Championship prediction mini-league – first update

Facetheball banner

The 2015 championship is now well underway, with poor old Sligo the only county that hasn’t hit the dance floor yet, and I guess it’s time for an overdue first update on how this year’s championship prediction mini-league – hosted as ever by – is starting to shape up.

Not brilliantly is, from my perspective, the conclusion thus far: I’m on the leaderboard but only just. What about the rest of you?

Championship 2015 mini-league 1

19 thoughts on “Championship prediction mini-league – first update

  1. Changed my mind on Care v Limerick game and that cost me dearly. Forgot to submit in time two weeks ago and that too cost me. No catching up now.

  2. Lots of twists and turns to come yet, the qualifier series will be the hardest to predict with some teams only getting a 6 day rest period in between games. Im happy enough in 8th at the moment…like mayo im tipping along quietly without setting the world alight lol.

  3. I have no interest in mini leagues or in self congratulations over five wins over Galway.
    When I look back on last Sunday’s game I find shock and anger growing in me. I have a waking nightmare of Tom Cuniffe playing full back with high balls dropping down on a full forward who towers over him. Tom is a fine player, but he was roasted by Comer in the first 25 minutes yet he was left on him for the whole match. An under 14s coach would have replaced him or swapped him with Keane, who we all imagined would be under the high ball into the square. Meantime, Ger Cafferkey sits on the sideline until Keane gets a yellow card. If Comer had, luckily, not gone out the field in the second half then we were in for a Michael Murphy, Bernard Brogan or Donaghy moment, where the match is thrown away.It was pure luck that it didn’t happen.We have lost All-Irelands and semi-finals by not dealing with the high ball. To leave Cuniffe at full back with a man a foot taller than him is not naivety, it is stupidity.
    This was a poor Galway team but we almost contrived to lose this match despite the quality of our players. They could have got 4 goals. Sice and Cummins were both in on goal a second time and could have scored. When you add our lucky fluke of a goal this match could have been very different.
    It is obvious to me that the managers need help. The team was well trained and well motivated. That is a credit to the managers – but sideline management and the art of reading a game is totally absent. I am sick of knowing that we will be out- thought again when we get to Croke Park. It happened under John Maughan and James Horan. We have been out-thought by Paidi O Shea, Jack O Connor, Jim McGuinness and Eamon Fitz-Maurice. In fact, who has not got the better of us in the strategy stakes. In the League it was Harte,Gavin and even Cuthbert, whose team as usual got the last minute goal, which other teams seldom let in, but we do routinely.

    Why do we cripple our great players with this ineptitude. They deserve more.They need to play in a defensive system that works and we need somebody on the line who can read a match.Hire McGuinness, hire O’ Connor, hire somebody who will for once outfox the other manager on the day. If we don’t, then this great team will never achieve their potential and bring Sam home to Mayo.

  4. How yee all folks? I only post here sporadically but I try and keep up with people’s posts as much as I can.
    I haven’t done so before but would like to say to WJ firstly, that you’ve done us Maniacal Mayo fans a great service with this site.
    Secondly, there is a whole schatter of yee who I enjoy reading ur comments – some pretty knowledgeable folk here.
    So really, as I’ve only got into this blog lately, fair play to y’al and thanks for all de news, entertainment, theories etc…
    On Sundays game, I thought Ok, just Ok – but a lot to improve on.
    Worried still bout concession of goals – is it interlinked with this great desire of our halfbacks to flitter forward (sometimes with head down), and a lot of times it seems a few steps too far.
    With O’shea adding a new threatening dimension up front, I think it’s very effective but a team like Dublin, Kerry and Donegal wud be ready for him so we need to vary balls going in.
    And fast balls going in (not too high) to De 2 wings wud, I believe, pay dividends.
    DOC gud game Sunday and looks like he can play an integral part.
    Not convinced about Jason, might be better off bench.
    Forwards scoring figures might not be too great again – I firmly believe we need a 7th defender/sweeper.
    Personally, even though Higgs a super cornerback, I wud give him Sweeper role – bursting forward at pace and delivering accurate passes (as quick as possible), inside.
    For me too, I liked de look of Patk Durcan de few times I saw him and he may be worth a try.
    U have to give HUGE CREDIT to these Mayo boys. Never lack in effort and workrate.
    Think I wud like to see BM in de middle earlier next day.
    Good luck y’al and good luck Mayo.
    P’S Hope Andy Ok, not serious. What he lost with a bit of pace, he makes up in skill/class.
    Pts were BEAUTIES.

  5. Congrats to ‘Up she Flew’ for your realistic analysis. The problem you have laid your finger on is festering away for a long time now with unfortunate consequences for the team on various occasions. It’s not in every game that an eruption takes place of course but we re well aware of what opposition will surely touch severely the sore spot!
    Will someone please have a go at explaining why this eventuality is being so dearly courted again this year. Is it fear of failure? Lack of imagination? Not wishing to be seen to do what many notables are suggesting? Is it that they know the players best? Do they talk to each other at all ? Is it how we ll be more successful up front now and that will compensate for the back? It’s all a great pity to feel that this team in particular will just not be properly rewarded for all the pleasure it has given to so many . And really and true lily it’s not just about winning an all Ireland , rather is it deserving to win an all Ireland . As it stands we don’t. Did we not think last year that our time had come? This must be it … won’t it be great etc etc. ….. Heads in the sand !

