I think the problem with that theory is that neither of them are really KPP’s. Stewart is a tall, mobile flanker and Stringer is a power forward in the Crameri sort of mold forced to play as a KPP cos Bulldogs had no-one else. Even if Stringer spends significant time forward I’m not really sure that affects Hooker’s position too much. His main job is to provide a second serious marking threat next to Daniher so that Daniher doesn’t get double teamed.
Going to be interesting to see how Essendon handle their mids with their midfield coach saying players like Zac, Hepp and Zaha will be spending more time up forward, much like Dusty and Danger. Feels like the coaches believe they finallly have the depth/quality to compete with the big boys.
This season I think the two players we need to perform closest to their peak are Myers and Hartley.
Myers because he is the most like Jobe in being that clearance machine and we can’t really play him anywhere else. We have other options (Begley, Stringer, Laverde) who can maybe take on the role, but I think all are better suited to half forward/mid roles.
Hartley because he is ultimately allowing Hooker to play up forward. If he is going to get pantsed every week (Hipwood) then have to we rob Peter to pay Paul in the forward line.
He’s pretty much had half of one season where he was a good clearance player. Take out the back half of 2014 and he goes at 2.1 clearances a game, that’s lower than stanton, and well below someone like Zaha. Both of whom were often criticised for being too outside and too inconsistent.
Reputation far far outweighs the week to week reality.
I think any midfielder, in their physical prime, who was unable to get more than 3-4 games in the busted ■■■■ that was our 2017 midfield, should be pretty thankful to have a contract still.
FWIW. ( OK its CD, so its just another flogs opinion. )
Champion Data ranks every club’s defence for 2018
Patrick Lucarelli - February 8, 2018 - 12:33 pm
general defenders ratings for the 2018 season
Champion Data’s key defenders ratings for the 2018 season
Definitely agree has failed to perform consistently as a clearance player. Or as a player throughout his career. If he can replicate that form from the back end of 2014 for us, it means we can use the alternate options in other areas.
If he could replicate that form! Take it as read that that’s unlikely.
You talk about him like he’s a drag and drop for Jobey, because he’s a similar size/shape and theoretically senior.
But that’s not really the case. Injuries have mot only robbed him of a bit of the meagre pace he did have, it’s also meant he’s never had the continuity to develop his midfield/stoppage craft (the little tricks to buy half a second, find a metre of space, throw off a would-be tackler) - the stuff that Jobe basically lived on. What we’ve actually got is a big, slowish 28/29 year old, who still plays kinda dumb/raw as a midfielder, ie he still needs to learn and improve to actually become good at it. Still hard as nails, puts in all the time, yada yada yada, but he’s undeniably rough around the edges, and nothing but more time and games played can fix that. Time and games that would otherwise be put into any one of a number of 19-21 year olds who have far more athletic upside.
I’ll put it this way, if Essendon chased a guy who fit that mould, we’d all be ropable.
To redress the talent imbalance between our Forward and Defence lines. we could go the Richmond route. Move Hooker back and have a Joey/Stewart+ 4 small + medium forwards.
Drop one of Hartley or Ambrose to make way for Hooker. Our key defenders appear to be our weak link ( assuming our midfield can be fixed this year)
Will the coaches pull the switch on this ?
If Hooker went back, id go with a Hooker/Hurley/Ambrose Backline, until Ridley comes along.
I think the best plan is Hooker forward 20 mins, loose in defence red time last five to ten mins every quarter, when stringer resting forward.
You’re right about another flogs opinion ( and can’t resist putting the boot into CD again.
Geelong has just lost Lonergan, one the best key defenders in the last 5 years, ( and Mackie)
Harry Taylor, though once great, clearly struggled back in defence last year and was merely good.
So they’re the best key defence?
Based on whose ouiji board?
Any rating of our defence by them is so suss it should be arrested on sight.
I agree with you regarding their assessment of Geelong. The player who really came on last year was Stewart but he hardly has the runs on the board to justify such a high rating.
Im not sure. The big question mark is over our midfield and we are relying on blokes to fix it who dont really have midfield experience. Smith and Stringer still need to prove themselves as bona fide mids, as do Langford, Laverde, and McGrath.
It seems we have a heap of other options to throw at our midfield such as Raz, Tippa, McKenna, but we dont know if these pieces fit the puzzle yet.
Should be good enough to make the eight still, but saying we are a shot at top 4 is just sheer optimism IMO.
We were a shot at the top spot before Vlad and his dikhead, corrupt mates imposed the Saga on us.
Since then we have acquired some very good players, though - as you say - unproved players.
I have confidence In them, and think we can do well this year.
It’s really hard to take CD seriously. It’s almost like a really elaborate troll to see how many numpties they can get believing their ■■■■.
I also think we should be cautiously optimistic about our defence too. If we do shift McGrath into midfield then we’ll be changing 33% of the backline.
Whilst we have the players to slot in back there history has shown that the best performed backlines are the ones that have played longest together, which is something ours won’t have done much.
In the worst case scenario it could take a substantial part of the season before our backline performs as we hope and expect.
I agree we still have unknowns, and are a largely unproven midfield. But there is room for optimism.
Let’s say the simplistic split of the team is 7 forwards, 7 backs, 1 ruck and 7 midfielders. Our 7 midfielders aren’t all A-class, but they look ok.
Zerrett is our elite. Heppell through McGrath can be relied on to hold their own. Langfords performance remains critical, and unknown.
The real boost though will come from Parish / Smith / McGrath. Our midfield is very good if they reach maximum potential, and average to poor if they don’t.
Our biggest concern is that we really don’t have a lot of depth in this area of the field.
Pssst - there’s a sneaky rumour Stringer may play midfield.
Don’t tell anyone - it’s a tactical surprise.
I’ll be more surprised if he spends anything more than a token amount of time in the midfield.
I’m sure he will be a wonderful burst and impact player, but just cannot see him being part of our core midfield.
Baguley, Gleeson, Goddard, Ambrose, McKenna and Hurley have all been playing together for several years now, although admittedly not always as permanent defenders. Hartley, Brown and Dea for the last couple of years. McGrath has had less experience with this backline than any of the above players and the only brand new player there is Saad.
To me it doesn’t look anymore or less familiar with each other than the midfield and far more so than the forwardline which has been almost completely changed under Woosha.
Ridley McNeice and Redman might push for games in the backline during the season, but I’m sure there’s enough senior leadership back there to cover a rookie.
It’s not the best backline ever seen, but it’s more than capable of holding its own defensively if the midfield can improve their pressure and win more ball. When they do win the ball in the backline it they’ll be as good, if not better than anyone, with the likes of Hurley, Goddard, McKenna and Saad all capable of getting the ball moving the other way at high speed.
Feels weird seeing one of these Season 2018 threads and it being about us lol