Sun setting on Ratten

Russell Robertson August 29, 2012, 12:50 pm

In 2000, Eddie McGuire in his true theatrical and media savvy style, revealed his coaching coup by pulling back the curtains to reveal Mick Malthouse at the wheel of a brand new convertible Lexus.

It was another big signing by the gregarious, outspoken president and it netted a premiership from four attempts.

The question now after the extraordinary scenes on the Gold Coast last week is, will Mick be revealed soon from behind a curtain seated in a Hyundai?.

Carlton supporters everywhere would have stopped around 10:30pm on Saturday night dumbfounded on receiving the news. How could a team playing for a finals berth, a team that had demolished the Bombers by 94 points not seven days prior, be beaten by cellar dwellers the Gold Coast Suns?

Was it all just a bad dream, a horrid nightmare? Surely someone was having a lend when they told you? No, it was true, the Blues had been beaten despite all that a win would have given them and the door to September had been unceremoniously slammed in their faces.

Gone, like the days of the mullet that Carlton president Stephen Kernahan used to proudly wear, and no doubt the feeling at Visy Park is as low as that great man's voice.

No, there will be no renditions of 'Stand By Your Man' this year and one must wonder, will the Carlton board afford their past champion and coach Brett Ratten a chance to sing that famous club song 'Lily of Laguna' past this week?

September is gone and now three days later a distant memory. Things are looking pretty grim.

Ratten has a winning percentage of 53 percent in seven years, hardly terrible and others who have had worse have kept their jobs - including Malthouse on 51 percent.

Why is it that we are now calling for his head, especially after the year from hell in regard to his cattle and injury? I mean this is hardly a train wreck.

There were more than a few unstable ingredients added I feel to this powder keg over this past few years.

Statements around 2012 performance predictions only set them up for a fall. One, especially a coach, must be careful when doing so as not to give those who care the most a clear pass mark, because when that mark is not reached, hard questions are asked.

Obtaining Chris Judd, the league's best player, in 2008 via the West Coast Eagles was a monumental addition to their list. A list that was looking very close to one that could deliver a premiership as he joined number one draft picks Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs. Surely a midfield group worth all that money would deliver soon.

Then there was the insatiable start to the 2012 campaign. Top of the table and looking like the real deal. Then the losses came, and kept coming, along with the injuries.

The frustration came from all over trying to understand what could be wrong. They looked so good! Our emotions were then seemingly toyed with after a late-season rally reignited the hopes of thousands after a 96-point drubbing of the Bombers, only to be snuffed out again by the Suns.

Sadly, last Saturday night was the spark that ignited the slow burning wick. It will burn through to this Sunday and after that, well, kablam!!

Carlton has always been a proud, sometimes arrogant club. Equal highest amount of premierships, they do not like to be down for too long and it seems 'too long' has come and gone.

A coach must always be steering the club in the right direction, always toward improvement. If the players are too young, he is teaching and preparing them for a run at a flag when they are ripe, and if they are too old, he is preparing the list to start again.

Unfortunately for Ratts, his players should be ready for that tilt - only right now the list has gone backwards and the outside perception is not a good one.

I think a new coach would certainly reignite and reinvigorate the players. It may be the right thing for the board to do but for someone who looks at Brett Ratten and feels for his situation, I can feel only sad.

So many things have transpired against him and his failure may well not be his own fault.

Kernahan may not be as theatrical as Eddie Maguire but I'm sure if he secures the services of the red-hot favourite Mick Malthouse as new senior coach for season 2013, he'll think of something.


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  1. Sharpy02:45pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Not convinced the players really wanted to win that one... New version of tanking me thinks not for the draft pick of the best player available but to enhance your chances of scoring one of the best coaches around... The players get to play another game not sure if Brett will...

  2. Dale03:13pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    carlton will not be a force until they get a genuine foward like fevola and a new full back

  3. Lewis03:15pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    yahoo don't you think 10 different story's on Ratten & Carlton is a bit of over kill ?. we all get the point the media are putting out Ratten to be sacked. maybe yahoo print real story's like how the players ratten is in charge off are all over rated and Carlton board themselves are a lot of the blame. but NO like always put the coaches head on the chopping block because the media says so. poor ratten has put up with the media reporting year in year out how he is on a life line shame yahoo shame.

  4. Jeffrey03:33pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I hear Derryn is looking for a relations perhaps at the old 'bluebaggers" ?

  5. LeighSydneyChina12:54pm Monday 03rd September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Seems to be the Carlingwood Football League...... the arrogance of both clubs is mind-numbing...(no, I dont really care..), to EXPECT to win a premiership because they have the money. That is the end game of this.... as fast eddie quipped about playing clubs that didnt have as much money as he did...... mc gurk and the mullet are hopefully going to feel the sting of defeat many more times than victory. Clubs play football for the supporters and themselves (in that they love the game). Carlingwood just make it a business..... and that business sucks...