Honestly, what the hell is going in Parramatta? The whole three ringed circus with Quade Cooper, while their season hangs from a thread and the rumblings continue about Daniel Anderson, just underlines what a basket case the club’s culture has become. Let’s deal with the Cooper angle first.
Now, I’ll admit you could find a bloke passed out with boat shoes on after one too many white wine spritzers and get a better breakdown on rugby than me. But surely, if John O’Neill reckons he needs to earn his stripes in rugby before getting the sort of money he is after, then the same must apply in League.
To pay a bloke top dollar before one game is the sort of stunt that league has moaned about for years and has actually probably won the moral argument on when other codes have splashed the cash on marketing initiatives.
Finally, when the bloke is far from a marketers dream thanks to off field antics, well, that tells me someone has spent too long in the front bar of Parramatta Leagues.
Of course, nothing surprises when it comes from Parramatta, the ADHD problem child of the NRL. There are toddlers on Christmas morning with more patience than Parramatta and it shows they lurch from one failed season to another.
While they cut coaches faster than mums cut school lunches, their recruitment strategy is in need of serious medication.
This year started with Kevin Kingston being shown the door and he has gone on to blitz it at the Panthers, while the Eels have scratched around for a hooker and now are looking at bringing Mark Riddell back from the UK.
Then it was all about their young halves and some chest beating as they held off the Bulldogs to keep Daniel Mortimer and team him up with Jeff Robson.
Soon that wasn’t so hot and they started trawling around for an experienced halfback for next year – Brett Kimmorley, Trent Barrett. I even left my mobile on in case they got far enough down the list to dial Steve Kaless.
Eventually they just give Mortimer a breather and Kris Keating swoops in and plays a blinder. Of course, he’s off to the Bulldogs next year while another form player, Feleti Mateo, is also heading to the Warriors.
The good news is they have Justin Poore on a long term deal.
But all this is typical of Parramatta. It’s all about the big signing, the big headline, the big talk, you just wait until we have … Well, we’ll keep waiting because all that the club produces is piss and wind.
Yeah, so they got beat by the Storm team that was over the cap last year in the big one. Big deal. They would have found a way to stumble at the final hurdle. They always do.
And then it would have been more talk about this sleeping giant being ready to awaken from its slumber.
That next year the Eels will really be ready to do something. Well, here’s a tip: why not give a coach some sort of support and let him ride out a trough and bring some discipline into the place.
Every coach comes into Parramatta being told he is going to straighten the place out, and every coach gets knifed by the board after some whispering campaign and some player having a sook.
If the board of the Parramatta wants answers to why to the club has underperformed again, they need do nothing but look in the mirror.
The answer will be staring at them.