Andy’s analysis

There’s an interesting interview with Andy Moran in the Mayo News, where the Ballaghaderreen man speaks with Mike Finnerty about the defeat to Sligo and where it leaves us.  It’s worth a read, not least because Andy was one of only a few of our players who performed at anywhere near their potential at Markievicz Park the last day but also because Andy has a bit of a track record in providing unguarded insights (remember the one he came out with a few years back about peaking in April?) into what’s going on within the camp.

A few things struck me as strange about this interview.  The first was Andy’s admission that complacency was a factor in our defeat to the Yeatsmen, where he says that “we were complacent at times leading up to the game and, after scoring the goal so early, maybe we took our foot off the pedal”.  It is, I think, a bit shocking that a team that had just got a major hole-kicking in a national final at Croke Park could be in any way complacent about its next match out, especially when that match was against a county that had a similarly good league run but which, crucially, had managed to maintained its upward trajectory when it got to Croke Park.  Then, factor in that the match was away to a well-drilled team with an excellent manager, a team that had come very close to doing Galway at the same venue twelve months previously.  What was there to be complacent about?

As regards complacency during the game, that’s just bullshit.  We didn’t take our foot off the pedal – Sligo made some tactical switches and our inability to react to these changes allowed them to fight their way back into the game.  Complacency on our part had nothing to do with this. An utter lack of tactical nous – both on the pitch (where we kept fucking in high balls to Alan Freeman, despite the fact that he was being double-teamed inside: Andy himself was a major culprit in this respect) and on the sideline (where we did absolutely nothing to counteract Sligo’s changes) – is relevant in this respect but complacency certainly isn’t.

The other rather odd thing that Andy says is that, while he can accept all the brickbats that were hurled in the team’s direction in the aftermath of the Markievicz Park clusterfuck, he felt “a bit let-down by some of the reaction after the Cork game” because “we’d had a good league campaign and a lot of guys, a lot of young guys, had worked very hard during the spring. I felt we got a lot of very negative press after one bad performance”.

Sure, it was one bad performance after a league campaign that had gone well (even if it did include a couple of ropey performances, in particular those against Dublin and Monaghan) but it was a national final, played in Croke Park in the full glare of the media against a county with realistic All-Ireland ambitions.  And we didn’t just get beaten either – we got the floor wiped with us, to the extent that the Cork lads were a bit narked in their post-match interviews over the fact that we hadn’t given them a game.  If Andy was shocked about the understandable negative public reaction to that horror show, then he really needs to get out a bit more.

Andy also, I see, defends the management team but I’d give him a free pass on that one as you wouldn’t expect him to start bitching about them in public, even if such behaviour is par for the course in Blueshirt circles.  In fairness to him, Andy makes no attempt to deflect any of the blame for our shortcomings away from the team – it’s noteworthy that Johnno has, more than once, failed to reciprocate in this respect – and he fully accepts that the players failed to perform at crucial stages against the Magpies.

The interview ends with a plea for Mayo supporters to travel in numbers to Longford on Saturday week and, in this respect, Andy vows that “we’ll do our best to rebuild confidence in Mayo football and if people go to Longford, hopefully they’ll see a team that will work hard and give everything”.  That’s all that any reasonable supporter wants to see and if the team shows these traits the next evening at Pearse Park, it should be enough to keep our championship campaign going for a while longer.  That’s all, given the hole we’re in right now, we can hope for at the minute.

39 thoughts on “Andy’s analysis

  1. The defeat to Sligo may the Kick the arse the lads need. On another note i think our full back questions may be answered. Ollie feeney from the Junior club Islandeady was supposley outstanding for West Mayo in the senior championship against Kiltane. Its players like him with a bit of heart that is badly needed. Is it too late to call a fella into the panel?

  2. Complacent alright but completly out of touch with the real world. The players are as much to blame as O Mahony for the pantominne that currently exists. No balls or steel. The word from within was that Sligo would be taken for eight points. Sligo are an adequate team, no more no less, Galway will prove that soon enough but were still able to make us look like greenhorns and elevate a few journey men on the magpies team into super stardom.

  3. Reading that interview i really think what he is trying to say is, ” we thought we’d cruise past Sligo with a bit to spare and when we got the goal so early it was just how we pictured it all that week, here we go handy win, bring on Galway in Castlebar”.

    I shouldn’t go on about Johnno as i swore i’d leave it till were out but he simply has to walk away after we go out and some radical change at county board level in there way of thinking, it’s not healthy in there at the moment, there is a stink coming from there at the moment.

    Can any Mayo supporter genuinely justify the inclusion of Billy Joe on the panel, some are saying this is a bit of a wink wink type inclusion.

  4. “HOPEFULLY they’ll see a team that will work hard and give everything”
    The word hopefully doesnt rekindle the hunger really does it….We should be bloody guaranteed hard work and a team that give everything!

