Best 22 analysis: Carlton

Conor Roar Guru

By Conor, Conor is a Roar Guru


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    All the AFL lists are finalised for 2018, and now is the time to start looking into what each club’s best team looks like.

    This analysis won’t factor in injuries or early season suspensions, as they are looking at the best team from the list they have. Here is my view on Carlton’s best 22 in 2018.

    Previous articles
    Adelaide’s Best 22
    Brisbane’s Best 22

    Best 22
    B: Lachie Plowman, Liam Jones, Caleb Marchbank
    HB: Kade Simpson, Jacob Weitering, Sam Docherty
    C: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Patrick Cripps, Darcy Lang
    HF: Matt Kennedy, Charlie Curnow, Matthew Wright
    F: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Harry McKay
    Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Marc Murphy, Ed Curnow
    I/C: Paddy Dow, Zac Fisher, David Cuningham, Dale Thomas

    Depth: Sam Kerridge, Jed Lamb, Sam Rowe, Harrison Macreadie, Cameron Polson, Tom Williamson, Nick Graham, Jarrod Pickett, Andrew Phillips, Patrick Kerr, Ciaran Byrne, Tom De Koning, Jarrod Garlett, Matthew Lobbe, Aaron Mullett, Lochie O’Brien, Cam O’Shea, Angus Schumacher, Jesse Glass-McCasker, Kym LeBois, Alex Silvagni, Cillian McDaid, Matt Shaw

    I have selected a fairly tall yet flexible defence for the young Blues. Liam Jones, the feel-good story of 2017, is at full-back. Jones used to be a key forward, but was placed in defence in the VFL, and managed to earn his spot, having a breakout game against GWS and continuing that form. He will be expected to continue that into next season.

    Former number three pick Lachie Plowman is in the back pocket, as he will create flexibility to play on either opposition tall or small forwards. Another top-three pick, Jacob Weitering, is coming into his third year, and will no doubt be given the centre-half back role to further develop himself as a defender.

    Jacob Weitering Carlton Blues AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Caleb Marchbank, a top-ten pick, had a breakthrough year in his first year at the Blues, and no doubt demands a spot in defence as a third tall defender.

    Veteran Kade Simpson represented Australia in the 2017 IRS against the best of Gaelic Football, and I can’t imagine him not being in the Blues’ starting 18 given he provides plenty of leadership to a young Blues defence and gives it his best week in week out.

    I have placed Sam Docherty on the other half back flank as he was one of the best rebounding defenders last season, however will not be available to take the position in 2018 due to an ACL injury.

    This gives a number of players an opportunity, such as Harrison Macreadie, Tom Williamson, Jarrod Garlett, Aaron Mullett, Lochie O’Brien, and Cam O’Shea. All have the potential to play on the half-back flank, and could definitely develop into solid players or future stars to be called upon throughout the 2018 season.

    The Blues’ midfield is filled with many young stars, as well as experienced heads to guide the club forward. Matthew Kreuzer takes the number one ruck rol, ahead of Andrew Phillips, Matthew Lobbe, and Tom De Koning, following a career-best season from the injury-prone big man.

    Marc Murphy is the Carlton skipper, and unless injured, will be in the team to guide their young, inexperienced heads. Ed Curnow will be 28 years old in Round 1 next season, and will be selected to provide experience to the team.

    Sam Petrevski-Seton had an electrifying first season, playing 20 games and kicking a legendary goal against the Demons in the Round 16 loss. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he did have a slight blip from his first-year form, and have the second-year blues like many before him. However, I’m backing him in to continue to make an impact in Carlton’s best 22.

    Patrick Cripps missed the later part of the 2017 season due to injury, but will easily get a spot as an on-baller due to being a fantastic inside ball-winner, and a potential future captain.

    Patrick Cripps Carlton Blues AFL 2017

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    Former Cat Darcy Lang would be expected to feature in the Blues’ best 22 due his youth and great potential, which gives them another piece of the future premiership puzzle.

    The forward line is another youth-filled part of the ground. However, it contains loads of exciting potential for the future. Spearhead Levi Casboult takes the full-forward position as he has fantastic marking ability, and will be able to claw in some strong grabs when it’s kicked to him from the midfielders.

    Charlie Curnow, brother of Ed, takes centre-half-forward, and will have the potential to rotate through the midfield with Petrevski-Seton and Cripps, which will provide flexibility in the line-up.

