Expert observers are urging a cautious approach for expectations regarding the Parramatta Eels’ new number 7, Kieran Foran.

The logic behind this cautious approach seems to lie in the fact that the Eels and their supporters have been longing for a clone of Peter Sterling to return Parra to its glory days, even though those glory days were objectively not really all that glorious from a long-term perspective. Hoping that Foran is the reincarnation of a player many consider the best that ever played would place a crushing burden on the shoulders of someone who does not deserve the weight of unrealistic expectations.

Discarding the 10-year golden era of the Eels from 1976 to 1986, when they appeared in the grand finals six times and won four premierships, Parra’s record has been pedestrian compared to say, Manly or Brisbane.

Optimism nevertheless is running high that Head Coach Brad Arthur can spur the Eels to greater achievements, which is certainly not unrealistic given the club’s recent history. The Eels last made the finals in 2009 and only a draw squeezed them in ahead of Wests Tigers.

We wish Arthur, the Eels and Foran well, but the mediocrity of the past seven seasons will not be erased immediately and Kieran Foran does not deserve to be cast in an unwinnable role.