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  1. #16
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    I actually don't think we're that good.

    I should clarify that statement. I think we are a 6-10 side.

    Our midfield is overrated. Yes, it can pile on the damage v rubbish sides (think Norf, West Coast, Saints last year) but they are also prone to going missing for lengthy periods of time. On paper, it should be the best mid group in the game but I think it's about the 4th-6th best in reality.

    Our forward half is about middle of the pack. Naughton is a star, Weightman is dangerous, West is quickly becoming dependable but there isn't a LOT else. Marra/Buku/Schache/Hannan/rotating mids aren't causing too much damage. Even still, I am encouraged by our forward group over the past 5-6 weeks. JJ is important and if we can get a couple of players back, I don't have an issue with our forward half.

    But our back half is diabolical. That's putting it nicely. It's the sole reason I don't think we can beat Melbourne and why we'll probably fall short v Brisbane (and maybe Carlton). Keath is nowhere near his form of '21, Duryea is injured/dropped off a little and the rest are mostly 'attack first' (i.e. Daniel, Dale, Richards). I respect Gardner's effort and he has improved, but he's still barely AFL standard as the second key defender. O'Brien is OK and can play a role.

    When I look at the top sides (Melbourne, Brisbane somewhat, Carlton, even Fremantle) they are able to hold up under pressure for a certain period of time largely thanks to their back half and how they set up. Yes, there's always examples of the opposite (Brisbane/Freo on the weekend, Melbourne a few weeks prior) but for the most part their defenders are dependable. I have NO faith we can repel any forward entry, even from bog average sides (Norf kicked 6? on us!).

    Until we fix our defence, and it's largely personnel, I don't see how we win anything.

    ** While it is always easy to point the finger at our midfield, and yes they share the blame a lot of the time, the defenders need to actually DEFEND at times. We can't dominate games for 120 minutes. Imagine if our defence stood up in last year's GF and we were only 1 goal down at 3qtr time? **
    Couldnt have written it better myself TBB. Brilliant post.

    And if I did, I’d probably be barraged for being negative

    Agree 100% on our mids. Over rated. When on song, brilliant. When not defending…putrid. Chocs to boiled lollie stuff
    Fwd line is improving, and if Bruce can come back 80% then he will be good for us.
    Backline is well…Gardner wouldn’t get a game with any team in the top 8. O’Brien is average, and Keath nothing like the player last year. If it wasn’t for Daniel and Dale’s ability down back, we would be very screwed.
    Throw in no decent 2nd ruck, and yeah we are a 6-10 side. Start of the year I had us 11-11. I don’t think I’ll be that far off.

    Regarding next 6 games, I can’t see us winning more than 3 but I could see us losing all 6.
    I will never see #16 the same!!

  2. #17
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    I respect Gardner's effort and he has improved, but he's still barely AFL standard as the second key defender.
    Quote Originally Posted by DOG GOD View Post
    Gardner wouldn’t get a game with any team in the top 8.
    Have to say I disagree with the Gardner calls. He is seemingly improving every game and I think he is at least at league standard as a second or third tall defender now. His spoiling has always been good but now he is starting to back himself to mark more often and his disposal is reliable.

    Had a great game on Friday night.


  3. #18
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post
    Have to say I disagree with the Gardner calls. He is seemingly improving every game and I think he is at least at league standard as a second or third tall defender now. His spoiling has always been good but now he is starting to back himself to mark more often and his disposal is reliable.

    Had a great game on Friday night.

    Still under rated by many
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  5. #19
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Gee this thread sums up any level headed Bulldogs supporter thinking. Could win em all, could lose em all.

    We need to get a good run of no injuries to enable a settled 22. Yeah it's great to have depth and players that can come in and play a role, but it's the settled teams that seem to go on and have success. That goes to show that 2016 was an extraordinary feat.

    I agree with TBB as well with if our mids aren't 100% on we our back six aren't able to stem the flow of goals. For example Hawthorn last quarter, GWS last quarter and they are bottom 6 sides. It also seems that every week a forward from the opposition kicks a bag of 4 or more goals. We leak goals which is a huge concern.

    On the other hand our ability to score is 2nd best in the comp. This is all good and well in the H&A and a great spectacle but when finals time come (should we make it) it's the defensive game that stands up. The team that is hardest to score against normally triumph's over the front running scoring team. We are the latter.

