Nine hot takes from AFL Round 9

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    Upsets, breakthroughs, bags of goals, and a top-of-the-table clash – Round 9 had it all. Here’s my hot takes from the weekend.

    The West, better than the rest
    It’s amazing to think that at the start of the season I was looking at the West Coast Eagles for a possible bottom-four finish – instead here we are nine rounds in, they’re 8-1 and on top of the ladder.

    Their Round 1 loss to Sydney was a more competitive performance than was widely expected from them at the time – I put it down to home ground advantage being a big deal in the first week, but it was more than that.

    They’ve won eight straight games since then and for the most part they have done so in dominant fashion, culminating in what was ultimately a comfortable victory over their closest rivals and the reigning premiers on Sunday.

    This match was billed as a must-see, and that it was, but in the end it wasn’t so much the close contest we were expecting. In fact it was an genuine shellacking.

    If you ask why it is that West Coast have improved this year, it’s a simple answer: everything. The most dynamic ruckman in the game is back, their ball movement out of defense and through the middle is scintillating, and their forward line has found form across the board.

    They’ve got their best midfielder Luke Shuey to come back into this side, too, by the way.

    This is a team that I have twice tipped to win the flag in the last six years (in 2013 and last year in 2017), but right now it looks like they might be taking their strongest shot at it in the year I least expected them to.

    They’ve answered every question asked of them except one. It’s a question that will get asked of every interstate team to be in premiership contention until at least the year 2058. When push comes to shove, can they win on the MCG?

    A win like this should open up questions again over where is the right place to play the grand final in the event that the highest qualifying team is not Victorian. It may not have the same capacity, but Optus Stadium doesn’t seem unfit. Unfortunately, those who ask those questions will find they fall on deaf ears.

    The Eagles play only one more regular-season game at the MCG all year – against Collingwood in Round 17 – so chances are we’ll head into a finals campaign still with that hanging over their heads.

    The team they beat today could well be the team they find themselves coming up against in the grand final if the cards fall that way – certainly they’ve been the best two teams of the year so far.

    Unlike the Eagles, Richmond do seem to have a much clearer illustration of just how good they are playing interstate – they’re 100 per cent in Victoria this year, 0 per cent when not. But also unlike West Coast, it’s probably not something they have to worry about.

    If they can hold on to a top-two spot – by no means guaranteed, but certainly likely – then they’ll have the opportunity to win back-to-back premierships without ever needing to leave the MCG.

    Of course, slip out of the top two and there could be real trouble – especially given their results interstate so far in 2018.

    But let’s not get too deep into all the possible permutations of finals just yet. Especially not you, Eagles fans. Enjoy the hell out of this win. It will build so much confidence and positive momentum among the team – and if you have that, anything can happen.

    Jack Darling

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    Finally, Brisbane get the breakthrough they deserve
    It was billed as the battle of Luke Hodge versus his old mates, but in the end the veteran played second fiddle to the emerging young talent of the Brisbane Lions as they finally notched their big breakthrough.

    Charlie Cameron continued to catch the eye as he has done all season. I thought pick 12 for him was overpaying when Brisbane made the deal, but I’m eating my words now. He brings the forward line together, puts bums on seats, and is in the conversation for recruit of the year.

    Eric Hipwood continues to be probably my favourite young player in the competition. You might remember I picked him as the AFL’s No.1 player in 2025 when I was musing this preseason – and I stand by it. Four goals was big, and he will only get better.

    Cam Rayner may not have dominated the contest but he chimed in for two very handy goals. Tom Cutler did dominate – 27 touches, three goals. Alex Witherden had another strong one with 24 touches. 28-year-old Matt Eagles kicked his first AFL goal. What a day it was.

    It’s a win that Brisbane sorely deserved and one that has been a long time coming. Fans have surely been frustrated by an 0-8 start to the season, but such a clinical and comprehensive victory against a side usually on the other end of those must surely restore a lot of faith.

    It could even spark something of a winning run. Sydney at the Gabba next week is a big challenge again, but gettable, and then they have North (in Victoria) and Essendon (back at home) before the bye.

    It took them nine weeks to pick up their first win of season 2018, but it won’t take that long again to find their second.

    Cam Rayner

    (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

    Job well Don, now do it again
    I tipped the Cats on Saturday so I can’t pretend to be Nostradamus, but I wasn’t too shocked to see Essendon start the match on fire.

    It was clear that a run of bad form culminating in a truly inept performance against Carlton last week had seen their frustrations reach boiling point.

    The sacking of Mark Neeld during the week looks to have been cathartic for the club and if the rumours about how the coaching team was managing things are true it’s hard to believe the status quo went on as long as it did.

    The old adage that things are rarely either as bad or as good as they seem rings true here – Essendon are not the incompetents we saw lose to Carlton, and probably also not the powerhouse we saw slaughter Geelong.

    More than anything else the win was built off the back of a radically increased effort level.

    Essendon had the ball in their hands for a full sixteen more minutes than Geelong on Saturday but also managed to lay 91 tackles across the length of the match compared to just 68 from their opponents.

    That saw them join a very select group of clubs who’ve had a match this year where they lay more than two tackles per minute of opposition possession – and you simply do not lose games of footy when you do that.

    The problem is it’s not especially sustainable. Hawthorn did it earlier this year in a game where they murdered Melbourne and won big, but then played out a woefully low-intensity loss against North the very next week.

    This win will shut up critics for the time being and rightly so, but Essendon can’t realistically hope to tackle their opponents to death like this every week – they’ll run themselves ragged if they do.

    A statement game is all well and good so long as it is backed up with genuine, lasting improvement – and with GWS and Richmond to follow in the next fortnight, we’ll quickly find out whether or not the Dons can deliver.

    Jordan Ridley

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    McDonald, Viney returns have Melbourne ready for bigger fish
    A run of four straight matches against relatively uncompetitive sides couldn’t have come at a better time for the Melbourne Demons, who put an exclamation mark on a month of good form by thrashing Carlton at the MCG on Sunday.

    After a somewhat shaky start to season 2018, Melbourne have comfortably bettered Essendon, St Kilda, Gold Coast and now the Blues in their last four weeks of footy, and not only has it allowed them to work themselves into form, but it’s given some key players the chance to return and make an impact.

    Tom McDonald has been the big story. Since coming back for the game against Essendon he has kicked 13 goals in four matches, a pace that would have him in contention for the Coleman medal if he’d been playing all year.

    His status as a free agent has barely been talked about so far this year – out of sight, out of mind I guess – but Melbourne would want to sign him up very soon. Tall players who can play excellent footy at either end are hard to find.

    The Dees’ other big absentee during the season though has been co-captain Jack Viney, who played his first game of the year today for a quiet but encouraging return of twelve possessions and a goal.

    The end result is that Melbourne are well entrenched in the top eight – amazingly, they’re somehow third overall – and have plenty of positive momentum.

    Next week offers them a golden opportunity to talk a real scalp against an injury-hit Adelaide side in the Northern Territory (Jake Lever will certainly be hoping so).

    Belief will continue to build if they can pull that off. The top-four berth I predicted for them at the start of the year isn’t off the cards yet.

    Tom McDonald

    (Photo by Michael Dodge/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    De Goey puts on de showy
    It’s a credit to how impressive Jordan De Goey’s form since he returned from his injury/suspension has been that any questions over his commitment to being an AFL player have very quickly dried up.

    He kicked six goals on Saturday night and has now kicked twelve in the past three weeks, proving to be a valuable part of a depleted forward setup at the Pies.

    This is a Collingwood forward line that was missing Darcy Moore this week (and playing him in defence when they did have him), and has gotten a grand total of 31 minutes of footy out of Alex Fasolo and Jamie Elliott his year.

    In past seasons Collingwood have sometimes just let crisis be crisis and made excuses for not performing, instead now it has lead to innovation and they’ve seen bags of goals kicked from unexpected places more than once in 2018 – and have a 5-4 record as a result.

    Although Collingwood still find themselves outside the eight at the end of this round, it’d be hard to argue they haven’t improved as a side.

    Whether or not that proves to be a longterm move in the upward direction may ultimately have a lot to do with whether or not they can retain two of the brightest young stars, De Goey being one of them.

    I ran this poll on Twitter during the week, curious to get a popular opinion on whether or not the Pies will successfully re-sign De Goey and Moore.

