Scott Watters has identified a number of issues plaguing West Coast at present.
The Eagles were beaten by 48 points by Port Adelaide on the weekend which was their third straight defeat by 30 points or more since the resumption of the season.
The form of the 2018 premiers in their Queensland hub has been well below expectations, so much so that it prompted some harsh words from former Eagles player Watters.
He feels their inability to win the contested ball is impacting their forward 50 entries which is subsequently hurting their chances of scoring.
“You can read a lot into a player’s attitude by just how easily they lose focus,” Watters said on Footy WA & SA.
“West Coast Eagles’ senior players at the moment are losing focus.
“Structurally, there’s issues. Bookends at both sides of the ground are not working and the midfield is soft.
“It is not winning enough contests. You can’t hide behind that fact, it’s just stark and clear. Tighten up, get more contested in the middle of the ground, give your bookends a chance because (Jack) Darling is getting starved up forward.”
Kane Cornes suggested that using the word ‘soft’ was perhaps a big accusation, but Watters stood by it.
“Look at the contested ball,” he added.
“Often coaches will say contested ball doesn’t tell the full story, and sometimes it doesn’t, but we said this two weeks ago - they are not consistently going hard enough for long enough around the contest and really getting their hands dirty.
“You have to win the football at ground level to be competitive at AFL footy and they are not doing it consistently enough.”
The Eagles currently find themselves in 16th position on the ladder ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sydney at Metricon Stadium after the AFL was forced to shuffle the fixture amidst a COVID-19 spike in Victoria.