Essendon great Mark Thompson has launched a scathing attack on his former club, accusing the Bombers of giving up on the AFL season and playing a style of footy that won’t win games.
Thompson was fined by the AFL for his role in the club’s infamous 2012 supplements program and ultimately departed after acting as caretaker coach for the 2014 season while James Hird served a suspension for the same issue.
With 12 players serving anti-doping bans, Essendon – under new coach John Worsfold – slumped to their 10th loss in a row last weekend – a 108-point humiliation at the hands of Hawthorn.
“They’re uncompetitive, aren’t they? They can’t even get in the game. It’s not a bad side when you look at it on paper but they can’t play,” Thompson said of his former club on Wednesday night on Foxtel’s AFL 360 program.
Thompson fears the Bombers’ 1-11 season will only get worse due to what he feels is an acceptance that big losses are bound to happen with a patched-up team of youngsters and top-up players.
Worse than that, however, for the former Bombers premiership captain and Geelong premiership coach, is the the style of football Worsfold has the team playing.
“I’m more worried about how long it’s going to take to get out of this and how they’re playing … they’re not playing the game to win the game,” he said.
“They’re not playing a style of footy that’s going to win the game.”
Thompson accused Essendon of trying to limit the damage in matches, albeit under tough circumstances, instead of laying the foundations of a game plan that would ultimately bring finals success.
“There are so many teams that can’t win the premiership this year, but none of them would be playing football just to try and get fourth or sixth or to not have as many losses,” he said.
“I’m a believer that you just train them up to play (the way) that’s going to win finals.
“And hopefully one day, you’ll get through with the people that you’ve got and that one day, that you do get the chance, it’s years of training that’s gone into it that gets you the result.”