Andy’s interview + first look at possible All-Stars

I happened to be in the car last night when Andy Moran’s interview with Oisin Langan on Newstalk’s  Off The Ball show was on. Andy was his usual forthright self and despite showing plenty of obvious disappointment over Sunday’s latest near-miss with Sam he was also bullish about the future. He was asked about whether or not James Horan was likely to stay on as manager next year and replied that he couldn’t envisage James leaving at this stage. It’s a good interview, well worth a listen.

Discussion about who’ll feature in the All-Stars always tends to get going far too early – the thread on the topic on began this year before July was over – despite the fact that, as any fool could tell you, the shape of this particular team only starts to become clear once the All-Ireland final has been played. Now that it has, I think it’s safe enough to declare open season on this activity.

From what I can see, three different stabs have been made so far at a Team of the Year or possible All-Star line-up, i.e. RTÉ’s Sunday Game, and Martin Breheny in today’s Irish Independent. The three teams are all different but it’s clear that there’s a lot of commonality between them and given this I think this year’s All-Stars should be relatively easy to nail down. I know other players will feature on the shortlist but I’d  say that most of the debate will be concentrated on the names that feature on the three lists published so far so for the sake of simplicity I’ll restrict my discussion of the likely permutations to these players.

In terms of county representation, The Sunday Game go for six for Dublin, five for us, two for Kerry and one each for Tyrone and Monaghan. Breheny does the same whereas the pick takes one off Dublin and gives it to Cavan (more on that anon – this switch makes no sense at all at all). From our perspective, I’d be very disappointed if we don’t come away with five from this year’s team.

Looking at individual picks, a total of eleven names appear on all three lists: Stephen Cluxton, Colin Walshe, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Cian O’Sullivan, Michael Darragh Macauley, Colm Cooper, Sean Cavanagh, James O’Donoghue, Bernard Brogan and Cillian O’Connor. I’d say all of these are bolted-down, nailed-on, racing certainties for gongs.

Because there’s a bit of switching going on as regards positioning – with Cian O’Sullivan shoe-horned into centre-back on both The Sunday Game list and the one (despite the fact that he only played half a match there all summer), while he’s at midfield on Breheny’s list – that means that ten places appear to be fairly well set in stone. Much of the selection debate is, then, likely to revolve around the remaining five places – full-back, centre-back, left half-back, midfield and right half-forward.

Full-back would appear to be between Rory O’Carroll and Ger, centre-back between Cian O’Sullivan and Donie, left half-back between Jack McCaffrey and Boyler, one of the midfield slots between Cian O’Sullivan and Aido and right half-forward between Paul Flynn and Cavan’s Cian Mackey. Two of these are no-brainers – there is no way on this earth that Colm Boyle should lose out to the media darling from Clontarf and the notion that Cian Mackey could be picked ahead of Paul Flynn is equally insane. Both McCaffrey and Mackey were selected on the team, by the way, which would make you wonder what matches they were watching in Croke Park (and beyond) this summer.

I think Rory O’Carroll will edge out Ger at 3 (partly on form, partly because Ger won last year) with the final two places dependent on where Cian O’Sullivan is selected. If he gets midfield, then Donie gets 6 (and we get a clean sweep in the half-backs) whereas if O’Sullivan is picked at 6 we get Big Dawg at midfield.

My own guess? I’d go with the one picked on The Sunday Game, to be honest.

The publication of the nominations for this year’s All-Stars may, as they were last year, be delayed until early October due to the hurling final replay. The awards themselves will be announced at the end of next month.

44 thoughts on “Andy’s interview + first look at possible All-Stars

  1. I am in the middle of doing a selection aswell for the website; and it will be up on my own blog aswell at some point tonight. leaning towards a failry even Mayo/Dublin split and also have to pick player and young player of the year. All of this is being done (with some difficulty) without any red & green tinted glasses.

    spoiler alert: cant look past our own Cillian to make it 3 in a row

  2. I know there is alot more competition for places at midfield but its some fall from the heights of Donegal that Aido isn’t a shoe in for POTY never mind an All Star. If only he had been at 60-70% of how he played that day on Sunday, it could have made all the difference… Would think Boyler is well deserving of an All Star too

  3. one issue i have with cillian getting ypoty is that he got it twice and it could count against him and mccaffery is fav for it at moment what do you think

  4. That 60 or 70% you mention JC of AOS could have being enough to help Mayo win,. But fuck it im not going down the shoulda woulda road.
    I was talking to a girl in college about the final and she asks ” Is it true the Mayo team is cursed?” I nearly lost the plot but i had to laugh it off the stupid B**th but i suppose considering our form in finals shar it might be a logical question for some people to ask. Anyway im just looking forward to League and the first nite out see where the lads are at.

