The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – 2024 Ep 47: Instant Reaction – Eels Sack Brad Arthur

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“Had you told me I would coach 264 games for Parramatta, reach a grand final, and watch my son debut, then get sacked, I’d do it all again – I’d sign up for it all again tomorrow”. – Brad Arthur

Brad Arthur has been sacked, effective immediately, by the Parramatta Eels and The Tip Sheet looks at the immediate fallout for the club.

Sixties, Forty20 and Clint convene for an unscheduled podcast as they look at the events that led to today and breaking down the developing story of the club chasing and allegedly getting rebuffed by Wayne Bennett.

The boys discuss what direction the club could head towards now, is it Bennett or bust? Are there other options for the Eels? What else needs to change for the Blue & Gold to move forwards?

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90 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – 2024 Ep 47: Instant Reaction – Eels Sack Brad Arthur

  1. Ron

    The eels announcement and handling of this is characteristic of the board – a complete shitshow. Everything from the presser cut short yesterday to the pathetic email this arvo to Sean McElduff inexplicably deciding to speak on record to media that he and JS went behind brads back to talk to Bennett weeks ago. And now the club have come out and said Bennett is going to south’s and their pursuit of him failed miserably.

    The execs said in their statement this arvo that the team progression stalled but they didn’t even have to ability to tool brad with a top 30 these last few years let alone give him some decent players to work with. Scraps after scraps. Contract bungle after contract bungle with nrl players, juniors etc.

    Brad is a decent person and that came through everything he did despite the poor results. I can’t say I have there is any sense of decency or competence from the cowards that remain in charge at parra.

    All I can do is acknowledge the efforts of brad and hope the incompetent bunch of muppets on our board look themselves mirror instead of hanging the coach out to dry to save their own hide.

    1. Brett A

      Great post Ron. The handling of these things is hard, but in typical fashion, the Eels have failed. If they had someone lined up and the trigger needed to be pulled today, fine. But it didn’t have to and they could have just waited until tomorrow when they could have informed the squad in person, rather than sending text messages.

      I feel for Brad and I hope Eels fans are kind to him if he is around the club in the future, even if as an away coach. Selfishly, as an Eels supporter, I now worry that having lost our succession plan for the halves, we will lose the high quality succession plan for hooker – that is desperately needed.

      With B.A going the speculation ramps up on the replacement with little available in the proven ranks (Anyone who thinks Bennett is coming to be managed by Jim and have MON as his GM of Football is kidding themselves).

      At the end of the day, as long as MON is negotiating contracts for the Eels, it doesn’t matter who the coach is, they have next to no chance.

      That said of all the Baz, Ryles, Morris, Hornby, Young, Holbrook, Hannay talk – which other than Ryles, doesn’t really interest me, I say bring in Blake Green. Was always talked up as smart – by people who know smart footballers (Cam Smith and Cronk etc.), knows what it takes to win, and has some Eels blood in him. Like i said, it is all mute with MON in the picture though.

      1. Ron

        It would be characteristic of this rabble in charge to lose Matt Arthur – the Hooker we have been grooming all his life who is a gun and is next up. Only we would have a gun hooker in waiting unsigned still to this day (after not learning from losing our gun young half sanders for same reason and stefano for same reason and maybe even Talagi for same reason – it all stinks at that joint in kellyville l)

        The current players I want to the club to build around are Dylan, Moses, gutho, lomax, Talagi, rcg, hopgood, Matt Arthur, guymer, tuivati, Pryke, penisini. The rest of the team are scraps that need to earn a spot next year or be moved if possible but that core needs to be preserved (and I have no faith in the current mob to keep them).

        1. Ron

          And this is after letting another promising hooker in zaidus mataguia walk last year to the dogs. Letting metcalfe go to roosters. It’s just a depressing state of affairs and I don’t know how we arrest it.

        2. Ivan

          Ron there may be a hooker coming from north of the border who has massive wraps on him so I was told last night

          1. Ron

            I hope that is the case but I’d much rather Matt Arthur be resigned and be our starting hooker for the next decade. He bleeds blue

          2. Brett A

            When Reed signed with the dogs, Wade Egan was off contract – at a time when the Aussie based Warriors were all having to move to NZ and getting out of deals for compassionate reasons wa sa thing. Egan used to live literally 20 minutes from our home base… And we signed the inured corpse of Josh Hodgson. Egan – who killed it in lower grades and played a similar style to Reed, or Josh, a 32 year old Pom who had barely played in 2 years due to injury and was years past is best…..We went with Josh…
            What makes you think MON would have eye on any young up and coming talent?

    2. Poppa

      It was far from a great post Ron, the criticism of the board in this case is uncalled for. They reacted swiftly to the point and in what is always difficult circumstances exactly like any corporate executive is dismissed.
      I wish BA well, he deserves every cent of his severance pay and he does not know this yet, but he wil be a lot happier by years end with a much clearer mind and an understanding of his future.

      This is a board I have become critical of because of their lack of footie smarts. They like a lot on here have learnt something by the exercise.

      BA quite simply had to go and its imperative that who ever we replace him with has the ability to attract players, because at present no player would make the move to Parra by choice…….
      Realism has to set in and the mindless comments on here about the way the board has now reacted are as pointless as BA’s tactics in a game that left him behind in 2022 and realistically that was probably a “fluke”. That season the rot had started but through perseverance they went beyond expectations. Yes, it prolonged the agony.

      This is the first step of our next revival, how long it takes will be on the heads of the incumbents. I have little doubt that MON will also be finished along with some of the remaining coaching staff.
      I will just the same be interested in Trent Barrett’s selections as it will give us some understanding of how hamstrung he has been with BA as his boss. Criticise the empowerment of BA as much as you like but some of his selections and stubbornness in week to week selections were diabolical. His continuance with the Hooker, Lane and others were as mind numbing as his statement on Tulagi, who has never been a fullback, was admitted as the future of this club and is 2 years away from being ready for FG.
      If you were completely independant would you advise Tulagi to continue his development under BA’s tutelage?

