Midfield dilemma


#81

I have a lot of time for Ben Howlett, but I think Kommer will take his spot when he's fit. 

Howlett's gotta be a 22-25 player if we're gonna play finals.

Agree howlett also seems to be struggling. Howlett like Buddha is one of my favourites but both need to do more than be battering rams. Buddha is doing that. Benny needs to kick the occasional goal and needs to be a leader when the rest of the team is down. He has done this in the past. When playing well is a very important midfield rotation player. hard to find players who get their own ball.

 

C'mon Benny 


#82

 

 

Has our midfield gone backwards under Bomber?
What happened to the Watson who would fight tooth and nail to win the clearance? Has Bomber instructed him to do something different?
Melksham: why is he been played fwd? He used to barge his way through packs to get the ball fwd. As evident in last nights match, has a beautiful kick too. Why not use it more often?
Howlett: Didn't Howlett release from Centre bounces and lay some solid tackles as defensive pressure. Not seeing that.
Last one Heppell: He, when Jobe was injured, stepped up last year but for some reason is being forced to play HB instead.
So, is this a coaching problem or our midfielders just not as good as we's think they are?

Watson looks a bit less dominant because the umpires are letting scrappy play go on and most of the ball winning is done far more randomly in pickupanddroptheballathons. Jobe still looks good when he wins it but there arre less readable, structured stoppages for Jobe to dominate.
Melks just pick up the pace and AFL match fitness and playing more forward while he does it.
Howlett has improved greatly on last year and is very impressive using his strength to win the scraps.
Heppell was tagged out of the saint game and we weren't getting much drive out of the back half so he went back to get involved. otherwise he's been quite good in the middle.
How has Howlett improved greatly? Been very, very ordinary in the last 5 games.

 

He's doing better than last year according to very measurable statistic and is doing a power of work fighting for the ball in an under that isn't showing on the stats, even seems  to be getting used as a linking target on down the wing at times.

 

fark I've missed whingers finding safe targets to kick.

 

thank god we've lost some games early this year.


#83

I don’t get Howlett as a forward. I don’t know he’s going any better or worse (he was off for the last 90% of last year) but what he does isn’t a good fit at all for the role they’re giving him at half forward.

I’d be happier to see either Zaha swapped with Howlett or Howlett into the middle, Zaha to Gleeson’s wing & Gleeson HF.


#84

The midfield got pantsed the last two weeks after being damn good the first three. What we don’t know is what the flu/heat/travel did. Hopefully a lot, and these last two weeks were an aberration.
I’ve always seen Howlett as the weakest link, so am never surprised when he’s on the fringes. Done some good stuff this year, some bad stuff, and agree he’s not a forward. He’s not bad kicking a goal out of congestion, but its being part of the play, not as a dedicated forward with someone trying to stop you.
Heppell has stepped up this year and probably been our best until the Saints game where he was tagged out of it (and had 6 clangers from 18 disposals - ouch!). Stanton and Watson have been down on previous levels, but Goddard has also been up. Jerrett has been brilliant in some, quiet in others. Myers has definitely stepped up, Zaha is down. Melksham too soon to know.
So about half the midfield is playing better, about half worse, so I think its too early to tell if its better or worse under Thompson.


#85

I’ve decided to bump this thread again.

After 7 rounds of Footy, I’ve noticed something about our midfield: we seriously lack pace. Too many of our midfielders (especially today) wait for the outside handball and immediately tackled resulting in a stoppage.

Big bodied mids: Watson, Goddard, Hocking, Myers, Howlett

Skillful, but slow: Heppell, Stanton and Melksham

Quick: Zaharakis. But he doesn’t seem to ‘want’ to get the footy or expose teams with his pace.

Comparing against the benchmark: Hawthorn who have Smith, Hill, Rioli and now Hartung running opponents of their feet.

Do we have a player with such pace waiting in the wings? The Merretts seem quick, but how long they are dangerous enough to hurt teams? Gleeson is also likely. What about Edwards and Aylett? Are they possibilities?

I seriously think we need to address this issue in the short-term with the Dogs tonight, Pies last week and even the Saints running our midfielders off their feet.


