THE Collingwood Magpies aren’t having a good time in 2017. Just look at their forwards.
The side’s attack has come under serious selection pressure after coach Nathan Buckley admitted he was disappointed in his stars’ ability to kick six-pointers.
“I’m frustrated, there is a bit of frustration and a bit of venting coming out between the coaches box and the ground,” he said, after their fourth round loss to St Kilda over the Easter weekend.
Young gun Darcy Moore is one of the Pies’ star forwards who is having a rough start, going goalless in all but one game as Collingwood averages just 75 points.
To illustrate just how little action there is inside Collingwood’s forward 50, the Herald Sun produced a video (which you can see in the player above) of a daring seagull strutting around the Pies’ goal without interruption for over half a quarter during Sunday night’s 69-55 loss to the Saints.
When a team is struggling, the obvious target to lay waste on is the forward line, but an AFL legend thinks the Pies’ woes run deeper than just their struggling goalkickers this season.
Essendon legend turned commentator Tim Watson says Collingwood’s true problem lies within its midfield setup.
“Is the way that they bring the ball through their midfield — the shambolic way I would say — the problem?” Watson asked on SEN radio on Tuesday.
The 55-year-old compared Darcy Moore’s lack of output to what former star Travis Cloke produced last year.
“(Travis) Cloke couldn’t find the ball. We all said it was because Cloke couldn’t read the play, Cloke’s out of form, whatever. The same thing is happening with Darcy Moore,” Watson said.
“Darcy Moore can’t get on the end of it either. Is that because Darcy Moore doesn’t have a football brain and can’t read the play, or is it too complicated and too difficult for him to understand which of these players that are carrying the ball is going to release the ball and at what time they are going to release the ball?
“I reckon it’s simplistic to say they have so many inside 50s. It’s how the ball comes into the forward 50 and it comes in poorly at Collingwood. They kick it wide and they kick it inaccurately. Is the midfield as efficient as it should be? I say no to that.”
The heat was turned up on Buckley in the aftermath of the defeat when ex-Geelong star Cameron Ling slammed the decision to keep captain and star midfielder Scott Pendlebury on the bench for the majority of the third term on Sunday night.
“I can’t believe he (Pendlebury) has sat 14 minutes on the bench in a game that was there to be won — that is unbelievable,” he said on 3AW radio.
Despite Watson’s fresh take on the Pies’ woes, former Demons star and champion goalkicker Garry Lyon says the Collingwood unit still has its forwards to blame.
The 49-year-old SEN host blasted a number of the black-and-white’s forwards, suggesting the midfield had no confidence in their ability to win a contest.
“Going inside 50 can be problematic too. If you look up and have no one to go to, then it doesn’t matter where you kick it,” he said.
“You can go inside 50 and hit the top of the goalsquare every single time, it doesn’t take too much skill to do that but if you haven’t got a structure in place and players capable of doing that role then you’re not getting anywhere.
“Right now they’re looking up and they’re saying ‘I’m not going to kick it to (Mason) Cox, I’m not going to kick it to Jesse White; I have no faith in him. I’m not going to go there so they start to muck around with the footy.”
SOURCE: newsnow sport