Feels like we’ve been asking ourselves this question for well over a decade which is an indictment on recruiting and player development.
We lack the toughness, size and even footskills of the better midfield units in the comp.
A ruckman who the on-ballers can remotely rely upon to win a tap occasionally would be a nice start. Hopefully Draper is our man there but that will take a couple of years.
Of our current crop, who can you build around to form the right nucleus?
Merrett, Hepp & Shiel can be good mids but they need help on the inside as this is not their natural strength. Langford has the body but not the nous or willingness, Stringer will find it hard to have the tank to transition into a predominant midfielder if he hasn’t already after 7 or 8 years in the system. The rest are ankle biters. Despite his stature, Dev Smith is the one who tackles with most intent on our list and at least gives us some presence in there. So he will be a welcome addition.
What type of players from other clubs do we need to add to give us the extra grunt and better footskills?
I understand that Bellchambers didn’t have the fitness base last night, bit he’s never been a consistent performer, then we added a backup who is possibly the most easily pushed around ruckman in the country.
The loss of Draper was massive this year, but we had also completely neglected the position for years and it continues to affect us.
A massive leader who sets the tone for the rest of the list will be massive for our midfield
It’s the uncompetitive-ness when carrying something, or when not switched on, or whatever, that I hate. I know people liked Hille, but he was also pretty uncompetitive at some big moments as well. And when getting beaten neither of them have seemed able to implement anything physically that changes the momentum. Getting smashed…where is your ruck craft or your physical presence to change the contest. Rolling over and just conceding sets the tone for the rest of the midfield and in 10 minutes a game that we were in is lost, or a game that we were dominating is now a 50/50
Need an inside bull to complement our runner. We need someone like a Ward of GWS or a Douglas.
Our ruckman is fine, you’re all forgetting Bellcho at his best and judging him in his injured state (right now).
Outside players are fine when it’s clerances but in stoppages thats we’re we get hurt.
Thanks to Worsfold, I got some learnings out of that game.
While down on hitouts, we broke even on hitouts to advantage and were only down on clearances by 2. That’s not where the main problem was !!! However, TBell is not going to last more than half a season, if that because his mobility and agility are just not good enough in the modern game.
Its general midfield play between the arcs where we were destroyed. Post clearance possession/turnovers killed us.
Quality of clearances was poor under pressure and we continually bombed long to inside 50.
We were continually beaten to the ball and outspread and even in a final our workrate was way off the required level.
The Worsfold game plan is not sustainable and is a major part of the problem. The mids leave the backs to rebound, and that’s just playing into the hands of agile and pressure type forwards.
Winning a ruck contest is where we lose it most… turnovers also … no forward pressure … no midfield pressure … from there our backs struggle because of the easy delivery forward… last night none of our mids were in site while they had like 3-4 mids coast down the ground… we need pace and some smooth skills like a rioli … sheuy/ Gaff and co are top notch… hard to match