    Harry McKay is in the forward pocket as he showed potential late last season when he was called upon as a tall forward, and will be able to play at full-forward and centre-half-forward during games when there are rotations occurring.

    Jack Silvagni is a young, promising, medium-sized forward who will be able to play either as a tall or a small depending on what is needed to outplay the opposition.

    Matt Kennedy comes in from the Giants as another forward-mid, and will provide rotations as well as the ability to play as a tough onballer. The Giants would no doubt be disappointed in the loss of Kennedy, as he would have been an ideal replacement for Steve Johnson in their best 22.

    Matthew Wright led the Carlton goalkicking in 2016 and finished second behind Levi Casboult in 2017, so expect to see him feature in the starting 18 given his experience and ability.

    As pick number three from the 2017 draft, Paddy Dow gets an opportunity straight away given his great talent, and is a key part of the future for the Blues. Fellow youngster Zac Fisher played 17 games in his first season, and he’ll likely continue that form into next year and show everyone the potential he contains.

    David Cuningham played eight games, up from the three he played in 2016, and he is likely to continue to get increasing opportunities at the Blues to continue his rate of development.

    Veteran Dale Thomas looks to be playing his last season in 2018, despite improved form in 2017, as they will likely look to open his space up for a younger player.

    Carlton Blues player Dale Thomas

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    The unlucky players
    Young defender Harrison Macreadie is unlucky to not be in the best 22, as he played eight games in his first year as a key position player. He will likely gain more opportunities and experience throughout the 2018 season.

    Tom Williamson played 15 games last year, and will get increased opportunities due to Sam Docherty’s ACL injury. Speedy forward Jarrod Pickett will be hoping for regular opportunities to demonstrate his footy smarts and why the Blues were interested in him.

    Rebounding defenders Jarrod Garlett, Aaron Mullett, and Cam O’Shea are likely to be the main competitors for Sam Docherty’s spot in his absence.

    What do you think Roarers? What’s your view on the Blues’ best 22?

    Have Your Say

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    The Crowd Says (132)

    • December 11th 2017 @ 9:09am
      Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Not a bad 22 Conor, the couple of changes I would make though are Williamson, Pickett & Byrne in for Lang, Thomas & Docherty.

      I simply can’t see Williamson missing, after debuting in round 3 he only missed through a back injury and his elite endurance and foot skills are exactly what Bolton wants, I would suggest he will even push into a wing/on ball role at times this year.

      Pickett showed late in the year why he was taken so high, he turned up to pre-season in really good shape and with a full pre–season behind him I expect he should really add that excitement to the forward line the blues have been lacking.

      Byrne might be lucky to get past Lang, O’Shea and Mullett but has shown glimpses in his injury riddled career that he could be an outstanding player – just needs a little bit of luck and hopefully he can string games together and achieve his potential.

      FWIW here is my 22;

      Williamson Jones Byrne
      Plowman Marchbank Weitering
      Fisher Kennedy SPS
      Wright C Curnow Pickett
      Silvagni Casboult McKay
      Kreuzer Cripps Murphy
      Dow Simpson E Crunow Cuningham

    • December 11th 2017 @ 9:09am
      Liam said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      I have several issues.

      One, you have Williamson not in the best 22, despite the fact that, for every single game he was available he played ones. He is young, but he is as underrated as most young small defenders are – you don’t know their names until they suddenly have a 6-10 week patch where they keep the best blanketed and rebound well, more the latter than the former if they want to be noticed.

      Pickett was terrific for 10 minute patches last year, where he’d get 5-6 disposals and just burn off everyone in range; this is just back from a linsfranc injury, which if you read a bit about it is horrifying; you need to change your running style to account for it. Last year was a writeoff for him, as he relearnt how to run and to play, yet he was able to play ones at AFL level. This season, off the back of a preseason, expect him to play off the forward flank or interchange, ahead of Dow, who hasn’t proven anything yet.

      And that, for me, is the biggest change at Carlton; no ones spot is unearned. Kennedy is not guarenteeed a position on the field unless he’s willing to work for it, and ditto Garlett or Dow. It’s why I don’t dispute your placing of Thomas on the bench, despite him not being best 22 all season; he will – hopefully – be displaced by a young mid, either from this year’s intake or last years – Fisher, Poulson – not due to his being insufficient at AFL level, but because someone was banging down the door.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:16am
        Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        Liam – “And that, for me, is the biggest change at Carlton; no ones spot is unearned” It is a big change Liam, there will be some very handy young players playing 2’s this year and as you say Thomas will probably ply his trade there for the majority of the year (I wouldn’t be surprised to see Simpson play a couple of games there as well during the year).