      1. Ron

        Publically telling prospective coaches we knifed ours in back, failed to get Bennett and that if you sign with us you’re second choice in any event following Bennett’s rejection is not sound executive governance in my book. It’s a weak gutted move to make themselves look better. Your point that the end (sacking brad) justifies the means (sacking him before mid season is a very amateur way with no real succession plan nor roster plan) is not sustainable. It may cost us the best hooker the club as seen in years and years (Matt). It may cost us other players off contract we want to keep because of the way it has been handled (hopgood). It cannot fill sponsors or fans with much confidence. It takes no account of their complicity in this sad state of affairs. It is a hand washing exercise that, if it was to be done,, I don’t think doing it yesterday was the best option. So much has been echoed by Phil Gould and others who, although I have my on scepticism over a lot of things they say/do, have no dog in this particular fight – they are external and just as baffled as all of us.

      2. Brett A

        Poppa, How can you say they acted swiftly?
        We get terminating a coach is hard and there is no easy or perfect way to do it.
        But if nothing else, BA deserved honesty, heaven knows that is all he ever gives. And what we are now told is that they said they support him but in actual fact were chasing someone else for three weeks. Three weeks with – it would appear – all your eggs in one (unlikely) basket, is not swift, nor prudent. It is a poor plan that is poorly executed. Now we will have an interim coach with no halfback and no club captain to run an out of form team… Good luck…

        Yep. to a degree B.A has to own trotting out Lane and Lussick time after time and even Sivo. But the inability of MON to get people signed up, means there is no depth – not even a full squad. No one at all to step up when a player needs a reminder he isn’t a first grader for life.

        And the club senior management and Board have to own retaining O’Neill who failed to retain Reed. Lets face it, Mahoney was getting w’ooed by Gus who has had those conversations with players literally thousands of times in his life – MON had basically never or almost never done it in his life before becoming our Head of Football. What chance did/do we have. Why was he ever employed, why is he still employed?

        Every club will lose players, every club will miss out on players. The only players we have secured in recent years have been players offcasts (like Harper and Hodgson) or players that weren’t in high demand that BA improved – players like Lane (briefly) Papa etc. Then we can’t keep them. Why? I get it is a committee decision who to try retain and who to recruit, but MON is the one charged with doing the negotiation and he fails time and time again.

        Losing Mahoney – signing Hodgson at such a key position is the catalyst for the capitulation of the side. No hindsight is required to know Hodgson was likely to fail.
        Not retaining Opacic as a solid, affordable backline player.. losing him to Hull of all places.. That isn’t acceptable when there was no alternative lined up.- that is a massive failure of roster management.
        There is no way to say this Board or CEO know what they are doing – They may have various backgrounds that provide some of them with some business accumen, but managing people in the NRL space, is very different to the Finance sector or other industries. We have none of, just a CEO who is never going to be held accountable by his friends on the Board.

  2. Jeremy

    Wow, big call after the game and our chat yesterday.
    Always great to chat with you lads, love the work.

  3. Dave

    This Board & CEO are a disgrace. They’ve failed Brad Arthur for years and today they’ve thrown him under the bus as scapegoat for their failures. They are corporate hacks who need to go.

  4. Hillbilly Jim

    Yesssssssss. 5 years too late.

    This season was gone already, best to plan now for 2025 and clean out all the deadwood. Minimum 10 from the squad need to be released early.


  5. Shaun

    While I’ve been saying structural change is needed including the coach the way this has happened is sad for BA. While the recent form has been concerning Parra owes him a debt for the way he got the club back on track after the salary cap debacle. He fronted the media time and time again when the rest of the club went into hiding. And as you noted he had those great four seasons back playing finals leading the GF. I think many have forgotten the dark days before BA.

    Looking to the future I am very worried about some of the potential coaches being put forward (not so much Bennett) that have failed elsewhere. I’m really not sure who it may be some of the assistants elsewhere might be worth it. But whomever it is they should be welcomed to the club.

    Being a Parra supporter is never boring.

  6. Offside

    I have wanted BA gone for a while im not going to gloate unfortunately it just has been a slow death.

    BA did a good job but for mine the writing was on the wall after we failed to show up in GF I remember speaking with someone involved in the club that said that BAs body language that week was so contrasting that it was a worry.

    This was the best move for the club and for BA another season outside if the 8 playing a style of football that doesn’t compete with other teams would harm his employment chances.

    Who knows who will take over but one thing will happen and that’s change and that’s something we need.

  7. Avenger

    Everytime a board does their due diligence there will always be an element or perception of betrayal to the incumbent coach. Let’s not forget Brad got extended after a humiliating defeat and a spoon year. That would never happen anywhere in world sport except at Parramatta. Yes, his family are Parra people as are all of us here but he got paid handsomely to do a job and in the end he failed. Mark O’Neill is the next one who should face the sack because he too has failed with the shallow squad we have with no reinforcements on the horizon.

    I thank BA for his service but his tenure was about 5 years too long. Our embarrassing defeats were too frequent to dismiss and the club had to finally take a belated stand.

  8. Butters

    Great day for the club. Zero premierships, 1 grand final, 1 wooden spoon, 33% finals winning record and left us back in the bottom 4.

  9. eel01s

    BA did a lot for the club, but his time was up years ago. You don’t keep a coach for 11 years without winning at least 1 comp.

    BA’s gameplan never changed. If you stand still and don’t adapt you are going backwards.

    I hope the next coach is the right fit for us. We need improvement in several fundamental areas of the game.

  10. McFersie

    From my limited information and commenting without any real expertise I offer a couple of thoughts. BA seems to be a good guy and he was great for the Eels for about a decade. The last two years it has all fallen away and I think his time was up. Did he lack some imagination and vision? He seemed to follow an old style “love the collision” philosophy backed by a couple of clever halfs. The most important of those got injured and the collision wasn’t enough to get the team over the line. The Tigers game was a case in point. Forwards dominated but we couldn’t score. The first half of the Dolphins game was the same. Eels had all the field position but couldn’t score. Then the Dolphins ran riot and who cared about the collision.

    I’d like to acknowledge BA as a great servant of the Eels but at the same time concede that it was time to try something different. You know the saying: Nothing changes if you keep doing the same thing.

