Get the spoon ready for Carlton, they’re forked

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    Since the turn of the century, the Carlton Blues have ‘won’ the wooden spoon four times. No other club has done so more than twice. In 2017, I’m tipping Carlton to make it five.

    What’s remarkable is that before 2002 the Blues had never finished at the bottom of the ladder in more than a century of VFL/AFL history – and, of course, they won 16 premierships in that time, the equal most of any club in the game.

    They’re a great club. More accurately, they used to be. For those like myself who have grown up watching the modern game, they’re a shambolic mess, known for salary cap breaches and their controversial pursuit of priority picks.

    At the end of 2015 they won their most recent spoon and made the admirable decision that it was time to cut their losses and start over.

    Mick Malthouse, an ill-considered coaching appointment if there ever was one, left the club that year, and was eventually replaced with the latest mini-Clarkson on the market, Brendon Bolton.

    At the same time, a favourite son of Carlton, Stephen Silvagni, returned to the club to serve as its list manager, having played a key role in building the talented list that now exists at Greater Western Sydney.

    These were decisions that had to be made, and only time will tell whether or not they offer any level of success. I’m not optimistic they will, and in the short term, the outlook is bleak.

    In 2016 the Blues had a season that went far better than anyone really expected, thanks largely to a string of six wins from seven games from Round 5 through to Round 11, which even included a win against an eventual top-four side, Geelong.

    That was a run of form that had always-optimistic Carlton fans wondering if maybe finals was on the cards, but outside of that seven-week purple patch, the side won only one other game.

    They closed out the season with a four-goal loss to Essendon, a team missing a dozen players, a side so depleted they were tipped by many to go through 2016 without a single victory.

    If you’re wondering to yourself which of these two sides of the coin was the ‘real’ Carlton, it is the team who lost ten of their last 11 matches that you will see turning up in 2017.

    kade-simpson-carlton-blues-afl-2016

    Carlton have five players on their list who could be considered above the AFL average – five. They are Patrick Cripps, Sam Docherty, Kade Simpson, Bryce Gibbs and Marc Murphy.

    The other 41 players on the list are average or below. They fall into two categories largely – developing youth, and those who are at their best only serviceable AFL players or worse.

    None of the youth seem ready to take that next step up in 2017. The Blues fielded a side missing the majority of their stars in the pre-season comp on the weekend, and there was little to suggest that they have players ready to make an impact at AFL level this year.

    It is, after all, only two years ago that they were making decisions like trading away a draft pick so they could bring in Liam Jones on a three-year contract. This is a new policy, there’s very little talented youth on the list, and what is there is still raw.

    On top of that, there are question marks over some of that top five. Cripps and Docherty should have strong seasons again, and Simpson too though he is 32, but almost-30 Murphy is badly in need of some revitalisation.

    Bryce Gibbs is the biggest concern, after last year seeking a trade and being held to his contract. Much has been said about his professionalism during the pre-season, but we’ll see how well that holds up when competition starts.

    Will Carlton’s future be any brighter than its present? So long as the club chooses holding 27-year-olds against their will over acquiring more first-round picks, and continues to fill out its list with Reject Shop stocking-stuffers, I remain unconvinced.

    That’s something we’ll find out in time though, and maybe I’ll be proven wrong. It has happened before, and it will happen again. Live in hope, Blues fans.

    For now though, their list situation is simply diabolical, and while I like Brendon Bolton – how could anyone not, with that cheery face – his honeymoon period has come and gone.

    The four clubs who finished below Carlton in 2016 are all likely to improve – Essendon and Fremantle through the return of key players, Brisbane with the new-coach bounce, and Gold Coast having added both mature and young talent over the off-season.

    That being the case, I can’t find any good reason not to make this my tip for 2017. These Blues are bottom-place bound.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (175)

    • March 7th 2017 @ 6:37am
      Darren said | March 7th 2017 @ 6:37am | ! Report

      I know the Roar is for opinions but you’d think someone with editor in their title would be a bit above such emotive writing. This piece is so charged with I hope Carlton finish last how can you take the analysis seriously?