  5. I mean this with no disrespect towards any of our neighbours in Connacht but bar a massive exodus of our players we should be looking at 4 in a row next year and realistically a semi final. We are so far ahead of most of most other teams in terms of strength and conditioning, finances, backroom set up and ability that final 4 is a genuine goal.
    The problem lies in driving on from a semi or final to winning it outright. The lads are too good not to go again, hard as that seems at the moment.

  6. if Boyler doesnt get an all star they will be hearing from me, what a man and has had his body in places he has no business putting it ALL YEAR, fearless !!!

  7. I think Mayo will get five All-Star, Keith Higgins,Lee Keegan,Colm Boyle,Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor. Of course other Mayo players will be unlucky to miss out but i feel Dublin will win 6 or 7 Tyrone,Kerry a few and maybe one for Monaghan or Cavan.

  8. No reason at all that we can’t win an Ireland next as per my previous post on last nights thread. We must keep Horan

  9. Bloody brilliant! Andy Moran is a legend.

    He has lifted me out of that twilight zone that seems to follow All Ireland defeats.

    To come on and talk so authentically and analytically about the game, the mood, the future while the whole thing is so raw is a great sign.

    We need to remember that we are not alone. Many teams have struggled to land the big one – in all sports. Cork lost in 07 and 09. Dublin lost 4 before 2011 and were regarded as a bit of a joke in terms of landing the biggest prize. Even the great Man U struggled big time before they finally landed the title in the mid 90s.

    It’s a small consolation, but the 1-14 scored was the highest we have scored in a final, including the 50s which of course were 60 minutes. And that was playing badly.

    And, by the way, I thought the comment of the Mayo COCO Chairman was actually perceptive. Sam is an elusive character – rather like Bin Laden was.

  10. Hi, Apologies to Maradonna and company. Maybe I was talking in desperation suggesting DB as no.2. in 2014. Really have no idea.

    Just hoping that James Horan can motivate himself and his team to give it there All again. Maybe an outsider would have a more objective view to fill that role for a year. There just seems to be an awful lot of blogs complaining about the decisions on the line.

    We will have to wait for Horan’s autobiography before we know the full story about the substitutions. The final chapter will be ‘How We Did It” – Journey to Sam>

  11. In my opinion darragh o sheas analysis of all Ireland in the Irish times has been the most insightful so far. It should be essential reading for every mayo supporter and especially for players and management.

    He is speaking from experience.

  12. Don’t suppose anyone has footage of Mayo players arriving at Croke Park, getting off the bus specifically?

  13. From what i heard Freeman wasn’t ill and wasn’t injured and was actually disapointed after being taken off.So i don’t know.anyway look i agree we need to look at why we didn’t win with a cold calculated view.Learn from it then rectify it and then try and be ahead of the post like Dublin this year .playing to the best we played this year wont win an all Ireland next year.

  14. Sean Burke says:
    September 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm
    Way with the fairies if ye think any Mayo player is getting either poty or ypoty awards .

    O’Connor will win the young player of year (check odds)

    mayomaningalway the flu thing was excuse i think and check freemans body language as taken off he was also shaking his head.

  15. Good piece by Dermot Early on on the final
    Another man who has a good understanding of the game.
    I like this piece he was quoting
    ““It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

  16. Summary of AIF IMO – 1)Dublin were fitter (the majority of them were full of running at the end). 2)Dublin forwards did their job (they scored from play) 3)Dublin had tactics (and adjusted them as required) 4)Dublin had fully fit squad (how many of the Dublin starting 15 had major injuries in 2013.) I would also like to add to the very reasonable list of questions raised by bloggers on previous thread. Why would any player on the panel leave it to go traveling if they really believed they could land Sam next year…do all the panel really believe they could/can win …i have my doubts.

  17. In keeping, I imagine, with some of you it has been a tough year. However, it was still possible to put those worries to one side for an hour or two by reading this blog and following the games. Personal life comes first, but there has to be an outlet to release the pressure and this team provided it. The team and management are hard nosed realists, but supporters can live on hope and dreams.

    They know that the game was theirs for the taking and that will make the hurt much worse. In time the post mortem will take place. I don’t believe it is in JH’s DNA to paint over issues. He will want analysis, as will the players and yourselves.

    For me? JH and the team, you owe me nothing but I owe you a great deal for the happiness you have given me.this year. Thank you. When I can then I will go over to see you next year, as I have seen nothing from other counties this year that makes me think you cannot win.

    I wasn’t going to comment on tactics etc, but now I’ve started……. There have been many references over the months to total football. The dutch team of the 70s was the best I saw. However, they never won a world cup. On its day total football can blow the opposition away, but those days do not always materialise, especially in the most pressurised games. In finals you need players to perform their primary duty first. For forwards that is to score. Anything else is a bonus, such as turnover ball.

    WJ and posters, thanks for the journey. Lets look forward to the next one.

  18. What about Chris Barrett & Vaughan for All Star nominations, more deserving than McCaffrey in my opinion, plus would be a travesty if Boyle didn’t get one. As I said in previous threads, I genuinely believe our only opposition next year will be Dublin, I don’t think they will go on the lash for the year like Donegal did, Allegedly, football is almost professional in Dublin now. I cannot see any of the Mayo squad leaving to go travelling when all they have to do is overcome Dublin in next year’s final, I genuinely believe it will be a repeat of this year’s final, especially since Connaght meet Munster & Ulster v Leinster in the respective semis. That is no disrespect to other teams, I’m not saying other teams will not improve but so will we and we are far ahead of any other team bar Dublin at present. One other thing, I hope the County Board give James & his team whatever they want in terms of facilities, hotels on big match days etc and no politics or fall outs develop. I hope this team stick together as they are our best hope of winning an All Ireland in two generations. Roll on the league, division one has never been so important or competitive.

  19. If Monaghan win Ulster and defeat the qualifier then they play Dublin in the semi final. They will be on a mission next year, so it is no foregone conclusion that Dublin will be in the final. I could see that Monaghan team making advances. They will have learned from this year.

  20. Many of what has been put forward is true but we still only lost by one point. Dublin were there for taking and we weren’t good enough to do the business last Sunday.

    The more obvious reasons that we lost is that the players didn’t cut off the supply at source from Cluxton’s kick-outs. And the sideline didn’t do anything to stop this happening.
    Another reason is that half our forwards and the subs that were introduced didn’t perform anywhere near their ability on the day.

    Then there’s taking Keith Higgins out of were he was hurting Dublin most and partcularily leaving him on O’Gara after the dub’s bully boy crocked himself. But finally least we forget that despite the excellent Ger Caff, Brogan had his only good game of this year and scored 2-2 (class is permanent if a bit intermittent). So while Cluxton and Brogan did us in, we played a big part too!

    As far as the All-Stars (not my favourite subject) are concerned, the following 6 Mayo players should get them: Cafferkey, Higgins, Keegan, Boyle, A O’Shea, and O’Connor.

    And for the match v Dublin – Hennelly, Vaughan, S O’Shea should come in as substitutes.
    Plus Cunniffe, Barrett or Freeman certainly wouldn’t let the side down, but that would probably be too greedy.

    The problem is that many the media that vote for the All-Stars haven’t been at half the games so you get a lack of professionalism in the selection. Take Ger Cafferkey – the best number 3 all year but because he won an award last year and because Brogan got 2-2 against Mayo despite what was still a great days work by Caff. last Sunday, he could lose out to Dublin’s O’Carroll. Of course he shouldn’t but he could in the Media’s quest to give Dublin one more award than Mayo.

    They even move players out of position every year to make it work for themselves. They’re some of the reasons why the All-Stars is not my favourite subject.

  21. Monaghan win was a flash in the pan. Tyrone will win Ulster next year…and will dominate ulster for a few years to come.

  22. Don’t forget about Cavan they have won three in row Ulster U21s and will be looking to build on this years championship.

  23. Why was Richie Feeney not introduced when the going got tough in the second half? He has been Mayo’s go to sub all year. Am I missing something?

  24. Cillain is 1/4 for YPOTY which is proper order. McCaffrey was absolutely anonymous in the semi and final.

    It would be an absolute disgrace if he got one ahead of Boyle too

    I’d honestly give Footballer of the year to Boyler myself

  25. @ Cat- McCaffrey is far from the favourite by now, with Cillian a certainty at 1/4 thank God

    Dead right- McCaffrey had one stand out match. With Nolan coming back I can’t see him even making the starting 15 for the Dubs next year

  26. @Padraig Walshe

    Re: Richie
    That story will come out soon enough, I’m not going to air it on this though.

  27. I know why Richie Feeney wasn’t brought on and it has absolutely nothing to do with football. As a matter of fact I don’t think he even travelled to the match with the rest of the squad but I cant confirm if that is true yet. If true, the post-mortem result may be different. Time will tell all.

