No AFL wins but Blues are growing: Bolton

By Jason Phelan, Jason Phelan is a Roar Guru

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    Carlton’s winless start to the AFL season continued with a 24-point loss to Collingwood, but coach Brendon Bolton insists his side continues to improve.

    The Pies launched a stunning 10-goal blitz to set up a 16.4 (100) to 11.10 (76) win in front of 68,548 fans at the MCG on Friday night.

    Carlton have now lost 12 of their past 13 AFL matches since Round 14 of last season with the 0-3 start.

    But Bolton said it’s only a matter of time before his talented but inexperienced line-up starts to deliver on the field.

    “There’s some areas of growth … there’s no doubt about that,” Bolton said.

    “But we just want to keep building this cohesion among this group … they need to be together for a while.

    “We’re going to hold them to really, incredibly high standards – we not going to deviate from that. That’s where we’re at.”

    Jacob Weitering had another difficult night, giving away three free kicks and committing some glaring skill errors.

    The No.1 draft pick has been criticised for his indifferent form to start the season, but Bolton believes the defender has turned the corner.

    “I think, like all of our players, there’s still some growth there,” he said.

    “There’s some steps in the right direction, he took a few intercept marks, and there was a little bit more to like.

    “That’s why you back a player in. I’m not saying it was a perfect game, but there’s some growth.”

    Carlton’s cause wasn’t helped when defender Caleb Marchbank left the game with an ankle injury at halftime.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (47)

    • Roar Guru

      April 7th 2018 @ 10:04am
      Col from Brissie said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

      The only positive I can take out of last nights game was that Levi’s set shots look so much better. The second quarter was pathetic and the continuance of turnovers and bad decision making is frustrating. Collingwood aren’t a top 8 side and to allow them to kick 10 straight goals was woeful. Our defence is certainly missing the leadership of Docherty.

      I don’t know how Polson gets a game as he is not AFL standard and he should be the first dropped this week. I would prefer the bigger body of either Kerridge or Graham to Polson so that doesn’t say much for him. Dow is also looking out of his depth and needs a run in the VFL as does Lamb. SPS gets a bit of the ball but his disposals aren’t hurting the opposition. He need to stop overthinking and get the ball forward as quickly as possible.

      Silvagni has paid his penance in the VFL and needs to come back in next week and they need to give Mackay an extended run in the seniors to give him some confidence and the team a marking target as there appears to be too much reliance on young Curnow to be that target. He is the type of player you give free reign to run wherever he wants and not contain him to the forward line.

      • April 7th 2018 @ 10:22am
        Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        I know it has a lot to do with how the ball was going into the Collingwood forward line, but we got carved up at ground level. We can’t continue to play all of Jones, Marchbank and Weitering, particularly with all three being so unacceptable for their own man. One needs to go and Marchbank is the best of the bunch so it’s got to be either Weitering or Liam full back of the new century Jones who head’s back to the VFL. Weitering would be my choice and I think it would be better for his football long term. Currently he is unable to or unwilling to physically compete with key forwards at AFL level.

        • April 7th 2018 @ 6:44pm
          Macca said | April 7th 2018 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

          Col- i dont see the point of playing Kerridge or Graham TBH, neither are going to get better than they have shown.

          Happy to see Lamb and Polson out but until Pickett and Lang are fit I can’t see a clear replacement unless we go taller with either Jack or McKay.

          As for Dow I really don’t get why everyone is so down on him, I thought he was reasonable last night other than his disposal, he got enough of the ball, got into dangerous spots and made space for himself, if he had kicked better he could have ended up with a couple of goals. I think hat he really needs is time at the level, he needs to keep,getting used to the pace and the more he does the better his disposal will get. The thing is he can’t adapt to the pace at VFL level.

          As for positives, I liked Cuningham of half back, Fisher continued to show that he will be a quality player, SPS had glimpse, Weitering was better and Charlie was a gun plus a couple of years ago that would have been a 10-15 goal loss after that second quarter, at least they got back into the game.

          Last night was disappointing for sure but it want all doom and gloom either.

          • April 7th 2018 @ 8:52pm
            PeteB said | April 7th 2018 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

            Agree on Dow. He got a bit of the ball but needs to improve on his disposal. He is a first year player so there’s plenty to like. Keep playing him in the ones and I’m confident he’ll just keep getting better. It’s not like there’s anyone knocking on the door in the twos to take his place.

