Mick Malthouse appeared on the AFL Footy Show on Thursday night, and it really was a masterclass in terms of hard-hitting interviews.
Sam Newman- who conducted most of the interview- prodded Mick on his role at Collingwood next year.
Sam, impressively, honed in on one point and one point in particular- if he trusts Eddie to provide him with the right role next year (as Director of Coaching), why won’t he say “categorically” that he will be at Collingwood under Nathan Buckley.
Malthouse’s bemused silence after some of his questions really said it all. He also admitted that there is a chance he won’t be at Collingwood next year.
If we have learnt anything from Sam’s questioning, it’s that all this is still very much up in the air, or as Sam says, the “door” is still “wide open”.
But, even though there is still raging speculation, there were some things that Mick could confidently say.
He got Mick to say categorically “If the job’s not right”, he won’t be there.
James Brayshaw also tipped in with a very tough question indeed: If he was Buckley, “Would (he) want to be in that situation (with Mick Malthouse looking over everything he does)?”
This was also met with silence and more obfuscation.
Mick also admitted that he “can’t turn the tap off” (referring to an analogy about the passion for coaching being like a tap that you can’t turn on or off), signifying that he may not be able to just stop coaching, even though his wife may want him to for the moment.
But the most brilliant quotes actually came from Sam, who summed up the situation perfectly.
“His players want him to stay on as coach (and) Nanette [his wife] is ticked-off beyond belief (that he might be coaching again).”
… Also met with silence.
Above all, despite all the criticism The Footy Show draws, it still serves as a guide to how to ask the hard questions of someone, not to mention Sam’s disarmingly laconic style of interview being a remarkably successful one after all these years.
The show also featured a moving tribute to Allan “Yabby” Jeans, featuring Dermott Brereton telling of the last chat he ever had to him.
Yes, it can be stupid, but moments like these show while it’s still the leader among the footy show pack.