Following Mayo's footballers

The coverage

You want to read about it but you don’t, I want to tell you about it but I don’t. And it’s Monday and will this fucking weather ever start to improve?

Okay, here goes. Match reports: GAA.ie, RTÉ (I’ll get back to them in a bit), Setanta, Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Mayo AdvertiserBreaking News, Hogan Stand.

Post-match quotes: Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish ExaminerConor Counihan and James Horan.

Good analysis on the game from An Spailpín Fánach (whom it was good to meet up again with on Saturday night at the session in Bowe’s) and Action81.com.

Back to RTÉ where a fair few of you have been expressing strong sentiments about what Joe Brolly had to say about Donal Vaughan and, by extension, the entire Mayo team on the station’s execrable League Sunday show last night. Personally, I couldn’t care what Brolly has to say – he’s a bitter, vindictive little shit who has never had a good word for us and never will – but what I do care about is that we as citizens of this country are forced, under pain of prosecution, to pay good money to keep that organisation in existence, thus allowing them to visit this kind of crap on us. It’d be funny if it weren’t serious.

Two final thoughts on yesterday to leave you with.

The first relates to the motivation we should take from yesterday’s match and here we now have a real incentive to take a leaf from the Kerrymen’s book. Cork outfought and out-fouled us yesterday in a match where they were clearly aiming to extract revenge on us for last August. That’s grand lads, you’ve now had your revenge but don’t for one minute think that you’ve seen the last of us. The team now needs to nurture the sense of hurt they should be feeling and get ready for the opportunity to get their own back on the Rebels – or whoever else gets in their way – in high summer.

The second relates to the full-forward position on the team, which is the real gaping hole in our formation as we come out of the spring campaign. With Aidan back and with Jason Gibbons or Danny Geraghty or whoever riding shotgun we should be okay at midfield but we need a fresh option at 14 because more of the same simply won’t be good enough when it really counts. We also need to be thinking about ways to exploit the new square ball rule (those cute Kerry hoors are already onto this, as this proves). Could Pat Harte be the man to take on this job? He’s big, he can field, he can pass, he can shoot, he sure knows where the net is. Or what about Four-Goal Danny? Whatever we do, we need to do something different to what we’ve been doing to date and we need to start working on this now before the serious stuff starts up.

Comments

  1. John Cuffe says:

    Some weekend alright. Sandwiched between two trips to Belfast was a curried stomach causing me to miss meeting WJ and tribe, plenty of rain and wind and well done to Spailpin the only winner over the weekend. Oh and Mayo got beaten in a national final once more.
    Fair warning here, read no further if you are easily annoyed or have it in for me… good? Well yesterdays defeat was on the back of our sixteenth final across the grades since 2000. League x 4, Senior x 2, U21 x3, Minor x 4 and club x 3. The win ratio is 4:16.
    The forward line of Dillon, Andy, Mort and Conroy was familiar. It was the same forward line of the 2007 league final V Donegal. Pat Harte and Ger Brady made up the other starters that day. So one inference we can make is that three league finals, two minor finals, three successive Connacht U21s and two senior Connacht titles since 2007 we have gained one forward in Cillian O Connor and a converted half back in Kevin McLoughlin.
    We have hit a glass ceiling in that area. Obviously Andy, Dillon, Mort and to a lesser extent Conroy are the best in the county that’s why over a six year period they are the constant. Kilcoyne, O Neill, McDonald, Ronaldson, Freeman, Doherty, Campell, Trevor Mort,AOM, Billy Joe, Howley, Varley etc all have been tried but unable to make it stick. The four boys are in on merit so where do we go from there? Bear in mind our next game will allow us to park one or two buses in the square and the dynamic of the game will change. Are we ready for this?
    The consensus is we have made progress. I believe we have but then as Rafa says facts suggest otherwise. Last year we beat Cork twice. This year we lost twice to them. Fine, we also beat Kerry but so did Armagh and they got relegated. Had Kerry kept Donaghy tethered to the 14 and not sending defence splitting passes to Mayo men perhaps we might never have made it to yesterday’s final.
    A comment said one loss does not make us a bad team. We are not a bad team but we are not where we think we are either. That was our fourth loss in this year’s league. I felt the sideline was average yesterday. Cadogan had Mort bottled up and worse he was actually dictating play way up the field. Aiden O Sheas summers hit on Noel O Leary was paid back yesterday with a barnstorming display in more ways than one. Cork did what they had to do to bully us. Telling people that we are hard is fine but I was dismayed at how we allowed them to rough us up.
    Centre field got a lot of blame. We still beat Kerry with that combo. Perhaps Barry should have been lodged at 14 as a plan B. But we had no plan B. Conroy was starved and the rest were well held. Cillian was good, Andy tried manfully but I still see us relying on four of the 2007 starting forwards plus a converted defender. Is there a case for going for broke and putting Donie at midfield with AOS. Put Feeney at centre back and swop O Boyle and Keith Higgins around. That way Higgins has less soloing to do and may become more effective. He has pace and guts to burn.
    Kick outs are yesterdays old chips, boring and predictable. Clark a top keeper though. Tom Parsons and Killer paid a big price after last year’s league. Do we expect anyone to walk the plank this year?
    We talk a lot of hard edge and tough. The line is thin. Cork crossed it yesterday and a poor ref obliged them. We have hard men but we need them on the pitch, it’s not a commodity that can be turned on and off. Feeney and Kilcullen are hard. One is on the bench one is gone. If we want real hard then we got to use hard men. Noel O Leary is a journey man but is as essential to Cork as Johnny Forde was to Mayo 1948-51. Nice guys win nothing.
    Finally and you will be relieved. Behind me sat a Mayo man in his seventies yesterday. He managed to cause a row with another Mayo follower over the Tyrone/Kildare match resulting in a mannerly man having to get up and leave. He then threatened to knock the jaw of a Cork follower who dared utter “we have them now boys”.
    He then stuck his head between me and my daughter. “Who was the best Mayo player you ever saw” he demanded. “John Morley” I replied adding “and don’t threaten me if I am wrong”. Naturally I was. “Joe Corcoran” he replied, could not disagree with him. “Do you know” he continued “I saw Joe Corcoran score all of Mayo’s 11 points V Kerry in the 1969 league semi final draw. And in the replay he scored another 1-2, that year Kerry won the league and All Ireland”.
    He pulled his head back and I breathed easily. I was at that years All Ireland semi final v Kerry we lost by a point. Joe scored 0-7 out of our 1-10. We got a 21 yard free at the death. Joe had kicked four from the ground but was houshed away for the would be equaliser. The new saviour missed and we entered the desert until the 1981 Connacht title.
    Finally in the league final V Donegal I think only Andy and Harte scored from play. In the 2010 final again I think only Andy and Conor scored from play in the forwards. Yesterday Andy obliged again with one from Cillian and McLoughlin. Theirin lays the problem. Finally, finally, when is the Mayo Board going to tell Croke Park that actually we have enough of iffy refereeing? I picked that word because if I was to write my true feelings the computer would melt.