            • April 8th 2018 @ 10:15am
              Steve009 said | April 8th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

              Dow will become a much better player than Kerridge and Graham, but in April 2018 they are better AFL players than Dow and Polson. That hopefully will have changed by the second half of the season.
              Liked the look of Cunningham and his a good example of a player who developed through the seconds rather than being gifted games because your a high draft pick.

              • April 8th 2018 @ 11:51am
                Macca said | April 8th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

                I am not fussed that they are better now, we are focused on the future, playing Dow now is better for that.

                On another point did you se Silvagni has been playing a bit as an onballer in the 2’s and was in the best yesterday ( although that doesn’t look hard ). Kerr also kicked 3.

              • April 8th 2018 @ 2:51pm
                Steve009 said | April 8th 2018 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

                Dow is part of our future whether he and Weitering play a few weeks in the 2’s or not. We’ve got the the young talent on the list to develop, we don’t need to play everyone of them this week.

                The amount of young. talent on the list is no longer a problem, what is becoming a larger problem at Carlton is the losing culture and the current acceptance of not just that, but the constant message to players that success is going to be there for them in the future.
                I don’t expect Carlton to win too many games this season, but I did expect them to compete to win. When challenged so far this season, most players at Carlton have wilted under that pressure. These bunch of players are being told how great their futures are going to be, while being fed all the excuses on why they aren’t expected to win in the here and now. And the coach is now even using the we are so young excuse (and then after using the excuse, say but we are not using the excuse).
                Carlton’s future will come, but you would think that they would have learnt from our last rebuild that success isn’t guaranteed from bringing a pile of high draft picks. Carlton needs to address it’s losing mentality and that starts at the selection table when they select a team that best enables Carlton to best compete on a week to week basis. The best 22 according to who we are playing that week. And at least for this month Kerridge is in that 22.
                And players that don’t compete at an expected level , despite their age or draft pick number don’t play in the firsts.

              • April 8th 2018 @ 3:03pm
                Steve009 said | April 8th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                Good to hear Silvagni is spending time in the middle. He needs it for himself to get into our 22 at the moment and even if it’s only for short stints it will help Carlton with their shortage of depth of midfielders. Uses space well and could be a valuable marking link player through the middle

              • April 8th 2018 @ 3:14pm
                Macca said | April 8th 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                Steve – my point with Dow is that he simply needs to adapt to the speed and quality of AFL, that is something that can’t be done at VFL.

                I thought he was better this week than he was in th opening two which shows he is learning.

            • April 8th 2018 @ 10:37am
              Steve009 said | April 8th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

              Dow will turn out ok whether he plays first or seconds. His a tremendous talent. First month or two in the seconds while he acclimatises to the club, adjusts to the requirements of being an afl player and and importantly learns what strategies Carlton is trying to implement as a team and his role in it. The latter would have have a positive effect on his disposal, if he had a better understanding of where his teammates are going to be and where the ball is supposed to go.
              If he is going to be a 10-12 year player anyway, why is Carlton throwing him in the deep end without preparing him first.
              At the top clubs players don’t come into the firsts until they are ready, but I guess they are trying to win games of football, not showcase the future to excite their members

              • April 9th 2018 @ 10:12am
                Tom M said | April 9th 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

                What members?

      • April 7th 2018 @ 10:24am
        The Original Buzz said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

        Have to agree Col, Polson, Lamb and Jones out, give the likes of Le Bois a run. Lobbe in for Jones once he is fit, at least he will try to mark the ball and make some decent decisions. I won’t watch anymore games with Jones playing.

        • April 7th 2018 @ 10:40am
          Ditto said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          Lobbe in for Jones? Matthew Lobbe? What?

        • April 7th 2018 @ 5:22pm
          Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

          Agree with polson and dow, I’d replace them with Kerridge and Graham on his last, last chance. Neither have a great upside, but they will contribute more than Dow and Polson can over the next 4 to 6 weeks. Hopefully Dow will be ready to make the step up in the second half of the season.
          Not sure on Lamb, he doesn’t do enough, but does well with an assignment. Give him one.
          And as forJones and Weitering, if Marchbank is injured they stay, but if Marchbank is back Weitering has to go with either MaCreadie (another tall I know) or hopefully the addition of extra midfielder in Lang if he’s ready to go.

      • April 7th 2018 @ 6:47pm
        Sammy said | April 7th 2018 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

        Someone said it on the commentary team but charlie curnow could be the next tom lynch (crows version). By that he could be a fantastic link player between defence and attack for carlton. He has a good engine and good skills

        • April 7th 2018 @ 6:59pm
          Macca said | April 7th 2018 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

          That is why I think the blues could play him, Casboult and McKay, Curnow wou did predominantly play ve y high and then he will be shelling around and delivering 50m passes to the 2 other talls.