      • Editor

        March 7th 2017 @ 7:38am
        Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

        If there was a nice way to say a team is the worst in the league, I would’ve tried that. In all honesty I wouldn’t mind seeing the Blues do well, but that doesn’t mean I think they will.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 10:45am
          Darren said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          Okay Josh let’s go with you truly think they are bad and your view of Carlton as a club is not pertinent to your observations.
          Above avg player list looks about right – assuming comparison is to starting 22 not full lists. 5 out of 22 above avg isn’t great but not awful.
          Gibbs nothing to suggest he will not perform this year. Fair query on Murphy as he has not had a top season for some time.
          SOS-why talk up his GWS recruiting but talk down his Carlton recruiting?
          Carlton has the highest number of under 21 players on the list. I’d disagree with your description of the recruitment strategy as Reject shop stocking stuffers.
          Pre-season form is not very important – although it did show play a team of kids and you will get smashed.
          Overall there is a case for a wooden spoon but that would be at the very negative end of likely. I’d go with 14-18. Will depend a lot on development of last years recruits and how well Pickett and Marchbank go.

          • March 7th 2017 @ 11:03am
            Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

            Darren – Completely agree – no blues supporter is ruling out the spoon or predicting anything more than around that 14th but things aren’t nearly as negative as the article suggests.

          • Roar Guru

            March 7th 2017 @ 4:54pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | March 7th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

            The whole Silvagni-GWS thing is a bit on the nose.

            It’s a bit like a guy gets a key job overseeing contract procurement with a not-for-profit (NFP) that a whole bunch of companies that operate in that field assent to and help fund. Then after the most critical period when the said NFP has been given all the prime contracts (that would’ve gone to all the companies who assented to the NFP), the guy returns to his original company and starts farming off the contracts the NFP got through the generosity of the head body and competing companies for next to nothing (either through oversupply at the NFP or incompetence in contract procurement).

            • March 7th 2017 @ 5:00pm
              Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

              The whole Silvagni/GWS is so overblown it isn’t funny – the blues are hardly the only club to be feeding off the GWS overflow. Did Silvagni help the blues get Treloar? Jack Steele looked alright on the weekend – why didn’t he end up at the blues?

              • Roar Guru

                March 7th 2017 @ 5:02pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | March 7th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                That hardly addresses the point.

              • March 7th 2017 @ 5:11pm
                Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

                What point?

                Intellectual property changes hands all the time in the AFL, how many coaches have come out of Hawthorn in the last 3 years – should they not be able to recruit Hawthorn players? List managers change jobs all the time too – should they be banned from recruiting from their old club?

                Yes SOS helped build the Giants but other clubs are benefitting from his efforts just as much as the blues – for your “point” to make sense you have to demonstrate the blues are getting an unfair advantage.

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 11:47pm
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

            I’d say only 5 of 22 above avg is well below par. I’m probably defining average as the players who are in the 20-25 spot on a list, so your worst blokes & your emergencies.

            I said SOS was a key part of GWS, but did not talk up his recruiting as such. I think he’s a canny trader, for the most part, but not sure he targets the right players.

            There’s definitely a case to be made for an optimistic view of the Blues’ immediate future, but it’s not one I’m convinced by.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 8:04am
              Darren said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

              Logic was 50% avg, 25% above avg and 25% below. I was thinking 22 but even with 25 that is:
              6-7 above and below and 12-13 avg.
              So 5 isn’t so bad for a lower team. Anyway having more avg players would be a good start and then more in the top group obviously puts you in contention.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 2:09pm
        Bored said | March 20th 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

        Carlton is back in town!

    • March 7th 2017 @ 8:49am
      SSD said | March 7th 2017 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      Things are never as bad as they seem in the pre-season. This time 12 months ago the Blues lost by 10 goals to the top-up Bombers. All pundits said the Blues would finish last and not win a game. Freo were tipped to be a top 4 side as were the Tigers and the Swans forecast to drop. Hell the year before that Port were forecast for greatness and the media lamented the Giants being a worse squad than the Suns.

      • March 7th 2017 @ 9:38am
        Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        SSD – ” This time 12 months ago the Blues lost by 10 goals to the top-up Bombers” Exactly and we got the same articles.

        You would think people would learn not to read too much into results when a team is missing half its side an got less than a half out its 5 “above average players”

      • Editor

        March 7th 2017 @ 9:46am
        Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        I don’t recall too many people saying Carlton wouldn’t win a game last year.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 10:10am
          Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

          Seriously, a quick search of your own website might jog your memory. – how many article were written last year debating whether the blues would beat the depleted Essendon?

        • March 7th 2017 @ 3:56pm
          Shannon said | March 7th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

          You must not have picked up any newspaper, watched any Fox Sports program or visited any football-related website in 2016 if that’s the case. Widely tipped for the spoon last year – probably 60/40 between Carlton and Essendon.

        • Editor

          March 7th 2017 @ 11:49pm
          Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:49pm | ! Report

          Certainly plenty saying Essendon might beat Carlton, and that the Blues could win the spoon, but go winless? To say “all pundits” said as much I think is well off the mark.

    • Roar Guru

      March 7th 2017 @ 8:53am
      TomC said | March 7th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      Not a fan of the headline.

      I thought Saturday’s game was a strong argument in favour of the blues’ decision to hold on to Gibbs. If they only have half a dozen quality players, and fall apart when they’re gone, then they can’t afford to trade them except for overs.

      • Editor

        March 7th 2017 @ 9:02am
        Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        Sometimes, Tom, I wonder if you are my conscience.

        • Roar Guru

          March 7th 2017 @ 9:11am
          TomC said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          That’s disturbing.

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 9:29am
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

            Yeah, “my conscience is a Brisbane fan” isn’t something a sane person says.

      • March 7th 2017 @ 9:13am
        Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        TomC- Exactly – When Murphy and Gibbs came in they were immediately expected to be in the starting midfield and their development suffered – keeping Gibbs allows the young players to develop at a more natural pace.

        • Roar Guru

          March 7th 2017 @ 1:09pm
          TomC said | March 7th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

          Honestly, I’d prefer it if you didn’t agree with me.

          Every negative post about the Blues is instantly contradicted, every positive post reinforced. Your view on anything related to Carlton becomes meaningless when it’s always the same.

          • March 7th 2017 @ 1:18pm
            Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

            TomC – “Every negative post about the Blues is instantly contradicted” – ” am not saying the blues won’t finish bottom and I do think they will finish bottom 4″, What a positive statement!!

            “Your view on anything related to Carlton becomes meaningless when it’s always the same” Would my opinion have more meaning if it was constantly changing?

            And I haven’t “contradicted” any post – just challenged the logic used to arrive at the opinion.

            Finally you complain when I disagree with you and now you complain when I agree with you – there is no pleasing some people.

            • Roar Guru

              March 7th 2017 @ 6:33pm
              TomC said | March 7th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

              I complain when your posts are predictable. Which is always. It’s not about whether you agree or disagree with me. It’s about when you do it and why.

              I don’t expect you to change. All I can hope is that you stop carpetbombing articles about Carlton so the rest of us can actually discuss them. Little chance even of that much.

              • March 7th 2017 @ 7:05pm
                Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                Seriously TomC get over yourself, you are the arbiter of how people can contribute and there isn’t a finite amount of posts available, if you want to discuss something just do it, if you don’t like scrolling down sort by most recent.

                As for being predictable, I think everyone on here would be able to predict what everyone else thinks on most topics, we are all known entities.

              • Roar Guru

                March 7th 2017 @ 10:19pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

                LOL. I have mused on here before whether Macca is actually a bot, such is his penchant for posting all around a topic and still blithely miss the key point and frequent use of bolted on strategies.

              • Roar Guru

                March 7th 2017 @ 11:05pm
                AdelaideDocker said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:05pm | ! Report

                Macca, Tom is probably being a tad bit harsh but you can’t deny that you appear on essentially every Carlton post. I mean, you’ve replied to just about every comment on this post in some way or form.

                You’re essentially the antithesis of mattyb. Except you’re pro-Carlton.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 8:18am
                Macca said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

                AD – a Carlton supporter who appears on all the Carlton posts, who would have thought?

                And I am the antithesis of Mattyb, rational, logical and sane.

              • Roar Guru

                March 8th 2017 @ 8:51am
                AdelaideDocker said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

                Eh, I’m pretty sure all Tom is saying that the more you continuously beat your own drum, the more numb we all become to your fervent support of the Blues.

                Or something like that. I don’t know. I’m trying to get involved in something that I have no business being involved in, clearly, haha.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 9:06am
                Macca said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                Nah – I am pretty sure Tom is saying more than that.

                But in the end who cares, I post what I want, if I disagree with an opinion I say it, if I agree with an opinion I say it – if other people don’t like it too bad.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 3:07pm
                mattyb said | March 8th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                Adelaide Dockers,can’t see the point of mentioning other posters,you either approve or disapprove of gatekeeper type behaviour. The other stuff is irrelevant.

