Following Mayo's footballers

Poll: how will our league campaign finish up for us?

It’s been a funny old league campaign for us and such is the oddity of the league structure itself (something which I reckon Eugene McGee and his FRC compadres could now fruitfully turn their attention towards) we now find ourselves, depending on how the final round of matches go, facing the prospect of either getting relegated or qualifying for the semi-finals. Who knows – we might even win the damn thing yet. It’s all a bit mad, Ted.

Nothing for it, then, but to test the temperatures on how you think our 2013 NFL campaign will finish up for us – Heaven or Hell or somewhere in between? It’s time to vote.

What place will we end up with at the end of this league campaign?

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Comments

  1. Mayomaningalway says:

    What i find hard to believe is after such a shocking campaign we are now talking about the possibility of a very possible semi final place. Anyway that aside the win on Sunday will do the lads the world of good. They will know they didn’t play to their best but still got the win . Bring on the rebels !!!!!

  2. David says:

    I think Mayo will be gunning for the win in cork, a semi place is possible but I can’t see a league trophy being part of 2013.
    Dublin are the team of the moment for me and they will win the league, I would swap 1000 league trophies for one allireland and I imagine jh and co are not bothered about it neither.
    Looking back on Sunday’s win, Mayo players were easily rounded by donegal and the tackling was very poor as well. We have one or two forwards that plainly cannot tackle at all, where is our coach? Give them some ideas, something,anything! Just don’t let them be that easily beaten by a defender.
    Another extremely poor aspect is the wasting of chances, kicking a ball 60 meters out into the goalies hand when none of your teammates are within 35 meters of the goal? Crazy waste of possession. If Mayo took a fraction of a second to look for the best option they would be hard beaten in every game.

  3. mayomagic says:

    Mayomaningalway says:
    March 26, 2013 at 10:39 am
    What i find hard to believe is after such a shocking campaign we are now talking about the possibility of a very possible semi final place.

    Not really that hard to believe. Last year it looked like Mayo would get relegated then won the last few games finished on 7 points and reached the final.

  4. Joe Mc says:

    Does anyone agree that the top team in each Division should be the league champions?
    Man Utd top of the league have to play in a semi-final to win the league!!!!

  5. Nephin says:

    Maybe, Joe mac but English FA not as cute as GAA, a few more games, a few more bob

  6. Joe Mc says:

    Nephin, I know that too well. Paddy is always a cute whore, but does it not make a laughing stock of the league? Really it should not be called a league at all. There may be other suggestions as to what the name should be.
    We have the opportunity to change GAA history tonight and they can still make loads if extra money!!!

  7. M02013 says:

    Semi finals for eight teams doesn’t make much sense. I think all teams should have the chance to win the league the GAA need to change the current format.

  8. eastcorkexile says:

    To be fair, with the format of the NFL the way it is, even at the last weekend there are rarely matches with nothing at stake. Isnt that better than having pretty much everything decided at say Round 5.
    Getting to the semis is not mainly about winning the league, its also getting to an extra championship like game in at a key time of year.
    Personally, I’d like us to get to a semi to give us one more game, but I wouldnt want to be in a final coz looking at who else is likely to be there, and our current form we would probably lose and we dont need that. Its probably a typical Mayo view but I dont think winning a league final would do much for us either, we are always better with lowered expectations.
    A nice finish to the year for me now would be a win in Cork, a league semi place with a close fought match where we get a look at Tyrone and lose by a couple of points.
    With Andy Moran and Alan Dillon to come back, I’d take that as a good place to be going into the championship.

  9. rober says:

    No guarantees that Andy Moran and Alan Dillon will rediscover their form of the past two years. Injuries can ruin a players career. If they are back at their best it would be a massive boost but but but

  10. mayo mchale says:

    Contrary to some comments, I think the league format is a great idea. Here we are with just one round of matches to go and are in this crazy situation, where, if we beat Cork, we can qualify for the the semi-finals and possibly go on and win the League. On the other hand should we loose, we could end up in division 2 next year. Either way, that most welcome and timely of wins over Donegal, has at the very least, insured a cracking and nail-biting last round and could have a hughue bearing on the rest of our season.

  11. remember51 says:

    Does anyone know current status on Andy and Alan? Would be interested to see if they are near coming back? You can los fitness but you cant lose class. Ask Henry Sheflin.

  12. Joe Mc says:

    Hi mayo mchale. There is nothing wrong with the format of the league. It’s grand, It’s the name ‘league’ that’s the problem. The format is not that of a league anywhere in the world. It’s like putting handlebars on a car instead of a steering wheel.

  13. facetheball says:

    Surely if we beat Cork and finish 4th we play Dublin (1st place) in the semi.
    A competitive loss to Dublin in the semi would suit us.

  14. john cuffe says:

    Why not try for a competitive win against Dublin if we make it. Ger Loughnane was right…Mayo are afraid to win.

    • Willie Joe says:

      I don’t think that’s true for one minute, John. I reckon if we were to meet Dublin in a league semi-final we’d be well up for winning it. The particular problem we have this year, though, is the Galway match which would come only three weeks after the league final. As we found to our cost in 2007, getting to a league final isn’t always the best prep for such a championship opener.

