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Centre Clearances - Considered Analysis Requested.



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7 hours ago, Dee Zephyr said:

Good stuff all, apologies if I’ve missed it but the defence should get a bonus in their pay packet this week. According to the stats that matter we only conceded 1 behind from Sydney’s centre bounce dominance.

Really?   46 seconds for Sydney’s first goal in the first quarter without a MFC touch, and 16 seconds in the fourth would seem pretty effective use of clearances. 

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2 hours ago, A F said:

They definitely got at least one goal almost straight out of the middle. Sinclair's goal at the start of the fourth is an example.

 

6 minutes ago, monoccular said:

Really?   46 seconds for Sydney’s first goal in the first quarter without a MFC touch, and 16 seconds in the fourth would seem pretty effective use of clearances. 

Not sure how it’s measured, was on the MFC site. In both cases you mention we did touch the ball, a Jordon errant handball and a Brayshaw attempted handball.

Centre bounce clearances:

Melbourne: 4 | Sydney: 17

Centre bounce metres gained:

Sydney +522m

(Despite the Swans’ dominance, they only scored one behind from centre bounces)

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Dee Zephyr said:

 

Not sure how it’s measured, was on the MFC site. In both cases you mention we did touch the ball, a Jordon errant handball and a Brayshaw attempted handball.

Centre bounce clearances:

Melbourne: 4 | Sydney: 17

Centre bounce metres gained:

Sydney +522m

(Despite the Swans’ dominance, they only scored one behind from centre bounces)

Gotcha, it must be a clean clearance untouched by a defender. So the clearance leading to Sinclair's goal was initially spoiled by May.

On The Couch showed the same stats tonight and compared our 1 point to 21 points given up by Carlton with the similar clearance losses. Sunday's game should be fascinating.

Edited by A F
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  • Nasher changed the title to Centre Clearances - Considered Analysis Requested.

I think there are probably a couple of different ways to look at it. There are the basic stats (often known as 'counting stats') like kicks, handballs, clearances, hitouts, etc.... basically anything where you are just counting the things that happen on the field. Then there are the more advanced stats which can give you an idea of what, in particular, actually helps your team to win.

The 17-4 centre clearance stat is a counting stat. It simply counts how many times a team clears the ball from a centre bounce. This will include a dominant clearance where a player runs out of the stoppage and kicks a goal directly, but it will also include a 15m scrub kick forward to a defender (who then moves the ball quickly for a counterattacking goal). Counting stats are nice, but only have limited use.

The very interesting thing I saw was that, despite being 17th for centre clearances, we're actually 4th in centre clearance score differential. This indicates that the relative quality of our clearances is extremely high. If you look at the players we have in the centre, we have some very damaging players .... Petracca, Oliver and Viney. If you look at the setups, Petracca often runs a bit of a 'Hail Mary' run through the stoppage. The odds of this coming off are pretty remote, but we have Viney to disrupt anything that goes wrong. We obviously didn't on the weekend but generally our lost clearances are pretty ineffective whilst our won clearances are very dangerous. 

My favourite stats are ones to do with the expected gains based on a particular event. Things like strokes gained in golf, or expected runs in baseball. Here we can quantify the fractional gain of a good drive vs safe layup shot, or expected number of runs from a sacrifice bunt in baseball vs letting a hitter swing away. It doesn't mean that a golf shot saving you 0.1 shots will have a direct result on that score, but it means that over 100 shots you should be saving 10 shots on average, which builds up over time. These statistical models are built over time using a huge number of instances.

I think about footy in a similar way. Something along the lines of the expected scores for different types of clearance, which should show you what to prioritise. For instance, a high quality centre clearance (which is delivered cleanly, unpressured, and deep to a forward target) might average (for example .... these numbers are made up!!) +2.5 points each, whilst a pressured, shallow, hack kick forwards might earn you +0.1 points per clearance. This would mean that a clean clearance is 25 times as valuable as a poor one, so we shouldn't be prioritising poor clearances to the detriment of good ones, even if we get a lot more of them. By the same token, we should be trying to prevent opposition clean clearances as much as we possibly can, even if we have to stop our own wins to do so. 

