#4 The Langford


#5421

But all of this is just one person’s view. Others have different views.
Clearly he is - not in anyone’s opinion, in actual verifiable fact - playing very well in VFL. And has been doing so pretty consistently since he went back to VFL after the syd/bris games in AFL.
Your view that you don’t rate him doesn’t change the fact he is sticking his hand up.


#5422

Im in too deep now.


#5423

What, I was asking a serious question as to why you changed the post, what’s wrong with that?


#5424

I agree he is playing well in the VFL. My point is that I think that’s his top level. I understand people don’t think the same and that’s fine. I just find it strange that this thread seemed to be building him up as some kind of hard done by superstar who is going to leave and prove us all wrong like Richards and Houli. I don’t see that at all.


#5425

That’s fine.


#5426

I actually think you’re wrong on this. I think that you’re judging the others on the “first 20 games” scale, and Langford on the “20-50 games” scale. That’s OK, but they have changed Langford’s role since his first bunch of games, so you have to adjust expectations accordingly.

(not to pot any of these guys)
Begley: 8 games 9 disposals per game. 1 goals per game. Really just showed cameos to this point. He’s looked like he may have it, but we’ve had stacks of guys over the last 20 years who’ve looked good early, and never made the next couple of steps.

Guelfi (is pretty close to Langford’s age): 2 games, 17 disposals per game. Looked pretty good, but far from a lay down misere that he’ll have a career.

Mutch has played 1 game. (But good in the VFL, although still with deficiencies, that you’d expect he’ll iron out with development)

Laverde (almost a full season older in terms of years): 24 games, 12 disposals per game 0.6 goals per game. He’s looked good in patches, but also looked about as agile as a truck in other patches, and hasn’t shown much as far as AFL role capability in any position that isn’t “lead up forward”, which at his size might be a problem.

Langford: 33 games 13 disposals per game 0.6 goals per game. Pretty much in the same boat as the rest. Showed a bit early, then has stagnated at a stage of development where other clubs tend to grow players into quality AFL footballers. We all want him to push through that.

I’m hopeful because often inside mids take time to develop the core strength needed to play that role at AFL level. The strength to hold your position over the ball and then to deliver while being buffeted by oppositon players.

Fingers crossed we get his development right.

History has us all worried.


#5427

If you think Richards and Houli left as superstars, then your memory needs a little bit of refreshing.

You may think he’■■■■■ his ceiling. I just don’t see why you’re so sure of yourself that you’re willing to call people out on it?

I’ve asked a few times, but I can’t see anywhere you’ve really been able to articulate what it is that’s stopping him from taking the next step, other than not grabbing hold of any games yet.which is true, but also true of 90% of kids.

And, overall, I don’t think he’s really much different to a lot of kids. They have some strengths and some weaknesses, the trick is how to fix or hide the weaknesses, and harness the strengths. We just haven’t had guelfi and co under the microscope long enough to pick apart.


#5428

That;s fair and you could be right.

I do find this point interesting because it is not fair on this club necessarily. All clubs have young players who stagnate and end up being traded or delisted, from the Hawks, to the Swans. Not all their young players become stars. The assumption that I am seeing is that Langford is stagnating because we are not developing him right but that may not be correct. It may be that he simply isn’t up to the standard required of AFL. There is actually nothing wrong with that, not everyone is, and it isn’t a blight on the player.

Also people can’t spend their time bagging out the standard of VFL (it isn’t that good, etc) then use the VFL stats as justification for a recall of a player.


#5429

I have answered this question previously, I think sometimes it gets lost in the avalanche of comments.

I do not think he has the physical toughness to make it at AFL levels. He isn’t overly evasive, he doesn’t go in overly hard to contests, he doesn’t attack the ball hard, he doesn’t run to space hard, he doesn’t tackle hard. There is simply a lack of presence from him when on the field. Sometimes he is there and can look good but mostly he isn’t, you would sometimes be hard pressed to realise he is on the ground. It is not just a matter of him not grabbing hold of the chance, he just strikes me as a guy who is out of his depth at this level.

Can he be a reasonable player over a long career, possibly.

BTW I wasn’t comparing him to Houli and Richards, nor saying they were superstars, I was referencing that others were using the statements that way. But I do not see him as being at even their level tbh.

Again I do hope I am wrong and would be delighted for people to throw this back at me if it happens that he makes it. I am not afraid of wearing that.


#5430

All clubs have players stagnate, for sure. But over the last 15 years we’ve been on average poor, so the suggestion that we are as good at developing our players as the good sides doesn’t really hold up.

As for Langford. We really don’t know yet. You can claim that, in your opinion, he has no growth left in him as a player and has reached his ceiling, but I think most would disagree with you. You can claim that, in your opinion, he still is growing as a player, but that you think his ceiling won’t be “good enough” to be a good AFL player, or that it won’t be good enough to be an elite AFL player. And across all of those levels you’d have more and more in agreement with you. But it doesn’t mean that any of us are right.

