AFL: Charlie Dixon's failure to deliver has cost Port Adelaide dearly, says two AFL greats.
Tim Watson and Garry Lyon believe Ken Hinkley has invested too heavily in Dixon, who was limited to just 30 goals as the club's primary key forward last season.
Dixon, 26, signed a five-year deal with the Power at the end of 2015 after five seasons with the Gold Coast Suns in a move that reunited him with his former mentor in Hinkley.
He shaped as the club's best answer to legend Warren Tredrea, but a plethora of niggling injuries kept him sidelined for four matches.
But even when Dixon took to the field, Lyon suggested he failed to impact the scoreboard in a meaningful way.
"Charlie Dixon is the man that they recruited to stand in that hole and kick 55 plus (goals) and to take six to eight contested marks," Lyon told SEN.
"He ended up with 30 goals for the year. But more than that, he wasn't anyone that you could rely on.
"He's got presence, I'll give him that. But he hasn't backed that up."
Watson shared Lyon's sentiment, saying Dixon struggled as the Power's key target, particularly in the absence of Paddy Ryder, who was serving a doping suspension last year.
"They go after Dixon, big Charlie Dixon, and at this stage he hasn't fired a shot for them," Watson said.
"They've put eight of their dozen eggs in this basket, which is their big man power forward, and at this stage we haven't seen any evidence of it actually working for them.
"He was one of the top five targets in the competition, so they went to him, believing he was going to be able to deliver, and he didn't take enough in the air."
Watson was scathing of Port Adelaide's decline since 2014, when they were one kick away from a grand final berth.
He said their trademark run had disappeared, along with their unwavering belief in their running capacity.
And, disappointingly after two pre-season losses, Watson said there was no sign that trend would recorrect itself in 2017.
"I can't at this point, after two games, see anything new or different about the way they're going about it," Watson said.
"They had this one thing that probably set themselves apart from the rest of the competition (in 2014) and that was their running capacity and their belief they could outrun everybody.
"That was set up from their work deep in their backline. Now they're one of the worst sides in the competition at being able to do that.
"They're one of the worst sides in the competition at being able to hit targets. And they're one of the worst sides in the competition at being able to clear the ball from stoppages."
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