A reminder that I made up those numbers to explain an idea. They aren't real! What is real is that the 'counting stat' is far less important than the number of points we are expected to score from centre clearances vs the number we are expected to concede.

So this explains why we have Petracca running kamikaze whilst others often are very defensive, and that the presence of Viney is crucial in them. We could definitely be getting more clearances by putting players like ANB, Spargo, etc in there because they can make use of the extra space available in the centre bounce, and sending Petracca (a power player who isn't a great stoppage player) into the forward line. This would improve the counting stat of clearances but we would score fewer points per clearance because the quality of those clearances would drop markedly. 

So there is a tradeoff: quality of clearance vs quantity of clearance. Quantity is the easiest thing to measure but it can often be misleading when trying to do what you're trying to do ..... which is to score more points than the opposition.

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3 minutes ago, Axis of Bob said:

I think there are probably a couple of different ways to look at it. There are the basic stats (often known as 'counting stats') like kicks, handballs, clearances, hitouts, etc.... basically anything where you are just counting the things that happen on the field. Then there are the more advanced stats which can give you an idea of what, in particular, actually helps your team to win.

The 17-4 centre clearance stat is a counting stat. It simply counts how many times a team clears the ball from a centre bounce. This will include a dominant clearance where a player runs out of the stoppage and kicks a goal directly, but it will also include a 15m scrub kick forward to a defender (who then moves the ball quickly for a counterattacking goal). Counting stats are nice, but only have limited use.

The very interesting thing I saw was that, despite being 17th for centre clearances, we're actually 4th in centre clearance score differential. This indicates that the relative quality of our clearances is extremely high. If you look at the players we have in the centre, we have some very damaging players .... Petracca, Oliver and Viney. If you look at the setups, Petracca often runs a bit of a 'Hail Mary' run through the stoppage. The odds of this coming off are pretty remote, but we have Viney to disrupt anything that goes wrong. We obviously didn't on the weekend but generally our lost clearances are pretty ineffective whilst our won clearances are very dangerous. 

My favourite stats are ones to do with the expected gains based on a particular event. Things like strokes gained in golf, or expected runs in baseball. Here we can quantify the fractional gain of a good drive vs safe layup shot, or expected number of runs from a sacrifice bunt in baseball vs letting a hitter swing away. It doesn't mean that a golf shot saving you 0.1 shots will have a direct result on that score, but it means that over 100 shots you should be saving 10 shots on average, which builds up over time. These statistical models are built over time using a huge number of instances.

I think about footy in a similar way. Something along the lines of the expected scores for different types of clearance, which should show you what to prioritise. For instance, a high quality centre clearance (which is delivered cleanly, unpressured, and deep to a forward target) might average (for example .... these numbers are made up!!) +2.5 points each, whilst a pressured, shallow, hack kick forwards might earn you +0.1 points per clearance. This would mean that a clean clearance is 25 times as valuable as a poor one, so we shouldn't be prioritising poor clearances to the detriment of good ones, even if we get a lot more of them. By the same token, we should be trying to prevent opposition clean clearances as much as we possibly can, even if we have to stop our own wins to do so. 

A reminder that I made up those numbers to explain an idea. They aren't real! What is real is that the 'counting stat' is far less important than the number of points we are expected to score from centre clearances vs the number we are expected to concede.

So this explains why we have Petracca running kamikaze whilst others often are very defensive, and that the presence of Viney is crucial in them. We could definitely be getting more clearances by putting players like ANB, Spargo, etc in there because they can make use of the extra space available in the centre bounce, and sending Petracca (a power player who isn't a great stoppage player) into the forward line. This would improve the counting stat of clearances but we would score fewer points per clearance because the quality of those clearances would drop markedly. 

So there is a tradeoff: quality of clearance vs quantity of clearance. Quantity is the easiest thing to measure but it can often be misleading when trying to do what you're trying to do ..... which is to score more points than the opposition.

Seriously good analysis.  I really wish AFL stats were public!

