AFL: Mick McGuane: The attitude to blame for Sydney Swans’ slow start?

Information Corp soccer guru Mick McGuane writes that the Swans have a significant flaw this season that they should repair with the intention to fulfill their potential.

The numbers communicate a bitter fact for John Longmire and his Swans.

Not solely have they received a minimum of the primary quarter amongst high eight groups this 12 months, but additionally half as a lot as the following worst group: St Kilda, Geelong and Brisbane Lions.

Longmire’s males took one other sluggish and sloppy begin to the weekend’s Gold Coast for a sixth victory, and got here in from a quarterback for the fifth time in eight rounds.

They solely received two first phrases and have been on the similar degree in one other.

It is an unacceptable document that Sydney’s gamers and coaches want to repair with the intention to stay as much as the highest 4 payments in 2022 that many individuals, together with me, suppose they will.

The season is now eight weeks, so the Swans’ unhealthy begins are actually largely a development slightly than one thing that may be ignored.

Longmire talked about how they reviewed their coaching load this week and the way they searched for the way their gamers are having their freshest days after a number of six-day hiatus.

That could be a part of the issue, however arguably their worst opening this season was towards Hawthorn within the sixth spherical, with Sydney 10 days left between video games.

The Swans leaked 5 unanswered targets inside 16 minutes of the primary siren that day earlier than they rallied to attain a 41-point win.

That is one other development for crimson and white – their combating skills.

However for each Hawks occasion, there are these towards the Suns and Bulldogs, which Sydney price an excessive amount of for her torpid begin.

Swans make life troublesome for themselves, for no matter cause, whether or not it is fatigue, attitudinal, or not opening up quick sufficient.

I’ve written earlier than about how controversial ball possession is to Sydney’s success, together with free kicks, and that is the place most first-quarter issues come from.

The Swans are ranked sixteenth for disputed ball possession within the first quarters this 12 months, and fifth on the identical metric between the second and fourth quarters.

There’s a related disparity in opposition scores from stops and clearance distinction, however one other eye-opener is the shortage of strain they apply early on.

Sydney moved up from twelfth to first place within the strain utilized when evaluating the primary quarters to different video games. It will need to have been one thing equally infuriating and complicated for Longmire and his associates.

I need to see them concentrate on the ‘controllables’ from the beginning this weekend towards Essendon.

This consists of self-discipline and adherence to constructions, which was an issue final week, and insane intent.

My former coach, Leigh Matthews, used to say that the quickest gamers ought to take the lead with their defensive strikes as a result of they bodily can.

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