The date of January 16, 2020 could haunt Collingwood and its supporters for at least the next decade.
Joined July 2014
West Ham till I die
The date of January 16, 2020 could haunt Collingwood and its supporters for at least the next decade.
With the excitement of a free-flowing, goal scoring World Cup in full swing it has highlighted once again that these winter weeks of the AFL season are becoming worse with each passing year.
Over the past decade Australia has meandered into a state of sporting mediocrity without even realising it. Lacklustre results have been championed rather than called out and we appear to have not just accepted but embraced this malaise.
It is one of the great debates which has seemed almost impossible to settle. Many an hour has been wasted in pubs and over BBQs among friends who are in one camp or the other.
Was it ever going to end any other way? A thrilling last hurrah from the man affectionately known as the ‘Black Mamba’.
This is not the first time Slaven Bilic has arrived at Upton Park to significant fanfare and filled supporters with optimism.
With the excitement of the AFL finals growing and some mouth-watering first up-matches, a horrible last month of football has been somewhat over-shadowed.
Australian airlines have had a tough run over the past 20 years. We saw the very public demise of Ansett, while presently the budget flyers are scraping tooth and nail for every dollar gained on the competition.
Risk takers, explosive, dynamic. Port Adelaide launched themselves into the AFL landscape once again last season on the back of their marauding style and two-way gut busting running.
Round 1 of every AFL season provides fans and pundits alike with an opportunity to dissect every second of action and draw some rather quick and often deluded conclusions.
There was a certain irony that Saturday’s one dayer was presided over by Tony Abbott, as Shane Watson once again met his demise prematurely.
While watching an at times enthralling, but at other times snail-paced Twenty20 game between the Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat, viewers were treated to a wonderful on-air interview of Kevin Pietersen by former Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting.
Last week I wrote an article which focussed on the decision to oust Pete Siddle for Mitchell Starc in which I very briefly touched on the dynamics, or lack thereof, of the Channel Nine commentary team.
Shane Warne has become an intriguing figure within the Channel Nine commentary box over the past few summers.
In mid-August I wrote an article aimed squarely at West Ham director’s failure to remove Sam Allardyce after a very disappointing campaign last season.
Over four years ago, the Australian selectors showed just how much disarray Australian cricket was in by selecting a squad of 17 players for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
Another away series against subcontinental opposition and Australia again falters.
Early season form can be a mirage as some clubs jump out of the blocks against weaker opposition, while others are drawn with multiple games against the big boys and struggle.
After taking a breath and letting the overly lengthy draft period wash over me, I want to have a closer look at the drawn-out, five-club ‘mega-deal’ completed to get Dayne Beams to his desired destination.
Watching the Western Sydney Wanderers charge into the ACL final last week, supported by a passionate army of supporters, made me strangely proud and quite jealous at the same time.
Love the idea Peter but have a feeling old “Nanny State” Victoria will struggle to get this through the right channels. Would need to be heavily policed and the first hint of trouble would see the seats back in their original place. We also know the likes of the Herald Sun would be all over the first sign of anything negative to publish about crowd behaviour and the world game!
Would be amazing I used to love watching the Pies on the hill at Victoria Park… it would need some strong people power and backing to get it off the ground.
Still we can dream!
Time to take a stand at AAMI Park
I hope you’re kidding Ronan… Watson has not proved himself over 50 tests but continues to get a game and this won’t change in time for the Ashes. The selectors need for a batting all-rounder means he maintains his usefulness in the squad.
Mitch Marsh still isn’t in the best 6 batsman in the country, until he is we will all have to continue putting up with Watson and his sub par performances.
Burns notice: Watson has two more Tests to prove himself
The signings the club made during the pre season were a clear signal of intent. Their midfield is now looking like a powerhouse with Song and now Kouyate back from injury to partner with Noble. West Ham have not had an easy start by any stretch and knocking of the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City is a wonderful start. They seem to finally have the mix right and Allardyce while not responsible for many of the summer signings should take the credit for the wonderful way they have clicked almost overnight. Long season but a wonderful first 1/4.
West Ham are making their own luck
Interesting take Sarah.
I’d say the loss of Buddy had little to no effect on Langford and Ceglar coming off the rookie list as they both play completely different positions. Ceglar came in for Max Bailey while Langford effectively took the spot of Brad Sewell. I’d also suggest that the reason why the Buddy loss to Hawthorn was minimal was due to the fact they already had a premiership quality team… take Buddy out of a side like Melbourne and it would rip the heart of the club.
Free agency has some significant flaws which must be looked at by the AFL. They need to scrap the compensation each club receives which is a ridiculous free kick to clubs (Collingwood recieving pick 10 for Dale Thomas for example was ludicrious and I’m a pies man) and like the NFL in America the top clubs should be excluded from taking part so we don’t have these example of top clubs like Hawthorn and Sydney picking up the best free agents and eessentially topping up an already strong list.
The AFL is fast turning into the EPL with the haves and have nots.
Free Agency: whose game is it anyway?
Interesting take on the 2013 draft Cameron.
While both Scharenburg and Freeman failed to make their debut due to injury and both are highly touted. I would say we are probably still 3-4 years away from being able to come to the conclusion as to whether the draft was a success or not.
In your comments section I see you talk about letting Beams be with his sick father and the issue being ‘bigger than football’. While I agree in principle it was interesting to read an article last week in the Herald Sun suggesting that his father was just one of the reasons he wanted to leave the club. The article gave the impression that he is in fact in remission. If that is the case while I feel sorry for their situation I think Collingwood have every right to hold for the best deal possible and pick 4 in a straight swap is outrageous.
I think you raise an excellent point however about the drafting. In 2010 when Jolly and Ball came in they were quality players who would walk straight into the starting 18. Buckley has tried to steal a bargain and turn average footballers like White and Lynch into first choice players and each has been a spectacular failure.
Collingwood's fall from grace sparks an identity crisis
The AFL is slowly coming to grips with the fact it needs to be more inclusive. Introducing themed rounds to highlight individual sections of our commuinty and actively involving them is critical for not only the growth of the game but its health. In regards specifically to women in the AFL we now have a female president at Richmond and of course the chief football writer for the Age. We have female officials on gameday as well as board members and trainers.doctors etc. but still it is a fair point the game needs to move with the times.
I think it is actually a generational thing then anything else and over time the younger age brackets coming through are being bought up on AFL football which is showing a greater respect for woman. Obviously the league still has a huge mountain to climb in recognising the great things being done within AFL by those of differing sexual orietations and of varying ethnic backgrounds.
Slowly the AFL community is weeding out this behaviour and interestingly enough the media and tv/radio commentary seems to almost be the final frontier for the ‘old boys’ club (which has its HQ at Triple M/Footy Show). It’s terrific to see channel nine give Meg Lanning an opportunity to commentate the cricket this summer and hopefully more woman are encouraged to follow.
The AFL has a long way to go in fostering complete tolerance
Disappointing result on the weekend but with Cole and Vaz Te upfront it really shouldn’t be a surprise. These two were on the outer last season and suddenly they are back in the frame?
Allardyce needs to either buy into the squad that Gold and Sullivan are putting together or ship off.
Mark Noble is what he is a hard worker who will never have the class of other EPL centre mids, but there is still room for him in the squad no doubt.
Personally the quicker they part company with big Sam the better and get a manager capable of delivering the sort of football fans want to watch and use the best players he has at his disposal. Song at least can add a bit of class in midfield.
Jekyll or Hyde for the Hammers
“The club holds the all-time record as far as grand final appearances is concerned with 43 but alas for the fans the win-loss record over the journey has been 15-26, with two draws.”
What Glenn Mitchell fails to recognise is that from it’s flag in 1958 until now Collingwood have often appeared in Grand Finals they had no right to be in and often came from 3rd, 4th, 5th on the ladder in doing so. In Grand Finals where they were actually favoured to win they have performed quite well.
Their efforts often in finals to knock off more favoured opponents to just get to the big dance is often over-looked as it has been again by Mitchell.
Collingwood: The historic underachiever
Clearly they are already in a rebuild, but the next challenge for Buckley as I see it is getting back the desire to hunt the football and work for each other. At the moment with so much inexperience in the side each area of the ground looks disjointed and disconnected from one another. Continuity playing together over the next 2 years is critical to whether Collingwood make use of all this top end talent they have loaded up with in the draft.
