Michael Brown: Club's lack of honesty insults the fans

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Sam Tomkins, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering and Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images
Sam Tomkins, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering and Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors made a decisive call to get rid of Matt Elliott as coach but they should have acted more decisively when handling his "resignation".

The club steadfastly maintained Elliott resigned, and it might be factually correct, but they are being economical with the truth to suggest he went by his own volition.

Fans probably would have accepted the situation if the club spelled it out for what it is. It clearly wasn't working and the wild fluctuations in form and inept displays in their three defeats illustrated that.

Instead, many supporters feel the club is insulting their intelligence and it has caused even more anger than necessary.

In many respects, it was the right move. Yes, it is only five games into the 2014 premiership but it also means there is time to salvage the season. They aren't too far outside the top eight with 19 games still to play.

So why not be transparent about it?

Elliott was revealing on his Instagram account when he said, "Understand the language used gave the impression I chose not to stay. Be assured I don't give up."

Senior player Thomas Leuluai dispensed with the party line when he used the "s" word.

"It is pretty embarrassing standing here today knowing that your coach is getting sacked because of our performance," he said.

And interim coach Andrew McFadden said, "Matt has obviously paid the ultimate price."

Sometimes clubs and organisations need to make difficult calls.

The NZRL did it when they sacked Gary Kemble after the disastrous Kiwis tour of 2007 and subsequent player revolt and installed Stephen Kearney, who led the Kiwis to the 2008 World Cup. New Zealand Cricket took similar action in 2009 when it was clear the players wanted Andy Moles replaced.

Player power is a controversial topic and the Warriors players must carry a large share of the blame for their results since the end of 2011. But those same players, many of whom had misgivings about Elliott's methods, weren't suddenly going to start playing for him.

Top coaches demand respect from and have the right chemistry with their players and the affable Elliott didn't have that. It could be argued the club would have been negligent if they didn't get rid of him.

What the Warriors need now is a period of stability. They had it under Ivan Cleary before some in the Warriors management failed to fight hard enough to keep him. But it has unravelled awfully since then.

They went chasing a supercoach last time, with Craig Bellamy at the head of the list, but failed in that pursuit.

The list of top alternatives this time around is hardly overwhelming so they could do worse than follow the lead of the Roosters and Rabbitohs and go with a promising coach and stick with him.

Maybe Andrew McFadden is that man - he certainly comes with a good reputation and Kearney was impressed enough to bring him on as Kiwis assistant. That's if he can last long enough.

- NZ Herald

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