The first month of the 2018 season has delivered many surprises. Few could have expected the Wests Tigers and New Zealand Warriors strong starts; nor could they have foreseen the Parramatta Eels failures.
After four games the Eels are still searching for their first win. The Panthers, Sea Eagles, Sharks and Tigers have all come out on top in their clashes with Brad Arthur’s team.
Obviously, a zero from four start would be disappointing for any team. However, with the Eels being considered very likely to finish in the top four this start is particularly poor.
Four games into the season is far too early to be writing any team off but there are certainly alarm bells ringing for Parramatta.
In particular their 54 to 0 loss against the Sea Eagles was seriously disappointing as they showed almost no fight or effort as Manly ran riot.
Things do not look to be improved off the field either, with rumours that both the halves are unhappy with various aspects of the club’s management.
It has been reported that Mitchell Moses is unhappy with the training effort that certain players are putting in. Corey Norman meanwhile, has apparently been in various disagreements with Brad Arthur.
To make matters worse, Norman, along with Nathan Brown and Michael Jennings, were reportedly behaving badly under the influence of alcohol just a few days after their loss to the Sharks.
Despite all the negativity there is certainly still hope for the Eels in 2018. Clint Gutherson is yet to return to the field, which will be huge for Parramatta as he was their best player last season.
A player like Gutherson can create something out of nothing and inspire a team to play with more momentum than they would otherwise.
The Eels squad is also very similar to the way it was in 2017, when they were one of the competition’s best teams.
Brad Arthur can more than likely turn the side around and get them playing close to a level they achieved in 2017.
However, with four losses already recorded and no wins, it could be an uphill battle to turn it around later in the season, so the Eels must improve a lot immediately.