Something seriously wrong with the club


#501

Cats also did it under Thompson back a bit too.


#502

Beats meaningful innovation or whatever it was.


#503

If this doesn’t fire up the team/club, nothing will in the foreseeable future…

Nice Bombers more concerned about being liked than being ruthless

Where is the Essendon Football Club at?

That is the question most of its million-odd fans around the country have been asking themselves all week after yet another trademark “shoot-themselves-in-the-foot” match which has become a hallmark of their last 15 years.

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd says his former club are lacking ruthlessness after yet another disappointing performance

Well, the answer to that question is that for the second year in a row they are on the brink of missing out on the finals after losing to the bottom side.

It’s already a long way back from 3-5, and it would be nigh on impossible to qualify for the top eight from a 3-6 start given how incredibly tight the competition has become.

While Fremantle at Marvel Stadium this week looks like a sure thing on paper, the Bombers will experience another footy-free September this year if they continue to play the same predictable football they played against Geelong and Sydney in recent weeks when they face the Dockers.

Given Freo have one of modern footy’s sharpest tactical minds in Ross Lyon at the helm, the Dons would want to change things dramatically on Saturday night if they want to come away with the four points – namely the way they enter their forward 50 and also their hunger for the footy.

The fact that Essendon are once again on the brink of finals oblivion is an indictment on the club. When you go out and recruit Jake Stringer, Adam Saad, Devon Smith and Dylan Shiel in the space of two off-seasons, you are making a statement of intent that you are ready to challenge for premierships.

To potentially miss the finals in each of the two seasons after making that bold declaration would be nothing short of a catastrophe and would put coach John Worsfold’s position under enormous scrutiny.

Worsfold is contracted to the club until the end of 2020, but paying out coaches with a year to run on their deal isn’t exactly uncommon and if he once again shows that he is incapable of taking this playing list to the finals, then drastic action will need to be taken.

Right now, Essendon have the most talented playing list they have assembled since the early 2000s and another wasted season under Worsfold would be unacceptable. Things have already become urgent for the Bombers.

In the last few weeks, Worsfold has looked a lot like yesterday’s man from a tactical perspective with his predictable strategy of bombing the ball forward, regardless of which Essendon players are in the forward 50 at any one time, rather than imploring his players to lower their eyes and kick it at least one more time before going inside 50 playing right into the hands of the backlines of both Geelong and Sydney.

Last week Dane Rampe and Aliir Aliir must have been chuckling to themselves at how easy Essendon’s midfield were making their job for them while the week prior, Mark Blicavs, Tom Stewart, Harry Taylor, Jake Kolodjashnij and Jack Henry would’ve been feeling the same way.

Three rounds ago, Essendon did push flag contenders Collingwood right to the line, but if you really delve deep into that contest, it had a lot more do with flashes of amazing individual brilliance from Joe Daniher and Jake Stringer than any semblance of a sound structure going forward.

Since the start of last season, the Bombers have won 15 of 30 games – bang on average and not good enough. Worsfold just hasn’t worked out how to harness all of the talent at his disposal in a meaningful way.

But there’s an even deeper issue facing the Bombers right now and that is they have become a soft football club on and off the field. Nobody has really filled the void left by Jobe Watson in the grunt department, while CEO Xavier Campbell and president Lindsay Tanner seem to be more concerned about PR and ensuring the club has a warm and fuzzy image in the wake of the supplement saga than restoring the club’s reputation as one of the most feared sporting oraganisations in the country as it was 20 years ago.

No doubt things had to drastically change in the wake of the darkest period in the club’s history, but the club’s hierarchy have taken things too far. So much so that we didn’t even hear a peep out of them in the aftermath of Rampe’s goal post climbing exploits which cost the club four premiership points.

Can you imagine something like that going through to the keeper under the watch of the late Graeme McMahon, Peter Jackson and Kevin Sheedy?

You can bet the likes of Eddie McGuire and Jeff Kennett would’ve come out swinging straight away if something similar happened to their clubs.

Then you see the captain Dyson Heppell smiling with David Myers a few seconds after his team’s finals hopes suffered a potentially fatal blow at the hands of the bottom team.

Nobody is doubting Heppell was hurting at the result or his love and commitment for the club, but it wasn’t a great look and he had to know that he was on national TV. It’s hard to imagine any of his predecessors Watson, Matthew Lloyd or James Hird reacting in the same manner.

The last great Essendon team had no shortage of toughness with the likes Damien Hardwick, Dean Wallis, Dean Solomon and Jason Johnson in the line-up. Who is Essendon’s enforcer these days?

Do the Bombers want to continue valuing being liked more than being ruthless and respected as they were in Sheedy’s era? Because if they do, they can kiss another season that promised so much goodbye and watch their finals victory drought balloon out beyond 20 years.


#504

It’s absolutely heartbreaking that the custodians of our club care more about driving purposeful innovation than winning a flag. That’s not even my opinion, that is fact, it is printed in our strategic themes. As members, we can’t even hide from it.


#505

Great article. Sums it up perfectly.


#506

Sounds like he’s been reading Bomberblitz and taking inspiration from our various threads.


#507

This, times a bazillion


#508

That article is perfectly written. Nothing, is untrue. Whoever that guy is, knows his stuff


#509

Also thats the first time ive seen them hold each other side by side…as i never see that happen on ANZAC day when the national anthem is playing


#510

Yep. Ronny “Learnings” Lerner for our next CEO! He’ll get my vote!


#511

Ronny Lerner. And yes, he does know his stuff.


#512

Blitz ghost writer


#513

Ronny Lerner has hit the nail on the head.

Not sure how to fix this club but something needs to happen soon or we might waste the best list we have had for over a decade.


#514

What’s amazing is we all have a good laugh at this bang on statement, yet even when we’ve turned over players in his absence we continue to do the same thing over and over again.

How any player kicks to an inside 50 contest above the head of players like Alwyn, Tippa, Fantasia is beyond me. It’s basic football 101 stuff.


#515

True, but I’m liking that the criticism is in the public domain because it highlights the ineptitude of leaders at the club in addressing the “business” of winning games and, in turn, brings extra heat on those making the poor decisions. Something needs to change ‘cause what they’re doing ONCE AGAIN is not working.


#516

TBF to Hepp, there were other pics after the game that showed him in the depths of despair


#517

Good. Maybe now it’s in public rather than just on Blitz, the board CEO and coach might start feeling some pressure.


#518

He certainly nailed it. Ronny’s comments were basically the same as what he said on @CJohns’s podcast earlier this week.


#519

Is he a coach?


#520

It didn’t take Ronnie Learner to educate anyone here as to the problems with this Club. It has been obvious for years, in particular the last couple.