Analysis Where does Simpson rank amongst WCE Premiership coaches?

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I couldn't see a thread on this so hopefully I'm not rehashing, but given what Adam Simpson has been able to do in the past 4 years with this squad and some the adversity overcome I would like to get peoples thoughts on where he ranks amongst our other premiership coaches.

Mick Malthouse coached us to 3 grand finals with leagues first premiership outside of Victoria in 1992 after being pumped in the 1991 Grand Final, and backing it up again in 1994. With a ledger of 2:1 from Grand Finals, under his reign we never missed a final appearance. During the premiership years we had a wide array of West Australian talent but this was also developed late in the draft with the 1994 Norm Smith winner picked with pick 117.

John Worsfold coached us to 2 grand finals with a ledger of 1:1 with a close lose in 2005 and an even closer win in 2006. During his tenure as coach he was with the eagles for an impressive 11 years. This included 8 finals appearances with a win/lose/draw record of 149-130-2. During his reign he stuck to his game plan as opposed to the flood strategy taking over many teams in the 00's, and brought us out of the often referred to as dark Ken Judge times. However during his tenure we also claimed out first wooden spoon in 2010. Granted, this was on the back of the clubs darkest times with the Ben cousins/Chris Mainwaring and drugs scandals. Through the darkness comes the light with an unexpected resurgence in 2011 which marked a changing of the guards within the team of yesteryear's to present times.

Adam Simpson took the reigns in 2014 with an underwhelming year finishing 9th, but during his second year took the team to it's first Grand Final in 9 years whilst overcoming much adversity in the injury department and more specifically the back line. Admittedly, the team didn't show up in the grand final that year and were demolished by a rampant Hawthorn. The general feeling was the team had reason to hold it's head high as everyone knew we were close to greatness, but the flip side was Adam had through no fault of his own had established high expectations and was often criticised over his one dimension 'weagles web'. In 2016 the expectations of making another grand final were foiled as we finished 7th, and that pressure ramped itself up in 2017 after only narrowly making finals in the last game by the fewest of percentage. After an after the siren win against port, we bailed out with a thrashing against a potent GWS. Admittedly we had injury concerns that year but this didn't stop many calling for Simpsons head in 2018, labelled as one dimensional and having all the tools but none of the ability to make risky calls we continued ahead with him in 2018. The year started off on the wrong foot with a lose of which had a lot of upside. Which we would see in the next 9 or so rounds going undefeated, there was the same defensive pressure that got us to the grand final in 2015 but with versatility and foot skills around the ground. Perhaps what he was often criticised for in being on dimensional was shattered in the Grand Final that year as in the last quarter with the scores level, pushed Vardy back into the forward line to outsize the small defenders, a call which vitally won us the game, our forth premiership and evened his ledger on 1:1 in Grand Finals.

Obviously the one thing Simpson has going for him that the other coaches do not is he can add to his tally, regardless of whether he coaches us to another grand final or not he will go down in history as our third premiership coach, how do you rank him amongst Woosha and Malthouse?

*I Hope this isn't too confusing, as I am half cut.
 
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Rowan18

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#3
Still third. Malthouse was a trailblazer and won't be dethroned unless another coach achieves a three-peat. Woosha rebuilt the team twice and has had a more successful reign. If Simpson wins another flag, or the team plays finals for the next four seasons, then I'll rank him as second.
 

HoneyBadger35

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#4
I think the rapport Simmo has built with key players is something that puts him in a very strong position this early into his career. I think he’s done as much as Woosha, with less top tier talent in less time.

Two Grand Finals, one flag, finals in four of five seasons, plus the retaining of Gov and Gaff for their primes are all massive ticks.
 

Thomas2

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#5
I’m tempted to put him ahead of Woosha. I dont want to be too biased over recent events though. We were a laughing stock in 2001 and Woosha immediately made us into a competitive outfit, at home at least.
 
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Thread starter #7
All 3 of them are legends that coached our club to a flag.
Why do they need to be ranked?
Not arguing that point. Just interested in who people think coached the smartest, adapted the best and got the most out of their squad during their time out of these three legends.

After all there are threads comparing premiership teams, why not have a look at the coaches too.

Edit: Admittedly I am too young to accurately remember much of '92 and '94, so it would be nice to get the opinion of people who passionately supported through all 4 flags.
 

