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Is our offense a problem?



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19 minutes ago, Blue-and-red said:

Absolutely a problem, we need McDonald & relying on BB to ruck in forward line is no good, too easily pushed off ball

we have no strong marking presence and we don’t get enough from smalls against best teams - picket and spargo not giving us much this year

Bring in Weed to ruck in F50

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2 hours ago, Demonstone said:

I've never coached, but I reckon we'd be better off not kicking it directly to the opponents' spare defender.

That comes down to pressure on the kicker.  Geelong last night put a lot of pressure in the middle.  Helps that they smashed us in the clearances giving them better field position, the games we have lost this year the teams beat us at our game, clearances, forward pressure, pressure around the ball and keeping a strong backline structure.

Our forward line isn't working as we aren't controlling the football, we need more uncontested footy just to control the tempo of the game especially when we are losing clearances 

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Posted (edited)

I've had this thought for a while now but IMO we need to go shopping for two decent key forwards, it needs to be this off season. Trade players while they have value.

Brown - game looks past him and nowhere near the player he used to be, age.

McDonald - injury prone, age

Weideman - not looking good and is now 25.

Jackson - hasn't shown much as KPF and will probably go west.

Fritsch - cant keep relying on him.

Mitch Brown - no, age.

 

Aside from that, we dont have much ready to take a game by the horns. We need a Neitz, Schwarz, Hogan type or two.

Edited by SFebes
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Playing a forward line of midgets against a team like Geelong was just plain dumb, but it didn't help that Spargo, Sparrow, Bedford and (for a half a game) Pickett were determined to position themselves in the least dangerous spots possible.

We are forced into bombing the ball long down the line because our half forwards don't work hard enough to find space and make themselves a genuine option. It shouldn't be Brown's job to contesting the football in a pack situation eighty metres from goal, but it is forced upon him by our cruddy game plan and his lazy teammates. 

I'm glad to see that most people have finally woken up and realised that McDonald's work rate and selflessness were the best things about our forward line. He doesn't have to get a lot of the football, or kick a lot of goals, when he is creating opportunities for others. It is Weideman's inability to provide this skill set that costs him a regular game. That said, he would have been a better target last night than either ruckman.

If we're not willing to play another tall, the next best option has to be a mid sized player who can lead and mark. Hunt is clearly an option, and possibly Melksham if he can ever regain his 2018 form.

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Everyone is talking about our Offence (Media types are anyway) and how its got to get better or we cant win the flag, it can absolutely get better.. but its tracking nearly identical to last year at teh same stage.

Last year we had Tom Mc kicking goals, pretty consistently. Obviously we are missing him. 

2021 - 11-17 we averaged 76ppg

2022 -  R11-17 we average 74.5ppg.

* dropped 1.5ppg in 2022

2021 - after 17 rounds we averaged - 79.9ppg

2022 - after 17 rounds we average - 81ppg

2021 - after 17 rounds - 3 x 100 points plus games 

2022 - after 17 rounds - 4 x 100 points plus games

after 17 rounds 2021 - 194 Goals

after 17 rounds 2022 - 198 Goals

In fact our year is going pretty much identical to last year. There is so much upside in this team its not funny.

 

Edited by Demon3
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On 7/8/2022 at 10:23 AM, Neil Crompton said:

Hey Binman, can you please explain to me again why we shouldn’t be concerned about our forward line?

Sure.

To work, our offence relies on our all team defence to be in good shape.

Our all team defence relies on an incredible amount of running from all players and manic pressure all over the ground.

If our players don't run the distances they need to, or apply the necessary level of pressure, our method will not work optimally.

I contend they are unable to run the distances they need to, or apply the necessary level of pressure atm, because they are fatigued. 

And the numbers (the symptoms) point to the problem; just as did last Thursday night.

We were smashed in clearances, we couldn't get it out of their front half, Maxy did no take a single mark (yes, yes i know he as coming back from an injury), and they had TWENTY more inside 50s (including 11 straight from the 14 min mark to the 28 min mark - crazy). 

