A few thoughts on the qualifier draw

Photo: RTÉ

So, a bit over twelve hours since the Round 1 qualifier draw was made, I suppose it’s time for a few idle thoughts on our getting paired with Monaghan on Saturday week.

The first thing, as I said on the pod with Mike and Billy Joe this morning, was that while we could have got a better draw, we could equally have ended worse off. Getting one of the three Ulster teams was what we wanted to avoid and, in that regard, the draw didn’t give us what we were looking for. Had we been paired away with Tyrone, though, that would without question have been worse.

There’s no getting away from the fact that, as first matches in the qualifiers go, this test is a far tougher one than any of the ones we’ve faced since 2016. Monaghan are a battle-hardened Division One outfit who know us well and they won’t be at all fazed at facing us.

That said, playing us away has to be one of the worst picks they could have got. Like us, they’d have much preferred one of the softer options but neither of us were fated to get what we wanted in the draw.

So, for us, Monaghan it is. Beating them and being in the hat for the Round 2 draw is our sole focus for now.

In that sense, today’s draw marks a welcome shift in focus away from looking back at the Galway game, with our gaze instead becoming fixed on the challenge that lies in store for us on Saturday week. That’s only right – our part in this Championship is still there to be fought for and there’s nothing like an upcoming do-or-die fixture to concentrate minds.

That said, we can’t ignore either what has gone before, in particular the four defeats we’ve suffered in the last five matches we’ve played. Our form has been poor since March and, if we’re to make any kind of decent fist of this summer campaign, we need to find a richer vein of form. Otherwise there’ll be many long months of introspection up ahead for us before we kick a ball in anger again.

The injury situation certainly isn’t going to help us in that respect. With Ryan O’Donoghue almost certainly missing for Round 1 and others, including Jordan Flynn and Bryan Walsh, still unavailable while Tommy Conroy, Brendan Harrison and now Michael Plunkett are all gone for the entire campaign, with ongoing uncertainty over Robbie Hennelly and Oisín Mullin, it’s fairly clear that we’ve more than our fill of injury worries right now.

How far we can be expected to progress hampered to the degree that we are is an open question. But it’s not one that needs to be – nor, in truth, can be – answered right now. All we have to think about at the minute is putting out the strongest selection we have to take on Monaghan the next day.

Those looking for a silver lining to the dark clouds hanging over us ahead of the Monaghan game can, with validity, point to our strong qualifier record at MacHale Park since 2016. We’re unbeaten in qualifier matches at the venue and in the last six years we’ve beaten three Ulster teams – Fermanagh, Derry (after extra-time) and Armagh – in the qualifiers on our home patch. We also saw off highly-fancied Donegal in the so-called Super 8s at MacHale Park three years ago.

Monaghan’s qualifier record over the same time period, by contrast, compares badly. While they’ve managed back door victories on the road since 2016, these have come in exotic places like Carlow and Carrick-on-Shannon. The Farney lads have never faced a qualifier test away from home remotely as tough as the one they’re heading into on Saturday week and so they’re likely to approach this one with some trepidation.

And that’s where the Mayo supporters come in. At their worst, our home matches can be stifling, oppressive affairs, with the players seemingly afflicted by the negative vibes being projected down from the stand. Although this frequently happens in the League and too often in the Connacht Championship as well, the fans have always dug in and got behind the team to the full for those all-or-nothing qualifier games.

A big Championship crowd, the vast bulk our lot, would certainly help our cause on Saturday week. The team could do with plenty of loud, raucous backing that afternoon and supporters too could do worse than letting off steam with plenty of May-Oh! chanting. While it might be a stretch to evoke 2017 and all being in it together once again, the team and its large, loyal fanbase could certainly do with reconnecting with each other.

So, the countdown is on to our next Championship outing. We now know who we’re up against, we’re well aware how tough the challenge is likely to be but we can also see that, from their standpoint, this is not a test Monaghan will be relishing.

Our track record since 2016 shows that, for the most part, we operate best when everything is on the line. It certainly will be on Saturday week and that’s as far ahead as we are entitled to look right now. It’s far enough and the challenge is significant enough to concentrate minds fully on what’s facing us then.

75 thoughts on “A few thoughts on the qualifier draw

  1. Hi Willie Joe. Your summary is spot on . playing any of the 4 division 2 teams would do us no favours. Monaghan in Castlebar is the easier of the 6 other options. Because of our injuries situation we have our work cut out to advance to round 2. But we will and we can then hope to get ……dare I say it….limerick!!

