Garry Lyon says North Melbourne’s ability to pressurise the opposition has significantly dropped since the halfway mark of last season.
The Roos were handed an 82-point hiding by Fremantle on Sunday, and a lack of pressure and defensive structure was evident throughout the match, according to Lyon.
“North Melbourne’s got a trend at the moment that started in the middle of last year and it’s just trending downwards,” the Melbourne great told SEN Breakfast.
“It’s around pressure; in the first half of last year they were almost the hardest to score against in the competition.
“It was so well set up that if they turned the footy over, they didn’t get hurt – they were the number one pressure-applying team in the competition in the first half of last year.”
Following a recruiting spree that saw Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard, Aaron Hall and Dom Tyson arrive at Arden Street, former Essendon captain Tim Watson questioned whether the chemistry of the team has been disrupted.
“In the off-season they went out and got three players because they needed more pace on the outside: (Jasper) Pittard, (Jared) Polec and (Aaron) Hall,” Watson said.
“Coaches talk about the chemistry and the connection between players out there on the field. Is it just possible that they’re taking a while to bed themselves down because of the way Polec to carry the ball, the way they want Pittard to carry the ball?”
Lyon disagreed, saying: “This problem that we’re talking about with pressure and lack of it has started in the middle of last year. That’s before Polec, Pittard and Hall got there.”
North will look to bounce back against a red-hot Brisbane outfit at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
Listen to the best bits from this morning's edition of SEN Breakfast with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson in the player below