Greg Bird returns for the Gold Coast Titans against the Eels. (Digital pic by Robb Cox © Action Photographics.)

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The Gold Coast Titans entered the NRL in 2007 with a bang. They were an exciting team that played real honest to God footy. Five years on, they are on the verge of a rugby league nervous breakdown.

There is a perception in rugby league land that the Titans bought well in the off season. But what have they really done?

Signed a sleeping giant in Jamal Idris who refuses to get involved. A walking headline in Nate Myles. A third-string hooker in Beau Falloon, and former Melbourne Storm centre Beau Champion despite already having Bodene Thompson, Dominic Peyroux, Phil Graham and Idris at the club.

After the season from hell in 2011 where they received the wooden spoon, coach John Cartwright went for the quick fix. He and Titans management splurged on players they probably didn’t really need.

Cartwright is a coach with blinkers on. He has failed to see that the problems within the club lie with his veterans. Old friends like Scott Prince and Luke Bailey.

One of the hardest jobs an NRL coach has is to sack his mates. With Luke Douglas and Ryan James breathing down his neck, time is catching up with Bailey. But time has Prince around the throat.

If Cartwright doesn’t make a call on them, he may well find it costs him his place instead.

Not even the signing of Dave Taylor can stem the flow running against the Titans at the moment.

With Melbourne Storm superstar Cooper Cronk off contract at the end of the season, surely the Titans could have had a real crack at signing the representative playmaker. The money they have thrown at Idris and Myles surely could have been thrown at Cronk and a solution to the playmaking dilemma at Robina.

2012 may have been a slow season before Cronk’s arrival. But it couldn’t be any slower than what is happening now.

There are some strange things happening on and off the field in the south of Queensland lately.

As of this weekend, the Titans major sponsor iSelect will offer free tickets to fans who go to Skilled Park and watch their team lose.

Managing director Michael Searle says times are hard for the Titans. “It’s a tough market (but) we’ve got to try and coerce people out of their lounge rooms and back to the games.”

Why would fans want to pay to see the Titans get belted twice?

Then there were the headlines that the Titans were facing a second lawsuit in the Supreme Court. These are dangerous and bizarre times for the Gold Coast.

All this on the back of the news that William Zillman has re-signed on a new five year deal. How the hell did Zillman get five years?

There are some serious problems up there, and the scariest part is we probably have a long way to go yet.

Another year, another great season of NRL and international rugby league. Do you have reflections on the year that was? What's on your wishlist for 2015? If you're feeling inspired, you can share it with other Roarers by submitting an article.
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