Round 9 – Essendon v Geelong: A rock and a hard place

I won’t be at the footy this week.


It’s not due to Essendon playing poorly and me giving up on them, rather it’s because I’m hitching the van up and I’m off to Uluru and Central Australia for the next month or so.


However, I have a sneaking suspicion this weekend, because I’m away, the team is going to turn its season around against the Cats by defying all the pundits who have been saying our season is over, and cause a huge boiler over with the Bombers winning!


And I won’t be there to see it!


Our backs are well and truly against the wall, a wall that is both solid and impregnable. The limit of our despair has been reached. We cannot continue going backwards any more, and now, it’s time for the team to redeem themselves and move forwards. 


Most would laugh at my outrageous suggestion of the Bombers rolling the Cats  this weekend but there comes a time when a stand against all the overwhelming odds must be taken if the club is regain its status as a powerhouse once again.


With players down on confidence, and injuries to key players, both  factors  have contributed adversely to the team performances over the past month or so, but all teams go through similar periods of woe, and most are able to move on in a positive manner in time. And so can Essendon!


It was not all that long ago when  the Richmond faithful were baying for blood, a board takeover was mooted, and the coach’s head was being called for. All due to poor performances on the field. The Tiges turned it all around, confidence was rediscovered, and a season or so later they had a premiership to their name. Things can, and do, turn around quickly. It’s all a matter of attitude, and acknowledging where you, as a team, are at, and doing something about it.


I think Essendon have now acknowledged the desperate position they find themselves in, and have set in motion a course of action to commence moving the club forwards.


The game plan was not being implemented to the coach’s expectations or liking and consequently Mark Neeld finds himself out of a job. Either Neeld was not sure of the game plan, or he was unable to successfully implement it and convey those expectations to the playing personnel, so he had to go.


Young blood is now being injected into the team with four debutantes named in recent weeks, and other limited experienced players receiving call ups to further prove themselves at the highest level. Seeing these names on the team sheets would not have been envisaged at the beginning of the season. Desperate times call for drastic measures.


By playing these young players also sends a message to the more experienced players who are not performing at the level expected of them, suggesting improvement is required  or else they are out of the team. A few players may well be playing for their careers at the moment. I hope they get the message.


Having said all that, I always feel confident playing the Cats and I expect the team to win, and I think, with the Bombers having so much to prove to the footballing public at the moment, they will rise to the occasion and cause an upset this weekend. My fingers are crossed!


The Cats are very short priced favourites to win, so a dollar or two on the Bombers for a win may see a nice little earner in return for punters.


Go Bombers!


About Colin Ritchie

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


  1. It happens so often, Col. A coach is dumped (in this case Mark), and the team wins the following week!
    Enjoy your trip north.

  2. Mark Neeld is a sacrificial lamb put to the sword to hide Woosha and the Essendon board’s shortcomings. I reckon you are being sucked into the club narrative Col, by focussing on Neeld.
    I well remember Woosha’s last season at my Eagles, where players were overcommitting to the contest and Geelong/Hawthorn would spread players and cut us to ribbons with release handball. I remember writing at the time that Woosha was a WW1 General still fighting the last war, and I could see how dispirited our players became like trench warfare cannon fodder.
    Woosha is an ideal football manager these days with his knowledge of culture and players. But he is tactically and strategically past it as a game day and match committee coach. The Bombers players are dispirited because of him.
    The Eagles used Don Pyke and the late Phil Walsh to cover for his deficiencies, but it is not a credible model for 2018.
    Enjoy Uluru and stay awhile, Col. “Bombers gone a droving and we don’t know where they are”.

  3. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for the comments PB. I think you are right about Woosha. I hope we are not going to be in a similar position as we were with Matthew Knights. Extended his contract then sacked him! Whether Woosha can change our fortunes around or not we will have to wait and see but he needs to something quickly. I keep my fingers crossed! Love the last line Pete!

  4. Congrats Nostradamus.

  5. Colin Ritchie says

    I just had that feeling! Hope it continues!

  6. Peter Fuller says

    Agree with Peter B, you’re a tipping genius. I can’t put this weekend’s results together. Melbourne are probably about Geelong’s standard, they certainly should have beaten them rather than narrowly lost in round 1. Essendon flogged Geelong; last week Carlton defeated Essendon narrowly but decisively. Unfortunately Carlton failed by 109 points to vindicate the consistency of these performances.

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