The Hawthorn Football club have won as many premierships in the past 10 seasons as games it has lost in 2017.
A glittering era of dominance appeared to been extended at the end of last season when the Hawks managed to sign Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara, a pair of up and coming superstars in midfield to replace departing club legends Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.
After losses to Essendon and Adelaide in the opening rounds of the season, it appeared as though the Hawks were struggling to deal with the loss of the experienced pair but no one had the foresight to see what was to come.
Back to back 86-point thrashings at the hands of a lowly Gold Coast side and their long-time rival Geelong have many people around the league wondering whether they are a bottom four side.
This is a club that won a premiership just 28 games ago!
What was most concerning for the Hawks was their final quarter effort in each of those performances.
They trailed by 34 points at three-quarter time on Easter Monday and while they may not have been a chance to win the game – having been outplayed in the three quarters prior – the Hawthorn of old would certainly have not lost by such a margin.
Geelong kicked 11 goals straight on the brown and gold boys (because that’s what they are right now) with 20 fit men on the park.
Vice-captain Liam Shiels sad he was “extremely disappointed” by the performance and that it was simply “not good enough”.
That’s a light way to put it.
Sometimes in sports (at any level), your team might just not be as talented or skilled as your opposition and that can’t be controlled to the degree that your effort can come match day.
The effort from the majority of Hawthorn’s 22 on Monday (and against the Suns) was as poor as it’s been for a long time.
Isaac Smith labelled their performances as “bloody hopeless” on Melbourne radio on Wednesday morning.
The likes of Jack Gunston, Luke Breust, Smith and co are the next leaders of this football club – at least so we thought before this season – and are players who have failed to step up following the departure of their experienced heads.
It shouldn’t be left to Tom Mitchell – who is averaging 33 disposals per game – to lift a club that has success running through their blood.
Captain Jordan Roughead told Fox Footy’s On The Couch that the players need to “invest back into the football club” before going on to say that he doesn’t believe they’re missing Sam Mitchell or Lewis.
While the Hawks have not been a big contested ball winner at the peak of their powers, over the past two weeks, they are -90 in that area.
It’s a glaring stat that speaks volumes of they’re effort in the contest.
Against the Gold Coast, they gave up 498 possessions that allowed a Suns team coming off the back of a 102-point thumping of their own to score at will and post the biggest win in their short history.
While results may take time, something that fans can understand, one thing that will not – and should not – be tolerated by anyone is the lack of effort come a Saturday afternoon at the MCG.
You are representing one of the biggest sporting clubs in the land, start acting like it.