Opinion Will either Carlton or Essendon be the bolter in 2022?

Which club is more likely to win another flag first?


  • Total voters
    314

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HavUEvaSeenTheRain

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 20, 2006
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If Cripps is over his injuries and back to near his best it will be one of the top midfields in the league. Walsh as a second mid and Hewett and Cerra just playing their role will match it with just about anyone and the depth players and players like Fisher and Martin chopping out will do their jobs just fine.
If he isn’t we have so many unknowns still but it will still be comfortably stronger then last season but well off the best midfields.
 

banzai

Premiership Player
Oct 14, 2003
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Richmond
Not sure if its been mentioned in this thread but has anyone talked about the lack of homeground advantage these 2 teams have? Splitting home games between probably the 2 most different grounds in the comp to play at. Being able to build a gamestyle for just one ground would have to be an advantage. When Richmond were at our best we were pretty much unbeatable at the G but awful at Marvel where chaos footy wasn't suited at all. Then both teams also host the MCG teams at the G but play teams like the Bulldogs at Marvel, that would be a further disadvantage. In a comp that has very small margains come the end of the year I feel these teams handicap themselves.
 

btdg

Premiership Player
Oct 7, 2005
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Not sure if its been mentioned in this thread but has anyone talked about the lack of homeground advantage these 2 teams have? Splitting home games between probably the 2 most different grounds in the comp to play at. Being able to build a gamestyle for just one ground would have to be an advantage. When Richmond were at our best we were pretty much unbeatable at the G but awful at Marvel where chaos footy wasn't suited at all. Then both teams also host the MCG teams at the G but play teams like the Bulldogs at Marvel, that would be a further disadvantage. In a comp that has very small margains come the end of the year I feel these teams handicap themselves.

Not in this thread, but I've mentioned it before. Carlton and Essendon have the worst home ground situation out of everyone - we play Marvel teams at Marvel, and MCG teams at the MCG. Strangely, Carlton have a generally strong record (relative to ladder position) against Essendon - who play slightly more Marvel games, but we always play at the MCG.

Last year Carlton played 8 games at grounds where we played more frequently than the opposition. We played 13 matches at grounds where the opposition played more frequently than us. That includes the MCG game vs Essendon falling in our favour AND the Freo home game moved from Perth to Melbourne (the other match was our home game vs West Coast that ended up played in Sydney).

Compare that to the last season of our Glory Days - 2001 (where we finished the regular season 4th, capping off 4 straight top 4 finishes, and the end of an extended run of being a power club going back to to the late 60s).

In 2001 we had 14 matches at grounds where we played more freqently than the opposition and 8 matches at grounds we played at less frequently, including 9 matches at Princes Park (remarkably we used to get things like playing our home game vs Geelong at PP, and our away game vs Geelong at the MCG).

It's effectively a 5-6 match per season swing in terms of 'home ground advantage' plus losing PP. Probably worth 1-2 wins per year IMO, and it throws up some very interesting historical comparisons (for example even 1 extra win puts us into finals in 2012, which means Ratten doesn't get sacked, which means the Malthouse era never happens...)

Clearly the days of things being skewed in Carlton's favour are long gone, but we got absolutely railroaded by Ian 'Conflict of Interest' Collins and the knife that he and the AFL held to our throat following the salary cap penalties, and its still screwing us today.
 

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Tylerbombers

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Oct 5, 2013
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Essendon
As for EFC, I would say they have some good top end talent in their mids but little in the way of depth. Need those young mids to develop. Again, can it come together this year for them to be a bolter...I don't think so. There may be steady improvement to the point of making the 8 again but simply making the 8 and getting smashed first week doesn't make a bolter.
A: Merrett, Parish, Stringer
B: Shiel, Mcgrath, Caldwell, Draper in the ruck
Supporting: Snelling, Smith, Hobbs, Perkins, Guelfi
Wingers: Langford, Cox, Durham, Ham, Cutler, Mcdonaugh

I think thats plenty of depth. Essendon had the 3rd best centre clearance differential last year and Shiel, Caldwell, Mcgrath and Draper all missed a significant number of games through injury so if they are fit, which atm they all are, our performance at stoppages should improve. I dont think we will be a bolter, but I do think we will finish above Carlton.
 

Red_man2008

Club Legend
Jan 2, 2009
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Fair.

And I reckon you're spot on with your comment..."Carlton are a very big unknown quality wise". I think there are waaaay too many unknowns to be able to say that they could be a bolter in '22. I think Cerra and Hewitt will improve your midfield (which has been very weak). Cripps is a wildcard...let's see how he goes. For 2 seasons now everyone's been hoping he will come good and hasn't. Time will tell. The other development players need to come on. Hence, too much needs to come together at the one time for the Blue to be a bolter...for mine.

