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  1. #1
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    When things arenít always as they seem

    Most of us, including me, are feeling a deep gloom about our current prospects and future. The chance that we will slide even further down the ladder, probably win a spoon in 2020, is even being discussed.

    This isnít about trying to be positive or pollyannaish for the sake of it, but... if we went back in the time machine to 2014, even allowing for our realisation that Mcartney wasnít the right coach, did any of us think our list was in good shape and that a flag was only two years away?

    We would have said we lacked quality key position players ... BUT we won a flag with a forward line which only had Stringer as a genuine tall (albeit one who was lucky to be in the team and at 192 cm, not the size of the Ďgorillasí.) We got amazing contributions from a former tagged, two 19 yr olds, and a guy with three busted knees.

    At the other end of the ground, no one was raving at the prospect of a backline held together by three former rookies, including two blokes over 30, one who wasnít a defender and who some thought should retire or head back to Frankston seconds. Fletcher Roberts and Joel Hamling, even in Sept 2016, were nobodyís idea of quality talls, we would have hoped Talua would be That Guy.

    We werenít thrilled about our ruck stocks, never having been too excited about Roughie and not foreseeing that our GReat White Hope of the Forward line, Tom Boyd, would not play a traditional forward role in our premiership but would ruck instead.

    If weíd have been told our most naturally talented player Bob Murphy wouldnít have been out there our disbelief would have grown even further.

    I donít know whatís going wrong at present, but we still have 3 premiership midfielders still very much in their prime (Bont, Macrae, Libba) and two who since then have played midfield (Dunkley, McLean). The sort of genuine tall you could build a team around in Aaron Naughton, and the best young midfielder Iíve seen since Bont in Bailey Smith.

    So is our list any worse or less unbalanced than the group from 2016 or were they exceptionally well coached and motivated? How come the versatility idea for some of our lesser lights (Picken a forward, M Boyd a defender, Z Cordy a defensive forward etc) all worked back then? Canít the ship be turned around again quickly, with some hard conversations and honesty from coaches and players alike? Are things not as bad as they seem?
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

  2. #2
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Yep - cool thread.

    I agree with it. In 2014 the place nearly burned to the ground. Let's hope we don't need that type of event to turn the ship.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

  3. #3
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    This where the loss of Monty had a telling impact. He was there for the climb and left when the wheels had full momentum.
    Not afraid to tell some home truths even in public.
    So the main change from that time is him and we have gone backwards.
    It's only looking from the outside in and may be he had put himself in a place that couldn't be recovered but I think how different would thing have been if he was still at the club.
    It could have worse or maybe he would have kept the players focus and we may have had a second flag.
    Only inside the kennel know and Monty may have wanted to leave because he got over looked in the first place.
    Last edited by Hotdog60; 03-06-2019 at 08:53 PM.
    There are plenty of talented people in the world. As you already know, talent is not enough. Some of the athletes with the most potential never pan out. What separates the good from the great is determination and work ethic.

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  5. #4
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    In our history, we've probably had 20+ bad periods. In our history we've won two premierships. There's hope to turn things around, but statically at least, this is probably just another bad period. 2016 is the exception, not the rule based on our history. I do hope things aren't as dire as they seem to be and will be if there's no positive change.
    I drank the slab that Bon Scott drunk
    I injected some of Hendrixs junk
    I booked a seat on Lynyrd Skynyrds plane
    Mama Cass's sandwich? Ate the same

  6. #5
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog60 View Post
    This where the loss of Monty had a telling impact. He was there for the climb and left when the wheels had full momentum.
    Not afraid to tell some home truths even in public.
    So the main change from that time is him and we have gone backwards.
    It's only looking from the outside in and may be he had put himself in a place that couldn't be recovered but I think how different would thing have been if he was still at the club.
    It could have worse or maybe he would have kept the players focus and we may have had a second flag.
    Only inside the kennel know and Monty may have wanted to leave because he got over looked in the first place.
    He was disappointed to miss out on the main gig in 2014 (there were murmurings that he had been promised the job) but thankfully he hung around for nearly 2 years after Bevo's appointment because he is loyal and wanted to help the players and Bevo transition into the new coach's era. Surely he would have left at the end of 2014 if his nose was completely out of joint.

    He left just after the last H & A round in 2016 in order to prepare for any new coaching jobs that may have come up without the distraction of being involved full time (and they work a lot of hours) at a club.
    WOOF NUMBER 6

  7. #6
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog60 View Post
    This where the loss of Monty had a telling impact. He was there for the climb and left when the wheels had full momentum.
    Not afraid to tell some home truths even in public.
    So the main change from that time is him and we have gone backwards.
    It's only looking from the outside in and may be he had put himself in a place that couldn't be recovered but I think how different would thing have been if he was still at the club.
    It could have worse or maybe he would have kept the players focus and we may have had a second flag.
    Only inside the kennel know and Monty may have wanted to leave because he got over looked in the first place.
    I don’t think he was the ‘main change’ though of course a significant one. The staggering change is not the loss of one coach, surely it is that NINE premiership players are gone.
    Natural attrition/injury: M Boyd and, though a bit prematurely, Picken and the very unlucky Clay Smith
    Still playing elsewhere: Stringer, Dahlhaus, Roughead, Hamling.
    Mental illness: Boyd.
    God knows: the enigmatic Shane Biggs.
    Only two in their 30s and foreseeable. The inability to keep the core of that group together is one of the things that is most regrettable in my view.

    However, my main point is that the raw mix of talent in the group in 2014 as a whole did not have us salivating, but they were more talented AS A GROUP than we anticipated, with ‘lesser lights’ contributing in unforeseen ways. We did not have 22 stars out there, and you could make a case that our current list contains the same blend of unique talents, plodders that we think we know their ceiling but can thrive in a role given the chance, guys that still have immense potential. All is not lost, I think Bevo needs more support because like all coaches, he is in danger of becoming stuck in tracks of thinking and stick to them to the bitter end.
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

  8. #7
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Out of interest where is Monty now?

    I still hate seeing Stringer playing elsewhere. He was frustrating but he was - at times - worth the price of admission alone.

    Reality is we are rebuilding now and need more elite, exciting talent. Huge draft coming up - plenty of holes to fill, we are crying out for some raw exciting players to make footy fun again because we’ve been dull for 3 years now.

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  10. #8
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    I am going to remain half glass full at this stage.

    We have been competitive in most of our games this year, but faded in our loses when in a winning position in 5 games.

    The trip to WA remains a mystery, we have won one in 14 games over there, in fact we have only won 8 of 37.

    Yesterday was expected and I am not sure why many seemed surprised. Talk of sacking the coach and internal turmoil is just nonsense.

    We need to move on and see what we can do for the remainder of the year.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  12. #9
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    Out of interest where is Monty now?

    I still hate seeing Stringer playing elsewhere. He was frustrating but he was - at times - worth the price of admission alone.

    Reality is we are rebuilding now and need more elite, exciting talent. Huge draft coming up - plenty of holes to fill, we are crying out for some raw exciting players to make footy fun again because we’ve been dull for 3 years now.
    Port Adelaide I believe

  13. #10
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    I am going to remain half glass full at this stage.

    We have been competitive in most of our games this year, but faded in our loses when in a winning position in 5 games.

    The trip to WA remains a mystery, we have won one in 14 games over there, in fact we have only won 8 of 37.

    Yesterday was expected and I am not sure why many seemed surprised. Talk of sacking the coach and internal turmoil is just nonsense.

    We need to move on and see what we can do for the remainder of the year.
    Sanest post I have read. We are not that far away. We will finish lower half of the table and probably lower half of the bottom eight. The difference of this year to last year is that we are way more competitive than we were last year. Also we are competitive for longer and our best is closer to what it needs to be.

