LID ON 2018 - lacking the grunt to open the jar


#41

Great post @Bomber_Billy. One or two other risks:

  • Injuries. We had a pretty damn good run last year, with the bulk of injuries being to KPD’s, the one area of surplus on the list. But we did see the impact when several “A” grade players went rusty due to injury in the final, with Raz and Hurley having first game’s back and Hooker and Green missing. Its a real question mark over whether 2017 is the new benchmark for our injury status, or just a lucky great year.
  • The saga returnees. I think most assume they’ll improve from another preseason - I certainly do. But there is a risk that what we’ve seen is what we get. That Hurley doesn’t rediscover the body on body touch. Heppell continues to handball backwards to covered team mates and struggle with the pace of the game. That Myers and Colyer continue, well, just continue.
  • Coaching. There is a lot of split views on Worsfold. The thing the last, well, probably 6 premierships have shown is that in the finals having a strong gameplan is vital. A lot of blitzers would question a lot of the moves with player selections and in-game across the year. We haven’t really seen a clearly articulated game plan beyond bursts, which is not unexpected given the issues with gelling a team with such limited preparation together. But it is something that must come, and there are no guarantees the coaches can do it.
  • If GWS can get their team part right, the rest of the league is stuffed anyway. :frowning:

Despite all that, I do think we’re top 4 material now, as long as some of the above goes our way.

When I look at the competitors, I don’t really rate Richmond or Geelong. Sure, if they are hot at the right time, they could (or with Richmond/Bulldogs, did) pull it off. But I don’t think they’re year on year contenders now. The teams I worry about are Adelaide, Sydney and GWS. Maybe Melbourne and Port if they pull their ■■■■ together.

Against those sides, I don’t think anyone other than GWS and Sydney have an absolutely awesome midfield. Most have a handful of top quality players (and some like Kennedy and Gray are the highest of quality), but a good smattering of good players through the midfield. I mean, I rate Adelaide, but they really have a core of 3 absolutely excellent mids (Sloane + 2 Crouch’s) and then a lot of decent guys.

GWS and Sydney are the real problems.


#42

Gibbs and Ablett are both great recruits for Adelaide and Geelong.

And I rate the cats mid depth. They’ll be thereabouts next year.

Good luck holding ablett(still has 2 good years in him), danger, selwood and then their second tier who are going nicely. Along with fairly astute coaching.

Adelaide with Sloane, the crouch boys and now Gibbs all of a sudden look much more potent.

Our group, I dunno…maybe it won’t matter. I’m seriously reserving any judgement of finals aspirations until we see what whoosha can really do.

He gets a good run at it finally this preseason


#43

As always, the main problem isn’t our team… It’s those other teams… how did they manage to build up a list better than ours. Bastards.


#44

If you want to know how GWS did it, I can go into it in detail …


#45

It’s only one game and I’m annoyed this is in the lid on thread but I’m interested to hear what people think of the new look midfield.

Obviously the test will come when we get touched up in the ruck.

Still, i saw a lot to get excited about on Friday


#47

Add Fanta and we have a A Grade forwardline possibly best in the comp.
midfield isnt terrible but probably 6-10th category
Defence is probably 6-10th as well.

But our midfield, has lots of players with defensive mindsets, and hard runners.

Smith, McGrath, Zerrett…I can actyally seeing our midfield running over other “good” teams in the last quarter

All we need is a contribution from Langford/Myers/Stringer.

I actually wouldnt mind seeing laverde and Francis tried in the VFL as big bodied mids as well.

Defence could be close to the best if we had Hooker back.

But we have 2 guns, in Hurley and Saad
McKenna, keeps getting better. He has room to improve.
Hartley and Brown were handy and both going for marks, if they can keep their opponents quiet we will be happy,
Think Baguley will be in and out of the team as required. to balance talls/small forwardline… Adelaide are quite tall, Fremantle have more smalls.
Dea also is handy depth player.
Gleeson, I actually cant wait for him to come back, he is a good intercept defender.

I see us top 4 overall. we will score heavily. Think teams we will struggle against will be Swans, Giants, potentially crows if they had their best team on the park.

Despite JLT game, I think we will go ok against tigers, and also we could have Cats measure.

I guess Giants swans top 2. we will be fighting it out with cats, Tigers, Crows Dees for 3rd - 7th


#48

You don’t need to copy them, just need a gameplan that stacks up in finals


#49

What makes you think ours wont?


#50

I thought it looked very positive. I don’t think our percentage of clearance wins is going to differ much from last year. But when we win it the quality of our clearances will be better than last year and when we lose it the opposition will have a much harder time getting a quality clearance. That will be the big difference that will change us a lot as a team.


#51

I think by the end of the year we need 2 of Langford, guelfi, Mitch, Clarke to solidify themselves in the best 22.

I’d add Lav but he seems consigned to I jury purgatory.


#52

why? From the midfield we had on friday night who would you take out?

I think friday night’s midfield is the one we want at the end of the year, we just want them to play together more often. If Langford gets some continuity and confidence and improves, we’re laughing.

Having said that, it would be great if the other guys you mention step up and put some pressure on for spots.


#53

I think we’re this year or next until goddard’s age catches up to him, the club is determined that myers is best 22, so i want 2 young players to take or push for their spots. im still not thrilled with the total midfield accountability, adelaide was able to cut through it with ease last night with key components missing from their chain.

also if some players can step up and have tangible impact it takes less pressure of zach so when we lose him its not an Everest every game.


#54

I understand there are still plenty of doubts… but I find that a very harsh assessment.


#55

Maybe im conditioning myself for the eventual collapse that has happened with essendon for the last 15 years.


#56

Now that sentiment I understand completely.


#57

With the way Adelaide played last night, our boys will be encouraged to believe in themselves even more and play with more confidence.

The lid may be forced off the jar by the whole team, not relying on one midfield gorilla to do the job.


#58

It’s only one game. Our foot disposal was dreadful on Friday and conceded 10.10.70 on turnovers. We can’t allow that with they style we play. Not sure what our foot disposal efficiency ended up but it was dreadful on Friday. Hopefully just blowing off the cobwebs


#59

I agree, but the last bit could well be right, this was true for most sides, and it is only one match.

Time will tell.


#60

It was 72.5%


#61

To be fair to the media, maybe half of this site wanted us to chase more inside mids - Rockliff, Miles, and a small handful of others. All them were going cheap for the exact reasons we were getting torn up.

Agility counts for far more than pure size these days.