Aidan O’Shea our MOTM from yesterday

Aidan O'Shea v Galway

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

The votes in our first Man of the Match poll for this year’s championship campaign have been counted and it won’t surprise anyone to learn that, by a landslide, the winner of the award is Aidan O’Shea whose towering performance at Pearse Stadium yesterday was central to our four-point win over the neighbours. Aidan claimed a massive 65% of all votes cast in the poll, with Keith Higgins next on 6%, while Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor as well as Tom Parsons all attracted 5% of the vote.

Well done to all of them and, indeed, to the rest of the lads who all contributed to the first championship win recorded by the team under Noel and Pat’s tutelage. Here’s hoping it’ll be the first of many such victories.

25 thoughts on “Aidan O’Shea our MOTM from yesterday

  1. Hard to believe 35% voted for others. Several lads played well but Aido really grabbed it by the scruff of the neck.
    Look forward to him causing havoc all summer in the forwards and hopefully ref’s protect him from cynical fouls. Yesterday’s ref was pretty decent, gave fouled team advantage a few times and brought it back as needed when none accrued. Common sense stuff.

  2. A great performance from o shea. Really carried it to Galway. Always gives his best. Wud agree with some other comments in that I can’t help but think that we will come up short again due to lack of scoring forwards. But let’s wait n see. Win over them lot is always a great lift. Up Mayo

  3. Very interesting comments from McGuinness in the Irish Times today. The key issue he makes is that our full back line gets little or no cover and any defender in Ireland would struggle with the current system or lack thereof.

    We’re clearly coughing up too many goal chances so this is something that has to be addressed. A couple of people have referenced the defensive performance against Donegal in the league but surely we need a consistent structure in place?

  4. I often wonder if we should deploy Keith or Donal Vaughan as a “third midfielder”

    to sweep back as the need arises. Not sure about leaving someone there at the back

    permanently. Might be a waste. But we do need to shore it up somehow.

  5. We dont need to go overboard with defence. Doesnt suit us, tweaks are needed rather than a wholesale change to a blanket. Referencing Donegal game in the league is meaningless, did we tot up much of a score ourselves? Only for some crazy wides is also meaningless, they were still wides.
    The place where we get exposed is in between half backs n full backs. Teams get running at us. I think its time to just pick Keith Higgins at corner n play him as a libero between our defensive lines. Higgins is 10/10 on the ball and maybe 8/10 in 1 on 1 defending.
    We should do like Moneyball tactics and get away from this idea of individual stars n match ups. Pick a defender who is close as possible to Higgins 9/10 value.
    We will have the quickest defender in the country on goal prevention duty. He will be more available to come forward and kick those brilliant footpasses.
    Again Moneyball thinking, look at the massive gap between Keith Higgins long passing and Boyle/Keegan.
    Enough of this “Best corner back in country has to play 4”.
    With my idea on playing him we concede minimum one less goal. We pass the ball into the forwards from him at least four more times per game. His general commanding of the counter attack is freer and 15 yards further up the pitch.
    In stats terms we need 6/10 coverage to be too weak to cover Higgins. Cafferkey is at least a 8/10 overall defender.
    Sorry, just plane as day at this stage that Keith Higgins is needed in this Libero/protector role.

  6. Pick Keith Higgins in place of Jason Doherty in the corner and place Higgins between our defensive lines. He is smart enough to know when to pull to his own full backs deep n when to just stop runs like Sice n the 2nd goal

  7. JP I do not agree at all.

    Higgins is surely our best one on one defender and will be needed down the line on Murtagh , O Donoghue,Brogan or whoever.
    Keith is an out and out corner back. Maybe Vaughan could be used in the role you mention.
    Also for first day out Ronaldson was a revelation. Whether you start him is debateable but he certainly brings the pace we need.
    Aidan wont last at full—easy to close down a full forward by putting man in front and it would be lunacy to take our best man out of game.
    We have it all to do against Ros and we will need big performances from Boyler and Keegan. I still think jury is out between Keane v Cafferkey but it needs settling now before confidence is eroded.
    History is littered with people who had poor games recovering to become brilliant. That could be Caff too.

  8. Thanks Steve for that link. McGuinness says it all really – very astute reading of Mayo’s approach.

    Our defensive strategy in the first half was suicidal. But we did a lot better in the second half, and while people are critical of Doc, a lot of his work was done there – and you don’t have to be on the ball all the time to do that kind of work. Let the half backs forward but get Diarmuid and Doc back to close the space.

