Home Sports Rutten's brutal blow to 'poor' Stringer

Rutten’s brutal blow to ‘poor’ Stringer

Essendon coach Ben Rutten has labeled Jake Stringer “bad” after the underperforming star’s silent performance in Bombers’ 150th anniversary game.

Stringer returned for his first game in six weeks after a hamstring injury and made little impact during his nine possessions in Friday night’s 26-point defeat to Carlton.

Stringer was the breakthrough star of Essendon’s run to last year’s final, but the 28-year-old has only played five games this season as he struggled to stay fit.

The Western Bulldogs Premiership player landed a lucrative three-year deal in the second half of 2021 due to his blistering form.

When asked if Stringer just had to play consecutive games in a row to recapture his best, Rutten replied: “I hope so.

“He played a bad game tonight,” added Rutten.

“As a senior player for us, we need more from him.

“He would have played last week if we hadn’t had the bye, so his preparation was fine.”

The Bombers are in 16th place on the ladder with a record of 2-10 and are in the midst of an internal investigation into the club’s football activities.

Essendon's Jake Stringer looks dejected after losing to Carlton.

Essendon’s Jake Stringer looks dejected after losing to Carlton. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Star midfielder Darcy Parish is in doubt for Essendon’s clash with glowing St Kilda next Friday night after he was out against the Blues with a calf problem.

The only light for the Bombers was that the club was celebrating its rich history, dating back to 1872.

The living legends of Essendon took part in important pre-match festivities ahead of the game, culminating in the return of captain and former coach James Hird.

It marked Hird’s official comeback to the Bombers after his dramatic departure as coach in 2015, following the club’s supplemental streak.

The club legends then joined forces in a circle with the current Bombers squad to hear a rousing pre-match speech from Captain Dyson Heppell.

“The involvement of our players from the past during this week has been fantastic,” said Rutten.

“The overwhelming support… they understand how we feel right now with the scoreboard not quite ticking the way we all would like.

“They’ve all been in those situations their entire career.

“The amount of support and encouragement we have felt as a football club this week has been exceptional and we are thrilled to have them involved.”

The anniversary celebrations will culminate in a gala in Melbourne Park on Saturday evening.

© AAP

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