Mayo News football podcast – tribes and tribulations

It’s Mayo News football podcast time again and this episode is another bumper one, all recorded at the Connacht championship semi-final between Galway and Mayo at Pearse Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Host Rob Murphy and I take you through the game as it unfolds and Ger Flanagan of the Mayo News has post-game interviews with Stephen Rochford and Galway’s centre-back Gary O’Donnell. There’s also post-match reaction and analysis from special guests Ciaran Murphy of Second Captains, John Casey from RTÉ Radio and Barry Cullinane of Galway Bay FM.

The podcast is now available on iTunes and SoundCloud and you can also play it without leaving the site – just click below. Go on, give it a listen – it won’t, unfortunately, change the result but at least it’ll help you digest the game’s outcome more fully.

62 thoughts on “Mayo News football podcast – tribes and tribulations

  1. Once again a ‘tactical’ switch – in Stephen Rochford’s words – contributed massively to our losing a VERY IMPORTANT GAME. When I heard Colm Boyle was not playing I naturally presumed he had injured himself in training., After all he was a member of what Tomas O Se only last week called the greatest half-back line in the game. But no, it was a TACTICAL decision to replace him with Donie Vaughan in a game that cried out for somebody like Colm who would have lain down his very life in a game that was made for somebody like him. And then to rub salt into his wounds, he was given a mere 3-4 minutes to try to rescue the match! Could we please go back to playing Lee Keegan at right half when he has won all his All-Stars and always chipped in with a couple of points, leave Colm at centre half. My heart sank when I read today that Stephen Rochford blithely said it was a tactical switch that meant Colm losing out. Only last October it was another tactical switch – shafting David Clarke – that almost certainly cost us the All-Ireland.
    And what about replacing Kevin McLoughlin and Andy Moran when the game cried out for more experienced leaders. Kevin, who can run all day – remember his stints as a sweeper – could have been brought out to the half forward line or indeed have been used around midfield to mop up breaking balls. I know he scored 1-1 in the full forward line but I still feel he is too cooped up in there and should be used more outfield, while Andy has shown so many times what an asset he is when the going gets really tough.

    Finally, my heart goes out to one of our greatest servants Keith Higgins who, in a moment of red mist, lost his head when he was having one of his best games in a long time as a sweeper supreme.

    I know this rant perhaps should be in another section but I have just returned to Dublkn from Galway and could not wait to get this off my chest!!!

  2. John I agree with you fully. One thing is clear that when our championship comes to an end we need to be looking carefully at alternatives to the current management. Narrow escapes from relegation, championship under performance and bad tactics are their legacy. Hard to see a dramatic run to Sam at this stage.

    Who up next? It will be our most important appointment since James Horan

  3. I think we can sacrifice losing in Connaught. Our goal is to win the big one in September. So on this basis the team wont be peaking until later in the year. Winning Connaught so often in the past has not helped our cause. Had we won yesterday and with all due respects to both Leitrim and Roscommon we would not encounter another serious game until Aug Bank Holiday weekend. If the draw is kind (and it’s a big if), we should be able to start ramping up with more meaningful games as the summer progresses. Winning games regularly instills more confidence in the team. This worked well for us last year. Why not again this year?? Not panicking

  4. Damo if we are good enough we should not be relying on a draw.

    We have used our joker, now we hvae to win 6 games to get Sam.

    Hard to see us avoid a slip up, and beat Kerry and Dublin as well!

  5. cynthia, dont be so cynical. neither of the big 2 are going to be meeting us for a while and you can chalk it down that a good run of qualifier games will do Mayo no harm whatsover. In saying that, the management need to wake up and stop trying to reinvent the wheel, keegan and boyle should be left where they work best and if aos and kirby are on the pitch together we should be mixing it up a little by posting both near the goal and letting it in from way out. I knows its an amateur game but when these players put such an effort into it, they should be managed to their strenghts and aos has caused mayhem near the goal and kirby is no little lamb neither. Not to leave them there all the time, but cycle the thing a bit to keep the opponent on edge.
    They have a few tough qualifiers now and thats what they need to get the game set up right for themselves and really look at the mistakes and daft made yesterday. I, for one, think this qualifier route will benefit the team.

  6. Dust ourselves down and get ready for another successful run through the qualifiers.
    The players can do it and so can we.
    Cmon Mayo!!