      I’m not sure it would be the Dubs in a possible semi-final, though. Tyrone are currently on top (on head-to-head over Dublin) and I reckon they’re more likely to beat Kerry than Dublin are away to Donegal so it could be another swarm welcome for us in Croke Park if we get that far (and avoid relegation in the process).

      On the league structure, I’m with Joe Mc – they should stop calling it a league altogether. What with four out of the eight getting to the knockouts (not to mention having play-offs at all) and head-to-head being used to separate (and possibly relegate) teams, despite the fact that this gives a clear advantage to the home team involved, it’s a total pig’s breakfast as things stand. I’d be for a proper league, with three Divisions of 10-11, played off purely on a league basis. By my count there are 13 weekends between the start of February and the end of April so there’d be plenty of weekends for everyone to play ten league games, with none of this play-off nonsense at the end.

  15. jpm says:

    Tyrone are top of the League according to the GAA website. I presume this is because they won their game over Dublin so in the head to head they are above them. So if we were to qualify then i think it would be Tyrone we would be coming up against.
    But that’s anther kettle of fish.

    Cork started the league poorly losing badly to Dublin and then going down the following week to Kildare. However since then they have got their act together.

    Also they were beaten by the kingdom in the last round so I cant see them wishing to end the League on a losing note. Especially not when a semi final is within their grasp and playing at home

    Plus the fact that they also could conceivable face the drop if results were to go against them. Take for instance Donegal beat Dublin, we hammer Cork and Kerry hammer Tyrone. (Not likely I know but if that were the case Cork could be relegated on points difference as 4 teams would then be on 6 points)

    So I can’t see Cork giving us an inch down there. If we want to get to the semis then we will have to do it the hard way.

    And If it were to happen and we do reach Croker again then we should certainly be thinking about winning the fucking thing.

  16. goochopper says:

    We’ll said WJ couldn’t agree more with ya – on both the winning mind set and the structure of the national league.

  17. Dan says:

    Ah I don’t think that’s fair at all John. “Mayo are fraid to win”?!
    All that matters is Galway on 19th May, nothing else. I couldn’t give two shites about winning the league.

    If we were to make the semi or a final, there’s no way I can see that being a benefit come the Galway game. And for that reason alone I couldn’t care less about it.
    I’m sure James Horan has our preparation and training all geared for the Galway match, I’d say a league final place was never in his thoughts.
    I think it’s important to stay in Div 1 though. You can’t beat the standard of football and the competitiveness of this league. It’s perfect preparation for the championship. A league final 3 weeks before a trip to Salthill is not though.

  18. Cynical Cynthia says:

    I agree with John Cuffe – we are afraid to win.

    There is always an excuse. This time an impending game with Dublin.

    Why did we lose the All Ireland in the first five minutes last year. Because we were afraid to grasp the opportunity. We can dress it up anyway we like but it was over before we knew and any half hearted comeback when there was no pressure on is worthless. When Donegal came under pressure they pulled away again.

    There is zero evidence that we are prepared to fight for success. Our record speaks for itself. Abysmal.

    • Willie Joe says:

      Our record in finals is poor alright, Cynthia, but our repeated ability to get that far has to count as evidence that we’re prepared to fight for success. “Zero evidence” would have us on a par with the likes of Cavan and Louth, who one time used to contest (and win) All-Irelands but no longer do. At least we’re up there competing with the top teams and I think it’s a slur – a wildly inaccurate one at that – on players, management and even supporters to claim we’re somehow afraid of winning.

  19. Tubberman says:

    John, Cynthia,

    At least put on a pretence of optimism. Ye sound like the fellas sitting tutting and rolling their eyes whenever Mayo is mentioned. We’re one of the top counties in the country at the moment – would ye try and enjoy that a bit? Some people love misery….

  20. catcol says:

    Does anyone have info on Brian Gallagher? Hadn’t been on subs in any of the games as far as I can see. JH described him as the ‘real deal’ which is interesting.

    • Willie Joe says:

      If you scroll down to the end of the comments on the Donegal match report, catcol, I put some background info up on him (as did a few others a bit earlier) – the short version is that he was U21 in 2009, playing in the half-forwards. He played FBD that year too and did so this year but you’re right that he hasn’t been on the bench since the start of this year’s NFL. I heard that JH comment about him too, which would suggest we may be seeing more of him over the next while.

  21. mayo mchale says:

    I here what you’re saying Joe Mc and maybe it’s a league in name only, so what, if it keeps a lot of teams with something to play for, right to the last game, then in my opinion, that’s no bad thing. And if you look at say the Premiership League in England, teams that may not have a hope of winning the league, can by finishing in the top four, be rewarded with qualification for the Champions League. Could we maybe put a fancy name on our semi-finals and sort of dress them up a bit, only saying :)

  22. Joe Mc says:

    Good idea. Scrap the semi finals and have some type of a reward for the top three or four. The top team should still be the winners. How daft is it that the fourth team can be the league champions.

  23. JJ says:

    Why would losing a semi final be better for us than losing a final and why the fear of the Galway game, history is the past and should have no bearing on the outcome of any future event,if, we would like to think ‘that we have moved on’.
    The word ‘lose’ is itself a negative thought as is ‘careful’,'staying under the radar’ etc. We will never get anywhere if we dont expect to win and as in most great sporting events of the past ‘win against all odds’…………I agree with John.
    The Galwegians must be loving all the doubt that we seem to have and the apparent ‘dread’ that each and every future game fills the most of us with………………….

