Is the Eagles’ fortress being demolished before schedule?

Matt Somerford Roar Rookie

By Matt Somerford, Matt Somerford is a Roar Rookie

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    At the start of the season, comedian Mick Molloy suggested – with the sort of irreverence that has earned his acclaim – that West Coast coach Adam Simpson was among the most likely coaches to be sacked this season.

    It was a moment of levity befitting of the Friday Front Bar’s gambit as Molloy reassured Simpson was on his chopping block for the reason only that he didn’t really know much about him.

    Cue the laughter.

    For West Coast fans the joke is, however, starting to become a little too close to reality.

    The howls of derision for Simpson among Eagles fans after Sunday’s calamitous 32-point defeat to Port Adelaide became apparent for the first time. Perhaps unfairly.

    It was the Eagles’ second-biggest defeat at Domain Stadium during the home-and-away season under Simpson – only ‘bettered’ by a 38-point defeat to North Melbourne three years ago.

    At this point Eagles fans on the east coast might have fair grounds to suggest such a run is dream like – fairly glowing in endorsement of Simpson’s tenure.

    But if Eagles fans in Perth have been spoiled by home results under the 42-year-old then three defeats in their past four homes games suggests the times are changing.

    Indeed, West Coast’s only two home wins since the Western Derby earlier this season were by eight and 13 points against the Western Bulldogs and Geelong respectively.

    Adam Simpson West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    Throw in the home hammering the Doggies dished out in last season’s finals series and the figurative demolition of the Eagles’ Subiaco fortress appears far in advance of any more physical plans scheduled for the end of the season.

    Restoring the Eagles’ proud home record is the minimum standard for Simpson between now and the end of the season if there is any hope Subiaco’s decaying old stage will host a final one last time.

    It is well within his capabilities – the Eagles have been ahead or level in the final quarter of all of those recent home defeats – however there is a growing sense that the best of this Eagles team is behind them. The squad carved callow by a lack of faith in youth.

    The stats suggest such expectations are correct and make for uncomfortable reading if you are a West Coast fan.

    The Eagles have had just two Rising Star nominees – Dom Sheed and Tom Barrass – since Andrew Gaff was handed the award way back in 2011.

    There’s more. This season only two clubs have failed to hand out a single senior game to one of their draftees from last summer. West Coast is one. The other is Hawthorn who virtually didn’t participate in it after their much-debated post-season action left them with a ‘highest’ pick at 74.

    In fact of the nine players drafted by the Eagles across all avenues – National, Rookie and Pre-Rookie selections – last season only one has made his debut for the club this season – and that was a 34-year-old Drew Petrie.

    The Eagles’ draft class of 2015 is hardly much better with only Tom Cole and Kurt Mutimer having tasted first-team action.

    In two years of going to the National Draft the Eagles have just nine games of experience to show for it. It’s hardly the stuff of regeneration.

    Before the opening Western Derby of the season I wrote on this website that the Eagles’ season would be defined by the progression of their young players, should they get the chance.

    At that point no club had handed out fewer AFL debuts than Simpson during his time in charge of the Eagles.

    West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)

    While the former Kangaroos gun has since repeatedly stated infusing youth into the line-up was a priority, Mutimer’s debut against the Dockers that round remains the only first-game experience he has handed out.

    That is not to say there has not been progression among the youthful Eagles.

    Sheed has been entrusted in key midfield role after rising the challenge from the coaching staff to improve the defensive side of his game while Liam Duggan’s move to half-back has benefitted his straight-line attack at the ball.

    Faith has also been show in Barrass, whose possesses an aerial ability that allows forgiveness for a young man still learning how to use his body in the contest and when the ball hits the ground.

    Cole too has shown composure in the heat of battle – his axing for the Port defeat a frustration among Eagles fans.

    But the cupboard is otherwise bare save for a flash of Malcolm Karpany potential and the hectic run-before-you-think dash off half-back that has become Jackson Nelson’s trademark between hamstring injuries.

