Imagine my disappointment when I discovered over the weekend that this – not Tigers-Lions, as I’d previously thought – would be the final Friday night game of the home-and-away season.
Rounds 7-11 has put more coaches under the microscope – or even out of a job. Brad Scott left North Melbourne after Round 10 after heavy criticism of his coaching.
Therefore, I have only judged Brad Scott up until Round 10 and haven’t analysed the coaching performance of North Melbourne’s caretaker coach, Rhyce Shaw as he coached just one game, which isn’t a large enough sample size to judge accurately.
Brendon Bolton was sacked as Carlton senior coach after their Round 11 loss to Essendon, which has resulted in different opinions. Some people believe he wasn’t the problem, while others feel the ten losses suffered by Carlton vindicated the board’s decision. It will be interesting to see how caretaker coach David Teague goes in the last eleven games of the season.
Unfortunately, there are more coaches under pressure, with Essendon’s coach John Worsfold and St Kilda’s coach Allan Richardson rumoured to be under the spotlight with regards to the possibility of their tenure ending this season.
It’s unfortunate that it sells papers and makes headlines when coaches are under the microscope, but that’s reality. AFL is a results-based industry, coaches are judged on wins and losses and on Premierships and wooden spoons.
1. Adam Simpson (West Coast Eagles)
West Coast won all five games; they were the most impressive team in terms of the way in which they were coached, every player plays their role, they kicked over ten goals in all five games that they played.
They play the best brand of footy in the AFL with the exception of perhaps Greater Western Sydney at times, they are a definitely a contender based on the impressive game plan implemented by Adam Simpson between Rounds 7 and 11.
2. Leon Cameron (Greater West Sydney Giants)
Greater West Sydney won four of five games, but the game that they lost they kicked just five goals where Leon Cameron was outcoached by Alastair Clarkson.
Apart from that they have been impressive; they kicked over one hundred points on three of five occasions. They kicked accurately in all but one of the games that they played, which was the game that they lost.
3. Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions)
Brisbane won three out of five games, but they lost to the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle.
They were down five goals to nil against Hawthorn and they managed to recover from that poor start and win the game, which is testament to the coaching ability of Chris Fagan.
He managed to adjust the game plan and implement tactics that got them into a winning position, which appeared to be an inconceivable outcome at quarter time.
4. Chris Scott (Geelong Cats)
Geelong were victorious in all of their five games that they played. They kicked over one hundred points on two occasions and kicked for goal accurately in four of five games that they played.
They won by over twenty points in all of the five games that they were involved in. Despite the fact that they won all five games, in three of the games, they were challenged significantly.
In Round 8, Round 10 and Round 11 against North Melbourne, Gold Coast and Sydney, none of whom are in the top eight and it’s fair to say that they were outplayed at times, that shows that they are beatable.
5. Nathan Buckley (Collingwood Magpies)
Collingwood may have won four of the five games that they played, but they were extremely disappointing. Three of the four games that they won the opposition were competitive until three quarter time.
In their games against St Kilda and Carlton there were times in the game when they were outplayed and they had a narrow victory over Sydney. They have had a few injuries, but so have all teams.
6. Brad Scott (North Melbourne Kangaroos)-
Brad Scott won two out of four games, unfortunately he wasn’t coaching in Round 11 as what is common knowledge.
They weren’t bad as far as their performances were concerned in the two games that they lost and that is why Brad Scott is high on the coaching ladder this time around.
7. Damien Hardwick (Richmond Tigers)
Richmond won three of five games, but the manner of the two losses were disappointing. It was no coincidence that they failed to kick ten goals in the two games that they lost.
To be fair they had a few key players injured, but they would be disappointed to lose to the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne with all due respect.
8. Alastair Clarkson (Hawthorn Hawks)
Hawthorn won two of five games, they did beat GWS and Port Adelaide, but they threw away a golden opportunity against Brisbane.
They would be disappointed with their performances in the five games, but they did beat opposition that is considered to be of a good standard, they sit second and seventh on the ladder, respectively.
9. Don Pyke (Adelaide Crows)
It was difficult to pick Don Pyke ninth on the list, but the AFL is a win/loss industry and Pyke won three out of the five games that he coached between Round 7 and Round 11.
The two losses that they suffered were extremely narrow and were to West Coast and Brisbane. Adelaide nearly lost to Melbourne and failed to kick over one hundred points.
10. John Longmire (Sydney Swans)
Sydney were victorious in two out of five games, but those victories were extremely narrow over Essendon and North Melbourne. They nearly beat Collingwood and were competitive in all five games.
I look at the last five games and it appears at if they have a lot of weaknesses; their spine is weak as Callum Sinclair and Lance Franklin aren’t the players that they used to be. They need to improve as they are languishing near the bottom of the ladder.
11. Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs)
The Western Bulldogs were impressive in Round 7 and Round 8 as they were victorious against Richmond and Brisbane. Unfortunately, the three losses that they suffered were comprehensive against Geelong, North Melbourne and West Coast. It was the nature of those losses that would be concerning.
12. Simon Goodwin (Melbourne Demons)
Melbourne won just two out of five games, but weren’t blown away on the scoreboard in any of the five games. Angus Brayshaw should play more in the middle of the ground as he hasn’t reached anywhere near the form that he displayed last season where he finished third in the Brownlow Medal.
They have failed to capitalise on the scoreboard, when they have the ascendancy as far as general play is concerned, in particular against Adelaide in Round 11, when they shouldn’t have lost the games.
13. John Worsfold (Essendon Bombers)
Essendon won just two of five games, one was against the hapless Carlton and the other was a narrow win over Fremantle. Their kicking for goal was deplorable.
The most goals they kicked was against Carlton and was only eleven goals. They didn’t hit the scoreboard enough and take advantage of periods when they had control of the game.
14. Ross Lyon (Fremantle Dockers)
Fremantle won just two of their last five games, however they did manage to narrowly beat Collingwood and Brisbane, both by a margin of under a goal.
They kicked over ten goals on just two occasions. In Round 7 they managed to kick just five goals against Adelaide, which is unacceptable and seven goals in Round 9 against Essendon, it’s no coincidence that they lost both games.
15. Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide Power)
Port Adelaide struggled to win games, they were only victorious in two games out of the five; those two wins came against Gold Coast and a depleted St Kilda team.
They kicked more than ten goals on just two occasions and it was no coincidence that they won those two games, but they didn’t perform to an adequate level when you look back at the last five rounds as a whole.
16. Stuart Dew (Gold Coast Suns)
Gold Coast may have lost all five games, but there is some improvement to speak of. They should have beaten Melbourne in Round 8. Unfortunately, they failed to kick ten goals in any of the games.
It’s clear that they need to kick more goals to be more competitive, but it appears as if there is a decent game plan in place when looking at their performance as a whole.
17. Allan Richardson (St Kilda Saints)
The only win for St Kilda came against Carlton and it was a narrow win. The nature of the four losses would be a concern as they lost by at least three goals.
18. Brendon Bolton (Carlton Blues)
Carlton lost all five games that they played. There were little positives to speak of. It’s difficult to decipher whether it was poor coaching that was the reason why they were so uncompetitive, I believe that the list has some talent so unfortunately, he has to take some of the blame.
It would be great to see Bolton work in football in some capacity as he showed class in his last press conference on Monday.