Contemplating Kerry … again

Monday morning’s All-Ireland quarter-final draw saw us paired with Kerry on what is undoubtedly the tougher side of the Championship’s last eight. The winners will almost certainly be facing Dublin in the semi-final for the right to meet one of Armagh, Clare, Derry or Galway in the Sam Maguire decider next month.

For us, this is the toughest of roads, one on which we’re expected to suffer a fatal blow on Sunday week. But we know we’ve only ourselves to blame for this predicament, because, had we won Connacht, we’d have been on the other side of the draw.

Mind you, Galway won’t be regarding Armagh as a soft touch in the quarters. The hill they have to climb to reach the decider does, though, still pale significantly compared to the assignment now facing us.

Front and centre for us – indeed, the only issue of concern for us now – is our meeting with Kerry at 4pm on Sunday week at what’s heading for a first Croke Park sell-out attendance since before Covid struck. This is a huge test in every sense, for us but also for them.

Towards the end of the last decade we really got the whip-hand on the Kingdom, beating them at the second attempt in the All-Ireland semi-final in 2017 and then beating them again in the League final of 2019.

We haven’t, however, got the better of them since then. They had plenty to spare over us when we met in Killarney in the Super-8s in high summer in 2019 and they also beat us at MacHale Park the following spring in the League just before the first Covid lockdown.

Our relegation from Division One that autumn meant there was no League meeting with them last year, nor did our paths cross in the Championship either that year or last year. Now, however, we’re contemplating a third meeting with them this year, having played them twice in this year’s League.

We definitely let a positive result slip through our fingers on that wet and windy night down in Tralee in the middle of March. They won it with a free deep in injury time but we’d had chances in the final quarter, when we had all the momentum in the game, that we failed to convert. I don’t think it’s stretching things too much to argue that we left that one behind us.

We can, of course, have no such claims about the Division One decider. That was a paddling, plain and simple. We were never at the races in that game, we were missing several key players and, for much of the game, we gave the impression we’d rather not have been there at all.

Personally, I was thankful I wasn’t among the attendance at Croke Park that day. I finally got felled by Covid a few days prior to the game so I watched on in self-isolation at home. I was fine with that, though less so by the six weeks of unrelenting exhaustion I suffered in the wake of contracting the virus.

Looking back at that game, the incident which ended Jordan Flynn’s participation was a major turning point. I’m not saying we’d have won it if the Crossmolina man stayed on the pitch but his departure – due to a crude frontal charge by Jack Barry, which resulted in Jordan breaking a bone in his foot – saw our middle third got to pot, ensuring that the beating we would get was going to be a bad one.

Photo: Irish Independent

In retrospect, that incident also had an enormous bearing on what’s followed for us since. Would we have beaten Galway had Jordan been on the field in Castlebar that day? He was one of our standout players in the League and, as others have noted here already, Mattie’s form hasn’t been the same in his absence. It’s hard to avoid pondering what might have been had the Deel Rovers man been okay to play against Galway but, I know, that’s all water under the bridge at this stage.

We all know what we’ve been up to since playing Kerry last. They, meanwhile, have been strolling through a Munster Championship that – despite contributing three of the final eight this year – is now as dead in the water as its Leinster equivalent.

Kerry have played just two games to reach the final eight in this year’s Championship, neither of which were against top tier opposition and neither of which proved in any way taxing.

The main battle in relation to the Cork game was the venue (don’t mention the war!), with Cork insisting on it being played at Páirc Uí Rinn, having clearly messed up things on the diary front by letting an Ed Sheeran concert be fixed for Páirc Uí Chaoimh for that weekend.

The Rebels won the battle about where the match was to be played. To be fair to them, they also managed to keep with Kerry until around the 50th minute mark but Jack O’Connor’s charges then eased away effortlessly enough to win by 0-23 to 0-11.

The Munster final was an utterly bloodless affair. Limerick were simply no match for the Kingdom at all and that one finished 1-28 to 0-8 in Kerry’s favour.

By the time they trot out at HQ the next day, Kerry will have had four weeks kicking their heels since the Munster final. In the meantime, we’ve got two searching ties against Division One opposition under our belts and, of course, we lost in Connacht to a team that will play top tier League football that year. We’ve definitely played more ball of late than they have.

You could also argue that this stage of the Championship is where we start to feel more at home. It’s certainly a place where – despite all the new blood we’ve introduced over the last few years – we’ve greater experience right now than they have.

Indeed, aside from the 2019 final – in which Kerry blew a huge opportunity to take Dublin out, enjoying numerical advantage over them for a full half of the drawn game – and that madcap semi-final loss to Tyrone last year, Kerry haven’t much in the way of real experience in the white heat of battle.

What they do have, of course, is the most potent attack in the country. They also have a far better defensive structure than last year. Jack O’Connor has undoubtedly whipped them into the kind of shape that has made them deserved favourites to end an eight-year wait for Sam this summer.

They’re huge favourites to beat us the next day and it would be a result of equally seismic proportions to our ending the Dubs’ long, long unbeaten Championship run last summer – in actual fact, it would most likely rank as an even bigger shock – if we take them down on Sunday week. We’re not expected to do this but, as we all know, if you don’t expect the unexpected with Mayo, then you’re not keeping up with the story.

So, how are we all feeling about this one? Let’s end with a poll to see what the mood is like ten days out from what’s sure to be a mouth-watering all-or-nothing Championship clash.

Will we beat Kerry?

  • No (54%, 1,133 Votes)
  • Yes (46%, 984 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,117

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346 thoughts on “Contemplating Kerry … again

  1. Of all the teams left in the Championship Kerry are under the most pressure to go all the way this year. They have blown it the last three years and their supporters will not tolerate failure again. For us this is undoubtedly the best time to play them as they must be seriously undercooked. Including the league final they have not had a serious outing since March.
    However despite all that I still expect them to have to much for us over seventy minutes plus and indeed do expect them to bring Sam back to the kingdom. I expect them to go hard at us from the throw in and we must be ready for that and not find ourselves chasing a four or five point defecit early on. We must especially guard against giving up early goals. If the game is still in the balance going into the last ten minutes then we have a chance as the pressure will be building up on them. Needless to say we really do need Ryan back.

  2. MAYO that Played Kerry in League Final
    Rory Byrne; Lee Keegan, Stephen Coen, Padraig O’Hora; Michael Plunkett, Rory Brickenden, Enda Hession; Jordan Flynn, Matthew Ruane; Conor Loftus, Aidan O’Shea, Jack Carney; James Carr, Jason Doherty, Ryan O’Donoghue. Subs: Kevin McLoughlin for Jack Carney (ht), Conor O’Shea for Jordan Flynn (46), Aidan Orme for Jason Doherty (50), Cillian O’Connor for James Carr (55), Daren McHale for Mathew Ruane (66)

    No Hennelly, No Paddy Durkan, No Duirmaid O’Connor, Cillian just back, played for 20 mins. No Mullins,
    Not even mentioned Tommy Conroy, Bendan Harrison also missing
    And remember Seanie O’Shea only one missing from that Full strength Kerry team that day.
    The league final would have been a miracle if we were competitive

  3. That is a very comprehensive assessment Willie Joe of what has gone to fore and what we face in the upcoming clash with Kerry.
    I do think this will be a much closer affair than the league final. We are a stronger outfit than we were that day. We certainly lacked fitness on the day and as you say it was as if we did not want to be there. If we pick the right team, get the match ups right, play with the intensity necessary from the start and keep it up for the 70 minutes then we have a chance. But it will take a monumental effort. I think the lads will be up for it. They have a score to settle. And when these lads have a score to settle, settle it they will.

  4. Match ups for the game

    Shane Ryan

    Jason Foley
    Jack Carney
    Graham O’Sullivan Tom O’Sullivan
    Cillian O’Connor James Carr

    Tadgh Morley
    Ryan O’Donoghue
    Brian O’Beagloich Gavin White
    Fergal Boland Eoghan Mcgloughlin

    Diarmuid O’Connor Jack Barry
    Matthew Ruane Diarmuid O’Connor

    Paudie Clifford Stephen O’Brien
    Paddy Durcan Stephen Coen
    Sean O’Shea
    Oisin Mullin
    Tony Brosnan Paul Geaney
    Enda Hession Padraig O’Hora
    David Clifford
    Lee Keegan

    Robbie Hennelly
    Subs:
    Aidan O’Shea, Jordan Flynn, Darren Mchale, Kevin Mcgloughlin, Conor Loftus, Aidan Orme, Rory Byrne, Jason Doherty, Mark Moran, Rory Brickendon, Bryan Walsh, Donnacha Mchugh, Darren Coen, Conor O’Shea, Paul Towey

    Out Injured: Tommy Conroy, Brendan Harrison, Michael Plunkett, David McBrien, Sam Callinan, Fionn McDonagh

  5. Will we beat Kerry? Can’t say for sure.
    Can we beat Kerry? Damn right we can.
    Apart from the well acknowledged injuries and the need for one or two of them to be back, we also need the return to top form of several of our players. I believe if all our players were at their best this game would be 50/50 at worst. As a coach of mine many moons ago used to say “Form is everything. The best players out of form are not the best today”. Finally while I would never wish injury on any player it would be no harm if they were spread out a bit more around the other counties.

  6. Match ups for the game

    Shane Ryan

    Jason Foley/Jack Carney
    Graham O’Sullivan/Cillian OConnor
    Tom O’Sullivan/James Carr

    Brian O’Beagloich/Fergal Boland
    Tadhg Morley/Ryan O’Donoghue
    Gavin White/Eoghan Mcglaughlin

    Jack Barry/Diarmuid O’Connor
    Diarmuid O’Connor/Matthew Ruane

    Paudie Clifford/ Paddy Durcan
    Sean O’Shea/Oisin Mullin
    Stephen O’Brien/Stephen Coen

    Tony Brosnan/Enda Hession
    David Clifford/ Lee Keegan
    Paul Geaney/Padraig O’Hora

    Robbie Hennelly

    Subs:
    Aidan O’Shea, Jordan Flynn, Darren Mchale, Kevin Mcgloughlin, Conor Loftus, Aidan Orme, Rory Byrne, Jason Doherty, Mark Moran, Rory Brickendon, Bryan Walsh, Donnacha Mchugh, Darren Coen, Conor O’Shea, Paul Towey

    Out Injured: Tommy Conroy, Brendan Harrison, Michael Plunkett, David McBrien, Sam Callinan, Fionn McDonagh

  7. Aidan O Shea Liam McHale or Pat Fallon at full forward has never worked for Mayo.so putting Aidan in there against Kerry will hardly work now. Andy Moran and Alan Freeman could win ball all day but even they couldnt win ball thats being played laterally. AOS has been a great servant for Mayo he rolled back the years against Monaghan id like to see him come on in the second half

  8. Mayo4698 – Jordan Flynn has to start. He didn’t show any effects from injury the last day and this could be the last game of the year. Have to take a chance on him. Same with Ryan if he’s anyway fit.

    Aidan and Doherty will be the 2 that lose out and I don’t expect any other changes from Horan.

  9. Teams are targeting Coen’s lack of pace. Horan can surely see that. If Coen plays, Kerry will attack his channel and I fear for the outcome. I’d play O’Hora and bring either Keegan or Mullin into half back line – preferably Mullin. Outrageous pace there with Durcan, Mullin, and McLaughlin

  10. Expectation adds to pressure: that’s why Mayo’s forwards have always struggled I feel. You might say that’s only an excuse but think about it. It’s a common theme thrown at them for the past 40 years and, as I always say, the more and more losses the greater the pressure.

    It’s not that we lack forwards, it’s that our forwards struggle in big matches in particular. For instance, look at the spread of scores we had V Kildare in Carrick. ALL from play. No frees.

    There’s far less pressure on our backs, and subconsciously the backs know this, they know there’s immense pressure on our forwards, with no real expectation on our back 6 to bother the scoreboard. If they score it’s a bonus.

    Think about it, imagine if one of our forwards missed 4 from 4 (or was it 5 from 5?) in a row like Paddy Durcan the last day. He’d be called out big time for it. He probably wouldn’t feature for the rest of the season. But with Paddy it’s just shrugged off, ie “he was rusty”, “he’s primarily a defender” etc.

    The more it’s talked about in the media the more the pressure mounts. We all know that the forwards we have are, overall, accurate in Club and most provincial matches (some exceptions obviously). But with 60,000, 80,000 screaming people watching them it undoubtedly impedes them. Take Aidan in last year’s final. Missing a mark I’d even have scored. I mean he takes frees for his club from acute angles and you know what, he gets them more often than not. Analyse that.

  11. Carney has done nothing wrong at 14. In the previous two games he has caught high balls booted in, so leave him there!

    Key, to having any chance of winning this games is keeping the goals out. The last two matches there has been a huge improvement with no goals conceded.

    The flip side is we need to score at least one but realistically two with 15 points. Have we the ability to get a minimum of 2-15 against Kerry is very debatable.

  12. Very fair article WJ . Spot on in what you’ve said. Most Mayo people didn’t want us in league final and so it proved .Kerry way superior on the day. We have not been great since losing to Galway and struggling to get past Monaghan and Kildare but all 3 games were very competitive. In contrast Kerry cakewalked us Cork and Limerick in their last 3 games. Kerry May well be excellent and can only beat what’s in front of them but for all our issues I feel beating Monaghan and Kildare makes us more battle hardened. There is massive expectations in the kingdom and rightly so but if we can keep them within range and continue to ask questions of them well who knows .Kerry deservedly raging hot favorites but we are Mayo so anything can happen

  13. Kerry man here, I think mayo are in the perfect position, more or less being written off, they have absolutely nothing to lose, and will be anxious to prove a point, that the league final wasn’t a true reflection on their real capabilities, I expect a fiercely competitive match, it may go right down to the wire, possibly extra time, kerry’s record in croke Park since 2017 isn’t outstanding. Kerry are a long way from being certainties, I wouldn’t be surprised if mayo turned over Kerry to be honest. Kerry have yet to fully prove themselves in the white heat of battle, they either win cantering or lose tight games narrowly, that’s their record.

  14. Less of the talk, just go out and win the f…..n game.
    Mindset will have alot to do with it.

  15. Aiden O Shea has a decent record at FF against Kerry.
    He will be double marked which gives everyone else space, which will be needed against Kerry’s double sweeper system.

    We also need to double mark Clifford so it’s vital we have a threat on our he inside line. Carney might be good in time but he won’t attract anything like the attention O Shea does.

    If you look back over the years – our forwards always score more with O Shea at FF

  16. I thought Mayo kicked some nice points in 2nd half against Kildare. There must be hope lads that yer forwards have actually turned a corner and will kick everything the next day. It’s all confidence if I was Horan I would be complimenting the 10 lads who scored the last day which is a good spread of scores. Imagine Kerry’s problems if Mayo were to hit 80% odd conversion next time out. Why can’t DMc hit 2 the next day and Boland 4.

  17. What has Mayos average scoring rate this year ?

    Kerry have conceded an average of around 13/14 points per game and only 1 goal.

    If thr Mayo scores are predominantly coming from Mayo backs then who picks up the Kerry attackers when the break forward ?

    I don’t think there is that freedom like they had against Kildare.

    So it comes down to the forwards, Kerry will hit I’d imagine minimum 18 points and potential a goal so will the Mayo attack match that ?

  18. Mayo will need to play at their absolute highest level to win. AIF 2017 level. I just can’t see it

  19. @West Kerry

    Your boys kicked 19 points in the league final domination, when half our backline and our goalie were missing.

    That “minimum 18 points” looks pretty optimistic to me but if you do I expect you will win and deservedly so

  20. FrostTHammer

    Can Hennelly stop points ?

    I am quoting the scores that Kerry have been averaging both league and championship to date.

    I think they will very conceivably hit 18 points in Croke Park they hit more than that against Tyrone last year and butchered several goal chances.

    Will Mayo match that ?

    Not trying to be argumentative but just an honest view of it.

  21. Clifford has not proved himself in the big championship games, I will be more worried about the other forwards providing we have a plan for Clifford. Keep our team to ourselves. O’connor destroyed us with high balls into a small full back line, keep him guessing as to who will mark Clifford. The league humiliation might be a blessing to us.

  22. West Kerry

    Only four times since Horan took over in 2011 have Mayo conceded 18 or more points in championship. Once in newbridge, once in Tralee, twice in croker. The most recent was cork and that was after extra time. The last was in 2011 against yourselves.

    You needed extra time to score that against Tyrone last year, it was 17 points at the end of normal time.

    Mayo almost certainly won’t match 18 points and fair play to ye if you kick it

  23. Clifford not proved himself in big matches? In the big matches in Croke Park he has always played well. The super 8 game against Galway. The semi with Tyrone in 19. Both matches with Dublin in 19. Tyrone last year until he got injured.

    Only team he has anyway struggled with is Cork for some reason

  24. FrostTHammer,

    Exactly 17 points and with respect Tyrone would have been playing better defensively than Mayo this year.

    I’d add that it was 17 points with a misfiring performance so if we play tonour potential 18 points is realistic.

    However it’s Mayo so god knows what will happen.

  25. Kerry blowin… He got his knickers in a twist against a college team recently too so I believe.

  26. Derek,

    You’d have a statue to him at the foot of Croagh Patrick if he was a Mayo man!

    Let’s not be silly now.

  27. Mayo 4698, very interesting matchups, but knowing Jack the Lad he will surely have the 2 Clifford brothers Sean O Shea Adrian Spillane Stephen O’Brien & Paul Geaney Starting. Graham O’Sullivan, Jack Barry, & Morley Lack Pace, Ó Beoglaioch is good going forward but when he’s on the back foot he’s in trouble. Almost everyone in Kerry think we have the All Ireland won already. In my opinion this is a Banana skin game for Kerry. If Mayo run at Kerry straight down the Centre the result might be alot different. The ball into the Mayo FF line must be delivered at pace & first time. As you will see I am a big Jack the Lad Fan ?????

