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Thread: Libba forward

  1. #1
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    Libba forward

    I mentioned this as an ill-researched thought bubble in another thread last week, but if Libba is forced to adapt and play a different way in the middle to what he has played in his career to save him from himself, I'm not sure he can. We still currently have a need to improve our ability to consistently pressure and retain the ball in F50, and one of the great strengths of Libba is his ultra-competitiveness when the ball is on the deck. Less obviously, he is also an incredibly smart player and is an elite ball user by hand and foot - he can find space where not many people can.

    Garcia, Gallagher, Richards, Sanders, even West and Harmes (when he returns), together with Bont and Treloar represent different looks in the middle. I want to see a bigger sample size of success with these players rotating through the middle but I also don't want to see the 2022/2023 iterations in there all together (sorry Jack, but you're a high half forward now and only go in when there is an injury to Bont or Treloar). I reckon Dale and Williams also have it in them to add to the midfield rotations on occasions as well - the less predictable the better from my perspective.

    Maybe this magnificent old dog can learn another new trick to prolong and extend his already awesome career? He is also a pretty effective emergency break glass option in-game if we are getting hammered out of the middle/suffer key injuries in-game.
    "Look at me mate. Look at me. I'm flyin'"

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  3. #2
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    Re: Libba forward

    I have significant questions over his lateral quickness but I wanna give this a try. He will stick 95% of the tackles he gets to which is more than we can say for the smalls up there currently, and his finishing has always been underrated. Plus we need Richards at 100% of CBs and this is the only way that I can figure out how.
    - I'm a visionary - Only here to confirm my biases -

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    Re: Libba forward

    He’s also elite kicking for goal off one step, I think the best in the comp. He also is 83 goals, 58 behinds, or 58.9% which I’d say has him amongst the most accurate goal kickers in our squad.

    I’d guess the question is could he be as effective as Clay Smith? Being in his forward time: 1.25 goals a game, .5 goal assists, 2 I50’s, 6 tackles, 3 marks and 14.5 touches. While bringing a hard edge.

    If we did this then we must move on Daniel & Macrae.
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  7. #4
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    Re: Libba forward

    I don't see it with Libba as a forward... he has no turn of foot and as HD mentioned he has no lateral movement.

    Would be a huge shift if he could transition from a clearance/CP beast with elite hands/ vision to a small forward.

    Don't disagree with the premise that we need to look at to a future beyond Libba as he was poor on Friday and the midfield mix we ran with was completely obliterated.

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    Re: Libba forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis View Post
    Don't disagree with the premise that we need to look at to a future beyond Libba as he was poor on Friday and the midfield mix we ran with was completely obliterated.
    Friday night was a once in a decade aberration so I'm loathe to make a panicked decision, but if it becomes a trend we need to move fast on it. We just don't get hammered in the middle for 120 minutes like we did on the weekend - it's a watch but I'm confident we will respond positively on Saturday. English/Lobb is a bigger worry for me than the mids - English has been physically non-competitive at stoppage in a number of games this season, and last Friday night was no exception. Don't think I've ever seen a reigning AA ruckman look so all at sea the following season in their core function.

    Agree with regard to Libba's physical deficiencies re: turn of foot and lateral movement, but countering this is his natural ability to get to where the ball is quicker than most in the comp. And as alluded by others he will absolutely stick the tackles.
    "Look at me mate. Look at me. I'm flyin'"

  10. #6
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    Re: Libba forward

    Worth a try as I think Libba for starters is now a liability as he will hold back (concussion) from going in the way he has been, and he doesn't have the pace to keep up with some of the younger mids going around. He is a pretty good shot at goal, and can snap a goal when he roves the pack. He is used to roving off the rucks, so should be able to do the same off the big forwards.

    We have long been saying over the past couple of years, our midfield has become a bit same ish and we saw the big difference when Ed was in there, and Sonny is developing quickly.
    FFC: Established 1883

    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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  12. #7
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    Re: Libba forward

    Libba either gets form back as an inside midfielder or he hangs up the boots. I don't see him as a forward in any capacity outside of part of his usual rotations.

    The repeat running efforts at pace take huge commitment and I don't know if he has them in him. Small forward is a bloody tough role to play in today's football so saying he's not up to it is no slight on him, but I just don't want to pretend he's cut out for it because he has some attributes that may be handy in the role.
    TF is this?.........Obviously you're not a golfer.

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  14. #8
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    Re: Libba forward

    Those games he missed we were so unpredictable out of the middle. We had speed on our feet. Even prior to his concussion in the game against Hawthorn we were smashed in the middle. We then introduced Richards on a permanent basis along with Garcia/West as pinch hitters and we were a different team. I have no doubt if we had a full list to chose from we would not be playing Libba, Daniel, Macrae, McNeill and Sanders in the same team and nor should we. Not sure where Libba can reinvent himself or if he can but I think Bevo has made his mind up as to what he wants to see in the side.

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    Re: Libba forward

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Libba either gets form back as an inside midfielder or he hangs up the boots. I don't see him as a forward in any capacity outside of part of his usual rotations.

    The repeat running efforts at pace take huge commitment and I don't know if he has them in him. Small forward is a bloody tough role to play in today's football so saying he's not up to it is no slight on him, but I just don't want to pretend he's cut out for it because he has some attributes that may be handy in the role.
    Agree 100% if you're talking that punishing high half forward role like a VDM - that's definitely not Libba's go. But as a deeper pressure forward who also does occasional stints in the middle, I reckon he could easily become part of that mix (think more West and Garcia than VDM). He will instinctively get to the drop of the ball seconds before anyone else, which makes up for lack of pace/lateral movement.
    "Look at me mate. Look at me. I'm flyin'"

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  17. #10
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    Re: Libba forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    punishing high half forward role like a VDM.
    Do these words belong together?
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    Re: Libba forward

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    Do these words belong together?
    I've made a point of watching VDM closely in games this season. He does a ridiculous amount of red-line sprinting in games, many times unrewarded just to create space for other teammates. His occasional brain-fades still annoy me but I have undeniable respect for his massive work-rate.
    "Look at me mate. Look at me. I'm flyin'"

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  20. #12
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    Re: Libba forward

    Interesting take. I'm not sold on the idea but not totally against it either. To be honest never thought that Mitch Wallis could reinvent himself as a small/mid forward but they both have similar traits (good footy IQ but not quick and lacking lateral movement). Worth a try as Ed Richards MUST play in the guts moving forward.

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  22. #13
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    Re: Libba forward

    HBF for libba? The easiest role in the game to adapt to. Agree we cant keep playing Libba and Ads inside together.

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