that would be amazing, I really think 5-7 is definitely achievable
Interesting that ports midfield is rated so highly yet we absolutely smashed it. The ratings are clearly not weighted against pumping up your stats on a flat track
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.
The Carlton game was the outlier imo. We needed to win that game
Its pretty clear you cannot play "the way you want to play" when its wet you have to play "wet weather footy" Carlton did, we didnt.
Probably would be 6th instead of 8th if we won that. If we won one more eg. GWS, we would be 4 th.
The season is that close.
I think it is actually, and you can see from the previous rounds rankings how much our mid rating came up and how much theirs came down after we beat a good mid team and they lost to a weak one
Everything clicked in the Port game.
We pressured opposition into turnovers and then our ball use/transition was magnificent into our fwd line. The most efficient in league once we get it in there.
As Shawry said, that should be blueprint to how we want to play for rest of season. If we play that way more often than not, we will be in position to win most games and beat anyone.
Woosha said we will play our best footy second half of the year. The Port game should hopefully be a taste of what to expect.
This is the only one that's really annoyed me.
Freo in Perth are OK. GWS up there are as tough an assignment as anyone, Richmond and Melbourne will be around the mark to play finals.
Carlton are trash, we couldn't deal with their setups, we couldn't successfully adjust our style of ball movement and we lost total faith in our skills. Yuck.
The other thing I liked about what Shawry mentioned was was it isn't just good sides having a shocker against us, it's that our best is hard for anyone to go with. As for fixing the midfield I agree with Lucas. We concede less inside 50s, we give ourselves more opportunities to go forward. Better support and pressure from the mids. Do we think this is what happened in the Port game (haven't re-watched yet)? Or, did we just blitz them and they never really had the chance to put us under much pressure?
We improve just that little bit in the middle and the Carlton, GWS and possibly Richmond games turn into wins. The Melbourne game turns into a close one. We don't lose to Adelaide by 10 goals. We become that top 4 side. Can we do that for the second part of the season, is the question.
I think what happened to port was plan A in that be blitzed them. They didn't really get much of it and we congested space so they had nfi where to go. On the other hand it hasn't looked good when a midfield has gone toe to toe with us. Which is why I scream for bolstering it (mostly via trading up picks into the draft).
So you reckon it's personnel rather than getting the cattle we have to support/pressure better in those "toe to toe" situations?
Was at the Port game and can't remember the last time I enjoyed footy that much - we looked great.
Unfortunately, we'll hit Sydney at exactly the wrong time and I can't see us getting them up there, which would mean we'll probably spend a lot of the second half of this year in a fight for the lower part of the 8.
With our draw, you'd say we're still a good chance to get there, but who knows what the fitness levels will be like, especially for the returning players.
I said to a good mate at the start of the year that given the draft sanctions, the only way we'd be a flag chance in the next couple of years is if we get really good returns from all of our recent high picks - i.e. McGrath, Parish, Francis, Langford and Laverde. I'd say we're 2/5 at this stage, but there's still plenty of hope that will increase.
I don't think we have fast enough cows.
To clarify. I mean a midfield of jobe hepp bj Myers is too slow for the grunt work.
And I think 3 of those players aren't here in 2 to 3 years.
Jobe, Myers, Heppell, Howlett. Don't have the wheels to support and pressure as well as they need to relative to midfields in other sides.
Its a midfield suited to 5 years ago.
Fair bit riding on the progress of Parish and Langford. Parish is definitely a two way player. Haven't seen much of that from Langford but then, haven't seen him used much in that kind of role. Then, we really do need to try to get someone else in a trade to keep up.
Langford been getting big tackle numbers in reserves, double figures at times when he playing inside mid.
McGrath will move there and Kobe Mutch seems a player as well.
We definitely still need to bring in more reinforcements in midfield though. Ready made preferably.
Probably isn't long for those sweating on Langford coming in then. Parish back too.
We’ve had a midfield suited to 5 years before from about 2005.
Sheeds never picked up on the changes in the game, and Knights’s methods were too dramatically wild.
Well, everyone has now played 12 games... and we are in the 8.
That's pretty close to a miracle.
1 win and a bit of percentage from a spot in the top 4.
For the remainder of the year, we play one team above us on the ladder.
This season is completely in our own hands.
Thats exactly what I'm afraid of...