Essendon’s Brendon Goddard has responded to criticism from fans and commentators after vision of him berating Bombers teammates in the loss to Collingwood divided opinion.
Collingwood mauled the Dons by 49 points for their 14th Anzac Day win, with midfielders Adam Treloar, Scott Pendlebury and Steele Sidebottom outstanding in the 14.17 (101) to 7.10 (52) win in front of 91,440 fans at the MCG.
But it was Goddard and his tough-talking antics that dominated much of the post-match analysis.
Notorious for his hot temper, the Bombers veteran was seen arguing with teammates in the third term as Essendon’s game fell apart.
First it was David Zaharakis who was going at it with Goddard before the 32-year-old and Joe Daniher squared up to one another at three-quarter time.
At the end of the third quarter the Bombers had kicked just one goal since the opening period and the frustrations had clearly tipped past boiling point.
Channel Seven’s Mark Steven’s caught up with Goddard outside the Dons’ changerooms after the match, where the veteran defended his hardline approach.
“When myself or anyone else goes away from what we’re trying to do as a team and what we value then we hold each other accountable,” Goddard said.
“But it’s all done in good jest during the game to try and achieve what we’ve gone out to achieve.
“I know I can be a bit demonstrative at times but it’s about getting the message across quickly during the heat of the game, which is quite difficult at times.
“A lot of the times what comes out of my mouth doesn’t actually reflect my body language, I’m quite an animated person at the best of times and particularly on the footy field.
The Bombers veteran’s approach certainly polarised fan opinion on social media.
I don't buy people saying he's just "passionate"…no he's a sook plain and simple
— Dee (@ad_schultzy) April 25, 2018
— Gavin warren (@Gavinwarren14) April 25, 2018
That is the epitome of this side disenchanted and unwillingly to play as a cohesive unit. Poorly coached and poorly led .
— Mark Davidson (@markjminer) April 25, 2018
Hearing the truth of not picking up your man & just ball watching was 100% correct by Goddard!
But hey Carey, don’t let facts get in the way of an opinion!
— SJWillow (@MakeBirdiePutt) April 25, 2018
Agree. Being a leader is not always about being popular. I'm glad he was calling it.
— Sim Munn (@Knight_Ryders) April 25, 2018
I support BJ, he's a senior player and is quite within his rights to give the others a spray…which was richly deserved today.
— Lorraine (@lorrainebomber) April 25, 2018