  7. I wouldn’t be laying blame on management for subbing Andy. Up until his first point, Andy hadnt threatened yesterday against a poor full back line. The reason for this was solely his lack of pace given his age, and backs can easily predict his movement now. No shame there. It’s clear he needs to be a second half sub now for experience alone.
    When Keith went, Cillian played much deeper. It was a real pity because he was winning absolutely everything that came into him and there were goals there to be had I am sure.

    I love Boyler but starting Coen was understandable. He is good enough and these are the matches where new blood should be trusted.
    The biggest concern was Galway complety dominating all the breaks. I thought Seamie in particular had a poor match but the belt he got didn’t help. Playing Keith (when hes back) somewhere in middle third may improve this aspect.

    People are criticising Ger Caff but have we a better full back? I don’t think so.

    No doubt our lads gave it there all yesterday, but the weariness is showing. Again, no shame there. 5 years so near the summit. Not only that but the Galways have gotten stronger and are on the right side of their journey of development. It is all ahead of them. For us, after yesterday, its hard to see if we’ll get another chance. The hardest thing of all to take is that for the last 15mins yesterday Galway were completely at sea and we still couldn’t even get an equalising score. I always try to see the positives but that alone tells a story.

    We should throw all caution to the wind now in the qualifiers. I would actually start Adam Gallagher. There is an opportunity for a run of a few winnable matches. He is tough and can score. Same applies to Kirby who should be given the start.
    I really do like Boland but it’s the lack of physicality that’s still the worry and he doesn’t really break the line; and at least one of our matches may be against Northern defence.

  8. John..agree wholeheartedly with your comment..particularly with the benching of Boyle…How many other counties would have done the same..NONE!! Does anyone really think Rochford has made the last of his “tactical”decisions this year?? Hope someday soon one of them works out..

  9. Galway are a much better team than they were last year. Mayo are better now than they were this time last year. Let’s be positive. Maybe we will meet and beat Galway in September. I hate all the negativity on this site. You are a good man mr rochford. So too is l Higgins. Up mayo

  10. Up until Higgins lost the plot I thought we were playing very well. As good as I have seen them under rochford. i wouldn’t be to quick to write them off

  11. I have to push back there, Michael in Cork, about your “all the negativity on this site” claim. This is a site with a very large online community of Mayo GAA supporters so what do you expect in the hours and days after a Mayo defeat? What you won’t find here (unlike many places online) is uncontrolled sledging aimed at all and everyone blamed (in whatever shape and form) for the defeat. Sure, much of what’s been posted has been downbeat but there’s been plenty of constructive input and a fair bit of positivity too.

  12. Unbelievable amount of negativity from some Mayo folk in the last few days and while some of it is understandable, we need to be careful of it not becoming self fulfilling.

    We were playing a much improved Galway team with only 14 men for the best part of an hour yesterday, and on their home patch.

    Yes some of the tactical manoeuvres were questionable but we have a second bite of the Cherry in the qualifiers and we need to make the best of it.

    In the words of Beckett – Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

    Obviously failing better and winning the all Ireland doing so is what we need to do, so let’s not write off this team yet. And if the worst happens, they owe us nothing anyway.

    Up Mayo.

  13. I wish we would play our best players in their vest positions-Lee at rhb,Boyler at ch etc-it is not rocket science.Also would play Keith at sweeper-he is ideal for that role & agree we should make better use of Danny & Aidan in attack.We can still make semi’s with right attitude,selection,positioning & tactics & then anything is possible.

  14. I think S.R. erred in not starting colm boyle,and also in substituting alan moran and kevin mac.This was a day for experienced campaigners.I WOULD NOT BLAME evan regan for having a go to make himself a hero.it reminded me of mikie sweeneys effort against DUBLIN IN 2015.the league is the time to experiment ,not a championship game against GALWAY in salthill.S.R. DID NOT EXPERIMENT enough in the league.IMO S.R. should have minded ALAN FREEMAN better than he did.we are missing him,he should be sounded out about coming back.he would be a great addition to the panel. alas i think S.R. IS TOO PROUD to ask him back. WE are still a good team and will get to the quarter -finals.

  15. A poster there feels it was an error to substitute Alan Moran. I feel it was a much bigger error to replace his namesake, Andy.