    Thanks, Brad. You’ve been good and loved the Eels.

  11. B&G 4Eva

    If there is an upside to a change at this time of the season, it’s that it provides the incoming coach with a chance to look at restructuring the roster , chase signings, employ his own coaching and recruiting staff. That planning enabled Fitzgibbon at the Sharks and even Flanagan at the Dragons to have a longer term look and with a fair bit of success.

    BA deserves a big thank you for taking the club from the pits to a competitive position, the past 18 months have been awkward not helped by an incomplete roster and limited ability signings.

    Did good did BA.

  12. EA

    I agree that there are more problems than BA.

    – Yes our Recruitment and Retention Staff have been poor with all these players options, roster management and money invested in underperforming players.

    – Our junior development and retention of key juniors from rep levels before HM all the way to the NRL.

    What is the thing you guys were talking about but would not give detail about? Kept referring it to something and apparently out in the media.

    1. Murph

      I’d love to hear about the other issues you refer to as well. I could specialty but another podcast or written piece on this article would be a great discussion point.
      Also worried what this means for Matt Arthur going forward. The fact he isn’t already contracted is mind boggling.

  13. Milo

    Sad day for BA and the club. Never good to see a Parra man gone. But that’s the job now. bA should be proud on reflection of his work and leadership across a long time.
    The players stopped playing for him. They hold the key 🔑
    Now the board needs to sort the footy dept and assistants too. O’Neill has to be next.
    Move heaven and earth for a Matt Cameron type Gen Manager. Someone who knows Parra and has roots here – so to speak!

  14. BDon

    A decent person with strong life values. Stayed the distance but ended up working with some inferior football management and cattle.Not a recipe for survival. I wish him well.

  15. BP

    Overall BA made a positive contribution during his tenure at Parra, and one thing that could never be questioned was his deep commitment and care for the club. He was a Parramatta man and unfortunately we haven’t had too many of them in positions of influence for a while.

    While I do think it was time for a change I think the handling of the situation from the board and in particular Mcelduff has been disgraceful. Openly going on record to say you had been trying to convince Bennett to join for the past 3 weeks and failed in this pursuit is both an embarrassment of his leadership capability but also incredibly disrespectful to BA. McElduff has shown without doubt his priority is on protecting himself.

    I share the concerns of others in respect to key retentions such as M Arthur now, however this current administration have been failing in roster mgmt for years so at least the in this respect the stability they crave will still remain in some form.

  16. Ray moon

    Who sacks the the directors ?.some of them should be looking over their shoulders, ie,why was Mahony let go also other decisions that were made by them over last couple of years, shades of Dennis Fitzgerald,? I have only been a fan for past 60 years,sometimes I wonder why I persevere.

    1. Poppa

      Those comments over losing players do not fall into the “category” of sacking Directors.
      Plenty of reasons to sack directors, the subjective choice of players is not one of them unless they sit on the Recruitment and Retention committee.
      It has come out today that BA was the biggest voice on that committee.

      Committee’s rarely work and the fact that BA was the dominant means that he lived and died on that sword.

      Too many people on here are aggrieved over the seeming betrayal, but when you go after a replacement of a senior executive, there is no choice.

      This is a business and not an environment to check “its not his birthday” next day!

      People also say that Matt Arthur will be lost to the club, but the people who actually know BA will tell you he doesn’t work that way. He is not a man to use his son as some sort of revenge tool against the club he has so obviously loved and my guess is he will continue to always love his Parramatta regardless of whoever he coaches at the time.

      Get over it people, its history now, we have thanked BA for his wonderful hard work but the club can only go forward without him, not with him.. His time was up!

      1. BDon

        Poppa, having been both a shaftor and shaftee, you’re not wrong. It’s hard to get perfection in these situations. Keeping every single soul happy is rarely an option. And I tend to agree with the Matt Arthur position, his dad’s character and resolve will long outlast any politics around his view of the current Eels set up.

  17. LB

    This is a decision I am content with, I felt it was time for both parties. BA will get another job, as he deserves to, and will build a team up like he did us. And we can move forward in a different direction.

    Either way it was a risk of sacking him or keeping him, but now it is time to keep going, MON has to be next and a few new board members.

    Thank you Brad, will look back on your time as a good one, just didn’t work out. Met him a few times and nothing but a gentleman.

  18. MickB

    Wow what a day. A few things from me:
    1. Thanks to BA – whatever your thoughts on this outcome, he’s been a great contributor to our club and brought more joy than angst.
    2. I don’t understand why there couldn’t have been a more orderly transition event if this was the path the club wanted to go down. Why does it need to be a complete “spill”.
    3. I don’t agree Bennett would be a good signing. The guys 75 going on 100. We need someone who can see us through a 5 year rebuild. Bennett as great as he is, is a 1-2 year band aid.
    4. The only logical alternative is Bellamy. If he’s exiting the Storm shortly, we should go after him. He’s leagues ahead of every other coach. Anyone else is a complete punt.
    5. BA being sacked is probably the last place of significance I’d start with change. I’d have been offloading players, and fixing R&R first. That is unless of course BA was preventing those changes, which seems unlikely.
    6. Lastly, I think this realistically sets us back another 3 years from being contenders.

    Overall, not happy with this. This is scapegoating at its best, amateur at worst.

  19. Matthew Sweeney

    About 1pm Sydney time yesterday I wrote the following and sent it to some friends at 2.44pm Sydney time. I’m in NZ which accounts for the 2hr variance with the time stamp.

    Do not be surprised if Parra , in the wake of its recent capitulation, make a Godfather type offer to Bennett in this eleventh hour. Apparently he hasn’t put pen to paper with Souths. The media saying souths offer 1 mil per season over 3 yrs. I always thought marquee coaches in the NRL command at least what the highest paid player earns. If that’s the case I reckon parra could improve that offer by a million over the 3 yrs and not raise the spectre of our members. There is no other coach that can extract an improvement with that roster. This is all just conjecture and gut feel from me but Bennett will break a handshake deal if it suits him.

