Phil Gould has done a lot for Penrith – no one can question that.
That’s what many in the game believe as the Panthers continue to unravel.
Gus is a strong personality and speaks his mind – as Anthony Griffin re-discovered this week.
Gould gave Hook a touch-up over the Panthers’ poor trial form, but why is Griffin there in the first place?
In case you missed it, Gould gave coach Anthony Griffin a very public blast midway through Saturday night’s embarrassing 24-10 loss to a a second-string Canterbury side.
Several fans and Bulldogs coaching staff witnessed Gould slam Griffin in the tunnel as the two teams left the field at halftime at Belmore Sports Ground.
A furious Gould yelled words to the effect of “This looks like a reserve grade outfit… fix it” to Griffin and assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo.
The blast had little impact – despite fielding most of their big guns against a no-name Bulldogs outfit, Penrith were even worse in the second half.
Gus talked up the coaching abilities of Ivan Cleary, Garth Brennan and Trent Barrett – then let them stroll out the door and replaced them with an outsider.
It hasn’t really worked.
Trent Merrin went into bat for Hook on Monday, giving the player equivalent of the full support of the board.
“I know local players have left the club and they’ve gone elsewhere but that wasn’t due to — as far as we know – the coaching side of things” Merrin said onNRL 360.
“When a new coach comes into a system when you’re used to something else for so long (and so) not every player is going to get the responses that they want from that coach.
“Obviously we had two players there who probably didn’t respond to a new coach coming on board, and they’ve gone elsewhere.”