The Dennis Betts Era

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  • #2652
    Spike Island 90
    • Posts: 8
    • New signing

    Since we are virtually in lockdown, this forum has to have life breathed into it again. So let me start with a highly contentious and controversial first post:

    Dennis Bette done a good, competent and steady job at Widnes. Here are my reasons why as listed below:

    1. From 2013 and 2016 I think we had four profoundly good, enjoyable and interesting seasons, it was certainly an enjoyable team to watch. We had some decent league finishes, played largely a good brand of rugby and much more importantly we had players who actually cared.

    2. After going into admin, Rule’s financial hit job on Widnes was finally brought into full view, we had the smallest wage budget in SL, surely that alone should have vindicated Betts?

    3.  Betts knew how to keep a team up. Yes, it seems inconceivable that any manager would have been able to keep us up in 2018 working with those truly incompetent and inept players, however, in 2015 and 2017, Betts managed the squad perfectly and introduced tactics that worked extremely well for the qualifiers. I do wonder, could he have done it again in 2018?

    Too conclude, I don’t want to sound nostalgic or come across as living in the past but as a club, we’re currently in a desolate and certainly bleak period. 2013 to 2016, was a good time for the club, I honestly believed we could beat anyone we played as epitomised by the results  we got.

    The criticism he received during his tenure was abhorrent and massively unjust. I ask you to watch games on YouTube from his tenure and yes, we lost many but most games we played, we played the right way, it just didn’t always come off.

    let me know your thoughts!

    #2658
    Rafe Wrench
    • Posts: 66
    • Time to get a VIQI
    • ☆☆☆☆

    Some would say he was hung out to dry by Rule to deflect from the abuse he was getting, but the fact is the free-fall had already started before poor Franny was given the poisoned chalice, and I very much doubt Denis would have turned it round had he stayed.

    #2661
    vikingsinbradford
    • Posts: 9
    • Kemik’s Assistant
    • ☆☆

    Since we are virtually in lockdown, this forum has to have life breathed into it again. So let me start with a highly contentious and controversial first post: Dennis Bette done a good, competent and steady job at Widnes. Here are my reasons why as listed below: 1. From 2013 and 2016 I think we had four profoundly good, enjoyable and interesting seasons, it was certainly an enjoyable team to watch. We had some decent league finishes, played largely a good brand of rugby and much more importantly we had players who actually cared. 2. After going into admin, Rule’s financial hit job on Widnes was finally brought into full view, we had the smallest wage budget in SL, surely that alone should have vindicated Betts? 3. Betts knew how to keep a team up. Yes, it seems inconceivable that any manager would have been able to keep us up in 2018 working with those truly incompetent and inept players, however, in 2015 and 2017, Betts managed the squad perfectly and introduced tactics that worked extremely well for the qualifiers. I do wonder, could he have done it again in 2018? Too conclude, I don’t want to sound nostalgic or come across as living in the past but as a club, we’re currently in a desolate and certainly bleak period. 2013 to 2016, was a good time for the club, I honestly believed we could beat anyone we played as epitomised by the results we got. The criticism he received during his tenure was abhorrent and massively unjust. I ask you to watch games on YouTube from his tenure and yes, we lost many but most games we played, we played the right way, it just didn’t always come off. let me know your thoughts!

    Despite spelling your name wrong to throw us off the scent, you are Denis Betts and I claim my £5.00

    #2662
    MT
    • Posts: 76
    • Time to get a VIQI
    • ☆☆☆☆

    My take on this is that the Widnes job was one of the toughest in SL and Betts did reasonably well for the most part. Lower budget than most and produced a competitive side until the lack of investment and continual weakening of the squad took its toll.

    Rule’s decision to sack him was ill-timed, made no financial sense and seemed to be merely a decision made to take pressure off himself. Anyone who attended that Wakefield home game will have been in no doubt where the majority of fans felt that the blame lay.

    Could Betts have kept us up? I’d have my doubts but he would have had slightly more chance than Cummins who was both out of his depth and working without an assistant thanks to Rule’s decision to sack the head coach.

    It didn’t really matter anyway. We would merely have had another season struggling at the bottom of SL whilst lining the pockets of the “directors”.

     

     

    #2666
    CJ91
    • Posts: 84
    • Time to get a VIQI
    • ☆☆☆☆

    The period 2013-16 was good, certainly the most consistent period we have had in the summer era.

    It is also true to say the Rule/O’Connor failings were masked to an extent by that period.

    Equally, if we praise Betts for 2013-16, we have to say 2011 was dire and the first half of 2012 was atrocious. His last 18 months were awful.

    Perhaps he was too cosy with Rule et al…he certainly didn’t have a go at them. Maybe he was aware but needed to keep his job and maybe he couldn’t speak after he left.

    Betts was a decent coach who did a reasonable job in the main, but I feel we should have changed coach after 2017, I feel like he had ran out of ideas after 7 years…..

