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Opinion

Clarko, it's time to go

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Roar Guru
17th August, 2020
67
1216 Reads

With Hawthorn in a bit of a rut after thrashing Carlton a few weeks ago and their old players starting to lose their golden touch, many still haven’t asked if Clarko should go?

Here’s why the Hawks should let Alastair Clarkson go.

Inconsistency
Over recent years, especially premiership years, Hawthorn were expected to win nearly every game. And now, especially this year, they’re up and down nearly every week. Which is strange given that they have good players such as James Sicily, Chad Wingard, Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara.

And part of the reason why is because of an inconsistent season both with their team line-ups and their performances. Every match so far this season they’ve made two changes per game. Yes it ain’t as high as some teams (i.e. Adelaide and Collingwood), but you can’t just keep bringing in two new players each week.

With their performances, they are really up and down. When they beat the Tigers back in Round 3, sub par performances came afterwards. They only just won against North Melbourne, they got thrashed the next three games against GWS, Collingwood and Melbourne, then they lost to Sydney.

This is from a team who, after beating Richmond, were expected to do well.

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Age
With the third-oldest list and the second-most experienced list (24.66 and 80.25) some assume that teams would do well, but in other cases they don’t work out. Hawthorn is the best example.

They have seven 30+ year old players, twelve 151+ game players (both the equal most in the league at the start of the season), and some of their 151+ players ain’t doing too well. Chad Wingard is averaging approx. 15 touches a game (down from 19 per game last year) and Luke Breust is averaging approx. four score involvements per game this year (down from approx. six per game last year).

Burgoyne, after his move up forward, has only averaged approx. 11 disposals a game this season (down from approx. 16 per game). And he’s only kicked the eight goals since moving.

Liam Shiels as well has dropped from approx. 23 touches per game last year to approx. 18 disposals per game this season. His tackling has dropped too, dropping from approx. seven per game to approx. four per game this season.

It ain’t looking too good for the old core of Hawthorn.

Alastair Clarkson

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Drop in scoring
As many know, back in the three premiership years, Hawthorn used to score for fun in each game, averaging 108.8 points per game for those entire three seasons (including finals). That has dropped dramatically, especially this season.

Last season they averaged 76.5 per game. This season so far, they’re only averaging 54.6 per game. That’s an average of 0.85 points per minute, which is a dramatic drop from 0.96 points per minute last year and a huge drop from 1.36 points per minute between 2013-2015 (all three excluding added time).

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In fact, those three seasons, they had at least three (mainly Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust and Jack Gunston) who were in the top 20 for the Coleman Medal race. The last three years, including this year, they’ve only had one. And that is still Jack Gunston.

Now I’m no massive maths whiz but I think that is a massive drop after five years. And in 2016 and 2018 they finished in the top four. And when a team’s scoring drops even just a little bit, then the coach is usually in trouble.

In the end, you never know what’s going to happen. Clarko’s in his 16th year and he’s still kicking. But with these dramatic drops in performances (even after his complaining back in early July) and losing James Sicily due to an ACL, I think we might see the end of a mighty era very soon.