There’s just no comparison (that Rohan Connolly won’t irrelevantly make)

Factually, you can’t fault Rohan Connolly’s article in this morning’s Age, drawn fastidiously from the genre: “here are the random stats that turned last year’s ordinary team into this year’s amazing team”. His key points, summarised and / or (sometimes ironically) rebutted:

Connolly: “Last season, as injuries cut a swath through the list, Carlton was forced to call on 41 players. This year, it has used 38, and five have played three games or less… Five players have played every game this season. Significantly, all of them have been defenders.”

Statsman: “This season, as injuries cut a swath through the list, Carlton was forced to call on 38 players. Last year, it used 41, but five played two games or less… Three Blues played every game last season. Significantly two of them were gun super-barometer excitement machines Eddie Betts and Jeff Garlett.” Continue reading

Ornaments to the game

It’s surprising to pick up the Age and find out, twice in a week, that talented AFL players are, in fact, wall ornaments. But, that’s what Matthew Lloyd would have us believe about Brett Deledio, and Matt Murnane about Jeff Garlett: they’re barometers.

I’m sure they mean well. Something like, “when Deledio’s playing well, the Tigers are too”, or “when the Blues win, Garlett usually kicks a bag”.

Well, which is it? Do the teams influence the players, or vice-versa? Murnane has a go at answering this:

‘It is an interesting thought for Blues supporters to ponder – do Garlett and Betts play well because Carlton are winning, or do the Blues win because Garlett and Betts are playing well? A group of former Carlton greats posed that question this week said the answer probably was somewhere in the middle. It’s the “chicken and the egg”, so to speak.’

So I guess that’s vice-versa-versa-vice. Well done to the group of Carlton greats for working it out for us. What they may be saying is that there is a feedback loop between the teams and players… which, possibly, makes Lloyd’s and Murnane’s articles redundant (potential headline: Players excels in team, team wins… Player even excels more! Team wins by even more! … continue until you run out of exclamation marks). Continue reading