    • March 7th 2017 @ 9:09am
      Tom M said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Marchbank looks a good pickup from GWS, the rest haven’t really shown anything. The blues lack any talent outside those you mentioned and it comes down to drafting woefully for a 5 year period while Ratten was at the helm.

      • Editor

        March 7th 2017 @ 9:44am
        Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        If the Blues can help Marchbank stay on the park regularly I do think he’ll be a good pick-up, and Pickett could add something too.

        Carlton’s drafting under the Ratten era certainly doesn’t make for pretty reading – unfortunate, because he was in many other respects a good coach.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 10:21am
          Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          “If the Blues can help Marchbank stay on the park regularly I do think he’ll be a good pick-up” Right now Marchbank is fully fit and hasn’t missed a beat all pre-season – again why is the assumption he will get injured?

          • Roar Guru

            March 7th 2017 @ 3:16pm
            SportsFanGC said | March 7th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

            Macca the assumption around Marchbank remaining fit will remain until he strings together seasons without injury.

            I suspect if he plays this season without serious injury it wont be raised again.

            Right now he is heading into his 3rd season with 7 games under his belt mostly due to injury.

            • March 7th 2017 @ 3:22pm
              Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

              Sportsfan – I would be a little more understanding if he had soft tissue injuries or if he repeatedly did the same injury but a rolled ankle and a contact shoulder injury to a 19 year old aren’t exactly unusual, extremely serious or recurring injuries.

              I would see Fyfe as more likely to be injured again than Marchbank.

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 11:50pm
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:50pm | ! Report

            Missing the vast majority of last year will do that. To be fair, a lot of young players cop early career injuries as their bodies adjust, so it’s not a major concern yet, but still something I’ll be interested to follow the progress of.

    • March 7th 2017 @ 9:09am
      Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Geez Josh were you running close to deadline this week with nothing in the bank and thought you could knock out a few hundred words on the blues without much effort?

      Now I am not saying the blues won’t finish bottom and I do think they will finish bottom 4 but some of your reasoning is just plain ordinary.

      “The other 41 players on the list are average or below” of that 41 15 are under 21 – the most of any club in the league, 10 of that 15 are yet to play an AFL game and only 1 (Weitering) has played more than 10 – how you can give these players an ranking is a mystery.

      “None of the youth seem ready to take that next step up in 2017.” Seriously none? You don’t think Weitering will step up this year? Marchbank has been named in the blues best players in both pre-season games so far you don’t see any chance he will take the next step? Silvagni & Curnow didn’t show you anything last year? Given what the other early draft picks have shown in the pre-season is it too much to think SPS could make an impact? Will these players become elite this year – probably not – will they take the “next step” I would think so.

      “Bryce Gibbs is the biggest concern, after last year seeking a trade and being held to his contract. Much has been said about his professionalism during the pre-season, but we’ll see how well that holds up when competition starts.” So a player returns to pre-season in the best shape of his career, has numerous PB’s in all sorts of metrics over the pre-season and in his one competitive game to date racked up a game high 28 touches and our default position should be that of concern?

      “Will Carlton’s future be any brighter than its present? So long as the club chooses holding 27-year-olds against their will over acquiring more first-round picks, and continues to fill out its list with Reject Shop stocking-stuffers, I remain unconvinced.” So the blues make 30 changes in 2 years, trade out players like Tuohy, Henderson, Yarran, Menzel & Bell to bring in 5 first round picks in 2 years (plus pick 27 in 2016), bring in 11 players over 2 years in though the national draft plus 2 more 18 year olds through the rookie draft (so 28% of the list in total) but because they didn’t trade 1 of the 5 above average players they have for yet more draft picks you are unconvinced?

      You label players “Reject Shop stocking-stuffers” putting aside the simple fact that you can’t replace 30 players in 2 years with A grade talent or first round picks, Wright and Kerridge both finished top 10 in the 2016 B&F, with Wright being the leading goal kicker, Phillips impressed in 2016 while Plowman & Marchbank look likely to be 10 year key defenders and Pickett has been praised by Bolton after both pre-season matches – its a nice line but is it really accurate?