    #2669
    Spike Island 90
    • Posts: 8
    • New signing

    If we look back at the team around 2015, I’d say we were 3 players away from been a top 6 team, we had all the right ingredients, brown as our lynch pin, we just needed bit more size up front and a creative.

    I still think he was a good coach, we probably didn’t appreciate it how good of a time it was to be a Widnes fan. We were complacent and we were probably spoiled, believing we had a right to be in SL, we are million miles away from that now.

    #2670
    Sinbad
    • Posts: 43
    • South Stander
    • ☆☆☆

    People saying he would have kept us up but he should’nt have still been here in 2018, should’ve been long gone before then.He became part of the furniture, too cosy and comfy and  mediocrity became acceptable under him.A losing culture became the norm.The warning signs were there years previously when Leigh and Featherstone posted half  centuries against us in the first division 2011.Leigh did it twice in three weeks showing that absolutely nothing was learned from the first loss.The pattern continued throughout his reign, thrashings repeated on a regular basis interspersed with some great wins which showed he had the players at his disposal.

    #2671
    doc
    • Posts: 32
    • South Stander
    • ☆☆☆

    He did ok, but stayed too long. When we won 6 of 7 in 2016 , everything was rosey. Then we lost 9 of 10. Should’ve gone end of that season.

    Peace and love, and happiness and stuff!

    #2673
    Sinbad
    • Posts: 43
    • South Stander
    • ☆☆☆

    I think point number 3 -” Betts knew how to keep a side up” just goes to show how the acceptance of losing was around the club and fans,instead of a positive outlook of top 8.For me, if you are looking to a coach to keep the team up in SL then you have very small ambitions.That is the very reason to find a new coach.

    #2674
    Frankg
    • Posts: 35
    • South Stander
    • ☆☆☆

    It was a surprise when we signed Betts as coach in 2010, but most, if not all, saw it as a positive signing.

    I agree that during the period 2013 – 2016, we saw some good games and results finishing 10th, 8th, 9th and 7th respectively in those seasons. The sale of Brown and the failure to strengthen the team to build on the relative success in 2016 and and a series of injuries to key players, resulted in a disasterous 2017 season.

    We have never been given the whole story behind the sale of Brown in December 2016 and whether Betts had any say in that move, but to sell our key player without replacing him or strengthening the squad was a disaster for the club. Whilst there were murmurings of mismanagement by Rule and Co, I think a lot of us were taken in by the promises of further signings, which turned out to be empty promises. It was only later that the mismanagement of the club was revealed and the money being taken out of the club by Rule and other Directors – never actually revealed to date, but rumoured figures of up to £300,000 plus being taken out of the club by the Directors.  Perhaps Betts should have walked away then or been sacked.

    The 2018 season just carried on where 2017 finished with poor performances and results throughout the season. I agree that the subsequent sacking of Betts and replacing him with Cummins was a panic move and merely confirmed the fears of relegation. I suspect that with the squad we had and morale at rock bottom, Betts would not have got us through the play-offs. As has been mentioned, if we had survived for another season in SL, it would have only enabled Rule and Co to take more money out of the club and perhaps left us in even more debt than they did.

    To sum up, I think that Betts was relatively successful from 2013 – 2016, but should have been replaced after the disasterous 2017 season. Whether any coach could have turned things around is doubtful, with the mismangement of the club’s finances subsequently revealed and the likelihood of no funds being made available to strengthen the squad.

    The signing of Tim Sheens has been like a breath of fresh air, with honest assessments after games and a team clearly wanting to play for the coach.

     

     

     

    #2676
    Spike Island 90
    • Posts: 8
    • New signing

    I accept your point about been positive but I will refer you to my previous reply. Would you take finishing 10th in SL over what we currently have? I certainly would.

    There’s people on here who believe Widnes are too “small” to be in SL, what Betts did was made sure we punched above our weight.

    Furthermore, for the smallest budget in the league,  “just staying up” is a success to a certain extent.

    #2679
    Sinbad
    • Posts: 43
    • South Stander
    • ☆☆☆

    I don’t remember most fans seeing Betts as a positive signing.Most were flummoxed as I recall.

    #2680
    Spike Island 90
    • Posts: 8
    • New signing

    No matter how bad it was under Betts, give me that anyway of the week over the situation we’re currently in.

    #2689
    PaulieWalnuts
    • Posts: 26
    • South Stander
    • ☆☆☆

    Just my opinion, but everything about the Betts era, barring about 10 games, was utter shite. That includes the crap served up in our last season of the Championship in 2011.

    The only shining lights were provided by Kev Brown & Cory Thompson. The rest was gash.

    Paulie xx

    #2690
    Former Chemic
    • Posts: 62
    • Time to get a VIQI
    • ☆☆☆☆

    Denis Betts wasn’t responsible for the off-field fiasco, that was solely down to Rule & Co.

    However, despite being a great player he was a poor coach. There were some good players in the teams in his time here, and they produced some fine performances and results despite his input.

    His team selection and tactics in the last few years of his reign were dire … and before anyone else says it, our next two coaches were awful too.

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