We were all disappointed in the result and in some cases, the effort put in by players at the match between Collingwood on Friday night, and while I was guttered by the lack of effort by some players, I was also pleased with the amazing effort of others.
Murph put on a spectacular show and had 29 disposals; Krooz 23 disposals, Crippa 26 and Ed Curnow 25. Casboult had 14 disposals and kicked 4 valuable goals. What let us down was basically everyone else, except Simmo, who tried, really tried. We were not in front of the ball, but behind, we were lazy and at times, disinterested. Statistically, Carlton had 336 disposals compared to Collingwood’s 418, which is a huge difference in terms of the sport. We had 208 kicks compared to 227. Our handballs were 128 compared to 191; tackles 52 to 69 and significantly 7 marks compared to 15. We were let down by players who just were seconds off the mark, waiting for something to come to them rather than attack the play. It was frustrating, disappointing and you left feeling the ground a bit disheartened.
I am one of those people who sees the world in a half-glass-full way, rather one that is half-empty. Last night, try as I may, I just could not see this as half-empty, here’s why. I read in some other post on Facebook that Collingwood are marginally a bit older than Carlton’s average age is and that we are basically on the number of games played by each player, the same as Collingwood. If you look it up in this year’s Footy Season 2018 book, you will see that Carlton’s average age is 23 and 244 days with the average number of games played in a career 56. Collingwood’s average age is 24 and 98 days with the average number of games played in a career being 68. That means that Collingwood’s average age is about 6-months older than Carlton’s with the average being 12 more games played.
The number of players who have played under 20 games at Collingwood is 6, compared to 10 players at Carlton. Collingwood have 23 players that have played 50 games or more, while Carlton has only 18 players. This is significant because if you look at say, Geelong, they have 7 players with 20 games or less, and 18 players with 50 games or more. I looked at GWS as well who have 6 players who have played less than 20 games and 20 players with 50 or more games. What this means, in essence, is one word – experience. We are at the moment a team with fewer players who have senior game experience compared to Collingwood and other successful clubs. In order for a team, any team, those few extra players with more game experience makes all the difference.
What the club needs to do and is doing, is getting the young players more senior game experience in order to combat the debacle we saw on Friday night and the week before. With more game time under their belt, they will learn and become better players and therefore, Carlton will become a better team. This, unfortunately, does take some time. We cannot speed the process up nor can we expect those players with less than 20 senior games, to be anything more than a player learning on the job.
While we were all disappointed about the performance of the team, we have to be a little more patient in getting the team to the next level. More senior game time will equal more experience and more experience will equal success.
We must not self-implode and seek retribution from the coaches or the players and ask for their ‘heads-to-be-cut-off’ so to speak. It serves nothing and proves nothing except the one thing we don’t want, major set-backs. These past two games have not been setbacks, just platforms to get younger players more senior game time. They will learn, they will grow and become better players.