TOPIC: Game Plan

Morgan Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #1

I find it almost impossible to discern positioning and tactical changes watching games on TV – even pre-COVID 19 game day directors loved close-ups at the expense of longer shots where you could see players up the ground – so I’m looking forward to seeing the team play in person on Sunday to see how different we look to previous years.

As expected we were all-over-the-shop early in the season, but in the parts of the more recent games where we are playing even or winning, to my eye there are a few trends emerging compared to the last few years.

i. We look content to go very short and slowly from deep in defence, with players coming up to meet the ball, and we don’t seem to be switching the play as often from deep in defence. This is a bit different to the last few years where it looked like we were trying to play-on faster and go longer from defence and slingshot to our running outlet players in B Hill and Landgon on the open side (with mixed results).

ii. Once we get it about 70m from our defensive goal, we then seem to look inside a little more for short kicks, and if there is nothing on we seem a lot more content to kick to a contest on or just forward of the wing.

iii. We don’t look to be running through the middle more often, but to my eye we seem to be placing our kicks about 20m inwards from the boundary line rather than hugging the line. I think this is important as we get closer to the kick into the forward 50m.

iv. In our kicks into the 50m we seem to be more content to kick to players (often Tabs) hard up against the boundary line. Aish and Hogan in particular seem to be finding Tabs a lot in the pockets.

A few things I’ll be looking for on Sunday:

i. How we have organised the backline. It doesn’t look like we have too many numbers back, but we’ve managed to contain teams reasonably well despite being short a number of KPPs. I’d be keen to know how we’ve been pulling this off; is it just guys like Ryan and Hughes playing above their height, or are we giving them some support from our mids?

ii. Assuming Hodor plays, I’d be keen to see how Lobb and Tabs organise themselves. It looks to me that Tabs is mostly playing as a deep forward, and Hogan was more likely than the other key forwards to push up towards the wing, but I haven’t quite figured out what Lobb is doing (in part because he’s been filling in in the ruck).

iii. How much the players are pushing up and down the ground. I thought we did a better job in the last year or two of having tall players forward (when they were fit), but we still pushed hard up and down the ground and the lack of connection between the faster ball movement in defence and the forwards being in the wrong spot was telling. I’m curious whether players are actually staying closer to goal when the other team has the ball, or whether the slower ball movement from defence has just allowed the forwards more time to get back into position forward.

iv. Where our midfielders are playing. For example, Aish seems to be playing on the wing, but was deep in defence last week a lot, and in other games has been a kicking the ball into the forward 50. Is he actually changing positions, or just going where needed? Do players like Tucker, Cerra, Bewley and Brayshaw have free reign, or are they playing more structured roles albeit in the midfield.

Is everyone else seeing the same things, or am I just reading too much into a small sample size? Have I missed anything obvious?
Login to reply,
Bizkit, Jumping Jim said You Beaut

Straddo Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #2

v. Put Fyfey 20m from goal and kick it to him.
Login to reply,
cookie, Raglan Matt said You Beaut

rogerrocks Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #3

There is definitely a lot of that short, precise passing around the wing coming out of defence. Obviously it must be hard to defend against that, or St Kilda would have stopped us doing it. But if WC stick an extra player on the sideline to counter it, I hope we've practiced getting it back inboard and going through the middle.
Login to reply,

Sunny Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #4

One thing that I noticed was there wasn’t so many of those panic handballs to some one in a worse position than yourself.
Login to reply,
Alvin Prpl, goodie, Bizkit, cletus, Corporal Agarn, Down on down said You Beaut

hypen Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #5

As a narrative, contested ball and inside 50's are no longer the priority. Shots on goal are the priority now.

They are running out games really well, cause they run less during the games; they let the ball do the travelling. They value uncontested possession as highly as contested possession. There is always someone forward of the play and they are rarely outnumbered in the forward line; it gives them something to believe in, an understanding scoring is not as hard as it used to be.

Players are coming back from injury quicker and contributing because they don't have to play a ridiculous game style. Gee Bennell would be handy now.

Longmuir is doing a bang up job and I couldn't be happier with things at present.

Imagine being a person who came on this site defending the Ross Lyon way for the last four years!
Login to reply,
Alvin Prpl, The_Yeti, ICONDOCKER, Sox, cletus, Raglan Matt, Down on down, freo00, Sunny said You Beaut

slammen Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #6

I think Covid has been really good for Freo, it's forced all our players to hang out and really get to know each other (team bonding).

It's given Longmuir a chance to get to know his players and work with the group on his game style without all the normal distractions of family life.

One of the best things to come out of it is all the young new talent on our list are getting to play games against AFL players every week , either for the main team or in the scratch matches against other AFL teams , this has got to be a real plus for fast tracking our teams development.
Login to reply,
Alvin Prpl, Bizkit, freo00 said You Beaut

Bizkit Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #7

I think you've really nailed it with the ball movement out of defence. It was a hallmark of the ugly style RL preferred, the switch back and forth across goals trying to find a runner on the outside. The result was far too often a bomb down the line to a big pack and then scrum or a turn over in defence.

The other side of that coin was less movement ahead of play and very few leads. It was pretty obvious at games and even on tv there was little movement ahead of the play as there was often little room to move and little reward for putting in the effort.

We've now moved to a style that provides that reward with hard leads often rewarded with a pass and movement up the field. It has everyone more involved in the play and becomes a lot tougher for opposition sides to defend. They can't just sit back and occupy space waiting for an intercept, they have to actually follow a man or we'll move further up field. It's something Collingwood and a few other sides have done really well over the years and it looks like we're following suit but with a few tweaks.

