Western Bulldogs great Tony Liberatore has accused prominent commentator Gerard Whateley of being ‘out of line’ in his criticism of the club following their elimination final loss to St Kilda.
An impressive second half comeback against the Saints fell just three points short at the final siren, leading Whately to suggest on SEN Radio that the Bulldogs boasted one of the AFL’s strongest midfield groups but lacked key position players at either end of the ground.
“I’m going to borrow a phrase from someone I talk to, I think Luke Beveridge does a phenomenal job with what he’s got but I think he’s building a 1000-piece jigsaw with 920 pieces and convincing people that he’s got it under control because he’s such a good tactical and game day coach,” Whateley said.
“The fact that they can’t vaguely challenge for the top four and now they can’t win elimination finals, I actually think that tells you everything you need to know and I reckon they’re a long way from it.
“They’re all midfield, I think they’ve got one of the great midfields and nothing else.
“He’s brilliant with the way he manipulates what he doesn’t have.”
The Bulldogs had nine individual goalkickers in the elimination final loss, compared to St Kilda who got two goals each from tall targets Max King, Paddy Ryder and Tim Membrey.
Bulldogs legend rejects Gerard Whateley criticism
While Whateley had given the Bulldogs list some credit, co-host Liberatore, whose son Tom plays for the Bulldogs as well, felt his criticism was a little unfair.
The Bulldogs legend felt Whateley was not giving the likes of Aaron Naughton and Tim English enough credit.
“I just think we’re one or two players short,” Liberatore said.
“Is Aaron Naughton nothing? Is Tim English nothing? Give me Naughton any day over Tom Hawkins, right here, right now.
“He’s just come off from a broken cheekbone and he had a really good last quarter where he took three big pack marks and nearly won the game for us.
“I just think your comments are flawed, I believe strongly in this and never rang up and mentioned this – I think we’re doing a good job and we’re just a couple of players short.
“How hard you went on us yesterday from my understanding from a friend of mine, is totally out of line.”
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