Jackie Tyrrell was highly critical of Waterford's players after their already slim chances of progressing from the Munster Hurling Championship were ended with a 12-point defeat to Clare on Saturday evening.
"It is the easy narrative to blame Davy (Fitzgerald), and they will come in for criticism," the former Kilkenny hurler told The Saturday Game on RTÉ.
"This Waterford team have let this management team down badly. They let Liam Cahill down badly. You look at last year, they downed tools against Clare down in Ennis - not good enough. Against Cork a couple of weeks ago, they downed tools - they gave up again.
"The questions need to be asked of the leadership of that group, how consistently over the last couple of years... It can't be Davy Fitz's fault, it can't be Liam Cahill's fault, it can't be Derek McGrath's fault, it can't be Paraic Fanning's fault.
"Waterford have [been ravaged by injuries] but every team is ravaged. Aidan McCarthy was gone from Clare today, but it goes on and it's about the panel."
Former Tipperary goalkeeper Brendan Cummins added: "It takes no skill to run and chase. That's what we'd nearly always say in a dressing room. When the running and the chasing has stopped, then the group need to get together and say 'How are we going to fix this damn thing?'
"Clare had their meltdown against Tipperary in Ennis. That week, five or six days later, they were inside in the Gaelic Grounds all guns blazing, and had a great result against Limerick. It can be turned but it needs that attitude to change.
"There was a complete lack of leadership within the group. You can blame the manager, and of course Davy will understand that, and Liam Cahill, and Paraic Fanning before that will all understand that it falls on your shoulders."
"This Waterford team have let the management team down badly" says @MrJackieTee #rtegaa #saturdaygame #hurling pic.twitter.com/F0vvI030bM
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 13, 2023
Tyrrell also questioned Waterford's tactics against Clare.
"It's been a shocking season for Waterford," he said.
"Coming into today, in the two [previous] round robin games, they scored 18 and 19 points - they didn't even hit those heights today. They haven't scored a goal in the last games in league and championship.
"Today, you'd actually question what were they doing with the way they set up. Their shooting, they had 12 wides at half-time. Their lack of penetration in the forwards, I know they were a man down but they were so isolated up there.
"On their puckouts, their defence rushed up the field and emptied out their whole defence which left them exposed at times. I couldn't understand that. They played a lot of ball across the field in front of Clare. Then when they got chances of shots, they took them from crazy angles.
"You have to question: What were the tactics? Their puckout strategy made no sense. Their matchups, Darragh Lyons followed Tony Kelly for 80-odd minutes, and Tony Kelly was Man of the Match - they never changed that."