One of those tweaks is having good bail out options for the contested mark ahead of the footy in Lobb, Tabs, Hogan and Darcy. They are rarely beaten in the air and bring the ball to ground pretty well which brings our smalls into the game.

We're clearly a young and developing side so it doesn't always work but the fact we've been competitive in 90% of the season against some pretty good sides is testament to the change and it's effectiveness. As long as we continue to develop that style, we're in very good hands and will see some exciting footy for once.
Nathan: When did you get balls?
Simon: I've always had balls you've just never seen them.
Nathan: That's the gayest thing I've ever heard.
Login to reply,
Alvin Prpl, cookie, Morgan, cletus, slammen, Corporal Agarn, freo00 said You Beaut

Morgan Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #8

There aren't many people who defended Ross Lyon left around here Hypen, so I'll assume you're addressing me. It’s actually pretty great Hypen. It’s refreshing to have a new coach with a 100% approval rating so there’s no reason to subject you all to posts about why not everything that goes wrong is his fault. But for old time’s sake, here’s a list of things I currently don’t think are JLo’s fault:

i. Our scoring being down – I think that’s a combination of an interrupted pre-season, league-wide trends and playing away from home.
ii. Getting smashed in the middle – that’s a player availability issue. We’ll get better as Darcy spends more time on the park and our young mids improve and get some continuity (but I don’t think that will be this year).
iii. Tabs and other forwards missing set shots from straight in front.
iv. The team lapsing for whole quarters and getting blown out – that happens with young teams, they’ll get better as they mature.
v. Our injury list – I don’t know if the players are running less, but I don’t think there is a correlation between injuries and a game plan.

I also don’t feel compelled to have to deal with ridiculous arguments like we would have seen after this weekend about the coach setting up a team too defensively in the first quarter only for the players to be allowed to play their natural game and attack after quarter time, or how when we get blown out there was no ‘Plan B’. Sometimes other teams get on top, which is why when considering changes I think I’ve seen I’ve only considered when we are playing well.

Our team has won 2 games from 6 starts, but it’s still a really fun time to be a Freo supporter for the first time in a long while. Hopefully the upward trend continues, but if it doesn’t I’ll likely still be arguing that JLo’s role in the losses is exaggerated long after most people have turned on him.
Login to reply,

rogerrocks Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #9

You'd have to go back to 2013/14/15 for when it was as much fun being a Freo supporter. But I still think we were better in 2006, and I certainly enjoyed that year a lot (except for the ending).
Login to reply,
fourthump, Bizkit, Corporal Agarn said You Beaut

hypen Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #10

The way football is played today and the way we play, you can get blown away in a quarter.

The great thing is we just keep coming, are never beat. An aligned team with something to believe in does that.

It wasn't Sumich, Kersten, Fyfe or Bond. It was one man. A coach can make a negative difference or he can get out the way and let a team play to its potential. It's amazing that a young coach with no senior experience can come in and the one thing he doesn't do is try and assert himself by controlling everything.
Login to reply,
cletus, freo00 said You Beaut

purple kit Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #11

purple kit
I have to disagree with that hypen, I think when we are playing well we are following JLs game plan pretty strictly and believe this may be why some more experienced players are struggling to get a game are those who are struggling to adapt to how JL wants them to play. The kids who have come into the team are soaking up the way JL wants to play like sponges. We have the highest kicking efficiency in the league. That’s not just a skill thing, that’s a game plan thing.
I am loving watching us move precisely forward with little chip kicks to players presenting. We are doing to others what they have been doing to us for years.
I found it interesting that Acres looked to be the most defensive player out there on the weekend, often kicking backward or sideways. I think the more he plays and the more post match reviews he has, the more he’ll look for the small chip kick forward.
Login to reply,
hypen, cletus said You Beaut

Raglan Matt Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #12

Raglan Matt
I agree with you to an extent, PK, but the kicking efficiency does relate to skills training. Longmuir's game strategy relies on skillful execution to be successful, so the players would have been doing skills work right from Longmuir's first session.He has identified what Freo needed to do to succeed with the side he has, and it is working.

As for the forward line, the big difference that I can see on TV is that without 10 or 12 players racing to get into our vacant forward 50 before the footy, there are holes for players to lead into, and opposition defenders have much more space they have to defend.
Login to reply,
Bizkit, cletus said You Beaut

mac Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #13

With several loses within a kick or two and a comeback such as Sundays game we have nothing to complain about.
The only thing to complain about is the number of injuries which puts the spanner in the works again and again.
Login to reply,
Raglan Matt, Corporal Agarn said You Beaut

cletus Game Plan 2 months 1 week ago #14

What you to do Morgan, is go and live in a rural area, where you only get to see games on TV.

Do that for about 45 years and you'll get to discern gameplans via TV pretty quickly.

Just to help you anywhere this 'self-professed ' skill deficiency of yours, can I give you 'a leg up' on analyzing game plans via the following, for - as one who suffers the affliction of being a 'rural dweller' - I've built up a few skills in this area.

What I have discerned from the TV, is :

i) RoLy's game plan 2012 - 2019 was complete carp.
ii) JLo's game plan & structure is coming along very nicely.
Login to reply,
The_Yeti, hypen, Raglan Matt, freo00 said You Beaut