Intense inconsistency

The win last night was great. We started poorly, but from the time the rain came to the very end of the game the team played with an intensity they haven’t displayed all year. We beat Collingwood to the ball; we outnumbered them at the contest; when they had the ball we forced turnovers through constant pressure and tackling. The number of times a Collingwood attack was stopped when pressure culminated with a Collingwood player tackled by two of our players was outstanding. And when one of our players got the ball he had teammates all around providing support and multiple options for an effective disposal. We deserved to win and we won well.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that it was the first time this year that we’ve seen that, and in our heart of hearts we all know that the chances that we’ll see it again next week are about 20% at best. What’s likely is that we’ll see flashes of it; we might well dominate for 10 or 15 minutes or even a whole quarter; but it will either only come late in the game when we’re too far behind to catch up, or it will fizzle out after a bad umpiring decision or an easy set shot at goal is missed so we end up with a narrow loss. Or we may do just enough to win, as we did in the first two games: poor performances, but just not quite as poor as our opposition’s. And then of course we may just not turn up to play at all and get belted.

This has been our problem for a decade or more. We’ve played some great games and some inspired football, but always, just when we are beginning to hope that we might actually be on the road to success – i.e., a successful shot at winning the premiership – it’s snuffed out by a reversion to the slack, reactive, negative Essington football that we know so well, and the season ends with us either just falling into the eight or just falling short of it.

What I don’t understand is why. John Worsfold is an intelligent man; he captained West Coast to two premierships and coached them to one; he knows what it takes to win a flag. Ben Rutten hasn’t played in an AFL premiership or coached a premiership team, but he’s seen from close up what Richmond did. Blake Caracella certainly knows premierships as a player at two clubs and as an assistant at Richmond and Collingwood under a whole variety of coaches. We have plenty of money. We have excellent facilities. What we don’t have is consistent intensity.

I’m sick of it.


Dev Smith is back. I expect some of our consistency issues will be resolved. We looked like we did back end of 2018 against Collingwood, which is awesome

I am not convinced this season is typical of the general malaise that has plagued us.
R1, we played well and our game plan held up well. TBC running out f steam allowed Freo back in.
Pause for 10 - 11 weeks.
R2. Scrappy win against a nemesis on their home ground, won ugly for the first time in 11 years.
R3. Game called off due to Coronor. Preparation interrupted, lots of uncertainty.
R4. Fail by a metre to steal a game we were being dominated in, against an arch enemy. We didn’t look like getting close for large stages of the game, simply put it was an horrendous effort.
R5. Our best performance of the year by far, and the margin flattered the Pies.

Still a bit early to say how this year will shape up, but l am confident we have turned the corner and will continue to improve.


I agree it’s been an issue, hell i’ve been one screaming it for years.

This year is slightly different though.
This year it has been there all year, even when you look at last week.

the problem with last week was, they didn’t stick to the gameplan, and too many players panicked and just blindly bombed it forward, esp from defence.

the biggest difference between last week and this week, for 95% of the game, there was at least one of mckernan, townsend or lav right next to Moore and roughead.
there was no easy rebound, no easy get out of jail free cards, they created a contest, and then it was mostly an even contest once the ball hit the ground. If they got it out, it was under pressure, if they didn’t there was some form of stoppage.

you can have all the intensity in the world, but if you don’t stick to the way you want to play, it’s gonna mean nothing, and the difference between the 2 weeks proves it.

then there’s the making mistakes. again you can have all the intensity in the world, you can surge it from the goal line, all the way up to your fwd 50, but if you go for a pass, and miss it by 20 meters, and the opposition run it back down the ground for a goal, it doesn’t mean the intensity isn’t there, just means 1 poor bit of decision making or skill can change how things go.