  16. Great podcast as usual I have to say my confidence in the current management is fading fast I cannot believe that Colm Boyle could be left of the team as a tactical measure. For the moment all we can do now is wait for the draw on Monday week Keep the faith

  17. I absolutely agree with everyone calling out the negative posters. We are still in the championship. We played really well against the wind in the first half yesterday with 15 men on the pitch. Rochford and co got us to a final in their first year in charge. They deserve more respect! Now more than ever they and the players need our support, but people are too busy calling for Rochford’s head. You’re all dead weight. We could do without you. Don’t bother even going to the next game if that’s your attitude. If we get knocked out then that’s the time to discuss changing management.

  18. Actually gutted that Rochford does not think Boyle is worth his place.He really needs to stop making adventurous decisions and go with tried and trusted warriors.
    I will give him benefit of doubt on O Shea though not convinced totally.
    I really hope management start to get it right soon…time is not with us.

  19. If we had got the draw on Sunday that would have meant a replay next week and if we won that and won the Connacht final, that would mean two games to get to the quarter-final.

    The route we are now taking means three games to make it to the quarter-final. One extra game. Arguably a replay against Galway would bring them on a lot as well.

    Now that we lost, our club games can go ahead this weekend, which they wouldn’t have been able too, if we had a replay. So its still all to play for really. Win our first qualifier game and it’s all to play for again.

  20. If yesterday was a day for tactical decisions why was a clearly not fit Aidan O’Shea even on the bench never mind brought on or three subs only brought on when the game was almost out of reach .

    Conor Loftus was introduced early against sligo and created scoring chances , can anyone tell me who on the starting 15 yesterday did the same against a Galway back line that were poor at best.

    Galway made us work (mostly from deep) for every point we scored ,yet every time we scored we retreated and just let them waltz through and score at will just like last year’s fixture why!.

    We will be back to man for man marking from now on in hopefully it will again work, but why do we not employ the tactics against Galway instead of letting them control the game.

  21. HSE – your right there and one thing that made me mad was listing to mid west and the, going on about 4 or 5 extra games that Mayo will surly not get through and are finished. It’s not 4 or 5.p extra games in TWO…..2 extra games as opposed if we had won yesterday.

    Are the team up for it? Only the can answer that but I won’t be giving up on them until it’s over.

  22. First of all congratulations to Galway who I believe played very well,they were twice the team of last year,their s/c was suburb, when was the last time anyone saw Mayo players hit as hard as yesterday, some of hits was immense, on to our team I taught played quite well but it is hard to play against an extra man at the best of times but the conditions was harder still,I still believe Stephen is the right manager on S Coen I felt he was very close all year and he done nothing wrong yesterday, with all the criticism over the goalkeeper last year which I felt was wrong I think we have to be totally honest and say three points yesterday came from poor kickouts,as well it puts a lot of pressure on our midfield and towards to take the ball from the thirteen metre line all the way up the field,it is something which needs addressed, in fact I believe there was a case to change goalie’s at halftime as with that wind Rob’s kicks would have gone seventy yards or more,the fowards just don’t score enough how we get some better fowards is beyond me some of the players mentioned just have no pace ,on Andy he got one score in forty seven minutes not enough to say he deserved more time I am inclined to think E Regan has enough chances and D Kirby did not even look like scoring so whilst we can criticise management I don’t believe a lot of it is justified, even though I have now criticised players I know that they all went out yesterday to play their very best,ant the effort they all put in all year is deserving of our respect,hopefully the back door will be as good as last year, and again thanks to Willie Joe for allowing us to spout our opinions whether right or wrong

  23. Agree HSE. While yesterday’s loss was totally avoidable and left us all feeling like shit we are now effectively only 1 additional game to a QF slot. And by yesterday’s standard we could really do with some extra game time to get our best players back in their best positions and work on our forward play. There’s a minimum 66% chance that we will get a handy enough draw for round 2A (assuming both Sligo and Derry make it through and assuming we can’t be drawn against Sligo again?). After that things could get a bit trickier but, whoever we get, we certainly should not fear. So it all means that our long expected collision course with Kerry remains on track albeit a few weeks earlier than Plan A. Like last year this could all work to our advantage yet given how the team are performing right now.

