A week on from revenge

It’s a week on from our demolition job on Donegal and I’m delighted to welcome Mike Kelly back into the guest slot to provide some thoughts on the win as well as on the challenge that Tyrone are likely to pose in the semi-finals.

Final score

Well, what a week we have all undoubtedly had. Eleven months ago we all felt the familiar pain of loss and defeat in Croke Park after Michael Murphy and Jimmy McGuinness led Donegal to an All-Ireland title at our expense. It was a case of another September final and another day of doom and gloom for Mayo. We had entered into a fourth decade of reaching the All-Ireland final and travelling back down the N4 empty handed with nothing but our thoughts and what ifs to fill the conversation.

1989, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2006 and 2012 would now stand together as seven (1996 is counted twice) days to forget. A week’s worth of defeats to keep us all tossing and turning at night wondering what if and why not us. Cork, Meath, Kerry and Donegal became the antagonists in all our nightmares. Not once did the defeated players manage to gain a measure of revenge on their tormentors over the years. The closest was the 1993 side who had the chance to beat Cork in the All-Ireland semi final in 1993, and we all know how that revenge mission went.

That was until now. Less than twelve months after the defeat in the 2012 final, James Horan’s Mayo team were afforded the chance of revenge on the very men who had stolen their dreams, and once again the meeting of the western seaboard neighbours would take place at GAA headquarters.

Cillian O’Connor, Donal Vaughan, Alan Dillon et al. would have carried the hurt of last year’s final into Croker last weekend. The performance we were all treated to by these heroes in green and red, partly because of this hurt, was something to behold. And revenge was sweet.

Gone are the nightmares of Donegal crashing the ball into the Mayo net, Cillian O’Connor erased the moment of being manhandled by the McGee brothers last year by running them ragged all over the hallowed turf and along with Aidan O’Shea ruling the skies over Dublin to such an extent that Dublin airport’s air traffic warden’s should have been warned beforehand, created new heroes for the Mayo faithful to speak of in years to come.

Now, that’s enough fawning over what happened and what has had us all on cloud nine for the past few days. The time now is best served looking forward the 25th of August and the Red Hand of Tyrone. An opponent we all know too well from various meetings of the sides at minor, u21, league and championship meetings since Mayo burst back onto the national scene in 1989 with a victory over the same opposition.

Ask any Mayo player of the last 25 years what it is like to play Tyrone and to a man they will all tell you that it is tough, that you will know you have been in a game when you leave the pitch after facing the Ulster men.

Since Tyrone’s own emergence as a force at national level in 2003 the two sides have faced each other on two occasions with Mayo dethroning the defending champions in an epic 2004 quarter final before revenge was served by Tyrone in the fourth round of the qualifiers in 2008.

John Cuffe, in his fantastic earlier post,  mentioned how the only time he felt a game against Tyrone was over, in Mayo’s favour, before its time was that 2008 defeat. Tyrone dug deep that day and over the next two weeks we will all discuss what Tyrone might need to do in order to get over Mayo and what Mayo will need to do to counteract the Tyrone style of play. Donegal’s physical style was overcome with abundance last week but Tyrone will offer a completely different proposition.

The past week has been a phenomenal one in terms of feeling on top of the world. I can only imagine what it must have felt like for the players involved and for James Horan. Each one of them came out on top in their personal and collective battles.

Now, as a collective unit everybody in Mayo, player and supporter, knows that nothing is won in August and we have seen many a fantastic Mayo display at this time of year only to see it followed up by what could only be described as a shambles of a performance. Think Tyrone in ’04 followed by Fermanagh, think Dublin in ’06 followed by Kerry.

Two weeks out from the follow-on performance to the master class against Donegal, however, I do not believe we are headed for another shambles. Instead I believe this Mayo team are the best of my lifetime and over the past three seasons have proved themselves to be a top three side in the country. Mentally and physically they are stronger than past Mayo teams.

