I don’t want to bash the Swans just because they have had a couple of losses. Some players will come back and play much better in the coming weeks than what we have seen so far but there are some issues that will not go away and must addressed if the Swans are to get their campaign back on track.
GARY ROHAN AND RHYS SHAW MUST BE DROPPED.
All football fans and Swans fans in particular want to see Gary Rohan become the footballer he was on the verge of becoming before Lindsay Thomas’ reckless leg-breaking tackle stopped his career dead. The truth is however since his return last year Rohan has not played one game that even comes close to AFL standard. He must be dropped back and given a chance to build form, confidence and stamina in the reserves.
Rhys Shaw is a different matter. Last year he was largely unavailable through injury which saw Jared McVeigh take up the half-back role with devastating effect. McVeigh’s brilliant disposal was a large reason the Swans were in the flag hunt for so long. Shaw on the other hand is a terrible turn-over merchant. He lacks the skills to play in a top team and his decision making is not reliable. On Saturday his inevitable turnovers weren’t just bad passes that disadvantaged a team-mate they were kicks and handballs directly to Collingwood players. He must go.
ONLY ONE OF O’KEEFE, BIRD AND MCGLYNN CAN BE IN THE STARTING 21.
These three players are too slow to play in the same starting line-up – except in heavy weather conditions where two could be included. Both Bird and McGlynn are also too short to compete in marking contests. Of the three only McGlynn is really suited to the Substitute role, the others being more grinding, tackling players. The Swans coaching staff played all three in game one, although O’Keefe was a late inclusion in the 21. Once again all three were named in the 22 last Saturday. It is a recipe for disaster.
MIKE PYKE IS A GREAT #2 RUCKMAN.
Pyke has been sensational for the Swans but he is not the kind of number 1 ruckman who bullocks and commands the centre square like Sandilands, Mumford, Cox and others, especially when the ball hits the ground. The Swans are much less effective with him in this role and must find somebody to release Pyke to his previous role.
JOHN LONGMIRE SHOULD BE A HORSE NOT A MULE.
Longmire’s obstinacy in persisting with a losing tactic of Sam Reid as loose-man-in-defence was a huge tactical blunder in the Collingwood game. Maxwell, these days a sub-par backman was turned into a super-star when Reid’s height and agility would have made him a handful while at the other end Reid was not as commanding. For much of last year Reid had nobody else to take the heat up forward but now he has Buddy and this should see him face lesser opponents. Hey, everybody makes mistakes but to stubbornly persist until far too long in the error should see Longmire re-nicknamed “mule”.
LEWIS JETTA HAS TO PUT IN
For three quarters last Saturday Jetta’s efforts when he did not have the ball were pathetic. The way he avoided physical contact was like a nun in a sauna. Perhaps Jetta is going to really only be useable as the substitute.