Mick’s Churchill pretensions are just pie in the sky
Having Mick Malthouse as your coach is like being punished for a crime you haven’t committed. Malthouse is small-minded, bad-tempered, lacks discipline and shirks responsibility. He’s quite unpleasant.
Now we know that he is a liar, and that’s a problem, because lying isn’t a mistake you make, it’s a character flaw.
It is yet another pointy arrow in Malthouse’s quiver of shortcomings, joining his over-sensitivity, profanity and lack of courage.
The city guffawed last week when he invoked the wisdom of Winston Churchill as a defence for fibbing about whether he lost control—his version of leadership—shouting an obscenity and accusing a player of being a rapist. I’d have decked him.
The Churchill reference was both an attempt to invest some lofty ideal in ``sacrificing’’ himself by ``needing’’ to tell a lie for the greater good of the game and to sound well-read.
He’s always doing that. Once, when we were whacked by Brisbane, he solemnly intoned that he had been looking for ``the Trojan Horse to break through the fortifications of a pretty good football side’‘.
The Hawks reminded him of the armies of ancient Rome.
Geelong’s work was more Sun Tzu and his The Art of War.
When an equally lost coach talked of a team’s concepts of time and space, quick as a flash Malthouse reckoned it sounded like ``something out of Albert Einstein’s history books’‘.
The German maths genius was not known for his grasp of history, but perhaps Malthouse had been immersing himself in Einstein’s work on Brownian motion (the apparently random movement of particles in fluid). It sounded like he was up to his ears in it.
Publicly, Malthouse claims he takes little notice of stats, yet he quotes them and their importance ceaselessly in his newspaper column. That he despises the media and regularly snipes at its members may be to do with the fact he can get a gig only with Victoria’s smallest-circulation masthead. Envy is a sin, Mick.
So let’s look at what he had to write last week. ``It was for the good of the game that I did not want to expand on the quarter-time incident in last weekend’s St Kilda-Collingwood match,’’ he wrote.
I suspect that he lied because he was embarrassed at losing control in front of the playing group he is meant to lead, but betrays with his nasty streak.
May I quote Churchill, Mick? ``One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. Never run away from anything. Never!’‘
Malthouse continued: ``We simply can’t afford to look back. It’s a pity the Melbourne media cannot do the same.’‘
May I quote Britain’s venerable wartime hero again, Mick? ``The farther back you can look, the farther forward you can see.’‘
The self-indulgent Malthouse also went on to boast that ``I believe that my behaviour in public stands the test of time.’‘
This is a bloke who maliciously dismissed young Jason Cloke’s efforts once by saying: ``This was his first grand final. He probably played better in the last one.’’ The boy had not played in the previous grand final. Another losing situation, another undisciplined snarl by the boss whose role it is to inspire his youthful charges.
Sorry, Mick, can we turn to Churchill one last time? ``You can measure a man’s character by the choices he makes under pressure.’‘
Malthouse believes sections of the media hold high-profile people to impossible standards.
Listen, Mick: if you can’t resist foul language in public, if you feel the need to label a young competitor a rapist, and if you wish to lie your way out of it, then that’s fair enough.
But don’t hide behind the immortal memory of one of the greatest soldiers and leaders the world has seen. Like me, Mick, you aren’t fit to lick his bootstraps.
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