Photo: Irish Independent (David Maher/Sportsfile)
It was far from vintage stuff from our lads yesterday and the overall Man of the Match was Cavan’s powerful midfielder Gearoid McKiernan but the poll here on the site has delivered a clear result on our best performer in yesterday’s match. Danny Kirby, who polled 67% of the votes cast, has been chosen by you as our MOTM from the game.
As you can see from the voting leaderboard below, Danny was a decisive winner of this week’s award. Also featuring strongly in the voting were Lee Keegan, Fergal Boland, Andy Moran and Conor O’Shea. Well done to all of them.
50 thoughts on “Danny Kirby our MOTM from yesterday’s game”
Very well done Danny, a shame he ended up on the loosing side. In a previous thread some poster’s are of the opinion that certain players cannot and should not be dropped or withdrawn. I have to disagree, during yesterday’s match one or two players with All Stars should definitely have been withdrawn, maybe considering recent form maybe they should not have made the starting 15..It should never be the case that any player must be played no matter what the circumstances. I think if were the case that certain players should never be dropped or withdrawn, it would be pointless to turn up for the next fixture should one of these players be injured or suspended. So that is most definitely not the case. I can’t say that I know the mind’s of players sitting on the subs watching some players that are not functioning, maybe just for whatever reason enduring a bad run of form. But it cannot be good for morale, or competition for places in the starting 15. Recently Alan Freeman left the Mayo panel, his own decision. I would have loved to see Alan coming on yesterday, to bring a bit of height and ball winning ability into the full forward line. Alan can also take frees would Mayo now be on six points in the league and safe,if we had the services of Freezer yesterday?. Well nobody can say for sure, and nobody can also say for sure what is the final straw when a Mayo player sitting in the subs bench watching another lack luster performance from a Mayo player decides to call it a day. I think players should be picked on current playing form, no one is saying that if a certain player or player’s are withdrawn or don’t make the starting 15, that they can’t be back starring very shortly.
I can’t believe keith higgins has not being to told not to stand 10 yards away from his mabuse standing in the full forward position. …
He has been doing this for three years now.
Are these selectors blind or are they looking at different mathese to me.
I believe the goal given away before half time changed the game on Sunday.
Also these last couple of games have shown a couple of things …
1. Mayo need the strength of the o’sheas to compete & dominatemail games.
2. Mayo kick out strategy (ball kicked out to the corner on the 21 meter line to an unchallenged corner back) is a farce.
Counter attacking teams thrive on this.
Tyrone & Donegal will show this over themail next two weeks.
Balls needs to be moved quickly down the middle of the pitch.
Keith not a full back does his best work running with the ball.
I think we badly need Kirby in at full-forward as a tall target man with nuisance value – there was no one to give direct ball to in the square yesterday. Funny enough I don’t believe he’s a midfielder as he’s not great at winning primary possession – full forward would be interesting though.
You do have to wonder whether there is a ‘hierarchy’ in the squad when it was quite clear that some established players were basically anonymous yet they stayed on the pitch whilst some of the younger but better performing players were taken off.
I think Andy and COC should be rested the next day and Higgin’s should be brought to the half-forward line.
The funny thing amidst the doom and gloom is that Boland and Kirby are showing well and I think Loftus will come good.
Does Loftus usually play in half forward line?
Management team left a lot to be desired on Sunday, an very poor performance, stars or no stars should have been called ashore after 20 mins if played at all.
Well done Danny on a fine performance and deserved MOTM accolade. Great to see Danny finally been given his chance to show what he can do. Should have been part of the squad since out of minor, however, previous manager had a different view for some bizarre reason. We need more players like Danny who have the courage and skill to take on shots from distance….and score !!!
Well done to Danny, keep up the great work!
Some positive news this morning: Mayo’s bid to retain their Division 1 status looks set to receive a timely boost with the O’Shea brothers, Aidan and Seamus, expected to be in contention for places in the starting 15 for their testing trip to Tyrone this weekend. Other long-term injuries are also on the mend with former All-Star Ger Cafferkey and Chris Barrett back training, while veteran Alan Dillon is also getting closer to a return.
Rewatched match last night. Danny Kirby and Conor OShea played with real conviction.
Both burst forward to score 6 points and several Cavan players will have the bruises of real aggressive tackling.
I’m actually quite positive after this game.
1. The Keith Higgins full back move predictable isn’t working out and has given away the Monaghan and Cavan games (for sure two draws minimum with a better full back). He was off his man the entire game. This is a long term pattern. This is solveable with a more suitable full back. I think we should be looking at guys like Keelan Dever in the corner ahead of Higgins. Dever brings that chunky aggressive power to win 50:50 ball.
