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Round 5: Questions with no answers

Good Friday, 2018: Walking out of the stadium, my thought process is something along the lines of not sure how good North are, but I definitely know St Kilda are a bad side.

Good Friday, 2019: Walking out of the stadium, my thought process is something along the lines of not sure how good Essendon are, but I definitely know North…

I’m sure you can guess the rest.


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Let’s continue the theme of looking back. The final sentence of last week’s post:

“Playing fast against Essendon would lead to a massacre, and some kind of Good Friday/Jesus joke that I’m not quite smart enough to put together.”

And now the words of Brad Scott on how the game was played:

“The game got turned into a defensive 50 transition game.”

Transition = fast, transition = open. The final score was 58 points in Essendon’s favour. And I’m still not smart enough to put the pieces of that joke together.

In case you couldn’t tell from the above, today’s tone is of frustration, exasperation, and most of all – repetition. Because this has all happened before; too many times.

This isn’t going to be an analysis post and apologies to those of you who’ve clicked expecting to read one.

It’s also not targeted towards any one individual, because it’s a whole group problem. And singling out individuals is the easy, surface-level way out.

Nevertheless, there are so many questions – and variations of them – which keep popping up, time and time again. They’ve all been covered on here multiple times.

Why is it the same problem which has led to most of the losses in the last few years?

Why can I – just a random guy outside the system – see so clearly that a fast game against Essendon equals disaster, yet there seems to be no inclination on the field to slow the game down once the Bombers are on a roll?

Why does the midfield mix in general, and its structure in-play, look haphazard so often?

Why do heads drop so quickly and you’re more likely to see a comeback in a local indoor soccer competition?

Why isn’t the resilience there to stick with a process when it’s working in general play, but not producing results just yet on the scoreboard?

Why does confidence in the skill level waver so dramatically not only from week to week, but quarter to quarter?

Why is the body language frequently so despondent?

Why does there appear to be such little faith in the way to play from week to week?

And the biggest crusher: How can there be such little spirit and mental strength on a day the club has bent over backwards to try and play on for the better part of the last few decades?

It’s all questions today because I feel like I repeat myself most weeks pointing out these things as they happen.

It’s also not realistic for me to provide definitive answers instead of explaining the play, because I still only see a fraction of what’s really happening, and have the easy job in getting to do that with my own time.

Coaches have to figure out how to identify and solve them in real time, which I don’t envy in the slightest. It’s outrageously hard.

Some of these are intangibles, some are structure-based and the rest focus on skill but ultimately I’d like to think they’re all reasonable questions. Which leads me to the hardest one of the lot, and one I wish I knew…

Where do the answers for these questions come from, and who has them?

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