Carlton hype, good or bad: It’s fake news

Jump Ball Roar Pro

By Jump Ball, Jump Ball is a Roar Pro

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    There’s (actually) nothing to see here folks. The handwringing surrounding Carlton’s underwhelming start to the season belies the reality of a club nearing rock bottom courtesy of a long-overdue scorched earth policy.

    For the Blues are not undergoing any old rebuild, instead this is a cultural purge 15-odd years in the making.

    A club long renowned for wildly successful short termism is confronting the hitherto unthinkable, irrelevancy, and the football world – including many Blues fans – isn’t quite ready to accept it.

    Cue reports of unrest and doubts cast over young talent following the admittedly abject showing against the Pies. But this ignores Carlton’s unique predicament, that of a club effectively starting from relative scratch.

    No one needs reminding of the devastating fallout from the salary cap breach saga which engulfed the club in 2002.

    But what is oft-forgotten is the already wooden spoon-worthy state of Carlton’s list at the time of the sanctions, which represented a low-lying base camp for the ascent to come.

    Fans still wake in a collective cold sweat from nightmares induced by the harrowing Denis Pagan era that followed.

    Yet, even on its knees and bleeding, perhaps we should have guessed that this wily, old dealmaker would have had one last card to play.

    Enter Christopher Dylan Judd.

    Carlton's Chris Judd is tackled by Collingwood's Heath Shaw

    Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media

    Such was Judd’s pre-eminence in navy blue that Carlton’s flawed playing list was effectively masked and the loss of makeweight Josh Kennedy (along with precious draft picks) was long considered a necessary evil.

    This is not to downplay Judd’s sublime stay at Princes Park, which was seemingly comprised one long, individual highlights reel punctuated by four wildly entertaining finals forays.

    After all, those indulging in revisionist history in this regard – including Carlton fans – would do well to consider that the club and its supporters were at near breaking point prior to Judd’s arrival.

    Yet, the impact of the Judd trade outgoings are compounded when considered against the backdrop of Carlton’s top-end draft record since 2002, which is pockmarked with a combination of big-time fails (think the ‘lost drafts’ of 2009 to 2012 in particular) and relative disappointment.

    There is also the nagging question as to whether the Blues may have been less likely to pull the trigger on the ultimately costly Brock McLean and Robbie Warnock deals in the absence of their famous No.5.

    Certainly the hugely misguided Mick Malthouse experience – complete with the salary cap-munching Daisy Thomas acquisition – was symptomatic of a club in the grips of a delusion of grandeur, borne largely of its talisman’s greatness.

    Coach Mick Malthouse

    AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

    In any event, the 2015 departures of Malthouse and Judd, coupled with the arrival of Stephen Silvagni as list manager, marked Carlton’s long-awaited reality check.

    Since then, Carlton has begun the – it must be said, very un-Carlton like – process of jettisoning its veteran stocks and focusing on building patiently through the draft, something Brendon Bolton has been at pains to reaffirm of late.

    So much so that what remains is essentially a bunch of prospects that is gradually losing its veteran training wheels as it completes the last part of the descent to its very own base camp before the long climb ahead.

    Sure, there is the indomitable midfield bull, Patrick Cripps, and the can’t-miss Charlie Curnow. But there is also a huge amount of unknown currently cloaked in navy blue given the scale of this rebuild and the volume of water yet to pass under the bridge.

    Viewed through this lens, dramatic reactions from the football world to Carlton’s formline – which are admittedly inevitable for a ‘big four’ club that has long courted headlines and a young list representing a lightning rod for optimism and frustration in equal parts – are largely futile for the time being.

    That is, unless Carlton’s brains trust experiences a rush of old Blue blood to the head anytime soon.

    Getting hassled by a parent or partner about spending too much time playing video games? Now, you can tell them the story of how some ordinary gamers scored $225k for just seven weeks of work.

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    The Crowd Says (37)

    • April 11th 2018 @ 12:57pm
      Birdman said | April 11th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

      I’m really glad you put the Big Four in inverted commas.