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5 hours ago, Axis of Bob said:

I think there are probably a couple of different ways to look at it. There are the basic stats (often known as 'counting stats') like kicks, handballs, clearances, hitouts, etc.... basically anything where you are just counting the things that happen on the field. Then there are the more advanced stats which can give you an idea of what, in particular, actually helps your team to win.

The 17-4 centre clearance stat is a counting stat. It simply counts how many times a team clears the ball from a centre bounce. This will include a dominant clearance where a player runs out of the stoppage and kicks a goal directly, but it will also include a 15m scrub kick forward to a defender (who then moves the ball quickly for a counterattacking goal). Counting stats are nice, but only have limited use.

The very interesting thing I saw was that, despite being 17th for centre clearances, we're actually 4th in centre clearance score differential. This indicates that the relative quality of our clearances is extremely high. If you look at the players we have in the centre, we have some very damaging players .... Petracca, Oliver and Viney. If you look at the setups, Petracca often runs a bit of a 'Hail Mary' run through the stoppage. The odds of this coming off are pretty remote, but we have Viney to disrupt anything that goes wrong. We obviously didn't on the weekend but generally our lost clearances are pretty ineffective whilst our won clearances are very dangerous. 

My favourite stats are ones to do with the expected gains based on a particular event. Things like strokes gained in golf, or expected runs in baseball. Here we can quantify the fractional gain of a good drive vs safe layup shot, or expected number of runs from a sacrifice bunt in baseball vs letting a hitter swing away. It doesn't mean that a golf shot saving you 0.1 shots will have a direct result on that score, but it means that over 100 shots you should be saving 10 shots on average, which builds up over time. These statistical models are built over time using a huge number of instances.

I think about footy in a similar way. Something along the lines of the expected scores for different types of clearance, which should show you what to prioritise. For instance, a high quality centre clearance (which is delivered cleanly, unpressured, and deep to a forward target) might average (for example .... these numbers are made up!!) +2.5 points each, whilst a pressured, shallow, hack kick forwards might earn you +0.1 points per clearance. This would mean that a clean clearance is 25 times as valuable as a poor one, so we shouldn't be prioritising poor clearances to the detriment of good ones, even if we get a lot more of them. By the same token, we should be trying to prevent opposition clean clearances as much as we possibly can, even if we have to stop our own wins to do so. 

A reminder that I made up those numbers to explain an idea. They aren't real! What is real is that the 'counting stat' is far less important than the number of points we are expected to score from centre clearances vs the number we are expected to concede.

So this explains why we have Petracca running kamikaze whilst others often are very defensive, and that the presence of Viney is crucial in them. We could definitely be getting more clearances by putting players like ANB, Spargo, etc in there because they can make use of the extra space available in the centre bounce, and sending Petracca (a power player who isn't a great stoppage player) into the forward line. This would improve the counting stat of clearances but we would score fewer points per clearance because the quality of those clearances would drop markedly. 

So there is a tradeoff: quality of clearance vs quantity of clearance. Quantity is the easiest thing to measure but it can often be misleading when trying to do what you're trying to do ..... which is to score more points than the opposition.

What he said.

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Our midfielders positioned themselves very poorly against Sydney. They, Sydney, employed a tactic of pushing or holding, particularly Oliver, away from the contest and had a clear focus of pushing their minds one side of the square as soon as the bounce went up. Oliver seems to be sucked in to wrestling and pushing and shoving his opponent. What annoyed me, was why we didn’t try something different at the centre bounce. Go stand fifteen metres off the centre circle and draw out the opposition. Gawn’s tap work was well-read by the Swans and it’s not the first time this season. Viney’s grunt work was greatly missed. 

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Posted (edited)

 yze is interviewed on the talking points video that was loaded up today.

The first 3 mina or so all about the centre square clearnce differential.

Interesting discussion.