2. Gerard McKiernan is a fine midfielder. Along with Killian Clarke and McAveety they had more power than us at 6/9/11. Again this is solveable.
3. We missed all or 45s to close the gap, would expect 2 of 3.
So all in all I see this Mayo team being much improved with a few simple changes.
Our shooting was excellent it has to be said.
RiseAgain I agree with your assessment re Keith Higgins marking way out in front. I can’t understand how management are not pulling him up n this. He might as well have been marking Colm Boyle on Sunday (it is an accident waiting to happen as was proven by the goal). I would like to see the shackles off Keith, a move to the half back line or into the forwards for me, (or even Keith as the sweeper if the Kevin Mc sweeper role has been dispensed with, though I think it was a success). Keith’s explosive running and penetration is what we need now, but he can’t do that from full back.
We got one beautiful score on Sunday. Clarke pumped a huge kickout in the first half to around the half way line on the left hand side of the field. One or two passes, and it was over the bar. (Conor O Shea’s point from the left I think but I could be wrong) Minimal effort, Cavan hadn’t time to retreat into the blanket. With the big men we have in the middle, and Diarmuid, Vaughan, etc, we should be able to do this more often. The kickouts to the corner backs are ok to retain possession, but there needs to be someone running at pace to collect the second ball, or someone available for a long kick pass. The slow build up just plays into the hands of Tyrone/Donegal etc.
A few years ago, we used to trust our midfield to win primary ball, and if we didn’t win it, we used to fight like dogs to win it back. Incidentally we were at our best when turning over the opposition and hitting them in waves and at pace. Our intensity just isn’t there.
Worrying times. But the league was never our forte. Anyone who was in Croke Park for the league semi final in 2014 against Derry, would never have believed we would have came so close to getting to the All Ireland Final later that year.
Thought it better to leave it a few days before commenting but seems to be alot of common sense being spoken today .
What is clear is we have a few players who are among the very best in the country and we have and will rely on them for the foreseeable .
Cillian, Diarmuid, Keegan, Paddy Durkan, Clarke,Harrison, ( i know only 1 season ) Parsons and Andy are among the very best in their respected positions.
We then have some very good players who are good Intercounty footballers .
We haven’t the pick/ individual quality of Dublin and or Kerry but are probably better equipped than other counties to do battle with Dublin .
I feel there was to be some hangover from the previous years lose and all the energy expelled is really only hitting us mentally now.
The legs seem heavy despite the break in South Africa etc but I dont think its from lack of or too much training the opposite in fact I think it all mental.
I dont blame the lads for being mentally fatigued or indeed the management as its hard to get back into it and with all other teams ready to go 100% at us in early March, it can be wearing .
I think we have chosen our battles in that we got a shock back into life in Kerry, we were never going to give the Rossies and inch and got surprised by the Dubs and Cavan and just couldn’t get out of 3rd gear . There is a lot of mental dirty diesel in the heads at the moment and its completely understandable .
I would just like to make the point that no matter what we do or who we play we rely on those 8 players to make us tick .
They are ably aided by Boyle, Vaughan, Higgins, Kevin Mc and the O Sheas but fact of matter is when going is tough we go to those 9 and just at the moment for reasons of injury and mental fatigue those guys aren’t at 100% .
I dont for 1 second believe we are finished or Rochford hasn’t a plan but the legs and minds are heavy at the moment and personally I prefer it being so now rather than peaking now and then the mental fatigue, which has to be present, hit us mid July .
I thinks its clear there are defensive issues in that we used always line out with Caff, Cunniffe, Boyle, Barrett, Higgins and Vaughan for the last number of years and for one reason or another these guys are on the wean and or arent available .
Its hard and they were such good servants but they cant reproduce what the used to, they are still very good intercounty players but to play to top level need to play smarter and be given a defensive gameplan and additional resources.
I doubt this is gone unnoticed by the Management Team and believe as Rochford said before the Tipp game that each man had to man up and defend his own man first and foremost .
Thats the plan they ran with for the league campaign and will address a proper defensive game plan for the championship .
We have blooded Kirby, Nally, Boland, Newcombe, Coen, C O Shea moreso than any whilst given game time to Regan, Loftus, O Donoghue .