      I think that ship has sailed for the Blues – replaced by my Hawks

      • April 11th 2018 @ 4:11pm
        Tom M said | April 11th 2018 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

        Its about time the blues were classified similar to the Bulldogs, North and St Kilda. Both Hawthorn and Melbourne have gone well past this sorry club.

        • April 11th 2018 @ 4:22pm
          NJR said | April 11th 2018 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

          Please Tom – Melbourne hasn’t won since the middle of last century – poor comment.

          • April 11th 2018 @ 5:05pm
            Tom M said | April 11th 2018 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

            Its not about winning. Melbourne has overtaken Carlton on the scale of biggest clubs to smallest

            • April 11th 2018 @ 5:22pm
              NJR said | April 11th 2018 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

              It’s not even close to true Tom.

              • April 11th 2018 @ 5:59pm
                Mattyb said | April 11th 2018 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

                NJR,I think Toms points are spot on the money.
                Carltons rapidly declining membership is not only making them fall well behind the big VFL clubs but they are rapidly sinking awfully close to the smaller VFL clubs as the members have left in droves.
                I positively mentioned before last season that the Carlton board had made this a priority and I think this decision is excellent.
                Unfortunately timing is often everything,and Carltons continual demise is running parallel with Melbournes rise.
                I seriously think there are 4 to many clubs in Melbourne,North,Saints and dogs are the obvious candidates but I seriously fear for the future of Carlton.
                By the way I’m a doggies fan,so this comment is in no way biased,it’s just the harsh reality as we move beyond the VFL.

              • April 11th 2018 @ 8:30pm
                NJR said | April 11th 2018 @ 8:30pm | ! Report

                Hahaha! Imagine the AFL without Carlton. Maybe the doggies can take Carlton’s spot against the Pies.

                Yeah nah

              • April 12th 2018 @ 8:57am
                Reservoir Animal said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

                I think the fairest comparison is this: In 1984 Carlton under John Elliott tried to start a breakaway competition. They invited all the next-most-powerful VFL clubs to Mt Macedon for a meeting on how it would work.

                If there was a breakaway comp now, I’m not sure Carlton would be invited to join.

              • April 12th 2018 @ 9:09am
                Macca said | April 12th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

                In 2017 Carlton had 8k more members than the demons (19% more) and averaged 2k more attendee’s per game despite the blues being bottom 4 and Melbourne pushing for finals so hard to argue Melbourne is the bigger club.

                “but I seriously fear for the future of Carlton.” Why fear for a club that is making a profit, dramatically decreasing debt and increasing its membership?

              • Roar Guru

                April 12th 2018 @ 9:28am
                Col from Brissie said | April 12th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

                “Carltons rapidly declining membership” another false statement from Matthew. Carltons membership increased in 2016 and 2017 and this year’s tally is ahead of last year’s at this time of the season.

                Matthew if you are going to make statements make sure they are factual.

            • April 11th 2018 @ 5:59pm
              Blanecoach said | April 11th 2018 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

              Tom M is right NJR. Winning isn’t everything. But, arguably, winning in the last 50 years is important if you want to declare yourself a big club.

              IMO the only way in which the demons are big is by underachieving. They, with the Saints, are the very definition of losers.

              • April 11th 2018 @ 6:15pm
                DNS said | April 11th 2018 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

                Think Tom M has made some astute comments. If Melbourne hasn’t overtaken Carlton yet, surely it will soon.

                Let’s hope the AFL wakes up soon and stops scheduling Carlton on Friday nights. Their attempt to prop up a former powerhouse will turn viewers away

              • April 11th 2018 @ 6:21pm
                Blanecoach said | April 11th 2018 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

                Carlton had larger overall attendance at games than Melbourne in 2016 and 2017. Years when Carlton was sitting rock bottom and the Dees were supposedly a finals superpower in the making. Enough said.

              • April 11th 2018 @ 6:47pm
                Santa’s Sack is Full said | April 11th 2018 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

                DNS is such a classic Demons supporter.

            • April 11th 2018 @ 6:12pm
              Blanecoach said | April 11th 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

              Also effing hilarious how he casually drops his demons in a group with hawthorn. Why not, I guess. They’ve won four premierships between them in the last ten years.

