We are Carlton and f*!k the rest

Mick Malthouse should be reappointed senior coach of Carlton for the next three years

I didn’t like it when Mick came across to Carlton, not one bit. We replaced a favourite son with a grumpy old man from an infamous rival. We lost a passionate Carlton man who was learning his trade and gained a surly back pocket from a bygone era.

I can’t bear watching Mick post-match, win or lose yet players from all eras speak rather eloquently (as far as footballers go) of Mick’s ability to communicate with his troops. Apparently his ability to bend his words so as any given player can understand the message is second to none but to hear the man post-match is like listening to a politician. He’s incapable of giving a straight answer and I often wonder why sport journalists don’t do their homework more often and hold Mick accountable to his words. Perhaps they are just frightened; I would be.

His pre-game optimism very quickly gives way to stuttering bewilderment at the reasonable (though mundane) questions asked of him. Point in case, the opening match of 2015 against the Tiges. All pre-season we’ve been hearing about our playing list’s health in comparison to 2014 and Liam Jones this and Liam Jones that. Not a single person from the Carlton football department has thrown up a solitary excuse as to why Carlton wouldn’t be at the top of its game come season proper. Two hours later and Mick is letting the football world know that it will take time for Liam and Lachie to work together in the forward 50 and Kristian Jacksh won’t do anything good until he’s in his late fifties and that the Daisy injury meant he had to play a 3/3 instead of a 4/2 and blah blah blah blah blah. Essentially we failed to fire a shot once Richmond got their eye in. Reality was the missing element as we drew nearer the season’s opening match. Carlton aren’t the only club guilty of unfounded pre-season optimism I know, but we are one of the few clubs whose coach is offended when reminded politely of such assessments. But still I think Mick Malthouse should be re-appointed senior coach of Carlton for another three years.

After the loss I slowly realised I’m in for another football year much like the last 3 or 4 I’ve endured, not to mention the last fifteen. Carlton will most certainly not be bad but it’s unlikely we will be very good, once again. You could see the difference between Richmond’s tier-two players and ours. They’ve got more senior football in them and were able to take it upon themselves to carry out a game plan leaving the Blues second stringers stagnant, impotent and unimaginative by comparison.

It’s so often said that Carlton supporters and board members are impatient for success and I’m one of them. I cannot stand being unsuccessful. One is left quite powerless especially when receiving a barrage of texts from Essendon supporters keen to vent against one of the 3 senior coaches who stood up to the incorrect assumption that James Hird should remain senior coach of an AFL club. I had to cop it and so I should. I can’t see the flak stopping if I’m honest.

It’s so god-damned silly to demand success without taking into consideration the history that has made one unsuccessful. As in many areas of life, Carlton’s unsuccessfulness was born during its era of success. I came on board as a 6 year old in the ’82 grand final and it was the striking navy blue that switched me on, along with the heavily moustached business-like form of Mike Fitzpatrick holding aloft the premiership cup as a forlorn and ragged looking Richmond watched on. That’s why I jumped on board. We looked God-like. I can’t unpick the seams of those glory days that swept me up as a child and led me to believe that success was a right, a kind of law much like gravity, a given if you like. I was too young and I don’t wish to douse the flames of fantasy entirely.

I’ve gradually realised I’ve been misled. I’ve been childish in my assumptions and naive in my expectations. We were deceived by Big John and his tycoon-ways and robbed of Goddard and Wells when Pagan came to the helm right? It all denied us any chance at real success in the noughties right? Wrong.

When things started going wrong for Carlton in the mid-nineties as Parkin handed over the reins to his protege Brittain, Carlton was blind to its problems largely due to the notion that we had a right to success as opposed to having to earn it. The problem got big and it’s still being undone. We must be very patient and we must have someone at the helm who will not be deceived no matter the chorus around him.

Kevin Sheedy was correct recently when he urged Essendon to emulate its arch rival Hawthorn after it almost succumbed to a merger with Melbourne in ‘96. Hawthorn in its own infuriatingly measured way understood what was at the heart of its success in the 80s and what had precipitated and contributed to it’s downfall in the mid-late nineties and slowly a plan that did not require immediate success was put in place and duly updated again in the early noughties and hey presto! You have back to back premiers who have a real chance of being the greatest team in the modern era. Now if I am correct in my assumption that Hawthorn’s recent three premierships were conceived back in the mid 1990’s where it almost folded then I am afraid that such success will allude Carlton until well into this current decade at least; for my team came to its senses far later than Hawthorn. Mick Malthouse will intrinsically understand this. He has the points on the board to withstand the lack of success that will come with such delays, he has the experience to build a list that is not only capable of the ultimate football triumph but importantly he can build the kind of success that will lead to ongoing further successes. I’ve said success to many times.

He is building a workman-like quality into the playing list and secondly its supporters. Cultural change people and it stings. ‘We are Carlton and fuck the rest’ no longer does the trick. We’ve been dragged back to the hungry pack and are endangered of being eaten alive. I truly think we have one last chance left to get this right or else into orbit we go for another twenty years.

It’s with a heavy heart this morning that I must brace myself for more texts from rival supporters hating on Mick’s post-match ducking and weaving. But we are, despite the evidence, in very good hands.


  1. I think Malthouse has lost his touch, and the game is starting to pass him by. He seems to live in a different world to everyone else, and can’t adapt to rapidly changing game situations – something I once thought belonged solely to Brad Scott. The recruitment of Daisy Thomas seems to have been a complete waste of club resources – it was throwing a job to a mate, and Daisy hasn’t done anywhere near enough to repay what he’s been given.

  2. John Butler says

    I feel your pain comrade.

  3. Peter Schumacher says

    Sheer bad luck for Daisy though.

  4. Pain JB? You don’t know pain My Friend. You too Nathan. Try five years under The Plough. Although six years under Mickey the Maltster might come close. It’s not so much that he hasn’t got a Plan B, he hasn’t got a Plan A. Apart from his Retirement Plan. This peanut is taking you for a ride. First he loaded you up with Rob Wiley and a whole bunch of other coaching cronies, then he brought across the battle scarred Boy Wonder from Drouin via Collingwood. His recruitment policy is a revolving door and his pressers are the main feature of a Carlton match day.

    Jerry, sign me up for the #[email protected] You do get steak knives with the membership medallion don’t you?

  5. matt watson says

    Nice one Jerry,
    It wasn’t so much a capitulation at the MCG on Thursday night.
    It was more being brushed aside, lesser skilled and slow to move the ball.
    Tigers were bigger and more experienced.
    One game doesn’t kill a season.
    I follow North.
    We haven’t won a premiership since 1999.
    They are hard to win.
    Stick with the Blues. They will deliver eventually.
    There is always hope of that…

  6. Jerry Rinse says

    Hold up Wrap. Are you honestly saying the plan MM implemented down the road only 4 years ago successfully no longer exists in any format?

  7. John Butler says

    Point taken Wrap.

    But there are different sorts of pain.

    Besides, not everyone has the stamina (or stomach) to be a Richmond fan. :)

  8. The Wrap says

    All I’m saying Jerry, is that as a Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful I’m prepared to do my bit the keep Mickey at Princes Park. It’s your call as to whether his plan is a goer or not.

    Sadly I won’t be around for the return match in July JB, otherwise I’d invite you along to witness some Tiger Pain in the luxury of the Richmond Members Enclosure. And you’re perfectly correct about the different sorts of pain. There’s the life changing pain of bitter experience, then there’s the hopeless pain of despair.

  9. I agree with Nathan,carlton has no future with malthouse,afl is for younger coaches with fresh ideas,carlton supporters need to stop living in the past,they have not made any progress since sacking there last coach

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