Former Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy has ranked the top eight sides in the competition right now based on the belief those sides have in their ability.
Murphy explained how his ‘belief-o-meter’ works and how it goes away from the heavy analytics of modern footy observation.
“The belief-o-meter is taking all the noise and the analysis and the statistics around the game and pushing that aside and saying what do we actually think, who do we like and I just want to look at it from a different angle,” Murphy told SEN’s Whateley.
“The Bulldogs won it in 2016 because they really did believe they could before anyone else did. The Tigers the same last year.
“I look at the competition now and these are all very much intangible things like body language on the field, listening to players and coaches talk, they just give away little hints along the way.
“This is after you’ve watched the rounds of footy and you’re left with your gut feeling.
“I’ve put my belief-o-meter ladder together.”
9th. Hawthorn (wildcard)
“The wildcard is the Hawks. They’ve done it before, they’ve got the man in charge, they’re just a unique football club. They’ve got enough confidence with guys like James Sicily and Jack Gunston down back,” Murphy said.
“And just in, Geelong. I get the sense internally they’re on a bit of shaky ground. The best and worst has just been so vast,” Murphy said.
“They’ve leapfrogged Geelong. They’ve been close before, their high-end talent is so rich, but they got the wobbles badly, but there’d be that sneaking suspicion for them that the pressure’s off a little bit,” Murphy said.
“I was tempted to have them higher – they’ve hit on something, Collingwood. You can hear it in Nathan Buckley’s voice. They play with dare, there’s a bankability of their effort and creativity. They are the one for me that could climb. They’re my favourite of these,” Murphy said.
“Still hedging my bets a bit on Sydney. They’re yet to hit their absolute peak, but they’d want to do it pretty soon to inject a bit of belief.”
4th. North Melbourne
“The top four is a clear top four. There’s gap between five and four. I watch North Melbourne and see their headspace is still in December when everyone had them finishing 17th. They’ve got that ringing in their ears and they’ve held onto that. I really wanted to have them higher than four.”
3rd. West Coast
“They’ve won 10 in a row, they were there a couple of years ago, they know they’ll finish top two, Nic Naitanui’s playing pretty good, they’d be feeling pretty good. They’ve got some old demons though.
“The Dees are at two. The path of Melbourne is more traditional in that they’ve got the hurt and the bruises from last year, they’ve got the talent and you watch them play, they’re in that sweet spot and they’re desperately trying to protect that momentum.”
“They’re in just a little lull which isn’t a bad thing. They’re winning, but they’re doing just enough and they know they can rev the engines and they’re getting set for the back half of the year. They’re the big dogs.”
Originally published on SEN.com.au