    I honestly go into most games expecting us to win knowing our best is definitely good enough but it's the 2022 version of inconsistent Bulldogs that doesn't surprise me when we lose. So frustrating. Is it personnel? Is it coaching? Is it game style/plan? I think it's a bit of all of them
    They've done studies you know, 60% of the time, it works every time!
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  6. #20
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ratsmac View Post
    Is it personnel? Is it coaching? Is it game style/plan? I think it's a bit of all of them
    It could be any of them or all of them or none of them...it just depends on whether it is the 5-minute mark of the quarter on a day that Bont got out of bed on the RIGHT side or the 11-minute mark on a day he got out of bed on the LEFT.

    How can you ever be certain of ANY thing.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

  7. #21
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    I actually don't think we're that good.
    Well - that kind of contradicts my idea that we are sometimes good and sometimes bad...sometimes very good, sometimes very bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    Our midfield is overrated. Yes, it can pile on the damage v rubbish sides (think Norf, West Coast, Saints last year) but they are also prone to going missing for lengthy periods of time. On paper, it should be the best mid group in the game but I think it's about the 4th-6th best in reality.
    So - you're sort of saying that whilst our midfielders are individually amazing, as a group they aren't that good? I get it. I still say it would be better if:

    1/. We had one less 'primo' mid.
    2/. We had a player with a clear defensive mindset/outlook.

    I guess there isn't much you can do about the former except ride the hot hand a little more, but with '2' we have had heaps of time to develop a player into that sort of role.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    Our forward half is about middle of the pack. Naughton is a star, Weightman is dangerous, West is quickly becoming dependable but there isn't a LOT else. Marra/Buku/Schache/Hannan/rotating mids aren't causing too much damage. Even still, I am encouraged by our forward group over the past 5-6 weeks. JJ is important and if we can get a couple of players back, I don't have an issue with our forward half.
    Forward is absolutely average, made to look better by the sheer volume of supply AND the wildcard that is Naughton throwing himself at the contest creating havoc.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    But our back half is diabolical. That's putting it nicely. It's the sole reason I don't think we can beat Melbourne and why we'll probably fall short v Brisbane (and maybe Carlton). Keath is nowhere near his form of '21, Duryea is injured/dropped off a little and the rest are mostly 'attack first' (i.e. Daniel, Dale, Richards). I respect Gardner's effort and he has improved, but he's still barely AFL standard as the second key defender. O'Brien is OK and can play a role.
    Back half is above average - work together well as a unit, intercept well. Genuine small defender of the future is a concern but as long as Duryea is there...ooohhhh. Wait. Gardner's been great. O'Brien less than great but he competes and is 100% prepared to defend 1v1 when the opportunity arises. I wouldn't want to play back there as I would be uncomfortable in Bevo's sliding/shifting scheme where no-one really has a match-up but it can be hard to score against when things are going well.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    When I look at the top sides (Melbourne, Brisbane somewhat, Carlton, even Fremantle) they are able to hold up under pressure for a certain period of time largely thanks to their back half and how they set up. Yes, there's always examples of the opposite (Brisbane/Freo on the weekend, Melbourne a few weeks prior) but for the most part their defenders are dependable. I have NO faith we can repel any forward entry, even from bog average sides (Norf kicked 6? on us!).

    Until we fix our defence, and it's largely personnel, I don't see how we win anything.
    You know Brisbane are ranked basically LAST for defending right now? I get what you're saying (I guess) but Carlton have been repeatedly run down in the last q's of games this year and Freo lost a couple of horrors...I'll give you the Dee's as the reigning premiers and I would have given you Geelong as examples of all that is good and holy...no chance I'm conceding on Freo (who I watch every week), Carlton or Brisbane...
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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  9. #22
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    I wouldn't want to play back there as I would be uncomfortable in Bevo's sliding/shifting scheme where no-one really has a match-up but it can be hard to score against when things are going well.
    That's just it isn't it. I often look back and think gee Keath had a few kicked on him today or Gardner or whoever. But then find out that they weren't on that player at the said time. They are constantly switching opponents. No one gets settled. Yeah make a move if someone is getting off the chain I get it, rotating opponents constantly I don't. How do you do homework on your opponent when it could be anyone!

