If the AFL were the NBA, the forwards for the Essendon Bombers would have to be all named LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, since the Dons’ forward line did nothing defensively in the 104 – 83 loss to the Western Bulldogs.
When your side cops criticism for desultory play against the Dogs, who are giving every indication of turning into pumpkins at the outset of the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition, it may be a wakeup call that needs to be answered and not routed straight to voicemail.
North Melbourne champion David King, appearing on AFL 360, referred to the forward line as “the walking dead.”
Allowing the Bulldogs to break their 2018 duck through lack of effort rendered King nearly apoplectic.
“When you go and have a look at the vision, I don’t know where they start,” King said. “It’s easy to sit back and say ‘what are they doing tactically? What’s the match committee doing? What’s John Worsfold doing?’ But when you see the lack of effort, and particularly defensively. The scoring profile of the AFL has changed — it’s a forward half game now. You’ve got to try and lock the ball in.”
The damning video evidence was a show of the Dons simply walking around aimlessly as the Bulldogs transitioned out of their defensive 50.
The chorus is demanding that Dons Coach John Worsfold needs to shake up the list.
“He (Worsfold) cannot pick that six again. He cannot. It’s about roles and standards — if you reward those guys with more opportunity, then shut the gate. That’s just well short of the mark.”
King believes that the Bulldogs have the talent on their list to put the premiership hangover from 2017 behind them, but that without the proper effort, no amount of talent will suffice to turn things around in 2018 and beyond.
King also expressed the opinion that moving Jake Stringer to the middle was a mistake of epic proportions.