  20. Joseph

    Bennett or bust as Clint said. The only unproven coach in club land that would save face Billy Slater.
    The board has written their own death warrant by releasing a “we tried and failed” statement unless they have an ace in their back pocket.
    Failing Bennett, the club needs to table an unrefusable offer to Slater. Like Bennett, Slater will attract the right players. This also means O’Neil should be beating BA to the door.
    I hope the board realise that by sacking the head coach brings them a step closer to the same fate. Ask the former Tigers board.
    Great tribute to BA fellas, you echoed my thoughts.
    I’ll reserve my real thoughts on our board until they announce our new coach.
    Thanks for the emergency podcast gents, handled with the same class BA showed with his parting statement.

  21. Joseph

    And where to for BA? I think he’ll end up at the Cowboys and win a comp. Like Forties said, that would be so Parra.
    I’m praying Matt stays at Parra, my gut tells me he’ll follow dad.

  22. Hamsammich

    What amateur hour from the chairman to come out and say they missed out on their target for replacement head coach. What do we expect from the club that loses juniors to others that end up in the exact same position they’d be in if they’d stayed? Utoikamanu now a starter, he’d now be a starter here. Sanders will be a back-up half next year he would have been a back-up half here. Gabrael was playing SG Ball for the dogs now playing Flegg for the sharks, I’d argue he would’ve been playing reserve grade here. Myles Martin, Zaidus Muagututia, Lachlan Metcalfe, Darcy Feltham. The list is endless and will grow whilst these glacial bureaucrats are in charge.

    The club has just thrown away its last bit of footy knowledge and for what? A coach that was sacked by the titans? An assistant that is set to “take over next year” 3 years ago when Bellamy was supposed to retire? This is nothing but a face save from those in charge who know nothing about running a club properly.

    And to those cheering a passionate man losing his job I hope you aren’t out in 18 months time when the next coach inevitably fails and you are calling for their sacking. We’re entering another dark period for the club, unfortunately this time we have no brains (footy or otherwise) or passionate people that will steer us in the right direction.

    1. John Eel

      Well said Ham. This is uninformed administration giving into the noisy mob. They are playing politics with our footy team.

      Sacking BA is not going to win us a GF. We will still have the same recruitment and retention. Still have the same lack of speed. We will still be losing our best juniors.

      You are correct there is no footy IQ left in the club. There is even far less in portions of the fan base.

    2. Jerry

      Brad Arthur has the strongest voice out of anyone on the retention and recruitment committee, ham. For its everyone else’s fault but Brad in your opinion.

      Stated today by Sarantinos that Brad headed recruitment and retention

      Balls in your court Ham

      1. Hamsammich

        Look at the difference between the 2 camps. Arthur said he holds no grudges and loved his time at the club. Meanwhile the jokers still charge throw someone else under the bus. You only have to look at the difference in statements to see the quality of the people making them.

        I’ll be making sure I take my McElduff OUT sign to the next home game.

  23. Pete

    BA a great honest bloke that did the best he could do for Parra. He bleeds blue and gold and is loyal. He rode the highs and lows. He made a GF and won a spoon. His honesty to his players was the most important thing to him. He tried his heart out. He deserved better. But that’s not how this game works.

    Sadly, the players let him down whilst he was loyal many players were not. They gave up! It was obvious they let him down.

    Sadly, the HOF and CEO set him up to fail.
    To illustrate how incompetent the hierarchy are they failed at recruiting their target replacement and after that they sack BA. Thats how baked in failure occurs in a football organisation.

    BA will be a great assistant- probably go to Manly and help Siebold. Then he’ll probably get the job at Cowboys or Tigers.

  24. Shelley

    While I am on the record as supporting BA, I can also understand from a result perspective why it happened.

    But the CEO and chairman as part of the ‘revised’ statement said the reason was our nrl team stalled. Really, thanks for that, spoken by 2 members of the Recruitment and Retention committee, the same people that are now going to let people from our football staff who have overseen a process that created an aging roster with our young guns from our winning SG Ball team being unsigned beyond this year. These are the people that decided Papali was the forward from 2022 we could let go. A player option from a club perspective is unsigned.

    For the immediate future there will be no coaches voice at that table when we discuss who to keep or move on and therefore find a replacement. For 2025 that squad composition happens now, we are at the end of May.

    So my summation is this; BA has been shown the door because of the result he got from coaching an unbalanced, incomplete Top 30 that went into the year with 6 outside backs in the Top 30. BA has been shown the door yet staff who have overseen a time period in which we have lost our best juniors either when they were in juniors and won junior player of the year or allowed them to come into grade without being secured long term first.

    My prediction, the ‘truth’ being told about Bennett yesterday was purely selfish trying to save face. Unfortunately for them this fan base has seen it all before, we can see through it. They will now panic, agents will have a field day, we will make panic signings and dig a bigger hole.

    I love my club, I always will. I will never not support any team or player that is wearing my colours. But I will also publicly say I have zero faith in the ability of our HOF or recruitment team and after yesterdays antics I have very little trust in the board and CEO. If they think sacking BA is the first thing that needed to happen to fix our stalling team then they don’t know footy.

    1. Joseph

      Shelley, if the only reason our chairman publicly admitted the club pursued and failed to sign Bennett was to save face then he should be walked out the door.
      The statement was odd, embarrassing and irrelevant in the course of sacking BA.
      The media and fans alike are just as shocked at that statement as they are with the sacking of BA. The statement was so ludicrous that the media are trying to conjure and hidden message to explain the stupidity of the statement.
      Unfortunately I think you are right, the statement was as dumb as it seems.
      Our chairman better think again if he thinks he’s saved face.

      1. Ron

        MON and McElduff need to be moved on. I don’t care what JS does to achieve that but he needs to grow a spine and address the problem that is those two.

  25. Kenny the Immortal

    There is no doubt that the team has fallen off a cliff since the GF. What is also clear is that R&R has been diabolical over the same period. Did BA want to rejuvenate the roster after the GF? Probably…

    Did BA have the support to rejuvenate the squad. Definitely not.

    Until MON and the R&R committee are removed and there is real leadership in the junior pathways there is no point in changing the head coach.