    Whether that is the fault of the Eagles’ recruiting staff, or Simpson’s desire to stick with his tried and trusted, is now the most significant question hanging over this Eagles team.

    Either answer is bad news.

    The demotion of the likes of Chris Masten and Josh Hill – Simpson foot-soldiers of the past but with a clear ceiling – have pointed to a focus towards youth.

    The problem is they have been dumped from the team in the midst of a poor run, with finals on the horizon and Simpson with the headache of whether he should trust the young players who don’t quite have enough games in them, or go back to the players who got him to a grand final two years ago.

    His answer against Port Adelaide was to go back to the past.

    It failed. West Coast were cut to ribbons in the midfield after half-time once Port Adelaide realised that bombing the ball back to the Eagles’ army of intercept markers was an exercise in futility.

    That it took them six quarters to figure it out – after falling foul to the same issue in a strange defeat earlier this season – was of little consolation to Eagles fans as they saw Port routinely run and gun past a languid midfield and set the blueprint of how to beat them.

    West Coast Eagles AFL

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    It was encapsulated in one phase of play when Andrew Gaff – a player whose ball-winning ability is increasingly being offset by his treacle motor when running into defence or flailing at a tackle – was caught holding the ball as he was about to kick on goal by Jarman Impey.

    Moments later Impey took on the Eagles’ massed ranks across half-back, racing beyond a midfield that readily surrendered to his speed, before he set up one of Port’s 12 second-half goals.

    In the passing fuss that was Ryan Nyhuis’ dream debut for the Dockers, Ross Lyon will be sure to have spotted a weakness expertly exposed.

    Covering it will be Simpson’s greatest challenge this week.

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    The Crowd Says (74)

    • Roar Pro

      July 11th 2017 @ 2:26am
      anon said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:26am | ! Report

      I wrote on here last week

      It’s not 4 minutes to midnight, they’re about 20 minutes past midnight.

      It ended for them at about quarter time of the 2015 Grand Final.

      The acquisition of journeyman Vardy, and geriatric duo of Petrie and Mitchell were desperate and myopic attempts at delaying the inevitable for one more year.

      A total rebuild awaits West Coast.

      and

      West Coast started the year as the oldest team in the league after going backwards in 2016. They went all or nothing in 2017 by recruiting geriatrics Mitchell and Petrie to make their already old list even older.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 7:16am
        Rob said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:16am | ! Report

        I live in Perth. I suggested at the start of the season that with no real talent waiting in tge wings it was do or die for West Coast and i tipped die. I was laughed at. Now im laughing but the eagles supporters are all hiding.

        Probably hiding with their talented youngsters.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 10:21am
          Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          In Perth it’s pretty hard for west coast fans to hide Rob, 9th isn’t dying but we will let you fantasize a bit more.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 8:42am
        I ate pies said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        Yep, spot on. West Coast’s massive home ground advantage hides just how ordinary this team is. They’ve got a one man forward line and a slow and old midfield. They’ve got a couple of good backmen who can take a mark and that’s about it.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 10:23am
          Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          Still looked OK away against bulldogs.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 11:20am
            I ate pies said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            That’s because the bulldogs are crap.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 11:44am
              Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

              So bullies are crap, west coast are crap, tell me IAP who is the shining light in the comp this season?

              • July 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm
                I ate pies said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

                GWS. It’s an 18 team comp – it’s not unreasonable to expect that some of the teams aren’t any good. You seem surprised at that, which is surprising.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 3:31pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                Not surprised just responding to a leading and uninformed statement by yourself.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 11:26am
        Scott said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        Well for starters, key position players don’t hit their peak till there 8th year so McGovern, Barrass, Darling, Vardy and Lycett are still kids. Naitanui will be around for years to come along with Gaff and Shuey. Yeo is young and A grade. Cripps is young and can play as can Brad Sheppard. Sheed is coming along nicely and will be a solid player. That is 12 quality young players. Rebuild are you kidding me. Hawthorn won 4 premierships on the back of 12-14 good players. Not to mention Kennedy will still be around for at least the next 2 years and will most likely win 2 Colemans if he stays fit. The author states 9 players drafted last year. That is incorrect. There were 7. Petrie and maccinnes have both played this year, 3 have been injured, and the other 2 are to skinny to play afl yet. Venables was about to debut the week he got injured and Willie Rioli will also debut when fit. Venables looks like he could be a star and the type of player west coast desperately needs. If he turns out as good as he looks and 1 or 2 others turn out, all of a sudden they have one of the best lists in the comp for the next 5 years

