I have thought long and hard about what to say, what to write about the match that Carlton played against North Melbourne. I have read many comments, views about the match, from journalists and also on Facebook. What is rather disconcerting to me is that the moment Carlton win, against all odds, everyone jumps on the bandwagon and brags about how great the club is and how amazing the club will perform this year. Then the moment that Carlton play a team that is considered to be a premiership contender, and we lose, the knives, the stupid comments, the ridiculous statements based on arrogance come out, and these are not from journalists but from so-called supporters.
Carlton did not play well on Saturday night. They looked, tired, rattled and lacked a bit of confidence that we have seen in the past four matches. Finger pointing started from the lack of leadership from Marc Murphy, to the insipid lack of guts from Sammy Rowe. From the lack of disposals from Everitt to the slow pace of Crippa. The more I thought about it, the more I got angry, not at the players but at the supporters who think they know better. Here’s why.
No-one ever expected us to win many games, let alone four in a row, but we did. By doing so the hype surrounding Carlton’s resurgence gained momentum, with Bolts in the forefront. To my mind nothing has changed this, not even the match on the weekend. This year without a question or doubt is about growing. It is about the re-grouping of players that were coached by a man who had no real interest in the club, but of himself. It is about forming a team bond with the new players. It is about building a culture and a confidence on field and off to take the club to the next level. But it is also about what is learnt along the way, and the match against North will be a great learning tool for the boys.
From the depths of failure if a person is willing to see, comes the height of success and this is no more true than the Carlton players and coaches. What the team will learn is what mistakes were made and how to rectify them for future games, against opponents who are far more advanced in their game play than Carlton is. To lay blame on the shoulders of one or two players is showing ignorance of the game and the position that the club was in from the start of season 2106.
It takes a team to win and a team to lose, the moment that people start laying the blame on a few shoulders, do not have a clear understanding of this. This is a team sport, read that again, TEAM sport and no team should be reliant on those few who supporters expect should carry the team. Sure there were some players who didn’t play as expected and some who shone surprisingly more than anticipated, but that means that the team as a whole are still learning what it means to win and what it means to lose. But it is the team that can grow from a loss that will eventuate into a win.
So to those supporters who are now going to jump off the Carlton bandwagon and start blaming all that you were once praising, jump off and stay off. We are in game 9 of a 23 game season and doing better than anyone thought possible. With time and with both winning and losing, the team will grow and learn from both aspects, they will become a better team after a loss. They will learn from that loss because this year, this season so far look at what has happened when we least expected it. Imagine what will happen when we expect it.
#BOUND BY BLUE!
P.S The Cheer Squad shows its support to Jarryd Roughhead in his battle. All Class!