  28. Eamon ,

    I’m sorry but that’s simply not true,

    Have a look at our fans forum literally nobody thinks we have the all ireland won that’s just embarrassing.

    We have nothing to be confident or arrogant about.

  29. You’re wrong West Kerry.
    I certainly saw one comment saying “we should win this pulling up”.

  30. Geaney is well capable of a poor game as is Paudie Clifford and O Brien. D Clifford, O Shea and Moynihan are very dangerous. Kerry lads talking about playing Dublin when they filled the togs against Tyrone last year. Mayo need to press them, force their goalkeeper into mistakes and force them to protect their suspect full back line. Kerry have everything to prove and being a nice league team doesnt cut it back home.

  31. West Kerry – There a loads of comments on the Kerry forum dismissing Mayo…but that’s fine. The way we have been playing this year if I were a Kerry fan I’d be very confident too.

    There was a bit of a discussion earlier in the week about Mayo fans though being the worst fans to sit beside which was pretty pathetic.

  32. Sorry just to qualify that I am friends with big Kerry fans who dont see this team as worldbeaters with no AI in the bag.

  33. Clifford will go on be a great in my opinion. That of course is no guarantee he will win a bucket load of All Irelands…

    The harsh reality is how many of our forwards would get in the current Kerry front six?

  34. West Kerry. He will be like a statue in croke park on Sunday week. And sure we can move him to croagh Patrick after for the craic.

  35. Lads,

    I was referring to my fellow County man claiming the fans think we have the all ireland won.

    You won’t find any comments like that.

    But yes the consensus is we should be winning this game which is logical on all given form but logic goes out the window with Mayo.

  36. @West Kerry.

    I see you lamenting butchered goal chances against Tyrone last year.

    I’ll remind you, we butchered 4 ourselves and possibly better chances than yea had.

  37. Of course it’s a banana skin…for Mayo too. Sure we’ve no idea really how good Kerry are. They looked mighty in the league and in fairness to Mayo we looked good in the early games. The great unknown is which teams will turn up. If Mayo tune in from the first ball and play with intent…and if Kerry are any ways rattled or off… it’s game on. But if Mayo rehash the Monaghan and Kildare performance, there’s only one winner.
    I’m genuinely excited about this… I know it’s Mayo. There’s always the possibility of mayhem. Then again, anything is possible. So really it’s a waste of time speculating. I’ll believe Mayo can and will win this until I see otherwise. Past results do not ensure future performance. That’s as true for Kerry as it is for us. But I have a good feeling and that’s as good as it can be for now.
    Living the dream in my Mayo home…in Carlow. Maigheo go deo.

  38. Clifford is different class. I don’t buy this “hasn’t turned up in a big game” stuff. If he hadn’t got injured against Tyrone, Kerry would have won that game. I think he actually scored a point on one leg before being subbed. He destroyed us in the league final, and he’ll destroy us again unless we take a different approach. The bookies have us as rank outsiders for good reason. Not one of our forwards that started against Kildare would make that Kerry team, thats just being realistic. Tommy and Ryan are the only ones that would make it. If we had a full deck id say its a 50/50 game. But with no Tommy, Ryan, Plunkett or Harrison, our squad is seriously depleted. Not enough impact subs left either. If Kerry don’t win this one id say heads will roll down there.

  39. For the record, this is how Mayo have fared out in Quarter finals for a good few years.

    2004, beat Tyrone the All Ireland champs from 03.
    Played great v Kerry in 2005 losing by only a few points.
    2011, beat Cork champs from 2010
    2013, beat Donegal out the gate, the champs from 2012.
    2017, best Ros comprehensively in replay

    The semi final record is not bad also.

    Didn’t Down beat Kerry in 2010 Quarter final ?

    It’s a dangerous game for Kerry.

  40. Interesting reminder about Jordan Flynn and the importance he has become to the team. He looked in good shape coming on the last day and he can have a big say against Kerry. Has to be nailed on for a start

  41. TBH, I am getting a little tired of this “chaos”, “mayhem” narrative that’s used to describe Mayo’s style of play. It’s lazy thinking (and lazy punditry that, I believe can be traced back to the Gooch’s condescending take on our performance against Dublin last year).
    When we play well, it’s because we actually play well, and not because we hit the chaos switch. When we play poorly, it’s not because we forgot to hit the chaos switch.
    There’s an ebb and flow to performance, periods where you’re on top, periods where you have to grind it out. Generally when teams are playing well, the transition between ebb and flow isn’t too noticeable, but over the last year, it has become alarmingly noticeable in our play. We have become very inconsistent, from game to game and within games.
    For me, it’s mainly down to confidence and leadership. When both are lacking (most of the match against Kildare, 2nd half against Galway, All match against Kerry in the league Final), we are just brutal.
    Having gun shy, hit and miss forwards doesn’t help. A wide or two and they’re out of the game, confidence gone. It’s up to others then to provide the initiative (leadership) a la Keegan against Kildare\Monaghan.

  42. Galway aren’t in a better position than Mayo as regards to winning the All-Ireland this year so in that sense it doesn’t matter what side of the draw Mayo are on.

    I believe Armagh will beat Galway but for argument sake let’s say Galway win, you could argue then that it’s their semi final game to reach the final which is easier on paper than their QF game, we’ll assume they’ll win that too.

    They will then, and with all due respect to Cork need to beat either Dublin, Kerry or Mayo in the final and the only one of those that they would have a good chance of beating is ourselves but if we are in the final then the whole argument is totally redundant to begin with, so the answer is no, Galway do not have a better chance than Mayo of winning the All-Ireland, regardless of the fact that they could progress further than Mayo.

    The same would be true of Mayo in a switched roll position, we’d still need to beat a Kerry, Dublin or Galway in a final and given out situation regarding injuries in the run up to the Galway game I had hoped that we would have drawn Dublin or Kerry at this stage because I felt it gave us a better chance, I still feel the same.

    If we aren’t good enough to beat Kerry and Dublin in the QF and Semi then we aren’t good enough to win the All-Ireland, no matter what side of the draw we’re on, and it’s back to the drawing board once again.

    By my calculation right now we are anywhere between 9 and 12 points a worse team than Kerry, forget about what the bookie handicap tells you, they are in the money making business.

    Before people start to fret, for a strategist and tactician, you couldn’t ask for better.

  43. Let’s All remember last year’s AI semi v Dublin. No one gave us a snow balls chance in winning that game. What happened? Mayo found a way and it wasn’t chaos it was by playing well in the second half and extra time. We played with a high intensity and a passion to win. We need this intensity on Sunday week. It has been lacking from the league final, Galway, Monaghan and Kildare games. We have the players to win an All Ireland…. They need to step up now and prove this. Watch the League Final back v Kerry. Come up with a plan for Kerry. A sweeper is a definite. Start Boland, Flynn and Mc Hale. Go for the jugular from the start. Aido to come on as a 2nd half sub. Mullen to man mark Clifford. Durcan on ó Shea. Sure Kerry have a good team with great players but let’s not forget our Warriors Keegan, Durcan, Mullen, Cillian, Diarmuid, Ryan, Robbie, Pádraig, Eoghan, Aido……. That’s a fantastic bunch. Our whole Squad is strong. Let JH and the Management hopefully come up with a system for a one off match. Go out and Win. Go out with pride and bring home Sam. Let’s think of ourselves and Not anyone else.
    We are Mayo.

  44. Clifford doesn’t do it in big games – haha the comment section is here is absolutely hilarious at times 😀

  45. New podcast episode for club members on Patreon online overnight, with Mike joined by Colm Boyle to kick-start the countdown to the Kerry game.

  46. There’s a picture on Hoganstand today with links to quotes from Kevin McStay. Just that picture alone of Coen,Boland,Durcan et al shows how “leggy” Mayo looked before the Kildare game. There is little doubt they were preparing for this game. It’ll be a different game.

  47. Team id start
    R Hennelly
    L Keegan , o Hora , Hession
    Durcan , Brickenden/Mchugh, E Mclaughlin
    Mullin (Sweeper)

    AOS , M Ruane

    D O Connor , ROD
    COC , Jack Carney , James Carr

    First Subs in (early changes)
    F Boland -> Carr ( Tires usually in game but best when starting)
    Flynn -> AOS ( Kerry will bring on D Moran so Flynn can run him, AOS better to start game with as no point bringing on if we behind as not attacking enough)
    M Moran -> J Carney ( If moran going well in Training , then move ROD up front )

    We should not need to Sub out defense with 7 defenders but losing Plunkett is a real miss when you look at our depth with Coen so out of form.
    Subs need to be done early so players should be told empty tank,
    O Hora get another crack at Clifford but sweeper system in place this time. Cannot be left isolated but we also need Kerry to chase after mullin , keegan , hession etc so man marking role of clifford be a waste

  48. Amazing but great how we work ourselves into optimistic mode coming up to a big match. From Clifford not provving himself (he is one of the best I have ever seen) to us being in as as good position as galway (kerry / Dublin or Armagh / Derry ) etc we live in hope. We have a massive task v Kerry. We will need to play very well and hope the dont. We will have to defend exceptionally well, be patient and take our scores. Beating Dublin last year can be a reference point but Dublin were in decline last year while Kerry are a team on the up with a massive desire to win Sam. Can we do it. Yes. But so much would need to go our way and we could do with Ryan starting.

  49. I would suggest that we save ROD for the next game,it would be a big risk against Kerry

  50. I think Cillian has delivered more than Clifford to be honest.

    If we put Aidan in at FF, rein a few high balls into him early then I think there is hay to be made in the Kerry FB line. They are not really tested.

    I reckon we can make a game of this. Pressure’s on them not to bottle another year. It’s their game to lose.

  51. I think @corick bridge has his tongue firmly in his cheek. It doesn’t matter whether Clifford has done it on the big day or not the guy is a genius and will do it at some stage on the big day. We probably have to accept he will score a minimum of 5 points even being well marked and concentrate big time on watching the other forwards. Mayo are well capable of winning this game though I can see where some of the pessimism is coming from.

  52. Agree with urmanthere.
    This chaos, mayhem narrative is indeed a bit lazy. I believe its because when most other teams are playing well, they’re popping the ball into good forwards who turn shoot and score or who are patient, work the ball to the shooters and they score.
    When we play well we’re coming from all angles, from all positions with no real designated shooters. Shots can come from anywhere or anyone. This is our style of playing well. It’s not chaos or mayhem but it does cause chaos in the opposition. They can’t track everyone and they haven’t a clue who’s going to shoot next. But it’s based on turnovers, support play and breaking at pace. If slowed and opposition defence is set then we hit the defensive wall and we’re stalled. This reduces us speculative passing and speculative shots, which we all know by now doesn’t work out well.
    Our style when in full flow is spectacular to watch and has gotten us some spectacular results.
    However, our downfall is that’s the only way we know. And everyone else knows it.

  53. Mayo88, there are another few that you left off that list:

    2012 – hammered Down
    2014 – beat Cork
    2016 – beat a highly fancied Tyrone

    Mayo have 8 from 8 in quarter final games since they lost to Meath in 2009.

    I do feel that this game is set up well for Mayo but Kerry have a savage hunger too. I have quite a few friends from Kerry and it might take a few pints for them to come out with it but it does grind at them that the last decade is known as the Mayo-Dublin decade (especially because we didn’t make it over the line). Although, their big goal is to end the mini-famine, if they can put us back in our box along the way all the better!

    We will need to be wary of this. We had a lot of injuries in Killarney in 2019 but that drive to show us who’s boss was very evident on the day down there.

    Hopefully our boys will be ready for it.

  54. I see a Dr crokes rep is complaining about the time and venue for the game saying it should be in limerick. No thanks. At least it’s not mayo this time.

  55. Interestingly this morning, Boyle Sports is pricing the Dublin v Kerry semi final to be held on Sat 9th as Dub 6/4 Kerry 8/11 and 15/2 the draw. Come on Mayo!

  56. I think not recognizing David Clifford for what he is fairly whips the legs from anyone talking tactics or making any sort of suggestions how Mayo should set up against Kerry, or anyone else for that matter.

    Kerry didn’t lose to Tyrone because Tyrone were a better team, in fact they didn’t lose to Tyrone for not taking their goal chances, they lost to Tyrone because they didn’t take their points instead to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

    It’s a dangerous assumption that if Mayo don’t concede a goal v Kerry that it will be the winning of the game for Mayo or that it will in some way increase Mayo’s chances, that’s just not true, it only becomes true if Mayo are two points up deep into injury time.

  57. Very good points Unstoppable. It does bug them that they haven’t won since 2014 and despite that win they would only be classed as third best team of the decade. They no doubt would have liked us to have scuppered Dublin’s drive for 4/5/6 but unfortunately we couldn’t do that. I m sure they are saying if they had been in Mayos position they would have won a few. One thing that’s fairly obvious over the years is that we are not ‘at it’ v Kerry they will give us a bit of a hiding. Good examples include the Super 8 game in Killarney and the league final this year . In contrast when we can really get up for it such as our league final win and 2017 and 2014 we can match them. Mayo struggle against them when not going at full tilt. We need to bring massive intensity . Having been present for the 1981 annihilation and the huge hammering of 2004 and 2006 I really appreciated our wins against them. They don’t come very often but at least they do happen a bit more than they once did. Our 1996 win against them was the first time a Connacht team had defeated a Munster team for the best part of 30 years.We live in Hope.

  58. It’s a difficult one to handle for James. Does he throw Rod in or does he wait. Where does he play aos because there’s no way he could last in midfield. Mobility has always been an issue for him. Great tackling. Strong on the ball too. Has flynn got much more Mobility. He’s young but I doubt if he is the fastest either. A lot of big calls to be made sweeper . Etc. We don’t know where Rod is at fitness wise. Without him it will be very difficult. Cillian only finding his way back too. This level on Sunday week won’t hold any passengers. Corick I love the optimism. If we don’t have hope we have nothing

  59. @West kerry there are so many comments on your blog dismissing us and saying we are only a test until yous meet Dublin just assuming your going to win ! One comment goes i cant wait a kerry win on my birthday another goes you should see the mayo crowd building up momentum and support how pathetic are mayo of course we will support our team so there are plenty of comments dismissing us ! won’t be shocked at all if you guys do going by mayos form this year but one thing for sure is our guys never give up and come back every year. If we are good enough to beat you great if not so be it we will see you again next year I am sure !!

  60. Craggy Boglands

    Agree, it’s a huge call for JH.

    This game will begin with huge intensity. It’s a big ask for ROD coming into that. Given Ryan’s personality, he’ll go hell for leather but the last thing we want is him pulling up early through pushing himself too hard.

    Leave him on bench for 20 minutes, if we can get 50 minutes out of him, I’d rather they were the last 50. Focus on getting a grip on the middle third early doors, introduce Ryan inside to change things up and give them something to else think about, just when they think they are getting a handle on us

  61. to win just once – indeed Kerry had their own chance to scupper the 5 in a row in 2019 and couldn’t do it, even when playing with an extra man for a significant portion of the first game. Dublin were operating on an entirely different level those 5 years and any county that scoffs at Mayo getting close and not finishing them off would have also been unable to topple them when it really mattered. In fact, a lot of the disrespect levelled at us over those finals betrays a level of disrespect for Dublin too and their ability to pull things out of the fire. Dublin don’t get enough credit for how they pulled off those wins against us, especially 2017.

    Still, Kerry don’t rate us despite doing very little over the last few years to prove they’re any better. I still expect them to win next weekend as I just don’t think we are at the pitch of things this year and we don’t have the personnel we had in 2016/17 when we scraped through qualifiers and came alive in Croke Park. It feels different this time around and I don’t think we’ll be able to pull it back this time.

  62. My punt at a team:

    Hennelly

    Keegan
    Mullin
    Hession

    Durcan
    Coen
    McLaughlin

    Ruane
    Flynn

    Diarmuid
    Aidan
    McLoughlin

    Boland
    Carney
    Cillian

    No change in the backs. Shape has been good, no goals conceded the last two games, and kept both teams to scores that shouldn’t win games at this level.

    In the lexicon of the time, play a Mayo version of the double sweeper, with Aidan and Kevin Mc. I want Kevin’s pace around the middle from the start, let him empty the tank for 20-30 minutes then bring in Ryan just when they commit more men to get a grip round the middle. Aidan is too big an asset from kick outs not to start him. We could get a lot of joy out of using him as an orthodox midfielder in that respect. Force JOC into bringing in Moran early.

    I’m picking Boland over Carr because Carr likes to take on his man, and I prefer someone who won’t run into tackles early doors. I do think there’s an argument for Loftus’s workrate but Boland has tended to score well against Kerry and this team is light on scores.

    I want to start with as much physicality and pace as possible. Bring in the ballers like Darren McHale when the intensity drops second half but also have O’Hora to bring some intensity around the middle/half back line.

    I agree with other posters wrt to wanting chaos. Seems to me like that would drag us into a shootout, which we’re unlikely to win. IMO the lower scoring this is the more likely we are to win, and our possession game from earlier in the year could be very valuable in taking time off the clock. Mightn’t be pretty or exciting but slow it down be patient, avoid turnovers and make sure the ball goes dead.

    We can win this if we box smart, believe in ourselves and never give up

  63. Talk is cheap, and in the case of making an argument for Mayos progression, utterly useless. It is impossible to analyze Mayo at the minute because their form is so terrible, their successful shooting % stats highly unpredictable and even within 15 min spells in games, they disappear completely from the action only to reappear in blistering form for another 5 mins. That type of form is losing form and will not be anywhere near good anough to keep with Kerry. There is no shape, control or tempo to our game and we constantly look to the same tried and tested faces to dig us out of trouble, e.g. Keegan 5 or 6 times this year alone! We’re winning games on muscle memory and heart. That only brings you so far, and buys you wins against poor to medicore teams.
    So, in my opinion, it’s impossible to put any sense or rationale in predicitng Mayos results. All we can go on is that we know what they’ve done in the past and hope they can repeat it again in the future. We expect them to perform, we expect them to bounce back. There is no sureity though, there is no body of work that we can point to to say “yes, we are controlling the game for longer periods of time”, or “yes, we are dictating the tempo and momentum of the game”. That just doesn’t happen with Horans Mayo teams. For all his talk about “controlling the controllables” etc, his teams are shapeless and chaotic. We predict with our hearts, not our heads, and that’s why we are where we are.

    Kildare bottled it the last day, it’s as simple as that. They went 6 up, missed a free to go 7 up and then stoppped doing what got them into that position in the first place. They stopped playing, dropped 20m back the field and waited for the expectant Mayo comeback. Just like Galway did to let us close a 5 point gap in Castlebar. In the Kildare “comeback” we kicked at least 3 scores that were 50/50 and on another day could just as easily have gone wide as over the bar. A proper team would not have conceded the goal the Mullin scored, and, Jordan Flynns goal was a pure fluke. A shot taken on as a “free hit” in, what US sports calls, “garbage time”, i.e. the game was done and dusted at that stage anyway.
    I will travel to Croker in hope and expectation. I hope for a match winning performance, but am expecting a 5 or 6 point loss. We just don’t have the firepower to outscore Kerry, simple as that. In truth, we never have had the real clinical, cutting edge, efficiency in our full forward line to win the big one. O’Connor plainly is not anywhere near fit, and if we expect O’Donoghue to return after his abscene and be sharp, fit and strong enough to take on this new Kerry defense to level we need, then we are kidding ourselves.
    At the other end of the field Kerry have too much pace without the ball and also deliver it through the foot into space at speed, to lads that can win their own ball, beat their own man and score. A lethal combination. Holding D Clifford to 4 or 5 points would be a great days work but what abour Paudie, Geaney, O’Shea? Or White and Spillane coming from deep? Coen will not have the legs to close the central channel so that means we have to play a sweeper or, at the very least, a plus 1. That leaves us light somewhere else. We’ve too many leaks in the dyke and not enough fingers!

    I don’t like being cynical and hate being a pessimist but I threw away my “red and green” tinted glasses after last years All Ireland final shambles. It’s surprising how much clearer things are without them.

  64. I don’t think Loftus’ workrate counts for much if his tackling is not physical enough. He can cover ground but to what effect and his shooting is a low % a number of seasons now.

  65. Lads, did Pat Spillane really say that Munster is the best province on the Sunday Game?!?

  66. I agree we look of the pace but slot of it is how teams have set up against us, Kerry will be different game i think and I think we will lift for it, I think frustrating Kerry forward line will go along way to us winning but easier said than done.
    It’s hard to see us winning this one but underdog is good place for us

  67. @Justoutsideballagh – Clifford will be fine, he picked up a knock during the Cork Game and by the sounds of it there was no point in risking him against Limerick. If he has aggravating the knock or picked up another injury it would likely have ruled him out for the 1/4 finals.

  68. Correction – meant to say “if he had aggravated the knock v limerick or picked up another injury it would likely have ruled him out for the 1/4 finals”

  69. A team doesn’t need superstar forwards to win the All Ireland. Look at Tyrone last year. A couple of handy forwards, certainly not much better than ours.

    Look at how far we pushed Dublin over the past decade. All we needed was to ‘click’ on the day. Unfortunately that’s never fully happened in any of our finals. Moreover, we’ve never pushed on the the final quarter of All Ireland finals (all 13 of them). Lack of forwards isn’t the problem in my view. It’s an easy excuse. We can’t get it together on the day.

  70. I think we’re just not consistent enough @Liberal.
    Most years too reliant on 4-5 key players.
    Will always be up and down until we have greater depth.

  71. I think we’re remarkably consistent JP.

    ’17 you could say we played to our full potential, which we almost did, but Jason Doc missed a goal chance to seal it, and Donie got sent off. So that tipped the balance that day. Still not good enough though. On the day. Not from lack of ability. On another day Donie keeps the head and Doherty sticks the goal.

    No, the pattern is too clear for me. It’s in the head.

  72. Clare,

    What I said was you don’t see any comments on the Kerry page saying we have the all ireland won.

    That’s nonsense, nobody believes that sure why would we when have failed over the last 3 seasons.

    Yes I’ll accept some are dismissive of Mayo but you have to accept that’s based on Mayos form so far.
    Saying that Mayo will just up their performance like they did in previous years is a strange one as this isn’t the Mayo of 2016 or 2017.

  73. You’ll hear players and management make excuses like “ah look, anything can happen on the day”, “a final is a strange beast”, “we couldn’t have prepared better” etc, but the common denominator is that it always happens to us.

    I feel for them, because the immense pressure is very real. I think they must acknowledge it as a group first and foremost but I suspect they’re not doing that.

  74. @pebblesmeller. I’m surprised you’re going. It’s like saying you’ll get stuck in the bog but you’ll go anyway.

  75. @West Kerry – Based on current form Mayo are underdogs, Kerry are favorites and rightly so.

    However, form goes out the window in knockout games of the championship.

    All Ireland Semi Final 2021

    Kerry – 1/7 v Tyrone 6/1

    Munster Semi Final 2020

    Kerry – 2/9 v Cork 5/1

    You are right to say it is not the same Mayo team as 2016 or 2017 but it is also not the same Kerry team of that era.

  76. Lads we are barking up the wrong tree attacking Clifford’s record or lack of. He is a once in a generation footballer, one we’d love to have in Mayo but he’s not. His level of skills, application and temperament is significantly greater than all current inter county players. But as I know the majority of Kerry supporters know he won’t win most big games on his own and certainly not an all Ireland on his own. Despite all the changes in tactics and strategies it’s still very much a team game. He is reliant on his team mates to deliver him the ball in the right positions and the right times. He will score 4/6 in most games without too much fuss. What we can’t let him do is score 2-4/6 or else we are in trouble. Kerry are an excellent team and strong in many positions but like all teams left in the championship they have weaknesses. Are we the team able to expose those weaknesses, I think we can and maybe this game might be a lot tighter than some commentators are predicting.

  77. From my own limited understanding of ‘why we didn’t get over the line’…
    I always felt, especially with Dublin games, it was their strength in depth. When we were shagged they brought on a few lads who could run and shoot. Simplistic for me but that was it. Imagine if we had a couple of super subs for any of those games…we would have been home and hosed. We simply didn’t have their depth of talent. 1-15 on Mayo teams are usually as good as you get.
    This year, despite the injuries, we have a little more ammo on the bench. Let’s see if this make a difference.
    anyways…Maigheo abu

  78. Logic would say, Kerry to win by 6 or 7. Definitly better forward, our midfield, I would expect more off, and by midfield I mean to middle 8, are not function as attacking and ball winning unit. Well not since Dublin game in league, even though they have won matches since. This has been our biggest change from last year. Last year Mattie was involved in conversation before final as player of the year, and all fell apart in final. And he has struggled to regain his form since. Without sounding two down on Mattie, still a savaged player, that I can imagine be one of Mayo top player for some time to come, but looks out of sorts to me. Jordan Flynn, was one of our top preformer in League, and I would say, without his injury we would have beaten Galway, but that maybe too harsh on Galway. Duirmuid and Paddy not playing to level we have come used to, but for some reason I think a big game is coming form both of them next week. ROD missing has not helped, and has put extra burden on team without him, as he was our best player during league.
    But one thing I would say, about Mayo is they don’t do logic, don,t go quietly into the night. We have entertained the county with our squash buckling style, of putting it up to great teams, in last 10 year, going toe to toe, not alway on right side of results, but competive mostly. So if we loss on Sunday, I for one proud of team, over last 3 years, and I see no reason they would not be in business end of chapionship next year,

  79. No doubt.You are correct I am always tongue in cheek, I always want Mayo to win but am happy if it is one point ,but I try and lighten the mood ,because their are many very sensible posters on the blog,I don’t know Willie Joe managed to keep it under control,I give ourselves a punched chance,because even though I spent a lot of money to attend the league final when we were a shambles we hit the woodwork four times and the last Kerry goal was clearly a square ball,that shows on another day a seven point turnaround,we were still well beaten but a lot of our players were missing,of course if ROD is for he must start,I respect Kerry but we must not fear them,and for people questioning Clifford I believe that he is already up with the very best players I have seen

  80. @ No doubt, it’s a hard additicion to beat. After 40 years I suppose I’m as well off to keep going.
    I did ditch 3 of my season tickets though! Cold Turkey??

  81. @West kerry yes I know but a lot are acting like they’ve won the all Ireland already and naming all the years we’ve lost to as if we don’t know !

    Mayo are not the same obviously then in 2016/2017 but they always come back espcially when underdogs and if you don’t know that about mayo well what can I say ! I still think kerry will have to much going on our form this year. May the best team win !

  82. Tyrone came out of nowhere last year, Liberal (no disrespect intended to them), and flummoxed the lot of us. What I mean by that is they used a defensive targeted strategy that the other favourites (Kerry, Dublin, Mayo) did not use and that got them the win.
    If Mayo had been able to adjust their strategy in the two weeks leading to the Final, the result would have been different, I think. But they didn’t or maybe it wasn’t realistic.
    Tyrone really really put a spanner in the works and the repercussions of their win (defensive tactics) are felt across the Championship this year too. They had a strategy and were opportunists in grabbing the moment. I respect their win. I don’t think it has anything to do with our players’ psychological weakness.
    I agree with the poster above who puts the central factor for Dublin winning over Mayo in the last decade as their bench – strength in depth, not Mayo psychological weakness.

  83. You make a lot of valid points Pebblesmeller. Where I disagree is throwing off the red and green glasses after AI last year.In truth I expected Tyrone to beat us We got carried away by our victory over a Dublin in decline but look at the form last year and they beat far better teams than we did. We are still not playing well but remember are without 2 of our top men. We keep hanging in against all the odds and though rank outsiders next week we are not without hope

  84. Its not far off 50/ 50 in the votes..Fairly surprised tbh.
    We need so much to.go.our way next weekend ..It’s not impossible but going on current form it is a big ask..
    It’s real head v heart stuff.

  85. GAA saying loads of tickets sold Monday when only Upper Hogan on sale and then start selling Lower Hogan today. They are desperate to sell tickets after the debacle last weekend.

  86. @Justoutsideballagh, ..The GAA director of communication, might explain to us exactly why that is!

  87. That drives me mad. I’ll be dizzy and whoozy where my tickets are. Binoculars might come in handy too. I’m annoyed now.

  88. The podcasts are a real tonic. I just subscribed and they are really insightful -brilliant even.Listening to Boyler is recommended for everyone on here.No surprise,he’s rock solid ,thoughtful ,provocative and grounded. Optimistic too. He recommended fans show up in force and he confirmed the positive role on the team of engaged Mayo fans. Bring color,bring sound.Just one caveat – it’s impossible to cut off Boyler-something no one ever needs reminding of.

  89. Yes. I think Boyler was brilliant. Spoke very well and really understands the game.

  90. It’s the first phase of managements shot at redemption, a chance to prove the doubters wrong, what better incentive is there to get it right, and there won’t be a better time to get Kerry this year and there won’t be a better time to get Dublin either than the semi final, pass those tests and it’s a team from the so called “easy” side of the draw in the final.

    It will be tactics and game management on trial, phase 1.

  91. Boyler has alluded to the impact mayo support has on the team several times and he’s not the first player of this generation to mention it , diarmuid in his speech when we won the league underlined how everything they do is for the supporters . There’s a massive relationship there and idc what anyone else says differently it’s vital we support them next week like we have down the years . I fear though we will have a low turnout which is disappointing. It will be all about Armagh next Sunday , they are full blown headcases and I mean that as a compliment. You’ll never of seen colour like it since the 90s with them and boy will they make noise .

  92. Yes Sean, for anyone that believes fans don’t make much difference to the result of a game, all they do is need to rewatch the 2002 all ireland final…

    We’ll never see such a carnival atmosphere at a final again, or scenes like after the final whistle

    They absolutely spooked a top class Kerry outfit in the second half that day

    Remember the colour and boisterousness Armagh brought Even to the minor final against ourselves in 09…

  93. Boyler is a tonic- very insightful podcast. Feeling more confident… as we are playing tough matches and Kerry are not….we wont fire on all cylinders, but may only need 3\4 players to hit form to get all the gears moving

  94. You have to admire the management and players in that no leaks are getting out as regards ROD’s fitness and how he’s fixed for the Kerry game, good, bad or indifferent

  95. I just checked Ticketmaster there. It looks like no tickets have been released at the lower levels today as mentioned earlier in the thread. If anyone does see them come up in the next few days please let all on here know about it. Thanks!

  96. I don’t think Clifford is up there with the best we’ve ever seen, he’s lightyears ahead of anything we’ve ever seen.

  97. If Mayo want a template of how to win an All Ireland final they need look no further than Dublin’s last 10 minute spell V Kerry in 2011. That’s what I mean by the ‘final quarter burst’.

    I respect Dublin a lot for that, more so in fact than all their subsequent wins, as there was pressure on them to win that one, to shed the baggage that team had. Sure they got a soft enough free to win it but they were absolutely brilliant in those final 10 mins and therefore thoroughly deserved their win.

    The main point: It didn’t take superstar displays to win, it took high octane, shackles-off football, totally obliterating Kerry during that period. I’m certain 100% that we have the players to recreate that type of play in an All Ireland final, because we have seen numerous examples of it in major matches, just never in those crucial final minutes on the biggest day of all.

  98. @Liberalrole… Dublin’s final 10 minutes in 2011… Watch it again, Dublin’s Ger Brennan has a horrendous hit on Kerry’s Declan O Sullivan, definitely a Red Card offence.. A shaken Declan is then targeted, and ran at by Kevin McManamen and scores a goal.. It’s part of the Dublin play book… Colm Boyle early I think 2017, takes an horrendous hit by John Small, (it wasn’t to be John Small’s last horrendous hit on a Mayo player) and Colm Boyle is almost immediately exposed as he is ran at for a goal I think by Con O Callaghan in the first minutes of the game. As almost always some Dublin player’s seem to escape very likely in All Ireland finals.. Hence the, the wailing when David Gough gave Johnny Cooper his marching orders in 2019. If things get tight for Dublin,.it’s part of the Dublin play book..

  99. This year has a sense of 2018 about it unfortunately with us also playing so poorly that year. We beat Limerick and Tipp in the qualifiers before Kildare put us out of our misery. We just seem to be struggling to get going this year.

  100. Catcol, an All-Ireland is all that would please me at this stage. But I think Kerry will be too strong for us.

  101. Pebblesmeller says:
    June 17, 2022 at 12:29 pm
    Talk is cheap, and in the case of making an argument for Mayos progression, utterly useless. It is impossible to analyze Mayo at the minute because their form is so terrible, their successful shooting % stats highly unpredictable and even within 15 min spells in games, they disappear completely from the action only to reappear in blistering form for another 5 mins. That type of form is losing form and will not be anywhere near good anough to keep with Kerry. There is no shape, control or tempo to our game and we constantly look to the same tried and tested faces to dig us out of trouble, e.g. Keegan 5 or 6 times this year alone! We’re winning games on muscle memory and heart. That only brings you so far, and buys you wins against poor to medicore teams.
    So, in my opinion, it’s impossible to put any sense or rationale in predicitng Mayos results. All we can go on is that we know what they’ve done in the past and hope they can repeat it again in the future. We expect them to perform, we expect them to bounce back. There is no sureity though, there is no body of work that we can point to to say “yes, we are controlling the game for longer periods of time”, or “yes, we are dictating the tempo and momentum of the game”. That just doesn’t happen with Horans Mayo teams. For all his talk about “controlling the controllables” etc, his teams are shapeless and chaotic. We predict with our hearts, not our heads, and that’s why we are where we are.

    Kildare bottled it the last day, it’s as simple as that. They went 6 up, missed a free to go 7 up and then stoppped doing what got them into that position in the first place. They stopped playing, dropped 20m back the field and waited for the expectant Mayo comeback. Just like Galway did to let us close a 5 point gap in Castlebar. In the Kildare “comeback” we kicked at least 3 scores that were 50/50 and on another day could just as easily have gone wide as over the bar. A proper team would not have conceded the goal the Mullin scored, and, Jordan Flynns goal was a pure fluke. A shot taken on as a “free hit” in, what US sports calls, “garbage time”, i.e. the game was done and dusted at that stage anyway.
    I will travel to Croker in hope and expectation. I hope for a match winning performance, but am expecting a 5 or 6 point loss. We just don’t have the firepower to outscore Kerry, simple as that. In truth, we never have had the real clinical, cutting edge, efficiency in our full forward line to win the big one. O’Connor plainly is not anywhere near fit, and if we expect O’Donoghue to return after his abscene and be sharp, fit and strong enough to take on this new Kerry defense to level we need, then we are kidding ourselves.
    At the other end of the field Kerry have too much pace without the ball and also deliver it through the foot into space at speed, to lads that can win their own ball, beat their own man and score. A lethal combination. Holding D Clifford to 4 or 5 points would be a great days work but what abour Paudie, Geaney, O’Shea? Or White and Spillane coming from deep? Coen will not have the legs to close the central channel so that means we have to play a sweeper or, at the very least, a plus 1. That leaves us light somewhere else. We’ve too many leaks in the dyke and not enough fingers!

    I don’t like being cynical and hate being a pessimist but I threw away my “red and green” tinted glasses after last years All Ireland final shambles. It’s surprising how much clearer things are without them.

    Pebblesmelleer
    As usual very thoughtful post, hard to argue with any of it.

  102. Pebbles, for a “shapeless and chaotic” team they didn’t do too badly making two All Ireland finals in a row. You’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We beat Kildare because we’re a far better team.

  103. vip1989 says:
    June 17, 2022 at 10:15 pm
    Viper
    What is your team.
    How would you set Mayo up to beat Kerry?

