Bad draw for both ourselves and Galway

The 2022 Connacht Championship draw that was made a short while ago today certainly didn’t do ourselves or Galway any favours. We’ve been drawn against each other at the quarter-final stage, with the winners then facing Leitrim or London in the semis.

On the other side of the draw, meanwhile, Roscommon have to all intents and purposes been handed a bye into the provincial final. Sligo travel to New York in the quarters and the winners of that one are all that stands between the Rossies and a Nestor Cup decider place next year.

From our perspective and from Galway’s, this is the worst possible draw. Both sides will need to be up for it in a serious way on what’s likely to be the first weekend of the Championship and while victory will open the road to the All-Ireland series for one of then, defeat for the other would be little short of disastrous in terms of their hopes for the summer.

If there’s any upside to this, it’s the likelihood that 2022 could well be the final year of this farcical Championship structure. We’re stuck with it for next year, though, where we’ll be banking on James Horan to extend his impeccable Championship record against the Tribesmen when we face off against them in our Connacht SFC opener.

86 thoughts on “Bad draw for both ourselves and Galway

  1. I have to say I am finding it hard to get to excited about next years championship. However we are where we are. I assume we have home advantage in the newly refurbished McHale Park having given it up this year. If we do get by the old enemy it will almost certainly set up a match with Andy’s Leitrim.
    As you say Willie Joe hopefully this is the last year of the current format. One major advantage we should have is Division One football while Galway battle away in Division Two.

  2. Beat them. Simple. One game at a time. I’ll take a full version of the 2nd half from the C final last year to start. Game in Galway?

  3. The draw has really focused the mind again and we can start planning for 2022. There is so much confusion about mchale park and will it be ready to host the game, or will mayo have to concede home advantage to galway . It would be a great start for the new mchale park if it was ready to play the game in Castlebar.

  4. Is there qualifiers next year? Hard to get motivated about next year. The wounds of this year will take time to heal. I would expect Kerry to be really strong next year.

  5. Looking on the positive side, exciting draw against our biggest rival in connacht. A guaranteed contest versus the other heavyweight western team. Full house in summer, always a great atmostphere. Potentially beating our derby rivals in a tightly matched game is something to look forward to. Super excited for it.

  6. Going for four in a row against Galway. We’ve beaten them in Limerick; we’ve beaten them in Galway; we’ve beaten them in Croker. Surely to God, we should be up for this one. Can we possibly beat them in Castlebar?

  7. That’s a pretty shit draw…It is kinda hard to get excited for next year…this year’s final defeat feels a lot worse than others in more recent years. 16 and 17 were immense efforts and heartbreaking where last year felt like bonus territory snd a shot to nothing. This year tho really stings…kinda felt like we will never win one after it.

  8. According to RTE Radio One the Mayo v Galway game is scheduled for Hastings Insurance MacHale Park. Here’s hoping the pitch is ready, wider and longer to suit the lads style of play. I know people are finding it hard to get excited right now but in early April when the lambs are bleating and the Spring sunshine is warming your face, you will be excited for Mayo action.

  9. It’s not a bad draw at all. In fairness, if you are going to win Connaught, you will in most cases have to go out and beat Galway at one stage or another. It’s time to move on from September 2021, there is nothing that we or anyone else can do to change the outcome of that final. It’s time to look forward, we have a young and exciting team who will be very much looking forward to this. This draw will focus minds. Can’t wait to be walking down to MacHale Park next April, we all need something to look forward to.

  10. @Lahanman yes the qualifiers are in place next year however its 2 rounds instead of 4 because Div 3,4 teams go into the Tailteann Cup.

  11. Seems like there is no attendance requirement for All Ireland tickets with next years season ticket !

  12. I don’t know why we have all this crying and olagoning about last Sept’s defeat. OK, it was another All Ireland final lost but unfortunately it’s not the first and I doubt it will not be the last. Are we in a worse place than in 2011 when facing All Ireland champions Cork in the QF? Certainly not. In the past we would have been “rebuilding” for ages before being able to put out a half – and I mean a half – decent team after a Croke Park defeat. Do any of you want me to list examples? This year, after half our team retired, replacements were slotted in almost automatically, taken off the shelf, as it were. That is the legacy of our team of 2011 -2020, a complete change in the mindset of young Mayo footballers. Long may it continue.

  13. @Andy D, I think the criticism of last September performance in the All Ireland final is well warrented.. This is my own personal opinion, and several others have expressed similar opinions to me as regards last September.. I wasn’t happy with the performance.. I wasn’t happy with the Team Selection.. I wasn’t happy with the interaction, and or lack of same with our Management team on the day.. I wasn’t happy with the Tatics… I wasn’t happy with what happened between the All Ireland semifinal and the final…Tyrone, Congratulations to them, worthy winner’s on the day, but I don’t mean to demean them but their performance on the day would not have won any other All Ireland final for probably two decades.. On the whole…it was a very poor performance ..

  14. @Leantimes, I agree 100%. It was a complete shambles. In fact, it was disgraceful, embarrassing, you name it.

    We’ve lost finals in every manner possible over the past decade but 2021. Some we were beaten by the better team, 2012. In others we were ridiculously unlucky, 2016 drawn game. We’ve had player ‘meltdowns’ like Hennelly’s calamitous performance in the replay (as well as his very costly errors in 2013 and 2021), Vaughans needless reaction in 2017. Really bad individual errors; I know it’s a team game blah blah.

    Anyway, as supporters, we always go through our reaction and recovery stage from Sept through December but sure, shouldn’t we feel ‘privileged’ regardless. Privileged my h&le. Go and win the bloody thing and stop making feckin’ excuses and coming out with the ‘we just have to learn from our mistake’s’ rubbish. Some players keep making the same mistakes!! Last September was a disgrace. Nowhere near good enough on so many levels. I’m still raging over it. Some Mayo supporters need to take off the rose-tinted glasses and realise it was an absolute collapse and we missed a golden opportunity.

    So, you’re spot on Leantimes.

  15. @AndyD, I don’t think there is any question that Mayo are better than 2011 but with the millions that have been spent on the team they’d want to be.

    The real question is are they better than 2012 as regards to winning finals they aught to be winning and the honest answer to that is no and that’s the main reason so many are still in a rage.

  16. Same as Leantimes & Mayonaze. That performance on Sept 11th and standard of preparation in the lead up to that final cannot simply be brushed aside in the hope of better fortunes in 2022. It wasn’t good enough and I think a lot of Mayo supporters have had enough of our teams finding new ways to lose the biggest games of their lives. I can’t see 2022 being any better as I don’t believe our manager will make any meaningful changes to the way he selects, prepares, listens, acts or adjusts. Galway will be a better prepared unit this summer and expect them to take full advantage unless there is a major shake up in both our management and players attitude, approach, execution, selections, tactics and determination right from the get-go in January.

  17. You will not win all Ireland playing pure football. In 2004 and 2006 we learned nothing from how Tyrone beat Kerry in 03 and 05. Look at how kerry beat Donegal in 14,they literally put a saddle on Murphy.

  18. What weekend is the Galway game likely to be played? Gotta start factoring that into my travel plans. Definitely want to fly over for it. Thanks.

  19. Thanks Mayo Magic for updating on Qualifiers for next year. So its 3 games to AL quarter finsl either way..Thats makes Qualifiers route less difficult.

  20. Tavelling Wilbury/Viper – that topic is off-limits here, as there’s no way I’m going to allow the blog to get dragged into that issue in the way it was a few years back.

  21. I think I heard on radio yesterday that the London and New York games will be on Easter Sunday. That’s 17th April. So possibly Mayo v Galway the following weekend. Not sure how that time works for the new pitch in Castlebar. Connacht final is on last weekend of May. New schedule is flat out to get All Ireland’s finished by end of July.

