I know this was all canvassed last year. The club’s solution was
a) to use Stringer in the midfield but now we are hooked on him as a forward and he is rarely allowed to even participate in centre bounces or other stoppages.
b) train Langford as a big body mid. The club seem to have abandoned this idea and he is in limbo.
To illustrate our clubs lack of inside midfielders based on 2018 stats, and leaving aside the finer points of the “quality of each player” . A player who is strongly criticised on Blitz is our #1 clearance player. Myers comes in at 19th in the AFL for clearances. Thats similar to where we stand in the AFL for midfield performance.
Check out this table.
- Myers is just about the worst for tackles. Oliver averages 4 more per game.
- He is one of the lowest for contested possessions. Cripps wins nearly 2 x as many
- He does not accumulate enough uncontested possession, meaning he does not make good position to receive through the midfield when we have the ball.
- He is not tackling, which means he does not do enough when we are defending.
But where we are in serious trouble is the other mids. Hepp is 57th, Darcy is 83rd. Zac Merret 93rd, Dev Smith 93rd. for clearances.
Most good teams have at least 2 good clearance mids in the top 50. Carlton have 3 Hawthorn have 2. Colling wood 3 and so on.
Given the failure of the Langford and Stringer gamble, we have tried to address this issue by running lots of fresh legs through the midfield, but we really don’t select an extractor who spends enough time at the coalface and develop skills at it at the level.
Something needs to be done. Not a band aid solution, but fcs find a player who can play as an inside mid and form the core of the midfield going forward. Even if he is a limited player like Rockliffe, we need that type of player, because its costing us too much in player resource and destabilising our structures too much to compete against other midfields.
That, is a key part of Whats gone wrong.