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Thread: John Buchanan - off with the fairies.

  1. #1
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    John Buchanan - off with the fairies.

    This guy is totally off on another planet. There are some things that I've recently noticed him saying, or not saying, that really call into question his fitness to coach this team. He seems to totally obsessed with the mental side of things, to the virtual exclusion of the technical aspect of cricket. The following article is a monument to this:

    http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0...000061,00.html

    Here, he blames England's dominance over Australia's batsmen as being a 'mental thing'. Of course... it's not Flintoff's ability to come around the wicket, angle it in, and then swing it away - it's Australia's mental approach! Likewise...it's not Simon Jones' unmatchable ability to reverse swing the ball on a perfect length - it's Australia's mental approach! .

    Rather than work on ways - in the nets - to combat this type of bowling, Buchanan just says: "It's not technical, it's not physical...we just need to win some of these mental battles". Seriously, this guy has lost the plot.

    As Robert Craddock outlined so eloquently in the paper today, Australia needs a coach that is prepared to do the hard yards and address Australia's actual technical problems - our no-balls; our catching (which the players admit that they don't work on as much as they used to); our inability to swing the ball; our inability to play reverse swing. We don't need a coach who is off with the fairies, and who is writing everything off as some sort of psychological battle.

    Concentrating on psychology and fancy theories was fine when we had a gifted team at the top of their game, but right now we need a coach who is willing to admit our technical problems and work on them. If he doesn't have this ability, then bring in specialists who do. And what's Buchanan's response to bringing in specialist coaches? He says "It's a misdirection to continue to look outside for help. The best form of help is to get things right yourself."

    Clearly, on the evidence, with our catching, no-balls, not swinging the ball; and our inability to play reverse swing, the players have not - against good opposition - been able to "get things right ourselves". But no, Buchanan seems more concerned with showing everyone that he knows fancy theories like "self management" than getting in the nets and addressing the glaring technical problems that have been exposed this series. It just concerns me the effect he is having on this team, in such a big series - not telling the players to work on obvious technical flaws, but rather writing it all off as a mental battle. That he is misdirecting the players, is of serious concern in such a big, closely fought series.

    Either he adapts his coaching style to take account of the fact that we are no longer the all-conquering team we once were, or he stands aside for someone who will.

    Rant over
    Last edited by howardj; 04-09-2005 at 08:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Fair points, well made. Buchanan has been more than happy to accept the plaudits for the massive (and largely unparalleled) success of Oz since he took over, so it's only right & proper he take some of the flak too.
    - As featured in The Independent.

    "Predictably, the ending of his international career did not end the argument about Pietersen's merits, as an army of informed commentators and Piers Morgan weighed in to defend or attack him."
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  3. #3
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Can't disagree with any of this. I've never been a huge fan of Buchanan, I don't feel like he's done a great deal to improve Australia and has gotten a great deal of credit for it nonetheless. With his contract not being renewed I think he will be gone in the near future anyway, and Australia might benefit from an injection of life. The way things are now, win or lose at The Oval, I think Australia will be asking some tough questions and will probably rebound to the detriment of the Windies and South Africa next summer, probably with a couple of changes to the lineup.
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  4. #4
    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad
    With his contract not being renewed I think he will be gone in the near future anyway.
    Have they actually said that he's gone, or have they just not decided yet?


  5. #5
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dasa
    Have they actually said that he's gone, or have they just not decided yet?
    Nah, there's been no statement, they've just postponed renewing his contract. Obviously we don't know what's been said in private, but I wouldn't be susprised if it was "show some improvement soon or we'll look for a replacement".

  6. #6
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Well, I've probably made my opinion of the weaknesses of Buchanan's coaching pretty clear (and repetitively) already.

    He's certainly come under attack from a variety of journalists/ex-players more recently. Greg Matthews gave a spirited defence of him last week, saying that the players essentially coached themselves physically, and it really was his sole job to take care of the "mental" side of things. I disagree, and I think he trivialises these basic skills to the point where the players are actually fairly rusty, and their failures to take care of fairly simple cricket tasks - ie, catching/fielding, and not overstepping when bowling - are negatively affecting their confidence, and this is impacting on their bowling and batting in general.

    One thing that's worth remembering is that our catching problems are quite long-running, and didn't start by any means with this tour. Ian Healy wrote an article on this, and in fact, the stats on just how many we've been dropping were quite surprising. Once you come up against a strong opposition, these matters really do become crucial.

    Also, I can't help but flashback to Lee's no-ball problems in the VB series at the start of '04. Buchanan was making bizarre statements in the press to the effect that there was nothing that could be done in terms of physical coaching to rectify the problem. Dennis Lillee offered his services, Lee accepted, and they were resolved very quickly, through Lillee working on his approach and action. I doubt he was giving him some bullcrap klingon proverbs to read after a good session of primal screaming either.
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  7. #7
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    I doubt he was giving him some bullcrap klingon proverbs to read after a good session of primal screaming either.
    Hahaha. The image of Brett Lee engaging in such activites is a truly hilarious one.

