JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

The Blues have gone backwards under Malthouse

The Blues now need to win their remaining three games to better last year. If they don't do that with a list that's been healthier than last year, who's accountable?

The Blues now need to win their remaining three games to better last year. If they don't do that with a list that's been healthier than last year, who's accountable?

The Carlton board needs to come clean. It needs to let the supporters know in what direction the club is going. Twelve months ago, the president considered the Blues a premiership chance. Now, the CEO and coach are talking about mass changes through delistings and trades.  Is a premiership a possibility, or has that plan been scrapped?

The fans have a right to know. And if it is a rebuild, did sacked coach Brett Ratten actually overachieve by getting the team into three finals series with players who are now considered not up to it?

It was exactly 12 months ago that Ratten's Blues hammered the Bombers at the MCG to win by 96 points. It was their 11th win of the season. But it didn't matter. The powers that be at Carlton had made up their minds to sack the coach and replace him with Mick Malthouse.

It suited the Blues board to lose the next week to Gold Coast, because they felt they could justify the job they did on Ratten just days after that loss.

The man who had lifted them from bottom of the ladder to three successive finals series did not have a unified club supporting him, so the final year of his contract was not honoured. So much for standing by your man.

At the time, president Stephen Kernahan stated that "if we are going to strike, we need to do it in the next couple of years, because our best players are running out of time". The fans were told Malthouse would improve the team defensively. Under Ratten, the average score against in 2011 was 78 points. Last year it was 87. This year it is 90. So much for that theory.

The Blues now need to win their remaining three games to better last year. If they don't do that with a list that's been healthier than last year, who's accountable? And please don’t say it takes a year to learn a new coach’s game plan. Professional players and coaches should nut that out over a summer; Ken Hinkley did with Port Adelaide. Carlton has always demanded success. It certainly demanded it of Ratten. Do the same standards apply to Malthouse?

After losing their first three games, the Blues won six of seven to sit 6-4. There was optimism in the camp. The team was crashing in, they were working hard on defence and the little fellows up forward looked dangerous.

But since then, there have been three wins and six losses, and last week's loss to a much younger Western Bulldogs made plenty of Blues supporters cringe. There are questions being asked. And one is, does the coaching panel stack up? Is the leading coaching pairing of Malthouse, who turns 60 on Saturday, and his right-hand man Robert Wiley, at 58, past it?

How good is forwards coach John Barker, having had brief stints at St Kilda and Hawthorn? How much can Brad Green help the Carlton midfielders after spending much of his career as a forward in lowly Melbourne teams? Why was Alan Richardson let go? He is a fine development coach who is now doing a terrific job with Port Adelaide.

Then there's the captain. Was the handover done a year too early? Chris Judd has been the obvious leader at the club since he arrived in 2008. Marc Murphy is a fine player but injuries and criticism have made his first year as skipper tough indeed. First he was exposed as not having enough defence in his game and then his coach put the acid on him about not being able to break tags. That's fine to do privately, but publicly? Some old Carlton players didn't like that. We will never know whether Judd was encouraged to continue on as captain. If he wasn't, he should have been.

Supporters are also sick of hearing Malthouse each week talk up the opposition’s strengths. It’s as if excuses are being put out early.

It's also time the focus went on to the players.  Over the past 12 months, which players have improved? There's no doubt Lachie Henderson and Zac Tuohy have continued their development. Kade Simpson and Andrew Walker have had good seasons and Jeff Garlett has been valuable with his nine goals. After that, there are lots of question marks. Matthew Kreuzer was coasting until some external criticism jolted him. Now the Blues have settled on Kreuzer as their No.1 ruckman he has to play with more grunt and purpose. He is  into his sixth season and has played more than 100 games. He should never be out of his team’s top five players.

Jarrad Waite continues to frustrate. In the past five seasons he has missed half the games due to injury or suspension. He turns 31 early next year. Time is running out fast. No longer can he be relied  on.

Levi Casboult should be played full forward/ruck ahead of Sam Rowe. He is younger, bigger and a much better mark. Where to for Chris Yarran? Back, forward, midfield or out completely? His skills are high but his confidence  low. With the CEO and coach forecasting trades and changes at season's end, he probably thinks he is on skid row.

The coach has told the world Bryce Gibbs will definitely not be traded. That's nice for Bryce. Comfortable, too. I've supported Gibbs over the years but, at 24 and with 150 games under the belt, what about some mad-dog urgency? Plenty think he doesn't spend the lot.

Eddie Betts put a $600,000 price tag on his head. Forget it, Eddie. You are losing currency with each game. And it's a shame the skills of Mitch Robinson and Dennis Armfield don't match their grunt. Michael Jamison has chalked up 100 games but he is still a low-possession defender who bombs the ball anywhere.

It appears the coach decided early that Nick Duigan and Jeremy Laidler were not part of his back-line plans. That means Walker, Gibbs and Simpson have had to play back. They would be of real support to a lacklustre, shallow midfield. With Jaryd Cachia and Ed Curnow doing weekly tagging assignments and Armfield often doing a lockdown job, there’s not much creativity in the midfield. Malthouse had success at Collingwood running the ball wide out of defence. That style doesn’t work as well at Carlton, because there are not enough creative mids.

The supporters are keen to see  young blood. So far this season, there have been just four debutants. Two of them, Rowe, 25,  and Cachia, 22,  are mature-age recruits, while Troy Menzel has played just three games and Dylan Buckley got just a few minutes in his only game.

Had the Carlton money men shown more patience and faith and let Ratten coach out his contract, the Blues would have been in a better position going into season 2014. Malthouse would still have been available. Paul Roos is now more likely to coach than he was 12 months ago, and had Ratten taken the team to another finals series, an extension of contract would have had to have been considered.


  • Malthouse - the million dollar man has failed to deliver - doesn't matter to him - if they sack him he will get paid out. Malthouse is old news and not going to be around in a couple more years - but this is great news for the majority who love to see Carlton lose.

    Date and time
    August 15, 2013, 4:52PM
    • Totally agree, even better when you think that Essendon are stuffed and Carlton are are just going to whither on the vine. Go Pies.

      Date and time
      August 15, 2013, 6:16PM
    • Malthouse won two flags with the WA State of Origin team called the Eagles after he left Footscray as a failure. He took ten years to win just one flag at Collingwood and has taken Carlton backwards. But he's known as a coaching legend?? I think Carlton took him because they swallowed the story of him being a genius and also they thought he would bring Cloke with him. Didn't happen and neither has anything else positive since.

      Date and time
      August 15, 2013, 6:20PM
    • @rext

      Been saying the same thing for years. An overrated person- in every way.

      Read Alan Howe's article.

      Malthouse blues
      Sth Melb
      Date and time
      August 15, 2013, 7:56PM
    • That's crazy... His record speaks for itself. He's a coach. They don't get "past it" although if I were a Carlton fan, I'd like to see a younger main assistant.

      Date and time
      August 15, 2013, 8:17PM
    • Funny how the only way the Pies can get a taste of success is when their two main rivals are struggling. Collingwood has been playing catch up with two of its nemesis, Essendon & Carlton for ever and always will. Their appalling premiership record is testament to that.

      Date and time
      August 15, 2013, 9:03PM
    • Agree - none of the stats back malthouse as a massive dream coach ... It's age and mystique , not results.

      Eddie has a lot to answer for talking him up all those years, actually ... Maybe that was the plan lol

      Date and time
      August 15, 2013, 10:34PM
    • Spot on Rext. The teams malthouse has got premierships with had brilliant lists - I think a really good coach would have got two or three with that Collingwood list he had. But because a few tv commentators say he is great too many believe it - look at his apprentice and recommendation for the Melbourne coaching job, Mark Neeld, just about the worst coach ever who has destroyed that club. Malthouse is now doing his best to repeat that at Carlton, maybe he will make a couple of kids captain, get rid of the core experienced players and trade in a few rejects....

      Ned Kelly
      Date and time
      August 15, 2013, 11:00PM
    • rext
      Stats that confirm your opinion. Matthews one Premiership every 115 games, Sheedy one every 164 games and Malthouse one every 222 games.

      Date and time
      August 16, 2013, 10:34AM
    • Great article.
      I was sorry for to see Ratten go.
      Yarran should go West (Eagles? for Keneedy and & a draft pick??).

      Date and time
      August 16, 2013, 2:15PM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers