How bad is Essendon? Jeeeeeez

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TP86

Club Legend
Apr 16, 2010
1,051
932
AFL Club
Hawthorn
They haven’t done their time down the bottom and the fanbase, many of whom wear well-amplified media hats, are revolting like they’re the Saints or Dees 50+ years without a flag.

The Bombers play regular blockbusters and regularly win them, they get a lot of Friday night, Saturday night and plum fixture games and regularly win those. They regularly beat their rivals in stirring fashion. I’d say since 2013 four of Hawthorn’s worst 5 losses in terms of giving unbridled joy to opposition fans were against Essendon. Even in this supposedly rump season they got to enjoy a great win against Collingwood and a memorable comeback against Hawthorn. Pushed Richmond and only lost because of umpires, only lost to Carlton because of umpires. Embarrassed North and trolled them while doing so. They basically had a clean sweep of their rivals.

Being a week-to-week Essendon fan is actually a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Big losses are noteworthy because they’re rare. They haven’t become soul-destroying regularities like they have been for Richmond, Melbourne, Port, Carlton, Brisbane, Fremantle and the two expansion teams since Essendon last won a final in 2004. That’s half the league. Week-to-week they’ve had it better than half the league in this supposed all-time-low drought. fu** their top-up team BEAT MELBOURNE.

And yet they’re melting down like it’s the apocalypse. Essendon your fans are the problem. You’re not enjoying what, relative to the league is actually quite a pleasant experience supporting football, above average even given all the media fellatio and “Big 4” fixturing. There is no magic president, coach, playing group, recruiting strategy or Darren Goldspink that can fix your fans.
 

Red Black and Blue

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 1, 2006
20,749
12,199
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Everton, Storm, Victory
They haven’t done their time down the bottom and the fanbase, many of whom wear well-amplified media hats, are revolting like they’re the Saints or Dees 50+ years without a flag.

The Bombers play regular blockbusters and regularly win them, they get a lot of Friday night, Saturday night and plum fixture games and regularly win those. They regularly beat their rivals in stirring fashion. I’d say since 2013 four of Hawthorn’s worst 5 losses in terms of giving unbridled joy to opposition fans were against Essendon. Even in this supposedly rump season they got to enjoy a great win against Collingwood and a memorable comeback against Hawthorn. Pushed Richmond and only lost because of umpires, only lost to Carlton because of umpires. Embarrassed North and trolled them while doing so. They basically had a clean sweep of their rivals.

Being a week-to-week Essendon fan is actually a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Big losses are noteworthy because they’re rare. They haven’t become soul-destroying regularities like they have been for Richmond, Melbourne, Port, Carlton, Brisbane, Fremantle and the two expansion teams since Essendon last won a final in 2004. That’s half the league. Week-to-week they’ve had it better than half the league in this supposed all-time-low drought. fu** their top-up team BEAT MELBOURNE.

And yet they’re melting down like it’s the apocalypse. Essendon your fans are the problem. You’re not enjoying what, relative to the league is actually quite a pleasant experience supporting football, above average even given all the media fellatio and “Big 4” fixturing. There is no magic president, coach, playing group, recruiting strategy or Darren Goldspink that can fix your fans.
Despite all those teams being terrible for so long we are the ones who hold the record for longest time between finals wins...

Being forever lower mid table is worse than being down the bottom. You can find hope at the bottom. I loved 2016, watching the hopefuls get game time. Trying to project who will have big careers. Knowing we’d get some potential gun at pick 1. That is palatable and wouldn’t care if that was our lot for the next three years. That is an enjoyable football experience, not forcing an optimistic delusion on the back of meaningless 11 win seasons

What I want from the club is a brutal self analysis. Not success, that’s a byproduct of doing of the right things and honest reflection on weaknesses.

Three weeks ago Worsfold said we are going to be a good side very quickly, then this week he said the opposite. I didn’t expect us to be a good team quickly, but his messaging has me pretty worried they don’t know what the fu** they are doing. That doesn’t say to fans they know where the list is at.

It’s likely he’s simply a media cover for Rutten and saying nothing of importance. Which says to me Rutten isn’t component enough to do it himself, or they have to make Worsfold do something to earn his exorbitant pay check. Either way can be added to long list of horrible decisions from the club leadership over the last two decades.
 
Last edited:

Anja_Nees

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 14, 2001
5,828
7,735
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I can understand Worsfold’s comments about the sense of entitlement and needing to adjust expectations, and he’s not talking about the everyday fan.

Even Sheedy always had the blowtorch applied if they weren’t challenging for a premiership, yet as I recall their recruiting spend was amongst the lowest in the league towards the end of his time. They just expected to challenge year after year because they were Essendon.

The appointment of Knights over Hardwick, the appointment of Hird and Thompson, the supplements program etc were all wild swings in the hope of quick success and they all imploded.

Worsfold actually seemed like a smart appointment but I get the feeling he’s been pressured to go for quick success again (thus the recruitment of Saad, Smith, Stringer etc along with the fringe guys like Townsend, Phillips).

Could be he made those calls himself but if he was pressured to and it’s led to the current state of affairs I can understand his frustration.
 

Gethelred

Brownlow Medallist
May 1, 2016
12,982
25,019
AFL Club
Carlton
No, I choose not to fall into the sadistic herd mentality where everything that falls into Essendon's shortcomings is Dodoros fault. Sure, he hasn't helped with some of his list management decisions but it is a myriad of decision the club has made that has left it bereft of success.


Why have a dig at a success? No matter which way we went in that draft, we were onto a winner. McGrath appeared the safest bet of the big 3 (McGrath, Taranto, McCluggage) and we needed a guy who we knew would be a tick.

I can;t be bothered going through the Shiel deal, on the surface it looks poor but we did end up turning two firsts into Shiel + something else of note. And once again, Shiel has been ok, may not be the type of return we expected but an upgrade on guys who would be playing the role and minutes he is filling at the club.
Given you asked....

What do you see as the problem at Essendon, then?
 

FairKouta

Club Legend
Aug 3, 2016
2,555
5,377
MELBOURNE
AFL Club
Carlton
Could you blame him if he left? Went to Essendon for success after leaving the Suns, who are in better shape going forward. He owes the Bombers absolutely nothing.

On SM-A530F using BigFooty.com mobile app
I think they need to pay him what he is worth. He is one of the few players on that team that shows up every week and has the skills to break open a game. You can’t lose a player like that.
 

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Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
28,072
13,707
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
Given you asked....

What do you see as the problem at Essendon, then?
When it comes to the over all operations of the club, we seem to fall short on every level.

Im not nearly as educated as some on the Essendon board but from the outside looking in;

Board level - never seem to be working in sync

Coaching & development - We lack drastically in this area. We either hang our hats on a terrific kid that comes into the AFL (McGrath, Merrett) or allow them the slow burn to become a decent role player and then say "geez we did well here"(see Langford, see Parish).
We seem to enjoy putting round pegs into square holes which is a recipe for disaster (yeah, yeah, thats the inside midfielder we're lacking), but it's more than that, these so called inside mids play for themselves which comes back to a coaching/structure/game plan rather than recruiting as much as a we all want to blame Dodo.

Recruiting - obviously plays a big part in a clubs success, for everything Adria hasn't done, he has got a lot right. My gripe is holding onto players for too long, offering overs for guys to stay at the club, we never seem to do whats best for the player but whats best for Adrian the club .

Thats a simplistic way of looking at it and I'm sure a more educated poster like ant555 could garner a better answer but thats a start for you to pick apart and blame everything on Dodoro.
 

Gethelred

Brownlow Medallist
May 1, 2016
12,982
25,019
AFL Club
Carlton
When it comes to the over all operations of the club, we seem to fall short on every level.

Im not nearly as educated as some on the Essendon board but from the outside looking in;

Board level - never seem to be working in sync

Coaching & development - We lack drastically in this area. We either hang our hats on a terrific kid that comes into the AFL (McGrath, Merrett) or allow them the slow burn to become a decent role player and then say "geez we did well here"(see Langford, see Parish).
We seem to enjoy putting round pegs into square holes which is a recipe for disaster (yeah, yeah, thats the inside midfielder we're lacking), but it's more than that, these so called inside mids play for themselves which comes back to a coaching/structure/game plan rather than recruiting as much as a we all want to blame Dodo.

Recruiting - obviously plays a big part in a clubs success, for everything Adria hasn't done, he has got a lot right. My gripe is holding onto players for too long, offering overs for guys to stay at the club, we never seem to do whats best for the player but whats best for Adrian the club .

Thats a simplistic way of looking at it and I'm sure a more educated poster like ant555 could garner a better answer but thats a start for you to pick apart and blame everything on Dodoro.
It's been my thought for a while that there's someone playing funny buggers in your football department; you've gone a completely different direction with who you've sought to recruit than conventional wisdom would dictate, and for all you do lack any true inside mids you don't have any issue getting the ball so while it's a weakness it isn't crippling.

Your problem (in my opinion) is that you seem to keep trying to play conventional footy despite it not being what you're built for, akin to how Richmond in 2016 tried to be Hawthorn with short accurate kicking but just couldn't because it wasn't something they were built for(or Carlton in 2013, when Malthouse tried to have us play his round the boundary gameplan with a list designed for speed up the guts, and it only worked when he abandoned his game for Ratten's). So, of course you wind up looking like sh*t against teams who play better conventional footy than you lot do; they're built for it and you're not. It's like someone came along and tried to do something completely different, but they weren't allowed to commit to it the entire way.

Anyway, thanks for a sincere response. It's rare on the MB.
 

Yoda_

Brownlow Medallist
May 6, 2007
28,072
13,707
South East Suburbs
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspurs, Melbourne Vixen
It's been my thought for a while that there's someone playing funny buggers in your football department; you've gone a completely different direction with who you've sought to recruit than conventional wisdom would dictate, and for all you do lack any true inside mids you don't have any issue getting the ball so while it's a weakness it isn't crippling.

Your problem (in my opinion) is that you seem to keep trying to play conventional footy despite it not being what you're built for, akin to how Richmond in 2016 tried to be Hawthorn with short accurate kicking but just couldn't because it wasn't something they were built for(or Carlton in 2013, when Malthouse tried to have us play his round the boundary gameplan with a list designed for speed up the guts, and it only worked when he abandoned his game for Ratten's). So, of course you wind up looking like sh*t against teams who play better conventional footy than you lot do; they're built for it and you're not. It's like someone came along and tried to do something completely different, but they weren't allowed to commit to it the entire way.

Anyway, thanks for a sincere response. It's rare on the MB.
My big issue at the moment is we are simply trying to copy other teams (Richmond concurrently) when we simply don't have anything remotely similar in list profile to them.

We had/have strong talls for ny on a decade and never utilised them, we want to play a handball happy game at the moment but simply don't have the aerobic traits to match how hard we need to work .

It's staggering really.
 

AstroboyUK

Club Legend
Apr 25, 2008
1,687
2,477
London / Delhi
AFL Club
Richmond
I do believe there is something spooky in the way Richmond and Essendon seem to have swapped their mojo.

In 1980 Richmond a massive team, recent premierships, a massive following, as big or bigger than Collingwood, famed for its win at all costs culture... Essendon had done nothing much since 1968, still played out of Windy Hill so smallish crowds..


Then a Richmond premiership back pocket becomes Essendon Coach.. and Essendon's graph goes up and up for near 30 years. Not just on the field but offield too... the club becomes huge, the culture is winning, it challenges Collingwood for popularity, goes from strength to strength... and Richmond has the exact opposite trajectory and is mired in failure and mediocrity with a totally screwed up club culture. For years I was so jealous of what Essendon became... I would think to myself "oh man, theyve become us..."

Then an Essendon premiership back pocket becomes Richmond Coach, and boing! .. it flips.... Richmond big, winning, good culture, and Essendon becomes the new Richmond 1983-2011... and Essendon, oh, man... theyve become us!

I dont think there's been a time in the last 50 years where we have both been really successful at the same time - but more than that, our Karma has been in complete mirror images ..
 

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