The Parramatta Eels enter 2024 on the back of a dramatic collapse in 2023, and under a mountain of pressure.

The blue and gold endured a topsy-turvy campaign over the last 12 months, but it was one that ultimately wound up with the club finishing outside of the top eight.

Coming off a year where they had made the grand final, it was disappointing at best and downright terrible at worst.

There is little to no doubt that another season like the last one will leave Brad Arthur scrambling for his own head coaching future, and a number of players wondering where their own long-term futures lie.

But there is also no doubt Parramatta have the cattle to turn things around. It's a side with an excellent spine, plenty of powerful forwards and exciting youth throughout the team.

Here are the questions which will determine whether they can do just that throughout the 2024 season.


1. Is Brad Arthur a premiership-winning coach?

Unfortunately, a lot of the pressure centred on the blue and gold coming into the 2024 season is on coach Brad Arthur.

Despite leading Parramatta to a grand final just 12 months ago, the 2023 campaign saw them tumble out of the finals, and it was a return to a trend that has realistically summed up much of his time in charge of the Western Sydney-based club.

That trend? Not hitting their potential.

The potential of this Eels' squad, the length of time Arthur has been at the helm, and the favourable circumstances they have had at times means that, realistically, by now, the blue and gold should have snapped the NRL's longest premiership drought during Arthur's tenure.

But they haven't, and with only a single trip to the big dance to show for it, that pressure is squarely on the shoulders of the coach heading into 2024.

Not to say he can't answer it, but Arthur has shown time and time again that he doesn't utilise his bench in line with the modern game, and hasn't made the neccessary structure changes for the Eels to compete with the big guns.

He wasn't helped by injury at times in 2023, but don't expect even that to be an excuse which will save him from feeling the heat if 2024 goes the same way as last year.