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Hawks have no hope left: Leigh Matthews

By Warren Barnsley, Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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24 Have your say

    Hawthorn legend Leigh Matthews believes a loss of hope for foreseeable AFL success has led to the club’s struggles in 2017.

    Matthews has likened the Hawks’ situation to the Brisbane side he coached in the 2000s, which went from triple-premiers to outside the top eight in two years before being long-time cellar-dwellers.

    He said Hawthorn’s 0-4 start to the season, including consecutive thrashings by Gold Coast and Geelong, was a shock after an era of stunning success that delivered four flags.

    “You always knew that eras come and go … but no-one would expect that they were going to fall off the cliff,” Matthews told Adelaide radio station FiveAA.

    Monday’s loss to the Cats was a case-in-point, when the Hawks came to within 14 points in the third quarter at the MCG before capitulating to go down by 86 points.

    “I’m a great believer in the connection between hope and energy,” said Matthews, who won four premierships in a 332-game playing career with the Hawks from 1969-85.

    “And when all of a sudden the hope’s gone in the game – they’re used to playing in premierships, now they’re struggling to actually be competitive – your energy levels drop off as well.

    “That’s what’s happened to Hawthorn.

    “They’ve all of a sudden just lost their confidence. They’ve just lost their belief in themselves and their teammates and probably are starting to question the system that they work under.

    “If they were still looking like they were a premiership threat, I think they’d have the hope and they’d have the energy.”

    Matthews questioned whether prized off-season recruits Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara would come close to reaching the standards of departed all-time club greats Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.

    In another attack on their prospects, Matthews described the form of captain Jarryd Roughead and some of his fellow Hawks premiership stars this season as resembling “hackers”.

    “The names are still there, aren’t they? You know that Mitchell and Lewis aren’t there, and Brad Hill,” he said.

    “The Riolis, the Rougheads, the Gunstons, the Breusts – they just are looking like hackers in the last week or two.

    “O’Meara and Tom Mitchell might be good players, but what chance do they have of being Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis?”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • April 20th 2017 @ 11:03am
      Don Freo said | April 20th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      Lewis an “all time great”? Hardly.

      • April 20th 2017 @ 11:28am
        mattyb said | April 20th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        If Mitchell and O’Mears can’t reach the standard of Lewis, Hawthorn are going to be in more trouble than anyone could have possibly imagined.

      • April 20th 2017 @ 7:38pm
        Mick said | April 20th 2017 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

        Don. He’s been a gun midfielder in a team that’s racked up 4 premierships in 8 years. That’s an all-time great if you ask me. Oh that’s right, he doesn’t play for Freo, so you think he’s rubbish. Dude, are you incapable of appreciating anyone who’s not dressed in purple?

        • April 20th 2017 @ 8:08pm
          Don Freo said | April 20th 2017 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

          You’re not reading my posts if you don’t see appreciation of others. You are operating with stereotypes. Coniglio, Ben Brown, Josh Kelly, Petracca, Charlie Cameron, Marcus Adams, Brayshaw, SPS, SPP, Mitch Duncan, Jon Patton…the list goes on if you bother to read.

          Now, understand this. Jordan Lewis played in a team that won 4 premierships. He didn’t win them all by himself . He has been regularly a passenger who chucks in a good one against bottom teams. He is soft, undisciplined and moderately skilled.

          He is not even an “all time good”.

          • April 21st 2017 @ 7:57am
            Armchair Expert said | April 21st 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

            Don, You have to admit Lewis is a lot better footballer than what Ballantyne ever was.

            • April 21st 2017 @ 10:15am
              Don Freo said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

              Absolutely not. At his best, Ballantyne is an A grader…better than Betts.

              Lewis never has been.

              It’s a random comparison though. How does Ballantyne get into this? The article made that claim about Lewis. It didn’t mention Ballantyne.

              You’d have to agree Leigh Wardell-Johnson was better than Trent Howe.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 12:30pm
                Paul D said | April 21st 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

                The only thing Ballantyne is better than Betts at is parking his car at the judiciary

                You always overreach Don. I’ll admit Ballantyne is a handy player but you go for these ludicrously purple tinged comparisons

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:47pm
                DingoGray said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

                Better than Betts?

                Come on Don, you can’t be serious.

