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More pain ahead for winless Blues

By Michael Ramsey, Michael Ramsey is a Roar Guru


24 Have your say

    Beleaguered Carlton coach Brendon Bolton admits he’s unsure when the Blues will turn the corner after recording their worst ever start to an AFL season.

    The Blues on Friday night slumped to a 21-point defeat to the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, taking their record to 0-6.

    Big things were predicted for Carlton this year but in their 120-year VFL/AFL history, the Blues have never started a season so poorly.

    The 11.14 (80) to 8.11 (59) loss will be particularly tough to swallow for Blues fans given Carlton, for once, had experience on their side – they fielded 10 players above the age of 25 compared with just two for the Bulldogs.

    And the Blues’ tough five-week stretch leading up to their midyear bye suggests there’s unlikely to be respite any time soon.

    Carlton will travel to Adelaide next weekend to face the Crows before games against Essendon, Melbourne, Geelong and Sydney – none of which could be considered bankable victories.

    “Hopefully by the halfway mark, we have got a win or two,” Bolton said.

    “I’m not going to put a figure on it just now.”

    Bolton has consistently said that his rebuilding team’s youth and lack of experience is no excuse for performing poorly.

    But he was eager on Friday night to stress how much had changed during his time in charge.

    “Three years ago, when we started the rebuild, we were averaging about four guys from 18-21 years of age,” he said.

    “In the second year of this rebuild, it jumped to six. This year, it’s around nine or 10 guys.

    “So we’ve increased our talent through the draft but dropped significantly in age and experience, hence you’re seeing a little bit of what’s happening now.

    “But it is frustrating because we want to win.”

    Bolton said he was “really hopeful” the Blues would welcome back ruckman Matthew Kreuzer (groin) for the Crows clash, as well as swingman Jacob Weitering (thigh).

    © AAP 2018
    Rebuild announcement

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • April 28th 2018 @ 9:19am
      Mattyb said | April 28th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      Boltons press conferences are simply painful,he seems as clueless in front of the media as he does at the selection table and coaches box.
      It’s remarkably going beyond how irrelevant Carlton are in the AFL era,the club is now just an excuse riddled rabble,with standards that have sunk so low that they don’t even appear to any longer have standards.

      • May 1st 2018 @ 12:38pm
        The Original Buzz said | May 1st 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

        Not up to your usual standard, Mattyb, you didn’t use the word tragic and you didn’t have a shot at anyone other than the coach. Poor effort there, someone needs to lift their game.

        • May 1st 2018 @ 4:47pm
          Mattyb said | May 1st 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

          Shows where the clubs at when they have more interest in me than how poorly the club is travelling Buzz.

    • Roar Guru

      April 28th 2018 @ 9:32am
      Col from Brissie said | April 28th 2018 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      Hugely disappointing game from both sides but more so from the Blues. It’s hard to take any positives from a game like that but I love watching Cripps ply his trade and the improvement from Charlie Curnow and Zac Fisher. Of the other youngsters Paddy Dow is going to be good but there were no other positives for the Blues from last night.

      I don’t understand the continued selection of O’Shea over Cunningham who showed some good form in the early games and against a side that is not overly tall up forward is a much better option running off half back. Also if they continue with a forward line with McKay, Casboult and Curnow then there is no room for Silvagni. They need some speed there to provide forward pressure as the ball is coming out too easy once it hits the ground.

      I was optimistic when they picked up Kennedy to provide some inside assistance to Cripps but last night he looked as slow as me on my two bad knees. I don’t know if his ankle is the problem but he needs to step up over the next couple of games. Samo has plenty of skill but I think he is overthinking what to do with the ball too much. He stops and looks around to see who he can give it off to and invariably it leads to turnovers. I would be instructing him to just run forward and kick into the forward 50 even if it is to a contest.

      The Blues need some outside run and class to feed off the great work of Cripps and this must be their number one priority at the draft.

      • April 28th 2018 @ 10:17am
        Brinnx said | April 28th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        Agree Col, Silvangi tries his butt off but is a tad off the pace atm. I like the three tall’s in the forward line and think its worth a look for a few games but need to get some speed at their feet.

        O’Shea’s disposal is horrendous, 50/50 to hit a target even when he’s under no pressure.

        • April 28th 2018 @ 12:41pm
          Steve009 said | April 28th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

          Silvagni has become the fourth and unneeded marking option up forward. I like his game , smart player who showed a lot of defensive pressure last year. Just lost in this current set up. Probably needs to get back to seconds, keep building that tank and develop as a player that can rotate through as a midfielder as marking link type around the ground and another big midfielder at stoppages

    • April 28th 2018 @ 10:55am
      1der said | April 28th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      It is a long haul back for the Blues with their current list probably 2-3 years before the possibility of finals.

      The list contains 10 players who have played 80-150 games – Jones, Rowe, Mullett, O’Shea, Lobbe, Shaw, Casboult, Docherty, Curnow and Wright. Combined with the 150+ gamers in Murphy, Simpson, Kruezer and Thomas plenty needs to fall Carlton’s way with the GWS experiment, drafting and free agency.

      On a positive note they have some handy players in Curnow, McKay and Fisher to bank.

    • April 28th 2018 @ 12:35pm
      Steve009 said | April 28th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

      Just too many players who are having little to no impact on the game, particularly in the midfield. The defensive efforts of Dow, Kennedy and OBrien were appalling, and that comes down effort levels. Dow and O’Brien have plenty of leg speed, but unlike young players from other clubs who come in to teams full of energy to show they belong at the level, I see these two jogging at the side edge of my TV screen following the play or laying ineffective one arm attempt tackles. I’m probably being harsh on SPS , but he just completely disappears for periods of the game. That leaves us with solid midfield contributions from just 4 players, Cripps and Fishers incredible efforts and the less talented but hard working Ed Curnow, and Kerridge.
      Then add Silvagni, Mullet and O’Shea to the little to no contribution list at each end and Carlton are leaving far to much work to too few.
      In the bright side the McKay, Charlie Curnow, Casboult combination was a joy to watch. Now we need to put the right fast, high intensity crumbers at their feet to take further advantage.

      • May 1st 2018 @ 12:48pm
        The Original Buzz said | May 1st 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

        Unfortunately all those than can and will contribute to success are all out injured. I would like to see Kennedy step up a notch but in his defence, he has been injured.
        Ed Curnow is still flying under the radar and is our second best player after Cripps in my opinion. Fisher would have to be a close third. Kerridge has stepped up his game and played well last week, that was good to see.

    • April 28th 2018 @ 12:49pm
      Jack said | April 28th 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

      O shea is a shocker, where is poor Cunningham he looks great was taken with pick 19….

    • April 28th 2018 @ 2:30pm
      Lroy said | April 28th 2018 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

      Well, what would worry if me if I was a Carlton fan was Bolton talking up his teams performances after the Tigers and Eagles games. Tigers had 16 more scoring shots, Eagles 9. If Either of those teams kick accurately then they run up a cricket score against the Blues.

      You are really clutching at straws when you take the oppositions failure to put you away as a positive.

      • April 28th 2018 @ 4:22pm
        Steve009 said | April 28th 2018 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        In other words, even when we’ve been close on the scoreboard, we haven’t really been close in matching it with anyone this year.

      • May 1st 2018 @ 12:50pm
        The Original Buzz said | May 1st 2018 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

        I am glad I am not the only one who noticed that. One team will kick straight and the difference will become obvious. I am dreading Adelaide this week.