It strikes me that criticism is levelled at certain Alternate Eagles posters as they are seen to be very vocal and strong minded in their judgements and opinions re players and their form, holding high standards and expectations re form and ability. They carefully analyse and judge, calling things as they see them, sometimes without favour and often controversially. Some even construe this as disloyalty or some sort of anti-Manly sentiment . They view this as not supporting the Manly team but being destructive and critical. The whole site has even been labelled this way in certain circles! I am not going to defend strong minded or supposed critical posters on this site (they don't need my imprimateur or support) but do wish to offer an alternative perspective on the perception that they don't support or love the club. I see it as the opposite of this - some here are desperate to see this club climb out of the pit we have languished in for 8 years and get back to the lofty heights enjoyed by many of us in the seventies, eighties and nineties. Some are impatient for success and are critical when the chosen subject does not match up to expectation, reputation or is flawed in some fashion. Jason King, Jye Mullane, Chad Randall and lately Michael Monaghan have each been 'supposedly' identified as AE targets. Each of the mentioned players has talent, has been highly lauded in the media but at times has failed to play to the high standards of their reputation. The four main players in question are discussed as follows: Jye MullaneSome of the controversy about Jye last year was mirth based upon a couple of his bad games and the unreal expectations placed upon him by supporters, Johnny Raper (and maybe coaches) during a crisis time for the club. During this timehe was playing at half and he tried a lot of things that did not come off . Later it was learned that he had severe knee problems. The worst that was said about him was that he should play some Premier League to get his confidence back - and that is exactly what has happened this year. I think even Jye would admit he had a shocking time but several supporters saw any comment as gross disloyalty. Jye is playing well in Premier League and may be called upon again at some time! Michael Monagahan and the 'Will we or won't we sign' and 'Orford v Monas' controversy has fired up many Manly supporters. Some love his passion, defensive intensity and determination whilst others are critical of his tendency to make mistakes under pressure, particularly in big games. Phil Gould himself lauded Monas in saying he has led Manly to the edge of the semi-finals but it remains to be seen if he is the half to take Manly to a premiership. Noone has ever said he can't play but for some there is a lingering doubt. Was he worth the money? Time will tell. Not many non-Manly fans would rate Monas ahead of Orford but the big question has been is Orford worth the big money and could Michael play hooker if we had both? The question may be irrelevant as the mail is that Orford will not come to Manly and Max stepped in to promote the signing anyway. Jason King has been touted as the next big thing in front row play for several years. He has had a wretched run with injuries and so his time on the paddock has been limited. Two years ago he was selected in a representative train on group and early in 2005 the Roosters were reported to have been chasing him. The big problem is that some supporters don't see him as putting in or performing to the level of his reputation. He runs tall and seems busy but his impact is all too often limited. He does good things and noone doubts his credentials. What really polarised supporters this year was his call for 8 players to be picked in rep sides (himself included) and his subsequent selection in the City Origin side. Some feel that King's form does not live up to this whilst others support his rating with statistics. Somehow he is a player who polarises fans. Chad Randallis the offspring of the one of Manly's favourite sons and was the Player of the Year in 2003. He looked set for stardom then but has failed to perform at that level since . He did not enjoy a good year in 2004, mainly due to injury and his play in 2005 is viewed by some as pedestrian and predictable. Interestingly Manly have given him permission to shop around for offers from other clubs, code that the club is not going to pay him what he is currently getting. Supporters grow to love certain players and see past their flaws and faults eg Dorn and Torrens etc. They will show blind loyalty no matter what to current Manly players and hate anyone who plays in anything but Maroon and White. To them any critiicism is seen as lack of support and destroying the fabric of the club. Even the Media (probably Zorba) on the club forum has been openly critical of supporters who say (in their disappointment) somewhat negative things. One poster even said that instead of saying 'Stephenson can' t tackle' or that 'he is a weak defender' (on ME forum) that we should be writing along the lines of 'his defensive strengths are not as obvious as those of some of the other players In my view this is blatantly ludicrous and it leaves a forum as an empty sounding board of the blindly devout!!! There develops a total loyalty to the current players no matter our position on the table or what neutral opinion seems to be. Fortunately the coaching staff don't subscribe to this view and allow players to be released, even amidst outcry and controversy. After all they know the plan and direction of recruitment. Their aim is to get the club to the top and hard decisions are required to be made to ensure that the best possible squad gets on the field. I admired the spirit of players like Brandon Reeves, Jason Ferris, Danny Lima and Tony Jenson etc who saw us through the horrible NE back to Manly transition but to think they were ever players that would lead us back to the top was fantasy. They were steady plodding NRL players but were never going to lead us to the top. What is good about this forum is that most posters are genuinely able to engage in coherent and rational debate towards the relative merits or otherwise of the players and team as a whole. Whilst there does seem to be an AE ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Conga lineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? towards one or two players (not without justification) and several are very outspoken on the merits of our players and form, it is only done so in the passionate love of this club and a fervent desire to see us back as the Premier team of the NRL. Some posters do not want to tolerate mediocrity! I would love to see King smashing and crunching Ryles, Stevens,, Cayless and Co and dominating opposition packs, Monas holding the ball on a string and using great grubbers and deft kicks to bamboozle defences and provide buckets of tries to his outside men, I crave the day I see Jye cutting oppositions to ribbons as he beats his man and cuts out Hil/Alberts to put Hicks, Stewart and Donal in the clear and I can't imagine how good it would be for Chad to dart one way, pick up his runners with deft passes and to creatively scheme around the rucks. I do reserve the right though for my more critical peers to call things as they see it, to comment on poor performance when warranted, to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœcall a spade a spadeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ and to make a call when they believe things aren't good enough. Argue with them, discuss with them and attempt to impact on their views with reasoned argument, just don't claim that they don't love the club or that they are not a TRUE SUPPORTER!!!