In fact the whole interview is good. I didn't realise he hadn't been a mid field coach before (or perhaps I misunderstood the question and reply)

https://www.melbournefc.com.au/video/934386/the-talking-points-adem-yze?videoId=934386&modal=true&type=video&publishFrom=1620721799001

Edited by binman
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6 hours ago, Axis of Bob said:

I think there are probably a couple of different ways to look at it. There are the basic stats (often known as 'counting stats') like kicks, handballs, clearances, hitouts, etc.... basically anything where you are just counting the things that happen on the field. Then there are the more advanced stats which can give you an idea of what, in particular, actually helps your team to win.

The 17-4 centre clearance stat is a counting stat. It simply counts how many times a team clears the ball from a centre bounce. This will include a dominant clearance where a player runs out of the stoppage and kicks a goal directly, but it will also include a 15m scrub kick forward to a defender (who then moves the ball quickly for a counterattacking goal). Counting stats are nice, but only have limited use.

The very interesting thing I saw was that, despite being 17th for centre clearances, we're actually 4th in centre clearance score differential. This indicates that the relative quality of our clearances is extremely high. If you look at the players we have in the centre, we have some very damaging players .... Petracca, Oliver and Viney. If you look at the setups, Petracca often runs a bit of a 'Hail Mary' run through the stoppage. The odds of this coming off are pretty remote, but we have Viney to disrupt anything that goes wrong. We obviously didn't on the weekend but generally our lost clearances are pretty ineffective whilst our won clearances are very dangerous. 

My favourite stats are ones to do with the expected gains based on a particular event. Things like strokes gained in golf, or expected runs in baseball. Here we can quantify the fractional gain of a good drive vs safe layup shot, or expected number of runs from a sacrifice bunt in baseball vs letting a hitter swing away. It doesn't mean that a golf shot saving you 0.1 shots will have a direct result on that score, but it means that over 100 shots you should be saving 10 shots on average, which builds up over time. These statistical models are built over time using a huge number of instances.

I think about footy in a similar way. Something along the lines of the expected scores for different types of clearance, which should show you what to prioritise. For instance, a high quality centre clearance (which is delivered cleanly, unpressured, and deep to a forward target) might average (for example .... these numbers are made up!!) +2.5 points each, whilst a pressured, shallow, hack kick forwards might earn you +0.1 points per clearance. This would mean that a clean clearance is 25 times as valuable as a poor one, so we shouldn't be prioritising poor clearances to the detriment of good ones, even if we get a lot more of them. By the same token, we should be trying to prevent opposition clean clearances as much as we possibly can, even if we have to stop our own wins to do so. 

A reminder that I made up those numbers to explain an idea. They aren't real! What is real is that the 'counting stat' is far less important than the number of points we are expected to score from centre clearances vs the number we are expected to concede.

So this explains why we have Petracca running kamikaze whilst others often are very defensive, and that the presence of Viney is crucial in them. We could definitely be getting more clearances by putting players like ANB, Spargo, etc in there because they can make use of the extra space available in the centre bounce, and sending Petracca (a power player who isn't a great stoppage player) into the forward line. This would improve the counting stat of clearances but we would score fewer points per clearance because the quality of those clearances would drop markedly. 

So there is a tradeoff: quality of clearance vs quantity of clearance. Quantity is the easiest thing to measure but it can often be misleading when trying to do what you're trying to do ..... which is to score more points than the opposition.

Thanks for your insightful analysis Axis.  Puts things into perspective a lot compared to the raw 17-4 apparent shellacking.

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8 hours ago, Axis of Bob said:

I think there are probably a couple of different ways to look at it. There are the basic stats (often known as 'counting stats') like kicks, handballs, clearances, hitouts, etc.... basically anything where you are just counting the things that happen on the field. Then there are the more advanced stats which can give you an idea of what, in particular, actually helps your team to win.

The 17-4 centre clearance stat is a counting stat. It simply counts how many times a team clears the ball from a centre bounce. This will include a dominant clearance where a player runs out of the stoppage and kicks a goal directly, but it will also include a 15m scrub kick forward to a defender (who then moves the ball quickly for a counterattacking goal). Counting stats are nice, but only have limited use.

