Western Bulldogs legend Tony Liberatore has gone into bat for his old club by applying the blowtorch to SEN host Gerard Whateley.
The Bulldogs were bundled out of the finals on Saturday by St Kilda in a game that went right down to the final wire.
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The lose makes it two straight seasons of first week exits from the finals for the Bulldogs and it’s from that where Whateley took aim.
Whateley believes the club and coach Luke Beveridge have convinced everyone they’re a top tier team, when in actual fact they’re a long way from challenging for premierships.
“I’m going to borrow a phrase from someone I talk to, I think Luke Beveridge does a phenomenal job with what he’s got but I think he’s building a 1000-piece jigsaw (puzzle) with 920 pieces and convincing people that he’s got it under control because he’s such a good tactical and game day coach,” Whateley said.
“The fact that they can’t vaguely challenge for the top four and now they can’t win elimination finals, I actually think that tells you everything you need to know and I reckon they’re a long way from it.
“They’re all midfield, I think they’ve got one of the great midfields and nothing else. Beveridge does all his work moving players to compensate for it and the most important result is the way he used Hayden Crozier (in the elimination final).
“He’s brilliant with the way he manipulates what he doesn’t have.”
But Liberatore wasn’t happy with what he was hearing over the radio and took action by picking up the phone and giving Whateley a piece of his mind.
“I just think we’re one or two players short,” Liberatore said.
“Is Aaron Naughton nothing? Is Tim English nothing? Give me Naughton any day over Tom Hawkins, right here, right now.
“He’s just come off from a broken cheekbone and he had a really good last quarter where he took three big pack marks and nearly won the game for us.
“Tom Hawkins kicked five behinds and was beaten by a player (Trent McKenzie) who was let go from Gold Coast and has done an amazing job from Port Adelaide.
“I just think your comments are flawed, I believe strongly in this and never rang up and mentioned this – I think we’re doing a good job and we’re just a couple of players short.
“How hard you went on us yesterday from my understanding from a friend of mine, is totally out of line.”
GIANTS FIRST-ROUND PICK WALKING OUT
Giants youngster Jackson Hately has told the club he wants to be traded this off-season after struggling to crack the club’s best 22.
The club officially confirmed his wish to be traded to the Adelaide Crows for 2021 and beyond.
“Jackson has informed the club of his hope to return to South Australia so we will now investigate trade options with a view to getting the best possible outcome for the Giants,” GWS general manager of football Jason McCartney said.
EAGLES STAR’S FUTURE UP IN THE AIR
Lewis Jetta could be on the outs at West Coast after the speedy midfielder managed only six games in 2020.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson was open-ended when asked about the future of the two-time premiership player.
“I think it’ll be a little bit unfair to go through every spot on the list because you’ll land on one that I don’t want to talk about,” Simpson said to 7 news when asked about Jetta.
“It is really hard to exit your players and do an end of season review when half our squad is in quarantine and the other (group) are free.
“We’ll wait until next Monday before we get into the player exits and reviews. We’ll go from there.”