Garry Lyon has urged Carlton veteran Marc Murphy to fight his way back into the side's midfield after starting the season playing across the half-forward flank.
Murphy, who made his debut for the Blues in 2006, has been a regular in the Carlton midfield for most of his 289 games, but has found himself in a new role for 2021 where he has struggled to get his hands on the ball.
In his All-Australian season, Murphy averaged 29.1 disposals. In the opening five rounds of 2021, he has averaged a career low of 14.8.
Lyon believes that the former No.1 pick should follow the example of Power veteran Travis Boak and re-find his best.
“I’d throw the challenge back to Marc. He’s on 289 games and at the moment it looks like he’s in that inevitable limping to 300,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast.
“He’s playing half-forward and having no impact. Throw the challenge back to him and say get back in the midfield.
“We’ll give you a couple of weeks to train hard and get some miles back into your legs.
“Travis Boak did it. They took Boak out of the middle and said ‘we’re going to make you a high half-forward’ and after a year Boak said ‘no, I’m going back in the midfield’ and demanded he went back and trained like a midfielder and is now in the best three midfielders in the competition.
"I don't think he's good enough to be in the side."@kanecornes believes Carlton should strongly consider dropping Marc Murphy and other veteran Blues, in order to get experience into younger players.#9FootyClassified | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/Ijils96fWz
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) March 29, 2021
“I think that would send a great message to the rest of Carlton if Marc Murphy stood up in front of the group and said ‘I am not satisfied finishing my career as a high forward getting 10 touches’.
“‘I’d rather put it all on the line and be what I was for however many years as an elite midfielder and I’ll go and help Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh and I’ll drag Sam Petrevski-Seton with me and whoever else wants to come because I’m not satisfied withering on the vine on the half-forward flank’.
“You reckon David Teague wouldn’t look at that and go ‘I love this. I love that you are challenging’.
“David Mundy is 35 and cruising around like a Rolls Royce in the midfield. I think that might be one of the first steps (for Carlton). ‘Liam Stocker you come with me, let’s get this midfield up and going’ and maybe the other pieces will fall into place.”
Carlton have been under increasing pressure after a poor start to the season, with both Patrick Cripps and young gun Sam Walsh offering a spark in the midfield.
The Blues as a team had a disappointing match against the Power on Saturday night and will be hoping to bounce back against the Lions, although it will be a tough asks considering the groove that the Lions find themselves back in.
The Blues sit 2-3 with a challenging month ahead, facing the currently undefeated Western Bulldogs and Melbourne.