Two games into the 2021 AFL season and the pressure is already on Carlton coach David Teague.
Much was expected of the Blues after an off-season that saw them reel in boom recruits Adam Saad and Zac Williams, but they currently sit 0-2 following their loss to Collingwood last Thursday night.
Taylor Adams had 13 clearances and eight centre square clearances last week. I am sure the game has changed but surely not enough that Patrick Cripps has become obsolete.... The scrutiny is fair given he is the skipper and six quieter quarters but I think he will be OK.
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) March 30, 2021
Journalist Tom Browne told Triple M on Wednesday that there's pressure on the coach David Teague ahead of Sunday's clash with Fremantle.
"I'm told by some spies they had a very, very honest debrief last Friday... It was particularly robust, even acknowledged by some new players from other clubs," he said.
"I think the management at Carlton is desperate for on-field success, they're fairly impatient in the sense they think they've got the cattle to get to the Finals.
"There's massive pressure on David Teague, Having said that, Chris Judd appointed Teague, so he's got the backing of one of the key people in the club... But they have to beat Fremantle."
There is also pressure surrounding Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps, who is out of contract and now battling an injury concern.
— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) March 30, 2021
"He's definitely carrying something, he told TV media - Seven and Nine - at Carlton that he's not making excuses and wants to keep playing," he said.
"I'm a bit worried about that... If you're injured, you're injured and at some point Carlton is going to have to bite the bullet.
"Cripps is trying to get a big contract, he's a free agent... I imagine he wants to be close to a million dollars a year.
"There's going to be interest in him, I don't think he'd want to take six to eight weeks off. I'm not saying he hasn't got his heart in the right place, he clearly does... But it doesn't suit Cripps to sit out either."
Former coach Ross Lyon told Channel 9's Footy Classified on Wednesday night that Cripps will need to adjust his role in the team if the Blues are to proceed in 2021.
"Stoppages are down 30 percent, he's rotating more forward, so his game's being watered down," he said.
"He's going to have to be a link from defence, maybe it's the aerial down the line and the ability to link up or build his craft forward... I think it's a watch this space."
Matthew Lloyd also said on Footy Classified that he needs to see more urgency from Cripps this weekend, should he be named.
Is this week @freodockers audition to entice Patrick Cripps to Freo next year?
— Brent Kupsch (@kupstalopolis) April 1, 2021
"If I was David Teague, I would be challenging Patrick and ask him: 'are you as desperate as you were when you were trying to forge your career?'" he said.
"I watched him against Richmond against Shai Bolton... Watching his second and third efforts, is he desperate enough? I'm not really seeing that at the moment."