The Ashes 2013-14 November 20, 2013

Arthur hits back at Haddin criticism

ESPNcricinfo staff
36

Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur has defended himself against criticism from Brad Haddin, who said Arthur was "very, very insecure" as coach and had contributed to the negative atmosphere around the team. Haddin said this week that there were smiles on the faces of the players in the lead-up to this Ashes series, unlike the previous series in England, in which Arthur was sacked shortly before the first Test and replaced with Darren Lehmann.

Haddin said Lehmann had reminded the players of the brand of cricket they wanted to play and had sent a clear message of how to get there, while Arthur had not been "secure enough in himself to get us to where we needed to go". However, Arthur responded during an interview on Perth radio on Wednesday, in which he noted that Haddin had not been part of the setup for much of the time Arthur was in charge.

"Brad for a long period of the time wasn't part of the team," Arthur said. "So for Brad to say those things is a little bit naive. Brad wasn't aware of the direction I was taking the team. Brad was one of the senior players who lost his place, was left out for a young guy like Matthew Wade to come in for us to build a brand that was going to be sustainable over a period of time, because at 35 the brand wasn't going to be sustainable with Brad Haddin keeping wicket.

"A couple of them that were jumping at shadows were the guys who weren't doing what was expected, those were the guys trying to take short cuts. You don't come in and mess with a culture that has been successful ... [but] the cycle had turned, we had lost a lot of experienced players, which meant we needed to create our own brand, our own culture, and put in place a sustainable value system that any player coming up from state level could walk straight in and feel comfortable and know what is expected of them.

"I did that job to the best of my ability, I can look back on my time there and say I gave it an almighty crack. If that crack wasn't good enough, I can live with that, but I did try to get Australian cricket back to where it deserved to be."

Arthur was appointed head coach in late 2011, following the departure of Tim Nielsen in the months after the Argus report, which in turn followed the disastrous 2010-11 Ashes campaign at home.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Beertjie on November 21, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    What you ignore @landl47 on (November 20, 2013, 21:39 GMT) is the quality of the players brought in and the opportunities provided or in some instances not provided. As an instance of the latter consider Khawaja. He was eventually played not by Arthur but by Boof. But when? After cooling his heels for 6 months. This was as bad as the treatment meted out to Hughes at the time of his "second coming" (ie before Arthur) when he was palpably out of form. As for the quality, just consider the selection of the team to go to India in February and the uproar on this site at the non-selection of certain individuals in contrast to those selected. Arthur played a part in these decisions. Agree @JohnnyRook on (November 20, 2013, 9:48 GMT) about the non-accountability of those like Sutherland who appointed Arthur. Btw, Paine got injured so he did not get a raw deal. I've been keenly following his batting which looks like it might be coming right. He'll also be a good v-c.

  • OzHorse on November 21, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Haddin 2, Arthur 0. Sustainable brands don't score 78no when your team is in a big hole.

  • mikeindex on November 21, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    The fact that Arthur keeps on and on describing what he was trying to create as a 'brand' really says it all about what's wrong with his management style. And an awful lot of modern sport.

  • jasonsmith440 on November 21, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    There has to come a point in time when both parties let it go, this has dragged on for long enough and reflects poorly on all involved.

  • landl47 on November 20, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Arthur tried to change the direction of the Australian team by bringing in young players. Inevitably, that was going to mean a period where Australia's results would suffer. Australian administrators and fans, having been on top for so long, weren't prepared to accept that. Whether it would have worked or not, who can say? But it was a valid philosophy.

    Lehmann has come in and brought in experienced (read 'old') players. Australia now has 6 players of 32 or more, including 2 who are 36. The latest debutant seems set to be Bailey, who is 31. Youth has gone out of the window in an attempt to win now. Will it work? We'll soon see.

    The downside is that the team is going to have to be rebuilt almost immediately even if it is successful. If Australia loses this series, what then? I'd suggest that Australia will have to drop a lot of the present squad and bring in young players- in effect, go back to the Arthur plan.

    England fans know all about this. We call it the 1990s.

  • sharidas on November 20, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    What it all comes down to, is the fact that the Aussies could not get along too well with Arthur. So, no point blaming Arthur for all the ills…..blame it on the guys who appointed him.