Tyrone should not and will not be underestimated by the Mayo players, management and almost as importantly by the fans. I have noticed that this year there is no hype surrounding the team after a number of top drawer performances. There is not even the #nohypeplease hash tag on Twitter. A #nohypeatall hash tag would be more appropriate but even that is a form of hype. As TV3 described it, revenge was sweeter. Tyrone will offer no revenge, just the chance to prove we belong in the September showpiece.

It is time to come down from Cloud Nine and look forward to the semi-final. No doubt it is going to be a fantastic day, particularly with the minors also involved against the Ulster champions Monaghan. Hopefully the weather is fantastic, a few pints and great discussion can be had in Bowe’s on the Saturday night and victory can be celebrated on the double that Sunday afternoon.

Mike Kelly blogs at http://mikesth0ughts.blogspot.ie/.

58 thoughts on “A week on from revenge

  1. Nice post Mike, although I wouldn’t agree with your comments that there is no hype surrounding the team. The hype amongst Mayo people in general is once again getting out of control and players will find it impossible to escape. I’ve been following Mayo football for far too long to get sucked in by a big win over a very poor has-been team like Donegal. Tyrone will not allow us to perform in the manner that we did in our previous 4 games and will dump us out of the championship if the Mayo players heads are not right going in to this game. So the best thing we can do as fans is to stop all the arrogance, hype and overly exuberant clap-trap that nobody is going stop us now. Players need the space to prepare and fully focus. Let’s keep getting out there supporting our team in large numbers but with cautious optimism.

  2. Fans will do what they always do and ya wont change that.A lid was put on hype last year and the county of Donegal were gone bananas-It mattered not a jotThe team are well prepared,and if they are good enough they will win.I would sujjest however that they are left to get on with the serious business while we do the circus.

  3. Hype never won a match for Mayo and hype never lost a match for Mayo. Matches are lost because players are not physically fit enough or mentally tuned in or the opposition are better footballers. Today’s media is too diverse and prolific to control so we have to trust our players and management to get things right for each match. I have yet to hear any intercounty manager blame their fans for loosing a game.

  4. It’s not realistic to think the county supporters an curb their enthusiasm. We are a football mad county and crave for the best seat at the table.
    As mike stated, nothing is won in August. Mayo’s failing in the past has been the teams (not the supporters) inability to string together two/three top drawer performances in August AND September. The teams that are champions, have done this, we have not.
    The team must be physically AND mentally in the right place for the next day. If you listen to JH, a comment he always makes is that we are “where we want to be at this time”. I think that’s quite deliberate and they will I believe, be further advanced for the next day. Question is, will Tyrone be in the same mental and physical state as our lads.

  5. What we as supporters can do is answer Andy’s call for support in Croke Park after the Connacht final and bring plenty of red and green flags and jerseys, #seaofgreenandred

  6. I do see where your coming from regarding the hype.yes i do agree there is a lot this year.but that is confidence.we get confidence from the team.If you look back at Donegal they were saying it before the semis that they were going to win and they did win there players still performed.With social media as it is the lads know what the buzz is like.ya cant adj supporters to keep the hype down.someone posted about a Kerry manager telling his team to embrace the fans and enjoy it.I think certainly these lads are doing that.i think past mayo managers have protected their players and sheltered them form the supporters and hype and we all no where that got us.

  7. No they didnt! Mayo managers had fans waving them off to games.meet and greet sessions and so on.no manager likes hype including James.
    Hype makes us feel good but does nothing for our chances of victory.Please dont justify it.Winning is everything this year.

  8. I agree.im not saying that we should be going around saying oh we are going to win everything.Im justifying supporters having the towns covered in flags and bunting and justifying believing that this team can beat Tyrone.I take your point that hype never won anything but in same breath neither did negatively.We need to find a balance. Unfortunately that’s hard in a county that is gas mad and starved on an all Ireland.I wont be shy in saying we will be in a final.if that’s over hyping it so be it.

