We predicted it around a fortnight ago or so, but it looks like Paul Gustard has parted way with Harlequins by mutual consent. According to the Rugby Paper, Gustard left today but Harlequins have yet to release an official statement. If it is true and his stewardship has come to an end, how will history look back on his management?
Personally, I think it's definitely a period of missed opportunities. He started his time with Quins very well, bringing a snub-nosed, far more aggressive style of play to the Stoop; results picked back up and it looked like the side were rejuvenated. However, for me, warning signs were always there due to the over-reliance on the brilliance of young Marcus Smith. If Smith ever had patchier runs of form or suffered any injuries, you felt that Quins would lack cutting edge to capitalise on the good work made by the abrasive forwards.
Unfortunately, with a lot of players aging out, an exodus of top talent leaving at the end of the season and big money signings like Chris Ashton now floundering, it felt like the writing was on the wall. Quins are quickly regressing and I seriously worry about their squad depth moving into next year; with Wasps next up, you have to imagine what is being discussed behind closed doors to prevent a spanking...
Photo Copyright Credit: The Rugby Paper