Essendon Round 4 Review: What did fans learn from the Adelaide trip?


Written by Harry Doyle (@thefootysocial) on 20 April 2017   

The trip back from Adelaide would not have been the most pleasant for the Bombers, after suffering a 65 point blow to the Crows. The game was not easy to watch as Adelaide looked right at home and never looked under threat. Bomber fans would have been optimistic if they thought the Dons were to escape this game lightly.

First of all, Essendon hasn't ‘hit a wall' as they have been described in the media (yes, John Worsfold said it, but not directly at the squad), they hit the Adelaide Crows. The Crows have proven to be an absolute force at their Adelaide oval, and they look undefeatable in 2017. The Crows play the offensive game perfectly, they have purple patches throughout the game and rarely make a bad decision or execution.

Remember what the Crows produced against premiership favourites the Giants? A 56 point demolition. That's less than a two-goal margin than the Bombers margin, so we don’t appear too bad on paper. I look at this Essendon performance and my views of how the team is tracking for the remainder of the year are still the same.

I look at this Essendon performance and my views of how the team is tracking for the remainder of the year are still the same. The Only Way Is Up!Besides the heavy margin, there are a lot of positives to take away from the contest on the weekend.

The Bombers came out after halftime, winning the third quarter by two goals and at times our aggressive attack matched the appearances of Adelaide's run and carry. The ball movement was fast and clean. Joey Daniher marked the ball plenty of occasions just outside the Dons forward 50, and it's obvious he leads the charge for quick entries, as soon as the

The ball movement was fast and clean. Joey Daniher marked the ball plenty of occasions just outside the Dons forward 50, and it's obvious he leads the charge for quick entries, as soon as the Sherrin lands in those glorious hands of his, he spins around and pumps the ball 50 plus metres, and the deliveries are almost perfect. Daniher's entries are among the best in the competition, and if his midfielders utilise his abilities, Essendon can maintain a high percentage score rate once inside the 50.

Essendon finished with 88 points, a relatively high score for a team beaten by ten goals. Fans are seeing the same names pop up with Travis Colyer, Orazio Fantasia, Kyle Langford and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti all hitting the goals regularly this season, which is a positive sign early in the season considering the lack of goal presence in previous seasons. Scoring in a heavy loss can help boost the percentage at

Scoring in a heavy loss can help boost the percentage at season's end, still an underrated statistic. The Dons need these faces to continuously display on the goal list to establish a robust forward structure. Hopefully, more players will be introduced on the Bombers scoreboard soon, such as the red hair duo of Josh Green and Aaron Francis.

Brendon Goddard

Flying under the radar of opposition teams this season is Brendon Goddard (BJ), with the return of midfield personnel Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell and the emergence of Zach Merrett, it seems Goddard's value as a player has elevated. With less attention from the enemy, Goddard has had the freedom to roam the field unattended enabling him to showcase his key attribute of reading the ball and appearing at all the right places at the right time. Whether BJ is strolling at half back or running through the midfield, he is impacting the game. The Bombers are using his kicking abilities to full measure with Goddard entering inside 50 just under five times a match, that's almost guaranteeing five safe shots at goal a game. BJ has copped criticism in previous seasons for having low contested possession figures and gathering ‘easy ball', but BJ has responded strongly this season by leading the Bombers overall contested possession count. Anyone who is interested in the Champion Data scores, Goddard is leading as the Bombers number one man, averaging 116 points thus far this 2017 season. Keep up the good work BJ!

With less attention from the enemy, Goddard has had the freedom to roam the field unattended enabling him to showcase his key attribute of reading the ball and appearing at all the right places at the right time. Whether BJ is strolling at half back or running through the midfield, he is impacting the game. The Bombers are using his kicking abilities to full measure with Goddard entering inside 50 just under five times a match, that's almost guaranteeing five safe shots at goal a game. BJ has copped criticism in previous seasons for having low contested possession figures and gathering ‘easy ball', but BJ has responded strongly this season by leading the Bombers overall contested possession count. Anyone who is interested in the Champion Data scores, Goddard is leading as the Bombers number one man, averaging 116 points thus far this 2017 season. Keep up the good work BJ!

