Former AFL club captains Tim Watson and Garry Lyon disagree with North Melbourne champion Wayne Carey, who believes Geelong is a better side without Gary Ablett.
Ablett is averaging 33.3 disposals per game across his first three matches this season, but despite his ball winning capabilities, Carey thinks it’s the other side of his game that’s bringing the Cats down.
“I think they’ll be better without Gary Ablett,” he told
“Gary Ablett doesn’t give you a lot defensively and I think Gary, and I think he’ll admit himself, and a lot of people have noticed, that Gary just chips the ball around.
“He gets a lot of cheap possessions at the moment.”
While Watson admitted you might need to tinker Ablett’s style of play, he thinks saying Geelong is better without the dual Brownlow Medallist is a stretch.
“I can’t subscribe to the idea that a team can be better without Gary Ablett,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“You might need to modify him and convince him that he needs to play a different style of football and be more productive in certain parts of the game.
“Not as a statement to say Geelong are going to be a better team without Gary Ablett, though.”
Melbourne team of the century member Lyon is also of the notion the Cats are a more dangerous proposition with Ablett, but he did explain how defensive shortcomings are common amongst the game’s elite.
“He (Ablett) gives a great deal of value to that footy side,” he said.
“There’s a lot of the best players in the competition that don’t do a lot defensively.
“If you want to do a forensic look at the best players in the competition, if you want to iso camera Dustin Martin, Patrick Dangerfield, they don’t pay any attention to their man.”