  9. Mayo14 here is the thing, I also agree looking at seasobal basis Higgins is our best defender. In terms of pure 1 on 1 defending if you look at a season about 8/10 in just the defensive aspect. Always 10/10 each season on the ball. This still rates him as our best corner back.
    But how can Donal Vaughan cover that protector/libero role? You are dismissing Higgins for that same role by just labelling him “out n out corner back”.
    When I say Moneyball tactics I mean first you look at strengths n weaknesses of your team.
    Then you look at player attributes required to fix weaknesses and reinforce strengths. The libero role clearly needs a quick player over 10 yards and ability to kick pass long ball into our forwards. Vaughan has neither attribute and Higgins is the best on the panel at both. Higgins always looks completely comfortable around half backline moving forward to kick the ball long.
    This is not how he was used in 2013.
    This role is tailor made for him. Vaughan is perfect from the bench. Once he can get his stride going he is hard stopped. Did well to layoff for Ronaldson.

  10. I think this is a conversation that our management will be having after their viewing of the match video. I would like to caution however as we have seen it time and time again with teams who bring players back – they don’t do much apart from taking up space. If we go down the road of bringing players back they have to be effective and involved in the game in terms of denying the player who has the ball space and time. Theres no point in just bringing players back for the sake of it. For me Ive always liked the work rate of Kevin McLoughlin and I could see a role for him dropping deeper. And you know it would get him on more ball. Plenty of people have mentioned before that if he plays well Mayo tend to play well. I would also plan for one of our midfielders to stay back as the out ball which is vital for the transition into attack. I’d leave keith Higgins as is.

  11. Yes Kevin McGloughlin could do that role too. Word of caution in big games with no one else playing well he has regularly chipped in with two points from play. But see the common attributes Higgins n McGloughlin have. Higgins a better blocker of shots.
    Might need to be totally different player if facing Donaghy or Murphy. Someone over six foot n good in the air n play close to full backs.

  12. That is the big problem JP with having kevin back you could be potentially taking away a very effective scorer up front. Of all the big lads we have in the squad in not fully sure who would be the most effective in dropping back. Theres cases for and against all of them in my opinion. It could even depend on who we are facing on the day, say Michael Murphy tends to drift out a lot more that say Kieran Donaghy does.

  13. It is certainly not easy to assess who would be the six foot plus guy who would drop back to help block out a target man. You have to factor in losing their contribution 50 yards further up the pitch. How error free are they in terms of coming out with ball in crowds close to their own goal?
    – Parsons – you lose his mobility in the middle
    – SOS – is error free in terms of not losing posession to a man straight in front of goal
    – Vaughan – is he good enough under high ball, his pace over 10 yards

    Shane McHale is an option many forget, He’s around 6’1″ and he is a career defender. Injuries have halted his progress unfortunately. Then you could have Cafferkey also as option playing from front just instructed to punch ball away.

  14. typo – Just wondered is SOS error free in terms of not losing posession close to goal for easy scores?

  15. I cant recall to many times where he was the cause of handing over clean possession in near our area but then again we really dont know how anyone would fair because we dont really drop big men that far back. I know he has been guilty of carrying into the tackle a bit further out the field but closer to goal he could real asset. Maybe Kevin Mcs role could be a receiver from the bigger man and be the link so to speak although we have Jason Doc and Doc who work their socks off in that department aswell. Either way its a very hard call, i dont envy management one bit. The saving grace is that we do have time to work on a defensive strategy and transition into the forwards.

  16. Closer to goal SOS I am sure would be much more conservative. Just handpass or short kickpass to a safe option. He would try to avoid contact and tacklers.
    I think Diarmuid OConnor has put himself forward to be an established regular big time at the weekend. He just made no mistakes and got on the ball regular.
    He had a nice catch of a kickout. He ran with the ball with his head up, he was accurate in his passing and sending it to the right option. We have suffered where players in the past have not performed consistently over 70 mins game to game.
    He can be a problem for opposing half backlines on kickouts as he is tall and has good hands.

  17. Any word in Aiden’s elbow or Andy’s knee? A proper injury to Aido would be curtains.

  18. Well done Aidan that was a great MOTM display.. I was one of the people that did not vote for Aidan. I was really impressed with SOS and how hard he worked all day. I was also very impressed with DOC He was very intelligent with his play and worked hard. His selection was a good decision IMO. Clarke and Keith was excellent also.

  19. Mick P, update on injuries in CT.

    Aidan and Alan ok
    Andy had MRI scan on kneee this am. May God and the doctors put him together again. Humpty Dumpty. Really need him for his many qualities and points. Ciaran 2.

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