I think thats a fair incorporation of these “new” guys but calls for Liam Irwin, Jason Gibbons and whoever on any particular day to be the savior is unrealistic as Irwin is only feeling his way into Senior Intercounty fitness and Gibbons to be fair to him never set the world alight, never mind being a number of years older and his mobility not that of a more modern midfielder .
I think come championship we will have a sweeper but really need to assess the – Fullback position – Its hard to imagine Caff will come back at Championship speed, so I would suggest Barrett, Coen , Vaughan or Nally as fullbacks options . None are the man beast fullbacks but both have strength and positional sense as well as ball carrying abilities if required . Vaughan can do man marking job on taller opposition fullforwards .
– Sweeper – Kevin Mc worked and worked really well but we loose his ability to win breaking ball and his distrubtion, so if Higgins is to be played anywhere maybe its as a sweeper and Kevin Mc in the halfback line
– Midfield – We have goo options here , not the quality of Kerry or Dublins first choices but good solid options and Seamie or Aidan to partner Parsons is more than decent .
– Half forwards – really need to win breaking ball and chip in with score so for that I would like to see Kirby at 11 , Diarmuid at 10 and Conor O Shea or Boland/ Loftus playing at 12 . (all of which can kick a score from distance)
The only inside forward we have of top quality are Cillian and Andy and our only issue is both are too similar in the ball they want and the options they give you, neither have frightening pace but both good on the ball so if they win primary possession we need to get up to help them ASAP.
The nearer the goal they stay the greater the threat they are .
I think we need to reevaluate, make ourselves hard beaten and concede less without dropping our halforward too deep and just find that balance , the quality is there , I hope we can find the motivation and if so with a few tweaks we will be back up there challenging . I dont think relegation is the end of the world as would allow us blood more lads next year and be seen as a confidence builder early next year, but now we have weary minds and legs and last years dark cloud is hanging over us so if we do escape relegation it will be because our real qualities showed through or by the luck of God that Cavan did nt get necessary wins.
What I would consider Championship team, well capable of playing anyone in the country would be
Am I the only one whose season tickets have not been updated?
Reading the match report comments, some are definitely over the top but there’s no doubt that there were some worrying signs on Sunday.
Having a one man full-forward line of Andy Moran is killing us. We look clueless going forward at times. Cillian needs to be played in the other corner to take the pressure off Andy and to give us another option. He’s more than capable of winning ball played into the corner and can be lethal on his day.
We have plenty of players that can play the running half forward role, too many in fact. Boland, Diarmuid, Jason Doherty, Kev Mc, Higgins – the list goes on. We need to shape a rigid two man full forward line, it’s that simple.
The defence looks shaky too. Higgins days in the full back line are numbered. I’ve been an advocate of playing him further up the pitch for a while now and it should happen. I’m not convinced Durcan is a corner back either. I’d like to see him switch with Boyle perhaps. Vaughan should be an impact sub, said it last year. He’d be a good man to bring on with twenty minutes to go, his influence in the starting 15 is waning.
There’s some very good players to come back in – let’s not forget that. The O’Shea’s are an influence, Diarmuid would make any team in the country and then you have Cafferkey and Barrett potentially giving us vital options in the full-back line.
Can anyone explain what happened with Cavan’s first score? The referee seemed to play a crazy advantage. The Cavan player was given the advantage and kicked it inside and then was given a free from where the ball landed. Couldn’t understand it.
Outside of the boot; I just read your proposed starting 15 and it’s in line with my post. There’s some obvious changes that are needed for Tyrone and they’re not that hard to see.
Leantimes, while most players should be played on form where are certain players on every team who are indispensable, Rock of Dublin, Murphy for Donegal, Kavanagh for Tyrone etc. Cillian for Mayo is in that bracket. No matter how he is playing your free taker has to be on the field simple as. If Cillian is taken off, who takes the frees? Kmc is ok but his average isnt great. Doherty can take them but hasnt enough experience being the main taker. No point referring to Freeman, he is gone. There is no one who can replace Cillian, he and Rock are miles ahead of any other player in the country when it comes to dead balls. Im using Cillian as an example of a player who we cant take off but there are others,
Keegan, Harrison, Durcan, KMc, Duirmuid, AOS, Andy. Its all good saying players should be dropped if not playing well and in theory thats correct but in reality these players cant be dropped or taken off simply beacuse there isnt an alternative to them. Mayo dont have a B team sitting around of equal quality to the one that takes the field. Players will have a bad day or a poor run of form but theyare stillthe best option we have for those positions.