  2. peter mulroe says:

    Just got a glimse of brolly on a rant last night about Vaughan, no comment from him on Vaughan when he got polaxed by O neill, and the thuggery of leary. commented on second goal but not on blatant fowl on Keegan in front of Ref which led to the goal.
    I hope the lads get on with it. they are not far off the mark. with the o Sheas (Missed their phsical strength) back could have good summer. In my opinion Kerry will hockey that Cork team.

  3. islandeadygaga says:

    In fairness any case or sympathy that Mayo had with some incidents it went out the window with embarrassing diving and feigning injury later on.

  4. James Joyce says:

    Poor spread of scores from forwards and midfield. However the ref did not cover himself with glory and luck was not with Mayo. Goold going for a point that bounces of the post, straight into the arms of a Cork man for a simple goal. 3 Mayo men and 1 Cork man in the full-backline, and it has to fall to the Cork man. Luck as in life has alot to do with who comes out on top. Mayo did not have much luck yesterday. Cork had an effective blanket type defence in the seond half, which left Mayo with no option but to go for shots (that were never on) from distance. Cork had little or no support at the match, I hate to see them win.

  5. Well said Willie Joe. The League for learning, the Championship for doing. See you in Bowe’s again in September. Up Mayo.

  6. heimat says:

    I see a lot of comments from Mayo fans saying they were disappointed yesterday. To be disappointed means that something that was expected didn’t happen. I don’t think we were expected to win yesterday. We were surely hoping (like always) but hoping and expecting are different things. The bookies and most pundits had Cork as favourites and Mayo as outsiders – on merit – and all were correct. What was ‘really’ expected yesterday happened i.e. Cork won. Cork were favourites for a reason or reasons – physically stronger, experience, proven quality squad and so on. And they did their homework on how to close us down in the attacking part of the field. And in the end all these parts were good enough to ensure they won.

    So for me yesterday… well my “hopes” were high but they weren’t fulfilled and I overall I wasn’t disappointed. It would have been fantastic to win but yesterday isn’t the entire story or measure of this present team. We have made progress, turned around the league campaign when it went off the tracks, taken a few big scalps along the way and overall made our mark on this year’s league. We are not the finished article by any means but improvement is there. Work rate, intensity and competition for places are all worth a mention.

    JH and the team may or may not have set a goal to win the league. If they did well they came within 35 minutes of delivering. That’s damn close and no reason to be disappointed. If they didn’t have a goal to win then even better. I’m sure every player on the Mayo squad yesterday and those on the sideline went to Croke Park with a positive attitude and determined to overturn the odds. All the hours and days of training and dedication are for one thing – to win – no player trains to lose or draw. But it’s not a script so doesn’t always happen.

    So where are we at? Mayo is proudly and consistently in the leading bunch of football counties. We can safely say we are in the top 6. But ask yourself a question – what is our true ranking? I think we can all agree we are not YET in the top 3 as the top spots are still in the grasp of Cork, Kerry and Dublin. We could claim to be knocking on the door but for the time being we are at best no.4 (and one or two other counties could also be putting a claim in against that) until we prove we have consistently dislodged one of those top 3. It’s a fine line in any debate but we have a credible claim to be in the group between 4 and 6 who are knocking on the door.

    Our knocking on the door has definitely got a good deal louder since JH took over and over this league campaign we did more than knock – we got a toe or one foot in the door. Cork shut it on us yesterday when we pushed hard and defended their spot. Fair play to them even if they did engage in and get away with a few tough antics. I hope the players and sideline learned from the experience.

    So back to the point. We should not be disappointed. We have had a really good look at the top 3 incumbents over the last few weeks and proved we are capable of shaking up that ‘trinity’. It can be done – Tyrone were dislodged on the past few years (by Cork I guess). Yesterday we were “hoping” it could have been one more stride in the right direction and have ended with a third successful consecutive strike against the top 3 but the effort just fell short.

    I don’t support the ‘knocking’ of any of those involved. No individual player or anyone involved deserves it – in fact they deserve our plaudits and support …… we are edging closer and I don’t see the outcome yesterday as a major setback on where our ‘hopes’ are for the championship.

  7. livenhope says:

    lets just all get a grip … 1st we all know we are far from the finished article … 2nd they (Mayo) never gave up as they would have in previous years 3rd we were never going to win with Deegan as ref he has FORM when involved in Mayo games … 4th its only the league and I really think this defeat is a blessing in disguise we most of us anyway would indeed get carried away if we won it but lets face it our eyes are fixed firmly on the ultimate prize and I’m not talking about the connacht final either … Cork were very cynical yesterday and I haven’t watched the game back yet but there is no way in hell Donal Vaughan dived he is just not that kind of player … I was there yesterday and for once after a defeat I didn’t feel so disappointed … There is one thing I don’t like and its all this talking to the media from our own players saying they have a tougher edge etc … JH should nip this in the bud now wonder was that why Alan F didn’t go on yesterday This team has a lot to learn yet but they have something special a few tweeks and they will get us over the line … What is it with Mayo and referees though? And as for Mr B he with the face only a mother could love forget about him not worth it …

  8. diehard says:

    Donnie Vaughan is a tough hard player……….but he did dive! I would have been happier if he had kept his powder dry until he got a real chance to put a certain aggressive and arrogant individual on his arse! I have no doubt, as they say round our way. – “ther’ll be agin!”

    • Willie Joe says:

      It’s worth having a look at that Donie Vaughan incident again, diehard (it’s 14.30 minutes in on the programme on the RTE Player) because you’ll see that Donie took three belts – at least two of which were into his throat – before he went down. He did fall theatrically but was obviously getting no protection from the ref and the Cork lads were equally clearly trying to goad him to lash out so that he’d get a second yellow, which seemed to be the reason that Canty wrestled him to the ground in the second half.

  9. realist says:

    Interesting point by John Cuffe on the 4 same forwards. It seems to me in Mayo that we persist with the wrong type of forward. The first criteria for any forward should be ability to win possession. Alan Dillon is a prime example of the wrong type of player. He would not make the Kerry junior team. Yet we in Mayo have built him up. Then we had Austin O’Malley who John Maughan would not give a place to except in the Semi against Kerry when he was stuck and he scored 5 points from play. He then went out of favour and was left out, yet the best manager in the history of the game snaps him up and he was the best forward in the Wicklow-Kildare game last summer. Yes I agree we need a big full forward and Barry Moran is not the answer. He along with Dillon should be removed from the panel immediately. How about CMcD for full forward and do a Padraic Joyce on it

    • Willie Joe says:

      Realist – seeing as that’s your first comment on the site, I’ll let it pass but for future reference I’d prefer if you could avoid cheap shots like “he would not make the Kerry junior team” or saying that players “should be removed from the panel immediately”. It’s okay to critique a player’s performance but stick to specifics and refrain from that kind of trash-talking.

  10. Dan says:

    I was trying to figure out what to say about yesterday and where we are in general, now that the league is over. But fair play ‘heimat’, you summed it up perfectly. Agree with every word you said there.
    We’re in a good place and progress is definitely being made. We’re in better shape than a year ago, so lets look forward with optimism.

    As for Brolly. He’s only just back on our screens and he’s managed to wind us up already. Fuck him, he’s a bollocks of the highest order. He’s perfectly suited to be a panelist on that abomination of a highlights show on RTE.
    Noel O’Leary? A coward, pure and simple. And this from a supposed ‘hard man’. I hope we meet Cork again in the summer and Vaughan gets a chance to plant him on his arse.

  11. JPM says:

    When you look at Donal V there is an image of him allready as being an enforcer in GAA.

    Certainly he has the physique for it. However opposition teams know this as well and as Cork proved so yesterday will try and provoke him to lash out.

    I saw the entire game again last night on the box and in the close ups you can see the levels of tackle put in. For instance Vaughans first yellow card was a joke. In reality he didnt throw a fist or anything at Cadogen. Cadogen was allready going down and then clutched his head as if he had been smashed with a brick. Result was DV got a yellow.
    Compare this to the blatant (and cynical) trip on the same DV where he nearly had his career ended. That too only merited a yellow. Never mind Nollaig O’Leary coming in to drag him up when he was clearly injured. That didn’t warrant a yellow at all !!

    And what about when Canty started on DV by refusing to release his jersey when he was trying to get back in position. When DV raised his arm in an attempt to get himself released Canty then saw the opportunity to get involved – presumably to get DV a second yellow.

    Same in the second half incident towards the end. Cork again provoked DV three times.

    Its a difficult job to be a referee but Maurice did not cover himself in glory yesterday. I presume he knows this from watching the replay.

    Finally if I were DV and expect to get a yellow each time (as he will be provoked again and again from now on) then I would make damn sure that it was well merited and split the fella !

  12. livenhope says:

    fantastic piece heimat … Well written thank you … :-) our lads will be waiting patiently in the long grass for them me thinks … Maigheo Abu …

  13. Jucer says:

    Disappointed with the result and performance yesterday, But overall i think we had a good league campaign. On the plus side i think that overall the team has improved. In defence the emergence of Keane, Keegan and Boyle have added a lot to the team. Especially Keane, he is a natural full/corner back, not a converted half back. For the last number of years the full back line has been a problem, with a variety of half backs, being converted to full backs, with little success.
    AOS was a big loss on Sunday, we have a real lack of depth in this area, which is a worry, we could probably get away with it against lesser teams but not against the top teams, as we witnessed yesterday, we really need seamus o shea back to full fitness as well. The forwards were a big disappointment yesterday, although they were playing in-front of a beaten midfield. Cillian, Andy moran are the only ones sure of their championship places. A place has to be found for pat Harte in the Half forward line. That’s it for now. We have to wait 8 weeks before our next match, which is too long but this is a debate for another day.

  14. realist says:

    Willie Joe- Thats what wrong with Mayo. We don’t like the truth. What forward with a clear shot at goal with the breeze from 30yards does not take responsibility?
    And we should stop feigning injury-none of the soccer stuff. However it was very biased coverage on RTE as they never showed the thuggery by O’Leary on Vaughan which was disgraceful.

    • Willie Joe says:

      Realist – this has got nothing to do with ‘the truth’, instead it’s just a simple requirement for criticisms of players to be measured and based on specifics. If you do that, there’s no problem, it’s the unsubstantiated cheap shots I object to. I agree with you on the TV coverage though.

  15. Cat says:

    I was a bit hard on the mort but only cause he did nothing to help mayo win coc is so much better with free taking hope have not insulted anyone

  16. diehard says:

    WJ – I really like what Donnie Vaughan does. He lets opponents know that he is around and he plays good football as well. His ‘theatrically embellished’ fall yesterday (albeit after a couple of clouts) only attracts the wrong kind of attention from refs and pundits. The danger is that he might get a reputation. There are ways of engaging in the ‘harder’ stuff without attracting too much attention from the cameras or the ref! He would be well advised to keep a low profile for a while.
    But if we had more like him we would be hard to cope with.
    What I liked most about him was the way he got over the ferocious wallop he took to the head and got on with the game. This is how really hard men play.
    I know I said this before ( a few times) but I think he is the solution to our midfield problem. He has all the qualities we need in that position. Himself and AOS would be a formidable pair. Put Keith Higgins out to CHB and bring in Feeney or McHale. If I was JH I would be looking at that option in a few challenge matches between now and June.

  17. Jim Flag says:

    Lads, that O’Leary fella is a [deleted] and behaved like one yesterday. Anybody know where his [deleted] is?
    As for Mr Brolly, its a well known fact that [deleted].

    • Willie Joe says:

      Jim – I know I haven’t been a paragon of good behaviour on this front myself today but some things just can’t be said about people and so I’ve had to take the scissors to that comment of yours.

  18. Digits says:

    Aye, I suggested that as well a while back, and I still believe that it could be the solution.

    Vaughan has the mobility to play midfield, and his defensiveness could complement AoS to go forward, and he can get forward when needed as well.

    Higgins is a great defender but has been shown to give man too much space. Not so much an issue out at centre back, plus it means he can get in among the breaks and/or do his standard bursts.

    This should be at least an OPTION if we need a PLAN B for AoS to go to 14.

  19. JPM says:

    in fairness this sounds like a reasonable call. On another aside can anyone tell me what is the story with Tom Cunniffe? Is he gone for the year or what? He could slot straight in to CH Back as well.

  20. Tom Cunniffe is injured I believe. We might have to plan without him for a while.

    On the Vaughan thing, he reminds me a bit of Denis Kearney. Brolly is a lazy hoor and always has been. It’s very superficial analysis to say Vaughan is a soft lad because of that clip they showed. He’s actually anything but. A bit more grr about the place will do no harm.

    Aidan O’Shea will make a big difference of course but 14 seems the pivotal position to me. Someone was saying to me today that the square ball rule will make Barry Moran the only option there, because he’s big and beefy. I’d sooner see him there and Harte in midfield than vice versa – with the greatest respect to mine host, of course.

    • Willie Joe says:

      Donie in midfield alongside AOS is definitely an exciting option and one we should look at, loathe as I would be to break up the current half-back line. If we did decide to do this, then Lee Keegan could shift to 6, with Shane McHale or Richie Feeney coming in on the wing or indeed Danny Geraghty could be an option for 6. At this stage I think we’d be as well to leave Keith where he is, we certainly shouldn’t swap Colm Boyle back into the corner as he’s completely at home where he is. On the full-forward point, we have a few options to try out – and a fair bit of time to do so – before our first championship outing eight weeks from now. Regardless of who we go for inside, those pumping ball into him should be required to read Digits’ comment below about the quality of ball played in during the Kildare-Tyrone game yesterday!

  21. Seanod87 says:

    @JPM he won’t be playing this summer I believe. Also, it would seem Andy is most effective at 14. I think Vaughan should stay CB, he’s perfect where he is. We’ll be fine in MF when Aidan is back I think.

  22. facetheball says:

    Freeman looked the real deal at FF back in 2010. I wonder will he regain some form. That would be one big headache sorted if he did.

    Are we any worse a team than the Dublin 2010 All Ireland team. I think we are a match for them at the back and in the middle of the park. The forwards is probably where they have a slight advantage (Brogans X 2),if any at all.
    They were no world beaters but still won Sam.

  23. Lobitin says:

    Was talking to Tom Cuniffe earlier today. Had surgery on his knee 6 weeks ago, so hope uhe gets fit enought to make the panel at least! last year was his best yet & would give us more options.

  24. peter murray says:

    [Deleted] are on the verge of being recalled to the panel would that be a step in the right direction or a panic measure bring back kieran mc at full foward while were at it he would take watching along with moran dont tell me hes not as goood as footballer as padraig joyce

  25. ted says:

    There is a bit too much negativity going around. If you stand back and look at our progress the graph continues on an upward trajectory even after sunday. We have made huge strides and while last sunday was disappointing it was not a setback. It was not a hammering in any way shape or form. the backs are as good a unit as we have had in years. Mid filed is definitely fixable. We do have problem in the FF line for sure and this is what horan needs to address and i have no doubt he will. He isnt suddenly gonna stumble on a gooch but he can cut his cloth to measure and im sure he will.

  26. peter murray says:

    your the boss wj i apologise just had a taught we have a choice when we go to the zoo we can pay to see the chimps or not but must our hard earned cash for license fees go to keeping that ape brolly on the box by the way i emailes rte 3 times yesterday and rang once would they put me through to sports dept na no chance looks like we live in a democracy where dictatorship rules as far as rte sport is concerned but then mayo have upset the great plans of rte on more than one occasion come the summer they willl again of that i have no doubt

    • Willie Joe says:

      Peter – thanks for that, I’d just prefer to keep players’ names out of it where rumours about being in or out of the panel are concerned. Agree totally re RTE – their coverage of Gaelic football is a total disgrace and it’s depressing to see the same old faces spouting the same old crap, year in, year out. When I switched on last Sunday evening and saw Brolly and Spillane back I could see that we’re close to the start of the panto season again. I really do think that the only solution is to take the coverage (all of it, radio as well) off them completely. Think about it – no more having to listen to or watch the likes of Spillane, Brolly, O’Rourke, Lyster, Morrissey, Canning, Carthy and ah-um Dessie. What a summer it’d be without that lot!

  27. peter murray says:

    think there would be more chance of trapatoni geting to the top of the reek wj but we can always live in hope thank god we have remote controls lyster for a west of ireland man has really bought the rte shilling when it comes to slagging off mayo should be used to it by now but its boils my kettle at times however come september they might have to sing off a diff hymn book cork might just have done mayo a huge favour last sunday they will be back better and harder for the real deal in the summer just hope we dont get mr blind eyes deegan en route

  28. peter murray says:

    just read noel connellys piece says it all wj nout more to be said on the ape until july

  29. Lobitin says:

    I dont think all RTE’s panelists are in the same boat as Brolly & Mr puke football, Spillane…eg Tony Davis, .McStay & a voice of balance & reason from Derry ‘s Antony Tohill are all fairly good.as is Martin McHugh mostly on radio..Brolly & ‘ Spillane could write headlines for some trashy tabloid. As for ‘Brian Doher is a bad foitballer’ & ‘he’d eat his hat’ O’Rourke, in general he has improved a bit on how bad he was, but he did’nt say Joe Sherdain threw the ball into the net when the single worst decision that I seen in gaelic football denied Louth a deserved Leinster victiory. His comments on that match never mentioned the injustice. How can anyone think this counts as objective.I think they set out to infuriate, & I believe thats what RTE want them to do. In the analayis of other sports RTE use the same formula, eg Eamon Dumphy, mind you they sometimes use him to analayis politics as well. Sure he was going to stand for election, why did’nt he? Anyhow bottom line Mayo & others are going to have to put up with this excuse for ‘balanced & fair’ analayis Fair play to those who have complained, RTE have got their own issues on the subject of integerity on much more serious issues, and for the licence payers to have no choice but to have to pay their fee to RTE . RTE in turn to waste more money on Joe Brolly’s & him calling into question the integerity a very fine player. RTE badly need to cop on. Hopefully in the near future some ‘so called pundits will get their awnser in the best place possible, on the pitch.

