The knives are out for Brett Ratten with a host of his critics having decided he's had long enough at Carlton.<
The Blues made the statement early in the year that they had to make the top four for him to be secure even though they re-signed him for two years after winning their first final in a decade. But Carlton are not going to make the top four and are pushing it uphill to even play finals.
He can blame injury, the fitness advisor or anything else but I blame the cattle.They've got no tall forwards and Shaun Hampson is not the answer, the only answer he has is his girlfriend, Megan Galle.
And the little forwards don't turn up all the time either. It's a bit like everyone saying we should get rid of Julia Gillard, but where do you go? Here are a few alternatives if Carlton want to do it. Mick Malthouse wants to coach, he's like Tommy Hafey, he'll still want to be a coach when he's 80. Paul Roos' name will come up but he won a flag as a defensive coach and even Andrew Demetriou said it was a boring style of footy.
Has the game gone past his brand of play? Or do you go to Rocket Eade. He took the Swans to a grand final and then made the Dogs competitive but since they let him go they've become a rabble. Or do you go for one out of left field like Bomber Thompson? Since he's turned up at Essendon with James Hird they're winning games, there's excitement at the club, they even have the Brownlow favourite Jobe Watson.
But Carlton don't like anyone with an Essendon taint to them so that might rule Thompson out and also they're not fond of those with Collingwood ties either. Or do you look below the lofty heights of AFL and consider someone like Gary Ayres who wins all the time in the VFL? Sure as eggs though at the end of the year Carlton will use the old adage they've used all along, 'cut 'em deep and cut 'em clean'.
By the way Ratten looked on Friday night after a lacklustre performance against Hawthorn he knows he'll have to make the statement about family reasons at the end of the year or perhaps even sooner.
People will argue he's had enough time, it's even rumoured that one of their guns is saying Ratten is a great bloke but not up to the job. I won't mention his name but he is an absolute gun.
Anyway Brett Ratten will be remembered as a great Carlton footballer.