21/04/2024

Zac Williams is not meeting all expectations in his first year in Blue. Image: carltonfc.com.au

Carlton coach David Teague has conceded they are still unsure where import Zac Williams' best fit is after another lacklustre performance

By Jacob Epstein:

Carlton coach David Teague has conceded that import Zac Williams needs to get fitter as they search for his best fit after his and his Carlton team’s lacklustre display last week against the Giants.

The Giants inflicted the 9th loss on Carlton this year, ending any flickering hopes of a late finals run and placing the position of Teague’s coaching tenure under immense pressure.

With the Football department already set for an external review, Williams was among many senior Carlton players who had a disappointing night fresh off the bye week.

Former Brisbane Lions legend Jonathan Brown was scathing in his criticism of the star free agent midweek.

It was a poor night for Williams against his old club, only collecting 11 disposals.

“I tell you what, Zac Williams is one of the laziest footballers going around at the moment,” Brown told Fox Footy’s On the Couch on Monday night.

“There’s about 100 pieces of vision left on the cutting room floor. We could have gone through it for the next half an hour and we could have really, really hurt his reputation.

“So I’m just verballing it for you. He’s come to the Carlton Football Club, paid that sort of money, he needs to turn up in better shape and get himself fit and turn up and put in a better effort, especially on defence.”

Speaking to media on Thursday at Ikon Park, Teague said that Williams had put his hand up for his poor efforts last weekend, but backed the 26-year-old to settle into his best position in the Carlton side.

“He’s got some areas to work on, we’re not going to lie about that ” Teague said

“He’s adjusting to a new system, we played him through the midfield early then he went to half back.

“His first couple of games at halfback were quite solid.

“I’ve got no doubt, every week, all our players have areas they want to get better at and he’s put his hand up for that this week.

“there’s a couple of areas, decisions and contests that he wasn’t happy with”

“All our players right now have got to get better”

Teague is confident that the Blues can and will see the best of Williams before the season is over despite Carlton not getting necessarily what they wanted out of him when they lured him to the club as a free agent on a lucrative contract over 6 years.

“We think there is still alot of upside there.

“We think he can get fitter and become a good player for this football club in the long term”

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Teague said the tackle count and the pressure was a key part the review from the Giants game and remains a key problem area for Carlton this season. The Blues average 53.7 tackles a game, the third lowest in the competition.

Carlton has won the tackle count just twice in 13 matches this season – having only passed 50 tackles for the game on 7 occasions.

Its been an issue and part of the game that Carlton has been focusing on for a while.

“We haven’t been tackling well” Teague said.

“Our desire to go on and win the ball was good but, probably our desire to get balance around that, number off on the outside for the guys who aren’t winning the ball, we need to get better at.

“We need to have the same intent and emphasis on getting them and tackling them when they win the ball”

Teague will consider bringing back Marc Murphy after a classy performance in the VFL. Murphy collected 26 disposals and was lively through the middle of the ground in Carlton’s VFL win over Port Melbourne.

The veteran in 5 games shy of reaching 300 games, and should he get there will be only the 6th Carlton player in history to notch the milestone.

It’s a talking point that has harnessed much debate but has a big cultural impact on the football club moving forward.

“Obviously Marc has given this football club alot. He’s been a captain and he’s been great”

“His attitude on the weekend, he went back, He’s got some areas we wanted him to work on, he went back and he worked on those.

“There’s the also the balance from a cultural point of view of giving some young guys an opportunity going forward.

“As a coaching group, we’re talking about that regularly and what’s the right decision.

“We may get it wrong but were going to keep making that decision in what we think is the best interest of this football club going forward.

“Part of that could be around loyalty and part of that could be around giving new opportunities”

The Blues are sweating on the availability of ruckman Marc Pittonet after he was spotted at a Melbourne hospital this morning with an ankle complaint. He later appeared on the track but trained away from the main group for the main training session.

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