  22. In my opinion whoever loses the mayo! Galway game will not see July. I think the whole championship system is nonsense. We have condenced the main show piece of gaelic games for so called club reasons..yet I see club teams still struggling week in week out to get games done. For instance imagine we lose th Galway..normally we would sit for 2 or 3 weeks and then have to play 5 or maybe 6 match s with no break including a quarter final. We are killing our county players. U would think there was no tomorrow. . The qualifiers under this new codenced system is a total non runner as a route to the holy grail. Mayo Galway match is a must win or die in the qualifiers

  23. Craggy boglands – there are only 2 rounds of qualifiers next year as the division 3 and 4 teams will be put into the talteann cup. So whether we win or lose vs Galway, it will be two more games to make the quarter finals.

  24. Totally agree Craggy boglands. The direct route is crucial. Connacht final is the end of May. Win that and there’s 4 weeks to quarter final weekend at end of June. On a different note I think it’s counter productive for the GAA to condense things to such an extent. By the end of June there will only be 4 teams left standing. The best of the summer ahead but that big game championship buzz will be absent in what should be peak championship season. An own goal in promoting the games in my view. The provincial championships will be competing for attention in April and May with the Premier League/ Champions League conclusions.

  25. I dont like the condensed season.It all came about because there was this accepted theory that if the main Shoppingcenter of footbal was rushed off the stage that there would be this “Festival” of Summer Club football.The reality is that clubs cant fueld during the Summer because guys book holidays want to go to America to play or just go on the good old J1…bottom line is club footbal is better played in the Winter when teams have players around in college etc.
    Bring back the AI final on the 3rd Sunday in September

  26. Ok wide ball. That helpful although the direct route is my preference but why condense the championship and teach makes a great point.. 4 teams left by the end of June. How much Time does clubs need? Really..

  27. I’m sitting here today watching a replay tipp county final. Hurling. When did tipp exit the championship. Its nearly December now. Can someone tell me how this system is helping clubs because for the life of me I just Don’t get it.

  28. This isn’t the Ah Ref helpline, Mayoman in Meath. I suggest you refer that query directly to the proper source. We’ll have a new podcast episode out on Tuesday.

  29. Thanks, Travelling Wilbury – you weren’t, I think, active on here when that issue was a hot topic a few years ago. I’ve no desire to relive all that again here on the blog.

  30. That’s fine, Deel Rover, no need for apologies. Luckily, the resumption of on-field action isn’t far away now so there’ll be plenty to chat about on that front soon.

  31. I hope it never happens. He would be massive at midfield for mayo. If u think about the final.. we restricted 2 of our best attacking options in defence.. mullin and keegan.. but still coughed up 2 soft goals.
    Therefore that did not work.

  32. If he goes it will be after Christmas. No way they will take him over there in December.Its too much for a young guy to miss his whole family.Good luck to him

  33. I can’t see Christmas playing a part in it. All the Mayo ladies players are already gone to Australia in preparation for the new season.

  34. I travelled to Australia in Oct,I’m still here for another week.The full covid restrictions were in force when I arrived.All it means is Oisin would do the 2 week hotel quarantine I did which was gotten rid of in Nov but has been brought back in because of new variant.Rob Kearney,Cora,Sarah Rowe and lots others were in the same situation. What I’m saying is that won’t have a bearing on whether he goes or not.

  35. Apologies Deelrover (the original one) – I hadn’t realised that the person posting under that handle was someone else.

    Deelrover (the more recent one, posting about the SBP article) – I’ve changed your handle to ‘DeelRover 2’ so please either use that or else use a different one when posting comments from now on.

  36. Catcol – as I’ve already said to others, that topic is off-limits here. I want to keep the debate that takes place here firmly focused on on-field issues.

  37. Trojan horse tactics indeed @Deelrover. Great minds and all that.

    I’ve changed my handle now WJ.

