Bombers, Blues and the wood!

Over many years following Essendon it has become clear to me that certain teams have the “wood” on the Bombers.


Regardless of the respective ladder positions I always dread playing those teams, as more often than not, if one of them is having an adverse run, you can bet your bottom dollar they will play well, rebounding against the Bombers for a win. 


Our nemeses are, the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, and Carlton. I am never confident playing those teams. 


Both the Bulldogs and Melbourne have already had wins over us this season, and this week we play lowly Carlton who is zero wins from seven games so far.


The law of averages suggest the Blues must be due for a win, and who better to be playing against this week than a team you have consistently had the wood over. Carlton, I expect, is feeling very confident of success this week.


Ever since our Preliminary Final defeat in 1999, it has instilled in me an even greater hatred playing Carlton, they always seem to find that little bit extra against the Bombers. 


I shudder when I remember a game at VFL Park, probably mid 70’s, we’d played a blinder of a first half, I think we were about 8 goals up at half-time. Then Carlton blew us away the second half, Robert Walls kicking 8 goals to eventually run out decisive winners.


The Bombers have had a terrible start to the year  after what was expected to one of improvement, consolidating upon the gains made last season.


Key players are down on form, and lacking apparent confidence in the game plan which is not helping the team. 


Opposition teams have carried out their homework in preparation for games against the Bombers applying effective tactics to nullify our key players.


Zach Merrett always has a big-bodied mid hassling and pressuring him at all times. Daniher has two or three players flying for marks with him and attending him very closely, and if he does mark the ball the opposition are conscious of his proclivity to play on.


Our runners are not being allowed to run in straight lines to utilise their speed. Instead, teams are using corralling tactics forcing them to backtrack, or change direction thus losing any advantage of speed. This was evident against Hawthorn when Saad was not able to run a straight line and was  successfully tackled  twice within 50, the frees resulting in 2 goals for the Hawks.


Our decision making has been appalling at times. Players tend to spend too much time weighing up all their options for disposal when perhaps the first option may be the best option.


Our ball handling skills have dropped off considerably. Handballs are delivered low or ill-directed to a team mate not always in the best position, our passes by foot are poorly executed and directed, placing undue or further pressure on the recipients. 


Our kicking for goal has been woeful. Easy shots missed, short passing to a worse position rather than having a set shot, and I don’t know why, but players are reluctant to shoot for goal within kicking distance, instead selecting a poor option to pass off.


If the Bombers do not win this game then their season is well and truly shot, and to be in that position so early in the season would be disappointing to say the least. 


So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hoping against hope that the team can click together for 4 quarters to finally play some good, consistent football to record a win against one of our nemeses.


Go Bombers!


About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. george smith says

    Is this the same Bombers that creamed the Showponies in the 1993 grand final, leaving all us Magpies green with envy?

    Is this the same mob that finally put the all conquering Blues out like the cat in 1983, giving a lie to Gary Huchesson’s hyperbole that they were the greatest ever?

    Remember 2000, when the upstart Showies ran into an unforgiving combination of Don Corleone and Killer Karl Cox, who had waited a year for revenge served cold?

    Stand up and be strong Essendon supporter! You are the envy of all of us over the years! All clubs have lean times, but your mob can make the good times roll against the enemy once more!

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for the comment George, you are so right. I am fortunate to support such a successful team and sometimes, in bouts of frustration, I forget that fact. Sometimes you just need to get things out of your system!

  3. There has been a great deal of criticism aimed at Brendon Goddard over the last few weeks, some well-deserved, but he did well to take the field at all on Saturday, having been finally passed fit to play about five minutes before the teams had to be in.

    Apparently someone told a joke at training mid-week. BJ laughed and they had to rush him into hospital afterwards to sew the top half of his head back on.

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