Agree with Spotlight.Would love to see Kirby tried at FF. He has all the attributes for the role and we badly need another option there. It would also take some of the pressure off Andy and Cillian who I presume will revert to CF.
Sunday’s game also highlighted the value of DOC and Doherty. These are 2 guys who put real pressure on half-backs trying to move the ball forward and cause turnovers. (just look at the games against Dublin last year) Also, even though they are not huge scorers they win a lot of frees because they run and defenders at pace and draw fouls (something that was really lacking on Sunday). The ease with which Cavan moved the ball from their CBs to their HFs was one of the most alarming aspects of Sunday’s game.
Outside of boot, you selected a fairly good team but not good enough to cater for Tyrone or Donegal who are the experts users of the blanket. We have no fullback as Higgins does not know how to play this role as it is foreign to him.
We need a big man in the F.F. position to suck in more players so they won’t be able to form a perfect blanket, for those 2 games I would play Aidan O Shea there, and send plenty of ball chest high in to him.
Attack along the wings putting in good diagonal shots. There is no reason why we can’t take full points from these 2 matches.
We need McLaughlin as sweeper with S O Shea at C.F. and there are plenty of combinations that we can adopt to fill in the remainder of the team. Danny Kirby must start after the form he produced the last day. I would also keep Andy, Boland,and Loftus who I think would be far better employed in the half forward line. It’s not over yet.
@Philor Agree with you that Loftus’ best position is the half forward line. A natural second half replacement for Boland for example.Loftus has a great eye for a pass and was unlucky not to put Andy through on goal.
Cillian has to play inside with Andy as he hasn’t the mobility for the middle third but he still remains our main freetaker and hence must play somewhere.
With the introduction of the mark Aidan is now more useful at 11. If he got even two or three a game those are really valuable posessions which will give two or three good attacks.
With the prevalence of blanket defending by every team we need Aidan to punch holes and draw yellow cards and scoreable frees.
I could see Diarmuid being a push the pace option late on. It really looks like we need to limit his minutes this year. He’s only 21 and having too many injuries to date.
Ken, the first free was moved up because Boyler threw the ball away. It was the right decision, and a really daft reaction from Boyler
I think there is a couple of tactics you can use against the blanket defence.
Number 1 is what we did against Cavan. Play it around accorss the 45 and try to find a gap for a shot, making sure to put the ball dead regardless. We did well to get 9 points in the first half the last day, but 7 points should be a minimum in any half, if we’re going to be competitive, and we didn’t make that in the second half.
Tactic 2 is something I havent see done against the blanket. Take advantage of the newish rule with the square ball. There is no square ball from open play. We need a couple of players specialising in lobbing the ball directly into the square. Sitting back just outside the 45. A bit like a drop goal in rugby. Put no players between the 45 and the opposition penalty area, while at least 3 attackers put pressure on the keeper. Even if it’s just to draw a mistake or flick it over the bar, it could cause havoc because there are so many opportunities to do this against the blanket.
Thanks Mark, didn’t spot Boyler do that.
Mayomad, what happens the day Cillian is injured or suspended? . I know Cillian is at his best one of the best forwards in Ireland, but on last Sundays and recent Saturday’s form, he’s miles away, while I have every confidence in Cillian coming good, Mayo cannot afford to go down. Dean Rock has to earn his corn every match for Dublin or he would be dropped /withdraw and same goes for every Dublin player. Michael Darragh McCauley played a stormer against Mayo recently but when things were not going as well for MDMC, versus Kerry on Saturday evening last, Jim Gavin replaced him prompt. That’s one of the reasons that Dublin have equaled Kerry’s 80 year old unbeaten record. If a player is malfunctioning as badly as Cillian recently, that player simply has to be withdrawn .If one of our subs cannot do better than that, now they could hardly do worse, so what’s the risk in replacing him, or any other player not delivering. The same goes for all players. Otherwise Div 2, will be our reward for the sidelines inertia. Now last year with about 15 minutes to go in the last regulation league match versus Down, if the scores stayed the same in the Div 1,matchs around the country, Mayo were going down, Cork done us an favour and lost unexpectedly again. , We only stayed in Div 1 on scoring differences, courtesy of the hammering dished out to. Cork, by none other than the Rossies , I don’t expect us to be as lucky again and I wouldn’t be as confident in the Rossies doing us a favour for a second time!