  • SrinivasPachari on November 20, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Green_and_Gold - You are right. He might not have been the best person for the role. Somehow things went downward during his tenure. Cowan, Khawaja, Quiney,Forrest and a list of top order batters who were tried during his tenure and none of them actually came out successful. Suddenly with Darren the team looks more settled (even though only on paper, it is still a good sign).

    I also agree that the homework saga was ugly. The fact that he could not bring in Simon Katich tells volumes about the power he had solely in his hand. CA made a wrong decision to sack MA in that manner.

  • Green_and_Gold on November 20, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    @SrinivasPachari - Im not a hater of Arthur i just dont think he was the right person for the role. Hes not the only person to find themselves in that position. I supported the team with him at the coaching helm - i had hoped that he was successful in this role cause that would have meant that Aus were in a better position.

  • crockit on November 20, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Front-Foot is right - pick the best team. But for large parts of Arthurs tenure that is not what happened and for that the selectors are largely responsible. You can bung youngsters in if they are burning brightly even if they have not burned for a long time. But Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Rob Quinney were not the new Allan Border or Steve Waugh, Wade was not the new Adam Gilchrist, Xavier Doherty was not the new anybody... I could go on .. Someone like a Bailey and a Rogers is not picking experience for its own sake either but Bailey because hes one of the best performers in ODIs so deserves a go at translating that and Rogers is just a very decent batter with excellent FC record

  • Nickoshot on November 20, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    One half century in what 8 or 9 innings and missing a good chance to catch Joe Root on 8, who then went on to get a hundred that cemented England position in the match and series. YEAH I agree Lehman has really brought the best out of Haddin, real world class performances. NO way Wade could have matched those.

    Its a good thing they are investing for the future....

  • Beertjie on November 21, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    What you ignore @landl47 on (November 20, 2013, 21:39 GMT) is the quality of the players brought in and the opportunities provided or in some instances not provided. As an instance of the latter consider Khawaja. He was eventually played not by Arthur but by Boof. But when? After cooling his heels for 6 months. This was as bad as the treatment meted out to Hughes at the time of his "second coming" (ie before Arthur) when he was palpably out of form. As for the quality, just consider the selection of the team to go to India in February and the uproar on this site at the non-selection of certain individuals in contrast to those selected. Arthur played a part in these decisions. Agree @JohnnyRook on (November 20, 2013, 9:48 GMT) about the non-accountability of those like Sutherland who appointed Arthur. Btw, Paine got injured so he did not get a raw deal. I've been keenly following his batting which looks like it might be coming right. He'll also be a good v-c.

  • OzHorse on November 21, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Haddin 2, Arthur 0. Sustainable brands don't score 78no when your team is in a big hole.

  • mikeindex on November 21, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    The fact that Arthur keeps on and on describing what he was trying to create as a 'brand' really says it all about what's wrong with his management style. And an awful lot of modern sport.

  • jasonsmith440 on November 21, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    There has to come a point in time when both parties let it go, this has dragged on for long enough and reflects poorly on all involved.

  • landl47 on November 20, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Arthur tried to change the direction of the Australian team by bringing in young players. Inevitably, that was going to mean a period where Australia's results would suffer. Australian administrators and fans, having been on top for so long, weren't prepared to accept that. Whether it would have worked or not, who can say? But it was a valid philosophy.

    Lehmann has come in and brought in experienced (read 'old') players. Australia now has 6 players of 32 or more, including 2 who are 36. The latest debutant seems set to be Bailey, who is 31. Youth has gone out of the window in an attempt to win now. Will it work? We'll soon see.

    The downside is that the team is going to have to be rebuilt almost immediately even if it is successful. If Australia loses this series, what then? I'd suggest that Australia will have to drop a lot of the present squad and bring in young players- in effect, go back to the Arthur plan.

    England fans know all about this. We call it the 1990s.

  • sharidas on November 20, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    What it all comes down to, is the fact that the Aussies could not get along too well with Arthur. So, no point blaming Arthur for all the ills…..blame it on the guys who appointed him.

  • SrinivasPachari on November 20, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Green_and_Gold - You are right. He might not have been the best person for the role. Somehow things went downward during his tenure. Cowan, Khawaja, Quiney,Forrest and a list of top order batters who were tried during his tenure and none of them actually came out successful. Suddenly with Darren the team looks more settled (even though only on paper, it is still a good sign).

