Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

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Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby GregPackhamsHeadband » Sat 09 Sep 2017 4:51pm

I was just listening to slobbo and the boys on SEN. The general consensus in summing up the saints play this season was that we'd lost our "mongrel" and that the club as a whole was not ruthless enough. It was run by nice guys. Richo, nice guy. Matt Finnis, nice guy. Peter Summers, nice guy. Ameet Bains, nice guy. This, slobbo and Derm surmised, was reflected in the playing group, especially in the last 7 rounds, when our season went into free fall. We lost our ability to apply the manic pressure that Richo relies on. Our pressure was non existent at times and we failed in the critical games, at the critical moments. Time to pause and reflect.

I have to agree with them. Something went terribly wrong in those last seven rounds. We were seventh and one game off top four after fifteen rounds. We'd just demolished the Tigers and seemed to be on a roll. Our best was very good. A finals appearance looked likely, if not assured. Instead we flopped and missed the finals for a sixth year running, our worst run since the dark days of the mid 70's and 80's. What went wrong? This is the urgent question that must be answered before preseason starts.

In agreeing with slobbo, I pose the question, who is our enforcer, or leader of the physical side of things? Where is our Luke Hodge? Even the soft demons got Jordan Lewis across because they knew other teams felt they could be bullied. The Bugg and Lewis suspensions early on were a clear expression of the dreamons desire to be seen as tougher. I'm not advocating violence, but a bit of "footy on the edge", which we are perfectly capable of playing, has gone into hibernation. Time to bring back a bit of the mongrel.

The last seven weeks revealed two troubling problems. One, we lack on field leadership, once our senior players were out, in Roo, Joey and Gilbo (who is capable of playing on that manic edge). What is the next generation doing? Seb Ross, Jack Billings, Jake Carlisle, Tim Membrey and Gears really need to step up now. I'd include Gresh in the leadership group as well. In the absence of Roo and Joey, having already lost the Dumpster pre-season, we were a rudderless ship when the heat was on. This is where you need a captain like Roo, one who can grab a game by the scruff of the neck, change it and inspire others. That's what made him an inspirational and effective leader.

As much as I admire Gears and would never question his courage and commitment, he simply can't influence games to any great extent. Just look at Cotchin, Joey Kennedy, Tex Walker and Joel Selwood. Match winners as well as great leaders. Until we find another one, we'll struggle to take the next step. Gears definitely belongs in the leadership group, but is he a natural, or true captain? Food for thought. Seb Ross strikes me as a very good alternative. Tough, resilient, our second best player and improving and plays where the action is. He's as close to a potential Hodge as we've got.

Finally, the other thing that disturbs me is the reliance we had as a playing group on the output of the oldies. Gilbo had his best season in years, Joey was very good after a mid season rev and Roo was Roo until near the end. All missed games in that last stretch. Any coincidence that we dropped off at the same time they were out? If so, we need to replace them or face a possible Norf like plunge. Remember, they lost a huge chunk of experience and class at the end of last year. They've won 8 of their last 35 games, falling from the top of the ladder after 12 games last year, to playing off for the wooden spoon this year.

So, we need that "mojo" back. That manic style that serves us well. Can we do it without the old boys out on the ground? Can we reinvigorate this group and get them to go again? I have a great long standing mate who has followed them as long as I have. He reckons we are just not good enough. Is he right, or are we just one or two top players away from a serious tilt?

PS. If you don't think Richo is the right man for the job, I have some disappointing news for him. A source at the club reliably informs me that he will be extended until the end of 2020. The paperwork is done and just has to be signed off by the usual suspects. Like him or not, he's our coach for the next three years.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby SaintPav » Sat 09 Sep 2017 7:24pm

I'm more concerned about our assistants than Richo. Club needs to bring in new faces. A couple have been there too long.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Joe Bloggs » Sat 09 Sep 2017 8:31pm

The Murphy incident....messed with our heads .
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby GregPackhamsHeadband » Sat 09 Sep 2017 8:43pm

Agreed, SP. I think there is too much praise and too much blame for senior coaches. Competent assistants make all the difference. A good barometer is how many get poached by other clubs. Does anyone know if we've had anyone poached from us in th
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby SaintPav » Sat 09 Sep 2017 9:23pm

Harves went to the filth a few years back. King to Footscray as well. Both from the Lyon years.

