Will Cheika do a Postecoglou? - Green and Gold Rugby
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Will Cheika do a Postecoglou?

Will Cheika do a Postecoglou?

It’s been well documented that Michael Cheika will step down as coach IF he fails to secure a World Cup in next year’s tournament. Is this just a throwaway line and will he go when he can no longer give ‘full credit to the boys’? Or was this a deliberate attempt to scramble up a logical reason for him to keep his job?

The latter scenario has merit due to a cash strapped ARU – I mean Rugby Australia (how much did that cost?) – not being able to both pay him out and to afford another coach of a decent calibre. Apart from an internal promotion (unlikely due to current results) there are no obvious alternatives that are logical fits – even when taking into account that the selection pool could be larger due to the idea that Dean’s failed tenure would now be seen as adequately successful.

Credit - Pedro from disqus comments

Credit – Pedro from disqus comments

The former idea, although just linking to a satirical website, delves deeper into the rationality of the human psyche. Most sports people or coaches alike want the “fairy tale finish”. We lost three cricketers, two of whom were once in a generation after beating England 5-0 in The Ashes Final. Could Warne and McGrath have played on? You bet, they were close to the top of their game. Would they have a better occasion to retire? Only the illusive Warne century could have added something to the already sweet revenge on the old enemy.

Fairy tales do come true

Fairy tales do come true

My own view is that Cheika would be retrospectively wishing he stepped down after last year’s win against New Zealand and is likely to go, even without Rugby Australia intervention, if we beat England on the 25th of November (a match which looms as a mirror to the win against them in 2015). Much like Ange Postecoglue stumbled over the last hurdle of a hideous World Cup qualifying campaign and bowed out, a win of some note (not Italy) may be all it takes to make Cheika leave on his own terms. Something he and most rugby fans would value.

 

  • Tedward

    On form to date we will not beat the Poms………….

    • Bobas

      I don’t think anyone will disagree with you there!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Sort of kills the whole argument doesn’t it?

      • Bobas

        It’s not an argument? It’s a hypothetical… although there probably isn’t enough alternate vowels in NZ to use that word.

        • Greg

          that’s a bit brutal…. probably true…. but brutal!

    • Garry

      The to and froms ? Christ, I don’t expect us to beat the Italians. They must be full of expectations, Lygon st is booked out already, old Ferraris being dusted off.

  • Tedward

    On form to date we will not beat the Poms………….

  • Bobas

    Postecoglou walked out on his contract in the hours after a winning game to that sent the Socceroos to the world cup. Much like rugby the world cup is the pinnacle a playing or coaching career.

    • Bakkies

      Unlike the Socceroos the Wallabies don’t have to go through lengthy qualification stages.

      • Bobas

        Lengthy only due to coaching ineptitudes. The 4-5-1 that he inherited won the Asian cup. Only to be switched to a 3-6-1, even though we didn’t have any solid fit centre backs and were trailing Jedinak (midfielder) there and ended up with Miligan (midfielder) there.
        Postecoglou had a lot of success with that style with the Roar (much like Cheik with the tahs) and subsequently rolled it out with the national squad, and like pushing shit up hill they could only hope it rolled in glitter on the way down the rankings.

    • Adrian

      The moral equivalent would be quitting after a fluke win against England

      • Bobas

        A lucky win with flawed tactics.

        • laurence king

          Luck, in the same league as a stopped clock being correct twice a day.

      • Who?

        Not quite. Ange achieved something with his win. Cheik fluking a win against England (which I can’t see as likely, they’ve scraped home against a Bokke team that’s better than us, and been shaded by NZ) wouldn’t do anything for Australian rugby. It wouldn’t change our path through the RWC.
        I found it very arrogant that, after a loss to Hooper, he’s talking about how we’re “14 games from a WC Final.” No way we’re making that final… Lucky if we get out of the pool. :-(

  • Pedro

    I don’t think he’ll ever give it up, Gatland style.

    • Bakkies

      Gatland has already resigned. Pivac will take over after the RWC.

      • Pedro

        Finally

    • Gatland has a record, over the 10 years he actually coached in Wales, of 2 Grand Slams, 1 additional 6N win, and 2 second places. In a contest where you can go from first to fifth in a year (just look at England 2017 to 2018) that’s pretty impressive. He’s also, in that time, been selected as the best of the home nations coaches twice, and led the BIL to a series win in Australia and a draw in New Zealand.

      It’s a longer track record than Cheika has, but I would suggest a better one in the NH’s biggest contest. He certainly has deficiencies, particularly against SH opposition, but he doesn’t coach a team that is getting worse…

  • Patrick

    Nice to hope, but I think that the underlying assumption is not really credible enough at this stage :(

  • Singapore Sling

    I’m not really familiar with a Postecoglue but if Cheika does one I hope he uses the bathroom.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      Ah, convoluted rhyming slang. I like it. Hitherto I’ve been using ‘Donald Trump’.

  • Why is there so many people who say there is no other option. Chieka had no international experience prior to his appointment. Nuciforo deserves a lash along with others. Get rid of this clown.

    • Bakkies

      Nucifora hasn’t coached since he left the Blues and led the Aus under 20s to their worst ever finish. His IRFU contract must be up as he signed for four years.

  • Bakkies

    Cheika usually gets the hint that he will be pushed or in the case of Stade Francois fired.

    • Old_Laurentian

      Agreed. No one suggests he is stupid. Just not a great coach.

    • Patrick

      I think Cheika is going to really want to hang on and hang in there in the hope that he can turn it around and save his reputation, which is taking a fair hit I would expect.

  • Old_Laurentian

    Ewan McKenzie walked (or was pushed) immediately after a great and encouraging performance by the Wallabies against the Darkness. Losing narrowly yes, but so much more worth watching than the current mob.

    • Nutta

      RA cant afford to sack him mate on 2 fronts:

      1. They literally couldn’t afford to pay him out plus pay for a new coach of any chop.

      2. Who the hell else will take it on this late, this fkd and with no decent feeder system this close to Bill? RA would have to give complete autonomy again and not even they are THAT self-destructive twice in one decade.

      • Garry

        Didn’t we lose a coach this close to the RWC last time. Talk about not learning from mistakes?

  • sambo6

    We often hear about how Mr Cheika is independently wealthy as a result of his other business interests, and coaches at this level because he has a passion for rugby, particularly Aussie rugby. He has always said he wants to do whats best for Aussie rugby….so if that is to be believed, then he must step down at the end of this tour. If he doesn’t, then one would think he’s either putting his own aspirations before that of aussie rugby, or in such deep denial as to the depth of his teams shortcomings as to not make him fit to be head coach anyway.

    Unfortunately I think its the latter, as everything that has been said publicly from this wallaby camp gives the impression that ‘we know best'; and ‘you guys’ (i.e. the fans/journos) are all idiots as you don’t really understand what it takes to perform at this level. Okay, fair cop….perhaps we dont….but based on recent results…neither does Mr Cheika…..

    Time to do the right thing Michael. Win, lose or draw the next two games. You should announce you’re stepping down at the end of this tour.

  • Hoss

    What that image of Gilbert fails to capture is immediately after receiving the watch he ran sideways 20 yards, tried to kick it,twice, threw it back to the opposition who then said ‘no, your screwing this pooch just fine by yourself leave us out of it – we will get it back shortly 40 yards on your side of halfway anyway ’, before ultimately tossing it to a team mate just as he was being hit by the 363 to Speers Point rendering the watch and his team mate in a total state of fuckedness.

    At least he packed his budgies and the lads are training really hard and……oh just fuck it all.

    Segal Is far to arrogant to pull a Vowelathon – he will stay from pure spite.

    • laurence king

      363 to Speers Point, now there’s a bus to nowhere. Or used to be.

    • laurence king

      It’s pretty terrible isn’t it, Beale started the year in terrific form, played some dazzling footy for the Waratahs and a couple of months in Camp Wallaby has him unhinged and clueless.

      • disqus_NMX

        Yep, some commenters keep shitting on Beale. But it’s not Beale, it’s the coaching he’s receiving. Change the coach and he will be back to being one of our first picked.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure Gold Hoss.

  • sambo6

    Typically when a coach starts to lose the dressing room, the players then reflect this in their effort on the pitch; and the implication is clear.

    But for Checika, it would appear he has a clique of senior players who are fiercely loyal to him (they helped put him in his position). Which means they will always keep fronting up for him (not matter how dire things get), and those players on the periphery of the clique who disagree either shut their mouths (genia?, Pocock?, tommua?) or are dropped (fardy? cooper?)

    This is all speculaton of course….but if the only key positive that Cheika apologists point to is that the players are still playing for him…..i think it might be slightly more nuanced than that…..

    • laurence king

      When your boss has total control, you don’t really have any options if you want to stay in the side

  • Nutta

    Problem gamblers have an expression called ‘Chasing the loss.’ It’s characterised by continual double-downs even when you’re in wayyyyy past any reasonable measure. That’s what we are watching here. And not just from the coach either.

