This is a post inspired by the vindictive words of an egotistical shock-jock. Unfortunately his words have a small chorus of supporters in his corner.
I am both dismayed and disgusted by attacks on Brad Arthur by such media personalities and some members of the Eels fans base.
I understand the emotion. I understand the anger about some of the Eels’ efforts. There’s no denying that the team have been performing poorly over the first six rounds.
Six rounds of losses is way too long and puts the season in jeopardy, but we are talking about a period of only six weeks.
Do we really need to cast our minds back to remember how this man, Brad Arthur, went above and beyond what any coach would have done to hold the Parramatta club together.
He inherited a team that had won consecutive wooden spoons.
Both preceding coaches, Stuart and Kearney, had quit mid contract.
Before that Anderson had been sacked and Hagan had not seen out his contract.
Jason Taylor was a caretaker coach after Brian Smith walked in his final year.
Yet BA came in and immediately made our club competitive in his first year.
Unlike Stuart who prophesized of thrashings and duly delivered, in 2014 BA promised that his team would do their best to win every week.
The following year, Hayne decamped to the NFL and the Parramatta club became a laughing stock for the bungling of the Foran contract. It was left to BA to defend his club’s handling of the deal.
Arthur had his potential premiership winning team of 2016 decimated by the salary cap debacle. Key players departed. Injuries smashed the roster. Again, the self-proclaimed Parra boy was left time after time to handle the media circus that followed the club that year. Despite all this, the team accrued enough wins that should have seen them qualify for the finals.
And how quickly some have forgotten 2017.
Yes, it was only last year that he reassembled a roster to finish fourth and deliver Eels fans with their first trip to finals football since 2009.
Now, suddenly, after six games in 2018 he can’t coach?
He needs to be sacked?
And worst of all he’s been called ridiculous names by anonymous trolls.
Unquestionably mistakes have been made thus far in 2018 and Arthur will need to right the Parramatta ship. I’ll be disillusioned if there are no changes to this week’s team, because we need change. Ultimately Arthur is accountable, but history tells us that he’s never shied away from a tough job.
Anyone joining a chorus for his sacking needs to consider what sort of club you want to support, what sort of character they want the Parramatta club to have.
They need to consider the man who held the club together when others had walked away.
I’m not suggesting that this ties him to the job for life.
But I’m damned sure it entitles him to not have to deal with disrespectful calls for his dismissal after six games. And Ray Hadley…. I’m pointing my finger directly at you. Your words were the inspiration for this post.
I’m as frustrated, as angry, about such a poor start to the season as any Eels fan. But Brad Arthur has earned my respect and my support for a period that will easily exceed a number of weeks.
Our site has been slammed for being supporters of Arthur. We are first and foremost supporters of the Eels. But we believe in what BA’s done and what he, Steve Murphy and Joey Grima will do for our club.
There’s nothing to be gained by turning on our own when the chips are down.
I truly hope that I’m voicing the thoughts of thousands of other Eels fans.