  2. Should we read into the fact that you couldn’t see the glass of balls for the draw and that you ended up with two crowd generating matches ideal for TV?

    I can’t think of ever seeing a draw…where you couldn’t see the draw!

    I don’t like the information vacuum on injuries. Management need to tread carefully..after all well soon have to discuss the ‘elephant in the room’…that this is Horan’s last year of his second 4-year term.

  3. Ya I’d say you not seeing the draw was James Horans or Ciaran Macs fault or even the Mayo S+C coach …
    Ah no , Seriously I’m happy enough with Monaghan even though I did vote for Meath in previous poll …
    Roll up the sleeves… loads of injuries but plenty of lads chomping at the bit to pull on the Mayo jersey

  4. Well Monaghan it is. They will test us if we are good enough to remain in the race for Sam this year. With all all the unfortunate injuries, the loss of form of key players and the observed body language of James over the last 4 games I am not too optimistic. I hope I am totally wrong.
    This match could be the reset button for Mayo going forward.
    The future is bright, the talent is there and the conveyor belt is rolling along nicely.
    Get behind James and the boys to keep our summer dreams alive.
    Rapid recovery wishes to all our injured heroes.
    Mayo forever!

  5. I watched the Monaghan/Mayo league game again today and what struck me was that we actually scored 2 very good Goals, very well constructed by the team and very well finished by Ryan O Donoghue and Jason Doc.. Since that Sunday in Clones we seem to have gone off the boil as regards creating or scoring Goals… We will probably need to rediscover our Midas touch in front of Goals, if we are to prevail versus the Farney!

  6. No point in thinking about the draw now, it is what it is, all Mayo have to do is beat them.

  7. I actually don’t rate Monaghan that highly, and I certainty don’t rate Banty – footballing dinosaur, if you ask me. However, they are not a bad team and have some very good individuals, many whom would be straight onto the Mayo team. My worry is that we are so weak in the forward line now, especially without our best player – Ryan. Cillian needs to deliver a huge performance and even then, so does James Carr and possibly a bolter from one of the younger lads, like Orme or Towey. I really don’t want to see Coen drafted in to replace Ryan – it’s all about pace! It would be massive to have Hennelly and Mullin fully fit for this.

  8. Great summary Willie Joe.. I agree that there is a disconnect between the fan base and the team at the minute and there is no better a time to mend that bridge when faced with a massive all or nothing challenge arriving at your door.

  9. No chance, Sean, the Mayo News is reporting this morning that the Minor final will be played on the evening of Bank Holiday Monday.

  10. I see WJ that you referenced Ryan to be almost certainly out and GBX1 also saying the same. Is that insider knowledge? We know he picked up a knock but hadn’t heard it was that serious. If he’s out, then that’ll be a massive blow. I’d be a lot more nervous about getting a result if he doesn’t start.

  11. That’s in the paper today too, Ah now – Mike Finnerty has a comprehensive rundown on the position (insofar as it’s known) on all the injuries. Ryan’s problem is reported to be a groin problem and he’s a major doubt for the Monaghan game.

  12. Darren Coen is exactly who id start instead of Ryan. Darren can pop them over from play no bother. He saved us against Armagh in the qualifiers 3 years ago (also in Castlebar). Coen came on against Dublin last year and scored a massive point at the right time. Carr had a couple of horrendous wides just before Coen’s point, it really set us on our way to victory. Im not knocking Carr, he should be starting if fit, i think he is a quality player, and has a good gallop once he gets going, but I trust Coen more to actually put the ball over the bar. Yeah Darren isn’t the fastest, but he’s able to get out in front or come of the shoulder and kick massive scores.

  13. He is a huge loss, Ah now. But you could realistically have a team like this lining out on Sat week.

    Hennelly
    Keegan Coen O’Hora
    Eoghan Mullin Durcan
    Aidan Ruane
    Boland Diarmuid McHale
    Carr Cillian Orme

    That team is one of the strongest in the country, 1 to 9. And those forwards can all score but pace is one thing seriously lacking 10 – 15. Hopefully though, it’s enough to get over Monaghan.

