Coach Senior Coach Ben "Truck" Rutten

Remove this Banner Ad

Gabe251

Team Captain
Mar 18, 2019
352
336
AFL Club
Essendon
Honestly this year feels similar to 2019 to me but with a much better list profile. More long term success in sight rather than 'win now or fall apart'
 

Zach Package

HOBBGOBLIN
Sep 21, 2012
26,449
38,392
Parish, Francis
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Piggy Smith, Heat
Honestly this year feels similar to 2019 to me but with a much better list profile. More long term success in sight rather than 'win now or fall apart'
At no point was Worsfold anything more than a ‘placeholder’ steady the ship, coach. Rutten is young, hungry and in it for the long run.
 

Log in to remove this ad.

Maxabillions

The don
Mar 17, 2018
1,468
2,596
AFL Club
Essendon
It's really interesting how this idea that this is the first year we've been beating sides outside the top 8. If you look at us from 2017 to 2020 our records against bottom 10 sides are as follows:

2017: 10 wins-5 losses
2018: 9-2
2019: 10-3
2020: 5-3-1 draw

For a cumulative 34 wins, 13 losses and a draw against bottom 10 sides. Which means our record against top 8 sides over that time is 8-29.

I know a few will quote this and say "that shows we're a middle of the road side" but for some reason our supporters seem to think we've struggled to beat sides that we should for the past few years.
I think the key wording here is “struggled to beat sides we should have”. Yes we may have beaten these sides a lot of the time, but we certainly struggled to do so many times, limping across the line after being behind a lot of the time. Not performances that have inspired confidence or given the impression of a professional, driven, well drilled team. That’s changed this year.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
18,889
24,220
AFL Club
Essendon
Honestly this year feels similar to 2019 to me but with a much better list profile. More long term success in sight rather than 'win now or fall apart'

I don't really see the similarities.

2019 contained some of the lowest lows of the post 2015 era (see losses to GWS, St Kilda and Dogs). It was a 12 win season with a percentage of 95 and the usual fade out with 2 heavy losses to Power and the Dogs among the 3 in the last 4 games and a non-competitive final.

My personal view was that a lot of the season was wasted chasing results instead of developing the team, a testament to the futility of making finals for the sake of the achievement (when the side is not really competitive).

This year it's been a steady, almost linear, progression from week to week. The cut off point for an analysis is always a bit arbitrary but, to prove my point, from the Adelaide game we are 5 wins from 7 games. The losses to GWS and Sydney were close games against sides who have finished above us. There are 2 ten goal wins, the scalp of the Dogs and a final percentage of 109. Even more importantly there is something about the system which works as a fall back and a noticeable resolve. Everything I read and hear suggests there is something very different about this team, something you can trust. In that run of 7 we've kept Kangaroos at bay when we were as flat as we have been at any point I can remember, overcome a sluggish start to thrash GC and then put Collingwood away comfortably despite the pressure release. I don't associate this with previous Essendon teams.

At almost every opportunity Rutten has picked the team with an eye to the future, which has extended to dropping our leading goal kicker for the run home, giving Ridley defensive tasks, clearly for his development, which didn't look right on paper and which cost us, picking Stewart to play small for a month now, seemingly to develop his intercept game (and the rest of the defenders). I don't know whether it's the carefree attitude afforded when the results don't really mattering or trust in what has already been built but it's worked and we're in an extremely healthy position because of it.

We'll pick a side for an elimination final which will likely not include all of the pick 8 who was a favourite for the rising star for much of the season (Cox), a pick 10 KPD (Reid), our second year CHF who had established himself as a clear best 22 player (Jones), our 2 leading goal kickers for the year (Hooker and Tippa), our number 1 wingman (Langford) and a best 22 midfielder (Caldwell) and there isn't a player who will be picked that there isn't good reason to have faith in. What were the odds of that 6 months ago? It's been a pretty remarkable year.
 