    Up Mayo.

  38. 45, Leantimes and Mayonaze, I’m with ye on this. Still raging about the embarrassment served up in the All Ireland Final and I expect nothing more will happen. “We brush ourselves down”, “we’re priviliged to be here”, “we’re Mayo this is what we do”, “we’re all in this together” balh fucking blah. All bullshit platitudes from management and county board.
    As long as we have the county board (and also parading on the sideline) and a management in unison with the county board that totally disrespects it’s own supporters, then we’re going nowhere.

    I ask again, would Kerry or Dublin accept a 4 time losing All Ireland final manager to go for a 5th? Would they give him free reign over club fixtures, spending, controlling PR and media breifings? Tyrone sacked a legend in Mickey Harte and see what happened there? Our county board wouldn’t have the balls to make such a call.
    No, we’ll continue to be the best boys in the class and the county board and management will continue to be given an easy ride by our local media. As far as I can see only a Western People correspondent and Ah Ref podcast are the ones that consistently ask for accountability and call it as it is. Even Horans “State of the Union” type address/interview was staged in the extreme. Of course, any and constructive fair criticisim, over reasonable questioning, is called out as on-line abuse so it all gets swept under the carpet.
    There will be no change in direction, style, selection or attitude for the 2022 season so don’t go expecting any other outcomes than that which we have become accustomed to.

  39. Great article on the Roscommon herald 23 /11 /21 club football is full of buffers by Sam. It would be great if someone could download it onto the blog.

  40. Jrb – that’s not going to happen as it would be an obvious and flagrant breach of copyright. If you can provide a link to it that would, of course, be fine.

  41. Well said -Pebblesmeller. The end is in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. Two more games should see the end of this fiasco one thinks. Galway will be well improved for 2022 make no mistake about this. Thats leaving out the league LHU.
    Forecast they will win 2 games in the league imo. slan.

  42. 8 years of Horan. 4 All Ireland finals, achieving a minimum of semi final every year. And the past 2 years, we reached a final with a team that was completely overhauled without the standard drastically slipping. Who else would have achieved this?

    Yes we haven’t won the big one, and there is plenty that the management could have done differently.

    But be careful what you wish for, because the grass may not be greener whenever Horan steps aside. I think we owe Horan a lot more than he is given credit for.

  43. Sick as a parrott.. there is no guarantee we’ll be any better , the addition of Cian O Neill will help if the manager listens and learns..
    Still a lot of changes again on the playing side with Duane and O Donnell retired and a few more unavailable.
    It will be a very very young inexperienced Galway team in 2022 .

  44. Would agree with that @Mayo Focus. You can criticise Horan for not dealing with Donaghy better in 2014 and maybe a few match ups in the 2012/13 finals, however I don’t understand the abuse he’s getting now (from people I talk to, not just here). At the end of the day we had 4 great goal chances vs Tyrone and converted none of them. That’s what cost us the game and it’s why I don’t accept the argument we “played into Tyrone’s hands”.

    That’s not Horan’s fault and certainly isn’t down to the county board. Maybe he wouldn’t be kept on in Dublin/Kerry, but I don’t see a better option out there to be honest.

  45. Mayo Focus, I agree we do owe Horan a lot, but that does not mean we only look at one side of the ledger when tallying up the full picture.
    There is a myth out there that Horan develops all these players. That’s incorrect. It’s the clubs that develop the players, not the senior inter county manager. If there are no quality players coming out of the clubs into development squads then there is nothing for the senior inter county manager to work with.
    My biggest worry is it appears that Horan has no intention to evolve or change his playing style or how he sets up his team. Dublin under Jim Gavin evolved over the years to ensure they stayed ahead of the pack. Tyrone under Mickey Harte likewise when delivering 3 All Irelands in 5 or 6 years. Kerry evolved to achieve and sustain success and even Donegal under McGuinness altered their style of play. Under Horan, we are at the same crack we were at the first time around. No defensive structure, an attacking half back line that is expected to both protect it’s full back line, and, create and score at the other end of the field. Poor match-ups. Hard working, hard running, non-scoring half forwards and the same dodgy keeper that has cost us at least 2 All Irelands.
    I know this thread isn’t specifically for this conversation but for me just “going again” is an absolute waste of time unless there is an honest and critical look back at where we’ve come from.

  46. Dont forget Mayo gave Tyrone 5 goal chances , which would you choose, giving or taking, goals have beaten Mayo except 2017 Dublin scored 1 point more than Mayo in that final. You cannot win a final without a proper Defence, Mayo scored more points than Tyrone in this years final, there is a need for a wise up on this one…The final this year was a disaster for Mayo. Look back to 2016 for the blueprint , Mayo scored the same this year as they did in 2016 , still trying to figure why a manager would leave the best team in the country 2014, and come back to the same team more or less 5 years later when they were wore out ,to try and win a final , Horan has done some good for mayo football, but he will never again get a chance like 2021. Mayo were the top team in 2015 and 2016, they rattled Dublin those 2 years ,with 2 different managements. slan

  47. Wide ball. I totally agree. Be careful what we wish for. Remember we didn’t have cillian either

  48. The unjust loss to Kerry in Limerick 2014 was where it all went south for Mayo football. I think (as do many other more knowledgeable people than me) we were at our peak then. Losing that match in that manner was always gonna be difficult to recover from. That loss wasn’t Horan’s fault, far from it. Nor was it the player’s fault. The loss sucked the life out of me. I can only imagine what it must have done to team and management.

    I say this because it’s clear to me that winning Sam is more difficult for Mayo than for every other county. It’s become a blur to me now what the reasons for this are. An accumulation of bad luck, bad play, poor management decisions, screwed by officials, all of which have now created insurmountable pressure. I cannot lay the blame for this on James Horan. I don’t think that’s fair. Look at the mess with Man Utd. Far more successful than Mayo, with all the resources and professionalism in the world, yet they cannot get a winning manager.

    2014 was our year. Our key player’s were at their absolute peak and HoranBall was still new, and deadly effective. Who could fathom our two best players clashing heads that day, coupled with a crackpot refereeing performance. You couldn’t make it up. Two complete uncontrollables.

    ’16 and ’17 showed outstanding grit from the team to come back, but unfortunately in those years Dublin really were at their peak. There wasn’t a thing more we could have done.

    So… James coming in for his second term was always going to be a massive challenge. A lot of new players, and a lot of older players with severe emotional scars and miles on the clock. It’s still an amateur sport. We’re doing a heck of a lot right. I’d agree that there are some glaring problems that need fixing. But overall, I don’t see anyone better than Horan, not by a long shot. A big problem, however, is the fact that young players like Ryan, Tommy, and Oisin have already lost two All Ireland finals. It’s simply never-ending. A new generation now possibly cursed by the baggage of the past.

  49. Some of the very people who wanted Horan named man of the match after the Dublin game are now calling for his head. In the build up to the final we never heard a wrong word about him but losing to Tyrone has been simply unforgiveable. Tyrone that merely knocked our the Ulster champions, and Donegal and Monaghan and Kerry all those light weights. How dare we lose to them. How can Horan show his face after that shameful performance. Especially when we have such wonderful players waiting to step up from the club scene. Did ye watch the Co Final, the supposed two best club teams in Mayo. Yes indeed we should be careful what we wish for. Could anyone genuinely see us reaching the last 2 AI Finals with a team in transition. No Horans big problem was that he oversaw our defeat of Dublin. That convinced people that we were shoe ins to win the final. Unfortunately the Dublin team were in decline and despite that we were woeful against them for 55 minutes as we were v galway for most of the first half. Ironically if Robbie hadn’t kicked the equaliser v dublin we would have comforted ourselves by saying we gave the dubs a tough game, dusted ourselves down and promised ourselves we would be back with a bang in 2022 when hopefully we would have Cillian back.

