Whilst the Blues missed out on a Preliminary Final in 2011 by a whisker, we were not despondent. Sure, a missed opportunity... but the Blues were back. We had an AFL Legend in Chris Judd, a strong core midfield group of Kreuzer, Gibbs and Murphy, and emerging young talent in Yarran. Surely we could now ascend to our rightful place in the top 4 in the next year or two. HIstory proves that this confidence was indeed arrogance - only a few short years later we would sit rock bottom. How did that happen?

Like any story about cellar-dwelling in the AFL, there are a number of factors involved, and a number of people at least partially responsible given the roles they sat in over the era 2010-2015. This article is not about those people nor will it allocate blame - that's for pub talk by Blues fans. But we will highlight a few areas of concern.

The Core List
A simple review of the 2015 Playing List shows that very few of the players we had would be long term AFL players, excluding some AFL stars listed later in this article.

In fact, only 15 players would remain on an AFL list at the end of Season 2018: Buckley (GWS), Casboult, Cripps, Ed Curnow, Docherty, Gibbs, Henderson & Tuohy (Cats), Holman (Suns), Jones, Kruezer, Murphy, Simpson, Thomas, Gowers (Bulldogs). 14! That's less than one third of a list of AFL quality and longevity from which to build from.

Note here there are many players that Carlton has let go in that time, but only Buckley, Gowers and Holman have been picked up by other Clubs (i.e. excluding direct trades)

And to top it all off, on our 2015 list for the last time were Carlton great and stalwart Chris Judd and Andrew Carrazzo. Few will forget the injury to Juddy in Round 10 on the outer wing at the G against the Crows. Up he went, down he went, and at a tender young age of 31 was lost to the game. Now Judd had made sounds about not playing much longer in any case, but his loss capped a horrific year and potentially deprived us of leadership in 2015 and 2016.

'Carrots' would also finish up after 194 games in Navy Blue. His wonderful career was winding up in 2015 in any case, but the loss of an experienced midfielder would hurt this list when we could least expect it.