Michael Voss has touched down in Melbourne as the Brisbane Lions legend closes in becoming Carlton’s new AFL coach.
Carlton come into Round 5 with a 2-3 record and face possibly the two biggest weeks yet in David Teague’s reign as coach – Brisbane at Marvel Stadium, then a struggling Essendon side.
Last weekend, after winning their previous two clashes, the Blues went down in a disappointing performance to Port Adelaide at the MCG.
Teague pointed out the difference between the efficiency and skills shown by his side and the Power as the difference between a good and a great team.
Carlton received a reality check from a rampaging Port, who are one of the in-form sides of the competition.
Saturday night was a huge chance for the Blues to show they can keep up with the top sides but they failed horrendously and it might just show where they still are as a club.
After a tight first quarter, the Power were in complete control, including the premiership quarter where they kicked six goals to two to set up the 28-point win.
In the last quarter, Port clocked off because they knew they had the game won but the margin could have been a lot worse. Robbie Grey, Mitch Georgiades and Charlie Dixon kicked eight goals between them, while some of the Blues’ main players didn’t stand up.
Specifically, Harry Mckay only had five disposals for the night and kicked 1.2, in his return game Mitch McGovern amassed 13 disposals but only 1.1, and Patrick Cripps’ 27-disposal game also included a missed set shot in the first quarter from 15 metres out directly in front.
Teague admitted his side was taught a lesson about clean ball use and hoped they learn quickly ahead of their clash with the Lions.
These next two games are absolutely crucial not only for Carlton, who said finals was an expectation this year, but for Teague, who could be coaching for his career over the next fortnight.
Coming back from a 2-4 start is going to be a real hard mountain to climb and while Brisbane have not found the form expected from them yet this year, sitting also at 2-3, but they were extremely impressive in their win over Essendon.
The Blues are just lucky that this game is at Marvel – they must make the most of this opportunity and get their season back on track.
The following week, they face an Bombers side at 1-3 and looking like a bottom four squad. If Carlton loses that one, it would show that not a lot of improvement has been made.
Teague knows his side will take time to match what teams like Richmond or Port Adelaide but they must be better when they face the Lions.
Still, if he is serious about improving, he must make some tough calls ahead of these must win games. For example, Sam Petrevski-Seton might be better in the middle of the ground as opposed to in the defence. Teague should also seriously think of giving players such as David Cunningham and Liam Stocker a run in the starting 22.
One thing’s for certain, changes need to be made. You cannot repeat the same mistakes over and over and only.
Players who are out there producing their absolute best efforts should be selected, as these two weeks could make or break Teague’s time as coach.