AFL great David King has taken the blowtorch to Essendon as the club grapples with yet another disappointing season.
The club is in damage control after an 84-point loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday, a week after meekly losing to the Giants to kill any goodwill they earned during a three-game win streak last month.
On Monday the Bombers announced president Paul Brasher will quit his post immediately, while head coach Ben Rutten has been issued a stay of execution amid reports he would be sacked before round 23.
READ MORE: Knights megastar escorted from toilet cubicle
READ MORE: Storm co-owners buy iconic racing team
READ MORE: Bombers coach issued stay of execution, club boss quits
After qualifying for the finals last year in Rutten’s first season as the sole top dog, Essendon has won only seven games this season to sit 15th on the ladder. The club has not won a finals game since 2004.
“You just see white towel (surrender) in football, you just see it. And that’s what it looks like,” King told SEN radio of Essendon’s loss to the Power.
“That second quarter, you can go through all the numbers you like – the effort wasn’t there, the bare minimums weren’t there. There was a club with zero standards.
“These two clubs entering that game were in the same position. They both can’t make the finals, so what are you doing? You’re representing your fans, you’re representing the future … you’re setting up for next year, we’re challenging every player on the list to be a better product today than what they were last week, and the coaches are driving these non-negotiables through the course of the game.
Footy Classified is now available as a podcast! Subscribe/follow via Apple, Spotify gold Google Podcasts.
“Then you see that second quarter, they cough up seven goals to one point. Eleven tackles they laid.
“They get blown away in the second quarter and then you think ‘they’ll fight back’ – that can happen, they’ll fight back.
Caro reveals Bombers’ internal feud
“Then you get to the last quarter … I showed you footage of a stoppage, if it was a training session the coach would have blown his whistle and said ‘get in here, what is this? Get serious, let’s start to move ‘. They were stationary.”
While Rutten has not been sacked yet, he’s certainly no certainty to be in the flesh when next season starts.
The Bombers have launched an independent review, after an internal review earlier this year failed to turn the club’s fortunes around.
If Rutten is axed, Essendon’s No.1 target will undoubtedly be Alastair Clarkson – the man who led Hawthorn to four premierships and is considered one of the best modern coaches.
King says the Bombers should at least sit down with Clarkson to bend the ear of the football guru.
“They’re a young side learning bad habits. That’s what they are,” he said of Essendon.
“There’s no advantage being young learning those clothes. Something’s got to give. They’ve had the opportunity to ask Alastair Clarkson, ‘What could you do with this group?’.
“You don’t necessarily have to give him the job, just say, ‘Where do you think this list’s at? Where do you think we should be in 12 months’ time? Are we taking the right steps towards our next premiership?’ .
“Because they’ve been nowhere for a long time, and they’ve fumbled around. For a ruthless club of 20 years ago, they are a shadow of that right now.
“Shake the tree a little bit, see what falls.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
The sporting figures we’ve lost in 2022
#AFL #great #torches #club #standards