  9. Most of us are confident but cautious …. From what I’ve seen so far living in Galway is the Galway ones gone bananas betting on Mayo all the ‘hype’ is coming from them was in the local the other night and its well known where I hail from and where my heart lies all I was getting was ‘finish it now’ as if I could single handily present them with Sam … Told them flat out as I’ve been doing since last Sunday anything can happen we have to beat Tyrone first maybe it’s all that’s happened before but can’t stop worrying about injuries or red cards refuse to worry about referees anymore or the team ‘turning up’ This team will do all in their power to win the game and all we can do is SUPPORT them in anyway we can … #SEAOFGREENANDRED … Brilliant piece by the way Mike ….

  10. Liveninhope i hear ya.I got the same chat out of a lad today.Are ya living in city or county?

  11. In the co but just outside the city 15 mins away!!! Now in fairness I am getting ‘ye played so well etc etc’told them I’m so proud of them and one fella said ”ah shtop sure the whole country are proud of them’ 🙂

  12. Hahaha that’s the craic all rite.im living over in east side of city.when they try and slag me about mayo football i just reply tell me again what was that score in the Mayo and Galway game i have forgotten:) that shuts the feckers up.

  13. well done on mayo beating donegal am delighted mayo fan but hope mayo dont take tyrone for greated as the dubs did against cork

  14. ’89 Part Two

    Many younger bloggers probably don’t appreciate the Stone Age that was TV coverage in those days. Yes, towards the end of the 20th century, provincial finals were not covered live nor, obviously, were provincial championships. Any modern supporter could now provide what passed for highlights with a decent video recorder.

    So, coverage of the Connacht final was sparse. I recall the Irish Times having a small piece at the bottom of the page. Connacht was the poor relation. Signs on it. We felt we were in with a chance of reaching the final because it was our equally poor cousins in Ulster who would provide the opposition. Beating Leinster or Munster teams – forget it. That hadn’t happened since the seventies and it’s a credit to Maughan and to the ’96 team that they crossed that psychological barrier and made it a normal development.

    BTW, got it wrong on Duggan in part 1 – he came in 91 ok. But here’s another link with 2013. Connacht minor final in 89 is hugely controversial. Who runs up and belts a penalty that he shouldn’t have taken? You’re right – head case Curran, who pops up again in 2013 with St. Brigid’s, helped, irony of ironies, by McStay and McHale!

    Johnno has commented that the Connacht campaign toughened up Mayo – and with two hard extra games including an extra time he was right. Tyrone fancied themselves and so did a lot of others, but Mayo came good in the second half.

    Padden’s ‘blood substitution’ has achieved legendary status and it remains a key image, but as the game enters its end phase Mayo are the stronger. Brian Kilkelly gets a great point and Greg Maher makes an impact when he comes on. Final whistle. Mayhem. Book the Burlo time all right.

    On a whim on the Monday after, I decide to drive from Dublin to Castlebar and take the temperature in Mick Byrnes. About 120c I would put it. Heaving masses and we replay every minute of the game. Former nifty forward Frank McDonnell says that Willie Joe’s headband should be framed hung in the pub and treated like the Turin Shroud. Sean Lowry tells me later that in the Ashling Hotel after the game he sees mountainy men flashing old £50 notes that are obviously taken from storage under the mattresses in the outback.

    The final. Ticket madness – try to get the whole family in – and succeed! The dreadful start, the recovery, Padden’s wonder point, Larry’s goal and miss. Cork’s strength, Larry Tomkins, Dave Barry, Fahy and Cahalane, all very tough cookies. Still, a great effort.

    Again, decide to head west the night after – to Knock. If that’s defeat, what will victory be like? Full of Rossies as well waving the primrose and blue and caught up in the excitement of it all. All the way back, notice the banners in Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath and Kildare towns – and these weren’t Mayo people for God’s sake.

  15. 45 – I hate this shite about Donegal being tired has beens. Before the match lots of ‘knowledgeable’ pundits, commentators and players tipped Donegal. Donegal may not have been as good as last year but they were still one of the best teams in the country, with the best defence of all time.
    Mayo just beat the shite out of them, hitting them with a physical, jet propelled hurricane. Simple as that.
    I am an old guy, was there when Mayo won Sam last. I know all about hype and disappointment. I have never seen a Mayo team like this.
    It is so simple; all they have to do is to do the same thing again, beat the shite out of Tyrone. It’s not rocket science, they are well capable of doing it. That performance would beat any team in the country.

