Lid On 2019: The Lid remains on, until a final is won

When folk say Essendon will do well, it sticks in the craw of some fans of other teams. Here’s one. This guy William Cornwill is going it alone. He basically reckons we will crash and burn in 2019. Come at him !

Essendon aren’t the finals lock you think they are, and here’s why

William Cornwill

Essendon have been all the rave this off season in the football world, with many pundits predicting them to make the top four.

At the very least they’re predicted to get back into September action, which they missed last year after a horrible first half of the season.

I think the main reason for this is because the Bombers won seven of their last ten games last year, to narrowly miss the finals.

However, they had an easy draw in the back half of the season. They beat Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Sydney, Fremantle, Gold Coast, North Melbourne and West Coast in those games.

Granted, the West Coast win was fantastic – beating them in Western Australia is incredibly difficult.

Barring that, they only beat one team who made the finals in Sydney, who lost to Gold Coast the week before.

The positions, at the end of the year, of the teams they beat on that run, were: ninth, 17th, 14th, 16th and tenth. Hardly good opposition.

I think the main question is always where a team can improve, and whether they can improve more than the teams above them and around them.

Essendon aren’t, and won’t be, better than any of Richmond, Collingwood, Melbourne and West Coast this year.

They simply don’t have the talent or system to do that. Greater Western Sydney have more scope to improve than Essendon, as do Adelaide, who played in a grand final two years ago.

That’s six teams who are more talented than them, and you could easily argue that Geelong’s midfield in Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan and Tim Kelly can see them still play finals football.

Essendon were active again in this year’s trade period, trading in midfielder Dylan Shiel from Greater Western Sydney. Club and supporters alike were excited by that acquisition.

The thing is… he’s not that good. He’s never averaged more than 28 disposals across a year, and never kicked more than fifteen goals.

Essendon’s midfield was a major issue last year, and I can’t see that changing this year.

The core midfield will group will be Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett, Dylan Shiel, David Zaharakis, Devon Smith and Andrew McGrath.

McGrath is unproven, and Shiel and Heppell aren’t great by foot. Tom Bellchambers isn’t even close to the top five ruckmen, so they won’t be getting first use again either.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The defence is still worrying. Hooker and Hurley are both very good defenders, the former is probably top three in the league. However, the lack of depth in that back six is astounding.

Marty Gleeson, Conor McKenna and Adam Saad will come undone against the good teams. Saad and McKenna just don’t have a football brain – yes it’s good to take the game on, but the amount of times they got caught running out of defence last season needs urgent attention.

The forward line is better, however it isn’t fantastic. The fortunes of Joe Daniher could make or break Essendon’s season.

Without him, Shaun McKernan and James Stewart just aren’t going to get it done as the two pillars of the forward line.

Nobody really knows where Daniher is at. Some people are saying he will be fine to play in Round 1, and some are saying he’s struggling to train still.


The small forwards are pretty potent, led by one of the best small forwards in the competition, in Orazio Fantasia.

Jake Stringer and Anthony McDonald–Tipungwuti accompany him to make a good small forward line. But again, they need Daniher there.

The game plan probably needs an overhaul too, if they are going to be a top team. When you look at all of the top teams of the last few years, none of them have had that free-flowing, all-out attack game plan the Bombers do.

Hawthorn relied on precise kicking, moving slow or fast, to win games. Richmond play a somewhat scrappy game, and always win the territory battle which leads to scores, and also an easy transition back into defence. The Western Bulldogs played a similar brand in the year they won their premiership.

A game plan that revolves around attacking and playing on at all costs, will simply not work in the modern game. It’s the exact reason that Essendon conceded such a big amount of goals most weeks last year.

For those people saying that Essendon are a ‘lock’ for the finals – well, they are kidding themselves.

They have major question marks all throughout their team. Starting from their depth in their best 22 (and especially their depth from that 22 – 26 player mark), to whether Joe Daniher will be fit, and whether they have enough improvement in them, to go past seven or eight pretty good teams.

Essendon could make finals – but it’s far from a done deal.


The comments section reveals this idiot for what he is- a farkwit.

Clearly hates Essendon


Wasn’t this the same bloke who was praising Essendon?

Easy draw LOL. Port: touted as a finals team, North, spent half the year in the 8, West Coast, eventual premiers.
Slaughtered Sydney, Within 1 kick of Hawthorn, within 2 kicks of Richmond.

That is not a good argument.


How does Jake Stringer at 192cm make a small forward?


He takes a tall forward and belts him over the head until he becomes shorter?


Check his handful of predictions for 2018
Only did them for 4 teams
FarkCarlton- bottom - well that was hard
Brisbane- bottom third -well that was hard
Adelaide- third
Collingwood- miss the eight

On his own track record he’s a farkwit


So - is the author Nino or Alex?


Got no idea who he is and sure as hell won’t read his article. I don’t need someone to tell me to be a pessimist, im perfectly capable of doing it myself.


And it’s from the Fuckinng roar FFS.

Tbell might not be amongst the very best all round ruckmen in the league but he’s pretty clearly one of the better tap ruckmen. In 2017 his tap to advantage rate was the best in the league.

It’s easy to write off a midfield if you just ignore the 3 all Australians in it.

Saad and McKenna were rarely if ever caught last year and both showed excellent defensive ability and positioning for the most part.

The big scores we conceded were all in the first half of the year.

We had the most efficient forward line be in the comp in 2017.

We were in a position to beat Hawthorn and Collingwood but fluffed our lines. We improved our performance against Richmond by around 12 goals over the course of the year running them to couple of kicks late in the season.

I’ve given this Twit enough time. It seems to boil down to I don’t rate their talent because I haven’t seen them enough to know better


Man, that’s a bad article


Menzel is 191 and is considered a small forward who doesn’t chase and tackle, apparently.

Lol sounds like someone who has not watched us play, or taken any time to even review our team recently. About as knowledgeable as your average nuffie supporter about out team and completely biased & un-objective in the negative.

While I don’t buy into the top 4 hype, to not even talk positively of our finals chances says it all.

Lol “Shiel is just not that good” ■■■■■■■ lol. Ignore.

I’ll be over in the Lid off 2019 thread until at least mid season.


No idea.
But you’ll find plenty of posts around here as well where they think he is.

This is true.
However - it does also work in reverse, with our supporters thinking other teams are crap - when they know little about them. And success in this game is all comparative.


On really? What’s makes you say that? Maybe because we have 22 games to play before then? You ■■■■■■■ cretin!

Jesus Christ, I’ve given this ■■■■ what he wants. A no-name scribe who wasted his university degree on ■■■■■■■ Arts with a major in journalism and he now has a response from people on an internet forum. He has now hit his peak and we have that gift to him.


Does this make Michael Hurley the best small defender in the AFL?


I might be pessimistic but I wouldn’t call us crap like this bloke is getting at.


That would be because you are a pessimist, whereas he is an idiot.