  5. H’mm
    Qs. that should have been asked of him after his claim of complacency are …

    Did you still feel complacent when sligo drew level and then went a score up ??

    Why did the team not react accordingly to this situation ?

    You aim criticism at your team mates more so than management. Is there any division of opinion within the team w.r.t players stepping up when it counts ?

    What are the realistic goals now for this years championship ?

  6. Why the fuck, scuse my French, does Billie Joe keep getting mentioned in all of this? Wether you agree with him being there or not, with all the shite thats going on with mayo football at the moment does one of its most loyal servants over the last 10 years keep getting brought up as an issue? the man lives in Down, works in Kildare and still plays with Belmullet, hes not doing this for the good of his health. if he gets picked he gets picked, its not really that relevant to whats going on at the moment.
    Christ lads, its hard to believe we’re really wondering about beating Longford. not saying its a wrong opinion, tis just a very sad state of affairs.

  7. To be honest Andy is the most positive and encouraging guy we have on the field of play….but hey can we keep out of the papers until we get a few performances behind us……..all we see is articles from players…performance first then talk all you want..

  8. Well excuse me Cork exile but i was under the impression you had to be good enough to get a place on the panel, the man is useless absolute rubbish, a donkey of a footballer and the reason i bring it up is simple, johnno knows hes not good enough and it stinks of politics and i wont stop voicing my opinion on this. There are at least 100 footballers imo and most peoples opinion i would guess more deserving of their place.

    I have just about had it with the b/s thats going on with Mayo since Johnno took over, it’s about time people were made to either answer up or walk away. Every single vital call the management has had to make since it took over they have got wrong from the day in Salthill in 07 to Sligo game. I am a fanatical supporter of our county team and so are all my family and some friends and there is a lot of justifiable anger out there.
    I like all that post in here just want to see Mayo give 100% and fight for our proud red and green jersey, get the best 30 men in Mayo on the panel, get 15 men out on the field and play the game to their best ability, surely thats not too much to ask for. Every other county seem to be able to do it, we are becoming a laughing stock of the gaelic world and it can be dangerous for the mindset as we could end up believing were not good enough, we really need to prove a point and lay some kind of a marker in the qualifiers for the sake of pride.

  9. Sean…. Your last post is pathetic. Hate getting personal on this site as willie Joe is doing a great job but people like you are the problem. People that think they deserve better. 30 lads don’t break their balls 5 out of 7 days to put up with bullshit. They want to win…. Believe it or not! Love to see you travelling from newry to Kildare for work, Mayo for training and whatever else goes with it. As Andy moran said in his piece. He dOes what he does because he believes they have it in them. Now the question is who needs to bring it out if them. I’ll say it now & I’ve said it before. Over the past 15 years we have got more days in head quarters then most, yeah we left with tears in our eyes but WE GOT
    THERE. If your as big a supporter as you say you are grow a set of balls & get behind our team.
    Sorry willie joe but this crap drives me mad as I know the effort that goes in from the boys!

  10. Well maybe im alone again i seem to find myself in this situation a lot regards the bulk of our support but i would put Billy joe alongside Fergal Kelly, Tom Morgan,Mcnamara from Achill and three or four more as the worst i have ever seen play for Mayo.

  11. Billy Joe is a limited player , I like to see erris men on the panel but only when they are actually good enough.

    Wouldnt go so far as to put him as one of the worst ever though Sean !

  12. What is a “wink, wink” type of inclusion. Had Mayo played BJ padden at centre forward all his career instead of moving him all over the pitch then all would have been better served. I take exception to those that label him or other named lads as the “worst ever to play for Mayo”. In particular I am ashamed at the treatment meted out to Fergal Kelly post 2004, was their not another midfielder on the pitch that day as well. We saw the proof of our midfield strenght two seasons later once more but neither of the alleged midfielders were treated as shamefully as Kelly. Lets not get too high and mighty in our judgment of lads. Currently we possess a bunch who simply are not good enough but who actually see themselves as top guns. Padden is as good if not better than any of that nondescript squad. Put another way, how many of the current Mayo squad would you take with you if you were made manager. Name ONE leader in the present team…one single leader and spare me Andy Telegraph Moran that takes two minutes before he releases the free from his hand , allowing everybody else to be marked up.

  13. Sean – for the record, I have to take issue with and disassociate the site from the comments you made about BJ and the other players you’ve mentioned. Regardless of what you think about any player’s abilities, this isn’t the place to be hurling personal abuse at them. The house rule is that while properly justified criticism of the team or individual players is okay, thrashing individuals isn’t. Please bear in mind for future reference.

  14. Sean,
    I don’t know why you’re criticising BJ Padden or anyone else on the team.
    Surely you’re aware it’s management that pick the team in the first place. If you have a problem with the selection voice your opinion against the people who made that selection not the individual being chosen.
    It’s as simple as that.

  15. Having said that I have voiced criticism agaist individual players in the past so maybe I should be eating my words on the previous post. What was that parable mentioned b4 about glasshouses and stones ?
    I should re-phrase maybe and say I think your criticism is overly harsh on BJ and your choice of language is way over the top w.r.t him personally.

  16. Hear Hear Willie Joe.

    I think that a lad who live in Down, travels to Kildare daily, and still has the dedication to travel to Mayo for training multiple times during the week, has something special in him. The sacrifice he puts in is incredible. Billy Joe had served us very well in the past-let’s not forget that. I think he is a superb player, with great ability and he has the ‘football’ genes in him from his father!

  17. Anyone read Kieran Shannon’s piece in the Tribune last Sunday???…He obviously has some “insider information” because it seems to be an extremely accurate critique…well worth a read…this is the most nb extract…

    Mayo will make changes as well but it’ll be deckchairs on the Titanic stuff. The county has lost the faith in John O’Mahony and the players appear to have too. They were jaded, from playing four challenge games in just 12 days. They had little idea of what the team would be in the run-up to Sligo and such confusion and lack of cohesion showed. One of their league successes, Seamus O’Shea, was moved out to centre forward to accommodate Ronan McGarrity in midfield when O’Shea is not a back-to-goal player. Mark Ronaldson, who tore it up in the league, was still on the bench when Billy Joe Padden, only three weeks back, was summoned to take off his tracksuit and save the day.

    It would be fine if there was some method to O’Mahony’s “team building” this past four years but there hasn’t. Only six of the team that won last year’s Connacht final started last week. In 2007 he stubbornly stuck with James Kilcullen at full-back all through the league only to discard him after the championship loss in Salthill. Kilcullen hasn’t been heard of since. He’s still only in his mid-20s, was never a full-back but a centre-back, the kind Mayo are screaming out for now.

    During the week O’Mahony’s first All Ireland-winning captain Ray Silke argued the time he used to give to preparing teams is time he no longer has. It’s not uncommon at training to see O’Mahony on the phone. Before and after training can be like a constituency clinic, with people looking for this favour from him and that. When the Mayo dressing room door opened in Markievicz Park it took forever for it to empty, with all the county board officers and supporters club backers that had been in there.

    That lack of focus and that clamour to be part of the big time epitomised much of what’s wrong with Mayo football. Kevin McStay has called for a Genesis-like report on Mayo football and he’s right. Of course O’Mahony should have freshened up his backroom team over the winter by bringing in a Peter Ford to give the team a harder edge. Of course the team needs to be changed; Trevor Mortimer’s engine is worn down and his heart appears broken too from losing too many big games, while losing doesn’t seem to hurt McGarrity enough. But that’s finger-in-the-dyke stuff. The county’s entire culture and structures need to be overhauled, otherwise there’ll be no end to this flood of tears.

  18. Well i am not going to change my mind on what i said , if its not acceptable to post what i posted, i apologize. I think this is what Pat spillane, Sean Boylan and a lot more mean when they say Mayo people are just too nice to win anything,look at the response to me being critical of a player, it’s like it’s the end of the world, there are people being upset, it’s not allowed, you hve to accept that they are the best available type thing. Gaa is conservative i accept that, i dont like it mind but in Mayo we go beyond conservatism its like a bloody dictatorship and it’s followers are like frightened sheep.

  19. Sounds like he’s getting to the heart of it there, emarty. I can’t find the full article on the Tribune site – you haven’t got a link to it, by any chance?

  20. Fair enough, Sean – nobody is saying you can’t use the site to criticise whoever you want, providing it’s done in an objective manner. My aim is never to stifle healthy debate but I just don’t want the site to become yet another online forum where personal insults are tossed around, that’s all.

  21. Well I think this site is so successful becasue we are not sheep and here honest opinions are given and received. WJ should be congratulated for that.

    What Spillane, O’Rourke etc. meant when saying Mayo are too nice (in my opinion mind !!) is that they are not willing to fight when it comes down to the crunch within tight games.
    Mayo have lost credibility becasue of their callapses. I believe these were/are (to a large extent) becasue of a lack of battling qualities and bottle within the team.

  22. Jpm, i enjoy this site so i don’t want to become very unpopular straight away by been argumentative all the time but that is not what Spillane, orourke, Sean Boylan, Jack o conor are trying to say especially spillane who has explained in the past what he means, he means that Mayo people in general life are a bit too nice a tad soft in the head. I remember Sean Boylan on the late late a few years back making an indirect reference to the Mayo team of 96, he said you have to have a nasty ruthless streak to get over the line to win an AI some couties just don’t have it.
    This is a far fetched scenario but i’d love to know what your truthful answer would be. If Mayo played Kerry in the final and intentionally went out and put cooper out of the game with a dirty tackle , would you be happy to win the AI with doing that and half the country were moaning about the dirty tactic of taking cooper out of the game?

