Ahead of their Allianz National League clash with Kilkenny on Sunday, a former Waterford All-Star has become the latest in a line of people in the county to publicly question the approach of manager Derek McGrath.
Both sides go into the game after back-to-back defeats and know that victory is a necessity to avoid the dreaded relegation play-off from their division.
Waterford were given a huge psychological boost when achieving their first championship victory over the Cats since 1959 during the summer – but the past warrants for nothing ahead of this weekend’s encounter.
Jim Greene, speaking to the Irish Examiner, has questioned the strength in depth of the panel, with McGrath having played some relatively inexperienced sides in the recent league defeats to Wexford and Tipperary.
The Mount Sion clubman, who was named on the 1982 All-Star team, quizzed whether or not he entirely knew his squad, as well as pointing out that they are no longer a side in transition given how near they came to All-Ireland title success in 2017.
“I read something recently that there were players who have been on the panel three years that he wants to have a look at. If you don’t know a man’s worth in three years, you’re doing something wrong. I think we have to get out of this development mode.”
“Derek (McGrath) has done great work and I admire him and his management team, and these youngsters are eating out of the palms of their hands but at some stage we have to realise we’re there and this is the team now.”
There has been a debate in Waterford in the McGrath era arguing whether the gameplan and routine is far too predictable and needs to see tweaking in order to achieve success, these were sentiments that Greene also echoed.
He outlining why the Deise’s game plan can play into the hands of others, most notably Galway in last year’s championship decider.
“The biggest problem I have with Waterford at the minute is pre-match plan (is) set in concrete.”
There is no denying that the league has become a matter of less importance to McGrath and his management team in recent seasons, but to beat the best sides in the country when it matters most, you need to be playing them regularly.
The debate will rumble on regardless of success, but Waterford need to start picking up points sooner rather than later, or the monkey will be well and truly on their backs once more.
Sunday represents an opportunity to silence the early tremors of doubt.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena