'It was damning': AFL legend burns Bombers after dismal defeat

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·Sports Reporter
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AFL legend Matthew Lloyd has destroyed the Essendon Bombers after their poor loss to Fremantle last weekend. Pictures: AFL/Getty Images
AFL legend Matthew Lloyd has destroyed the Essendon Bombers after their poor loss to Fremantle last weekend. Pictures: AFL/Getty Images

Essendon and AFL legend Matthew Lloyd says he's already seen enough of his Bombers this season to 'put a line through them' as premiership or even finals contenders.

The Bombers dropped to a 1-4 record on Sunday after falling to Fremantle by 48 points at Marvel Stadium in a loss the club legend described as 'damning in every department'.

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Anchored to the bottom of the ladder above only the winless Port Adelaide, as well as the injury and Covid-19 ravaged West Coast and cellar-dwelling North Melbourne.

A four-point win over Adelaide has been the only highlight of the season so far for Bombers fans, with heavy losses to Geelong and Melbourne thrown in the mix for good measure.

Lloyd was uncompromising in his assessment of his former club when discussing their performance against the Dockers on the AFL's Access All Areas.

The Bombers' all-time leading goal kicker said fans were angry at what they were seeing from their side,

“There’s losing and then there’s losing the way they lost yesterday, which was as poor a loss as you’ll see. I thought they were outworked by Fremantle, they were too tough for them, I thought they were out-coached from a strategy perspective by (Dockers coach) Justin Longmuir.

“I thought Essendon had no answers in terms of their inside 50 work — it was Peter Wright, sit it on his head, nothing other than that.

“Through the midfield, those guys didn’t want to work as hard as Brayshaw and those types of players who wanted to work through the midfield. It was damning in just about every department.”

Lloyd wasn't the only former AFL great to give the Bombers a scathing assessment.

Indeed, it seemed many were lining up to slam Essendon in the wake of the horror loss.

Essendon torched after embarrassing Fremantle loss

Former Kangaroos star David King was equally bruising in his evaluation of the Bombers, suggesting teams would want to play them every week due to how easy it had been for Fremantle to get the game on their terms.

“They are the nicest team in the AFL. Every team in our competition would love to play against the Bombers every week,” King said on Fox Footy.

“They allow you so many luxuries, you can move the ball as easy as you like, they are uncompetitive at clearances and are uncompetitive at contested possession.

“It’s embarrassing what this club is putting out there at the moment.

"This is a proud football club that want for nothing and I can’t believe where they’re at right now – I really can’t.”

Essendon's AFL season is in jeopardy after a particularly poor loss to Fremantle at Marvel Stadium over the weekend. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Essendon's AFL season is in jeopardy after a particularly poor loss to Fremantle at Marvel Stadium over the weekend. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Former St Kilda midfielder Leigh Montagna added to the misery of Bombers fans on First Crack.

He was most concerned by what he described as a backwards step under head coach Ben Rutten this season, after the Bombers improved in 2021.

“Surely Ben Rutten is not teaching them to play this way, so is his message not getting through?” Montagna said.

“We saw signs last year Essendon were playing a brand and team defensive system and they were building nicely. But for whatever reason, they’ve gone completely backwards in it this season.

“Maybe they thought they were tracking better and going better than they were.”

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