        Hopefully this competition drives players to achieve.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 10:03am
      Mattician6x6 said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

      Alright the blues have ballsed it all up regularly since they got caught rorting. With that out of way I reckon blues fans would be ecstatic to see stability and direction that is currently being undertaken. I read a lot of criticism of the blues on here(some warranted) but seeing them finally undertake a proper rebuild will bear fruit just not in next two seasons. Will cast no judgement on Bolton until end of next year as its to early on still to do so but I personally see Carlton relevant again in next 3 seasons.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 10:11am
        Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Mattician – when you consider in the 3 years since SOS took over list management the blues have managed to bring in 7 first round picks in the draft (4 in 2015, 1 last year and 2 this year) plus Plowman, Pickett, Marchbank , Kennedy & Lang (plus Lamb & Sumner) who were all first round picks with their best footy in front of them it is hard to argue with the strategy.

        Time will tell if it works but It is giving blues supporters plenty of hope.

        • Roar Rookie

          December 12th 2017 @ 3:31pm
          Murphster888 said | December 12th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

          Spot on Macca but you missed one Garlett was also a first rounder so that makes six first rounders still on list as of now from other clubs, that is smart recruiting and only Sumner & Jaksch have failed so far. That’s 13 first Rd picks in SOS time not including Jaksch & Sumner. A very good start.

          • December 12th 2017 @ 3:39pm
            Macca said | December 12th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

            You are right on Garlett Murphster but Jaksch got to the blues before SOS came across so his failure doesn’t count against him (in fact given he was the one who traded him out of GWS it probably counts in his favour!)

            And you can’t ask for much more than 13 first round picks in 3 draft & trade periods.

            • Roar Rookie

              December 12th 2017 @ 3:43pm
              Murphster888 said | December 12th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

              Agree, and you are right about Jaksch thought that as I was writing it but wasn’t to sure.

    • Roar Guru

      December 11th 2017 @ 10:30am
      Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      Monday morning and a Carlton thread, good times. I’ll start the bomb throwing – main problem for Carlton this year will be their lack of elite talent – last year they only had 4 players ranked inside the top 100, and of them, Gibbs has left and Docherty is out for the season. Real concerns about how they will win arm wrestle games where a few moments of individual leadership and brilliance from your stalwarts can swing it. You look at that best 22 and it’s all potential and might-be. Move to the depth list, and it’s even worse.

      They are doing the right thing in rebuilding but I remain concerned about where the development is going to come from, and at some point they have got to move Murphy on as a captain. If they’re seriously about this rebuild they need a bit of Geelong mongrel at Ikon Park and not be afraid to push the fading establishment out the door.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 10:52am
        Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        PaulD – I’ll address a couple of your issues;

        Firstly Murphy- his position has been put up for grabs both years Bolton has been in charge and he has been resounding restored not just by the administration but by the players, he is clearly doing more than you see. The other issue is it is one thing to push him out but quite another to replace him, with Docherty missing the entire season the only logical candidate is Cripps and I for one think he has enough on his plate this year without adding the captaincy.

        As for the list you are right it is largely potential but even that is an big step up from the recent past.

        As for the depth well that changes dramatically depending on how the potential goes this year but if you look at my best 22 (without Docherty) you would have Kerridge Thomas, Lamb, Mullett, Lang, Rowe, A Silvagni & Graham who combined for 94 games last year (with Rowe and Silvagni having serious injuries) all playing 2’s along with first round recruits Garlett & O’Brien plus youngster MacReadie (who managed 8 games in his first year) – I am not saying they are the most talented bunch but they are better than the depth we have had and them playing the majority of the year in the 2’s is a big step forward.

        I am predcting the blues to be bottom 4 (bottom 6 at best) but seeing what the likes of C Curnow, McKay, Pickett, Dow, Weitering, Kennedy SPS & Cuningham can dish up in 2018 is very exciting. If just 3 or 4 of just the 8 I have listed can take their game to the next level it will have a massive impact on the blues.

        • Roar Guru

          December 11th 2017 @ 10:58am
          Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          I know you’re a very patient man Macca but what about the rest of Carlton – how long do you think the club will hold this course without finals or a dramatic jump up the ladder? I can’t see you going anywhere this season or next barring a miracle. Who’s going to teach the kids? See what impact Hodge has this year – if he does have an impact on the Lions cubs I think Carlton really need to consider getting an on-field mentor in.
          I feel like we’re two old drunks arguing in the gutter about who’s got it worse. More to the point it feels like it’s been this way for years!

          • December 11th 2017 @ 11:07am
            Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

            PaulD – The club has repeatedly told us we are in a 5 year rebuild and it would take 3 draft cycles to rebuild the list – we now have rebuilt the list and over the next 2 years we need to get games into them and build. I don’t see anyone going off course in the next 12- 24 months.

            As for going anywhere – which of these players doesn’t have improvement in them for 2018, SPS, Weitering, Marchbank, Plowman, Williamson, Fisher, Pickett, McKay, Cuningham, J Silvagni, C Curnow, MacReadie, Byrne and Cripps? They are only the young players who played AFL for Carlton last year – it doesn’t include the like of Kennedy, Dow, O’Brien, Lang, Mullett or Garlett who were recruited this year or the likes of Kerr or Polson.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm
              Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

              Any development from this bloke in 2018 do you think?


              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2017 @ 2:21pm
                Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

                I’ve never questioned his rig Macca. If it was about muscle definition Majak Daw would be the best player in the game.

                I said he was another Casboult – his kicking technique looks very raw, and prone to all sorts of things that could go wrong. Ball drop is a long way from hand to boot, kicking leg swings like a rusty farm gate and generally he looks as awkward as a new giraffe.

                He may well grow up into a tall forward but I think you’re looking at 3-4 years to maybe get someone as good as Jesse White.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:32pm
                Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

                PaulD – Curnow kicked 20.12 last year (after going 0.2 in his first 4 games) and if watch some of his kicking into fwd 50 it is sensational – nothing like Casboult.

                As for Jesse white his best year was 2016 (his 9th year as an AFL player) where he averaged 13.2 possession 5.4 marks 1.4 goals and 2,2 tackles in 16 games, last year C Curnow (his 2nd year in the AFL) averaged 14.1 possessions, 5.7 marks, 0.9 goals and 2.9 tackles in 21 games – I think he has White covered already.

                But all that aside my point was his development from 2017 to 2018, the simple fact that (as the photo alludes to) he will be bigger and stronger in his 3rd year than he was in his 2nd leads to the conclusion there will likely be development.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:05pm
                Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

                Just further on Curnow’s kicking PaulD – last year 207 of his 297 possessions were kicks (69.69%) and his disposal efficiency for the year was 77.4%.

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2017 @ 3:07pm
                Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                You know I’m a gut feel man, not a stats man Macca

              • Roar Rookie

                December 12th 2017 @ 3:54pm
                Murphster888 said | December 12th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

                “Awkward as a Giraffe” have you actually watched him play, and his kicking leg swings like a rusty gate, obviously not or you would have seen the numerous times he took a great contested mark landed like a cat swung onto his rusty gate and delivered the ball lace out into the forward 50 while his opponents where still recovering from the marking contest. Ridiculous comment.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 3:24pm
                Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                PaulD – if you watched Charlie Curnow anywhere from round 5 on last year and your gut isn’t feeling like he is going to be an absolute star you might need some inner health plus.

                I watched his game against the Crows live where he racked up 22 possessions, 11 marks and a goal – it wasn’t just my gut I was feeling it that day.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 9:39pm
        Steve009 said | December 11th 2017 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

        After the last few drafts and trade periods there is no longer a shortage of elite talent at Carlton, but there is certainly a lack of elite talent in their prime playing year’s.

        Like most Carlton supporters I am excited by how many young players with supposed elite talent and ‘potential’ are now on our list, including outside our best 22, but it is still unmet potential at this stage.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 10:52am
      Harsh Truth Harry said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      My issue with the Carlton eternal rebuild is the following:

      Carlton football club ladder positions.

      2002 – Wooden Spoon
      2003 – 15th
      2004 – 11th
      2005 – Wooden Spoon
      2006 – Wooden Spoon
      2007 – 15th
      2008 – 11th
      2009 – 7th
      2010 – 8th
      2011 – 5th
      2012 – 10th
      2013 – 8th
      2014 – 13th
      2015 – Wooden Spoon
      2016 – 14th
      2017 – 16th

      Looking at that shameful period from 2002 – 2008, we are now seeing a repeat from 2014-2017. However, it looks worse when you look closer as they actually went down again this year so 13th, 18th, 14th, 16th. Most sides so indicators of a climb by now. Looking at the 2017 ladder I see the following:

      Points for: 2038 points for the season was the lowest total in the AFL by over 100 points
      Points against : 6th most points kicked against a team in 2017
      Home game: 4th worst
      Away games: worst
      1st qtr wins: 4th worst
      4th qtr wins: 2nd last
      Av winning margin: at 12.5 points the lowest in the league
      Av losing margin: At 32.4 the 6th worst
      Highest points scored: 97 points, the worst in the league by a mile.

