FORMER Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has accused the media of ”dancing on the grave” of Carlton coach Brett Ratten and has labelled speculation over his future as ”distasteful”.
As links between Malthouse and Carlton continued to grow over the weekend, the three-time premiership coach did his best yesterday to short-circuit speculation, saying it was less likely than ever he would attempt a coaching comeback.
As former Carlton star Nick Stevens told The Age yesterday that the intense pressure and media scrutiny ”must be taking a toll on the coach and the team”, Malthouse went to the defence of Ratten, whose club has fallen from premiership favourite to one battling just to make the finals after six losses in seven weeks.
”I find it totally distasteful that a person that is currently in that position, who is a great Carlton person, who is under massive pressure – as is every coach – but he is under more pressure because it is a big club that is failing at the moment,” Malthouse said of the speculation.
”It’s not a one-man ticket out there. The players have to take some responsibility and I will not entertain … even talking about any position when a person has got the job and needs the full backing of his club and his supporters.
”I just think it is totally distasteful that people are dancing on his grave and I think people need to step back and reflect on how good Brett Ratten has been for this club.”
Malthouse had previously stated he would ”never say never” when it came to coaching again, but admitted yesterday that the ”never say never is getting closer to never”.
”Do I miss coaching? Of course I miss coaching, it’s part of my DNA,” he said on 3AW. ”But there comes a time when you need to give it up. If I ever got back [to coaching], I would be weighing up every conceivable thing that makes up a full year of senior coaching.
”I am continually reminded about my last few years and the strains that it had on my family.”
Stevens, who played three seasons under Ratten at the Blues, supported Malthouse’s view that the coach was being judged unfairly by the media and Carlton supporters, saying the club had been hit hard by injuries and ”with that the players have lost some confidence”.
”When everything is going wrong, the media come at you pretty thick and fast, and I think that would be taking its toll on the playing group and Ratts as well. Every time the poor bugger has got his head on the camera and everyone is saying sack him … anyone can sit there and say it doesn’t take its toll on you, but I think it has to, to some extent.”
Stevens, now full-time coach of Gippsland Power in the TAC Cup, said the continual link between Malthouse and Carlton had made Ratten’s job even more difficult. ”If Malthouse had another coaching job, they would not be going as hard at Ratts.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.