Yesterday Sky Sports published an article in which Stuart Barnes labelled Stuart Lancaster as ‘weak’, questioned his commitment to grass roots rugby and argued that the former England coach has left behind no legacy.
Although many would agree with Barnes’ criticism of Lancaster, it was the style in which the commentator delivered his remarks that angered many.
While there is merit in each of Barnes’ assertions, he employed sweeping statements to make his argument and delivered it using a typically arrogant tone.
Included in Barnes statements were rhetorical questions such as,
Will he have a legacy? Will he be the bloke that in a pub quiz you’ll say, ‘Who was the England coach when they beat New Zealand in 2012?’ and you’ll go ‘Lancaster – yeah, the bloke who got four second-places in the Six Nations
Without any shred of evidence, Barnes also dismissed Lancaster’s commitment to grass roots rugby.
We in the media have spread the word for him, but taking England away from Pennyhill Park and taking them up to the North on a few occasions – I don’t quite see how we get that absolute connection that is being claimed.
I personally think this whole grass roots thing was a little bit of a sideshow and I think England got carried away with that. I don’t see it.
In the end it seemed that Joe Marler had enough of Stuart Barnes, as he took to Twitter to label him a ‘complete helmet’.
Stuart Barnes is a complete helmet……..
— Joe Marler (@JoeMarler) November 12, 2015