When asked last night whether he would ever consider taking the NSW reigns again, the firm answer was 'No'. But surely the NSW Origin situation has now become that dire, that there is only one man who can bring them back from the brink. That man is Phil Gould.
He polarizes opinion. People seem to either love him or hate him, but there is one undisputed fact: He is the most successful NSW coach of the modern era (1980 to now) winning 14 games. His win percentage for NSW across his two stints was 60%, 92-96 and 56% 02-04.
Phil Gould is a student of the game, he has been involved in the game his entire life and has seen the game evolve and has been part of that evolution. But more than that Gould oozes passion and that is what State of Origin is all about. You ask any former NSW player of Gould and they would all tell you that Gould made them not only think they could win. He made them believe there was no other option.
You might be of the opinion that Laurie Daley has caught the rough end of the stick. He has had to try and keep a side and a state together through an era of QLD dominance where the men in Maroon have quite rightly earned the tag of the greatest representative side ever assembled. So of course you could argue it wound't matter who coached them through the last decade they would have lost anyway. That might be the case.
Regardless of his opponent though the telling sign for NSW is that Daley hasn't changed his blueprint and his blueprint simply doesn't work. Daley's mindset over the last few years has been to try and defend his side to Origin wins and it hasn't worked (2014 been the exception). Even when he promised the fans a more expansive game and a team that could score more points they could only muster 16 in Origin 2 this year. Hardly a mind blowing total, and far from enough.
In fact under Laurie Daley's watch the NSW points scoring average has been a shade under 11 points per game and only 4 times have they scored in excess of 10 points and only once have they scored more than 20.
Parity this against Phil Gould who's scoring average as a coach was just a tick over 16. And not only that in 27 matches at the helm NSW were only kept under 10 points on 4 occasions.
In the Origin post game Gould was asked by Vautin why he wouldn't coach again, and Gould humbly attributed his record to being 'lucky to have coached when NSW had some good era's'. He also cited the need to give leadership back to the halves and allow them to dictate the style of play. Well with those sorts of insights, it seems clear that Gus Gould understands the direction the team needs to go in. All they need is someone to captain the ship.