You'd think Ian Foster has leprosy or, at the very least, assaulted someone's grandma – such has been the opprobrium shunted in his general direction since he won the All Blacks coaching job.
Already, before he has even assembled his coaching group, he is probably the most marked-for-failure All Blacks coach since Graham Henry in 2007, before he won the "Sir" bit.
Much of the nation seem to be hoping Foster fails, if the plethora of polls asking if Foster or rival Scott Robertson should have got the job (heavily in favour of Robertson) are any guide.
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That was demonstrably the feeling when Henry – who had guided the All Blacks to their worst-ever World Cup result in 2007 – was re-appointed after a battle with another Canterbury/Crusaders favourite, Robbie Deans.
Here this column must admit its own flawed stance that Henry should have gone to the guillotine – proved wrong when the All Blacks held on for that nail-biting win in the 2011 World Cup final.
How soon we forget. Let's also remind ourselves that most anti-Foster bile has been expressed (not forgetting some media types who should know better) on the internet – the home of faceless keyboard crusaders, trolls, wells of discontent and general ignorance.
The specious logic of the Foster-haters seems to be that he represents the old, the tested and failed as opposed to Robertson's "fresh" approach. What fresh approach? Breakdancing lessons?
That logic is about as insightful as Donald Trump belittling Greta Thunberg. No matter what you think of Thunberg and her climate change messaging, she is still a 16-year-old girl, diagnosed with Asperger's, who doesn't deserve to be derided by an orange bully with hair by Rug Doctor who advocates grabbing women by the genitals.
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Foster doesn't deserve to be flayed by armchair generals who've not yet experienced his work as head coach of the All Blacks – critiqued unseen by people about as capable of coaching a major rugby team as Peppa Pig.
There used to be a thing called "a fair go" – given to someone before assassinating their character. These days (thanks, internet and social media) we trash them first and never have to reconsider because the words just accumulate on the mountain of meaningless verbiage, instantly forgotten.
The theory Foster will only offer more of the same is laughably lame. He'll be aware it's time for change, same as any new boss wants to stamp his or her authority and style on a commercial enterprise. Appointing someone from an old dynasty doesn't mean new thinking can't be brought to a new problem.
Let's be honest – how many predicted England beating the All Blacks in the World Cup semifinal? Most saw the All Blacks put the Irish to the sword with the new attacking philosophy and were happily in favour of it. World Cup winners South Africa were undone in pool play by 10 minutes of attacking frenzy; few hollered "mistake" then.
After that bravura, one-off performance by England (followed closely by a woeful one in the final) Foster will apparently be charged by the public with bringing back the All Black "fear factor" after they were beaten by the English pack.
It's a crock. When the All Blacks fell to England in 2012, feted performers like Brodie Retallick were overshadowed and even rag-dolled at times. Did anyone panic and say the All Blacks were playing like little girls? The team produced one of the best international rugby records of all time from that point – 30 wins, two losses and one draw, a win record of 90 per cent, in three years, and, oh yes, another World Cup in some style.
The All Blacks' World Cup demise came down to three main factors, in my opinion:
1) The game plan was high speed but also high risk, always liable to be tripped up by a committed defence in a knockout match.
2) England produced a first-half attacking display that saw space found and passes stick; the old jibe that England teams could not run, pass and score tries was gone.
3) The breakdown; much of the damage was done by Sam Underhill and Tom Curry. Giant performances, maybe, but no giants they.
Will Foster ignore those elements? He might if he is monumentally stupid – which he isn't.
He has two selection challenges (plugging big gaps at lock and loose forward) as he faces Wales in two home tests, Scotland in one, a new Australia under Dave Rennie for the Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby Championship and a 2020 tour containing another fixture against England.
That match, early in his head coach career, will be the yardstick applied to Foster. It will also be the stick used to beat him with if England win again.
It will be fascinating to see how he changes things; it might be a savvy bet he'll tighten things up and play more territory, possession and more of a kicking game, initially anyway.
When all is said and done, NZ Rugby have appointed him for two years. If it all goes down the dunny, Robertson could take over. Only, hang on a moment…Warren Gatland will be available then.
Will they then plump for Robertson over an internationally-proven coach? Wonder what the polls and trolls will say.