    VIPER . I also would like to know your Team Selection and Game Plan that will beat Kerry.
    Everyone is wise after the event

  104. Don’t do it @viper…. Jack is most likely tuned in. Can’t give them any advantage. ?

  105. That would level thinks up a bit with ROD if true Sean. Maybe just Kerry smokescreen.

  106. Who did Kerry beat in semi final in 2019 ? Just trying to think of their last elite team victory in semi or final . I know they gave us a right clipin down in Killarney that year but it turned out to be a non game really in the grand scheme of things as we both qualified .

  107. 100% Clifford will start. I’d pay no heed to the rumours. I think in ROD’s case he will play but how effective can he be?. Gough is a good appointment, we certainly can’t be blaming the ref on this one.

  108. Kerry playing so on the edge lately , I thought they got away with a right few aggressive plays v cork .

  109. @O SULLIVAN, you want me to publish detailed work on a blog ?

    That will not be happening for totally obvious reasons but it is well known at this stage with what I have written and what my thoughts are regarding the importance of getting your defensive structure in place first, as one example of many things.

    But what is the point of even talking about stuff like that when the vast majority are too stubborn to listen and learn from experts because I find with many in Mayo that there is a total lack of respect for experts.

    I’m smiling at your comment that “Everyone is wise after the event”, given that we played Tyrone after they beat Kerry last year, so where was the wisdom there in making the same mistakes Kerry did.

    I’m afraid it’s the lack of wisdom which has proved costly for Mayo over the years.

    You see the likes of @Pebbles there right, he’ll give his honestly held opinion based on his assessment of undeniable facts, he used the words “shapeless and chaotic” and I have often used phrases like “no rhyme nor reason” and “not moss nor sand” so straight away I understand what @Pebbles means and he understands what I mean.

    But right away he gets accused of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” and asked previous to that “what exactly would it take to please you”.

    I would never say something like that to @Pebbles because I have no need to, because I understand what he is saying right away.

    So instead of sniping back at @Pebbles and saying “for a “shapeless and chaotic” team they didn’t do too badly making two All Ireland finals in a row”, maybe look at it in a more logical way and consider actually winning the finals by not being “shapeless and chaotic”.

    There are a few people in the Mayo family who want to do everything to win an All-Ireland but unfortunately there are too many who will settle for “not doing too badly”.

    That in itself should go a long way in telling most people why Mayo keep losing finals and will continue to unless there’s a radical change in the mindset, if the wrong mindset is at the top then you have a big problem, a problem more difficult than beating Kerry.

    The first thing to accept is that Mayo will never be Kerry or Dublin when it comes to the long term culture of being successful and winning, that would take 400 years in my opinion and that’s if we started now.

    But that’s fine because the Tyrone’s, Armagh’s, Donegal’s etc. are all in the same boat as us in that regard, but in the last 20 years the aforementioned 3 have played in 9 finals and have won 6 between them, even Cork have won one so it’s 7 finals won by teams outside of Dublin or Kerry in 10 attempts and thats in just 19 years.

    While we have not won one in as many attempts including replays in the same period, so bizarrely we aren’t even equal with our “equals”, if the shame of that and our utter defiance of logic is not enough to demand better, then shame on “you” (whoever that may be), and “you” don’t really have Mayo’s best interests at heart and “you’re” not for me.

  110. JH very cautious re ROD. I think injury free and fit to take some part is the best we can hope for.
    Clifford is a class act and will be fully fit to face Mayo. We need to accept that. And things will have to be done differently than in league final if we are to limit his influence.
    In the meantime Carney is improving at a rate of knots and could be our trump card. We must use him and place him at the core of our attacking plans

  111. @Viper.

    If you are an expert ?? What are you doing writing under an assumed name on a blog that fans use to fill their football appetites.

    Not picking on you, but for someone who seems to have all the answers surely someone with your great wisdom should have little problem climbing aboard a football program and dispensing your strategies.

    I know fuck all about football, but I enjoy the banter and the excitement of seeing the team play and picking teams in my head. I’d have my own way of playing Kerry next week but possibly few would agree with my set up.

    If you have the stuff then do it, or you will spend the rest of your life telling people how great you could have been.

  112. I’m not Horan’s biggest fan but I respect fully that he is the best in the business at transforming underage prospects into county stars. The development panel which he introduced is phenomenal in its success. Is he the best tactician? Absolutely not and he could do with more help on the line, and until he sees this or there are changes we will continue to fall short in my opinion. Am I going to call for “Horan out” though? no I’m going to back him until he calls it a day and respect him for the good he has done. Some people have short memories or don’t remember our years in the doldrums. He has changed our standards and expectations as a fan base – we now expect to make semis and finals yearly. That drive will ultimately bring success and the prize we crave. Whether it’s under his management or someone else’s remains to be seen

  113. I’ve deleted that first paragraph, Our time has come – I want to keep the focus on the footballing side and don’t want discussion on social media trolling.

  114. Dia dhuit! All Mayo posters. I just want to wish both teams well next Sunday. I’m down here in my beloved abode amongst my own for the summer. I’m working up in Mayo with the last 19 years! Long time, but it’s flown by.
    Hooefully next Sunday’s game will be fair and hard fought.
    I’m putting my head on the chopping block here, as I’ve done to those around me and on my own forum. I predict an ambush by Mayo. You are still due your big game to play this year and you are hurting since the League Final. You will be more motivated to prove a point as a result. I still don’t like Aidan O’Shea, he’s a millstone around your necks, and he should be and should have been shown the door a long time ago. You play better without him.
    So I’m very fearful and concerned about next Sunday’s game.
    I don’t, and many Kerry supporters do not trust this Kerry team at all still, not until we win the All-Ireland. Pure and simple. It’s still the weakest Kerry team since August 1996, when you hammered our rag tag side back with Neston, Sheridan and Co,
    We hammered Tyrone last year in the league here in Killarney, look what happened then in the semi final. Can lightening strike twice? Have we failed to learn from that? All to be seen.
    I’ll be motivated in my green and gold. I go to Kerry ladies and support the Kerry hurlers just as much. So, I am fanatic, albeit, a grounded one. I still think that Dublin will win this year’s All-Ireland.

    Take it easy and mind yourselves, Willie Joe and all travelling to the game.

  115. @Revellino, Who said I wasn’t already involved with many of the things and much more than you listed, nobody did and you never heard me saying how good I could have been, why would I when I already know what my capabilities are already.

    There are more teams in Ireland than the Mayo seniors you know and more sports than Gaelic football as well.

    Surely it’s a no brainer to keep striving for better in every walk of life, I do it all the time and I encourage everyone to do the same.

    Have I made mistakes, absolutely, but I have always been man enough to look in the mirror and say “you f**ked up”, did those mistakes happen again, no they did not, because I learned from them.

    If you really want a scary thought how about this one, with a bit of savvy it could easily have been Mayo that won 6 All-Irelands in a row, 12,13,14,15,16 and 17 and be immortalized forever more and here we are a few years later wondering have we any hope of beating Kerry.

    That’s what losing does to the mind.

  116. Condolences to, the Family, Club and friends of Dungannon and Tyrone Captain, Damien Casey just 29 year’s old,who tragically lost his life in Spain yesterday. RIP .

  117. Thats fair enough Viper and if we had done things different in those years yeah we would have won a couple particularly in some of those Horan years I think personally….however give me an idea of what your team might be and how you would set up to win this its a fair enough question i think

  118. Micko, great to hear from you. What a gracious post. I hope you’re thoroughly enjoying being at home in summer – a gorgeous season.
    I’m feeling nerves for this game but excitement too. I always love to see our Green and Red clad lads running out on to the pitch.
    This game could easily be a steamroll of us. Every Mayo fan will be hoping not, and I’d imagine every Mayo player will be doing their utmost to ensure that doesn’t happen.
    They’ll have their hands full.
    On all known form you’d imagine a Kerry win.
    However, if our lads are ‘in the zone’, things become possible for us.
    I think ye have an excellent team but as you say, you’ll really only know more when they come through tests.

  119. Tragic news about Tyrone hurler Damien Casey. Tyrone have had more tragedy’s than most down the years. Condolences to his family and friends. RIP.

  120. Hi guys, just to let ye know – I’ve noticed in Ballina large red and green flags lining both sides of the river between the bridges.
    It’s summer.
    That’s support for the lads.
    It’s so exciting.
    Now to get my own flag ready to put out.

  121. That’s all fine @Our time has come but your first claim is totally speculative and the mere use of the words “county stars” shows me the different levels that various groups operate at in relation to expectation.

    And what exactly do you mean by “transforming underage prospects”, are you saying that the ROD’s or the Conroy’s of this world would somehow go unnoticed by a different manager.

    What I want is transformation of our men into winners but now it’s going to have to be done the hard way, what you are celebrating is the basic requirement but why stop there, as they say, then what ?

    You say that the manager is not the best tactician and that he could do more to help on the line and until he sees this or there are changes we will continue to fall short in my opinion.

    You go on to say that ” I’m going to back him until he calls it a day and respect him for the good he has done”.

    That is all very nice and kind of you but where does the interest of warriors like Lee Keegan come into the equation, it is the best for them that I am interested in and to hell with emotion or sentimentality, are we to reduce their chances of winning a Celtic Cross just because we want to be nice to someone.

    I don’t like the bad habit that some have of trying to accuse others of wanting “someone out” just because they may have a desire to freshen things up or trying to paint an agenda to maximize potential as an agenda to get someone out.

    @1989, oh it is a fair question you ask, absolutely, and I’d love nothing better than to go through it in great detail with you and answer every question you have, but unfortunately it’s the wrong setting.

    We will come back to this at the end of next week though and chat about it in a more general sense when we might know a bit more about the availability of ROD.

    On our current form we are about 9 to 12 points behind Kerry, sounds shocking but it’s true.

    Improvements in basic stuff can take a significant chunk off that deficit right away, so all of a sudden the mountain isn’t as steep as it first looked, so before you start to cut the remaining deficit you are making an assumption that the sloppiness is eradicated, something that management need to work on first, otherwise we will be beaten and will deserve to be beaten.

  122. Viper, can you talk to us about failure at any projects you set out to achieve (from your own experience)?
    I’m not talking about mistakes but about failing at something you set out to achieve.
    I am being a little indelicate asking this because it is unpleasant.
    I think that those who ‘dare greatly’ unfortunately sometimes fall short. Sometimes.
    It’s almost a characteristic of those who truly try.
    As you have said you have experience of truly trying and striving, have you encountered many times when your plans did not work out for different reasons, for example, bad luck, odds against you, overestimation?
    And what does one learn from this?
    Does it make one respect complexity?
    Or perhaps things are more simple than we make them at the start?

  123. Its the setting we have though Viper………bit like the setting JH has on Sunday week….its as good as it gets.
    On current form I probably agree we are 12 points off Kerry…….however logic tells me we wont be 8 days from now.
    I was at most of the league games and the one down in Kerry I think is a fairer reflection of our status next Sunday than the league final. We have had an awful run with injury and that was peaked around that game and probably the Tyrone game too…….. an the effects showed.
    Going across all the games we dug out results against top teams and got the points …here we are now in the final 8 of the championship….there have been enough things going right for me to think the planets can line up next week.
    I have often been unconvinced by Horan in the past and confused by the Rasputin like grip he has over supporters at times………. however he has a view of the game and that really involves defending out the pitch winning possession in the middle 8 and thus lessening supply to the opposition FF line.
    Maybe a few adjustments can deliver the full package. We have evolved over the last few months too i think…
    I really like the look of Carney at FF and I still would put O’Hora in the middle because he has the crazy gene like Boyler and winning breaking ball is always the difference in these games would love to see Oisin at 6 and maybe Coen or Brickenden at FB with cover from who though??….I was thinking of AOS earlier in the week and since then I dont know would I start him at all maybe keep him for the last 20…….
    Nobody can tell me if we get motoring like we can that Kerry are 12 points better than us……
    Thing is its all easy on here we all think we know how but its not easy out there on the pitch or on the sideline………you cant be flip flopping from one thing to the other ……..thats why I am on here and the lads on the pitch / sideline are where they are.

  124. @viper – surely you can tell us all the team you’d start and what your match ups would be in defense? Just to have it on record before the game.

  125. Thats a galling stat from Hennigan in the western people.
    Our top scorers in play from championship so far are Lee keegan and eoghan mclaughlin with 4 each.

    It’s simply unsustainable to expect to go all the way to a final depending on defenders for the bulk of your scores.

    How many times can leeroy continue to throw us up on his back?

  126. It is Supermac but ROD has only played one game and Cillian is only getting back…….look we have an issue we all know that but its the next game that matters and we are getting close to having some of the injuries cleared.

  127. Ryan got 4 from play vs Galway, albeit one was a mark. David Clifford only has 1 point from play in the championship so far. Not sure if that’s a good or bad sign!

  128. It’s an outrageously poor return from forwards. I don’t really accept the logic of injuries in this regard. Some of those players have had 3 games against decent (but no more than that) opposition. If I was an intercounty forward for Mayo, I’d think less than 4 points from play across 3 matches is an awful return.

    @viper I like your logical and cold look at the Mayo set up. I find I can be overly critical at times and I also find some Mayo fans are far too accepting of mediocrity. Have we had good years? Yes but it counts for absolutely nothing without a Celtic cross in the back pocket of the likes of Lee Keegan.

    Will we win next week? Absolutely not. We have to accept that we’re not at that level right now. Doing so does not make someone a worse or better supporter. Will we all still go along or watch it and cheer? Absolutely. It isn’t going to change the reality that we’re losing next week.
    Kerry are streets ahead of us at the moment. People giving the Galway – Roscommon example of Galway losing twice to them in league and then winning in championship doesn’t wash here.
    Kerry are a better team than us and have a better setup with a manager who has instilled an ability to win in them.

  129. @sean burke, what I mean by basic stuff is for example ball handing, it’s been very poor, basic errors whether it’s due to lack of concentration or whatever but it needs nipping in the bud, aggression in the tackle is another thing that has dipped, shot selection, dip in intensity, all are fixable and need to be sorted otherwise there’s no hope of beating Kerry because we wont get away with it.

    We haven’t even touched on the fact that we have been having a snooze for long periods in games and that’s why I say the deficit is 9 to 12, it’s that if we continue the way we have been but even sorting out the basic stuff I’ve mentioned will cut that deficit drastically.

    That’s why I believe we can beat Kerry, but we’ll need to beat them with the head rather than chest thumping.

    It’s all right saying all the pressure is on Kerry, but there’s pressure on our lads to put in a performance too, we can’t hide behind the fact that’s it’s Kerry, Tyrone never did and neither should we.

  130. I live outside Ireland, but I can still hear the knives being sharpened for Horan from here. Their’ll be some serious “I told you” so posts on here next Sunday evening. The old “a stopped clock is right twice a day” comes to mind. I knew it was a bad idea when Horan done that shimmy when taking the penalty against Morgan last year, resulting in hitting the post, or when he came off the line into no mans land, and let McShane fist it over his head. I thought he’d learned his lesson after doing the exact same in 2013 final. He’s an awful man is Horan……..

    Seriously, some fans need to accept thats it not all Horans fault that we keep losing these finals. The players have to (and some have) take responsibility for decisions/errors that have cost us on the big day. Its easy to keep harping on about Horan. But one thing I know for sure, he knows a damn sight more about football managment and tactis, than any poster on this blog.

  131. Lineball.
    That goal that McShane scored was a carbon copy of one of the goals scored against the same keeper in the 2013 final. Same manager. Same player. So yes, that absolutely was on management.

  132. Flawless logic there. Also works in soccer. A team concedes a goal from a corner kick. The manager says “Don’t concede goals from corner kicks again”. Then the team never concedes a goal from a corner kick again. Only quality managers know this trick.

  133. @Lineball 2.0, you sum up perfectly what I said about no respect for experts in Mayo.

    It’s funny that Hennelly’s game started to improve once @Viper said the solution wasn’t in fact a new keeper but dedicated one on one coaching which I know happened after I suggested that.

    And regarding the penalty, I even covered that as well.

    I forget nothing.

    Some boyo’s read this blog !

  134. Has Horan ever changed his approach for the opposition?
    Has he played a sweeper or double marked an opposing player?
    I am open to correction but I can’t remember him doing so.

    In some ways that’s admirable yet in others it can be frustrating I’m sure.

    The point is if the tactics don’t change then the hope is that Mayo bring the manic aggression and tempo and fund their shooting boots.

    That’s the hope for you folks and the fear for us.

  135. I’ll tell you what Horan did West Kerry, be it by design or default, but it was his team that did it, and that was end the Dublin reign and to make sure it went no further than six in a row.

    There was an element of the Kerry folk lamenting the fact that we had beaten Dublin and therefore had taken that opportunity from Kerry to do so.

    Kerry had six years to attempt to stop the Dubs and couldn’t manage it and couldn’t have done so last year either as yea didn’t get by Tyrone.

    We didn’t finish the job off ourselves against Tyrone but Mayo deserve great credit for stopping the Dublin run, and I firmly believe that had Dublin reached last year’s final there is little doubt they would have extended their AI winning streak.

  136. Revellino,

    Dublin were muck last year,

    Any decent side would have stopped them it just happened that you met them before us or Tyrone.

    I honestly think you are reading too much into that and in the end it was a false position given the result in the final.

  137. @West Kerry.

    Of course yea would have beaten them ????

    Yea couldn’t even get as far as them.

  138. Ah Viper, your a hoot, claiming credit now for hennellys improvement in form 😮
    I’ve heard it all now.

  139. Revellino,

    What ?

    We both lost in semi finals so what are you on about.

    Dublin were poor last year and you beat them and I know after years of baggage that was emotional but it didn’t matter in the end did it ?

  140. @West Kerry.

    Breaking News. We won our Semi final. Did you not hear. We bet the Dubs.

    No need to thank us for stopping Dublin doing seven in a row. We knew yea were not capable of stopping them after having seeing yea dumped out by Cork the previous year if I’m not mistaken.