  24. Extra games are a hell of a lot better than hanging around for up to four weeks training and engaging in “friendlies” or “challenge matches” while waiting for really meaningful competitive activity. The situation we now find ourselves in was never our desired situation or our planned route forward. But here we are. Let’s renew our focus and resolve. Panel and supporters. We owe it to each other. We are Mayo. We dust ourselves down and we go again.

  25. Yeah yew-tree, that’s one thing that you notice nowadays, someone says something and everybody almost takes it as gospel, without thinking for themselves.

    A lot of people were mentioning why were Andy Moran and Kevin Mc taken off. Then I seen that Tomas O’Se said it. So when he said it, it must be gospel! People copy what he said, Brolly is banging on about that now too.

    Kevin came off in the Sligo match and didn’t train fully since then, so that’s why he was taken off I’d say. Andy is 34, so that’s probably why he was taken off.

    It’s like the Aidan O’Shea v Michael Murphy argument, that grew legs as well. A paper doesn’t refuse ink I suppose.

  26. In fairness Hopespringseternal was being sais yesterday evening long before O Sè opened his mouth.
    I did not know or think we had 15 better footballers than Colm Boyle .

  27. Agreed HSE. I thought the fitness issue was a factor with McLoughlin yesterday given the significant knock he took against Sligo, so again, the decision was completely understandable.
    Aside from the crazy goal-keeping change last year, this current mgt prepared the team for that AI better than any other management team that I’ve ever seen, including James Horan. Prior to that there was always an element of collapse in finals. Not so last year. That must be taken into account.
    Interesting thoughts by Billy Joe on newstalk this eve: The lads tried their absolute best yesterday but the cumulative effect of the losses made them question their ability to get the vital scores.
    At some point this was bound to happen in a big match and I’m certain this is what happened yesterday. Who knows, maybe this was the time for it to happen. We CAN regroup because the ability is there. It wont be easy but it is possible.

  28. The Colm Boyle one was a bit strange alright. You always get a bit apprehensive before games, when you hear of changes like that.

    It would probably be better to have Andy in reserve for the next game as well. Have him coming on fresh to finish games.

  29. We’re on the 3a side,
    Likely kerry in quarters
    And Galway in semis..
    One extra game, I’d take that..

  30. Nothing wrong with criticism so long as it’s pointing at something that someone sees is missing and why. For my part my pet annoyance still remains the individualist attitude that seems to rot away unheeded seemingly among our forward players. I know it is a job to break the line in that area of the field with such heavy traffic but our only offering seems to be to mullock forward as far as you can and hope to get the free! Failing this it’s the long, hopeful ball into nowhere! There always was and will be a time and place for mullocking and for the long hopeful balls but please oh please,can we not give a little feckin cuteness a go now and again? Indeed Galway weren’t up to much in this regard either but E Brannigan showed us how to do it when he came dashing through to score a smart point in second half. It’s all about making that run at the right time. If it’s a talent we ain’t got it.If it’s something we don’t practise, we should or am I talking through my hat?
    Good points made there about the burdens or otherwise of the backdoor. It will give us the time to bolster up the forces however but you have to hand it to these fellas for turning up and up and up!
    Best of luck to them all!

  31. Jp2
    You are 100 per cent correct in your observation. Especially when these awards are run on a poll. No doubt Mammies, Daddies, brothers, sisters, girl-friends
    , neighbouts, clubmates etc feature among the electorate.
    . As far as I’m concerned MoM awards are completely at variance with the notion and ethics of team games. The team wins because collectively they are a team.

  32. I can absolutely see the logic in starting Vaughan to match up with Tom Flynn, but why on Earth was Boyle the man sacrificed? Boyle is an absolute warrior, he would die for us on the pitch. He was one of very few players who emerged with credit from last year’s game in McHale Park. Remember his bone crunching shoulder on Comer in the Connaught Final in 2014 just as Galway were starting to grow into the game? That was a bit of a game changer for me on the day. Of all the games, Galway is one where Boyler should be the first name on the sheet. If he was injured, then he shouldn’t have been on the bench.

    Another thing that worries me is the form of Diarmuid. I love this lad to bits, but he hasn’t the same pep in his step. He used to ghost by players for fun, now he doesn’t seem to want to take his man on. If he’s carrying an injury, he should be sidelined until he’s fully recovered. He is a marquee forward at his best.

    Can’t wait for the draw next Monday!!

