Mid Season Review - Will we, Won't we

At the bye we are 6-6. Some wonderful wins and a few horrible losses. The last month has included three excellent performances which I’m sure gives us (coaches, players and fans) all some serious confidence going into the back half. The draw opens up with much less travel, we certainly have our destiny in our own hands. Worsfold has said we would be better in the second half of the year, if he is correct then a finals spot beckons for the first time since 2014.

Considering our Key Back depth has been challenged with the serious injuries to Brown and Ambrose I think we have held up well. Hartley after a modest start has had two very good games enabling Hurley to focus on a more attacking role. We really struggled early with intercept marking which was a real concern, Hurley’s transformation from number 1 defender to number 1 intercept/attacking player has been pretty ■■■■■■ good and has solved some big issues. Ole trampoline hands as I read someone referred to him by is clunking them almost as well as his mate Hooker in he’s AA year. Bagley, Kelly and Goddard are all in good form and both Mckenna and McGrath have been excellent. One of our biggest issues going into the year in my view was our drive off HB but Hurley, Kelly, Goddard, Mckenna and McGrath have combined to give us plenty of run and very good attacking kicking. Our transition from half back has been a weapon all year. Sydney and anyone legitimately playing two big forwards will be a good test for our structure as Hurley will need to play a more accountable role, so that will be interesting but Brown and Ambrose will give us more flexibility when they come back. We go into the rest of the season feeling pretty confident this group can hold their own defensively and rebound well

Was certainly a struggle early. Although I applaud Worsfold staying true to his view of the better balance and not going with more of our slow inside guys even when we were getting beaten soundly in clearances. I think we have certainly felt the positives of this decisions in our forward line which isn’t carrying one or two slowish midfielders waiting for their rotation. Also the renewed form of Heppel and Watson has made us far more competitive at the coal face. The group is in its best form of the year and is running deeper with Tippa, Fantasia, Green, McGrath, Zaharakis, Parish all getting opportunities to support the core. A decision needs to be made on Myers however it will simply be he either gains form thus gives us better output or Langford comes in and gives us better output.

Wow. The long suffering Essendon faithful have been richly rewarded with the most efficient and dynamic forwardline in the country and the most maligned assistant coach is wearing his “form a line to tongue my nuts” T and matching cap wherever he goes. We are simply outstanding in all facets, contested marking, pace, goal kicking options, crumbling, pressure it’s just such a ■■■■■■■ pleasure to behold. Is it as good as it was 17 years ago? it’s pretty ■■■■■■ close.

Looking pretty good here really, especially compared to expectations. We can pick Luenberg and be confident we will get a 100% contest every time for the full game. Or whilst the form is warranted we can go the big Doublechamber who’s last two weeks have been immense and his fitness base can only improve.

Looks reasonable
Backline - Stanton, Dea, Mcniece, Ambrose/Brown when fit
Midfield inside - Langford, Bird, Hocking
Midfield outside - Stanton, Mutch? (Looks skinny and probably why Colyer and Zaharakis were persisted with)
Forwards - Bagley, Langford, Mckernan, Laverde when fit
Rucks - Luenberg, Mckernan

Game Plan
Ball movement - When it comes off (WCE, Port, Geel) it looks incredible however when we are met with fierce pressure and the opposition guards the corridor it falls apart (Melb, Carl, Rich). I’d be willing to bet that every club will be coming to play us with this plan so we must be able to make adjustments throughout the game otherwise we will fall apart. It feels as simple as that (although I’m sure it’s far more nuanced as it doesn’t account for our pressure etc…). If we can handle the pressure and find other effective ways of moving the ball when the game is not on our terms I believe we will play finals as both our backline and forward line are good enough to cope with an even amount of inside 50s.


The Port win has brought with it a certain level of expectation. Will be interesting to s e how the team copes with this in the second half of the year.


We’re one game away from 5th.
And one game away (potentially, by the end of this round) from 15th.
Dropping a game we should win would be…how can I put this…bad.
My jets are cooled.

Still looking to July 2 with some trepidation.


And history suggests that view is entirely fair.

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I thought Shawry made a good point. The coaches need to have a look at the mid field. The. realise that when we break even with the opposition (i.e against Port), that’s what we can do to opposition sides. Absolutely dismantle them.

Just imagine what we’ll do to sides, when we consistently beat them in the midfield.


Worth putting the run home here:

Swans away
Lions home
Fark Carlton
Crows home
Suns away
Freo home

7 of those are more than winnable we just need to get tge consistency we missed in the first half of the year. Bulldogs and Crows are doable as well. Still unsure on the Swans but a big win there really sets us up.

At our best we could win all of them.
At our worst we could lose all of them.
It’s all about better consistency. Improve that and we should win more than we lose for the rest of the year.


Gurgle thread.

The lid is off.

Lid off.


For a number of the returning players and some that played in 2016, this season is last chance saloon. For this reason I expect them to play as though there is no tomorrow.

This is no longer a “learning year” for young players. This is the real thing.


Just on Hartley, he is averaging the second most 1% in the comp. After a few shakey showings he is coming good.

When Rambo returns later in the year I hope they go with the 3 talks down there, probably at the expense of Gleeson.

Bags Rambo hurls
Kelly Hartley McKenna



Point taken, though to be fair - that could be said about every team against every team this year.

I hope they walk the talk.

Yes he is, confidence returning, but don’t the club want him to back himself more to take marks, rather than try and spoil every time?

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Big picture view

Our best is as good as maybe anyone’s

Our depth is awful. And it starts from about the 20th spot in the side (the last few spots have rotated between about 5 guys with no real concrete idea of who’s in and who’s out). As highlighted in the Freo & Melbourne games.

IMO resorting to Stanton and co whenever we rest someone or have an injury isn’t helping to improve that depth in a meaningful way.


Yes they do and I think we are beginning to see more of it.

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Better to bring in a new kid and shuffle the cards I agree. How else do we find a hidden gem?

Langford is the obvious one being groomed a big bodied mid.
Parish slots back in.

Then theresHocking/Bird/Howlett/Stants/and to a lesser extend Jerrett as the experienced guys that can come in and fill a gap if the injury toll mounts in the middle.

Francis still seems a long way off.
And we have Brown/Ambo to come in should KPP gets injured. The later has proven to be best 22.Luen an adequate ruck back up.

Laverde injured -a lot!!!
Mutch looks ok
Begley showing glimpses.
Clarke a work in disposal efficiency progress
Morgans unknown,fast but fragile
Ridley has just began what looks a promising journey.

Best 22 is very good.

But more than 2 injuries through the middle and we drop to mediocre levels very quickly.

I reckon injury LUCK has as much a part to play than any sudden left field improvement from anyone on the list.

This current best 22/3/4 have proven they are top 8 quality, so if they can stick together I believe we should play finals.


All our loses bar Fremantle and Adelaide…we really should have won them.

I think we’ll go close but we will have to be consistently good. We will also need to find a way to win when playing not so good. Our draw is good and our form is good but we are in the middle of a large pack.

Some fantastic signs that we have what it takes to be great though.

The form of the returning players will be the thing that decides it in the second half of the year I think. Solid output from the 6 or so playing now and we do it.

If we play finals it will be an amazing thing for the team and supporters.

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This is the problem with Essendon, often it is the games we should win that Essington shows up. Hopefully this is changing, and given our draw for the rest of the year we will know more at sesons end.