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  1. #1
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    What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?




    Aaron Naughton, Rory Lobb, Ryan Gardner, Josh Bruce, Alex Keath and James O?Donnell are just some of the Bulldogs struggling to find form. What's Bevo?s next move?

    The midfield is menacing but that?s where it ends for the Western Bulldogs.

    At both ends of the ground, coach Luke Beveridge has a battle on his hands to get things clicking ? and quickly ? as his side?s top-four hopes fast begin to fade.

    The usual suspects all found plenty of the footy through the middle against Port Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

    Adam Treloar (34 disposals), Tom Liberatore (33), Marcus Bontempelli (31), Caleb Daniel (29) and Jack Macrae (26) all worked hard in the thick of the action.

    They were among the group of players that helped the Bulldogs dominate clearance 47-31 and win contested ball 134-133.

    But outside of the midfield wins, there was not a lot to like about the home side in a 22-point loss.

    The Bulldogs ball use was particularly poor and the Power made them pay.

    Port Adelaide scored 9.8 (62) from often sloppy Bulldogs turnovers in what was effectively the difference in the game on the scoreboard.

    It came after the Bulldogs gave up a hefty 10.6 (66) from turnovers against Geelong the previous week.

    Ultimately it was probably some of the blatant stuff, turnover wise, that cost us a little bit,? Beveridge said.



    During the run of games we were stringing wins together, we were definitely defending turnover better than we have the last few weeks.

    We put that down to a few things. No doubt some instability in our back end with some injuries that we haven't totally been able to cover. So we've just got to support the boys and keep educating them and look for the improvements and press on.?

    The injuries Beveridge talks of are rebounding halfbacks Ed Richards and Jason Johannisen, who both have extended stints on the sidelines ahead after bad hamstring injuries.

    But the revolving door of key defenders is also a problem.

    Ryan Gardner was dropped for the match against Port Adelaide, with Josh Bruce and Alex Keath both returning from stints in the VFL.

    Bruce struggled, particularly early, on Charlie Dixon.

    Dixon kicked three goals in the opening quarter alone on his way to four majors for the match ? in what was his first game since Round 8 coming back from injury.

    Fellow key forwards Todd Marshall and Jeremy Finlayson (each two goals) also proved a problem for the Bulldogs backline, despite having limited opportunities.

    At the other end of the ground, the Bulldogs? main man in Aaron Naughton is far from firing on all cylinders.

    Aliir Aliir had the better of Naughton as he was held to just six disposals, two marks and two goals.

    Across his past five games, Naughton has booted just six majors.

    He had averaged 2.3 goals across his 22 games last season.

    Big-name recruit Rory Lobb finished with 14 disposals for the night, but eight of them were handballs.

    The 207cm key forward took just three marks and kicked only one behind to make for 2.3 from his past four games.

    Bulldogs small forward Arthur Jones has shown promise in his debut season and laid six tackles, but unusually did not register a disposal from 84 minutes of game time.

    Another good story this season has been James O'Donnell.

    But Bulldogs fans are rightly questioning whether he has been rushed into the team after only joining the club as a category B rookie in April.

    O?Donnell recorded just five disposals before being subbed out during the third quarter.

    He held his spot in the side despite logging just six disposals and one goal playing across half-forward against Geelong the previous week.

    The Bulldogs have nine days to make some adjustments and improvements ahead of a match against North Melbourne next Sunday.

    Secure a win there and they will head into the bye with a respectable record of 8-6.

    However, more was expected from the 2021 Grand Finalists this year than what is currently being dished up.

    This group looked primed to push for a top-four finish after an underwhelming 2022.

    But the Bulldogs have not finished top-four since 2010 and after three consecutive losses they don?t look like turning that around this season.

    At the moment, they are completely deserving of their ladder position as a middle-of-the-road team.
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  3. #2
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    Weve got some work to do but we do play some remarkable football from time to time. A few less mistakes and we could have won the last 3 games.

  4. #3
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    Weve got some work to do but we do play some remarkable football from time to time. A few less mistakes and we could have won the last 3 games.
    And we could have lost the 3 of 4 before that. We not performing well by any measure. It’s very disappointing given we talked about top 4 and looks more likely we might struggle into the top 8.
    As for what Bevo can do, many factors were set in stone preseason but he still has plenty options but I just can’t see him make many brave calls.
    Last edited by JanLorMill; 11-06-2023 at 01:33 PM.

  5. #4
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    I saw a clip where Cornes questioned does Bevo actually know what to do with our players. Said we are a Ferrari with the wrong fuel being put in it.

