AFL great Dermott Brereton claims he is not an advocate of John Longmire’s playing style, believing the Swans’ coach should show more faith in his defensive group.
Speaking on the Fox Footy Podcast this week, Brereton claimed there was a significant amount of Swans players behind the ball during play, highlighting Longmire’s lack of trust in the backline.
“I don’t particularly like the way John coaches, but that’s his go and he’s made finals year after year after year. So there’s got to be some merit in it,” Brereton told the Fox Footy Podcast.
“I’d probably trust my defensive half a little bit more without running so many numbers deep in there.
“I’ve had conversations with John and he says his team is a two-way team. They are a two-way team, but most of the action of one of those ways is defensive, in my opinion.
“I’d probably try and have a little bit more, maybe one or two players more, ahead of the footy in structure when the ball’s in the defensive half for Sydney.”
Longmire, since taking over from premiership coach Paul Roos, has guided Sydney into the finals in all of his eight seasons at the club.
The Swans have started this season with only one win in their first six games, leading Brereton to scrutinize a common tactic used by Longmire in recent years.
“Coaches, what makes them fantastic, is what is their strength ultimately becomes their weakness,” Brereton said.
“They were so good at defending and absorbing pressure and then scoring on the counter-attack because they have the biggest forward with the best leg speed the game has ever seen.
“But when he’s not there, what they’re doing is defending and defending and defending and they don’t have that weapon ahead of the footy in Lance Franklin.
“It’s left to blokes like (Tom) Papley to try and be the counter-punch scorer.”
This is not the first time Brereton has been critical of Longmire.
On Fox Footy’s AFL 360 last year, Brereton claimed the Swans’ defensive style led to an approach which didn’t place a strong emphasis on scoring, whilst also questioning Longmire’s ability to get the most out of star forward Lance Franklin.