    Clearly the voters on Twitter are no more certain about it than I am.

    We know Sydney is keen on Moore and St Kilda on De Goey, and you’d expect plenty of other clubs are willing to throw their hats in the ring for either if they appear to be genuinely on the market.

    We also know Collingwood have a strong interest in Tom J Lynch, though most rumours suggest they’re a few steps behind Richmond or Hawthorn in that particular race.

    It’s a delicate balancing situation because the Pies will have to make good offers to rising talent in order to keep them from considering other options – can they afford to do that while also pursuing a big fish like Lynch? Can they afford not to?

    Personally I’m pretty sceptical that any side will have much luck tempting De Goey away, and the same probably goes for Moore also, but watch this space.

    Jordan De Goey

    (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    Dangerwoodblett drops to a 1-3
    Speaking as someone who tipped Geelong to win this year’s premiership at least partially on the basis of just how good their superstar midfield could be, Saturday’s game was the kind that makes you want to tear your hair out.

    (Evidently this is a process that Gary Ablett has already gone through.)

    We’ve been able to excuse a poor performance or two from the Cats along the way this season due to an unkind slate of injuries that has seen all of Ablett, Patrick Dangerfield, Harry Taylor and Lachie Henderson miss games.

    However they had just about all the key pieces of their side in place this week, and still played abysmal football – it’s just not good enough.

    Dangerfield and Joel Selwood both put in strong efforts, Ablett was the odd man out. He had 17 touches but only eight kicks, and laid only a single tackle for the day.

    The Cats now have a record of one win, three losses in games where all three players are in the side.

    Geelong find themselves just barely in eight this week on percentage, and have a reasonable 5-4 record for the year – but many of their wins have come on the back not of their stars firing, but lesser-known players stepping up.

    The big story of this season for them should be the dominant unbeatability of Dangerwoodblett, instead it’s the surprising rise and potential All Australian selection of Tom Stewart.

    With all due respect to Stewart, that’s not what we want to talk about when we’re talking about the Cats this year.

    Geelong, you’ve got too much talent to be playing rotten footy. Stop it. I want to see magic happen.

    Dangerwoodblett

    (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    North Melbourne are a finals threat
    When we put it to a vote at the start of the year asking The Roar readers to predict the 2018 AFL ladder, nearly three-quarters of all voters tipped North Melbourne to win the wooden spoon.

    This might sound like the beginning of an ‘I told you so’ take, but it really can’t be, because I didn’t rate them much higher, predicting a finish in 17th.

    Instead, nine games into the year, North Melbourne are in the top eight and look like a serious chance of still being there when the season comes to an end.

    Are the ‘Roos one of the best eight teams in the AFL? You could debate that, but a soft fixture thanks to last year’s bottom-four finish means they might not have to be.

    In what’s left of the season North play Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs twice, along with Fremantle, Geelong, Essendon, Gold Coast, Sydney, Collingwood, West Coast, Adelaide and St Kilda.

    North only needs seven more wins this year to make finals likely, eight to make them certain. There’s probably at least six ‘gimme’ wins left in that fixture and plenty of others where the Roos will be a strong chance.

    What we’ve seen from North this year is that while they may not be the most talented team in the league, they are arguably the most consistent – you know every week they are going to produce a good effort, if not a winning one.

    One or two injuries could derail their season pretty quickly but they’ve had a golden run in the medical room so far this year. If that luck holds, chances are this side will be playing in September.

    Jack Ziebell

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    Shanghai needs something spicier than Port versus the Suns
    I’m not one hundred per cent against the idea of putting AFL games in front of an international audience, even though I can think of several good reasons to be.

    Watching the gripes and dramas of rugby union and football in Australia is more than enough to turn a person off ever wanting to see Australia’s native code become an international phenomenon.

    Right now the vast majority of Australians have a chance to go see the world’s very best Aussie rules players live in action on a weekly basis without having to travel too far at all.

    Rugby and football fans will never be able to same and Aussie rules fans would meet the same fate if the game was ever to trully ‘take off’ on the world stage.

    Perhaps more pertinent is an argument from the perspective of resource allocation – yes, international games are all well and good, but surely clubs’ time and money could be better spent elsewhere.