ConcreteWaters

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#8
Malthouse has to be top. If you look at that 1992 season with the quirks of the draw with few interstate teams, there were several runs where we played 2 or 3 away games in a row, plus 3 finals in Melbourne.
Simmo and woosha are hard to separate. The drug stuff that happened on Worsfold's watch counts against him (and the club). He was less than a kick away from either 2 premierships or none, and he brought us back after some of our toughest years. Probably on balance, Woosha then Simmo for now, but Simmo has coached the team for half the time and is well on track to better that one premiership.
 

Astro7

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#9
Agree with above. Wooden Woosha not my favourite coach. He led us out of the Judge Dread years, but that in hindsight may not have been a difficult thing to do, to surpass Judge, and given the talent at his disposal, albeit a new coach, maybe coulda/shoulda done better -problems also being a favourite son.
The boys club party festered in its own hedonistic glory and in a sense Woosha had to clean up his own mess with a wooden spoon.

Simmo as a neutral outsider had to first fit in, then bide his time for other favourite sons to exit before he could fully implement his own vision and plan- a lot of politics involved before you even get to coaching.
I think (could be way wrong) in 2018 and the preseason, the transition was complete and Simmo finally had complete control of the reins, he could complete the new team without being hamstrung by the past.

I feel the new level of professionalism that he has helped instill, has surpassed Woosha and has set a new standard, and if nothing else will be his legacy. He is coaching smarter and has adapted better in a shorter time.
But he may go on to be our first coach to win B2B, or surpass Grumpy Mick, who had the toughest gig given the times and bias...that might take a 3peat or 3 Grannies or 2 Grannies and a bunch of finals?
 
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#11
1. Malthouse by a country mile;
2. Simpson, 2015 a blight but in summary, the players froze;
3. Worsfold, drug era a blight (Ben are you taking drugs? No John I am not!) and in 2005 the players battled their hearts out, but the coaching hierarchy and selection committee froze/blinked).
 

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#14
I can't help feeling that Simpson has done more with less overall talent. Maybe it is my bias that things were somehow better in the 'glory days' and I am not sufficiently appreciating the talent of our current team (which when I look at individuals in Gov, Kennedy, NN, Shuey etc are pretty bloody talented) but I can't help feeling we had teams of superstars under Malthouse and Worsfold for extended periods. Some of the best teams ever to play. I don't think we are quite that now as a team and yet, Simpson got us a flag. That has to count in his favour. But for me:

Malthouse - he had everything against him and the Eagles
Simpson - because I think he has had less talent as an overall team at his disposal and achieved what Worsfold has
Worsfold - who will always be one of my favourite players but he could be one dimensional at times as a coach and the drug era has to count against all at the club at that time.
 

Forward Press

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#15
I actually rank him above Worsfold now.

- Achieved two GF appearances (and a flag) with a far less talented list. It is a common argument (although probably oversimplifying or downplaying Woosha's role) that with Cox, Judd, Cousins and Kerr in the midfield even Mark Neeld could have sustained success. Lynch and Hansen had silver service in 2005 and 2006. Our premiership team had the likes of Chris Masten and Jamie Cripps - they certainly played their role during the year but they are nowhere near star players, and as a bonus we easily dealt with the loss of Naitanui, Gaff and Sheppard during finals because our game plan was sound.
- More tactically astute - everyone knew Woosha's plan B was Hunter going to the other end of the ground. Simmo has inherited an outdated game plan and list with massive holes, developed the web to achieve a GF in his second year, abandoned it when it was found out in 2016, then developed a more successful one in the past couple of years focused on kicking and marking.
- Although Woosha garnered massive amounts of respect (being a dual premiership captain of the club and all), he never seemed to bond with the players like Simmo obviously has. Cannot remember Worsfold doing things like taking troubled players to the Tiwi Islands with his family.
- His press conferences are a thing of beauty when something really irks him - Worsfold's was boring as batshit. See: Basil's 'culture of arrogance' retort.

One more flag and I will put him above Malthouse.
 

ep2018

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#16
I love Simmo but we have been blessed with some really good assistant coaches over his tenor (Walsh, Pyke and Mitchell come to mind). Pyke invented the Weagles web and after he left to coach Adelaide we went to shit. Mitchell is credited as to why our mids took the next step the past season. Now he's gone. If we play well next year, I rate him above Woosha but below Malthouse. If we go to shit again, well, maybe we should be heaping praise on our coach recruiting staff instead.
 

squashface

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#17
I love Simmo but we have been blessed with some really good assistant coaches over his tenor (Walsh, Pyke and Mitchell come to mind). Pyke invented the Weagles web and after he left to coach Adelaide we went to shit. Mitchell is credited as to why our mids took the next step the past season. Now he's gone. If we play well next year, I rate him above Woosha but below Malthouse. If we go to shit again, well, maybe we should be heaping praise on our coach recruiting staff instead.
If we play well next year then all the credit can be given to Rosa
 

