Lacklustre Lions no surprise given lean years
With their highway neighbour in the gun this week, Brisbane too hasn’t escaped the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Struggling at the bottom of the ladder, being the only club yet to register a win in so far in 2015, the Lions are coming off a shocking display against their younger brother in the ‘Q-clash’ on Saturday.
Coupled with off-field indiscretions by the coach and, all of a sudden, they’ve been thrown into the Queensland footy crisis conversation. Now if you think Brisbane are in a bit of a crisis let’s remember they’ve been this way for a while now, especially on the field.
In the five years since they made the finals in 2009, the Lions have won only 38 out of their 110 games played. This includes finishing 13th, 15th, 13th 12th, and 15th in each season from 2010 to 2014 respectively.
So if the Lions are in a crisis, it’s nothing new.
When the club finally begins to show improvement they take a step backwards. But the additions of established players in 2015 saw many pundits tipping them to make significant inroads and perhaps even challenge for finals.
And I don’t blame them, their team on paper – especially their midfield – looks quite impressive but things just aren’t clicking at all.
Perhaps it’s this combined with off-field matters that are causing many to question their stability. Coach Justin Leppitsch apparently manhandled young Zac O’Brien after the rookie swore at NEAFL coach Shane Woewodin on the weekend.
While this is an isolated incident, it’s caused quite a stir and brought the modern player-coach relationship into question but it’s safe to assume these things happen at football clubs fairly regularly.
I understand the generation has changed and coaches can’t communicate through humiliation and giving a spray anymore but there is still a place for a senior authority grabbing a jumper to show the seriousness of the situation.
Nathan Buckley did it to Jarrod Witts last year during a game and I remember Alastair Clarkson shoving his players during a quarter-time huddle early on in his tenure but neither was expected to make a public apology.
The restructure of their organization in recent seasons has been well documented but they seem to be in absolute shambles for those 120 minutes in-between sirens.
They’re not just losing games, they’re getting pummelled, but that’s no secret. On SEN radio today, analyst David King said the Lions have only won one quarter in their first five matches – worse than both expansions clubs in their first year’s in the competition.
The Lions start to 2015 has been the equal-second worst in their 19-year existence, on par with 1998 (what Brisbane legend Alastair Lynch calls the lowest ebb in the club’s history) and 2014, but they’re only two losses away from the 0-7 start they suffered in 2011.
That’s three of their worst four starts to a season happening in the last five years. This once dominant and ruthless club could be in what most people would classify a crisis but they’re surely not surprised?
If they are in a state of emergency, we’ve been watching it unfold for a while now.