Anthony Seibold seems a near certainty to take over as Manly's head coach after the club moved on from Des Hasler, but Steve Renouf isn't convinced he has the credentials for the job.
The Brisbane great is one of many in the NRL world still scarred by Seibold's disastrous two-year tenure as Broncos head coach, which ended in the club's first NRL wooden spoon.
It was a mighty fall from grace after Seibold's rookie coaching season with South Sydney which culminated in him winning coach of the year.
Manly officials have reportedly been impressed by Seibold's strides since taking a job under Eddie Jones with England Rugby, but Renouf is not convinced the glaring flaws he saw at the Broncos have been addressed.
Renouf credited Seibold for his understanding of rugby league, but said key to his failure in Brisbane was an inability both to connect with players and articulate what he felt was an overly complicated game plan.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Renouf claimed the Sea Eagles had been 'sucked in with all his psychobabble'.
“He did it to us (the Broncos) and now he’s done it to them," Renouf claimed.
“I spoke to multiple players and they told me they didn’t know what was going on.
“You could see it on the field. They’d be standing behind the line after they’d had a try scored against them and no-one was talking.
“They weren’t even looking at each other. No-one was taking charge and saying, ‘come on, we’ve got to do this’ because they didn’t know what they were supposed to be doing.
“Anthony had his ideas of how things should be done, and that was it. Trouble was, the players couldn’t understand what he was talking about.”
Anthony Seibold is poised to receive an @NRL coaching lifeline.
The former Broncos mentor set to replace Des Hasler, who's been sacked by the Sea Eagles.#9News | WATCH LIVE 6pm pic.twitter.com/jHp21paESD
— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) October 13, 2022
Citing how former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett would frequently implore him 'don't think, just play', Renouf was sceptical Manly would benefit from Seibold's style.
“That was the problem with Seibold. He had the players thinking too much. It stressed them out. They didn’t want to try anything in case it went badly," he said.
“Good luck to Manly, but I just can’t see how it can work. They’ll know in six months.”
Manly close in on Seibold amid Trbojevic turmoil
The messy saga surrounding Hasler's exit from the club has also resulted in Tom and Jake Trbojevic questioning the club's direction.
The brothers, both State of Origin selections for Queensland, have reportedly been left concerned by the club's messy off-season.
No request for a release has been made by the pair's management, but their agent Paul Sutton has made no secret of their frustration over the Sea Eagles' plight.
But Mestrov has moved quickly to dispel any suggestion either of the brothers will exit Brookvale, after speaking with them on Thursday after Hasler was sacked.
"It has been a tough period for everyone at the club over the past few days," Mestrov told AAP.
"But Tom and Jake are the heartbeat of this club, as well as being the future of the club.
"They are both signed to the club until 2026 and going nowhere."
Manly's management are heavily reliant on the pair staying.
Both are considered Sea Eagles through-and-through after growing up on the northern beaches, and Tom in particular is a fan favourite.
He won last year's Dally M Medal as he took Manly back into the top four, before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in May of this year.
On numbers alone, Manly go from a 70 per cent winning record with him on the park in the past four years under Hasler compared to 34 per cent without him.
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