

Edited by JV7
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On 6/15/2022 at 11:03 AM, layzie said:

My thoughts are very much along these lines Gonzo, we made the ground small and it was intimidating. Teams coughed it up in bad areas and we pounced. It’s my armchair opinion that to cover the loss of May (and even Langdon to an extent as he is limited) we decided sitting back a bit deeper with numbers was the way to go about this, and maybe it was. However it does move away from what the gameplan is built on and it is hard to apply forward pressure when you aren't as high up the field.

I hate to bring up a Soccer comparison because I know that not everyone likes it but in the EPL Liverpool went through a very similar things last year when their star Centre Back and leader Virgil Van Dijk went down with an ACL. This guy is akin to Steven May in many ways with his ability to cover territory quickly, strength in contests and also his ability to direct the troops on the field. The other thing with Liverpool is they typically play a high press where a lot of their goals come from the two full backs Alexander Arnold and Robertson who get very high up the field and put in damaging crosses if not scoring themselves. Van Dijk was so quick and able to react quickly that you never worried about pressing too high because he tracked back every time to cut out the danger without fail. When Van Dijk went down things changed dramatically. The two full backs had to sit much deeper than they were used to so they could cover while a few different backup centre backs and even midfielders were trialed through there but either injury prone or not able to offer anywhere near the same output. The different structural shape really did change everything and it ended up being a very average season.

The point I’m trying to make here is that while a team should never be relying on just one player and you should be able to cover for them, the loss of that player can sometimes have a real flow on effect structurally with the way you setup territory wise. Which as silly as it sounds can make a team look completely different. 

In footy a tactic or strategy never works 100% of the time.  On one day sitting back and letting them try to pick through us can work absolute wonders and you’re just waiting for the turnover, on Monday it almost seemed as if the Pies were relishing getting their hands on the footy more and getting a head of steam up. Those quick short passes succeeded in shifting our zone just enough to break through and kick the winning score.  

I also noticed more numbers running forward, which is strange because it goes against the narrative that we’re tired but where I noticed little ‘unrewarded’ running in the second half against Sydney last week I saw often waves of 2 or 3 players regularly. The real shame being that we fumbled relentlessly at those moments and failed to execute, Pies rebounded through the middle and you know the rest. 

Lastly, I supported the decision to drop Jayden Hunt and Trent Rivers in the last few weeks but possibly we could have used some speed to try and break a line when we had the ball deep in defence and nothing was working? Just brainstorming there but we did look predictable exiting the backline.
 

Many good and measured posts but this for me gots nail on head! May just affords ultimate confront and luxury and ultimately enables the zone to press higher.

the other issue is our kids blasting rather than taking game on with legs from contest. It’s honestly that simple!

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1 minute ago, Nudge said:

Many good and measured posts but this for me gots nail on head! May just affords ultimate confront and luxury and ultimately enables the zone to press higher.

the other issue is our kids blasting rather than taking game on with legs from contest. It’s honestly that simple!

And obviously the fact our pressure has dropped right off — this is attitudinal and will correct I’m certain of it 

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We are number 1 for playing down the same line, 18 for switching play and 18 for pressure.

Several of us have pointed that out.

These are among the main reasons for our form.

Time to change.

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5 minutes ago, Redleg said:

We are number 1 for playing down the same line, 18 for switching play and 18 for pressure.

Several of us have pointed that out.

These are among the main reasons for our form.

Time to change.

Over the year, or over the last 3 weeks?

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I read yesterday Jordan Lewis comments.

one bit resonated with me. 
we are playing boring football. There is no excitement. 
and on my opinion not enough pressure on the opposition coming out of our F50.

partly due to them just marking it and walking out. 
I hope the players enjoy the football, play with some passion and I can watch with the same.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Our centre clearances have been pretty ordinary recently and I think we should experiment with Jackson as midfielder (at least for the clearance). Blicavs as a tagger has been a revelation and he is a big reason the Cats are the best side in the competition the moment. With an in form Bontempelli next week, now is the time to pull the trigger and trial it. 

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G'day @WheeloRatings, do you have any stats on which team is the most accurate to score against? As in, largest difference between Goals and Points scored.

I have a vibe it could be us... but also wanted to see how it compared to other teams, and then whether it is actually meaningful.

 

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2 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

G'day @WheeloRatings, do you have any stats on which team is the most accurate to score against? As in, largest difference between Goals and Points scored.

I have a vibe it could be us... but also wanted to see how it compared to other teams, and then whether it is actually meaningful.

 

I like the lateral thinking EO!

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I've noted a few posters reckon we played a more aggressive ball movement style against Bulldogs. I'm not sure I agree. 

I think we've identified a weakness at centre stoppages with the Bulldogs set up. They tend to cheat forward a bit, which means if we can create a loose ball situation and tap it forward or get a handball going the other way, we get out the front of stoppage. We did this multiple times and we scored from it pretty much every time.

From a half back situation I felt we looked to switch early in the game, but we still tended to go long down the wings to a contest a lot. As the Bulldogs aren't particularly strong in the air defensively, we weren't exposed to intercept too much, but Weideman was run under the ball quite often. 

I'd be keen to read what people think we did differently. We didn't seem to play on more fr half back. I think we just got our centre stoppage game going, but they dominated us around the ground. I noticed as in the Freo game, we allowed a 2+ at the contest. We still won it occasionally, but perhaps there was some disorganisation around stoppage? Without Lever I doubt we wanted to give up +2 in these areas.

The Bulldogs were quite aggressive in these situations and I thought May was ordinary most of the match (aside from maybe 5 strong contested marks) and Petty struggled in the second half. Essentially, we didn't win the intercept possession in the air, which meant giving up those two extras at rhe contest was useless.

I wonder if allowing the plus 2 means that it frees up Gus to sweep behind the interceptors? I haven't examined this thoroughly enough, but he does get in behind almost every time. It's like the Salem role from last year, except Gus is much better in the contest and Salem is a better kick.

Even though JJ has made some great leaps forward this year, I actually think we should send Gus back to the wing and Salem should sweep when Lever returns. It either pushes JJ out of the team altogether or he plays some wing, half forward and half back. Gus gives us better stability behind the ball as the First line in the defensive structure.

Anyway, what do others think?

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I suspect Simon will do the same as last week and the same as the week before that, and the week before that....

Maybe I'm being too harsh and he'll switch things up, perhaps Chandler the sub instead of Bedford??

Bill Murray Movie GIF by Hollywood Suite

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, A F said:

I've noted a few posters reckon we played a more aggressive ball movement style against Bulldogs. I'm not sure I agree. 

I think we've identified a weakness at centre stoppages with the Bulldogs set up. They tend to cheat forward a bit, which means if we can create a loose ball situation and tap it forward or get a handball going the other way, we get out the front of stoppage. We did this multiple times and we scored from it pretty much every time.

From a half back situation I felt we looked to switch early in the game, but we still tended to go long down the wings to a contest a lot. As the Bulldogs aren't particularly strong in the air defensively, we weren't exposed to intercept too much, but Weideman was run under the ball quite often. 

I'd be keen to read what people think we did differently. We didn't seem to play on more fr half back. I think we just got our centre stoppage game going, but they dominated us around the ground. I noticed as in the Freo game, we allowed a 2+ at the contest. We still won it occasionally, but perhaps there was some disorganisation around stoppage? Without Lever I doubt we wanted to give up +2 in these areas.

The Bulldogs were quite aggressive in these situations and I thought May was ordinary most of the match (aside from maybe 5 strong contested marks) and Petty struggled in the second half. Essentially, we didn't win the intercept possession in the air, which meant giving up those two extras at rhe contest was useless.

I wonder if allowing the plus 2 means that it frees up Gus to sweep behind the interceptors? I haven't examined this thoroughly enough, but he does get in behind almost every time. It's like the Salem role from last year, except Gus is much better in the contest and Salem is a better kick.

Even though JJ has made some great leaps forward this year, I actually think we should send Gus back to the wing and Salem should sweep when Lever returns. It either pushes JJ out of the team altogether or he plays some wing, half forward and half back. Gus gives us better stability behind the ball as the First line in the defensive structure.

Anyway, what do others think?

I agree we weren't any more aggressive with our ball movement, at least in terms of rights risk kicks eg through the corridor. 

We were aggressive with our approach.