  16. I totally agree with the comments of 45. Dublin hurlers were hyped up by the media after their performance against Galway, they were knocked out of the championship today by a team with a low key approach who came through the back door,very similar to Tyrone’s journey this year. In 2008 Tyrone were playing Kerry in the All Ireland Final, Kerry had the twin towers (Donaghy and Tommy Walsh) who. up to the final appeared to be un-markable. Mikey Harte changed his team prior to throw in, twin towers scored one point in total and Tyrone beat Kerry again. Never underestimate Mickey Harte and Tyrone. Mayo played brilliant football against Donegal but three of the Donegal players namely Lacey,Gallagher and McHugh were just back from injury and were not the players they were last year. Donegal got away with excessive hype last because Jim Mc Guinness is a sports psychologist.

  17. Gerard, do you realize that Mayo had the beating of that great Donegal team in the All Ireland last year. Those two f…ing goals spoiled the fun.
    I am a very realistic person, never given to hype or over confidence. All I am saying is that Mayo will win if “THEY PRODUCE THE SAME PERFORMANCE”, that is the must, otherwise who knows.

  18. Just to add to what Joe Mc said.i think we need to get our match ups right .Big factor to loosing final last year was not getting match ups right.

  19. Okay catcol, Im not going to rise to the bait and share any more 89 memories.

    One thing we all need to remember is that Tyrone (and I mean this with all due respect) are the filthiest, nastiest most cynical bunch ever to pull on a jersey.

    They will do whatever it takes to win…whether thats feigning injury to get our lads booked, taking one of our guys out with a nasty challenge, spitting, biting and cheating of all sorts.

    Its all in their playbook (and some)

  20. Well put Mike. Keeping the debate at a good level. Tyrone are interesting. Harte rates Mayo and will prepare team accordingly . Great manager who gets max from resources, 2008 final classic.

    Plays to strengths but I feel that Mayos freshness will edge it. Seamus O Shea now becomes key. Sean Cavanagh tends to score. SOS only task is to face him for 50/55 mins and empty tank blocking and nullifying.

    AOS will then have to drive show from mid, nothing less. But Harte will try and bypass that area. Different game than Donegal however Mayo should have answers.

    Tyrone look to leaders. Peter The Great and Mulligan the apprentice . Sean C and Big Joe McMahon and Dooher. They will target ours like McLoughlin and COC. We gotta do same and pinch their leaders.

    This game brings us to a new level. We have to win because we have to win. That is a great place to start from. They however have medals and maybe not that suffocating pressure.

    This match throws together two teams with one goal but two different approaches. If we are where we should be then I take us for a 4/5 point win. That will suffice, not too big to drive our new backers mental but menacing enough to worry those left that might oppose us.

  21. I had a dream last nite that Mayo were going to play all defensive for Tyrone game.Nightmare more like.jaysus its going yo be a long two weeks.

  22. Patience lads. Take it easy. The Mayo boys are well prepared. We have gotten too many beatings to take anything for granted. Whilst enjoying the craic keep it as low key as possible. I dont want to see any painted animals or bales of hay. Keep supporting your clubs and be patient with the county board and the fixtures secretaries. We must do all we can to help Mr. Horan and his team.

  23. ”Plays to strengths but I feel that Mayos freshness will edge it. Seamus O Shea now becomes key. Sean Cavanagh tends to score. SOS only task is to face him for 50/55 mins and empty tank blocking and nullifying.” (jc)

    Totally agree , Seamie is the man for this job and is well capable.

    Caff is going to have his work cut out too if i’m guessing right and there is a big game in o Neill for this one.

