Caveat emptor

It’s a handy time to write Adelaide off for season 2013.

They’ve lost their 2012 forward structure in the first five rounds. Taylor Walker (63 goals last year, knee reconstruction, out for the year) and Kurt Tippett (39 goals, to Sydney) are completely out of the equation.

Some of the next best  – Ian Callinan (39 goals last year), Jason Porplyzia (30 goals), Graham Johncock (19 goals) and Bernie Vince (18 goals) – have all been dropped in the first five rounds for being out of form.

Only Patrick Dangerfield (23 goals last year) and Rory Sloane (19 goals) are holding up their hands.

Adelaide are skinny in the ruck – without Tippett, Sam Jacobs has to work too hard.

Adelaide are slow in defence. Last year was all about the coach; this year it is all about the players and, right now, they are not good enough. They are a mess.

Thus, it’s time to write the Cow-Crows off for season 2013.

But wait a minute!

Brenton Sanderson has to restructure his forwards. He is not an idiot and he has many options. Last week, when Walker went down in the first quarter, he threw Andy Otten into attack. He kicked three. Sanderson can stick with Otten or pick another defender for the role – Brent Reilly, maybe, or even Ben Rutten who kicked three goals with his first three kicks in the AFL. He needs two big talls in the forward zone. He has Josh Jenkins who is getting better in every game and Shaun McKernan who has been languishing in the twos. Sanderson also needs competent crumbers and Adelaide has plenty of them – Jared Petrenko, Jason Porplyzia, Richard Douglas, Matthew Wright, Rory Sl0ane, Scott Thompson, and Patrick Dangerfield can float into the forward zone at any time in any game.

Adelaide can kick goals out of its backside.

Sanderson can work that out.

Adelaide are 2-3 after playing Essendon, Brisbane, Port, the Bulldogs and Carlton.

In May, they face Hawthorn, the Giants, St Kilda and North Melbourne and could win three of those to be 5-4 by the end of the month… but, according to the doomsayers, they will still be in trouble.

In the next month, they face Freo, Sydney, Richmond and Gold Coast. Let’s say they win three of those and are 8-5 by the end of June and are still looking shaky.

In July, it’s a hard month with West Coast, Collingwood, Geelong, and Fremantle again. They would want to win two of those to be 10-7 and still under the guard of anyone who knows anything about football.

August is the meanest month against Port, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and West Coast. They won’t win more than five of those and could finish up at 15-7, which will be more than enough to win a home final.

Reverse your bets, punters. Go against the current market!

Many claim that Adelaide had a soft draw last year, which enabled them to finish second at the end of the minor rounds without deserving to be there. They forget that Adelaide went down to Hawthorn by one kick in the prelim.

Adelaide-haters will not be happy when they realise that this year’s draw is no harder. Adelaide only play the current pace-setters once this year. And Port is not a pacesetter. Port is building a beautiful bubble but they are yet to play anyone with a pin.

In this season, Adelaide’s five double-up teams are Fremantle, Port, North Melbourne, West Coast and Western Bulldogs mainly because the AFL likes the non-Victorian teams playing against each other to maximise the Victorian teams’ opportunity to boost the TV ratings. As a South Australian, I don’t argue with that. We joined your comp; you didn’t join ours.

I’m pleased that Adelaide plays Port, Freo, West Coast and the Bulldogs twice this year.

North Melbourne scare me a bit. I think they might be a smoky in 2013.

But, right now, if you bet against Adelaide making the top eight, caveat emptor.

And be wary about betting against them for a top four spot, too.


  1. John – Adelaide play 5 teams in August and:
    ” They won’t win more than five of those…………” Love it.

    Optimism abounds. No chance for top 4.

  2. Ben Footner says

    Love your work John, you’ve made me a believer!

    I think top 4 hopes have faded, but I do agree that they still have the cattle, coach and opportunity to make a decent fist of 2013 yet.

  3. John you mentioned Adelaide are 2-3 after five matches, but many people pre- season might have expected them to be 4-1, as Essendon in Adelaide, then the derby would have been considered Adelaide victories. Maybe they will need to kick goals out of their backsides, as i can’t see any of the players you’ve mentioned being productive enough to kick sufficient goals to cover the loss of Tippett and Walker.

    Good luck, Adelaide need it !!!


  4. Benny vigona says

    Crows are rarely road kill but they are flightless and in the headlights this year. Dangerfield without a brownlow vote and thompson past his prime. No key forward, suspect key backs and a discard for number one ruck. The Sanderson honeymoon is lying motionless on the roadside. Faaaarrrrk.

  5. Its hard to keep the faith this year and pessimism has set in.Ive yet to be convinced but injuries and form slump this early dont give me confidence. The best I could hope for is that they scrape into the 8

  6. Dear Dips, Ben, Glen, Oges and especially Benny

    I wrote: “In May, Adelaide face Hawthorn, the Giants, St Kilda and North Melbourne and could win three of those to be 5-4 by the end of the month… ”

    Adelaide went down by 11 skinny points to Hawthorn in a genuine hard-fought contest. Nothing happened at AAMI Stadium on May 4 that detracts from my statement. The reverse is true. The Giants are in trouble next week, St Kilda will be in trouble in the next fortnight – and Adelaide versus North Melbourne at Etihad in Round Nine will be one of the key crunch matches of the season. Laugh at this at your peril.

    And Glen, just for you.

    You wrote: “Maybe Adelaide will need to kick goals out of their backsides, as i can’t see any of the players you’ve mentioned being productive enough to kick sufficient goals to cover the loss of Tippett and Walker.”

    Adelaide has kicked 76.53 in six rounds in 2013 at an average of 13.10 or something like that. Their goal kickers have been: Walker 10.6; Dangerfield 9.4; Jenkins 8.7; Douglas 8.1; Petrenko 5.3; Jaensch 4.2; Otten 4.1; Henderson 3.4; Sloane 3.3; Jacobs 3.3; Kerridge 3.2; Vince 2.4; Porplyzia 2.4; Johncock 2.3; Thompson 2.3; Lynch 2.1; Mackay 2.1; Reilly 2.1; Couch 1.0 and van Berlo 1.0 .

    That’s twenty players. Relax, Glen. Remove Taylor Walker. That leaves nineteen players for whom the flags will wave.
    As for Tippett? That’s a closed door, a back reference. His loss doesn’t need to be covered in the same way that Tony Modra or Darren Jarman’s loss no longer has to be covered. Tippett is not in the structure of this 2013 team and never was and never will be.

    You may be comparing this team to 2012 but don;t panic about that. This team isn’t living in that past. They have a good hand on reality.

    Josh Jenkins is just warming up; Douglas is an invisible player who pops up whenever the opposition isn’t looking… which is often. Dangerfield is tracking nicely as an occasional full forward for his rest periods; Petrenko, Porplyzia and Johncock are out of form but can be dangerous and productive when they hit it. Kerridge is just a kid and kids love kicking goals. Otten and Reilly are backmen who enjoy strolling forward…

    Relax, Glen. Adelaide has more than enough avenues to goal. Too many on occasions. The truth is that Taylor Walker was underperforming before he went down but few Adelaide fans will admit that.

    Don’t despair, Glen. Adelaide is back on track.

    And, Benny… it’s time to get a firmer grip. September tears are not a good look.

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