With the advantage of hindsight I tend to disagree. Sheeds was doing business with 1 hand tied behind his back, especially with Jackson reluctant to invest in needed resources.
Sheeds started his last year in hot form but when Jackson decided to call time on the great mans career the team fell in a hole. Yes, the club just couldn’t buy decent recruits from other clubs to fill holes but in time he (and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility) would’ve built a new team #ancienthistory
I completely agree that the club sacked Sheedy – sorry, decided not to offer him another contract – at the absolutely worst time and in the worst possible way, but to blame it all on Jackson is wrong. It was a board decision. A number of board members had been after him for some time, and the decision was made before the 2007 season began. Sheedy was not told.
After the 2000 premiership Sheedy made a lot of bad errors. Basically he believed all the bullshit about how we were the best team of all time, and he was the greatest coach of all time, etc., etc. The low point was the then president, Graham McMahon, announcing that we were the Manchester United of the AFL – overlooking small differences such as that Man U had won about 7 of the previous 10 EPL championships, whereas we had won exactly one AFL premiership. But Sheedy went along with it all very enthusiastically, and neglected only one thing, which was to mainain focus. So we slid down the ladder, and had one disappointing year after another.
He had a contract renewal in 2004 or 2005, and he should have been let go then.
But he wasn’t.
He got himself together in 2005. He stopped drinking and he refocussed on football. The results took a while to show on the field, but in 2007 they began to. Which was after the board had decided that he was going.
We had a great start to 2007. We were never going to win the flag that year, but we were in the top 4 mid-season. That was when it became known that he was going to be gone at the end of the season, and he and the team understandably fell in a hole.
The board proceeded to compound the error by appointing Matthew Knights, a coach with a consistent record of failure, and backed it up by appointing James Hird to succeed Knights, because he had been a great player and great players always make great coaches.
It’s not Jackson’s fault that we’ve had a disastrous 15 years. It’s taken a combined effort by a number of people. No doubt Jackson didn’t help, but to put all the blame on him is unfair.
Sheedy was great at building teams, but not very good in keeping them at the top. He won us 4 premierships in 27 years, which is a pretty good effort. In the same period Carlton won 4 and Hawthorn won 5.