        • July 11th 2017 @ 11:42am
          Matt Somerford said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          Thanks for the feedback. Agree on potential of young players you mention, but there’s a lot of what ifs and maybes and that is a situation of WCE creating by not turning to youth. I’ve just put some facts out for readers to decide of their own accord. Would like to add the nine players coming in is correct – through the avenues I mention – National Draft, Rookie Draft and Pre-Rookie Selections – Venables, Rotham, Rioli, Waterman, Gorter, Petrie, McInnes, Bayok, Watson. Of those, as I say, only Petrie has made his West Coast debut this season.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 11:55am
            Nolzie said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

            Lots of maybes and what ifs with any team though, you cannot rule out any team by that measure unless you are going to do the same with absolutely every other team.
            Rioli and Venebles have both been injured and probably would have both debuted had not been for those, like you say though, a lot of what ifs just like if Carltons youngsters live up to the hype, if GWS can keep their players on the field.
            What if Richmond lose Dusty or Geelong Selwood or Danger?

            WCE are currently playing without their two most important players by streets, Kennedy and Nic Nat, it is no wonder that they aren’t playing as well without them.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:02pm
              Matt Somerford said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

              Yep every club has what-ifs….that’s why I did’;t state any what-ifs in the story…only facts. The debate can start from there and certainly your point about WCE missing their two guns is particularly relevant. Again tho, another what-if they played? They didn’t.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm
            Scott said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            Fair enough. Sorry about that Matt I forgot about the B rookies. Watson is another one who looked like he would debut then got injured as well. I agree that you have to play youth at some point but they have been in contention the last 3 years. I can see a bit of a sliver lining with all this. With about 4-6 players from next years draft plus the draftees who haven’t played yet, West Coast will have about the highest amount of unknown potential. If 2 or 3 of the 10-15 draftees we haven’t seen turn out, then West coast has 15+ quality young players going forward

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:12pm
              Matt Somerford said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              Agree with you Scott. Fingers crossed for them this happens. Any team with that such impressive key position players at both ends has got to be a huge chance – if they get the midfield right and therefore also sort that inside-50s count issue which is clearly their Achilles heel this season.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 11:56am
          Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

          Great summary Scott, glad there are WCE supporters who see the wood from the trees.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 1:33pm
          Keggas said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

          Wow , that there is some proper good old fashioned glass half full optimism!

          That sort of over assessment of a list will get you a job in Collingwood’s recruiting department I reckon!

        • Roar Pro

          July 11th 2017 @ 2:24pm
          anon said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

          Sure, they might be good enough for the finals next year.

          What does a 7th or 8th finish get them?

          They can’t win at the MCG for a start.

          The premiership window is now firmly shut.

          There’s no quick fixes found in recruiting castoffs that are in their mid-30’s.

          West Coast were kicking the can down the street in the last offseason.

          A rebuild awaits if you ever hope to be a realistic premiership contender in the next 5-10 years.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 3:33pm
            Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

            Once again anon you just foghorn like a SEN disciple.

            • Roar Pro

              July 11th 2017 @ 6:59pm
              anon said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

              We’ll see who is right.

              What’s your prediction for next year? Premiership chance?

              • July 11th 2017 @ 10:19pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

                I dont seek approval from someone who creates fake accounts to roughly repeat what you have said so as to try and validate your opinion.
                But for what its worth i dont ever make predictiions i take a week by week approach and this season was always going to be a pass if we competed for a finals position when all information available is taken into account.
                now scamper off and wait patiently to post about fremantle, ross lyon or last years premiership team western bulldogs as your unimaginative ramblings and cut/paste self promotion is quite embaressing especially when i consider that this is how a adult is getting their daily kicks.