And its not as if we weren't trying. We had 11 more contested possessions than them (our total of 145 was almost exactly the  same as our season average of 144.9) - which is the the fundamental KPI for all clubs.  

With the exception of the contested possession, those numbers are all completely un Melbourne like. 

Regardless of whether you think they relate to fatigue, there is no way any forward line can function optimally with those sort of numbers.

Take just one stat - the inside 50 count. We had 46 inside 50s. Our season average is 57. Pretty hard for the forward line to kick a winning score when the ball isn't coming inside 50.

We go inside 50 another 11 times (ie to match our season average) and score at the same rate, we have aprox 23 scoring shots instead of 18.

The problem in the cats game was clearly not the forward line. Our inability to put a winning score on the board is a symptom of our drop off in our all team defense.

Fix that and you fix the forward line problems (except not having TMac of course - that IS a big problem)

Edited by binman
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Can we seperate out ‘forward line problems’ with ‘offensive problems’?

Our ‘forward line’ can kick a winning score against anyone - my eyes showed me that. Form fluctuates but they are good enough; great role players, workrate etc

The bigger problem is our movement of the footy; our transition from where we turn it over that culminates in (hopefully) a kick into the 50.

We have lacked dare and urgency all year (save from a quarter a game in the first 10 rounds) and when you slightly lose your belief or trust in yourself or your teammate - you don’t quite want to take that kick, you don’t get to the right spot, you don’t run because you don’t think it will get to you, etc.

I see a lot of that the last 6 weeks and it can only be disconcerting. The may recapture it but ‘fits and starts’ won’t win us enough games to get to a prelim and then win the final two games - we have to get consistently back to where we were last year in the last two months.

Our forwards need to turn it over in our half, and that will make this much easier. So, ironically, our offensive problems start with the forwards’ defence…

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Generally speaking, it is difficult getting a kick in an AFL forward line these days. The flooding is such that space is at a premium and marks inside 50 are the exception not the rule.

Sure I'd love BBB to take a few more contested marks (with two defenders hanging off him) and make the most of his opportunities.

And of course, we'd love Fritta not to be the second tall, often playing on 200cm defenders.

And we'd all love our midfielders to kick into space so our forwards can run onto the ball. But this only possible in a 6x6x6 situation.

Our game for the past 18 months is to kick into the pocket, lock it in and see if someone can scrounge a goal. For the most part that's been successful, especially if our rucks are on their game.

One thing about the best forward lines (Carlton and Geelong) they have twin towers. Curnow and McKay + Hawkins and Cameron. We don't have the personnel so we're trying to make do. 

Finals is another beast and I think our system, while not perfect, will stand up in September.

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16 hours ago, binman said:

Sure.

To work, our offence relies on our all team defence to be in good shape.

Our all team defence relies on an incredible amount of running from all players and manic pressure all over the ground.

If our players don't run the distances they need to, or apply the necessary level of pressure, our method will not work optimally.

I contend they are unable to run the distances they need to, or apply the necessary level of pressure atm, because they are fatigued. 

And the numbers (the symptoms) point to the problem; just as did last Thursday night.

We were smashed in clearances, we couldn't get it out of their front half, Maxy did no take a single mark (yes, yes i know he as coming back from an injury), and they had TWENTY more inside 50s (including 11 straight from the 14 min mark to the 28 min mark - crazy). 

And its not as if we weren't trying. We had 11 more contested possessions than them (our total of 145 was almost exactly the  same as our season average of 144.9) - which is the the fundamental KPI for all clubs.  

With the exception of the contested possession, those numbers are all completely un Melbourne like. 

Regardless of whether you think they relate to fatigue, there is no way any forward line can function optimally with those sort of numbers.

Take just one stat - the inside 50 count. We had 46 inside 50s. Our season average is 57. Pretty hard for the forward line to kick a winning score when the ball isn't coming inside 50.

