What's gone wrong


Essendon rarely get blown out of the water.

I think we do a pretty good job of dragging the opposition down to our level…then lose the ugly arm wrestle.


The big problem is we have a good number of our players being instructed to play in a way that is utterly foreign to their instincts and strengths. Worsfold might just as well have forbidden them from using their preferred foot! The players know that they can’t execute their instructions and still play to the best of their abilities, hence the lack of spirit and cohesiveness. They hate it and are embarrassed by it but feel helpless I reckon…but if I’m right then it’s hard to blame them for these apparent shortcomings when they are caused by actually doing what they’re told to do.

We are a heck of a lot better than this. It’s the coach that has screwed the pooch here. That’s what I reckon anyway.


We should call the coaching staff bulldozer - after they’ve finished the players are scattered and all over the place.


My suggestion is to tweak the “gameplan” a bit.


My suggestion is to tweak the gameplan “a bit”.


My suggestion is to tweak the gameplan “a bit”.


Donnington pls.


Some tackle stats from yesterday’s game:

Devon smith- 15 tackles

Dyson Heppell- 1 tackle

Michael Hurley- 1 tackle

Stringer- 1 tackle

Mutch- 1 tackle

Laverde- 0 tackles

Goddard- 0 tackles

Just disgusting




My suggestion is to twerk a butt.


Bj has zero tackles two weeks in a row. Seven pressure acts this week too. You have to drop him for that


Anzac looks to of broke him. Wouldn’t surprise me if a few senior players complained about him after that game. Has looked the same since

Our senior players hate criticism, they prefer cuddles


Fair call. Probably why they didn’t stick up for him when the Melbourne players were all over him


Star Bomber Zach Merrett says coach John Worsfold’s message is getting through to the players despite Essendon’s dismal start to 2018.

The Bombers began the season hoping to return to the finals after last year’s elimination final exit and on the back of three experienced recruits were tipped to rise up the ladder.

However, they have won just two games, lost their past four and six of their past seven and sit 15th on the ladder after eight rounds.

Pressure is mounting on the club, which re-signed Worsfold to a two-year contract extension in March, particularly after losing to the previously winless Carlton on Saturday, but Merrett said the West Coast premiership coach had the players’ backing.

“He’s a very consistent guy and as a coach he’s very level-headed. He hasn’t wavered in terms of his professionalism over the last four weeks, he’s as disappointed as we are to have dropped the games we have, but I’ve got full support in ‘Woosha’,” Merrett said.

Having been an attacking side last year, Essendon is stuck in a scoring drought so far this season, passing the 100-point barrier just once and averaging only 12 goals a game.

The Bombers started the season with high hopes of improving their defensive mechanisms without compromising their scoring power but have failed on both counts. Merrett said there had not been a significant change in game-plan from 2017 but instead players were just underperforming.

“It’s been a pretty disappointing month. To lose four games in a row is never fun and the way we’ve played hasn’t been up to scratch. We need to bounce back and try to get the four points, but also play the way we want to play,” he said.

“You want to be ruthless and hard to play against and that hasn’t been our way the last four weeks. We’ve got to get back to tackling hard and chasing hard – it seems simple, but it’s the way we’ve got to get back to playing.”

Merrett also hasn’t hit the heights of his previous two seasons, which saw him win the club’s best and fairest in 2016 and last year claim his first All Australian jumper after averaging 30 disposals a game.

This season the 22-year-old has been tagged by the opposition most weeks and kept out of games, including last weekend’s loss to the Blues, when he managed just 16 touches and a goal. He admits it has been a new challenge.

“It’s been a bit different to my previous two. I’m getting some really good opportunities to learn and develop as a player, understanding it’s probably going to happen most weeks now,” Merrett said.

"That’s a fun experience and something I’ve got to learn to deal with as well and still have a big impact and influence on the game with my teammates.

“I’ve spoken to a number of people who are really experienced in that area and it’s something that’s going to take a bit of time as well. I’d love to go out there and be best on [ground] every week, but it’s going to take time and I’m certainly putting in the work during the week to get better. Hopefully the results will slowly change.”

Essendon plays Geelong on Saturday in its now annual ‘Country Festival’ clash with the Cats.


The part in red got me. So which is it? Have we made significant changes to the game plan or have we not significantly changed the game plan?

I thought that’s why we were struggling.
I thought that is why the players were confused. Trying to understand the new game plan.
I thought we had to get on board a new game plan because the 2017 plan would not win us finals.

Lack of a clear message from the club.


I don’t recall the club ever saying that there would be significant changes.

I think Blitz made that up.


Nah, Woosh has been saying consistently, right from JLT1, that players were trying to get their heads around the new, more defensive gameplan.


I found the following quotes taken from Worsfold. The message has been they had to change the game plan to make it us competitive and that it is taking time for the players to adapt to/learn it. It’s not just a tweak.

  • John Worsfold has admitted Essendon have produced “alarming” skill errors and experienced “teething problems” adjusting to a new game plan so far this year, but the coach remained determined to stay the course with a more defensive style of play.

  • “We’ve worked all summer on playing a brand of footy we want to play. We’ve seen bits of it, we haven’t seen it 100 per cent of the time, and that’s what we’re building towards and that takes time.”

  • “There’s a lot of areas where we’ve been trying to implement some new things, and I could just see some confusion amongst the players, and probably just over-correcting some areas of play,” the coach said.

  • "We know [the game plan] is new and it’s not going to be perfect straight up … and we’re trialling it against a team that’s up and going.


yep, remember woosha saying that was the identified weakness out of finals loss vs sydney and a lot of work was put into it.

add to that some less than stellar coaches and it all comes crumbling down.


There’s not a direct quote from Zerrett there about the gameplan is there?

Perhaps he’s just trying to get across that no gameplan works without a requisite level of effort


Yeah, I agree there are changes but I don’t recall them saying it was a complete overhaul or anything that extreme.

The last I heard was that we were adding defensive layers to compliment our already attacking gameplan.

So effectively a more balanced side.