Wednesday, 17 December 2014

2014 REVIEW: Not Good Enough

The next four teams to review were those that may well have had cases to answer for inclusion into the final 8, yet they somehow managed to mess it up.
Some were still in the mix with a few weeks left, and some were less than inspiring and never real threats.

W Bulldogs/FFC
FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:11th8 to 11

The Bulldogs might have finished 14th, an improvement over 2013, but by season's end there were players leaving and a new coach. Underlying problems bubbled to the surface.

On our system, 2014 was a step back, both losing rankings points (though a modest loss), and also in not meeting our expectations for the number of wins nor ladder position.
With a new coach and a fresh crop of players replacing some older heads, it would be an optimist who sees the Bulldogs gaining further ground in 2015.

Even in the summary chart for 2014, there is a very MOR feel to the season at the Whitten. Neither spectacularly good, nor crashingly bad. Another lost season.

Gold Coast
FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:11th7 to 9

For the Suns it was a season of 'what could have been'. For most of the year they were genuine contenders, and in line to secure a top 8 spot. They in fact held a top 8 spot for 13 of the 23 rounds. But after one player fell, they won only one of 7 games (against St Kilda) to round out the year with 10 wins and a 12th position.

From our expectations, they exceeded their wins tally, but were one spot down on the ladder. Genuine improvement, and they should be happy.

In the below chart, all the positive (and negative) bars up until the last seven are when Gary Ablett Jnr played (including the game he got injured). The last seven are without him. A marked change.

FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:7th15 to 16

The slide for Collingwood continues.
By our figures, we have seen Collingwood lose about 20% of their ranking and fall from 5th to 11th over the last three seasons. And most of that loss was in 2014, as charted earlier in the year.
And we also called it in August this year...
"And speaking of Collingwood - lets just put this out there...
With a ranking points total of 1149, they are now a rock solid, middle of the road football club, bound for week-in, week-out drudgery."
They were well under their 2013 position, and also our expectations. 4 less wins than we thought, and a ladder position well below our prediction.

Most interesting for us is that the slide has not just happened for Collingwood over the last 2 years, but appears to be quickening, as evidenced by the chart of loss and woe below.

FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:9th11 to 12
2013117820138th20138th *201311

That Carlton was a 'finals side' in 2013 is still a travesty of football. Not that we advocate Essendon getting the finals credit after treating their players like lab rats... they got their right whack.
But Carlton were 10th in 2012, 9th in 2013 and this year ended in 13th.

They finished lower than we expected and with a lot less wins. They were never a top-8 team.
We didn't expect Carlton to make much of an advance in 2014, but going backward means 2014 is another Blue, lost year.

The chart below shows another poor season start, with only a handful of above average performances tacked on the end of the season. A draw against Essendon and win over North Melbourne the only highlights.

Next: A whole group of teams that are there or thereabouts... Can they breach into the elite in 2015?

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