  24. GreenandRedmachine says:

    First time comment on this site lads and ladies-have faith in James and his squad-they won’t let us down-up Mayo

  25. mayo mchale says:

    I agree JJ, there’s to much negativity around and this thing of trying to stay under the radar, is in my opinion a load of nonsense. A good side like Mayo, should be able and indeed look forward to taking on the best teams at every opportunity and be confident they can win, if the’re not good enough on the day, well so be it. On the other hand JJ, supporters have been through the ringer more times than they care to remember and it’s only natural that they would get a bit uncomfortable, about talking up their team. Until we succeed on the big stage, that I’m afraid is not going to change. Hope we don’t have to wait to long….

  26. eddie k says:

    We are the type of team nobody wants to play because if we show up with the right attitudes nobody is safe,now like us here on this site the opposition will be unsure what mayo team will show up on any given day.that in my mind can only be a good thing,unless galway improve greatly they won’t bother us.cork are in trouble with injuries (there for the taking) and there’s no way brogan will get 1,10 off ger caff again.the league is well withen our grasp we should push on and go for it,games at hq can only help

  27. Tom says:

    Anybody know how Andy Moran is? Fit for Galway game? Thanks

  28. john cuffe says:

    The context of Loughnanes words need to be examined. My record of defending Mayo should be plain to see but I agree with Loughnane in that come final day we go of the radar.

    Ger was actually praising us in a roundabout way. He ,for instance didn’t pick Kildare, Laois,Cavan, Roscommon, Sligo, Westmeath, etc. He picked a team who on a regular basis make the big day…and who on a regular basis cock it up. I have no doubt that it is psychological and a deep rooted belief in mí adh that actually holds us back. We have never played with a feeling of liberation in a final. And there is a skill that you need to be able to win. Tyrone are the recent example of that.

    In 1948 Byrne the keeper let in atrocious goals v Cavan, in the 49 semi final he allowed a ball from the Meath midfielder to bounce straight into the net after the Mayo full back had held off the Meath full forward to make the job easier for his own keeper.In 1989 we had a flaky Cork worried but in the end we were just happy to be there. In 1996 we didnt lose that final in the last minute of the replay, we lost in the first twenty of the drawn match. All over Meath , we kicked some atrocious wides thus leaving them a bone to bite in the last ten minutes.

    Ballina 1999 is the perfect example of a Mayo team afraid to win. in the last frantic minutes men with county stripes passed the buck many times rather than be fingered for missing an equalizer or god forbid…a winner. Finally Bannon got fed up and blew the damn thing up. Armagh people around me looked shocked and expressed sorrow for “us” because they saw the robbery that we allowed.Out on the pitch after, a Kerry/Cork elderly man roundly abused me as he unloaded years of frustration watching Mayo teams choke on the big day.

    Last September we got to finally play a team whom should have had no ghosts for us, who should have been a slice of salami to be eaten. If I hear another Mayo man tell me that excluding the first ten minutes we won the rest…I will tear my hair out. Donegal got a shock at how easy it was to open us up inside the first ten and had it been Kerry or Murphys fist over a yawning goal or Clarkes point blank save, we might have gone in four or five goals down at half time.

    Donegal weren’t sure whether to keep at us or defend what they had. At no stage did we build a head of steam. The frustrating thing is this. Someday some man will key in the right buttons into the Mayo psyche and they will rip some team asunder in a final. Problem being…I will be shoveling below in hell or hanging around the big mans gates above.

    We have loads of rosettes for gallant semi finals. They tend to be stuck on mirrors and walls. Big cups go on big dressers.

  29. Roger Milla says:

    always a bit of a disaster when i read john cuffes pieces early in the day, i tend to get fired up and start arguing with people at work over things of no consequence,
    i need to save them up and read them before i play ball in the evenings to send me out with fire in my belly

    lads dont be too hard on cynthia or john , i know what they mean by mayo being afraid to win, its simplistic but its apt . for all the honest endeavour of the final last year it was over before it began , think of the great games we won down through the years when it came down to the wire , we have often edged those games out , but if you are out if it in the early minutes its a long long way back , all the old fears come into the head, all the slights and slurs are back in your head and are easy to dwell on , read tony cascarinos book about how every thing he did was hindered by an alter ego telling him he was not good enough , the bauld Tony had his resurrection at marseilles , we can have ours at croke park .

  30. opt2misteek says:

    I’d love to put John C and cyn into a room with Dillo,Andy, Cil, Seamie, Ger Caf, et al and have the boys listen while ye go about explaining why they’re cowards….It is what ye’re saying guys.

  31. Sean Burke says:

    Ya hear different versions of where Andy is up to as regards progress but the common response seems to be a month behind,which would mean May instead of April .I honestly don’t know if that’s the truth or not.

    I think its vital we have him for Salthill in some capacity,Cillian added twenty percent improvement to the forward line last week imo, andy would add thirty percent.again just my opinion.

    The “afraid to win finals” thing , I’m not so sure about that with this bunch.Time will tell though ,they will fight though and will not be pushed aside.

    You could be looking at another 3/4 years of dominance in connacht with the bulk of this squad,that would put us in the shake up for a few years yet.Be patient and stick with it.

  32. Joe Mc says:

    Very well stated john cuffe. My sentiments exactly.

  33. Joe Mc says:

    Cynthia, I’d agree with you but the reason Mayo lost the All Ireland in the first few minutes was that they had no cover behind the backs and they leaked the goals, no sweeper. Thats not psychological; it’s stupid, naive and lack of preparation. They have done that so often and it is never corrected. Then they have to chase the game to catch up and run themselves into the ground. Common sense would go a long way. Why can we always say “Jaysus, not again!” It keeps happening, why?

  34. DavyJ says:

    I’ll agree with John that there is an obvious psychological ‘want’ in the Mayo psyche come the big day. It’s as if our players – and many of our supporters – don’t seriously think we deserve to be All-Ireland champions. That somehow if we were to win an All-Ireland, it would be deemed as a mistake. Not just at senior level; how many underage finals have been lost for lack of belief, when it was obvious during the game that the skills, toughness and talent were there in those Mayo teams?

    But one thing I won’t agree with is this notion that the 2012 All-Ireland final was over after 10 minutes. It was not.

    Mayo were seven points down. Just like they were against Dublin in 2006 – in the SECOND half – where they came back to win. Eight points down against the Dubs in the ’85 semi-final – came back to draw. Mayo got a bad start against Galway in 2004, going six points down. Won by six.

    Whether people on this board want to admit it or not, comebacks happen in sport, and you win nothing by giving up when the going gets tough.

    It’s the easiest thing in the world to say after a game, ‘ah sure, it was all over after the second goal went in’. Mayo 2012, facing the circumstances they faced 10 minutes in, threw their hearts and bodies into getting back into that game. It was down to three when Varley and Barry Moran missed good chances. Mayo left some serious bruises on Donegal boys in their efforts. Check out Vaughan’s third-man-tackle on Karl Lacey sometime. Karl didn’t get up too quick and Karl is not a shrinking violet.

    Like, does all that count for nothing? This was not a 2004/2006 meltdown. Look at the pieces written by Colm O’Rourke and Eugene McGee immediately after the final if you don’t believe me. Neither of those two gents have held back from condemning Mayo’s psychological frailties in the past. They did not do so this time. That’s because Mayo fought back like men. They were too far behind in the end, but I was very proud of the Mayo team that evening.

    To all who say I and people like me are deluding ourselves: I presume that the next time Mayo ship a couple of goals early on, you’ll all be leaving the ground immediately. Going by your logic, there’s no point staying around – after all, the game’s over, isn’t it?

  35. Sean Burke says:

    I believed we were going to win at ht in the final before the game I thought it was just a year too soon tbh.esp with the loss of Andy.

    Anyways for those givin it large about the psyche of Mayo teams including clubs.Can I just ask howcome our 21s in 06 and both Crossmolina and Ballina got over the line throw in 85 minors and explain how these teams overcame what yer saying.Genuinely interested , I’m not saying your point isn’t valid but its not full proof obviously.

  36. diehard says:

    Somtimes you lose because the other team are better!

  37. Widow Cranky says:

    I am inclined to agree with John Cuff ie ‘we are afraid to win.’ Although you must give credit to Mayo teams for getting to finals yet they stumble and are unable to jump the final fence on the big day,psychological problems perhaps?
    It seems to me they lack that killer instinct.They will have to bring more devil to their play,that energy,dash and unconquerable spirit. However I am not advocating foul or cynical playing.
    As this is Holy Week perhaps a quote from Scripture will explain where I’m coming from–’See,I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves,be ye therefore as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.’

  38. Mayomaningalway says:

    Dublin are top of league and well deserved . But do we agree our fitness levels are up there with Dublin ? I believe they are still a little behind hence extra few games with a good performance and mayo James Horan has deliberately held back on their fitness levels. But i could be wrong on both counts.

  39. Joe Mc says:

    DavyJ. The point I am making is that Mayo make life difficult for themselves by leaking early goals. Nobody is going to leave because they are behind. Is anybody picking up on them leaking goals regularly? This can be corrected. Which would you prefer; they leak goals and play catch-up or they stay level, go ahead and have a much better chance of winning? It seems simple to me! Can you imagine the effect those early goals had on those poor players? They would be devastated and have a major job in picking themselves up. Mayo had the beating of Donegal. Is having to come from behind and prove how great men they are, your wishes? Is this the way they prove themselves? Is this good logic?

  40. mayomagic says:

    Mayo are afraid to win… nonsense. Mayo teams over the years have been beaten by sides better than them apart from 1996 when All ireland shoud have been won.

  41. Mister Mayor says:

    Just a quick thought on the fitness thing…going to the gym and working out this time of year (ala. winter) with dark mornings and evenings, I can tell ya, its real tough to get up to that next gear, doesn’t matter what your ultimate goal is, whether it’s a football championship, running a marathon, whatever!….Going to the gym and adhering to a fitness program is standard practice for a serious footballer and I suspect these lads are all doing that. That’s why I wouldn’t be concerned about the Mayo fitness levels right now….or benchmarking them against any other team at this stage. The fitness program, along with time, and competitive match’s will drive their fitness.

    However, physical fitness is only a part of being able to win games…the most important thing is being able to kick scores. Therefore if I was the manager, regardless of what happens in this League, I would now focus on two things.

    First, back to basics…kicking scores from frees and play. We’ve seen many times over this league campaign (and last year’s champ’s) Mayo waste score-able opportunities from frees and from play. Scoring is the forwards fundamental responsibility and yet we seem to waste a tremendous amount of opportunity. While many of our forwards are talented and gifted players, they must also be coached and managed. That’s James Horan’s job…coach them to make better decision’s…be cute, have situational awareness, know when to take the free quickly, or likewise, know when to slow the game down and ponder the options.
    Second, the psychological angle. I think there’s no doubt but that Mayo teams (and mayo ppl in general?) carry some sort of psychological deficiency in their approach and subsequent performance in a football “final”. No need to rake over all the lost finals, but there is I think some truth in it. It doesn’t take a genius to overcome this…what it takes is well coached players, who are confident in their ability and know what their individual responsibility/job is for that particular game against that particular team. And understand that, during the game, it won’t always go your way, but it’s your (the individual player) responsibility to change it, to make it go your way. Also understand that, one or two acts of inspiring play from only one or two players, can will a team on, and lead to changing the game in your favor! Don’t rely on one of your colleagues to do it, make it happen, yourself!
    One final thing on this, much has been written here about last year’s final. Despite the bad start, Mayo got back into the game, made it an interesting game again after it looked like it was going to be a blowout (again). Now what would have made it more interesting is that, if Mayo had knocked over those two frees, from easily core able positions, early in the second half, when there was only three between them. Clearly, the Mayo players made the wrong choices on those two occasions, occasions that were pivotal to the outcome, for I firmly believe that if we had scored those, momentum would have swung to us and who knows what would have happened after that…sure anyway.

  42. All The Way says:

    Loughnane should be respected in the psychological stakes, he took an average Clare team ( full of similar baggage to ourselves ) and drove them over the line in 1995. They went on to develop into a serious team for the following three years, winning another all-ireland and unlucky not to make it three. Maughan nearly repeated the feat the following year with Mayo and if he had I suspect we’d have won a couple of all-irelands in the meantime.

    Having lost a tight one in ’96 we didn’t turn up in ’97 when we gifted the all-ireland to Kerry – as Mick O’Connell said he thought it was the worst Kerry team ever to win an all-ireland ! We should have hammered them but…..

    1999 followed on from that with Ballina owning the bloody game with Brady and Mchale in midfield and through a lack of balls ( belief ! ) throwing the game away. McConville afterwards made a comment to the effect that they were never worried because they were playing a team from Mayo and they knew deep down that they wouldn’t be able to win !

    We weren’t good enough in 2004 and especially in 2006 but we should have made ourselves much harder to beat.

    From talking to people from other counties they think we’re a soft touch, especially in finals and who could blame them, I mean if we weren’t from Mayo wouldn’t we love to be playing Mayo in a final ? They don’t fear us the way we fear them. And this will be the case until we win the damn thing.

    I agree with John Cuffe, we shouldn’t have had baggage going in against Donegal last year but instead of us coming out of the traps at full tilt we let them dictate and effectively win the game in the first ten minutes. We were playing catch up from then on
    and fair play to the lads for trying but we never looked like getting ahead, We knew before the game that we needed to handle Lacey, Murphy and McFadden to win the match. We gave Lacey the freedom of Croker, Murphy scored one goal and could have had two and McFadden scored the other goal ( courtesy of a bad mayo mistake ) and only for a great save from Clarke he could have had a second.

    The one thing in our favour is that no matter what happens we keep coming back to contest finals – unlike the Cavans, Kildares etc We couldn’t win a connacht title in the 70′s never mind an all-ireland, Then we started to win semi-finals and now we just need to get over that final line.

    We’re not that far away and if we keep climbing that mountain we will get there and that’s the only way to finally get rid of the baggage.

  43. Joe Mc says:

    Good thinking Mister Mayor. Scores win matches. I am blue in the face talking about missing frees etc; especially from the hands. Good place kickers in all sports practice, practice and practice. If you want to be a competent musician you have to practice all the time. It’s pointless having a team of hugely fit, physically strong and speedy players if they cannot score. They may look great but they won’t win much. Kildare in the past few
    years are a great example. They have now got a few new young scoring forwards and are doing better.

  44. JJ says:

    Whats needed above all is for us as supporters to take a step back and ease the pressure of expectancy we put on the players, in my post above I was not referring to the team as being afraid to win……….its the supporters (or very many of them that seem to have those negatives)……….but the pressure of fear of losing (and thus letting down the supporters and proving the knockers right) puts shackles on the players and prevents them from performing at their best and when in front and cruising they seem to become stifled as this is not what seems to be expected……..’Mayo winning’??? , its as if it shouldn’t be allowed to happen………………We need to be more supportive of our team of the day and definately less critical when things dont go right………..the past 62 years are not this teams fault and they should not always be reminded of this monkey or forego League or any other chance of a trophy to redeem the lost years…………those past years have passed and we need to draw a line under them and move on ………….This much is true………theres not a team in the country that would really want to be put up against this present Mayo side and I dont think theres a team in the country that this present side would not relish being pitted against in a high profile match………………….Maigh Eo Abu

  45. Joe Mc says:

    JJ. Are you missing the point? We are not being critical for the sake of it. I don’t a damn about the past. I focus on this present bunch of players who keep losing winnable matches through very persistent correctable mistakes. I repeat, correctable basic mistakes. That’s all. Are we supposed to bury our heads in the sand and tell them how good they are? That won’t do the team any good. In any walk of life you are expected to correct mistakes. That’s how you learn and progress. All we want is our team to win. Is that a sin? Do you really want them to win or just be nearly men, through their own fault?
    I know what I want.

  46. advanti says:

    Joe mc,do you really believe that a place kicker…CoC for example just strolls out on the park and kicks frees just hoping they’ll go over.Give the guys some credit.This young lad spends hours n hours kicking ball after ball far from the madding crowd while you and me and all of us experts give our barstool advice. A famous golfer of yore might have the insight into why Cillian is a good free taker-the more he practices, the luckier he gets.

  47. Joe Mc says:

    advanti don’t get me wrong. I think CoCis a terrific place kicker. I mentioned that on another page. Of course he deserves every credit and I congratulate him. I am not talking about him. I am talking about all the other free takers, not only in Mayo, who persist in taking crazy frees from their hands and missing most of them. Very few have the skills like Cillian, Bernard Brogan and the Gooch and are that talented. It is a fact that a ball from the ground is easier to guide than from the hands. That’s all. I don’t give barstool advice. I try to make it positive and realistic. I did mention the expert musician.

  48. Mister Mayor says:

    I don’t know if I agree totally with Laughnane’s reference to Mayo’s afraid to win complex. But I think as John pointed out, his comments must be taken in the context of our repeated failure to win on the big day. John is correct when he says we should not have had any ghosts when coming face to face with Donegal in the final last September. Yet, it was evident in the first 10 minutes that we were harboring those ghosts of past finals. i think there’s no doubt about it that Donegal were extremely confident in coming in to face Mayo, in the final and they knew that if they rattled Mayo early that’ it would diminish whatever hope we had of winning, and so it was. We chased the game gallantly yet it was a bridge too far. Such a shame.
    On the subject of the mayo supporters JJ, I hear what you are saying but it’s the nature of supporters to want the team to win, surely your not blaming the supporters for the Mayo’ teams failure to cross the line on final day. God knows Mayo supporters have been waiting so long. When i was a ladeen, never did I think we’d be waiting so long. Me dad remembers the final of 51, he was just a lad, but never did he think, with all the super footballers we produce, would we be waiting this long. So yes, the supporters are at times impatient, and as an spailpin pointed out in a previous observation (maybe on his blog) when we win, we tend to over state the good and when we loose, the sky is falling.

    For those of us who care, and there are many judging by the volume of posts on this blog (and its only March!), we want so desperately to win the All Ireland. Despite the fact that we have failed to win in over 60 years, Mayo is a team that is consistently there or thereabouts with the other top teams in the country. Despite our disadvantage in population and mass immigration down through the years, we continue to compete at the highest levels in football and generate a fan/supporter interest that extends way beyond our borders and any other county in Ireland. There’s evidence of that interest by the sheer volume of posts on this blog (and others) and on Sundays in bars and clubs around the world when Mayo are playing. Just obseve the attendance in any of the Irish clubs in NY when Mayo are playing, versus when they are not. Anyway, i’ve rambled on too much. Bottom line, we’re desperate to win it. Right now I’d settle for a Div 1 place but if we make the semi, we should harbor no ghosts and go on to win the league. Why the hell not!
    Happy Easter to all!

  49. DavyJ says:

    Joe Mc, I’m not sure how you extrapolated from my post that I think the only way Mayo teams can prove themselves is to make bad starts and attempt gallant comebacks! I am just pointing out that all we ever hear about regarding last year’s final is the two early goals, and the implication is that that final should be bracketed with the 2004/6 disasters when the team capitulated. Few, if any, give this Mayo team credit for fighting back.

    You and I want Mayo to get to the promised land, as do the rest of the posters on this board. But if we want our team to overcome its psychological block about finals, we have to credit them for the positive things they did in finals – as well as expecting management to sort out the practicalities of cutting out opposition goals.

    The 2012 AIF performance is regularly denigrated on this board and in my opinion that is unfair, counterproductive and not in any way helpful in the effort to get Mayo football teams to throw off the psychological shackles in All-Ireland finals.

  50. JJ says:

    I agree DavyJ, the weight of ‘monkey 62′ is heavy enough without our weight aswell, support is about helping carry the load and we can only do this by keeping positive for this present side and backroom

  51. john cuffe says:

    “opt2misteek says:
    March 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm
    I’d love to put John C and cyn into a room with Dillo,Andy, Cil, Seamie, Ger Caf, et al and have the boys listen while ye go about explaining why they’re cowards….It is what ye’re saying guys.”

    Where did i say anybody was a coward? I made a point about a psychological impasses that has afflicted Mayo for nigh on a hundred years.Ger Loughnane in selecting a top team to illustarte his point , correctly in my opinion, choose mayo to illustrate it. Being afraid to win is nothing to to with cowardice.

    I stood baked to death at the 2005 Connacht Final as mayo camped outside the Galway 21 yard line for the last ten minutes. I watched as capapble forwards passed the parcel back and over time and time again rather than go for a point and miss. Eventually Galway lifted the siege and held out. Thats “afraid” to win. Thats not cowardice, it simply is a lack of ruthlessness and belief. There is a huge difference.

    I am not sure what Opt2mistic” means by putting me in a room with the named Mayo players above. I can guess though. Well I spent my working life in rooms with rather less charming fellas than a few decent Mayo lads. So sorry Opt2imistic, I wouldn’t quake in my boots if that’s the toughest currently in Mayo.

    I suggest though Opt2imistic, if they want to show how macho they are outside the dressing room perhaps they might start with showing it to Ger Brennan, Lafferty and the Tyrone boy who slapped at least one of them in the balls in full view of the crowd and walked away unscathed. Dont try and put words in my mouth or take an inference I never suggested. Afraid to win is not cowardice and I never suggested that.

    • Willie Joe says:

      The problem, though, with pointing to specific examples where we’re supposed to have shown a “failure to win” is that there are plenty of examples to the contrary. While an argument can be put forward that we showed a fear of winning in 2005 against Galway, what then about 2006 against the same opposition? That was also a close match but the much-maligned Conor Mortimer showed plenty of appetite for victory when he landed that last-minute free to win that match. Likewise Peadar Gardiner in Pearse Stadium in 2009. But then a few weeks later in 2009, we flopped against a mediocre Meath team in Croke Park …

      I don’t believe we’re suffering from the kind of malaise that means we start to plank ourselves when the winning post comes into sight in any particular game but we obviously have an issue where it comes to winning finals. There I’d tend to be of the view that it’s a range of more immediate problems that have afflicted us and that, in most of those finals, we were simply beaten by better teams who were more organised and tactically better prepared than we were.

      In any event, there’s nothing we can do now about 1989, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2006 and 2012 (and all the minor and U21 losses) and cloaking those defeats in an excuse about our supposed psychological failings will do us no good either. All we can do is look to the future and think about how we’d prepare for the 2013 final if we’re good enough to get that far. Nothing else counts.

  52. advanti says:

    John C,’cowardice indicates a perceived failure to show enough mental robustness and courage in the face of a challenge’(wikipedia).Far be it for me to argue with a man with such elequence when it comes to prose,but I was looking and interpreting your comments from a players point of view.I wasn’t suggesting violence on the players behalf merely a robust counter.John, I hear you re Brennan ,Laverty etc but remember 96….with our luck with refs we’d come out the wrong side every time.I understand your fustration-its a microcosm for the whole of the county worldwide.Trust the guys with the jerseys-the guy in row ZZ never kicked the winner.

  53. opt2misteek says:

    JohnC, last comment was mine.two posters one address!

  54. Joe Mc says:

    Ah sure look lads and lassies we all want the same for the team; to achieve their potential and be one of the best teams in the country, (as they are) and win their every game. We might not all put our case correctly but we all do our best; so here’s Easter wishes to a great Mayo team.

  55. Dan says:

    Does everything really have to boil down to psychological failings?
    Is that seriously why we’ve lost all those finals? You know sometimes it’s just possible that we were beaten by a team that was better than us on the day. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that.
    To be honest it seems that this psychological stuff is thrown out there as an excuse for our failings. It’s fine talking about players/supporters being afraid to win, but maybe some supporters are afraid to face reality and just delude themselves into believing that there has to be some deep hidden reason for losing – sometimes we’re just not as good as the opposition on a given day.

    I just refuse to believe that any of our starting 15 last September went out with an ounce of doubt in their head that they would lose that match.
    Was history really weighing them down in those first 10 minutes, or were we just sucker punched by a determined start from Donegal and some excellent forward play (and admittedly slack defending) by two of the best forwards in the game?
    It can happen to any team, even the much lauded Kerry and Meath teams of the past, teams that were apparently mentally superior to the rest of the country.
    Was there such psychological introspection by their supporters after losses?

    One day we’ll walk off the pitch at Croke Park after a final and we’ll be the All-ireland champions. It won’t be because we’ve managed to exorcise demons and hurdle our psychological failings, it’ll be because we were the better team on the day.
    I can’t wait!

  56. Trevor Naughton says:

    Here here Willie Joe. If a team is good enough they will win it. I’m really looking forward to the Cork game now. The win over Donegal has given us a timely boost. There was a lot of mistakes in the Donegal game but evidence also that the team are getting into their groove again. There was a cohesiveness there that seemed to be missing earlier this year. The team are back supporting each other around the field giving the man an option and running on the shoulder is evident again. In the build up to the goal for instance, look at the way Seamus O’Shea never even looked where Keith Higgins was. He knew he would be coming up on his inside to burst through the centre. That sort of stuff is small but heartening to see.
    I really am interested in seeing more of Brian Gallagher. For Horan to say he is the real deal whets the appetite to see more of him.
    I am calling on all Mayo supporters to travel down to Cork for the game and show the lads we are behind them. We want to outnumber the locals too!! Come on Mayooo!!

  57. diehard says:

    Spot On dan!! I hate this talk of psychological inferiority. when u put 20 lads out you get a mix of those who are ultra confident to those who are bricking it. Its about overcoming the fears and getting on with the jobs. Ok success builds confidence and that is important. But success brings its own pressures. I would hate tom be a kerry player after losing a final.
    In the end it usually boils down to the best team winning . That is what we have to become …….the best team in irl!

  58. David says:

    Dan,
    I agree 100%.This particular Mayo has no problem mentally, the problem is they waste a lot of chances. That and no size in the forward line. Donegal had tanks in there, we are as skilled as any teams but size caught us last September. How many times did the ball come out faster than it went in to the mayo forwards?
    I think that one or two big lads in the panel for days like that would work wonders. Dropping ball onto a 6 ‘ 4 forward with power, not necessarily a colm cooper type finisher, but a fella that can win the ball and give it off fast. And know the kind of pass to give, I have watched Mayo do unbelievably bad things with possession they busted a gut for. Low ball into aiden o se or playing it to him but 25 meters away from him and he was beaten for pace, silly stuff when all it took was a second to think about it.
    In 2004 and 2006 we were second best because we were second best, last year we played the game wrong and didn’t have the pieces in place to question donegal at all.
    Throwing aiden o se in at ff near the end is not the answer, we need size in the from the get go.

  59. Richard says:

    Ger Loughnane would know better than anyone that psychological issues are not a terminal complaint and can be overcome. He managed to get his Clare team to shake off the ‘curse of Biddy Earley’ and make champions out of perennial losers. Some day, some manager will do the same with Mayo. It might just be James Horan.

  60. mayomagic says:

    Minors beaten by Galway today 1-12 to 2-6 the two goals in the 1st half made it look closer than it was. Mayo might improve when Castlebar schools players return who both lost today against Ulster opposition.

  61. opt2misteek says:

    Was at minor game-like the look if our full back cunniffe from ballagh,looked very assured.Galway manager JD is a lunatic,shouldn’t be let near a sideline!

  62. Horan's Brigade says:

    If this reported knee injury to Barry Moran is as serious as it sounds, it’s an absolute disaster for Mayo. Here’s hoping it’s only a minor one but the early reports are not promising.

  63. Johno,mo on tour 1963 says:

    agree with you dan, the mayo teams in the past all irelands were beaten by better teams on the day , the ’89 team beaten by a cork that had lost 2 previos all ire,s and a great final that was, seen it on tg4 again there last year, the 96 an 97 finals were poss. lost on the line, 96 maybe bit of bad luck and 97 wat ever fitzgerald hit that day was goin over the bar, even though i think he left the wrong man on him for too long.. 04 an 06 we were well beating by poss. 1 of the greatest kerry teams, if not the best but well up there with kerry teams of the past and thers not to many countys woud have lived with them in those two finals, as for last year we jus gave donegal the start they were looking for and always a mountain to climb and lets not forget micheal murphy is in the top 5 players in the country and his goal had us derailed before we knew we were in a game…..[he scored all his clubs scores 1-10 in a league game at the weekend in donegal] a class footballer even though he may lack a bit of class in not signing a young mayo fans programme las sunday in c,bar, he shoud took a look at AOS n BARR MORAN an see them standing around with young fan taken pictures on mob phones for a good 20 mins after game………Finally martin the wee man mchugh had an article in the star las thurs. about mayo and i have to say i have no time for him anymore no more than brolly, eug. mcgee and a few more. Mchugh goes on to say that he thinks we have a mental problem,though that were a tougher breed since 04-06, that were a cofidence team and that we have to develop a effective system of play for our fowards, oh and we cant beat big teams back to back…well wee martin i woud think that were a big team and even though we havent won an all ireland i think were up there behind kerry and ahead of most of the so called BIG teams at the business end of quaters, semi,s an finals in the last 20 years,As for his own county donegal and a few more i might add including brollys derry and mcgee,s longford, wat have they done in the history of the gaa game , i would argue we,ve done a hell of alot more than these 3 county,s put together, they must have some serious mental problems in donegal when they did,t win an ulster title until 1972 ,nearly 100 years afta the gaa was formed and to date have i think 8 measly ulser titles, the mighty derry are no better and as for mcgee,s longford, enough said. A load of sh… as usual from so called pundits, but i thought mchugh had a bit more class than that , 1 good thing i think was, mid west radio copped on and did,t ask him down last sunday for his usual take on mayo football, last year donegal had all the luck, no injuries, a fluke goal against kerry,cork got away from their own style of play and it suited the dunny,s hand passing around instead of fast ball into their big full foward line, as for us we gave them a mighty start , helped by ourselfs of course and a ref decision not to award a free in , i was their at that end and could,t believe it, but its all water under the bridge now and our day will come and f… all the begrudgers and there is no shortage of them…

  64. diehard says:

    I certainly hope big barrys injury is not too serious ……..also keith higgins!

  65. F'Deelin says:

    Johnno mo on tour, Donegal, Derry and Longford have won 3 All-Irelands in history, the same amount as us. However wee Martin is a little prat and I never bother reading him.

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