Thursday, 20 August 2015


A few recent events have required two previously published blog posts to be updated and refreshed.

First, the final tracking of performance of Essendon under Hird, and then, the more worrying trend for the AFL, the increasing disparity in matchday results

On Hird Times

Last month, a case was made here that Essendon and Carlton would be best served by re-setting their club operations to be aligned to more business frame, and unhook themselves from outside influences such as coteries and other businessmen who like to wield power. This was written on the back of calls for James Hird to leave, mixed with internal reviews and external calls for retaining the status quo... at least for the season.

As it happens, the 'support of the board' was tested when (as the story rather unconvincingly goes) James Hird offered his resignation to the board who considered it, then snatched it with glee and went off dancing though the Tullamarine fields begrudgingly accepted it.

As it happens so often, a board was in the position of having to do what it said it would not, and also in this case do it prior to the completion of a 'full review' of the football department. Perhaps it would have been best to wait the remainder of the season, review all aspects of football and made the change as part of that reform process.
But the events of football rarely offer anyone the luxury of time.

So, the Hird-era is over. The curtain finally drawn.

So, using the FootyMaths rankings points as a measure of the club, it should be worthwhile to refresh the chart that shows where the club is at, and has been since the last years of the Sheedy Era.

The decline this year has been extraordinary, with 266 points dropped in 11 consecutive games. A run of games only matched by the Sheedy 2006 team (11 consecutive drops in ranking points), but the actual points loss was 55 points less. An unprecedented lowering of the Essendon colours this year.

Yes, Hird has been able to manufacture 5 wins this year, which is 2 more than that Sheedy side that he played in. So 2015 does not come off as worse when completely compared.
But as it stands, that downward trend has little chance of being turned around with any degree of significance with 3 games to be played.

Blow Outs

Earlier in the year, it was noted here that the 2015 season, with improvements to some clubs' performance, was still headed for a record for the number of games with margins of 60+ points.

With another 2 months of football under our belts, the below table shows the current situation.
MARGINS OVER140pts02013 mark10%of benchmark
MARGINS OVER120pts12013 mark520%of benchmark
MARGINS OVER100pts42013 mark850%of benchmark
14Essendon8452St Kilda2512162St Kildaby110
MARGINS OVER80pts112013 mark1861%of benchmark
20W Bulldogs/FFC249153Melbourne8755W Bulldogs/FFCby98
7West Coast219135Gold Coast6743West Coastby92
5West Coast1812120GWS4933West Coastby87
18Essendon51040W Bulldogs/FFC1913127W Bulldogs/FFCby87
20Richmond226138Gold Coast8755Richmondby83
2North Melbourne2013133Brisbane Lions7951North Melbourneby82
MARGINS OVER60pts372013 mark4190%of benchmark
3Brisbane Lions81058Richmond2111137Richmondby79
1Adelaide2114140North Melbourne9963Adelaideby77
3Collingwood2114140St Kilda10666Collingwoodby74
8Fremantle1713115North Melbourne51242Fremantleby73
12W Bulldogs/FFC2214146Brisbane Lions11874W Bulldogs/FFCby72
17Brisbane Lions5838North Melbourne1614110North Melbourneby72
3Hawthorn1913127W Bulldogs/FFC8957Hawthornby70
2West Coast2011131Carlton9862West Coastby69
8Gold Coast9963Collingwood2012132Collingwoodby69
4GWS1623119Gold Coast71153GWSby66
5Gold Coast1810118Brisbane Lions71254Gold Coastby64
18Carlton8654North Melbourne1810118North Melbourneby64
19W Bulldogs/FFC1914128Port Adelaide91064W Bulldogs/FFCby64
20Brisbane Lions2011131Carlton91367Brisbane Lionsby64
10St Kilda10969Hawthorn2012132Hawthornby63
18Port Adelaide1710112St Kilda61349Port Adelaideby63
9Melbourne8654Port Adelaide187115Port Adelaideby61
5North Melbourne101070Hawthorn1916130Hawthornby60

As per the above list, season 2015 is only 5 games away from breaching the 2013 highwater mark for lopsided outcomes. With 27 home and away games plus 9 other finals, there is a strong chance that the 2013 mark will be bested.

The only bright spot in the above figures is that there are currently no +140 point margins recorded yet, and all brackets from 80+ and above are not likely to be worse than 2013. This shows that while there are more 60+ point blowouts this year, they are restricted to the lower end of the scale.

To be reviewed at seasons end. 

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