Collingwood fans can be forgiven for thinking it is still 2014, as the Magpies season is heading down the exact same path.
The Magpies were on fire at the beginning of last season, winning eight of their opening 11 games to sit fourth on the ladder. However, they only managed to win three of their remaining 11 games in the second half of the season, to finish 11th with 11 wins and 11 losses.
Collingwood found themselves in an identical position after 11 rounds this season, with a win/loss record of 8-3. However, the Pies have lost their last five matches, to currently sit 11th on the ladder, with 8 wins and 8 losses.
Buckley’s men have faced some tough opposition over the past five weeks, in the form of Hawthorn, Fremantle and West Coast. However, two of the losses, to the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, were very winnable games, and games they should have won judging by their early season form.
The first two losses in their current losing streak were both ‘honourable’ losses against Fremantle and Hawthorn. However, they cannot keep having close losses, regardless of their opponents. Losing breeds a lack of confidence, no matter who you are. They have also struggles to score, with scores of 73, 63 and 56 among their totals of the past month.
Luckily for Collingwood, the team has a great chance to break the losing streak this weekend, as they face Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. After they play Melbourne, they face Carlton, but then it gets much tougher. Collingwood play Sydney in round 20, Richmond in round 21 and Geelong in round 22, making this week’s game against Melbourne a must win if they want to keep their finals hopes alive.
If they cannot win, then their season will likely fall by the wayside, just as it did this time last year and they risk a second half fadeout for the second year running.