    On the issue of supporters getting too hyped up, i honestly don’t think it matters nowadays. Players are way more clued in than 10 years ago and they are coached to ignore the build up in many ways imo. Life is there to be enjoyed and if an over excited youth in Mayo are shouting ”sam is coming to Mayo” why should they be knocked , in a country where doom and gloom and everyone bound for oz and such likes are the norm, a bit of aul hype should be embraced.

    If you asked me after our league semi with Dublin this year what our chances were for all Ireland glory, i would of said , no chance whatsoever. I actually thought salthill was looking beyond us. Now i am of the opinion , we are the best team in Ireland and its just down to whether we can get over the line. Supporters are so fickle and relatively (in my case anyway) we don’t have a clue from one game to the next.

  24. Anyone see the Irish Indo today?? Martin Breheny has a piece in it complaining about how Mayo are favourites for the All Ireland. What a tosser, his argument is rubbish too, talking about how the other 3 teams have all won all Irelands in last 10 years and we haven’t, as if what happened 10 years ago is relevant to today.


    And while I’m at it, here’s an even better one, spotted this online the other day. It’s “esteemed” northern GAA personality Adrian Logan giving his preview of the Mayo v Donegal match to some northern bookie. This is comedy gold! The comments underneath are the best!


    Cant wait to hear his preview of Mayo v Tyrone

  25. Agree Sean Burke -we don’t have a clue from one game to the next and would do well to take Spailpins and other philosophical advise and Enjoy the moment, In early summer I thought it would be a short one I was worried in Galway nervous against Ros confident against London but worried they would do someone a serious injury. I was terrified- a nervous wreck before Donegal and am in danger of winding up there again now as we head for the 25th.
    So feck it I’m doing to enjoy the ride from here to the terminus!!

  26. Much has been written already about the dangers of hype, excitement, confidence or expectation to Mayo. It’s slightly ironic that counties like Wicklow and Clare bring in Micko to generate these very sentiments!

    I agree with the comments that the modern player is far better equipped to deal with fans, media etc. It really shouldn’t be a factor if management are on their game and I get the feeling JH is well prepared in this regard.

    I think everyone has embraced this team for their courage to come back stronger following the bitter defeat last September. They’ve shown real determination and confidence in themselves. Nothing wrong in the fans doing likewise.

    We are in the semis on merit. One of the favourites. Let’s embrace it and not cower in fear of failure. Over confidence or arrogance need not be a by product of Mayo footballers and fans believing we have every right to believe we can take on the very best in Croker.

    And tomfinish

  27. It’s Game 5 Test 2 … That’s all … will take it as it comes ( this week anyway) 🙂

  28. Hype, what hype, the only hype I can detect is from all those telling us of the dangers of to much hype. So to all you guys I say, leave us the ordinary Mayo supporters to discuss and analyse the pros and cons of our up coming semi-final with Tyrone and if in the process we do get a little excited or carried away so what. We’ve all been down this road before and so has James and the Boys, they will know what’s required….

  29. Sorry lads. Cant agree. I am an ardent club and county supporter. I have been at nearly every home league game, most FBD games and some away league games over the last number of years. I remember 1996, 1997, 2004 and 2006 where the players were driven to distraction by people painting sheep, pestering them for tickets, asking then to sign everything from school books to menus, writing songs and all that stuff. This really affected the players and all the talk from Horan and his team will not be able to protect the players if the same hype develops. I understand that the players are better insulated now than in the past but many of them work and socialise in the county. A bit of build up is no harm and is even advisable but it can go too far. I would prefer to see the young lads shouting Up Mayo after we have won the cup. I am not a kill joy just being practical. I will definitely shed a tear when we win the AIF – be that this year or some other year. I love my county. Loyalty is shown by attending the games (with loads of colour!), supporting the fundraisers, supporting the clubs and flying the flags. None of my sheep will be painted red and green! They might have reason to worry if we win the bloody thing though!!

  30. I do agree with what your saying sinabhuil.but as i said in an earlier post people in mayo absolutely love their gaa add the fact that we are well over due an all Ireland title and ad you mentioned those years we came so close its hard for people to find a balance.if we had no hype at all in the county some of the team might think we don’t believe in them.But and i said tis hard to find a balance.

