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Game plans, tactics and all that jazz


binman
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6 hours ago, KingDingAling said:

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.

I've begun to wonder whether JJ is too slow for the pace of the midfield and is better suited to a wing or a flank where he has the ball in front of him.

I thought Sparrow's first half against the Bulldogs was exceptional. His best half ever IMV. Needs to put four quarters together and he'll be very damaging.

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Posted (edited)

As i have noted in this thread before, one of my top 3 analysts is Jimmy Bartel.

His Monday morning review of the weekend's games on RSN breakfast is the best hour of footy analysis on radio or TV. And proof positive that the media don't need to dumb things down and can make analysis interesting.  

This week, Bartel made some fascinating comments about the Richmond v Lions game.

He broke down their game styles/methods and discussed what the lions did tactically well in the first half (including an interesting comment about 'corridor bias'). 

I found it really interesting because our method has so many similarities with the tigers, for example Bartel noted how the Tigers look to play down the line and play skinny.

Of most interest however was his explanation as to how he thinks the tigers got back into the match.

In short, he said the lions want a fast, high tempo game so they can create space in their forward line for the talls and Cameron to lead into and generate one on ones.

And they got this in the first half, in large part becuase of slack all team defence by the tigers - so the game was played on the lions term.

In the second half Bartel said the tigers worked harder to spread and stop the kick to the corridor, the switch and the lions' fast transition. And in doing so forced the lions to go down the line. 

But the thing that really resonated for me in terms of the applicability to our method is the key thing they did, according to Bartel, was take the speed out of the game and control the tempo.

Controlling the tempo of the game is a critical part of our method - whether that be to go slow to protect a lead or stop opposition momentum or to go fast when we want to press the button and surge. 

One of the really curious things about the loss to the dogs is we never once looked to slow the tempo of the game. We let the game be fast and high tempo for the entire match - which completely played into the dogs' hands (paws?) as that is exactly how they want the game to look.

That had to be a conscious decision by Goody. And if so, the questions is why? My theory is he wanted to practice some fast ball movement and work on our offence.

Anywhoo here's the link. The tiger's game is the first one he reviews. The dees are not discussed till right at the very end, and to be honest it is pretty bland, and brief, analysis.

https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=1027378

 

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2 minutes ago, binman said:

As i have noted in this thread before, one of my top 3 analysts is Jimmy Bartel.

His Monday morning review of the weekend's games on RSN breakfast is the best hour of footy analysis on radio or TV. And proof positive that the media don't need to dumb things down and can make analysis interesting.  

This week, Bartel made some fascinating comments about the Richmond v Lions game. He broke down their game styles/method and discussed what the loins did tactically well in the first half (including an interesting comment about 'corridor bias'). 

I found it really interesting because our method has so many similarities with the tigers, for example Bartel noted how the Tigers look to play down the line and play skinny

Of most interest however was his explanation as to how he thinks the tigers got back into the match.

In short, he said the lions want a fast, high tempo game so they can create space in their forward line for the talls and Cameron to lead into and generate one on ones. And they got this in the first half, in large part becuase of slack all team defence by the tigers - so the game was played on the lions term.

In the second half Bartel said the tigers worked harder to spread and stop the kick to the corridor, the switch and the lions' fast transition. And in doing so forced the lions to go down the line. 

But the thing that really resonated for me in terms of the applicability to our method is the key thing they did was take the speed out of the game and  control the tempo.

Controlling the temp of the game is exactly what we look to do - whether that be to go slow to protect a lead or stop opposition momentum or to go fast when press the button and surge. 

One of the really curious things about the loss to the dogs is we never once looked to slow the tempo of the game. We let the game be fast and high tempo for the entire match - which completely played into the dogs' hands (paws?) as that is exacly how they want the game to look.

That had to be a conscious decision by Goody. And if so, the questions is why? my theory is he wanted to practice some fast ball movement and work on our offence.

