Hawthorn legend Shane Crawford has implored his former coach Alastair Clarkson to speed up the team’s ball movement after a dour performance against Collingwood.
Crawford was far from the only critic of Hawthorn and Clarkson’s this weekend, after the Hawks managed just 27 points against the Magpies on Friday night, the club’s lowest score in a VFL/AFL match since 1964.
According to Crawford, the side is stuck in what seems to have become an annual malaise where players seem to overpossess the ball instead of playing directly.
“My Hawks, I love them, but this slow footy, I can’t watch. Please move the ball a bit faster,” Crawford told Wide World of Sports’ Full Time.
“It’s like a game of keepings off and I’m going to switch off if that’s going to be the case.
“Every year they seem to go through a patch where they have two or three weeks where it’s slow and overuse of sharing the football around, and no one wants to watch it.
“Come on Mr Clarkson, great man that he is, spark them up a bit. Go direct, take the game on, be bold and be brave.”
Clarkson was heavily criticised for his tactics by Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes, and Crawford said that Cornes raised valid concerns about the way the Hawks were playing.
“Kane makes a lot of good points and I think he’s right in this situation,” he said.
“The way Hawthorn have been playing over the last few weeks, it’s slow play, it’s no good.
“Collingwood are a very good side, there was a reason they gave (Hawthorn) space out wide and out the back. They’re saying you go there and overuse the footy and we’re just going to wait and pounce as you come towards that forward line.
“It happens every year for a patch where they go through this ball movement which turns us all off, but then they click back into gear. So don’t worry, they’ll find a way.
“The little master, I’m sure he’s not telling them to play that way, so I expect a fast and furious game coming up this week.”