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    Buchanan turned the Australian Cricket team into "This Spinal Tap".

  9. #9
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    At the time Buchannan came into the side Australia were pretty much on the top of their game and he had a lot to do with Steve Waugh turning the team in to the strong mental team they have been up until about a year ago. However with a new captain and a new generation coming through perhaps it is time for a different type of coach, one that can develop the new younger players coming through and hopefully one that has had international experience. With Border stepping down from the selectors chair I'd like to see him take up the role, or someone like Steve Rixon or even Rod Marsh.
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  10. #10
    International Coach social's Avatar
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    Had a mate staying with us over the weekend who, amongst other things, played in one of Aus WC rugby triumphs.

    His view on coaches at the top level is that their principal role is to create an environment that gives "his" players the optimal chance of sucess rather than providing advice of a technical or tactical nature. In his experience, when a coach is unsuccesful with a team it is generally because their man management skills are not up to scratch.

    Made the point that players at that level already know how to bowl, bat, kick, tackle etc or they wouldnt be there. In addition, should ,say, MacGill have a problem with his bowling, he is more likely to turn to Warne or the bowling coach that he has had for many years rather than Buchanan.

    Should the above be correct, then Buchanan should come in for criticism as the playing itinerary for this tour has hardly been ideal and there has been wide-spread criticism of fielding practice (or lack thereof).
    Last edited by social; 04-09-2005 at 08:32 PM.

  11. #11
    U19 Cricketer sqwerty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj
    This guy is totally off on another planet. There are some things that I've recently noticed him saying, or not saying, that really call into question his fitness to coach this team. He seems to totally obsessed with the mental side of things, to the virtual exclusion of the technical aspect of cricket. The following article is a monument to this:

    http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0...000061,00.html

    Here, he blames England's dominance over Australia's batsmen as being a 'mental thing'. Of course... it's not Flintoff's ability to come around the wicket, angle it in, and then swing it away - it's Australia's mental approach! Likewise...it's not Simon Jones' unmatchable ability to reverse swing the ball on a perfect length - it's Australia's mental approach! .

    Rather than work on ways - in the nets - to combat this type of bowling, Buchanan just says: "It's not technical, it's not physical...we just need to win some of these mental battles". Seriously, this guy has lost the plot.

    As Robert Craddock outlined so eloquently in the paper today, Australia needs a coach that is prepared to do the hard yards and address Australia's actual technical problems - our no-balls; our catching (which the players admit that they don't work on as much as they used to); our inability to swing the ball; our inability to play reverse swing. We don't need a coach who is off with the fairies, and who is writing everything off as some sort of psychological battle.

    Concentrating on psychology and fancy theories was fine when we had a gifted team at the top of their game, but right now we need a coach who is willing to admit our technical problems and work on them. If he doesn't have this ability, then bring in specialists who do. And what's Buchanan's response to bringing in specialist coaches? He says "It's a misdirection to continue to look outside for help. The best form of help is to get things right yourself."

    Clearly, on the evidence, with our catching, no-balls, not swinging the ball; and our inability to play reverse swing, the players have not - against good opposition - been able to "get things right ourselves". But no, Buchanan seems more concerned with showing everyone that he knows fancy theories like "self management" than getting in the nets and addressing the glaring technical problems that have been exposed this series. It just concerns me the effect he is having on this team, in such a big series - not telling the players to work on obvious technical flaws, but rather writing it all off as a mental battle. That he is misdirecting the players, is of serious concern in such a big, closely fought series.

    Either he adapts his coaching style to take account of the fact that we are no longer the all-conquering team we once were, or he stands aside for someone who will.

    Rant over

    All possibly true........though I'll reserve my final judgement until Tuesday week.

  12. #12
    Hall of Fame Member age_master's Avatar
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    Rixon or Marsh would do a far better job for mine.
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  13. #13
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    People are really rounding on Buchanan now

    Here's an article by another Australian journalist, which contains the latest pearls of wisdom:

    - Form should not be judged by results;

    - The views of the critics are invalid, as they do not know the aims of the group, and are basing their criticism only by what they see on the field;

    http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0...-23212,00.html

  14. #14
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree, he seems to be like one of those hippy teachers you inevitably get. They're great at first and you can really do things your way, but then you start relaxing too much in class and you get nothing done.
    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    Only a bunch of convicts having been beaten 3-0 and gone 9 tests without a win and won just 1 in 11 against England could go into the home series saying they will win. England will win in Australia again this winter as they are a better side which they have shown this summer. 3-0 doesn't lie girls.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc
    Yeah I agree, he seems to be like one of those hippy teachers you inevitably get. They're great at first and you can really do things your way, but then you start relaxing too much in class and you get nothing done.
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