Coach Barrett in the gun at Manly Sea Eagles
MANLY coach Trent Barrett could be out the door before the end of the season as the Sea Eagles battle with controversy after controversy.
A salary cap scandal kicked their year off on the wrong foot before an ugly saga unfolding involving rookie star Jackson Hastings and his compatibility with the playing group.
A swath of injuries has also plagued the Northern Beaches club as they drop to 13th on the ladder ahead of round nine.
NRL reporter James Hooper lifted the lid on behind the scenes talks between coach Barrett and former players warning the 40-year-old not to re-sign with the club.
"There were people up on the Northern Beaches who have previously played for the Sea Eagles who went to Trent last year, the end of last year, and they told him don't sign that new contract," Hooper said on Fox Sports' NRL 360 Wednesday night.
"Because this is all going to go pear shaped and it's all going to fall into your lap.
"The leadership has been horrible up there. The way he's been thrown front and centre, forced to front everything until Lyall Gorman decided to step out last Sunday ... that's not leadership.
"I feel for Trent at the moment. I feel a lot of what has transpired at Manly - certainly the salary cap punishments and the roster that has been assembled - that hasn't been a lot of his doing but he has been left holding the mug in his arms so to speak."
The rumour is Barrett is weighing up bailing from the top job at Manly.
"You could understand if those types of conversations were going on," Hooper said.
"I spoke to Trent last night, and he didn't give me any indication at all that he was thinking of walking away."
Long-time NRL journalist Paul Kent sympathised with Barrett's sticky situation ahead of round nine.
"If Trent Barrett walks away I think full credit to him, because he's left dealing with the fallout from a lot of decisions that weren't his doing," Kent said.
"The problem is if he stays and they continue to lose is we'll all forget about this, and at the end of the year when his contract is up ... he'll have three busted years as head coach and everyone will say he can't coach, and suddenly his reputation is tarnished.
"There's a lot of one-contract coaches in the game who do not a great job and they don't come back.
"Trent Barrett doing this is very much like when Wayne Bennett sacked himself at Newcastle. "He said I can't be around to fix this up, and he knew the damage it was going to cause."