  33. One moment in the game was particularly telling for me yesterday. Comer nailed DOC with a shoulder (in the back imo) and DOC was sunsequently penalised for over carrying. Comer meanwhile milked it for all it was worth, gesticulating to his mates and the crowd.

    Now there’s nothing wrong with that from Comer. He’s quite entitled to throw his weight around. But there’s no way that should have went unrequited. Where was DOC’s teammates to give him a dig out? Why was he allowed lord it over a prone Mayoman?

    I’d genuinely ask serious questions about that. One of the only lads that seemed willing to carry the fight any way he could was COC. He marched a fine line at times but he never took a backward step. I thought he was superb yesterday.

    I’ll have to look it again but we were a bit passive all through the pitch. Maybe the red for Keith put them on high alert but we weren’t nearly as aggressive as we can be. Contrast that with Galway who hitting at every opportunity and seemed able to absorb a couple of yellows at cost.

    This is an easy fix but shouldn’t be an issue against Galway in Salthill.

  34. Contributers post constructive criticism here in the hope that someone is reading and also that it will encourage lively debate and exchange of opinions.
    So Boyle was originally picked, then Galway announced their team, then we dropped Boyle as a tactical move based on the principle that the Galway team would line out as selected. Why cant we select a team that suits us best? I believe we were the better team yesterday and so do the bookies.
    We played Durcan out of position in league, lost matches, eventually moved him to wing half back and won a couple of games. Whats going on with Lee Keegan is incredible. An outstanding attacking wing back and we land him with the burden of centre half back.
    Rochford also was at pains to describe the goal chance we created in last quarter. Galway presented that chance to us, it wasnt as a result of a creative move by ourselves.
    We have a decent team that deserve our support, they owe us nothing, and who also deserve astute tactical direction from the management

  35. I only saw the first 10 minutes of the match yesterday on my phone on a train here on holidays in the south of France.
    Alot of commenters in the lead up to the Galway match were wondering how much the gap was between Galway and Mayo, its now fairly obvious that Mayo have slipped hugely, also Galway are a good unit.
    Part of any team /management at any level is be able to raise one’s effort during a match, to win the match, Mayo cannot get this right and could never get this right in all All Irelands ( bar the drawn final of 1996 ).
    I would’nt be placing too much emphasis on the qualifiers as I am convinced this current team are gone. Its sad to see this current team go down, played in 3 All Irelands and should have beaten the Dubs in 2013 & deafinitely in the drawn final last year.
    It reminds me of the nineties where Galway beat us narrowly in 1998 and went on to win the All Ireland, too many current Mayo players have too much mileage on the clock, the heavy training since 2011 has taken its toll.
    They gave us great days, think of the quarter final v Cork in 2011, Tyrone semi in 2013, Dublin in semi in 2012, the drawn semi v Kerry in 2014, the great comeback v Dublin in 2015.

  36. Mayo88

    You are entitled to your view but it is unnecessarily defeatist in my opinion.Time enough burying a man when he dies

  37. 21 players got MOTM – on that basis Mayo should have destroyed Galway – there’s no accounting for opinions.
    I wonder if the frustration with Rochford is misdirected. He clearly decided (correctly I think) that Mayo were not going to outscore opposition so they had to concede less than opposition. My understanding is that Buckley is there as a defensive coach and the defence I’m looking at is very poor. 15 scores to 11 – and the goal was fortuitous. If I was K Walsh I would be raging with the defender, he turned his back on the ball twice for the goal.
    The failure of the forwards to “engineer” a free inside the 45 to tie things up was awful but for a team basing their game on defence to tackle from behind in front of goal was a terrible indictment of the takling coaching and the defensive system of plying numbers back is limited even by club standards.
    A waste of time assessing Rochford – he is there until the end of the year at least and we don’t know exactly what goes on in camp. More worrying is the fear the co board don’t know or understand what’s going on and do they know when is the right time to change manager and if so who to get, hmmm.
    For now it’s on until Aug at least.

