The Pain Of Having Your Team Coached By Matthew Elliott

How could I describe the soul crushing exercise that is following a club coached by Matthew Elliott?

Let me put it this way…

I would quite happily watch Penrith get off to a win less start to the season, getting thrashed in every game, having no chance of making the finals and losing players to other clubs if it means that Matthew Elliott leaves the club at the end of the 2011 season.

Every single moment Matthew Elliott has anything to do with my club, I have no feeling of joy, happiness or love for the club I’ve followed since I was young robot.

Every win is one week longer I will have to put up with his Mr Magoo performances in press conferences, his simplistic game plan, his promises of improvement and the undying faith that Penriths management has in him.

I use to rubbish Matthew Elliott’s coaching ability back went he was in charge of Bradford. When it was announced that he was moving back to Australia to coach the Canberra Raiders, I felt nothing but sorrow for those that followed the Green Machine.

Predictably, Matthew Elliott destroyed anything positive about the Raiders. The Matthew Elliott game plan is to get his strength and conditioning mate from Bradford to bulk up the side, making them completely immobile. He then puts in place a simplistic game play which amounts to five hit ups and a kick.

If you look at the Raiders, there is the pre Matthew Elliott era, and the post Matthew Elliott era. The club is only just getting over Elliott’s time at the club.

As the Raiders settled into a cycle of mediocrity fans started leaving the club in droves. You see, at some point, football stops being fun when Matthew Elliott coaches your team.

Imagine the worst way you have felt as a fan. Now, imagine feeling that every single week. At some point, you just don’t want to feel like that any more, and you detach yourself from your team as an act of self preservation.

When it was announced that he would move to Penrith, I knew that someone upstairs must have decided to play a three year long joke on me. That was compounded when, with his job under threat and the club officially giving him 10 weeks to improve the team, he was signed to a three year contract extension a month later despite having a terrible start to the season!

The boring game plan just takes any enjoyment out of the game. A Matthew Elliott coached team never asks questions of the defense, they never have to make a decision on who to tackle because the game plan is so simplistic.

One thing you will see with Matthew Elliott coached sides is, their attack always comes from individual brilliance rather than coaching. Frank Pritchard putting a ridiculous pass on to a flying Michael Jennings.

Last season Penriths best attacking weapon was their kicking game. This is because they don’t have any attacking plays! They grind up field with hit ups, put the cross field kick in and from there its just down to the football gods to get the ball in the right hands.

The grind on your fanaticism only turns to more pain when you hear the statistics like Matthew Elliott has never beaten a Craig Bellemy coached side in 12 attempts or that he Matthew Elliott has never won a finals game in the National Rugby League.

All of this just wears the fan base down. It is there for everyone to see.

Last season Penrith hosted its first finals game in 6 years. Such an event should have seen a sellout crowd at the local supporters finally have its first winning season in forever. What happened instead was the worst attended finals game of 2010. In fact, they didn’t even attract enough to his the NRL’s regular season average crowd.

Penrith Panthers fans have detached themselves from the club. They just can’t take it any more.

So, as I head into 2011, I feel no excitement at all in regards to how my team will go. The best thing I can hope for it that Matthew Elliott wins another wooden spoon for the club and gets fired. That is the only highlight I can look forward to.

That is the pain of having your club coach by Matthew Elliott.

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