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Rumours and Stuff

lucablight

Bench
Messages
4,313
Expecting more is fine, but there are people above the coach who are responsible for generating the resources the club needs to compete on the field. Part of their job is to hire coaching resources. But sacking coaching staff without bringing in more or better staff isn't going to improve anything. It is scapegoating pure and simple, and sports administrators have been doing it to cover their arses for decades.
Scapegoating implies that coaches are innocent victims when it comes to laying the blame regarding on field results. While there are many factors that come into play I would dispute the idea that coaches are blameless when the team performances are poor or not up to standard. In our case I would say the Eels hierarchy has done a very good job at assembling a competitive roster. I’d argue we underachieved during the regular season with the roster we have.
 

lucablight

Bench
Messages
4,313
But now you're conflating what we want to achieve (a premiership) with what is realistically expectable. Of course the coaches and players are going to blame themselves if they don't win the comp, because that's all they can do. If they were able to admit that they did their best and still lost they shouldn't be playing pro sports.

But fans like yourself are looking for a single person to take all the blame. It's classic fall-on-your-sword scapegoating. Do you really think the Tigers management is being objective when they keep sacking coaches that can't get them to the finals? As if that's the problem holding them back? Half their top 17 are reserve graders, year after year, because they need to pay overs for players. That's not the coach's fault. But he's the one who'll get the blame. It's the same at less shit clubs like Parramatta and Penrith when they don't win premierships. Merkins want to blame Cleary when his team can't beat privately owned money pits like Melbourne or Souths in a finals match.
I’m not conflating what we want to achieve with what is reasonably expectable. I think it’s perfectly reasonably expectable to see improvement every season. We have been stuck at the hurdle of being a week 2 finals side for a while now and that is problematic if we don’t improve. If it’s not the coaches job to improve the team then who would you hold accountable instead? Why even have a coach if their impact is so minimal? I don’t agree with you on the coach not being at fault for the Tigers’ current situation. He’s been there for 3 years now. It’s his job to implement measures that ensure the team improves. He has failed to do that thus far. Similarly, Cleary has had a dominant team for the last two seasons. I can understand why eyebrows would be raised if he went out in straight sets this season. I don’t know what you mean by suggesting Cleary should not be blamed for losing to Melbourne and Souths. Both of those matches were very winnable for Penrith (especially the latter who his team beat up regularly and were missing their best player). It’s a coaches job to beat responsibility for how their team performs on the field. That’s what they get paid the big bucks to do.
 

hindy111

Immortal
Messages
41,675
We've got quite a good core. Our best hope now is some young guys continue to improve and break out. D.Brown has showed better signs the last month of the season. Why give up on him now?
We had awesome value in Papali. But that was a once in 5yr bit of luck imo. However Cartwright was also a valuable asset for min wage. Maybe we find 1 or 2 more of them. Never know our luck.
We did unearth Penisini and Dunster this year also and they've improved us.


Russel,Naiduki, Greig, Hollis are four guys I feel have the potential to bust into the side in 2022.
Dave will turn 21 in April. He is 196cm and 105kgs. I'd bet by the start of next season he is over the 110kgs mark. Big engine,Good legs speed. Needs a little more power which will come.
Kafusi just turned 22. He is quite seasoned now but 2022 will be his year if he is going to take that leap into a top 17 player who is constantly picked bar injuries.

Greig is another prop with loads of potential. Again 21 and will be 22 next season before kick off. He needs to work on fitness. But again could be a diamond in the rough.

Russel might be the guy that gives us a little x factor.

The thing with juniors/young guys is one big off-season and their body developing can increase their progression rapidly. Then it is just game time to get them up to speed.
If you don't have patience you fall down the same slide of losing juniors who develop elsewhere. Look at Keppie. It's isnonly now he is starting to show some potential. In 2yrs I can see him as a very good prop. Hollis,Kausi,Greig all have the same potential imo.
 

Gazzamatta

First Grade
Messages
8,835
We've got quite a good core. Our best hope now is some young guys continue to improve and break out. D.Brown has showed better signs the last month of the season. Why give up on him now?
We had awesome value in Papali. But that was a once in 5yr bit of luck imo. However Cartwright was also a valuable asset for min wage. Maybe we find 1 or 2 more of them. Never know our luck.
We did unearth Penisini and Dunster this year also and they've improved us.


Russel,Naiduki, Greig, Hollis are four guys I feel have the potential to bust into the side in 2022.
Dave will turn 21 in April. He is 196cm and 105kgs. I'd bet by the start of next season he is over the 110kgs mark. Big engine,Good legs speed. Needs a little more power which will come.
Kafusi just turned 22. He is quite seasoned now but 2022 will be his year if he is going to take that leap into a top 17 player who is constantly picked bar injuries.

Greig is another prop with loads of potential. Again 21 and will be 22 next season before kick off. He needs to work on fitness. But again could be a diamond in the rough.

Russel might be the guy that gives us a little x factor.

The thing with juniors/young guys is one big off-season and their body developing can increase their progression rapidly. Then it is just game time to get them up to speed.
If you don't have patience you fall down the same slide of losing juniors who develop elsewhere. Look at Keppie. It's isnonly now he is starting to show some potential. In 2yrs I can see him as a very good prop. Hollis,Kausi,Greig all have the same potential imo.
Keppie was a keeper.
 

TheRam

Coach
Messages
10,318
Do you have an insight into what role our assistants have at the club or are you just guessing ? You make it sound like the assistants dictate how we attack and how we defend. Do you think that other assistants tell Bellamy or Robinson or Bennett how the team attacks ? Or do they run training and skills based on the head coach's instructions ?

Keen to hear your thoughts (without the usual condescending sarcasm if possible).

No as I have said before, I don't have inside information. I have made an assessment from what I have heard or seen from players coaches or anyone involved in the game when they talk about Parra. It isn't such a national secret if you are keen to listen and learn and from what I have picked up over the last couple of years is that we don't do anywhere near enough multiple game plan training. Well not in the Storm class of training as an example anyway.

As for assistants telling Bellamy, Robinson or Bennett how the team attacks or defends? It's horses for courses in this area. Those three are obviously the best of the bunch, so they lay down the agenda and the assistants then follow and execute. But don't be fooled, even they need help at times.

Perfect example is the story of Bennett not being able to beat a curtain other NRL coaches teams ever. He just couldn't get what they were doing and were beating him(his teams) every time. So Bennett one season went out and hired one of the other coaches assistants and then sat him down and got him to show him and explain exactly what this other coach was doing. Finally Bennett got it and that was it Bennett teams started winning against that coaches teams.

But in general, depending on the type of coach, the input of offensive or defensive tactics would vary up or down for the assistants and how much they lead the process. With our coach, well I'm sure you remember the time when after another heavy loss on the flight home, our coach sat next to Anasta and asked him for defensive advise and so then Anasta showed him on the back of napkins different scenarios. That in itself shows us that he isn't so tactically minded at the least. I don't have a problem with this as long as he recognises his short cummings and brings in the necessary help needed.

Which brings us to who has he hired to show him the way forward? I can't say I feel like we are in safe hands with the two he has around him. It also suggests why we may not value training our offensive and defensive structures endlessly and mercilessly as much as some of the other teams do. Let alone training for multiple plans as I have heard our own players mention over the last couple of seasons now, that we don't train for this or that. It seems as though we train for the collision and the front loading and everything revolves around that. But not much else. That doesn't leave much room for error and or adjustment when things go awry.

Look at Ciraldo who is considered a brilliant defensive coach. What does that mean? I would have thought that it meant that the head coach would have enough confidence in him to allow him to lead the defensive agenda and tell the coach how he thought the team should go about defending different attacking raids and structures. They are the number one defensive team in the NRL.

So lets see, has anyone ever praised our assistant coaches for their brilliant input or admired the way we defend or attack in general, not just the individual moment here or there or game, but the way we play as a team other then our power game when that works? It's the formation and structure of offence or defense that I am referring to here, not the individual players ability to defend or attack. But how they work in the systems they have trained at and nailed them. That can only happen if you have smart operators leading and guiding the way and merciless repetition at training. Listen to Bellamy coached players how they are always referring to the endless hours they practice everything they do on the field at training every week and the different game plans they go through. Bellamy is brutal on this aspect of preparation. They practice everything till it is perfect and then practice some more.

Does it look like we do the same thing out there on the field to you? We barely look like we recognise each other out there at different times during the season. Even when the Storm, Panthers or Roosters don't play well or lose, do they ever look as inept or confused as we do when we are playing badly? Remember we are in the same ball park for quality of players. Sure they may have an extra superstar or two then us, but we have quality right across the board that should be so well prepared that we should never look so lost. But we so often do and not just against the better teams either.

That to me tells me we are not doing something right on the training paddock and the people responsible for driving and executing that are the coaches, most players are see monkey do types. If the coach staff don't think there is a need for something, most players will follow and like I said earlier, I have heard our players say that we don't train for...fill in the blank. Example a hooker going down or being a player short(but I think they started to train for this one now).

But the real obvious and more concerning part is that we don't train for what comes after plan A. We need to have at least a plan B, but we totally don't have one and when we play the Panthers tonight, if we aren't dominating them and scoring points, what then?

Remember they have the best defense in the NRL, so what do we do then? If they play like I expect them to and be real energetic and aggressive in defense, what will we do to get around that? This is where the coaching staff earn their supper. What will they have devised to thwart the Panthers smothering defense? The hitup, frontloading and chase the collision alone won't win this contest if the Panthers come to play. So what else tactically have our brains trust sat down and nutted out to combat the Panthers brilliant defense or their set play attacks? Have we worked out how to smother their attack? You can bet that the brains trust of the Storm or the Roosters would have worked on something and practiced it forever. I'll give you a clue, I would focus on Cleary and To'o.

