Why does rugby league identity Phil 'Gus' Gould attack people on social media?

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Footy guru Phil Gould smashes his critics on social media after allegations his Bulldogs are behind the times – and not even his own followers are safe

  • Phil Gould, 64, has been involved in elite rugby league circles since the 1970s
  • Player turned coach then shifted into the media, before rebuilding NRL clubs 
  • Doesn’t respond well to criticism, often is very blunt to social media followers

Phil Gould undoubtedly has one of the most astute minds in rugby league.

A two-time premiership-winning coach, first with Canterbury in 1988 and then three years later with Penrith, he didn’t take long to showcase his elite mentoring ability.

The 64-year-old is also the most successful NSW coach in State of Origin history, winning four series in five years between 1992 and 1996.

Before entering the coaching ranks, he was a natural leader, handed the captaincy in his playing days with the Panthers aged just 20. 

His insight on Channel 9 irritates some footy fans, but his knowledge is second to none.

And who doesn’t love Gus’ inspiring words in the lead-up to kick-off when NSW take on Queensland? It’s pure sporting theatre. 

Phil Gould is one of the most highly respected figures in rugby league - but he doesn't like having his opinions questioned

Phil Gould is one of the most highly respected figures in rugby league – but he doesn’t like having his opinions questioned

The Canterbury Bulldogs boss was quick this week to respond to rumours his club doesn't use drones to observe players at training

The Canterbury Bulldogs boss was quick this week to respond to rumours his club doesn’t use drones to observe players at training

When some of Gould's Twitter followers question him publicly, his responses are often cutting

When some of Gould’s Twitter followers question him publicly, his responses are often cutting

The footy guru asked one punter why he bothered following him in a typically blunt exchange

The footy guru asked one punter why he bothered following him in a typically blunt exchange

So why does Gould, 64, feel the need to fire up to seemingly anyone and everyone on Twitter?

Earlier this week, veteran rugby league reporter Phil Rothfield claimed on Fox’s NRL 360 the Canterbury Bulldogs don’t use drones as part of their training – unlike other rival clubs.

Gould, who was appointed the General Manager of Football at Belmore last July, responded to the claims in aggressive fashion – you guessed it, on social media.

He sent out a series of detailed tweets with videos outlining how the ‘family club’ do in fact, incorporate drones in their player analysis.

The former Penrith, Newtown, Canterbury and South Sydney backrower also often responds in very blunt fashion to punters online who dare question his opinions.

And if you happen to work in the media and take Gould to task, expect to be blocked on Twitter within minutes.

Just ask former Panthers coach Anthony Griffin, who was punted by Gould in 2018 despite leading his team to the finals. 

With Gould working behind the scenes, Canterbury very active in the off-season as they look to move on from the 2021 wooden spoon.

Expectations have lifted at Belmore considerably, with Josh Addo-Carr, Matthew Burton, Matt Dufty and Tevita Pangai Junior not signing contracts to stay at the bottom of the ladder. 

A top eight finish is the minimum expectation – and plenty of patient fans will tell you the rebuilding phase is over, they have been starved of success – and want it now.

If the Bulldogs lose their first couple of games against North Queensland and Brisbane, the knives will be out for coach Trent Barrett.

And whatever you do, don’t chip Gould on Twitter if Canterbury don’t deliver early on – the response will be cutting or you won’t be able to interact as he will hit the ‘block’ option.

Rugby league, you gotta love it. 

With Gould as general manager of football, the Bulldogs have signed the likes of star players Josh Addo-Carr, Matthew Burton, Matt Dufty and Tevita Pangai Junior

With Gould as general manager of football, the Bulldogs have signed the likes of star players Josh Addo-Carr, Matthew Burton, Matt Dufty and Tevita Pangai Junior

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