          19 posessions, 8 marks and 3 goal scoring on average in the first 3 weeks is pretty handy.

          • April 7th 2018 @ 8:56pm
            PeteB said | April 7th 2018 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

            I’ve got much bigger expectations of Charlie than Lynch from the crows !!

    • April 7th 2018 @ 10:11am
      Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      Growth??? I’m growing sick of Brendon Bolton’s fake smile and the empty positive spin rhetoric he serves up after each losing performance.
      3 years at the club and i know his team is young, but they are also uncompetive. after a positive 3 quarters against Richmond they rolled over in the last quarter. 3 quarters of good footy is apparently enough for this team to get a pat on the back, job well done.
      They crumbled under gold coasts pressure. Rather than rising to the challenge, most of this ‘futures so bright I’ve gotta wear shades’ group of high draft picks wilted.
      And that 2nd quarter last night was the most gutless performance I have witnessed in a long time.
      Maybe Bolton needs to stop telling these players how great things are going to be as we keep growing, and start developing players who are competitors and are willing and wanting to do what it takes to win now.
      If he doesn’t, he will be out of a job and another coach will reap the benefits of his growth

    • April 7th 2018 @ 10:34am
      The Original Buzz said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

      Ricky Stuart at the Canberra Raiders called his team soft in the media and they responded. Maybe Bolts could try that.
      Steve, I think Jones should go before Wietering, his decision making and reading the play is atrocious.

      • April 7th 2018 @ 11:43am
        Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

        I think Jones has been reading to much of his own press. It’s good to see a player back themselves at times, but Jones has become become completely unacceptable for his direct opponent, which he was doing so well when he first joined the team as defender.
        Also how many times did we see his unrealistic cannon ball pack marking attempts just end up with the ball going over the top of pack and into an opponent’s hand’s goal side?

      • April 7th 2018 @ 12:02pm
        Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        But at least Jones can adjust his game and get back to what he did so well. Weitering on the other hand just hasn’t shown to be physically (or mentally) capable of being a key defender at AFL level. I think it would be better for him to go back to the VFL where the physical match ups are more in his favour and get back to learning how to win one on one marking contest’s. At the moment we are just gifting him games he doesn’t deserve. He’s an invisible forward and the blues don’t need a third floating tall intercept marking defender in our back line.
        I haven’t given up on Weitering becoming a great player, but I think it would be best for his long term development to spend some time in the two’s. He’s lost all confidence and continued poor performances at AFL level could destroy him as a player completely. Bring him back when he is ready (and hungry) to compete at AFL level.
        When does Alex Silvagni come back? He’s a better defender that both Jones and Weitering particularly at ground level, a weakness for the blue’s.

        • April 7th 2018 @ 12:44pm
          Mattyb said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

          Silvagni not playing today and there is some talk he could be re injured,Rowe playing though.
          The VFL game is being streamed on the Northern Blues Football Club channel on You Tube from 2pm EST for any blues fans interested.

          • April 7th 2018 @ 2:45pm
            Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

            They’ve got to get their bodies right, but Alex Silvagni and Sam Rowe in and Jones and Weitering out makes for a more reliable defense in my mind

        • April 7th 2018 @ 3:50pm
          PeteB said | April 7th 2018 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

          This is another problem. Our supposed depth players are not available when we need them. Where were our reserve ruckman when Kreuzer was out last week ? Both unavailable due to injury and lack of match fitness. A. Silvagni is probably one of the best backman on our list but he has rarely been available the last 2 years. If they can’t get fit to play than they should be delisted.

    • April 7th 2018 @ 10:52am
      Mattyb said | April 7th 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      Coaches press conferences are generally a waste of time but Boltons now take the cake,is he selling snake oil or does he generally have no idea.
      Why does he continue with the super tall backline while the team is so slow across the board?
      Who’s idea to pick Mullett and last week O’Shea? Why are they even on the list? Are Lang and Lobb going to be that bad when they get a game also?
      Who decided Dow and Polson were ready for senior football? Theyre not even close.
      What on earth have you done to Weiterering?
      Why does your game plan completely fall to pieces if one player simply gets injured? Are you capable of making adjustments at all?
      How long are Carlton fans supposed to wait? This is now your third year,Roos won 10 games in his third year at Melbourne.