    I also agree that the homework saga was ugly. The fact that he could not bring in Simon Katich tells volumes about the power he had solely in his hand. CA made a wrong decision to sack MA in that manner.

  • Green_and_Gold on November 20, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    @SrinivasPachari - Im not a hater of Arthur i just dont think he was the right person for the role. Hes not the only person to find themselves in that position. I supported the team with him at the coaching helm - i had hoped that he was successful in this role cause that would have meant that Aus were in a better position.

  • crockit on November 20, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Front-Foot is right - pick the best team. But for large parts of Arthurs tenure that is not what happened and for that the selectors are largely responsible. You can bung youngsters in if they are burning brightly even if they have not burned for a long time. But Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Rob Quinney were not the new Allan Border or Steve Waugh, Wade was not the new Adam Gilchrist, Xavier Doherty was not the new anybody... I could go on .. Someone like a Bailey and a Rogers is not picking experience for its own sake either but Bailey because hes one of the best performers in ODIs so deserves a go at translating that and Rogers is just a very decent batter with excellent FC record

  • Nickoshot on November 20, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    One half century in what 8 or 9 innings and missing a good chance to catch Joe Root on 8, who then went on to get a hundred that cemented England position in the match and series. YEAH I agree Lehman has really brought the best out of Haddin, real world class performances. NO way Wade could have matched those.

    Its a good thing they are investing for the future....

  • SrinivasPachari on November 20, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Green_and_Gold - You and all Arthur haters do not realise that just months before his sacking, he had a job appraisal and he met all the job expectations. So from a employee's perspective, it is definitely disappointing to be sacked this way. CA has really ruined MA's career. Statements like this from Haddin is only rubbing salt on his wounds.

    But I agree to one thing on what Haddin said. Everyone under him were scared to the extent that Hussey thought that he might not get a home farewell and just announced his retirement at the last moment and ran away. Something should have happened within the dressing room for players to think this way. I am not blaming the coach for this, but it was very clear that players were scared.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on November 20, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    Pick the best team, play the game, easy. Arthur was unceremoniously dumped but it is probably best they all leave it alone.

  • Green_and_Gold on November 20, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    @Gordo85: you said the following referring to Arthur-

    "it wasn't your fault that the players didn't understand where you were coming from and your goals you had set for them"

    If this is true then its especially Arthurs fault. It is his job to communicate these things to the players - if they dont understand then he needs to change his communication strategy to make sure that it is understood. I hold the same stance for chappell when he coached india - it just didnt work.

    I think at times you just have to realise that some people (as hard as they try) just wont work well in some situations. Arthur is not suited to coaching Aus - whats done is done time to move on.

    Personally I didnt like the way he went about things however wish him well for the future (except if he is coachinga side playing Aus)

  • zoot on November 20, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Australia were always going to get battered in India as they don't have the spinners. Haddin should recognise that he is getting old and that he will be replaced soon. He can't really blame Arthur for trying out a younger keeper.

  • on November 20, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Thing is, Arthur, even when he coached us could never quite manage to get the best out of the players. He coached a SA team with an incredible amount of collective talent - yet they lacked character, that winning attitude. In comes Kirsten and changes that almost overnight. Arthur, a pretty bland character on his good days, just never will be able to harness those intangible variables of the human spirit to get the most out of the player - not to mention an entire team. Plus, I fully agree that a foreign coach must never manage a national team. I know it works well with Flower and also did for Kirsten, but heck, shared values must count for something...

  • Gordo85 on November 20, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Good on you Arthur. I am glad to see you fired back from that rubbish. Good old Haddin is just bitter that the fact he got kicked out of the team and couldn't understand why. And yet a few years later he gets back in the team for no real reason which says it all about Australian Cricket. At least you were trying to mature the players Arthur and blood some others, it wasn't your fault that the players didn't understand where you were coming from and your goals you had set for them.

  • on November 20, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    When I see the word "brand" applied to people or teams, I squirm. It's like you're one step removed from the people you're dealing with. It's a marketing term.

