Adelaide director of football Mark Ricciuto has released a devastating spray after the Crows’ winless start to 2022, saying the players ‘can’t kick, can’t play handball and can’t score a goal’ .
Ricciuto didn’t hold back in his assessment of the club after defeats to Fremantle and Collingwood to start the season, calling the games “trash”.
Kane Cornes shared Ricciuto’s frustration and wondered if the skill issues could even be fixed.
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“At the moment their skill levels are just shocking. Handball, kicking, goal kicking, giving free kicks, it’s really, from what I can see, it’s that bad that they can play,” Ricciuto said on Triple M.
“Just get back to basics…just lower yourself.
“They were underperforming.
“They can’t kick, they can’t play handball, they can’t kick a goal, they gave free kicks, they really can’t do anything worse.”
Cornes said Ricciuto’s criticism was “quite embarrassing” for Crows players, given their position as a big club.
“If Roo said, ‘Listen, we’re really down in our team defense and the opposition were able to cut us off too easily and we were marked too easily and our team defense wasn’t enough. tight and it’s something we were going to work on”. Or if he had said, ‘Look, we just got overwhelmed with central rebound clearances, we played against bigger teams and they really got us going’… but he’s not saying that,” said Horns said. on SEN.
“These are the fundamentals of football.
“It’s kind of a pretty overwhelming kind of thing.
“Three years into a rebuild, you have the biggest player at the club and the most influential personality at the club saying, ‘We can’t kick and play handball’… I don’t even know if this can be corrected.
“If it was a tactical thing, you could refine it… if you have a group of players who can’t execute the basic principles of the game, it’s going to be a long year.”
The Crows were dismal in the 42-point loss to Collingwood in the second round, but there were highlights in the one-point loss to Fremantle the previous week.
Youngster Josh Rachele scored five goals on his debut against Dockers while Matt Crouch has made his way to regaining his fitness after missing all of 2021.
“They’re actually much better than they play,” Ricciuto said.
“I’ve seen guys like Brodie Smith… that’s a much better kick. It’s a matter of trust, not a matter of ability.
“You have to believe that you are going to win. The leaders have to get by and bluff the young people.