It has been a rough patch for the faithful down at Princes Park, but it could all change this year.
There is something brewing nicely down at Princes Park and if there is any team in AFL/VFL history which knows how to win a premiership, then its the men in navy blue.
AFL Premiership Prediction
The beginning of the Michael Voss era.
A three-time premiership captain for Brisbane, who, like the club he now coaches, knows how to win premierships.
This Carlton team has promised so much over the last five years, but has delivered very little, despite having access to a heap of talent.
The misfortunes of the last the decade could all be forgotten in 2022.
Carlton has looked like a strong outfit for the first time since that famous final against Richmond in 2013.
Albeit in only pre-season victories, Voss seems to have had an immediate impact on this talent-laden squad having guiding it to wins over St Kilda and reigning premier Melbourne.
The win over the Demons was a massive step in the right direction and, make no mistake, Melbourne was out there to win.
From a statistical perspective, the Blues seems to have made ground is some key areas in the win against the Demons.
Carlton was ranked bottom two for scores from clearances last season and belted the best team in the competition at doing it by a score of 46-17.
It coincided with Carlton finding much more of the footy with four players having 30 or more disposals – only the second time this has happened for Carlton in the last two decades.
Tackles inside 50 have been a huge component and key for winning premierships in the modern era.
The Blues performed strongly in this area with 11 tackles inside 50 against the Demons and can use this as a platform heading into the season.
Last season the Blues’ failures were due largely to their systems rather than personnel.
There was not a defensive bone in the Carlton game plan last season and players were left confused and bewildered as to what their roles were.
If a rudderless team can still be a chance of making the eight late in the season, imagine what could happen with some proper guidance under a structure and tactics that is of a finals brand.
Voss brings a wealth of knowledge from his time at Port Adelaide and he has been joined by highly-touted assistant Ashley Hansen (West Coast premiership player) who was under the wing of premiership coach Luke Beveridge.
There has been a massive push to focus on winning the ball at the source and becoming a contested beast as well as implementing a heap of defensive pressure inside their forward half.
The Blues now have a competent coaching panel that can usher this team towards a finals berth and premiership tilt.
Carlton has one of the best spines in the business with star midfielder Sam Walsh, Coleman medalist Harry McKay and classy defender Jacob Weitering making up a sturdy backbone.
A coaching panel that can nurture this trio and surround them with a nucleus of players who can support them is exactly what has occurred during the off-season.
That trio of Walsh, McKay and Weitering is now being surrounded by some serious footballers.
Adam Cerra and George Hewett look to have settled into life under Voss with great aplomb.
That pair, alongside Patrick Cripps and Matthew Kennedy, tore the Demons midfield apart in the AAMI Community Series.
The bookends for the Blues have not been a problem with Weitering likely to be teamed with Oscar McDonald and Mitch McGovern, both of who whom have shown plenty down back in the pre-season.
Midfield depth and defensive coverage from the midfielders is what has not been up to standard.
That all seems to have changed in one pre-season under Voss.
Carlton moved the ball much cleaner and with greater purpose between the arcs, and also looked much stronger defensively.
Zac Williams and Adam Saad are always going to look dangerous off half-back and the miraculous return of Sam Docherty will only make them stronger.
Last season Melbourne went from 9th to premiers, why can’t it happen to the boys in blue?
Carlton could very well be the bolt-from-the-blue in 2022.