Perfectly summarised.On field leadership has been a problem for a while(you can take a guess in which year that was)and that specific issue should be addressed/fixed in the off seasonWe were building just fine and were playing better than we were without Trbo in the first few games.
Great performance for 73 mins vs Cowboys that came apart very much due to cracks in on-field leadership and individual-resilience. That is out of Des' control. Next week we smashed Melbourne for 75. Then a glimmer of fear entered the player's minds and they caved in like no other side in the comp. We nearly lost the unloseable that night, and players left half-embarrassed and half-laughing it off. After a poor start to the season (and tough in terms of opposition) we gradually stabilised. Cowboys, Storm was our peak, although exposed our underlying issues dramatically. This season was perfectly OK until the wet dragons game. After that the 7 said a big '**** you' to everyone, and we will go on to lose our 7th (ironically) in a row with zero fight. Usually they at least tried, but now they are divided - not because Des.
From here I agree it's Des' responsibility to take control of the situation but up until this point it's just an easy solution to blame him. It's up to Des now to assess the squad, shut-down player-power and boost morale. It's up to Penn to keep an eye on staff and to keep a check on Des. The problem so far with the squad is that they have been 'mentally weak' for years, but have at the same time been capable of playing attractive footy. I'd rather we install some experience, even if they aren't out-and-out stars, and weed out the ones that don't care (some already outed themselves a few weeks ago )
Unfortunately our juniors are a little limited so it will have to be a fair balance of recruitment and retention.