The very interesting thing I saw was that, despite being 17th for centre clearances, we're actually 4th in centre clearance score differential. This indicates that the relative quality of our clearances is extremely high. If you look at the players we have in the centre, we have some very damaging players .... Petracca, Oliver and Viney. If you look at the setups, Petracca often runs a bit of a 'Hail Mary' run through the stoppage. The odds of this coming off are pretty remote, but we have Viney to disrupt anything that goes wrong. We obviously didn't on the weekend but generally our lost clearances are pretty ineffective whilst our won clearances are very dangerous. 

My favourite stats are ones to do with the expected gains based on a particular event. Things like strokes gained in golf, or expected runs in baseball. Here we can quantify the fractional gain of a good drive vs safe layup shot, or expected number of runs from a sacrifice bunt in baseball vs letting a hitter swing away. It doesn't mean that a golf shot saving you 0.1 shots will have a direct result on that score, but it means that over 100 shots you should be saving 10 shots on average, which builds up over time. These statistical models are built over time using a huge number of instances.

I think about footy in a similar way. Something along the lines of the expected scores for different types of clearance, which should show you what to prioritise. For instance, a high quality centre clearance (which is delivered cleanly, unpressured, and deep to a forward target) might average (for example .... these numbers are made up!!) +2.5 points each, whilst a pressured, shallow, hack kick forwards might earn you +0.1 points per clearance. This would mean that a clean clearance is 25 times as valuable as a poor one, so we shouldn't be prioritising poor clearances to the detriment of good ones, even if we get a lot more of them. By the same token, we should be trying to prevent opposition clean clearances as much as we possibly can, even if we have to stop our own wins to do so. 

A reminder that I made up those numbers to explain an idea. They aren't real! What is real is that the 'counting stat' is far less important than the number of points we are expected to score from centre clearances vs the number we are expected to concede.

So this explains why we have Petracca running kamikaze whilst others often are very defensive, and that the presence of Viney is crucial in them. We could definitely be getting more clearances by putting players like ANB, Spargo, etc in there because they can make use of the extra space available in the centre bounce, and sending Petracca (a power player who isn't a great stoppage player) into the forward line. This would improve the counting stat of clearances but we would score fewer points per clearance because the quality of those clearances would drop markedly. 

So there is a tradeoff: quality of clearance vs quantity of clearance. Quantity is the easiest thing to measure but it can often be misleading when trying to do what you're trying to do ..... which is to score more points than the opposition.

Good post as usual mate.

The one thing I'd debate you on is this idea that Petracca runs kamikze-like through stoppages. I don't think that's what's happening. It's certainly not what happened versus Sydney anyway.

I think Christian has a role to play, that, sure, is power-based and can be offensive, but he is also expected to defend. 

In the instance of those three centre clearances his opponent won against him in a row, he wasn't cheating and running forward of the play like some of the St Kilda players have been accused of this year. He was simply too slow to react to the situation unfolding in front of him and adhere to his defensive duties.

I think kamikaze is implying he's given free reign to go for broke offensively and I don't think that's the case. I don't think that's how we play anymore. We're more defensive nowadays and that's the expectation. If you don't win it, make sure the opposition, as you say above, gets rushed ineffective clearances.

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3 hours ago, binman said:

 yze is interviewed on the talking points video that was loaded up today.

The first 3 mina or so all about the centre square clearnce differential.

Interesting discussion.

In fact the whole interview is good. I didn't realise he hadn't been a mid field coach before (or perhaps I misunderstood the question and reply)

https://www.melbournefc.com.au/video/934386/the-talking-points-adem-yze?videoId=934386&modal=true&type=video&publishFrom=1620721799001

I was really glad to hear that when asked, "do you move on from it pretty quickly and look closer at the fact we won" (paraphrased) he absolutely rejected that and actually seemed to take a lot of responsibility for the fact we lost the centre clearances so badly. I'm backing him and the midfield to find a way to rectify it for this week against Carlton.

