There are growing concerns surrounding the current spectacle of an AFL game from senior coaches.
Stoppages and defensive set-ups have become the vogue in the league, with games continuously consisting of low scoring arm wrestles.
Both Geelong and Hawthorn won their games on Sunday in games that weren’t easy on the eye, with Clarkson labelling his teams game as a “terrible spectacle” and putting the onus on the AFL to change something to revive the game.
“I hope I’m not the only one that thought it was a dreadful game,” he said after the game.
“I thought it was a terrible spectacle. I am sorry for sh-t-canning our own brand and our own club and our own team in this space.
“We had 69 tackles, and I don’t think we had a free kick from a tackle. 69 tackles, and not one of them can be adjudicated holding the ball?
“It’s just, what’s happened to our game? You can’t have that many tackles and not one of them be incorrect disposal.
“You wonder why the game is an arm-wrestle, and you can’t get any open footy? Tonight’s game was just – if that’s the spectacle that we’re trying to search for in our game, the game’s in a dreadful space.
“But we’re better than that, and I think we can do a hell of a lot better by opening the game up a bit and adjudicating some of those holding the balls – for both sides, it’s not just that we had 69 tackles, there were times we got nailed in a tackle and it should have been holding the ball too.
“Please, umps, just pay them. It’ll open the game up.”
Clarkson went on to voice his concerns with scoring, as Round 4 saw 10 teams score below 60 points, while another five didn’t reach 70 points.
“The scores – the AFL can’t be happy,” he said.
“It was two goals each at the MCG (at halftime), was it? Beautiful day. Beautiful winter’s day. No rain? Two goals each.
“Geelong and Melbourne, who I both rate as sides, both sides I think can play finals this year. And it’s two goals each at halftime. Like, fair dinkum.
“It’s just arm-wrestles, and it’s great in a sense that no-one really knows who’s going to win, but in terms of the spectacle of the game, I’m concerned right now for where we’re going with it.”
Scott also put the focus squarely on the AFL saying it wasn’t the coaches’ job to make the game look nice.
“The short answer is yeah, I do think we have a bit of a responsibility. But I think the responsibility is more with the rule makers and with the AFL,” Scott said.
“I think I’m on record as saying my view is they ask the coaches too much.”
Scott wondered whether reducing the players on field may help open the game more.
“I’m not pushing this agenda, let me be really clear,” he said.
“In a way, I’d rather invest less time thinking about how we can make the game better so I can just do my job … if we want to make the game less congested, last week we played Carlton in some match practice 16 v 16 in Geelong and it was exhilarating.
“14 v 14 versus Melbourne at Port Melbourne, once one team got the ball and moved it fast you couldn’t stop them.
“I hear the traditionalists say ‘stop mucking around with the game’, it’s never going back to what it was and in my opinion thank God, but even you want it to go back to the way it was that’s not going to happen.
“Either you want to change the game and open it up, so empower the people who are decision makers to do what’s required, or leave it the way it’s always been and we’ll get what we get.”