  31. Christ I hope if these lads win this year; that they will pay proper respect to any funeral they may encounter coming back with the cup as I am not waiting around for another sixty years for them all to die!!

  32. I think last year we were good enogh to beat Donegal but we got a few thigngs wrong on the day. Looking back alot of the supporters i spoke to outside were not that cofindent , were the Donegal supporters were going around as if they had it won before the throw in.
    I agree with Joe Mc if you are good enough and do whats needed on the big day you win, hype will make no differance.
    It great to see somone here that remembers SAM been won i hope we all get to see it going west

  33. I agree with the no hype. It’s very easy to get caught up when Mayo have hammered every team in their path so far, and with such an unreal performance against the AI champions, we are getting a glimmer of hope that maybe just maybe this will be the year for Sam to come back to Mayo. We all know what has happened on previous occasions so let’s just keep a low profile and let the lads work away quietly on the training grounds! And when the 25th of Aug comes along, have as much color in Croker and shout for our lads, because we also need belief that we are as good as any left now! 🙂 #seaofgreenandred

  34. If too much hype could have a telling negative impact on a team then Donegal would not have performed at all in Croke Park over the last two years. We know Jimmy Mc is a sports psychologist but all the hype in Donegal didn’t effect them at all. This is a professional era in serious G.A.A. counties. Mayo are ultra professional, their level of concentration, focus, commitment and preparation is phenomenal. Fans getting over hyped will have no impact on the teams results. Its all about delivering a top performance and executing their game plans, patterns of play to a the highest possible level. Lady luck or some poor referring decisions may come in to play but not hype. We must believe. This is the best prepared Mayo team(relative to any time i history) in most of our life times. We need to get behind them and support them with pride and hope for the future, through thick and thin. Come on Mayo!!!!!!!!

  35. As I’ve said before, right now the only hype in my opinion is coming from those talking about it. Your spot on there Mayo Forever, other things might come into play that could effect the outcome but it sure wont be hype. This present Mayo team are so focused on the job in hand, nothing will effect them..

  36. Mayo Forever – spot on. We’re not talking hype. We are assessing a terrific Mayo team; now proven, and if “THEY PRODUCE THE SAME PERFORMANCE”, again, not a team in the Country would beat them.
    I am quite sure they are planning to do just that and no amount of confidence among the Mayo supporters will change their focus.
    I was one who preached caution for years but after seeing the performances of this team, let’s fucking go for it and may God help the opposition.
    Now that’s putting my head on the block!!!

  37. Agree entirely with the last few posts…………..Lets do it, its up to the others to do the worrying …………this team has been in the making for the last 3 years and after recently watching a video of the 2011 qtr against Cork (when 6 pts down……….Martin Breheny take note) we went on to start our deposing of reigning champions………….The type was beginning to be cast there and was further strengthened last year with the demolition of Down and then for the first 50 mins against the Dubs (we closed that one out well)…………..the first few mins of the final would have destroyed many teams of the past but this crew just dug deep and made a very brave attempt to get back on terms…………so imo all that’s gone before over the last 3 years has has just been a learning curve that has been steadily moving upwards, to the point that we are (as Joe Mac says and others) now …….. if we perform as we did last time out………..
    able to take any team in the country.
    As for the match ups, I think Mickey Harte has the toughest problem there……..we have a good idea of where the Tyrone scores will come from and who the big performers are likely to be…………but how the hell does he keep tabs on 14 potential scorers and 15+ performers ………………..I know whose headache I’d prefer to have.

    MaighEo Abu

  38. An interesting aside – I was talking to Eugene McGee today and whatever you might think of Eugene he is an astute reader of the game. His comments on the match were pro-Mayo but he feels they need to be able to beat Tyrone by about 8 or 9 points to win Sam. He feels this is Mayo’s year if they perform.

  39. How does mcGee reckon that beating a semifinalist by 8/9 pts wud have a bearing on the final???Cork blitzed us in 93 and lost the final to Derry.

