True, things were starting to look a little brighter for the Wests Tigers under Ivan Cleary.
But, like any professional or personal relationship, if someone doesn’t want to be there, fact is you’re always better off without them.
That is exactly the case with Ivan Cleary and the Wests Tigers.
There’s been a lot of turmoil in Wests Tigers history, I don’t need to remind those who have been on the bus since day one that we’ve had more downs than ups.
We thought Ivan was the man that would not only set the ship on the right course, but also be here for the long run.
I was never particularly fussed about Nathan Cleary coming as part of the deal.
To me he seemed settled at Penrith and my first thought was that the pair would go out of their way to avoid the complications of being at the same club.
Then, as talk started to grow about Nathan’s future and Ivan spoke openly of wanting to coach him, it seemed to make sense that he was coming our way.
This was especially the case when you considered that Ivan had recently been fired rather unceremoniously by the Panthers.
As we all now know, that wasn’t to be.
Money talks, for sure, and I think that was a big factor in what went down.
Like any business deal though, the bigger the investment the better the return expected and that leads to a huge amount of pressure on a coach with a less than 50% winning record and a son that has shown glimpses…but isn’t a game breaking superstar.
We’ll watch what happens at the foot of the mountains in coming years with keen interest.
More importantly, welcome to the club Michael Maguire.
I think (and hope) Michael will change things here, perhaps things that have been entrenched for years – our somewhat soft underbelly.
An obvious culture issue that seems to linger year after year.
As I mentioned in our first Wests Tigers Podcast, I’m really sick of being the team that other teams like to play.
Of being the team that regularly plays other teams back into form.
And the team that surrenders so meekly to teams below us on the ladder.
The game in 2017 against the Roosters at Campbelltown for example. In the pre-match warm up the Rooster were laughing and clowning around, all at ease with the world.
Then, yep, a cruisy 22 point win for the red, blue and white brigade, right there on our patch, our home.
Michael Maguire, a succesful tenure here at Wests Tigers will mean helping the club and the team become more professional, more hard edged and a team that other teams dread playing.
Fortunately, after what he achieved at Wigan and Souths, Maguire looks the tough, no nonsense kind of man to do that.
We welcome your thoughts on the new coach and what his priorities need to be in our comments section below.
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