Perhaps not a popular opinion but I reckon Cripps is a big problem for them.
He is their captain and can only really play one position. Along with this he is a one trick pony in that position and once his main strength is taken away from him he actually becomes a liability. He is poor defensively and gets exposed hugely on the spread, add to that their best midfield depth is also slow and contested and you have a problem.
Yeah he won a Browlow but I’m not sure that means much in a team sport. They are stuck with him, best they can do is try and fix what is around him to maximise his strengths. Even then opposition can still expose him.
Yeah and all of that is kind of my point, they are completely anchored to him (even if he is going at half rat power). If his mobility is stopping him from going to another position (fwd) then he is hurting them, if he can only play as a contested mid then he is hurting them as soon as the opposition get on top.
There always seems to be an injury excuse for why he isn’t playing well, which conveniently leans into the idea that he is super brave just to be out there and some mad leader, but in the end I’m not sure he is doing his team any favours atm.
Having spoken to Kouta himself about the trauma he put me through in 99’; he told me in no uncertain terms, that Essendon would’ve smashed North in the GF and that Carlton were absolutely no chance in the GF. They’d played their GF against us, and denied us a premiership.
I thought he was cooked at the end of 2021 and then he wins a Brownlow the next year. He certainly looks a step off the pace, whether he’s playing injured or not I wouldn’t know. But in any sport, you want your captain to be leading from the front. He’s down on output and it is flowing onto the team. We are very lucky that Merrett has taken the captaincy in his stride and is playing the best footy of his career, not just offensively but defensively as well.
Glad ya mentioned that, the footy media had hyped him up to be some genius tactician and a master coach in waiting - was legit embarrassing and bewildering some of the stuff he was saying - no idea then, no idea now