  14. Could someone share a summary of the injury updates in the paper mentioned (nothing in the online versions) however vague they maybe…

  15. He did well that day, Lineball. Though my recollection of that Armagh game is Kevin Mc saving us off the bench with 1-1 from play! Actually 2019 was Coen’s best year for Mayo, shot the lights out against Roscommon. He can pop them over when there is oceans of space, which he had in both this games – maybe he will get that against Monaghan but I expect they will be a lot tighter (surely every team Mayo play from now on will pack the defense!). The substitution by Horan against Dublin was perfect. Game opening up massively and Mayo were creating chances but needed good shooters and Coen delivered. However, he is also highly erratic and takes on the daftest shots – the amount of times he shoots for points and the ball bounces before it gets to the goal is crazy for an inter county player! I just think he is too one-dimensional.

    I just think a FF line with Cillian and Coen in it is way too slow. They are basically the same type of player – though Cillian a lot better! Carr has serious pace for a tall man and he can create something out of nothing. Great for winning frees too. He’s a nailed on starter in my opinion. Also, beyond me why he was taken off against Galway.

  16. Don’t think I heard McBrien mentioned on the podcast. Surely he’s the man for FB if fit. He hasn’t had a huge amount of game time but I think he has the ability. He would be a curve ball too for Monaghan. Coen can’t command more than impact sub role IMO.

  17. Good point Catcol. McBrien is a good shout. Mohan is not the main danger but he is a big lad too, so would need someone with size on him.

  18. Lots of very good players in our panel but could do with 1 or 2 more very speedy forwards. Could we play Paddy Durcan in the half forwards and entrust Stephen Coen and Oisin presuming fit with defensive half back roles or alternatively Oisin up in half forwards. I think it would just give us a bit more balance, we have some very fast backs. Tyrone did this with Mattie Donnelly and in the past they moved Joe McMahon from wing forward to full back to deal with Kerry’s twin towers. Carr and Cillian up front but Orme might be more a half forward, the lad has a very good football brain and rarely coughs up the ball, also good at turnovers and half lost causes like Ryan. Maybe Towey or Darren Coen as 3rd FF line option unless we have a speedy citog in reserve. Otherwise Jason Doc probably helped by the 6 weeks is probably back to championship pitch.

  19. I see a lot of people calling for McBrien to be called in for full-back if fit. I know options are few and far between with injuries but I think it’s a serious gamble. I saw him play against Galway in Tuam in the league when we gave Galway a trimming but he looked a bit loose to me.

  20. if you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul Shuffly, I’d go for Eoghan McLaughlin in the forwards. I think leaving Paddy where he’s best is the order of the day.

  21. I posted yesterday about the possibility of the minor game played before the seniors and was a bit surprised it wasn’t mentioned again until Sean posted it. If the county board have any respect for the fans and minors it would be a great opportunity to use it as a curtain raiser for the big game especially if it’s galway (not sure if sligo are due to play in mayo next if they come through). It would be a great experience for the u17s to play in front of a big crowd. I think we need to be putting the idea out there.

  22. A mayo team potentially without Ryan o Donohoe. A man who has carried us all year. I would really fear where are the scores going to come from. .we have to Start coen . Doherty and coc not going to shoot the lights out in my opinion.

  23. This is going to be one tough match but if we could win it it opens up the championship for us. I think we will just about have enough to beat Monaghan with all the injuries we have. I agree with WILLIE JOE that the supporters will have a big part to play in this game. As supporters we really need to up our game from the Galway game and start cheering and chanting from when the ball in thrown in and not stop until the final whistle and Mayo have won the match. I really think loud vocal support drives the team on . It used to drive me on to greater effort when i was playing football. ALSO i think the minor final should be on that day as well and it would really help both minor teams in the all-ireland seris. There has to be some joined up thinking here and lobby JOHN PRUNTY AND THE CONNACHT OFFICALS WHO FIX THE MINOR FINAL

  24. I would suggest that the minor final is on Monday because of TV rights. I think it will be televised on TG4!

  25. Have serious doubts about Mullin’s fitness based on the reports. “A race against time to be fit” wouldn’t fill you with confidence.

  26. Galway or Sligo would hardly want to go up against Mayo with a big partisan crowd behind them. Fair is fair.

  27. The way i see our full forward line in depth is:

    First Choice

    13. Tommy Conroy
    14. Cillian O’Connor
    15. Ryan O’Donoghue

    Second Choice

    13. James Carr
    14. Jason Doc
    15. Aiden Orme

    If any of the first choice are injured the second choice are ready to slot in and play a similar role.