    Don’t worry. If we ever see your footballers going through a tough time again we’ll bail yea out again.

  141. Revellino,

    Fair play lad I admire your passion,

    I was delighted you won last year and I was backing ye all the way.

    Bottom line is that Dublin were not vintage last year but regardless you beat them but as I said I think too much weight was put on that.

    Have Mayo put a full 70 min performance together over the past 2 years ?
    I know it’s a Mayo page no insult intended just genuinely interested in the views here .

  142. @ West Kerry.

    I don’t think Mayo have put a 70 minute performance together for quite a few years.

    Not against top opposition at least. I would say 2016 and 2017 but I could be wrong.

  143. @West Kerry,

    No we didn’t, if we did we would have won the final. Missed an open goal and a penalty. They’re the big moments you have to put away in a game.

    Tbh I don’t ever recall any football team put in a 70 minute performace. Just my opinion, but games ebb and flow. The trick is the great teams maximinse their scoring opportunities when on top, or know how to hang in when under the cosh, and ride out the storm.

    What’s the vibe down in Kerry for this one? To me it seems like a free hit for us and all the pressure is on ye.

  144. West Kerry – Horan played Paddy Durcan wing forward to mark Ryan McHugh and Jack McCaffrey in the past. Oisín Mullin and Lee Keegan are regularly moved around to mark the best opposition forwards. Does that count as changing approach based on opposition? When the space was there vs Dublin and Kildare in the league, we saw loads of long kick passing into the forwards. Even the last couple of games he’s tried to turn Jack Carney into a target man full forward.

    I honestly think this reputation Horan has of being stubborn, refusing to change etc is misplaced.

    Lineball 2.0 – agree with that. Games against other division 1 standard teams will always ebb and flow. Although we need to do better than going 15+ minutes without scoring in games.

  145. Lineball,

    The pressure is savage lad, Absolutely Savage.
    There’s no doubt that we have under performed and not delivered.

    If we keep our key men fit we won’t be far away because we are not open anymore.

  146. West Kerry,

    If the pressure can be harnassed correctly, it could end with a heavy beating for us. My fear is ye’ll get ahead early, the shoulders will widen, and we’ll be blown out of the water before half time. IMO our only chance is to keep it tight for as long as possible, any repeat of our 1st half kildare performance, and we’re goosed.

    Fully expecting a Kerry win, too much fire power. Clifford is the best forward i’ve ever seen, can only admire the buck. I’ll travel over in hope with less pressure than the Kildare game funny enough. Be nice to experience a packed Croker again, the royal salute as the players run out, 75+K belting out the anthem, …..its been far too long. Can’t wait.

  147. Lineball,

    Look lad we’ve no idea and that’s the great thing about sport.

    Anything can happen on the day and if we lose ill be on here to congratulate you lads and wish you well.

  148. @West Kerry, The manager decided to play a sweeper when Dublin were down to 14 men in the 2020 final and us chasing the game, bizarre but true.

  149. @viper
    “While we have not won one in as many attempts including replays in the same period, so bizarrely we aren’t even equal with our “equals”, if the shame of that and our utter defiance of logic is not enough to demand better, then shame on “you” (whoever that may be), and “you” don’t really have Mayo’s best interests at heart and “you’re” not for me.”

    I disagree with you a little here, I understand your POV but it’s not for me.

    The reason I have for disagreeing with you, because I feel that it puts too much pressure on players, which could lead to burnout.

    It’s a really odd thing to say but one regret for me over the last decade of football is that Lee Keegan never got to go to Australia. I believe it’s something him and ger cafferky were thinking about it one stage.

    I’m not for a moment saying that Lee Keegan or any other player is under undue or excess pressure from anyone, fans or management. Nor am I suggesting that Lee necessarily regrets not getting to go or anytime of his Mayo.

    But I do think that Mayo football does demand a lot from our players, and invariably that leads to players making sacrifices. I think, particularly post covid, the all round mental health and well being of players, and indeed all of us, has increased in focus. I think players could benefit long term by taking a year out during their careers, and pursuing other interests. I actually thought when I was watching Aidan O’Shea last season, that he looked like he’d really have benefited if he’d a year off to recharge during his career.

    And I think this is more difficult for Mayo players in particular, just given our “quest”, as I’ll call it. Don’t get me wrong, this “quest” brings huge benefits, it is after all such a powerful and unique dream at this point.

    I also don’t believe that we need to necessarily be “better” either. Our record in finals isn’t embarrassing, it’s gone way past that point. What it is now is a statistical anomaly. There really is no other way to describe it, and when we do win we’re almost certainly have player “better” in finals we lost.

    Now the last two finals won’t be among those better finals but there’s a lot of lads in the group and in management, who have played in those finals and for those guys they don’t need to get “better”, they need to rediscover the place they were and previously, and if they can do in a less stressful way, and that after all is the point of experience, couldn’t that be the extra 1% that gets them over the line?

    I actually think that your position is more appropriate for teams like Kerry and Dublin, and with so many Kerry people on the blog atm I’d be interested to hear their thoughts on this. Your thinking is what you need when your players won’t be remembered unless they win multiple all Ireland.

    I firmly believe that Mayo football should aspire to, and will ultimately reach that place but right not that’s not where we are right now. What we need right now is perseverance and positivity, something our teams have not lacked over the last decade, and has been in our consistency. I don’t think that would have been the case had we pursued your philosophy.

  150. @FrostTHammer,

    You have gone to the trouble of putting a nice piece together but unfortunately you have misunderstood my “demand better” line because it appears you believe that I’m referring to players, and therefore you disagree with me as it puts too much pressure on the players, and you would be correct to disagree with me.

    The only issue is that I wasn’t referring to players at all @FrostTHammer.

    “Demand better” is referring to everything apart from the players, all the components that will make the little differences that could maximize their chances of success but I do see how you could have misunderstood it but that’s my fault for not pointing that out more clearly.

    Ironically the reason I write about it is because I believe we do have the players capable of winning an All-Ireland but it is other parts of the equation where we are light.

    We don’t need better players than Kerry to beat Kerry, we just need better tactics.

    Jim McGuinness didn’t need better players to beat Dublin in 2014 when Donegal were rank outsiders who were told Dublin were unbeatable, Donegal won because of a tactical master class from McGuinness.

  151. @ Viper.

    4th August 2013.

    Mayo 4 – 17 Donegal 1 – 10

    Jimmy wasn’t giving the class that day, I presume.

  152. Lads been chatting to a few Kerry heads that’s are fairly in and around what’s to no in kingdom football and basically they really believe they just have to show up contain what we think are our threat and steam roll us out to a comfortable win being cold and off the pace is not in the equation apparently Jesus yes we no the task is a big one but Christ the arrogance is off the charts as Oisín mcconville said in a previous podcast he just can’t say their all that when they have literally beaten no body in championship yet , on another note viper you seem to have a lot of knowledge on how you believe things should be but I remember you saying before Christmas you had a plan to approach Horan and his management team with an idea you believed would get us over the line and if he didn’t take it you would go elsewhere I and I think alot on here are wondering how all that panned out

  153. @Revellino, McGuinness had his job well done by then, his boys had their Celtic Crosses in their pockets.

    To what end was hammering Donegal ?

    Not too many in Mayo wanted McGuinness, huge mistake.

    As I said earlier, too many in Mayo don’t want experts and don’t respect them either, another huge mistake.

  154. @viper

    “We don’t need better players than Kerry to beat Kerry, we just need better tactics.”

    I really don’t really believe that. The issues this year aren’t down to tactics. They’re completely execution issues. You can see this in our wides, and there’s been a lot of poor kicking and handpasses from many players. This is preventing us from building the momentum to actually implement the tactics effectively.

    We can play with all the structure and tactics in the world, and if you kick wide after wide and passes that aren’t crisp you’re still going to struggle.

    If we can execute our skills accurately, particularly our handpass, more consistently we’ll give ourselves a great chance of winning this game, tactical revolution or not.

  155. @FrostTHammer, Oh I know, and I wrote about that already:

    “Improvements in basic stuff can take a significant chunk off that deficit right away, so all of a sudden the mountain isn’t as steep as it first looked, so before you start to cut the remaining deficit you are making an assumption that the sloppiness is eradicated, something that management need to work on first, otherwise we will be beaten and will deserve to be beaten”

    I called it basic stuff because it is basic stuff for players of the calibre we have.

    If the sloppiness can’t be eradicated and all the other things that are well below par then the tactics won’t work either, but we have an experienced manager to sort that out and I expect all that is being worked on.

  156. In August 2013 the Donegal team was weakened by injuries. Many of those injuries were caused by club games. Donegal County Board did not agree to McGuinness’s request that club games be postponed until Donegal were out of the championship.

  157. I’m looking for a lower tier ticket for next Sundays game for a genuine Mayo fan folks. I’m at 087 7554225.
    Many thanks in advance.

  158. We had better players than Kerry in 2017 and proved that by knocking them out of the championship. We as a county underestimate our players a lot and put players from Kerry and Dublin up on a pedestal occasionally with no good reason .

    I like everyone else in here would of done anything for us to win an all Ireland in what has been a golden era and we really did have an opportunity last year to put it to bed once and for all but unfortunately our players didn’t perform in the yearly once off battle last year , missed a penalty and scoffed a load of scoring opportunities.

    I say once off battle , cause that’s what it is , I personally don’t agree with structure of cup competition as a main competition, we have been the best side in the country many times in my lifetime only to be denied on the occasion of the once off day . League basis from 96-99 would of seen us win the league a couple of times at least , 2012 – 2017 would of also seen us bag at least two league titles in my idea of the best team in the land .
    To the players and management best of luck next weekend , I know everyone of them will be bursting a gut to get out on the pitch and give it their all . 99.9999999% of people who take part in competitive sport at a high level will do everything they think is right to improve their percentage of winning . The way some of us (and I include myself ) go on youd think James Horan was not bothered about losing next week . Horan is a smart man , his managerial skills are of a professional standard , he has dragged Mayo football from Longford to the top table , we’re staying there , we ain’t fucking leaving anytime soon . Mayo by four

  159. Love Mayo Football, love this team and their never say die attitude, however am very concerned about the omens for Sunday. I think we are a wounded animal since last year’s final and the glaring weaknesses that have been evident since and not addressed will be cruelly exposed on Sunday. Kerry have got their defence sorted and everyone knows what their forwards can do. I hope to God I am wrong but if not we need to press pause and restart. James has brought on some great new talent and with a bit of luck, last year could have been our year. I will be roaring us on again on Sunday until the final whistle no matter what but I think we all know deep down, it could be a long day at the office!

  160. Dia daoibh
    I with Sean Burke on this one. If Mayo play full tilt for 78min there is no reason why we cannot beat the Kingdom. We have fine footballers but we need a top class performance from 1 to 15 plus the subs! No doubt JH will have us ready. Le cunadh De bheidh an bua againn!
    Disappointed for Loch Garman yesterday (my adopted county) but they were outgunned by a rampant Clare team in the last 10min. Thus the need for a full 78min effort!
    Good luck to Sligo today and to John Maughan Offally looking forward to seeing these matches.
    Some negative comments on the blog recently therefore it is time to get behind our team once again!
    Bainigi sult ag la an athar (father’s day) agus go neiri le foireann Mhuigeo i gconai !
    Mhuigeo Abu!!

  161. Oilean Acla. You are spot on when you say if ”Mayo play full tilt for 78 min …. But you are forgetting that Kerry are on the field as well . What happens if Kerry also play at full tilt for 78 min . Kerry have the more talented team and talent usually (not always) wins

  162. Only stating to not be labelled as wise after the event. The manager has to have a specific plan for David Clifford and Gavin White.
    If the Clifford plan is cut off the supply or the White plan is not an athletic player at wing forward, well that will be a major dropping the ball.

  163. FrostTHammer – agreed. There are a few players in the squad who are simply mediocre and in fact are very poor when it comes to the basic skills of the game. Tactics are going to seem wrong when players cannot implement them. We simply do not have the personnel at this time.

  164. O’Sullivan, the words JH normally uses are “if we play like we can”.
    I think that’s the counter to the idea that “Kerry have the more talented team”.
    While the latter is probably true, JH may like to think he puts his teams in a position to win games and be “consistently competitive”.
    I believe he normally sees us having a chance of being successful as opposed to thinking we mightn’t win.

  165. Revellino – 2017 final we put in a 70 minute performance in my opinion. It was the best game I ever saw that team play. Such a shame they didn’t get the reward but I believe they left it all on the pitch that day.

  166. I don’t agree Kerry have the more talented team. Clifford is the difference and its not like this is an all new Kerry team that we haven’t met before. The main difference I see under O’Conor is they appear a bit fitter and are more cynical, also in the bigger games he tries to win them early which was always his M.O. Gough could also have a big say in this game i.e. some of the stuff they got away with in the Cork game won’t happen under Gough. Hoping we have ROD fit and rearing to go plus a much sharper COC as he was a bit flat the last day. Jason Doherty also has a good history against Kerry so hoping for a better performance there to if he’s 100% fit…

  167. @Sean Burke, I see what you are saying re. league structure but I have to totally disagree with you that it would have helped Mayo get over the line.

    So in that structure Mayo are flying through the league beating the Kildares and the Monaghans of this world but the Kerrys and Dublins are doing the same so what happens when it comes to a huge league decider in a packed Croke Park against a Dublin or a Kerry ?

    A single game to win Sam in a league format is no different than a single game to win Sam in the current format.

    It would be a disastrous format for a multitude of reasons.

  168. All, what’s done is done, time to move on from the past, ye can’t change it.

    I say one thing only, surely to hell that Horan & Co can put a plan in place for game next Sunday, they are a long around now

  169. Think some of ye are overthinking the whole thing and bringing on a kind of depression. Let James and his cohorts do all the fretting and analysing. Just enjoy the build up to another massive game and stop senseless bickering. If at the end of the day we don’t go all the way remember 6 out of Kerry. Dublin. Galway. Armagh. Clare. Cork and Derry will also miss out. All the griping in the world wont change that. Maigheo abu.

  170. Have Kerry really got their defence sorted as a poster says above. Surely the next 3 games (if they get 3 games) will determine if Kerry have it sorted. Some Kerry lads I know are concerned about the full back line and the goalkeeper as well as the midfield pairing, its not for nothing David Moran is on standby to come in. I think Kerry can be got at and probably sorry to say by Dublin at the back. Kerrys huge advantage over most other teams is ability to consistently put up a good score which mitigates on whatever befalls their defence. If Mayo run straight through at them they will cough up fouls and black cards if Gough is watching carefully. Mayo should have a right cut at them for goals in first 10 minutes but games take on a life of their own just look at the scuttery goal Cork conceded to us yesterday, a gift we were delighted to accept.

  171. Agree with the Galway man. Loving Sean Burke’s last few sentences. And as he said last week we so shite we might just beat Kerry!!

    @ James Fleming I’m up as high as I have ever being in Croke Park! Few rows from the highest.

  172. What’s the obsession with viper on here. If his name is not on top of a post then it usually appears in a post. Wtf.

  173. Exactly Joe G, we can talk and talk, and some people getting angry and stressed, but what’s the point – it’s not going to influence what happens next Sunday. Enjoy our county being involved in yet another big day, and enjoy the day and hopefully Mayo produce a consistent performance and really go at Kerry. We’ll see what happens then.

  174. Just listened to Colm Boyle on the podcast. He is a really good analyst of the game. But i think its revealing and concerning some of the things he is talking about. In terms of tactical planning with players not knowing what kind of ball might be about to be played. EG when he talks about Cillian looking to play a ball in but no one is in position to receive it. Surely this is an indictment on the management team not having basic plays worked on. Similarly the use of the kicked high ball which BJ padden highlighted also.
    Boyler seems to suggest that unless Kerry are only at 80% we wont win..From a man who played so long for Mayo (with great distinction i might add) does it reveal that there is is a deep down psychological belief that we are just not good enough amoung the team. I know thats often suggested and i think its its something that many supporters belief deep down…

  175. Lahanman, Boyler is no longer part of the panel, so what he thinks is not reflective of the general belief within the panel. Also, I think most people accept if kerry play at 100% they’ll win, that’s not some psychological issue.

  176. @Lahanman – Listened to the podcast and i dont know how you are coming to that conclusion. I am more positive about our chances after listening to Boyler and your comment suggests the opposite.

  177. Mayo forty five,I have actually been following football for over sixty years,I have seen many fine players,I agree that Clifford is up with the very best,but not miles ahead of them

  178. Waiting for Ross munnelly to start singing roller-coaster or when you say nothing at all

  179. How do you define playing at 100% , not making one handling error , having 100% shot conversion ,?If we play at 100% we will win the all Ireland so .

    Kerry are a very good side and are rightly odds on favs to beat us next week on current form but they have it all to prove , lost an all Ireland in 2019 cause they shit their togs , got knocked out by the worst cork team I ever seen in 2020 who subsequently got knocked out by tipp , got landed on their hole by Tyrone last year again bottled it as raging hot favs . We are often called bottlers , to me “bottler “ is when the team who is expected to win lose , this kerry team are bottlers so far .

  180. Tubberman, I’m afraid some people have forgotten what the whole idea of sport is. Sure we all want to win and I’ve followed this team up and down the country for 50yrs but I’ve enjoyed it because we’ve so many good times in the latter years that have made up for a lot of lean times. Disecting a football game with all the unknowns involved like it’s quantum physics and getting angry over it is a waste of time. Anything can happen in any game anytime so have a bit of banter and craic and enjoy the ride.

  181. No tickets available, they reckon Armagh are bringing 60k . That’s mad for a qf absolutely crazy . My main point of focus now is how on earth are we going to get all Ireland final tickets if Armagh come through the other side . Always some headache as a Mayo supporter , fs .

