The pressure on Carlton coach David Teague has intensified yet again after another underwhelming on-field performance – the club’s first match since announcing a review of its football department.
Only four percentage points separate Carlton from 16th spot on the AFL ladder after a 36-point loss to Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium on Saturday night, the club’s 13th loss of the year.
Speaking on Fox Footy’s Saturday Stretch, Hawthorn premiership star Jordan Lewis called into question Teague’s ability to motivate his side.
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Despite the considerable coverage surrounding Carlton’s recently announced external review of its football department, the Blues were lax in their pressure against the Giants on Saturday, finishing with 39 fewer possessions yet trailing in the tackle count by 38.
“I don’t think performances like that help your cause if you’re trying to maintain the head seat in the coaching position,” Lewis told Fox Footy.
“One of the hardest things to do and one of the great strengths of really good coaches – and we’ve been fortunate enough to have them – is how they motivate their groups. How do you get your players to play on edge when things aren’t necessarily going well?
“We can only look at the first half and see how the players came out and performed and the way they attack the contest and for me, they weren’t in a position where they are on edge or were really ready to play and were hungry for the contest.
“That is the art of coaching. There’s a lot of technical stuff that goes on, but that there they missed tonight and is David Teague that person that can motivate this group when they’re down and out?”
Speaking post-game, Teague said the loss was “very frustrating to watch” and put the onus on the whole club to improve
“It falls on all of us, the coaches, the playing group. We’re all in this together and we’ve got to learn together and grow together,” he said.
“Right now we’re in a real pit, we’re not playing great football, we’re not playing with confidence.
“To get out of that you‘ve got to work hard, you’ve got to have honest, accountable feedback, and we’ll do that, we’ll be really strong and clear with the boys with what’s happening.”
Teague is now in his second full year as the club’s senior coach after being installed as caretaker in the middle of 2019.
Western Bulldogs great Brad Johnson questioned Teague’s ability to keep his players on edge and help drive performance.
“Regardless of whether they’re putting their arm around you or having a laugh with you, you’re still nervous to walk past the office. That was what the really good coaches had,” Johnson said.
“He’s a young coach and he might not be there yet, and hopefully he does get to that point at some stage in his coaching career David Teague with the group that he’s got that he can have the relationship, but the players are still nervous about walking past and what they’re going to get out of the office.”