    Whilst we have had a better run with injuries than prior years losing T Boyd and the versatility he offers is a blow, not just for now, but also for the next 5 to 10 years, because he would be that player. Clay Smith is a tragedy. At 25 he should have been the midfield bull and half forward goal sneak that we are crying out for. Picko was a Brad Johnson clone in his ability to mark in the forward line. Deadly accurate kick as well. We wonder why we have dropped off the pace and haven't moved forward this year. These 3 guys alone guys you an answer.

    Maybe we weren't smart at the recruitment table, maybe we should have realised at the end of 2017 that Clay would never get back to his best or at the end of 18 that both Picko and Boyd were cooked, but I think that is simplifying the problems a little.

    The positives to me out of the West Coast game were the first 40 minutes. Our pressure levels and harassing of the Eagles had us on top. We just didn't capitalise and we allowed them too many easy goals.

    What would I like to see:

    1) a more defensive mindset from the whole team, with an emphasis on accountability and pressure;

    2) More care with kicking for goal - take a shot like your life depends on it; and

    3) More support for teammates, lay the shepherd, block the run

    To me this is where we are letting ourselves down.

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  15. #11
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by FrediKanoute View Post
    The difference of this year to last year is that we are way more competitive than we were last year. Also we are competitive for longer and our best is closer to what it needs to be.
    People forget that last year we went through some games without kicking a goal for the first half, or quarters without goals.

    The difference this year is players are now a little more experienced, but we need to get even more experience into these guys. On the weekend, West Coast had an average of 50 more games than us. Whilst this is not an excuse, what experience does is give you mature heads that can win back control of the game and steady the ship.

    We do have lot of deficiencies, particularly in the big man area, but I have no doubt the club has a plan with the recruitment of English, Naughton, Lew Young, Schache, Gardner. Once these guys mature, god help any team coming up against us.

    As Fredi has pointed out and MJP keeps telling us, we need to stop the goals against us with a better defensive system.

    I would like Bevo to work on defence and come up with an alternative plan to stop goals being kicked against us, whilst continue being an attacking side.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  16. #12
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    Port Adelaide I believe
    Yes defence coach at Port. Only started after the end of last season, not sure what he did in the previous 2 years?

  17. #13
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    I still hate seeing Stringer playing elsewhere. He was frustrating but he was - at times - worth the price of admission alone.
    Yeah I'm the same - I've heard some pretty cooked stuff about why he was booted that make me not wholly disagree with the decision, but a bigger part of me thinks that Jake wasn't the only unprofessional one in all of this. Part of being an effective man-manager is having the emotional intelligence to navigate conflicts, and Bevo (who I still love) has several black marks against his name in this respect.

    Also- it really really irritates me when talented players leaving the club is rationalised as a good thing based on something external to their ability (be it the return gotten (Dahlhaus), the equity achieved (Hamling), or the harmonious effect of being cleansed of their personality (Jake)). We still lose considerable talents in areas of need and replace them with nothing. These are all losses.

  18. #14
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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Days View Post
    Yeah I'm the same - I've heard some pretty cooked stuff about why he was booted that make me not wholly disagree with the decision, but a bigger part of me thinks that Jake wasn't the only unprofessional one in all of this. Part of being an effective man-manager is having the emotional intelligence to navigate conflicts, and Bevo (who I still love) has several black marks against his name in this respect.

    Also- it really really irritates me when talented players leaving the club is rationalised as a good thing based on something external to their ability (be it the return gotten (Dahlhaus), the equity achieved (Hamling), or the harmonious effect of being cleansed of their personality (Jake)). We still lose considerable talents in areas of need and replace them with nothing. These are all losses.
    My mum used to say "why cant we have nice things?" We seem to be hell bent on proving that we can't handle good things.
    WOOF NUMBER 6

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    Re: When things arenít always as they seem

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post
    Yes defence coach at Port. Only started after the end of last season, not sure what he did in the previous 2 years?
    Coaching at one of the private schools in Melbourne.

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