Former St. Kilda coach Grant Thomas says coaches are ruining footy by encouraging too many stoppages, while he ultimately blames the media for the current state of the game.
The former Saints coach wrote a blog on his website outlining his distain for the way the game is currently played.
Thomas says that coaches think they can control the game by forcing more stoppages, while journalists have not done enough to expose ugly football to counter the trend.
“The problem with the current state of the game rests utterly and entirely with the media,” Thomas writes.
“Stoppages are killing the game — they have effectively doubled over the last decade. Coaches coach for stoppages.
“Unfortunately media, journalists and interviewers do not have the inherent skills, understanding, knowledge or ability to ask the right questions.
“I have said this many times over the last 10 years, coaching tactics are driving the game into the ground,” Thomas says.
“Defensive mindsets and associated strategies such as creating stoppages are ‘un-Australian’ and the curse of our game.
“Coaches are thinking more about their own coaching mortality than instilling a ‘dare-to-win’ attitude. Stop the bleeding, minimise the loss, keep it close and we may snatch it, shut down, lock down, block space, set up zones, numbers at the contest, create a stoppage … the list is growing.
“It’s up to the media to expose it.”
“Until a coach is questioned on his strategy — which is illogical and make little sense, but we will get back to that — they will continue to coach the game into the ground.”