Football stars fought back after ugly accusations were leveled against Eels manager Brad Arthur as angry fans criticized his son Jake.
Rugby league greats criticized Jake Arthur after the Eels star came under heavy fire following a shocking defeat to North Queensland over the weekend.
The Cowboys thrashed Parramatta 35-4 on Saturday night and some angry fans on social media questioned why head coach Brad Arthur was playing his teenage son in the five-eighth after moving center Dylan Brown to the centers.
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The move was forced because of an injury crisis, leaving the Eels with little outside back.
But the nepotism charges have been dropped by former football stars, who say the barrage of hot shots about Arthur and Arthur Junior has gone too far.
Penrith premier hero Martin Lang tweeted: “Jake Arthur is only 19 years old and is a good prospect. I’d like to see the resumes of those behind the nepotism accusations. Miserable, jealous individuals who want nothing more than to discredit the coach.”
Parramatta’s official Twitter account countered the Keyboard Warriors on social media, saying that “Arthur’s joke is enough” and “not funny”, before these tweets were later deleted.
Canberra legend Laurie Daley also defended the decision to transfer Brown to the centers.
“I don’t know about this nepotism thing. This is completely out of line,” Laurie Daley told Great Sports Breakfast. “Look at the injured players, outfielders, Brown is a better option at the centers with Arthur in five-eighths with what they have.
“It’s not nepotism, it’s who he thinks will do the best job.
“If you have a player who was traded out of necessity, that’s what you do until you get the troops back, every day of the week.
“Brown understands the position he’s in and needs to help Jakob Arthur and other players on this team. They just left, the eels.
Phil Rothfield from the daily telegraph also said that the coach and player’s criticism was unfair.
“Brad Arthur did not choose his son for the game against Newcastle without taking the lead, Clint Gutherson, Mitchell Moses, Junior Paulo. This change had the support of the players,” Rothfield said in the Great Sports Breakfast.
“I spoke to Andrew Johns and he thinks Jakob is a fantastic player. Blaming a 19-year-old boy for a massacre in Darwin, when 17 players contributed to the defeat, is unfair.
“If his name were Joe Blow, we wouldn’t even be talking about him. Brad Arthur is struggling to pick 17, he has an injury crisis.”
Eels halfback Mitchell Moses spoke to Fox Sports ahead of kick-off against the Cowboys and explained why bringing Arthur to the team was a smart move.
“Jakey calms us down a little bit when things get erratic,” Moses said. “That helps us in a way.
“Dyl is just a football player. He goes there and plays football – that’s what he’s so good at.”