I reckon the key difference to our normal method was that they didn't try control the tempo  - either when we got a lead  or to stem their momentum.

Instead they just allowed the game to become a shoot out, and in doing the game looked like how the doggies like it

I found that fascinating, as it had to been an instruction - because there is no reason why thet couldn't slow things down if tbey wanted to. 

And if so, why?

I suspect the idea was to work on our scoring and offence.

The aggressive centre clearance set ups is further evidence of their aggressive mindset.

When you consider that hibbo took quite a few kick ours and we kicked to the opposite side a few times from kick outs, it's hard not to think thus was goody experimenting a bit.

I find it hilarious that right up to tbe port game, apparently our big weakness was our offence.

Two weeks of decent scoring and suddenly a whacker like king thinks our defence is the problem.

Edited by binman
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4 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

G'day @WheeloRatings, do you have any stats on which team is the most accurate to score against? As in, largest difference between Goals and Points scored.

I have a vibe it could be us... but also wanted to see how it compared to other teams, and then whether it is actually meaningful.

 

In terms of Goals ÷ Shots, which is Champion Data's Accuracy metric, Melbourne's actually the third best in terms of opposition accuracy. This metric takes into account shots at goal that don't score at all but won't include rushed behinds that were not as a result of a missed shot. Accuracy doesn't take into account shot difficulty (location, pressure) which is where expected score can be useful.

I'm not at my computer at the moment so can't delve deeper.

Screenshot_20220725-185252_Chrome.thumb.jpg.cae10999dc726eefe45ba64c3809e941.jpg

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So after our success the players said during the preseason & at the beginning our motivation is to win the gf in front of our fans & win it on the MCG. Now I understand winning back to back flags is difficult but has the motivation dropped?

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Just how unprofessional are the clubs and players? Tracc early in the season was unaware of a rule change and tonight Toby Greene was unaware of the head high tackle rule change. They are not the only ones.

Hardly a supporter wouldn’t know of rule changes. How is it players don’t know the rules of their workplace, given the money involved?

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They don't listen in team meetings. One of my good mates' cousin is a Hawthorn player and he tells my mate he never listens in briefings. This is a relatively senior player too. I can imagine Trac tunes out too, but maybe I'm being unfair. :P

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8 hours ago, A F said:

I've noted a few posters reckon we played a more aggressive ball movement style against Bulldogs. I'm not sure I agree. 

I think we've identified a weakness at centre stoppages with the Bulldogs set up. They tend to cheat forward a bit, which means if we can create a loose ball situation and tap it forward or get a handball going the other way, we get out the front of stoppage. We did this multiple times and we scored from it pretty much every time.

From a half back situation I felt we looked to switch early in the game, but we still tended to go long down the wings to a contest a lot. As the Bulldogs aren't particularly strong in the air defensively, we weren't exposed to intercept too much, but Weideman was run under the ball quite often. 

I'd be keen to read what people think we did differently. We didn't seem to play on more fr half back. I think we just got our centre stoppage game going, but they dominated us around the ground. I noticed as in the Freo game, we allowed a 2+ at the contest. We still won it occasionally, but perhaps there was some disorganisation around stoppage? Without Lever I doubt we wanted to give up +2 in these areas.

The Bulldogs were quite aggressive in these situations and I thought May was ordinary most of the match (aside from maybe 5 strong contested marks) and Petty struggled in the second half. Essentially, we didn't win the intercept possession in the air, which meant giving up those two extras at rhe contest was useless.

I wonder if allowing the plus 2 means that it frees up Gus to sweep behind the interceptors? I haven't examined this thoroughly enough, but he does get in behind almost every time. It's like the Salem role from last year, except Gus is much better in the contest and Salem is a better kick.

Even though JJ has made some great leaps forward this year, I actually think we should send Gus back to the wing and Salem should sweep when Lever returns. It either pushes JJ out of the team altogether or he plays some wing, half forward and half back. Gus gives us better stability behind the ball as the First line in the defensive structure.

Anyway, what do others think?

I think JJ adds more to our midfield than Sparrow, who is too similar on Viney, and Is a bull like Petracca. We need some deft touch as a third linkage mid, and that’s Jordon. His time is now.

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