I feel like what Sydney seemed to do particularly well was put tactical blocks on the players and almost bulldoze paths through for their players to get the ball. I think it didn't help that Max wasn't quite hitting the right spots with his taps but I really feel like Sydney did their homework our our contested ball winners at centre bounces. My major issue is that when the opposition seem to have our measure on these things we seem to just stick to the plan rather than try to mix things up, even a tactical smash forward rather than deft tap might just get them re-thinking how they go about it.

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7 hours ago, Pates said:

I was really glad to hear that when asked, "do you move on from it pretty quickly and look closer at the fact we won" (paraphrased) he absolutely rejected that and actually seemed to take a lot of responsibility for the fact we lost the centre clearances so badly. I'm backing him and the midfield to find a way to rectify it for this week against Carlton.

I feel like what Sydney seemed to do particularly well was put tactical blocks on the players and almost bulldoze paths through for their players to get the ball. I think it didn't help that Max wasn't quite hitting the right spots with his taps but I really feel like Sydney did their homework our our contested ball winners at centre bounces. My major issue is that when the opposition seem to have our measure on these things we seem to just stick to the plan rather than try to mix things up, even a tactical smash forward rather than deft tap might just get them re-thinking how they go about it.

That is the first interview I've heard with him. Very impressive.

I reckon they do try to mix things up. Look at the different spots Max hits it to. But it was a slippery night and as ooze noted like most teams the swans were simply trying to negate Max and rove to him. And they had some guns doing so. And the centre square stoppages are pretty random.

On smahing it forward to space  Max does that quite a bit around the ground, and occasionally in the centre.

But I reckon they avoid it in the centre as a rule because it is so risky. If one of their half backs or wingers come off the square there is a good chance that if they (or one of the mids) win it, they are in space and so can kick under no pressure..

A tap down to one of our players who then looks to handball out to one of our players in space is far more controlled and less risky. If the opposition win the ball from the tap it is in traffic so we can apply pressure.

 

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14 hours ago, A F said:

The one thing I'd debate you on is this idea that Petracca runs kamikze-like through stoppages. I don't think that's what's happening. It's certainly not what happened versus Sydney anyway.

Yep, that's probably clumsy from me. He's not just barrelling through every stoppage waiting for the miracle ball but he's definitely prioritising getting a high impact clearance over defending his opponent a lot of the time. Or at least having him in the centre means that the coaches are prioritising that aspect because of his strengths and weaknesses in that position.

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1 minute ago, titan_uranus said:

Thanks @Axis of Bob.

Out of interest, where did you get the scores from centre clearances differential stat? Is it on footywire?

Nah, it was in an article that I read in the past week. I can't remember which on it was, although I'm sure someone out there will know.

It's a shame that we can't get access to a lot of those more advanced stats, as they would really be informative. You see a greater level of coverage of a lot of baseball and basketball etc because these advanced metrics are available to help analysts and help them prosecute certain arguments. In baseball you can have interesting and legitimate arguments about whether a pitcher is better because they are getting more groundballs vs flyballs, and then be able to back that argument up with data, whilst we AFL spectators get BT telling us that players should aim at the goals like it's the most complex thing in world sport.

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Stats are easy to collect in other (inferior) sports where the action is slower, most of the play is static, it is less crowded and there are lots of stops in play. 

How they collect our footy stats always amazes me. So let's not compare our great game to others.

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1 minute ago, tiers said:

Stats are easy to collect in other (inferior) sports where the action is slower, most of the play is static, it is less crowded and there are lots of stops in play. 

How they collect our footy stats always amazes me. So let's not compare our great game to others.

But the issue isn't that the stats don't exist.

They exist. They're just not made available to the public.

This year has seen a major step forward though, with the AFL website now making significantly more data available to the public. It's not an easy system to navigate but much more info is there now.

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I'd be really interested to see the scores from clearance differential, because there is some significance to the fact we have the best intercept defense in the game, and if the kicks are rushed, we'll score heavily from that situation. 

