"They've Been Paralyzed By Expectations"

The weight of expectations on the Eels

"They've Been Paralyzed By Expectations" Getty Images

When the curtain closed on the 2016 NRL season, the Cronulla Sharks ended a 50-year Premiership drought, the longest at the time. Finally Sharks supporters could turn the porch light off. 

Attention quickly turned to the Parramatta Eels, who now have the unwanted tag of the longest Premiership drought, 31-years worth of torture to be exact.

The Eels have come close, in more recent times Grand Final losses to the Knights (2001) and the Storm (2009) often left Eels players, coaches, officials and fans pondering if they will ever win the 'big one.' 

Triple M Grill Team's Mark Geyer believes Eels teams of the past have often felt the weight of expectation. 

"We've seen so much in the past, the weight of expectations — on teams like Parramatta because they haven't won a comp since 1986  It's weighed them down," MG said.  

"They've been paralyzed by the expectations." Listen to the full audio below.

However, the 2017 Eels squad aren't thinking too much of past horrors and shortcomings, which according to Triple M's Matty Johns is a refreshing mentality. 

"If you weren't in the team, why should you worry about it?", Matty said. 

"Just because they've had no success in the last 20/30 years that should have absolutely no bearing on how they think about this game or the finals."

MG agreed with Matty's sentiments.  

"I think it's refreshing to see, you've always got to keep one eye on who came before you and always one eye on what's ahead of you as well but no one gave them a chance in hell at the start of the year now they are two games away from a grand final," MG said.

Before the Eels can even entertain the idea of winning a Grand Final they first need to navigate past a resilient North Queensland Cowboys side at ANZ Stadium this Saturday night. 

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