Essendon coach Ben Rutten arrived at work before sunrise ahead of training on Tuesday as his departure from the club is confirmed as the Bombers kick off a late game for Alastair Clarkson.
It was a turbulent day at Tullamarine on Monday which saw club chairman Paul Brasher quit and David Barham, who favored an external review due to take place rather than the recently completed internal assessment, taking the relay.
It comes after sun herald Journalist Jon Ralph said Rutten’s role as Bombers coach is “untenable”, with several board members, including Kevin Sheedy, not supporting him.
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Arriving at the Bombers’ Tullamarine headquarters early Tuesday morning, Rutten, who is under contract for next season, said speculation surrounding his future was “not ideal obviously” but he was determined to focus. on his work.
“I have the confidence of the players, I have a job to do and I will train as best I can in the next five days,” he told reporters.
Rutten then trained ahead of the club’s clash with Richmond on Saturday night.
Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell entered the club about an hour later.
When asked if Rutten still has the players, Heppell told reporters: “He certainly has our full support. next weeks.
“You certainly feel for him if there have been reports like that (Rutten had lost his job), but nothing has been confirmed yet.”
Heppell, ‘as far as I’m concerned at the moment’, says Rutten will coach Bombers against Richmond this weekend
Although Rutten remained in his role on Monday, Fox Footy’s Mark Robinson believes his future is now “hanging by the thinnest of threads”, with his compatriot AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley agreeing that Clarkson could be installed to replace him by the end of the week.
Robinson believes Rutten’s departure from Essendon has been building for some time and there were signs in the club’s 84-point loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday he knew he was close to leaving.
“I think after the supplements saga, (Essendon) didn’t want to upset anyone. Ben Rutten comes in and they play vanilla football,” he said.
“They’ve just come down that waterway…meanwhile they’re watching Carlton, Collingwood surge and this football club is just sitting in the bottom six. It just hasn’t been good enough…there’s definitely no confidence (in Rutten).
“That performance against Port Adelaide is the most tasteless performance of any team this year. Ben is not an extrovert coach, but when you were watching this yesterday it’s not coaching but human emotion. Show something because your players aren’t. It’s like he knows.
“To do a performance like that, the heart was gone. The heart had fallen out of the club, the team.
“They said to him today, ‘Well…we’re going after Alastair Clarkson. I don’t know if we’re going to get him or not. If we don’t, we’ll have another conversation. But if we catch him, sorry mate, you’re gone and Alastair Clarkson is moving in. It could happen tomorrow.
“When you have the three clubs in front of you – the Giants, the Kangaroos and Essendon. Alastair Clarkson has those three clubs – unless he has a huge soft spot for North Melbourne and has developed a very strong relationship with Sonja Hood…unless they’ve grown so close that Clarkson says ‘I can’t let you down now’…North Melbourne will be telling Alastair they want an answer by Wednesday-Thursday this week.
“Because if it’s not Clarkson, they have to move on.” They invested a month in Alastair Clarkson.
“They have a plan B – the place is not going to fall apart because Alastair Clarkson said no. But they will want an answer and I think Sonya Hood and the North Melbourne officials will be sleeping a little uneasy tonight because they want Alastair Clarkson.
Whateley said he ‘always thought it was a possibility’ that clubs outside of North Melbourne and the Giants were in play for Clarkson despite speculation in recent weeks that the great coach was likely to join the Kangaroos .
“Essendon is all about Alastair Clarkson. We think that’s true… so it’s over for Ben Rutten,” he said.
“That was about eight weeks ago, Clarkson was passionate about the Essendon job, but that couldn’t happen while Paul Brasher was chairman because he had a different path mapped out.”
Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson also believes Rutten will be removed from his coaching duties as early as Tuesday.
“Ben Rutten looks just hours away from finishing as manager of Essendon Football Club,” Wilson told Channel 9. Footy Ranked.
“It’s been building since May/June of this year, we know Paul Basher is under pressure. He resisted looking elsewhere for a senior coach, he backed Ben Rutten, as did Xavier Campbell.
“We know that David Barham wanted an external review, and an external review translated, I think, into Alastair Clarkson.
“I believe David Barham led Alastair Clarkson’s move, which makes you wonder about the future of Xavier Campbell, who earlier this year watched Clarkson, but hasn’t been part of this negotiation in recent years. weeks.”
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Asked if she thinks Clarkson will coach Essendon next year, Wilson replied: “That’s my advice. From what I understand he has suggested to North Melbourne that the decision is days away now, this has been extended.
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd backed Clarkson’s decision and the club’s external scrutiny amid their struggles this season, currently 15th on the ladder with seven wins after last year’s final.
“I made that comment six or seven weeks ago, while Alastair Clarkson is sitting there, he’s too much of a coach not to race for him,” Lloyd said.
“They had a good response over the last seven or eight weeks, which I thought was going to save him. But what we’ve seen in the last two weeks against the Giants and Port Adelaide – I think yesterday (84 point loss to Power) was the last straw – in my opinion, yes, I would go from Ben.
“It’s been a long time – 2004 since the last winning final. I’m happy in a sense with David Barham and the leadership he’s shown. They’ve changed the odd board member, the football manager and the assistant coach, but that doesn’t really get them far, it’s just making changes for fun.
“Now that’s important because it potentially changes the chairman, it puts pressure on whether Xavier Campbell is the right person, the head of football, the head of recruitment, the coach – everyone is examined.
“I think eventually we’re going to get an external review, not an internal review, how can you rate yourself?”