    • April 11th 2018 @ 2:05pm
      Kris said | April 11th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

      For all the talk of being rebuilt through the draft it looks like the same old Carlton to me.

      E.Curnow, Jones, Mullett, Lamb, Wright, Garlett, Fisher, Polson, Cunningham are C graders at best. Simpson, Murphy, Kruezer, Thomas are all approaching retirement and still in the best-6 players. Even Casboult is 28 and probably only got 2 years left.

      This team built through the draft seems to consist almost entirely of Cripps, Weitering and C.Curnow with hopefully SPS and Dow joining them. Then fingers crossed that Plowman, Kennedy and Marchbank are somehow not VFL standard players.

      • April 11th 2018 @ 4:33pm
        NJR said | April 11th 2018 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

        Kris, really uninformed comment from you too. Strongly disagree re: Fisher, Cunningham, Garlett and potentially Polson. The club has experimented with some mature age recruits and there have been hits and misses. They didn’t pay anything for Lamb, Wright, Mullett, Curnow.. these are free options and will likely be moved on sooner or later. However, through this period they are building a formidable list which, requires patience until they reach a mature age.

        2022 team:
        FB: Plowman, Weitering, TBC
        HB: Docherty, Marchbank, Williamson
        C: Cunningham, Cripps, Fisher
        HF: Garlett, Curnow, SPS
        F: Pickett, McKay (?), TBC
        Foll: De Koning, Kennedy, Dow

        Others: O’Brien, Byrne, Schumaker, Polson, Lang, Kerr

        Perhaps not all of these players will work out, but it doesn’t need to with future draft picks to come – on this basis you’d struggle to name another club better prepared for the medium term than the above?

        • April 11th 2018 @ 5:18pm
          DNS said | April 11th 2018 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

          Looks a formidable line up NJR….

        • April 11th 2018 @ 11:16pm
          Sammy said | April 11th 2018 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

          Bit harsh on matty wright..the fella can play

        • April 12th 2018 @ 4:37pm
          1der said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

          Fremantle’s current list is 2 years ahead of Carlton with finals opening up in 2019 and the premiership window possibly wide open 2020 – 2022.

          Cannot understand the recruiting of Carlton with regard to GWS surplus and depth players.

        • April 14th 2018 @ 8:28pm
          DNS said | April 14th 2018 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

          Can you show us the 2032 team NJR?

      • April 11th 2018 @ 4:57pm
        Mattyb said | April 11th 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

        Pretty good comments there Kris.
        I’d probably move Marchbank up from the fingers crossed category though,he seems pretty solid,and I think with Weiterings lack of pace and dislike for body contact he is rapidly descending into the fingers crossed category.

        • April 13th 2018 @ 8:33am
          Davo said | April 13th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

          Marchbank has been very good…hasn’t played a bad game yet. His had no support from Jones and Marchbank.
          He has the potential to be an A grader.

      • April 12th 2018 @ 9:19am
        Macca said | April 12th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        Kris – not sure you watch to many games with those classifications, Fisher has been fantastic in just his second year, Cuningham has been solid in his 2 games this year and needs a good run with injury, Wright has been a great pick up while Plowman and Marchbank have already shown they are AFL quality.

        • April 15th 2018 @ 6:43am
          Kris said | April 15th 2018 @ 6:43am | ! Report

          All 4 of your goals were excellent.

          • April 16th 2018 @ 8:50am
            Macca said | April 16th 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

            2 of them were kicked by one of you C graders, another of your c graders is currently averaging just under 30 possession, 7 tackles and 6 clearances for the 2018 season, a third had 15 touches 3 tackles and a goal playing largely out of a forward pocket while Fisher and Cuningham were solid – so the original point still stands.

    • April 11th 2018 @ 2:34pm
      johnthesadblue said | April 11th 2018 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

      Jump Ball. A good article capturing the Blues current ( and dare I hope “medium” term) predicament. I had the same conversation with another blues die hard (my brother) this morning.

    • April 11th 2018 @ 8:36pm
      Jack said | April 11th 2018 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

      A bit dramatic … blues have the best under 21 list in the comp as they have smashed the draft 3 years in the drop and we will have another high pick this year.

