Photo: Irish Sun
We’ve reached midweek and the debate about tactics from last Sunday – in particular the Aidan/Donaghy bit – continues to rumble on. It was a disaster, it was a success and all shades of opinion in between. Take your pick.
As you’ll know by now, I’m veering towards the argument that it was a ploy that on balance worked out. That was what I said on the podcast right after full-time and it’s still my opinion. It wasn’t an unbridled success, I accept, but it was far from a failure either. I’ve yet to see anyone come up with a plausible alternative strategy that might have worked better for us.
When I last checked, they ended up scoring 2-14 last Sunday and so did we. We didn’t lose a game that virtually every pundit in Ireland (outside the county) claimed beforehand we would. The draw meant we got some things right and other things wrong. So did they.
For some reason, though, the vast bulk of the post-match focus is on our tactics. Fitzmaurice appears to have been given a free pass, with the assumption that they’ll be better the next day. Nothing like a bit of forensic analysis, eh?
I’ve no idea what tactics will be deployed in the replay, either by us or by them. I’d expect a few changes, both in personnel and in how the teams set up, but I’m happy to admit that I haven’t the first idea what these might be. Such is the luxury of being the eejit on the outside looking in.
Within the two camps, though, you can be sure that all manner of plotting and planning is going on. These are, as 2014 showed and last Sunday demonstrated again, two very well matched teams. If one of them can spring a tactical surprise on the other then it could be the difference between them in the replay. For good or ill.
What we do at full-back will, of course, be one of those debates. But so too will Kerry’s plans to shut down Andy Moran and Jason Doherty, who between them caused as much damage in Kerry’s backline as Kerry’s much vaunted full-forward line did in ours. Plus a myriad other considerations all over the field.
Will we go with the same again? Will they? Or are there other rabbits to be pulled from the respective camps’ hats? The short answer to all these questions, of course, is that we’ve no idea, nor will we have until we see Saturday’s rematch play out, minute by compelling minute.
For my own part, I’m happy to place my trust in Stephen Rochford and his colleagues. They – not us onlookers – are the ones entrusted with the decisions that need to be made and for which they’ll either be lauded or derided after the event. As supporters, our role is to get behind them and make our voices heard in the push once more for victory on Saturday.