PAUL ROOS – HERALD SUN COLUMN

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 won on the back of great games from Swan and Pendlebury and also significant input from the likes of Thomas, Martin, Williams, Elliot and Oxley. The Pies certainly look to have some good young long-term prospects.

Whats not Working:

Whether 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 /halves but have yet to string some very good consistent form together. Last week’s game against the Bulldogs was indicative of the Magpies season so far. Fantastic for a half and poor after halftime.

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.

 

Adelaide Crows

5 Wins, 7 Losses

What’s Working:

The form of Patrick Dangerfield and Richard Douglas has been the benchmark for the Crows this season.  They are almost singlehandedly keeping their team in games. Dangerfield is one of the most explosive offensive weapons in the game and has the ability to play mid and forward. Douglas is their hardest working two-way midfielder.

What’s not Working:

The Crows midfield was very deep last year and created headaches for the opposition.  This year has been the complete opposite.  Teams are now starting to outwork and dominate the Crows mids.  Richmond last week dismantled the Crows on the back of pressure and run.  The Crows must find an appetite for the contest.

Mid Year Draft:

Taylor Walker/Kurt Tippet:

It is extremely difficult to lose two key players at once.  The forward line has had to be completely reworked and without Walker and Tippet there seems to be no easy goals for the Crows.  They are screaming out for a key forward.

Pressure Gauge: 3

Brenton Sanderson- whilst the Crows expectations haven’t been met this year Sanderson proved last year what a good coach he is.  His challenge now is to restructure his forward line and re-motivate his disenchanted outfit.

 

Gold Coast Suns:

5 Wins, 7 Losses

What’s Working:

Individually the young players of the Suns are improving.  They are starting to play both sides of the ball and with their fitness levels are able to stay in most games longer.  There is far less pressure on Gary Ablett to perform although he has maintained his incredibly high standards.  The Suns look a well balanced team with some of their talls starting to have a significant impact on the game.

What’s Not Working:

The injury to Zac Smith was a shocking blow to the young player and the team.  He burst onto the scene in his first year, struggled last season and was looking like becoming a very good AFL ruckman.  Hopefully his surgery is successful, his rehab goes smoothly and we see him back next year.

Mid Year Draft:

Travis Cloke- a big power forward that can get the Suns some easy goals would get them to the next level.  They look to have a talented midfield group that will develop nicely over the next few years.

Pressure Gauge: 3

The suns are probably exactly where they hope to be at this time in their early history.  Bluey and his coaching staff look to be a good development crew and the individual improvement in each of their players is evident.

 

Greater Western Giants:

0 Wins, 12 Losses

What’s Working:

Even though their record is 0 and 12 we are seeing glimpses of the future.  Most of their young talent at stages begin the games have shown why they are early draft picks.  Cameron in particular is doing an extraordinary job given the ball doesn’t spend a lot of time in the Giants forward 50.  If he could win the Coleman it would be a tremendous effort and a win for the young Giants team.

What’s Not Working:

Whether intentional or not the Giants have not got a lot of experienced talent and that is hurting the young franchise.  They needed some bigger bodies to take the pressure off their early draft picks.  People will argue that those players wouldn’t be there for their successful years however young teams need good role models to eventually reach the heights they are striving for.

Mid Year Draft:

Gary Ablett Jr.- The Giants need a star that can do everything.  And probably unlike the Suns missed out on this type of player when they set up their team.  Ablett makes everyone better.

Pressure Gauge: 1 (Kevin Sheedy) 4 Leon Cameron

Sheed’s has been fantastic for the Giants and should be complemented for the way he set up the franchise. Unfortuantely for Leon he comes in in year 3 when expectations are going to rise significantly.  They need to win games next year.

 

Essendon Bombers

9 Wins, 3 Losses

What’s Working:

James Hird has been working on their defensive skills since they arrived as Bombers coach. To the coach’s credit they are now a much harder team to score against. The Bombers were seen as a free scoring, forward running team.  They now have a much greater team commitment to getting the ball back off of the opposition.  Heath Hocking opitimizes this philosophy. He is a good midfield stopper but can also win the ball himself.

What’s Not Working:

When compared to the absolute elite teams of the competition the Bombers still have a number of weaknesses. Their half forwards can be a weakness as they don’t have the ability to work up and back.  This can create problems as they often get outnumbered in their forward 50 if the opposition drops a defender off.

Mid Year Draft:

Patrick Dangerfield- an explosive midfielder that can play forward and kick multiple goals would be invaluable for the Bombers.  Not only does Dangerfield change the momentum of games but he can win games off his own boot.

Pressure Gauge: 2

James Hird- in a pure coaching sense there is absolutely no pressure on James Hird.  His team can play exceptional football and the win/loss column attests to that.  The pressure comes on all at the club with the investigation that is currently underway.

 

Carlton Blues

6 Wins, 6 Losses

What’s Working:

The Blues percentage of a 116 suggests that they are more than a competitive team.  They seem more resilient this year and never get blown out of games. You sense their highs aren’t quite as good but their lows aren’t anywhere near as bad.  They are no longer as reliant on Chris Judd as he stills seems to have an impact but not as consistently as we used to see.

What’s Not Working:

The Blues are struggling to put teams away.  They certainly do not get reward for effort and that is putting pressure on their win/loss record. They should have beaten both the Bombers and the Hawks.  Is is ultimately a lack of talent or a flaw in the way they play? The next ten weeks will tell the story.

Mid Year Draft:

A 22 year old Jonathon Brown.  They need a forward that can both work up the ground and provide a contest on the wing and take a contested mark in the goal square. Brown would capitalize on the many opportunities created by the Carlton mids.

Pressure Gauge: 3

Mick Malthouse- Mick is finding out about his new team and the players are finding out about Mick.  I suspect the Carlton faithful will definitely be looking for a finals berth at worst and if the Blues miss out there will be great disappointment.

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