Essendon captain Dyson Heppell after the Bombers' loss to St Kilda.
Essendon captain Dyson Heppell after the Bombers' loss to St Kilda.

Goddard's concern for 'confused' Bombers

FORMER Essendon star Brendon Goddard has questioned whether the Bombers are all "on the same page" after a terrible start to the season.

The Bombers are facing a crucial clash against Melbourne on Friday night with pressure on coach John Worsfold to help lift the club to its first finals win in 15 years this season.

Essendon's bolstered midfield has failed to fire in the first two losses to GWS Giants and St Kilda, despite the hype around new recruit Dylan Shiel.

Livewire Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is also in a form slump with only 12 possessions and no goals in the first two matches.

Goddard said there was a lack of cohesion and clarity in the Bombers' game style.

"There looks like there is a bit of confusion within the team and how to defend and structurally how to setup," Goddard said on Monday.

"It was evident in the game at the weekend when they struggled to get the ball back off the Saints.

"It doesn't quite look like everyone's on the same page.

The Bombers are in disarray.
The Bombers are in disarray.

"It looks like there's a million things, and I know this from experience, when you've got a lot of things going inside your head, it's hard to really have a clear focus on what's really important.

"And when you can't play on instinct on the footy field then you are stuffed because it happens too quickly."

Essendon has made key tweaks to its defensive structure under new team defence coach Ben Rutten over summer, and have lost key bookends Cale Hooker (hamstring) and Joe Daniher (calf) to early injuries.

Goddard, who played six seasons at Essendon amid a sparkling 334-game career, said the Bombers had to show more intensity and effort on Friday night against the Dees.

"I don't think it's a win-loss (thing), take that out of the equation now," he said.

"It's just about 'let's show up, roll the sleeves up, let everyone be able to see it'.

"Everyone is watching with anticipation how the Bombers are going to roll up Friday night, and what it's going to look like."

News Corp Australia


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