David King believes Carlton’s “arrogant” performance in their loss to Adelaide over the weekend may have completely derailed their season.
While he doesn’t believe it to be an accurate reflection of their performance this year, the Blues’ loss to the Crows leaves them on 12 wins, with Brisbane (away), Melbourne and Collingwood to play and 13 wins likely required to play finals .
The Crows were clearly the better team on the night in the 29-point win and King was harsh in his assessment of the Blues.
“It was the most arrogant performance I’ve seen for a long time. They thought they were going to turn up and get through the Adelaide Crows because of where they are on the (ladder),” he told SEN’s Whatley.
“I’m not saying the coach said that, I’m not saying the leaders said that, they played like that.
“You could see it. It’s the desire indicators. Things like broken tackles – 23 broken tackles, which is a season high. They stepped through them and it wasn’t like they were walking through first-gamers.
“It was Patrick Cripps, it was Sam Walsh – some of Walsh’s defensive actions, he would be embarrassed about at the review today.
“Adam Saad, they put a tag to him and he didn’t handle it at all. He took risks just because he was being tagged. He’s been one of the best one-on-one defenders as a small defender … but for whatever reason he thought, ‘I’m not picking up Ben Keays’.
“All of a sudden you’re playing with a 10-meter leg rope, he gets out the back consistently and causes chaos. Nic Newman, I know he got subbed out, some of the defensive lapses that he makes, Lachie Plowman, I don’t understand Lachie Plowman at times. What are you doing man?
“All of a sudden, these cracks in their game come home to roost when their intensity is not there, their ground ball game, they got humbled at ground level for toughness.
“Full credit to the Adelaide Crows who wound themselves up. Their leadership, Tex Walker, you can’t give this guy enough credit and do him justice. What he does is in that forward line is special and Jacob Weitering had a really poor game by his standards.
“For some reason, they decided to give space to their opponents on the weekend and I couldn’t work that out. It has to be between the ears because the four weeks prior they’d been brilliant.
“I thought it was really poor and it ruined their year. That loss at this stage of the year, it just rocks the boat. They’re a better team than where they finish on the ladder. They are right now a better team than that.
“It reads well for next year, but right now, that was a really arrogant performance and they got smacked in the eyes by a team that said ‘you know what, you’re coming to our turf, we’re going okay, we ‘re invested in the competition of getting the result’.”
Carlton takes on Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon, before finishing the season with Melbourne and Collingwood. Will they find that 13th win? King isn’t sure.
“I don’t think they’ll find one in the next few weeks. Very few teams have gone to Brisbane over the last few years and walked away with a win. They won’t be getting that, I don’t think,” he said.
“Melbourne is one of the toughest challenges in the competition right now. I think it’ll be on the Collingwood game.
“I mean, what a finish to the year. It sets up perfectly for Collingwood. They could put a real dagger in the heart of the Carlton faithful in Round 23 and they’ll be jostling for 5th or 6th position.
“There’s nowhere to hide, and Carlton didn’t front up on the weekend and find themselves in a difficult position now.”
The Blues will lose three players to injury, with Matthew Kennedy convicted, Nic Newman dealing with a knee issue and Corey Durdin hurting his shoulder.