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  1. #1
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    Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Tough week.

    Tough couple of weeks really. I obviously had a bad feeling going into the Essendon game - it just felt like "the club" thought we won the Geelong game even though Geelong were in charge for at least 80% of the contest...and sure, we were coming at the end but was that just because it was 'the end'...

    There is no doubt (to me) that the club is in need of a serious circuit breaker in order to break out of this rut of dispirited performances. It's not losing. I could actually care less about losing. But it's losing to WCE and Hawthorn late last year with a finals spot on the line. And yep, it's losing to the Bombers on a Friday night at Marvel with the chance to really grab the season by the neck. When you have games 'like this' (the one vs Essendon on Friday) you understand as a player that it's super important to be successful in order to set up the season...when you play in the way that we did, something is 'up'/'awry'/'insert swear word here' and needs to be addressed. Don't get me wrong, losing to Melbourne in Round 1 was bad. But most independent followers would have said Melbourne were better than us...Essendon though? That's a different story.

    Over the past few weeks the MC have done some stuff that *SHOULD* have sent a pretty strong message to the group. Macrae out. Daniel out. Dale sub. 3x 'core' members of the group. Decisions like that are not so much 'heard' but "FELT" by the playing group...and can't help but have an impact. Except when they don't. So what does that mean?

    It means either the players:

    1/. Don't understand why those players were left out of the side. As in, they know they are out (everyone can read a team-sheet), but based on what they have seen (at training/games) and heard (expectations, metrics) they don't know WHY they are out.

    2/. They don't care why and will continue to do what they do.

    I would never say 'sack the coach' - it's just not in me. But by their actions in the past 8-10 games in particular the players have sent a clear message that they are not listening...or if they are listening, that they basically do not care what is being said...I actually have no idea what else the club can do right now. The assistants have been changed around and the footy department re-structured. New voices have been added in (Egan, Geary) and given new roles. There have been changes to the leadership group. But nothing is different...and whilst I'm happy to say that I still don't think we are QUITE as good or that many of our players have the 'elite' attributes that a lot of other supporters seem too, well, we are a lot better than losses to Essendon, West Coast and Hawthorn within (I think) 7-games would indicate...

    If things are to remain 'as is' at the top, then things need to change significantly on the field. Make some UNCHARACTERISTIC moves:

    1/. Move Naughton back. It sends a message.
    2/. Put Richards into the mids. It sends a message.
    3/. Play Cleary. He can do no more. It sends a message.
    4/. Play Garcia. He can do no more. It sends a message.
    5/. Work out WHO the players think should be in...and PLAY THEM!!!
    ...
    Most of all - and I'm sure they're doing 'some' of this, but get the players to agree on some simple stuff relating to the game-plan...'cos surely to goodness they aren't buying in right now.
    ...
    I am at the point where I don't think this can be fixed without some kind of circuit breaker type change. It needs to be either FACILITATED by the coach or it needs to BE the coach.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

  2. #2
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Thanks mjp, some interesting insights.

    How can the coach reconcile making an onfield changes to help send a message if he doesn?t believe in them?

    Beveridge seems to be in a lose lose situation.
    More of an In Bruges guy?

  3. #3
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    mjp said “sack the coach” without saying “sack the coach”

  4. #4
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Can’t argue with any of that.

    I wonder if the leadership group have got together over the weekend and discussed how they can help improve things?

    Good loss to have in some ways. Can’t walk past this one.

    Going to be an interesting week.

    Media is getting stuck in now, including onto Bevo’s Brief, supporters are I sense a majority of “sack the coach” and with St Kilda and Freo away the next two weeks were now looking at 2-5.

  5. #5
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Dale, McRae, Daniel all worthy of spots in the AFL team but all lack intensity and desperation around the ball. I wonder if they are the qualities that Bev's looking for in Bramble, Gallaghar, Baker.

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  7. #6
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Bevo will never move Naughton back.

    He was asked and basically did the school teacher / disappointed parent thing. 'you know better'.

  8. #7
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Quote Originally Posted by D Mitchell View Post
    Dale, McRae, Daniel all worthy of spots in the AFL team but all lack intensity and desperation around the ball. I wonder if they are the qualities that Bev's looking for in Bramble, Gallaghar, Baker.
    I think you?re onto something here. Intensity is sadly lacking.

    Good post mjp, thought provoking. Agree playing Cleary and Garcia. Busslingers form in last vfl game says to me he is close to a debut too. If they are not up to it at least we?ll know. And if they are that?s a bonus.

  9. #8
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    good posts. I think I would like to see Naughton in the middle changing with Bont. Need Garcia as Libba replacement too. The Richard?s to midfield and Cleary as a back I don?t mind either. Let?s mix it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by josie View Post
    I think you?re onto something here. Intensity is sadly lacking.

    Good post mjp, thought provoking. Agree playing Cleary and Garcia. Busslingers form in last vfl game says to me he is close to a debut too. If they are not up to it at least we?ll know. And if they are that?s a bonus.

  10. #9
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    1. While we don't rotate hard enough in the middle, it signals that the coach doesn't "trust" everyone in the 23 to do the job. It leaves too much to be done by too few.

    2. I said it after the Essendon game that not all losses are the same. The Essendon loss was a spiritless loss, with some players just going through the motions.

    I don't think it's tactics, it's 'spirit' and 'belief' that are missing.
    I don't even know if we are asking the right question. It's not 'how do we get it back' but 'is it possible to get it back'? Right now, I'm not sure it is.

    We weren't ready in round 1. We weren't ready on Friday night. Hawks and West Coast jumped us last year. Teams with spirit don;t put in those performances.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  12. #10
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Quote Originally Posted by D Mitchell View Post
    Dale, McRae, Daniel all worthy of spots in the AFL team but all lack intensity and desperation around the ball. I wonder if they are the qualities that Bev's looking for in Bramble, Gallaghar, Baker.
    Macrae brought intelligence around the ball. Almost all his possessions resulted in teammates getting opportunities. Critical attribute that most seemed to lack.

  13. #11
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    I was at the game on friday night, and what shocked me most was our players completely dropping the bundle in the 3rd quarter.

    I get it they had some some shocking free kicks , which netted 4 goals and more to the Bombers, but the players had to be better than that and play a more disciplined football.

    first 2 mins of this analysis highlights some very selfish play, just kicking long without looking up to the leading players.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot_N61n6eYA

    I think that added to a lot of the frustration the players had.

    The club should ask the please explain on some of the terrible umpire decisions.

    JOD gets smashed in the face and the umpires ignored it.
    Draper pushes Darcy in the back, takes him out of the ruck
    English gets pushed in the back whilst in front, turnover which resulted in Bombbers goal
    Stringer dumps Libba in a dangerous tackle.

    These are just some utter putrid missed umpiring .

    I cant recall someone got a arm over the back, which resulted in a free kic in the Bombers fwd line. Th eumpires should just let it but they seemed to ping our players severely for something that was soft as. I reckon there must be some sort of betting odds conspiracy going on , to allow Essendon to be infront by half time, or the stats to be in their favour.

    When our team is under pressure , the players just drop their bundle collectively. JOD kicking to JJ down back, and the kick drops in front of him, Essendon players tackle him. That was the worst moment of the game I thought. It was like conceding defeat.
    Last edited by macca; 14-04-2024 at 07:05 PM.

  14. #12
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    Tough week.

    Tough couple of weeks really. I obviously had a bad feeling going into the Essendon game - it just felt like "the club" thought we won the Geelong game even though Geelong were in charge for at least 80% of the contest...and sure, we were coming at the end but was that just because it was 'the end'...

    There is no doubt (to me) that the club is in need of a serious circuit breaker in order to break out of this rut of dispirited performances. It's not losing. I could actually care less about losing. But it's losing to WCE and Hawthorn late last year with a finals spot on the line. And yep, it's losing to the Bombers on a Friday night at Marvel with the chance to really grab the season by the neck. When you have games 'like this' (the one vs Essendon on Friday) you understand as a player that it's super important to be successful in order to set up the season...when you play in the way that we did, something is 'up'/'awry'/'insert swear word here' and needs to be addressed. Don't get me wrong, losing to Melbourne in Round 1 was bad. But most independent followers would have said Melbourne were better than us...Essendon though? That's a different story.

    Over the past few weeks the MC have done some stuff that *SHOULD* have sent a pretty strong message to the group. Macrae out. Daniel out. Dale sub. 3x 'core' members of the group. Decisions like that are not so much 'heard' but "FELT" by the playing group...and can't help but have an impact. Except when they don't. So what does that mean?

    It means either the players:

    1/. Don't understand why those players were left out of the side. As in, they know they are out (everyone can read a team-sheet), but based on what they have seen (at training/games) and heard (expectations, metrics) they don't know WHY they are out.

    2/. They don't care why and will continue to do what they do.

    I would never say 'sack the coach' - it's just not in me. But by their actions in the past 8-10 games in particular the players have sent a clear message that they are not listening...or if they are listening, that they basically do not care what is being said...I actually have no idea what else the club can do right now. The assistants have been changed around and the footy department re-structured. New voices have been added in (Egan, Geary) and given new roles. There have been changes to the leadership group. But nothing is different...and whilst I'm happy to say that I still don't think we are QUITE as good or that many of our players have the 'elite' attributes that a lot of other supporters seem too, well, we are a lot better than losses to Essendon, West Coast and Hawthorn within (I think) 7-games would indicate...

    If things are to remain 'as is' at the top, then things need to change significantly on the field. Make some UNCHARACTERISTIC moves:

    1/. Move Naughton back. It sends a message.
    2/. Put Richards into the mids. It sends a message.
    3/. Play Cleary. He can do no more. It sends a message.
    4/. Play Garcia. He can do no more. It sends a message.
    5/. Work out WHO the players think should be in...and PLAY THEM!!!
    ...
    Most of all - and I'm sure they're doing 'some' of this, but get the players to agree on some simple stuff relating to the game-plan...'cos surely to goodness they aren't buying in right now.
    ...
    I am at the point where I don't think this can be fixed without some kind of circuit breaker type change. It needs to be either FACILITATED by the coach or it needs to BE the coach.
    A thought provoking post but I’m interested in your reasons for the bolded bit. Why would the players self interest/ defensiveness about their mates be used to determine when should happen? I actually have an uneasy feeling that these traits are what’s causing our malaise.

    I feel from your post that you would believe the suggestions people have followed up with below, are not the radical change you’re implying. I feel Bevo has backed himself into a corner with a mindset that is going to make change very hard. You just know he won’t put Naughton back unless all our defenders go down with injury. Sometimes I wonder if the 2016 flag came too early for Bevo (though obviously not for the rest of us) and has given him a stubborn sense of his own rightness no matter what.

    The bit of your post that most struck me, was linking the hawthorn, W.C., Melb and Essendon losses. You could add in the 2021 late season brain fade matches that cost us top 4 and consigned us to a travel nightmare, and the insipid performances in the GWS and St Kilda finals. It’s all trending to a realisation that is painful but very damning to Bevo. I really wish now we’d pulled the trigger at the end of last year. I hoped so much that change would come through the extra support around him but watching the unacceptable effort on Friday I just don’t see that the pattern won’t continue.
    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

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  16. #13
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danjul View Post
    Macrae brought intelligence around the ball. Almost all his possessions resulted in teammates getting opportunities. Critical attribute that most seemed to lack.
    I don't see Macrae fumble often, would be interesting to see his clanger stats. I think he just has good balance and very calm under pressure.

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  18. #14
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Good points and things the match committee will undoubtably be examining.

    But it may be a bit early to be going there yet.

    Everyone has noticed a new game plan, but it is still a game plan in the making and old habits die hard. It takes time to implement a new game style.

    There are some other factors as well. Melbourne had a game under the belt when we played them. We were much better the next week. Also we hit the bombers after two six day breaks in a row. It may be fatigue rather than being dispirited.

    This may just be excuses I am making to cover over deeper problems, but I think it is too early in the season to say just yet.

  19. #15
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    Re: Are there answers? And if there are, where can you find them?

    Quote Originally Posted by The bulldog tragician View Post
    A thought provoking post but I’m interested in your reasons for the bolded bit. Why would the players self interest/ defensiveness about their mates be used to determine when should happen? I actually have an uneasy feeling that these traits are what’s causing our malaise.
    Because the players have to play.

    It's all very well saying coaches coach and players play (and I have said that) but something is awry. To me the fact that the dropping of Macrae and Daniel and demotion of Dale to sub has not brought a reaction of ANY sort points pretty clearly at the fact that the group thinks that those are not the decisions that need to be made...the players 100% need to feel supported by the coaches/feel that they are all in it together. Their game day performances make me think there is a disconnect between what is happening selection wise vs the messaging.

    For example - if the decision on Dale was related to (guessing) lack of defensive engagement off the ball and that was an issue that had been hightlighted by the coaches...the players would take the "well, that's fair enough" approach when he was left out. I don't believe for a second that they would be worried about their mates...they would be HARD on their mates if they weren't doing the right thing and eventually would be "yeah, I love that guy but he has to follow the same rules as the rest of us...".

    Again, the famous example of Ross Lyon dropping Nick Dal Santo sprrings to mind. Ross insisted the players defend. He got 30+ and didn't defend. Ross dropped him. The rest of the group said 'fair enough' and it took Dal Santo a couple of weeks to get back in...

    In his absence - the Saints were UNITED and WON.

    We have been the opposite...
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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