              • Roar Pro

                July 11th 2017 @ 10:47pm
                anon said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:47pm | ! Report

                A pass was at least top 4.

                That’s the only reason you sign up a couple of players in their mid-30’s that will serve you for 1-2 seasons rather than go with young players that will serve you for the next 10-15.

                Simpson living for today, coaching for his contract

              • July 12th 2017 @ 10:32pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

                Anon take that pretty head of yours to wce site and read the info on there and suck it up.

        • July 16th 2017 @ 10:13am
          Jolly Roger said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          Partington, a promising midfielder, is close to a first game.. and theres Francis Watson, said to have the silky skills of Wirrapunda. theres a whole bunch of players, mids, ruck, forwards and backs coming through..writer needs to do some research. murtimer, karpenny, cole, have been given a run. barrass, sheed, duggan, jetta have cemented a spot. redden improving. a possibility Nic Nat returns for finals. It could all fall into place at the 11th hour, but Simpson needs to re-jig the midfield, remove Priddis for a start, insert pace. It is a concern that we cant seem to play our best footy, or score as well, without Kennedy.
          Not sure which Eagles team will turn up today?
          But last derby at Domain, promises to be a big game-bragging rights!
          Eagles lose this it could be said the writing is on the wall?
          however footy is a funny game, anything can happen, and often does from one week to another. its not over till its over.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 12:23pm
        BigAl said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

        @Anon – “It ended for them at about quarter time of the 2015 Grand Final”

        Exactly my feelings, except I would say it ended about half way through the first quarter !
        As an avid Aussie rules supporter I have never been as embarresed, annoyed and angered by a game than that pathetic GF performance.
        Amongst many terrible feelings about it, I was thinking how could a side that inept make it into the AFL’s bigest game.
        A total embaressment to the AFL and it’s competition !
        I remember thinking at the time that the Eagles took such a demoralising pounding, that as long as ANYONE (coach , players…) associated with that team that day remain at the club, they will NEVER win anything of significance at the MCG.

        I still believe this !

        • July 11th 2017 @ 12:27pm
          Don Freo said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

          Any comments about the 16 sides unable to make that Grand Final?

          • July 11th 2017 @ 3:54pm
            Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

            You know none of these blokes have a clue about WA footy don, fact they repeat something they caught on fox or read in a robbo column shows the naysayers of freo and west coast are ill informed and void of any opinion they haven’t read or heard

        • July 11th 2017 @ 12:32pm
          Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

          And that is why big al yourself and anon are not looked upon as the sages of this great game. Your opinions are as hollow as the vessels that made them.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 12:49pm
            BigAl said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

            Do I know you ? – do you know me ?

            FWIW, on that fateful day I was actually hoping for an Eagles win, and 2 weeks earlier for an all WA GF !

            Also, has my opinion been shown to be wrong ? – your critique sounds terribly hollow !t

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:55pm
              Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

              Just re read your post and you will get it big al.
              Your view is simplistic as it was inept.

          • Roar Pro

            July 11th 2017 @ 2:29pm
            anon said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

            Your team has gone backwards year-on-year since the 2015 Grand Final.

            Your team is the oldest in the league.

            A REBUILD awaits, mate.

            There’s 18 teams. Only one can be the premier.

            2015 was two seasons ago and you’ve played worse with every passing week since that Grand Final.

            It’s OVER.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 3:38pm
              Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

              Year on year? I don’t think 1 and 1/2 seasons is going backwards year on year. And if we are so bad why is it we make finals? Is it the bad players, the bad coach or the bad recruiting that leads to this? Enlighten me anon as your view point is so superior.

              • Roar Pro

                July 11th 2017 @ 4:14pm
                anon said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

                Over 1 and 2/3 seasons not 1 and 1/2 seasons.

                But we know how this ends for West Coast this year. I don’t need to see the remaining 7 games. Even if they squeeze into the 8 they’ll be bounced in the first week.