  38. Yesterday they looked like a tired team. Hopefully they can rally. It’s a game that we could easily have won and if we did we would be talking about a strong resolve to beat Galway with 14 players.
    They showed a strong resolve and a will to win. Maybe it’s not over yet…..they have been a magnificent bunch and there may yet be a happy ending

  39. Huey2016, maybe its the fact that i’m turning 47 later in the Summer, but also getting more experienced. I once was young too, full of hope on All Ireland final days, but witnessed defeats since 1989 ( never gave up going to the matches ).
    Here are a few cold realities, there are only 4 /5 players that have consistently played out of their skins in the 3 All Ireland finals, 2012, 13 and 16 and not enough players playing to their level.
    The Dubs will remain a force until Jim Gavin decides to call it a day, Kerry will get stronger aided by their All Ireland winning teams, Galway were a much better team than Mayo, than the scorline read at the end of the U 21 match in Tuam at the end of March.
    The collapse in Croker v the Dubs in the league earlier this year was a major warning sign for me and other Mayo supporters that I know.
    It may look as if I sound defeatist but rather reflecting on the great days in Croker since 2011.

  40. I know you’re down and out after losing. But looking at things from outside and neutral. I watched the game for the second time, just to mention a few things that happened. mayo were lucky too be in the game with a few questionable frees in front of goal. On the other hand Galway were fouled a few times not given. Tom Flynn’s black card was a big turning point for yee, COC very lucky not to see yellow. Ref was poor?? Just to note, COC was going around trying to take people out of the game, not he’s job. Positive note – when round the corner route to the forwards not working, change tactics quickly.
    The best team won too be fair….

  41. Well at least I got my answer re colm Boyle , it was a tactical decision.

    Sr stop trying unorthodox shit before big games . it makes you look rather foolish . we have rolls Royce wing backs, now please leave them there . if you’re looking for a big stamp on things maybe try giving conor loftus a run.

  42. The conversations I have been having with other Mayo supporters all seem to be questioning Stephen Rochford’s tactics. He is a decent skin and you cant argue with his success with Corofin but that team picked itself and it is a huge step up to the rigor and scrutiny of Inter County management. Some of the decisions on Sunday beggar belief, how can we have Colm on the bench if he is fit?, Why is Lee Keegan Centre back when he is not comfortable there?,If Andy is not able for a full game, why doesn’t he finish it, or start and finish it ala Peter Canavan, we were finishing the game with way less experience up from than we started it, and so some of the decision making and finishing up front is flawed when the game is in the melting pot.
    The other huge thing is a harder fix, but our kickouts are there for the taking for other teams and it is plain to see it needs to be addressed.
    No worried that this team is over the hill of finished, just worried we are self inflicting wounds that will let others pass us out….

  43. Bless you Mayo88..That’s the kind of a post I like..
    The “Positive” blinkered people are back in force. You’re 47, I’m 77. Was there when we won Sam. It’s a complete waste of time competing with “Positive” people.
    Can they answer why Mayo have had one of their best teams ever, a team that should have and could have won one, if not two, All Irelands. Forget the usual blaming refs, etc, etc.. Why , why, why?? They played shite all last year, scraped through the qualifiers, had Dublin on the ropes, so much they even Rock and Connolly couldn’t score, and still couldn’t win.. Same shite again this year, why, why why.. C’mon “Positive” people, answer me that!! (with facts please, not through red and green glasses)..

  44. Joe Mc (aged 77). Great question.
    Over to you the positive people.

    Sean Burke. I agree 100 per cent with that. Can Rochford stop tinkering with Boyle and Keegan and play them in their best positions. Yes its time for Conor Loftus to get a start.

    We are not making the best of whats available to us and its costing us. We are leaving matches behind us due to continuously shooting ourselves in the foot. Cant we change the record for 1 year.

  45. @Joe Mc I can certainly understand where your frustration is coming from. Contributers who offer constructive criticism are only trying to identify areas in need of improvement if it is to be a long summer. Others cant wait for the draw and our next game. And you do sum up last season very well. Lots of luck, two great performances.
    Now we have to put up with the tactical nonsense of picking a team, not necessarily the team that will start, keeping the subs bench up our sleeves, and making tactical changes based on how the opposition lineout. This is what we have come to accept from management.

  46. That Podcast was a hard listen!
    Over the last season I have purposely kept away for a day from the keyboard in the aftermath of a defeat because I find my thoughts on the lost game have swung from frustration to anger to sympathy to, lately, the glaring truth that we have been in denial of for so long. This team has missed it’s chance. We just don’t have the “in-game” attacking intelligence to find a way to win games. Time and time and time again terrible decisions are taken in the final third of the pitch that lead to our attack being in-efficient. From 1 to 7 we are the best in the country, but from 10 to 15 we just don’t produce the goods. To be quiet honest, if I was a Mayo back, I would be throttling my forwards and sideline and making them know, in no uncertain terms, that they are costing me a Celtic Cross.

