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“It will not win in September”: King doubles down on “boring” Dockers footy


David King has doubled down on his criticism of Fremantle and Justin Longmuir’s game plan, insisting “it will not win in September”.

The shine has been taken off the Dockers’ fast start to 2024 by three consecutive defeats, the latest an embarrassing humiliation against cross-town rivals West Coast.

It was the Eagles’ fourth win in their last 21 games.

King has been a staunch critic of the slow, methodical build-up of the Dockers before they press forward and described them as “timid” with ball in hand.

“Fremantle, their ball movement is so boring that I think it zaps them of their own energy, their own drive,” the dual premiership Kangaroo told SEN’s Whateley.

“They kick back against this… it has nothing to do with (Longmuir) as a person, we're talking about the personality of this team is boring.

“They were six goals down on the weekend and started chipping the ball around. I’m going, ‘what are you doing? Time is going to run out, you’ve got to play, you’ve got to go’.

“The explanation is always the same but they looked timid in the contest and I just wonder whether so much uncontested game has taken away their ability to engage in the fight.

“They weren’t really breaking tackles, they weren’t threatening to step through holes, they weren’t getting the ball from inside to outside.”

The Round 6 defeat was Fremantle’s worst of the season, coming by 37 points as Longmuir’s midfield unit was smashed at the coalface.

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West Coast won contested footy by 24 and became the first club to kick more than 76 points against Fremantle’s defence with its 16.9 (105).

On the flip side, the men in purple haven’t kicked more than 69 points in four weeks and have only kicked over 100 points twice since Round 10 last year, with those performances coming against West Coast and North Melbourne.

King believes chaos footy prevails over a more controlled brand, especially in finals, with that theory backed up by recent premiers.

While the Dockers' game plan suggests they don't subscribe, King again implored them to make change.

“I look at it and I say, ‘I don’t care how many home and away games you win playing like that, I just don’t care. It will not win in September’,” he continued.

“We’ve had this discussion before about Fremantle and they don’t like it, but show me where that’s worked and I’ll come back to your side of the coin.

“But right now, they’ve got to fix this bland brand of football because it is not going to help.”

Longmuir, speaking post-game, suggested his side lost the game in the middle and suffered in terms of supply further up the field.

“We've got to be better than that. We've got to be able to respond quicker, and I thought once they got on top on the scoreboard, we started getting reactive … so a lot went wrong,” he offered.

Longmuir entered the season as one of the two most under pressure coaches across the league, with the headlines set to reemerge should the Dockers keep losing.

Fremantle hasn’t beaten any side currently above 12th on the ladder in 2024 but faces three top eight sides in the next three weeks.


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