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How likely a latter season drop off?



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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, faultydet said:

We don't have great midfield depth.

A couple of injuries to key players and we are right back in the pack.

A good example of how important it is going to be to give some of our 'depth' Casey players (the young 'uns) a run or two in the AFL team, whilst we have achieved so much, so soon, in terms of wins and ladder position. Should key players get injured or suffer from some form lapses, then it will be imperative to have good list management in place, starting with experience for our depth players as they might stand at the moment.

 

Edited by Deemania since 56
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Perhaps we're currently seeing a small drop off in output right now? We were asleep in the first half against North and last weekend we lost 3 out of 4 quarters against the swans. 

It's hard to keep 22 players in peak mental and physical condition and no doubt training loads will increase and taper throughout the season as required. Hopefully we can navigate through the rest of season and keep putting wins on the board when we're not firing on all cylinders. So far so good.

For what it's worth I don't think we've played our best footy yet and think it is still to come. Something I'm looking forward to.

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Losses will come but bank the early wins. Sides below will keep taking points off each other as they try to catch up.

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1 hour ago, Mazer Rackham said:

If I recall, in that run they played all the (as it turned out) bottom teams, then they got some injuries. They more or less ran out of gas. Then they got a flat tire. Their jumpers didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole their car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. It wasn't their fault!

Well played sir. Nice effort to work in that classic movie reference!

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1 hour ago, faultydet said:

We don't have great midfield depth.

A couple of injuries to key players and we are right back in the pack.

Oliver
Petracca
Viney
Harmes
Jones
Jordon
Sparrow
Brayshaw
Melksham
Pickett
ANB

And you could still throw these guys in the middle
Jackson
Hibberd
Spargo
Bedford
Baker

I think the midfield depth is fine

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I agree with others above that the north comparisons are unwarranted. Arguably they are the exception that proves the rule, that teams that start the season without loss go on to play deep into September. Of course injuries will happen but we’ve now got a solid system that holds up under pressure and players can see the results. 

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Posted (edited)

Short answer: all things considered it reasonably likely we will drop off at some point, but if we do lets hope it is not at finals time. 

Long answer:

As is always the case for any contender, much will depend on injury. And luck (eg who gets injured, when they get injured, opposition issues) 

We have had an ok run with injuries thus far (though that should not be overstated - we have lost thommo, our two first pick forwards were unavailable until recently, our small defender back up has been out, we lost a very handy defensive back up in Hore for the season, Viney is out for a bit).

But we can expect some more.

Our game plan has pressure as its absolute foundation. It is a very taxing style to play for a full season. Physically and mentally. It is likely intensity will drop in some games and we will lose a handful of them. 

So I think we will definitely dip a bit. Which is no bad thing. Gone are the days of teams going through seasons undefeated (how insane does that sound in reference to a discussion about the dees!)

The key is to replicate what the Tigers have been so brilliant at:  banking enough wins to make top 4, not being overly fussed if they are scratchy wins and peaking at finals time.

As Hardwick and Goody have noted (perhaps taking a cue from the NFL) there are two seasons: 

Home and Away. And Finals.

Get through the first in good shape and with a strong ladder position. Peak in the second 

Our system and game plan is robust and I am super confident it will stand up in finals. And our list is in the perfect stage of its development.

Make no mistake we are legitimate contenders for the flag this year, as evidenced by the fact we are currently EQUAL FAVOURITES (with the Dogs, Tigers and Port - all $5.50) for the flag with the bookies.

I hope they go all chips in in the next two games (was four games when i made this comment previously, so we have the first two pieces of the puzzle) and do all they can to win the them both. That includes picking the very best side they can. And not resting players unless really necessary.

If we go 10 zip we are a top four lock as 15 win gets us top four, meaning we 'only' need to win half of our remaining games. 

Do that and we can plan around the bye to rest players. So rest players between rounds 11 and say 15.

That includes possibly not having our best team against the dogs, port and/or lions.

All three games are not as important at they might have been without our brilliant start to the season. If we happen to lose any, those clubs will know we were not at full strength. And dees fans we will be the ones who can smugly say premierships are not won in July. 

