For Carlton, the transition of Brett Ratten going out and Mick Malthouse coming in affects the playing group in a way that is somewhat unique to other teams that have recently gone through the change.
Back in school days, there was always one teacher that was the favourite of all the students: handsome, intelligent, witty, friendly and essentially a pushover.
The kids would play games in class, getting the bare minimum done without really pushing themselves as they well and truly had the hapless teacher under their thumb with the wool pulled firmly over his eyes.
Imagine that on one bright and sunny Monday morning, the students enter the classroom to discover that their lovable teacher is no longer there and has been transferred to another school, and worse, the hard-as-nails principal would be taking over the classroom.
This is the situation the boys at the Carlton Football Club now face with Mick Malthouse officially taking over the reins as senior coach.
Whether you are of the opinion that former coach Brett Ratten was harshly dealt with by the Carlton board with his sacking with a year to go on his contract or not, the fact is Malthouse is now in charge and his record, especially in gaining quick improvement in the teams he takes over, is highly impressive.
Within three seasons of Malthouse commencing a stint at each of the three clubs he has previously coached, being the Western Bulldogs, West Coast and Collingwood, success has arrived quickly with the least-successful performance in this timeframe was the 10-point loss by the Western Bulldogs to Hawthorn in the 1985 Preliminary Final.
In 1991, his West Coast Eagles played off unsuccessfully for the flag against Hawthorn in a game more famous now for the half-time entertainment of Angry Anderson singing Bound for Glory in a makeshift Bat Mobile.
However, the Eagles made amends with their historic win over Geelong the following year and then in 2002, after inheriting a team that collected the 1999 wooden spoon, Malthouse led Collingwood into the first of two successive Grand Finals against the all-conquering Brisbane Lions.
The 10th-placed, 11-11 effort by Carlton in 2012, combined with the previous three years of finals appearances preceding the slip down the ladder, sees Malthouse take over a group of players that have consistently been able to win games in the years preceding his appointment for the first time since his stint at the Western Oval.
Given the horrendous run with injuries to key personnel during crucial points of the season, and now with a new coaching group in place, there is a level of expectation that Malthouse can provide the finishing touch to this core group that for whatever reason, could not get past the second week of finals during Brett Ratten’s tenure in charge.
The pedigree and aura of Malthouse’s previous experiences with three premierships, and nineteen finals series out of his 28 completed years as senior coach, further fuels the expectation of instant success by the Blues.
When you consider that Carlton has not made it to the second-last weekend of the AFL season since 2000, and has not played in a Grand Final since the defeat at the hands of North Melbourne in 1999, if the Malthouse effect can lift the Blues up to these heights in 2013, the Carlton faithful will be hailing Uncle Mick as the new messiah.
In order to achieve this, Malthouse and his coaching staff need to find a way to get players such as Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Walker, Jeff Garlett and Chris Yarran to reverse their somewhat patchy 2012 seasons and revisit their wonderful form of 2011.
Combined with a fit and firing Chris Judd, Marc Murphy and Andrew Carrazzo, a favourable fixture and the added depth of the players blooded last season such as Levi Casboult, Tom Bell and Josh Bootsma to name a few, the Blues should rightfully expect to see 2012 as just a blip in the radar.
The players that cruised through in their time under Ratten may just get the severe kick up the backside they deserve by the new man in charge, and under a tough but fair school principal in Malthouse, become inspired to achieve the greatest success possible in the game.