So to detract away from Les Zig’s warranted criticism, I thought to contribute some warranted praise – where due. And yes it’s just about today.
I haven’t seen the Pies play with this positivity for two and a half seasons, not for three quarters anyway. There’s been glimpses here and there for like a qtr at most. Today was different.
Let’s look at the numbers or stats (that many don’t look upon with any real value)
Home team vs away team
Some key numbers: Disposals 357 v 395, i50’s 54 v 47, clearances 24 v 34, centre clearances 9 v 14, marks 97 v 124, marks i50 9 v 18, tackes i50 6 v 16, marks 97 v 124.
This team haven’t won those important metrics in combination for some time.
Now let’s look at the game from visual perspective.
Without being at the game, it’s hard to see how team’s structure with and without the pill, but it was clear the Dees run game was nullified.
How? Well my money is on the team defence behind the footy, all avenues for any overlap run or a 45-metre kick through the opposition was snuffed out by the Pies patrolling their own piece of turf and opponents- disallowed the Dees run.
When was the last time we’ve seen this from this team? for the majority of the game? Maybe Les can get back to me, confident he’d find it. Normally it’s protect the D50 in the ‘hope’ of constructing a completely safe foray forward.
To back up that team defence, they took risks with intent to contest and take risks with quick hands in traffic to an awaiting receiver usually in the corridor not the usual link up to the boundary in slow motion.
A few times there was transition through the wing boundary but it was either on the end of overlap from halfback or in the middle of overlap going forward. Not the usual chip kick backwards and sideways for absolute possession looking for an absolute forward attack, that in the end just invites pressure and eventual turn over.
That’s the usual Collingwood we’ve seen since quarter time in the 2018 GF. Swarm and spread is back, at least for this game anyway.
Sure the Dees were off their game and the Pies were on, but let’s not pretend this will be the norm for the Dees going forward, a blip on the radar.
However, I’m buoyant purely on the back of the positivity of play, before today I didn’t really have any hope we could play this well. Not in any short term anyway.
Everything just ‘clicked’, I’m not going to make the mistake that we’ll finish the season this positive for the rest of the season but at least we got a taste of the intended (I hope) plan and the fact that the group can execute it.
That will improve in continuity as the group gains continuity.
We have to remember that at least half a dozen of the starting 18 have had less than a dozen games, but they were all on the same page today and as they grow in experience – together – there’s every chance this could be a good football team even a finals contender in a couple of years time.
The young raw talent that ‘could’ be 100–200 gamers includes the likes of Beau McCreery, Caleb Poulter, Trent Bianco, Nathan Murphy, Jay Rantall and Max Lynch (great game).
They were all ok to pretty good today. Sure they had some clangers but they’re raw and will only improve with games under the belt. Add on the likes of IQ, Josh Daicos and John Noble who have around 20 odd games and then combine them with players that still have a few years up their sleeve – this could actually be a good team.
Get the right coaching panel under a properly governed FD and who knows.
So rest assured Roarers, a positive article on the Pies and a glimmer of hope for the future.