    As said, I’m still not entirely against it, because I like the idea that over in Shanghai, people who might otherwise never encounter the game are getting the chance to fall in love with our brand of football.

    Fat chance of that though when they get sent a fixture like Port Adelaide versus Gold Coast. Poor weather is just bad luck, although it probably wouldn’t have made the game any more competitive.

    This is the essential issue with playing a game overseas – you either schedule an uninteresting fixture, which is therefore unlikely to entertain a foreign audience, or you set up a blockbuster, and in doing so deny passionate fans in the game’s heartland the chance to see it live without spending thousands.

    There seems to be a bit of doubt going around that Gold Coast will put their hands up for the journey again next year and given that Port are unwilling to sacrifice one of their own home games to make it happen, that might be the end of the Shanghai experiment.

    I doubt anyone will miss it too much (except David Koch of course), but here’s hoping that if it does go ahead again, Shanghai is treated to something a bit more watchable.

    Gold Coast Suns

    (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Time for a Friday night double feature
    Friday night footy has been pretty hit-and-miss so far in 2018. One week you’ll have a thriller like Sydney versus Hawthorn, the next a wet slog like Adelaide against the Bulldogs.

    Certainly the AFL has shot themselves in the foot at times with this year’s fixture – the fact that Carlton have had two Friday night matches already, with more to come, continues to be a head-scratcher.

    It’s easy to criticise though. Unpredictability is what makes footy great, but it’s also what makes it really difficult to decide which matches are and are not deserving of blockbuster billing.

    Case in point, you would’ve thought this week’s Friday match – played between two sides who have both played in grand finals in the last two years – would have as good a chance of being a thriller as any.

    The match saw a nice little milestone for and good performance by Eddie Betts, but on the whole isn’t going to get too many flashback Friday replays in years to come.

    So what’s the answer? I’ve seen some suggest that the ‘floating’ fixture currently used for the final round of each season could be brought into effect over a larger portion of the year.

    It’s an idea that has some merit, but risks alienating a large portion of the AFL fanbase who need to know well in advance when their team is going to play if they’re going to attend games.

    Speaking as a North Melbourne fan living in Sydney, I’ve been glad to know well in advance this year that the club will play a game on my birthday and I can plan a trip around that.

    Instead, I reckon the closest we can come to a solution is simply to play two games on Friday night instead of one.

    The simplest thing to do would simply be the schedule two games on Friday night starting at the same time, but possibly some fiddly fun could be had with a late-starting game in Perth especially before daylight savings ends.

    There’s always going to be an element of luck in terms of picking a good game to fixture on Friday night but odds are if you have two then at least one of them will probably be watchable.

    Eddie Betts tall

    (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

    Quick and nasty
    – Lance Franklin coming back and looking in good nick means the Coleman Medal race is well and truly alive. He’s ten goals behind Ben Brown right now, but that’s not big deal for Buddy – he could close that gap in a single match. And of course Jack Darling, amazingly, is firmly in the mix.

    – Devon Smith continues to do all the little things right and is having a really good first season for the Bombers. If things keeping going this way I reckon he’ll be the proud owner of a Crichton medal by the end of the year.

    – St Kilda have now played eight games in a row without managing to kick more than ten goals in any single one of them… and they have Richmond and West Coast, the best two teams in the competition, to follow in the next fortnight. Eek.

    – It’s a sign of what high regard Kevin Sheedy is held in that he could suggest playing a ‘Country game’ in the city and people would actually go ahead with the idea. Take the country game to the country, or don’t call it that.

    – I’ve been a North fan long enough that the idea of Jack Ziebell challenging a ban at the Tribunal filled me foreboding despair, but what a good call it turned out to be by the club. Not only did he get off, but it seemed to spark him back into form after a quiet couple of weeks.

    – Fremantle’s average result at Optus Stadium this year is a four-goal win, and their average result in games away from there is a nine-goal loss. The quirks of the fixture probably make it seem like a bigger gap than it really is, but that’s huge.

    – 78 games into the season before we had our first 100-point margin. Not sure we’ve lasted longer in any recent season than we did in 2018? Sadly for Carlton it was a pretty quick end to the high spirits of getting their first win last week.

