PAUL ROOS – HERALD SUN COLUMN

NORTH MELBOURNE

4 wins, 7 losses

What’s Working:

North Melbourne’s best football is outstanding and they start games as well as anyone in the competition.  The talent level now is such that they can move the ball from defense to attack with slick ball movement to a very dangerous forward line.  Lindsey Thomas in particular is having an outstanding year.

What’s Not Working;

Their defensive transition is arguably the worst in the competition.  They have no ability to stop the other teams momentum as they are an offense first team and often move forward of the ball and leave their direct opponents completely unmanned.  They have conceded over 1000 points already this year.

Mid-Year Draft:

Kieran Jack- they desperately need a midfielder that can stop an opposition star player and still win the ball himself.  Jack would have been the player that went to Ablett, Swan, and Selwood when they were running rampant against the Kanga’s this year.

Pressure Gauge:  5

Brad Scott :  There is no doubt that Scott is a talented coach however there is a clear reason the Kanga’s continually lose close games and give up big leads.  Unless this is addressed the pressure gauge will rise next year.

 

ST KILDA

2 wins, 9 losses

What’s Working:

They are better than their win loss record of 2 and 9.  St Kilda have consistently given themselves a chance to win games and very rarely do they get blown out.  Nick Riewoldt has showed once again what a quality leader and star player he is and looks well on the way to another club best and fairest.

What’s Not Working:

The Saints just don’t have enough midfield depth and have too many one position small forwards.  It is very difficult to win games with a forward line that consists of three talls and three small/medium forwards that cannot play anywhere else.  It puts far too much pressure on your midfielders compared to the best teams in the competition.

Mid-year Draft:

Trent Cotchin- the Saints need a young midfielder that can play forward and kick goals.  Whilst they are still getting good service from Hayes, Montagna, and Del Santo they are closer to the end of their careers than to the start.

Pressure Gauge: 5

Scott Watters: The effort is there from his players but ultimately he will know he gets judged on win/losses.  And like Brad Scott if things don’t improve he will be under more pressure next year.

 

WEST COAST EAGLES

6 wins, 5 losses

What’s working:

Their forward line always looks very dangerous with Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras, and often Nick Natanui or Dean Cox.  Josh Kennedy in particular is in very good form.  You always feel, even though the Eagles are not in great form, with their forward setup they can quickly get on a role.

What’s Not Working:

It’s hard to believe that last year the Eagles pressure was arguably the best in the league.  Once they set up their press, they were manic and almost impossible to move the ball coast to coast against. This year is completely different with teams moving the ball at will.

Mid-Year Draft:

Patrick Dangerfield: Whilst I think their midfield is quite deep and talented, they do lack some genuine power and leg speed.  Dangerfield would add this explosiveness to the team and would have no doubt helped them win more games than they have.

Pressure Gauge:  1

John Worsfold: Even though the Eagles were many people’s pre-season Premiership favourites and the pressure on the team now is huge I have rated the pressure gauge a one as I believe Worsher would gladly stand down if the club asked or if he felt he had had enough.

 

SYDNEY SWANS

8 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw

What’s Working:

The Sydney Swans have the best two-way running midfield in the competition.  Not only do their mid’s have an ability to push forward and kick goals, making them extremely dangerous offensively, every player switches to defense mode as soon as the opposition wins the ball.  This makes them the most difficult team in the competition to score against as the pressure and tackling is first class.

What’s Not Working:

Whilst injuries haven’t hampered them at this stage, the question will be can they win the premiership without their best 22 players?  Rhys Shaw has become a very important player for the Swans and getting him back to halfback will allow McVeigh back into the midfield again.

Mid-Year Draft:

Kurt Tippet:  The Swans have the perfect midyear draft player in Kurt Tippet.  He will be back in the side for the next game and suits their game style to perfection.  He will compete hard as a marking forward and has the ability to kick multiple bags of goals.

Pressure Gauge: 1

John Longmire:  John Longmire and his coaching staff have the best prepared team in the competition.  They play a distinctive brand of football and also consistently take away the opposition’s strengths.

 

COLLINGWOOD

7 wins, 4 losses

What’s Working:

With a number of star players out the Pies have done a terrific job of blooding young players.  Last weeks team consisted of  Josh Thomas 27 possesions, Kyle Martin Ben Kennedy 3 goals each and yet another debutant Adam Oxley. The Pies certainly look to have some good young long term prospects.

Whats not working:

Wether it is injuries, adapting to a new coach or just the usual form slumps, the Magpies just don’t seem to be completely on the same page. They can play good quarters /halfs but have yet to string some very good consistent form together. When you think it is going to arrive, a game like the Swans jumps out and they hit another road block.

Mid Year draft

I don’t think that Collingwood necessarily need a player, rather they need to find out which of there own players are 100 percent committed to the team and the pursuit of excellence. If there most talented 22 find this , they can win the flag.

Pressure Gauge 3

There is always pressure coaching, however more so when your coaching Collingwood, and then even greater after the departure of Mick. Nathan has handled this faultlessly , a very impressive coach that just needs a few things to click.

 

MELBOURNE

1 win  10 losses

Whats working/Whats not working

A very hard team to get a real handle on, nothing seems to be working.  Is it recruiting , is it development, is it coaching ? Its hard to believe a club could have dropped so dramatically over two years. They are getting belted every week and its hard to find an area they are improving in. Melbourne supporters must be frustrated and in fact even neutral fans would find it hard to watch. There immediate concern is keeping moral up and making sure they contract all there required players. They cannot loose anymore talent.

Mid Year draft.

Watson/Selwood/Ablett/Pendlebury

This is not a slight on there young Captains as I believe Grimes and Trengove are going to be stars, however they need a leader desperately. A role model on and of the field to drive the youngsters  and give them an understanding of what it takes to be a successful AFL player.

Pressure Gauge 9

After every game the question is “should Mark Neeld go”, so clearly there is enormous pressure on the coach. Fair or unfair?, We will all have our opinions on that however  one thing we would all agree with . Its part of the job.

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