What I’ve noticed is a lot of people trying to narrow it down by finger pointing at either one thing or another, most often the coach or those assistants around him. In my opinion there may be some changes in in our coaching structure which would see improvements, but there’s also a bigger picture to it all which needs to be considered before we go down that path of blaming it all on the coach again.
The reality is that under 3 seperate coaching regimes we have had a core of players who simply cannot get the basics right when it comes to the defensive side of football. The tackle count is one thing but when you have a midfield filled with guys who chase kicks and have little consideration for what their opponents are doing then it creates all sorts of problems. If you stop tracking the ball and narrow in on the lack of ownership our players have for the defensive side of the game then you’ll see a whole host of problems in the way of poor communication between players, half hearted attempts of tracking opposition players, poor positioning and senior players all too content in blaming others. It’s been an issue under all of Hird, Bomber and now Woosha. This year we are even weaker around the around the ball and have attempted to implement a team defensive structure which is asking more of the players. When there isn’t 100% buy in, you’re left exposed. I don’t believe Woosha is without his shortcomings, particularly in his stubbornness on game day but for those who expect a coaching change will be an overnight fix to some of our major issues then you’re sorely wrong.
Furthermore we have a forwardline which compounds our midfield problems because they are failing to lock in in the forward half which what every team in the league is aiming to do. Despite what it looks like we are not a side that wants to launch everything off half back. We are failing to get the back to locked into our half of the ground and then we have forwards being sucked up too far whenever we do take possession. This is not by design.
I do feel for Walla who is down on form but all too often spends half his time running after other players opponents. What was a strength of ours last year is being starved of opportunities through repeat entries. Having an unfit Daniher, Hooker being thrown back and Fantasia out hasn’t helped our potency either.
In my opinion the big issues lie within having far too many of our established players, some who are big names who don’t do what is required defensively(perhaps have a sense of entitlement), have a side which is lacking in mongrel and on field leadership, have players severely out of form to the point of missing simple targets regularly, a lack of unity and belief which shines through in our inability to stop the bleeding, and players who are seemingly confused/not on the same page with one another out on the field.
What I do hope is that Woosha has now seen enough to know what he has got in front of him and is someone who is able to make the tough calls. We might need a restructure around him but for now he can start by rewarding form for those young players who are deserving and dropping those who aren’t buying in, big name or not. The penny has to drop at one point or another.