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Arthur ‘no reason to leave’ after being linked to Dogs, McGuire likens Griffin talk to Women’s Weekly

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says his commute to work would be the envy of most people in Australia as he laughed off reports linking him with a move away from the Eels.

“I’ve got no reason to leave,” Arthur said on Tuesday. “I drive seven minutes to work. I think everyone would love to drive seven minutes to work and work for Parramatta.”

Reports surfaced on Monday that Arthur’s management firm, Pacific Sports Management, had offered his services to a Sydney-based NRL club despite the fact he is contracted to the Eels until the end of 2024.

The Bulldogs are the only Sydney side on the lookout for a coach after the Wests Tigers last week opted to put their faith in a Tim Sheens/Benji Marshall succession plan.

Canterbury are chasing Cameron Ciraldo but there is also the possibility of the Panthers assistant being courted by the Eels if Arthur were to strike a deal elsewhere.

There is long-term uncertainty about the head coaching positions at St George Illawarra, Gold Coast and Newcastle.

All parties are denying any such speculation and Arthur labelled the talk as “funny”.

Arthur has been at the Eels since 2014 but has yet to break the club’s quest for their first premiership since 1986.

“I’m nine years into my job and at some stage every year there’s a question mark around whether I’m the right coach moving forward,” he said.

“It’s just part and parcel of a job that’s results driven.”

Exploring his options now could be a smart move for Arthur. His stock is still high given he has finished in the top eight in four of the last five seasons.

When they are firing Parramatta are one of the most entertaining and dominant teams in the competition.

This season they have a 11-6 record and sit in sixth spot.

Improving on that beyond 2022 could be more challenging with Isaiah Papalii, Marata Niukore and Reed Mahoney all leaving the Eels at the end of this year.

“This (2022 season) is our best opportunity (at winning a premiership) that I’ve had since being here,” Arthur said.

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

“Does it mean it (our premiership window) is shutting? I don’t believe so. We’ve got a lot of good young blokes coming through.”

The knock on Arthur has been his inability to get his side peaking at the right time of the year and that the Eels have often floundered in the big games.

Ahead of Thursday’s home game with Brisbane, the Eels coach has taken his side to the Central Coast to recharge ahead of the remaining six weeks of the season where they will hope to jump into the NRL’s top four.

“We’re in a better position right now than we were this time last year,” Arthur added.

“We still haven’t played our best footy, our besty footy is ahead of us.”

McGuire likens Griffin talk to Women’s Weekly storylines

With coach Anthony Griffin under pressure to keep his job, veteran Dragons forward Josh McGuire has leapt to his defence.

The St George Illawarra board met on Tuesday but there was no decision made on the future of the coach who is under contract until the end of next year.

McGuire, who also played under Griffin at Brisbane, said the team was in the top eight just a couple of weeks ago at the club’s midweek media session.

When asked if Griffin deserved to be under pressure, McGuire said: “I don’t think so. He’s not the one out on the field, is he.

“We were in the eight two weeks ago and now we’re out so the knives are out, which is what usually happens in this game. It’s a bit like Women’s Weekly.”

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 10: Dragons coach Anthony Griffin looks on before the start of the round 14 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Qld Country Bank Stadium, on June 10, 2022, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Anthony Griffin. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Moses Mbye, who will slot in at centre for the injured Moses Suli in Friday’s crucial clash with Manly at Kogarah, admitted “it doesn’t really matter what I say”.

“I’m not going to stand here and throw fuel on the fire or tell everyone why (Griffin) is so good or why he’s bad. We’re going to be judged on how we turn up on Friday night.”

“It’s that time of the year where if you’re not performing very well, you’re going to be under the pump.

“The last couple of weeks we haven’t been playing good footy. The pressure comes back on us as a playing group and as a club. Obviously, there are headlines that you don’t really want to be reading. But that’s just the reality of what it is.

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