Nature abhors a vacuum and all that, which is why I reckon that debate about the merits or otherwise of the panellists on The Sunday Game has taken legs in the way it has. It passes the time, I suppose, and there’s still plenty of time to while away before the 8th of June.
There’s more than enough stuff to fill the vacuum today, though, to which some of you have already alluded. In fact, James Horan is all over the papers today, arising from his interview in this week’s Western People and a similar in-depth interview with James is also in today’s Mayo News.
I haven’t got links to either of these pieces (though obviously you can get your hands on paper or digital variants of either or both if you want) but the resultant coverage I’ve come across is here – Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, RTÉ, Hogan Stand, Live Gaelic.
I don’t have that much time to dwell on all this at the minute but I think it’s easy enough to see the wood from the proverbial trees on the issues that arise from it.
First off is the New York event where, to be honest, it looks as if all sides to the argument have a point. The County Board needed to fundraise (our lot aren’t the Dublin County Board, after all, swimming in that tsunami of cash so fundraising is a necessary evil), the fans paid their dollars and many – especially, one assumes, the ex-pats – would have liked to have seen the players while James had to make sure his squad was fully focused on the match.
The bottom line, surely, is that the players were facing into a championship match and so James was absolutely correct to insist that pre-match social events of any kind were out of bounds for the playing party. It all sounds like a bit of a cock-up, to be honest, but nothing worth going to war about and one assumes that when this meeting takes place with the County Board on it that’s the last we’ll hear about it.
A more serious issue is the story put about by the Connaught Telegraph about a rift between James and Donie Buckley, with James denying furiously that there’s any substance to this allegation. It’s worth bearing in mind that this is the same paper that ran that shameful, scurrilous hatchet-job on the manager in the aftermath of last year’s All-Ireland and has been sniping at him constantly ever since.
For my money, I think that James’ explanation about how he and Donie split the training between the players based at home and those in Dublin rings true and I reckon that this is just more shit-stirring from a paper that seriously needs to cop itself on.
Finally, the best bit of news I’ve seen out of all of today’s reports is the one buried away at the end (of the Indo one) which is that David Clarke is back in action. That, folks, is seriously good news.