    I personally think BA reached his ceiling, a high ceiling, he is great at facing a crisis and building a club. Can he make the next step? IDK

    With Gurr we would have found out.

  26. Zero58

    Well quite a few might say amen, for me I say to Brad thank you for the memories. We take the good with the bad and I really believe the good outweighed the bad. You did your best – that’s acknowledged and all things come to and end. We move forward into another era and hope things get better. I am not interested in the politics of the club – I have no control over it. My only interest is the football team and as always I accept the good and the bad because they are my team.

  27. 56 years an eel

    It had to happen but it couldn’t have been a poorer display.
    He had years to fix the defensive problems and not the attention to detail needed to win the comp.
    Now it’s time to change up the roster and move on.
    We don’t lack skill in attack but there’s no creativity.
    I’d like to see Moses, Brown and Gutho all given a licence to kick and not just to the corner.
    Defence is the real problem.
    Cronulla have perfected the slide this year and repel plays time after time that would always lead to tries against us.
    If we copy that structure and find 2 wingers prepared to tackle we are a chance.
    Man management is hard but players like Lane, Paulo and Penisini have plenty of talent and can only be in a mental slump.
    That’s the mark of a master coach, getting doubt out of a player’s mind.
    Thanks BA . With more support you might have done better but it’s time to start rebuilding.
    Beating Souths is day 1.

  28. Mannah Brow

    BA did a geat job for a significant time at the club and I believe he overachieved to reach the GF in 2022 with the squad we had but for whatever reason, and I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes at the club, the eels nosedived massively last year and it has continued this year and change was needed.

    The main question now is do we get Wayne Bennett or not? If so then the club look like geniuses. If not then serious questions must be asked of our club about why the sacking of Brad had to happen now and the circumstances around it.

    Saying they support Brad while sneaking around courting Bennett and then doing a media release to tell everyone about this but failing to get their man makes them look completely incompetent and untrustworthy. If they think coming out and saying to supporters we were doing everything in the clubs best interest to get Wayne wins them any points and saves their jobs then they are morons.

    If they miss Bennett then looking at the way they have behaved, well then in my books they must be the next to go.

    Great podcast by the way, thanks gents.

  29. Stubbyholder

    The comments from Danny Weidler were telling – he texted BA yesterday morning and the reply from BA was basically that he was fine, been here before and would dig their way out and that there was no way he was going to rush Moses back to try and save himself. Weidler said it was typical of BA putting the players before himself and that he’d get a job as a head coach at another club no problem (a sentiment echoed by Gould who also said there’s slim pickings in the coaching ranks at the moment). Weidler praised the quality of the man that is BA and I think the statement from BA verifies that. He’s clearly a top bloke who wasn’t given a decent go from the blokes above him (is there still only a Top 27 of 30 at the moment for instance??) with regards to some quality back ups and off field support, yet still performed pretty damn well.

    To all those cheering this decision, saying it’s the best day in the Clubs history and bagging BA with disgraceful comments and at the same time claiming they’re the clubs true fans because they support the club not the coach – pull your heads in, you’re a dead set embarrassment to yourselves and the Eels. Anyone not being able to see all the good that BA did for the Club from the shambles he took over and the salary cap debacle he navigated and cannot bring themselves to thank a bloke for that service and instead just throw insults in his direction (and a couple that disgracefully mentioned his entire family as well – like Snake on 1EE, what a wanker – you blokes and girls need a good kick in the arse.

  30. Jerome

    Cant understand why you guys on the podcast think that saying we chased Bennett and failed is an issue.

    I as a member and fan expected that they chased Bennett as he is the best available. If they did not go after Bennett I look at that them as though they did not do their job. They have to disclose that otherwise I would want their heads. Why is telling us that an issue

    1. Muz

      Exactly ^ 90% of footy fans who aren’t loyal to BA from an emotional level also wanted them to chase Bennett

      Former NRL players, analysts, nearly everyone agrees going after Bennett is the right move for parra

      They are letting all of us fans know that they tried

    2. Hamsammich

      It’s loser mentality. You know who else came out with a statement that they missed out on a coach? wests tigers under Hagepentallis and pascoe. I laughed at them when they announced that and I am deeply embarrassed that people in charge of our club deem it to be acceptable to be in the same boat as those 2.

  31. Trapped in the 1970’s

    BA had a tough gig over a number of years and has to be applauded for his efforts over that time and I hope he has a bright coaching future post eels. However the longer his tenure extended the more natural pressure was built by not securing or seriously threatening to win the main prize. Irrespective of other factors these past couple of years (which I hope are also addressed) it really had reached the stage IMO that he couldn’t be extended and a new/fresh approach was needed. How that was handled is a different matter. I’m at a loss why the chairman would make those comments about the clubs efforts to secure WBennett as coach. Apart from honesty and trust issues it points to the new coach as always being their second choice. It’s achieved nothing other than butt covering for a few at the top of the pyramid. People have long memories and their time will come.

  32. Muz

    I think You fella’s misunderstand why they revealed they went after Bennett & failed

    The whole R.L community online from every comment on posts regarding Bennett to media & former nrl players

    Couldn’t believe how stupid it was to not go after Bennett and how complacent the club is

    They would of become aware of that and wanted the supporters who 90% or more would much prefer Wayne Bennett get a crack at our club than same old BA

    The consensus among former players, analysts, and everyone in between is the eels are more or less stupid for not going after him & would benefit from his presence at parra

    Outside of our club locals, people who aren’t emotionally loyal to our old coach nobody thinks BA is a better coach than Wayne Bennett

    Now obviously the holes in our squad and weaknesses won’t miraculously go away

    But Wayne Bennett going to the club (if he did)

    Look at Dolphins it’s now a more balanced & better team than the eels in its 2nd year.

  33. Muz

    The club’s obviously revealing they went after Wayne Bennett because

    So millions of rugby league & eels fans don’t think the eels are completely stupid

    The internet was flooded with comments about how bad the eels club is for not going after Wayne Bennett

    If they didn’t reveal this – fans would be mad forever thinking the club didn’t make a play at Wayne Bennett

    Outside of here on TCT guys,

    majority of fans and rugby league analyst believe the eels need a new coach and direction.