Anywhoo here's the link. The tiger's game is the first one he reviews. The dees are not discussed till right at the very end, and to be honest it is pretty bland, and brief, analysis.

https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=1027378

 

Will be checking this out, feel like CH7 wasted him as a special comments guy.

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I’m still dumbfounded that we lost last night, and thought I would bump this.  My opinion is our coaches are getting it horribly wrong this year and I’m not sure why.  Especially against Collingwood that are an ordinary team (watch Sydney pull them apart next week).

We seem to have made a conscious tactic to let sides have space in our inside 50 and we drop back to try and apply a zone.  I think it’s confusing players who are caught in 2 mindsets ie do I pressure or zone back. For kickins it just hasn’t worked either. Collingwood had zero chance last night if we apply forward half pressure.  They lose the territory battle every week, even against bottom teams (their last nine wins are against us twice and 7 of the bottom 8 by an average of 6 points), yet we made it easy for them. Longmire is too astute to allow them to do that against Sydney.

We obviously had 65 i50s to 41, and shots at goal from 45% of our i50s is not too bad. But they scored from 56% of i50s with reminded me of 2018/19 when sides just transitioned too easily.  It’s a complete reversal from last year.

The disposal efficiency stats tell the story.  Their defenders had 8 out of their 9 highest efficiency ratings. They just weren’t pressured.

This has been a tactic all year, and has seen us continually picked apart since Hawthorn exposed it. Freo didn’t do it last week which was a surprise and they paid for it. The question is whether our problems are really this simple, and if they are why doesn’t the coaching group change it up.

I actually think we will win the flag if we make this tactical tweak. 
 

FB48C82E-6324-410E-ABBE-DF6D275F5034.png

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35 minutes ago, Watson11 said:

I’m still dumbfounded that we lost last night, and thought I would bump this.  My opinion is our coaches are getting it horribly wrong this year and I’m not sure why.  Especially against Collingwood that are an ordinary team (watch Sydney pull them apart next week).

We seem to have made a conscious tactic to let sides have space in our inside 50 and we drop back to try and apply a zone.  I think it’s confusing players who are caught in 2 mindsets ie do I pressure or zone back. For kickins it just hasn’t worked either. Collingwood had zero chance last night if we apply forward half pressure.  They lose the territory battle every week, even against bottom teams (their last nine wins are against us twice and 7 of the bottom 8 by an average of 6 points), yet we made it easy for them. Longmire is too astute to allow them to do that against Sydney.

We obviously had 65 i50s to 41, and shots at goal from 45% of our i50s is not too bad. But they scored from 56% of i50s with reminded me of 2018/19 when sides just transitioned too easily.  It’s a complete reversal from last year.

The disposal efficiency stats tell the story.  Their defenders had 8 out of their 9 highest efficiency ratings. They just weren’t pressured.

This has been a tactic all year, and has seen us continually picked apart since Hawthorn exposed it. Freo didn’t do it last week which was a surprise and they paid for it. The question is whether our problems are really this simple, and if they are why doesn’t the coaching group change it up.

I actually think we will win the flag if we make this tactical tweak. 
 

FB48C82E-6324-410E-ABBE-DF6D275F5034.png

Brown and Gawn apply no pressure and Fritsch isn’t much better. Brown needs to kick 3 goals to justify his place IMO because so many parts of his game are a liability. 

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Our set up from opposition kick ins was horrible last night. They went end to end on so many occasions after we kicked a point. The most infuriating was after Ben Brown took his full 30+run up time and missed. So roughly 40 seconds for us to set up/man up if/when he missed. Collingwood took it end to end uncontested , pretty sure they scored a goal from memory

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36 minutes ago, Fat Tony said:

Brown and Gawn apply no pressure and Fritsch isn’t much better. Brown needs to kick 3 goals to justify his place IMO because so many parts of his game are a liability. 

Is it really individuals or a change to our system. Brown and Fritsch (and Gawn) were all there last year. Why are we dead last for forward 50 pressure this year. To me it looks intentional and for the first 10 games no one except Hawthorn took our system on. Now almost everyone takes it on, and if they don’t we make them look average and if they do we struggle.

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36 minutes ago, Watson11 said:

Is it really individuals or a change to our system. Brown and Fritsch (and Gawn) were all there last year. Why are we dead last for forward 50 pressure this year. To me it looks intentional and for the first 10 games no one except Hawthorn took our system on. Now almost everyone takes it on, and if they don’t we make them look average and if they do we struggle.

We are 34 wins & 10 losses & 1 draw over the last two years. But this includes our record without either Ben Brown and Weideman, which is 6-0.

I think our glorious September last year and beating up on the lower teams has given us a false sense of our best mix. The taller forward line worked well on the skinner grounds in finals last year (because our midfield was incredible and the narrow grounds helped our press) and it worked against the poorer teams on the MCG at the start of 2021, but the lack of forward pressure from our talls is costing us this year against the good sides.

The biggest problem with our game plan is that other sides have worked out how to prevent us getting counter attacking goals. Last year we scored a lot when Hunt, Langdon and Pickett combined on the Langdon wing. I can't remember the last time we scored this way.

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I'm not sure why we'd be tweaking our system to be honest, because it's not our system that's losing us games. It's an inability to win contests and last night it was an inability to take simply chances in front of goal.

I maintain that if we're on, teams can't get through us. 

At forward 50 stoppage, we did actually push up most of our defenders right up when we were inside 50 and left 2 or 3 deeper with one as an anchor.  But the ball came out of our attacking 50 far too easily- see the lack of forward 50 tackles again. 

Early on in the game we crunched Daicos at half back a couple of times, but for the majority of the game, we let them get it out too easily.

Another thing I've noticed against us is teams are happy to get a scrappy kick out of D50 providing it goes to ground, so it can't be intercepted. It's then about pressing the next contest or Melbourne player that is zoning off and trying to get the ground ball that results from the scrappy kick.

I think @Watson11's post above about sitting the zone deeper is spot on, although that seemed to be more from kick outs. When there was a forward 50 stoppage for us, we actually pressed our zone pretty high as I said above. So maybe it's about sitting the zone a little higher to defend kick outs?

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1 hour ago, Watson11 said:

I’m still dumbfounded that we lost last night, and thought I would bump this.  My opinion is our coaches are getting it horribly wrong this year and I’m not sure why.  Especially against Collingwood that are an ordinary team (watch Sydney pull them apart next week).

We seem to have made a conscious tactic to let sides have space in our inside 50 and we drop back to try and apply a zone.  I think it’s confusing players who are caught in 2 mindsets ie do I pressure or zone back. For kickins it just hasn’t worked either. Collingwood had zero chance last night if we apply forward half pressure.  They lose the territory battle every week, even against bottom teams (their last nine wins are against us twice and 7 of the bottom 8 by an average of 6 points), yet we made it easy for them. Longmire is too astute to allow them to do that against Sydney.

We obviously had 65 i50s to 41, and shots at goal from 45% of our i50s is not too bad. But they scored from 56% of i50s with reminded me of 2018/19 when sides just transitioned too easily.  It’s a complete reversal from last year.

The disposal efficiency stats tell the story.  Their defenders had 8 out of their 9 highest efficiency ratings. They just weren’t pressured.

This has been a tactic all year, and has seen us continually picked apart since Hawthorn exposed it. Freo didn’t do it last week which was a surprise and they paid for it. The question is whether our problems are really this simple, and if they are why doesn’t the coaching group change it up.

I actually think we will win the flag if we make this tactical tweak. 
 

FB48C82E-6324-410E-ABBE-DF6D275F5034.png

If McRae coaches us last night we walk away with a handy 10 goal win. Coaching is obviously a very important factor, as we see with the Pies. 

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3 minutes ago, Fat Tony said:

We are 34 wins & 10 losses & 1 draw over the last two years. But this includes our record without either Ben Brown and Weideman, which is 6-0.