    From my perspective we have lost pretty much all sight of rugby basics around simple direct play to compress a defence and forcing opponents into defensive choices which we can exploit. Our decision-making both situationally and tactically is just non-existent. A lot of it is confidence. A lot of it is maturity. We lack both.

    It’s meat and potato stuff.

    • subfreq

      Absolutely agree. A very mediocre Wales team edged us in a game that was there for an easy enough win. This management group has built a very average team out of a fantastic group of players.

      No way we can expect this team to execute the fine margins and win the big games when the basic stuff is non existent.

      We must be a dream to platy against. Run at all costs mantra telegraphs a one dimensional intention with a team that can’t control the set peice. When we run out of ideas we either kick it away, turn it over or turn down easy points because we want to run at all costs and score a try.

      A mess every way up but we do have an awesome player group.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Couldn’t agree more Nutta. You are a wise man!

      • Nutta

        Your comment is amusing given you know first hand how farrrrr from reality it really is…

        • Brisneyland Local

          When it comes to rugby, you are a far wiser man than I!

  • Adrian

    I reckon 80% likely he’ll stay to WC.
    Re the 20% unlikely, I’d say odds on he’ll quit before a push.

    I’d also say Graham Henry would be my pick if he goes, but I can see Larkham sliming his way in

    • laurence king

      Adrian, I think that after losing to England he’ll probably go. Somebody has to go and the Board don’t want it to be themselves. The other possibility is if Cheika cuts his losses and ditches Larkham Grey and company

      • onlinesideline

        he could be forced to bring in selectors

        • Bobas

          The ‘People and Change’ team at Rugby Australia are already doing such a smashing job. Phipps is on his second performance review in as many years.

        • laurence king

          I think that would probably do his head in. I think that more than anything would have him resigning.

      • Adrian

        Yes, weird possibilities Laurence.

        I am probably the only one who thinks this, but my hope is that the board sack the assistants and Cheika stays with new ones such as Glen Ella or Scott Johnston

        I’m almost resigned to there being a fuck up, and am watching from the perspective of a voyeur rather than a fan

        • Bobas

          While we’re doing the fan fiction. Phil Waugh head coach, Burke Defence then Al (Backs)ter will be Attack coach. Maybe throw in Lachlan Turner as scrum coach or something.

        • Patrick

          Love it.

        • Brumby Runner

          Well, that outcome would be a really immense fuck up A.

        • Custard Taht

          The problem with letting the assistants take the fall is, they have to work with the players Cheika picks.
          Would the attack be so woeful, if Larkham had Cooper at 10 and Toomua at 12.
          Would the defence be so woeful if Grey didn’t have to cover Foley and Beale.
          I am not defending the assistants, but if they go, Cheika must go, as 100% of this mess is on him.

    • onlinesideline

      can you bet on this somehwere Adrian ?

      • Adrian

        I’ll see if I can find out

    • Geoffro

      Henry’s a bit long in the tooth now Adrian,might as well start courting Rod McQueen

      • Brisneyland Local

        I reckon some of that old school style would help. They would only be in the job for 12 months. And it would be a nice little top up to your super!

        • Geoffro

          Would be nice but don’t think they need the aggravation of trying to re-school these muppets.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think it would be great for Sir Graham to come in here and be the lifeline of Aus Rugby. there would be something strangely perverse and satisfying about a Kiwi being our saviour!

        • Geoffro

          Sir Dingo Henry ? nah,he’s probably lovin’ it and having a bit of a laugh.I reckon Link, Deans,Nucifora,White and co who’ve all had issues with ARU/RA have got wry smiles on their dials too.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are probably right that they do. I just thought coming in and helping he would be able to rub lemon juice into their paper cuts!

        • Who?

          Knuckles could probably do with a super top up…

        • Brisneyland Local

          I would be worried about old Knuckles having a coronary!

    • Singapore Sling

      Henry without Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen would be just any random, I’ll tempered old man.

      Smith had treatment for prostate cancer early in the year and has been cleared. Get him in as a consultant for the RWC with Jake White or even Link.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Link wouldn’t touch anything to do with the ARU / RA even if his life depended on it.

        • Singapore Sling

          Yeah I know and it really shits me.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Concur.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I would personally help pay for the contract if we could get Graham Henry!

  • Christopher

    Has anyone done a blog on possible replacements??? I feel like there was one but don’t fully recall, maybe it was a poll.
    I can’t think of anyone who would be a fit, apart from begging a NZ super coach across.

    • laurence king

      We have some good coaches, Laurie Fisher is a fine forwards coach, Glen Ella would get the backs fizzing.

