Monday, August 31, 2015

Potter cuts Benji, gets the sack. Taylor cuts Farah, survives?

Taylor has made a decion that could define his time a the Tigers.
The Wests Tigers must show they’ve learnt their lesson and back Jason Taylor to the hills. Almost 12 months ago the Wests Tigers board sacked then Head Coach Mick Potter, ending his two-year time in the role. The Tigers claimed that Potter’s contract was merely ‘not renewed’ and that he wasn’t sacked. During a tumultuous term as Head Coach in which he seemed to be under the spotlight from day one till the end, Potter made critical decisions to move the team forward into the future, similar to those Jason Taylor has now made. Potter was sacked; make no mistake, but will last year’s lesson allow Taylor to survive the current scrutiny?
Coach Taylor has made a ballsy call. Pushing your club captain out the door, publicly, is as big as it gets. When your captain is a club-stalwart, life-member and fan-favourite, it’s an even bigger call. But is it justified? Only time can really be the judge of that, but Farah, at 31, has probably reached a similar situation to that of Benji Marshall; he has become stale. On a huge deal, worth almost a million dollars, with a couple of years to go, and with an indication from the coach to let the club’s young halves’ take the reins, Farah has probably been sitting back, knowing that the club is going to be able to get away with some mixed results for the next year or two as they have a new coach and a young team. A Tiger for his entire career, Farah will probably ultimately benefit from heading elsewhere and starting fresh. But will the Tigers benefit from losing him?
His contract is obviously taking up too much space in the Wests Tigers’ cap, which is an issue for a club that has focused on retaining its youth. Fair call from Taylor if they need the space, he’s been appointed to make these decisions. The Wests Tigers said in their statement following Mick Potter’s sacking that the new coach would be ‘given complete control over the appointment of all key football staff and his playing roster’. By golly they will be under some pressure to remain steadfast with this position considering the current media show surrounding Farah’s dumping.
Farah has been a player that has attracted plenty of attention over the years, many a time in the media. He had the ‘ambush’ with Matty Johns, the comments that ‘Mick Potter can’t coach’ that Gordon Tallis revealed on live radio, and he’s had to deal with his apparent poor relationship with Benji Marshall. Overall, Robbie Farah doesn’t have the no-nonsense approach like a Cooper Cronk or Cameron Smith, he seems to have an aura around him. A player happy to speak up on player issues, even touted as a future administrator in the game, Farah just always seems to be involved in something.
So maybe Jason Taylor is right to try and let him go now, it will give himself and the club the best chance to build a roster for the future, sooner rather than later. Keeping a player around so they can finish their career as a one-club player is a theory of romance, but it can only happen if that player is busting their ass until the end. Robbie Farah is a fan of Liverpool Football club, so he would know that Steven Gerrard and The Reds parted ways because the club had to plan for the future, and Gerrard didn’t want to take a backward step by staying with them. Gerrard is now living the dream on the west coast of the United States. Liverpool, are now trying to climb out of the post-Gerrard era. They parted ways, it was done, simple. Farah’s situation is a bit different considering he has a couple of years to run on his contract, but the comparisons are there.
Where would the Wests Tigers be if Mick Potter was still their coach? He made the courageous call to get rid of Benji Marshall, to improve the culture of the club, and look where that got him. Taylor has made virtually the same type of decision, and club chairwoman, Marina Go, has stated that it’s to improve the culture of the club, to build a winning culture. Her comments have done nothing but continue the public relations disaster of the last week, but it will now be up to her and the Wests Tigers board to back their decision, and their coach.
Last time this happened, the pressure got too much and the coach was moved on. This time, surely they’ve learnt their lesson.