Finals are out of reach for the 'Pies, now it's time for a rebuild
Hi Guys and thanks for the comments.
Jacques I meant “a rare winner” in the sense that of the 9 players chosen during the 2005 and 2006 AFL drafts, obviously Hawthorn have had a terrific strike rate over the journey. The Hawks have a wonderful side but had they hit the right notes during this period it could have been extraordinary.
The further you go down a draft list the harder it can be to select the right player so here are many instances of good players slipping through but selections in the top 20 need to hit the mark. Ellis and Dowler for example have to be considered bad misses.
Steve I agree you could write this for numerous clubs but few as strong as Hawthorn. I disagree with the salary cap debate however clubs are very clever at the way they manipulate contracts and front/back end them to ensure the list stays largely intact. The Geelong super draft of 2001 (from memory) delivered Bartel, Kelly, Ablett and Steve J and they following that success have held onto basically their entire list barring little Gaz. Players will take pay cuts when in the right environment and with the chance to be in a successful team. Brian Lake a great example from the Dogs to Hawthorn taking a cut to have success.
Paul the point of the draft from an AFL perspective is to spread the talent, the point of the draft from a clubs perspective is to stockpile as much talent as possible they don’t want it shared… Do you think the Hawks will be hoping the Dees and Saints get the best players and experience good drafting this year… your joking right? With Hawthorn’s success at developing players I believe many of those names would have succeeded at the club, certainly Pendlebury and Selwood.
Hawthorn could have become the greatest
I would argue that over his career Phil Hughes has done nothing but catch breaks…
Promoted before his time and twice the selectors have gone back to him only for Hughes to let them down. The last thing Australia need going into another Ashes series is to risk taking him again and giving the Poms catching practice behind the wicket. Crushing shield bowlers on a flat Adelaide deck and other countries ‘A’ sides is one thing… dealing with the Pakistan spin in the UAE and swing in England is quite another.
Potentially he is in the ODI squad, but he is still a long way off getting near the test team. Warner already provides the lusty hitting and risk taking at the top of the order Hughes represents a unnecessary risk who has failed before.
Phillip Hughes: The man who just can't catch a break
I feel like I have a foot in both camps at the moment.
Obviously the 2014 magpies aren’t flag contenders with so much experience traded out and a number of young players blooded it is always going to lead to inconsistencies and a drop in performance during the later half of the season. I like what Buckley did in regards to clearing the decks for to long the rat pack ran the club and it was to it’s detriment as standards dropped and players became to happy with themselves. Shipping off Thomas and Shaw will have a hugely positive impact in 3-4 years time.
But one thing you could be assured about under Malthouse was that he got the most out of the players at his disposal. During the 2002/2003 Grand Final years the pies had only ‘above average’ teams but Malthouse got everything out of them and their desperation and determination allowed them to make two finals they probably had no right to be in. My concern is whether Buckley is able to do something similar and whether he is amongst the tactical elite coaches in the AFL, on the evidence so far it would suggest he struggles in big games against quality coaching opposition. Certainly for the first time in many years I am questioning the players desire.
As a magpies fan I was under no illusions that this season and next may be a bit of a struggle and I think the young talent which has been blooded will clearly form the nucleus of a team ready to again be top four in 2016, but whether Buckley is the right man to provide the structure and tactical nous required at the elite level of coaching remains to be seen.
Be patient with the Pies, their time will come
It is certainly a difficult position for the club whether to support the player through the court proceedings with the assumption of innocence until proven guilty or to consider his position untenable and sack him. I think given the accusations that have come to light in the past 24 hours I don’t think there is any way you could allow him to play again until the matter goes to court. Obviously a shocking situation for the victim and her family and you would have to think the chances of him playing football in the near future are remote.
Future England football star continues to un-Ravel…
Thomas is good enough to have an impact for Carlton in year to come should his body hold out and he be able to complete an uninterrupted pre season. The blues certainly paid overs for him but he can still be a good wing half forward option in his later years. As a collingwood fan I think the fans weren’t bitter so much as disappointed that he left for an arch rival who clearly are further away from success that the pies potentially are… But with this new world of free agency he can’t be blamed. I certainly hold him in high regard for his deeds in the black and white his 2010 season was incredible and he was a star of the league!
