The Essendon Bombers have been under siege in the past few days, with club greats Matthew Lloyd and Paul Wallis piling on the criticism after a disastrous loss to Geelong on Sunday.
Images from half time of players laughing in the huddle left Lloyd scratching his head, while Wallis accused the club of being ‘imposters’.
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Those criticism’s appear to have struck a nerve, with Essendon coach John Worsfold arguing those criticising the club had a ‘very narrow focus’.
The Bombers appear likely to miss the finals after an up and down 2020 season, with assistant coach Ben Rutten set to take over from Worsfold in 2021.
“We measure the players on performance. I thought their second half, if telling that joke got them up and played the footy they played in the second half, we had more scoring shots and inside 50s than Geelong, then we should have been cracking those gags before the game,” Worsfold said.
“People are going to put perspective on it. Again, it‘s a very narrow focus in the context of what players are doing. We can pick on players’ group at any time.
“We want the AFL to have some characters in the game. But ultimately we get measured on performance.”
Worsfold was particularly unimpressed with Lloyd, labelling him merely an ‘opinion maker’ and claiming his thoughts on the Bombers hadn’t won him any friends or acclaim.
John Worsfold is the lamest of lame ducks at the moment. https://t.co/wrEXyD1Nkn— Daniel Cherny 📰 (@DanielCherny) September 6, 2020
“I am not sure he garnered any support with those (comments),” Worsfold said.
“That‘s his job as a commentator, not a journalist as I understand, don’t expect him to make journalistic comments. He is just an opinion maker. He is welcome to do that if that’s the way he feels.”
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Worsfold was responding to criticism from Mathew Lloyd, who argued the club was going nowhere earlier in the week, and his 2000 premiership teammate Dean Wallis.
The former defender called for a ‘review and investigation’ into the club, who he labelled ‘imposters’.
“If there was an Olympic Games for imposters in the AFL, Essendon would win gold, silver and bronze,” the 51-year-old told the Herald Sun.
“Some people will have a go at me for speaking out like this, but someone needs to stand up. The reality is, I’m just a past player who cares about his club.
“There needs to be a full review and investigation into the ongoings of the past and hopefully there are some passionate Essendon heavy hitters that can rally together to make drastic and necessary changes.”
Even worse was Wallis’ account of a conversation about the club with famous former president Graeme McMahon, who passed away in 2014.
As the Bombers were recovering from the supplements scandal of 2012, Wallis said McMahon had begged him to find a way to fix the ‘f***ed’ club.