Why aren’t they calling for Hird’s head?
Essendon coach James Hird (Slattery Images)
I must say right from the start that I don’t think James Hird should be sacked as Essendon coach, but I find it odd that given the hysteria around Brett Ratten, no one has called for Hird to be sacked.
If the Blues manage to win this weekend against the Bombers, both sides will have an 11-9 record, yet Ratten is deemed to be coaching for his life while Hird, who has overseen the Bombers crash from 8-1 to 11-8, with the only victory since June being against Port Adelaide, seems safe.
The Blues worst period this year was losing six from seven which included losses to Adelaide, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Geelong and West Coast in Perth (the last two by less than two goals) while the Bombers recent run of outs is five from six with losses to St Kilda, Geelong, Hawthorn and Adelaide.
Now I fully understand and recognise that injuries have played a massive part in the Bombers downfall, while Ratten has had the same (or possibly worse) issue, yet the calls still come.
Ratten fielded a team against the Bulldogs with at least 10 of his best 22 missing; the Blues have not had Carrazzo, Murphy, Simpson and Judd in the same side since Round 3.
Laidler, Hampson, Henderson and Waite have all missed about half the season with back up talls Casboult, White, Mitchell and Davies also missing for most the year. Also throw in Yarran, Walker, Robinson, Warnock and Jamison, missing at least a month, and the magnitude of Ratten’s task can be seen.
The other thing that is thrown at Ratten is that he made the call of making the top four, so that is what he is judged by.
Well, if Hird didn’t aim for top four, why not? They made the eight last year, surely his aims should have been for an improvement. Was his team simply aiming for seventh?
So given all the similarities between the two coaches, I find it surprising that one has to “coach for his career” every week while the other has almost no scrutiny.