    Stamina, power, brawn etc will only get us so far and we have been found out! Huge, major questions also of our sideline from last Sunday. Terrible decisions, delayed muddled substitutions that lacked any influence on the game when they were made.

  47. pebblesmeller, I have always been a fan of your posts. I am a bigger fan now!! What you said is reality, reality, reality; a quality that is in short supply here. I have been “harping” about this for years now and thanks be to Jaysus (he’s a Mayo fan), it’s beginning to be obvious to many more.. This year is too late but all this can easily be sorted if the necessary adjustments are made; simple as. Will they ever???

  48. Harping is the word, Joe Mc. Everyone is entitled to their opinion here and your constant attempts to sow divisions between those of a more optimistic mindset and those of a more pessimistic nature is getting seriously annoying at this stage. Cop yourself on and accept the simple fact that a variety of opinions is perfectly okay.

  49. Lacking Attacking intelligence , sound if that’s the new phrase for lack of quality forwards .
    Damien comer v liam Irwin . was there that big of difference in quality when these lads were starting out . Why didn’t we develop that lad in the same vain , since boyler gave comer that shoulder , I would hazard a guess he’s bulked up by a couple of stone , his frame is savage , ruthless ,he will be the best .

    Conor loftus , why have we not brought him on , yet we go with the safer fergal Boland , not in anyway taking away from Boland he’s done great . I’m just at my wits end trying to figure out why we are almost afraid it seems to give a natural scoring forward a chance , it doesn’t fit the criteria for a mayo footballer . there’s something not right its not just with seniors , its a common factor bar that winning underage side (minor 13 and under 21 s ) with all mayo teams , no decent scoring forwards.

  50. You can add Westport to that list as well. They produced a bit of flair up front from a few young lads and bagged an All-Ireland title.

  51. Any word on Keith’s red card how long is he out for ? Anyone hear how the injury list is?

  52. Sean, what I mean by “in-game” attacking intelligence is not necessarily the players ability to score, it is more the players ability to recognize the correct thing to do and when to take the score. There’s a difference.
    For example, I don’t doubt that Evan Regan has the ability to hit 50 m scores over the bar, however, it is quiet obvious the chances of that happening (when fresh on the field, in a tight physical match, with scores at a premium and us desperately needing a score), were pretty close to zero. Whatever about his shot from the right wing where the angle and wind might have helped him, his shot from the left wing was just plain stupid. No other word for it.
    Likewise with Vaughans effort from the left wing. Vaughan is a pretty poor shooter on average (no criticism there as it’s not really his job) so for him to take that shot on was a terrible decision. Like Regan, it was brave of him to try it, but also like Regan it was just plain stupid as the chances of success were very small. In both those instances, possession should have been retained (like we did very well in the first half) and the ball worked into a better scoring position and in the hands of a better shooter. Instead, we lost composure, rushed things and gifted the ball back to Galway through stupid efforts on goal. This is even more crazy when you consider that Galway were now set up in “full-on counter” attack mode and playing with a double-sweeper! We played right into their hands.

