Former Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy thinks Essendon’s transition of coaches this year is the biggest issue facing the club.
Amid the indefinite departure of Conor McKenna due to home sickness, Murphy told SEN's Bob and Andy that the balance of power between John Worsfold and Ben Rutten is a larger issue than the Irishman's situation or Joe Daniher’s injury worries.
"There’s a growing sense of dread for their season. I think the coaching (issue) is bigger than just about all of them (at Essendon),” Murphy said.
“I’m not a fan of the coach and the coach in-waiting in the one year. Maybe that’s my personality trait but I don’t like it.”
Murphy, who had six senior coaches in his career, believes it’ll be tough for players to buy-in to Worsfold’s strategies when they’re likely to change in 2021 under new coach and current assistant Rutten.
“I think it just gets to some basic human element of who’s in charge,” he said.
“The coach-player relationship is such a unique one and a strong one. It’s you and the coach, you’re all in it together.
“You buy-in and you go to the line and there’s all these extreme places emotionally. If you already know he’s not going to be there next year, do you fully invest in that relationship?”
Rutten was previously an assistant coach at Richmond following a 229-game career with Adelaide.