      So out of that what do we make? The team did not crack 100 points all year. They start bad and finish bad. Fitness queries on players – performance staff failings?
      When they do win its by about 2 goals, hardly convincing wins.

      So the conclusion in that Bolton, like many defensive coaches before him has engineered a “low carnage” game strategy of keepings off. They possess the ball a lot. Why? because the longer they have it in their hands the less damage the opposition can do. I see it in junior footy a lot but it is rare at AFL level. It is a self protection style that will do those kids no favours as at some stage you need to be able to flick the switch and they don’t appear capable of flicking it. Is it the kids? I believe it is the coach who must answer for this if they are ever going to improve they may need to move Bolton on.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 11:33am
        Mattician6x6 said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        Hth-my view of Carlton is that getting Judd set them back for a very short term gain, the new blokes seem to be settling a chaotic ship and not going down that path which long-term should see this squad develop.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 11:43am
          Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

          Mattician – The impact Judd had on the blues playing group at the time was pretty profound and considering he was on the committee that appointed Bolton & the blues new CEO and is now on the Blues Board, I think his impact is longer than you may think (not to mention he is doing well in the son stakes 😉 ).

          I can see your point but when you consider where the blues had been a “short term” hit was what was required.

          I would also ask how many players on the blues list now would have played a final if we didn’t get Judd?

          • December 11th 2017 @ 12:00pm
            Mattician6x6 said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

            Macca- I see the logic but have always thought my boys screwed the blues in that deal, but I would hazard the guess Carlton wasn’t banking on a fevola meltdown making jk less necessary at the time.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:05pm
              Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

              Yeah Mattician – in the 2 years Fev played with Judd he kicked 188 goals 108 behinds in 45 games, who kows what would have happened in 2010 & 2011 if we had Fev up forward.

              And the Eagles may have got the better of the deal but the blues desperately needed to get that deal done – over paying comes with desperation, but when you look at the blues getting Judd and Armfield for JK, Masten and something I can’t remember, I think we didn’t over pay by that much.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:33pm
                Mattician6x6 said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                Jk, pick 3 (masten) and pick 22 i think which we used on tony Notte. Definetly not the best draft by wce lol

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:28pm
              Harsh Truth Harry said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

              it’s not just JK they messed up on Matti. This is the side who gave away Eddie Betts, one of the greatest small forwards the game has even known. Poor Juddy didn’t deserve his great career to be played out at such a lowly organisation.

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2017 @ 2:23pm
                Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

                Maybe Juddy shouldn’t have, you know, signed that contract, where he agreed to work for Carlton for a lot of money for all those years, of his own free will

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:35pm
                Mattician6x6 said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

                He was visy environmental officer Paul come on 😉 for he and his wife financially was a magnifice move.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 10:04pm
                Steve009 said | December 11th 2017 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

                Judd lived up to his part of that deal, Carlton failed in its part by the poor drafting and player development during his time at club and not putting together a strong enough list to challenge for a premiership.

        • December 11th 2017 @ 11:45am
          Harsh Truth Harry said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

          But how long term Mattician? Their last shameful episode was 2002-2008 which was seven years at the bottom. Next year will be their 5th year back down the bottom again and most experts predict them to be bottom four next two years again. This will be another shameful seven years. Bolton is protecting his losses matti, protecting his reputation in the process but not doing the kids any favours. They need an unselfish coach prepared to roll the dice on a positive game plan not one designed for acceptable losses.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 11:53am
            Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

            Harry – who has won the most finals in the past 13 years, which spans most of the blues “shameful periods”, Carlton or Essendon?

            On Bolton, do you think a coach who took over a bottom side and loaded it up with young talent might evolve his game plan as the list evolves?

