Triple M Footy’s James Brayshaw has been left confused by Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge intimating that his club’s shock 2016 premiership was now a burden.
The Doggies’ spectacular fall from grace since that famous October afternoon two years ago continued on the weekend as they slumped to a 49-point loss to Melbourne.
The 4-7 Bulldogs are now 14th on the ladder and have won just 15 games since achieving the ultimate success.
In his post-match conference on Saturday, Beveridge suggested that the flag had now placed unrealistic expectations on his team.
Football director Chris Grant also told the Herald Sun on the weekend that the club expected a potential slide in 2018 due to their list demographic, but JB didn’t understand that kind of public messaging from two of the club’s most senior officials.
“What does that mean?,” the former North Melbourne chairman asked on Triple M’s Rush Hour on Monday.
“What I look at is (a sustained period of) excellence within our competition and for me there have been a number of examples of it in the last 20 years going back to North Melbourne in the 90s.
“That’s what you do when you set up your footy club. You say, ‘We want to be top four for five or six years and give ourselves a sustained shot at excellence and being at the sharp end of this comp’.
“So if that’s the case, I don’t understand any of what Luke Beveridge said, I don’t understand any of what Chris Grant said. What does any of that mean? It’s like, ‘We made a rod for own back’. What is that?”
Damian Barrett described it as a cop-out because this time last year when the Bulldogs were 6-5 and inside the top eight, they were positioning themselves for a premiership defence.
“This list they had at the end of 2016 was meant to be one that set them up forever almost and here we are now bemoaning and moaning at the plight in being a premiership team of two years ago,” Damo said.
“I don’t get it – It’s more weird messaging coming out of that footy club and, to me, it’s retro-fitting what has actually happened.”
JB added that he couldn’t remember the “air going out of a balloon” as quickly as it has at the Bulldogs.
“To miss the next two finals is nuts,” he said.