Gus Gould must finally answer Blues’ SOS

maximus182 Roar Guru

By maximus182, maximus182 is a Roar Guru

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    Andrew Johns was peppered with questions from Paul Vautin during the State of Origin post-match review about coaching New South Wales, but Vautin should have directed the questioning at Phil Gould.

    Johns, a more than creditable coaching option for the Blues, refused to answer one way or another about whether he would take on the representative role.

    Johns would no doubt offer an irresistible passion and thirst to overthrow the historic Maroons side.

    While his lack of head coaching experience is a valid thought line, his expertise and status in the game would far outweigh any need for such credentials.

    But the better option is to consider hauling NSW’s most experienced and successful Origin coach out of his Penrith seclude.

    Gould has transformed the Panthers into a formidable force in the National Rugby League during his time as general manager, both on and off the field.

    He pushed club favourites out the door, recruited numerous players, signed many of the western Sydney league nursery’s talents to long-term deals, constructed one of the best sport headquarters in Australia, and completely turned around of one the league’s most viable clubs.

    Busy working on his five-year plan at Panther, along with his extensive media commitments, means ‘Gus’ has not been involved in coaching since his last stint with NSW ended, in 2004.

    Now, as Laurie Daley would attest, coaching a State of Origin side is not a year-round commitment. Yes, you have to watch players throughout the NRL season to keep track of the moments and form, but it hardly consumes your life.

    As one of the best minds in rugby league, Gould could probably pick his side off the top of his head.

    The biggest effect Gould would have on the players of today is the size of his aura and presence.

    Players would cease to talk when he walked in a room. The entire squad would respond to his status and ability as a coach. No one would put in half-arse efforts. It would be no nonsense, 100 per cent commitment from Gould that would bring out the best in each and every individual.

    Before NSW broke the drought in 2014, Gould sat on the Channel Nine panel and was asked similar questions to Johns. He refused to step in and save the Blues.

    If Johns is feeling “sick” after watching the Blues lose another series, I would love to know Gus’ true opinion.

    Blatchy’s Blues are bleeding. The state is embarrassed. Players’ confidence has been shot.

    Eleven Queensland series wins from the last 12 attempts. One NSW series in over the last 12 years.

    It’s time to answer the call, Gus.

    Max is on Twitter: @MaxMckinney

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    The Crowd Says (28)

    • July 14th 2017 @ 4:46am
      joe said | July 14th 2017 @ 4:46am | ! Report

      Regardless of who coaches NSW, you still need great players in key positions like halfback.When NSW had guys like Mortimer,Sterlo,Stuart & Johns at halfback, they won more often than not.When they don’t have elite play at half &/or five eight they have struggled.The Pearce kid seems their best option & he isn’t up to scratch.Until NSW has more great players they will struggle to beat QLD no matter who is the coach.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 6:07am
        Rolland said | July 14th 2017 @ 6:07am | ! Report

        Disagree, a great coach can get the best out of their players and make them perform above and beyond ,mental attitude is so important that’s why coaches like rodonikis and Gibson at parra were so good at it .. These boys looked mentally tired and lacked pride in their shirts . Attitude is everything .

      • July 14th 2017 @ 8:38am
        col in paradise said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        Agree..and Queensland had not only some greats over the years – Langer , Thurston, Cronk at Half back…they had depth and back up and options…such as Murray, Oliphant, Green, Lam and Prince etc and now still have a lot of question is where the hell are the good NSW halves these days…
        okay back in the 80’s and 90’s we had heaps..Raudonikis Sterling and Mortimer competing against each other 19080-83 then Sterlo and Mortimer with a young Hasler in the mix till the end of the 90’s..and others at club level..then Stuart..followed by Johns and Kimmorley…then nothing !!!!

        Adam Reynolds probably the only true one why give him another crack – Christ Pearce has been given heaps…Reynolds gets one game in 2016….okay injured but at least he can kick and direct a team around the paddock…so whats going on at the club level..the roots..where has the development gone wrong in NSW..I reckon its the over focus on getting big sized players across the field…in NSW its about size not brains and skill….

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 9:05am
          Hoy said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

          Gus has said it time and time again, and he is right… footy these days is about size and robotics rather than skill and league ability. So the great halves who can think and break down defences through free thought, are coached out, or simply not selected over players who run through plays by numbers… we run this play, into that play, into that play… You can see it a bit. A certain play is being run, and instead of seeing the hole to run into, the halves just keep the play running and pass instead. They are robotically trained to just run certain patterns.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 11:06am
            Eden said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Agree. If I was a coach I would focus only on fitness, defence and attitude. I’d get some footballing halves who can kick and bring back the creative lock. I’d let the team work on their own set plays for diversion for short sessions and use tag or touch footy for other sessions to get them finding defensive holes and dealing with retreating defences. I’d also encourage chip and chases, mid field bombs and short restarts. We’d probably lose but would be great to watch

            • July 14th 2017 @ 4:41pm
              matth said | July 14th 2017 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

              Try having a look at what the Walker boys have done as co-coaches with Ipswich in the Brisbane comp. They won the premiership in 2016 and beat the NSWRL cup holders as well. And they were playing a high speed, high number of passes, all kicks a contest for possession game. It was a revelation. Whether it would work at the NRL level and how long would it be until the opposition coaches developed a method to nullify it is another matter.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 7:02am
      rebelpirate said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      I think he and Joey are afraid of tarnishing their reputations.