    I can see darren mchale or jack carney starting in the forwards.

  28. WJ
    Do you have any clue of the pod cast schedule, guests etc………
    Need something to look forward to!

  29. Thanks WJ. Groin injuries are nasty as they tend to be a recurring problem if not given time to fully heal. No one is irreplaceable but Ryan has really kicked on as a player from last year. Our problem is many other players have not. It’s going to be one interesting team selection.

  30. Anyone looked at tickets on Ticketmaster. They are listed as General Adm. Not seat numbers as per Galway game. Does not even say if they are stand tickets. Anyone know if these are stand tickets and you take whatever seat is available.

  31. Games in MacHale park are nearly always general admission. Basically it’s first come, first served if you want a good seat in the stand.

  32. Just getting back online after a number of hours so, in no particular order:

    – I’ll do an update on the Minor final shortly.

    – On the podcast schedule, I don’t have details of all the shows coming up but I can reveal that the next one, which will be a freebie as well as a Patreon one, features Rob with Ed and Malachy Clerkin (Irish Times and Monaghan). I’m really looking forward to that one and I’m about to do the episode notes for it now. That’ll be online tomorrow at some point.

    – On tickets, seating allocation etc. as Wide Ball says it’s general admission so first up best dressed for the seats. The arrangement for the Galway game, with season ticket holders assigned just their own seat in the stand clearly didn’t work as many (me included) went across the way instead. They’ve sensibly reverted to general admission for the Monaghan game.

  33. Id image the issue with the Minor final venue is if Sligo beat Galway. They are due a home game v Mayo. And id say the Connacht council dont want a repeat of the uproar there was when the u20 final was fixed for Bekan, when Sligo were due a home game (which they got in the end).

  34. Thanks Willie Joe and Wide Ball. For the Galway game all seats in the stand were sold by seat number. Worked well for tickets on general sale other than the very annoying practice by the GAA of selling the seats at the edge of the stand first and then seats in the centre of the stand available on Ticketmaster a few days before the match.

  35. I see tickets are general admission rather than allocated seating.
    Allocated seating worked very well I thought in the Galway game, much prefer that.

  36. Hope im not breaching house rules here, but I was told one of our injured players is good to go against Monaghan. Source is reliable, won’t name player, but he was badly missed against Galway. Im only writing this as im aware we are all frustrated with the lack of clear info coming from the camp, and its nice to hear positive concrete info.

  37. Thanks for that Lineball 2.0, that would be a welcome development alright. I’m not sure if there is going to be any press event ahead of the Monaghan game (there was, I know, talk of one this week but I don’t know if it went ahead or indeed is happening at all) but, as ever, it would be good for some official word on player availability.

  38. Regarding the season tickets, I understood we would get the ticket for a fiver less than the normal price yet in the email it gives the price at €25 which is the set price.

  39. Paul, general admission alot better, my wife and I have 2 season tickets with seperate accounts, and we had tickets opposite ends. We need a great atmosphere in machale park the next day. Crowd were very quiet the Galway game.

  40. Jp2, the £5 off ‘perk’ was one of the benefits that has being removed from the Season ticket unfortunately

  41. Lads,I’m getting a bit giddy here for the first time in a long time.I always felt we’d lose the League final and the Galway game with the injury situation and was down beat before those games.Although we’ve lost a few more players since we’ll have a few back aswell, as is the rules I can’t name names but trust me things are looking up.Dont be surprised to see a bolter from the fringes of the squad make an impact,someone like Fionan Duffy.

    It’s great to see a bit of positivity on here in the comments aswell,as mentioned by a good few posters the supporters have a big part to play here.I remember Big crowds but poor atmosphere in games v Galway in 2016,2017,2018 and this year too.However some of the best Mayo support I’ve ever experienced followed on from those games with smaller but much more vocal Mayo support,remember Derry and Fermanagh in MacHale Park, or the noise at the qualifer v Cork in the Gaelic grounds,they were special days even though there were only about 10k at them,players involved in those games and others have referenced it driving them on.
    It’s the only influence however small it might be we as supporters have.When we played Donegal in the super 8s the Mayo crowd were mental,we have the choice to recreate that or stay quiet and give Monaghan a boost,which are we going to choose?
    We’re still Mayo and we’re still in it together.

