The Western Bulldogs‘ stunning exit in the first week of the finals could be followed by a reshuffling in the coaches’ box after a year filled with inconsistencies.
After finishing second to Melbourne last year, the Bulldogs were never able to put together a string of consistent football this season, only sneaking into the finals on the final day of the home and away season after a collapse from Carlton.
Luke Beveridge‘s side coughed up a 41-point lead to Fremantle in Saturday’s elimination final, and according to The Age’s Caroline Wilson, the finals loss is more evidence the 2016 premiership-winner needs help.
The Bulldogs’ season began with a bang when Beveridge infamously clashed with then-Fox Sports reporter Tom Morris, and Wilson said the 52-year-old continued to be too preoccupied with leaks.
“They absolutely need to bring in fresh coaches,” she told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“He (Beveridge) needs some new assistants and he needs some stronger people around him.
“There’s been a view, for me, that he has too big a say. He tries to run too much at that footy club, he worries too much about what’s getting out in the media. I think he needs to stop worrying about all that stuff.
“I hope the CEO is standing up to him, but I think they sort of creep around him sometimes.”
Essendon great Matthew Lloyd was highly critical of the Bulldogs’ performance, saying the loss was more damaging than the one in last year’s grand final.
“They’ve been way off the pace,” he told Footy Classified.
“Against top-eight sides, (they’re) three wins and eight losses.”
“I think this is a worse loss than last year. Melbourne were a great side and they just fell apart in the last quarter.
“But this one, against a young Fremantle side who had four blokes who’d played finals (previously), they looked like they were a deer in the headlights.
“The defence was not worked out all year. I don’t think Liam Jones is going to fix it, I don’t think Rory Lobb is going to fix it, I think it’s a system issue for the Western Bulldogs.”
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