    I feel that while the sideline got the starting 15 and opening tactics spot-on, their “in-game” intelligence is also open to heavy criticism. There is a litany of major errors to use from Sunday but I will highlight just a few.
    1. I do not go along with the view that dropping Boyle from the starting 15 was a mistake as Vaughan actually had a good game and was physically better able to handle Flynn than Boyle would have been, (Flynn has a good 6″ and 8 or 9 kg on Boyle). However, as soon as Flynn got the black card Boyle should have been in on Sice as Boyle would have been equally as fresh and he also has better mobility to track Sice. Likewise when Brannigan came on at half time there was no reaction from our line to counter Brannigans direct running and speed through the middle.
    2. The wind was a huge factor on Sunday and we displayed no difference in tactics with or against the wind. We ran the ball in both halfs and kept our big men out around the middle when we had the wind in the second. This is even more strange when you consider that the Galway full back line was woefully weak and extremely nervous anytime we got near their 20 m line. This is a huge failing in our management as far as I’m concerned.
    3. It’s obvious that Aidan O’Shea is being carefully used because of his groin injury. We were down to 13 outfield players. Why was O’Shea not parked on their 20 m line and targeted with high balls? It would have reduced the distance that O’Shea was expected to cover and, more importantly, you can be sure that Galway would have put 2 men on him. By Galway putting 2 men on O’Shea it would have in effect reduced them by a man also! This would have given us more space out the field to create chances. We didn’t even HAVE to target O’Shea as the threat of it alone would have been enough for Galway to react by dropping a man back. It may be primitive and ugly but I am willing to bet that it would have worked better than what we were trying to do, which wasn’t very clear at all.
    4. The use of our bench was pathetic and naive to say the least. Players coming in on 65 mins, 69 mins and 71 mins demonstrated how totally clueless we were on the line and raises serious questions in my mind. We were irresponsibly slow to make changes and only one of our changes positively effected the game in any way (Kirby I felt was a danger and a threat but, of course, we failed to get him on the ball enough). Bringing a half back on when we are chasing a score instead of an All-Ireland winning, nippy, accurate, corner forward was yet another demonstration of our scattered unprepared approach on the line. There’s no doubt last year Rochford got a lot of tactical choices right and some of these choices positively effected our results, e.g. Dillon at no.3 v Tyrone but playing a free “playmaking” role that tore Tyrone to pieces, Barry Moran as a sweeper v Tipp that took Quinlivan completely out of the game to name just two, but, the performance of our sideline on Sunday was every bit as much at fault as Higgins was for getting stupidly sent off and the ineptitude of our forward play in the second half.
    Putting lads in with 3 or 4 mins left is like what happens at U12 games when you are either miles ahead, or getting hammered. The attitude is “sure, throw them all on and give them a game for 5 mins as they are here”. This is not good enough.

    I have always been one to back the management and give them chances. From Horans mistakes in the All Ireland and his stubborn refusal to tighten up defensively, to the whole H&C saga (I bet they were smiling inside up in the stand in Pearse Stadium?), to Rochfords goal-keeping decision last October (more proof for his decision was provided on Sunday as we last 3 points from our own kick-outs and were soundly beaten at midfield with only 1 mark taken), however, after Sunday I have major, major doubts about our management team.

  53. Willie Joe. Can I once again congratulate pebblesmeller on a wonderful post.. Simple as.. No hidden agenda as you imply. That post deserves praise, surely even you have to admit that. It is a wonderful piece of well thought out, concise writing.

  54. Joe Mc – what exactly do you mean by “surely even you have to admit that”? That’s clearly a barb aimed at me and I’d like you to explain your rationale for it, as well as your allegation of my implying some kind of “hidden agenda”.

  55. Sorry Willie Joe, that wasn’t meant as a barb at you. I just said it all wrong. I am still trying to work out what I really meant…but.. you said about me….” your constant attempts to sow divisions between those of a more optimistic mindset and those of a more pessimistic nature”. That is is a totally incorrect assessment of my posts and you are clearly accusing me. What I sometimes react to are the sarcastic, sneering posts by some “positive people” about “merchants of doom, etc; etc. You allow them to sneer and be sarcastic about genuine criticism. You yourself remarked, after the match, how well balanced all the comments were, and they were, terrific. It is only when the others joined in later and started their usual sneering shite that I came in. I make no apologies for that whatsoever. I do not have an agenda, I am not infantile and childish!! I call it from the shoulder and truth often hurts. When you called me “dull, boring and repetitive” all those years ago,I was the only one bringing Mayo’s evident failings and lack of corrections to the surface, and the thing I hate most is that I was 100% right!! I didn’t want to be right but someone had to say it.

  56. That’s fair enough, Joe Mc, but my point still stands too, i.e. that you’ve repeatedly poked a stick at those supporters who express a more positive outlook than yours. Comments should stay on message and should not be aimed – either generally or specifically – at other contributors. You’ve repeatedly crossed the line in this respect and you’ve been let away with it more often than not. At the end of the day, this is a site for supporters and all supporters, not matter what their outlook, can voice their opinions here, as long as what they say is within the house rules. This is a rule I’ve tried to enforce as fairly as I can all of the time.

    By the way, while you can, of course, make the claim to have been 100% right in your views, in my experience anyone making such a bold claim about anything in life is almost certain to be 100% wrong in doing so!

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