After finishing sixth in the past two seasons, the Sydney Swans weren’t considered a hot favourite to push for finals in 2019.
Nevertheless, not many would have expected the Bloods to find themselves sitting on the bottom of the ladder with one win from seven games and facing the prospect of missing the finals for the first time in a decade.
It’s a blemish on the otherwise outstanding resume of coach John Longmire, who has led the club to a premiership, three grand finals and eight September appearances since taking over from Paul Roos at the start of 2011. With 117 wins, 54 losses and two draws, he has the third-highest winning record (65.84 per cent) of any coach with more than 200 games under their belt.
But should Longmire be worried if Sydney continues down its current path? Is the club underperforming and in need of a new voice? Does their ladder position simply reflect their list?
On the Game of Codes podcast, we asked Roar AFL Expert Marnie Cohen to answer all these questions and convince us whether or not Longmire deserves to be under scrutiny in 2019.
Listen to the debate
Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the club is prepared to start talks with Longmire later in the season with the hope of extending his contract beyond the end of the 2020 season.
Then, the Friday before Sydney’s 22-point loss to Brisbane in Round 7, Swans chairman Andrew Pridham told the Herald Longmire is “at the very pointy end of elite” and that they wouldn’t consider tearing up his contract based on one season alone.
The Swans have a tough fixture ahead with Essendon, North Melbourne (A), Collingwood, Geelong (A) and West Coast rounding out the next five matches.