  42. He who cannot be named has tweeted about a senior player leaving the panel. Not gonna say who it is, but the ‘news’ if it is news is out there.

  43. Yes Lineball 2.0!! I never, ever hear ANYTHING about the team that everyone else hasn’t already heard.
    I am in no way connected to anyone involved with the set-up but today, by pure accident, I stumbled upon the news that one of our more experienced and influential players (who has great pace….. ) will indeed be available to start on Saturday week. I do not believe the source was blathering.
    The more hands on the pump v Monaghan the better. Good news for sure.

  44. Mayo News 42 mins ago says interview with James Horan this afternoon and nobody has left the panel since Galway game. Plunkett injured and Mullin back training last night.

  45. @ – Sinead37 – That`s positive if Oisin is back. I think himself, Lee and Padraig will be required to keep the Monaghan full forward line wrapped up.

  46. That’s all positive , except for Ryan o d albeit it does not seem at all season ending as per rumour which is good obviously if that’s the case . Get well soon to Plunkett .

    Feeling up for the game now , got a feeling so are the players . Hon Mayo

  47. That’s right, Sinead – we’re recording a short bonus Patreon pod on what was said at the press event a bit later on this evening. Good to have proper news to discuss instead of made up, malicious nonsense.

  48. How about Jordan Flynn? It would be great if he was fit le cunadh De!
    Mhuigeo Abu!!

  49. Great to see Horan chatting to the local press. I also know for definite that another key player not mentioned in that brief Mayo News tweet who missed a lot of the league and the Galway game is back training fully but I respect you don’t want players names mentioned here.
    It has been a strange championship season to date so I’m hoping that it will kick into life over the next two weekends.

  50. We’re due a run of luck and hopefully we’ll get a bounce once a good number return from injury and the hard training will eventually pay off.

  51. Similar news reported by Midwest

    “Mayo manager James Horan confirmed to Midwest Sport today in a media briefing that the Ballintubber man is the only player definitely out of contention for the match in Castlebar.

    The Mayo boss also confirmed that Ryan O’Donoghue suffered a knock but will be pushing hard for the Monaghan game and he also confirmed that Oisin Mullin trained with the squad last night after recovering from a knock.

    Horan also confirmed that no player left the panel since the Galway defeat.”

  52. @MyLeftFoot – Im not surprised Ryan is pushing hard, the lad is a warrior and still only 23, it will take a lot to stop him putting on the green and red jersey Saturday week if its his own choice.

    Hopefully Michael gets well soon, an underrated player for us the past few years who has really pushed on.

    Glad James came out with an update, now I’m looking forward to next weekend.

  53. Its nice to see the tide turning positive.

    The devil always finds work for idle hands.

    Hopefully the majority of the heavy lifting is done now in the prep for Monaghan.

    Regardless of the mood around, this isn’t the time of year to be half supporting the team.
    Those types of discussions on who should or should not ” should ” take place after a campaign and not during.

    You wouldn’t tell the soldiers to ride like hell, and then pull up two feet from the enemy before the battle stats at all.

    Any aggression that’s out there needs to be left out on the pitch and used against the enemy. Not against ourselves.

  54. Ah good to see some positivity. Poor and drawn out atmosphere there since the galway game. Provincial finals which we can sit back and watch this weekend then on to Mchale Park next week.
    Goes without saying the supper should be huge on Saturday week and loud, supportive, encouraging! If we beat monaghan it will be a serious scalp and we push on for the remainder!

  55. Good to hear some reasonably positive injury updates after the last few weeks. Oisín’s hamstring injury didn’t look too bad when walking off during the Galway game, so I’m not surprised he made it back.

    Hopefully that toxic Twitter source will get the message after being shown up for spreading rubbish!

  56. Like all Mayo teams from past to present (personally for me 1989 onwards) I’ve seen the highs, lows, the positive and negative stories but what always remained was tremendous support collectively throughout our beloved red and green from all parts of the globe. I do feel that connection has gone south, we as amateur analysts are always looking for explanations or reasoning or just a bit connectivity. Whether this is by design or petulance, or even stubbornness, our PR has become stagnated and that has played an issue on and off the field.

    What was a great start to the league simply completely flat lined at the end, and continued in the championship with no real answer as to why. Fatigue? Rifts? Club Vs County? RoD/Cillian? The board? Where should Aido play?

