Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: A truly poor performance

Well, if you thought, as I lamented last week, it was hard writing after the previous result, this is significantly more challenging.

 

But a friend of mine is forever critical of fans who leave early when their side is being beaten, so applying the same logic, I will continue with this to the end, wherever that takes us. We should quite reasonably expect our players to play out the games right to the final siren.  They should expect the same of our support. Thanks, Neil. It doesn’t make it easy; it should just reflect our commitment.

 

A truly poor performance. Yes, Essendon played well – clinical is a good description, but it was our commitment, our endeavour and our atrocious skills throughout the game that concern me.  Anyone out there want to predict a result against the GC for next weekend? Bold move (see below, of course).

 

True Believers, now is the time when it is tough to be a Pies supporter, when it is hard to dress in the Club colours and parade through the City (and, most importantly, through AFL Clubs where a degree of understanding exists). Stand tall.

As always, Go Pies.

 

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Last Weekend?

 

AFL:

A Loss to Essendon 18.9.117 to 12.8.80.

 

I did not enjoy that.

 

Match Report at http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2017/16/coll-v-ess.  Buck’s explanations at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2017-07-08/buckley-speaks-after-saturdays-loss. I don’t disagree with his statements that we “played without energy”, we played “without hope”; that we “lost that (final) 5%”. In the past I’ve been (and am) a critical of the Coaching, during the game. I would like to see more dynamism out of the coach’s box – decisions and changes and consequences and more changes during the game – to demonstrate the Coaches Box is actually in charge.

 

Look at the game statistics, noting how these are blown out at different times, but they are illustrative:

 

Collingwood      Essendon

Hit Outs:                       40                     29

Clearances:                   29                     37                     Clearances included Collingwood losing the Centre Clearances 11 to 20.

Inside 50s                     53                     54

Scoring shots               20                     27

Goals                           12                     18.

 

What do these numbers mean? Well, we were slaughtered in Clearances, particularly at the Centre, in spite of a substantial Hit Out advantage. What has happened to our ‘League Best Midfield? Further, our transition of Inside 50s to Scoring Shots and Goals, was abysmal. Across the entire game our Disposal Efficiency of players with DE of 80% or above, was similar to Essendon’s; as was the numbers of players with two or more Clangers. But there were some classics – the Out of Bounds on the Full, resulting in an Essendon goal, just before Half Time was a classic; there were others. Essendon’s scoring from turnovers in our defence was extraordinary. I swore in public – not a good thing.

 

Best? Sidebottom, Elliott, Goldsack and Pendles listed. Elliott’s influence of his 17 Disposals was significantly degraded by his DE of 64.7% but he was always there and trying.  Pendles had 29 touches at 82.8% DE but my recollection is that he was not as influential as usual. Goldsack had 14 touches @ 92.9% DE, 4 Tackles and 6 1%’ers; Sidebottom was near the top of the Disposal listing – 26 Touches @ 73.1% DE. I probably would have limited the picks to Goldsack and Elliott. Not too many jumped out at me. In the Q4, I swear to God, it seemed to me that our players stopped chasing (see my leading comment, above, about playing to the Final Siren). In my view there are a number of players who are overdue for a rest, resulting from their performance (see below). And I suspect Greenwood has a couple of weeks off coming – watch the MRP tonight – update: accepted one match. Treloar’s self-assessment: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2017-07-09/horrendous-pie-declares-his-adoration-for-bucks.

 

I don’t even know if we can make the Finals. It would be a miracle anyway. But I still want to, and I want to be competitive when we get there. In the Finals the game is “not the same”.

 

Regardless of whether we can or can’t, there is absolutely no point in ‘playing it safe’. Two positives can come out of the rest of the season – a demonstration of what we can actually achieve (under Bucks?) and a bit of a look-see at some others. So, let’s be bold; let’s play with the team and try some new things. See suggestions below.

 

VFL.

 

Another Win, third on the trot; two against Top 4 teams; all against teams way up the Ladder. Well done. Defeated Geelong, in Geelong, 11.10.76 to 7.8.50. Go to http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2017-07-08/recap-vfl-pies-make-it-three-in-a-row. Some good individual performances – Blair, Wills, Aish, Kirby and Daicos; special mention last week about Keeffe; this week about Wills.

 

Anticipate interest in changes to the 1sts; see logic below.

 

Next week?

AFL.

 

This week? Round 17 – versus Gold Coast at Metricon on Saturday, 15 July 2017; bounce 2.10pm.

 

Them. They are above us on the Ladder. This should mean they are favourites. I can’t see it.  GC are 14th with 6 wins and a percentage of 85.5% against our 15th place, 5 wins and 94.6%. Technically they are two wins plus percentage outside the Eight; we are three Wins plus percentage (technically) outside the Eight. They are also a bit up and down – last week they were destroyed by a rampant Sydney, but won against North the week before at Metricon. Losses to St Kilda and Carlton run before a win over Hawthorn at the MCG in Round 12 and over the Eagles at Metricon in Round 11.

 

People / Things to watch for – Ablett – but probably still out – ‘hammy’. Others to watch for include Lyons, Miller and Hanley (also maybe out injured) on the HF line and various Mids (including Barlow roving, Swallow on the Wing and our boy, Witts – see also http://www.goldcoastfc.com.au/news/2017-07-09/witts-deserves-more-recognition-eade. I seem to recall strongly suggesting we keep him.  Also watch out for Matera’s return – he can be very dangerous. Anyone else?

 

Implications. Well, Grundy on Witts should be interesting; maybe consider increasing strength into our HB line – maybe Keeffe to augment – you can always run him Forward if necessary. http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/nathan-buckley-and-his-cold-collingwood-magpies-to-get-some-queensland-respite-20170709-gx7vtz.html.

 

Us. What did I say last week: “We now have nothing to lose. So, let’s be bold; let’s try different things; let’s try and win. We need to focus on two things – winning the Clearances, and their conversion, and our Disposal Efficiency (and Clangers). Stop wasting our ball”.

 

Ins / Outs / Maybe’s? Ins – Howe (maybe), Schade, Keeffe, Kirby, Wells and Mayne. Outs – I’ve tried to identify players who ‘stuffed-up’ badly as well as didn’t contribute to the degree I know they are capable of.  Suggested rests: Hoskin-Elliott, Cox, Broomhead, Smith, Greenwood (confirmed one-match). And Fas stays by the skin of his teeth; as does Grundy (but who would you replace him with?).  Restructure the Forward Line based on Moore, Reid, Fas, Elliott and Kirby – I’d still like to see Pendles out of the Centre? Maybe rotate the ruck through the Forwards. Schade at CHB?

 

Game Plan?  There is nothing wrong with our Game Plan. The execution was appalling, as above particularly in the Last Quarter. When it works it is breathtaking – the reason why we go to the footy or watch it. To echo the guys from The Agenda (link below), we need to pursue “excitement and spark”, not settle into “self-preservation” mode. And this has to be initiated by Bucks.  The trip to the GC may have come at an auspicious time.

 

What do you think?

 

We should win this (of course).

 

Weather? Gold Coast – Warm and dry – wear the moulded soul boots if you must. And sun screen.

 

Game Previews:

  • Agenda. Michael Christian’s Agenda at the Pies website. There now. Go to: http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/video/2017-07-10/how-well-reframe-the-season.  I take some comfort from the fact that many of the criticisms and suggestions tabled in the Agenda mirror our concerns.
  • AFL Match Day Preview –  http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2017/17/gcfc-v-coll. Not there yet, but the betting makes GC favourites: $1.82 to $2.00.
  • Natoli’s ‘Ultimate Preview’ will be on the Pies Home Page at http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/ in the next few days.
  • The Age Preview – Should be at http://www.theage.com.au/aflalso in a few days.
  • Expert Tips – will be athttp://www.theage.com.au/afl/expert-tipsters.  Strong majority got it right last week, thought the margins were light-on.  This week?

 

My PicksPies by 37 points. BOG: Treloar – 42 touches @ 93.0.0% DE.  Reid – four Goals; Kirby – two Goals.  Crowd: 34,000.  Best competition: Grundy vs Witts.

 

TV? No Free to Air TV coverage – Find a friend or head over to your local Club to watch.

 

VFL:

 

This weekend Round13 – versus Williamstown at Victoria Park on Saturday, 15 July; bounce 1.00pm.

 

Williamstown are sitting 3rd with 8 Wins on 148.4% compared with our 11 place, 5 wins and 91.2%. Once again, we should, on the basis of that, be out of our depth. But, following on from our recent history, an upset is very achievable. Go Pies. Who to watch for in our side? Well it depends who gets pulled into the AFL side. Of those remaining look for those suggested above plus, of course, Daicos, and Brown.

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Other Things:

 

  • ‘Eddie Watch’. Quiet. Very concerning when he is quiet.I wonder what he is thinking now? I understand he has been out of the country.  http://www.afl.com.au/news/2017-07-10/the-bucks-stops-here-pies-face-big-call – “This is a massive test for McGuire, who has handpicked the Magpies past two coaches, Malthouse and Buckley, after respectfully moving on Tony Shaw at the end of 1999. If there is to be a change in coach, the decision on the next leader requires a process rather than a ‘captain’s pick’. Buckley can hold his head high for refusing to shirk the issue”. “No-one is feeling particularly great about themselves, players or coaches alike,” he said.

 

 

The Future? http://www.afl.com.au/news/2017-07-09/the-run-home-your-clubs-road-to-september. We don’t get a mention. Remember how proud we were of the team’s performance late last year – we couldn’t make the finals, but they were shaking everyone one up with their performances. How would you feel about Bucks staying if we were to, even without making the finals, really show some performances between now and the end of the season?

 

Welcome your views?

 

Reporting. C’mon people – your Reports? Is anyone getting to the games?

 

Footy Almanac. The Footy Almanac site includes us and others. See: https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/. Worth a browse.

 

Go Pies.

 

Cam.

 

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