David King has critiqued the Melbourne coaching staff for a pair of decisions they made in the club’s loss to Collingwood on Saturday afternoon.
The Demons used reigning All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn in a defensive role on fellow star Brodie Grundy throughout the game.
King felt this took away Melbourne’s best chance of actually winning the game.
“There’s very few ways Melbourne can win a game at the moment – which is amazing that we even say that,” he told SEN’s Whateley.
“But the number one way they can win a game is by Max Gawn totally taking control of the ruck situation and his contested marking around the ground. That is their number one asset this season.
“The only way they were going to win is through absolute supply … and set this midfield that has been erratic on its path and into a forward line that has been less impressive this year.
“Why would you have him tag Brodie Grundy? Why would you say here’s our best asset, here’s our best way of winning the game. We think Grundy’s maybe in better form than you, is that what you’re saying to (Gawn)?
“You need to go and do a tagging role on their ruckman. I think the art of coaching is to maximise your weapons. Why are you conceding that one?
“I didn’t understand that strategy at all. I didn’t understand that logic at all. Gawn smashed him in the previous encounter earlier in the year.
“If you’re the coach of Melbourne, how can you concede your number one asset? I have no idea about the logic of how you can arrive at that decision in your planning meetings.”
However, King was even harsher on the decision to let Steele Sidebottom roam free.
The Collingwood midfielder finished with 28 disposals and was the most influential player on the ground.
“Then I look at Steele Sidebottom who for me would have been the logical tag because if the West Coast are prepared to do it and they’re the best team in the competition over the last 18 months, and they do it every time they play Collingwood, surely that’s some sort of guide,” he said.
“It’s hardly surprising given the new role he played last weekend at half forward, but you can still tag him. You lock him away.
“Christian Salem played on him and allowed Sidebottom to go wherever he wanted and Salem just sifted around the ground doing his own thing and I thought this is a disgrace.
“Sidebottom ran amuck. Then I thought at some point they’ve got to clamp this guy – nup.”