Carlton turned out for their Intra-Club game on Friday morning in hot and sunny conditions. The social club was quite full and the ground looked to be in good shape.
However, when I ventured out onto the arena, the outer wing was noticeably soggy-someone obviously left the sprinklers on all night!
Nevertheless, I don?t think this can quite account for the fairly sub-standard match I was about to witness.
Now, don?t laugh, but, BOG for the first half was clearly Setanta O?hailpin. His attack on the ball and on the man was great and he displayed some good footy skills. This was tempered somewhat in the second half when he made some fundamental errors (like kicking into the man on the mark when having a set shot at goal) which made you just shake your head. Still, he looks like he has improved a lot.
Troy Longmuir was good and should have a better year on a flank this year. Eddie Betts can play and will hopefully get a chance in the midfield and Jarrad Waite should be looking to hold down CHF. Prendergast was ok too, as was Walker.
Kouta only played a half and was ok in the middle. Lance Whitnall played across half back and like we all know has great footy nous. But, he is still as slow as ever and I really don?t know how he is going to re-invigorate his career in the backline??? I think he is much better suited in a forward pocket. Stevens and Saddington missed with injury.
Carlton became noticeably slower with their kick-outs as the match wore on and made no attempt to exploit the so-called new kick-in rule. (Personally, I am of the belief this rule will have absolutely minimal effect on the game-maybe Denis agrees?)
I?m not sure if time is catching up with Denis Pagan and I don?t know how good a tactician he is renowned for being, but, Carlton have some serious problems.
Brendan Fevola showed glimpses of his talent with a great goal from the boundary line and taking a big grab in the square-but, he still mopes around the forward line when the ball isn?t drilled to him on the lead. His body language is terrible and will never change. Unlike his hair-which is now a bright red/orange colour!
The other problem is the number of below par players in their side that they keep persisting with.
Marc Murphy didn?t do a lot and maybe this is where Carlton?s problems really lie-those lost draft picks are really hurting them big time.