Its obvious that the weakness is in the midfield. If you are going to have a midfield that is not big on pace then they have to be able to a) win the ball constantly and b) hurt with the disposals they do get. At the moment our midfield is not doing well at either of those points. Possibly the last 4 weeks has seen improvement. If that is statistically correct we should enjoy a good second half of the year. With the forward line we have if we win or break even on the inside 50's we are going to win.
I have been pleased to see Zaka emerge with some good form in the last month. I was also very happy to hear the coach back him by saying that his signing (and JoDan's) was more imperative than picking up D Martin. His last month or so has been good, win or lose. I think has benefited from the return of other senior players. I think it is worth noting that last year he was heavily tagged regardless of his form. It also helps that he has been able to stay with his normal game rather than have to win the contested ball.
The pick up of Greene has been an inspired choice. He has shown that he will score if given the opportunity. His addition has made our forward line a multi pronged attack where it is hard to cover all the potential targets.
Hookers 5 goal haul against Port will put to rest any of the arguments others have had about his position in the forward line. Maybe he is better as a backman than forward. But he is contested marking beast who keeps his feet and stays in the contest. He always keeps his opponent honest. If Stewart, Begley, Laverde, Langford, Francis can do the same, well then we can reconsider what position suits him best. BUT until then....
Kudos should go to the backline given the amount of times the ball is pumped in there. They have stood up relatively well. Generally they have been able to hold down forward lines if given a modicum of protection from the midfield. The only issue I have seen is that kick from the fullback that hits a team mate 15 to 20 meters away. If that player has to stop and go back to take his kick rather than play on, the ball generally ends up back in the defensive 50. They are going to have to work out a better method for that scenario.
Other than the above they need to improve disposal efficiency. A lot of opposition goals still coming from turnovers wherr easy targets have been missed.
I think supporters should be happy with the year so far. There have been disappointments, but anyone expecting a flawless integration of 10 players who have missed a year was delusional. Given the last months form, to show real finals potential they need to start beating the teams they "should" beat consistently. A win against the Swans away would certainly be an indication that they are in top form. I don't really believe the Swans are a bottom eight side. However I am not lid off. We have a history of falling way in the back half of the year.