    – Seems to be a controversial opinion but I actually rather like Melbourne’s clash jumper. Certainly better than a predominantly white-based one.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

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

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    The Crowd Says (190)

    • Roar Rookie

      May 20th 2018 @ 7:24pm
      Mattician6x6 said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

      😀 funnier Josh is ppl were saying freo would finish higher. Great win wce, lids slowly simmering will wait till it comes off completely.

      • May 20th 2018 @ 8:53pm
        Kangajets said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

        Freo are awful

        Great win by the eagles today

        • May 21st 2018 @ 12:02am
          Don Freo said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:02am | ! Report

          You don’t leave yourself much wriggle room when Freo take down the Kangas next week.

          • May 21st 2018 @ 7:29am
            Kangajets said | May 21st 2018 @ 7:29am | ! Report

            Don

            Ahh yes you are correct , should be a decent game next week 👍🏼

      • May 20th 2018 @ 11:47pm
        13th Man said | May 20th 2018 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

        Yep I’ll put my hand up, I tipped Freo to finish higher but sadly that will not be the case.
        West Coast look hungry, rejuvenated and skillful.
        Darling has taken his game to another level. You have an embarrassment of riches in the key position department and I’m a little bit jealous.
        Seriously though I went to the game today and they were as good as I’ve seen a team play for years. They are definitely the real deal and I think if they can find a way to bring that same intensity in Melbourne they’ll be very hard to beat anywhere.

      • Editor

        May 21st 2018 @ 11:26am
        Josh Elliott said | May 21st 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        What kind of foolish person would suggest that Freo would play finals and West Coast wouldn’t? Only a madman.

    • May 20th 2018 @ 7:24pm
      JB said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

      Bit harsh on Friday night’s game considering the weather

      • May 20th 2018 @ 8:55pm
        Kangajets said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

        So many bad Friday night games .

        . the Nrl does the double header and it works well if one game is a bust .

        • May 21st 2018 @ 12:03am
          Don Freo said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:03am | ! Report

          NRL best product doesn’t hold a candle to AFL’s worst product. No lessons to be learned from NRL.

        • May 21st 2018 @ 12:46am
          Andy og said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:46am | ! Report

          No they don’t. Stopped doing that a couple of years ago. They now play every Thursday. All NRL games are shown in isolation

      • Editor

        May 21st 2018 @ 11:27am
        Josh Elliott said | May 21st 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

        It was bad luck. But bad luck is less likely to get you if you’ve got multiple options.

    • May 20th 2018 @ 7:34pm
      Kk said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

      You’re right, one or two injuries can derail your season. North deserved to win against GWS but they are missing their two most damaging players in Greene and Kelly as well a distinct lack of speed without Scully, Williams and a few others. Davis no doubt would have got the lockdown role on Brown or Waite so unless GWS get back some key players soon they’re going to be cooked for the season.

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2018 @ 10:28pm
        JamesH said | May 20th 2018 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

        I tipped GWS for the flag, too… Here’s hoping Essendon can pile on some more pain next week!

        Josh, a couple of observations on your observations:

        1. Melbourne’s clash strip is retro and amazing. Best one in the comp. What they lack in post-1964 premierships they make up for in style – first their tasteful new(ish) logo and now their guernsey.

        2. Putting the country game in the country would actually be counter-intuitive. The concept is about bringing the country to the city and putting our farmers on a pedestal. Sending the game out to the sticks in front of a small crowd would just be taking the country to the country.

        3. I agree that we’re unlikely to see many more games in China. The Hobart Suns certainly won’t be interested in continuing the Shanghai experiment. Might have to change their name though – maybe the Hobart Crisp, Clear Mornings?

        4. Adding to the list of young players who stepped up on the weekend: how about Jordan Ridley? Kid can play.

        • May 21st 2018 @ 1:09am
          Aransan said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:09am | ! Report

          At 192cm and a birthday of 20.10.98 I thought Jordan Ridley would have needed further development before being promoted to the AFL. Could he get a rising star nomination out of his first game? He has tremendous upside and may develop into a midfielder.

