Collingwood’s chances (Hint: not good)

Well it’s off to the footy tonight.  Wish me (and outsider Collingwood) luck. Do we have a chance against the mighty Hawks? Not much. Why? Let me count the ways!

  1. We seem to have been down on form lately – but that might turn round in a final.
  2. We are surprisingly low on skill. We have very slick close in handball skills and a good, tight, vigorous backline. We’re still good at the forward press. But partly because of the (past and now fading) success of our forward press, we’re low on other forward skills – including leading (if we lead at all it’s too often into the pocket and when we do lead our mid-fielders passes are too high often enabling the defence to spoil or they go right over the head of the person leading.)
  3. Our success with the forward press also meant that we never worked out any other forward strategy. We lead less than virtually any other club I know. Why? Beats me. We have a great forward in Cloke, but we make it easy for our opponents to crowd him by playing other players near him (enabling their defenders to double tag.) With Dawes out last week Cloke had his best day in ages. Perhaps they’ll learn.

Anyway, there you are – a quick strategic overview before the game.  I’ll be intrigued to see how astute it seems after the game.

Go Pies!

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4 Responses to Collingwood’s chances (Hint: not good)

  1. Nicholas Gruen says:

    Well, there you go – roughly as expected. Lots of intensity from the old Colliwobbles, but alas their skills and game plan saw them wasting a lot of their effort.

  2. David Walker says:

    OK Nick, since you’ve adopted the role of footy commentator, go the whole hog: was it insanity to dump Malthouse for Buckley?

  3. Nicholas Gruen says:

    I was ambivalent at the time. My main thoughts were
    1. That Malthouse seemed smarter than Buckley
    2. That nevertheless he’d pretty much run his race at Collingwood. I’d expect a series of good performances out of a future Malthouse coaching role, but I doubted we’d ever get a premiership again. Why?

    a) Because I think time is passing by Malthouse’s extreme strategic defensiveness (and basic witlessness in attack). Geelong showed that with its great kicking skills underpinning it’s greater strategic aggression and Hawthorn has now combined that with very strong defensive skills. Last Friday night out players could barely touch the ball without getting jumped on. Yet when Hawthorn had the ball, they were running all over the ground (if you want to achieve fair average heaviosity you call it ‘the paddock’ these days)
    b) I think after a while a coach somehow loses freshness. After ten years it’s time to move on. Sheedy got nothing close to a premiership in his last seven years with Essendon

    3. Nevertheless I thought we might go quite badly with Buckley – that he may not be much good. Given how competitive the game is, I think that suspicion has, so far been refuted. What evidence there is – which is Collingwood’s performance, having picked up exactly no great new players – suggests he’s a good coach.
    4. My one disappointment is that after a few missteps earlier in the season where we seemed to be trying to build Hawthorn’s kind of hybrid ability to defend and attack vigorously down the centre (if you want to achieve total heaviosity you call it ‘the corridor’ these days). So I thought it was good when we mucked it up trying to do that early this season because it suggested Buckley was trying to teach himself and his team how to do it and that it wasn’t easy – which suggests it’s worth trying to learn. But we didn’t persevere and have much the same game plan we had last year. That snuck us into the top four, but won’t win us the flag methinks.

    Here endeth the punditry. Verily I say unto you, what thinkest thou?

  4. David Walker says:

    I don’t know enough to have an opinion. I lack all heaviosity. But I do think the casting-off of a universally admired coach was one of the more interesting moves of recent times.

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