What you missed on TV last night

Written By Unknown on Senin, 14 April 2014 | 23.41

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TEAMS under the microscope was at the top of Monday's agenda.

Carlton, Sydney, Richmond and Brisbane dominated the Round 4 wash-up after devastating wins on the weekend.

The Blues were the major talking point after a shock loss to Melbourne, which saw them fall to 0-4.

"It was the doomsday scenario. A season that started with a quest to get better now has a realisation that they are much, much worse," AFL 360 host Gerard Whateley said.

Whateley and Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson dissected the Blues with six big questions.

1. What is the No.1 priority for Carlton?

"They're core business is playing footy, so I'll say No.1 winning games of footy," Robinson said.

"We've got verbal bombs being dropped everywhere. It's got to stop and people have got to get off their back."

2. What is the challenge for Mick Malthouse?

"He has to earn his money, he has to call on all his experience to find the trigger to bring that confidence," Robinson said.

"He has to find the confidence ... he has to find a way to get these players playing good footy again."

Whateley agreed: "This get's to the heart of coaching. He's got to give them cohesion."

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3. Is the criticism of captain Marc Murphy fair?

"Yes it is. Mark Murphy has to reach within and find something," Robinson said.

"He was confident today saying 'I've been a leader all my life' so it's there. He's just got to find it on the ground."

Whateley agreed he deserved criticism but the level had been too harsh

"Yes. It is a failing," he said.

"Look at the Bulldogs on Saturday. Brendan McCartney would have said to his leaders 'don't you dare let this happen'. And they didn't."

4. Will Greg Swann and Stephen Kernahan see out the season?

"Not a chance in hell," Robinson said.

"There's a lot of talk Swann will be gone at the next board meeting. Bruce Mathieson said he's got to walk now and I think Swann knows that.

"Kernahan is going after the 150 celebrations and I think he'll see that through."

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5. Could the powerbrokers tear the club apart?

"Not could, the powerbrokers are tearing the club," Robinson said.

"I think it is a disgrace that Bruce Mathieson is talking about the club. It's disrespectful.

"I don't think Bruce understands that footy is about people. He's treating some good people really badly under the name of 'I'm a fierce business man and I contribute to this club'."

6. What becomes of season 2014?

"There must be strategy now. They should aim to get four draft picks inside the top 20," Whateley said.

"Carlton needs to beat the Western Bulldogs but it needs a strategy more than immediate results."

Robinson said the club's fan just wanted to be told the truth.

"At the start of the season, Mick Malthouse said they were approaching 11pm on the premiership window. Then we walks into a board meeting with grave concerns about the list," he said.

"Can you understand the frustration of the Carlton supporters?

"Carlton tells furphies to their members. The club is telling them we will rebuild. They just want the truth."

The last time Carlton started a season 0-4 was 1989 and then-coach Robert Walls was sacked.

The Blues play the Western Bulldogs on Sunday, followed by West Coast and Collingwood.

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■ SYDNEY were outmuscled and outwilled in the wet at the SCG by North Melbourne, leading to more questions about star recruit Lance Franklin and the team's mentality.

Whateley said there were serious concerns about the Swan's mental strength.

"The will to win has always been a given for the Swans," he said.

Robinson pointed to an alarming statistic that suggests the Swans have been down for some time.

"They've won three of their past 11. That is alarming," he said.

"Don't tell me you're playing badly just because Buddy is in the team. It's the collective."

It doesn't get any easier for the Swans, who face Fremantle at the SCG this weekend.

■ BRISBANE are also struggling and sit winless at the bottom of the ladder.

Robinson said it was very frustrating seeing honourable losses against Hawthorn and Geelong, followed by such disappointing losses to Gold Coast and Port Adelaide.

"They lost Daniel Rich and then (Matthew) Leunenberger went off on the weekend.

"We're living in a situation were there are concerns about the market. There isn't a strong team in Queensland.

"They've got nothing. It's such a worry at Round 4."

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■ VICTORIOUS Melbourne coach Paul Roos and Essendon mentor Mark Thompson then joined the boys to look back at the weekend's results.

Whateley started off by asking Roos 'what is a win worth?'.

"For the club and the players, it's a lot," Roos said.

"We've been playing reasonably well but you've got to have a win. It keeps you going forward is a really tough period.

"Even though I've only been there seven months. You still carry the load. You deal with it and it's hard. It's the worst part of the job.

"You know what the fans have gone through and to see them enjoying it was great."

Roos said having key forward Chris Dawes return to the team and James Frawley up forward was a huge plus.

"I'd say (it made) a fair bit (of difference)," he said.

"The Dawes goals were critical. It's just his enthusiasm and he just wanted to play.

"Just to have him up there, it helped Chip Frawley and (Lynden) Dunn so much.

■ THE Bombers weren't as lucky and suffered a big defeat at the hands of Fremantle in the Perth heat.

Thompson revealed he had stopped worrying about the result and how his players would recover ahead of their Round 5 clash with St Kilda on Saturday.

"I was thinking during the game, not how do we win this game, but how do we recover and win the next game," he said.

Losing Brendon Goddard was another blow for the Bombers but Thompson believed he would be right to play.

"I didn't know he came off (during the warm-up)," he said.

"He's had it five or so times during his career. He knows when it comes - it's quite painful when it happens and - he knows how to get rid of it ... but he couldn't.

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FORMER Richmond champion Kevin Bartlett joined the boys in place of Mike Sheahan.

Carlton president Stephen Kernahan was the special guest.

The former premiership captain said his club deserved all the criticism it received after the loss to Melbourne.

"The loss to Essendon was one of our worst performances since the mid-2000s - when we were down - and the game against Melbourne ... was one we expected to win and we were poor," he said

"Our players are lacking a bit of confidence at the moment."

