Round 12 – Sal’s Preview: The Wounded Edition

Greetings All,


Mick Malthouse might have deserved to go in the Hall of Fame on numbers, it was never going to be an entry I would raise a glass to.  he ensuing few days have simply opened unhealed wounds from the people and clubs he has treated with contempt. Feeling free to give the Blues advice for a situation he assisted in getting the club into.  He was given carte blanche at the club but took it backwards and to the point of having to rebuild the list. He picked up a competitive list that needed improvement in personnel and better coaching, he delivered neither the list degraded and the players did not develop. At least Dr Edelsten got to sit in the coaches box for his record breaking game, that his team lost.


Then there is his spat with Nathan Buckley, while not one of my favourites objectively Bucks  is generally measured and reasonable with his commentary. I don’t think his comments on Mick were taken out of context by the media, I reckon they got it right as did Nathan in his description. Malthouse’s sooking and selfishness regarding the “transition” back in 2011 disrupted the Pies push for back to back premierships. This week has given him another platform – let’s hope he does not get too many more.


Plenty of other commentary about the state of the Blues and the removal of Brendon Bolton. There is plenty wrong with club leadership that needs to be addressed, the decision on the coach had to be made.  The effort and execution over the last two games were so far below acceptable it was clear that despite all his efforts the team was heading in the wrong direction. Unlike President Buffoon I did not expect the team to win those games, the personnel selected being far off the best 22. Supporters though can expect effort and desire for the contest, too many players in the club do not display the minimum level of either.  President Buffoon’s comments on winning puts unnecessary pressure on who takes the role, winning is the result of getting everything else right.  Unfortunately Brendon and the club have not been able to get enough right.


The Loungeroom winning an award as the best stadium in the world can’t be right! It’s not even the best in its own city let alone the rest of the country!


And there is a reduced round of footy with only six games across a long weekend for most states – odd!  A few favourites faltered last week, reckon most look OK this week.


Wild ($2.94) v Domestic ($1.51)


It’s the feline frenzy at Melbourne’s best stadium on a Friday, it is also a battle in defensive organisation.  The Tigers and Cats success has been based around the success in maintaining defensive structure while the mayhem goes on ahead of it. The MCG has been seen as an issue for the Cats being wider than Kardinia Park, the 3-0 record there this year would indicate those demons might be exorcised. Richmond were broken through last week by the Roos, is it a one off or have the injuries taken their toll?  They need to introduce another debutante, the Cats get a 300 game, dual Brownlow medalist and premiership hero back in Ablett.  That covers the difference to me and expect Geelong to go 4-0 at the Grand Final venue.


InTeagueing ($3.00) v The Other Felines ($1.49)


What a contrast in fortunes for these clubs that started out at almost the same spot a few years ago.  There a so many things that have worked for Brisbane and so many that have failed for Carlton.  From a footy sense the contrast in game styles stands out, Brisbane have played with joy and flair while the Blues style has remained dull and soulless.  Perhaps Teague will loosen the shackles and Carlton will put in that “new coach” bounce, not sure they even have a “dead cat” bounce in them.  Lions to win.


Overdew ($3.15) v A Shaw Thing ($1.45)


North did bounce for the new coach and head to the Mansion where they should prevail again over the Suns who are struggling to register another victory.  They are remaining in games but just unable to see them out, North have most of their best up and going and making a surge.


Paying the Bryce ($2.22) v UnWhitted ($1.79)


It maybe simplistic but the plight of Bryce Gibbs at Adelaide explains much of the situation at the Blues.  The Crows are in the mid to top echelon of teams and he can’t do enough right to hold a spot, at the Blues he was one of the first magnets on the board and allowed to float around as he pleased.  He would still be one of the first magnets!  His Crows host the Giants who have lost Whitfield for an extended time, not many teams could cover his loss this one is healthy and should not feel much pain.  Adelaide at home makes this a tough one to select, a Giant victory would put the rest of the competition on notice if they are not already.  Prepare to be on notice.


Outfoxed ($2.24) v On Notice ($1.79)


The Premiers have served up their notice winning their last five after a slow beginning but confront a bogey this week.  They have not won at the SCG for over 20 years!  Strangely they have only played their eight times and one of those losses was against North.  Sydney lose Fox, they just do not have the depth of talent on the park and this hoodoo is likely to broken on Sunday.