We go inside 50 another 11 times (ie to match our season average) and score at the same rate, we have aprox 23 scoring shots instead of 18.

The problem in the cats game was clearly not the forward line. Our inability to put a winning score on the board is a symptom of our drop off in our all team defense.

Fix that and you fix the forward line problems (except not having TMac of course - that IS a big problem)

Thanks for that. Not sure I still don’t believe there is a problem up forward, in addition to fatigue, but I’m here to learn.

Another question, if we know we are fatigued during certain games say after half time, what is our plan B to account for that? Surely we don’t meekly accept that we will be overrun and lose games? Perhaps the coaches need to work on a better Plan B at these times.

Edited by Neil Crompton
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Their method is an issue and continued bombing to nobody, need to lower their eyes and play lower kicks into the fwd line, the opposition  try this to counter intercept marking by May & Lever!

Edited by Demonsone
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Call me crazy, but given our backline is settled and Joel Smith is 1-2 weeks away.

Why not throw him back up forward and try use him as a second forward? He did kick 6-7 goals in that practice match against the Lions the day he did his knee? 
 

We Tmac at the mercy of the footy gods in terms of a return, I can’t see Smith getting back in to our defence? Could be a Matt Robran like move that the crows pulled in 98?

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Bumping this..... so i thought we saw some improvement yesterday from the likes of Kozzie (outstanding), BB and some nice cameos from Melk along with the kicks to advantage to get Melk his goose, ANB's amazing effort in the forward pocket out to Viney to Dogga ...goal, hitting BB lace out (Spargo via ANB) etc.

On the flip side there were also a number of ugly entries and opportunities lost (eg; lack of talk / awareness between Kozzie & Sparrow for what should have been an easy mark in front of goal following some great work off HB) so still plenty of room.

The other aspect we really must wipe out is the Bailey Fritsch BBQ.

There must be some disharmony amongst team mates over this or the boys aint human.

Come on SG, Stafford & Co.  Whatever it takes pls fix this... it has to be a non negotiable if this team is to really start clicking up forward on a consistent basis and we get maximum buy in & conversion % from entries.

As David King says, better to bite the bullet & fix this now rather than letting it fester and have this happen in a final.

I wouldn't say Fritta is toasting all of his team mates as per King as there was a nice handball in the pocket to give Kozzie his first goal yesterday but nonetheless it's becoming a (bad) habit & a concern that needs to be addressed (if it hasn't already) IMV...

https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/teams/melbourne-demons/afl-news-2022-bayley-fritsch-ignoring-teammates-selfish-doesnt-kick-it-to-charlie-spargo-video-melbourne-demons-win-over-port-adelaide-power/news-story/7f2541db16c827aed12272613e82834a

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The sling shot goals were promising in that our movement was instinctive and aggressive. We were still tight for long periods but we did look to switch more. We still need to step up the forward pressure game if we are to get back to what we were. And breaking even in the stoppages would help that…

So promising but ways to go.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Our problem is that we aren’t going hard enough long enough, when was the last time that we finished the game running away from the opposition?

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That article is missing the real cause of our poor defence. It’s our forward line (and mids) forward pressure and defensive structure.  Using last week as an example, the pies scored 6 goals from chains that started in defensive 50.  If we apply forward 50 pressure like last year, then they score maybe 1 goal from those chains and we score 3 goals on forward half turnover.   We end up with 16 goals and they end up with 10.  That’s what our games looked like last year.

Most of our losses have been the same (we have given up too many easy goals from lack of pressure upfield) that has been exposed since teams have started taking on risky kicks out of defensive 50. 

 

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It's not, in my opinion. 

I just think we're not being as bold with ball in hand, or as aggressive in trying to win it back. 

the way i see it all of our problems in 2022 are between the ears, which is why i hold confidence we can win the flag even if we miss top 4 

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