    We all know it runs much deeper than BA.

    Let’s hope the club goes after fixing those recruitment and retention issues as well.

    Otherwise change will be minimal.

    On that note let’s wish BA all the best and hopefully he gets a new gig and a good new job.

    He’s done well and it’s just business the club needed to take action, hopefully they replace other staff members too they think will help us grow moving forward.

  34. John

    Sack the coach and we fix the problem. However a) Dum & Dumber went north to sign a coach – result – failure
    3 ring circus called r & r cannot sign a decent player or fill all the roster spots
    Coach asks for a x factor player – no one signed yet . Only decent player we have signed (Zac Lomax hope he does not bail out after this s… show) is because of the coach got involved & most of the re.signings were because of the coach
    Then an intrem coach is installed with a worse record (31% ) win . So the mind boggles with what’s in store . Maybe we need to put a broom right through the joint.The fish rots from the head I have no problem with Arthur’s sacking, did he get all the tools he needed to do the job ?

  35. Colin Hussey

    I sat through the last game on Sunday in front of the box, too far from where I now live than at any of the main grounds/teams etc. and for me the game was by far the worst demonstration of an eels team that I have ever seen. Who as a consequence was the result of the players and their ineptness in playing in such a short burst, the opposition team and coaches were cheering with great vocals with their team and showing the general pathetic attempts at showing their abilities with great runs and knock downs for the eels. Ref helped out well also!

    If BA is the primary scape goat for the eels team, he should not be sacked but have that degree pinned the board members that sat/sit in the background and do what? For something akin to 60 odd years as an eels supporter and only miss games now since moving out of the Cumberland environment ow to distance, the killing off of BA who had tried doing his best, but losing it with the players/team in the last 2 years, the big question for me is what has the board members and bosses done to prove their real abilities to which look like over cooked chooks that have no flavor associated with them.

    Its been a rough ride under BA but no worse than some of the earlier coaches and board members especially those akin to being in charge during the pre fitz era and some in between. We lost one of the best when he departed and went to the U,S sadly he did not return to the job who was the best to sign up. Do we have a review of the good – the bad & the ugly, certainly has made a great show.

    It will be a challenge for the interim coach starting today, but he should shoulder some of the problems but, also could be a good choice going forward, but, also have a good assistant that could lift the eels going forward.

    The big thing though will be the full assessment of the players themselves and see if they really have hearts that can beat probably especially when required to play tough not touch, & drop.

    I have followed the eels since early 60’s and earlier, I wont give up now, but there is a real need for the quality players and teams (question over the board though) and have them play hard, if not harder against the opposed teams.

  36. Mu

    Sarantinos & Mcelduf just said on press conference:

    “BA has most pull / loudest voice in decision on who comes and goes in our team”

    This dispels the myth of nothing being BA’s fault

    The whole idea that Brad has nothing to do with the slow, bash & collide roster has nothing to do with him

    The leaders of our club just came out and told us all the rosters biggest decision maker on recruitment Is BA

    The idea nothing is BA’s fault and nobody gives him speedy or young players is rubbish

    So glad they said this because I was tired of everyone making BA have no accountability on how poor our team / roster is

    1. Ron

      Take those self serving statements with a grain of salt. They fatally admitted in that presser that they say things to the public, to the fans, to the media and to brad (eg brad is safe) that may not be in fact true and have done so purposefully.

      1. Stubbyholder

        Yeah, Ron, the guys that just stabbed him in the back, openly admitting to having made the decision on May 1st yet stringing him along in the belief they were one solid unit and sticking it out – of course they’re believable!! The handling has been a shambles and a lot in the press are rightfully giving it to them. This is not to say BA’s time wasn’t up, but the amateur hour handling of this is surely a nil in the coffin of the administration – seriously, would you want to come coach the club if those 2 were wooing you?

      2. Muz

        Ron, BA has been there 11 years or something?

        The illusion that Brad has nothing to do with how bad our teams been structured

        And the extremely poor bench rotation, and persisting on 1 dummy half in the team instead of 2.

        Forget us all blaming MON and everyone for everything every time.

        Brads team management had become extremely questionable.

        Lussick is burned out. We run 1 #9 and by 40 mins our hookers defence & ball delivery is sun par.

        Every team destroys us around the ruck as Lussick and other forwards get tired, weekly.

        Everyone’s blaming the recruitment- I don’t doubt it’s flawed.

        But the actual team management has been extremely poor too.

        No top teams use just 1 dummy half for 80 mins with no back up and burn them out like we do.

        Our edge defence has been extremely poor for years.

        It’s not to say brad gone is a guaranteed quick fix.

        But the writing was on the wall the eels need change.

        Players simply don’t even look like turning up for BA anymore.

        And the fact lane & lussick are fixed in the squad?

        It’s atrocious.

        These are Brads stubborn picks.

        The club can see what we can see and it’s desperately time to make changes.

        Long term we need more change than just BA but it’s a beginning.

        We need a coach who can manage a bench, use 2 dummy halves, not burn out our forwards, actually use all bench players appropriately.

        And a coach who will drop players like Lane and sivo without being so loyal to former good players – the past is gone.

        1. Ron

          I don’t disagree with the substantive criticisms that can be made of brad. I don’t disagree with Lussick, lane, sivo in particular being not nrl quality and needing to be moved on asap. I don’t disagree with issues re: bench use. The problem I have is if the club is going to pull the trigger, the club shouldn’t do it in such a blatantly underhanded and amateur way. It means the club has lost credibility with fans, players (current and those we might look to sign) and prospective coaches.

