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Topics - ianh

Robert Heatley Stand / A defence of David Teague and why it must fail
I started writing this as a comment of the Port debacle, it morphed into a rant on the coaching position.  I am a long time admirer of David Teague and was rapt he got the job and had high hopes at the start of the year.  Over the course of the year it has become increasingly untenable to support his retention of the position.  The post started looking at the injury list and how it has cruelled us of late, indeed all year and how it explained to some extent our poor year.  But the inexorable logic took hold of me and it headed off in the opposite direction.  As per the Sherlock Holmes quote "Once you eliminate the impossible whatever is left is the truth" or something to the effect.  The unpalatable truth.  Below is a cut and paste of what as I say started as a reflection on the Port game and what it told us that showed that to some extent events conspired against David Teague - as indeed they have.

Haven't seen any of the game bar the clip of Honeys 2 goals.  First time since I have had home internet (and I was an early adopter) I have not seen either live or delayed at least the majority of a game.  But Coles rostered my daughter on for a shift that covered the game time and we decided it being Murphy's 300th we'd watch it after she came home, neither knowing anything of the game (nor having any great hopes).  I managed to avoid all news but my daughter rings just after getting off work to tell me when she turned her phone back on the result hit her as the top item and maybe it would be best not to bother with our delayed viewing ...   So I haven't watched it and probably won't except for the 5 minute edit from Kayo - that and the feedback on here will I think more than tell me enough.  Sad that I can't stomach watching the game, but in fairness to the team it seems we tried but when Port decided to try we just got over-run by a far better team than the one we were ABLE to put out today.  Last week I wrote a rant saying we should pick all fit players who did not play in the Suns game and top them up with those who least deserved to be dropped.  That amounted to about 10 players when injuries and so forth were factored in and i noted that of course such a selection would never happen and such a team would be absolute cannon fodder - but we ended up halfway to that number of changes and the outs were not our worst but amongst our best.  Little wonder we were thrashed on that view.  And looking at it we were down nearly to bare bones.  Who COULD have been in instead of the 23 + 3 we picked, injury taken into account?  By my calculation there were only 6 other players that could have been chosen - 2 uncapped (Carroll and Ramsay), 3 barely more experienced (Owies Parks & Cottrell) and the comparative veteran Fogarty.  No gamechangers there.  And considering that, I think we have collectively failed to give enough weight to the impact of our injury curse this year.  Suppose the worst happened on the "available for selection" front - and given our trend this year it would be no shock - and neither Cripps nor Martin come up next week, nor Saad, nor any of the players who have been a test or worse according to the injury list from Tuesday.   By my calculation that would leave us 29 players from whom to select our 26.  And given the impact on our taller stocks - we had 9 of out 11 tallest players out I heard from one commentator in the preview - our structure was pretty completely shot.  And of course the talls have been that way for a good part of the season.  And in the first half of the season we pretty much won when we were favoured and lost when we weren't - which is not good but is by definition "pretty much" meeting expectations.  The second half we were cruelled by injury and there is a fair excuse in that - except for the fact that our best and worst so fluctuated, our worst all contained the same issues and the playing and coaching staff seemed to have no clue how to stop an opposition run-on.  If this week we lose Saad to injury and Murphy to retirement if no-one else falls over and no-one comes up from injury it becomes 27 from whom to choose 26.  Embarrassing for whoever misses out!  The equivalent of being the last kid picked in the schoolyard game.  But surely that goes a long way to justifying our non-competitiveness of late and maybe our good performances should be lauded as triumphs of will rather than our poor ones decried?  Nah, no matter how you look at it, in the Norf and Weagles games (at least) we choked when it was ours for the taking.  And last week it was threadbare talent pool against threadbare talent pool, the other mob just rose to the occasion and we didn't.  And as for today, well we can no longer say "at least the days of the massive belting are gone" - 19 goals straight conceded!  A 118 point turnaround in 2 and a half quarters!  Am I having a nightmare?  Will I wake to find the reality is  nowhere near that bad?  Surely no AFL 23 should be that outclassed by another, COULD be so outclassed if having a real go?  My hope for today was that we would come and show real intent and commitment and endeavour and if we weren't good enough so be it, weight will stop a train as the punters say and injuries will hobble any side.  And just looking at the score worm - midway through term 2 it looked so much better than that, even at half time one could still say they must have brought the endeavour, but thereafter undeniable and utter capitulation.  I just saw the headline "Teague concedes woeful effort could cost job"!  I have long been a Teague fan - I was rapt when he came to the club I always thought he had the makings of a senior coach, I was pleased to see him get the job and at the start of this year had genuine optimism.  But how can he survive the utter inability to defend that is the hallmark of his teams?  Blame the players sure, they are lazy one way runners in the main, or else limited in skill or footy nous or otherwise but isn't that what the coaching staff are there to work on - skills and strategy and buying in to the collective endeavour?  Three strikes and you're out batter, none out of 3 is bad Mr Loaf, and when you hit the iceberg every friggen voyage Captain Smith you go down with the Titanic no other choice.  As I say I was a Teague booster, I admired his courage as a player and his promise as a coach but this year has eaten away at optimism to the point where surely he has to go.  I know the coaching fraternity has its respect for each other - see the Hardwick approach - and no-one wants to be the guy who the incumbent coach gets sacked for, but the results make this a mercy killing rather than an assassination.  No longer could a prospective coach feel he is kicking a man when he is down, the results of the experiment cannot be interpreted any other way than complete failure of the coaching team to implement a plan, strategy or ethos  in the playing group.  And yes that blame gets shared with the playing group (some of whose papers are surely stamped - veterans time to go, battlers we know you've tried your best, injury victims we know it's not your fault, guys who don't want it bad enough, enough said) and spread amongst the coaching group (all of whom surely face the question of why they deserve to keep their job rather than why they deserve to lose it) but in the end whilst a big part of being a senior coach is bringing together the good work of those supporting you in the coaching and playing ranks and you can't pull your socks up if you don't have any, the job is mainly man management and the simplest and most logical explanation is not that the whole body of assistants and players as a collective just don't stack up, it's that their leader isn't getting it to gel.  And Ockham's razor says the simplest answer is the one to go with.  And here the simplest answer is the head coach can't get the collective to gel.  And if that is the conclusion reached, as sadly I think it must be (for as I say I admire much about Teague and held high hopes), there can be only one verdict members of the jury and only one sentence that that verdict entails.