      Realistically we are a rebuilding team who lost our best two players in dockerty and Gibbs from last year.
      The reality is this year was always going to be pumping games into kids.
      Apparently O’Brien (our other top 10 draft pick with Dow) was extremely impressive in the twos.
      Harry McKay was very impressive in the twos.
      Silvagni was impressive in the twos.

      We have Pickett injured.

      I think we may like get a spoon this year and perhaps pies smashed us but in a few years when these boys all start hitting 22/23 and Cripps and dockerty are co captains we will be a big power player
      .
      I think 2020 will be our come back year

      • April 11th 2018 @ 9:28pm
        Mattyb said | April 11th 2018 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

        Jack,Silvagni did have a decent first half and I imagine he will be recalled to the seniors.
        O’Brian was terrible and McKay simply horrid.
        Did you see the game at all?Carlton got anialiated by 20 goals,20 goal defeats generally have very few positives. Your club has massive problems,and is rapidly going backwards.
        And what on earth has Pickett ever done?

        • April 11th 2018 @ 10:47pm
          Mattyb said | April 11th 2018 @ 10:47pm | ! Report

          I had to look it up.
          Jarrod Pickett career average….
          5.6 kicks,3.5 handballs,surely your not hanging your hat on that?

          • April 12th 2018 @ 8:41am
            Santa’s Sack is Full said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

            I actually think it’s justified that we listen to Mattyb and Tom M’s thoughts on underachieving. They appear to have grown up surrounded by it and would therefore be considered the experts in this field.

          • April 12th 2018 @ 9:23am
            Macca said | April 12th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

            “5.6 kicks,3.5 handballs,surely your not hanging your hat on that?” Young small forward doesn’t average high stats early in injury interrupted career – who would have thought.

            Team gets beaten by 20 goals – young tall forward doesn’t dominate – another shocker.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 9:36am
      Macca said | April 12th 2018 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      This is actually a really good article that looking at the comments below most have completely missed the point of.

      “Viewed through this lens, dramatic reactions from the football world to Carlton’s formline – which are admittedly inevitable for a ‘big four’ club that has long courted headlines and a young list representing a lightning rod for optimism and frustration in equal parts – are largely futile for the time being.”

      And yet there are so many “dramatic reactions” in the comment section.

      ” Carlton has begun the – it must be said, very un-Carlton like – process of jettisoning its veteran stocks and focusing on building patiently through the draft, something Brendon Bolton has been at pains to reaffirm of late.” Supporters just need to continue to be patient and back in the process, the naysayers can suit themselves.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 12th 2018 @ 10:12am
        Pedro The Fisherman said | April 12th 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        Carlton in the Big 4? Bahahahaha. Now that is funny!

        • April 12th 2018 @ 3:49pm
          DNS said | April 12th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

          I actually admire the blind optimism of Carlton supporters.. Particularly those that grew up in the Kouta era – they can’t quite move on.

          And all very defensive re Melbourne being bigger club….

          I hope those Carlton supporters (continue) to go to games throughout the year despite likely poor performances

          • April 12th 2018 @ 4:18pm
            Macca said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

            Is correcting a blatant error being defensive?

            Right now 4th placed Melbourne have just over 40k members, last placed Carlton have almost 50k. 50k is 25% bigger than 40k.

    • April 13th 2018 @ 11:08am
      Harsh Truth Harry said | April 13th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

      Carlton WERE a good footy club back in the 80’s, snagged a flag in 95 and have fallen away since. They are a hollow shell. Their final shot at it was the optimistic 5 year Blueprint rebuild with the smiling assasin Michael Bolton and SOS leading the sales pitch. Good salesman maybe but guess what blokes? They cant close the deal and in the harsh world of big Harry business, that sees you out the door! This latest shattered rebuild though was significant as it was their last shot at it. Now, they are destined for the scrap heap unless they think laterally, maybe a merge with North and the Saints? Call them the Carlton Kangaroos and play in a saints jumper? Otherwise fellas Gilligan wil be sending you off to the VFL for good. Toot Toot!

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