Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas has openly mocked the club’s response to their recent form woes in a feisty Twitter spray.
A week ago St Kilda coach Brett Ratten flagged sweeping changes to his squad following their embarrassing 144-33 loss to ladder-leaders, the Western Bulldogs.
“The gap between our best and our worst is just too big and it’s unacceptable,” he said.
“To think that we kept Geelong [last week] to 45 inside 50s, but the Bulldogs got 69.
“Our pressure was enormous against Geelong, but really we got out-tackled and they won the contested possessions, so they won the ball and they got it back off us.
“We’ve got to do something about it, we can’t just keep going with this. Players that aren’t performing will have to go back to the twos.
“We’ve got some players in pretty good form in the reserves and we’ll have to make some changes because we can’t have that.”
However, the changes Ratten promised were not as severe as predicted with only Jack Bytel and Jack Lonie dropped for Round 11.
James Frawley, Hunter Clark and Shaun McKernan were only left out of the squad due to injury. Luke Dunstan and Mason Wood were called up to take Bytel and Lonie’s place in the team.
The move was not received well by former Saints coach Thomas who let loose on social media with a tongue-in-cheek tweet.
“That’s massive Saints!!! Hugely brave statement by Saints,” he tweeted.
“They really must mean business dropping Lonie and ??? What’s his name.
“Look out everyone, Saints are ruling with an iron fist. Huge leadership statement. They said heads would roll and roll they did.”
When met with replies from Saints fans questioning his criticism, Thomas elaborated, with particular focus on Max King’s performance, which he called “abysmal”. King had just six disposals and one mark against the Bulldogs.
“It’s all about standards and statement going forward of acceptable standards. Therefore nearly EVERY player is eligible to be dropped,” he tweeted.
“I’d drop [Dan] Butler, [Bradley] Hill, [Max] King, [Jarryn] Geary, [Jack] Higgins and cop outcome this week.
“Don’t care who replaces them. King needs to be taught about effort early in career so he understands on the back of massive new contract at 20-year-old. Manage effort this week…..nothing else. Accept the result.
“I’m more interested in helping [King] to be the best form of himself for a decade than salivating over future possibilities. Stars need hard chats and tests also. His effort last week was abysmal. He will benefit massively from this type of counsel.”
Ratten and St Kilda will have a very good chance to turn around their losing streak on Saturday afternoon against the bottom-of-the-ladder North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!