                So year-on-year they’ve gone backwards since 2015.

                West Coast are very old, very slow, the coach hasn’t really innovated since the web, and they made a blunder going with Mitchell and Petrie over youth. Wasted a year of a potential rebuild.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 5:36pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

                If semantics is the basis of that retort and that makes you feel secure in your vacuous opinion then so be it.
                You have no real knowledge of west coast hence why you take aim at the most easiest targets.
                Stop using capitals, exclamation marks and inciting statements and return with a well rounded point of view that can be debated.
                Till then I’m sure you can amuse yourself by spruiking your invalid statements about freo, western bulldogs or whoever else you have decided to have a simpletons opinion of.

              • Roar Pro

                July 11th 2017 @ 7:11pm
                anon said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

                In that case it seems like it’s a big problem if the list managers are off topping up with geriatric castoffs, and the match committee are selecting these slow geriatrics for games, and the coach, match committee and selection committee aren’t on the same page.

                Again, seems like a weak-willed coach who would allow the match committee and list management to make decisions that conflict with the goals of the coach.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 10:05pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

                And again you brought zero anon.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 10:37pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:37pm | ! Report

                I await for your next well formed and complex comment to try and draw a reaction but as you seem to only manage to reword the same thing over and over i fear i wil be sadly dissapointed. If you are gaining some child like glee from being annoying then hold your horses as you don’t irritate me i just enjoy the fact you are wasting your time.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 5:57pm
              Scott said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

              Anon, they got Mitchell and Petrie for nothing. Literally nothing. A draft pick that would not have been used and a rookie pick. If they both retire this year then they have spots to draft someone higher up the order. They will likely wind up with higher picks this year then they could have used last year, hence getting Better players than what they could’ve.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 6:04pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

                Scott we also got 2 x 300 game players who both will move into off field roles after this season, people like anon don’t get fact that bringing those 2 in was more than just about playing.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 8:14am
      Lroy said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      Lack of pace in the midfield was a problem under Worsfold.

      Simpson not only has done nothing to address it, he has made it worse by giving a 4 year deal to Mitchel and now extended Priddis’s contract….

      So another couple of years with the slowest midfield in the league is what WCE fans have to look forward too…

      Its already 11 years since our last flag, Simpson is clearly not going to lead us to our next one, so get rid of him.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 10:27am
        Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        Under worsfold we still had Ebert and Scott Selwood so if we hypothesize those players still at west coast it looks not bad at all, the problem is more the fact we have not been able to trade/draft in 2 players of their ilk in the years since they departed or were injured consistently.

        • July 13th 2017 @ 12:32pm
          Lroy said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

          Ebert had pace??

          How about we hypothesize that you don’t ever reply to my comments again…??

          cause I’m getting ocular hypertension rolling my eyelids every time I read something you write… LOL.

    • Roar Guru

      July 11th 2017 @ 9:31am
      Paul D said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      This was a really good read, love the title too.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 10:07am
      Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      Pretty spot on but I don’t feel its doom and gloom going forward, yes midfield and mid sized players needs replenishment but our talls are excellent.
      I’ve said before an astute trade and draft period will see eagles back in contention quickly, simmo extracted all he can from the nucleus of west coast of 2015 and the fact we remain there abouts especially without our 2 most important players is a story in itself.
      These calls to sack Simpson are exactly the same as 1987 when Ron Alexander was coach it duly happened and we all know the John Todd era brought zero success so come on and be a little bit more realistic in your comments west coast fans.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 10:47am
        GJ said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        Natanui and Kennedy come back and you’ll win more games. Midfield speed is a problem that isn’t going away. I was surprised that Partington still hasn’t been given a run.

