Phil Gould’s recent rugby league record has been called out after the Bulldogs boss took over from coach Trent Barrett this week.
Fox League’s James Hooper revealed Gould left Bulldogs players stunned when he delivered a withering spray to the group on Tuesday before sidelining Barrett and running a training session.
While Barrett has publicly declared he was on board with the move, NRL360 host Paul Kent said Gould is doing his coach no favours.
What’s more, Kent believes the latest incident fits a pattern of behaviour from Gould over the past 20 years.
“The problem is this he’s done this before with Ricky Stuart and cost him his job at the Roosters after time,” Kent said on NRL360.
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“He fell out with Graham Murray when he was coaching director at the Roosters before Ricky Stuart and Graham Murray went to his grave, God bless him, blaming Phil Gould for what happened to his career at the Roosters.
“Then you have what happened at Penrith with Ivan Cleary, he sacked him because he was too tired.
“Other chief executive or other general managers solve the problems other ways and history has shown that Phil Gould walking out on the field and telling the coach to stand on the sidelines, he did it with Griffin, he did it with Cleary, he did it with Ricky Stuart, he did it with Brad Fittler at the Roosters.
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“I think the funeral march has begun.”
Gould has a track record of coming into struggling clubs, turning them around, but not without casualties along the way.
But despite being widely considered as a successful administrative figure — one many clubs would love to have within their ranks — there is a glaring hole in his resume.
“So for the best part of 20 years now, he has been a general manager of football or a coaching director and other than Ricky Stuart is 2002, he hasn’t been at a club that has won a premiership,” Paul Kent said.
“There is no doubt he has got a high intellect, he knows his footy like few people do, but for some reason the teams improve, improve, improve and then they begin to just plateau out a little bit and they don’t seem to get there.
“It wasn’t until Penrith got rid of him that they actually won the premiership. Other than 2002 which is now 20 years ago he has not been around at the club when they have turned that into a premiership.”
Gould sacked current Panthers coach Ivan Cleary from the same club in 2015 before he was recruited back to the foot of the mountain and the current Bulldogs general manager of football left his position.
The rehiring of Cleary cost the Penrith club a hefty sum of money, dumping Anthony Griffin four weeks out from the 2018 finals with another two years left on his contract.
In the years following the Panthers underwent a huge rebuild, removing unwanted contracts and freeing up cap space, meanwhile building up the impressive roster of juniors they boast today, eventually winning a premiership in 2021 after parting ways with Gould.
Gould is clearly one of the sharpest minds in rugby league having been employed previously by top clubs, but his methods may not suit the modern game according to The Daily Telegraph’s Buzz Rothfield.
“Let me just say something and it probably going to sound disrespectful but I am going to say it anyway,” Rothfield said.
“Phil Gould has achieved more than anyone on this table would ever hope to achieve in rugby league.
“The bottom line is, he is now 63-years of age, and the modern way of running a football club and doing what he did on Tuesday afternoon I don’t know if it works.
“You go back to Penrith, and you go back to what he did with Ivan Cleary, he did not want Ivan Cleary back at that club.
“Now Ivan Cleary got back to that club through Dave O’Neill the chairman who overruled Gus to get him back and then they went about dismantling the roster that Gus built.
“They sold Campbell-Gillard, they sold Blake to Parramatta and had to pay them, so what I am trying to explain is in modern times Gus hasn’t played it all that smart.”
“Gus is a genius and I thought his combination with Barrett was a good one and I expected a hell of a lot better,” NRL360 host Braith Anasta said.
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