Interest in Todd Goldstein has gone through the roof these past few weeks.
First came the big news – the AFL banned blokes from going 3rd man up in any ruck contest. Great news for dominant tap ruckman like Goldy.
And now comes news that Majak Daw has stuffed his knee, gone under the knife and will sit out a big chunk of the remaining preseason.
In his ripping write up on Todd Goldstein earlier in the preseason Kev highlighted a bloody interesting link between Majak Daw’s place in North’s best 22 and a decline in Goldstein’s SuperCoach output.
While GM of North’s footy department reckons he’s “confident he’ll be available in the opening rounds of the season”, I can assure you there’s stuff all chance of Daw hitting the park before round 5.
Yep. On the surface it looks as if the chips are falling big Toddy’s way.
But let’s hold our horses. Let’s not trot around with engorged Goldstein trousers just yet – there’s research to be done and informed decisions to be made.
The Majak Factor
The table below tells a story. Majak and Goldstein played alongside each together 7 times last season. When Goldstein shared the rucking duties with Majak all of his key numbers dropped, and so did his SuperCoach output.
Most SuperCoach players will have a glance at a table like this one and jump to a conclusion pretty quickly. Majak won’t be playing.. so Goldmember will shoulder all of the ruck work and return to his best in 2017. LOCK.
NO. Absolutely, positively, dead set NO.
If you’ve hung around this magnificent joint for long enough you’ll know that there are always a shitload of factors at play.
Never jump to a conclusion unless you’ve done the hard yards. Scratch a few surfaces. Then get the shovel out and dig like a mad prick until you’ve discovered all that there is to discover about a bloke before you lock him in.
You have to ask yourself – why would North Melbourne want to chuck Majak bloody Daw into the ruck when they’ve got one of the best blokes going around to shoulder the load?
The signs were there early in 2016. Goldstein had ripped the rucking world a new one in 2015, averaging almost 45 hitouts a game, 14 of them going to advantage. While he was in relatively good form early – his tap work and work rate had dropped away.
Then in round 10 we saw it. Todd Goldstein sitting on the bench with a fat arse icepack on his knee. He had a spell for a week, then on return clearly struggled to cover the same amount of ground. He couldn’t impact general play like we’ve seen him do in the past. Couldn’t get his hand on enough of the pill.
He’d shouldered all the ruck load in 2015 and the magnificent big bastard was feeling the pinch. Bringing in Majak Daw to chop Goldstein out was more about Goldstein’s drop in capacity as it was about the emergence of Daw.
Massive question this – is this the new norm for Goldstein? Having played a hell of a lot of this beautiful game I’ll tell you one thing.. missing 1 week with a knee then limping around on it for the rest of the season sounds a hell of a lot like a degenerative & ongoing condition to me. He might hit the ground running in round 1 after a nice off-season spell but let me tell you – he’ll feel that same old pinch before very long at all.
I could well be proven wrong here (for the sake of Goldstein’s longevity I hope I’m right) but North has to inject another bloke into the 2017 role that was earmarked for Daw. Ben Brown could be the bloke that chops out Toddy. Braydon Preuss or Sam Durdin are the kids that might be called upon.
Whichever way this falls, mark my words – Todd Goldstein will not reproduce his 2015 form again.
Third Man Up
Now some good news for big Todd. The AFLs canning of the 3rd man up in the ruck contest is a positive.
3rd man up became a widely used strategy in 2016 – deployed most heavily against the dominant tap ruckman. The impact this rule change will have on output for the dominant ruckman (also to the midfielders who played the 3rd man up role) will stagger you.
We’ve analysed this in incredible detail in the 2017 Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Magazine. I can guarantee you that you’ll change your mind on a few selections once you’ve digested the “Death of the 3rd Man Up” article. Snag your copy here while they last.
The magazine article will show you that the 4 teams who went with the 3rd man up most heavily were Port Adelaide, Geelong, St Kilda and Western Bulldogs. So how did big Toddy get on against these mobs?
You might not think Goldy’s drop in Hitout to Advantage (HOA) against the 3rd man up strategy was that significant – but stuff me – it was.
Remember, a hitout in itself is worth bugger all anymore – unless it goes to the advantage of the ruckman’s team. Goldstein’s SuperCoach output on HOA alone was down by an average of 11 Supercoach points in these games where he had to deal with the 3rd man up strategy at its most aggressive.
Expect an increase in HOA point generation for Todd in 2017.
— Jock Reynolds (@jock_reynolds) January 12, 2017
Norf Heading Souf?
Back to reality for Todd. North will struggle in 2017.
Brent Harvey. Daniel Wells. Nick Dal Santo. Drew Petrie. You don’t lose that calibre of silk without copping it on the scoreboard. And North will cop it hard in 2017. Where do you reckon they’ll finish on the ladder? How many wins will they chalk up?
Lets have a squiz at Goldstein’s numbers when things are on the nose:
Doesn’t look crash hot does it? Goldmember goes flaccid when North are up against the wall.
One thing to keep in mind – Goldstein has been such an important factor in whatever success that North has had over the last few seasons. Could it be that North just struggled when Todd was off the boil?
I reckon it’s more about Todd’s reduced ability to make an impact around the ground when the opposition has the run of the ball – the stats back that up. While his tapwork stats hold up, his general disposal numbers have generally dropped off in losses.
You also have to wonder how the loss of experience around the ruck contest will impact on his HOA numbers. Wells, Dan Santo and Harvey in particular were bloody good readers of the ball off the ruck contest..
What’ll he average in Supercoach 2017?
We’ll all have a different opinion here – that’s part of what I love about this caper.
Here’s how I see things;
- He’ll continue to experience the Majak factor – sharing ruck duties with Ben Brown early then Majak when he’s back. The knee will be a problem – and he’ll struggle to run out games more as the season wears on.
- I see North notching up 8 or 9 wins. Given his history in a losing side his overall average will take a hit. The chart below will give you an idea about how his output is likely to be impacted by North’s win/loss ratio, both if he improves on his 2016 output, and if he drops off
- Some of the point loss because of the above factors will be offset by a rise in his HOA numbers
The darker green below will show you where I reckon he’s at for 2017. I’m leaning further towards a slight drop off in form as opposed to an improvement.
- The link between his overall hitout numbers and SuperCoach average are clear as day when you look at the graph below. With question marks over his fitness and need for a chop out in the ruck, I don’t see his hitout per game rate returning to his 2015 numbers.
Remains a solid NO.
What are your thoughts community?
ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? STACKS WHERE THIS CAME FROM IN THE 2017 JOCK REYNOLDS FANTASY FOOTY MAGAZINE – SNAG ONE HERE