90acd1ac859491090152eb38901f644721609965https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_144%2C$height_144/t_crop_fill/q_86%2Cf_auto/90acd1ac859491090152eb38901f644721609965 2x" alt="Adam Pengilly" width="72" height="72" />
By Adam Pengilly
August 20, 2021 — 4.09pm


Embattled Eels coach Brad Arthur said it could take months to work out why his side’s season has crumbled since relocating to Queensland and conceded the time for talking was over after last week’s “humiliation”.

After another week in which the club was forced to deny bubble life had undone a promising campaign with four straight losses, Arthur accepted the majority of responsibility for Parramatta’s slide, which has dropped them out of the top four.

The Eels are favoured to return to winning ways against the struggling Cowboys on Saturday night before a torrid finish to the regular season against title heavyweights Melbourne and Penrith.

Arthur gave his players an extra day off this week after Tom Trbojevic’s Sea Eagles torched the Eelsin a 56-10 rout last week. The coach said the break would not affect his side’s match fitness.


Asked about the ability of different clubs to handle hub life, Arthur said: “I’d be lying to you if I knew the answer. There might be 10 different people with different opinions on what’s going wrong.

“We could sit here for the next three months trying to work it out. Have we done too much? Have we not done enough? Do all the players get along? Do they not get along? I’ll never get to the bottom of that.

“What I do know is we’re not playing well enough and every team has to go through the same situation we’re in. There’s been some adjustments this week to see if we can get a change of response. Now the boys are surrounded by their families and this is as close as we can get to being in Sydney.

“We’re paid to do a job - and at the moment we’re not doing it good enough.”

Arthur denied there was a squabble over hotel room sizes which had caused a fracture in the squad. The players and staff left the resort they were originally quarantining in to move to serviced apartments this week, but the move was pre-scheduled.

Nevertheless, Arthur has never needed a win more to quieten the noise surrounding the Eels - and they couldn’t have asked for a better opponent, with the Cowboys on a nine-game losing run.

“The result is important, but probably more so our response to a bit of humiliation last week,” Arthur said. “I need to see a response in a team that was hurting and embarrassed by the performance.

“There are 17 players and myself that contributed to what happened the other night. It’s hard to single out one person - and we haven’t done that. More responsibility falls on my shoulders than anyone.”

Arthur has recalled young outside backs Haze Dunster and Will Penisini at the expense of Tom Opacic and Michael Oldfield, while Ryan Matterson will start a three-game suspension after being sent off for a high shot on Brad Parker.

The Eels sent a letter to club members last Sunday acknowledging their frustration as another season threatens to unravel on the eve of the finals. Prop Junior Paulo penned similar correspondence the previous week, claiming the club still had “fighting spirit” and believed they were “still a top four team”.

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  • Whinge and bitch all you like, BA WILL be coach in 2022.

    • I'll take that bet. 

    • Hi. Why do you say that?  The talk on this forum and externally would appear to suggest otherwise? 

      • Won't make a dif what we say or anyone else. BA is contracted here next year. He won't walk, and the board are not strong enough to sack him imo, so we are stuck with him for another 12 months at least I reckon.

        • That's a bit naive Parrapete.

          As the head of the business of a footy club, the Board is tasked with knowing if the ship is shipshape to leave port? Do you believe the HMS Parramatta is in any condition to set sail next year with the current holes in the hull? I do not! The Board's job is to make the hard decisions, and this is one of them. These are men and women who have a responibilty to uphold the constitution of the club. Part of that is appointing coaching, training and management personel. Then assessing theIr performance levels, based on KPI's, with consideration of adverse circumstances. The objectives of each reporting management appointee, ie CEO Jim Sarantinos and Manager of Football Mark O'Neill. Head Coach Brad Arthur and his appointees. The question is harder than the answer here IMO.

    • If people want change, throw in your memeberships, even a drop of 5% would have parramatta board panicing. 

      • If BA is the coach in 2022 i wont be watching any games, just like alot of parrmaatta pureist. 
      • Hasn't membership actually increased by a lot over the last 3 years.

        Even during Covid the Parra brand is as popular as ever.

      • I will put up with him next year if I have to, but if he is extended after next year, I will not renew my two memberships that I have had since 1986.

    • If that's the case I'll be whinging and bitching ti the cows come home and I won't be alone 

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