Last edited:

(Log in to remove this ad.)

the PILL

Club Legend
Jul 29, 2007
2,850
2,997
VICTORIA
AFL Club
Essendon
Far exceeded my expectations as a coach across many areas. Calm, strategic, motivational and suprisingly open about aspects of our players and strategies.

It will be interesting to see what he's like once he has been baited by the media and spin has been thrown his way to try and upset him.

I am especially impressed by the way he has handled the Walla situation and the bombardment he faced on the issue of the media digging in and around asking similar questions different ways... Lol, he answered each question the same but in a different way.

Nearly every coach in the league gets, has had their quirks exposed or stirred up by the vultures in the media or opposition supporters, but so far Ben has given them nothing but a stone cold poker face and facts. 😊

Almost documentary worthy this season with our implosion last year and the way we've hit back...
 
Last edited:

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
28,582
40,527
AFL Club
Essendon
I am especially impressed by the way he has handled the Walla situation and the bombardment he faced on the issue of the media digging in and around asking similar questions different ways... Lol, he answered each question the same but in a different way.

Nearly every coach in the league gets, has had their quirks exposed or stirred up by the vultures in the media or opposition supporters, but so far Ben has given them nothing but a stone cold poker face and facts. 😊
Perhaps this was the benefit of having Worsfold as a mentor. Worsfold was like trying to talk to a clam mind you, he didn't tell us much about anything. But he had that calm pokerface thing down pat.
 

the PILL

Club Legend
Jul 29, 2007
2,850
2,997
VICTORIA
AFL Club
Essendon
Perhaps this was the benefit of having Worsfold as a mentor. Worsfold was like trying to talk to a clam mind you, he didn't tell us much about anything. But he had that calm pokerface thing down pat.
Maybe...

I've never hidden my disliking for Worsfold along the journey and the handling of the whole entire succession plan.

The exodus and the fact that we were so very close to losing Zach, could of also lost Parish as well as the noted player division just wasn't funny.

I will conceed though whether by design or beautiful accident that it has worked out very well. I suppose we will never really know but we did lose 3 guns without hesitation on Worsfolds watch remember.

Maybe Truck learnt some media shtick from Woosha which benefited him but his whole function is almost polar opposite in their approach across many areas and there are quite a few. Revitalised player positions, player retention, blooded youth, individual mentoring, culture focus etc etc.

We're in a good place now so yay... 🙂
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
18,889
24,220
AFL Club
Essendon
There is a ruthlessness about the way he selects the side which I admit would annoy me if it wasn't for my agreement with the players he has selected.

Caldwell is a risk but he's best 22. It's not just the risk, it is the eye to the future that has been present in almost every decision Rutten has made.

It's really impressive.
 

Kakkle

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 2, 2012
14,555
23,929
Melbourne/Los Angeles
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Los Angeles Dodgers
There is a ruthlessness about the way he selects the side which I admit would annoy me if it wasn't for my agreement with the players he has selected.

Caldwell is a risk but he's best 22. It's not just the risk, it is the eye to the future that has been present in almost every decision Rutten has made.

It's really impressive.

It's an eye to the future, but he's still picking the best team possible for the game at hand. This is uncharted territory for Essendon.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
18,889
24,220
AFL Club
Essendon
Feel like we deserved better than the scoreboard but that really is the difference between the 2 sides.

They throw 6 guys at a midfield rotation that we can't go with on the inside and have a much more potent mix on the flanks and up forward.

Really good season, nothing changes that. Just have to hope the lesson has been learned.
 
Last edited:

foj1

Premiership Player
Oct 25, 2005
3,811
2,423
melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
essendon
Had a poor day at the office
I thought he showed a lack of imagination- I would have liked to see him shuffle the troops more
Not sure he had a great match committee either
Surely the best wet weather player on the list should have played- Dylan Clarke
Surely that game would have been worth 20 to a player like Nik Cox
Playing Gleeson was shortsighted
I would have liked McGrath to play on Weightman
However props to Rutten- a way better season than I thought possible and the players seemed aligned at long last
A key forward, small forward and a physical midfielder please
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad