Monday’s moody match reports

Mayo team photo v Dublin 14042013

It’s a cracking Monday morning weatherwise here in the capital and the Jacks have a bit of a swagger about them this morning too. That extends to our own house – my small Dub missed the match yesterday, as he had a friend’s birthday party to go to, but will, like the Kerrymen, be there for the decider.

Here are all the match reports from yesterday: GAA.ie, RTÉ, Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Mayo Advertiser, The Score, Breaking News, Hogan Stand. Pride of place in this regard, though, must go to the match report in the Belfast Telegraph, which contains a great photo of Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly apparently trying to undress each other.

Of more interest, undoubtedly, will be the reports containing the post-match quotes, of which there are two – Irish Examiner and Irish Times – with the Indo opting for a one-stop-shop approach by sticking the quotes into the match report itself.

Aside from the predictable plámás about how “happy we were to get the game” against the Dubs yesterday, James had a few noteworthy things to say after the match. I reckon a few of the lads might get a cold tingle down their spines this morning when they see his comment that “we learned a huge amount, an absolute huge amount about some of our players” and James certainly wasn’t mincing his words when he said that “the defending for the two goals was terrible and some of our shots at goal were terrible when we were through one-on-one”.

I’m not sure I’m with him, though, where he claims (in the Times) that “We were down eight guys” yesterday. Four, yes, but eight is stretching it a bit. As regards one of the four – Andy Moran – James also cautioned, in a separate report in the Irish Examiner, that last year’s skipper is still “quite a bit away yet” from returning to the fray. I’d say we can’t expect to have Andy back full tilt until the All-Ireland quarter-final, should we make it that far.

Anyway, that’s the league done with and with our championship campaign starting much earlier this year at least we’ll be spared having to endure an overly long challenge match season before the serious action gets underway. So, then, which of the choices below do you think best sums up our 2013 NFL campaign?

What did you think of our league campaign overall?

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58 thoughts on “Monday’s moody match reports

  1. I heard it’s looking like August too WJ for Andy from a reliable source. Still a fair bit away.

  2. Monday blues…love to read the papers when we do well, hard slog when less than optimum. A common thread among the other three teams yesterday was this. Dublin, Tyrone and Kildare have gone for rebuilding and at a quick enough rate too.

    Kildare were in the last chance saloon under McGeeney and he opted for youth allied to a good U21 team. Their forwards no longer depend on Johnny Doyle and their is a freshness about them. Tyrone said farewell to some of the older heads and have also freshened the team up. They gambled this on surviving in the division. They did with plenty to spare .

    Dublin All Ireland champs of two years ago essentially modified their style from hard working defense mode into all out attack. Their bench is solid and they too reaped the rewards. We and I have to be careful here lest I upset people, we actually became too cautious.After last years final it was plain we were a number of players short of requirements both in ability and leadership.

    We still have more or less the same team. Cathal Freeman got time but I think it was him who got injured. Young Carolan seems to have the requirements but that was it. Murphy, Walsh and Regan got fleeting time. One poster says we have the best midfielders in Ireland, another looks for Parsons to be brought back. Both could be correct and that’s our problem. We have too many players of similar ability, good when the tide is flowing, pressured with an ebb tide.

    On the one hand we say that the league doesn’t matter, on the other we say surviving in the division was paramount. Surviving alone is no good. Progress and discovery is what we need. A win of three from eight can be interpreted anyway you yourself chooses. Ultimately it saved us from division two and got us to a league semi. We now head for Salthill kinda wondering. We might prosper but would anyone be shocked if we got turned over there or later in Connacht?

    Horan works with the cloth he has so in that we might be actually overachieving. The shocking demise of us at U21 level and the blind daft reliance we place on past ability sourced at the age of 16 to 18 has come back to haunt us. For sure a good 18 year old might be a good 21 year old. But other lads not as talented or as strong at 18 might be a better proposition at 21 yet they never are given a chance. We gotta look harder for the nuggets that are out there, not flick through the minor panel of such and such a year.

    The only part of today’s papers that alarm me is the quote that we were down eight players. Now whether that was the inner mind of Horan noting maybe eight changes needed or just a throw away remark I am not sure. Higgins is a huge loss, Barry Moran was playing well. Andy Moran will need games to bring him up to the level he was last August. Essentially unless radical rides into town we are shuffling the same back for the summer. It may be prosperous or it may be called and hopefully we don’t show a weak hand.

  3. Going by that report, it seems Andy probably won’t be back playing good football for us this year. If he’s a good bit off playing club football, then he won’t be up to intercounty standard for some time. I said August before – going on these reports, I’d say you’re looking realistically at next year before he is back up to speed and in any kind of good form for us. Disappointing but such is life.

  4. Mayo will win nothing until they do something different up front. A big man isolated at full forward. Very simple, we seen Kerry and donegal beat us with it and still we rain highball onto 5 foot 9 forwards and expect different results. Dave Brady played ff for ballina against Charlestown , 1 or 2 goals but no contest because he had the size and muscle to hold off the fullback, as far as I know he would not have wanted to be ff, neither would he want to be FB but we seen what muscle means when marking a lighter opponent, ask Kieran donaghy, Brady shut him down after he cleaned David Heaney in the 2006 fiasco final.
    And not to isolate him for the whole game and allow them to double mark him, this would not need to be a genius footballer, just brawn and coaching. Supposedly we have a great brain in the coaching setup, it should be an option to have ready. As far as a league trophy goes, I could care less about it. Division 1 is a great place to try players out each spring but ultimately a forgettable trophy if you don’t win in September.
    Can anyone name a club player in mayo that is 6′ 2 or more and weighs enough not to pushed aside ?

  5. So our interest in the League came to a shuddering end yesterday and following the many hyped up comments about Mayo not fearing Dublin and fancying our chances, those comments must surely now rings hollow. It may very well be that management in their wisdom decided it would be better to exit the League at this stage, having already achieved their aim of staying in division one and the consequences of that was an extra match in Croke Park against the Dubs. If that is the case and the team in an indirect way got that message, then it would explaining their below par performance and we can all move on with the glass still half full.

    So what have we learned if anything from our eight league matches – well we know a bit more about where we stand in the pecking order vis-a-vis other top team, not in the top four, as some might have us believe, more like top eight it seems to me. Have we discovered some new players, some thing we had hoped to do – like a lad that could stick a ball in the back of the net, do we know the players best positions on the team, are we any further down the road regards developing some new tactics. At this point one could be excused for seeing the glass as half empty …. and we’re still waiting for some positive news regarding our savour Andy Moran. But we’ll still keep the faith !!!

    By the way Willie Joe I too live in the City and have done so for over forty years and like you are doing now, brought my lads to matches all over the place. Tried to convert them but to no avail, they do assure me though that after the Dubs, Mayo are their number two. To add to the confusion, one of my Sons is married to a Donegal Lass, who hasn’t stopped crowing since last September – my God where would we be without the GAA 🙂

  6. Thats really disappointing about Andy.Really hard to see us progress without him.

    Very dismal,people seem to be glossing over our failings.

    Sometimes you just have to admit youre not good enough.

    Realistically we should give Connacht a good rattle.

    Sam maguire is just a dream, lets face it, its one of the longest running dreams in sport, over sixty years now and thats not going to change anytime soon.

    A good friend of mine from Kerry said to me last night, i sincearly feel sorry for Mayo, ye just dont have it in ye, no offence he said, its just the way it is.

    Can you argue back? I couldnt anyway.

  7. Andy Moran if all goes well might be back in June the Galway game is certainly too soon for him. Need to keep a eye on club games and see how he comes through those games first. How long is Barry Moran out for? is the injury as bad as first feared? Higgins,Dillion will be back for Galway and both will be huge additions.

    The top sides all have a good bench is the Mayo bench good enough this year?

  8. Any idea when we will know the championship panel of 26???? Any chance of Michael Fitzmaurice coming back???!!!

  9. What’s the matter with everybody? Yesterday was a glorified challenge game! More people turned up for the game in March than they did for the big-swinging semi-final. Yesterday didn’t matter! Nobody cared who won!

    Mayo will be there or thereabouts when the final shakeup is made in the summer. If Joe Brolly came out with this guff about Mayo you’d all be down his throat. What’s the matter with you?

  10. Ta an ceart agat spailpin. Heads up!! Our own are the most negative!!!! We will get there. Is feidir linn!!!!

  11. It may have been a glorified challenge game but i seen more fight in ordinary challenge games from Mayo teams than i seen yesterday and Spailpin the hope is that Mayo will be there or thereabouts when the final shakeup is made in the summer. Reaching the semi final and final the last two years doesn’t guarantee the same will happened again. No other All Ireland contenders in Connacht however Galway,Roscommon would love nothing more than catching Mayo on the hop.

  12. I usually stay away from this page for a day or so to let me reflect on the game . But im too pissed off . Hangover fading thank god now. Very disappointing game yesterday and there could only be one thing that would annoy me more than a loss and that would be to be in the vicinity of a Dub supporter watching the match in the pub. And by god did he wreck my head and then the cockiness of him after . Twas enough to make me sick .

    Anyhow back to the match. To me it was like watching the All Ireland final all over again. Leaking goals and not being able to get them ourselves. There was only one man that i was proud of and that was AOS and i thought he played some great football along with the scores he got. But for the other lads didnt turn up for the game at all. After the game i thought to myself why did they bodder going to croker playing football like that it was shocking . I know it is the league but we havent learnt jack shite from the final. I swear to god they are one of the most frustrating teams to follow. Apologies for the bad language

  13. “nobody cared who won”. Well spailpin I cared! And from what I saw so did dublin.
    And its not whether we won or lost that I found disappointing but that we seemed scattered for long periods.
    What stood out for me also was that we have nobody close to the class of stephen o neill or brogan. im afraid that without that type of lethal threat in front of goals our chances of winning in august or sept are not great.

  14. this blog is very fickle in terms of comment,i.e. win = glass half full, loss glass half empty. in reality the plan is to be involved in the all ireland series this august bank holiday. every thing up to now has been the basic foundation stones on which to begin our summer campaign. if monsignor james was 100% determined to eek out a victory y.day dillion and higgins would have got game time. instead 2 lads made their senior debuts as substitiutes. undoubtedly in some games and competitions the overall plan has to supercede results. 5 young lads experienced croker for the first time. the mons will focus now with his medical team to ensure those niggles and other serious injuries are reduced.
    mons. mantra can appear cliched in interviews but he is consistent. ‘focus on positives and improve negatives’

    guaranteed 6 pm may 2013 our glasses will be over flowing again.

  15. No doubt our glasses will be flowing if we beat Galway and all the usual bravado will be expressed self included but that’s just the nature of been a supporter .

    It still doesn’t mean we are good enough to win Sam Maguire and that’s what we’re really talking about .

    Without Andy , we may forget about the ultimate prize imho.

    We do have this “real deal” horan was quoted as saying a few weeks back.I’m still baffled by what he meant. He’s not one for one liners like that so maybe this Gallagher is a surprise pakage. Little bits I’ve seen , nothing noticable but who knows.

  16. Not too worried about result yesterday, but a bit disappointed by the performance , backs way too loose and only a few forwards trying. As for the subs, I’ve been calling for James to use the bench, ie Murphy, Walsh,Gallagher, well we saw them and it didn’t look good.Cant really comment on Walsh as he was playing too far away from where I was, but as for ( the real deal,)he couldn’t even run and only on for 25 minutes.I watched him chase back once and as Pat Spillane would say, me mother would run faster.

  17. The negativity is astounding! I thought we were supporters of Mayo for … sake. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and everyone can have different views but I cannot get over the harsh criticism and “doom and gloom” nature of the comments both on this thread and the previous one. Where is the trust in the management? coaches? players? Where were we 3 years ago? Where were we 5 years ago? To me it seems that many people have short memories and are getting a little spoilt by the progressive success of the side and the regular trips to Croker.
    The problem we have now is that the last 4 or 5% improvement needed to make us All Ireland champions is going to be the hardest gain to make. Keep it perspective and keep the faith. Not blind faith as we all know there are areas we need to improve upon, but faith none the less because there are 27 or 28 other counties who would love to be in our “predicament”.

  18. I thought we looked tired. But then again why wouldn’t we? We had a really tough game in Pairc Uí Chaoimh the previous week in shocking conditions. A must win game or relegation. and with it staring us in the face when backs were to the wall we came through it.

    So ya the legs were bound to be still a bit tired.

    I think after the string of earlier poor results everyone was focused on staying up and that was achieved. OK it was nice to get another day out but let’s be honest – the semi final was just a bonus.

    The focus will quickly turn to the championship. I would say most of our lads have forgotten about the result. It was their individual displays that will be worrying them.

  19. Realistically we were never going to win yesterday. Dublin were to far ahead of us at this stage of the year. If you examine the subs we used, Gallagher, Walsh, Murphy, all inexperienced lads. Horan was using the game as a trial. At half time the game was over.
    If we beat Galway and advance to August, yesterday may prove to be a godsend. Those new lads may be needed.
    We haven a god given right to win anything. So get a grip lads, support your team and enjoy the summer. if we win we win don’t beat yourself up over it.

  20. I have to absolutely agree with An Spailpín Fánach…………Why the total negativity from most of the contributors ? How can you not take anything positive from this one ? I’m not so naive to think we were better than the Dubs yesterday – the blues were excellent, but I watched the full game and while we left the gates open for the two goals, I saw a spirited and determined effort from our boys to pull back the scores, and in the end, 16 points (apiece) is testimony to the dogged competitive effort our lads eventually put in, over the final half hour. They played out of their skins in that last period. Clarke was brave as usual and played his part. AO’S showed great leadership and tipped over two beautiful long range points…..Cafferky well marked Brogan and apart from the 4 points, at least spoiled his many goalbound forays in the latter stages………I thought Conroy was lovely and balanced on the ball, and very ‘knacky’ as we used to say, when in possession.

    If winning through to the final was beyond us on the day, it was a hell of a prep workout ahead of the Galway game in May, and we’re lucky to have had that match. From a management perspective, if afforded a good look at all the key individuals, where they’re at now and what needs to be done ahead of the 2013 Championship.

    We need to ruthlessly mark up and tighten the defences………and score the goals needed to win matches. But then, everyone concerned knows that at this stage. One thing however that again stood out for me is that our men going forward through the middle need to have the confidence to take their points when in shooting range and not offload wasteful side passes that allow the backs to regroup…….Have the confidence to take the shots.

  21. Ha Ha Pebblesmeller………..There surely are 27 or 28 other counties who would love to be in our “predicament”

    This is our beloved Mayo lads……..it’s never going to be pretty, but hang in there, keep the faith and enjoy it…….match X match !!

    When you least expect it……………it’ll happen !!

  22. We’re not good enough to win the all ireland at the moment due to a lack of a couple of clinical forwards, 2 would do 🙂 I say this despite my GAA knowledgable friends in Cork and Kerry telling me they think Mayo have a great chance this year. One of them tipped Mayo to get to the final so seem to know what they are talking about.
    Anyway I disagree, we always have the potential to be a bit loose at the back, so while we will score 13 to 16 points on most dry days, we need a couple of lads to chip in with another 1-2 to get us to the holiest of holies

  23. So the League is now over for us for better or for worse and our next priority is the Championship. We may not have covered ourselves in glory against Dublin but that’s now in the past and we move on. The Management and players can now settle down and concentrate on the work needed to prepare for our big match against Galway. That’s all that matters now, any talk of winning Sam is pie in the sky at this stage – lets see how we get on in Connaught first.

    When it was put to Jim McGuinness recently how he rated Donegals chances of winning the All Ireland again this year, he merely dismissed the question, as they were only concerned with their match against Tyrone, “that’s our focus right now”, he added.
    That’s I’m sure how James Horan sees it as well – and as there’s lot of water to flow down the Moy river between now and then, lets leave any talk of September for another day !!

  24. Agree that there is some amount of overly emotional, negative comments from posters here. The same guys who say we are not good enough to win an AI after a loss like the one on Sunday are the exact same guys who go over-board when we win a match, like for example the one against Cork last weekend.

    It’s obvious that both teams weren’t too bothered about the match but that Dublin wanted it a little more and were a hell of a lot better on the day, especially in mid-field and in the forwards. I wasn’t impressed at our mid-fields ability to when clean catches, which goes to show just how important Barry Moran has become, nor our half backs/forwards ability to win breaking ball. In my opinion, that’s often down to basic desire.

    David Clarke (and the defense) need to work more short kick-outs when the mid-field aren’t preforming, like Cluxton does. On the positive side, I was pleasantly surprised with Michael Conroy, who had one of his best games for Mayo. Also, Cillian O’Connor continues to improve and his contribution from play (i.e. the supposedly weak part of his game) was twice what any other forward, other than Conroy, contributed. He is a class act and has proved that in just 2 and a half year’s of senior county football.

    Just a side note, everyone talks about what a loss Andy Moran is to the forward line (and he’s a massive loss) but Keith Higgins is equally important in the defense. He doesn’t just defend very well, he covers mistakes by other players and also starts so many of our attacks using that blistering pace. Just like Andy and those mythical 1-2 ‘class’ forwards, we’ve very little chance of winning the big one without him!!

  25. Right so, you’re not allowed to be what I would describe as realistic others say its negative over reaction to Sunday.

    Personally I’m not saying we’re all of a sudden a bad side,we are still a decent side capable of winning the Connacht championship,but all Ireland would be a longshot.

    Have we improved since last year? I don’t think so,slightly gone backwards.Weigh that up against the improvement Dublin have made,both Cork and Kerry will improve,with Kerry showing already showing drastic improvement in the latter stages of the league.

    If you (the positive lads) were given a free ten grand bet to be placed on the winners of the all Ireland. Hand on heart would you place it on Mayo?

  26. I bet Mayo have already moved on without even a slight thought about Sundays game, it was fairly obvious during the game that winning was not a priority for all bar 4 or 5 of the team. And subs put on that never get a run says a lot too. Too bad he didn’t start Walsh and Murphy just to let them see the speed of a Dublin team at full throttle. Dublin are a good team, the best in my opinion but the hype works badly later in the summer, it gets to them. Mayo are “also rans ” as usual with the media which I think is a good thing.
    These ” expert analysts” know no more about the game or teams than anyone on this forum, I think Mayo are nicely placed if they can get the injured lads back and even if Andy Moran can’t they should devise a plan b for forward play.
    And the madness of trying Vaughan at ff wouldn’t be madness if he could win a 50/50 ball 8/10 times near goal, would it? He kicked a monster point against cork so has some ability to go with the muscle.

  27. I’m not sure we can gloss over our obvious shortcomings that easily. And to highlight them is not pessimism as some portray it. It is merely calling it as it is – not as we might wish it to be. We have a really good team that I am proud to support – they generally try their best and will cause trouble for anyone on a given day. This is a long way ahead of where we used to be. However, we are a bit short of being the best in Ireland and I think Sunday showed that. No harm! My point is that unless you are blessed with one or two lethal forwards like O Neill or Brogan or Gooch then it is very hard to win an All Ireland. But that is where we are right now and its no harm to realise it and not create unrealistic expectations. All that does is create frustration all round. By all means lets give it a right rattle and see what happens but lets also be realistic.

  28. Let’s concentrate on the critical issues:

    * We survived Division 1 – a major achievement as there was hardly a kick of the ball between the 8 teams. Down were within seconds of beating Cork and could well have stayed up.

    * We discovered Cathal Carolan who, I think, progresses with every match.

    * We rediscovered Tom Cunniffe at centre half back.

    * We have a damn good alternative goalkeeper and, some might say, a better one.

    * Aidan O’Shea and Barry Moran are quite a pair if fully fit and fully motoring.

    * We know that a lot of the others are tried and trusted and if they perform on big days can be a match for anyone.

    * We got an extra game against a team that is peaking at the moment (peaking too soon?) and is probably too hot for most others at the moment.

    * We got to try out Regan, Murphy and Gallagher and I thought Gallagher looked good. The other two looked a bit green, but so did Carolan when he came on in February.

    * We also know that Shane McHale is good and Michael Walsh looked ok too, and James Burke looked quite impressive in the club final and has now been added.

    * My sources in Kerry and Mayo tell me that Donie Buckley is highly regarded, especially by Kerry players, and I gather that he is going down well with the Mayo players as well.

    The set up is far from perfect, there’s a tough match ahead, but as long as we are not complacent, (and if this blog is anything to go by the players won’t be getting any plaudits ahead of Salthill), there is no reason why we should fear the Galway clash.

  29. catcol…

    * We rediscovered Tom Cunniffe at centre half back. = Not a discovery, has been known for years, backbone of U21 teams as centre back.

    * We have a damn good alternative goalkeeper and, some might say, a better one. = Who is saying this? Do they normally have a few jars in them or are they a relation to O’Malley?

  30. Thanks Alf,
    Yes rediscovered is ok I think given that he had been corner back in the 2012 campaign. I’m not a relation of O’Malley; he saved a penalty against Dublin and his kicks out seek out a player rather than hit and hope to midfield. But, I’m not a critic of Clarke – he’s an outstanding shot stopper.

  31. Hello all. I think I have read a wonderful amount of constructive and realistic comments on Mayo in the last few days. I would add one comment that no one else has mentioned. I still feel that Mayo are a team in the making; they are team building and are not the finished product yet. James Horan is also learning. There are too many expectations and some people are mad to win the All Ireland this year. Let’s build a good team and then we will win consistently. Team building takes time, whether we like it or not, but it also gives a solid foundation to that team.We need to try more new players, giving them full match time and several matches. If we lose, so what. Look at all we lost this year with no new players. If a couple of new players were found each year there would be some team. So please shut up about Sam this year. If we won it, mighty.

  32. Agree with you all pressure of mayothere but can Dublin keep up the pace during the summer am not having a go at dubs I think Donegal could meet them in q final hammer them what do ye think

  33. Cc
    I think donegal are already creaking, I know mcguinness reckons they were not playing at 100% but I think they actually were and rode their luck. They scraped by any team of significance last year and we seen what happened in the league in 2013. I will bet money the dubs and maybe Tyrone will be very strong this summer, the dubs get blown out of proportion by the media following a good win over a poor Meath or long ford team. Every year, we see the media ruining the dubs with champion talk. That’s dublins biggest problem, that and getting too excited about winning a league, if they do .
    I think Dublin were aiming to win the league this year, they have great athletes but once Tyrone and any other decent football team get among them we might see that athletics is second to football.

  34. I wonder do mayo have chance against Donegal quarters if we get that far would that be the time beat them and mayo do have a habit of beating all Ireland champs

  35. I don’t think there’s any team Mayo cant beat, even Kerry. It’s being able to beat enough of them in a row that trips us. Mayo should be well able to win Connaught, no arrogance meant to Galway or the rest but Mayo are a better team than any of them at the minute. That puts us 2 games away from a final. I can’t say what team would make me nervous in a quarterfinal, maybe a team we underestimate like a limerick or a Laois will finish us for 2013?
    Why should we fear Dublin or Tyrone in a semi final? No reason if Mayo are fit enough and have ironed out one or two things in training, and with the players available and Buckley tutoring them we should really see a much sharper Mayo in July August.
    I am not glossing over a mayo team with faults, but donegal, Dublin and the rest have faults too. The league final will show us a thing or 2 about the teams that we will have to beat to win Sam. Especially as it looks like Dublin set out to win it and Tyrone won’t exactly want to give anything to Dublin at this stage. I think Mayo are in a good position.

  36. We won the two we needed to, to stay up…………..and not the opposition we would have wanted to face if given the choice………but Cork and Donegal seen what Mayo are about in a pressure situitation.
    We got the bonus game (that a lot on here didn’t want) and I have a feeling that JH and co didnt want it either, odds too high on more injuries (God knows we have enough already) and with Galway just a mere 5 weeks away, damage limitation had to be a priority.
    On here last week, I had the thought that we would go flat out for this league title and that we would (if playing at our best) go on to beat the Dubs but after reflecting on the events of Sunday (and how bad we seemed),I am in a way happy that we are still a hidden entity…………..not playing to your strengths and still scoring 16 pts against the best team in the country at the moment is no bad feat (yes, I know the Dubs could have scored more but we still got 16)……….Wheres the goals? you scream……….well any number of goals in the league count for nothing in the championship……….last year Doherty scored a record of goals in the league and there was mad criticism of being too goal minded in the latter stages of Connacht last year……..why dont they take their points, was the question by many on here. ……………..I think the goals will come, once the player in possession goes for it rather than offloading the responsibility and thus giving the keeper and defense more time.
    I know Vaughan gets slated on here on a regular basis for bombing forward and leaving a hole behind but why not move him forward and give him his rein, he is a better forward than defender anyway.
    We are Mayo and following our team has always been a helter skelter experience but these are a good bunch of players and I for one trust them and the management team and I feel there is more ambition and tactical awareness going on behind the scenes than we are aware of. For me roll out the Championship and hang onto your hats.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  37. Good points being made here as always even if from other sides of the fence at times!
    Catcol I would have to argue a couple of your points. O’ Malley is a fine keeper and would possibly make many other county teams but Clarke is top class. While Kenneth might equal Clarke at shot stopping I think his accuracy from kick outs long or short is very inconsistent. Taking the Dublin match in March, remember his short kickout at Feeny who had his back turned from the ball which didn’t even come near him anyway followed by another couple which went over the sideline. Remember James Nallen having to run on the pitch to give him clear instructions on his kick outs. He also hit four or five straight to a Dublin midfielder who was standing on his own in a defensive position with no Mayoman in sight!
    Also lest we forget 2009 vs Meath where he repeatly rained down kickouts on Joe Sheridan in the second half. Clarke is like an extra fullback under the high ball and is desisive in his decision making while Kenneth I feel doesn’t back himself to dominate his area around the goals like Clarke. I do agree Clarke doesn’t use short kickouts enough but if you watch the last day againist the Dubs when he did he is very accurate with these and much more assured than O’ Malley in this respect.
    Also don’t forget Regan played a solid 50 mins against Kildare and scored a nice couple of points from play and a monster placed ball from the right. I agree with you on Gallagher , Carolan , Walsh and MacHale (who personally I would start in the corner) and the timely rediscovery of Tom Cunniffe who for me is the man is possesion of the no. 6 jersey if fit in my opinion for the summer. Roll on the 19th May.

    Mahigheo Abu!!!!!!!!!

  38. Donegal will take some stopping in Ulster and the fact they have their first (and hardest) game at home is a bonus. I foresee them beating Tyrone & winning Ulster.
    We should be good enough to win Connacht. If we don’t well all this big talk here about ambitions etc. is nonsense. Lets face it. We’re favourites for Connacht now and if we are a big team we should be able to handle that pressure. If the team can’t well forget it.
    Dublin – you would have to say will waltz Leinster and Cork v Kerry is a toss up. I give to Kerry as they have Cork at home this year in the championship.
    So Mayo in all likelihood will not meet Donegal in the 1/4 finals. As far as I’m aware the provincial winners are kept separate.

    Last point @ Diehard
    I agree with you on the fact that we need 1/2 serious class forwards ala Brogan, Gooch etc. Every team who won an All Ireland in living memory had one or two extra special ones. Think back to P Canavan, B Brogan, P Joyce, Gooch, ….. (list goes on)

    I think we do have the talent in Mayo to produce guys like this but its the structure that’s wrong. I’ve said before and I will argue it with anyone. Divisional sides (from junior/intermediate) should be allowed amalgamate to play in the Senior League/Championship. These players would then be more used to playing football at the top level and would not be making a huge leap that in all likelihood would fail

    However our officers (especially ones at Senior clubs are dead set against this). Pity – you can see the talent it produced in the kingdom and all the glory it brought their county in the last 10 / 15 years.

  39. Extra game in Croker last Sunday may prove to have been a very useful workout for Mayo even if we were beaten by a far physically stronger and faster Dublin team who scored points from distance rather than trying to get within 10 yards of the post before shooting. The thing that really bugged me was how easy the ball was lost by some players who simply could hold off a tackle, both Jasons were particularly vunerable in this area. I was delighted to see AOS throw off the shackles in the second half and cut loose with two fine points, reminded me of his minor days, we need more of that from AOS.

    After the All-Ireland last year this blog was humming with ideas as to what Mayo needed to do in the upcoming League in order to close the gap between playing in All-Ireland’s and actually winning them.
    There were many who identified the fact that we needed to find a centre half back, full forward and centre forward for Mayo to progress. We most certaintly have not found players for 11 and 14 that will help close that gap between us and the top 3 teams, Tom Cunniffe maybe the answer for 6 but AOS needs to be left in Mid-Field and not number 11.

    We still are a minimum 2 class forwards short, 3 if Alan Dillion unavailable. Go luck to the team and management in the championship, will be following you all the way.

  40. I was disappointed on Sunday with the loss, as I always am with any loss. I want us to win every game. However if losing on Sunday allows us to go off and quietly do our work to then go out and kick Galway off the park I will settle for that.

  41. Thanks Crete Boom for your argument on O’Malley. You make a good case; I am not really critical of Clarke however, except for one thing that scares the hell out of me – his habit of soloing around his goal area.

    Yes, Regan was good against Kildare, and I would like to see more of him. No doubt our Challenge Season should be happening soon and he will get some game time.

  42. Can’t get over all the negative talk on here An Saplain (hope that spelling is correct) is dead right . In all honestly don’t think we tried too hard to win that game on Sunday … Dublin and Tyrone were the in form teams throughout the league let them off let the papers/media talk them up .. ( aren’t we better when the Gaa world forget us)!! . Dublin will run out of steam … think they at their peak now or …. players …. if they don’t do something about their discipline ( shocking carry on really) Don’t think Tyrone will get too far this year either … I really think we are going to be in the final again this year with Cork/Kerry !!! I think it’s great We not being talked up!!! Kevin K has only had 2 starts this year and very unfair to be critical of him he will only get better … Would like to see Kevin Mc L at 7 Donal v at 10 and preferably Pearse Hanley at 11 ( I can but dream) and if not him Seamus o S there … Tom C at 6 Aiden and Barry M at 8 and 9 … Hoping and praying for Andys return too … I still think we missing Cian O Neill hope Donie Buckley’s influence shows for championship Pat S reckons he sees it already I’m not so sure … Anyway that’s my tuppence !!! Keep the faith everyone remember we are Mayo fans the ups/downs/highs/lows come with that particular package !!!! Maigheo Abu!!

  43. Hi Catcol sometimes in the despair to joy scale of Mayo supporters we sometimes forget that the whole point of Willie Joe providing this blog is for people to put forward their opinions on what they see(or want to see) happening on the pitch.

    Yeah Clarkie does solo a bit too much in his own area which could be a hangover from his school days playing at midfield , the fact he was understudy to John Healy ( who was Shane Curran like when it came to soloing the ball out) at the Stephenites or that he really is a beast of a man who commands the small square.Don’t get me wrong O’ Malley and Clarke both have their weaknesses I fell personally Clarke has fully grown into the role of modern keeper whereas Keneth still has a few aspects to his game iron out before you can say the same.

    It is a positive that we have two top class keepers in the squad along with Robbie Hennelly so none of them can become complacent! I think Regan and Walsh especially will probably see more gametime off the bench during the summer.

    Brian Gallagher looked solid in the two games I have seen him in the flesh and while he didn’t get a whole lot of ball in the Dublin game I did like the look of Alan Murphy’s natural movement off the shoulder to goalside of his marker.There were at least two passes which if more accurate would have seen him in on goal and a poaching instinct like this can’t really be coached.

  44. Love your piece there Livehope, you sure capture all the good bits and the bad’s that come with the territory. Brave man though to be writing off Dublin and Tyrone at this stage – or for that matter condemning Donegal to the waste bin, but fair dues, you’re calling it as you see it and that’s fair enough.
    On the other hand from this far out, putting Mayo in the Final might be a wee bit premature, I think we must first put our own house in order and take care of business in Connaught – that in it self will be no easy task. And at that stage assuming we’re still standing, can we start to survey what they now refer to as the Championship Proper. For sure all the big teams will be there, whither through the back door or not – and that should make for an exciting line up.
    In the meantime like you, I too will keep the faith…..

  45. You make a compelling argument Doilet. What’s your opinion on Horan overlooking Paddy Prendergast at full back?

  46. catcol.

    That’s fair enough. O’Malley is top keeper and would make most county teams and we’re lucky to have him, I just think Clarkie is up with there with Cluxton as the outstanding keeper in the country.
    A fit Tom Cunniffe has to get the nod over Donie at 6 in my opinion. Would love to see Keith there and a full back line of Walsh/Barrett, Caf and McHale but I don’t think James is going to make a change like that at this stage.

  47. Because it’s just defeatist rubbish, Doilet. If that really is your opinion, then you need to think about doing something else with your time.

  48. Hi Willie Joe,
    Its Martin the Dub here, I just wanted to tell you and all the followers that I was at the match last Sunday in Croker in the company of what I would call a legendary Mayo player, Willie McGee. We had a great day and to be honest it was great to get Willies reaction to certain tackles, moves, subs etc….it was great. Although we won the game Willie had a great bit of banter with us and he is a gentleman. I thought it was great that so many Mayo people came up and had a chat with Willie and I could not resist telling them (wearing my Sky blue of course) that he was working with us now! Just a short story about this Dubs day in the company of a Mayo footballing legend, cheers

  49. You sound like a real genuine supporter Martin and I for one welcome your input
    on this topsy-turvy mixem gatherum
    passionate corner of Mayo Gaa

  50. Hi, One week later, I think Joe Brolly has a nice piece about the game in the Sunday Mail today. The tone is in praise of Dublin against a very good Mayo team. He singles out the two footed nature of the Dublin forwards which makes them very difficult to mark, as well as the speed and range of their attacks which left the Mayo players retreating with their backs to the play, Mayo could not get their blanket defence into position in time. . He seems to rate Mannion above Brogan and the only criticism he makes of Mayo is their waste of possession in particular in front of goal.

    i am sure James Horan has noted all this too.

  51. Glad you enjoyed the day last Sunday, Martin – sounds like you had a good time in good company. I’d agree with your assessment of Willie McGee – any man who scores four goals in an All-Ireland final, which he did for us in the 1967 U21 final replay against Kerry – certainly deserves to be called a legend!

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