Jason Dunstall asked whether Kernahan had walked out of the board meeting Malthouse had presented his doubts on the club's list.

"I've never walked out of a board meeting in my life," he said.

"I've never over-rated our list. We made finals the last couple of years.

"There is hope for our supporters, Dylan Buckley won the Rising Star (nomination) after the loss to Richmond. Patrick Cripps played on the weekend, Nicky Graham, Troy Menzel will be a really good player for us."

Carlton president Stephen Kernahan talks to the media. Picture: Michael Klein Source: News Corp Australia

He was also asked when Carlton's next premiership would come.

"It gets bandied about too much, premierships," he said.

"Yeah, we got Mick Malthouse in because he was the best coach available in our eyes.

"Quite clearly we didn't get into the top four to give ourselves the best chance and at the moment we're 0-4, so things aren't great.

"When's our next premiership? We need to get over the Bulldogs on Sunday, that would be a start."

Blues powerbroker Bruce Mathieson has been a vocal critic of the club but Kernahan paid no heed.

"I haven't spoken to (Bruce Mathieson), one of my board members has," he said.

"I've got no problem with Bruce having an opinion, he's an integral part of the football club.

"I understand Bruce's philosophy is to throw the bomb in and nuke everybody, I've got no problem with that but it is a bit counter-productive to what we're trying to do down there.

"At the moment, we can only look forward to next week. I understand people want to nuke the place but at the end of the year we can do all that.

"We just need to stick fat."

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■ WITH Bartlett on the couch, Richmond came under the microscope after a disappointing loss to Collingwood on Friday night.

"The skills against Collingwood were a major concern," he said.

"The thing I've been big on for a long time is, Richmond midfielders need to kick goal. Collingwood's midfielders kicked 10 goals.

"Richmond have got some quick players but when they're in space they don't accelerate and they don't back themselves in.

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■ ON Trent Cotchin's battle with Brent Macaffer, Bartlett said it was vital the AFL looked after the star players.

"You've got to protect the good players in the game," he said.

"They can look at you but they can't touch you, they can't hold you.

"I understand a tagger has a job to do - to shut down the opposition's best player - but the game has a responsibility to protect the star player.

"The fans come to see the star players."

■ SYDNEY also came under the blow torch for their poor start to the season.

Dunstall questioned several aspects of their game.

"Their age, pace, work rate and forward structures ... I think all these things would be worrying John Longmire," he said.

"It's not just the players, I think it is some of the structures. If you look at how they were going forward. It was just awful."

"The Swans had an extra 18 inside 50s ... but they would just bomb it long and Scott Thompson stayed back.

"Nick Maxwell was best on ground a couple of weeks ago as the loose defender."

Bartlett wondered if the Swans' gameplan was finally starting to catch up with some of their stars.

"You wonder. There's been a lot of battles for a lot of their players," he said.

"On Sunday, there were conditions that in the past they would have relished with their big bodies."

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■ BARTLETT is perhaps best known recently for his role on the AFL Rules Committee.

He said the game was no longer recognisable and the AFL needed to make some big decisions about the game's direction.

"For me the big question is ... what is Australian rules football?" he said.

"Do we want a hybrid game of rugby, basketball, netball, ice hockey? I don't think we do.

"The interchange is such a critical part of the game and is changing the game so much.

"In 20-25 years time, if we don't have a point of difference people coming to the country will look at our game and say 'I don't want to play rugby, I'll play soccer'.

"It was a unique game once."

In fact, Bartlett suggested the interchange should be scraped all together.

"One of the historic things about AFL is we play on this huge oval with 36 players, so that the game is spread out," he said.

"The idea of the interchange was to replace injured players and it has insidiously crept up and crept up."

Dunstall disagreed saying he like watching the current product.

"I enjoy watching the game. I think there are a lot more elements," he said.

"I think teams are getting better at working out how to beat the press and the game is constantly changing."

■ FINALLY, the boys looked ahead to the blockbuster Easter Monday clash between Hawthorn and Geelong.

Bartlett said it was going to be one of the games of the season.

"It's going to be a great game," he said.

"In a side like Haw, imagine how dangerous they'd be with Buddy Franklin in the team."

Dunstall agreed suggesting Geelong were ready to re-start the Kennett Curse.

"Make no mistake, Geelong are building as well," he said.

"They just disposed of West Coast in clinical fashion.

"All these young players have had to earn their place. They have to make good decision and have good skills, otherwise they won't keep their spot."

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CARLTON coach Mick Malthouse was the show's special guest and remained defiant despite his team's winless start to the season.

"I have the utmost faith in our footy club," he said.

"At the moment, I have every confidence I have the players all pulling in the right direction.

"All I do week in-week out is send the best players out there to win games and unfortunately you're going to lose games."

Malthouse admitted his team were lacking confidence and his leaders needed to pick up their game to drag the team out of the mire.

"I have been through periods like this before and at the end, the team does go up.

"When you lose confidence, it goes. We need to find a way to get that back.

"Maybe it's a lack of confidence in their abilities.

"It's the quietest club I've ever been at. We're a very quiet club on the ground.

One of the greatest coaches in recent history was still bullish about his club's chances this season.

"I don't think I over-rated the list. This is a good football club and a good football team," he said.

"We had shots on goal against Richmond that I believe professional players should kick.

"We dropped marks at centre half-forward that we should take. For me, that's a confidence thing.

"The players are basically devoid of confidence.

"In 1987, when I was coaching Footscray, we lost the first three games by 42 goals. The next week, we played the reigning premiers, and we won. There has never been a game that I'm not confident we can win."

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