  30. John Cuffe says:

    I would like to know how much per year/season/match those panelists get? They are paid from the licence fee so as a licence payer we have a right to know.

    The Sunday Game panelists have moved beyond the role of analysis. They have become the show, not the teams who should be the centre. I would add McHugh to those who have no love for Mayo. Toohill is fair but RTE want show ponys not fair minded analysts.

  31. Rock says:

    I couldn’t give a toss what the likes of Brolly say about Mayo or anyone else for that matter. At least O’Rourke and Spillane can sometimes see the positives in a team or player. Brolly likes to focus his energies on sneering at players and counties.

    He’s a complete clown but RTE will always humour him for his controversial statements, much the same as they do with Dunphy. Sure we’ve talked about little else since Sunday and that’s exactly the response he and RTE are looking for.

  32. Digits says:

    After seeing Brolly, I decided to boycott RTE coverage altogether, outside of the matches themselves. No more analysis for me. Sure wasn’t I either at the match or watching it? Why do I need someone to tell me what I’ve already seen with my two eyes?

  33. Joey says:

    This stuff about coverage is not relevant.
    We have made decent progress recently & I would be of the opinion that in the long term the loss on Sunday could be more beneficial than a win.
    It was good to see Cork having to pull out all the stops including the physical ones in order to win.
    Having said that two issues need addressing before summer.
    1. Goals. You rarely win in Croke Park if you dont at least match the number of goals scored by your opposition. Two goals to nil on Sunday equalled game over. It is a serious concern that we do not seem to be setting up any goal scoring opportunities at all. When have we seen Mayo goals finished in the emphatic nature of the two Cork goals on Sunday ? We need to improve our awareness of opportunities and practice strategies to create more chances for these game changers.
    2. Selection. For me there were selection issues at midfield & in the forwards following the Kerry match yet we still had the same selections in place for the Cork game with the same predictable results. We need to try something new at 14 whether it be Kirby, Freeman, Harte or Andy back in there. We need to have a look at Danny Geraghty at 6 thereby freeing up Donal Vaughan for midfield or 11. If Harte is not at 14 he needs to
    play in the half forwards. Cillian has to be one of the corner forwards. Also we need to react better to the differing requirements of each game with better use of our substitutes.
    A lot done more to do !

  34. Albany says:

    Just watched that piece of Gutter stuff on RTE Player and sent a swift email to RTE; feedback@rte.ie Now I’m not one for garnering sympathy for Mayo anything but, we don’t need that.
    No, what got me was Brolly’s demeanor his posturing and facial expression while having a real personal go at a player who was roundly abused during the game, belied his bias.And lyster in the chair allows this cheap shot to go unchallenged. It matter little that it was a Mayo man being vilified RTE need to hear our views on this shite talk.

  35. Chisel says:

    One major reoccurring problem I see with the team is that we have a habit of coughing up possession rather too easily in our inside forward line and when we do so the opposition whether it be cork or Kerry seem to be able to saunter down the field and get a score at the other end. I counted 3 different occasions when this happened and on the 4th occasion and no fault of Lee Keegans who was clearly fouled, cork went up the other end without a hand been laid on them and got a goal. The inside forward line whatever it will be will need to take more responsibility to win clean possession and if this is not possible to ensure that their man is stopped instantly. We probably need to become more cynical up front.

  36. Sean burke says:

    Did Ciaran mac score six points against ballagh on sat ?

  37. johno,mo on tour.. says:

    we wer,t expected to get to tha final never mind win it n i sure did,t think we,d win it.we are a work n progress n we hav progressed be it alittle bit. a.oshea was a massive loss n our fowards wer poor on tha day,as for barry moran i give up he,s had plenty chances now n has,t done it for me. thought tha sideline had,t a great day either,moran shouda been 1st midfielder off. last week mort. should,t been taken off n ths week he shouda been off earlier.at tha moment wer well behind tha top 3.

  38. jr says:

    I looked at the replay of the Sunday game. Brolly states”i am glad Cork did what they did to him after that”
    Is he condoning, indeed encouraging the violence meeted out to Vaughan.
    He should be asked to explain this comment.
    If he cannot he should be sacked.
    i cannot condone Vaughans actions either.

  39. peter murray says:

    only one thing ive left o say re brolly if heineken made gaubshites brolly would probably be the biggest gaubshite in the world sorrry ill remove the probably from the above statemennt

  40. Sean burke says:

    Honestly, get over the incident,a couple of rattles,big deal.

    Its a big boys game, why mayo people always get all upset over a bit of off the ball aggression,says it all, we have to change that mindset, nothing wrong with a bit of mean spirit, ,you’ll not hear Kerry or Cork for that matter whinge about tadgh kennelly clothes hanger in that final.

    The soft attitude has to be dropped, you might think I’m raving but I strongly believe it has to be wiped from the whole mayo set up.

    Fcuk who you hurt, hit anything that’s moving to get over that line.

  41. peter murray says:

    its not the game we are onabout its brollys ignorant statement that irks no need to say what he said

  42. Albany says:

    Sean Burke I agree that Mayo need to stop talking about being tough and man up on the day when it counts, they did this to a degree only on Sunday.
    Ok but the point I make about Brolley’s excuse for analysis is that it is insulting to any sporting individual, that it was a mayo man he insulted and then went on to insult the whole lot of us by declaring his delight that we were beaten is a personal insult to me a Mayo man and I have made my views known to RTE on this matter.

  43. jr says:

    Albany
    look at my quote above
    What he said was personal to vaughan & a disgrace.

