Firstly id like to say i think Brads a very good coach, hes got plenty of good points and i respect him immensely as a man and a coach.
I think he can take us to the top 4 again this year, he will definitely take us into the 8 again, ive no worries there, i also believe hes the coach to coach us long term.
Having said that here are a few things that i see to be an issue or could be improved.
Brad has too many favs hes invested emotionally with and its clouding his vision imo..
This can be seen by the way he gives a lot of older guys 1 year extensions as a reward when they are already over the hill, those guys only fill up the top 30 and reduce the competition for spots and hunger.
In other words he needs to be more expedient and cut throat to get the best out of his playing unit.
In RL you need top get rid of dead wood fast, not give them extended contracts like the Gowers, De'goise etc
Why hire bums like Williams and Frank Pritchard? these guys are just more dead wood who clog the top 30 up.
Jane Evans haha how embarrassing for all involved, the less said about his signing the better, if thats all he can give on his debut it doesnt say much about his ticka.
All this creates a lack of real hunger, combine that with run of the mill Vavaes and Matagi and its not looking the best..
And then theres leadership, Brad just doesnt get it, rewarding an ageing player like Scott with the co captaincy along with Tim who is the worst on field captain in history is not a good idea, its not planning for the future either.
Getting run down after big leads on a regular basis is a sign of poor leadership.
Im NOT just blaming leadership but its a cog in the wheel, anybody who thinks otherwise just doesnt get it.
Theres nobody calming or steadying the ship when we start to slide, nobody putting a calm head on the lads behind the post after the other teams scored, theres no leadership, Brads had years to work this out but because hes so emotionally invested in Tim and sees all his great off the field qualities its blinded him into thinking it carries over onto the park.
I can promise you now, we will never win a comp with Mannah as capt, never.
All these guys are dead wood or very close to it.
Theres even doubts over Manus and Teps ability to offer much in attack.
Weve got too many blokes with very limited skill sets, they just arnt offering enough on the park.
Reality is we dont need just one new big bopper forward, we need 2 or 3 who can bend the line and intimidate.
In all the time Brads been here hes promoted 2 blokes up.
I agree with buying the talent in, but if youre not buying it in which we havnt this year, and if you dont promote anybody up from the lower grades, things can get stale, the competition for spots and the hunger drops off a bit, ive seen it many times.
On to our hooker situation.
Cameron King is very overrated, he gives fairly reliable service at dummy half but thats where it ends, his decision making is poor, he takes selfish options on the line, hes just not a creating or attacking rake, not to mention he cant play 80 minutes, as a hooker he adds very little in some areas, he is not the long term answer.
Bevan French gets too much love, imo he is a huge liability on the wing, the only world i can use to describe his build is weedy, hes got zero power or strength and i can tell you now, at the pointy end of the season in the big games he will be our weakest link.
He will be exploited on our line and walked over just like Luke Burt was in the ones that mattered, there is no place in my team for wingers this small.
Bev will never be the player eels fans think he will, hes a great attacking player but thats where it ends, if he doesnt cut it at FB id be letting Bev go and id be looking to buy a big strong winger, id be looking to make our team taller/bigger all over the park where possible.
Our new strips were an absolute disgrace to look at on the weekend, we looked like a dropped lemon meringue pie, how embarrassing, they looked worse than id ever imagined, just offensive to look at, hang your head in shame Bernie, what an embarrassment.
We looked like we were dressed to attend a gay sling party for seniors at a bowling club, disgraceful.
We need a purge to rid the dead wood very soon or we will continue to be the also rans, we also need to sort out the leadership issue and start planning for the future leadership wise or we will continue to have the soft underbelly we have on the park.
BLUE AND GOLD WILL NEVER FOLD!