Currently, the Magpies are sitting on the bottom half of the ladder after 4 games with 1 win and 3 losses. The lost their Round 1 class with Sydney at the SCG, the Saints at the MCG and last weeks loss to Melbourne at the MCG as well.
The Magpies had a solid pre season hit-out after winning all three NAB Challenge games against Geelong, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. They had experts tipping them inside the top 8 and nearly inside the top four,
The off-season had seen new recruits James Aish, Jeremy Howe and also Adam Treloar come to the Holden centre. All of a sudden, after a few years of not making finals, everything was looking up for the pies.
Nathan Buckley has now got headaches but for the wrong reasons. With a big loss to Dane Swan has left big holes in the midfield due to centre clearances and running forward kicking a few goals. Alex Fasolo has been the biggest positive out of the year thus far. Especially after kicking 6 goals against Richmond to get us over the line by a point.
Obviously the Bombers are without 12 of their main players, but have some really handy top-up players for them, isn't some easy walk in the park. The Dons have already shocked the AFL world by beating Melbourne and nearly beating the Cats at the MCG.
Brodie Grundy was under a lot of pressure from being the only ruckman out on the pitch on the weekend against Melbourne which saw Max Gawn nearly get the 3 brownlow votes. So being realistic, you would have to imagine that American-Pie Mason Cox play along side him.
What does this also mean for Nathan Buckley?
Well Collingwood CEO Gary Pert and Club President Eddie McGuire has backed Nathan in for being the right man for the job. But a 1-4 start to the season with a road trip to the west to take on the West Coast Eagles the week after sounds like a disaster in all cases. Former Cat Cameron Mooney had said before Round 1 that the magpies would be 5-0 and be challenging the Eagles over at their home turf.
A factor for Collingwood's form slump could be due to the Illicit drug scandal that broke from Mark Robinson 3 days before Round 1. Robbo had said 23 players were tested positive from the pies singling out the Collingwood Football Club even though there were 3 other clubs with more tests positive. Then went on to speculate that it was only up to 11 players and got the whole AFL world shocked.
Chris Scott defended Buckley saying that it was unfair to single out a club and speculate on numbers.
The testing was done voluntarily in the off-season for AFL testing to see how many players were actually involved to stamp out illicit drugs from our game. All the results were meant to remain confidential at all times but somehow managed to get into Robbo's hands.
But the questions still are unanswered:
1- Does this form slump continue throughout the next month until players start to get their love back for the game?
2- Is Nathan Buckley's job safe if they lose to the Bombers?