  44. gaamama says:

    @ Sean Burke: Cross played Burrishoole on Saturday. I wasn’t at the match but heard that Mac played a blinder…

  45. Mister Mayor says:

    Lads, I’m over here in the US and while I saw the game, I didn’t see the Sunday night show, nor hear Brolly’s comments. I’ll take your word for it that they were unfair to say the least but really, we need to ignore his snide comments and move on. DV got some belts by the Cork lads but to be honest, the dive was probably pent up frustration. He’s a young lad, only 23 and he will learn from the experience. Having said all that, he is one tough lad and I admire his skill and toughness, ala the tussle he had with Canty on the sideline. No backing off! But didn’t lash out, which is what Canty wanted.
    I’m not as disappointed with this loss as I have been with previous ones. Maybe it’s because its the league and not the championship. But after viewing the match again while taking into account our shortfalls in MF and FF, the five point margin was rather generous and IMHO doesn’t accurately reflect the gap in class between us and Cork. We conceded way too much ground in the middle third, yet Cork didn’t eat us alive. With AOS there, they wouldn’t have had that much possession and therefore less time and space to charge up the middle. We shouldn’t tinker too much with the midfield and when AOS is healthy and fit again, we just need a wingman for him. I think it was John Cuffe that mentioned in a previous post that we should try DV at midfield. I think thats definitely worthy of a try out. With his skill and mobility he could be a natural alongside AOS. What to do about FF, that’s for another days discussion.
    Before i finish, back to the match for a minute. As I said, I think the five point margin was generous considering that Cork got the rub of the green. The first Cork goal was class and even though he was tightly marked, O’Neill finished with conviction! It’s tough to defend against that. Even so, at that time, the game was still up for grabs and Mayo didn’t capitulate. I think Kevin Mc hit a point soon after that to put two in it. However the turning point was the “no call” on Keegan’s drive toward the Cork goal. The subsequent turnover led to Goold’s attempt coming off the upright and bouncing right into the hands of Walsh, who of cousre rattled the net. That sequence of events led to a four point swing in the match and even though we didn’t capitulate, it was all but over.
    IMO, that sequence was the game right there. Cork were presented with an opportunity to goal and they took it. If we learn anything from this defeat, it is that “goals win games”.

  46. John Cuffe says:

    Wrong about Cork Kerry and Kennelly. That “tackle” made it into Kennellys book with the words of “cop that mate”. The ghost writer “copped” the blame for the words. Jack O Connor described it as not the Kerry way.

    Currently Kerry are worse than Ashely Young for gamesmaship , falling down and stopping the game. Gooch and Donaghy and O Sullivan are always in the refs ear. Recall the Kerry goal where Clarke nearly got decapitated. When the kerry scorer got up to run out Darren O Sullivan spoke to him. Whatever Darren said caused the boy to fall on the ground as if shot. Funny Brolly never noted that bit of showmanship.

  47. peter murray says:

    i agree with john cuffe regards to kerry when kerry are losing a game in the last ten mins they never get injured but when the are a few points up in the closing stages and under pressure like the were against mayo every time the got tackled the went down feigning injury to waste time and break up the momentum of the opposition against mayo they were in the refs face from start to finish especially gooch and donaghy theres too much premership gamesmanship creeping into our game and its sad to see it never seing the kerrys or the dubs of the 70s at it mind you refs like deegan shouldntbe let near a under 16 match never mind a national final

  48. JPM says:

    Its clear that gamesmanship is a big part of the makeup in Kerry and Cork. Its worthy of the question … is it justified? Cork won the game he last day and whether we like it or not their gamesmanship helped them achieve that.

    Kerry are no different ! They will do whatever it takes as well to get the result. Winning is all that matters.

    The question is what will the GAA do about this? The answer seems to be nothing whether this is becasue both these are seen as 2 out of the top 3 in the country and as such have too big a profile to tackle.

    We have 2 choices.
    (a) Continue to play the way we are doing it and hope that good referees and luck will prevail in our favour in the long run.

    (b) goto the same level that Cork and Kerry operate at and engage in the same antics and gamemanship. Try and get fellas sent off, feign injury but make sure to get over the line at all costs.

    Personally I would choose option (a) however you depend a lot on the referee making correct decisions. And this doesn’t happen consistently on a field with 30 players.

    So maybe optin (b) should be part of our makeup as well. After all it seems fine and fair for the 2 outta the top 3 to have it.

  49. Sean burke says:

    Fair enough but using the book controversy or the official line given by Kerry is taken my point out of context. He is a legend to Kerry fans, the incident was planned and worked because of the timing.

    I enjoy reading your posts John, so I don’t want to seem like I’m just in disagreement for the sake of it. I do feel though it has to be pointed out that in the modern game, players at not only county level but senior club level too will be directed to do things that the media will never hear of, it is a lot more cynical than lay men realise.

    We have a mighty football team at the moment, who are starting to get respect, horan has added a bit more steely determination,, I would like to see a couple of hardmen thrown into the mix to bring us to the top level, that will sound simplistic but that’s my opinion.

    For the summer apart from what I said above, which isn’t goin to happen at this stage anyway, I would like to see AOS and RMG in midfield and Ciaran Mac back on the panel. Laugh all you like about mac been too old etc, he is flying according to reports I got on sunday after the game, he did score six v Ballagh but it was the sat previous to last.

  50. peter murray says:

    its time we had 2 referees on the pitch because umpires and linesmen dont seem to be at the same games having said that we havnt got two decent refs in the game at the moment its time ex county players were encouraged to take up reffin people who have played the game at a decent level time the gaa moved into the 21 century

  51. JPM says:

    It would be worth WJ (or An Spailpín) doing a piece on gamesmanship within the GAA and making reference to a lot of points here including the GAAs and RTEs unbalanced opinions on it.

  52. deelrover says:

    Our lads took serious second and third man tackle hits on sunday, very dangerous stuff and on the day all the guys walked off the pitch, hopefully no long term problems esp DV.

    Shields , Cadogan, O’Leary, Canty, Kissane P O’Neill all dished out numerous high tackles elbows and looked to be targeting the head area when possible etc these fouls would have recieved red cards in earlier rounds of the league but in a Final its the law of the jungle, sort it out yourselfs lads.

    The game itself I think came down to the 56th minute when Mayo two points down and keegan was fouled on the cork 21, instead of a free in, Deegan waved play on, the ball went down LKs side and ended in a cork goal.

    finally, While enjoying a Mcdonalds in Longford a discussion overheard at the next table where a young lad with a new mayo shirt just after his first day in croker asked his seasoned dad,
    ‘But.. But.. if the ref was that bad why was he not substituted,’
    from the mouths of babes…. New rule for next years congress ?