However i think the reason we haven't been able to blow teams away when we probably should have is because we haven't had any real sustained dominance out of the middle. 

as Axis mentioned, outside Petracca, we're setting up quite defensively, so potentially it is a ploy, we either win a really dangerous clearance, or we make sure if they do, we are a high % chance of winning it back and moving the ball with them out of position. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Patches O’houlihan said:

I'd be really interested to see the scores from clearance differential, because there is some significance to the fact we have the best intercept defense in the game, and if the kicks are rushed, we'll score heavily from that situation. 

However i think the reason we haven't been able to blow teams away when we probably should have is because we haven't had any real sustained dominance out of the middle. 

as Axis mentioned, outside Petracca, we're setting up quite defensively, so potentially it is a ploy, we either win a really dangerous clearance, or we make sure if they do, we are a high % chance of winning it back and moving the ball with them out of position. 

I take your point @Patches O’houlihan - look at our first 5 rounds (and even last week) we had significantly more scoring shots throughout games or throughout certain quarters and have failed to capitalise. 

We actually haven't had the forward line that we have trained for. 

I've loved our wins and the style of them. And there is a version of me that wishes we had smashed some teams cause it [censored] feels awesome and its genuine vindication that have a capacity to do so.

BUT

All of our wins - have come with elements of resilience in different ways. That is what matters.

The blowing away of some teams will come... 2 games with Brown and TMAC and now Weid - we're back to the first game whereby these have played in the AFL within a system...it'll take some time.

But then you see Hawkins, Cameron and Rohan - 15 goals between the 3 of them. 

I think we can match that with Fritsch as well. 

If it wasn't for the will to win each mach - it'll be genuinely interesting as a neutral to see how the forwardline structures work.

Edited by Engorged Onion
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42 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

But the issue isn't that the stats don't exist.

They exist. They're just not made available to the public.

This year has seen a major step forward though, with the AFL website now making significantly more data available to the public. It's not an easy system to navigate but much more info is there now.

Exaclty.

The clubs have access to champion dat and their own stats. And  i presume custom stats from other sources.

The difference in the sates is that the sports market is so huge there that the public has access to advanced metrics becuase there is viable market for it.  And multiple private companies exist that generate data , analysis and stats. 

Here is an example of what i mean:

https://technology.mlblogs.com/introducing-statcast-2020-hawk-eye-and-google-cloud-a5f5c20321b8

All the advanced stats here are monopolized. 

And i have vague memory of the AFL making it hard for anyone but Champion data to actually collect the stats.

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57 minutes ago, Patches O’houlihan said:

However i think the reason we haven't been able to blow teams away when we probably should have is because we haven't had any real sustained dominance out of the middle.

It's an interesting point, for reference (have also listed out intercepts for interest sake):

THE 'CLOSE' GAMES - CENTRE CLEARANCES

Dockers (22 point win)
MFC 10 FREO 12 (83 intercepts)

St Kilda (18 point win)
MFC 11 StK 14 (79 intercepts)

Sydney (9 point win)
MFC 4 SYD 17 (82 intercepts)

THE 'NOT SO CLOSE' GAMES - CENTRE CLEARANCES

Giants (34 point win)
MFC 12 GWS 16 (89 intercepts)

Cats (25 point win)
MFC 13 GEE 10 (75 intercepts)

Hawks (50 point win)
MFC 12 HAW 15 (83 intercepts)

Tigers (34 point win)
MFC 10 RIC 9 (91 intercepts)

Kangaroos (30 point win)
MFC 15 NM 14 (71 intercepts)

It's not a super strong pattern, but for mine what I take out of it is against the better teams we need to do better out of the middle. I don't think we need to dominate centre clearances to win, but, come finals time, I think we need to have it running a bit more evenly should we want to beat the top teams in finals style footy.

We still rank highly (2nd) for team v opponent hitouts, but we're middle of the table (8th) for team v opponent clearances.

We're 16th for team v opponent centre clearances, but I don't have the stat for centre hitouts to give that context.