  28. Keith Higgins deserves player of the year, he is the strongest heartbeat on that team!! Cool, strong, versatile, fast, skilful, intelligent,……..need I go on… long as there’s blood in his veins that heart will keep beating . He DESERVES player of there year and he will get his all Ireland…boom boom boom, roll on 2014

  29. Tom , As you seem to have the answers to your own questions re;” trouble in campl”
    why bother with questions no one else seems too interested.

  30. Not sure richie would have made a difference, as the week stretches out its becoming terribly clear that Mayo were tactically picked apart. Dublin had 13 men for the last 10 minutes and we didn’t find a way of winning.
    It’s time to be honest with ourselves, there’s 3 lads I would release straight away, all forwards by the way.
    I would rest a good lot of the starting team until early march, no football needed, they’re on the go 3 years and fatigued.The spark is gone from some of them.
    I was shot down a lot for saying it, Barry Moran or some ither really big man should be used in the ff position for at least stages of most of the games, we really needed that option last Sunday, 5″9 forwards always at a disadvantage against bigger defenders.
    Jason gibbons has to be used in midfield with SOS. Aos at chf.

    I have a world of time for jh, BUT, after last Sunday’s game it appears as though a lot of stuff passed him by during the game. In Croke park, which is our second home thanks to Horan, in the games like quarter, semi and final it might be an idea to have a couple of spotters in the upper stands. Has anyone on here noticed how easy it is to see the way a game is going from the upper stands?

    You’re dead right about conor Mortimer, not nearly strong enough to play in semis or finals, one or two others on this panel will be joining him, out of their depth at the highest level.

  31. Albany, there are and will be plenty people interested in why a player who has done well so many times was left to rot on the bench. If you read through many of the posts following the game you will see a hell of a lot of people want to know why Richie wasn’t brought on. No amount of talking up Dublin will hide the fact that the manager blew it, totally outsmarted again this year. The whole country is questioning his calls so it’s not an agenda by some posters on here. The reasons for trouble in the camp will leak out in time.

  32. Let’s not forget the pressure Mayo are under to deliver the goods on the big day. I think the burden of making the tactical calls needs to be spread out, the likes of Noel Connelly could be the answer. If only to throw ideas up for jh to mull over.
    It’s easy to sit here and be wise, but Dublin were there for the taking with 10 minutes to go, we had every chance, we either didn’t know it or refused to make the positional switches.

    I think we didn’t know it. If we had a couple of spotters ( noel connelly) for example sitting in the stands overlooking the game we would see the chances and let jh know. Since we don’t have a cooper or brogan we need to maximize everything else at our disposal.
    Just a thought.
    The inches are all around us, we know that, now we know where a few extra inches are.
    I really hope these fellas can sort out any issues they might have, after a second loss in a row there’s bound to be talk and friction but they are so close to winning if they tweak a couple of small things that it would be monumentally crazy to not regroup and be prepared for next May with a few fresh faces backing up what is a potential championship winning side.

  33. I don’t think there are any excuses , we were playing 13 men for about the last 10 minutes , not really rocket science to figure out how to put them to the sword. The more I go over the game the less fingers I would point at any player. The blame rests at the managers door. That’s why he is there after all.

  34. Ptoy will go to a dub and it could well be brogan. Ypoty will be cillian…missed alot of football due to his injury and still was top scorer in championship. Regading allstars we will get 4 I think. ..caff, boyle, keegan and coc. AOS will not get one…1 swallow (vs donegal) does not make a summer. His performance was way below par in semi and final? In addition I feel midfield will be between the 2 dubs, cavanagh and then the 2 o sheas will get nominated but I feel it might just go to 2 dubs or mcauley and cavanagh

  35. Pk – I think you’re selling us, and in particular Keith Higgins, a bit short there regarding the All-Stars. Keith is 1/50 with Paddy Power to get one and I can’t see any circumstances in which he wouldn’t.

  36. did any of yeah see the photo of robbie hennelly and johnny cooper after the match last sunda thought it was really sporting of cooper to do what he did

  37. WJ I fear that jh may have sacrificed keith higgins’ all star by playing him at 11. The gooch will get 11 gan dabht so if he does it will have to be in backs and as I said we will get three there so will be touch and go.

  38. I think Keith will get his in the full-back line as that’s where he played most of his football this summer. Along with Lee, Boyler and Cillian he’s almost a certainty for an All-Star at this stage. I’d say we should then get one more, either Ger Caff, Donie or AOS.

  39. I hope so. But he wont get it in forward line, we’ll get coc there anyway. Maybe 3-4 more then I hope but kerry will get 2, sean Cavanagh will and then there is talk in media for monaghan corner back did I see?

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