  53. John Cuffe says:

    Sean, nothing personal nor was I attacking your well made point. I actually would go much further than you and say a few things that at the moment might upset people. We need to toughen up but that wont happen by accident. Tough players make tough men. We have nice players, well thought of players but remember this folks the Bellews, Lyons, Johnny Fordes, Tom Langans, Paddy McCormicks, Tomas mannions , Galvans and yes O Leary’s are as essential to winning as are the Gooches, Joyces, Solons, Flying Docs, Brogans etc. Until we get the mix of throwing in a few “dogs” to guard the henhouse, expect to get ambushed both on and off the pitch.

  54. pk says:

    You have to shake your head and feel ashamed at some of the posts from people who call themselves ‘good county men’.

    Some of the comments are an absolute disgrace. I certainly hope players dont read this because if I was a county player reading this you’d have to question why do you bother? A certain Paidi O’Se comes to mind.

    A few weeks ago we were pure shite. We beat Dublin and Cork then we’re one of the best teams… we lose a league final and now we’re back to where we were. We finished 4th remember so we had good days and bad days so we just need to get some consistency in and keep working. As a club player I have played with/against alot of the lads and I know the effort they put in so lay off a bit. I have no doubt that some posters are of playing age and if ye were so good lads ye’d have made the county team….and all those of playing age have ye ever played county? No thats what I thought? Let he without sin cast the first stone! Tom C was lambasted last year after the Kerry game and now lads want him back, and now once again lads are questioning why such and such is there…they are the best club players in the county so thats why they’re there….FACT!

    As I said they are the best players in the county and maybe its a matter of looking at our game plan, and having to adjust it to play to our strengths. I have to laugh at lads criticising Barry Moran…he was man of the match in the county final, marking and cleaning out his fellow midfielder on Sunday in the process and was one of the players of the club championsip so he’s good enough to be there. He was one of a handful when the chips were down in Longford got stuck in and showed some pride (sure half the posters here werent even at that match), and down in Ennis in the u21 All Ireland winning team was the pick of the midfielders. His distribution is very good, as was seen on Sunday with some of his passes (unfortunately other players on the team have poor distribution). If you look at Connellys piece as WJ said he acknowledges (and the dogs on the street know this) that the kickouts were straight down the middle Sunday and predictive. Cork have the best midfield in the country (Murphy coming off the bench says something) and they are not gonna let our boys catch. Even still, Gibbons and Moran still caught some balls from the kickout. Opposition are gonna break so its time we worked on hoovering up breaks and on getting the kickouts right in training. Picking up breaks is vital, Galvin and Dooher are experts at it and Dillon in the past knew how to do, lets hope he can do this in the championship again; he won an All Star for it so realist I dont know what shite you are on about him not making a Kerry junior team! I think Pat Harte aerially is not big enough for 8 0r 9 but he could do a job at half forward picking up the breaking ball…its time our wing backs, wing forwards bucked up on this.

    I have mentioned big Barrys distribution and its time we all worked on the fast direct ball. Some of the distribution in the league was shocking, so hit your men in space and stop carrying into tackles because big teams like Cork and Dublin can do this.

    Sorry if I have broken any rules but thats just how passionately I feel about some of the bullshit coming from ‘fans’

    • Willie Joe says:

      PK – no bother, no rules broken there but I’d just go a bit easier on criticising others who have made comments. Everyone is entitled to express their own opinions – as you are yourself – with the sole proviso that everyone obeys the same basic rules. Likewise, anyone can challenge what others have said providing they stick to the point and don’t stray into attacking the person who made the point rather than the point made.

  55. mayo.mick says:

    Lads, just got around to doing this now, I’ve uploaded a few photo’s from the match here;

    http://pix.ie/mayomick/album/440209

  56. Meathman99 says:

    Horan’s building a hardworking, very fit team but there’s still a few pieces of the puzzle missing.

    Kickouts definitely a big problem for Mayo. Don’t win enough breaks but the opp. half-forwards always have an advantage when the ball’s put down the middle constantly.

    Poor enough ball into the two-man full-forward line and they really don’t see enough of it kicked into them. Mort is devastating if he gets one on one with a back. Where does Cillian O’Connor fit into this? Roving between the square and the forty? Doubt we’ll see any major changes bar Moran starting full-forward but that would be interesting.

  57. Dan says:

    Well said pk. We seem to shift from one extreme to another.
    Our nadir came in Longford nearly 2 years ago. I don’t think I ever felt as low and lacking in optimism about our future.
    No-one can deny we’ve improved and made great strides since then. Our graph is heading in the right direction, so we need a bit of patience and to have some trust in the people who will inevitably know more than we do about the current Mayo squad.

    It seems the same every time we lose – blame Mortimer, blame Dillon etc…
    The Dillon one I can never understand. He was one of the best players on the pitch against Dublin and Kerry. He had an off day against Cork (along with a few others) and he’s mentioned again as being lucky to keep his place. All players have an off day, even a few off days.
    The management know what they’re doing and we shouldn’t doubt that they will always select the best available 15.

    Anyway, it’s nearly Championship time now. Forget about the league. Time to get 100% behind the team and management and look ahead with a fair degree of optimism.

  58. Taigho says:

    PK- I would have to agree with you on Barry Moran’s performance in the u21 AIF.I expected him to silence his critics last Sunday . He did ok but unfortunatly did not reach his full potential as a senior midfielder yet.JH will know whither he is ready yet for the championship.All our six possible midfielders had some great moments during the league,to get the right combination is key.I have every faith that JH and his team will do this Yes we should give credit to our players performance against both Kerry and Cork for their resilience.As stated they were outscored 12 to 11(Albeit 2 goals against us.) The full forward line needs a better supply or if not, more physical type of players that can get 50/50 possition.

  59. Patriot says:

    PK just for your info the reason that Barry Moran did so well in last years county final on young gibbons was because Jason broke two fingers after 10 minutes in the game. He couldn’t catch a ball and he had to break the ball down as best he could. That’s also a FACT.