      • Roar Guru

        July 14th 2017 @ 8:05am
        M.O.C. said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report


      • Roar Guru

        July 14th 2017 @ 9:02am
        Hoy said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        That would be a thinking point for me… the poisoned chalice, but in regards to Joey, I would be careful about his mental health… It is a bit of pressure and expectation that maybe he doesn’t want/need. Mentally, Joey at the moment is pretty relaxed, with FIFO coaching roles with a variety of clubs/players. For someone with known mental illness, he simply might not want that, and he has stated twice he doesn’t want that pressure in his life… I think it is a bit much for Fatty to keep pressuring him into it, knowing what we all know.

        That’s just me.

        As for Gould, is he still the coaching mastermind we think he is? He would certainly add some great tactical acumen to the NSW set up, no doubt. Full time coaching role with NSW? Maybe not anymore.

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 10:40am
          maximus182 said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          For Joey, I think the would bring more ‘tactical nous’ than Gould, as his brother pointed out today in the Telegraph. But with Gould, he brings aura, presence, passion and great motivational know-how. At Origin level, you’re coaching the elite, it’s surely more just about man-management and mere guidance for how the team should play. There were some NSW players out there on Wednesday night who just didn’t really seem up for the task. It’s disappointing.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 9:06am
        spruce moose said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report


        It’s not like they will make Johns an unimmortal for losing a series.

        Lewis and Artie Beetson were pretty ordinary coaches when they had a crack. Neither of them have had their reputations tarnished.

        The man just may not want the added pressure in his life.

        • July 15th 2017 @ 1:04am
          Clyde said | July 15th 2017 @ 1:04am | ! Report

          Arthur Beetson has a 58% winning record, third highest for QLD origin coaches, after Mal & Kevvie, both 66%.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 7:40am
      joe said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      You can get average players to perform at a higher level,no doubt good coaches find ways to maximize a players performance.
      But you can have had Mitchell Pearce coached up to his absolute max potential & he still comes up short against Cronk & Thurston.He simply isn’t as good.
      Go back through Origin history when NSW has had the premier half/five eight combination they won consistently.When they don’t they lose.It dosent matter if its Jack Gibson or Jack the Ripper coaching.If you don’t have the elite players its hard to overcome that talent gap at the halves position.
      Until NSW produces another great halfback &/or five eighth this losing trend will continue.Buts its cyclical,they will eventually turn the tables.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 7:55am
        AJL. said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

        When, though?
        There were four NRL halves playing for Qld on Wednesday night in Cronk, Munster, Morgan and Hunt (although they last two of those played different positions). Add to that DCE and Milford with Origin experience, and Corey Norman at Parramatta. All of those would walk into the NSW team.
        Hooker is no better. Behind Smith are Andrew McCullough, Jake Friend and Jake Granville, all of whom would again be among the first picked if they were from NSW.
        There is a massive dearth of talent in the most important positions for the Blues.

        • July 14th 2017 @ 8:29am
          Olo said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          yeah but who needs a proper spine when you can make a backline full of fullbacks?

        • July 14th 2017 @ 11:11am
          joe said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

          I’m not sure when AJL but we are both on same page in regards to the big talent gap between NSW & QLD & that is what my point about the article is about.You can bring back Gould,Jack Gibson (R.I.P) or whoever else but at the end of the day Origin is about talent & players who can adapt & make something happen in the blink of an eye.
          And bottom line is QLD has bucketloads of talent in key positions, NSW dosent.
          It will turn again at some point.Could be 2 years could be 5 years but its cyclical always has been.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 8:40pm
            db said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

            The cycle isn’t usually this long.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:28am
      Junior Coach said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      Who will say “wow” on the channel 9 commentary.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 3:18pm
        Agent11 said | July 14th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

        Use a recorded message. Rabs just has to push the Gus WOW button.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:47am
      I ate pies said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      It doesn’t matter who coaches, the Queensland players are just better than the NSW players. NSW may as well just wait until they all retire.
      I for one would welcome Gus as NSW coach, just so we can get him off our tele for a couple of matches.

    • Roar Guru

      July 14th 2017 @ 11:29am
      Nat said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:29am | ! Report

      Why would Gould take the gig? NSW best players have a culture to and of their own and Gould would do his own brand massive damage trying to change that. The one incentive is to do a Sheens (ala Aust coach with 5-6 Tigers in the team) and fill the roster with Penny boys for their own development. The idea of Joey taking the reins is just ridiculous. Their is no more passionate NSWelshman than Daley and his boys just didn’t show up – for him, their mate or the state. Does Johns, with zero coaching experience command more respect than him? On staff as a tactician – possibly. Running water like Alfie – sure. Mal was the one who instilled the passion for this crop of Qlders but had an army of tacticians and positional specialists working with him.

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