It’s hard to keep up with all the comments on this blog, and after last Saturday, I didn’t really have the heart for it.
We’ve been here before. In the league, we started like a steam train. We were brilliant. The odds in Paddy Power began to fall and we started to believe, maybe…….just maybe!
And then the wheels came off the wagon against the Dubs in Croke Park. We looked lost all over the field. We were useless, we wouldn’t beat our way out of a wet paper bag, same old, same old, etc. And then we lost to Galway, even worse than same old.
And then we picked ourselves up, beat Kerry in Tralee, went on to win the league, and suddenly we were world beaters again. Only to crash and burn again in Castlebar against the Rossies, bringing us back to the depths of despair again.
All this since the end of January and it’s only feckin’ May! I really don’t have the emotional capacity for this rollercoaster.
In the last few years, I have come to believe that we are a team that learns and forgets quickly in equal measure. When we get beaten, we pick ourselves up quickly. We seem to learn from what went wrong.
But as soon as all seems right we make the same mistakes all over again. And it is this madness of riding the same rollercoaster all the time and expecting a different result that is driving the entire county to distraction.
We have a number of confidence players. When their tails are up they are brilliant. When they make one mistake, they make several.
Saturday wasn’t a good day at the office for Robbie. When it wasn’t going his way, Clarke should have been brought on to steady the ship.
Diarmuid’s first three games in the league were at midfield, he is a shadow of what he could be when he plays in the half-forward line. Rotating him in and out of midfield, allowing Aido to break forward would get the mojo back.
Keith stands off his man and was caught for the first goal. The time to really use Keith is when the game is in the melting pot. Can anyone remember the impact he had in the second half? I can’t. He was probably told at half time to get tighter and defend more. His confidence comes from surging forward. A fresh Zippy in the last twenty minutes would have been a great asset.
In the league final, Barrett took on and silenced Tommy Walsh. He repeated the dose on Donoghue. Why was he not moved on to Cox who was giving Harrison a torrid time?
Kevin Mc is a great link player but not an out-an-out scorer. Why is he playing in the corner?
Why was Andy brought on as a blood sub for Darren Coen when there are big rangy young lads on the sideline just bursting for action? Again a fresh Andy Moran coming on late in a tight game is likely to have a greater impact. Why was he brought on ahead of Diskin?
Why was there no left-sided freetaker on the field at the end when we had not used all our subs? And why the hell can ANY inter-county forward not kick over a free from the 20 metre line, halfway in from the sideline?
I’m a great fan of James Horan, but from what I’ve just written you can see that I don’t believe James had a good game on the line on Saturday. It was too conservative. It relied on the old guard and didn’t trust youth.
But I really believe that a bolder approach from James will re-embolden this group. We can only lose one more time this year. It’s time to go all in. Unleash the hounds, throw everything into the pot and go for it. It will bring us up the rollercoaster one more time.
Let’s just see how high we can go. Feck it, we’ve been up and down the damn thing twice this year already. Once more won’t kill us!
Keep the Faith!