            • December 11th 2017 @ 11:38pm
              Steve009 said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

              Bolton has repeatedly stated that the game plan will evolve with the playing group, but a lot of people like Harry rate their opinion of what Carlton is doing over what Carlton themselves are saying and doing

              It’s a bit like Carlton being consistent in statements and actions in the 5 year rebuild, but so many (mostly non Carlton supporters) already saying that it’s been unsuccessful or moving to slow despite being only 2 years in to that rebuild. And then going on to say the club and supporters will soon become impatient if there isn’t a sudden win/loss improvement, despite the club and supporters constantly saying that they understand that the rebuild will take time and improvement is being pushed at the moment on more than just wins and losses.
              Some people just aren’t to good at listening

              • December 11th 2017 @ 11:50pm
                Steve009 said | December 11th 2017 @ 11:50pm | ! Report

                That was supposed be improvement being gauged, not pushed.

                Some people aren’t very good at messaging.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 8:07am
                Harsh Truth Harry said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

                Any club can claim they are starting a 5 year rebuild to take the heat off them, play a terrible, defensive style of football that only protects the coaches reputation. How can the rebuild be only two years in when your last 4 years have been bottom four? You should be storming the castle walls.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 12th 2017 @ 4:15pm
                Murphster888 said | December 12th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                How can an Essendon supporter possibly talk about shame, shame is when you are so desperate for any sort of win you give your players unspecified drugs given to them by a film flam man that won’t even tell them what they were given, your disgraceful,shameful football club should have been thrown out of the competitition and sued into bankruptcy by your own players. And still your club and its rabid halfwit supporters complain about persecution by the AFL. You need a reality check, compared to what we copped you got a tap on the wrist for what amounted to human rights offences against your own players.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 9:50am
                Macca said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

                HTH – “How can the rebuild be only two years in when your last 4 years have been bottom four?” We replaced the coach & recruiting staff in 2015 – it isn’t rocket science.

                Your team hasn’t won a final in 13 years – why aren’t you storming the castle walls?

                Steve – you are correct – you can’t turn over 42 player in 3 years, load up the list with players under 21 and expect immediate results. Those paying attention can see the progress being made.

              • December 13th 2017 @ 10:35am
                Harsh Truth Harry said | December 13th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

                nothing proven Steve, nil, nought, nada

              • December 13th 2017 @ 2:57pm
                Macca said | December 13th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                “nothing proven Steve, nil, nought, nada” Which is odd given that we were repeatedly told by St James and the Essendon hierarchy that they had the proof that wold exonerate them, the evidence that showed they did nothing wrong and they would produce it at the appropriate time – and yet all these years, suspensions, loss of points, fines and compensation payouts later we are still left with “nil, nought, nada”!

          • December 11th 2017 @ 12:04pm
            Mattician6x6 said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

            Hth – the blues have started off a point below zero and yes I agree Bolton can look frustrating from the outside, but maybe his step back has been caused by members of this young group lacking basic footy fundamentals.
            I stand by mY statement that not until after 2018 can we start to really judge what is going on there.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 12:33pm
              Harsh Truth Harry said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

              Matticican, what will you say if they (as Macca and Col predict) stagnate in 2018? Say 5 or 6 wins, awful %, worst points for again, still haven’t kicked over 100 points again. What will you say then?

              • December 11th 2017 @ 1:08pm
                Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

                HTH – it all depends on the progress that is made. Progress is measured by more than just wins and losses.

                And for the record Col and I aren’t predicting the blues to “stagnate”, just that they won’t win more games – there is a big difference.

              • Roar Guru

                December 12th 2017 @ 1:51pm
                Paul D said | December 12th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                Harry, what will you say if Essendon fail to kick 50 points and lose to Carlton next time it rains, like you did this year in round 3?

          • Roar Guru

            December 11th 2017 @ 12:11pm
            Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

            If we are talking shameful episodes there has never been a more shameful period or episode in football than Essendon 2012-2016

            • December 11th 2017 @ 1:30pm
              Harsh Truth Harry said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              Paul this article is about Carlton, Essendon has no relevance, stay on topic please.

      • Roar Guru

        December 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm
        Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

        “They possess the ball a lot. Why? because the longer they have it in their hands the less damage the opposition can do. I see it in junior footy a lot but it is rare at AFL level.”

        Gee I dunno about these coaching credentials you’ve talked about ‘Arry – I’ve only watched a bunch of games at Aspley from the spectators area but I’ve never seen the U-17’s run around playing safe footy. Where’s the incentive – they generally don’t have the skills to do it for long, and there’s no incentive or threat in the amateur levels to slow it down and playing boring footy, I mean, the only consequences is that you might lose boringly.

        Possession footy in fact only comes to prominence in semi-pro and pro levels where players are paid to do the team thing and have the discipline and skill to execute it.

