Situations Vacant?

Just who is to blame for the current plight of one Matthew Knights – the incumbent who sits in the director’s chair with “Coach” written on the back of it overlooking the Essendon Bowling Club at Windy Hill?

Is it actually Matthew Knights who has been coaching for 3 years and has seen his young team go from not much in 2008, to finalists in 2009 and back to boiled lollies again in 2010? Yes, Knights should shoulder a lot of the blame for the way his team is playing. After all, he is the coach and he is responsible for the on-field efforts of his charges. But to simplify this situation suggesting that Knights is wholly responsible neglects all the other issues that are going on.

Is it the ghost of Kevin Sheedy who resided over the Bombre’s for 27 years. Sheedy came to Essendon at a time when the Bombre’s were pretty much just making up the numbers in the VFL. They hadn’t really threatened the finals much since 1968 when they were beaten in the Grand Final by a lucky Carlton who kicked less goals than Essendon. Sheedy took a second rate club and turned it into a true powerhouse of the competition. His 4 Premierships were capped off in 2000 by taking the most successful team in any one year to the ultimate prize when they lost only 1 game for the year.

Unfortunately, Sheedy was unable to work his mojo in the years hence and a series of unsuccessful years where they didn’t make finals saw the faithful baying for blood, and the Essendon Board finally listening. Sheedy was effectively sacked in 2007 paving the way for new blood.

The farce that ensued during Sheedy’s sacking should have been enough to make the public wonder if the high expectations of the Essendon brand would survive the post-Sheedy fall-out. Peter Jackson and Ray Horsburgh both have a lot of egg on their face in regards to Sheedy’s and the fact they are no longer at Bomberland indicates that there was quite a stench surrounding the respective acitivites during this time.

Enter David Evans, son of former Spotless mogul and AFL Commissioner, Ron who was also former Bomber champion. His tenure has only just begun yet is is effectively being questioned by the very people who have put him there. Does he have the support of the people, and is he going to support his coach through thick and thin? Or are the Bomber faithful so deluded that they will always think that they deserve the ultimate success and that they are a lot better than they actually are?

My question as to who is ultimately responsible for Matthew Knights’ plight can be answered in one simple word. The Footy Medja!
One only has to look at the way Knights is being undermined in the medja by some of the great Bomber names of the past. Matthew Lloyd in particular seems to have an agenda – is it mainly because of his sacking by Matthew Knights a year before his career should have ended? Is Lloyd still so irked that he will do anything he can in his role as a footy commentator that he will destroy Knights as payback? It is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Lets look at other Bomber medja commentators – Rohan Connelly and Mark Robinson. Over the past few months their constant criticism of Knights and his game plan, the players he both inherited and brought to the club, and the way they constantly play the anti-Knights message out in the print, tv and radio medja is laughable.

The medja’s desire to read a message into a comment and portray that as truth is utterly ridiculous. I can’t believe that any free thinking individual would read too much into the stuff the medja says. But that is the dichotomy of footy isn’t it. As a result of our passion and enthusiasm for the game, most footy supporters are not free thinking or open-eyed. We see what we think are our best interests according to our own interpretations and stick to that. Nothing anyone says or does can change our minds once it is made up. A bit like Federal Politics really.

Lets look also at other medja commentators such as Mike Sheahan. His constant badgering of James Hird on Foxtels “On The Couch” about so-called rumours (rumours the medja decided to make up by the way) of Hird wanting to coach ultimately resulted in Hird suggesting that at some stage he would like to coach the Essendon Football Club.

Ok, that was about all he said, but the leeches in the medja have jumped upon this one comment which was made among many other comments and in essence, basically suggested Hird was not only interested in, but had been approached and almost signed to coach as of 2011. Fair dinkum, what player with coaching ambitions wouldn’t like to coach the club he played for?

The medja’s refusal to accept David Evans’ word that a review would be done of all positions at the footy club come the end of the year only served to fuel the fire. There was a lot more going on behind the scenes or so we are told. The Board has refused to endorse Knights’ position even though he has a contract which therefore must obviously mean he is on his way out.

Fair dinkum, the footy medja is relying on us, the footy public, not to be able to see through this game that they are playing. The sad things is ladies and gentlemen, that many of you are falling for it.!!!

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