#86

Our problem is our young guys just aren't much chop. Jackson Merrett is good for about 15 soft disposals a game and the odd goal, which isn't enough. Kavanagh hasnt come on, Browne is perenially injured, Hams looks to be tough but not overly quick or talented and the rest are a mixed bag of slight potential.

 

Add to that the guys in the next age bracket who should be dominating but aren't: I'm looking at Zaharakis, Colyer et al. These guys are seriously disappointing. I never had high hopes for Colyer, but geez Zaharakis is the definition of underwhelming. 

 

/negativepost


#87

I've decided to bump this thread again.
After 7 rounds of Footy, I've noticed something about our midfield: we seriously lack pace. Too many of our midfielders (especially today) wait for the outside handball and immediately tackled resulting in a stoppage.
Big bodied mids: Watson, Goddard, Hocking, Myers, Howlett
Skillful, but slow: Heppell, Stanton and Melksham
Quick: Zaharakis. But he doesn't seem to 'want' to get the footy or expose teams with his pace.
Comparing against the benchmark: Hawthorn who have Smith, Hill, Rioli and now Hartung running opponents of their feet.
Do we have a player with such pace waiting in the wings? The Merretts seem quick, but how long they are dangerous enough to hurt teams? Gleeson is also likely. What about Edwards and Aylett? Are they possibilities?
I seriously think we need to address this issue in the short-term with the Dogs tonight, Pies last week and even the Saints running our midfielders off their feet.

We've recruited outside players for the last couple of drafts. Asbhy, Merrets, Aylett, Edwards, Fantasia, Gleeson can all fill these roles although not necessarily with pace. Dalgiesh and Edwards would be the chance when it comes to pace, but who knows if either will pull it together. I don't know how many of those will make it, but the ones we've seen in the ones this year have looked pretty promising.
I think the bigger issue is the contested ball. Myers, Goddard started the season in cracking form and Watson was good. With the first two missing and Watson a bit down, we've struggled. Heppell gets some ball, we hope Melksham will, but Howlett, Hocking, Zaha aren't adding much here at clearances.
We have recruited for this, but all the guys are injured. Hams, Browne and Kav haven't played a VFL game for weeks, and several will be missing for a while. Some of the guys in the first lot may also eventually help out. But there is even greater uncertainty on this area than the outside guys.
But overall, I don't think the midfield numbers are an issue. It all depends on how many step up to be A class vs. good ordinary footballers.

#88

I think we have really missed Myers, he was playing very good footy to start the year. Also Zacha has been extremely disappointing, he needs to find some form quick smart. Id like to see pig on the ball when we can get another good running half back into the side (Dalglesh/Edwards).  


#89

Our problem is our young guys just aren't much chop. Jackson Merrett is good for about 15 soft disposals a game and the odd goal, which isn't enough. Kavanagh hasnt come on, Browne is perenially injured, Hams looks to be tough but not overly quick or talented and the rest are a mixed bag of slight potential.

 

Add to that the guys in the next age bracket who should be dominating but aren't: I'm looking at Zaharakis, Colyer et al. These guys are seriously disappointing. I never had high hopes for Colyer, but geez Zaharakis is the definition of underwhelming. 

 

/negativepost

You lost your credibility right there. The kid is averaging 21 touches and 4 tackles a game. Not worth reading the rest, as I can assume it is just as inaccurate.


#90

I don’t think our midfield being slow is the issue. Teams contest us by getting in our way. They don’t need to do much homework to figure out how to stop us.

Our forward line sucks , and that’s a given , but stop our midfield from kicking goals on the fly and that’s gonna bring us down to the low scoring points a game we are seeing. Easy and guaranteed. Our usage has turned stale , our movement and reaction times are deplorable , and no ones moving to a target anywhere on the ground.

Early on we ran in numbers , and you could have anyone in the midfield and they’d look good, but now we are stopped dead in our tracks because we try be too aware and stop attacking and going with what’s natural.

Our game is we are trying to be too precise. Stop thinking so much and go. Collingwood and Geelong have a lot of thump and go play about them. We are too concerned about not hitting a target.

Again , too much thinking. Take the game on.


#91

Our problem is our young guys just aren't much chop. Jackson Merrett is good for about 15 soft disposals a game and the odd goal, which isn't enough. Kavanagh hasnt come on, Browne is perenially injured, Hams looks to be tough but not overly quick or talented and the rest are a mixed bag of slight potential.

