Autopsy What's the deal with the Western Bulldogs?

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Back One Out

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 2, 2015
17,409
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The Bulldogs have a knack for recruiting really well and building super-talented teams capable of flags & dynasties, but somehow finding ways to underachieve. It's been their history under Beveridge (2015-2022), Rodney Eade (2005-2010) and Terry Wallace (1997-2001)

"Underachieve" is a pretty strong word. But even their most ardent supporters would've been disappointed they could never quite make it to the Grand Final under Wallace and Eade; and that after the ecstasy of 2016, they finished 10th, 13th, 7th, 7th, 2nd (flogged by 74 pts) and probably missing the September action again this year.

They sing "We'll come out snarling" and "Bulldogs fight and Bulldogs roar, we give our very best". But I reckon this is wishful thinking.
So many talented players over the years, but their coaches must think "if only we showed more fight and more ticker."

Maybe they haven't had enough blue-collar types, big strong intimidating meat-axes to smash into the opposition and soften them up


Wallace era: Chris Grant, Scott West, Brad Johnson, Nathan Brown, Rohan Smith, Luke Darcy, Scott Wynd, Tony Liberatore, Jose Romero, Leon Cameron, Paul Hudson, Simon Garlick, Steve Kolyniuk, Craig Ellis, Matthew Croft, Brett Montgomery, Danny Southern, Steve Kretiuk, Todd Curley, Paul Dimattina, Stephen Powell, Matthew Robbins

Eade era: Brad Johnson, Matthew Boyd, Robert Murphy, Adam Cooney, Ryan Griffen, Daniel Cross, Daniel Giansiracusa, Barry Hall, Brian Lake, Dale Morris, Ryan Hargrave, Lindsay Gilbee, Jarrod Harbrow, Josh Hill, Mitch Hahn, Scott Welsh, Shaun Higgins, Callan Ward, Jason Akermanis, Nathan Eagleton, Ben Hudson, Will Minson, Farren Ray, Dylan Addison, Tom Williams, Jarrod Grant

Bevo era (post 2016): Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley, Liam Picken, Tom Liberatore, Easton Wood, Daniel Caleb, Lachie Hunter, Tom Boyd, Jake Stringer, Luke Dahlhaus, Jason Johannisen, Hayden Crozier, Bailey Williams, Mitch Wallis, Toby McLean, Tory Dickson, Patrick Lipinski, Lin Jong, Matt Suckling, Taylor Duryea, Jordan Roughead, Alex Keath, Josh Schache, Adam Treloar, Tim English, Ed Richards, Bailey Dale, Bailey Smith, Cody Weightman, Aaron Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagen
 
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demondavey

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2005
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A few Dees fans on here seem a little worried about the Bulldogs 2016 team winning as many flags as their current self declared "dynasty".
We aren’t a dynasty. We are pretty s**t to be honest. But we certainly didn’t the umpires to get us home last year :)
 

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markm106

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 29, 2006
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Losing finals by big margins can have lingering effects. After being embarrassed last year in the grand final their biggest concern was a bloody song the Dees sang in celebrations.
 

CarnTheScray

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2019
5,492
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The Bulldogs have a knack for recruiting really well and building super-talented teams capable of flags & dynasties, but somehow finding ways to underachieve. It's been their history under Beveridge (2015-2022), Rodney Eade (2005-2010) and Terry Wallace (1997-2001)

"Underachieve" is a pretty strong word. But even their most ardent supporters would've been disappointed they could never quite make it to the Grand Final under Wallace and Eade; and that after the ecstasy of 2016, they finished 10th, 13th, 7th, 7th, 2nd (flogged by 74 pts) and probably missing the September action again this year.

They sing "We'll come out snarling" and "Bulldogs fight and Bulldogs roar, we give our very best". But I reckon this is wishful thinking.
So many talented players over the years, but their coaches must think "if only we showed more fight and more ticker."

Maybe they haven't had enough blue-collar types, big strong intimidating meat-axes to smash into the opposition and soften them up


Wallace era: Chris Grant, Scott West, Brad Johnson, Nathan Brown, Rohan Smith, Luke Darcy, Scott Wynd, Tony Liberatore, Jose Romero, Leon Cameron, Paul Hudson, Simon Garlick, Steve Kolyniuk, Craig Ellis, Matthew Croft, Brett Montgomery, Danny Southern, Steve Kretiuk, Todd Curley, Paul Dimattina, Stephen Powell, Matthew Robbins

Eade era: Brad Johnson, Matthew Boyd, Robert Murphy, Adam Cooney, Ryan Griffen, Daniel Cross, Daniel Giansiracusa, Barry Hall, Brian Lake, Dale Morris, Ryan Hargrave, Lindsay Gilbee, Jarrod Harbrow, Josh Hill, Mitch Hahn, Scott Welsh, Shaun Higgins, Callan Ward, Jason Akermanis, Nathan Eagleton, Ben Hudson, Will Minson, Farren Ray, Dylan Addison, Tom Williams, Jarrod Grant

Bevo era (post 2016): Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley, Liam Picken, Tom Liberatore, Easton Wood, Daniel Caleb, Lachie Hunter, Tom Boyd, Jake Stringer, Luke Dahlhaus, Jason Johannisen, Hayden Crozier, Bailey Williams, Mitch Wallis, Toby McLean, Tory Dickson, Patrick Lipinski, Lin Jong, Matt Suckling, Taylor Duryea, Jordan Roughead, Alex Keath, Josh Schache, Adam Treloar, Tim English, Ed Richards, Bailey Dale, Bailey Smith, Cody Weightman, Aaron Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagen
There’s about one good key forward in that entire list. How many dynasties have been won without key forwards?
 

CarnTheScray

Norm Smith Medallist
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We lack the proper personnel and coaching. Need to make some big calls this off-season regarding players proper positions, missing pieces from our best 22 (and what it would cost to get them) and our game plan.

Can’t knock Beveridge, brought us out of a rabble and won us our second flag, but I think it’s time that major things are changed.
 

samDD

Debutant
Jun 13, 2022
127
176
AFL Club
Richmond
We lack the proper personnel and coaching. Need to make some big calls this off-season regarding players proper positions, missing pieces from our best 22 (and what it would cost to get them) and our game plan.

Can’t knock Beveridge, brought us out of a rabble and won us our second flag, but I think it’s time that major things are changed.
I can. He's obviously a dud coach who fluked it one year. It's also proven to be a curse in the long term because he's going to keep getting re-signed no matter what results he produces.
 

Breretonisahood

Team Captain
Feb 26, 2013
334
571
AFL Club
Hawthorn
2015 - 6th
2016 - 7th (Premiers)
2017 - 10th
2018 - 13th
2019 - 7th
2020 - 7th
2021 - 5th (Grand Finalists)
2022 - Miss Finals (likely 9th-10th)

What is the direction of this club? They've been the definition of a rollercoaster club since appointing Beveridge. Looking at their list, they appear to have one of the strongest cores of players in the competition, and yet they've never been consistent enough to finish in the top 4.

Is Beveridge really the right man for the job? Bulldogs fans seem to have turned on him.
If Bulldogs miss finals this year, they have never played finals after making a GF- never in their history. Maybe not so much a Bevo thing but a club trait that goes back many decades.
 

joy division

Team Captain
Apr 22, 2015
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I think they’ve had one of the best lists in the comp and they’re blowing it with Bevo. Making 2 GF’s without a top 4 finish says a lot.
 

Scythe94

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Aug 12, 2017
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A few Dees fans on here seem a little worried about the Bulldogs 2016 team winning as many flags as their current self declared "dynasty".
Four grand finals in your team's entire history, and you're about to miss the eight the following year for the fourth time.

Dogs fans would know a thing or two about dynasties.
 