    Yes we have been unlucky with injuries but we have also been 2nd best 2-15 in many of our recent games, defensive we’ve struggled, unable to break lines and never really have a plan to go direct. When up against a team thats defensive, which Monaghan will and setting up traps like all ulster teams know how, they’ll blanket defend, counter and score. Monaghan won’t come to Castlebar and be overwhelmed, in fact they’ll be overjoyed. I think we have to be careful not to get too arrogant based on what we think we deserve and the lack of history from our counterparts Monaghan. Newbridge or nowhere springs to mind.

    We have made strides in some aspects and Saturday next will show us where we’re really are, collectively as supporters, players and management. One win can change momentum, another loss and it’s back to the drawing board.

  57. I’m delighted to hear that JH is talking to the media and commented on injuries. I hope the twitter source you all speak of is wrong.
    However, I’m very intrigued. Why would JH bring up the fact that nobody had left the panel? Was he replying to a question? If not, it’s incredibly odd to even mention it.
    I doubt it’s something Horan has brought up himself voluntarily in past press conferences.

    Anyway, more of the same on the updates. Doesn’t do any harm and gets supporters on board.

  58. So what do we think for the team after that? Maybe
    Robbie
    O’Hora Mullin Keegan
    Durcan S Coen E McLaughlin
    A O’Shea Ruane
    McLoughlin D O’Connor Carney
    Ryan O’D/Carr Doherty C O’Connor

  59. He was asked the question directly, Tommy Joe, so was responding to it. He didn’t bring up the topic unprompted.

    We’ll have audio of and chat about the press event in a special bonus pod for club members on Patreon later on. Just finished recording it now so it’ll be online once the editing and back office bits are done on it.

  60. I think JH is just dealing with a story that started last Friday regarding a team member. Seized upon by those with an agenda unfortunately. Using a man’s difficult family situation is not on. We don’t need more negative focus before a big match. Lets get behind whoever gets the honour of wearing the red and green.

  61. Talking about supporting the team and getting the “May-Oh” chant going, I have to say MacHale Park is often filled with shy, mild-mannered Mayo supporters, who are not always tuned into the need to be vocal. I dont blame them, it is their right to watch the match in peace but a big crowd at a match is in of itself, not always beneficial and indeed often counter-productive.

    As an example, I tried several times at the recent Galway game to get the chant going, looked around for people to join in, but people looked at you as if you had two heads.

    Ironically, it is usually easier to get the chant going at away venues, where there is typically a smaller and more concentrated support. The previous qualifier games against Clare in Ennis and Cork at Gaelic Grounds come to mind.

    Having said all of that, I expect an atmosphere at the upcoming match to be similar to the super 8 match against Donegal i.e. rocking.
    As many have said already, let’s make it happen.

  62. Does not look like James Horan saiduch really othet than it looks like Ryan O’D out as expected. Rumblings about a player leaving not good but hopefully morale OK within the camp. We will see when they take the pitch on Sat week and who is available on the day. Hopefully a lot of rumours will be put to bed.

  63. Disgraceful tweets recently by a so- called “supporter” of Mayo football. I can 100% confidently say that there was exactly zero disagreement or “shouting match” between JH and the player in question. The player was allowed time away naturally for his personal reasons, but certainly has not left the squad. Likewise with another prominent member of the team. The majority of what is been thrown around the county recently is completely unfounded, damaging to the team and management, and coming mostly from one source with a personal agenda.

  64. Looking forward to this podcast, great to see James officially adressing the injury situation. I’ve had a pep in my step all day when I heard positive news. I see from reading other posters that we’re all starting get up for this one big time, thats the way it should be. Our relationship with this team, can be a bit like a family member, you fall in and you fall out, but blood is always thicker than water. But we have their backs when “outsiders” rip the piss of them, and we’ll get behind them Saturday week aswell. A massive effort from us and the team will be needed to beat Monaghan, as said above, lets replicate that Donegal “19 atmosphere from the first whistle to the last.

  65. Sure the National Enquirer is still going strong on newsagent shelves although I’d wager the people who buy it know full well its headlines are bananas.
    Trashy scandal must have a readership.
    Maybe it’s the equivalent of buying a bag of atomic-flavoured crisps and sitting down to munch through them quite happily.
    Apologies to said publication if I have maligned it or indeed to its happy readers or indeed to consumers of rocket-fuel crisps.

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