                141 Games 221 Goals
                257 Games 495 Goals

                I know which record I would rather.

                You can’t seriously claim Ballas in Betts league. If you said the next level, yeah your right. Better than probably the best small forward to play the game.

                Not even close.

              • April 21st 2017 @ 3:25pm
                Don Freo said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                That’s not much of a disparity on the basis of games played, particularly when you factor in Ballas’ defensive aspect…of which he is a trailblazer. Eddie does not go both ways. This one is not exaggeration.

              • April 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm
                Don Freo said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                Paul, I made no initial comparison. Our little Armchair Expert pulled that one out on Ballas. I just pulled out equally random ones to show how silly that was.

                This “what about the Dockers” response to every post is brain dead. It’s not me going to the Dockers every time.

        • Roar Guru

          April 21st 2017 @ 12:10pm
          Pumping Dougie said | April 21st 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          I’m totally with Don on this one (well, not the bit about Ballantyne).

          Jordan Lewis is and always has been just a slightly-above-average average player in a good team, brilliantly coached. Hawk supporters seem to have rose-coloured glasses, like a love-smitten, puppy-eyed teenage girl, when discussing some of their players. Sam Mitchell has been an absolute star of the game, but Lewis … please.

          • Roar Guru

            April 21st 2017 @ 1:49pm
            DingoGray said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

            I certainly wouldn’t call Lewis an all time great. But he’s a bloody good player.

            You can just see what Melbourne have been like the last couple of weeks without him.

    • April 20th 2017 @ 6:35pm
      Swannies said | April 20th 2017 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

      Hopefully the hawks can fix this mess and start winning soon…no one wants to see them down the bottom. It’s not the same when Hawthorn are down. They don’t deserve to be down with Carlton or North.

      • April 20th 2017 @ 6:43pm
        Mark said | April 20th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

        Everyone wants to see them bottom out. Makes it easier to take when the Swans aren’t doing so well either.

      • April 20th 2017 @ 7:33pm
        Mick said | April 20th 2017 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

        I am a Hawks fan and this might sound funny but this was completely predictable and good for the club. Time for our 4 premiership legends to retire and rebuild. For some reason seeing the swans in the same situation makes it easier. Big problem for the swans is that now buddie Franklin best is behind him they will be wasting$1M of salary cap for the next 6 years.

        • April 21st 2017 @ 8:00am
          Armchair Expert said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

          At least the Swans can legitimately claim injuries as a reason for their slump, not so Hawthorn.

          • April 21st 2017 @ 4:40pm
            Birdman said | April 21st 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

            I guess we’ll know more when they get those guys back on the park….

            • April 22nd 2017 @ 8:37am
              Swanny said | April 22nd 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

              I think the swans are abt to fall off the cliff with the long term buddy deal really hurting them . At least nsw has a good team in the giants

      • April 20th 2017 @ 8:30pm
        Brendon the 1st said | April 20th 2017 @ 8:30pm | ! Report

        I’m stoked Hawthorn are down the bottom, hopefully they collect the spoon, it’s someone else’s turn.

      • April 21st 2017 @ 8:34pm
        Rod said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

        I do

    • April 21st 2017 @ 4:45pm
      Birdman said | April 21st 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

      With great respect to Lethal, I wouldn’t quite stretch to describe Lewis as an “all time great”

      He had some seriously good seasons but he also took a few seasons to reach his potential after carrying a fair bit of puppy fat around during his early career.

      There were times I would have been happy to trade him before we eventually did but he certainly deserves more respect than Don gives him.

    • April 21st 2017 @ 8:33pm
      Mick said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

      Lewis is a legend. Go look at the stats. He regularly gets over 30 touches a game and rarely ever makes a mistake. Leaving Hawks this year is a big reason Hawks are struggling.

      • April 22nd 2017 @ 12:06am
        Don Freo said | April 22nd 2017 @ 12:06am | ! Report

        A totally unaccountable 30 possessions…his opposition midfielders usually get 35 to 40 and he operates at about 55% only…and that is when he is not suspended.

        You are leading with your chin, Mick.

      • April 22nd 2017 @ 9:00am
        Bruce said | April 22nd 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        Racking up cheap stats in the back half with those other stars birchall and Gibson.

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