So far in 2012, a number of coaches have been put under pressure, mostly from the media, regarding their positions within their respective football clubs.
Guy McKenna, Michael Voss, Nathan Buckley, Brad Scott, Mark Neeld, and Brett Ratten have all had their names on the media chopping block, supposedly nearing the dreaded ‘sack’ due to the performances of their teams.
Upon further inspection, each of those named have done a fantastic job as far as each club’s personal circumstances are concerned.
Although the Suns haven’t made a lot of progress as far as ladder position goes, their list development has been given a push in the right direction as a result of good coaching from Guy McKenna. The same could be said for Brisbane coach Michael Voss, who has worked very well with limited stocks.
Nathan Buckley and the Magpies started the season slowly, but both gradually built their way up to a potential top four berth. In similar circumstances, although arguably more extreme, Brad Scott’s Kangaroos were a basket case on the back of their drubbing at the hands of Hawthorn earlier in the season. Since then, North Melbourne has lost the one solitary game in its past ten outings.
In a similar situation to Gold Coast, Mark Neeld has injected a bit of grunt into a previously aimless Melbourne side. It appears as if the Demons knew that this season wasn’t going to be about finals, but about development, and developed is what they most certainly have done.
In the one season, Brett Ratten has been head coach of a Carlton team that was labelled as flag favourites for a week, certainties to miss finals for a fortnight and now brave battlers with a great chance to make finals for the past two weeks.
There appears to be no consistency when it comes to relating coaches to their team’s performances. Although it’s almost certain that the respective coaches’ clubs back them 110%, it’s unfair that media scrutiny comes down upon both the coaches and players for what is perceived to be a below par performance from the outside.
When it comes to who knows what’s best for each club, those inside the club have a greater understanding than the media. All of the aforementioned cases prove this. In fact, the only case this season in which a club made a coaching staff blunder is Port Adelaide, unfairly sacking Matthew Primus after the Power made massive inroads this season, especially in comparison to the season prior.
It’s about time coaches were left to do what they do best, and that’s coach. Time after time, the judgments on the futures of head coaches by the media are proven incorrect, yet we see the same thing each year.
It will be a cold day in hell before the majority of media stop scrutinising coaches that are performing perfectly fine, but it would certainly be a nice change to see a bit of positivity directed towards coaches leading struggling teams once in a while.