Whether BJ is strolling at half back or running through the midfield, he is impacting the game. The Bombers are using his kicking abilities to full measure with Goddard entering inside 50 just under five times a match, that's almost guaranteeing five safe shots at goal a game. BJ has copped criticism in previous seasons for having low contested possession figures and gathering ‘easy ball', but BJ has responded strongly this season by leading the Bombers overall contested possession count. Anyone who is interested in the Champion Data scores, Goddard is leading as the Bombers number one man, averaging 116 points thus far this 2017 season. Keep up the good work BJ!

The Bombers are using his kicking abilities to full measure with Goddard entering inside 50 just under five times a match, that's almost guaranteeing five safe shots at goal a game. BJ has copped criticism in previous seasons for having low contested possession figures and gathering ‘easy ball', but BJ has responded strongly this season by leading the Bombers overall contested possession count. Anyone who is interested in the Champion Data scores, Goddard is leading as the Bombers number one man, averaging 116 points thus far this 2017 season. Keep up the good work BJ!

BJ has copped criticism in previous seasons for having low contested possession figures and gathering ‘easy ball', but BJ has responded strongly this season by leading the Bombers overall contested possession count. Anyone who is interested in the Champion Data scores, Goddard is leading as the Bombers number one man, averaging 116 points thus far this 2017 season. Keep up the good work BJ!

Anyone who is interested in the Champion Data scores, Goddard is leading as the Bombers number one man, averaging 116 points thus far this 2017 season. Keep up the good work BJ!

Quiet Achiever

Could Essendon be pulling off another All-Australian backman? The success of Patrick Ambrose has been enormous, and he is appearing to be the Bombers new shutdown defender, the decision and work of Mark Harvey and John Worsfold to place Ambrose in the backline last season has paid off. When Tex Walker of Adelaide had the whole Essendon team in his hand on Saturday night, it was Ambrose who stood up and tackled the in-form captain.

Walker had kicked four goals in the opening quarter against the main man Michael Hurley and another goal within five minutes of the second quarter, Essendon fans were pleading and crying (maybe just me) "where's Michael Hartley?".

Boom! The change had been made, and Ambrose stayed on Walker's fire trail for the rest of the night, preventing him scoring any more major goals. A solid effort. The Adelaide attack was brutal all night, and after a disappointing overall defence from the Dons, Ambrose can certainly hold his head up high.

Rising Star

One of Essendon's highlights for the week was the Rising Star nomination for Andrew ‘Pigeon' McGrath; he was running off the backline, looking as composed as veterans, even playing on Eddie Betts, this young man had it all. McGrath glimpsed the footy world of his magic, where he took a couple of bounces while surging away from Crow opponents and threaded his kick to Daniher through the experienced Adelaide defence (I was so damn excited during this passage). Eventually Mcgrath will move into the midfield allowing him to unleash a more aggressive attack, hopefully, the fans will see more of his link up with Daniher in the future. If McGrath's form continues, we might see another Essendon player engraved on the Rising

McGrath glimpsed the footy world of his magic, where he took a couple of bounces while surging away from Crow opponents and threaded his kick to Daniher through the experienced Adelaide defence (I was so damn excited during this passage). Eventually Mcgrath will move into the midfield allowing him to unleash a more aggressive attack; hopefully, the fans will see more of his link up with Daniher in the future. If McGrath's form continues, we might see another Essendon player engraved on the Rising Starboard.

Votes

  1. Travis Colyer
  2. Brendan Goddard
  3. Patrick Ambrose

The shootout style game with Adelaide didn't work in Essendon's favour at all, leaving them exposed on efficiency and the ability to apply a high standard of pressure on opponents. Is it an easy fix? I think so, after the hard work, of course, we have already seen what Essendon can do off the ball. The longer these boys play together and bond, the quicker there will be an improvement in the defensive structure for four quarters. The leaders of the club need to be strong to guide this team forward, the Dons will be judged on how they respond to a heavy defeat, and their future performance will indicate where the leadership stands compared to the rest of the competition.

What's Next?

Anzac Day! An incredible privilege for the Essendon Football Club to be part of, it's important to respond strongly after a horrid few years of performances on this day. A win is vital, especially against Collingwood.

The media again have haunted the Pies nest before an Anzac Day game, meaning they will likely come out pumped for this contest. It is up to Essendon to counter their determination and to get back on the winner's list. No excuses against the black and white.

P.S. please tag Steele Sidebottom.


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