With Adelaide and Carlton done, lets take a look at how 2016 has shaped so far for the Collingwood Football Club.
Pre-Season Prediction: 8th
Current Position: 14th
Top 8 Odds: $51 (via TopSport)
Forecast: A finish between 12-15
Coming into 2016 with what looked like a good list on paper hasn’t transpired to on-field form for Collingwood who have had quite a disappointing season so far under Nathan Buckley.
The feeling I get with Collingwood is sort of the same one I get with Melbourne. You don’t know which Collingwood is going to turn up each week. The team that shocked Geelong in round 9 or the team who got pummelled just two weeks later against Port Adelaide.
Just when you think the Magpies have turned a corner they disappoint in the next game. Very similar to Melbourne, its just Melbourne are better at it!
4-8 is a not a ledger that we should be associating with Collingwood, and I’m afraid its not going to get any better as the season pans out.
What Has Worked
Not much. Rarely any of their stats have them ranked in the top half which is a shame. However, Collingwood are renowned for their defensive pressure on the ball carrier and when the whole team is switched on in this regard they are one of the best teams in the competition in this area.
We haven’t see it much this season however which is a key to where they are where they are. On the other hand though, the Pies are ranked fourth in the competition for tackle differential, proving how damaging they can be without the sherrin.
Another notable stats are the lack of turnovers, only averaging 67.8 a game, fifth best in the league. The Pies are seventh best for one percenters with 48.3 per game. Their free-kick differential is also pleasing, 2nd for and 10th against which shows they are getting to the contest first, just not with enough conviction.
Their midfield group is still promising, led by Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar, Taylor Adams and Steele Sidebottom. Jeremy Howe has also proven to be a decent recruit, striking up some nice chemistry with fellow defender Ben Reid.
What Hasn’t Worked
Quite a lot, but there are a few notable things to pick out. Their clearance work is shocking, the worst in the competition in fact, going at 32 per game. Combine this with their stoppage work, which is also the worst in the league at 21.5 per game and Nathan Buckley and co. have a serious problem that needs rectifying.
For a midfield that is stacked with talent, these numbers are just not good enough and they need to drastically improve if Collingwood have any chance at all at moving up the ladder this year let alone the next few.
Collingwood’s defensive setup is pretty much non-existent, with the Pies at -35 on their opposition for total forward half intercepts – ranked 13th in the league. Only Fremantle, Brisbane, Richmond, Gold Coast and Essendon are ranked lower in this area.
The Travis Cloke conundrum is also something that needs to be sorted out urgently as its just too much money playing VFL football. Lack of game time throughout the second half of the season will almost certainly see Cloke leave at the end of the year.
Adam Treloar is having quite a debut season at Collingwood and its a shame that the club has too many passengers at the present time not worthy of being in his league.
Treloar has played all 12 games this season, averaging 31 disposals a game, a career high and an improvement on last year’s average of 27.5 disposals. Along with that, he’s kicked seven goals for the year so far and he averages seven score involvements a game, the second highest at the club behind the skipper.
His creativity and run has been crucial to Collingwood this season and without him they could be much further down the ladder than they already are. For a club that is underperforming in clearance numbers, Treloar stands out as their number clearance player, averaging nearly twice the amount of the man in second, Scott Pendlebury.
Good decision to recruit him, perhaps a poor decision on Adam’s behalf to leave GWS.
Ben Crocker and Tom Phillips are the only draftees so far that have played this season. Crocker was taken at no. 65 in 2015’s draft and has played six games, kicked five goals, averaged 8 disposals and two tackles as a high half-forward. His last game coming against Melbourne before the bye.
Tom Phillips was taken at no.58 in last year’s draft and has just played the one game against Melbourne in the last round, picking up 15 disposals and finishing with five tackles in an impressive debut.
Brayden Sier is the club’s number one pick from last year’s draft, going at no.32 overall, however the midfielder has been sidelined since May with a broken scaphoid. He is yet to play a game this year. Possibly one to watch out for in the back half of the season.
Second Half Expectations
Its a tough draw for the rest of the season and they don’t really get a break until the Gold Coast game in round 22. Possible wins could come against this week against Fremantle and Richmond in round 20. The debateable ones though, I have them losing, against Carlton and West Coast, even though their both at the MCG.
At 4-8, I give them three more wins taken them to a paltry 7-15 which points to a very poor season. Last year the Pies finished 12th with 40 points. This time around, I’m going to place them at 14th at seasons end, putting Buckley’s job in serious jeopardy.