          Further, the criticism that can be made of brad needs to have context. I have never said he is not partly to blame.m many including me decry the edge defence and ruck defence. But there needs to be account for the fact he has been delivered scraps year on year and not had a top 30. We know MON or McElduff typically does the negotiating side of things for signing and resigning. From what I understand, Brad might say I want x player but it’s really up to other two to deliver it (and as it probably should be so head coach can focus on coaching – but those two are incompetent) They have failed miserably in doing that for signings and resignings. Until they are also changed I don’t see why shooting the coach will help much if at all (esp if his do and other players are at risk of being lost)

          1. Muz

            Yeah I agree it’s on them from all of our understanding to get players to sign the dotted lines if BA wants or doesn’t want certain players

            100% agree it’s not all on BA

            The club is a business and they’ve obviously given BA more time to try turn things around

            But there’s more to it then just lack of players

            They probably had the same concerns as most of us, and most exerts & former NRL players …

            That BA doesn’t use a bench rotation probably, refuses to use 2 hookers, and his game strategy approach is no longer working

            There’s no easy answer with keeping everyone happy

            And the clubs flipped a coin that they can do better without BA’s old ideas as our coach moving forward

            If Barrett as our interim can run 2x dummy halves

            Stop using Sean lane

            Stop making a game plan rely 100% on our forwards dominating or we stand no chance

            We might actually win more games

            If the club continues to see the same poor results even without BA there as coach

            Then they’ll have no choice but to start to focus on our recruitment & retention failing

            But first let’s see if Baz is smart enough to start running 2x dummy halves

            Lower lussick’s work load

            Get hands or Boods to Spark our attack and some fresh legs

            Plus stop playing Sean lane

            Honestly if firing BA is what it takes for this to happen

            I won’t be against this move

            BA is notoriously stubborn and if lussick plays 80 mins of every game this year

            + Lane getting by mine weekly

            You could predict our results will be a failure all year

            Let’s try be positive

            With the new changes (if they happen)

            The team may become less burned out

            We might tighten up our middle & edge defences with lane playing less mins

            And lussick having a rest

            Now the eels players have seen the front office will sack you for underperforming

            (Like the sacking of BA)

            This might also light a fire under the asses of some players who got too comfortable

            Think Jnr paulo or Lane etc

            I’ve actually Met Trent Barrett and had a beer with him before

            Before this season started, he hinted at me the problem is around our dummy half situation

            Baz knew this in advanced of the season

            while BA persisted on lussick plus doubled down by giving him 80 mins weekly

            Baz knows dummy half is a big problem in our team

            He will hopefully work on this area and lift our team up

            Bas gets a bad rap but he knew this was a issue for our team before the season began

            BA kept on running a poor dummy half for 80 mins

            He should of had hands or Boods sharing the load all year

            Penrith, roosters, melb, Bris

            None of these clubs run a 1 dummy half team all year like we have been doing

            I’m not a BA hater but let’s rally behind our club & new coach

            Let’s hope he does what all us fans know should be done

            Let’s hope he gets the players support and they lift

            Let’s hope they stop being comfortable knowing BA is there to protect them

            Baz will be fighting to possibly win a long term coaching job at the eels

            Let’s hope he’s ruthless and does whatever is necessary to get our club winning

            Let’s hope baz has learned things from BA

            And has improved as a coach and can help us turn our season around

            I do know that Baz highly rated Blaize as he told me about him during the pre season

            I know He also rated Kelma Tualagi

            Let’s see if Kelma gets a run over Lane and

            Hopefully Blaize stays at fullback and gutho to centre so we don’t lose him to more injuries since he may need reduced miles moving forward as he ages 👍

            I also got the impression before this season started Baz didn’t seem to have big confidence in lussick but Brad did

            Baz didn’t tell us this directly but during conversation it came across this way in a personal setting

            Do I don’t think baz will be emotionally so loyal to him like BA who’s obviously voted to bring him back from UK and stuck with his pick as hooker

    2. Brett A

      Mu: I have no doubt that BA said – ‘go get me play X and player Y’ or ‘I want to retain Player Z’. But then it is MON who has to go and get them. Negotiate with the player, with his agent. That has nothing to do with B.A. We are failing to keep players we want and signing players who – you would imagine are our third and fourth choice options. That is when we get left with massive holes in our roster – like 6 outside backs in a squad of 30.

      Again, B.A isn’t blameless. I have no doubt Ky Rodwell asked to leave and B.A might have got emotional and thought, we don’t want someone who doesn’t want to be here’, so let him go. Does Rodwell fix anything that results in tangible wins? No. But he probably would have been handy in recent weeks given the need to sit down players like Lane and co.

      All they have said is a bunch of spin to protect themselves and MON and all that does is tell the quality potential candidates – Like Bennett, that there is no further clean out of the incompetence forth coming.

      Oh and further insulting the father of one of the key remaining developmental players you have left on the books – not great management there either.

      1. Hamsammich

        Yep. Imagine being an incoming coach and reading those comments. You know that these formerly faceless executives will throw you under the bus whilst they get to stay in their job knowing they get to choose when their time at the club is over.

        1. Poppa

          It’s called being a grown up Ham, any coach worth his salt would realise that automatically.

    3. Shelley

      They also said during the same press conference that they hid the truth and said to people publically what they wanted to hear for the good off the club.

      That means they are saying that telling an untruth is not unfair or wrong if the people you are saying it to want to hear that.

      Today they were speaking to those who wanted BA gone or are uncommitted, there demeanour showed they, our leaders know they have lost some fans, like me forever.

      In my opinion they told those people what they wanted to hear; it was all BA’s fault.

      Are they telling the real truth? Well by their own words we don’t know. You cannot say I will lie when it is convenient, but trust me now.
      They need to read the story ‘ the boy who cried wolf’

  37. Kenny WA Eel

    Time for a change….forget the Rose coloured spectacles. If players choose options so be it. A clear out is not the worst thing to happen. Leave Barrett for remainder of season and exercise due diligence left field to secure a new coach for 2035.

  38. Kenny WA Eel

    Time for a change….forget the Rose coloured spectacles. If players choose options so be it. A clear out is not the worst thing to happen. Leave Barrett for remainder of season and exercise due diligence left field to secure a new coach for 2025.

  39. pete

    Who leaked about BAs ccontract prior to 2022 GF? Was it MON or BAs agent or Gus Gould?

    BA denied any knowledge but the timing was very poor. Makes me think likely Gus Gould leaked to Wiedler before finals..Gus had meetings with Kikau and Mahoney as well. Weidler got the scoop on both occasions.

    Parra ended up extending until 2025 because of GF. We were struggling until the players met together and decided to have a dig.

    Article by Danny Wiedler

  40. Wally21

    BA leaves a legacy in particular in relation to 2016 which we should all admire.
    However it was time for him to go and the board and CEO have done the right thing. There is a significant amount of naivety in some of the comments posted here.
    The club clearly stated that BA had the most prominent voice in Recrutiment and retention. It’s his team, playing his style of football, that is not working.
    I agree there needs to be other changes, but don’t fool yourselves into thinking that BA didn’t have the most say in the roster, the game plans and Junior development etc.
    In almost all major sporting codes, BA wouldn’t have lasted after last year. He was given more than a fair go.

  41. Nino

    I will admit I have been a quite critical of Brad over the years. Tactics, substitutions, trust and choice of players in particular. But if the club knew Wayne said no to us, and no one better is available, why in the world would we sack Brad mid-season ?? For Trent Barrett ??

    Now we are going to lose our best junior at the club, Matty Arthur. Now we take a step backwards, as
    Wayne, Des and all the top coaches are off the market. Gutho and Moses were just about to return as well. And this is coming from someone who was for Bennett coming next season.

    This is an embarrassment from the club. To give our longest serving coach a short thank you but goodbye statement is absurd. To sack him like this with no replacement is absurd. I’m just completely fed up. A lot of players have to have a hard look at themselves as well. Back their coach every week in the media but then serve that rubbish on the field.

    Thank you to the TCT lads for what has been a year and a half of very tough podcasts and articles. Always a pleasure listening to you boys, especially at Parra Leagues and having a chat. In times like these, having you lads has helped me and my Parra mates clear our heads.

    Keep up the amazing work lads.

  42. Jerry

    Brad Arthur has the strongest voice out of anyone on the retention and recruitment committee, ham. For its everyone else’s fault but Brad in your opinion.

    Stated today by Sarantinos that Brad headed recruitment and retention

    Balls in your court Ham

    1. Muz

      This is what everyone’s in denial over

      It’s Brad playing system, he has more say on who says or comes and goes

      To think MON and everyone has all the pull and BA is just a victim given poor players is ridiculous

      That’s not to say it all lands on BA – it just means it’s absolutely ridiculous to think a head coach hasn’t got his hands all over the roster

      Just look at the playing group – a big forward dominant roster specifically designed for BA’s playing style he’s been running for 10 years

      The fact brads been so loyal to Shawn lane, sivo, and lussick this year

      Is also a giant red flag over BA’s decision making as our head coach imo

  43. Spark

    Brad Arthur has left a legacy at the Eels. There is no argument that he is an honest character who gave absolutely 100% to the cause.
    Now, it’s time to move on and support the next coach.
    Trent Barrett has the team for the rest of the year and no doubt has ambitions to stay at the club or indeed, enhance his CV.
    IMHO if Trent Barrett replicates the Brad Arthur coaching book, he may as well kiss his coaching career goodbye.
    This is not a slight on BA but this is a chance for Barrett to make inspired selections on the off chance that magic will happen. He has absolutely nothing to lose.
    It’s expected that the club will do nothing this year – be brave Trent !
    First thing I’d be doing is making a raft of changes to the side.
    The top priority is moving Brown back to 5/8.
    Sanders to half
    Doorey in for Lane
    Guymer on the bench
    Harper would replace Russell
    Arthur would replace Lussick AND
    Ethan Martyn would replace Sivo.
    Heaps of debuts yes but nothing to lose !

    1. Muz

      I love it ^

      Yes, give Doorey a run over lane

      If Sanders comes back in – place him at 7

      No more lane, lussick & sivo getting first picks even if they are clearly absolute liabilities to the team & club in 24’

      No more bash up the middle and only attack in play 4-5 and hope for a miracle

      1. Spark

        Well Barrett made absolutely no changes to the team. What a waste of an opportunity. Trent – if they wanted the same team then what was the point in letting BA go ??
        It was a time to show that you are your own man.
        Some of those players are directly responsible for the sacking of BA yet you reward them again.
        What do you think they will suddenly play for you and not BA.
        AND it just shows that Barrett will be out of the race for next year.

        1. Muz

          True I saw the team list

          Maybe Barrett is going to see what happens with ba gone

          See if the tail dragging is the issue, or them not turning up for the old coach

          One thing with Barrett – he might also not want to risk shaking the team up too much too fast

          Even Just changing a few players can wreck havoc

          Losing a coach as well the same week

          Let’s see if the boys run a different playing approach this week

          Hopefully them costing their coach his job might motivate some of them to perform

          Let’s go mighty eels

    2. pete

      I like your team Spark.
      Maybe Barrett is holding the players responsible and accountable? So they cannot take the easy way out. By hiding and cruising along in Cup. They must face the music of their actions. It will also show it was either BA or the players.

      1. Spark

        Pete it does indeed look like he has given the team one last chance but haven’t they had enough chances ? Wasn’t Barrett a part of the staff when they were given one last chance weeks ago ?
        If the team suddenly comes out and shows resilience and dedication – what a kick in the teeth to poor BA !
        What the team needed from Barrett was inspiration not stability.
        I’m absolutely gob smacked that Lane is still there over Doorey !

      2. Joseph

        Yep, it will be interesting to see if the usual suspects pack up their toys after 58 minutes now BA is gone.

    3. Muz

      They might be running this team to gauge and give one last try without BA there

      We don’t know the full story, the mole is reporting a certain player manager was telling eels board that BA had lost the dressing room

      If BA had lost the confidence of the playing group

      Barrett could be trying to test our how the same players go without BA there?

      Honestly it’s a interesting selection

      If Barret changed the team and it succeeds all of us will just say:

      “see, it’s because he selected different players”

      Maybe this way, the club can see if it has any effect by just removing BA and seeing how these players respond

      No doubt some willl be thinking they too might lose their jobs in this team

      Let’s Hope whatever happens, it works

      But seeing that team list today – it’s hard to imagine seeing much change is possible

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