    It might sound good in theory on the whiteboard but it doesn't seem to be helping our boys out on the field.
    They've done studies you know, 60% of the time, it works every time!
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  10. #23
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    Well - that kind of contradicts my idea that we are sometimes good and sometimes bad...sometimes very good, sometimes very bad.
    I don't disagree with the notion we can be very good and very bad, often within the same game, but this year I'm not sure we've beaten many good sides. Sydney game was dominance on our behalf aside from kicking straight, but I can't think of any other 'great' wins.

    Losses to Melbourne, Carlton, Richmond, and especially the Geelong game has me convinced we're not a top side.

    The next 5 weeks will tell us everything though.

    So - you're sort of saying that whilst our midfielders are individually amazing, as a group they aren't that good? I get it. I still say it would be better if:

    1/. We had one less 'primo' mid.
    2/. We had a player with a clear defensive mindset/outlook.

    I guess there isn't much you can do about the former except ride the hot hand a little more, but with '2' we have had heaps of time to develop a player into that sort of role.
    Yeah exactly.

    Agree on both of your points and credit where it's due, I'm pretty sure you questioned Treloars recruitment at the time.

    I still don't mind us getting him and trying to maximise a strength but I don't believe we have a back half capable of holding any tide.

    Figuratively speaking if we swapped midfields with Melbourne, would there be a big difference? If anything Melbourne would score a lot more... We might be a bit better defensively with the likes of Langdon.

    Forward is absolutely average, made to look better by the sheer volume of supply AND the wildcard that is Naughton throwing himself at the contest creating havoc.
    Agreed although I'm optimistic we can continue to improve as personnel returns. Maybe not this year, but next if Bruce can return to a decent level, Marra improves, and we get something fresh from a Bedendo/Jones type. There's a few ifs but I don't think this group is THAT far away.

    Back half is above average - work together well as a unit, intercept well. Genuine small defender of the future is a concern but as long as Duryea is there...ooohhhh. Wait. Gardner's been great. O'Brien less than great but he competes and is 100% prepared to defend 1v1 when the opportunity arises. I wouldn't want to play back there as I would be uncomfortable in Bevo's sliding/shifting scheme where no-one really has a match-up but it can be hard to score against when things are going well.
    Wasn't there a stat going around showing we lose more 1-v-1s in the back half than any top 10 side? I think our back half tries but the personnel is wrong. Our back half game last year was heavily reliant on Keath and Duryea who I thought had AA calibre years, but have been nowhere near that level this season.

    I'm not sure we've been hard to score against at any stage this year. Top sides put us to the sword in patches and poor sides have scored freely (North, Giants, Hawks).

    You know Brisbane are ranked basically LAST for defending right now? I get what you're saying (I guess) but Carlton have been repeatedly run down in the last q's of games this year and Freo lost a couple of horrors...I'll give you the Dee's as the reigning premiers and I would have given you Geelong as examples of all that is good and holy...no chance I'm conceding on Freo (who I watch every week), Carlton or Brisbane...
    Brisbane is why I mentioned somewhat - they mainly cannot get it done against quality sides when the pressure is really on. I think Andrews/Adams is better than what we have and I think their issues are more midfield (see Melbourne game).

    Freo I'll bow to your judgement, but to be fair this is the first year of looking like playing finals with this list. Had some pretty poor games but I like what they are building towards and when they get it right, they stifle sides.

    Carlton is an interesting one and hard to judge given their injuries to key personnel. Still doing pretty well considering, and I'd rather be defending solid leads than coughing then up early like we did v Geelong.

    My point is that you don't necessarily need a top 4 defensive unit, but I wouldn't rank ours in the top 10. The top 4-5 are comfortably better than us in that area of the ground, and whilst no side is without flaw, I think our back half flaw is enormous and no midfield can cover it.
    Sam Power is my religion.

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  12. #24
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    Re: This Team - The Paradox of Supporting them.

    I’ll need to review that 1-on-1 stat because I understood it to be as a percentage rather than gross losses, and that we also had by far the least 1-on-1 contests inside D50, or at least this has been the case usually. Not to say that our key defenders are great one out but think that stat is by design.

    Edit - looking quickly at the raw numbers I don’t think this is accurate for 2022
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