Forward Press

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#18
I love Simmo but we have been blessed with some really good assistant coaches over his tenor (Walsh, Pyke and Mitchell come to mind). Pyke invented the Weagles web and after he left to coach Adelaide we went to shit. Mitchell is credited as to why our mids took the next step the past season. Now he's gone. If we play well next year, I rate him above Woosha but below Malthouse. If we go to shit again, well, maybe we should be heaping praise on our coach recruiting staff instead.
Yeah nah. Maybe, just maybe, the reason we made two Grand Finals is because Simmo was there both times as head coach?

Tactical innovations aren't the brainchild of just one person, it would have been the whole coaching group that came up with the 2015 web and our 2018 kick and mark plan.

How did Pyke go this year?
 

flamingEMBERS

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#19
I love Simmo but we have been blessed with some really good assistant coaches over his tenor (Walsh, Pyke and Mitchell come to mind). Pyke invented the Weagles web and after he left to coach Adelaide we went to shit. Mitchell is credited as to why our mids took the next step the past season. Now he's gone. If we play well next year, I rate him above Woosha but below Malthouse. If we go to shit again, well, maybe we should be heaping praise on our coach recruiting staff instead.
So you're giving credit to a first year assistant in Mitchell and Don Pyke who was out of the game for years before returning to be assistant with us? Walsh was actually assistant under Worsfold and never under Simpson.

This is such bullshit. He is clearly the brainschild behind this. Really loved it how Simmo hosed down the importance of Mitchell often this year by saying he was just a first year assistant. Sure he is good and has potential, but gee you are underselling Simpson dramatically.
 

Rowan18

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#20
I love Simmo but we have been blessed with some really good assistant coaches over his tenor (Walsh, Pyke and Mitchell come to mind). Pyke invented the Weagles web and after he left to coach Adelaide we went to shit. Mitchell is credited as to why our mids took the next step the past season. Now he's gone. If we play well next year, I rate him above Woosha but below Malthouse. If we go to shit again, well, maybe we should be heaping praise on our coach recruiting staff instead.
Mitchell was the midfield coach, so wasn't responsible for tactics/innovation. I know a few players have said that he helped them develop their game, but I doubt they're going to suddenly forget what they learnt now he is gone.
 

BigBirdz

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#22
I love Simmo but we have been blessed with some really good assistant coaches over his tenor (Walsh, Pyke and Mitchell come to mind). Pyke invented the Weagles web and after he left to coach Adelaide we went to shit. Mitchell is credited as to why our mids took the next step the past season. Now he's gone. If we play well next year, I rate him above Woosha but below Malthouse. If we go to shit again, well, maybe we should be heaping praise on our coach recruiting staff instead.
The Web was something Hawthorn tried a few times and didn't persist with and Simmo brought it over to the eagles.
I believe this is one of the reasons the hawks rolled us in the GF, they were the only team who new exactly how it worked.
 

Forward Press

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#23
The Web was something Hawthorn tried a few times and didn't persist with and Simmo brought it over to the eagles.
I believe this is one of the reasons the hawks rolled us in the GF, they were the only team who new exactly how it worked.
In 2016 it was definitely found out by more than just the Hawks, too.

Clarkson when he retires will be regarded as one of the finest coaches of the modern era. Tactically, he is the best. The cluster and the web are his trademarks.
 

Rowan18

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#24
The Web was something Hawthorn tried a few times and didn't persist with and Simmo brought it over to the eagles.
I believe this is one of the reasons the hawks rolled us in the GF, they were the only team who new exactly how it worked.
Despite Simpson's denials, it was clear that it didn't work well on a wide ground. Remeber, we smashed Hawks in week 1 of the finals at Subi.

I was really annoyed when Simmo came out early in 2018 and said how having a training oval the size of the MCG really helped the gameplan. It seems like he was the only person in 2016 and 17 who wouldn't acknowledge the impact of ground dimensions on the gameplan.
 

flamingEMBERS

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#25
Despite Simpson's denials, it was clear that it didn't work well on a wide ground. Remeber, we smashed Hawks in week 1 of the finals at Subi.

I was really annoyed when Simmo came out early in 2018 and said how having a training oval the size of the MCG really helped the gameplan. It seems like he was the only person in 2016 and 17 who wouldn't acknowledge the impact of ground dimensions on the gameplan.
Do you need him to tell the players that he thinks we’re at a disadvantage?
 
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