 

Add to that the guys in the next age bracket who should be dominating but aren't: I'm looking at Zaharakis, Colyer et al. These guys are seriously disappointing. I never had high hopes for Colyer, but geez Zaharakis is the definition of underwhelming. 

 

/negativepost

don't think i have ever read a positive post from you.........like ever.......


#92

Hams looks to be tough but not overly quick or talented

 

Is there any statement you can‘t get wrong?


#93

I don't think our midfield being slow is the issue. Teams contest us by getting in our way. They don't need to do much homework to figure out how to stop us.
Our forward line sucks , and that's a given , but stop our midfield from kicking goals on the fly and that's gonna bring us down to the low scoring points a game we are seeing. Easy and guaranteed. Our usage has turned stale , our movement and reaction times are deplorable , and no ones moving to a target anywhere on the ground.
Early on we ran in numbers , and you could have anyone in the midfield and they'd look good, but now we are stopped dead in our tracks because we try be too aware and stop attacking and going with what's natural.
Our game is we are trying to be too precise. Stop thinking so much and go. Collingwood and Geelong have a lot of thump and go play about them. We are too concerned about not hitting a target.
Again , too much thinking. Take the game on.


Totally agree. Go long to Joe and Jake with some guys at their feet now and then. If their defence is scrambling back to cover that then strangely other gaps and short kick options will open up.
If you play a telegraphed repetitive brand then the opposition just sets up to counter it.
Mix it up.

#94

I don't really think we have a terrible midfield problem. It's just that half our complete midfield won't be ready this year. That's all.


#95

Essendon need a fleet footed mid in 2015, and if that means trading a couple of players (and I don't mean the useless Colyer types) then so be it.


#96

Essendon need a fleet footed mid in 2015, and if that means trading a couple of players (and I don't mean the useless Colyer types) then so be it.

I agree. Port targeted Matt White for most of last year before landing him. He is the type we could do with. Look at Bennell, Ablett, Swallow, O'Meara etc today, they are all quick.
Granted you can still have non-quick midfields that do the job - especially if they use the ball like BJ and Jobe - but a pacy mid would round us off nicely.

#97

Maybe we can get Judd for Lloyd ?

Btw don’t think anyone would want to go near our players to be honest.

I’m basically implying I don’t think we would get the deal that we’d want.


#98

Midfield needs line breakers. Cos as mentioned, when teams clog up the center corridor as well as having spare numbers back, you need quick blokes to break through the wall of congestion.

ATM we have guys like Heppell, Watson, Howlett, Hocking etc who would have trouble running away from a snail trying to break the lines. Also kills us on the counter attack when we cough up the ball.

 

Tis no doubt why they felt the need to rush Dempsey back, to give that extra option of going forward, instead of trying to pinpoint passes up the field and sideways, always relying on hitting targets, instead of occassionally running the ball.

 

It's obviously a hard dilemma cos the guys in there give it their all, but the sad fact is, you need a bit of variety in there, not all the same.

I love the way Howlett goes about it, but IMO he would be first in line to be replaced for a speedier option to come in. He's not a forward, he' a midfielder who can rest forward, not solely play as one, so if they aren't going to give him the midfield time, get some speed into the side.

Granted with Demps back, either he or gleeson when fit, may fill that void, hopefully.


#99

Unless it is a free agent willing to come to us underpriced (eg. Lake with the Hawks), we simply don't have the trade bait or draft picks to attract the real line breaking cream.   We've done the next best though, and recruited a bunch of line breakers with lots of potential - Edwards, Aylett, JMerrett, Gleeson, Dalgleish, throw in Raynor - all of whom, bar Merrett, have come to us quite cheaply, late in the draft or traded for low picks.  If even just two of these guys come through (and it looks very much like Gleeson and Merrett are beauts), I reckon we have done very well.  Whether the timing of their upward swing can/will be before the decline of our champion insides though, is the big question.


#100

We need more work rate and output by our midfield plain and simple.

 

Our midfield is pretty good but isn't playing like they can nor the team for that matter.

 

Output and lack of it shows. Speed is handy but is also overated if the workrate and skills are in tact.

 

At the moment the team is flat. We win against the Lions and Sydney will be another test of our character.