Before that probably Alan Jeans when he went to Hawthorn

Can't remember anyone else.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby dals_da_bomb » Sat 09 Sep 2017 9:39pm

Seriously wonder how that will go down (re-signing til 2020) if we dont have some real grunt next year.

IF (and i guess this is a wasted discussion because its all IF)
we come out losing the first 6.. if the goal kicking isnt improved - if we struggle over 34k members... and they re-sign -
they will need to leave seaford stat because there would be a fairly large s*** storm i reckon.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby HardSaint » Sat 09 Sep 2017 9:42pm

Joe Bloggs wrote:The Murphy incident....messed with our heads .


definitely and WTF was that all about? Carlton were in with a chance until some supreme sledging exposed them as unresilient sooks
the the media gets hold of it and we're all caught up in PC guilt trip, we withered, we cowered and we fell away - allowing others to dictate our sense of self - and revealed us as totally unresilient and susceptible to a shifting moral landscape - f*** that

At least in our s*** years we were always feared - its terrible to have a s*** year and be a bunch of total man buns so vulnerable
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby 8856brother » Sat 09 Sep 2017 9:58pm

Richmond's season must give us hope. They were insipid for the last part of last season. Look at them now.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby GregPackhamsHeadband » Sat 09 Sep 2017 10:19pm

8856brother wrote:Richmond's season must give us hope. They were insipid for the last part of last season. Look at them now.

Indeed. They were a basket case at the end of last year. A board challenge, doubts about the coach, a supposedly ordinary list. Look at them now. It just shows it can be done. This time last year I would've said our list was better than theirs. Not many had the Tigers anywhere near the eight, let alone close to a GF when they were doing their predictions in the preseason.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Toy Saint » Sat 09 Sep 2017 10:55pm

Mav Weller should be the enforcer, he's built like Tarzan but plays a bit more like Jane
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Con Gorozidis » Sun 10 Sep 2017 12:49am

Toy Saint wrote:Mav Weller should be the enforcer, he's built like Tarzan but plays a bit more like Jane


Huffs, PUFFS!
Runs in circles like a big show pony.
Absolutely weak as piss as a player.

The coach gets angry when Essendon beats Freo. 'Sick in the guts' apparently!
He wants to be 'aggressive' at the trade table' in September when noone is trading. There is no f****** table.

Just so much hot air and bluster at our club. The coach is a prize f***wit for trying to talk tough off field.

Where was the 'aggression' on the field where it counts versus Melbourne and Essendon?

I am disgusted.

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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby parkeysainter » Sun 10 Sep 2017 12:54am

Settle down Con G. Too many f's and abuse of fellow posters, the coach, players, etc. It achieves nothing.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Con Gorozidis » Sun 10 Sep 2017 12:54am

Melbourne picked Jack Trengove in 2009 ahead of Dustin Martin.

Why?

Trengove comes from a 'good family'.
A great kid.
A great character.

WHO GIVES A f*** ABOUT HIS FAMILY?????
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Con Gorozidis » Sun 10 Sep 2017 12:55am

parkeysainter wrote:Settle down Con G. Too many f's and abuse of fellow posters, the coach, players, etc. It achieves nothing.


Im not looking to achieve anything on here. Thats obvious.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby parkeysainter » Sun 10 Sep 2017 12:56am

Con Gorozidis wrote:
parkeysainter wrote:Settle down Con G. Too many f's and abuse of fellow posters, the coach, players, etc. It achieves nothing.


Im not looking to achieve anything on here. Thats obvious.


Why are you on here? Just curious.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Con Gorozidis » Sun 10 Sep 2017 12:57am

If Tony Elshaugh or Alan Richardson mention the word 'character' or 'family' during the month of October and November I swear to god I will go ballistic.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Con Gorozidis » Sun 10 Sep 2017 1:06am

parkeysainter wrote:
Con Gorozidis wrote:
parkeysainter wrote:Settle down Con G. Too many f's and abuse of fellow posters, the coach, players, etc. It achieves nothing.


Im not looking to achieve anything on here. Thats obvious.


Why are you on here? Just curious.


I get paid by the Mods to be a fact checker. Its just a job for me.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby Zed » Sun 10 Sep 2017 7:39am

Nothing to do with mongrel- everything to do with lack of foot skills. We butchered opportunities to win countless times with turnovers and missed scoring opportunities. Lack of class on the list means we will wallow in the no mans land just outside the 8 for the next 3 years unless we can draft or trade in some class ball users.