  23. one of the first voters out of leinster house shouting ” UP MAYO “. must be a good omen!!

  24. Don’t think at all that BJPadden is a bad player- 3 or 4 different Mayo managers have had him on the team so he must be doing something right. I think if he has a problem it’s that he has been f*cked around in his career- playing everywhere from fullback, centreback, midfield, centre, wing and full forward. Any man who can play all those positions is decent. If he has a problem, perhaps it’s that he’s too versatile, and can do everything reasonably well but is outstanding at nothing- If u count that a criticism…

  25. Well Sean
    That’s an interesting question on The Gooch and here’s my answer.

    I wouldn’t like to see the Gooch put out of the game deliberatly witha punch to break his jaw or a sliding tackle while he’s on the ground to deliberatly break his leg.

    Also (and more importantly) it has to be said that putting the Gooch out of the game with a dirty tackle in the 1st, 10th, 34th min (whenever) does not guarantee Mayo (or any other team) of winning anything.

    The ball still has to be put over the bar. We would still have to score more that Kerry (or whoever) to do this.
    Fowrards would still have to take those chances that come to them.
    Meath, Tyrone, Dublin teams were all accused of being dirty etc but they still had great forwards to do the business for them as well.

    Finally – if the Gooch were put out of the game and nothing was done about it by ref then you can be damn sure that Kerry would then change their tactic to adopt the same approach to Mayos best player/forward and God help him !!

  26. PS:
    So the answer is Yes I would be happy becasue in my opinion games do not hinge on one particular player or on one particular instant.

    Teams also are not built or hinge on one particular player. Others have to step up as well in the big games.

    Oh and by the way Gooch is well used to tough football (in Kerry) and from playing Cork.

  27. Jpm.
    I am not all that educated and maybe i don’t get my point across on these sites, forums etc due to my bad wording or whatever.

    Whether the gooch is used of tough football or not has nothing to with what i was trying to ask, it was just a total random choice of star player.

    What i was trying to explain was our (mayo) attitude as supporters and as people in general. I’ll try to tell you what i would think the reaction of the vast majority of our support would be to such a scenario, they would be saying stuff like ” jesus that was no way to win a match, christ that was an awful thing to do, id prefer we didnt win it at all than to do something as low as that” etc etc. Where as if it were Tyrone, Cork, Galway, Meath or Dublin, it would ” fu.. him he’ll be all right, we won thats all that matters.
    People in Mayo can delude themselves till the cows come home but untill the day we rid ourselves of that soft mentality, we will win nothing. Don’t get me wrong this is not the immediate problem for next week, i’m talking more of past failings, as recent as Meath last year though, where not one man on the team had the balls to stick to Joe Sheridan.

  28. F. enough Sean,

    I only referenced Colm Cooper as you had directly cited him in your previous question. If you want you can exchange him for any other payer on any other team. My views won’t change on it.

    I can’t answer for the rest of the people within the county and in all honesty I wouldn’t try.

  29. Leave BJP alone, he’s not the problem with the Mayo team and what is the wink wink shite all about Sean – are you implying some political pull or what?? Grow up.

  30. Well I, for one, would not like to see Mayo losing its so called “soft” mentality. That’s our nature, and a nice one at that. These are all amateur players who have to go to work the next morning. Is it worth injuring a man in order to win a match? Besides, Galway won the AI in 1998 playing beautiful football and nothing else.

  31. Well, i can see i am going to get nowhere in here, the billy joe support seems powerful so i must be seriously deluding myself in thinking i can judge a footballer, he is obviously a mighty footballer in fairness any man that is drafted into a panel 3 weeks before the championship is usually of star material.

    Grainne Uaile, your sentiments describe the true characteristics of Mayo mentality ” thats our nature” good stuff.

  32. Actually I agree with Sean’s point re our attitude, all teams including Galway had a tough streak and leaders which we seem to lack at the moment, I would accept most things for an AI, see how Kerry people defend Paul Galvin. There is a difference between being tough and dirty, Kerry have class players but can look after themselves, winners are strong both mentally and physically, we are lacking both. There are no medals given out for being nice!

  33. Oh my god, if Andy thinks all that was wrong was complacency, (then as people say about Mayo all the time), god help us.
    He is not living in the real world, I despair for Mayo football if that the attitude going around.
    Oh and Billy Joe is never the worst player to play for Mayo, he may not be the best player to ever play for us but he is by no means any where near one of the worst, as I have seen a few in my time

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