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  1. #1
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    Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

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    The Western Bulldogs have probably had the strangest decade in the AFL out of any other team.

    They went from being an average side to an exciting young team that won a flag in 2016, to becoming an average side once again before making another push for glory in 2021, making the Grand Final and at one point having a strong grip on the cup.

    Whilst the Dogs still possess loads of talent, they're likely to endure a significant drop in 2023.

    Luke Beveridge's side had an extremely disappointing end to the 2022 season, blowing a 42-3 lead against the Dockers in the Elimination Final after just sneaking into the eight.

    Since then, the Bulldogs' list team has been forced to make changes over the off-season.

    Despite the additions of key forward Rory Lobb and exiled key defender Liam Jones, the Footscray-based side has lost their best and fairest from 2022 in Josh Dunkley whilst also losing premiership winger Lachie Hunter to the Dees.

    With that all said, we discuss why the Dogs may be in for a poor year and one that could see them as low as the bottom six.

    The Beveridge bother

    Luke Beveridge will forever be known for bringing together a group of seemingly underaged players to glory in 2016.
    However, since then, he has generally had a hard time of it as coach, often criticised for poor decisions on the field.
    Even more critically, Beveridge and his coaching staff have found it difficult to retain star players.

    Over the last few years alone, the Dogs have lost premiership players Josh Dunkley, Luke Dahlhaus, Jake Stringer and Lachie Hunter, with questions raised over the relationships they had with their coach.

    Further theories suggest there is an issue with Beveridge's character at the club, something that often filters down to the players and ultimately affects player performance.

    Cultural complications


    As aforementioned, poor relationships between some players and the coach are likely to eventually trickle down to players.

    And based on what past players have mentioned, there seems to be a significant issue at Whitten Oval.
    With culture now such a significant part of a football club and a huge indicator of success, a poor culture is the last thing Luke Beveridge and his side needs.

    Elucidating the importance of culture was the Richmond dynasty from 2017-2020, where players were often seen laughing and messing about before games and hanging out as friends off the field.

    The Dunkley dilemma


    Whilst Dunkley's comments about the culture at Whitten Oval are concerning, perhaps an even greater concern is the fact that the Dogs have lost their best player last year.
    On a side that has always been a strong contested ball and clearance team, losing one of their best hard-ball players could have a major impact on Luke Beveridge's system.

    One area that was a major weakness for the Bulldogs last year was their tackling, an area where they ranked 14th in the competition.

    For a team that has a relatively poor backline, a lack of pressure means easier entries into the opposition's forward 50 and hence more goals.

    Most pivotally, Dunkley was by far the best tackler for the Western Bulldogs last season, averaging in excess of six tackles a game, ranking 11th in the entire competition.

    Whilst there are plenty of other star midfielders in their team, they don't have someone with the same tenacity or presence that Dunkley has.

    Filling in the gaps


    Unfortunately for Beveridge and his side, the Bulldogs have far too many positions where they have a limited amount of stock on offer.

    The most glaring of these is their batch of small defenders, which appears far too aggressive.

    In fact, their backline as a whole looks a bit shaky despite the addition of Liam Jones, who was great for the Blues but hasn't played professional football for close to 18 months.

    Without him last year, the Bulldogs conceded the most points out of any side in the top 11 and at times were unable to stop surges of goals at a time.

    Tough Start


    With a lot of change in and around the club, the last thing that Beveridge and his side will be wanting is a poor start to the season.

    However, with their first six games against the Demons (A), St Kilda (H), Brisbane (H), Richmond (A), Port Adelaide (A) and Fremantle (in Adelaide), a subpar beginning to the season looks well and truly on the cards.

    In fact, of those, the Bulldogs are likely to go in as underdogs in five of those six games and are by no means a certainty against the Saints.

    With an allegedly clicky culture and the potential for a really poor start, the Dogs look to be vulnerable in 2023.
    FFC: Established 1883

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  2. #2
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Worst article ever. That person should be forced to eat a print out of it in Barkly St.

    Thanks for share though !

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  4. #3
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    I read this and decided not to bother posting here because it is absolute garbage unworthy of our fine website. The author should be a gossip columnist.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    The Dunkley point was reasonable, and the fixture. The rest is trash padding.

    Had an idea, tried to make it work. Failed.

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  8. #5
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post
    I read this and decided not to bother posting here because it is absolute garbage unworthy of our fine website. The author should be a gossip columnist.
    I can delete it if you want, but worth also putting up negative articles for discussion.

    Many flaws in his article including guessing about culture, saying Dunks was our best player, (cough, cough Bont) no one with tenacity like Dunks (Libba says hello).
    FFC: Established 1883

    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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  10. #6
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    I can delete it if you want, but worth also putting up negative articles for discussion.

    Many flaws in his article including guessing about culture, saying Dunks was our best player, (cough, cough Bont) no one with tenacity like Dunks (Libba says hello).
    No, it's fine, not having a go at you, just emphasizing what a steaming turd that article is.

    If he wants to write an opinion piece about how he thinks we will tumble down the ladder, fine. But perhaps do some research and don't present fanciful rumours and innuendo as fact.

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  12. #7
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    The Dunkley point was reasonable, and the fixture. The rest is trash padding.

    Had an idea, tried to make it work. Failed.
    To think a Greek wrote that trash. We have a reputation for intelligence and sophistication to uphold dammit!
    Last edited by Sedat; 22-02-2023 at 12:20 PM.
    "Look at me mate. Look at me. I'm flyin'"

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  14. #8
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Whilst there is a lot of guess work in the article (about the culture) there are a couple of points that I sort of agree on:

    1/ Mid-sized defenders - can/will they defend? I'm concerned about the ability of this group (Richards, Dale & Duryea) to defend.

    2/ Tackling - our turnover game has been awful and losing our best tackler (Dunkley) doesn't help in this area. Hoping we defend the ground better in 2023.

    And we do have a very tough start to the year... but if our attitude is right, we will be in the mix for a top 4 spot... but if its half arsed, and with the competition very even it could very easily be a tough year.

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  16. #9
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    He's not wrong.

    Cultural questions - we've all asked them. Dunks comments - we all wonder what the truth is about the culture and what is 'WRONG' ('cos it often looks like something is wrong). Bevo is a unique talent as a coach but he DOES do some things that drive all of us crazy - when I posted a thread about this with a poll the responses were many and varied. We ARE skinny for small defenders and goodness knows what's gonna happen if Doc is out for an extended time (and he's getting old so that is highly likely). We DO have a tough draw to start the season.

    Hell - he could have added in "what are they thinking with that forward line", "Do they have any idea what they will get from Rory Lobb or Liam Jones", "Is Tim English EVER going to deliver on his promise in a game that matters" and "Is there any chance that Alex Keath returns to 2021 form 'cos they darn well need him". And on top of that, he could have added in the David King "They still don't have a true intercept player on their list" angle as well.

    Plus, he used the word "Elucidating" - that's a 50-cent word in ANY article.

    If you think we will slide, there are a lot of reasons why it could happen...
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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  18. #10
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    As aforementioned, poor relationships between some players and the coach are likely to eventually trickle down to players.
    So what do we reckon, was this written by ChatGPT or a primary schooler?
    - I'm a visionary - Only here to confirm my biases -

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  20. #11
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Days View Post
    So what do we reckon, was this written by ChatGPT or a primary schooler?
    Ask if it would use a slur to stop an atomic bomb. That's that only surefire way I'm aware of to know if it's a chatbot

  21. #12
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    To think a Greek wrote that trash. We have a reputation of intelligence and sophistication to uphold dammit!
    Thats why this Irishman married a Greek for her beauty and she is very intelligent, winning David Hume award as top 1st year philosophy student haha. Divorced but friends still.
    Two out of three kids are FFC members

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  23. #13
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    He's not wrong.

    Cultural questions - we've all asked them. Dunks comments - we all wonder what the truth is about the culture and what is 'WRONG' ('cos it often looks like something is wrong). Bevo is a unique talent as a coach but he DOES do some things that drive all of us crazy - when I posted a thread about this with a poll the responses were many and varied. We ARE skinny for small defenders and goodness knows what's gonna happen if Doc is out for an extended time (and he's getting old so that is highly likely). We DO have a tough draw to start the season.

    Hell - he could have added in "what are they thinking with that forward line", "Do they have any idea what they will get from Rory Lobb or Liam Jones", "Is Tim English EVER going to deliver on his promise in a game that matters" and "Is there any chance that Alex Keath returns to 2021 form 'cos they darn well need him". And on top of that, he could have added in the David King "They still don't have a true intercept player on their list" angle as well.

    Plus, he used the word "Elucidating" - that's a 50-cent word in ANY article.

    If you think we will slide, there are a lot of reasons why it could happen...
    The article is trash not because of the assertion that we might slide (it's definitely a possibility) but because the majority of what he wrote is generic surface level and generalisations (small defenders is the only really relevant question asked) and doesn't ask enough genuinely interesting and important questions, of which there are many and varied (ie: the bolded bits).

    I would add the midfield mix and our propenslty to be bees to the honeypot last year (much like Melbourne were in 2020) - losing Dunks is related but that isn't a cultural issue, it is midfield player type/depth and coaching. The English question is the most important one IMO - if he breaks out in 2023 as a proper bonafide elite stoppage ruckman, we massively benefit in so many different ways. If it is more of the same non-competitive efforts at stoppage from him against the better rucks in the competition (as the last 4 years), we will find it awfully difficult to compete against the best teams in the business, let alone hold our ground mid-table. There are so many important and interesting questions about our prospects in 2023 that weren't even touched on at all by this author.
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  25. #14
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    There are so many important and interesting questions about our prospects in 2023 that weren't even touched on at all by this author.
    Nail on the head.

    Will be an interesting season.
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    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  26. #15
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    Re: Why the Bulldogs will take a tumble in 2023

    You could write this about any team. Melbourne's forwardline for example, losing Dogga to Freo etc.
    Their capitulation in both finals last year.

    I wasn't aware that we had a cultural issue at the club and that it may trickle down to the players. Is there really something wrong? Getting rid of Stringer and Hunter were the right calls, they were toxic personalities, harsh but true. Dunkley went for money and Dahlhaus, who cares, he went home.

    Surprised he didn't focus on Treloar wanting in, Lobb wanting in, Jones wanting to come back, Duryea wanting in and Alex Keath wanting in through those stages as well.

    More importantly though are the signings. Our genuine superstars have bought into Bevo's message and are sticking together. Doesn't sound like something is rotten at the kennel at all.

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