  • Green_and_Gold on November 20, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    I have no doubt that Arthur wanted and tried his best to get the Aussie team to win and perform well - as a professional coach that was his job and im sure he wanted to success for personal goals too. Unfortunately he just wasnt the right person for the job and he wasnt able to build the culture and work ethic needed to be a winning team. The players seem to be behind boof (as are the fans) and there is an air of excitement (and nerves) coming from this new set up. I think we are moving forward in the right direction and i hope to see the side getting stronger and stronger. Its time to move away from whats happened and i think slowly we are (apart from the odd quibble or statement). Now its time to show progress on the pitch.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on November 20, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    There is an old Aussie saying, "who pulled your chain?" Mickey, you certainly live by that.

    Arthur's response since he was kicked to the gutter has been sad. It is almost as if he is trying to control the message to save himself for the next job. Unfortunately it is just showing potential future employers that he is just bad news and to avoid.

  • on November 20, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Arthur still going through his grief.....

  • izzidole on November 20, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Arthur is no more the coach of Australia and why is he still getting plenty of publicity trying to destabilise the aussie cricket team with various comments off and on especially before the crucial ashes test series.? During Arthur's reign as coach the Australian cricket team was humiliated by their series loss to South Africa and the 4 nil white wash to India in the test series not forgetting the homeworkgate scandal which tainted aussie cricket very badly in the eyes of the cricketing world as never seen or heard before. Also his remarks and strategies before the last ashes series in England to say the least was very shocking which eventually meant his downfall.

  • on November 20, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    haddin should be lucky to playing cricket again.with dearth in talent in all departments in aus, he got chance again as likes of paine wade are not test material.i guess even under boof aus have won nithing.he should have talked after boof won some tests.

  • biggyd on November 20, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    you sound like as strategic ad-nob mick, those people skills coming throug, eh?

  • Sathyasing on November 20, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Its simple.Dont try to enforce and change a person or group.It has to start from within.I think arthur could have changed himself to extract the better out of the team.Its not a cultural issue but more of managenent technique that flopped.

  • Clyde on November 20, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    A continuous stream of incomprehensibility is what I think undid Arthur. You can't lead with 'branding' and 'culture'. You need to lead with cricket and if Arthur had been exceptional at it it might have made him something quite different. The coach is anyway a red herring. in the media few know how to avoid going on about an irrelevancy. I trust we will be spared when the first Test is under way and something of substance transpires.

  • John-Price on November 20, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Why does Arthur use the work brand when he means team? I think it says a lot about how far removed his thinking is from the world of cricket.

  • kamal_lak on November 20, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    <<which meant we needed to create our own brand, our own culture, and put in place a sustainable value system that any player coming up from state level could walk straight in and feel comfortable and know what is expected of them>> - Sustainable value system??! Keep it simple, silly.

  • TestsbeforeTwenty20 on November 20, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    @ScottStevo - if you care so litlle as to what Arthur has to say why read the article and then go through the trouble of posting here as well? All coaches that get sacked come in for criticism from former players and so will Boof when he gets sidelined in a few years if this team does not start doing the talking on the field rather than off the field!

  • on November 20, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Haddin was never dropped from the side, he "Lost his place" to Matthew Wade because he left the team on the tour of the West Indies to spend time with his seriously ill daughter. Pretty low call from Arthur there!

  • JohnnyRook on November 20, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    I am not an Australian. So I may be wrong on this but I think Tim Paine got a raw deal. He seemed very good 2-3 years back and then just disappeared....

  • on November 20, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    I think whats come out of this is its clear you can't change the culture of Australia & its players, thus Arthur's coaching method was never going to work, I feel sorry for him considering how it turned out but someone like him should of been able to clearly see what he was doing wasn't working & he needed to adjust to a more Aussie approach, either way he is technically correct whilst Haddin may be right, he isn't really in a position to talk too much about it considering he was hardly in the team when Arthur was coach, so his comments were out of line.... I've really been over all the talking the past week, I know the players have to talk to reporters/radio's a lot in the lead up to an Ashes series but we need to just step back & let our cricket do the talking, especially Warner, I hope everything he has said comes true because otherwise the poms are gonna have a right old laugh

  • JohnnyRook on November 20, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    I feel sorry for Arthur. He is a great coach but he was never the right person to coach Australia, just like Greg Chappell was not a great coach for India. Both of them in my opinion great coaches for young kids. Kind of like Ramakant Achrekar, a strict tough hardtaskmaster who is great for a young Tendulkar learning the virtues of hardwork and footwork. But he would have been disastrous for an international team. Kirsten, Lehman and John Wright brand of coaching is more useful there.