  182. Sean Burke,

    Let’s not think about all ireland final tickets a week before Kerry in the QF. Our main point of focus is next week

  183. It will be absolutely fascinating to see how Galway deal with the Armagh match. Huge pressure against an Armagh team full of confidence, momentum and the whole county behind them. Very similar to Galway themselves so it’s a 50:50 match really.

    I’m still tipping Galway.

  184. Hey Sean,

    I’ve great time for Mayo people and wouldn’t insult them by calling them bottlers for not winning sam in 10 attempts since 1996.

    You are calling us bottlers is pathetic really.

    We will all see what this Kerry team are made of by this time next week.

  185. @Séan. Tickets went on sale on Ticketmaster at 10 last Tuesday and they posted that time up on Monday so leaving it after that time to look for tickets is lessening your chance of getting a good spot. It’s always difficult to get tickets for the final, regardless of opposition. What makes ut ver difficult is more that so many Mayo supporters will want tickets too. I think Galway will beat Armagh who are a bit overhyped after beating, on the day, poor Tyrone and Donegal teams and look good when they’re let play football. They’re still not consistent enough and have a tendency to throw away leads in the 4th quarter. A fabulous football team in full flight they should have beaten us by 5 or 6 points in The Hyde but inexplicably went too early to close out the game. Regardless of Armagh themselves and Galway have a better chance of getting to the semi final. We need to go up a few levels on the attacking front and be much tighter at the back. I’m going in hope more than expectation.

    Maigh Eo Abú!

  186. Your own high profile county men in the media have called Mayo that for years West Kerry, maybe using slightly terms but with the same intent, ie Pat Spillane and Jack O’Connor for starters. So try not to be so sensitive. This is a Mayo blog.

  187. For those who believe that Armagh are going to bring 60K fans to Croke Park.. The entire population of County Armagh is 175K..And a great proportion of those are not interested in Gaelic Games… And even if everyone was interested in Gaelic Games in County Armagh, 60K would be about 35% of the entire county. Anyhow believe what ye will! .. But I’d say it’s 60K Armagh fans in Croke Park next Sunday is about as likely as Snow!

  188. Ahh lads tongue firmly in cheek about all Ireland final ticket like .

    That’s no bother west Kerry , only a bit of banter but the crux of my point stands .

    Bottlers in a sporting context is where a team are favs to win but fail to win and bottle it from what seems on paper anyway lesser opposition. Kerry have bottled it for three years now imo . That’s why it kind of annoys me that we have often been labelled bottlers when we have been the underdogs going into the vast majority of finals we have contested .How can you bottle it when you’re not the fancied team ?

  189. Seán, I agree when Kerry played Dublin in the drawn all Ireland they had an extra man for most of the game and were leading going into extra time and still only drew. If Mayo done that people would say we bottled it but Kerry were praised for their great performance ???

  190. There can be no doubt that Jack O’Connor will have this Kerry team fully primed and ready to completely dismantle our now infamous and utterly predictable chicken coup of chaos gameplan. They will be a very different animal to the one that naively lost to Tyrone last year. There is no doubt our lads will play their hearts out and leave everything on the field next Sunday, however, the gulf between both teams will once again be exposed as we saw in the league final. Kerry by 9.

  191. Bottler is a insulting term in my book.

    But as pointed out this is a Mayo blog and I’m a visitor here.

    We will see how our bottlers get on next weekend

  192. West Kerry, I agree that is an insulting term whether it is used against Mayo, Kerry, Dublin ,Galway or anyone else. It is a term used by keyboard heroes in the comfort of their bedrooms about guys who forsake their home-life, sociall life and push themselves in body and mind to the limits of their endurance for the ultimate goal. Unfortunately these players who give everything are fair game for the armchair warriors……….. James Horan and every Mayo player are doing their utmost for the county. The leadt they can expect is your appreciation and respect.

  193. I’d tend to agree that using the term bottlers is insulting and best avoided as it only riles people up. Lord knows, it’s an insult that’s been hurled in our direction often enough down the years.

  194. So many differing opinions in the list of posts in relation to James horan and his tactics, Kerry on their real ability or are they bottlers and the question of where to play your best players of whether to start Aidan or not.

    My take on James horan is that he is the type of manager that expects everyone with whatever responsibility in the Mayo setup to be totally dedicated and focused in relation to their responsibility of their role so as to provide the players with the absolute best they can deliver. He has dragged Mayo into the cream of the top few teams and by that I mean he has managed to bring a reliable consistency in their performance, he has them operating as possibly the best conditioned team of the last decade. As an observer this shows that the man has given his all to bring Mayo football to the best possible place it can be under his stewardship. He has a family outside of this Mayo bubble and his wife must be a wonderful woman to support him in his endeavour and his massive commitment to this cause. I can’t imagine this requirement does nor impact on the most important thing parents can do and that is to give as much free time to your children.

    I would never doubt his dedication but I do feel that perhaps he doesn’t give enough of his ear to his selectors and he has failed a few questions in relation to defending leads but I have huge admiration for the professionalism and standards he has set as the standards in Mayo.

    On Kerry I feel they were poorly guided over these past few years, keane is a gifted underage manager but the step up to senior level is immeasurable and I’m not sure he was the right choice, Sean Burke you suggested Kerry are bottlers but I can’t share your opinion, Kerry were young lads in the ‘19 final but with a shrewder tactical plan the dubs could have been taken and in part of that opinion is that the 5 in a row would have added huge pressure on them. The draw gave them an opportunity to reset and Kerns replay plan was poor to be polite to the man.
    2020 was beyond frustrating from a Kerry point of view as on a day of biblical weather conditions (which was forecast) Keane decided to implement a strategical plan to take down the dubs by playing half backs in the half forward line,,,, enough said. In 2021 he reached the semifinals and played a go for goal or nothing plan against a no matter what happened don’t concede a soft goal plan held by Tyrone. This strategy continued until they staggered over the line. Hands on hips with shaking head is all that I can say, Sean Burke, Kerry very rarely bottle anything as we expect our players to play with a certain confidence if they get the honour of being handed a jersey and as a result we fear no team regardless of their reputation, arrogance perhaps but Celtic Crosses cushion the fall when we do.

    O Shea is a great player but I’m not so sure he adds to the fluency of the Mayo attack, I have seen on far too many occasions promising attacks being failed by great sergeants turning to pass the ball to the trusted hands of their senior officers who facilitate the opposing teams ability to bolster their defence from a state of chayote to structure. That said he is capable of great things and I have punched the air on many many occasions as a result of his brilliance so I won’t make a call on whether he should start or not.
    Nervous as I don’t know where we are and with Mayo who knows,, will ye stutter into a gloomy autumn or will ye finally blow out the dirty petrol and produce a pressure free kamikaze performance and depress the bookies.
    Good luck to all, Cíarraí Abú

  195. Dublin will win this All Ireland beating Armagh in the final. Galway will be found out next Sunday. Clare just proved what we always knew about Roscommon, soft as pudding. Their the definition of “bottlers”, 5 points up in the 69th minute. While im at it, Roscommon have never fully grasped that league and championship are miles apart. Galway conceded a massive score against them, and will not breach the Armagh defence as easily. Young Finnerty was made look like a superstar by the Roscommon backs, not a glove laid on them Galway forwards. Croker will not help Galways style one bit.

    Armagh got a nice winning run out in croker during the league. Been a long time since Galway had any win up there.

    Dublin will be laughing bext Sunday, because you don’t know what battle scars Kerry will pick up against us, their could be red cards, injuries, anything. I fully expect Kerry to beat us, but also fully expect a hungry Dublin team to beat a hyped up Kerry again.

  196. Like a lot of people I don’t expect to beat Kerry. I think the loss of last year’s All Ireland has done a lot of damage to our lads. We have also been plagued with injuries and some lads have lost form. We don’t have a settled team . In some of our games we looked lethargic for long periods and only played for 15/20 minutes. Given all that we have probably done ok to get this far.
    That said I do expect a huge improvement on Sunday and we will be a lot closer than our current form suggests!
    Still living in hope.

  197. I feel Armagh could take Galway too, if they play to their full capability. However, I hope the occasion doesn’t get to them. They’re being really hyped up at the moment, there seems to be a great deal of expectation around them. Hope they don’t get the jitters on the day.

  198. Kerry are 100% not bottlers.This current team will win all irelands its a question of when not if.
    Once again they have 6 amazing forwards.Talking to a few very close to their camp they really rate Brosnan as a player that will be massive for them over the next 10 years even more so in that he is under the radar somewhat.

  199. TH there may be some tickets available after the season ticket cut off point to purchase the tickets, as there are bound to be some who can’t go (Thursday I think). Have clubs given out tickets yet?

  200. @1989 – Brosnan is 27 now. Hardly someone for the next 10 years. He made his debut for Kerry back in 2016.

  201. Great post Gamechanger. Nice to get a balanced external perspective; balanced on O’Shea too. I feel impact sub is his best role on Sunday, if Jordan is ready for 80 minutes.

  202. Can anyone tell me with the season ticket, are we allocated specific sections of the cusack, or is it a free for all once the tickets are for sale to the general public?

  203. Didnt realise he was that old Wideball…..they certainky rate him highly though and praise is hard to get in Kerry

  204. @gamechanger.great post. Very balanced. I don’t think all kerry supporters should be judged on pat Spillanes comments. @westkerry. Your earlier posts came across very knowledgeable but I think you’re getting sucked into the slagging side of things. For me kerry are rightly favourites for this game but they can be caught hopefully this weekend. Imo Dublin will win Sam.

  205. No Doubt,

    Not trying to get sucked into a slagging match not really my style but calling lads bottlers is just fairly insulting to lads that give it everything for us.

    I always hated when Mayo were labeled bottlers because for me they were the opposite of bottlers because they came back year after year and never stopped trying and giving their best.

    Getting back to the game, For me this is a huge game for this Kerry team.
    The draw we really needed and wanted.
    Hopefully both teams will have their best 15 available come Sunday.

  206. Is this the first ever poll where the majority think we will lose the next game?

  207. My weather app says its going to be raining in Dublin on Sunday. Not sure that will suit either team.

  208. I have a feeling Mayo could edge a classic here. I think the players and Management will see this one as somewhat of a ‘Redemption Day’. What I mean is that there has been so much negativity and upset within the County and supporters (evident many times here to) that they will know a big performance here will bury a few ghosts and ignite them and the supporters. All will be forgiven and forgotten, it has that feel about it for me anyways. Or maybe I just need stronger tablets !

  209. Let’s be realistic rain would be a help to Mayo’s chances. If you’re trying to beat a high scoring and skillful team you want conditions to be bad weather.
    The scoreline would be reduced for both teams and you just have more chance of staying in touch till the 3/4 mark.

  210. Only 46% of our supporters believe we will win based on this blog’s poll. That speaks to a groundedness about where we are and would usually augur poorly for our chances.

    But in a one off game our chances are em..about the same.

    If we play about 5-6% better then we have been (eg League game against them ..not final )and our man marking and tactics take Kerry back about 5% then it could come down to a few moments of magic.

    Which team have the belief ?
    Who have the scoring boots on ?

    Kerry have the belief (bordering on a law of nature)that their players are “better” The bookies agree with them. Kerry believe they will win more games if they stick to the professional process ( a la Gavin)

    Mayo players and management have an absolute belief they can(and have done)beat anyone on the day. And that what’s essentially required is desire and intensity and basic skill execution as well as specialist man marking detail.

    These Mayo guys have been through the fire many times.Horan too.They are very good at making the opposition drop 5%.
    Dublin in their heyday never played their best against us.They weren’t allowed to.

    If someone is making the case that this Kerry forward line is better than the Dublin forward line in their heyday then you’re hallucinating. If someone is making the case that this Kerry midfield is better than Dublin in their heyday then that too is not the case. If someone is saying this Kerry defence is better than Dublin then I don’t think that’s true (yet)

    Now it’s also true that this isn’t exactly the same Mayo team as 2016/17. But I don’t think -at full strength we would be far off. If we have Jordan Flynn and Ryan O Donoghue then we have a fighters chance.

    I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here and saying the bookies odds are not the actual odds of us winning. I suspect a lot of Kerry money is on this one on the back of the League Final. And there is no question imo that the rarefied air of superiority is depriving them of some oxygen.

    The most patronizing insult ever thrown our way was when Jack O Connor claimed that Kerry’s hunger was greater than ours. After an All Ireland defeat. I really really hated that comment. More so with the belated realization that he was right. Still there are some things better left unsaid. That indiscretion has stayed with me.

    With this being potentially James Horan’s last game I expect a fight to the death a la 2014. The referee this time is not in question. The feral potential of this team needs to be confirmed. My only regret would be if Fionn McD is not playing.

    I think on game day we will know within 5-6 minutes where we are at. If Mayo are winning 50/50 ball or better then it’s going to be a good day. If we are fighting harder than them then we will be winning. If Kerry are being pulled up for incessant upfield fouling and delaying tactics that will be good too. If not,then we know what to do. Do unto others as they do unto you.

  211. Bottling is the term Pat Spillane uses. I don’t agree with any insults to amateur players.

  212. Food4thought – great post and would agree whole heartily with what you have said there. The ref could be a positive for us though solely based on what I saw in the Cork game..

  213. It seems for a cohort that when Mayo are playing well, they are a top team and at the top table, they’ll tell you we have the best manager going, the highest scorer in Championship history, the most conditioned team, the best fans and on and on it goes, but when the form dips that classification is then abandoned and sure Kerry are miles ahead of us and we’re only living in hope.

    So much for great fans who will lecture to others to get behind the team.

    There are only two seats at the top table and it will be a long time before there are 3, a very long time, sure you’ll get the odd magpie who’ll raid the eagles nest now and then like the Tyrones, Donegal’s, Galways, Meaths, Down’s in the past and a few more. They have medals, Mayo don’t, so we aren’t even a magpie, never mind an eagle.

    Had we won 3 or 4 All-Irelands in the last decade we still wouldn’t be at the top table but there’s always a tendency in Mayo to get carried away, just like many got carried away after beating Dublin last year and having a pathetic parade down from Dublin, people just can’t help themselves.

    Did the Tyrone supporters have a parade after beating Kerry, they did in their bollix.

    And to start firing any insults in the direction of Kerry of all teams, well is in any wonder that people make a skit of Mayo, if you have the teams best interest at heart you do not insult other teams of their supporters regardless of what you think of individuals from those counties who may have said something about Mayo that you don’t like.

    Perhaps do something useful instead like going to counties like Kerry and learn from what they do, the numbers don’t lie, you don’t need to even have to have half the intelligence or modesty that I have to figure that one out.

    Can we beat Kerry – Yes
    Can Kerry beat us – Yes
    Do I know who’ll win – No
    Does anyone know who’ll win – No

    I voted yes on the assumption that our manager and our players still want to win an All-Ireland, pure and simple, and if they do then they will put in the preparation and performance to overcome a top table team.

    Clearly our injury situation has made that task more difficult but if we have any fresh injury concerns this week then questions must be asked and they’ll be asked if we do not get a performance that we know they are capable of as well.

  214. Many of you here say that Dublin were in decline last year when Mayo beat them. Yet that same Dublin team is being tipped to win this year’s All Ireland. The analysts on last year’s game at the end of the first half proclaimed that Dublin were back to their best. But we took them out in the second half. Credit where credit is due.

  215. Grainne Uaile – Dublin didn’t lose a single game last year in 70 minutes. Not even vs Kerry in the league. Their first half performance against us was top class. This idea that Dublin were dreadful last year doesn’t stack up. We beat them fair and square, after extra time.

  216. @food4thiught, You hinted you also thought maybe Kerrys hunger was greater? Just interested your view.
    Good post btw.

  217. Gough is a good ref. Hates the niggly stuff and always catches over carrying. His family often working the sidelines and as umpires and they all have a good eye for off the ball stuff. He should be very fair anyway, he usually is.

  218. @westkerry. I agree with you on the bottlers description. It should never be used. We heard it in 17 after losing a classic by 1 pt. All I can say is I wish ye well on Sunday and hope ye come 2nd..

  219. Kerry don’t respect Mayo just like we don’t respect the likes of Roscommon, meaning every single time we play them we wholeheartedly expect to beat them, and find it almost baffling when we lose to them. Winning is the only thing that can shift that thinking, ie. Mayo winning Sam and Ross winning in Croker.

    For the most part I don’t think there’s badness intended from the majority of supporters. It’s the national pundits I have the problem with. They have a national platform and should therefore be free from bias and refrain from throwing insults at management and players. Less of the tired clichés would also be welcome.

  220. @Food4thought, I get all of what you say but is it not totally based on iffery, 11 times you used the word “if”.

    That’s a lot of “if’s” to come off and the percentages you have used are far too low, for example:

    We’ll condense all aspects of our game which have been poor lately into (play better) just to make the post short, so as you say:

    “If we play about 5-6% better then we have been”, that percentage is much to low and nowhere near what will be required to beat Kerry.

    “These Mayo guys have been through the fire many times. Horan too. They are very good at making the opposition drop 5%”

    Don’t get me wrong as I agree in principle, as anyone who has watched Mayo lately would, but there’s no way in hell that a 10 or 12% swing will be enough.

    As for the bookies, take no heed of them, their primary focus is to protect their margin regardless of the result.

    If big money started piling on Mayo to win the game then they’d adjust their odds to protect themselves but technically it wouldn’t give Mayo a better chance of winning.

  221. Food4thought, thanks for starting us off on this balanced footing at the beginning of this week. I appreciate it.

  222. Some positive news on the Connaught Telegraph Facebook page regarding Ryan`s injury.

    If what they are saying is accurate then he should feature on Sunday.

  223. After last week, I’m approaching Sunday’s game as an adventure and that’ll help to temper my feelings about it : )
    Some fascinating things for me:
    the role of Jack O’Connor – how he’ll get on. I don’t know him going back the years but he hasn’t managed a top senior inter-county team over the last decade (as far as I know). How he can he rated as better than Peter Keane – or an X-factor for Kerry – baffles me. I found Keane an intelligent manager esp in the modern game. Yes, he made mistakes – many do. Is Jack at stellar levels? How will his experience work in CP? This is a bit of a test for him on Sunday too.
    Kerry’s embrace of the packed defence as a central plank of their game. I really wonder if this can offer us chances. I don’t mean in the main but maybe just one miscue, mix-up, mis-transition from attack to defence, or simply a situation where someone hasn’t the man on man defending skills because they’ve invested in the blanket. And how will the packed defence work for them in CP?

    Lastly, I liked Food4thought’s and JP’s reference to the factor of hunger.

  224. Sorry – one more.
    The role of experienced leaders on the pitch. We have many of them. They can manage within the game, make good decisions, change direction. They can do this because they’ve been in the cauldron many times. Will this be a factor of difference between the teams on Sunday if the game goes into a melting pot?

  225. I agree that it’s quite baffling that anyone from our part would throw that term at anyone else, Christ knows it has been hurled at us often enough (a lot of the time unfairly, sometimes not). West Kerry is a decent skin IMO and people should avoid getting riled up by fairly harmless observations.

    To answer his question, I believe that Donegal at home in the Super 8’s in 2019 was the last time we strung together a 70 minute performance in a big championship game, although I could be forgetting something there. Tipp in 2020 was another consideration, though we kinda let them back into it by conceding 2-8 in the second half.

    The performance last September was hugely underwhelming from us and even though Tyrone deserved to win, we still could have forced a replay or fluked a win if we had taken one or two of our several goal chances.

    We could learn something from Tyrone, in my opinion. Granted they are not everyone’s cup of tea, but in the last twenty years they have won four All-Irelands while we have nothing to show for producing some fabulous footballers in that time. I don’t believe the general standard of their sides has been much better than ours (perhaps their forward line tends to be a bit more potent), but last September they rose to the occasion and we did not. And given some of the crap that GAA people up north have to put up with, I don’t think we can play the poor mouth on hard luck stories.

    I don’t believe that we will reach the holy grail in the future unless: (a) we set up a defensive system that drastically reduces goals conceded. They have been our major undoing over the past decade, not the forwards who regularly clipped 17, 18 or 19 points at HQ;

    (b) We establish a pattern of forward play that maximizes the strengths of our forward line. I’ve been watching Mayo for three decades and have rarely seen us so disjointed going forward as this championship year. It seems to be off the cuff all the time, very little gameplan.

    (c) We show some flexibility on the line and learn lessons from past games. JH and MacDonald were at the Kerry v. Tyrone semi-final last August but I don’t know what they were watching, as we made exactly the same mistakes the Kingdom did, two weeks later. Generally, this has been a problem in the finals we played these past ten years.

    (d) As a great Kerryman once said, we need to get steely tough upstairs. Mayo teams always let the opposition back into the game, even if they are ten points a better side. This is a weakness which has been our undoing many times, especially against Kerry in 2014. If we are serious about ending this ridiculous famine of ours, a sports pyschologist may not be the worst idea.

    (e) Stop the infighting. It seems like every autumn there’s some sort of circus around our GAA setup, and this can’t be good for morale or focus.

    I don’t think we’ll realistically beat Kerry missing ROD and Tommy C, and with so many players feeling their way back into the championship after layoffs. But there’s no reason why we can’t put it right up to them if we are tactically well-set up, work like demons and avoid the sort of basic errors we have made against Galway, Monaghan and Kildare.

    I do think this Kerry team will be undercooked having walked their NFL final against our weakened team, and then the cannon fodder that is the Munster SFC. They will fully expect to win by double digits, irrespective of what anyone is telling us here or elsewhere.

    Whether we can stick with them and force some doubt in their minds coming down the stretch, is something only time will tell.

  226. Detest the term Bottlers. It has been thrown at us for years. One thing this team certainly are not is bottlers. I also dislike the phrase “ they don’t respect us” or “ we don’t respect them” All teams are deserving of respect. Agree with Viper when he says we shouldn’t be hurling insults at any other team. Would also like to add we shouldn’t be hurling insults at our own or our management either

  227. That’s wonderful news on Ryan, really is . CT though comes with caution , especially even in the report it says Ryan didn’t play any part in this year’s championship.

  228. Mayo had a training weekend in Limerick the weekend past – not a coincidence I’d say. Horan wasn’t in charge in 2017 so I’d say he feels he owes Kerry one from 2014 and might be building a siege mentality!

  229. I think your second sentence is key there, Sean! That report needs to be treated with huge caution and I wouldn’t take it as confirmation about anything.

  230. Talked to a Mayo great at my nephews stag a number of years ago and I asked him if he was sore after playing Meath.
    He said yes you were sore for a day or 2 but would be sore for a week after Kerry
    My dad used to say he would check the date on the Connacht Telegraph to see if is correct.

  231. Great to see Armagh talked up so much lads sure we will do well to even get off the bus on the day.

  232. @ Chesnychet.

    Yea have an easy task ahead of yea compared to us.

    We have to play Kerry and they have the terrible twins up front. The Kerry bullet, Rick O’Shea otherwise known as Seanie and and his side kick, who some frightened opposition supporters are calling the best to have ever played, Cliff Richard or Cliff ard for short.

    We’re expecting such a beating that we’ll probably start next year’s league in Division four.

  233. I don’t speak for everyone in Kerry but people I know have massive respect for Mayo and their fans.

    Yes their is a rivalry but that just indicates respect as Mayo have been a top 3 team for the past decade and for all the criticism that James Horan has received he has managed to build a 2nd team and keep them at the top table is a fair achievement.

    I think you can only judge your team when you have ROD, Cillian and Tommy in the FF line because then you will see it click.

    On a separate note radio Kerry reporting Clifford is ok to go on Sunday.

    There is so much misery in the world at the minute, War, Pandemic, Cost of a pint.. We will go to battle on Sunday and it’ll be a welcome distraction.

  234. Mayomagic I just watched his interview re David and frankly it was unconvincing.

  235. Lower hogan available now and lower cussck , what in the name of organisational skills are the GAA doing , there is no rhyme nor reason to the ticket sales

  236. RE Tickets: it appears the GAA are slowly releasing tickets in batches in order to avoid the embarrassment of last week and also maximize revenue. So they make a batch available in a small amount, this sells out in a certain amount of time, possibly a day or so. Anyone who was on the fence about going might check what tickets are available online and see that there are very few or maybe none at all, depending on the time they check. So when the next batch goes on sale, whoever hears about it and was on the fence about going then buys a ticket due to FOMO (fear of missing out). Yesterday there was tickets for sale behind the big screen in the corner of the upper tier, today there are tickets for sale in both lower hogan and cusack stands, therefore confirming my theory. I would suspect these games may not sell out!!!

  237. Chesneychet I’d fancy ye to win on Sunday. Loads of hype about Armagh and in fairness they were good in last 2 games but ye have been solid all year and I would expect your forwards to do the business in Croke Park. The huge expectations and huge crowd of their own fans may have an unsettling effect on Armagh

  238. @WestKerry – I agree, the part of the interview i saw did not clarify much about where he is at with his injury. Eoghan McLaughlin and Cillian O’Connor were “back training” before the all ireland final last year but neither were close to fit to play the game.

    I still expect D Clifford to start on Sunday even if he is not named in the 15 when released.

  239. Hello,

    Nice to hear that Mayo had an away training weekend? . If I am not mistaken some of our best wins were preceded with that kind of preparation e.g. Belmullet one year.

    I would imagine that it would freshen up fhe team. They will just slot into Croke Park next Sunday as fhey finished against Kildare.

    It is a fascinating just contemplating what the management are going to come up with.

    Happy enough to be in the Davin Stand behind the goal. Expecting a Mayo win.

    Ciarán 2.

    Ciarán 2.

  240. Just back online after a few days. If Mayo can match the level of activity on this thread Kerry are in for a battle the weekend.

    Like all games tactics will play a part but, I think it applies to James Horan most importantly on Sunday. Everyone will say to play a sweeper in from of the Kerry full forward line on Sunday. But, where do you take the player from create a sweeper or a +1?

    Drop a half back in front of the D? Ask Aidan O’Shea to sit in front of the full backs? Bring a wing forward back? All fine options but, allow Kerry to rejig their defence somewhat to generate Morley as the +1 which Kerry want to do anyway. Do you want to hand the sweeper to Kerry on a plate?

    Horan has some big decisions to make. As with everything. If he tries something and it comes off he is a hero. If not he’s the villain of the piece.

  241. David Clifford is 100% fully fit, this is the typical shite that a Jack O’Connor team goes on with before a big game! Where would he have gotten injured? He’s only played 1 game in the last two months

  242. @West Kerry explained why David Clifford missed the Munster final and said he’s trained since then. Thats as convincing as it gets from the horses mouth.

  243. Stories of injuries etc always grow legs the week of a big game. Especially in Kerry. I was talking to a lad to would normally have his finger on the pulse. He said or was a kick on the calf in a challenge and he tweaked it a bit. There was no need to risk Clifford against Munster so they gave it the max time to heal so it doesn’t occur again.

    Can never really remember Jack going in for naming Dummy teams in the championship when he was in charge of Kerry. Maybe in replays just submitting the same team to the programme. Used make a rake of positional switches but, usually the 15 named would play. In this day and age anyway the oppositon plan for all sorts of scenarios

  244. The Referee could have a bearing on Sunday’s game, handy free for Kerry and so on.
    My task for Mayo management, can they pull something out of the blue to really upset the Kerry flow in the game ?

  245. Only other time I remember a blog poll here predicting a negative outcome was for Monaghan in this year’s NFL. Hopefully we can pull off a similar result this time!

  246. The weather forecast is still showing rain and medium winds and breezy for Saturday and Sunday.
    In my view I would target playing two games. Stay in touch to 3/4 mark.
    Have a team to finish the last 1/4.
    50mins is still around 25 mins from the finish line.
    With bad weather Kerry will be much less able to blow us away in the first 3/4s.

  247. Actually one more point. In bad weather the chances of a draw in this game are probably one in six. Then it would be extra time. It would be wise to factor that in to the decision making over whether Aidan starts or comes on as a sub.

  248. Mayomagic – Absolutely that’s what Jack said but watch the interview, watch his body language and his tone.
    Not convincing at all in my opinion and of he’s not right I hope he is not risked.

  249. All logic points to a comfortable Kerry win. But the closer the game gets, the more optimistic I am getting.

    We have been so lethargic in games, surely we have been planning to start peaking around now?

    What approach will Horan take? I don’t think he is a man to sit back and play a sweeper. So it will probably be containment early & then attempt to take a stranglehold on the middle third. IF we can dominate this area, we have a huge chance. But if take that approach & we are off it, we could get a hiding.

    Gavin White – needs to met with pace. Has to be Eoghan McLaughlin or someone of that ilk. He will run riot if let.
    Brian O’Beglaoch – I don’t think he is a particularly good defender – can be got at IMO.
    Midfield – Think Flynn has to come in here as we need his power in there. Aido hasn’t the pace & might be best as an impact sub for this game.
    Coen – not in form and in my view will get the run around from every Kerry forward. They are too quick. Maybe Adrian Spillane but he is no slouch & will dominate him aerially.
    Clifford – don’t think any player can mark him if he has space & quality ball is going in. He has huge power & is athletic, so I think our only option to prevent goals is Keegan/Durcan (Mullen at a push). Durcan would be a left field choice but it might allow Keegan to bomb (and Keegan is more potent at the minute – granted Paddy only back from injury)
    Sean O’Se – serous player & will have to be one of Keegan/Durcan/Mullen.
    Could spend all day analyzing matchups! And they have also have Geaney, Paudie Clifford, Brosnan, Killian Spillane.

    Our forwards need to up it big time. I can’t see our backs getting forward as frequently as they did against Kildare.
    Please God Ryan is ok

  250. @Mayo Focus, Gavin White is explosive in those first five yards. I had thought Mattie could do a job on him, but I think White would be gone past the tackle with his pace.
    Ya, Eoghan McLoughlin, Paddy Durcan or Oisin Mullen are the only three with the pace and weight to get a contact in on White when he goes to power downfield.
    Our taller players aren’t quick enough over 5 yards.
    Enda Hession I think gives up too much weight to White.

  251. @JP, Arguments could indeed be made for both but Kerry will have a bench as well.

    The only certainty is that if Mayo do not start with intensity and discipline and keep that up it wont matter whether AOS starts or comes off the bench because the game will be over before they know it.

    Offer me a draw at the end of normal time and I’ll sign the contract right away.

    It’s understandable that there is pessimism but remember that our improvement threshold is far greater than Kerrys.

    That’s the way I look at this, it’s now over to the players and the management and if they can’t do it then I believe it’s more to do with psychological scars than anything else.

    I mean even the run of injuries which is abnormal must have players and the manager asking themselves quietly are we ever going to get a break.

  252. Tweet from Mayo gaa supporters group
    Attention Mayo Supporters: If you have a ticket for Hill 16 for Sunday’s Quarter Final, please enter the terrace via gates K1 -K4. We’re hoping to gather together as many Mayo fans as possible in Section A4. Bring flags and colours. Please spread the word. Up Mayo! #mayogaa

    Hope all Mayo supporters bring sound and atmosphere Sunday, I have found supporters very quite and flat in Mayos last few big games particularly the All Ireland last year and the National League final. In comparison to when Mayo supporters lifted the rafters in the 2016 and 2017 All Ireland finals and the Semi Final in the Gaelic grounds in 2014.The better the atmosphere of a game the lads seem to thrive in that chaos.

  253. I think having paddy Durcan or Eoghan McLaughlin man marking Gavin white would be playing into Kerry’s hands.

    Better IMO playing probably Eoghan in the half back position in front of white.

  254. James O’Donoghue on Football podcast was saying you can’t afford to play Stephen Coen against any Kerry forward, Hopefully Horan opts with O’Hora instead of Coen but its unlikely and I would like to see any 2 of Boland, McHale and Kevin McLoughlin at 10 and 12 instead of Conor Loftus.

    Team I would like to see start
    Hennelly
    O’Hora
    Mullin
    Hession
    Durcan
    Leeroy
    McLaughlin
    Ruane
    Flynn/O’Shea
    Boland/McLoughlin
    Diarmuid
    Carney/McHale
    Orme
    Cillian
    ROD

  255. I respectfully disagree whole heartedly FrosTHammer, gavin white initiates a lot of breaks and counter attacks from turn overs and he is a bullet. He badly exposed us down that wing in the league final, we need to put one of Durcan, McLaughlin or Hession on him in my opinion to nullify him and disrupt an integral part of Kerry’s game plan. We have to disrupt supply as much as possible to their forward unit and that for me is a no brainer. Would Kerry not hammer the hammer if the roles were reversed?

  256. @Samog – had a listen to football pod and it wouldn’t exactly get you too excited for the weekend games.

    James O’Donoghue and Paddy Andrews don`t seem to rate Mayo and were even wondering do ya risk Clifford the weekend if he has a knock and weighed up the pro`s and con`s of playing him before a semi final meeting with Dublin.

    Then James O’Donoghue went on to say he thinks Michael Plunkett will start, i turned off after that as it`s clear little research was done for the analysis even though they had 8 days since the fixture was announced to get up to speed with who is available or not.

  257. Sam Og I would love to see or hear the supporters bringing the noise to support the team but unfortunately there’s a cohort on social media (from our own county too) that have taken to mocking those that make an effort. It seems for them the only way to watch a game is to do so seated with your hand in your pockets unless you’re nursing a pint.
    It’s a bit disappointing, particularly when you hear Boyler and the likes mention how they fed off the energy they got from the crowd.

  258. West kerrys opinion on clifford, if he’s not right I hope he’s not risked. Not a criticism West kerry but just pointing out the difference in attitudes. I’ve heard many kerry folk over the last few days with similar opinions. It’s confidence in your team that ye firmly believe yere going to win, with or without your best player.
    Here in Mayo with Rod and Flynn it’s a case of, surely if they’re anyways right they have to start. In general we feel we’re goosed without them and having those two start may actually give us some chance of competing or actually winning this game.
    Kerry folk may say they rate us, and probably do a little. But not so deep down it’s all about the dubs for them.

  259. @ourtimehascome

    Gavin white is so fast that you can’t chase him once he goes. You need to be goalside of him constantly, so that you can control the moment of engagement. We can’t afford to have a man who just chases shadows all day.

    Eoghan McLaughlin is almost exactly the same kind of player for us. If Kerry man him in the same manner. McLaughlin will burn them for pace too. Probably the only one who can hope match Eoghan for pace is White himself? Are Kerry really going to play the game with White in the half forward?

  260. FDBinashui. Ignore any social media depressives and shout your head off. I know I will be.

  261. JKEL88, listened in to the Football Pod too. Paddy Andrews said several times that he thinks our forwards won’t score enough to win the game, and this is why he thinks we’ll lose out.
    He said this was always Mayo’s problem.
    Lots of certainty there.
    We’ll have to see.

  262. Fbdinashui
    Watch the first half of last year’s All Ireland and the silence of our supporters. It was terrible, we had 2 thirds of the attendance there and there was so little noise after beating the All Ireland champions 2 weeks before. This nervous energy and lack of atmosphere I believe fed into team and we performed poorly and lost the game.
    James Horan referenced this eerie silence feeling after the 2013 final against Dublin in the last 10 minutes of the game, a game we were still well within a shout of winning.

  263. I see your point frostThammer but it’s far easier to stop a run before it starts than when he’s in full flow. I think Durcan or Hession would be well suited to the role of man marking him and put him on the back foot when we attack. I’d probably keep McLaughlin in our half back line attacking from deep to put a Kerry forward on the back foot

  264. We have been a better side than Kerry the last 5 years , starting back to when we beat them in 17 semi final , people will argue all sorts but we have been in 3 finals in that period where the opposition wasn’t Kerry , so that makes it 3 times out of the last five we’ve been further in the championship. They have not won an all Ireland in the other two seasons . So far now till 5:30 pm sunday to hell with blowing smoke up their you know what .

