Coming in to the 2018 season, many league experts had Parramatta not only qualifying for the finals but potentially taking out the premiership. Under performing on the field, injuries and now off field issues have Brad Arthur under more pressure than ever.
Rugby league is a funny game with a momentum swing like this completely changing the course of a teams season. If we look back at their round one clash, things were going to script with the Eels taking an impressive lead into the half and looking the dominant team many thought they would be. Following this, they would not score a try for the next 200 minutes and suffer six consecutive defeats to start their season from hell.
While it is unfair to blame Arthur for all the teams struggles, it appears as though the players have lost pride in their performances and are not playing for their head coach. It started with players caught laughing and smiling after their demolition at the hands of Manly in round two and has continued with their latest luck lustre performance against the Knights.
Offield issues have now crept up with star playmaker Corey Norman being caught on the drink during rehabilitation for an injury. This again brings into question Arthur’s control of the squad and the respect he has from the playing group. Injuries have not helped the cause of the team but it does not excuse effort and enthusiasm on the field.
Brad Arthur is now the coach under the most pressure which is a shock considering the job he did last season. Wayne Bennett may become a shock candidate for the position to takeover a talented roster in a team crying out for premiership success. Whatever happens it will be an interesting narrative for a team who looked like a consistent force in the NRL competition.