Carlton Blues problems, gap between expectation and reality, analysis, column, how to fix them, Western Bulldogs game, news

It was one of this weeks in Princes Park.

The spotlight of the footballing world is once again on Carlton as the heat and questions grow louder and hotter at the club.

Though still in the top 8, the Blues’ season is only at a crossroads after two months; lost in his own struggle between expectation and reality.

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Expectations from fans, media and football audiences alike that a side that missed the finals by just 0.6% last year after losing their final four games of the season would add layers and make the leap in the off-season.

With a list that includes the reigning Brownlow medalist and reigning back-to-back Coleman medalists, a handful of All-Australians – and that’s before other superstars like Sam Walsh, Jacob Weitering and Adam Cerra are even mentioned – would expect to improve and rise dispute.

Reality and hard facts show the Blues for what they are: a mid-tier football team with a style of play that doesn’t reflect or maximize the weapons they wield. It also may not be up to the challenge of going head-to-head with an opponent in a higher weight class.

Additionally, the club’s messages have drawn the ire of fans and raised the eyebrows of football audiences.

Locals are restless and the tension between the record-breaking 88,000 members and thousands more supporters just keeps building.

Carlton needs to fix a few things to save his season.Source: FOX SPORTS

On the field, the problems are blatant. Especially against quality opponents.

Since Round 10 last year, when the Blues successfully finished in the top 4 by an 8-2 margin, the Blues are 8-1-11 and have only beaten top 8 teams twice.

The Blues have had no trouble getting their hands on the ball, a constant since Michael Voss took the reins at Princes Park. They rank first in dismounts, contested possession differences, and ground ball differences, and third in clearances.

The problem is that they can’t move the ball. Opposing sides don’t mind Carlton’s midfielders and defenders getting their hands on the football; They increase the pressure and force them to make a mistake.

It’s a slow, boring, and outdated playstyle that relies on single acts to summon the next chain. And when the second advantage is taken away, or the pressure is skillfully applied, the panic, falter, and skill errors go up.

The numbers show where Carlton fails – in their last three losses they have taken 62, 60 and 74 points and conceded 118, 82 and 100 points.

It’s confusing that they’re struggling to score with the means at their disposal in the front half. The Blues are eighth in both points for and points against; eight for points per inside 50; and ninth in both pressure and end-to-end ball motion.

It’s frustrating to read, but these are numbers that reflect a mediocre football team.

How can Carlton improve their form? | 02:40

“My disappointment with Carlton is that they have a lot of very good players but as a collective they are not playing anywhere near their potential,” lamented St Kilda Hall of Fame inductee Nick Dal Santo on AFL Tonight this week.

“We only see it in brief moments and intermittently throughout the season, but not regularly. Look at the very good teams of the last 20 to 30 years, they are extremely consistent. I think Geelong is the epitome of that, they rarely have a bad game. But Carlton still fluctuates from week to week and within games.”

Why have a slow, sideways and stagnant style of play that doesn’t suit Carlton when two of the competition’s most imposing key forwards sit inside your line of scrimmage and not take every opportunity to get the ball to them quickly?

But it is not only on the field that expectations fall short of expectations. When you’re an underperforming club, everything you do and say is amplified and questioned and Carlton’s messages are no exception this time around.

Perhaps the club were trying to get their fan base to sell the narrative that they’re not quite there, despite ten years without making the finals and eight seasons since the start of the longest rebuild the game has seen.

Either the club genuinely believes in it, or their key performance indicators and expectations are that they are out of sync with the rest of the community. That’s not funny.

Actions speak louder than words, but words still matter just as much.

“They are not a top four team!” | 00:48

It started with CEO Brian Cook ahead of Carlton’s disappointing loss to the Brisbane Lions on Friday night. Cook told 3AW ahead of the game that it “wouldn’t be the end of the world” if the club didn’t reach the final.

The message of skewed expectations only fueled the anger of the supporter base when Adam Cerra appeared before the media on Monday.

“It’s not a failure (if we don’t get to the finals this year). Every day we try to get better and make progress,” said Cerra.

“If we improve as a team compared to last year, not only in the ranking position but also in our connection within the group… I don’t see what we’re working towards as a failure.

“It could be this year, it could be next year, but we want to get there as soon as possible.”

So if not this year, then when? Hasn’t it been long enough?

Are the comments from both Cook and Cerra an admission from within that the club has fallen short of the mark with the list in a few key areas?

While Cerra’s comments have been linked and compared to those of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo – who objected to the idea that winning a title was the only thing that mattered in the past NBA season – Cerra and Carlton sit in contrast to the Greek Don’t be a freak With a final appearance and a championship you can show everything.

If getting to and playing in the final this year isn’t considered a failure for Carlton, what growth metrics will be measured to speak of success?

It’s an area that needs to be addressed and to ensure expectations and reality are not distorted at Princes Park.

Even with D-Day looming for Michael Voss in the coming weeks, he needs to win back the masses. The crowds who began to turn against him as they exited Marvel Stadium at three quarters time last week.

Carlton Blues Press Conference | 10:09 a.m

It starts this week; Off the pitch with the message and the realignment of expectations, message of the club’s ambitions for the rest of the season.

And also on the field it is important to maximize and use the weapons that are available to Michael Voss.

The changes must be made on the field. More direct, faster, towards the main targets Curnow and McKay, who have scored 15 and 17 goals respectively in their last four games against the Bulldogs.

While it may seem like something seismic would have to happen to flip the narrative of a stuttering season, attacking might just require an equally big change.

“They (Carlton) don’t use their handball skills to attack teams or challenge them in transition.” Leigh Montagna said on First Crack:

“It’s something that they can easily add to their game with just a little work. They managed a bit in the last quarter (against Brisbane) but it doesn’t come naturally to them, they still want to shoot the ball but I think they have to be able to use their numbers and their hands.

“Last year it was their handball off break, forward handball off break, but this year they’re not doing that and it’s costing them the opportunity to get more out of turnover on the scoreboard, which is 60% of your score. “If they do that, they will score more goals and give themselves a chance to win games.”

Ahead of a critical five-week streak where the Blues’ credibility and season are constantly on the line, internal expectations must align with the desires of the group and the fans who continue to emerge.

Or reality will mean there will be no finals in 2023 – and that would mean failure. Carlton Blues problems, gap between expectation and reality, analysis, column, how to fix them, Western Bulldogs game, news

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