Death of a flower: What happened to Daisy Thomas?
Thanks everyone for the comments so far the Australian First XI is always a well debated subject.
A lot of people have mentioned Phil Hughes but I worry that on wickets that will no doubt be prepared to seam and swing he will once again be found out. Chris Lynn has been mentioned but unfortunately he is booked in for shoulder surgery and will miss the first half of the season.
While people are arguing for Maxwell’s inclusion as a spinner if he gets a berth it will be because his bat has done the talking, his offies at test level are part time at best. Steve O’Keefe would be a potential reserve spinner but given Lyon looks a lock for the role it might be worth taking Cameron Boyce to gain some experience bowling in English conditions.
Haddin may keep going but remember that Gilchrist retired at the same age against the same opposition. It was after the 4 test series in Australia vs India that he gave it away and if he does hopefully the selectors take the punt on Whiteman who is an excellent glove-man.
Finally the fast bowlers are very much up in the air dependent on form and injury but Jackson Bird could be one to take over to the UK certainly given his tight lines and ability to generate good seam movement.
All in all though it is a lot nicer to write this article with all the talent available as opposed to the last time we were about to tour England!
Who makes Australia’s XI for the first Ashes Test in England 2015?
No worries Macca we can agree to disagree. But I think personally Yarran should have been on his last chance after the petulant display he showed when Malthouse started him sub last year and he sulked the entire game. Very bad example to set for the other young players around the club. Couple that with him laughing with Buddy the other week when he kicked his fifth to demoralize the Blues I would have been furious if he played for my team.
Speaking from experience during the finals last year Heath Shaw’s selfish attitude was something the club needed to stamp out and they rightly (in my opinion) showed him the door in exchange for a new Luke Ball replacement in Taylor Adams.
Outside runners like Yarran are a dime a dozen but a key big man could be critical for Carlton’s future. I have to disagree with your last sentence though as that is the structure you had this year with Henderson and Casboult up forward and Rowe down back and it currently has you sitting 13th with only 6 wins and you’re about to chalk up your 12th loss for the season this evening… clearly change is required.
Carlton's list in dire need of a clean-out
Great to see some fired up Blues fans keen to discuss the list changes needed for 2015.
Firstly I completely agree with you all that should Judd want to go on that he be allowed, he is a fantastic ball winner and provides terrific on field leadership. But my point is more that I’m not convinced his body will allow him to get through another season… The jungle drums are already beating that he will hang them up at seasons end.
Macca – My apologies it was supposed to list those players along with the aforementioned youngsters in the article, I appreciate Jamison is no spring chicken. But in regards to Yarran any good market trader knows to buy low and sell high. I doubt Yarran will produce another season like this and yet he continues to be a poor example for team mates with his negative attitude. This is Carlton’s opportunity to cash in while he has some real currency. I’m sure you would love to see Gibbs and Murphy pinging balls into the forward line at Patton and Casboult with Henderson holding down CHB.
Carlton's list in dire need of a clean-out
As a Collingwood fan there are still glaring areas which need to be addressed. Despite not being the player he was in 2010 Chris Dawes was critical to the structure of the forward line and gave Travis Cloke a counter point to work from. The pies also need to continue to bring through players like Seedsman, Williams and Freeman (hopefully) who clearly have real carry and dash and can set up play from the back half. So far I would say that while Nathan Buckley and the team have drafted well their free agents recruits have been poor with Clinton Young another in a long list of those bought in who have failed to add real value.
For me it isn’t so much about stock piling youth at this stage as seeing the players once again play with a competitive desire to hunt and win the football, something that hasn’t been there consistently since 2011. The game last Sunday against Adelaide was a perfect example of them being out hustled and unless Bucks can have the team playing for him they will still be some way off the top 4.
Buckley's short term pain to deliver Pies long term gain
Thanks everyone for the comments always nice to have a strong debate about football! Not sure if I agree with the sentiment that Costa Rica were given a favorable draw as some have suggested… or that money (Spain) breeds success just look at England. As if almost on cue from Craig Foster he thinks he has the answer for Asia’s failings worth a read. http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/blog/2014/07/11/why-asia-needs-super-league
Who's to blame for Asia's struggles in the World Cup?