          • Roar Guru

            May 21st 2018 @ 8:58am
            JamesH said | May 21st 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

            I think he’s made to play that third tall role across half back, intercepting and setting up attacks. He’s relatively tall, has good pace, great hands and reads the play well. Should be a great option to take the baton from Hurley.

            • May 21st 2018 @ 10:28am
              Aransan said | May 21st 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

              Half back flank is a good place for future midfielders to start their careers. The bodies of most 18 and 19y.o.s aren’t ready for AFL games, young players with sufficient talent can get around this to some extent by playing in less physically demanding positions. Even then they may need to be rested every three or so games. Can Essendon play all of Parish, McGrath, Ridley, Begley (out this year now due to an ACL), Mutch, Clarke, Guelfi every week? They will need to be rotated. The belief is that Ridley will develop into a midfielder.

        • Editor

          May 21st 2018 @ 11:35am
          Josh Elliott said | May 21st 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

          You’re a man of good fashionable taste James.

          A reasonable point to make on the country game but I imagine country people would still prefer a game fixtured there rather than what we currently have.

          Gold Coast should change their name regardless of where they’re located to be honest. The whole idea of an expansion club is to get the local kids interested and I don’t think “the Sun” is doing that. Sharks, definitely Sharks.

          Ridley was good! I’ve been curious about him since he’s been held back a while, but worth the wait.

      • Editor

        May 21st 2018 @ 11:28am
        Josh Elliott said | May 21st 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        I reckon for North if we lost either Brown or Waite that’d be the end of finals hopes – they’re just too crucial. Lucky Waite isn’t an injury prone player or anything like that.

    • May 20th 2018 @ 7:35pm
      Joe said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

      Eagles are a sure lock for top 4 from here, but they’ll need to win some big away games before I really believe they’re a flag threat. Their current away wins are Bulldogs, Carlton and GWS.

      North I’m convinced will make finals at least, unless something goes horribly wrong. Great pressure side.

      Geelong doing the same thing we did last year and the year before with some mid-season horror shows. Watch us lose to Carlton next week and Gold Coast the week after just like we did last season, then pull it back together by beating a few flag fancies before the bye.

    • May 20th 2018 @ 7:38pm
      Mattyb said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

      While Carlton put up yet another appalling performance I think it does need to be put into some context.

      In Fitzroys last 15 years in the competition they managed to win 39% of their games (137 wins and 212 loses),in which time they claimed 2 wooden spoons.
      In the 15 years between 2002 and 2017 Carlton have managed to only win 35% of their matches (122 wins and 226 loses),and in this time have managed 4 wooden spoons.

      The remarkable thing is despite this extremely low bar the club has still managed to go backwards and seem odds on to claim yet another wooden spoon,while seeing their winning percentage sink even lower.
      Carlton have now also gone 40 matches failing to surpass 100 points.

      For the good of the competition Carlton need to stop just shuffling the deck chairs at the club. They need to throw the decks chairs out and have a complete refurbishment,with fresh eyes and fresh ideas,or they are going to continue the way they are whether Bolton is there or not.
      This is an unacceptable football club from a state that already has another 9 clubs.

      • May 20th 2018 @ 11:23pm
        Kurt said | May 20th 2018 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

        Yawn.

        • May 21st 2018 @ 12:11am
          Don Freo said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:11am | ! Report

          You have set yourself up for that, Kurt, with recent comments from you.

          “Yawn” is barely a compelling response.

          • May 21st 2018 @ 12:17am
            Kurt said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:17am | ! Report

            Why thank you Don. ‘Yawn’ may not be a compelling response but I can assure you it’s an entirely accurate one.

            • May 21st 2018 @ 12:51am
              Mattyb said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:51am | ! Report

              Kurt,which part of my research into the Carlton Football Club did you find inaccurate?
              It seems like the fact that Carlton want to ignore what’s going on or constantly make excuses is part of the problem as to why they have become a loser club,irrelevant in a national competition and the laughing stock of the league,on their way to an unrivalled fifth AFL wooden spoon.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 9:17am
                Macca said | May 21st 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                Matthew – I have to ask what relevance you think Carlton’s 2002 performance has to their current position?

                Also what do you think is more relevant the performance of the Carlton side 15 years ago or the fact that the blues had 13 players unavailable for selection at any level plus 2 more players returning from injury through the VFL including names like Ed Curnow, Charlie Curnow, Marchbank, Docherty, Casboult, Pickett & Williamson?