    Matthew Lloyd thinks we are again chopping and changing players too much. Suggests we need to give our players positional stability. Used the Keath/Bruce inclusions, Macrae, Lobb as examples.
    More of an In Bruges guy?

  6. #5
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    I think Macrae started each quarter on the bench except for the last because Keath was off with a concussion test.
    Smith and O'Donnell also started on the bench in both quarters of the first half.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  7. #6
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    Losing Richards and an in-form Johannisen aren't helpful but we cannot bemoan injuries to our tall backs and tasking Bruce with a key defensive post because you've got little better is both thoroughly dispiriting and yielding the outcomes you'd expect.

    His recent lack of production aside, when was the last time Naughton grabbed a game by the proverbial scruff or asserted himself at a critical phase to turn it our way? We know he can get involved when we're rolling and yes his input goes beyond mere goals kicked but if he wears the crown we need him to be a true difference maker more regularly, even if our forward method modelled on seagulls fighting for a chip doesn't help his cause, nor anyone's down there.

    Smoothing that out could be aided by simply changing the personnel and you better believe I'm talking getting Naughton the hell out of our forward line.

    Naughton averages 1.5 goals p/game over his career to date. Conveniently, Bruce also averages 1.5 goals p/game and while perhaps not the player he was pre-knee, has ingrained forward craft that doesn't revolve around attempting mark of the year on every second entry and is a fairly accurate set shot. A tall forward who knows how to lead and can kick straight? We couldn't possibly use any of that.

    So, if you're satisfied we can clean up our method and craft a refocused attack out of Bruce, Lobb, Ugle-Hagan & Weightman - all natural forwards - then ponder opponents trying to navigate their way through a Naughton / Jones duo in much the same way Lever / May helped completely transform Melbourne from LOL to oh shit how do we deal with this?

    It'd also mean we get better service out of Gardner being bumped down the order to his more natural station as a rangy / scrappy 3rd 'tall' relegating Keath & O'Brien to break glass in case of emergency only rather than regular rotation and I can already feel my blood pressure easing.

    For a coach whose brand is built on trying anything it's hard to fathom what's stopping him trying something far less fraught than some of the other stuff he's been willing to bite off, and he can always retain the surprise element of deploying Naughts back or forward as matchups and game situations dictate.

    Of course this move grows altogether less likely the louder the outside world brays for it because 'The Bison' isn't here to entertain dumb stuff he didn't dream up first, but we've got North and the bye to effect a transition and chase the second half of the season with some purpose rather than crossing our fingers a shambolic forward line and an undermanned backline is enough to get anything done beyond scraping into the eight and being eliminated in our first final, again.
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  9. #7
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/a...04d542a043b476
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    Blind link from:
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  10. #8
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    I never though much of Hamling or Roberts in 2016 but the forward press worked. O'Brien, Keath and Gardner could be just as effective if the forwards and mids applied pressure. Bruce is the closest we have to a Plugger or a Hawkins, wasted in the backline. Lobb-Ugle-Hagan-Naughton doesn't work, bring Bruce back and build a forward structure round him.

  11. #9
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by D Mitchell View Post
    I never though much of Hamling or Roberts in 2016 but the forward press worked. O'Brien, Keath and Gardner could be just as effective if the forwards and mids applied pressure. Bruce is the closest we have to a Plugger or a Hawkins, wasted in the backline. Lobb-Ugle-Hagan-Naughton doesn't work, bring Bruce back and build a forward structure round him.
    I’ve read some interesting takes in here in recent times… but this one hits different. Wow!

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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis View Post
    I’ve read some interesting takes in here in recent times… but this one hits different. Wow!
    The last time we built around Bruce, we played in a Grand final. Bev has coached only 1 more AFL Premiership than me. Don't discount my view too much, I may catch up.

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  14. #11
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    Bruce looks all at sea down back. When the ship is sinking I just wish Bevo would bite the bullet instead of just letting things slip away. Move Bruce to FF. Naughton to CHB. West to mid. Dale to HFF. Just DO something to shake things up.

    And for starters, maybe Naughton should be more focused on his fwd craft than his headband.
    I will never see #16 the same!!

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  16. #12
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    Re: What can Luke Beveridge do with his underperforming Dogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by DOG GOD View Post
    Bruce looks all at sea down back. When the ship is sinking I just wish Bevo would bite the bullet instead of just letting things slip away. Move Bruce to FF. Naughton to CHB. West to mid. Dale to HFF. Just DO something to shake things up.

    And for starters, maybe Naughton should be more focused on his fwd craft than his headband.
    It was a tough game for Bruce but hopefully he is better for the run.
    Regarding Naughton, when playing well fans love players quirks and unique style but lately with Naughton I'm hearing more about how badly he needs a hair cut
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