Eels Blogs

Away ground slump

We're now three matches into our new era at Bankwest Stadium.

We've had two matches at home and two stunning wins, with the incredible atmosphere and crowd energy certainly helping to bring the best out of the side.

And then we had a flat, dissapointing loss to bottom-of-the-table Knights.

At last week's match I watched the game from near ground level on the Western side. It was actually quite a different noise and I imagine more akin to what the players would be hearing out in the field. When you are in the midst of the crowd, alot of what you hear is 'local' ie it's all the screaming and cheering from those immediately around you. However, when you're removed somewhat from that local noise you actually hear what the whole-of-stadium environment sounds like, and it's amazing. When the crowd lifts, the energy at ground level is simply electric. It really is going to make it very difficult for any teams to beat us at home, because you're going to get a peak energy performance nearly every time we play there.

However, I also wonder as the players get a little bit accustomed to feeding off that atmosphere, how that will affect their away game performances when they don't have it. It's all very well to say that they're professional sports people and they should always have that drive and motivation to give 100 per cent, but the reality is that more often than not, the team that finds the most energy and motivation win the majority of sporting contests and I think there is a real danger that without our Bankwest advantage, this team is really going to have to find its own away game head space, so those games don't seem flat.

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Replies

  • The motivational part comes down to the head coach and the leadership group.

    We also didn't win one away game in 2017. Our starts have been ordinary in all but two games this year 

    • Chief, that is flat out wrong. We won 16 games in 2017. You only play 12 home games. We won games at Lottoland, WIN Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, 1300 Smiles and AAMI Park.

      • He probably meant last year

      • Make that 2018 dopey.  You knew what i meant lol

        • No, I literally didn't. I thought you were legitimately talking about 2017. 

          • Me too Chief, I just thought ....shite he doesn't get much right the ole Chief.

            Have to admit Chief there are a few licences you have to hand back given this seasons currency!

  • I can see where you're coming from Phil, but on the flipside, don't forget that realistically every game we've played the last 2 and a bit years have been away games. We've had to learn how to prepare and play without the benefit of a homeground - whilst obviously we weren't succesful at this last year, we've got a whole different squad this year and there's a different feel to the way they're playing. We've now got a massive homeground advantage and as long as fans keeep showing up in droves, that isn't going to change. For mine, the mindset that you have to take into an away game is completely different, you have to have blokes there that thrive on the challenge and take it as a personal insult that the opposition fans are giving it to them and focus that energy on the opposition. We've got some young blokes like Mahoney and Gutho who to me seem the kind of personality that does this, we've also got some experienced heads in Fergo and Jennings who have been there and done that and can be a calming influence on the players around them. I really think we've got the right balance in the squad to overcome playing away from home. Let's hope the Knights game was a one off.

     

    • Agreed Brissy. Brisbane have had parochial crows for more than 30 years and have found ways to win away from home. At one stage I think they played better the more the crowd gave it to them. I know Parra seemed to play better against them in Brisbane.

      I think what Parra needs to do is to address the fact that we have bogey teams and these teams become even harder to beat when we play them at their home ground. As you say we need to find ways to lift, whether that be from a backs-to-the-wall mindset or not.

  • Way to find the cloud inside that silver lining Phil, lol.

    • As stated your home base fans will always give you that lift.

      Away games its up to the team and coaching staff, a strong start to the game, laying a good platform always helps.

      As a young side eels are starting to show ability and confidence and believing in the team, i think the know give it your all and we will win games away from home.

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