Sentinel

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 15, 2012
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Four grand finals in your team's entire history, and you're about to miss the eight the following year for the fourth time.

Dogs fans would know a thing or two about dynasties.
That's a very good point, despite what I said the Bulldogs have never had a dynasty, thank you for correcting me.
 

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Scythe94

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But in a non-snarky way, their problem is list build and Beveridge.

Instead of collecting midfielders like infinity stones, they should've put more of an effort into recruiting solid KPPs (namely, defenders). You're always going to be battling when your best key defender is Alex Keath.

On Beveridge, his stubbornness re game plan (i.e. backing off the mark) and picking his favourite 5-6 spuds every week is holding the team back.

The Bulldogs' top six are elite. Their bottom six are some of the worst in the league.
 

Shack18

Senior List
Feb 13, 2021
218
442
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The umpires gave them the flag in 2016, and they gave them a few finals last year. They’re really not great. Never have been.
This, they won a flag exploiting the rules ( good luck to them, smart) Still a very good list that will keep them thereabouts
 

CarnTheScray

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2019
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Four grand finals in your team's entire history, and you're about to miss the eight the following year for the fourth time.

Dogs fans would know a thing or two about dynasties.
In the last 50 years, Melbourne have only made 1 more grand final than the Bulldogs, getting thrashed in 2 of those grand finals.
 

CarnTheScray

Norm Smith Medallist
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So what you're saying is, Melbourne has made more Grand Finals, even in your selected time period?
Do you want me to add another ten years on that selected time period to include Melbourne’s other 1 (One) grand final appearance?
 

Scythe94

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Do you want me to add another ten years on that selected time period to include Melbourne’s other 1 (One) grand final appearance?
Why stop there? Go back a lil further and you'll end up on 19, so you know, nearly five times more, in addition to the more than six times more flags we've won.

I don't get the historical argument when comparing Melbourne and the Bulldogs. We were s**t for years before dispatching you in the Grand Final, and even without that embarrassment, our club has had a much, much more succesful history than yours. So again, I don't quite understand your point, but if you were after a deflection, I suppose you've gotten one.
 

markm106

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 29, 2006
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But in a non-snarky way, their problem is list build and Beveridge.

Instead of collecting midfielders like infinity stones, they should've put more of an effort into recruiting solid KPPs (namely, defenders). You're always going to be battling when your best key defender is Alex Keath.

On Beveridge, his stubbornness re game plan (i.e. backing off the mark) and picking his favourite 5-6 spuds every week is holding the team back.

The Bulldogs' top six are elite. Their bottom six are some of the worst in the league.
The accumulation of mids has been odd. They should
Have traded Dunkley a couple
Of years back. They would have had to on trade the pick to avoid it being swallowed up by F/S and academy picks. Or traded for a key back. Liam Jones will help and Darcy looks the goods. Not convinced they need Lobb though.
 

demondavey

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2005
26,581
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Do you want me to add another ten years on that selected time period to include Melbourne’s other 1 (One) grand final appearance?
Since 1954 when you won your first flag.

WB 4X GF appearances. 2 wins, 2 losses

Melbourne 11X GF appearances. 7 wins, 4 losses.
 

Toump Ass

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Jun 14, 2015
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Few poor list management decisions recently. Treloar was unnecessary, letting Dunkley go could have helped them address their defence/ruck stocks. Not sure Lobb is what they need rn with Juh, Naughton and English already.

Mind you they really should have been better than this.
 

The Casey Cat

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Make up of the team just is not quite there. And even then the effort is inconsistent this year. Pressure not there often enough for long enough.
 

Toump Ass

The Big Deal
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The accumulation of mids has been odd. They should
Have traded Dunkley a couple
Of years back. They would have had to on trade the pick to avoid it being swallowed up by F/S and academy picks. Or traded for a key back. Liam Jones will help and Darcy looks the goods. Not convinced they need Lobb though.
Yeah if i read this post i wouldn’t have typed mine tbh.
 

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