I think our glorious September last year and beating up on the lower teams has given us a false sense of our best mix. The taller forward line worked well on the skinner grounds in finals last year (because our midfield was incredible and the narrow grounds helped our press) and it worked against the poorer teams on the MCG at the start of 2021, but the lack of forward pressure from our talls is costing us this year against the good sides.

The biggest problem with our game plan is that other sides have worked out how to prevent us getting counter attacking goals. Last year we scored a lot when Hunt, Langdon and Pickett combined on the Langdon wing. I can't remember the last time we scored this way.

Is Optus Stadium a narrow ground? I'm not sure it is.

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1 hour ago, Fat Tony said:

Brown and Gawn apply no pressure and Fritsch isn’t much better. Brown needs to kick 3 goals to justify his place IMO because so many parts of his game are a liability. 

Melksham not much pressure either. Obviously a bit different with him playing a def fwd role, but still 4 out of 6 forwards applying minimal forward half pressure, could be where we break down. 
 

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7 minutes ago, 1964_2 said:

Melksham not much pressure either. Obviously a bit different with him playing a def fwd role, but still 4 out of 6 forwards applying minimal forward half pressure, could be where we break down. 
 

I think Melksham is not a great tackler or chaser but he is clever in positioning himself to stop the intercept marker. We really need him to be an elite finisher if we play him because he does not offer much otherwise.

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1 hour ago, Fat Tony said:

I think Melksham is not a great tackler or chaser but he is clever in positioning himself to stop the intercept marker. We really need him to be an elite finisher if we play him because he does not offer much otherwise.

He's lost it as a finisher. Even that easy one around his body on the left he used to gobble up and he's no chance from 50 anymore.

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I reckon the loss of TMac has hurt us significantly. I have not always be a fan, and if you looked at his stats in the GF last year, you wouldn't think he was much of a loss. Except... he's incredibly strong (ask Cordy), impossible to move off the ball, competes in the air every time, and has a bit of mongrel. So he gets a serious defender. And one for BBB. Which leaves Baiely F to deal with the third defender and he's usually too smart for them. Gawn is no forward (Prelim final not withstanding), and neither if Jackson.

We've lost a key element of our offense, and I think it's had very significant knock-on effects.

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10 minutes ago, frankie_d said:

I reckon the loss of TMac has hurt us significantly. I have not always be a fan, and if you looked at his stats in the GF last year, you wouldn't think he was much of a loss. Except... he's incredibly strong (ask Cordy), impossible to move off the ball, competes in the air every time, and has a bit of mongrel. So he gets a serious defender. And one for BBB. Which leaves Baiely F to deal with the third defender and he's usually too smart for them. Gawn is no forward (Prelim final not withstanding), and neither if Jackson.

We've lost a key element of our offense, and I think it's had very significant knock-on effects.

It has definitely hurt us. As you say, TMac gives a legitimate worry for the opposition each week: there’s no way Ben Brown gets double teamed each contest if TMac is there. He also leads really well, is a pretty accurate kick, has incredible endurance and puts pressure on. It’s impossible to say for certain, but I think TMac could have straightened us up to the value of 2 or 3 goals each week.

It’ll be interesting to see whether he does get back for finals or if they may throw caution to the wind and give JVR a go, who seems to exhibit some of the same characteristics in his game (although not as developed in terms of a tank and general strength).

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Thanks  greatly to @WheeloRatings for expanding on Pythagorean stats for AFL on a couple of the other threads...

 

http://www.matterofstats.com/mafl-stats-journal/2011/5/22/win-production-functions-for-afl-teams-1897-to-2010.html

 

Within the article, what I felt was significant was the below 3 paragraphs - and thus an explanation, as to why our game plan (and what we see on tv, or live) is about the process of getting the ball in, time and time again irrespective of positioning, in the F50,  and is thus the data/metrics, that drive the rationale behind the decision to play this way.

 

"So, for example, a team that, on average, produced 2 more scoring shots per game than its opponents and that converted them, on average, at the same rate as its opponents would be expected to win about exp(0.164 x 2 + 6.18 x 0)/(1 + exp(0.164 x 2 + 6.18 x 0)), or 58% of its games across the home-and-away season. That expectation applies whether you apply it to a team playing at the turn of the 19th or the 20th century.

This equation allows you to ask and answer some interesting what-ifs. For example, if you're a team that currently generates the same number of scoring shots as your opponents and converts them at the same rate as your opponents - hence your expected winning percentage is 50% - would you rather swap in a player who generates 1 more scoring shot per game or who increases your conversion rate by 2% points?

An extra scoring shot per game lifts your team's winning percentage to exp(0.164)/(1+exp(0.164)) or 54.1%, while a 1% increase in your team's conversion rate lifts its winning percentage to exp(0.0618 x 2)/(1+exp(0.0618 x 2)) or 53.1%. So, you want the player who can generate 1 extra scoring shot per game."

 

I have no doubt, there are further metrics around  the  likely scoring %'s of each player within the F50 at certain positions, and that also underpins the rationale.

 

Maybe I have extrapolated too much, and I have also no doubt that there are some Demonland posters who would be more savvy with this info than me, in relating it to what we see on the field. @Axis of Bob@WheeloRatings?

Edited by Engorged Onion
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On 8/6/2022 at 9:22 AM, 3183 Dee said:

It has definitely hurt us. As you say, TMac gives a legitimate worry for the opposition each week: there’s no way Ben Brown gets double teamed each contest if TMac is there. He also leads really well, is a pretty accurate kick, has incredible endurance and puts pressure on. It’s impossible to say for certain, but I think TMac could have straightened us up to the value of 2 or 3 goals each week.

It’ll be interesting to see whether he does get back for finals or if they may throw caution to the wind and give JVR a go, who seems to exhibit some of the same characteristics in his game (although not as developed in terms of a tank and general strength).

I’m excited that TMac was back training today and that, according to the injury report, he’ll integrate into full training next week.  I wonder if this is why they haven’t tried JVR. 
 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

Thanks  greatly to @WheeloRatings for expanding on Pythagorean stats for AFL on a couple of the other threads...

 

http://www.matterofstats.com/mafl-stats-journal/2011/5/22/win-production-functions-for-afl-teams-1897-to-2010.html

 

Within the article, what I felt was significant was the below 3 paragraphs - and thus an explanation, as to why our game plan (and what we see on tv, or live) is about the process of getting the ball in, time and time again irrespective of positioning, in the F50,  and is thus the data/metrics, that drive the rationale behind the decision to play this way.

 

"So, for example, a team that, on average, produced 2 more scoring shots per game than its opponents and that converted them, on average, at the same rate as its opponents would be expected to win about exp(0.164 x 2 + 6.18 x 0)/(1 + exp(0.164 x 2 + 6.18 x 0)), or 58% of its games across the home-and-away season. That expectation applies whether you apply it to a team playing at the turn of the 19th or the 20th century.

This equation allows you to ask and answer some interesting what-ifs. For example, if you're a team that currently generates the same number of scoring shots as your opponents and converts them at the same rate as your opponents - hence your expected winning percentage is 50% - would you rather swap in a player who generates 1 more scoring shot per game or who increases your conversion rate by 2% points?

An extra scoring shot per game lifts your team's winning percentage to exp(0.164)/(1+exp(0.164)) or 54.1%, while a 1% increase in your team's conversion rate lifts its winning percentage to exp(0.0618 x 2)/(1+exp(0.0618 x 2)) or 53.1%. So, you want the player who can generate 1 extra scoring shot per game."

 

I have no doubt, there are further metrics around  the  likely scoring %'s of each player within the F50 at certain positions, and that also underpins the rationale.

 

Maybe I have extrapolated too much, and I have also no doubt that there are some Demonland posters who would be more savvy with this info than me, in relating it to what we see on the field. @Axis of Bob@WheeloRatings?

A similar logic has fundamentally changed how basketball is played in the NBA.

In simple terms, the data showed that teams score more on average by shooting a higher ratio of 3 point shots, despite the much lower percentages of them being made compared to 2 point shots.

The highest percentage shot in basketball is from under the hoop. And so for a long time the NBA model involved working it inside to monster centres.

I read it years ago, but can't recall the specific ratio (axis of bob or George will know). But for illustration lets say in the 80s and 90s it was 80% 2 point shots and 20% 3 point shots

Now it is a three point shootathon, with maybe a 60-40 split (again I'm guessing here).

Scores have gone up and the type of players making the NBA is changing in terms of their role and physique. Fewer crazy big centres, more athletic players who can play multiple positions.

To be honest, I don't like watching the NBA as much now as I liked the more physical crash and bash style in the 80s. It was more like footy.

Funnily enough, you could argue footy has gone the opposite way, and perhaps for the same reason ie data driven. 

The premiership model now is forward half, territory football. Get it inside 50. Trap it inside 50. Win contested ball and in post clearance contested ball. Turn it over with pressure and score. 

Get shots on goal. Often from congestion, stoppages, or crappy angles. If you miss, set up and trap it in. The first 10 mins of the third quarter against the pies was the perfect example of the model.

That model jibes with the data above re increased scoring over the journey with increased scoring shots.

Why I say the AFL has gone the opposite way is that the best type of player for the forward half combat model is strong bulls who can compete in the clinches. Almost like rugby players.

Sure you still need some silky skilled players, but not as many as say 10-15 years ago.

 

 

Edited by binman
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14 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

An extra scoring shot per game lifts your team's winning percentage to exp(0.164)/(1+exp(0.164)) or 54.1%, while a 1% increase in your team's conversion rate lifts its winning percentage to exp(0.0618 x 2)/(1+exp(0.0618 x 2)) or 53.1%. So, you want the player who can generate 1 extra scoring shot per game."

It's good to see this sort on analysis as it's sorely missing in AFL coverage. The first question is ..... what do you do with that information? And the second is .... how does the probability change when the opposition knows what you are trying to do?

 Baseball and basketball have, as binman says, undergone a transformation in how the game is played due to analytics. Baseball was all about base hits and sacrifice bunts ('small-ball'), whilst Michael Jordan feasted on a steady diet of mid-range two pointers. Now baseball is about the three true outcomes (strikeouts, walks and home runs) whilst basketball is about three pointers and shots at the rim. But the difference between these games and footy is that they both have distinct, predictable and repeatable phases of play that can be measured specifically. In baseball, a pitcher starts the play by pitching a ball to a waiting batter so you can measure the outcomes based on that. In basketball the ball is (almost always) given to a player deep in their defensive half and the team must score against a waiting defence, so you can measure an outcome from there.

Footy is different. The ground is so big and there are so many ways to play the game, most of which is based on physical contests. You can measure the contests won/lost, but not all contests are equal. A contested mark next to the boundary in defence is far less valuable than that same mark taken in your attacking goalsquare. Or a centre clearance won by running the ball forward is far more valuable than one where you shuffle it back and dump it forward. A contest you win 1 vs 3 is far more valuable than one you win 3 vs 1. A contest won in the centre with a  player free in the goalsquare is more valuable than one where there's nobody else to kick to. 

So what do we do with the information? We try to kick more scores! But is winning a function of valuing scoring shots over goal kicking, or is increased scoring shots a function of a more holistic dominance of a football team over their opponents?

I think the limitation of those stats is that they are really crude measures. And that's totally reasonable because we don't have much information to go on and it's ridiculously difficult to quantify what creates wins in a sport where not all numbers mean the same thing. You can set up your team to win a statistical category but that doesn't have the same impact on the result as a lot of other sports.

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1 hour ago, Axis of Bob said:

Baseball and basketball have, as binman says, undergone a transformation in how the game is played due to analytics. Baseball was all about base hits and sacrifice bunts ('small-ball'), whilst Michael Jordan feasted on a steady diet of mid-range two pointers. Now baseball is about the three true outcomes (strikeouts, walks and home runs) whilst basketball is about three pointers and shots at the rim.

I'm just going to quote myself because I'm a terrible person ....

These transformations in teams have been really interesting but there is a value in zigging when the others are zagging. This works for a couple of reasons but a lot of it has to do with the idea that everyone is setting themselves up to win against the prevailing style. This also leaves some quality players for a different style as being very undervalued. 

In the NBA, there are a lot of players who are excellent finals players because they are able to hit the 'low value' mid range 2 pointers. The analytics say that this is bad basketball but the opposition defence is entirely geared around preventing 3 pointers and shots at the basket, so a good mid-range shooter can find the seams in the defence to beat them in a game they're not set up to play. The same with baseball, where big hitting pull hitters are able to lay down low risk bunts to get on base because the defence is playing so deep and shifting. 

In the AFL, Hawthorn found low cost kickers when the game was being dominated by the scrappers of Sydney, who actually found value in scrappers during the Brisbane/West Coast/Port midfield skill period. Richmond got value in role players when everyone was searching for the high skill players of the Hawthorn era. Now everyone is going to be looking for dominant contested midfielders from our era, so there will be value to be had elsewhere. 

That's just a thought bubble, I think! 😄

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Posted (edited)

Brilliant posts AoB.

Three reflections.

The first relates to your comment that 'everyone is setting themselves up to win against the prevailing style'.

I have been reflecting on the idea that other teams 'have worked us out'. Sure opposition coaches might look to tactically negate our strengths, but that had always been thus in footy.

It seems to me that it is less about being worked out, more about other teams adopting our method, just as we adopted and adapted that of the tigers. 

So, the top 3 teams on the ladder (and arguably the fourth team) with only 2 games to go, have very similar game plans, at least in terms of philosophy. And they do so because it is the premiership model atm. 

Last year, arguably only the tigers and the dees fully employed that model (all teams value contested ball). 

I am more and more of the opinion that goody recognises that other teams have adopted our successful model and is making changes to the way we play to increase our chances of winning the flag this year. 

Goody had often said the finals is a different season. 

It's worth remembering in this context that for much of all three finals last year we played ballistic, high tempo, high scoring football. A style not dissimilar to that of the pies this year, and very similar to how we played against the dogs and in the first half against the pies.

The second reflection relates to your zigging and zagging idea, sort of.

The pies use Nick daicos ad a weapon off half back with his incisive kicking. That's not a radical move, we have salo for example, but daicos drives their offence more. I think we bafly need bowey's kicking skills.

The final reflection was how much I love the phrase 'find the seams in the defence'. It perfectly captures the key challenge in all team sports

The pies certainly found the seams in our defence.

Edited by binman
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51 minutes ago, binman said:

So, the top 3 teams on the ladder (and arguably the fourth team) with only 2 games to go, have very similar game plans, at least in terms of philosophy. And they do so because it is the premiership model atm. 

Last year, arguably only the tigers and the dees fully employed that model (all teams value contested ball). 

I am more and more of the opinion that goody recognises that other teams have adopted our successful model and is making changes to the way we play to increase our chances of winning the flag this year. 

Goody had often said the finals is a different season. 

It's worth remembering in this context that for much of all three finals last year we played ballistic, high tempo, high scoring football. A style not dissimilar to that of the pies this year, and very similar to how we played against the dogs and in the first half against the pies.

Don't know if I agree.  I think the cats (this year), pies and swans are all far more aggressive (and skilful) in how they move the ball than we are (this year or last year).  Other than when winning a centre clearance or on turnover, we move the ball slowly and predictably - long to Gawn from the kickout to the non-Langdon side and get it as far up the field as we can until we bomb it to the pocket or it goes out of bounds.  it is based around our contested mids winning more contests than they lose.

The other teams are prepared to switch more and go up the fat side or even the corridor - I don't think we ever do this unless on turnover?

The difference for us this year (to me) seems to be our ability to hold other teams' foot skills at bay for a full game.  If they're prepared to take us on and not just go down the line, our pressure doesn't seem to be able to be high enough to stop this for 4 quarters.

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