So what is our solution? Well I suppose we will know tonight if they had one.

I think we have the players, but do we have the coaches? I really hope so, but I am sick of hoping and so expect a loss and a big one. That way I can only be happily surprised if by some miracle we actually win tonight.
 

TheRam

Coach
Messages
10,318
You don't see any logic because you don't understand the problem. It's not about hiring the 'wrong guy' as though there's some magical 'right guy' who will reliably win a premiership with a club outside the top tier. NRL success is about resources not personalities. That's the myth that has been perpetuated by our working class fans and players, and the pundits that sell the most media to them.

Don't misrepresent me, I'm not saying leadership (a personality trait at the level of the individual) doesn't matter, but rather that it is a resource that can be hired with money, meaning there is a competitive market for it, like there is for everything else.

We know Brad Arthur isn't a top tier coach, because he hasn't been poached by a top tier club. It's also how we know the rest of our coaching staff aren't the best. If they were they would be at clubs able to pay more. We've seen that with members of our staff who have been poached in the past. If they're good they end up at clubs like the Roosters. Likewise, the Chooks don't have their assistant coaches poached to be assistants at other clubs, they only leave to become head coaches, where the gaining club hopes they can learn how to implement the Roosters' systems (but on a fraction of the budget). It's the same with the Storm. Their best assistants only go to poorer clubs to try their luck with fewer resources. Otherwise they stay in Melbourne as assistants.

Wondering about whether they're the right guy or the wrong guy completely misses the point. If they want a real shot at winning they need to get some cash together and put it all in for a couple of years, like the Dragons and Knights tried to do with Bennett and all the staff he requires. It'll either pay off or it won't, but either way the cost will impoverish the club for several years afterwards. This is how it seems Bennett and Hasler (and Green and Flanagan) appear to leave clubs in poor shape. It's because the money ran out and they needed years to get their books right.

There are so many things that I can address in this post but I don't have the time or inclination to since I have already in many other posts other then to say once again the budget for non player salary is capped at $5m now. So you are referring to yesteryear. We and most other clubs can now compete with the big boys on this score. It comes down to your leaders in the board room more then ever now. If they are seen as savvy smart cookies and stable, and if you as a club are prepared to spend around that $5m, then it comes down to your recruiters and coaches.

It is very difficult to just buy the ready made playing talent necessary to win premierships. So Phil Gould is right, the smart clubs are slowly realising this now and beginning to follow and implement what he has done at the Panthers. If a club does that and has a stable smart board, hires quality personnel across the board at all levels, spends the necessary $5m on non player salaries, then there is no reason why they can't compete with the best eventually. We have most of this covered now. I think we are just shy of the assistant coaches and or head coach, but I think he would be fine if he had better assistants to bounce ideas around with. We should be looking for the best upcoming young minds in the game at the very least. I also think that our junior talent identification is amiss to some degree also and could be better.

Just on coaching, I would have loved if we had headhunted Billy Slater as a lower grade coach when he retired for instance. He to me is going to be a great coach if he wants to be and probably the best of the elite player bunch. I wonder if he could still do that and be the QLD coach? But if he comes through the lower grades, I feel he would brain it eventually at NRL level and if he did it here he would develop a soft spot for us and a very real possibility of one day being our head coach. He could also transition to assistant coach after a couple of years if as expected he started to excel and be to good to ignore with the expectation of taking over as head coach.

Also why not have another go at bringing Michael Ennis to our club? He turned us down when we first approached him for Canberra, but I think that he had done that because we were the weaker roster at the time and he wanted to go to a strong club. But the worm has turned on that and now might be the perfect time for him to come on board, especially how he loves Mahoney, it might just help in getting him across the line. But those are the sort of people I want our club to be always striving to have be part of our club. They have the smarts and the stature in the game that players respect and listen to. But even more importantly, they would be streets ahead tactically then the guys we have helping our head coach at present. Of that I am sure of.
 

TheRam

Coach
Messages
10,318
Salary caps don't take into account the advantage of facilities or other intangibles (career and investment opportunities, for example) and salary caps are inherently broken when one team has to pay more for players and staff than others.

We are about to have some pretty significant facilities so, so that should not be a problem and I doubt that has stopped any of the better assistant coaches in the last two years if approached to join us. As for career and investment opportunities, Penrith is hardly the Mecca of investment and career opportunities.

As always you look for excuses as to why we can't. I am a Captain Can Do kind of guy, especially when the ingredients are there. I wonder who people prefer being lead by and or join an organisation that has the two different outlooks? The key to all success starts with aspiration first and a strong stable environment to achieve it. We have that and we have most if not all the ingredients, but you seem to think we don't. So lets just leave it at that.
 

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