              • May 21st 2018 @ 11:13am
                mattyb said | May 21st 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

                Macca,read the opening line again,its to put the loss into some sort of perspective.
                What the data shows is Carlton is a loser AFL club,much worse than even Fitzroy,and being a loser club you can expect heavy defeats. It also shows that despite Carltons tragic AFL history they are currently worse than they have ever been,so again,heavy defeats like those on the weekend can be expected.

                I think when fans start making excuses that they’re missing Pickett (9.3 possessions a game) or Williamson (12.1 possessions a game) for a 100+ point drubbing, we are looking at a pretty sorrowful football club.
                I can’t see Docherty returning from his ACL this season unfortunately.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 1:33pm
                Macca said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                Matthew – why would I read the opening line again – the “data” is irrelevant. What happened anywhere before 2007 (only Simpson Murphy & Kreuzer remain from that time) has nothing to do with what is going on at the blues right now.

                On top of that the last “15 years at Fitzroy was not all disastrous season either the made the finals 4 times in the 80’s and the preliminary final in 86.

                As for Williamson and Pickett, 12.1 possessions a game is pretty handy for a first year back pocket and I would suggest that after the completion of his first full pre-season it wouldn’t be unexpected to see those figures improve dramatically especially as it was planned for him to move into the midfield (probably a wing) and Pickett has had significant injury issues but the back half of last year and the pre-season this year he showed the talent he has and that he was looking ready to take the next step. You identified a lack of speed as an issue for the blues these two players bring plenty of that.

                But looking at those 2 in isolation misses the point, when you add those 2 two the roughly dozen other players on the injury list and to players the calibre of the Curnow’s, Docherty, Casboult, Marchbank etc it isn’t surprising a team like the blues is going well.

                And the blues aren’t currently worse than they have ever been – 2004 takes that prize.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 2:01pm
                mattyb said | May 21st 2018 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

                Maurice,look,I’ve done the research,crunched the numbers and concluded from the data that Carlton are a loser club,and i am therefore not shocked by their humiliating display on the weekend,and have provided my results in the post you have responded to.
                Other data shows the worst start to the current season in the clubs history and a current stretch of 40 matches being unable to score more than 100 points in a single game.
                The data seems to point to this season currently being the worst in the clubs history,coming off an extremely low bar over an extended period.
                If you don’t agree with my research,or the data it has provided,that’s fine,but you can’t expect that you will convince me to go against my own research and the results I have obtained. The data stacks up poorly against results in comparison to Fitzroy in their final 15 years in the competition.
                I’m also not interested in your MSM links from commercial organisations in consideration to predictions,whether that be SEN,The Leader Newspaper or whoever David King is currently associated with.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 2:18pm
                Macca said | May 21st 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                Matthew – You do realise this is pretty much word for word what a deluded denier (climate change, Holocaust etc etc) and end of the world cult leader says – “The main stream media is wrong, my clearly flawed “research” is correct and nothing you can say will make me change my mind.”

              • May 21st 2018 @ 1:39pm
                Macca said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

                Matthew – you might like to take a look at this article. It much more accurately puts things into “perspective”.

                https://www.sen.com.au/news/2018/05/21/what-will-carltons-best-side-look-like-in-2020/

              • May 21st 2018 @ 1:52pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                They are in DENIAL mattyb! They can’t see what is happening, They got a flukey win thanks to dodgy umps against the Bombers but their true colours shown this round (as were ours) Boot them out to the VFA blokes!

              • May 21st 2018 @ 6:16pm
                Mattyb said | May 21st 2018 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                Harry,they sure are in denial and obviously going to some great lengths now to try and deflect from the data I have kindly provided.
                The desperation to compare the words of David King and other football identities to scientists and climate change etc is extrodinary and laughable in equal measure.

              • May 22nd 2018 @ 9:57am
                Macca said | May 22nd 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

                Matthew – I compared you to a climate change denier not King to a scientist – big difference.

          • May 21st 2018 @ 1:11am
            Aransan said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:11am | ! Report

            The post hardly warrants a response Don.

            • May 21st 2018 @ 1:16am
              Don Freo said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:16am | ! Report

              Maybe so but Kurt has been extremely belligerent over the past week so it is amusing to see his toothless response to Matty.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 1:34am
                Kurt said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:34am | ! Report

                Sorry, pardon Don? When exactly have I been extremely belligerent?
                Apart from criticising Matty for tediously harping on about Carlton, I’m not sure what you’re on about.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 8:47am
                Don Freo said | May 21st 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

                I am.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 11:47am
                Jonboy said | May 21st 2018 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                Don Freo- I know you will never knock Lyon but do you think it is a good move playing Fyfe in the ruck.?? For what it is worth i think it is insane. Your thoughts.?

              • May 21st 2018 @ 1:18pm
                Don Freo said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                Makes no difference. He does it for about 5 minutes and plays it like a midfielder anyway. It is a really clever way of breaking a tag because of the nomination silliness. Mundy, Johnson and Cox did plenty of it too. It is just a silly commentator issue…a non-issue.

                Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to Darcy being back and/or Apeness getting a run soon (Strnadica is struggling to run out a half, let alone a game). With another proper ruckman, Sandi will have longer rests up forward. He could be our leading goalkicker by the end of the year.

      • Roar Guru

        May 21st 2018 @ 9:02am
        JamesH said | May 21st 2018 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        “They need to throw the decks chairs out and have a complete refurbishment,with fresh eyes and fresh ideas”

        Um, that’s exactly what they’re doing, mattyb. Fresh coach, huge turnover of the list, new recruiting strategies. Carlton will be fine, as much as it pains me to say it.

        The disastrous Malthouse era was always going to take time to recover from.

      • May 21st 2018 @ 1:29pm
        Harsh Truth Harry said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

        Carlton must be eliminated from the competition now! Boot them out! Bolton and SOS have put the final nail in the carlton coffin! As for Freo, real trouble there with a club riddled with bad bad culture from the budding Ross Lyon to the players, real strife there blokes!

    • May 20th 2018 @ 7:41pm
      Bruce said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

      I’m putting a search party together to look for the usual hawthorn posters on this site. Doubt we’ll hear from them for a day or two and I’m concerned about their wellbeing.

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2018 @ 8:16pm
        Peppsy said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

        I’m putting a search party together for our selection board so that I cant beat into their heads: “YOU DON’T DROP YOUR TAGGER WHEN PLAYING AGAINST ZORKO”

        • Editor

          May 21st 2018 @ 11:38am
          Josh Elliott said | May 21st 2018 @ 11:38am | ! Report

          Not as catchy as “You don’t mess with the Zohan”, but equally true

      • May 20th 2018 @ 8:39pm
        Birdman said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

        Hawks put in as bad an effort on and off the field to match some of our worst in early 2017.

        All credit to F*ges, Hodgey and the young Lions – worthy winners.

        Thanks for your concern Bruce.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 20th 2018 @ 8:45pm
          Mattician6x6 said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

          See you next week bm 😉 still the game I’m most concerned with in wce hard run.

          • Roar Pro

            May 20th 2018 @ 8:54pm
            anon said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

            It’s at the Docklands. Hawks are a different side there. Based on venue I think West Coast will win.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 20th 2018 @ 10:29pm
              Mattician6x6 said | May 20th 2018 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

              I’m happy about it at etihad, initially I misread our fixture and thought it was in Tassie, wce have a good record at etihad so let’s hope

              • Roar Guru

                May 21st 2018 @ 12:35am
                Dalgety Carrington said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:35am | ! Report

                That’s a pretty reasonable percentage of teams this year that have been flogged the week before WC travel to play them. Bulldogs, Carlton, Giants, Hawks. Is that 100%?

            • May 21st 2018 @ 1:17pm
              Bruce said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

              I was hoping it was at the MCG. Will be interesting to see how the eagles play there given their new replica ground.

          • May 20th 2018 @ 8:58pm
            Birdman said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

            cheers M6x6 – just hoping for a contest after today’s insipid effort

      • May 21st 2018 @ 12:18am
        Kurt said | May 21st 2018 @ 12:18am | ! Report

        How about that royal wedding? Nice sort that Meghan Markle.

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