  6. Totally agree with up she flew the concession of goals and our defence in general is a cause for major concern and we won’t win Sam unless it’s fixed in fact we will get roasted against Dublin or Kerry if it’s not sorted out but fair play to the Mayo team for their hard work and effort they are a credit to our proud county of Mayo

  7. It seems like certain defenders are told to mark certain forwards before the game. Then when the forwards move into a new position, our backs follow them, as happened with Tom Cunniffe in the first half. Its a dangerous game to play. It happened in the league game against Donegal as well. Keith Higgins spent a lot of time in the full back position following Paddy McBreaty. You could see Keith didn’t have the strength to match him. What happens, McBreaty scores one goal and was unlucky to be whistled up when he scored a second goal and we got a free out. As McGuinness said, you might get away with it a few times but never for the whole game. Will we ever learn these lessons. Our players are a credit to their families, friends and clubs. You’d love to see them win ultimate honours.

  8. We have holes in the defence but we did enough to beat Galway and i think we will do enough to beat Rosscommon or Sligo. J Horan would never change his tactics we dont know about the new management yet. We dont want to show are hand to early lets give them the benefit of the doubt untill we meet the big teams

  9. I like the way the blogs are now beaming in on our Achilles heel , our defensive problems. I was really struck by Jim mc Guinness,s assertion that it’s not about the quality of our backs but the system they’re deployed in. It’s amusing to hear all the tv pundits saying Mayo have discovered no new players. To me it seems much more about getting more from the experienced panel we already have. As McGuinness said if they’re deployed properly it’s like having new players. This “new” player thing gets repeated by lazy pundits and so with continuous repetition developed a kind of an “accepted” truth. Anyway Aiden and Ronaldson up front is something new and that’s one third of your forward division. As someone who was thrown off the Muredachs team by Pa hegarty for letting in 7 goals in a match my credentials to comment on football matters is questionable. Therefore I now implore everyone associated with coaching at club level to please come on to this site and educate us with how to solve our defensive frailties We seem to all be of the one opinion now about the problems with Mayo football lets now as a matter of grave urgency hear of solutions. How can Donegal play wonderful attacking football mixed with a great defensive system. Our 2 managers were defenders so they must know the answer. We have to see no goals conceded in the connaght final because then there is little time to implement a change. I thought the league was meant to be the time to work these things out although a lot of our bloggers said we had it right against Donegal in this years league match. Well done to up she flew

  10. I would have thought that at a minimum we would have gotten a strong defence from this management team

  11. In terms of a defensive structure I would first identify what I want to achieve.

    Firstly, the conceding of goals has to be curtailed. This is a general term however as you must be specific on how and when your going to do it in terms of when your opponents have the ball.
    Second, You must be able to get this system to fit in with your players ability within your panel of players.
    Third, Identify how others will play against ourselves.
    Fourth, out of your defensive structure you must be able to turn it into an attack in the quickest time possible.

    With these four goals in mind I would bring two players back who would remain close enough together. These players would basically be seeking out work defensively by putting pressure on the opponents once the ball enters our scoring zone, be that attacking the carrier or dropping deeper for longer balls. Communication would be of course vital between these two and at no time could they be separated to far apart. Then when we gain possession by a knock down or by tackling they are the start of the attack. This could also bring the half backs into the attack especially if there was in theory a 3 on 1/2 down a wing.

    I believe we do have the players for such roles such as Kevin Mc, Jason Doherty, Doc. It is important to remember that transitional speed is important when breaking forward and there is a chance that we would not score enough by using the counter attack. It requires a ball winner up front who makes it stick and full fitness to cover the ground. It also means that our forwards could be chasing shadows all day if opponents leave players back. The two extra defenders should under no circumstances, just go back and cover space as the better teams see through this quickly. They should be able to judge situations/flow in the game to figure out where to position themselves.

    By no means am i saying its a perfect system and who should do such roles I wouldnt have a clue. Would it take from our forward play? Would it mean less scores conceded?

  12. I think it is terrific that almost every post here now is discussing our defensive frailties. At long, long last. They have already cost us 2 All Irelands… The thing that shocked and sickened me about the Galway game was that we, once again, played our man to man marking. We had so much time in training to have a new defence and look what we came up with again!!!! I was certain that we would have repeated the wonderful defence we used the second half against Donegal in the league. Hair tearing-out time and I don’t have much hair left. Will we learn ?????

  13. We have two types of oppositions to deal with and each requires a different set of spanners.
    (1) Blanket
    ….Donegal… Tyrone and anyone else won over to the system
    (2) Conventional….all the rest.
    We re on home territory here. We have the beating of the tops cos we have the players on an upward curve both forward and back. But somewhat more attention needs to be invested in certain players covering back more assiduously than before now.They surely will have a renewed awareness of the importance of this facet. I’d have SOS of cf rather than Parsons and also K mcl D OC. and J D if he’s around. So it’s not all so dark .
    However… to manage the blanket at this time is a big question. Donegal it seems have brought it to a new high. They’re more committed to it than ever and are under a new smart boss .
    Is there anyone out there with a smart recipe to unhinge the best they’re likely to offer.

  14. Since James Nallen left the management team we have been leaking goals we have 4 defenders on the management know Feargal Costello and Michael Collins plus the two managers. We have to be quicker on the line with changes Comer was beatin Cuniffe for every ball that went in it was thanks to our midfield that they weren’t getting enough clean possession to cause more damage. The big question had been would it be Keane or Cafferkey at full back yet we ended up with Cuniffe there we have to play our men in their best position either of our full backs would have been better equipped for Comer and would have instilled more confidence in the fb line we have the players if we put them in the right positions .I don’t know why Sligo are bothering to tog on Saturday Roscommon are already in the connaught final accroding to themselves

  15. I was doing terribly in round one and having forgotten to do round two didn’t help matters. I am resigned to the fact I will be bottom of the table but sure h’on mayo!

    p.s. Cheers for the blog WJ, it’s an excellent resource and I enjoy all of the articles and the comments section even more so; a very nice bunch of people on here. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *