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Thread: Sharp Axes

  1. #1
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    Sharp Axes

    Going to put some caveats here because the topic is unpleasant and previous iterations of the discussion across different platforms I’ve felt haven’t always been respectful between posters.

    1. Bevo is a good person, I appreciate his contributions to the club.
    2. I’d prefer to not be in a position where someone’s job security was being discussed
    3. I don’t have a crystal ball to determine what’s next.


    Now, with that out of the way, folk are welcome to hand wave this off as an emotional reaction and not participate, or you can help me find some balance in my position and what a reasonable expectation is.


    I have wanted Bevo sacked since 2018. For me, I feel like I’ve seen enough from him when he is travelling well, when he is struggling and how we manages his relationships. I feel like I know what I am going to get. Part of what we are getting is performances like last night, in big games. Part of what we are going to get is a finish outside the top four.

    I was happy enough with the decision to extend him as it seemed a good option to mitigate any risk of his tenure and contract status becoming a distraction in 2023 and narrows the focus a little so the players and footy department can get cracking in what seemed to be a fresh look at things over summer. We’ve certainly dine and said a bit to have had me feeling bullish.

    In 1994 we sacked Wheeler in R2, I can’t recall the details explicitly, because I was a kid. That seems an extraordinary move to me. I’d like Kylie Watson Wheeler, Chris Grant and Ameet Baines to meet today and do the same with Bevo in 2023.

    My question, I suppose is, at what point are you going to step across from backing, to sacking Bevo? If at all?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    Thanks SoS, I know this is a difficult topic to discuss and I know this is a topic close to your heart. We have differing views but I respect yours.

    I have to address the removal of Wheeler in my response and I'd like to think we've come a long way since 1994 as a club and a society and in particular the way our club embraces their position within the AFL competition.

    From my recollection (and as luck would have it I was often at the club in the week or two leading up to the sacking) and I'm not sure our actions back in 1994 were correct then. Wheeler challenged with getting us competitive early in the season to help membership sales came up short and tensions were at a flashpoint between him and a more confrontation and inexperienced Peter Gordon at the time before Gordo pulled the trigger. I might add some more on this later.

    Regarding Bevo position at the club, well I'm not in the camp that Bevo has a position for life if you know what I mean but I'm firmly entrenched in that notion that he is the right person for the job now and that sacking coaches especially so early in the season is essentially a mugs game.

    We have to have lofty ambitions for the season and backing the coach, the footy department and the board are all essential pieces to having a strong season. We also enter this season with a very good playing list and I don't believe it's overrated as some have suggested.

    We must however make the finals and accepting anything less without some extenuating circumstances being evident is not something our club or supporters should accept.

    So to answer your question if it gets to something like round 17 and we aren't in a position to make the finals I'm open to exploring options but making change for the sake of change isn't necessarily a blueprint for success. That said I think there is a lot of potentially good coaches to consider.

    I'm backing Bevo and I'm chips in on that position but I know things move quickly in this competition and if you are standing still you are effectively going backwards. We can't accept a backward step.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  5. #3
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    Appreciate the insight re: Wheeler. I recall PG mentioning in an interview something along the lines of he’d like to run that one back and handle it better.

    I reckon most will feel really comfortable with your position and even though I am taking the other position, it’s certainly a more reasonable and respectful course of action!

    My gut feeling when we extended Bevo was that he’ll see out 1 of the two years. If that’s how it’s going to go, I’d move now and buy time for the incumbent.

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    Re: Sharp Axes

    I get that last night was a poor performance and that there have been many similar performances under Bevo’s watch, but he is also the first coach in our history to take us to two GFs. Now for that to happen means either one of two things:

    a) we are bloody lucky or
    b) Bevo can coach

    For mine it is definitely option B. Bevo is always trying to change things up and find that point of difference based on the personnel we have available. He was able to do that once and nearly pulled it off a 2nd time. He is definitely trying something different with a ‘four headed monster’ approach. Will it work? Who knows but we need to give him time to work this out and how to take advantage of our roster. Even last night there were glimpses of this working - midway through the 2nd we could have been 20+ points except for poor conversion. Once again our biggest issue is momentum swings and letting the opposition get on a roll. The biggest issue is that Bevo is slow in addressing this issue during a game (maybe we don’t have the personnel).

    I get the frustration and if we are in a poor position come the mid point of the season then I think questioning Bevo’s position is relevant, however sacking a coach after game 1 is just the worst decision a club can make. We would be at rock bottom with zero upside. The mood and culture of the club would change in an instant. We really need to back him in.

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    Re: Sharp Axes

    I get the angst SOS, however it’s too early; although I’m certainly thinking if this season is a bust it’s time to look at a refresh at the coaching level.

    Bont will be 28, it’s kind of now or never with him and we really don’t have a lot of quality young mids.

    Having said that if we get pummelled by the Aints I might join you in the lynch mob !

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    Re: Sharp Axes

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    I get the angst SOS, however it’s too early; although I’m certainly thinking if this season is a bust it’s time to look at a refresh at the coaching level.

    Bont will be 28, it’s kind of now or never with him and we really don’t have a lot of quality young mids.

    Having said that if we get pummelled by the Aints I might join you in the lynch mob !
    He’ll have ground down those nice new chompers if things go that way. I really hope they don’t.

    I think the Bont is a factor in my position too. I feel like we’re wasting the absolute best player we’ve ever had pull on the jumper. We’re in a race against time to squeeze that juice for all it’s worth. Bevo has wasted too much of that time already. Where’s the urgency.

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  13. #7
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    I was not a fan of us re-signing him after the disastrous 2022 season, he did not earn that contract extension and frankly making him sweat a little would of shown us exactly where he stood, would he innovate and change to keep us in pace with the rest of the competition or would he continue down the same 2022 path?

    Last night was enough to me to see that his chosen to stick with the same, boring to watch, excruciating 2022 game style, I saw nothing new, no flashes of different game styles, honestly I don’t even know what our game style is anymore? We aren’t a great team to watch anymore and that’s fairly evident with the AFL taking us off so many prime time spots.

    Big thanks to Bevo for all his done, but I get the feeling the game has gone past him, teams are constantly adapting and approving and honestly after last night it feels like we have regressed even more.

    I don’t know what the answer is but I honestly feel like this team is wasted right now with a very uneven list, bad coaching and honestly little to no on field leadership.
    "Its always good to win the Ashes test match'' - Libba, AFL Grand Final, 2016

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  15. #8
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    I've lost patience with Bevo. Last night was hugely disappointing just purely based on our defensive efforts/tactics. We made plenty of skill errors so we will be better for the run & clearly we made an error of only playing the one practise game. We were clearly rattled after the burst of goals in that 2nd quarter.

    The glaring problem is Bevos anti-defense tactics. Not being able to defend the centre square has been an issue for 2 years & that has not been improved on from last nights evidence. Last year our team defence was a horror show. We were the worst team without the footy last year & on last nights showing it looks the same. Our defenders don't defend a man but space & with little to no pressure up the ground then its easy pickings for any midfielder.

    How long does it take to put tactics in place to fix this? Is it in Bevo's wheelhouse to fix it?
    I'm in the camp that while Bont is still going we need to be all in every year. if we are serious then these tactics are unacceptable. Go all out on the best defensive assistant or something cause what you're doing Bevo is not working.

    We'll beat the mid & lower teams but the serious contenders will just smack us like they have been. Thats what i got from round 1.

    Another thing was our initial response to taking a mark is to go back instead of play on & take the game on. We play a boring & predictable style. We have the players to be far more adventurous.

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    Re: Sharp Axes

    All great points raised, and I respect the angst, but I am not in the camp to sack coach so early in the season.

    We need to address the ROOT problems in our performance and find a way to stop teams when they get a run on.

    Look at Collingwood on friday night how they stayed in the game whilst dirty Cats had favorable frees and run on, they were 22 points down at one stage.

    Maybe its in the players heads, they dropped their bundle when game gets beyond 4 goals ?

    Maybe we are not fit enough?

    Maybe teams have worked out our game plan ?

    Maybe we really don't have the right players on our list to cover gaps ? Recuriting Lobb, Baker and Jones into the team did not make us a better team against Melbourne last night. I know Jones got injured but the point is, there are gaps on our list.

    We are lacking a power mid, Melbourne of Petracca and Oliver, who are absolutely phenomenal with their ability to break tackles , accelerate and just hold onto the play. Langdon( TOG 89%) is severely underrated , and with Hunter ( TOG 87%) there, they have 2 wingman who can run all day. Smith is the only one I see who can fill that position. Can West fill that role ? He was a mid in his junior days, but we play him as a forward.

    interesting stat I just saw, 100% TOG :
    Tomlinson, Lever and Petty

    Top 4 TOG:

    Bruce , 96
    Lobb. 95
    Keath, 95
    Richards. 89

    https://www.afl.com.au/afl/matches/4791#player-stats

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  19. #10
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    Quote Originally Posted by anfo27 View Post
    We have the players to be far more adventurous.
    100%

    We play such a joyless, uncertain style of footy. It’s been a frequent flavour to match day since 2018 and I am comfortable in putting that in the coach’s shoulders.

  20. #11
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    Quote Originally Posted by macca View Post
    All great points raised, and I respect the angst, but I am not in the camp to sack coach so early in the season.

    We need to address the ROOT problems in our performance and find a way to stop teams when they get a run on.

    Look at Collingwood on friday night how they stayed in the game whilst dirty Cats had favorable frees and run on, they were 22 points down at one stage.

    Maybe its in the players heads, they dropped their bundle when game gets beyond 4 goals ?

    Maybe we are not fit enough?

    Maybe teams have worked out our game plan ?

    Maybe we really don't have the right players on our list to cover gaps ? Recuriting Lobb, Baker and Jones into the team did not make us a better team against Melbourne last night. I know Jones got injured but the point is, there are gaps on our list.

    We are lacking a power mid, Melbourne of Petracca and Oliver, who are absolutely phenomenal with their ability to break tackles , accelerate and just hold onto the play. Langdon( TOG 89%) is severely underrated , and with Hunter ( TOG 87%) there, they have 2 wingman who can run all day. Smith is the only one I see who can fill that position. Can West fill that role ? He was a mid in his junior days, but we play him as a forward.

    interesting stat I just saw, 100% TOG :
    Tomlinson, Lever and Petty

    Top 4 TOG:

    Bruce , 96
    Lobb. 95
    Keath, 95
    Richards. 89

    https://www.afl.com.au/afl/matches/4791#player-stats
    Appreciate the response and the questions you raise are worth pondering. Addressing even a few and perhaps I am not calling for his head. I feel like a coach with his experience and time under his belt, we shouldn’t be asking so many of those questions though, we should know.

    When would you be ringing the alarm bells? That’s the thing I am most curious about. We’ve had some frustrating seasons, but have stuck fat so far.

  21. #12
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    If we don’t make finals this year I believe Bevo will be in strife . But will good coaches be around and ready to go . Do we go experienced or a new one ? I do believe there is no excuse to not make top 6 this year accept the dreaded injury ridden club.
    Bring back the biff

  22. #13
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    Quote Originally Posted by macca View Post

    Maybe its in the players heads, they dropped their bundle when game gets beyond 4 goals ?
    I'm happy to blame anyone and everyone...but you can't coach effort.

    The continued capitulations are exhausting...I was happy to go with the 'Dunks and Hunter have been/are a distraction and an unhappy playing group cannot/will not fight the fight when the chips are down' storyline...

    But now what?

    All I have heard/read all pre-season is how 'together' we are. Yet last night we run around like no-one has met one another - let alone trusts them to help with ANYTHING - either attack or defend...the think about a team is you have to be predictable to one another - with ball in hand and when defending. Who watches us play and thinks: "There is a group with a unified purpose"....

    Honestly - I just don't think the playing group cares about being 'great' - or even good. They - and I've said this before - care about their numbers and being selected and wearing their polo shirts around like every good AFL footballer does. But the whole thing where they need to bleed for it and commit to 'DO' something together, something of 'note' - well, that is way down the priority list.

    Following the team is exhausting because it really feels like we have heard the same song EVERY YEAR since the premiership...I guess you could exclude 2021 in a lot of ways but - from a supporters perspective (and as I said in the 'other' thread), 2021 'SUCKED' - and if Dry Rot is out there yes I did just quote myself and yes that should be a $2 fine.

    Do I think we have the wrong coach? Maybe. Do I think we have (overall) the wrong 'team' leading the side - Coaches, AC's, Captain, Leadership group? Yeah - I 100% do. Something is wrong and has been for a long time. It's been wrong for so long that I'm not exactly sure anyone on the inside is in a great position to identify exactly WHAT it is...
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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  24. #14
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    Honestly - I just don't think the playing group cares about being 'great' - or even good. They - and I've said this before - care about their numbers and being selected and wearing their polo shirts around like every good AFL footballer does. But the whole thing where they need to bleed for it and commit to 'DO' something together, something of 'note' - well, that is way down the priority list.
    I've often wondered who our 'scrappers' are. They guys who are barely talented enough to play football but do everything in their power to make it. The guys who were overlooked for years before getting their chance. The guy who puts his teammate on notice if they cut any corners.
    The Matthew Boyd playing Frankston 2nds as a 19 year old. The Liam Picken freezing his arse off in the middle of winter at Williamstown.
    The 22 year old Tory Dickson running around Noble Park. Tim Callan in the same boat for mine - delisted by Geelong, never made a rep squad as a junior, etc

    Harvey G was overlooked in his draft year and I like that selection, but who else by their mere presence sharpens up the guys who came through the regular pathway?
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  26. #15
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    Re: Sharp Axes

    I'm in the not sack camp and I would let him coach out his contract.
    In saying that if we faulter this year then we would need to do our homework and look at options for when the contract expires.
    Bevo has been our most successful Finals coach since Charlie Sutton and there have been some very lean times in between that time with Rocket getting us close but not close enough.
    On the other side is it the coach or the cattle his given Power has done a great job with the list but has he done well with the foot soldiers the guys that make up 70% of the team.
    We have some star players but do they have the help they need to make them look better.
    We been picking up rejects and suspect VFL players for the last few years and maybe we should have been drafting kids that you can mould rather than players who have had their chance and bring the inherent flaws they have had from the beginning.
    It may not always be the coach and this may sound like a bad workman blaming his tools but have we been buying the right tools for the job.
    Don't piss off old people
    The older we get the less "LIFE IN PRISON" is a deterrent...

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