    Remember what meath did to Kerry in ’01? Then they got obliterated (thankfully!!) in the final. Compare that to dgal who scraped by us in a dour 92 semi and won the final. Tyrone just got past Galway in 95 and lost the final to th dubs….there r so many variations I think it’s impossible to judge what way is best to win a semi! Galway beat Derry easily in the 98 semi 0-16 to 1-8 and went on to win a final….

  40. JJ I fully agree with you on the learning curve. If one looks at the progress they have made under Horan, year on year, one could reasonably say they are primed to win it this year.
    However mayos failings in the past has been our inability to string 2 or 3 big performances consecutively in August and September. If they are as primed as they appear to be, then we should expect nothing less than a 4-5 pts win over an experienced and mentally tough Tyrone.
    I’ve said it from the day they bate Galway, these lads dont seem content just to get over the line; they want to send a message to all ahead of them,, not just that we’ll bate ya, but we’ll bate the $hit outta ya while we’re at it. In doing so, they are getting into the heads of their next oponent and that’s not to be underestimated.

  41. we are in an all ireland semi-final , how many of these have we seen in our lives ?
    if we win and if we make the final then I am going gung-ho for the hype , how many finals have we seen ? 89 , 96×2 97 2004 2006 2012 , we could be potentially in an 8th final in my ifetime ! how many men my age from other counties have ever even been to one !!

    Our garden at home often falls prey to raids from sheep from the various farms around. should we get past tyrone and the garden is breached then the levy will be the dab of green and red paint on the offending wollyback , the people of donegal went buck ape last year , it didnt stop sam getting to the hills ,

    lads lets enjoy these times, we might go no further , enjoy it while we can.

  42. Joe Mc, your Eugene McGee story does little to change my opinion of him as a GAA writer. When I saw his article on the shootout between Galway and Cork it reminded me that he hasn’t a clue about modern day football. He praised a team for scoring 1-16 and losing. That match was a joke and either side would be picked apart by the top teams playing like that – as happened to both of them elsewhere during the summer. If Mayo played like Galway did that day I’d be raging at them for being so poor defensively. McGee would probably write a negative article calling them bottlers or chokers.

    It honestly worries me that he seems to have so much power over upcoming rule changes.

  43. Bingo JJ you said it.how do you plan for a game when anyone of our lads can come up the field and score.if 6 or 7 Tyrone players got a score will be doing well.As with our lads for me it goes back to the final last year .the lads that walked off the pitch after were like none i seen before.First of all i thought well we lost but we didn’t fall to pieces.we were beat by a better team.The next thought i had was lets get the league started NOW.Any year before i would not like to even look at football after the defeats.then i thought jaysus 2013…….

  44. Bingo Declan!

    McGee led Offaly to victory in 1982. Fair play to him. But he is still stuck there and hasn’t moved on. Cork/Galway was a joke defensively – what were Cork up to?

    McGee constantly attacks modern methods: diet; fitness; psychology – he has a particular hatred of this; most of the matches he attends are within a short radius of Longford. I doubt if he has attended a match in Castlebar in recent times and his views reflect this restricted participation.

    You are so right to be concerned about his influence on rule changes.

  45. Declan, I agree with you on McGee. Why is there so much gravitas given to what he says? How come he got to call the shots and chair the committee on the soon-to-be-tried rule changes? Let’s be honest, he was a manager of an Offaly side that contained 2 of the most naturally gifted footballers of their generation and they caught Kerry on the hop! He was not a 3 or 4 time All Ireland winner or indeed League winner. Methinks that the GAA knew something had to be done about potential rule changes and they looked at a) who was making the most noise about it, and b) who could the GAA use that could best sway their agenda and have the most exposure to the general public.
    Look at alot of his match previews and compare them to the actual match outcome and results and you will see that the two bare little or no resemblence to each other. Liston is a far better analyst and is a more impartial judge on what he sees before him.