  50. Liberal role in the tie…
    Sorry but 2014 Was Horans fault There shoukd never have been Limerick.We should have beaten Kerry in Dublin on the Sunday.Donaghy came on and as a last Desperate roll of the dice from Fitzmaurice and we left him unattended.Cafferky Was not the Man and knew it himself signalling to come off ….we needed a big man to stop the high Ball for 10 minutes and we had the man as we found out in 2017.Failed to react again.
    Then went to Limerick and did the same thing for 110 minutes.
    Also no one ever really challenged the Freeman Substitution in 2013.He Was the on Form forward on the Country having won us the semi against Tyrone or at least making a huge contribution…then he was pulled after 20 minutes.The Dubs i spoke to couldnt believe it he was their main concern going into that game.Remarkably Horan made a quick decision that day and never again.Why???….to bring on…exactly what??.
    Plus playing an injured Cillian OConnor?.

  51. @to win just once, similar to all those who wanted to give Ole a contract for life at Man Utd after a few wins and we know how that worked out.

    I don’t know what’s up with the GAA sometimes, a manager makes a substitution that everyone is crying out for and he’s made out to be some sort of genius.

    It’s also nonsense to say “if we had taken our chances we’d have won the game”, sure Newcasle would be top of the league if they had scored every chance they had, sport doesn’t work that way.

  52. @Willie Joe, there is a clear comparison to be made in how attitudes of fans are always based on recent results, the same people who were lauding Solskjaer after a few results and telling us he was some sort of tactical genius weren’t long turning on him when things went pear shaped.

    We could also say if Man Utd took all their chances Ole would still be in a job but it doesn’t work that way.

    At the end of the day the buck stopped with him.

  53. Fans’ attitudes everywhere, in every sport, are influenced by recent results. On that basis you could compare James Horan (or Solskjaer) with literally thousands of other managers. But doing so would be just as spurious as comparing them directly.

  54. @Willie Joe, I’m not sure about that, like all managers are going to be criticized after losses occasionally but I never heard too many calling for the likes of Pep to be fired because he has the trophies in the cabinet.

    But Ole got fired for losing games Man Utd aught to have won and for failing to win semi finals (4) that they were expected to win and an inability to set a team up to be able to negate the strengths of the opponents.

    That doesn’t take away from the games they did win under him though.

  55. As I said, Viper, the comparison is completely spurious and the more you make of it the more spurious it gets. That’s aside from the perils of comparing managers of professional soccer clubs in another country with GAA inter-county managers but each to their own, I guess.

  56. @Willie Joe, the comparison is not between managers, it’s that attitudes change regardless of previous big wins and blind loyalty should never come into it.

  57. I think we can agree on that. Fans’ attitudes are always changeable, often within a few minutes of a game, and, as others have already pointed out, we saw that in relation to James Horan this year. After the Dublin win, he could do no wrong, after the Tyrone win he could do no right.

  58. 1989 – was it Horan’s fault that Keegan got sent off and left us with 14 players for the majority of that game? Personally I think with any other manager we would have lost to Kerry the first day, as we wouldn’t have got back into the game at all in the 2nd half.

    @to win just once is right. If we just lost to Dublin by a point most people would have shrugged their shoulders and been satisfied with the year. Which doesn’t make any sense.

  59. Wide ball
    No it was Keegans fault he got sent off clearly?!.
    It was Horans fault we didnt win.
    No point getting back into the game if you dont win.
    The solution was there he didnt go for it.

    The point about losing to Dublin by a point and feeling good about the year is without merit. You could make the same argument about Tyrone if they had lost to us congratulating themselves about the semi win against Kerry . Except that Tyrone got to the final and took their chance and went home with their 4th All Ireland.
    At some point the ”learnings” have to be done and the game won….no more excuses no more ”learnings”.
    I have a feeling 2022 will be a down year like 2010. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

  60. @1989 – what do you mean the solution was there? If you’re talking about Aidan O’Shea, Donaghy set up 2 goals and several points for Kerry in 2017 when Aidan was marking him. I seem to remember Clare getting a couple of goals against us in the league when Aidan was full back too. The point is you can’t throw out these statements about Horan losing us this game or that game. Nobody knows how it would have turned out.

    In my opinion there wouldn’t be half the anger and frustration around the county if we had lost to Dublin narrowly. There would have been plenty of excuses for people to comfort themselves with, between Oisín missing the game and Eoghan McLaughlin being taken out. Of course the learnings have to be learned at some point. I just don’t believe it’s primarily down to management. The recent final was different to the ones against Dublin in that we created several clear goal scoring chances, but took none of them.

    I can’t see a 2010 situation happening where we lose to the likes of Sligo and Longford, but could be wrong.

  61. If you want to critique James Horan management… You need to critique what happened between the 2021 All Ireland semifinal and final.. And of course, the team selection, the substitutions,or lack of same for some..The tatics,..the interaction of our management team or lack of same…In my opinion, Tyrone’s performance, while good enough to beat Mayo by 5 points, was a poor enough performance in an All Ireland final, but victorious one for Tyrone.. Tyrone failed to score for the first 20 minutes of the second half..Too much of Mayo’s performance was shambolic, the buck must stop somewhere… Forget beating Dublin or losing to Dublin by one point..If Dublin perform like that again, Dessie Farrell will be gone, no questions asked.. And it will count little that he brought Dublin to victory in their sixth All Ireland in a row, against another James Horan managed Mayo.

  62. Wide ball
    AOS was certainly an option he nullified Donaghy in 2017…….especially in the second game. In fact one goal in the first game came when AOS was out on the sideline.
    We needed a guy in there in the last 5 mins of that game that could compete with Donaghy in the air if not Aidan maybe Seamus or even Tom Parsons was on the bench. Horan should have made a change in my opinion . Again the Alan Freeman decision in 2013 was just unexplainable. He had won us the semi was an option on free taking if Cillian was gone was in form an he was pulled after 20 minutes.
    I dont ever remember a substitution in a game after 20 mins.Truth is its not of course just down to management but for whatever reason JH has seemed to be immune to blame.
    Of course you are right we dont know how it would have turned out and would any other manager have got us in the game in 2014. I really hope you are correct about 2022 but I have a feeling it will be stale and guys might even just be tired of the whole thing.
    I would be so, so happy t be dead wrong though.

  63. I don’t agree he nullified Donaghy in 2017, certainly not the drawn game. In the replay there was very little ball kicked into Donaghy. I didn’t understand the freeman substitution either, but how can you say Horan was immune from blame? People are still giving out about it to this day. The same with the Kerry games in 2014. When in reality there were multiple reasons we didn’t win those games.

    As mentioned on the other thread, if anything people are over critical of James Horan and try to run down everything he does.

  64. @towinjustonce…i dont think you can justify our tyrone loss by saying Horan’s undoing was beating a spiralling dublin team??? We had the best opportunity in 60 odd years to land it and imploded. Sometimes teams win AIs not playing their best football, look at cork 2010 who had a brilliant season in 2009 but lost to Kerry and then stumbled their way into an all ireland and got a golden chance playing a flash in the pan down team! Yes mayo were playing in fits and starts throughout the season and you might argue tyrone are top level team compared to down but tell me this – if we faced tyrone in the 2021 semi final this year how confident would you be and if we play them next year most mayo fans would feel it’s a winnable game. We beat tyrone on the way to most finals in fact we always loved playing them. No excuses. No daft talk saying we’d better off losing to the dubs. I felt we finally got the break we deserved after all the near losses and heartbreak. Anyway lets move on. Mayo will be there again with their outstanding conditioning but there’s v little hope left

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