Any way, I think I have used up every cliche possibly relevant and try as I don't want to digress into a coach by coach analysis here (in brief the development coaches are all relatively fresh and seem to have had some successes this year when players have finally been given a shot in the seniors, the forward and defence coaches have their admirers, and if the midfield has seemed shallow it has been off the back of not playing the younger brigade at all (eg Dow most of the year) or where they made themselves known (eg SPS) and these are coaching decisions that even if the strategy if you can call it that comes from the assistant/s should be overruled by the senior coach when, or I should say IF, he sees it is not working, but all Teague's public pronouncements are that he sees that it is working.  **Another cliche I can dredge up "insanity lies in repeating the same actions expecting different results" - not suggesting Teague is insane, but replace "insanity" with "delusion" and measure him up against that amended version of the cliche and it's an ugly picture.**  And don't tell me the defensive strategies are the responsibilty the defensive coach, the offensive of the offensive coach, the transitions of the transitions coach etc etc, first they have to get the "very well, carry on" from the head coach when they pitch the idea originally AND if they aren't working the head coach has the OBLIGATION to say tear up that strategy and play one that works - Teague has presumably ticked off the strategies and has clearly not abandoned them.  One on one defence - yeh let's go with that unlike every other team in the comp, let's do whatever is we do on transition from defence (can anyone discern a plan), let's bomb it long when all our talls are missing (for that matter it usually doesn't work when you have the cattle except when it's a bomb to a mismatch, the quality of intercept marking means "bomb it long create a contest and crumb the spill" works out instead to be "bomb it long and the intercept turns into a rebound" and in our case too often the rebound slices all the way through the midfield who by and large have left their man and don't seem to have any urgency to chase anyway and generates inside defensive 50 entries no defender can be expected to keep out TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME. 

The architects of this mess called the Carlton Football Club may be many but the architects of the mess called the Carlton game plan are the coaches and ultimately their leader and, one last cliche, this is surely the straw that breaks the back of the camel called the Teague-supporters, or at least this one.
Robert Heatley Stand / Reserves v Northern Biullants Sunday 27 June 2021 1pm
The team list is as follows:

4. Lochie O'Brien, 16. Jack Carroll, 17. Brodie Kemp, 24. Nic Newman, 26. Luke Parks, 29. Corey Durdin, 31. Tom Williamson, 33. Sam Ramsay, 36. Josh Honey, 37. Jordan Boyd, 46. Matthew Cottrell, 50. Ryley Stoddart, 51. Tom North, 52. James Parsons, 55. Toby Wooller, 57. Cody Hirst, 60. Aaron Gundry, 61. Luke Goetz, 62. Ben Crocker, 64. Cooper Stephens, 71. Stefan Radovanovic, 74. Ben Caluzzi, 77. Ed Delany, 78. Joel Trudgeon, 79. Dale Marshall, 80. Matt Shannon

In: Ed Delany, Luke Goetz*, Aaron Gundry, Dale Marshall, Nic Newman, Luke Parks, Sam Ramsay, Joel Trudgeon* (Northern Knights)
Out: Levi Casboult (suspension), Alex Mirkov (knee), Marc Murphy (AFL selection), Sam Petrevski-Seton (AFL selection)

Supposing Josh Honey is medical sub - it could be any of the 4 emergencies but he's the one I'd like to see rewrded, then the line-up could be something like:

Josh Honey – seniors medical sub

B   Nic Newman         Stefan Radovanovic    Ed Delany   
HB   Lochie O'Brien         Brodie Kemp         Luke Parks
C   Tom Williamson      Joel Trudgeon*           Jordan Boyd

HF   Jack Carroll              Toby Wooller         James Parsons

F   Aaron Gundry             Ben Crocker         Corey Durdin

Foll   Luke Goetz*         Matthew Cottrell      Sam Ramsay

INT from Ryley Stoddart, Tom North, Cooper Stephens, Ben Caluzzi, Dale Marshall, Matt Shannon, Cody Hirst

New names – Joel Trudgeon Northern Knights skipper an inside bull (185cm 90kg) who works hard tackles hard and uses the ball beautifully by hand.  Lot to like about this kid.
Luke Goetz 201cm 97kg ex Dogs rookie who “failed to find his feet” and was let go 5 years ago with the comment:
 “It was mutually agreed that the level of commitment required to be an AFL player was too difficult for Luke at this stage of his life” 
Now 23yo has a mature body, might be worth looking at as a cheap option to have on the list in case of an injury plague to rucks such as we now have.  Perhaps the added maturity could have solved the commitment issue?  Don’t know what he has been doing in the interim – he signed at Altona then played 4 games for Essendon reserves in 2019 but I don’t know since then.

The team as structured at least has decent height back and forward and in the ruck - not a bad start, Newman gives experience and O'Brien run and hopefully precision delivery (he has the reputation as an elite user but I see way too many bad disposals from him mixed in with the good- perhaps halfback launcher works for him), Williamson and Boyd to the wings to use their wheels and disposal, Trudgeon in the middle to see if he can bully grown men like he does U18s.  That bench I reckon is mighty strong for a VFL side.
Bullants squad (some familiar names)
Tom Wilson Zac Hart Jean-Luc Velissaris, Liam Mackie, Billy Murphy, Glenn Strachan, Dylan Stone, William Mitchell, Sunny Brazier, Matthew King, Tim Jones, Jack Murphy, Hisham Kerbatieh, Paul Ahern, Tynan Smith, Mutaz El Nour, Douglas Lawrence, Nathan Honey, Ben Hurley, Jack Boyd, Ben Silvagni, Harrison Kennedy, Matthew Gundry, Tom Mills, Kye Quirk, Daniel Hughes

Robert Heatley Stand / Northern Blues Best 22
Just looking at the Carlton list and taking the AFL sites view of Carlton's best 22 as at round 1 (Jaksch being left out due to his current injury) the leftovers and rookies would allow for the following team for the Northern Blues (assuming 100% availability which is of course unlikely)

DICK                 GILES      SHEEHAN
WOOD               FOSTER   SMITH


Doesn't look a bad team, but then they rarely do when you presume a full list.

Of course numerous of these players could push into the Carlton side, but replaced by those they push out so can be considered much of a muchness in terms of quality.

Then there are the Northern listed players.  Whilst Northern have had a few confirmed departures only Jack Anthony would be what I consider a regular first team player (which might well be the only thing about him that could be described as "regular").  They have on the other hand picked up from "the Recruit" Tyrone Armitage and his teammate Lachie Kilpatrick coming down from Manly-Warringah Giants (the NSW premiers), Kieran McGuiness from the SANFL (Norwood) and Glenn Strachan from Collingwood VFL and these players together with numerous of the returning Northern boys (Wilson, Wilkinson, Bransgrove, Cattapan ...) will be looking to play plenty of senior VFL I am sure.