      “For now though, their list situation is simply diabolical,” No diabolical is a list like we had in 2004 & 2005 “and while I like Brendon Bolton – how could anyone not, with that cheery face – his honeymoon period has come and gone.” So you are saying Bolton will face the sack if we finish last? Be serious Josh, no one is expecting the blues to win many games, as long as we keep seeing Bolton’s “green shoots” his “honeymoon” will continue.

      Finally – we got the same articles last year when the blues played a seriously undermanned team against the bombers and lost – lets keep some perspective – I sould name roughly 10 players who weren’t playing who would be in our best 22 on top of Cripps, Buckley and C Curnow who all only played part of the game.

      • Editor

        March 7th 2017 @ 9:43am
        Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        I knew you’d enjoy this one Macca 😉

        If it helps, I tipped the Bulldogs to win the spoon two years ago, so you can certainly live in hope that I will be exactly as wrong here as I was then.

        Regarding the untested players being “average or below” – look, I consider ‘unknown’ to fit into that category because very few unknown players turn out to be better than average from the get-go. I can think of only a handful in recent memory who have broken that rule and no one at Carlton strikes me as being likely to join them. I’m a fan of both SPS and Fisher but due to their size I think they will take some time to find their feet. Certainly there are players on the list who could and should be better than average in time, but not quickly enough.

        A lot of the developing youth will improve at least a bit this year I’m sure, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if any of them become stars of the competition in 2017. Weitering probably the biggest hope, the Blues need at least two more of him.

        For mine the position re Gibbs is definitely concern. It’s easy to be professional and committed to the club in pre-season, but if the Blues are struggling halfway through the year can his attitude hold up? Credit to him if it does, if it was me in his place it would not.

        The Blues have done some canny trading defintely and getting a first-round pick for Yarran remains the heist of the century, but I feel like the strategy is a bit all over the place. If you are willing to trade those guys why not trade Gibbs? If you are focusing on youth why buy Rhys Palmer?

        No, I don’t expect Bolton to get the sack, I mean more that the natural bounce players get from having a new coach seems to have come and gone.

        It’s stuff like labelling Plowman and Marchbank as ten-year players that just leaves me scratching my head when it comes to rebuilding teams. There’s no reason they couldn’t be, but it’s just one of a wide spectrum of possibilities and I think a lot to hope for based on relatively limited evidence so far. It’s like me saying Nathan Hrovat will be All-Australian this year, which I swear I’ve only done five or six times.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 10:08am
          Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          Josh – “Regarding the untested players being “average or below” – look, I consider ‘unknown’ to fit into that category” TO me they are vastly different categories – in 2004 & 2005 we had no “unknowns” just “average or below” – the “unknowns” (especially when they are so highly rated) which provide the hope and demonstrate the club is on the right path.

          “but if the Blues are struggling halfway through the year can his attitude hold up? Credit to him if it does, if it was me in his place it would not.” Last year post round 12 the blues “struggled” and Gibbs had decided he wanted to go back to Adelaide (or if not decided was leaning heavily towards) yet he averaged 27.5 possessions and finished the season with 33 and 30. Throw in the fact that if he wants to get back to Adelaide the best way would be to prove to Adelaide he is worth the blues asking price and I just don’t see why our default setting should be him sooking.

          “If you are focusing on youth why buy Rhys Palmer?” Because taking Rhys Palmer got us Pickett and Marchbank, on top of which you saw what happens on Saturday when you just play youth.

          “A lot of the developing youth will improve at least a bit this year I’m sure, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if any of them become stars of the competition in 2017” but the simple fact they improve improves the blues – we aren’t looking for them to become elite just progress.

          “It’s stuff like labelling Plowman and Marchbank as ten-year players ..based on relatively limited evidence so far.” Because the limited evidence points that way – when the evidence starts to point the other way that’s when you should change your position – not simply assume the worst.

          The issue I have with the article is that you went on the negative side of everything, unknowns became average or below, Gibbs became a sook, none of the youngsters will take the next step, the list became “diabolical” when all the evidence (limited as it may be) points the other way.

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 11:53pm
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

            Unknowns may provide hope etc, but they do not win games, generally.

            Hopefully proves to be the case re Gibbs. I’m not claiming to have the measure of the man, I’m just interested to see how it holds up. Denying a player a trade isn’t something that happens often and with examples like McCarthy in recent years, it’s a reasonable thing to be curious about.

