Sandilands – do we need him THAT much?

OK OK, I realise I’m lining myself up for the blog equivalent of a footy shirtfront, but I’m wondering whether Freo may not be a better side without Sandi in the team.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, he’s a great player and and I’m certainly NOT suggesting he shouldn’t be at Freo.
But here’s the thing, Sandilands gets his hand to more ball than just about any ruckman – and Freo nearly always get killed in the clearances and stoppages. That shouldn’t be happening.

Certainly there is a need for the midfield players to position themselves better. But I’m wondering if part of the stoppage/clearance issue is that opposition teams know exactly where Sandi is going to palm the ball every time. They know he is going to win the ruck tap outs, and they know where they have to be to get them. When it comes to others like Jon Griffin etc, it’s more of a 50/50 situation, the ball can go either way and that makes it more difficult for players to anticipate where the ball is going.

Sandilands is reported to be out for 10 weeks with another round of “Turf Toe”. It will be interesting to see how the clearance and stoppage numbers go in his absence. We’ll see if Griffin can do the job and he now has a great opportunity to prove his worth.

Last year Freo lost a bunch of matches without Sandilands, on Saturday they won their first match at the MCG – without Sandilands. Interestingly, after Sandi limped off, Freo won the next 5 clearances with Griffin. That might suggest that under Ross Lyon, they can play well without his presence on the team.
I guess time will tell…

About andy63

Auditorium/Facilities Manager at Kennedy Baptist College. Family man, Dockers Supporter, NFL and NBA tragic who loves the Red Bull Air Race and a good meal. A Christian who is grateful for grace and forgiveness and the fact that Jesus is alive.

One Response to “Sandilands – do we need him THAT much?”

  1. True…The importance of Sahara getting the first hitout was lost when the Opposition was reading him easier than a Dr Suess book. With Griffindor and Zark combining, the ruck knocks will become a bit more scrappy, creating a level field for our midfielders. Most of Sahara’s strength came from when he was able to take a mark down in the forward line but that seems to have disappeared in todays crrrrrazy game style.

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