Sunday, August 22, 2010

Who Will It Be Now?

We wake up this morning in a world of uncertainty.  We don't know whether we'll be 'moving forward' with Julia Gillard, or whether we will get 'real action' with Tony Abbott. When I arrived at the polling office yesterday, (office? OK, school hall) I asked the official there who I should vote for.  He laughed, and told me he had no idea as they were both stinkers.  This really has been the 'who really cares who gets in' election.

There are more pressing matters.

It's another morning where I still don't know who will coach Essendon next year. We've had enough of the whole 'Matthew Knights has a contract and has the support of the board' rhetoric - which in football, as in politics, often indicates he's not long for the job. And then the whole James Hird announcing his interest, only to completely backflip two days later.  Did someone at the club tell him to keep quiet because plans are afoot? James on board as assistant for three years with a seasoned coach before he gets the main gig?

And on top of that Essendon fans, and myself personally, have been accused of a number of things this week.  We've been told that:
  1. We're so used to winning we just can't handle losing.
  2. We're not getting Sheedy back, so get over it.
  3. We had it in for who-ever replaced Sheeds, so grow up
  4. We need to give Knights time.
OK, I'm game - I'll respond to those.

1: In many ways, the 27 years under Sheedy was very frustrating. OK, we won four premierships  - which fans at other clubs would consider successful, but with the teams, money and talent we had, we should have won at least two more. And we don't think losing is the end of the world. After all, we had ten years of being stuck two-thirds of the way down the ladder. We fought to remain there. Maybe we should have tanked, and had a better playing list than we have now.

2: We weren't happy with the way that Sheedy was dumped, but many of us felt that he should have left five years or more before he did. I was rather pleased he went. And no, most of us don't want him back.

3: I've been told they interviewed Hardwick, Harvey - even Bomber Thompson was spoken to - but for whatever reason they decided to rush and give the job to Knights. (I am quite glad they didn't get Voss.) Someone who had been underwhelmingly unsuccessful as an Assistant at AFL level, and as a coach at VFL level. No, we were mystified by the decision, but the results (or lack of) have spoken for themselves.

4: Knights has had three years.  His win ratio has fallen, he still alienates the fans (and, I believe a number of players too), and still seems to have no real strategies or game plans. He hasn't proven himself, hasn't shown any leadership, hasn't shown the least bit of hope, and seems to be in complete denial about his lack of vision. "Score enough goals and we won't have to defend" is not a game plan.

Who will be in charge next year?  Mark Williams doesn't excite me, James Hird (prove yourself as an assistant first) is unknown, and great players don't necessarily make great coaches),  I don't know much about Laidley and I'm not really sure who else is available.

But it's time for Knights to go. And for us to get an experienced coach with leadership.

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