        Your house of cards is crumbling faster than Kevin Spacey’s

        • December 11th 2017 @ 1:26pm
          Harsh Truth Harry said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          Paul you will find a lot of junior footy sides stack their backlines too, its called containment footy. They contain the damage done by the best teams to both percentage and also the players psyche. If you took on a junior side yourself you would have to learn such things.

          • December 11th 2017 @ 1:52pm
            Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

            HTH – stacking your backline is not high possession football.

          • Roar Guru

            December 11th 2017 @ 2:06pm
            Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

            Damaging to a players psyche – hahaha, what 17 year old have you met who has a ‘damaged psyche’ from losing a game of aussie rules at amateur rep level? Most of the ones I’ve seen couldn’t give two hoots about the result five mins after the final siren, anyone who is playing solely to win the game at all costs clearly has no understanding of what the point of playing amateur sport is. Anyone who seriously hates it at that level just walks away from the sport.

            • December 11th 2017 @ 2:27pm
              Harsh Truth Harry said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

              Do you know how many kids are lost to the game by being regularly on the end of 130 point beltings? You think kids like that? let alone if their coach sticks them up forward on a cold day and it never gets down there. It is rampant in good junior comps down here, perhaps not in the back waters of Brisbane comps.
              As for my sides, we play to improve the boys footy and to win flags, just like the Bombers and I make no apologies for that son.

              • December 11th 2017 @ 2:50pm
                Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

                “Do you know how many kids are lost to the game by being regularly on the end of 130 point beltings? ” Do you?

                U17 games go for 20 minutes a quarter no time on in all the leagues around me – how many junior teams are good enough to put through 20 goals plus in 80 minutes?

                A lot of leagues have 1 team that gets belted regularly but that doesn’t mean 130 point loses are “rampant”.

              • Roar Guru

                December 11th 2017 @ 3:05pm
                Paul D said | December 11th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

                No, but you have no idea either.

                You have never said anything about coaching bar the most broad cliches that you could read in any google search. That alone is the most telling reveal you’re making it all up

                you’re just anon under a new name, coming back after I challenged him that no-one cared about his sweeping statements when he had no credibility or credentials. You appeared just after I said that to him, around the same time anon disappeared, and now you’re back with blowhard Harry who apparently coaches some kids, waddles to base camp at Everest, does Kokoda, goes on a 5 km run every morning and is just hear to talk footy although coincidentally seems to know everyone on here and all about us – remember your references to the biege 8 when you first rocked up?

                You’re a strange egg, whoever you are.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 7:13am
                Kane said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:13am | ! Report

                This is a Carlton article Harry, Essendon has no relevance in this. Stay on topic please

      • December 13th 2017 @ 5:56pm
        Zed16 said | December 13th 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

        Some interesting results in the last 8 seasons Harry

        Season Rnd Won by Margin
        2017 R20 Essendon 8
        2017 R3 Carlton 15
        2016 R23 Essendon 24
        2016 R6 Carlton 15
        2015 R3 Essendon 21
        2014 R23 Draw
        2014 R3 Essendon 81
        2013 R22 Essendon 6
        2013 R11 Essendon 5
        2012 R21 Carlton 96
        2012 R4 Essendon 30
        2011 EF Carlton 62
        2011 R18 Carlton 74
        2011 R4 Draw
        2010 R19 Carlton 76
        2010 R3 Essendon 20

        • December 14th 2017 @ 1:40pm
          Harsh Truth Harry said | December 14th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          what are you even saying Zed? This was all happening while the Bombers had half their side out and we still beat you half the time champ!

          • December 16th 2017 @ 9:07am
            Zed16 said | December 16th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

            So you had half your side out between 2010 and 2015. Yeah right…

            Between 2010 and 2017 we beat you by more than 10 goals on 4 occasions to your one and none in 2016 when half your team was missing.

            The results are the results my misguided friend..

    • December 11th 2017 @ 12:13pm
      Peter the Scribe said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

      My issue with the Blues is that just having the youngest list will not guarantee anything. The difference between the oldest and youngest AFL lists now is just 18 months so for me that makes any reference to having a “young” list as a moot point. The Blues seemed to go back a bit this year which, granted, is a trait of a younger side gelling together. My question is are they going to be good enough to climb rather than young enough. So far we haven’t seen anything too exciting from the Blues in 2017, more a dour low scoring, high possession style. My perception of Blues supporters in The Roar and outside of The Roar also seem different, but that may be heavily influenced in here by Macca and Col who seem very patient and prepared to accept another two years building. Mates outside The Roar who follow the Blues seem less patient and refuse to accept a 2018 the same as this year. They have had enough of starting each season already accepting a bottom four result.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 1:09pm
        Macca said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

        Peter – nothing is guaranteed in AFL and looking at the average ages misses the point, look at the age brackets.