Give Gawn a chop out, manage Tracc and Oliver for a game or two, perhaps Jackson, Rivers and Jordan too (but not not kozzie - he would hate it too much!).

Get some experienced players like Jones and maybe Jetts in for the tough mid winter games. And give the Bowey, Swallows, Chandlers and Bedfords, maybe even Rosman and of course Weed their shots.

Fresh, motivated players will bring an energy just when we  need it. And actually might help us win some games we might otherwise lose. 

Our flying  start has created this opportunity. But we need to win to next two to get get full value from it. 

 

 

Edited by binman
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I heard Mark Williams on radio a couple of years back re depth, saying one soldier in one soldier out is BS, e.g. Dusty by 24th player on Tiger list. If you lose Gawn, Petracca, May, Kossie, etc. they are very hard to replace, but at least we have reasonable depth across the field, and can protect structure:

Key backs: Tomlinson out Petty pretty good replacement, if we lose another maybe Daw can come in

Backs: Lockhart or Jetta

Middle: covered above, but if we lose another you roll Brayshaw in the middle and perhaps Baker/Chandler/Sparrow on the wing!

Key Forwards: Weideman 

Small Forwards: Chandler and Bedford 

Ruck: Daw

At least we have reasonable depth and I’ve probably missed a few options.

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1 hour ago, FritschyBusiness said:

Oliver
Petracca
Viney
Harmes
Jones
Jordon
Sparrow
Brayshaw
Melksham
Pickett
ANB

And you could still throw these guys in the middle
Jackson
Hibberd
Spargo
Bedford
Baker

I think the midfield depth is fine

agreed

plus.....midfield has been under-performing lately yet we still win (e.g. 4/17 centre clearances vs swan)

more injuries to key defenders would stretch us more

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I just checked.... we lost our last three in '57 before going on to smash essendon to complete threepeat.  in '64 we got smashed by the scraggers (we had players out)  and then beat collingwood x 2 to win the flag.  late games interstate this year won't help us. hopefully we will have stored our acorns away by then.

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Based on our wins against Sydney, Richmond and yes even North, I'd suggest we're comfortably top 6 and probably top 4. We were challenged. Suspect we may lose a few in the row but as long as we finish the season strong that's all that matters. Tbh Carlton and Adelaide are more a threat than the Doggies atm. Wouldn't be surprised if we lose one or even both. Not because "we're Melbourne" but because both teams are flaky af and unpredictable but also capable, and we're coming off three incredibly bruising encounters. Just need to make sure we do away with two of the Eagles, Power and Cats and we'll be on our way.

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If we were currently in the pack on four or five wins I'd be mildly annoyed that we play the Dogs twice and have the Cats a second time.  But we are three games clear inside the top four and even a 50/50 win rate for the rest of the season will see us settle on 15 wins. That means that the occasional loss when it happens is something we can take 'learnings' from without tearing our hair out and we can keep our focus on improvement and working out our best combinations instead of fretting over every game.

In 8 games so far we've played three opponents currently in the eight as well as 9th, 10th and 11th who would each be in the 8 if they had beaten us, so it hasn't been a particularly soft draw and we've met every test against opponents with a wide variety of tactics.

I came into this season anticipating a 'pretty good' start, then a bit of adjustment, followed by a really potent late season. I'm still very comfortable with that prediction.

Truth is, at this stage only our defense and our general pressure are areas that have been truly outstanding - clearly those are the two best things to be outstanding in - but we haven't dominated the clearances the way we would like to and probably ought to, and we haven't had the whole forward line work well at the same time.

Eight wins in and yet not a single 10-goal margin our way tells the story - we are getting the job done. It sounds silly to say it about an undefeated team, but I'd argue it is much more likely that we will lift further before the end of the year, rather than slip too badly.

 

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I just checked.... we lost our last three in '57 before going on to smash essendon to complete threepeat.  in '64 we got smashed by the scraggers (we had players out)  and then beat collingwood x 2 to win the flag.  late games interstate this year won't help us. hopefully we will have stored our acorns away by then.

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We seem to be doing well by making games into arm wrestles and making the most of the periods where the momentum swings our way.

Playing that way i think we will lose somegames through inefficiency and some others when our opponents capitalise on the momentum at the right time.

If we lose games while still fighting tooth and nail i don't care...been a long time since we've been able to watch the MFC play with a fair idea that we'll get a real sustained effort. That's all I ever cared about.

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3 hours ago, faultydet said:

We don't have great midfield depth.

A couple of injuries to key players and we are right back in the pack.

I disagree strongly.

A grade Mids- Petracca Oliver Viney (inj) Langdon

Back up- Harmes Brayshaw Jordan Sparrow ANB (has the tank) Luke Jackson (plays like an old school Ruck Rover)

Back up Back up (If [censored] hit the fan). Salem/Hibberd could go in if you could prop up the backline with Jetta. Rosman & Baker can play on the wing if we were stretched.

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3 hours ago, Webber said:

Was just reading Titus O’Reily’s Round 8 wrap, and a poster in the comments was recalling North Melbourne’s start to 2016. They went 9-0, top of the ladder, but won only 3 more games to September, finished 8th and were eliminated straight up. Didn’t remember that, and now wish I hadn’t been reminded. Form and wins are fickle. How likely for the Dees? 

Norf also had a very old list in 2016 as well.

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I would like to see Gawn rested this week against Carlton. Bring in Majak for this game.We dont have any other players pressing for a rest (maybe Fritta) and Carlton have no decent rucks anyway. We have in the past allowed Max to cop lots of knocks and bumps in many games and I was quite impressed with Majak in the VFL. Its a very good time to do it as it is a major change when we dont have to make other adjustments. Max looks like he could do with putting his feet up for an extra week.

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2 minutes ago, Damo said:

I would like to see Gawn rested this week against Carlton. Bring in Majak for this game.We dont have any other players pressing for a rest (maybe Fritta) and Carlton have no decent rucks anyway. We have in the past allowed Max to cop lots of knocks and bumps in many games and I was quite impressed with Majak in the VFL. Its a very good time to do it as it is a major change when we dont have to make other adjustments. Max looks like he could do with putting his feet up for an extra week.

Pittonet is a more than capable ruckman..

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no doubt we will have a blip and it will be interesting to see how we respond to our first and second loss

Ideal scenario is to have a small drop off in form with 8-10 games left in the season. Then have plenty of time to get back into form prior to finals.  We have a hard end to the season which is good as we will go into finals hardened

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1 hour ago, D4Life said:

I heard Mark Williams on radio a couple of years back re depth, saying one soldier in one soldier out is BS, e.g. Dusty by 24th player on Tiger list. If you lose Gawn, Petracca, May, Kossie, etc. they are very hard to replace, but at least we have reasonable depth across the field, and can protect structure:

 

That is so true. The soldier out, soldier in, injuries are not blame palaver is one of the enduring myths of football. 

Of course a robust structure and system help mitigate the impact of losing players, even key ones but as you say you cant replace  a Gawn, Petracca, May, Kossie with a player anywhere near their ability. One would hurt. Any more and we are in trouble

With Tomlinson we are lucky we had Petty becuase he will do as good a job i reckon (though perhaps not as good on the really big forwards thommo took, like Hawkins).

Just look at the impact on the tigers of having Vlasutin and Cotchin out. And Dusty being not 100% for that matter too. 

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From Michael Gleeson reporting in the Age "From the nine minute mark of the second quarter until the 18th minute mark of the last quarter the Bulldogs recorded 16 centre clearances in a row. The Blues did not once clear the ball from the centre through that long middle stage of the game."

Pittonet does not have many fans although Cripps lack of agility is the main worry. Id back Daws and our mids against Blues for Center Square clearances.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, daisycutter said:

was a final 4 only, ht. big difference

True, but let's not forget that it was only an 18 round season... that should balance things out a little?  However you view it, it was still a disaster.

Edited by hardtack
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