  265. Not sure man marking Gavin White with a defender is the way to go. Don’t think it would suit Eoghan McLaughlin first of all and it would take away from his game. Tyrone last year and Cork, to an extent, a few weeks ago dealt with White by forcing him down blind alleys and make him turn over the ball. That’s what we need to do.

    Would Stephen Coen be able to mark Sean O’Shea? O’Shea is not fast and Coen would be well strong enough for him.

  266. @Sam Og … I don’t believe that Mayo had 2/3 of the attendance at last year’s All Ireland final..I would guess that it was 50/50. To the best of my knowledge the overwhelming amount of tickets went to both Counties, in an official attendance if 40K… .. and the usual allocation of tickets for other counties didn’t happen.. Also it was played 4 weeks after we beat Dublin..I agree that Mayo fans were quite at the beginning of the Match, but you could say the same thing about Tyrone..No curtain raiser.. and Covid, you still had to wear your mask before taking your seats in the stand, and a nervousness as regards Covid, a half full stadium, it’s quite understandable the difference in atmosphere in comparison to a normal All Ireland final.. But it was the same for both teams. Mayo fan’s in their abundance, loyalty and willingness to generate atmosphere are unrivaled in the GAA world and in my opinion should never be seen as an excuse for a poor performance by the team!

  267. Great article in the Irish Independent today by Conan Doherty. It’s premium. Well worth a read.

  268. Sean – I’ve deleted the last paragraph from that comment. The other day you were annoying Kerry people calling their team bottlers and now you’re aiming to insult them as supporters. This kind of stuff isn’t helpful or conducive to a healthy exchange of views so I’d be grateful if you eased off on the wind-ups.

  269. Ahnow,

    Yes I believe we arent a 1 man team and if David isint right then leave him off.

    I hope he is ok naturally but if not then someone else has to step up.

    But I do believe between our other forwards we have enough to win the game without David.

    Mayo need ROD on the pitch more than Kerry need David.
    That may sound harsh or arrogant but I think it’s just a honest view of it.

  270. Long term Weather forecasts for Saturday and Sunday, looks like rain, and light to moderate breeze. And around 16 to 17th degrees. Kinda was hoping for worse, but still think we can be competitive

  271. @ourtimehascome

    I think we’ll try to flood the middle third. Kerry really beat us up in that area in the League final. If we can boss that of the area of pitch, we’ll give ourselves a great chance of winning the game. I imagine the space in front of White will be quite congested. Having McLaughlin mark the space behind the middle, the kind of space white wants to do damage from, seems to make sense.

    I think both the half forwards notionally marking White and Eoghan will drop back in around the middle, and if either white or Eoghan with their men, they’ll leave a big empty space in their defense for the opponents to run into.

  272. Bring the rain and a good breeze, twil be like Pearse Stadium on a wet Saturday evening with Finnerty kicking points for fun. Hon the shite weather.

  273. @Chesneychet..Of course it never rains or is windy in Crossmaglen ..I’m afraid, Galway will have to come up with a better plan than that.. Galway need to finish the game allot better than than the final quarter of, the Connacht Final, the Connacht Championship game v Mayo and the Div 2 final v Roscommon. Armagh bring huge physicality and athleticism to the game.. If Galway can match this, I think they might just about swing it, whoever wins I expect to get to the All Ireland final, and absolutely anything can happen then, and if Galway can finish the game mentally and physically, I give them more than a squeak!

  274. James O Donahue was a top player and is very entertaining to listen to But if he reckons Plunkett will start on Sunday it just shows how poorly prepared he is regards good analysis. Hopefully (though I doubt it) his fellow county men are as equally poorly prepared for Sunday

  275. I think it would be Brian O’Beagloich that would be put on McLaughlin. He is very underrated defensively and has a serious burst of pace as well. Interestingly I head Dara Moynihan saying on a podcast at the start of the championship that Gavin White is by far the strongest member of the panel. In terms of weight lifting and aerobic endurance etc. Be interesting to see if Mayo press the Kerry kickout and force them to go long to Barry, O’Connor and Spillane.

  276. GAA acting the maggot on Ticketmaster. Only Hill on sale now. I think Supervalu might be a better option for ticket. Surely they must be selling what they have rather than this changing of tickets available all the time on Ticketmaster.

  277. Armagh believe they can win the All Ireland. There is also confidence in Galway and Derry. I believe if we hit some form we’re better than those 3 so why are we being written off?

  278. Galway are improving Leantimes and will need to improve again but Armagh were imploding against a poor Donegal team then got lucky with peno and black card. I fully expect Galway to beat Armagh unless the pundits are right and as Pateen says they are the third best team with Kerry first of course and I’ve totally underestimated them and indeed it’s a special Armagh team. They have not faced a forwardline like Walsh, Finnerty, Comer this year. I personally am looking for a big performance from Kelly, Conroy, McDaid, Tierney too that would heap pressure on Armagh if they all deliver on the day. In saying all that everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face so plenty will be on the day, lads taking bull by the horns and going for it. Same for Mayo. No point sitting back just lay into them and see if they wobble.

  279. @Chesneychet.. Good luck, I always support whatever Connacht Team and will be shouting for Galway on Sunday,, but if Armagh beat ye, and Kerry beat us I will probably support The Orchard County.. And no doubt they could go all the way and do it.. I wonder what support Galway will bring?. Yet another big day out, for Galway GAA fans in Croke Park to go with another big day out in Croke Park with their hurlers versus Limerick,..Armagh we are told are bringing huge support…. Hopefully they will be still around for the 4PM game, to add to the atmosphere..Armagh by far the nearest County to Dublin of the 4 playing on Sunday..As for Mayo, ..I don’t know what to make out of our chances?….On all recent form we wouldn’t have a prayer versus what this very talented Kerry can bring.. Not even on our form versus Dublin in last year’s All Ireland semifinal, I think if we were to repeat much of that performance performance next Sunday, versus Kerry under Jack O Connor’s known fondness of efficiency and ruthlessness especially versus Mayo, we would be dead and buired before half time..Jack O Connor dosent like to draw out our misery, and let us linger in any unfounded belief that we ever had any chance..I think for Mayo to have a chance, we need to go back to our second half performance versus Galway in last year’s Connacht Final, where we terrific.. Now AOS’s recent form in Croke Park is a worry..I think the big man cannot play 70 minutes, regardless of where you play..If reports that Jordan Flynn especially, but also Ryan O Donohue are fit to start, I would consider starting AOS on the beach and I think he could have huge impact in the last 20 minutes to hopefully drive us on to victory.. But the result of the Match will not depend on any one player, (even the greatest forward that ever lived elect, he will be elected when Kerry win Sam) .. One hundred and one different things will decide..I reckon Mayo will be well in the game in the last quarter and who’s sub’s will be the better?

  280. I agree FrostTHammer.

    We need to congest the pitch and make sure Kerry never get going. Make it impassable, a no go area for Kerry as regards trying to move the ball forward. The middle of the pitch more ideally than further back, where Kerry are well capable of kicking mid to long range points.

    I would still leave 3 or 4 of our forwards close enough to the kerry goal to keep them honest.

    If we are going to play Aidan, I think I would leave him up front with Jack Carney and any ball we turned over around midfield, I would rain it in on top of Carney and O’shea. O’sheas problem in Croke Park has never been about winning the high ball. He always wins the high ball. We just haven’t used him enough when he has been moved in close to the opposition goals. I think they would clean up in there. I would ensure that there were a couple of scorers for the 2 lads to dish off to and bat ball down to like Boland and Ryan.

  281. The fascinating thing about armagh galway is the fact that it will be a monumental loss for one of them. On form both probably deserve a final place, especially being on that side of the draw. Everything is in place for each of them to really push on this year and seriously challenge for celtic crosses. But only one can go through on Sunday!

  282. Leantimes the weather on Sunday would suggest that Aido won’t be on the beach!!!

  283. @West Kerry Jack O’Connor body language is of a man that doesn’t want to be answering a question about 1 player in a 20 man game.

  284. @Jkel88

    James O’Donoghue, Paddy Andrews two lads that love to talk about their own counties but when it comes to talking about something other than Kerry, Dublin they are left clueless and their lack of research regularly shown up.

  285. @Revellino

    I think I’d start with O’Shea, Flynn and Carney in the middle. Kick long into them from our kick outs. Try and move the ball quickly into the half forward area. Shoot often, early and from range. Our accuracy will be crap, but we will have plenty of possession. Press their kick outs.

    Leave Cillian as the furthest forward on his own or with James Carr. I might prefer Boland here, if Carr isn’t flying. Leave Morley marking space initially.

    I don’t know how able David Moran is for a game of this intensity. The earlier we can get him on the pitch the better in my opinion. I might change it up at some point though, if Kerry were to start breaking even in midfield, and then move Aidan or Carney inside and give them something different to think about.

  286. Hard to know what level support from Galway with Thurles last week, Croke park Sunday and next Sunday against Limerick its a lot to ask people to travel continuosly particularly with the price of petrol and diesel. I will be supporting Mayo against the Kingdom. I think ye really need a good start not to let Kerry who have not played in ages a chance to settle. Look Clifford isnt the greatest Kerry forward ever, Jesus in my lifetime ive seen Bomber, Spillane, Gooch, Fitzgerald etc. David Clifford is excellent (denied us a few Minor titles with a support act from O’Shea) but he has not delivered in an All-Ireland final for Kerry like say Gooch did. Mayo seem to finish stronger due to teams tiring and a strong panel but I dont think ye can chance it to try to reel in Kerry in last 15 minutes as I dont think they will tire but im not 100% sure of that. Their decision making has been poor when its mattered, lateral passing, hail mary’s so they have a lot to prove. Kerry could cough up a serious amount of frees on Sunday which would make it very interesting.

  287. A few things. Mayo have been too nicey nicey at the start of games and what I think they’re trying to pace themselves for a late surge. We know under O’Connor, Kerry are going to go out there and put us sitting on our arse a try sink a few goals. IMO its vital Mayo are pumped from the very start. Do or die from the get go. We can trust in our condition and fitness so if we’re out on our feet then so will Kerry!

    We need to be ambitious and we we need men back to absorb runners along with high ball (special in the beginning and during lull periods). I’ll bet my last bitcoin, they’re so going to target Hennelly with high ball at various distances from his line. Mullins needs a run to jump high and ohora too short. I’m not sure what the answer is other the stopping the supply which ain’t going to happen either.
    I definitely start OShea and I would give him license to throw his weight around. I read here from someone that they do not think he is a good playmaker and I would agree. He slows our attack with ball in hand at the front of semi D attacking formation. His strength is to be target man and I like to him getting into position as outlet and causing Kerry to think. He won’t do that with ball in hand and him looking to kick a killer pass.
    For me Ohora starts on Cillford!! I think people were a little unfair to his efforts in the league final. Cillford got allot allot of great quality ball with a ocean of space. A guy that gifted is going to punish you. I thought OHora efforts were heroic that day. The game was gone when the goal when in. It was a fantastic goal by Clifford but it didn’t matter. Anyway I love to see them battle again, however with backup when close to goals. Need to prevent him getting a gallop going.

    We’re going to conceed a few points but i think we have to defend deep. I also think we should kick pass it out defense and this is were i would like oshea, ruane and loftus/flynn be targets. Then attack running from close to halfway.
    I honestly think Mayo are the better team. They’re battled hardened and we’re very capable of winning. Hungry in the team has been mentioned but its intensity is what I see lacking. They were so flat with kildare and you know what a few of our forwards were a little lazy in doing the dirty work tracking back, putting tackles in, turning ball over and putting in honest effort defending ( Not COC ) Sure, I saw jogging back and lining out but without really making a effort. I won’t call the players out but i will be pissed if they don’t try harder.
    We’re going to win by four points pulling up at the end 😉 Tougue and cheek but I do think we will get two goals the next day and so winning margin of 4 is about right.

  288. Agreed MO2021. I like the OTB pod but research and facts, ie especially re what players are available etc is often sketchy. Especially since Andy left. In fairness to the host, he’s often better informed than Paddy and James. It’s entertainment more than anything else this year.

  289. Chesney sorry but I have to pull you up on something you said above,

    David hasn’t delivered Kerry an All Ireland like Gooch did.

    Gooch came into a team full of experience and leadership and didn’t win any all ireland on his own.

    David was fast tracked from minor with a unreal amount of expectation around him and he lived up to that expectation and exceeded it.
    He also had to become a leader at 19 and carry a team of young lads.

    If David ends up with no All Ireland medals he could still be our greatest ever player in time.

    Greatness isint measured by medals sure how many has OGara for Dublin 7 or 8 ?

  290. I see the Kerry Lads have sprung from their foxholes in time for the match. It’s always good to see supporters from other counties on forums, it brings fresh perspective and variety of opinion, and sure they might even learn a thing or two about football (we can but hope).

    I’m sure they might secretly be hoping Mayo turn them over, so that they don’t have to go through the annual filling-the-togs-at-the-sight-of-a-blue-jersey routine. Something that the men of the Yew Plains could never be accused of.

    Armagh, Derry, Dublin and Mayo to prevail.

    Aidan starts, Clifford doesn’t.

  291. Good man Jaden,

    Any relation to your namesake on that wonderfully insightful forum Reservoir Dubs ?
    I notice some similarities in your lovely use of the English language.

  292. The Mayo News don’t sound too optimistic about Ryan O’Donoghue’s fitness…we’re goosed if true.

  293. So the mayo news practically says ryan is definitely out and the ct reported yesterday he would be starting . Gutted absolutely gutted to have it confirmed .

  294. West kerry, unfair that people put so much pressure on Clifford. He is young and would really need AN experienced player at FF.
    Worrying that he cramped last year in extra time. Wish him well in the future but not on Sunday ???

  295. Keep the faith lads,

    Paper never refused ink nobody knows who will start until 3.55 on Sunday.

  296. Hi all. I logged on to buy my season ticket this evening but can’t see any availability. I appreciate general sale tickets were low but have they not kept any tickets aside for Season ticket holders? Has anyone else had the same experience? Thanks for your help in advance.

  297. Sean – I have to pull you up again, you can’t make statements like that about an easily identifiable person, regardless what you think of him. The lack of credibility in any GAA stories that paper covers speaks eloquently enough in itself.

  298. Fair enough WJ , understandable. I will be writing to said paper to make them aware of the deflated emotion it has caused amongst many mayo supporters tonight though .

  299. I expect us to bring a ferocity into the game on Sunday, a controlled aggression. Really put it up to them. We have a point to prove.
    I think back to the league final and with 15 minutes left we were only 6 down when Kerry went down to 14 men. Kick the next couple of scores and it was game on.
    Alas we got a hiding in the end but the positive from that game was that without half a dozen regulars we were still in the game with 15 minutes left.
    I bet Jordan Flynn can’t wait for Sunday. He owes Jack Barry one big time.
    All within the rules of course. One thing we can’t afford to lose is our discipline.

  300. Love it Corick Bridge.
    First goal scorer and last goal scorer with half a dozen points from play in between

  301. Can you imagine what Kerry people would be saying if the scores had been reversed in the league final and we had hammered them?

    You would have every Kerry head telling us how much they were hurting, and how they couldn’t wait to get another crack at Mayo, all the while casting some doubt on whether the hiding had really happened, and how they would really show them next time. I remember Kerry playing us in the league in Castlebar after we had beaten them in the semi in 2017. Jesus, they tore into us – we seemed surprised! And the Kerry crowd cheered every foul they committed to the echo.

    We should be adopting the same mentality next Sunday.

  302. Hope Clifford starts but of course starting him if even a slight doubt risks him twinging the injury. Who knows I suppose teams will be named Friday night.

  303. O’Hora and ROD off the bench for me.

    In the case of O’Hora I think he brings a great energy wherever he comes in. I think he’s a man I want coming down the straight. Last two games, no goals conceded. Our defensive shape has been one the things that has been best about our game. Give Coen the start, and see how we cope. O’Hora coming in has the energy to turn a losing battle our way.

    ROD is all to do with fitness. We need to play with intensity from the off. Let’s not risk Ryan’s groin asking him to chase after the likes of a fresh Tom O’Sullivan for 20-30 minutes. We’ve other players who have the games in their legs to do that, Boland and Carr. Both have shown well against Kerry previously.

    It’s a big ask for ROD to play 70 minutes, and we’ve seen already this season how sluggish guys can be returning from injury. Both Boland and Carr have put in decent performances already this season. They are different types of players to ROD. Bringing Ryan into the from the bench could be a game changer. Remember Cathal mcshane last year

  304. Just to add, if David Clifford were to start on the bench, I’d like to have Padraig there to come in. I’m sure Kerry remember Cathal mcshane as much as we do

  305. FrostThammer the only problem with bringing a player whose touch and go recovering from an injury on as opposed to starting them is it could cost you two substitutions if he comes on and tweaks it. If he starts and tweaks it, it’s only one substitution used.

    Either way if he’s not fit, he shouldn’t play

  306. @our time has come

    I think that removing Ryan from what will be the most physically demanding part of the game would really improve his chances of it seeing out.

    I wouldn’t expect Ryan to come back as rusty as Cillian was, it not as long a time between competitive games as with Cillian, but we’ve plenty of guys who can track and hassle and very few who can score like Ryan. I think the less time Mayo need Ryan in this game, the more we’ll get from him.

    You correct though, if he were to break down it would be a huge blow. If he could give us ten minutes though, I’d take him for ten minutes. Just depends on his fitness I guess.

  307. I hear down in Kerry they are working night and day in the Lab, injecting mice with the Sam Maguire gene.
    Anything to bring the Sam Maguire back to Kerry.

    Well send up yer fecken mice next weekend, because we have a fella up here making mousetraps.

    Yea’ll be goin home with the tails between yer legs when our lad with the mousetraps is finished with yea.

  308. Anybody know where Darren Coen and Paul Towey are gone two of the best scoring forwards in Mayo

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