      • April 7th 2018 @ 12:39pm
        Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        I think the reason Carlton play such a tall line up, and we are playing Dow and polson before they are ready stem from the same reason. In year one of the rebuild we targeted talls and we are playing them. The rebuild of the midfield is only into its second year and Carlton as a result have very little AFL ready midfield and small defender depth. SPS, Fisher and Williamson last year look good, but there is only 3 of them and they are only in their 2nd year and then add Dow (looked ready in the pre season) and Obrian from this draft who just aren’t ready yet.
        I like the young players SOS has brought in, but he cleared out most of the players that would be in their peak playing years now, and most of the older midfield/ half back recruits that he has brought in to date have proven to be below afl standard.
        Simply, with an eye on the future SOS has put together a list for 2018 that has too much of the load on Cripps, Murphy and E Curnow and is asking too much of a large a group of midfield players only in their first few years of footy.
        2020 should be awesome, but it’s unfortunately it’s 2018

      • April 7th 2018 @ 6:30pm
        Macca said | April 7th 2018 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

        I asked you this on another thread, with Docherty, Williamson & Byrne all injured who would you have in Mulletts spot? And who would you have recruited on kept on the list instead of them.

        • April 7th 2018 @ 7:32pm
          Steve009 said | April 7th 2018 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

          Zac Touhy was handy, and I know it could pay off long term, but trading him out makes us a worse team this season. As for who could have come in Lyon was there to be taken for a late draft pick, Ben Lennon, hartung we definitely should have worked harder to get Devon Smith. We did try for Rockliff. We made a big mistake during the trade period not getting the deal done for Tomlinson. And why didn’t at least try and convince Tom Mitchell to come to the blues, we had more salary cap room. Rockliff aside though Carlton hasn’t attempted to bring anyone of quality over 24 in.
          One of the things that GWS did so well where Gold Coast failed in was bringing in the right veterans to lead the youngsters.

          • April 7th 2018 @ 7:52pm
            Macca said | April 7th 2018 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

            Steve Lyons was gone last year p, there is a reason Lennon is a former AFL player and Hartung has question marks over his disposal (plus Bolton new him well so you have to ask why he didn’t want him)

            I don’t have an issue not taking too many over 24’s (although we have taken some) because unlike the expansion teams we did have some mature players already, I would prefer we take our medicine now and be a force for a decade or more than try short cuts.

            • April 7th 2018 @ 8:41pm
              PeteB said | April 7th 2018 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

              Yeah get what your saying Macca and we have quite a number of good youngsters. But going on what I’ve seen so far we are at least 3 more years away from finals and that relies on some good recruiting in the mean time. Missing out on both Devon Smith and Rockliff after losing Gibbs was not good. I think we needed at least one decent mature player from that trade period to keep the momentum going. Our depth is sadly lacking with so many players that need some time in the twos but we have no one to replace them.

              • April 7th 2018 @ 8:48pm
                Macca said | April 7th 2018 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

                Things change pretty quick and there is always this trade period, Lynch and Curnow would make a good pair! 😉

              • April 8th 2018 @ 3:32pm
                Steve009 said | April 8th 2018 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

                Just 2 decent mature midfielders would make a huge difference right now

            • April 8th 2018 @ 3:26pm
              Steve009 said | April 8th 2018 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

              I know when Lyons went and SOS was in charge then too. Those were just some obvious names off the top of my head.
              The focus should be on youth at the blues at the moment, but just 4 players on our list who are afl ready now, 24 – 29 years old, would have taken some pressure off the young players, the load on the few experienced leaders we have and help us compete a little more this year.
              And they they are players that only have to be a short term fix, 2-3 years, while the young players come through. ideally they are all playing in the reserves by the end of next year replaced by young players actually ready to play (contribute and compete) at AFL level.

    • Roar Guru

      April 7th 2018 @ 12:40pm
      DingoGray said | April 7th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

      Growing? Their player for the night was the oldest player on their list! That will do me! Second quarter was some of the most insipid football I’ve seen in a while.

      Collingwood are pretty bad too, but Carlton made them look brilliant tonight.

      Couple of takes from the game, Polson, Dow- no where near ready. And the PIes are completely wasting their time with Cox. He’s an a grade spud.

      One thing for Carlton to hang their hat on…. Charlie Curnow is a gun

      • Roar Guru

        April 8th 2018 @ 6:23pm
        Paul D said | April 8th 2018 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

        Agreed on all of that Dingo. I think Dow and Polson need more time too. I’m not sold on the idea of gifting spots to young talented draftees on the strength of it being for their future development – encourages the tanking attitude if spots aren’t being handed out on merit at the time they are assigned. The acceptance of playing an inferior team because we’ll be better in a few years because of it can’t help sides win.