            I don’t think we’re ever going to agree about any of the rest, Macca. Best of luck to the Blues in 2017.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 9:26am
              Macca said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

              Thanks Josh – I think we will need it for 2017 – but its from then on that is where things get interesting.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 10:21am
          ken oath said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          “For mine the position re Gibbs is definitely concern. It’s easy to be professional and committed to the club in pre-season, but if the Blues are struggling halfway through the year can his attitude hold up? Credit to him if it does, if it was me in his place it would not.”

          Says more about your DNA than it does his Josh…

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 11:51pm
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

            Maybe it does. I don’t mean to pretend I’m any better a man than I am.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 10:49am
          Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          “but I feel like the strategy is a bit all over the place. If you are willing to trade those guys why not trade Gibbs?” Look at what we got for those guys and what we were offered for Gibbs – First round pick for Yarran, First round Pick for Henderson, Pick 21 & 60 for Bell & 41 and Pick 28 plus Kerridge for Menzel – hard to argue the blues lost any of those trades and if you compared the value of Gibbs to what we got for of any of them what Adelaide were offering doesn’t stack up (especially when Yarran & Henderson were out of contract) – the blues are happy to trade but the price has to be right.

          • March 7th 2017 @ 2:11pm
            Fairsuckofthesav said | March 7th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            2 first round draft picks for Gibbs was always unrealistic. He’s good but not that good. It was more of Carlton making a stand.

            • March 7th 2017 @ 2:20pm
              Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

              There are a few things, 1 of which was the blues making a stand, another was Gibbs ability, I heard a rumour another was his contract structure (heavily front loaded meaning the blues had in a way paid for services not yet delivered) and the last was his value to the team.

              The last point is something people have struggled to understand – on ability alone 2 first rounders is overs for Gibbs but on his replacement value for the team given its current profile it is about right.

              • Roar Guru

                March 7th 2017 @ 2:47pm
                Paul D said | March 7th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                If that rumour around his contract structure is true then that makes it more understandable – if they’re paying in advance on a 5 year deal then it stands to reason they’d definitely want overs in compensation if he wanted out after serving 60% of the time and getting 80% of the money

              • March 7th 2017 @ 2:51pm
                Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

                PaulD – The talk around the amount of Cap space the blues have up there sleeve to chase a free agent this year supports it.
                Murphy also signed long term contract that is supposedly heavily front ended.

                And Gibbs had only served 40% of his contract – he is signed until the end of 2019

              • March 7th 2017 @ 5:29pm
                steve said | March 7th 2017 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                Agreed on the cap space. Ditching Thomas and Jones at season’s end frees up more than a million just with those two. And they wont be the only ones getting ditched.

        • Roar Guru

          March 7th 2017 @ 1:00pm
          Col from Brissie said | March 7th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

          Josh, I am not going to jump up and down about your opinions re Carlton and you could well be correct that they might pick up another spoon this year. What I don’t understand is your comment that there are players on the list who could and should be better than average in time, but not quick enough. At the end of 2015 Carlton announced a complete rebuild that would hopefully see them competitive in 3 years and possibly challenging sometime between 3 – 5 years. We are now into the second season of the rebuild and yet you trot out the line “not quickly enough”.

          One of the reasons that the club got into the position they are in was because they wanted the ‘quick fix’ and were criticized by all and sundry for this direction. Now they have embarked on a rebuild that they have said will be 3 – 5 years and now apparently it is not quick enough.

          I am happy with the direction the club is taking and the youth that they are bringing on to the list but they also needed to bring in some experienced bodies to help the development of the youth. Some of the experienced players will play their role and some will probably fail but I doubt there is a club in the competition that could say we got all their trades and drafting 100 % correct.

          • March 7th 2017 @ 1:11pm
            Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

            my bigger issue is with the comment “there’s very little talented youth on the list” when you look at who we have brought through the door in the last 2 years.

            • Editor

              March 7th 2017 @ 11:56pm
              Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

              It’s not a lack of talent in the last two years, but more the complete gap left by the years leading up to that. I think the Blues are still playing catch-up to the rest of the comp in the talent stakes as a result.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 8:52am
                Macca said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report

                “It’s not a lack of talent in the last two years, but more the complete gap left by the years leading up to that.” Agreed Josh but that is very different to what you said in the article.

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 11:55pm
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

            Apologies Col, I meant not quickly enough to prevent a spoon this year – was not intended to be a comment about the wider list strategy.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 8:55am
              Macca said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

              Josh – “was not intended to be a comment about the wider list strategy” but the article is full of references to the wider list strategy.

