Carlton's Brock McLean Chris Judd, Marc Murphy and Levi Casboult after the loss to Collingwood at the MCG in round 15. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
It was predicted that the club which lost the round 15 blockbuster between Carlton and Collingwood would face heavy scrutiny. The Blues can now vouch for the accuracy of that prognostication.
Blues powerbroker Bruce Mathieson this morning criticised the management and recruiting of his club, saying the club had to "look at itself" after its 42-point defeat left the Blues two games out of the eight in a year it expected to compete for the premiership after sacking Brett Ratten and hiring three-time flag-winner Mick Malthouse.
Round 15: Carlton v Collingwood
Carlton's Mitch Robinson battles with Collingwood's Marley Williams at the MCG. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
"Everything comes right from the management of the club. And the thing is, whether you like it or not, you’ve got to look at yourself…" Mathieson told SEN radio Tuesday morning.
"There’s only two hard words in any language, Yes or no. Have we done a good job? Are we where we should be? And the answer is no.
And its about time we looked at ourselves and said we’ve got to do things a lot better than we’re doing."
Mathieson's words came after Carlton coach Mick Malthouse apologised to Blues fans for his team's disappointing performance against its arch-rival Collingwood last Friday night at the MCG.
Malthouse issued a video message on Carlton’s website and invited fans to a training session and barbeque at their Visy Park training ground on Tuesday. The Blues fell by 41 points to the Magpies after coughing up a 28-point first-quarter lead. Post-match Malthouse lashed the team, describing it as their worst game of the season.
"I’m terribly sorry about the weekend, we produced our worst game for the year," Malthouse said in the video message.
"You’d love to know why but I guess that’s human nature and we have to work through that and find out why and do something about it."
Malthouse said he hoped the team showed more spirit to win the remaining games and invited the fans to an open training session and barbeque as a pat on the back for their support.
Malthouse might be relieved that pokies mogul Mathieson does not have him in his sights.
"I’m not blaming the coach at all, in any way shape or form. He can only deal with the stock that he’s got.
"Our problem is our recruiting staff has been there for many years. They’ve had plenty of time to bring on these players. It hasn’t happened.
"So we have to do a lot of internal stuff first in my opinion.
"I’d be happy to dispute it with anyone that we’ve done a good job.
"There’s a lot of people … in positions getting paid a lot of money and they’re certainly not bringing the results."
He said high draft picks such as Matthew Kreuzer and Bryce Gibbs had not "come on", and the Blues did not compare favourably with the league's pacesetters.
"How many of our players… would fit into say Geelong … position for position. Would they take their player out and put our player in?
"I don’t know if there would be any".
Mathieson wants change.
"I just think it’s time and I’ve been saying it for a long time, people are getting paid to do a job and if it was your business you’ve got to make changes and we haven’t made changes for years.
"You’ve only got to look at other teams, and you look at Geelong, Hawthoen, they seen to be able to pick players – the same as Sydney – when we can’t seem to get players.
"They haven’t had first choices and all the things that we’ve had, yet they’re still up there, their reserves are up there. None of ours are there. You have to say that something is wrong."
On Monday night and Tuesday morning, the inquest into Carlton's performance and standing - it is 11th on the ladder two games out of the eight - continued in the media.
Age analyst Rohan Connolly wrote that "again for Carlton, the list and the formula, is falling short".
SEN's Anthony Hudson was critical of the club for not providing spokespersons for weekend media shows, comparing Carlton's silence unfavourably to rivals Essendon and Collingwood, whose coaches fronted up to discuss losses, enabling their clubs to direct the narrative surrounding their failures.
"Looking at their list... they are in some trouble..." he added.
On The Couch panellist Mike Sheahan said he wouldn't be surprised if midfield superstar Chris Judd did not play on after this season.
Channel Nine's Matthew Lloyd said on Footy Classified that Carlton's best players "won't be in their next premiership", saying the club had passed its 'premiership window'.
Host Garry Lyon said ruckman Matthew Kreuzer played "inoffensive" football, letting the game roll by him, and he questioned the output of small forwards Chris Yarran, Eddie Betts and Jeff Garlett.