BENDIGO, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Mark Blicavs of the Cats warms up prior to the JLT Community Series AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Essendon Bombers at Queen Elizabeth Oval on March 12, 2017 in Bendigo, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Three-time Geelong premiership player Jimmy Bartel believes his former side need to find Mark Blicavs a role around the ground to get him out of his “horrible” form slump.

The 198-centimetre Cat collected just 11 disposals against Essendon on Saturday night and didn’t lay one single tackle during the match, despite playing predominantly through the midfield.

His performance was indicative of his early season form, as the 2015 best and fairest is averaging just 15 touches and three tackles a game, down from his 18 and six averages over the past two years.

“Blicavs is horribly, horribly out of form,” Bartel told RSN 927.

“He is a best and fairest winner and I’m not targeting him, but when you win a best and fairest you are held to a higher standard.”

With the third-man up rule now preventing players from joining ruckmen in a contest, one of Blicavs’ biggest strengths has now been taken away from him.

Bartel says the rule has crippled the 26-year-old’s impact on the ground this season, saying Chris Scott just needs to find a role for him before it’s too late.

“I think they missed a trick (with third-man up rule coming in) they need to find a position for his own football,” Bartel said.

“I think he might need to go back as a key defender and just give him a job.

“At the moment, he’s unbelievable (at) running but he’s just running up and down the ground.”