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Ben Rutten sacked, Essendon coach, Alastair Clarkson, video, Mark Robinson opinion, Gerard Whateley

Essendon coach Ben Rutton has been hailed a “huge honour” as speculation about his future reaches fever pitch.

Rutton arrived at the club today with Alastair Clarkson on the lookout if a change of president prompted an eleventh-hour pursuit of a four-time Premier League manager.

Rutten’s coaching position remains uncertain despite support from some of his players, with AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson fearing his desire to continue as usual.

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“When I heard Ben Root was at training today I thought the level of respect you have is enormous,” he said.

“I don’t think Ben Root should stay on as coach, I don’t think the performances suggest he should, but after the events of the last two days, he’s made it clear to come to training today. New president David Barham has said, ‘I’m going to be coach for the next five days’, among all the sent-in, so it’s in his voice. “There was one last thing. He had to sit down and talk to the players before they left the ground, and then he had to go out and practice – that’s a huge honor.”

Co-host Gerard Wylley has dumped Root on Essendon to give him some sense of closure now that he is in an “impossible situation” and the 39-year-old looks set to leave the club.

“I feel like they’ve got a vote of confidence this morning – and that’s what happened yesterday, it’s a lack of confidence in the person in the chair after they start looking at the next coach – Essendon’s duty is to leave. Torn with his honor and his pay,” he said.

“I felt the best way this morning. I thought the office had to be empty to really engage with Alastair Clarkson. And that’s a bit of a curiosity.”

Whaley, during his senior coaching days at Essendon under former Carlton coach David Teague, warned Rutten not to make “horrible” comments.

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In the year With Teague almost certain to step down as Carlton manager in 2021, the Blues have allowed speculation about his future to swirl before finally confirming his exit.

“David Teague was needlessly tortured for days at Carlton’s end, including having an exit interview while waiting to be told he was out.

“You have to know what the conversation was behind the scenes and what he was told he was going to finish. Then, if Ben decides to end it, I think that should be made public beforehand. Standing in and out of the TV door, I think that violates the standard of dignity that is required and Nathan Buckley talked about dignity earlier today, which resonated with me.

Essendon has yet to announce Rutten’s resignation as coach, but Robinson said there was a chance such discussions would take place privately.

“You’re done, I think you’ve been told this is your last game. Do you want to go now or train?’ And Ben Root, I’m guessing here, said, ‘Yeah, I want to coach.’

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