        Fisher though – that is a different story, he looks the best of the young crop so far, geez he’s got some skills. Natural footballer in every sense.

        Cox just doesn’t have any football sense. He is tall. That is it. But you have to be more than just 2.1m to be successful at AFL. And he can’t jump to save himself, so his height is wasted anyway.

        I just could not believe the 2nd quarter at all. Carlton were doing well, Collingwood didn’t even look like kicking a goal – and then just blaaahhhhhh, I’m still scratching my head as to how it all happened. The commentators reckoned it was when Marchbank went off injured, but surely just his temporary absence is not the catalyst for 8 straight goals or whatever it was

        • April 9th 2018 @ 6:53am
          Steve009 said | April 9th 2018 @ 6:53am | ! Report

          Agreed with not gifting spots. Fisher along with Curnow and Cunningham were in and out of the 2’s in their first seasons and it hasn’t hurt their development. Compare their development to Weitering who seems to be guaranteed a spot regardless of his performance. I’m not anti Weitering, I just think he is a product of poor development by the Carlton football club. Not too late for him, but being beaten weak in week out at senior level has destroyed his confidence.
          Dow will probably work it out, but he didn’t look ready and certainly hasn’t contributed much to Carlton’s chances of winning in the first 3 rounds.

          • Roar Guru

            April 9th 2018 @ 9:52am
            Paul D said | April 9th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

            I reckon Bolton could be finished this year if this sort of thing goes on. Couple of things not in his favour.

            He doesn’t have a background in elite AFL. Never played at the highest level. Not many of those make a fist of it as head coaches. Currently the only other head coach apart from Bolton who never played AFL is Chris Fagan at the Lions, but his expertise lies in psychology and he’s old and experienced enough to show he’s got plenty of strings to his bow.

            Bolton is far younger, and far less experienced. Last coach I can remember who had that particular handicap was Brendan McCartney at the dogs. Bolton is on a similar trajectory at the moment.

            This is a coach too, who may well have been made to look better than he really was by dint of working at Hawthorn, the rolled gold premiership factory of the East. He coached Box Hill for a long time after coming from Tasmania, then sat at the feet of the master. Yeah, he won 5-0 when Clarko was off in 2014 with guillain-barre I think it was, but I also remember he very nearly crashed Clarko’s rolls Royce of a side against GWS first up, and that was 2014 GWS mind you, not 2018 GWS.

            Increasingly I’m thinking Carlton have got the right players, the right method of rebuild, but they’ve got the wrong coach for it. This rolling contract may well be a masterstroke. If this season is another dismal failure of a rebuilding type season, with wins you can count on one hand, I reckon Carlton would be eminently justified in giving him the boot and going to someone with a bit more mongrel to them

            • April 9th 2018 @ 9:56pm
              Steve009 said | April 9th 2018 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

              Bolton is doing a good of developing the young players, but it’s not often that the coach who is there at the start of the rebuild is still there when it is completed and reaps the benefits. Bolton will have to do something special to buck that trend.

    • April 7th 2018 @ 6:08pm
      Mattyb said | April 7th 2018 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

      If Carlton are building to a trifecta of wooden spoons they’re certainly on the right track.
      The AFLW side has already got the job done and the VFL side is off to a flyer.
      Collingwood 31.15.201 def Northern Blues 11.5.71,
      SOS is the master recruiter.

      • April 9th 2018 @ 10:22am
        Tom M said | April 9th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        SOS the savour. The mastermind behind GWS. Fact with that many cracks at it even a monkey could put together a decent side.

        • April 9th 2018 @ 7:22pm
          Steve009 said | April 9th 2018 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

          SOS in very little time has added a lot of talent to our list which we had none of when he arrived. What he hasn’t done is bring in in many players from other clubs that help us win now, Plowman, Marchbank and Wright the exception.
          But even from his first 2 drafts Curnow, Fisher and SOS are becoming more solid contributors and expect that we will add Cunningham’s name to that list by the second half of the season as well. That’s a lot quality acquisitions in such a short period of time. It is easy to forget how poor that Carlton list was just 2 and a bit years ago.

          • April 9th 2018 @ 9:58pm
            Steve009 said | April 9th 2018 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

            Correction: Auto correct turned SPS in his second year into Sos

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