Tony Smith has quit his England coaching job just minutes after his side lost the Four Nations Final by a scoreline of 46-16.
Smith said the idea of spending six weeks away from his family was a major decision for him to stand down, as well as commitments to his Super League job at Warrington.
I think its a fucking gutless decision, all English fans and players should be pissed off about this.
This Australian gets handed the best role in the English game, he is given every resource at his disposal in return for his commitment to getting England on track. He asks for total commitment from his players, his coaching staff and the RFL itself.
He coaches England to a disastrous World Cup result in 2008. The worst England has ever played in a World Cup in its history.
In 2009 he then takes up a job coaching the Warrington Wolves, now England commitments can take a back seat, after all, he might have said the rolse was important but it wasn’t really that important!
England head into the Four Nations and Smith makes some bold changes. The team makes the Final, only to be thrashed by Australia, and then Smith quits and they can find someone else to take on the job.
After all, six whole weeks away from his family while coaching England in next years Four Nations….well, you can’t expect that type of commitment from the English coach can you!
I’m far from being an English, but I’m disgusted on behalf of what these young English team is trying to build towards. The coach has completely bailed on them!
Now attention will turn to finding a new England coach and starting all over again. I look at Super League, I don’t see anyone there that is up to the job at all. You could see Nathan Brown take up the role but please, he’ll only doing it for a while himself before ditching England himself!
English fans are likely to want Wayne Bennett, I’m not sure that Bennett would want the job though. As it is he is coaching in Sydney away from his home in Brisbane, and on top of that he has the St George/Illawarra Dragons to worry about. The last thing he needs at this stage of his life is to be worrying about whats going on in England.
Craig Bellemy would probably not want the job either, he invests so much of himself into his coaching job at the Melbourne Storm and on top of that, he will be back as New South Wales coach next year.
I keep going back to the best coach in the game at bringing a representative team together, of making players that hate him want to run through brick walls for him, and a bloke who’s record speaks for itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Gould would have any interest in coaching England, but like any problems in the game, throw enough money at it, and you can sort it out.
I think Phil Gould would have an immediate impact on the English side. I think if he was persuaded to coach England he would immediately sort out so that a few English players ended up playing with NRL clubs as soon as possible.
The area he would make the most impact though would be on game day. No one prepares a representative team better than Phil Gould. The art of taking players from different systems, molding them into one team, giving them all the info they need about their opposition and yet at the same time simplifying what they need to do to win, no one is better.
It would take a lot of money though…..and even then, it would need to light a challenge in him I don’t think anyone has even seen a hint of.
Other candidates, I’m struggling to think of them to be honest.
One left field suggestion that would raise some eyebrows but could be a master stroke? Andrew Johns.
Johns doesn’t want a full time coaching position, its too much stress and he doesn’t need the money. However the chance to turn England around might be enough to get Joey toey (Sorry about that one!).
Johns is a master tactician, he has been involved in specialist coaching for a number of NRL and Rugby Union teams. When ever you hear a young player talking about what its like to be coached by Andrew Johns they say its just information overload, he tells you so much about how to improve you game you need to take time later on to take it all in.
Johns has links to England and I think the challenge of coaching the English side would light a fire in his guts.
At the very least, you get a player who’s technical knowledge of the game is second to none. One or two seasons with Johns coaching England would improve every player in the squad and set new standards for the English team.
Who ever gets the job, they at least have a blank slat to start with and not a bunch of broken down old players with no future.
Tony Smith turned his back on England just when they needed him most. Lets hope the next England coach has real commitment and actually practices what they preach.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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