Quotes in todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s papers are the end of it for me. I just cannot countenance the opinion that our head coach could gloss over the events of the last three months with a blithe ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“we have over-achieved this seasonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?. In contrast, in my depressed state after yesterdayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s meek capitulation I spent most of last night in a listless sleep, running through my mind a bold manifesto of a holistic approach to player and club management that, if implemented, would put us at the cutting edge of the matter for the NRL. However, in the cold light of dawn a certain realism took over. What point is there in creating such a body of work? Sure it would make for some vivid and entertaining discussion on the silvertails web-site, but all it would really do would lead to a growing two-fold frustration. 1. The answers to the problems that are betrayed by our on-field performance are not particularly rocket science. 2. However, rocket science or not, at times it seems as though the club prefers a culture of vague, wishy washy sentiment rather than ruthless analysis and action designed to weed out serial offenders in mediocrity. So IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll spare us all the intellectual wankery that such a manifesto would provide. However, can I PLEASE implore those in the club that read this to ensure that the process of review of the ashes of season 2005 are somewhat more rigorous than the public pronouncements of coach and captain at yesterdayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s post-flogging press conference? There is far too much of the ugly seen since early June 2005 for us to rest easily over the off-season, content in the knowledge that we fell over the line into this yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s finals. On field performances over that period suggest that we are in as dire a strait as we have ever been since the glory days on the mid-1990s. That hard questions must be asked, and bold plans of action put in place. Questions: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Is the club really satisfied with a 12 week stretch of games where we were the worst performed in the NRL and included the greatest defeat in club history? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ In hindsight, could the whole Monasgate saga have been better handled and are we happy to retain the status quo which is essentially a compromise foisted upon us by a well-intentioned, but wrong, owner? (If not, what substantive action will be taken) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Were the KPIs that were set at the beginning of the season ever genuinely assessed and substantive action taken if players were not meeting them? (The best is example of this is the question of why Jason King was persisted with week after week even when everyone could see he was generally only good for 10 minutes play and a handful of hit-ups)? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Are we comfortable with the influence that some high profile and senior players have had on our younger team members? (My mail is that several have been an exceedingly bad influence.) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Is the club confident that it has pro-active and best management practices in place in the vital off-field areas of customer satisfaction, marketing and media management? Some brief suggestions: The action on the field each week is only the briefest of glimpses as to what really goes on in a club. It is a couple of hours in the spotlight, but the REAL hard work of success is achieved in those other 166 hours of the week (yes ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ even down to the minute detail of playersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ sleeping habits). In any venture, but particularly in one of high athletic endeavor, human resource management is the most vital factor in success. With this in mind, it stands to reason that there is a need for a holistic approach to human resource management. I hope this is the case with Manly, but our parlous state of the past three months does make one wonder. HereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s what IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d like to see: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ The CEO given carte blanche authority to fire and hire whoever he needs to get the job done adequately (within the appropriate budget). It seems to me that the Manly factionalism (or worse, a Machiavellian process of rumour and innuendo) keeps people in places where they are hopelessly inept and/or unqualified. If thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s the case, these people need to be removed and replaced with people that CAN do the job. (Point in question ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ note the marketing success of Warrington surrounding the arrival of Andrew Johns or the Season 2006 season tickets brochures available at Parramatta Stadium yesterday!) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ A thorough review of club culture with appropriate professionals, focusing on weeding out any areas of cronyism, intrigue and commitment to self over club. It should also be ensured that the club is FULLY committed to doing whatever it takes to be successful (and to foster an expectation of success) even if that means hard decisions need to be made. (A good recent example of this was the decision to not offer Chad Randall a contract despite sentiment and family connections that may have suggested otherwise.) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ An off-season training regime put in place that focuses on the holistic development of our players. We all know they need to get fit and learn how to run lines and tackle. However, perhaps more importantly, we need to ensure that they are fully rounded individuals. Therefore just as much, if not more input, needs to be given to their emotional, mental and spiritual person. (A player that has harmony off the field is far more likely to perform than a player that is in free fall). I know of several excellent training courses that could serve to transform the outlook and demeanor of our playing group and would reap immediate on-field results. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ The establishment of a core group of senior players that have an established pedigree and track record as players of mental toughness and discipline. Players that have achieved on the field through a dedicated and sacrificial attitude off the field. Immediately this group would include Steve Menzies and Ben Kennedy. Matt Orford and Steven Bell are two other obvious contenders as well as Brent Kite. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m sure there are others that the club would know of from their dealings with the group. This core senior group should meet weekly with management to specifically discuss the culture of the club and pro-active ways to deal with any problems that arise. They should be given the mantle of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“leaderÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? and each assigned a group of younger players that become their responsibility to be mentored into excellence, both on AND OFF the field. Rome was not built in a day and neither is a football club rescued from the ashes. However, letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s hope that a thorough and extensive post mortem of season 2005 results in substantive ways forward, with the club committing itself to be best-practice in every area of operation, and particularly intolerant of any mediocrity or compromise that will jeopardise the process.