It’s interesting how things evolve while others don’t. I believe we have the bookends to make a good team. So kudos to the coaching staff to fixing up the issues that we have had with the forward line over the last couple of years. But now we need to look at the other issue that has plagued us for years. Looking at this review it’s obvious to everyone that we have a one paced midfield that cant defend.
After the Sydney and Saints game I thought that our midfield was getting its mojo together. But since the Saints game I think the word has gone out that you get the opposition midfield just run off ours because there is no-one (other than possibly Zaka and Merrett) who can keep up with them. Other’s have rightly pointed out that players like Greg Williams, Mitchell and Hodge aren’t blessed with pace. But they consonantly win the ball and are damaging with their disposals.
I must question how Howlett got the gig over Bird. Bird was good against the Saints and lost his position to Watson just because…Watson.
The thing I cant puzzle out is the zone we use. We seem to be content to let our opponents lead us to the ball. This has happened during the course of the season and not just last night. It reminds me of the year the everyone worked out that the best way to get around Hawthorns rolling zone was to carry the ball as the Hawks players were too intent on minding a spot of turf. We seem to be set up to defend a fast attack rather than a steady build up and we just seem to get “stepped through” too easily. I’m not sure if this is a tactical/coaching issue or players just not following the team game.
The thing that REALLY got up my goat last night is that we just looked so physically weak. Just couldn’t get over the amount of times Essendon players fell over or were stopped by one arm pushes. Tackles that didn’t stick or that allowed the opponent to get rid of the ball.
On the positives I thought Pigeon stood out head and shoulders as the best player on our team last night. Did it all, attacked, defended. If we can get him into the midfield things might change. I thought Laverde showed glimpses last night. Just the way he was able to break a couple of tackles and side step the opposition was promising. Still has a way to go though.