              I get the impression that if say St Kilda was in the blues spot the article would have been more “Spoon now, sweets to come” type where the longer term strategy and the steps already taken were played up positively, but because this is the blues the get a whack for sins of the past.

    • March 7th 2017 @ 9:54am
      Arky said | March 7th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      While Brisbane is out there, you can’t call Carlton a lock for the spoon. If Carlton only have 5 players on the list who could be considered above AFL average if you don’t count youngsters with potential, how many does Brisbane have? Beams, Zorko, Rockliff, anyone else? It’s simply too early to say Schache or Mathieson yet (let alone McCluggage).

      • Editor

        March 7th 2017 @ 10:10am
        Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        I’d probably say guys like Allen Christensen, Mitch Robinson, Tom Bell and Daniel Rich – though to be fair, they all have question marks too. I don’t feel like the Lions are much better off than Carlton, but they are a smidge further along in terms of rebuilding, have more players ready to pop, and should get a boost from having a new coach. They and Gold Coast are the other main spoon contenders in my book though.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 3:14pm
          Adam said | March 7th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

          The fact you just mentioned Mitch Robinson as above average displays your lack of AFL knowledge. His only good attribute is his attack on the ball. His disposal is horrendous, his decision making is terrible and when he gets the ball the first thing he does is slam it on the boot aimlessly.

          • Roar Guru

            March 7th 2017 @ 10:28pm
            Paul D said | March 7th 2017 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

            You’re describing Mitch Robinson when he was at Carlton. He has turned into a much better player since then

            • March 8th 2017 @ 9:35pm
              Darren L said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

              Nice try Paul we thought the same at Carlton but he is clearly not above avg. None of the players Josh mentioned are above avg.

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 11:57pm
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

            To the contrary, I think Robinson has become a quality player at the Lions. He’s not without his limitations, but he plays within them more now, and I would consider him one of the best ‘enforcer’ types in footy – as someone who highly values physicality in the game, that makes me rate him higher than some other probably would.

        • Roar Guru

          March 7th 2017 @ 3:21pm
          SportsFanGC said | March 7th 2017 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

          I would say that the Suns are further advanced than both the Lions and Suns and their list has become much deeper after the previous Trade and Draft Period.

          I don’t expect to see them in the bottom 4 unless they have another ridiculous season with injury similar to 2015-2016.

          • March 7th 2017 @ 3:30pm
            Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

            I am with you on that Sportsfan – I see the Suns closer to the 8 than the bottom – I really like their spine and I think they have added some draftees who can make an immediate impact.

          • Editor

            March 7th 2017 @ 11:59pm
            Josh Elliott said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:59pm | ! Report

            I like the Suns’ list but I don’t think they have the culture or the coach to perform at the level their playing stocks suggests they should. Re injuries, there’s a point when bad luck becomes more than bad luck.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 3:41pm
          George said | March 7th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

          Sorry, to say ‘Suns are spoon contenders this year’ you got no idea. Even last year, totally decimated Suns finished 15. Do a bit homework on Suns before statement like this.

          • Editor

            March 8th 2017 @ 12:01am
            Josh Elliott said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:01am | ! Report

            There’s definitely a reality where the Suns aren’t spoon contenders this year, but I’m not yet convinced we live in it.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 5:32pm
          steve said | March 7th 2017 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

          Disagree on the GCS Josh. If their key players can go through the season without missing a crap load of games as has been their problem the last few season, I expect them to be challenging top 8. I don’t see them anywhere near bottom 4 if key players stay fit.

          • Editor

            March 8th 2017 @ 12:00am
            Josh Elliott said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:00am | ! Report

            Big ‘if’. I’ll be surprised if it happens.

      • Roar Guru

        March 7th 2017 @ 11:27am
        Paul D said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

        Brisbane will finish above Carlton. We have a stronger home ground advantage than the Blues.

        • March 7th 2017 @ 11:30am
          Macca said | March 7th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

          Yeah both the Lions and the Suns should get at least 1 “unexpected” win from their home grounds this year that the blues won’t – throw in the Lions beating the Blues in Brisbane and Carlton are starting behind the 8 ball.

        • Roar Guru

          September 14th 2017 @ 2:34pm
          Paul D said | September 14th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

          Well crap. But we did beat Carlton in Brisbane at least

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