- May 21, 2008
- Reaction score
This is the point where I'd usually sink the rest of my beer, ask what you're having and start taking about the next at Randwick when I returned with two frothy pintsI didn’t say the faster players get more ball.
The data actually says the opposite to what you are saying here. The last two seasons have produced more middle play, more one out plays, less red zone play, and less passing than we have had in the last 15 years - but we get periods within individual games where one team is rooted so the other team can do more damage in a shorter period of time.
This creates the illusion that the game is “faster”, but it’s not. Players aren’t running faster, hitting harder, or covering more ground than they were in 2005. The data shows this too. The only thing that is going faster is scoreboards.
Back to the reason why I objected to this statement: for someone to say that a player is not suited to the “faster game” is complete and utter bullshit.
What you can say is that certain forwards aren’t suited to playing the same minutes that they could before, since there are now situations that exist in the game that didn’t 3 years ago (having to defend for 20 minutes straight) but that doesn’t mean those players aren’t still every bit as effective as they always were when there is an even share of possession.
For Cotric (and probably a lot of outside backs) what you can say is that he has never been great defensively, and that playing on a bad team made this more obvious because he was defending more often against players who were given more time and space. Swap him on to a team where he gets to move up rather than backpedal and you have a different player.
Saying the game "seems" faster is fine, and anyone is fine to believe it. Using that as a foundation to justify other statements is just wrong, because someone thinking it is faster is not the same as it actually being faster. There is not a single way to demonstrate that the 2020 and 2021 seasons were any faster or more expansive than previous seasons in any way, and there is a shitload of data that says that they were not.