    The Longford game was 2010. And yes I was there! Moran did ok in that game. But he was deemed not good enough by the new Mayo management in 2011 and was let go by the men in charge. What has changed this year??? While Barry is decent and no one is denying that, he doesn’t look comfortable running and he struggled badly. He wasn’t able to stay with his man and at inter county level against strong teams like cork he is inevitably going to struggle. Look at the two o Shea’s against Kerry last yr in the all Ireland semi. Both struggled because they are too similar in bulk and athleticism. I’ve no doubt that Aidan o Shea will be our first choice midfielder in the summer. But we have got to play Donie Vaughan or Jason Gibbons beside him as they have the ability to go box to box and work like Trojans.

    He doesn’t matter a damn what players have done in years gone by. This is now. Reputations stand for nothing. Just ask Tom parsons, Aidan Kilcoyne, mark Ronaldson etc. I can see some players come the culling of the squad getting a shock. And some even a long overdue wake up call.

  60. pk says:

    Well I’ll have to take your word for it…(but going off the points made) doesnt it seem a but stupid to leave him on BM for the remainder of the game ….especially after he was involved in Kirbys goal early on and being named in the team of the week after the Knockmore game? I dont see how any manager would do that! And would a man be able to play a game 2 weeks later against Corofin with 2 broken fingers???? Well the medical literature out there doesnt say so but sure you might know more on what happened?

    I happen to know one or 2 of those lads through club football and I wouldnt be so insensitive to ask them and I certainly hope you wouldnt! ‘Doesnt matter what players have done in years gone by….Reputations stand for nothing’ nice quote there really….well they can always take out their connacht, All Ireland winner and runner up medals if you feel like asking them or saying that to them.
    Regarding 2011 I believe injury earlier in the year was a key factor, missed a few club games I think but he went through the rest of the club campaign and turned his fortune around and I hopefully look forward to tapping those 3 lads that you have singled out on the back when they do the same hopefully! Up Mayo

    Last point….this post resembles previous ones about AOS…doesnt look comfortable running etc. Now its the complete opposite…’a sure starter’ Its still only league….June 20th is a long way away and Id imagine BM will be there. Would you have dropped AOS last year after all the giving out that was done? You’d be regretting it now if you did

  61. peter murray says:

    if aos isnt fit for championship football and i hope he is who do we turn to?

  62. livenhope says:

    Williejoe …. Have Mayo ever won a match with Maurice Deegan the referee?

  63. Patriot says:

    Gibbons still had broken fingers against corofin and played because he was so crucial to the cause. There was nobody near good enough to replace him. And if you remember that game too he couldn’t catch the ball only hit it down.

    Of course Aidan o Shea wouldn’t have been dropped off the Mayo panel last year. At the Mayo / Roscommon u21 game he was immense. He was way better than anyone else on the pitch and it was clear to anyone that knows anything about football that he has a seriously bright future.

    Just to go back to the point about Barry Moran, he was brought into the Mayo squad when we was 18 by John Maughan. He has been around a long time now and it’s no secret that he has been dogged by injuries. Most of them beyond his control. It’s clear to see from the way the lad runs that he is struggling to keep up. He labours hard to get to a man and can’t run box to box like a midfielder should. Nobody is doubting his ability and his talent. But in croke park in wide open spaces Barry will struggle against alot of other county players. Maybe the guy is still injured. Maybe the injuries have taken their toll on him. I don’t know but Barry doesn’t look comfortable. I’d still have him on my panel but as a choice for full forward. That’s all.

    And PK I know most of the Mayo players and Mitchels club players and alot of other club players. Do you think that players from clubs that have won something and on the county team give a shit about whose who on various teams? Not likely because reputations count for nothing. Alot of guys wouldn’t have county medals or Connacht medals if they thought about reputations. And as for a runners up all Ireland medals????? Seriously. Do you think that any Mayo player, Ballina or crossmolina player that have one, would boast or crow about it? Not likely and never will. And that’s a fact!

  64. pk says:

    ‘it was clear to anyone that knows anything about football that he has a seriously bright future’… I didnt doubt that but I said if you were to listen to the bloggers here it would have been the same state of affairs. The same goes for the likes of Barry, Alan Dillon, and even Andy Moran (the captain) was getting criticised for some of his league performances.

    I think Maughan 1st brought him into the U21 team the year they reached the All Ireland and into senior the year after. Maughan knew how to use him and he didnt struggle against other county players. Now in the last few years he has been shifted from midfield to 14 and back again and so on. Personally I wouldnt like to see him 14 because the ball going in is pure shite and if you look at most of them they are shots that are mishit and fall short. There is very little diagonal ball or ball falling ideally. Kerry know how to use Donaghy, Dublin O’Gara….we dont. I have made the point about some of our distribution. We also tend to carry the ball too much into the tackle, and Cork and Dublin will leave some players in the Mater if you do that!
    Talking about using players…people talk about moving Vaughan to midfield. I dont think we have another 6. I think Tom C and Howley are options but are not around. In Ruislip last year I thought the way Howley was played was a shambles, and he was not played in position. Starting as a corner forward against London and acting as a sweeper???? Never understood the need for that. Anyway Trevor, whos a unit and a good back didnt feature after that and is Oz at the minute and is a loss I think. Are we gonna do similar stupid tactics when we meet another division 4 team this year? So its time we started using our strengths and playing players the way they like to play.

    I just brought up AOS because he was criticised for his athleticism. And do you not think that SOS is less athletic than Barry, and poor Aidan will have a big fight to get fit after a serious injury. I still think Pat Hartes roll should be wing forward with Dillon picking up breaks, because we struggle there.

    Patriot the point I was making about the medals was I wouldnt dare criticise them because they have achieved more than you and I so until I match them in that sense I will admire any player on the county. I still think Kilcoyne in particular could have something to offer, I just hope he finds his form again

  65. peter murray says:

    kilcoyne and tom parsons were unlucky to hae being dropped from the panel now is the time in the challenge games to give them a crack at it they would have more to prove sometimes a good short sharp shock works wonders

  66. jr says:

    Now that the dust has settled i think we are in a better place then last year.

  67. jr says:

    Now that the dust has settled i think we are in a better place then last year.

  68. CiderMan says:

    Peter – Parsons isnt even playing club football this year. Kilcoyne totally slipped off form last year, and is he not supposed to have emigrated to London?

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