There was less blind bombing, less panic bombing, and the forwardline was setting up the way it was suppose to, and look at the difference in perception about it.
despite not that much of an increase in output by it.
I mean look at the forwards output
Lav 4 possies
tippa 10
stringer 10
zaka 2
townsend 6
parish 12 (albeit with some midfield time i’d assume)
Snelling 16 (he’s the only dedicated forward for the whole year, who’s gotten above 15 possies twice now)
mckernan 5

So when they stick to the gameplan, and don’t allow loose players back, or the deepest forward and main marking forward to be tippa, it allows them to play the way they are suppose to, then you look at the tackle count, tip, towner and stringer with 7, snelling with 6.
it’s a flow on effect.

the fixed the gameplan side of it for last night, now they just have to fix the execution side of it, cos despite all the good from last night, they could have easily lost the game based on 2 12 min purple patches in play, so that to me was more based 2 cogs not working still (raz and zaka) and still some poor decision making/skill that needs to be tidied up.


That’s how I see it too.

Agree. I feel it was something of a turning point, we played like a good football team rather than a talented group of footballers.

Essington would have thrown in the towel after that 10 minute blitz in Q1

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I think everyone here was shocked that we didn’t thrown in the towel


The point is that it’s the intensity that allows you to execute the game plan. Without intensity you don’t get the ball, or you can only ever dispose of it under huge pressure, and you spend most of the game chasing futilely after the opposition. The game plan is predicated on the players getting the ball, supporting each other and being able to control their disposals.

It’s the intensity that comes first. Then the execution of the game plan. Insufficient intensity = no game plan.

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Consistency is all about standards and understanding that standards aren’t negotiable and that there are consequences for not meeting them. As a club we have failed to make players accountable to standards for two decades and allowed players to play on emotion rather than inflexible KPIs

That said you can set all the standards in the world but if the coaching team fails to identify and resolve obvious structural issue (loose men in defence, tippa the deepest forward, uncompetitive ruckman) then it really puts us behind the 8 ball.

If we get the standards right and the coaches get the structures right week in week out we’ll be consistent

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Intensity needs to be dictated by the expected standard and not by emotion


I’m glad so many think that this time it’s going to be different. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve thought that. I’ve learnt. I hope that this time it will be different, but frankly I doubt it.

If we win the next six games playing the football we played last night then I might start to get a bit of optimism.

I think what you’re saying is that last night’s standard should be what’s demanded every game. It should be the rule, not the exception. I agree.


A lot of people (no not everyone, I’m sure whoever wants to say “not me” wasn’t fooled, so save yourself the post) thought we’d turned the corner in the back half of 2017. But then the final and the start of 2018. Since that false dawn, I’m honestly not sure I’d be convinced we’d turned a corner if we were 10 goals up at three quarter time on Grand Final day.


You have just defined Devon Smith. He is uncompromising, does not negotiate and he takes no prisoners.


I honestly think Dev is the difference. Best at pressure in the competition, it’s contagious.

Nail on the head.

This is why Townsend and Snelling and guys of his ilk are important as they bring that effort every week. I can’t say the same for the rest, yet.

The North game is exactly the type of game we’d usually drop after a big win.

Ughh, such a banal line of analysis this whole wish ‘we\he\they\Walla’ were more consistent.

I mean, people do realise how difficult it is to consistently perform well in a professional sporting contest? If you do, you basically win the competition. Lack of repeatable, desired output is not a little idiosyncrasy floating like a bad juju above Essendon. Finding consistency is literally the holy grail of every sporting club in every sport in the world.

Now why don’t we draft more explosive, big-bodied mids with elite footskills. ■■■■■ me that Dodoro keeps avoiding these types.


we are just consistently shthouse.

or more accurately, like the thread title suggests, consistently inconsistent.

lots of teams have found and sustained good performance over the time we have been poor.

many of them multiple times with different coaches and lists too.

If we beat North and Dogs and go 5-1 oh boy wow we

Until that pressure is Considered a non-negotiable (I.e. a regular Pattern Of behaviour ) we won’t be a team that breaks past the top 6.

The current EFC patten, is that our effort declines Each week until we have a bad loss. Then the players come out all fired up. Put a high pressured game together. Which eventually declines again.

The redemption cycle is real.