 

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Interesting listening to Yze discuss the mentality of the midfield group and the philosophy and approach to our midfield work in this week's The Talking Points on the MFC website.

https://www.melbournefc.com.au/video/934386/the-talking-points-adem-yze?videoId=934386&modal=true&type=video&publishFrom=1620721799001

In reference to maximising Max's influence, Yze said: "... because we don't want to be a team that just rolls the dice and when we win it, we look great and when they win it, they look great. So we want to be really measured in the way that we play."

I think this greater focus on defence comes from the Clarkson school of thought. I could be reading into that bit, but I think it's clear Yze is a terrific asset to our coaching group and football club. I love that he has that strong connection to the club too.

I liked his honesty and humbleness in this interview, around ensuring the plan he gives Max is realistic and sustainable.

I wonder if Yze is also the ruck coach now that Stafford is forward coach? I had thought Greg was taking the forwards and the ruck, but maybe everything midfield is Yze now? 

My main impression from Adem is he's just a really humble guy as a coach. That has to rub off on our mids given the guy was not only a star as a player, but is close to our games record holder and has been there and done that with Hawthorn.

Give it a watch, it's really interesting hearing him talk. Look forward to hearing from him more often.

Another little side note is his son Noah is killing it down at Ashburton, so maybe Noah will be in the red and blue when his father eventually takes over the reins some day. ;)

 

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4 minutes ago, Lord Nev said:

It's an interesting point, for reference (have also listed out intercepts for interest sake):

THE 'CLOSE' GAMES - CENTRE CLEARANCES

Dockers (22 point win)
MFC 10 FREO 12 (83 intercepts)

St Kilda (18 point win)
MFC 11 StK 14 (79 intercepts)

Sydney (9 point win)
MFC 4 SYD 17 (82 intercepts)

THE 'NOT SO CLOSE' GAMES - CENTRE CLEARANCES

Giants (34 point win)
MFC 12 GWS 16 (89 intercepts)

Cats (25 point win)
MFC 13 GEE 10 (75 intercepts)

Hawks (50 point win)
MFC 12 HAW 15 (83 intercepts)

Tigers (34 point win)
MFC 10 RIC 9 (91 intercepts)

Kangaroos (30 point win)
MFC 15 NM 14 (71 intercepts)

It's not a super strong pattern, but for mine what I take out of it is against the better teams we need to do better out of the middle. I don't think we need to dominate centre clearances to win, but, come finals time, I think we need to have it running a bit more evenly should we want to beat the top teams in finals style footy.

We still rank highly (2nd) for team v opponent hitouts, but we're middle of the table (8th) for team v opponent clearances.

We're 16th for team v opponent centre clearances, but I don't have the stat for centre hitouts to give that context.

 

It's an interesting situation, because i suppose while you're 8-0 it shows it hasn't really cost us, but at the same time, i personally feel to win the premiership we probably do need to be winning a lot more clearances. and i think we'll tinker and get that right over the next 4-5 weeks. 

I do think Viney being out of the side is hurting us quite a lot in this regard as well. 

I've felt like we've won a lot of games without getting out of first gear, and i think the thing that's becoming really clear is we're not really getting the game on our terms, in terms of winning the contest and winning clearance, but our defence is so good that we're just destroying teams on rebound. 

if we can get the clearance stuff right and improve that area by say 20-30 % we'll be comfortably the best side in the competition. it's incredible we may be that already regardless. 

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4 minutes ago, Patches O’houlihan said:

It's an interesting situation, because i suppose while you're 8-0 it shows it hasn't really cost us, but at the same time, i personally feel to win the premiership we probably do need to be winning a lot more clearances. and i think we'll tinker and get that right over the next 4-5 weeks. 

I do think Viney being out of the side is hurting us quite a lot in this regard as well. 

I've felt like we've won a lot of games without getting out of first gear, and i think the thing that's becoming really clear is we're not really getting the game on our terms, in terms of winning the contest and winning clearance, but our defence is so good that we're just destroying teams on rebound. 

if we can get the clearance stuff right and improve that area by say 20-30 % we'll be comfortably the best side in the competition. it's incredible we may be that already regardless. 

Lord nev put up some stats earlier in this thread about the tigers centre clearance differential over the last few years. Mid table

Mid table will work for us.

 

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