'The idea that he doesn't know what he's doing is nonsense'- Waterford under pressure ahead of trip to Cork
Waterford saw their championship hopes die emphatically at the hands of Limerick last weekend, with a third successive defeat knocking them out of this year's Munster and All-Ireland championship.
As the blame game ensues, the question of what has gone wrong since the All-Ireland heights of 2017 has been replaced by asking who is to blame, the players or the management?
Chief Sports Writer of the Irish Independent, Vincent Hogan, believes the players must ask serious questions of themselves, considering the record of Páraic Fanning with W.I.T and with Davy Fitzgerald's regimes in both Waterford and Wexford.
"The idea that Páraic Fanning doesn't know what he's doing is nonsense here," said Hogan on The Throw-In podcast, in association with Bord Gáis Energy.
"The Waterford players have got to look at themselves in the mirror and say, what were we at last Sunday? Because their application was so far off the scale," added Hogan.
Hogan cited that the Déise had 66% of their possessions turned over and the fact that Fanning was forced to substitute his club-mate, Austin Gleeson, at half-time, which illustrates big problems in the camp.
"That statistic [66% of possession turned over] is utterly damning of players applying themselves. For Fanning to do what he did at half-time and take off Austin Gleeson, his own club-mate, and put on [Michael] 'Brick' Walsh. He's in a horrible position right now," said Hogan.
Brendan Cummins echoed Hogan's damning post-mortem of the Waterford display against Limerick, highlighting the fact that they had two crisis meetings either side of the Tipperary defeat, as a season-ending moment.
"Waterford had a meeting the Tuesday before the Tipperary game, which was crisis meeting number one. I think they were two hours in the dressing room after the Tipperary game, crisis meeting number two," said Cummins.
"Any more than one crisis meeting in my experience, after playing for twenty years with Tipperary... it was all over and that was the end of it," he added.
Cummins agreed that Fanning comes with a wealth of experience in coaching and management, and that the lack of integration between players and management will make it unlikely for a consolation win against Cork on Saturday.
"They just haven't jelled and I don't know what's going to happen below in Cork this weekend, all I think is it's not going to be pretty down there either because the players have completely decided that this is not going to work, and they're just proving themselves right in their performance," he said.