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"Sensitive new age coaching hasn't worked": Pagan slams 'arrogant' Giants

Football

It’s time for tough love at GWS, says North Melbourne great Denis Pagan – a master of the concept.

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The two-time Kangaroos premiership coach savaged the Giants after their qualifying final loss to Adelaide, saying their attitude smacked of arrogance.

He also praised Richmond after their qualifying final triumph, but warns their mentality will be crucial as they deal with only one game in three weeks.

Pagan’s Facebook commentary on the AFL is required reading and he has posted his first piece in nearly a year.

As always, he did not hold back.

“GWS appear arrogant to me – they haven’t fired a shot in AFL football, they argue constantly among themselves, with the opposition and frequently dispute the umpire’s decisions,” Pagan said.

“Sensitive new age coaching hasn’t worked with this team, time for some tough love coaching now, it is not a popularity contest, it is about respect and winning.

“I was amazed to see the coach (Leon Cameron) patting the players on the back after the game.”

Pagan also likes what Richmond showed last Friday night, with some qualifications.

“Richmond smashed Geelong because their pressure and bodywork was first class, they forced Geelong to over use the ball in close,” he said.

“Geelong (are) maybe too slow at the MCG.

“With the Richmond roar behind them they may become an irresistible force, I hope they haven’t celebrated too hard although Trent Cotchin spoke superbly post game.

“One game in three weeks is also going to have an effect, it is all between the ears now.”

Pagan also was unimpressed with Essendon, calling some of their efforts “feeble” in the elimination final loss to Sydney, while he said Port Adelaide were the better side and wasted opportunities in the agonising extra-time near miss against West Coast.

He added that whatever the tactics, the principles stay the same.

“The winning finals formula in my opinion is about Perfection through Simplicity, your philosophy/game plan should focus on your attack on the ball and the man with the ball, your team psyche should be to beat your opponent first,” Pagan said.

“If you are ferocious with your bodywork, tackling, spoiling and harassing it is a great start, how good were Richmond here.

“Emotional control and self discipline has a big say in proceedings also. GWS have issues here!”

 

They have selection issues too, with stars Jeremy Cameron and Shane Mumford yesterday ruled out of any further part in the finals.

Cameron suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday night’s loss to Adelaide, with GWS co-captain Callan Ward confirming the key forward would not return this year.

Mumford fractured his foot in the loss to the Crows. The club last night confirmed the imposing ruckman will miss Saturday’s home semi-final against West Coast and the rest of September.

Ward admitted Cameron’s third hamstring setback in the space of two months was “very disappointing” news but praised the young gun’s attitude.

“He’s been up and about, I think he knows the importance of him being positive around the group,” Ward told reporters.

“The last thing the boys want to see is a guy walking around with his head between his legs.

“It’s a tough situation for him to be told his season is done, especially at this time of the year.”

Ward backed the Giants’ rejigged forward line to function just as well without Cameron.

“Jez is a super player and has been for a few years now,” he said.

“I love playing with Jez but I still believe we can play really good footy without him.”

The midfielder was likewise upbeat that former Geelong ruckman Dawson Simpson, who has played two AFL games since joining the Giants after the 2015 season, could step up against the Eagles.

“Dawson came in and played a couple of games for us this year and played a really good role for us, so I’ve got full confidence in Dawson,” Ward said.

Injuries have threatened to derail the Giants’ season at various points of this year.

Ward noted fit-again veteran Ryan Griffen would be in the mix to tackle West Coast, as would Devon Smith and Steve Johnson.

-AAP

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