Embarrassment No.1 – Another Dons debacle

THERE is something very wrong with a football team which allows 21 straight opposition goals.

Essendon is again broken – as it has been on so many occasions once Kevin Sheedy's mesmerising effect on its operations began to wane in early 2005.

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A 104-point loss to Western Bulldogs on Saturday night – where the Bombers kicked the first goal of the match just 21 seconds after it started and its second goal with just eight minutes remaining – followed a 10-goal loss to Port Adelaide in round 20.

Coach John Worsfold was adamant the performance was "not who we are". They're just words, unless the Bombers can defeat the equally disappointing Fremantle in Perth next Saturday night and Collingwood in round 23.

Injuries have hit Essendon hard, with Tom Bellchambers, Michael Hurley, Joe Daniher, Devon Smith and more recently Adam Saad missing a heap of footy.

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After a 3-5 start to the year, the Bombers won eight of their next 10 matches to seemingly lock in a finals place.

Then, the debacles against Port Adelaide and Bulldogs.

The Bombers were booed off the field by their fans. Picture: AFL Photos

Worsfold's position is contracted, but now not guaranteed for 2020. Significantly, the Bombers have already moved to bring back Blake Caracella to its assistant coaching ranks for next season.

Rest assured, if Essendon can’t win at least one of the remaining two matches, the pressure to reconsider Worsfold's position, as well as the initial assistant coach plans with Caracella, will become overwhelming. 

Embarrassment No.2 - Roos' ridiculous coaching 'process'

Said it in the lead up to the public announcement of Rhyce Shaw as North Melbourne coach, and will say it again.

The Glenn and Ben Show acted with ridiculous, quite possibly irresponsible haste, in locking Shaw in to a three-year senior coaching contract, just eight matches after his interim phase began.

BARRETT Rhyce is the word, North's flippant process absurd

Shaw may well be the best coach North could have found, but there is no way former director Glenn Archer and chairman Ben Buckley – the two men who determined to sack Brad Scott and then totally control the "process" thereafter – could actually know that given their refusal to properly put any other candidates through a process once John Longmire, Adam Simpson and Alastair Clarkson said no.

It was an "exhaustive process", according to Buckley. It most certainly wasn't, and now, 10 matches in to Shaw's career, and two matches after Glenn and Ben breathlessly rushed to unveil him as the future coach, he has overseen the lowest score in North Melbourne's 95-year involvement with the VFL/AFL.

North's 1.8 (14) in Saturday night's loss to Geelong was embarrassing. The one goal came from a free kick.

Again, this is not directed at Shaw, whose personal record as coach is now 5-5, with four losses in the past five games.

The Glenn and Ben Show would have benefited from properly putting Shaw through thorough psychological testing, and at the same time analysing outside-North coaching options.

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It would have benefitted from observing Shaw this week react to the personal and team shock that came out of the Cats loss.

There was no rush. No other club was interested this year in Shaw as a senior coach. And North wasn't interested in Shaw for the position it has actually signed him to on the day they moved Scott out.

Farewell match looms for champion Hawk

Jarryd Roughead has been given the right to play a 283rd, and final, AFL match next Sunday.

It is up to him to accept it, and he is expected to do so, against Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium in the twilight slot.

Roughead has played one match - in round 14 - since round seven. Picture: AFL Photos

Roughead, four-time Hawk premiership player, captain for two seasons and cancer survivor, played for Box Hill on the weekend.

His performance was not worthy of a senior call-up. He has been struggling throughout 2019.

Coach Alastair Clarkson has always lived by the "club is greater than the individual" maxim, and it is full credit to him this season for how he has been courageous enough to ignore sentiment and keep Roughead in the VFL.

But when it comes to Roughead and Hawthorn, the individual will this Sunday thoroughly deserve his right to run out one last time.

And that will be well in keeping with another of Clarkson's credos – that the right decision has to be made for the club on all occasions. 

Twitter: @barrettdamian

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