      • December 11th 2017 @ 7:32pm
        Zed16 said | December 11th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

        PtS i am actually optimistic and think that the team will perform better than most expect.

        If you look at the individual performances most players improved on their previous season e.g. Caboult kicked the most goals he has in a season and probably most accurate. Young forwards Curnow and Silvagni kicked about 20 each, Marchbank, Ploughman and Pickett showed glimpses of why they were high draft picks.

        Krueser, Murphy, Docherty and Gibbs (yeah i know he is now a crow) had their best seasons if not close too.

        These are all positive 1% that added to a team that again performed better in most matches than people expected. Would i prefer they be in the top 4 absolutely however like Macca and Col i am a realist and i know its still going to take time.

        If the playing group individually and collectively improve 5-7% from this year then 8-10 wins is achievable.

        What i will be keen to watch is how they will develop their attack and how the young guys will evolve and start to forge their individual brands/identities on the main stage.

        I for one am looking forward to it and i reiterate they will perform better than most think.

        • December 12th 2017 @ 8:11am
          Harsh Truth Harry said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

          Zed all I hear is Macca and co and now you claiming everyone is improving, they have all had their best seasons ever. Then why do you not get over 100 points once in an entire season? Why are you the worst for point scored? Why with such youth are you the second worst team for last quarter performances? I will tell you why. Just becasue Bolton did an apprenticeship under Clarko you all think he is a genius. Move him on.

          • December 12th 2017 @ 1:47pm
            Zed16 said | December 12th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

            HTH i am looking forward to next season and watching the blues develop and take their next step on the road to playing finals.

            In the process i believe they will perform better than most expect as they have done the last two seasons.

            • December 12th 2017 @ 1:58pm
              Macca said | December 12th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

              Zed16 – This is the way I look at the blues for 2018;

              In 2016 Matthew Wright won the blues leading goal kicker with 22, Caboult was second with 18.

              In 2017 Casboult won with 34, Wright kicked 30 while Curnow kicked 20 and Silvagni managed 19.

              What if in 2018 Casboult, Wright Curnow and Silvagni can all kick 30 plus and we can get 20 each from say Pickett and McKay. That isn’t pie in the sky improvement from individual players but if we get that incremental improvement from Curnow and Silvagni and get 2 other forwards to have “break out years” (not unreasonable to expect from Pickett or McKay) the impact on the team could be significant. It won’t see us in the top 8 and we could well still finish bottom 4 but it will be a big step forward.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 4:59pm
                Zed16 said | December 12th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

                Macca i agree with what you have said in terms of goal kicking.

                Its not unreasonable for the guys you nominated to kick 30 plus and the others around 20.

                The team is now faster than previous years and are more likely to deliver to the forwards when they are in a good position which we did not execute well through out 2017.

                For me improving our percentage and being more competitive in games this year is a good start and hopefully it translates into 8 plus wins which would make another for another positive year.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 5:02pm
                Macca said | December 12th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                Zed16 – faster with better kicks so our forwards should get better reward for effort.

            • December 13th 2017 @ 10:04am
              Harsh Truth Harry said | December 13th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

              How? You lost your best mid in Gibbs and your best youth in Docherty. Your club has become an irrelevance to the competition a bit like Melbourne has been for some 50 years.

              • December 13th 2017 @ 10:40am
                Macca said | December 13th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                HTH – Gibbs didn’t win the blues B&F last year, Murphy did. Cripps was injured for a significant part of last year but was second behind Docherty in 2016 and won the B&F in 2015, so was Gibbs our best mid?

                Docherty is a very talented player but is 24, I don’t really think he counts as our “youth” when we have 26 players on the list younger than him.

                Those players will be big losses, which is why most Carlton supporters have us bottom 6 but we added players who should make an immediate impact (say Kennedy) 2 top 10 draft picks and should get development out of the young players who were permanent fixtures in the 22 in 2017.

                Again try to inform yourself before you comment.

          • Roar Rookie

            December 12th 2017 @ 4:28pm
            Murphster888 said | December 12th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

            In the 2 games we played against the drug cheats in 2017 on aggragate we out scored you Harry by 7 points where does that leave you.