Jenkins offers ‘different look’ at Essendon’s 2022 battle

Former AFL forward Josh Jenkins believes lack of effort is not Essendon’s only problem in their Anzac Day game against Collingwood.

The Bombers have had a rough time over the past five days after a dismal second half against Fremantle, where they turned around to lose by seven goals despite being in the game during the main break.

Ben Rutten’s men were then taken apart at the various footy shows throughout the week, with countless pieces of vision exposing the lackluster efforts of key bombers.

Deputy Vice Captain Andy McGrath joined Sports day on Thursday night to address the Bombers’ lack of effort, but Jenkins believes there is a more fundamental problem with Essendon’s list.

“I have a different take on it, they just don’t have the cattle as far as I’m concerned,” Jenkins began on SEN’s The Run Home

“We expect something that may not be realistic from the Bombers, you just have to go through their staff, they just don’t have (the right players).

“We said this on this show before the season started, how are they going to score goals, how are they going to score a goal every week.

“I’m pretty strong in the fact that they just don’t have enough talent. You need to score 14 goals to win the most weeks, go through their 22, who do we expect to kick enough goals to score 14?

“Nic Martin shows up in round 1 and kicks five goals and they are still losing by ten goals.”

Jenkins also shared a concern for the club’s defense.

“They (defenders) are all below par. Any forward who was going to play against Essendon would walk in and lick their chops, thinking, ‘I’m playing on someone who gives away 2-3 inches and 10 pounds (to me), well give me one and one,'” he added.

After Essendon’s magical run-up to the 2021 final, 2022 was a reality check.

The club are 1-4 after losing to four teams currently in the top eight, only a narrow win over Adelaide saved the club from a winless record to start the season.

Dyson Heppell’s side doesn’t seem to be gelling as well as they did during their surprise climb up the ladder last year, with Jenkins providing insight into two reasons that have had an adverse “snowball” impact on players.

“It (lack of effort) looks absolutely outrageous, but it’s like a real snowball,” he stated.

“I’ve been in those games where you absolutely get a belt and (first) you come into the game knowing there’s a lot on it and it means a lot and then if it doesn’t go the way you thought it would, you desperately needed it to deal with, you can very easily get caught up in the moment of thinking, ‘oh my god, this isn’t going well’.

“And then (the other club is) just gone, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Those are the games where you’re cloudy and foggy and you don’t think so clearly.

“It looks terrible and it shows in those kinds of actions. So that’s the space they’re in.

“(Also) they’re smart guys (thinking): ‘This isn’t going well, I just need to make sure I’m doing enough to keep my nose clean’, then again when you come across teams that perform better as a collective, come you even more for the day.

“So I’d suggest – I know Ben Rutten quite well, I’ve played with him – I’d suggest that a lot (which they talked about this week) is based on how they can help each other, not how they can help because it’s clear that their midfielders – and a lot has been thrown at their midfielders – they got a lot of football, but I’m not sure how much they helped each other.”

The Bombers will have the chance to return to one of the biggest stages of the year when they take on Collingwood on Anzac Day in a clash expected to draw more than 80,000 fans.

Having suffered three consecutive losses, the Pies are also desperate for a win to keep their early season momentum going.





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