Sorry to be the negative nelly - but those looking to improvement from within need to look at Ross an Webster as prime examples. Yes Ross topped the stats sheet regularly- but take a close look at how many times he effectively used the ball - very low. Get the tape out of the first game against Sydney this year as an example - something like his first 7 kicks were turnovers. And every one marvels at Jimmy Webster's low flat fast passes. Look great when there is nobody around him - but again check the tapes when he is in tight under pressure. Those kicks miss more than they hit . Result ? Our defenders caught off guard by the fast turnover usually resulting in a scoring opportunity for the opposition.

Recruit class ball users. Another tall defender. Tall forwards who can take a contested mark. Forwards who can kick straight. All of these over and above mongrel.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby GregPackhamsHeadband » Sun 10 Sep 2017 7:55am

Hard to disagree, Zed. I think it's fairly obvious that our foot skills, especially entering forward 50 and in front of the sticks leaves a lot to be desired. I agree with you on Webster. The low, stinging, left foot darts look great when they come off, but he misses too many targets heading out of defence. I actually think he's no more effective by foot than Gilbo, who cops a caning on here for his kicking. I'm more forgiving of Ross, as so much of his work is done in the heavy traffic. He did fall away towards the end.

The point slobbo made, and why I posted this, was that I'm looking for the reasons as to why we fell away so badly in the last seven weeks. I think our foot skills weren't great all year. I think the difference towards the end was that our manic intensity dropped off, and our veterans missed games, depriving us of leadership. Very worrying. The intensity bit can be corrected fairly easily. Not so sure about the kicking skills or leadership bits.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby saintspremiers » Sun 10 Sep 2017 9:20am

Richmond have Dusty. He's a huge reason they are flag almost favourites.

Unless we get Kelly/ a gun FA I can't see that happening.

Gresh could be A grade next year. He demands the footy up forward and could be on the cusp of greatness.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby spert » Sun 10 Sep 2017 9:53am

Watched the Swans v injectors game, and one thing is totally obvious- the strength of the Swans players, from small to talls. They run straight at the contest, don't hang back for others to do the work...and manage to extract the ball in tight situations.

In contrast to us, where our mids just get pushed aside too easily, or hang back and don't hit the contest running.

Maybe we need to look at our strength conditioning and getting players who can hold their feet in tough going. We don't need mongrel, we need smarts- toughness at the ball, and better second and third efforts.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby GregPackhamsHeadband » Sun 10 Sep 2017 11:22am

Indeed, spert. There's pressure on all the staff, especially the fitness and conditioning area. Some think we ran out of gas towards the end of the season, others think we couldn't run out games playing our game style. Either way, when asking questions of the coaching and development staff, the fitness department must also be looked at closely.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby GregPackhamsHeadband » Tue 12 Sep 2017 12:35am

Speaking of mongrel, who is our "enforcer"? Have we even got one? Don't say Mav Weller, because he just wasn't up to the task this year, whether injured or not. Jimmy Webster tries the tough guy stuff, but should concentrate on cementing his spot. Gilbo plays with manic intensity, but doesn't really intimidate anyone. We need someone who's an automatic selection, is one of our best and can frighten the bejezuz out of the opposition.

Think Big Carl, the Cowboy, the G Train and Hamill. Lenny Hayes was our most recent one. I can't see one in our current crop. Carlisle not aggressive enough, Hickey has no physical presence, while Billy, the obvious one, is still establishing himself. Armo may not be an automatic any more while Gears is tough, but not in a nasty sort of way. The two candidates I believe could lead the way are Dunstan and Steele. Both are hard at it, strong, courageous and can win it in the clinches. Anyone else?
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby degruch » Tue 12 Sep 2017 9:22am

I couldn't agree more...in fact, I've been saying it since 2005! Very disappointed we didn't come out after Murphygate and flip the whole comp the bird, it was a chance to make a statement that we were an unsociable competitive beast. Also frustrating that we waffled about the park like a poor man's GWS, too few wanting to put their hear over the ball, too many looking at their reflections for additions to the highlight reel.
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Re: Saints "too nice". Time to bring back the mongrel!

Postby ctqs » Tue 12 Sep 2017 9:46am

I reckon it was no coincidence last year (2016) we dropped Sinclair and Lonie for Wright and Minchington and we toughened up and came home with a wet sail.
Still waiting for closure ... if you get my drift.
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