Eade defends his skipper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade defends his skipper

By Guy Hand 18/08/2010 01:58:46 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade has launched a spirited defence of under-fire skipper Brad Johnson and delivered a back-hander to the sacked Jason Akermanis in the process.

Akermanis slammed Johnson as "selfish" this week, saying the 34-year-old has been a passenger in the team for the best part of the AFL season.

Akermanis has previously fingered Johnson as one of the architects of his mid-season sacking from the Bulldogs.

But fired up over the claims and armed with statistics to prove it, Eade said Johnson had done more than enough to keep his place in the side and questioned Akermanis' motivation in making the claims.

"I think we can see what the reason is (for Akermanis' criticism of Johnson). We just move on," Eade said.

"Jason's been through that form slump for half the season and probably had half the stats Brad's got, and I don't think Jason was going to retire.

"It's (the criticism's) just not based on facts. In the six-week period from rounds 14 to 19 - not counting the Geelong game - Brad was number one in the competition for score assists.

"He's number four in the competition for number of marks. Seventh in the competition for marks on the lead. He's averaging 19 disposals, eight marks, four inside-50s and three goal assists a game.

"Enormous stats ... all those stats back up what we know - that he's been in very good form and there's no doubt our form turnaround has been largely due to him."

Eade also slammed other commentators who had joined in the critical chorus against Johnson as "uneducated".

"I think it's people who are uneducated about footy, who don't know anything about it," he said.

"There are some ex-coaches and ex-players there who want to jump on but they don't watch footy.

"They don't see it. So they're very happy if the headlines are created by someone, and it's a pack mentality.

"The shame is Brad's had one bad game in seven (in the 101-point loss to Geelong), but he's not the only one."

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