As for EFC, I would say they have some good top end talent in their mids but little in the way of depth. Need those young mids to develop. Again, can it come together this year for them to be a bolter...I don't think so. There may be steady improvement to the point of making the 8 again but simply making the 8 and getting smashed first week doesn't make a bolter.
Cripps still averaged nearly 24 disposals a game, 4 tackles and almost a goal a game. Just because he’s been closer to 30 in the previous few years doesn’t mean he’s shit. He still averages better than 75% of other teams second best midfielder.
 

boncer34

Formerly "Dos23"
Jul 11, 2005
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Cripps still averaged nearly 24 disposals a game, 4 tackles and almost a goal a game. Just because he’s been closer to 30 in the previous few years doesn’t mean he’s sh*t. He still averages better than 75% of other teams second best midfielder.
Incredibly generous use of the word almost. Kicked goals in 8 out of 20 games for an average of 0.65 goals a game. Closer to 1 every 2 games.

Also his disposal average would have him #2 mid at Carlton and Richmond. Hardly 75%.
 

RAPPA

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 20, 2008
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The acquisitions of Cerra and Hewett have closed the gap between Essendon and Carlton in the midfield stocks.

Zerrett is consistently A-grade quality and the improvement of Parish in 2021 elevated their midfield. Will be interesting to see what Truck does with McGrath and Shiel through the midfield, and whether he opts to have Stringer play more midfield for X-factor explosion, or keep him predominantly up forward as a main target. Caldwell is very much an unknown quantity and I really like the look of Draper in the games he has played.

Hewett is a solid B midfielder - no frills but reliable over his 120 games. Cerra is B+ and tracking towards becoming an A-grader. Both coming into a new team, headed by a new coach and a largely new coaching lineup. If they can bring over their form and output from their respective former clubs then it is most certainly an improvement for Carlton from 2021 to 2022. Walsh is a gun and carrying the midfield mantle. Cripps was an A-grader but inconsistencies in form, injuries and perhaps a change in the game have seen him drop down a notch, He has definitely played some stellar games over the past couple of years, but the form has been patchy. If he can return to his 2018/2019 form then that's a huge bonus, but it remains to be seen. Curnow is an honest, gut running foot soldier, but prone to butchering the ball.

Essendon's team is a lot more reliable heading into 2022 so I'd pick them out of the two to be the bolter. Too many ifs for Carlton for my liking.
 

B4Bear

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 6, 2011
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Nah. North will go undefeated in 2022. Jason Horne Francis will win the rising star and Brownlow
We won‘t be undefeated, he may win the rising star and he wont win the Brownlow.

Also, Carlton will not make the eight; Essendon may scrape into the eight with at eighth, but will not win a final if they do.
 

ferrisb

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2011
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For Carlton

Wings
Philp - Really excited about this former first round pick, loads of ability, athleticism and talent but has spent his first 2 seasons injured. He will be a top player but development wise, where he is is unknown. I expect him to be best 22 next season.

O'Brien - He's a very skilful and talented player but a slow developer. A slight build but elite kick and running ability. His last month of footy last season was amongst the better wingers in the comp statistically, particularly with his ability to open play up and deliver to forwards by foot. If that is anything to go by and his new standards he's going to be good but lets see. He's only 22 so it's fair to say his best football will be from 23 onwards like

Newnes - Been a good cheap get to fill that gap on the wing. He's ok but not the future.

Carroll - Really talented young player who will be in his second year. He'll be good but will he be ready? Hard to say.

Cuningham - Began to mature last year after some steady development but then did his ACL. He will be back but how well he goes only time will tell.

Cottrell - Elite runner but skills are rough, could be a good honest player.

Potential Wing option
Williams - Talented backman who has never been fit enough to play midfield. If he gets fit he could play anywhere in the midfield, if.

Kemp - Probably going to play back but would love to see him play wing. Another high draft pick with loads of talent who has spent his first two seasons injured.

Docherty - Has played a bit of wing but coming back from chemo, who knows where he will be at.


Carlton are a very big unknown quality wise. A lot of players hoping to be over their injury riddled early days. Some new recruits and a good handful of early draft picks who have been developing and maturing and should start coming on. Wing is a weak spot but one where there is potential to fill it. Midfield depth and pace is a weak spot but the potential to fill that is there as well. One thing is for sure, they won't be anywhere near as poor as they were in 2021.
That makes for dire reading re wing position.

A few hopeful kids and some other guys that might be repurposed.