    Ironic thing is that there is nobody to sack the CA bosses who have been making mistakes over and over again. Forget Arthur, Simon Katich got a sack. I think almost all internation teams would have been happy to have Katich as opener when he was branded too old. But James Sutherland continues to be in top chair.

  • on November 20, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Slogger is not good enough for any format. He is yet another selection gone awry by the current selectors.

  • Jaffa79 on November 20, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    Haddin is only in the team because Wade was truly awful and the selectors were too insecure to give the gloves to one of the other younger guys. Haddin is a bit hit and miss as a batsmen; he can bat well, like at the Gabba last time but most of the time he throws his wicket way in a way that makes Warner look responsible.

  • ScottStevo on November 20, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Does anyone really care what else Arthur has to say. He was useless for CA, he got panned. Tell your story walking, buddy...

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on November 20, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    I wish Mickey had stronger words for the slogger Haddin who is only in the team due to the vice captaincy.

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  • Big_Maxy_Walker on November 20, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    I wish Mickey had stronger words for the slogger Haddin who is only in the team due to the vice captaincy.

  • ScottStevo on November 20, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Does anyone really care what else Arthur has to say. He was useless for CA, he got panned. Tell your story walking, buddy...

  • Jaffa79 on November 20, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    Haddin is only in the team because Wade was truly awful and the selectors were too insecure to give the gloves to one of the other younger guys. Haddin is a bit hit and miss as a batsmen; he can bat well, like at the Gabba last time but most of the time he throws his wicket way in a way that makes Warner look responsible.

  • on November 20, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Slogger is not good enough for any format. He is yet another selection gone awry by the current selectors.

  • JohnnyRook on November 20, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    I feel sorry for Arthur. He is a great coach but he was never the right person to coach Australia, just like Greg Chappell was not a great coach for India. Both of them in my opinion great coaches for young kids. Kind of like Ramakant Achrekar, a strict tough hardtaskmaster who is great for a young Tendulkar learning the virtues of hardwork and footwork. But he would have been disastrous for an international team. Kirsten, Lehman and John Wright brand of coaching is more useful there.

    Ironic thing is that there is nobody to sack the CA bosses who have been making mistakes over and over again. Forget Arthur, Simon Katich got a sack. I think almost all internation teams would have been happy to have Katich as opener when he was branded too old. But James Sutherland continues to be in top chair.

  • on November 20, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    I think whats come out of this is its clear you can't change the culture of Australia & its players, thus Arthur's coaching method was never going to work, I feel sorry for him considering how it turned out but someone like him should of been able to clearly see what he was doing wasn't working & he needed to adjust to a more Aussie approach, either way he is technically correct whilst Haddin may be right, he isn't really in a position to talk too much about it considering he was hardly in the team when Arthur was coach, so his comments were out of line.... I've really been over all the talking the past week, I know the players have to talk to reporters/radio's a lot in the lead up to an Ashes series but we need to just step back & let our cricket do the talking, especially Warner, I hope everything he has said comes true because otherwise the poms are gonna have a right old laugh

  • JohnnyRook on November 20, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    I am not an Australian. So I may be wrong on this but I think Tim Paine got a raw deal. He seemed very good 2-3 years back and then just disappeared....

  • on November 20, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Haddin was never dropped from the side, he "Lost his place" to Matthew Wade because he left the team on the tour of the West Indies to spend time with his seriously ill daughter. Pretty low call from Arthur there!

  • TestsbeforeTwenty20 on November 20, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    @ScottStevo - if you care so litlle as to what Arthur has to say why read the article and then go through the trouble of posting here as well? All coaches that get sacked come in for criticism from former players and so will Boof when he gets sidelined in a few years if this team does not start doing the talking on the field rather than off the field!

  • kamal_lak on November 20, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    <<which meant we needed to create our own brand, our own culture, and put in place a sustainable value system that any player coming up from state level could walk straight in and feel comfortable and know what is expected of them>> - Sustainable value system??! Keep it simple, silly.