WHEN Carlton sacked me, I was shattered.
Not just because I was leaving the club I’d been at since I was 17, but because I was convinced I was about to miss out on something great.
The Blues were in the premiership window.
They had a bunch of quality young players and the club was in good shape.
Carlton was ready to win its 17th flag.
Fast forward five years and somehow the wheels have well and truly fallen off.
Losing to Melbourne last Saturday might just be the darkest day Carlton has had in a decade.
It was embarrassing.
In a year the club is supposed to be celebrating 150 years of existence, there hasn’t been anything to celebrate after a 0-4 start.
There were high hopes when Mick Malthouse came to the club and beat Richmond in the finals after making it there by default thanks to Essendon.
But now there’s nothing for the fans to cheer about.
Even when a club is struggling, there’s usually an exciting player to watch, or some talented rising stars coming through, but I don’t see any of that at the Blues.
I think people are quick to point the finger at the coach on occasions like this, but Mick can only coach the talent he has at his disposal.
He didn’t help himself by playing his best forward, Jarrad Waite, and Jeffy Garlett in the reserves last week.
Either way, you can tell Mick is frustrated and knows deep down he doesn’t have the cattle.
The club’s recruiters have a lot to answer for.
How they haven’t picked up a forward since I left is beyond me.
But they keep picking midfielders at the draft, no matter what pick they have.
I’m obviously a big fan of key forwards, but you can’t tell me you can win finals without them.
Time and time again they’re the difference in big games.
And then there’s Eddie Betts.
Carlton wouldn’t pay him the money he wanted, so he went to Adelaide where he could get it.
Eddie was a fan favourite and popular at the club.
If the Blues didn’t have the money, then fair enough, let him go.
But they went out and spent $700,000 a year for four years on Dale Thomas.
He may take the occasional specky and get his 15 touches but so what?
He won’t win you a game off his own boot.
What about the Chris Judd trade?
Juddy has been an absolute superstar but, looking back on it, who won that deal?
Josh Kennedy is now a superstar of the competition at West Coast and right now probably more valuable than Juddy is.
Who knows? The Blues might have won a flag if he was still there.
How much footy do guys like Brock McLean and Andrew Carrazzo have left?
What about Heath Scotland?
He’s been a warrior for the footy club but these are things they need to start thinking about.
The board has more leaks than a sieve and has to go.
It was like that when I was there.
Sticks Kernahan has been a great president and probably the club’s greatest player, but he was only meant to be there for six months when Dick Pratt was sick in 2008.
He’s still there now.
They really need to get the right person to replace him.
Who that is? I don’t know.
What I do know is Carlton is in a lot of trouble.