2020 FINISHED 11th 7 wins 10 loses
15th to 11th BUT DID CARLTON IMPROVE?
To be honest we are a bit confused by Carlton. Looking strictly at their finishing position you can say they have improved however 4 of their 7 wins were by less than a kick. This is to close to the edge to say they are on the up.
Consistency is the big query for Carlton as it was in 2019. They can match it most for periods of the game. They led the Cats by 42 points at Kardinia Park (and fell in), they were 50 points behind the Tigers and clawed back to a 3 goal margin and it took a Robbie Gray kick after the siren for top of the table Port to beat them. So they have what it takes but they just don’t do it for 4 quarters.
This is all part of Coach Teague’s challenge for the talked up Blues who have certainly been specked in most markets as an improver.
One of the bright lights was the return of Sam Docherty as he supplied much needed surety down back after missing 2 years with knee issues. Jack Martin also showed glimpses and he is versatile able to play all parts of the field. Harry McKay took big steps without Curnow so it will be key for him to bring that same level of effort when he is the “number 2” forward target.
For Carlton to improve they need to simply win more games in a much more convincing manner. They have not won more than 7 games since 2013 in what was once a Victorian club but now far from it. So arguably in the shortened season last year was an improvement but for Carlton to take the next step they need to bring their best effort for the whole game not just when it suits them. Improvement is expected but it could be more of the same from the old Navy Blues
2021 PREDICTION-CARLTON 12th 9 WINS
2020 FINISHED 8th 9 wins 7 loses 1 draw (WON Elimination Final)
“OFF FIELD DRAMA MAKES IT A BIG YEAR FOR COLLINGWOOD”
The winds of change are sweeping through at Collingwood and the biggest club in the land is VERY delicately poised. Their club President of 21 years, Eddie Maguire has bowed to public opinion and has quit. This on the back of the club going backwards last year and a couple of “key” players have been moved on in a very public fashion. On top of this club legend and current Coach Nathan Buckley is out of contract at the end of this year. All of these issues make Collingwood very delicately poised.
No doubt it was the summer of discontent at Collingwood. After being 100 seconds from a flag a few years ago, then beaten by a kick in the Prelim in 2019 Collingwood took a sizeable step backwards last year and only time will tell if it was a mere COVID caused dip. The current dilemmas, albeit off field would suggest not.
After a promising start to the season they quickly became disjointed. After what looked a hot start Collingwood really failed to reach the same heights and had some good and bad for the rest of the year. They couldn’t score and that is their biggest issue for 2021…who is going to kick their goals?
Also there is obviously some type of broken trust between Buckley and some of his players with the public nature of the Treloar and Stephenson. The fallout could signal some bigger problems so that will be some keen watching in the early part of the season.
Defensively Collingwood were good as they ranked 3rd in the AFL but the other end of the ground was atrocious. How Buckley adjusts his forward line will go a big way to their performance with De Goey and Moore positioning critical to any success.
Finally the off field stability that has been there for 20 years at the club with Eddie Maguire ruling with an iron fist will no longer be there. The uncertainty of change will be swirling in the breeze. This is a MASSIVE year for Buckley and the Collingwood faithful will not accept an underperforming year. They will be one of the big stories of 2021 you can be assured of that.
2021 PREDICTION – COLLINGWOOD 11th 10 wins