Manly should sack Des the deserter

Joe Karsay Roar Rookie

By Joe Karsay, Joe Karsay is a Roar Rookie

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    Have Manly not learnt any lessons from the experience of the Dragons in 2011? Or even Collingwood for that matter? As soon as a coach decides they will be joining a rival club in the same competition they can no longer perform their duties.

    It’s a simple conflict of interest that cannot be eschewed no matter how professional the individual in question.

    The case in point being Wayne Bennett – a man of unquestionable integrity and arguably the best coach in the game.

    The situation of a coach is fundamentally different to that of a player. A player has a simple job to do which is not necessarily affected by the fact that they are going to another club the following season.

    If you tell them to hit it up hard – their competitive juices will likely take over.

    The coach on the other hand is the leader and the custodian of the tactics. They hold all the knowledge, not only about on field tactics but also longer term issues such as player recruitment.

    It’s like Allan Joyce saying “I am leaving to be CEO of Virgin in 2013 but will remain CEO of Qantas in the interim”, it’s absurd.

    The empirical evidence from the Dragons in 2011 is compelling. The Dragons had a season of two halves; winning 10 out of their first 11 games and only 4 out of their next 14.

    After some of the insipid performances in the second half of the season Bennett made the very un-Bennett like statement that it was the players and not he who had to work out what was going so wrong on the pitch.

    This coming from a guy who would ordinarily die for his players. The ultimate proof that Bennett had mentally moved on was when he made a trip to Newcastle prior to the Dragons sudden death final against the Brisbane Broncos.

    What would have happened if the Dragons had to play Knights in the finals? Would Bennett have still thought it right to rendezvous with Tinkler?

    Earlier in the season when Bennett announced his intention to leave the Dragons (after only a few rounds of the 2011 season and prior to joining the Knights) he stated that he was leaving the Dragons because he had achieved what he had been hired to do – he had delivered the 2010 Premiership.

    Such hubris was out of character for the normally modest man and revealed an alarming lack of ambition for the then current season.

    Collingwood is a very different manifestation of the same issue. In that case the club had arranged in 2009 that Mick Malthouse would not coach past 2011.

    As D Day approached this year the issue started to become a distraction for the team and history will record the fact that they did not win the 2011 Flag despite starting the season as the hottest favorites.

    Coaching requires one hundred percent dedication. You cannot get this from someone whose days are numbered. Life tenure is now a relic of the past in all but some Academic institutions. You cannot expect coaches will not chase the dollars, just like we all do.

    However, they should not be able to announce deals that take effect in six months or 12 months’ time because it dilutes their ability to do their job in the interim – which is to get their players to fulfill their destiny – it makes them a hypocrite of sorts.

    One of the reasons why high profile coaches are so sort after is because of the players they attract – especially the ones that have played with them before.

    If you leave a coach around a club for another 12 months – who is to say, they will not try to entice their favorite players to join them at their new club? It’s precisely why people are put on gardening leave in the corporate world.

    In Manly’s case it’s not like they are concerned about the void that that will be left if they walk Desy immediately – they have already announced that current assistant Geoff Toovey will take over from him at the end of the season.

    Again this is similar to the Malthouse/Buckley succession plan at Collingwood. It is almost inevitable that the incumbent and successor will fall out at some point because the demarcation of their authority has become blurred.

    The Manly management (who have already hashed the contract renewal talks with Hasler – hence his move) need to cut their losses and ask Desy to clear his desk.

    We are all left with the lament that loyalty appears to be a quality that was left in the last millennium.

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • October 13th 2011 @ 10:19am
      The Bagman said | October 13th 2011 @ 10:19am | ! Report

      What about Ivan Cleary? The Warriors played great after he signed for Penrith. And Des has a great bond with these players. Any chance you’re a Bulldogs supporter, Mr Karsay.

      • October 13th 2011 @ 10:34am
        Ken said | October 13th 2011 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        Yeah the premise is flawed – even the example used in Bennett doesn’t ring true – the Dragons went on a 10 match winning streak after Bennett announced his departure. Origin messed them up but they were still a force at the business end of the season. I was guessing he was a venting Manly fan though…

    • Columnist

      October 13th 2011 @ 11:02am
      Joe Karsay said | October 13th 2011 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      You are both wrong – I am a Dragons fan!

      Bagman – My only comeback to the Cleary example is that there is an exception to every rule! I still think it would have been better for his players if they could have kept it under wraps until the end of the season.

      Ken – How can you say the Dragons were a force at the business end of the season – reigning premiers who went out in straight sets in the finals?

      • October 13th 2011 @ 5:15pm
        Ken said | October 13th 2011 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

        The Dragons semi against Brisbane was the highest quality game of the season, IMO no other teams in the comp would have stood up to either of them that day. Of course, that game saw the Dragons gone and Brisbane hobbled so neither played on the big day – but they were top contenders in good form.

      • October 13th 2011 @ 9:53pm
        The Bagman said | October 13th 2011 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

        Time will tell with Dessie – but I think he has a bit of a special quality where he uses any adversity to the team’s advantage. I’m a Manly supporter and would love to see him stay – Toovey’s future performance is a reflection on Des’s mentoring. Cheers

    • October 13th 2011 @ 12:39pm
      mushi said | October 13th 2011 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

      Maybe your one example in the NRL is the exception?

      for teh record i do agree with your premise just don’t think you’ve supported it

    • October 13th 2011 @ 12:43pm
      Adrian said | October 13th 2011 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      Why give Canterbury a leg up for next season? Let them sweat it out with Dymock for 12 months. Des and Tooves get on great the players want a back to back premiership which will mark them as legends. Hasler wants to stay and have another shot at the premiership because it’s going to be a long while coming at Canterbury.
      Pretty sure the Manly board had no intention of renewing Hasler’s contract nine years is enough and if it ends with four Grand Finals and three Premierships it’ll go down pretty well in the history books, as it stands three and two reads pretty well anyway.

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    • October 13th 2011 @ 12:45pm
      Matt Waters said | October 13th 2011 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

      Dragons going out had to do with one thing. they are chokers!

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2011 @ 2:51pm
      apaway said | October 13th 2011 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

      Um, no. You don’t sack one of the best coaches in the game just because he has decided his future lies elsewhere after next season. And Manly have a succession plan already in place.

      Losing Hasler is a complete blight on the Manly board but sacking him would compound it even further.

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