Real Footy podcast: ‘The whole thing unravelled’

Has the condensed fixture caused problems for Essendon and Collingwood? Or has it just revealed issues that were already there?

This week on the Real Footy podcast, Michael Gleeson, Jake Niall and Caroline Wilson discuss the teams that have done well during the AFL's festival of football, and the ones that have struggled.

Should injuries provide an excuse for the Pies? Is Essendon's problem, which has been defence, now in their attack? And how much do changes in coaching have to do with both teams' struggles?

Meanwhile, the Demons have gone from a shambles a few weeks ago – and a receiving spray from their own president – to a team with momentum and three wins in a row. Are Melbourne out of the woods? Or is there a disconnect there that is not going to be fixed by three wins?

Also this week, the panel asks whether the ARC should be used to review incidents such as those that led to Jack Newnes' shot on goal and Carlton's after-the-siren win over Fremantle.

And we look at the teams that have been playing at a level above everyone else this season – Geelong and West Coast – and how their power forwards have been dominating, especially Tom Hawkins, who is over 30 but as good or better than he has ever been. There's also praise for the Cats, who have managed to do what Hawthorn could not – topped up on occasion, brought in mature talent, and stayed in contention.

Plus, is the premiership going to be decided by state border restrictions? What does Shaun Burgoyne's football future hold? Should – or could – GWS put a hold on Leon Cameron's contract extension? And is there such a thing as a quality mullet?

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