It’s been said many times in different ways by many people, but I like the way Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips put it with a Texan twang:
There’s two kinds of coaches, them that’s fired and them that’s gonna be fired.
Two coaches this week are wearing the fans’ contempt at their teams’ poor performances: Peter Moores, the English cricket coach, and Sir John Kirwan, the Blues rugby coach.
Both gentlemen have not helped their cause by saying ridiculous things that confirm to the fans that they are the problem. After England’s loss to Bangladesh on Monday that confirmed an early exit from the World Cup, Moores said:
We thought 275 was chaseable. We’ll have to look at the data.
Alex Massie at The Spectator, amongst many others, used that line as a club with which to beat a cacophonous rhythm of derision:
What a perfect summation of all that’s wrong with English cricket. Its arrogance, its clever-clever stupidity, its unerring ability to focus on all the wrong things, its contempt for the game it professes to serve, its everything.
Sir JK was quoted in yesterday’s Herald article by Patrick McKendry as saying:
What we are doing is working, we just need to execute it a wee bit better.
No John, it’s not working. Four losses from four games, and bottom of the table, might be many things, but what it is not is “working”.
It’s not the execution, it’s the game plan. It’s not the execution, it’s the recruitment and selection. It’s not the execution, it’s the training programme. It’s not the execution, it’s the fact that the other teams score more points. It’s not the execution on the field, it’s everything that’s happening off the field.
At some point in this Super XV season the Blues will surprise their opponents (and themselves) by playing well and winning. There is just too much talent in the squad for that not to happen. (And I bloody hope that it is not tomorrow night in Palmerston North against the Hurricanes. I’m really hoping it’s the week after when they play the Waratahs in Sydney.)
That first win will be hailed as a turning point, and proof that “what we are doing is working”. But it won’t be, because JK is simply not the right person to coach a major rugby franchise. We would really, really like him to be that person, because he was a brilliant All Blacks winger, is an eloquent spokesperson on a serious health issue, and a bloody nice guy.
But he’s not a winning coach. Just look at the data.