  46. Lads, have to force myself out of retirement to back ye on McGee…….!
    What a detestable little man!
    The crap (with no little bile) he has written about Mayo down through the years should not be forgotten either. Yes its scary that he has so much influence, personally I think the black cards will make a joke of the game and I guarantee you they will be abandoned after one season.
    And while I’m at it, Martin Brehany…….! I can only think he is bitter, the man will find any excuse to put us down! Whatever about the likes of McGee, Brehany is supposed to be impartial. Make no mistake these guys will be the first in the queue to kick us if we do fail to cross the line this year.

  47. I won’t buy the Indo because of Brehany and McGee. Brehany is a tool and lets his Galway allegiance colour his views on Mayo and my opinion on McGee is above. The Times and Examiner have a far more balanced, informative and “younger” feel (ageism i know!) to their coverage. The Indo is like RTE’s football coverage in that it has a tired, repetitive, stale and monotonous feel to it. Bar Brolly, who I have to admit that I am begining to warm to!!!!

  48. I couldn’t agree more regarding that Eugene McGee fella, what the hell is he on about ? It’s a shame Joe Mc you didn’t tell him where to get off, beating Tyrone by any margin will do me and the margin of victory won’t make a God dam bit of difference to the outcome of the final – should we get there. These so called experts/pundits have no more knowledge than the rest if us. And Pebblesmeller I wouldn’t be falling in love with that Brolly lad just yet, we should never forget the tongue lashing he dished out to us before the final last year and he’s capable of doing the same again this time. Once bitten and all that…..

  49. Wasnt it Brolly who said Mayo should never be let play in All Ireland again?We will no forget the ravings of a true ass.

  50. IMO, Keith Duggan is a very good, grown up, thoughtful writer….the less said about the other mups, the better.

  51. I see Joe McMahon is a major doubt for the semi. Injured groin in club game at the weekend. Stephen O’Neill also came off in his club game after 15 minutes.
    Hope our guys stay injury free

  52. Jaysus lads and lassies, I never thought I would get such a great response about Eugene McGee. It was only a chat with him at my door, after his kitten, who got lost, was found.
    None of you know Eugene like I do, I worked for him for many years and we weren’t best pals or fans of each other. Some of his comments about Mayo pissed me off but he says it as it is; a trait I admire in any person, even though it wouldn’t add to one’s popularity.
    Actually he always spoke warmly about Mayo and would have loved them to win Sam but like so many supporters he was so frustrated that a lot of his comments were negative.
    As well, at my door, he said that Mayo were an amazing team who have the honour of beating the current All Ireland champions three times in a row and he just can’t fathom out why they haven’t won themselves. He feels this has to be their year.
    Now I wonder do many of you realize the good-will and support for Mayo that exists throughout the country. Because I haven’t lived in Mayo all my working life, I get very different feed back from others who live in Mayo. Without exception, the frustration is palpable, and the hope is that this is the year that we can do it. 31 counties will support the team on Sunday week.
    During the Final last year, when the goals went in, I got dozens of texts saying “oh no, not again.” So, the good will is there, but don’t blame people for the frustration.

  53. Are we protesting a touch too much! These journalists are reflecting what many non Mayo think! Until we win, we are going to be open to the charge of being chokers. Btw, just cos Brehany argued against Mayo does not necessarily mean that he believes it, he could be purely debating a point….

    It is true that neither McGee or Brehany may not have seen these team as often as many of us but many of us were not overly confident after some of our league performances. Sometimes we can learn more from those that we do not agree with rather than those who are sympathetic to our cause.

  54. Very well said Mikey. A very balanced opinion. Mayo had some terrible displays in the league and were very lucky to end up as high as they did. Luckily, they have corrected the mistakes.

  55. Joe Mc.
    I wouldn’t say we had terrible results in the league. Sure we lost a few games, but by very little, and certainly should have won most of them, but won the two that mattered against Donegal and Cork when both wanted to win. As Aidan o Shea let slip in an interview later ( we lost some games we hadn’t planned to) Mayo planned on just doing enough. Just look at the subs James brought on in the semi , not intent on winning it.

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