No club, not even the Gold Coast Suns, has endured a more horrific recent fortnight than Essendon.
Seemingly a lock for finals two weeks ago, the Bombers have been blown off the park twice in as many weeks. Their percentage has been obliterated, their points gap over the chasing pack has all been evaporated and the prospect of missing finals yet again has become very, very real.
But was their irresistible previous form actually that good? Or did the footy world all fall for a facade?
We got Roar AFL expert Marnie Cohen on the line on our Game of Codes podcast to debate whether Essendon’s recent fortnight really is a shocker, or whether a massive pretender has just been exposed.
Listen to the discussion:
Fourth-year coach John Worsfold will come under enormous scrutiny if his charges fail to make September for the second straight season.
After guiding a massively compromised list through a difficult first season, the former West Coast premiership coach won plaudits for dragging the revitalised list up to seventh place the very next season.
But, despite two years of stellar offseason acquisitions, the expected leap into a genuine contender hasn’t happened.