Former Carlton List boss Stephen Silvagni believes the “biggest flaw” has been the lack of urgency to defend, calling on them to follow the model of Prime Minister-winning Demons of being a “team altruistic”.
The Blues have undergone several off-season changes under new chairman Luke Sayers after missing the top-eight for the eighth consecutive year in a campaign where they placed 17th in the competition defensively.
Most notably, Michael Voss and Brian Cook replaced David Teague and Cain Liddle as head coach and CEO respectively, in addition to several board changes following the fallout from his sensational midseason external review.
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“I think most people at Carlton would say this: Michel Voss has to make this team a selfless football team – they don’t know what selflessness is, looking at this Carlton team,” said the great Blues.
“They don’t sacrifice themselves for each other, they don’t help each other, they have to become a selfless team.
“You see what Melbourne has done, you see what their mids have been up to – if I sat down these Carlton players, I would watch Melbourne Football Club and see the transformation they’ve made over the last 12 months. .
“It’s about making the player next to you the best possible player.”
Silvagni welcomed the club’s appointment of Cook, saying “they have gray hair out there, they need some experience”.
He believes another key goal for Voss is to bring co-captain Patrick Cripps back to his best.
Once considered one of the best star midfielders in the game during his 2018 and 2019 All-Australian seasons, the 26-year-old’s form has dropped significantly since then, with injury setbacks derailing him further.
Silvagni also asked why Jack Martin was reinjected directly into the senior squad after a nine-week layoff with a knee injury during the 2021 season.
“Most Carlton supporters would say one of the first things Michael Voss needs to do is get Patrick Cripps back to his best. It’s also for (football boss) Andrew Russell, get him in shape and ready to go because he gave up, ”he said.
“This club needs to find him at his best and he is their leader.
“Jack Martin is the other… I don’t see how you can bring Jack Martin, who has missed nine football games, straight back into the squad – few players can do that.
“There were too many players who came back to this team after long stretches and the game is too difficult.”
Despite criticism, Silvagni said he was “optimistic” about the direction of the Blues. But he pointed to the lack of development of former Pick 6 Sam Petrevski-Seton, who requested a West Coast trade, as an example of a player who did not adhere to the team’s ethics.
“What I don’t understand about Sam Petrevski-Seton is his first 60 games that he was following very well, he was playing in the middle before, the last two years he has not played in the middle,” said said Silvagni.
“He’s averaged over four tackles per game in those first three years, he’s under two tackles per game in the last two years – something fundamentally went wrong there.
“It can happen with a coach who believes in you and doesn’t believe with you. I’m not saying the previous coach didn’t believe in him.
“But to say he doesn’t work both ways, I agree, he’s not the only player at this football club that doesn’t work both ways.
“This is basically their biggest flaw: they will attack, they don’t want to defend.”