Norm Smith Medallist
- Mar 15, 2012
- AFL Club
- Western Bulldogs
- Other Teams
Matthew Lloyd:Can everyone please post the best media takes this week for us vs essendon. Even if it's just a roast of them I wanna hear it
Mark Robinson:"It was horrible. They were horrible last night, Essendon. One of the worst performances in the history of the club and obviously the club has been around for well over 120-odd years. It was appalling," Lloyd told Channel Nine's Sunday Footy Show.
"I was there as a spectator last night – the amount of people leaving at half-time and three-quarter time angry, the venom towards the players for a lack of effort."
1. What was that, Essendon?
The texts came at quarter-time. Every Essendon person either sent them or received them. Disappointment and disbelief eventually gave way to texts dripping with anger and fury as the Bulldogs piled on goal after goal. The positive trajectory from the past five weeks has been enveloped by doom. Suddenly coach John Worsfold is a target because his insipid players made him a target. That’s what happens when players surrender. It’s also what happens when the coach’s game plan doesn’t stand up. It’s too easy to say the coach must be sacked. It’s far bigger than that. When a team kicks 106 points from turnovers there are queries about defending without the ball. Worsfold may well be gone if his players surrender over the next two weeks — they play Fremantle away and Collingwood at the MCG. As coach he is responsible for every aspect. but this was also a players’ issue. This was pathetic. The team has kicked eight goals in six quarters of football. They didn’t come to play in the second half against Port Adelaide and didn’t come to play in the four quarters against the Bulldogs. If they don’t come to play over the next two weeks then change will be demanded.
2. Injuries are not an excuse
There’s no shame in losing — unless you lose like that. Six changes at selection hurts connectivity but doesn’t break hearts, spirit and systems. There were words spoken after the game by players and there likely will be more during the week. “We can either listen to the outside noise and succumb to the pressure or we bury deep and stick together,’’ skipper Dyson Heppell said after the match. “Fair enough, we’re going to cop it from the outside. We’ll own that, that’s fine. They can say what they like, but we’re going to stay strong internally as a whole club. The whole club needs to own this one.’’ The club is already bunkered down. No Essendon player or official was available for radio interviews yesterday which was the right decision. Enough has been said already.
3. Why so inconsistent?
Orazio Fantasia is sore according to the Bombers and that may explain why he had one handball in the first half on Saturday night. He is symbolic of Essendon. He can look a million dollars or he can look a footy pauper. Anthony McDonald-Tipingwuti is the same. One week Jake Stringer is one of the most devastating players in the AFL, the next week scratches for seven possessions. Shaun McKernan is the same. David Zaharakis was limp and Heppell is injured. Zac Clarke is beaten every week. Every player on the field on Saturday night has the finger pointed at them. This club has been inconsistent for 15 years, which is what hurts the fans most. Is that a Worsfold problem, a players’ problem or a culture problem? Starting to think there’s an acceptance of mediocrity.
6. This week the Dogs kick goals
The Bulldogs didn’t muck around. It started in the midfield with the ball hogs — Josh Dunkley, Jack Macrae and Lachie Hunter and Marcus Bontempelli — and ended in front of goals with 11 goalkickers and a score of 21.11. Hunter told 3AW it’s a positive to have a settled forward squad of Aaron Naughton and Josh Schache as the talls with Bailey Dale, Toby McLean, Tory Dickson, Sam Lloyd and Patrick Lipinksi around them. Dale has been a revelation. He has kicked 13 goals and averaged eight score involvements from his past four matches. He had just seven goals from his previous 13 matches. If the Dogs make September they will scare which ever team they play.