      • Greg

        Hoss applied some time back. They said they would get back to him.

        • Patrick

          I’m available. Laurie Fisher will take the core team, Glen Ella and Link the rest of them, and I’ll spin shit to the media all day.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Jake White (ex Saffa Coach) has publicly stated he would take the role. Whilst not the biggest fan of Jake ball, he would be an improvement on what we have.

  • Who?

    I don’t follow soccer. I refuse to call it anything other than soccer. But I got the impression that Postecoglou left because he felt he was in a position of strength with the team, but was sick of the politics, always feeling the outsider. He seemingly still has strong support in large sections of the media. Cheika’s in a different spot. He has the leadership group, because they’re his boys. He’s had them for years, brought them up from Super level. He has the board, because they can’t afford to get rid of him. In spite of long term underperformance. He’s largely got the media. They’ve stuck with him for years. Link had a much rougher time through his tenure (all the whining about the Dublin 6, rumblings of disunity in June against France before the Beale debacle, then the Beale debacle), Deans had it rougher for longer.
    Basically, I don’t think Cheika and Postecoglou have similarities, other than the fact they’ve both shown up on ABC’s Offsiders. Ange always felt the outsider. Top level player, but disliked by those in power. The best local coach in a couple of stints, success elsewhere, he bided his time running sustained success until the job came available, and was then an undeniable obvious first choice, in spite of his fractious history with power players.
    I don’t see how Cheika can feel that way. Not quite a top level player, but a Randwick boy, an insider, got the Tahs job (not something you can do without good connections), pulled up into the Wallabies in a desperate time due to measures that I don’t believe were engineered by him but which I believe were culturally influenced by him (that insular group of Tahs players – there was a clear split in the Wallaby camp in 2014, between Tahs and the rest), which gave him unprecedented and unarguable power. Even in June, with Link on a 7 game winning streak, people were hailing Cheika as the next Wallabies coach. The media was always on board, they’ve not really given him a hard time (the only ‘hard time’ he’s copped has been dissenters like myself or Facebook, until this year). The board and CEO have given targets he’s consistently missed this year, to no consequence. Cheika still appears to be the ultimate insider…
    That said, he used to be very volatile. He used to take any little comment as a personal attack. After the Wales game, in the presser, he looked like he’d become accustomed to losing. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing, though it’s probably good for his mental health and heart! But maybe he has resigned himself to failure, and wouldn’t find it as hard to walk away… I don’t know. But I’m not confident.

    • Bobas

      Postecoglou shat the bed with idiotic tactics after his 2015 Asian Cup win, much like Cheika after his rwc15 success. Only just qualifying though Asia for the 2018 WC “The longest and hardest qualifying campaign that any team has endured in the tournament’s history” finishing 5th on playoff and then having to play the corresponding American (continent) team.

      • Who?

        But my point is that Ange had a history of feeling the outsider. He always felt that. And then he had – through the qualification process – much media opposition. Cheika doesn’t have a history of being an outsider (no one with a strong insider club history like Cheika can claim that!), and his media opposition has been very short term. So I don’t see that Cheika would have the same motivation to move on that Ange had.

        • laurence king

          Postecoglou was really getting belted in the media by former Socceroos, and his tactics and his new formation were constantly being examined on SBS’ World Game. It did his head in I think.

        • Who?

          Exactly. Does Cheika have that? I don’t believe so. If anything, he’s ignored…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Ange was pillared by the Ex-socceroo community and some parts of the media aligned to those ex-soccerroo’s!

  • sambo6

    I wonder if Drew Mitchell still thinks Greg Growden is just upset about not having access to the ‘inner sanctum’…..

    • Singapore Sling

      Cheika’s inner wanktum. I bet Hooper holds the mop up flannel.

  • Ad Tastic

    I don’t understand. I keep being told we have the talent, then I watch the games and see a group of players fail to execute basic skills or make common sense decisions.
    Sure Cheike has the Wallabies playing without a discernible game plan, and a new coach may be able to paper over the holes in our squad with some sort of tactical voodoo. But Jesus Christ himself couldn’t get this team to compete consistently at the top table.

  • Xaviera

    Assuming he makes it to the end of RWC2019, Cheika was always going to finish then, whether we win or lose.

    The headline is a tad optimistic methinks, even if it’s getting to the point where it makes sense, only because we don’t have a better option at the moment. That said, a smoky for me is Simon Cron, but another smoky, but probably a more likely option, is Tim Walsh.

Rugby

Brumbies supporter now living in Melbourne. Rugby and Larkham fan ever since he de beered de Beer. Never shy of controversy because when I say it it's cute.

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