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A GOOD SPORT: Criticism of Jets ALM mentor unwarranted

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We’re only half a dozen matches into the A-League Men’s (ALM) season, but supporters are already calling for the head of Newcastle Jets coach Rob Stanton.

Seriously?

I realise everyone wants to win games… at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about.

However, on some occasions, there’s more to it than just victories on the ladder.

I know the term “rebuilding” isn’t being bandied about the Hunter-based club, although that’s what the organisation is essentially going through as it searches for a new owner.

Newcastle boasts a young side, despite having a few experienced campaigners in its ranks like Jason Hoffman and Brandon O’Neill.

So, it will take a little bit of time for everyone to form a cohesive unit.

And, to his credit, Stanton is prepared to wait.

The mentor’s fully aware he’s preparing the squad for a marathon, not a sprint.

Yes, the last round outing against Melbourne City was a shocker, especially in front of home fans at McDonald Jones Stadium.

But, there were a few positive signs in the 2-0 loss.

Don’t forget, the Jets went into the clash without star striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Hoffman.

Young gun Archie Goodwin is still finding his feet after an extensive run of injuries and yet to play a full fixture.

Reno Piscopo returned for the first time in 2023/24 and 19-year-old Justin Vidic, who joined the club on a scholarship deal, made his ALM debut.

Despite all of that, Newcastle only conceded two goals against an experienced outfit, which consisted of Matthew Leckie, Jamie McLaren and Aziz Behich, all Socceroos.

So, it’s not “doom and gloom” just yet for the Jets.

With talented youngsters such as Lucas Mauragis, Mark Natta, Clayton Taylor, Lachlan Bayliss and the aforementioned Goodwin and Vidic – to name a handful, at his disposal, please be patient with Stanton.

There are good times awaiting around the corner.

Johnson hits Warner for six

Sportsmen and sportswomen are often criticised for being “too vanilla”.

You know what I mean, the robotic answers to questions at press conferences: “it was a game of two halves”, “we’re taking it one match at a time”, “we’re focusing on ourselves, not the opposition” and “we have full confidence in the board” etc

But, then, they also cop it when they have an opinion.

Take former Test tearaway Mitchell Johnson and Wests Tigers injured star Adam Doueihi for example.

The cricketing speed demon had a shot at David Warner in his newspaper column, querying why the veteran opener deserved a farewell series.

And, he made a number of fair points.

In the past three seasons, Warner has averaged less than 30 with the bat.

Any other player would have been dropped… it happened to Steve and Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting through their careers.

Plus, Tests against Pakistan and a second-rate West Indies are ideal to blood the next man – whether it be Cameron Bancroft or Matthew Renshaw – before bigger encounters with India and England.

I won’t mention Warner’s role in the ball-tampering incident either.

Why is he such a protected species?

As for Doueihi, he made a one word remark – “embarrassing” – on an English Premier League social media post promoting LGBTQ+ in sport.

It was directed at the EPL itself.

Hardly the crime of the century.

By the way, his comment received 9,000 likes.

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