It’s crazy to think the coach of a team that finished in the top four could be under pressure the following season, but such is the brutal nature of the NRL. Arthur signed an extension in August which will keep him at the helm until the end of 2022. But as all of the axed coaches in 2020 will tell you, contracts don’t always mean a coach is safe. Arthur and his team recruited well heading into 2020 to build a competitive side that went on an impressive run in the first half of the season, winning eight of their first 10 games. But then the wheels began to fall off and by finals the Eels were hardly the exciting and dominant team we saw at the start of the year. They should have gone deeper into the finals, it’s as simple as that and their back-to-back finals losses raised some doubt over whether Arthur is the right man to take the club to the premiership.https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/87cea939857b56c611d3af6c407d3474?width=400 400w, https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/87cea939857b56c611d3af6c407d3474?width=480 480w, https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/87cea939857b56c611d3af6c407d3474?width=650 650w, https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/87cea939857b56c611d3af6c407d3474?width=700 700w" alt="Can Brad Arthur take the Eels to a premiership? (AAP Image/Brendon Thorne)." />
After the Eels’ semi-final loss to the Rabbitohs, club legend Peter Sterling suggested the players lacked mental resilience. On the back of that it was reported that there were some rumblings of unrest with the Parramatta hierarchy wanting to see a change in Arthur’s coaching style. One person from the club went as far as saying “running an extra three laps of the oval is not going to get us a premiership.”
That’s hard to ignore
There hasn’t been complete unity in the recruitment department either which has led to some eyebrow-raising signings that not everyone is on board with and the butting of heads has added to the existing tension.
While the issues may not be isolated to just Arthur, he is the head coach which means, fair or not, the blowback lands on him.