Friday, 20 December 2013

2013 Review - The Ones at the Bottom

Its time we reviewed all the teams and 2013, much like we did last year (here, here, here and here).
So lets kick of our season end reviews at the bottom, and teams ranked 18th to 14th.



GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Rank: 18th (-)     420 pts (+23)
AFL Ladder: 18th       1 W / 21 L

As per last year, the GWS are adrift at the base of our rankings table, as well as the AFL list.
As they started the year at under 400 points, we thought the GWS may struggle to better 2012, tipping that they would be lucky to end up "collecting between 3 and 0 wins for the year".
Which is what they did.

While they never went backwards, they also never ventured out from the 390 - 470 point bracket. The chart at right (points gained and lost week-on-week) suggests they did indeed write off this season with little to show for it.

Further, they also continued to suffer massive losses... this season another 12 games lost by 10 goals or more.

Where to from here?
We do wonder 'where to now for the GWS?' but have duly noted that they have been introduced under difficult circumstances.

Hopefully in 2014, some of the GWS boys do indeed become 'Giants' of men.



MELBOURNE
Rank: 17th (-1)     590 pts (-177)
AFL Ladder: 17th       2 W / 20 L

More drama for the first club in the land in 2013. Like the GWS above, they also suffered 12 losses by 10 or more goals, and during the year lost its coach and CEO.
Before the season proper, they also got embroiled in the Essendon drugs affair, after it was revealed that old mate Stephen Dank was seen on site. And of course, the 'tanking-without-tanking' scandal also cost the club a mighty sum that the AFL was about to shell out anyway.

We predicted them "to finish with 3 to 7 wins" and "to be between 14th and 16th", and with hindsight's clarity, we weren't far off.

The chart at right tells the tale for the Dees... those first three games (79 point loss to Port Adelaide, 148 point loss to Essendon and a 94 point loss to West Coast) set the tone.
From then on, the season went south, such that by round 10 we were wondering if the Suns or Giants were better this year.

Losing Neeld (in round 12... when Melbourne had the bye) led the Dees to a nice run of 5 consecutive improvements (including a win against the Bulldogs). But round 18 was another huge loss that restored the gloom.

Where to from here?
The club can ill afford another season of poor performances. Something the AFL has recognized in tipping money into the club.
So the football world duly notes they have turned the corner somewhat... a new CEO and Paul Roos as coach should stir hearts.
But will it generate a revival?




GOLD COAST
Rank: 16th (+1)     898 pts (+248)
AFL Ladder: 14th       8 W / 14 L

All that red ink on the right hand side tells the tale of the Suns season 2013.
It was the Suns breakout season and highlights that they appear to be on the right track for the finals. Our estimation pre-season was for "possibly winning as many as 5 games", so scoring 8 wins was an excellent return.
Wins over North Melbourne and Collingwood also attest to their growth in 2013.

The other positive for the Suns was that they did not cop a flogging this year (and also recorded 9 weeks of the biggest improvements under our rankings system).

Where to from here?
The real test for the club and players now is to (at a minumum) hold this seasons performance in 2014. With a still young set of players that should be achievable in the modern game.
An additional win or two would be great, and a first finals berth would be an exceptional year.



WESTERN BULLDOGS
Rank: 15th (-)     934 pts (+144)
AFL Ladder: 15th       8 W / 14 L

At the end of last year we had the Bulldogs as a 'work in progress' and "an interesting case study in re-building a team".
2013 has indeed seen an improvement out west, as the Bulldogs not oly gained ranking points under our system, but also won 3 more games than 2012. Wins against Carlton, Adelaide and the Eagles are further proof of improvement.

We highlighted that the Bulldogs had halted their decline in June, and revisited their improved performance in August. The red text to the right of the chart highlights the wet sail that the Western Bulldogs flew home with.
They also had only 3 losses over 10 goals this season, a real improvement from the 8 of 2012.

Where to from here?
Much like the Suns, 8 wins was a solid effort and building on this will be the challenge. But there are a few others in the same situation, so holding to an 8-10 win season for 2013 should be a minimum for the Brendan McCartney rebuild.



ST KILDA
Rank: 14th (-8)     960 pts (-322)
AFL Ladder: 16th       5 W / 17 L

The saddest chart of the 2013 AFL season belongs to St Kilda.
All their performances were below what we had them ranked at, except for 6 instances, and only two of them (the last two of the season) were double figure improvements. All of the rankings points losses were by 14 points or more.

Again, we highlighted the Saints decline back in June (before others did...?) when we referenced the media missing the target on the Bulldogs. This was further noted in August... a huge decline over 2013.

And while St Kilda were able to dish out two 10 goal wins (over GWS and Fremantle in that round 23 turn-up), they also suffered three themselves ( by North Melbourne, Richmond and Geelong).

Did we rate them too highly at the end of 2012 and not see the rollercoaster style drop coming in 2013? More than likely, as we had them finishing with "between 14 and 11 wins" and in 7th to 10th spot.


Where to from here?
Was getting less than half that amount of predicted wins, and a massive -322 rankings points loss due to what seems to have been a dysfunctional coach, or the ageing list?
2014 under a new coach might not bring instant rewards, but to stop the decline should be the first goal. Anything over that (i.e. 8 wins) will be a great result.


Next post... the other 5 teams that we ranked outside the best 8 after the conclusion of season 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment