Bolton had to go, but Carlton's rebuild might still work

Sixteen wins and 61 losses. That's the unfortunate and lasting legacy Brendon Bolton will leave at Carlton.

On Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours on from an ugly 41-point loss to arch-rival Essendon, the Blues made what seemed like an inevitable sacking, announcing Bolton would depart the club effective immediately and David Teague would take over as interim coach.

It caps off an horrific five game stretch for Carlton, arguably their worst in the club's storied history. In Round 7 the Blues suffered an embarrassing 58-point loss to the then 18th-placed Kangaroos, before two weeks later going down by 93 to Greater Western Sydney.

In both games the scoreboard flattered the Blues who played with a lack of hunger, spirit and fight, leaving fans irate and calling for Bolton's head.

Further losses to Collingwood and St Kilda came either side of the Giants game, but when they could only manage a paltry 33 points -- Carlton's equal second-lowest total score this millennium -- in their most recent match against the Bombers, Bolton's fate was sealed.

Bolton's record as Carlton's senior coach is shocking - winning just 20 percent of games in charge over a four year span isn't going to cut it in any sporting league in the world. In fact, if you take out his first 11 games at the helm, Bolton's win rate drops to just 16 percent.

But while the majority of Blues fans will be pleased with the outcome and eager to move on, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the rebuild upon which the club embarked on nearly four years ago might still come off.

The nature of football is that wins speak louder than buzzwords like 'development' and 'time', but in Carlton's case, the list -- which was stripped bare over three off-seasons under Bolton and list manager Stephen Silvagni -- still does need some time.

Remember, Harry McKay, the emerging key forward with so much pressure on his shoulders, has played just 26 games. Charlie Curnow notched up his 50th match only a few weeks back, while last year's first round draft picks Sam Walsh and Liam Stocker have played 11 and five games, respectively.

It's the same story in the midfield with Zac Fisher (45 games), Sam Petrevski-Seton (53) and Paddy Dow (31) playing alongside relative veteran Patrick Cripps who is still eight shy of his 100th game milestone.

Any prospective coach should quite rightly be licking their lips at the thought of inheriting a list that could be compared to a gold mine. Line up the vacancies at North Melbourne and Carlton and many may believe the more attractive option is on Royal Parade.

The Blues have arguably the league's best midfielder right now and the odd-on Rising Star favourite in Walsh, while the expectations surrounding McKay, Curnow and the young midfield group is exciting. The hard yards have already been put in at Carlton.

"This list will be able to grow up together," Bolton said. "The great thing about this group is that they're very tight-knit. The list is in a healthy position and it's been set up so that the next bloke doesn't have to go through the grind that we've been through."

Add to that attractive package a large (if dormant) supporter base and excellent facilities at Ikon Park and there would be more than a few potential candidates scrambling for their managers' phone number.

Of course, should the list continue to stutter -- regardless of how inexperienced the players might actually be right now -- the wolves will rightly come for Silvagni. But let's hold the phone on that prospect.

Change is the best thing for the Blues right now. For Bolton, the dynamic had shifted and it became clear he had lost the backing of the majority of fans which then filtered its way inside club walls. But the rebuild is still alive and the irony is the next man in line could end up having one of football's most rewarding jobs, and will have Bolton and Silvagni to thank.

If Leon Cameron's role at the Giants has been likened to driving a Ferrari, a job at Carlton right now would be like inheriting a rebuilt and reconditioned '67 Mustang -- it's very, very attractive and most of the pieces are already in place.