But close to zero exposed form as an AFL level winger across the list. Newnes would probably be closest.

I don't mind Newnes at all. But if he's your most proven winger, that spells trouble.
 

La Dispute

La Dispute
Jul 14, 2005
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Philp will have a good year IMO. Really hard working kid with pace and a lot of upside.

Kemp is going to be out real break out player from his draft.
 

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Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
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That makes for dire reading re wing position.

A few hopeful kids and some other guys that might be repurposed.

But close to zero exposed form as an AFL level winger across the list. Newnes would probably be closest.

I don't mind Newnes at all. But if he's your most proven winger, that spells trouble.

To be fair both Cerra and Hewett have spent time on the wing during their career and have the attributes to be effective there.
 

ferrisb

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2011
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To be fair both Cerra and Hewett have spent time on the wing during their career and have the attributes to be effective there.

Agreed.

I had originally typed that Walsh and Cerra could spend some time on the wing and be very good at it. And that we could replace them in the guts by players like Kennedy and Setterfield. In theory we gain more on the outside than what we would lose on the inside.

But I didn't want to dilute my original point; IF we use our best mids in the middle (as most teams do), the outside options are VERY unproven.
 

Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
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Agreed.

I had originally typed that Walsh and Cerra could spend some time on the wing and be very good at it. And that we could replace them in the guts by players like Kennedy and Setterfield. In theory we gain more on the outside than what we would lose on the inside.

But I didn't want to dilute my original point; IF we use our best mids in the middle (as most teams do), the outside options are VERY unproven.

I don’t think Kennedy or Setterfield fit overly well alongside Cripps though. I’m not sure Setters makes Carlton’s best side whereas Kennedy can be a good rotation mid as he’s capable as a HFF.
 

HavUEvaSeenTheRain

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 20, 2006
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It will depend how we use our wingman too. It seems you can get away with only average players who play well defensively atm but to me it seems like Port used them in a more attacking way which probably means we need abit more class on them if Voss goes down that path
 

_Mike_

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Aug 10, 2009
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On the basis of the Dons making the finals last year Im sticking with them on the basis of their current trajectory. I dont think they'll bolt as the question asks, rather play in the finals again this year and at least make the second week. Carlton could finish just outside the top 8, but its a funny game and anything can happen
 

Metalcrusher

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On the basis of the Dons making the finals last year Im sticking with them on the basis of their current trajectory. I dont think they'll bolt as the question asks, rather play in the finals again this year and at least make the second week. Carlton could finish just outside the top 8, but its a funny game and anything can happen

Trust it hasn't been "funny" as a Blues supporter :(
 

Freomaniac

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May 3, 2007
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I didn’t mind the 2011 elimination final.
I had to look that one up. Yep 5th placed blues belted 8th placed Essendon in an Elim final.

For some strange reason i dont remember bit.

Actually i only remember 3 things in that 2011 finals series.

1. The 2011 grand final.

2. The hawks vs magpies preliminary final.

3. Remarkably the 2011 semi final between eagles and blues where the blues rallied near the end ofghe game and nearly won it.

Rest of that 2011 finals series I don't remember.
 
Apr 19, 2006
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On the basis of the Dons making the finals last year Im sticking with them on the basis of their current trajectory. I dont think they'll bolt as the question asks, rather play in the finals again this year and at least make the second week. Carlton could finish just outside the top 8, but its a funny game and anything can happen
Essendon played finals on account of beating up on bottom 6 sides.

11 wins for the year in total, 7 against the bottom 6.
1 win against the top 8.

They had some close losses too, and will get some players back, but they’re going to get a tougher draw so they need to start beating more teams above them in order to make finals.
 

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TheBrownDog
Sep 2, 2008
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With a bit of luck and natural improvement that inevitably comes for a young side like Essendon and Carlton, they could both be bolters in finals this year. Both have spent a lot of time accumulating good young talent, that talent began to mature for Essendon last year and is ready to mature for Carlton this year.

It would be great to see both sides going head to head as serious contenders in finals. Has not happened since very early 2000s.

Yeah agree

Essendon and Carlton in a Grand Final who’s going to win 17 first?

The build up etc leading up the gf would be huge could be the most epic gf ever
 

owen87

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
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Essendon
Essendon played finals on account of beating up on bottom 6 sides.

11 wins for the year in total, 7 against the bottom 6.
1 win against the top 8.

They had some close losses too, and will get some players back, but they’re going to get a tougher draw so they need to start beating more teams above them in order to make finals.

So what you're saying is;

They generally beat teams they were better than, but generally lost to teams they weren't better than.

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