Graham Lowe has has called on struggling Warriors coach Andrew McFadden to consider resigning.
With club boss Jim Doyle backing McFadden, Lowe said the coach may need to make the tough call on himself to save the lifeless Warriors who lie 14th on the NRL table with four wins from 11.
Lowe believes the search for a new coach should start now and heavily criticised McFadden's style of game. If McFadden does stay, a more experienced operator must be brought in over his head, Lowe said.
The straight talking Lowe, still the highest profile league legend living in New Zealand, is well regard by the sporting public. His decision to publicly pinpoint McFadden as the major problem comes because a disastrous end to the 2015 season has continued into 2016.
In a hard hitting interview with the Herald, Lowe - the former Kiwis, Wigan and Queensland coach - said controversies were disguising the real problem, that players were not responding to McFadden. He described the Warriors already scant top eight prospects as "completely unforgivable".
He was adamant McFadden won't turn the situation around, the key indicator being that all first graders - with the possible exception of explosive centre Solomone Kata - were in decline.
The Warriors have gone into a bye on the back of another shocker, having been crushed by Canberra in New Plymouth. Optimism - driven by the recruitment of Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - has collapsed.
Aussie league great Peter Sterling told his TV audience this week that the Warriors and four other cellar dwellers were already out of the playoff reckoning to his mind. Offering a rare glimmer of hope, the Rabbitohs' English superstar Sam Burgess disagreed, saying the Warriors were the exception due to the presence of Issac Luke and Shaun Johnson.
But Lowe said: "They are playing terrible - that is the heart and soul of the problem. The brand of football they play is useless.
"It is predictable, non-effective, looks like it is stats driven. The selections are pretty ordinary. I've seen absolutely no sign of the (McFadden's) ability to get the players to believe in what he is doing. You have to have that to play a good brand of footy.
"I know it is fashionable to bag the Warriors' defence which is s***house - no doubt about it. But you need some fun, some enjoyment, a good attacking brand and then the defence will lift. Everyone is going backwards."
Dumped first grader Konrad Hurrell has been released by the club this week in a blaze of publicity, just weeks after a late night incident led to six players being dropped and banned from test duty.
Lowe said: "Jeez, Konrad Hurrell isn't the problem. McFadden isn't the long term answer as coach, for sure. I know there are a lot of creative players in the team but there is no sign of any creativity whatsoever.
"I really feel for Andrew, and no one wants this happening to him because he is such a nice bloke. But at the end of the day, he hasn't come up with answers. I'd be looking for a new coach now.
"The tea lady can come up with structures. Don't be brainwashed into believing only great coaches can do that. It is purely an emotional thing lacking. The main thing is spirit between the players and without that you've got nothing. Some players are playing one way, and others look frustrated and aren't involved at all.
"They will win a few games but it is not going to improve. Andrew himself has to consider resigning. The sad thing that happens is you end up staying just to keep a job. That's pretty negative.
"Things can be turned around really quickly. There are people out there although I won't fuel speculation by naming names. Good man management gets players performing beyond what they believe they are capable of."