What's gone wrong


Also had Wanganeen 93.


Hurley and Fantasia are elite for the positions they play in and are highly respected.


Confession. I don’t rate Hurley, not for at least the last two years. And Fantasia played some brilliant games last year until he injured his leg, but he hasn’t been the same since then and has not really made an impact.


I think that’s a little unfair but it’s your call.

Pretty much all of the footy industry recognised Hurley as the second best defender in the league and I agree.

Fantasia is most definitely elite but probably needs another season or two of good footy to be called a star.


ArmyofPoon rumour mill from a source that would never not be wrong suggests there will be assistant/s coaches moving on soon


your name is on the line here.


During this season?


Yep, id suggest imminently. reckon theres a board meeting in next fortnight


So always wrong?


Respectfully disagree with the assertion we don’t have stars.

For mine, JD is considering ‘star’ quality as a KPF. Fantasia would be considered by many as a star small forward. Hurley is considered top 3 in his position league wide. Zach Merrett is a star (out of form maybe but has proven it on the big stage). So that is four that I wouldn’t hesitate to put in the ‘star’ quality.

I would then say there is a group - McGrath, Stringer, Smith, Hooker, Heppell that could be considered in the ‘star’ conversation with very good justification.

Then we have a group of youngish players that have shown enough to suggest they could be stars if they gain consistency - Parish, Stewart, Walla, McKenna, Zaka, Saad

So suddenly you have 14 names that ‘could’ be in the star category and that is a good core to work with. Our list is fine… that is why we were expected to be top 4 this year. We are just being poorly coached and out of form because of infighting and ■■■■ leadership.

That is why I would have loved a quick coaching change… the star power is there and that group could turn it around very very quickly imho.


We have 7 All Australians in our best 22. (Granted, Goddard and Stringer are no longer AA level, but 5 is still good.)

We’re not lacking talent.


I’d settle for a Jason Johnson right now. Hell, even Mark.


Funny enough, I just started manufacturing these. $40. Don’t go out and buy the cheap rip offs from India, these are genuine quality and made right here in Bangladesh.


We have analysed it, now all and sundry have jumped on the bandwagon. In case you thought your assessment was harsh.

The Bombers Aren’t Good at Anything

As Essendon turned up the pressure on their incompetence hose and pointed it towards the flickering flame of their season, Brendon Goddard sat down on the MCG turf with his legs stretched out like a child in kindergarten.

Goddard had just inexplicably given up a holding the ball free kick inside defensive 50, mowed down by Jack Gunston, except it wasn’t really a ‘mowing down’, it was more a ‘Brendon Goddard ran straight towards Jack Gunston and forgot to do anything with the ball’ type of scenario.

Gunston goaled, midway the third term, and the flood gates opened. A dreadful arm-wrestle that Essendon were narrowly winning quickly became the set of Boogie Nights – with Hawthorn the 1970s and Essendon the 1980s.

There was little fight, little noise, as the Bombers dropped to 2-5, with games against Geelong and Richmond and away to GWS and West Coast looming in their next six weeks. Goddard seated on the turf was the image that resonated most – a fiery veteran infamous for his fire now relaxing on the ground, not emotional in the slightest, just resigned, nonplussed – almost bemused by it all.

As the Hawks piled on the goals, it became clear that Essendon weren’t going to do anything about it. Nor, in their current capacity, were they going to even be able to do anything about it.

The Worsfold Bombers have always been an oddly constructed team – heavy on key position talent and expert ball users by foot, with glaring holes in the departments of physicality and, most importantly, the entire midfield.

It’s not just the lack of pedigree in the middle of the ground – it’s the complete, utter lack of force. The Bombers are incapable of playing with fury at the point of attack. They always seem to be physically overwhelmed, which makes sense when you realise that none of Zach Merrett, Dyson Heppell, Darcy Parish, Devon Smith, David Zaharakis or Travis Colyer are heavier than 82kg.

Somehow, last season Essendon got away with its midfield shortcomings, by almost exorcising the midfield from the game. They set up so well and the moved the ball so quickly and incisively by foot out of defence that they played from half-back to half-forward. They applied pressure to the midfield wound, stemming the bleeding there, then lived on the counter, a capable defence absorbing entries then slingshotting the ball to a devastating forward line.

Now, all that’s left is a malfunctioning forward line, a broken defence, and a still ■■■■ midfield. The defence is under siege and seems to reach a breaking point in the second half of games regularly. The degree to which the team seems to miss James Kelly is disturbing.

The rhythm of last year’s ball movement by foot is gone, replaced by a depressed medley of bleak handballs. The forward line doesn’t apply any pressure and can’t keep the ball locked in. The dynamism of last year’s attack was built primarily on the power and stature of Joe Daniher and the pace and savvy of Orazio Fantasia. Both are injured, and the forward line is dead, led now by the memory of Jake Stringer.

Nothing makes sense. Where last season they were decisive, now Essendon will take a mark in the corridor in an advantage situation, slowly go back on the mark and chip wide to the wing. Each possession exists in its own sad universe, connected to nothing – one expertly weighted Zach Merrett kick to a teammate leads only to stagnation afterwards; a quick, bulleted Michael Hurley handball out of defence finds someone in space who has nowhere to go.

The Bombers have enough young or prime-age talent that this is not hopeless. They will be better this year than they’ve shown, and they will be better next year. But right now, this team isn’t good at anything – their great weakness finally exposed, with no strengths left to cover it up.


I just bumped into Mark ‘Robbo’ Robinson at the supermarket and we talked ‘Bombers’. He is actually one helluva nice bloke. Appearing on 360 tonight with his mum. :slight_smile:


Wow that is some biased overestimation if i’ve ever seen it.

Zerrett is only a star when being fed the ball and left to run around unmanned so he can do as he pleases. (Big stage? what friggen big stage?)

McGrath who knows hasn’t done much starrish stuff yet and Taranto should have been the pick anyway, but maybe.

Stringer could be if he ever got serious about footy but he is at our club because those that know him better than us don’t believe he will.

Smith has the attitude that Stringer needs and has been surprisingly good for us this year but he is no star.

Hooker mmhh maybe you could argue that fairly.

Heppell seriously biased rubbish.

Parish, Stewart, Walla, McKenna, Zaka, Saad - Parish and Stewart some small chance one day and that’s it.


This is as good an assessment as any I have read.


We don’t have stars. Dusty is a star. Dangerfield. Selwood, Franklin, Roughead. These are stars. We don’t have anyone in that class with the possible exception of Goddard.
We have some players with potential. They have yet to realise that potential and until they do they are not stars.


This year was the year Joey should have achieved stardom. Instead , that muppet* Ben Brown has ascended and taken that mantle :dizzy_face:

  • he deserves it. He holds his marks and kicks dead straight. But he is still a muppet.


Very sad reading right there