Carlton must trade to beat the Blues

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Talk within the Carlton camp suggests that we may see a different looking side next year. With up to as many as 13 players identified to be on the chopping block, who should the Blues look to offload for new talent next year?

Bryce Gibbs

Very tough call to make, but in a massive shake up of the list, some big names have to go. Number 1 draft pick in 2006, Gibbs has spent the majority of his career as a sweeper off the half back line, which is just simply the wrong position to play him. Coming through his junior years as a midfielder, it’s such a waste to play him here.  Thankfully Mick Malthouse has corrected this this year has started to play Gibbs through the midfield more frequently

However, take a look at the mould of midfielders who are dominating the competition at the moment. Theyre all hard nuts. AFL.com.au named the AFL Media All Australian midfield today, and check out who’s in there. Gary Ablett, Kieran Jack, Dan Hannebery, Scott Pendlebury and Nathan Fyfe – all inside players who play hard every single game. Their worst performances are not stinkers. While they may not have the obvious impact in these games, they’re always in and under winning the contested ball for their team. Gibbs on a bad day is beyond horrendous. Almost looking hesitant at times, you wonder if he really understands the role he is playing in the team.

If Carlton is to be a competitive finals team, they need more solid midfielders who win more contested ball on a consistent basis

Mitch Robinson

It’s really confusing watching Mitch Robinson play. Is he in the right sport? His best at times can be brutal, but that rarely happens. Credit to him for being that one person for Carlton who always goes in hard, but unless he can be effective with what he does in the contest, he needs to go. Time after time Robinson is left watching the play simply because he’s misjudged the incoming ball, or he has simply fallen over after crashing into a pack.

What does he bring to Mick Malthouse’s team? Is he best utilised as a midfielder? No. He isn’t consistent or skilful enough to hold his position against the likes of Murphy, Judd and Carrazzo. Half forward? Unfortunately for Robinson his defensive accountability may hurt him where the half back players in the modern game are responsible for so much forward attack.

Until Robinson finds a way to keep his feet and add a defensive aspect to his aggressive game, he is a liability to this team.

Jarrad Waite

What a talent Jarrad Waite is, but his injuries are having too much effect on a side that doesn’t display a great amount of depth. Mick Malthouse inherited a side that has recruited rather poorly over the years, despite their favourable position in the draft in the mid to late 2000’s. They failed to secure any real forward talent to help out Jarrad Waite. Well, they did get Josh Kennedy, who was traded to West Coast in the Chris Judd deal, so who knows how things would have shaped up. Either way, they don’t have him now, and their forward line is packed with small men.

So why would you trade away a key forward in a team desperate for key forwards? Consistency. How can a forward structure be based on someone who isn’t there for half the matches? Talk of the number 1 draft pick (Tom Boyd – 199cm, 104kg) from GWS being on offer is too much to ignore for the Blues. Secure this big man in a swap for Waite, as well as trading a small forward such as Yarran or Betts to another club for a big man and you have a transformed forward line. Lachie Henderson can play the swingman role depending on what is needed on the day and you have a much more solid team.

2 of Chris Yarran/Eddie Betts/Jeff Garlett

The first of the small forwards to go. Carlton is far too small in the forward line. Combine this with obvious attitude problems and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. What should a small forward bring to the game? Take a look at Cyril Rioli, rated as probably the best small forward in the game. His ability to run through the midfield gives so many options for Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson. His role has turned into one of a game-breaker, where opposition midfields struggle to contain the speed and tenacity that Cyril brings. In a forward line with so many smalls, at least one, if not two should provide some extra impact in the midfield. I don’t think any of these players are capable of this

So who goes? Well, Chris Yarran would have to be the first. Attitude issues in the week he was Carlton’s substitute led him to being dropped the next week in a bit of a statement from Mick Malthouse. He should be craving this role as an impact player. Since being dropped after this incident, his highest disposal tally has been 12, and has kicked only 5 goals in 6 games. What role is he playing?!?!?! Simply not good enough.

Next has to be Eddie Betts. Like Yarran, he isn’t contributing as much as we are used to. Providing so much in the past few years, Eddie’s scoring shots have dropped significantly, falling from lofty heights of 3.5 in 2012, to only 1.9 this year. His disposals have dropped to an average of 10 a game, down from 13, while his marks have dipped from 3.3 to 2.4 a game. All these drops in performance, yet he wants $600,000 next year!! A restricted free agent at the end of the year, if he is actually serious about this price, Carlton would be wise to let him go.

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Religiously tennis - senior coach at Canberra School of Tennis, playing and watching. Sydney Swans nut and fan of the five day game.

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