WAYNE Carey has accused Collingwood of playing "bruise-free" football in the side's 70-point loss to Fremantle at Etihad Stadium in Friday night's season-opener.

Last year's finalists had put themselves on a public path to big things after chief executive Gary Pert stated on Friday that the Magpies would win a flag within the next three years under Buckley.

Former Carlton captain Mark Maclure says Pert's bold prediction is "totally out of whack" with the state of Collingwood's playing stocks.

"Last night was a pretty clear message that they're not in grand-final mode for a long time," Maclure told ABC Radio on Saturday.

Carey said he was staggered by the lack of tackling pressure on display from Collingwood against the 2013 runners-up.

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Collingwood led 2.4 (16) to 2.3 (15) at quarter-time before being outscored 15 goals to three in a 17.14 (116) to 5.16 (46) loss.

"There is no excuse for not responding to how they were ultimately flogged for three quarters," Carey told Triple M Radio.

"It was bruise-free footy, similar to that of Melbourne last year.

"They did not put a finger on Fremantle players for periods of the game.

"The one that shocked me, the one that Ryan Crowley marked uncontested at the top of the square, a 15-metre chip. That was unforgivable."

Former Melbourne star Garry Lyon says Collingwood's 2010 premiership skipper Nick Maxwell and fellow defender Marty Clarke are struggling to keep pace with modern football.

"There's a big watch on a few of those Collingwood players in terms of whether or not their career is coming to an end quicker than they thought," Lyon told Triple M.

"I speak of Marty Clarke, who looked really out of his depth.

"Nick Maxwell is the other one."

Questioned about Pert's prediction, Collingwood football director Rodney Eade said the Magpies were confident they were on the right track.

"I remember my first game as coach (of Sydney in 1996), we got beaten by 90 points and we played in the grand final," Eade told Triple M.

"People can probably react too negatively to a one-week performance."