There is plenty for Giants caretaker coach Mark McVeigh to fix in the post-Leon Cameron era but Mick McGuane thinks he should start with moving Toby Greene.
Leon Cameron’s resignation as coach offers the Giants the chance to freshen more than just the coach.
Mark McVeigh will serve as the caretaker, with his former Essendon pals James Hird and Dean Solomon joining him in the box, but there’s so much more to be done.
Starting with Toby Greene.
Sure, we’ve had the discussion before about Greene playing more midfield time, but I remain firm in my opinion that Greater Western Sydney will be better and more effective with him there.
That doesn’t mean he has to be a full-time onballer – I’d even be happy with a 60-40, Jordan De Goey-like midfield-forward split.
It’s the type of role the best players perform: Dustin Martin, Christian Petracca and even Marcus Bontempelli to an extent.
Why be satisfied with Greene touching the Sherrin 15 times a game when the number could be almost double that?
There was a period in the second half of the Giants’ 2019 grand final season, after Stephen Coniglio went down with a knee injury, when the 28-year-old proved just how damaging he could be as a midfielder.
In a nine-game stretch, including three finals, Greene averaged 29 disposals, 13 contested possessions and five clearances, while still kicking 12 goals.
His creativity, brilliance, ball-winning ability, leadership and mongrel in the middle would more than offset what GWS would lose from attack.
What’s the saying? Who dares wins. Be bold, Mark – take a chance.
A starting centre-bounce combination of Greene, Josh Kelly and Tom Greene, with Tim Taranto playing fourth fiddle when his co-captain goes forward, is capable of competing with any midfield in the AFL.
I’d also like to see Lachie Whitfield and Lachie Ash sent behind the ball again to release the shackles.
Whitfield changes the angles with his kicking, and Ash’s overlap running is incredibly valuable.
Cameron said it himself: the Giants have become “boring”. They are too fixated on trying to play perfect football that they’ve become stagnant, mechanical and sterile with their ball movement.
I want to see some chaos. I want to see the Orange Tsunami again.
The problem with GWS this season is its strengths aren’t as prominent and its weaknesses are more glaring. That’s a horrible combination.
About the only area the Giants haven’t slumped in is clearance differential.
They’ve fallen from being one of the best four clubs at stoppages last year to being in the bottom half of the league. That is damning, and as the midfield coach, McVeigh, has to wear some of that.
Greene might not solve everything but it’d be a pretty good start.
As anyone who watches the modern game knows, it’s all about turnovers these days – forcing them, then scoring off them.
I’ve been critical of GWS not embracing this enough under Cameron and that simply must change. The Giants ranked 14th for scores from turnover last season and they are 16th this year.
Making matters worse is that the opposition is burning them on turnover more than ever.
There’s a lot for McVeigh to fix, which isn’t surprising about a team with two wins from nine matches, but playing it safe isn’t the answer.