The “we’re not developing him right” comes from a number of different angles. Some think he’s a 3rd tall forward, who is being forced to play to his weaknesses and away from his strengths. I can understand the point, but don’t really buy into that one. If we’re developing him on that path I have concerns about his long term value, given that I don’t necessarily see that as a core role in the team, but rather as one I’d like to see filled by guys who are part of the midfield rotations.

Others are concerned about Boot’s comments about his being confused about what they want, and about him regularly meeting what he’s been set to do, and not receiving the reward that he was led to believe was forthcoming. This is concerning to me, not just for Langford, but for the whole group.

To sum up for me. I don’t reckon he’s at his ceiling. I have questions about him being a long term centre square beast, but I see a lot of value in developing him as a midfielder who can win his own ball when required and can also get some outside ball when required. I’d like him to be a better field kick, and I’d like him to show a bit more intensity when the ball’s in his area. I think he has a lot of tools to make it as an AFL footballer, and think that with continued development he’ll get there as a player who splits time between the midfield and as a HF who works hard up and down the ground, using his size to provide an outlet target off half back as well as being a dangerous aerial target up forward. I don’t think he’ll be a Fyfe or Watson, but I think he can be an important part of a well balanced midfield setup.

He just needs to keep developing. And this year is an important one for that. By the end of the year he ideally has locked away a spot in the team, and by next year he’s starting to be a top 10 sort of player in our side.

Fingers crossed.


#5431

All you’ve written is true, logically speaking, but you’re ignoring that his VFL performances have improved out of sight over that time.
Which has to be taken into account.
From our youngest first year to our oldest crock, even if you think someone is cooked, if they’re the best player in the reserves, they deserve a shot.


#5432

wow cant kick , cant mark , no evasiveness’ against Adelaide , 3rd last game no tackles against Brisbane, why would he run to space hard when everything goes through the wax bros Hepps Goddard zaka- Tackle hard , hard at the ball comes through confidence and development. Some spud said he played on underdeveloped underage midfielders in the VFL ( vision I saw ) was played on a mature overweight highly skilled player in Wells.

If Essendon had a team of players hard at the ball , hard at tackles , physical toughness blah blah we would not be sitting 14th or whatever our position is. You can walk taller and be tougher in a TEAM who care and support one another we have not got this as yet


#5433

That’s fair and reasonable yes but to a point.

If player X plays a particular role at AFL and they go back to VFL and perform well in that role then yes, they most definitely should be played. If however they play one role at AFL then go back to VFL and do not perform that role the way they are expected but are doing something different then the question fromt he coaches is about whether they can adhere to team instructions and structure. Because if they can’t then it will effect upon the rest of the AFL team on the day they play.

However as Frosty has stated above there seems to be an issue whereby Langford is confused about what he is meant to be doing. If that’s the case then the blame would lay on the coaches, afterall it is their job to ensure the player knows his role correctly. So maybe he isn’t performing as the coaches want at VFL and that is why they are not picking him. The question is, is this because he is confused by the messages he is getting or because he struggles to perform the role required of him?

So you guys may be right and I may be wrong (again I hope so), or the other way around.


#5434

I guess the confusing part for most people is the fact that Langford is performing at VFL level but as you say may not be meeting a particular KPI.

But if that is the case it really begs the question of how the senior side is meeting those benchmarks and sit in 14th place.

From an outsider looking it appears that more than just Langford are not performing but Langford is consistently being dropped after just one or two games.


#5435

I think you’re right that his toughness (and strength) still need work, but none of this is exactly surprising from a kid who came to the club at 190cm and about 75kg.
It’s stupid to think those aspects can’t improve as he adds a bit of size. They’re very, very fixable.

And I think you’re flat-out wrong about working to space and tackling. He has always had the happy knack - which isn’t a knack at all, he’s a smart worker - of “finding” space, and has always racked up reasonable tackle numbers at AFL level and very good in VFL. A few missed tackles at afl level do stick out. Again, very much fixable.

I get people not thinking he’s there now.
I don’t get why people think he can’t possibly make it.


#5436

Oh yeah I can see that. It is a fair question. The problem is not knowing what the benchmarks are. If the players don’t know what they are either then you can see a mess.

It all comes back to the coaching though doesn’t it?


#5437

Is this an onlooker’s opinion, or based on something foggy’s told you?


#5438

Yeah, I hope the players aren’t meeting the benchmarks or otherwise the coaching certainly needs to be looked at.

I think it’s pretty obvious that Langford is getting treated very unfairly in comparison to other players that aren’t performing also.

I wish him the best of luck at his new club.


#5439

No, just an opinion of what often happens.


#5440

A star at VFL level is not necessarily a complete AFL player. The best current example of that is, funnily enough, David Myers.