Low Beams ($1.41) v More Leverage ($3.30)


Sam Weideman’s poor kick for goal was the difference in the result of the game for Melbourne last week – in reality the Demons made so many more mistakes in the game before that shot.  They get their big ticket game this week potential including Jake Lever and Stephen May – at their best these two will make the Demons better, not sure week one will be the difference.  Especially against a wounded Pie smarting from last week’s other late game catastrophe, they lose Beams but still have plenty of depth across the midfield to prevail over the Demons.



Friar Time


The Snow Season starts so the Ammos are off!  Last week the Friars got away from the Unicorns early to remain udefeated in D2 so far.  The reserves different with MHSOB getting some revenge for last year’s Grand Final loss.  The Girls didn’t have the close one and took care of Aquinas while the Under 23s had a great win away against St Bernards.


Go Blues, No Friars – so we’re going to Bonnie Doon……


Cheers, Sal



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  1. John Butler says

    Sal, I see little point continuing to debate the merits of a now sacked coach. But for all the continuing criticism of the current leadership, I await any credible alternative. If anyone who cares about Carlton can identify the problems and offer tangible improvements I wish they’d make them public. They’d have my vote.

    This is Carlton’s 21st century predicament – so much complaint, so few ideas.

  2. Sal Ciardulli says


    You’re right – the coach is done and not much to debate about that.

    The challenge for the Blues at the top is the leadership vacuum that has existed since John Elliott ran the club and pretty much knocked out any challengers – since then we have all sorts of presidents none of whom amounted to much. 21st Century Carlton is much different to 19th and 20th, the Blues would eat themselves with aspirants to lead the club often resulting in bitter in fighting despite the club’s success. Post Elliott no-one of consequence is prepared to put their hand up and we are left with President Buffoon. Worse still the club has contrived to make it impossible for any challenger thoughts and ideas to be elected to the board. The decision to have board nominations go through a vetting and approval process needs to be rescinded – the club in its current state needs to be challenged in thoughts and process. I can attest leading a football club takes a lot of time and energy, to lead an AFL club takes it up several notches. There are a limited number of people with that capacity – and that capacity who are not on an ego trip. So while I am not happy about Buffoon, I want a better alternative – and it is not Tom Elliott.

    While the removal of Steven Trigg was completely instep with this board’s mismanagement, I have been impressed by the work of Cain Liddle and the fact that there are 60,000 members shows the number of people that want the club to improve and succeed. As for ideas – the simplest one is for the club to be honest about where it truly is. We so want the players to be good enough, many of them simply do not have the requisite competitiveness for AFL footy. However they have been gifted games for so long without consequence – we trade for players disposed by other clubs in the belief they could improve the Carlton team. We have to stop being the the Last Chance Saloon. Alex Fasolo was disappointed not to play in the Grand Final – he just wasn’t good enough so we chased him! Crazy.

    The GWS crew have all failed. Marchbank and Plowman seem to pillars in our defence – they just do not try hard enough and get beaten one on one too often. All without consequence – they were terrible last week and still run out in the AFL team this week.

    So idea number one is honesty otherwise we just hope,

    Cheers, Sal

  3. Hi SAL, it’s always VITAL to read your edition. I was interested to read about President Buffoon in your report. Which buffoon is that president, Barnaby Joyce or Donald Trump?

    Speaking of Donald Trump, I recently found out the writers of the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy modeled BIFF TANNEN (George McFly’s nemesis) on Trump who they considered a really big bully at that time. Well, they got that one right..

  4. On reflection, perhaps President Trump would be a good choice to clean out Carlton – I bet there would be plenty he would say, “You’re fired ” to..

  5. george smith says

    OK it’s happened. Geelong played its last game against top 5 opposition until the finals. And they made mincemeat of the opposition…

    So for 10 rounds, we don’t know how good this team is. It has a few heffalump traps, Port in Adelaide Freo in Perth and Brisbane at the Gabba, but unless something amazing happens it is most unlikely that any of those teams will meet the Cats in the finals, let alone the grand final. So what will happen, apart from the McClelland Trophy heading to Kardinia Park?

  6. John Butler says

    Sal, full agreement on Tom Elliot.

    And pretty much everything else you said.

    Though maybe a bit harsh on Marchbank. I have sympathy for anyone having to play in our defense at present.

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