West Coast great's brutal Adam Simpson call after AFL horror show

Eagles fans have been left searching for answers as club great Glen Jakovich makes a bold call on head coach Adam Simpson.

West Coast Eagles walk off the ground on the left, with coach Adam Simpson pictured right.
The West Coast Eagles suffered one of their worst losses in club history, prompting calls for head coach Adam Simpson to be sacked. Pictures: Getty Images

The West Coast Eagles have no choice but to consider sacking head coach Adam Simpson, after the club was dealt one of its worst losses in their history over the weekend, AFL great Glen Jakovich says. The Eagles have been beset by a major injury crisis once again, but fans were hoping the cellar-dwelling Eagles would show much more than they did against 17th-placed Hawthorn on Saturday.

After narrowly avoiding the wooden spoon in 2022, many had hoped to see more this season from the Eagles - instead, they have continued to go backwards. The 116-point drubbing at the hands of the Hawks was compounded by the fact that the Eagles barely fired a shot, registering only two points for the entire second half.

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Jakovich, a West Coast great who won two premierships with the club, said Simpson bore responsibility for the lack of effort from the players. He said losing by more than 100 points was one thing, but for it to come against one of the AFL's worst teams was too much to bear.

The massive injury list for the Eagles has left them struggling to field a reserves team in the WAFL, with only two members of their 2018 premiership team playing against the Hawks. Simpson didn't accept the effort put in by his players, which he described as 'unacceptable', but Jakovich said someone had to take responsibility.

“Definitely, he has to go – he can’t continue,” Jakovich told Perth radio station 6PR. “Something has to happen – the club has to come out, defend that and talk to their supporters.

“Not every keeps their job. “Unfortunately, (his time is up.) Something has to give – that cannot continue.

“We came today thinking a competitive game between the 17th and 18th side – 116-point loss? The fifth worst in the club’s history? Against Hawthorn who are just going? Sorry.”

Fans were similarly scathing of the Eagles, with much of the frustration centred on the overall lack of effort shown against the Hawks. Many were sympathetic regarding the almost comically long list of injuries, but were nevertheless left disappointed by how the match had unfolded.

Adam Simpson left frustrated after West Coast Eagles trounced

The 22.10 (142) to 4.2 (26) result, dubbed pre-round as the battle for the wooden spoon, leaves the Eagles last on the ladder with one win and a horrifying percentage of 55. Simpson cut an immensely frustrated figure when speaking to the press after the game.

"Extremely disappointing. Not good enough. Unacceptable. We're going to have to do a lot of work in a short space of time," he said. "We didn't bring the pressure. We got beaten on the inside, they were too quick. We got beaten on the outside.

"The effort wasn't the same as it had been in the past when we've put up reasonable performances. It wasn't there."

West Coast Eagles leave the ground after their loss to Hawthorn.
The West Coast Eagles suffered their fifth-worst loss in club history against the then 18th-placed Hawthorn. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

It was West Coast's lowest score against Hawthorn and their heaviest loss of the season, surpassing a 108-point defeat at the hands of Carlton in round seven. It was the first time the Hawks had scored more than 20 goals since 2016.

Remarkably, it was the second biggest winning margin in a match between sides at the bottom of the ladder in VFL and AFL history. There was further injury to insult for the Eagles, with Jamaine Jones leaving the field in the second quarter with an ankle problem that could keep him out for weeks.

Liam Duggan had a knock to the neck while Oscar Allen had a hit to the knee. West Coast were already missing Tom Barrass, Jack Darling, Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo, Jamie Cripps, Liam Ryan, Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern and Tom Cole.

"We're hoping to get players back in the next month that might help," Simpson said. "I don't think we can point the finger at the 18-year-olds (for the loss) but collectively we weren't good enough."

With AAP

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