The pressure on Carlton coach Mick Malthouse intensified on Friday night, with the Blues succumbing to Geelong by 77 points at Etihad Stadium.
Just hours after chief executive Steven Trigg admitted Malthouse’s position could potentially be in jeopardy if the side’s uncompetitive performances continued, the Blues offered little resistance in the second half as the Cats recorded a 22.8 (140) to 9.9 (63) win.
It was another low point in a turbulent week for Carlton where Malthouse put himself at odds with Trigg and president Mark LoGiudice after he bemoaned the mental burden placed on his players by the club’s plans to rebuild their list.
The situation looked grim for the Blues early, when Geelong bounced out to a 27-point lead with just 20 minutes played, but they were at least able to muster some sort of challenge to remain within striking distance 34 points in arrears at halftime.
Josh Caddy (23 possessions, three goals), Mark Blicavs (27 disposals) and Cameron Guthrie (22) were influential for the Cats, who had multiple options in attack, where Jordan Murdoch (four goals) and Mitch Clark (three) were dangerous.
Troy Menzel presented well for his four goals at the other end, but all too often the Cats were able to rebound out of defence with ease.
Kade Simpson put in a solid 30-possession effort across half-back, Ed Curnow lowered Joel Selwood’s colours and Chris Yarran worked hard, but Carlton needed more from Chris Judd and Marc Murphy amongst several others.
The night took a further turn for the worse for Malthouse’s side when Bryce Gibbs, who had appeared hampered by a back injury, was subbed out early in the third quarter.
With their backs to the wall at 58 points down, the Blues needed to show something in the final term, but couldn’t stop the Cats extending their lead.