        Some coaches and clubs always fall back to what they know, or players they know.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 11:44am
        Scott said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        Agree Mattician. With Naitanui and Kennedy playing, they would have easily beaten Gold Coast and Melbourne. With Naitanui alone back they would have beaten GWS and Richmond and be sitting on top of the ladder. They prob would’ve beaten Port on the weekend to, as he is the only player in the comp who can beat Ryder in the ruck. I really wish Mitchell had been given a 1 year extension before Priddis. Why on earth does everyone keep calling him slow, he has the quickest sidestep in the comp. He may be slow defensively but certainly not offensively

        • July 11th 2017 @ 12:02pm
          GJ said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

          Hodge made the right decision. If Mitchell calls it quits at the end of year, I think he has made the right decision. I don’t know about Priddis yet. However, if you cast your mind back to Friday night you may have noticed a former club champion and 300 gamer doing a great impersonation of a bollard. Scott Thompson. As an Adelaide supporter that was hard to watch. Hope he and the club find a graceful way for him to bow out.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 12:08pm
            Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

            Can definitely see the Thomson/priddas comparison but priddas has suffered without natanui as a dominant ruck highlights his strength in the clinches.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:17pm
              GJ said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

              Interestingly, that was Thompson’s first game of the year. He played 22 games last year. His speed and defensive running have been questioned by supporters for while. He pushed for new contract and was granted a 1 year extension. At the end of season review he was told by Pyke he probably wouldn’t be in the best 22 this year, and he wouldn’t guarantee a walk up start.

              He had injuries in preseason, has played for about a month is the 2’s. 10 possessions on Friday night, 5 free against. Hard to watch. I couldn’t believe how slow he looked.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 12:26pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

                I’m fine they gave pridda a 1 year extension as his preparation is 2nd to none and I don’t think there has been a player who through their own diligence has achieved the individual honours he has. Like thomson a great role model to keep around for the younger guys just not a walk up start as he reaches twilight of career.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 12:51pm
                Scott said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                I want Priddis to play on as well. I just fear that with all the calls from commentators and fans that WCE are too slow with Priddis and Mitchell, that Mitchell may retire. I reckon Mitchell could play till he’s 40. He doesn’t rely on speed. He rarely gets caught holding the ball despite apparently being one of the slowest midfielders. His awareness is unreal

              • July 11th 2017 @ 1:20pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

                Our a grade players match most clubs its the 28yr olds plus who have peaked that need replenishing.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 10:41am
      Don Freo said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

      When an argument is based on one tackle on Gaff (an All Australian), concluding he is slow…or a dismissal of good youth by just mentioning a name but ignoring him (Barrass), you know the article has no substance.

      Young players (I’d say under 30 is young but lets go 3 years younger), like Naitanui, McGovern, Darling, Sheppard, Lycett…no mention at all.

      My tip, looking at their remaining draw? Top 6 but more than likely top 4. They have just got a wad of players back from injury that need to get match sharp.

      Commentary is not about picking a coach to sack.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 11:21am
        I ate pies said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        haha, top 4? They’ll be lucky to make the eight.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 11:50am
        Matt Somerford said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        Thanks for reading Don Freo. Great feedback and I hope for the Eagles sake they can match your ambitions for them this seaosn. I’d would contend the article did not say anywhere that Gaff is slow – that was your conclusions – and that moment mentioned was purely a way of highlighting how much sharper Port were on the day rather than on an individual. Clearly Gaff had no time to get rid of it, but again, that was to Port’s credit. I also didn’t ignore Barrass. I spent a paragraph stating how he is a good young player stilllearning his craft. Also I never mention anything about me wanting the coach sacked – only that there is clear angst among West Coast fans. I’ve tried to highlight why that might be in the article. I don’t give my view on his employment anywhere, and never would I. It’s up to the reader to decide and I think there’s balance in the story in terms of the youth he has tried to promote and that it is a focus clearly on his radar – he just might not have the cattle due to drafting. Again, the reader can decide on facts presented.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 10:50am
      GJ said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

      Mitchell was a good pick up from the perspective that he’s never really played at the feet of elite ruckman, so WC this year were a good fit for both.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 11:00am
        Mattician6x6 said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        Agree completely GJ and I understand the frustration some ate feeling but a bit perspective goes a long way imho.

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