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Tension turns to open hostility

Date

Michael Gleeson

At odds: Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and former coach Mick Malthouse.

At odds: Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and former coach Mick Malthouse. Photo: Photo: Paul Rovere

THE tension that simmered beneath the surface of the Mick Malthouse succession plan at Collingwood took just three weeks of the new coach's reign to erupt into open hostility.

Using their various media vehicles, Malthouse and his family and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire argued publicly yesterday after Malthouse blamed players and umpires for the club's grand final loss and queried the change to the game plan that has seen Collingwood lose two of its first three games, including the heavy loss to Carlton on Friday night.

McGuire on his morning radio show aggressively challenged the broad critique of the club by Malthouse in his new role as media commentator, claiming he would not have a friend left at Collingwood after his weekend comments about the club he coached to a flag just 18months ago.

"I love Mick and I've supported him 100 per cent, but I tell you what, he wouldn't have a friend at Collingwood today. He hasn't missed anyone," McGuire said.

"He's blamed the grand final loss last year on Dane Swan, Chris Tarrant and the umpires ... you can't claim the glory for the coaching plan to get to the grand final and then bag the players who followed it out."

Malthouse had said that a one-kick last quarter by  Swan, a defensive error by  Tarrant and a poor umpiring decision had been responsible for the grand final loss and not a breakdown of his game plan.

McGuire added that Malthouse had "given it to [Buckley] for a couple of years now; give the bloke a bit of a chance, he's in his first year."
McGuire implored Malthouse to move on, saying he had disliked his coaching predecessor at Collingwood, Tony Shaw, criticising the team yet he was doing the same thing. "Give Bucks a bit of a go, mate, because when Bucks was the captain he carried that team for you, he played his guts out for you," McGuire said.

Malthouse had also said retired All-Australian Leon Davis would probably have remained at the club had he been coach because of the strength of his relationship with the player. The comment was taken by the club as a slight on football manager Geoff Walsh for not re-signing Davis and of Buckley for not having as tight a bond with the players as Malthouse.

Malthouse said last night he did not want to get into a further slanging match with McGuire but said he retained strong feelings for many people within the club.

"I will never compromise my stance on the admiration I've got and the feel I have for that playing group, Geoff Walsh, David Buttifant and the football department for how they bled for the club and myself to win the (2010) premiership and also to go as far as they did last year," Malthouse said.

One of jis daughters, Danielle Kearney, who also works as her father's personal assistant, tweeted later yesterday morning: "I don't know how Eddie McGuire sleeps at night #lies."

She added later: "For the record. Collingwood F C is a fantastic club that is made up of some fabulous people. Was just sick of hearing lies 2day."

Former player Brodie Holland used social media to criticise his former coach. Holland wrote: "I LOVE MICKY MILKSHAKES but poor form by him singling out individuals that apparently influenced the GF loss last yr. #smokescreenspecialist."

Malthouse at the weekend had not specifically criticised the game plan under Buckley but corrected the impression that the change under Buckley was minimal. He said there was a "massive difference" in game structure,  the side was now using the corridor more and was thus "leaking goals".

McGuire said the game plan had already changed under Malthouse in last year's grand final because of the realisation by Malthouse and others that Geelong and the rest of the competition had worked out the game plan.

Tony Shaw, now a colleague of Malthouse's at 3AW, yesterday challenged all sides to show more dignity and remove personalities from the debate. "Mick has every right to comment on game style but don't bring personalities into it and that goes for all sides in this," Shaw said.

"We are three games into a coaching career with Nathan Buckley, he has tried to change things, and players take time to get used to it but with six grand final players out and three or four others that didn't have a pre-season and were underdone, things like that will happen ...  and I think it is totally over the top reactive. It took (Malthouse) 12 years to win a premiership, give Nathan time to have his go."

5 comments so far

  • He's a media commentator Eddie... paid to criticise. You of all people know that. Get over it. If not for the stupid plan to replace the best coach in the game, it wouldnt be happening.

    Commenter
    Heath
    Date and time
    April 17, 2012, 8:16AM
    • Eddie needs to grow a spine as well as a pair ! and stop trying to sound like he is on everyone's side and that only he truly knows what has / is happening.He just sounds like a POLITICIAN who is always on the spin with whatever is going on.
      As "Heath" said he is a media commentator now.I Eddie is so worried about what he has to say he shouldn't have brokered "THE DEAL" it was never going to be a smooth transfer simply because this is Collingwood nothing is ever done without everyone having there say including Club members and everyone else.

      Commenter
      ausgronk
      Date and time
      April 17, 2012, 9:57AM
      • Friday the 13th, 2012 – henceforth to be known as "Black Friday" – will long be remembered in our club – and AFL – history.

        And we are all still recovering – in our own separate ways – from such a crushing result.

        But it's now time to focus on the next game and the rest of the 2012 season.

        Hopefully, Bucks and his coaching staff and the match committee won't be overly distracted by the internecine warfare that is, predictably, raising it's ugly head at Collingwood.

        Don't know about you, my brothers and sisters of Black & White, but:

        I'm for Bucks.

        M & M need to stifle themselves.

        Both of these gentlemen have egos writing checks that neither of them have been able to cash.

        Both have always been eager to take credit when things have panned out...but now, when the going gets tough... Mr. McGuire and Mr. Malthouse are two of the fastest draws of the finger in the West.

        And as for our Pie AFL players: MAN UP.

        As to either of the Ms' silliness not being ego driven...I'll take that one under advisement. (That's kinda like asserting my three legged dog, Spot, only pees on everything in sight just to assist blind kittens find their way home.)

        Commenter
        Mungo Mulligan-Stewart
        Date and time
        April 17, 2012, 6:02PM
        • When did Mick Malthouse blame individual players and the umpires for the grand final loss, Michael? I want to see a quote from Malthouse to verify this assertion: a quote from Eddie Maguire just doesn't cut it.

          Commenter
          Bill Williams
          Location
          Table Top, NSW
          Date and time
          April 18, 2012, 1:18AM
          • Here it is Bill, unless Eddie is an impersonator
            http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/3aw-football-blog/malthouse-pies-lack-confidence/20120415-1x15p.html?tw_p=twt

            Commenter
            kcabotkcab
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            April 18, 2012, 12:54PM

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