Round 3 – St Kilda v Collingwood: A bad day at the office

by Peter Butler for the Floreat Pica Society

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After last week’s Lazarus style come-back I am sure we were all hoping for a performance reflecting our pre-season form. The consensus in our group was that it was going to be a tricky game, but we could not have expected such a come-down. I have waited until Sunday morning since I needed to reflect more on the game and not let the disappointment, and possible bile show! I usually tend to feel that, whatever the result the sun will still come up in the morning; and there are much more important things going on in the world that should be worried about than a loss to St Kilda?

 

What the hell am I saying ‘This is serious Mum’ (many will recall the Melbourne cult group TISM from the 80’s).
The game could not have started much more brightly, since we could well have been three goals up in a matter of minutes, but then with the exception of a second quarter when we managed to claw back to within a point, then it was all downhill.

 

How does one analyse a game where the opposition created so much space into which to gain uncontested possessions in the back half and midfield, while both kicking and moving into forward line space to create goals; and nothing appeared to be able to stop them?

 

I have lamented for a couple of years our lack of ability to create space in the forward half; as well as the dependency on kicking to contests where the opposition out numbers Collingwood players forcing them to take ‘speccy-type’ grabs. Watching-on while one Paddy McCartin took a mark then kicked truly, I had to ask why we had not drafted such a player, although I know he was too high up for us to do so, but the question still remains.

 

Our draft choices in the past few years have been midfielders, with the notable exception of Moore and Grundy, so why is the game plan to kick to the hot spot front of goal where there is a contest between bigs and smalls, while we are usually outnumbered. Is it the game plan, the coaching or lack of confidence?

 

I can see the knives being taken from the draw right now to the team, coaching staff and administration. But let’s not be too hasty, though we would not be Collingwood supporters if we were not hasty?

 

It has taken St Kilda from 2011, and two coaches, to get to this point and it appears they might be a team to watch this year. The same can be said of Footscray (I refuse to use the Americanised version of our teams). On that basis we are at least one year away and maybe, just maybe one more coach?

 

Is there light at the end of the tunnel, and not another train coming?

 

Well at the moment after three games it would not appear so, though Nathan Buckley has said it may take swinging changes of personnel and/or game plan to be made. Is this a reaction to the current situation in the knowledge of media, both social and traditional, criticism? Or is it an admission that something is seriously wrong in the state of the Holden centre? We do have a culture of short-termism both at Collingwood and generally in the wider economy and society. There appears to be a long-term strategy and some of the pieces are just being put in place. It is only round 3???

 

I am sorry to have to write a report that asks too many questions, but I am not the coaching staff and do not know what the KPI’s are for the season 2016. Maybe our expectations have been raised too high, a not unusual thing at the start of any season.

 

There I go again asking too many questions.

 

There were some positive to come out of the game, though not a lot.
The clearance and contested possession count was much better this week than previously, and that against a side with a high clearance count in their previous two games that were both lost.

 

Now to the better players, though it was hard to find three to give votes to.
I came up with four or five to choose from; Adams, Langdon, Oxley, Treloar and Pendles. From those I gave the following votes:
3 – Adams, now showing why we swapped him for Heath Shaw, and there are many more years to go.
2 – Oxley, shows silky skills and above all good delivery, while not being rushed. His goal early showed all of these.
1- Langdon, showed he can be the player we saw last year, and better.
Treloar improved during the game, but his starting quarter was poor.
Pendles is a conundrum at the moment. He is not a defender, and to put him in the back half, and not as a quarter back type, is robbing us of drive. Unless his ribs are not quite right he really should be in the middle or much closer to the action.
Lets hope we can bounce back with the addition of Sidey and Varcoe next week??

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Comments

  1. Nice one, Peter.
    Socrates: Life without examination is not worth living.
    Seems reasonable to be asking questions.

    No team acts in a vacuum.

  2. Good one Peter.
    Lets hope Collingwood can go one better this week which unfortunately is more doubtful than it looked before the season started.
    TISM indeed.

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