Pebblesmeller – it seems to have been updated across the board, so I’d get on to the season ticket office asap if I were you. I’m sure they will be as helpful in this regard as ever …
Why not play Donal Vaughan @ full back, with Harrison @ Barette/ Higgins,, n full back line, Boyle, Durcan Keegan,, n half backs, Parsons @ S o Shea,( I think SoS, complements Parsons, adding muscle ,around the middle),
You, have ,Diarmud, Aiden @ McLoughlin, in half forwards, allowing him to sweep.
In full forward line, I,would have Cillien, Kirby @ Andy,
You, have good replacements, to bring on, as well,
We are still ,as good, as is around, @ on a good day,will put it up to anyone,even the Dubs, @ they know, it.
If we ,take Tyrone, were, sailing, again.
Would love to see ger caff back in FB. I’d like to see a tall FF Line to create havoc in tyrones FB line
1.clarke 2.harrison 3.ger caff 4.keith Higgins 5.keegan 6.boyler 7.paddy Durcan 8.tom parsons 9.seamus o Shea 10.k.mcloughlin 11.kirby 12.boland 13.Aos 14.andy Moran and 15.cillian
Can see a big game on Sunday, hopefully a big response..
I never cease to be amazed at a certain narrative. One being if we drop Bluggs, shure who can we replace him with. Two, Dublin are offered as the excuse . Dublin, we are told have a huge pick. Dublin have the resources blah blah.
Looking at the Dublin big pick first. Dublin as far as I am aware have had the biggest pick since time first started in the GAA world. Dublin always have had the advantages re travel and support infrastructure. But it didn’t stop another western seaboard county continually challenging them, Kerry.
What makes this Dublin outfit different are simple things. A CEO , Costelloe who runs Dublin Inc as a business. Dublin have a manager who is the boss, reputation to him is irrelevant. You are good enough or not. Your reputation won’t gain you a minute playing time. Success breeds success because calm heads work as a unit.
So Mayo cannot drop so called superstars because musha who’d replace them, yerra its raining down here all the time and the turf us always wet kinda shite, last seen circa 2007-10. Funny that last season Mayo clubs reached the Three Club finals. Westport won it this year. Mayo U21s won last years final. So we are not short of players.
We are short of courage and balls to take chances. Mchugh and a plethora of young Dublin boys get runs. Costelloe 20 mins in last years final, 0:3 but we send on a veteran with a crocked foot. Take the case of Danny Kirby. Danny lashed in 4-0 goals in an FBD match circa 2011 but spent until this season out grazing. Why? We cannot find a full back in the country’s third biggest county. In March 2012 we wallop Dublin off the pitch in Castlebar. Shane McHale was at 3, Danny Geraghty at 8 and a good Dublin team was mashed. Come the championship those two boys weren’t st the races. Why?
If you don’t take chances, no one can blame you. If you don’t blood fresh fighters then you wind up with the best left half back in the country at 4, a regular 4 at 3, a number 5 at 6, . Trying to accommodate seven big names into six spots never works. So Harrison , Higgins and Durkin with Keegan Boyle Vaughan in front of them is not gelling. Push out Durkin and either Boyle or Vaughan goes. It’s called management, we cannot squeeze every big name in.
The forward freetaking is atrocious. We have burned out Diarmuid, we will dent the confidence of Loftus if we keep him a misfiring directionless no plan attack. So no excuses, we actually should have stitched in younger players across the lines Year in year out. But if we follow the Kirby template, you need a six year apprenticeship. Stay too long and apart from splinters in your arse you wind up like Freeman, McHale and Geraghty, good players who were let go to seed and be wasted.
We don’t lack players. We lack the cojons to go for broke. Mayo are not a conservative footballing county, we play head up, ball in hand coming st ya. This we are not doing And unless we do, 2011-2016 will go down as a golden era.,,slightly unfulfilled. We deserve better.
Leantimes, if Cillian is injured then its unavoidable and he cant play, if Cillian is fit to play then he will be the first name on the sheet no matter what form he is in. Some players can and should be taken off if things are not going well but some players cant, Mayo dont have the luxury of being able to replace them, Cillian is one, it may not seem fair but its a reality. For example, if we get to play Galway in Salthill and its a tight game which it would be, Mayo have a free late in the game or need a player to pull something out of the bag in the dying minutes, do you want Cillian sitting on the bench or on the field. An out of form Cillian OConnor is still a better option than what we have on the bench and what alot of other teams have starting.
BJ padden article in Mayo News is on the money yet again….When he talks about tactics upcoming Tyrone game and the returning OSheas…..Delighted to see Aidan and Seamie on the way back maybe the bit of a break might have done them good its a pity some more of the regulars hadnt taken more of a break and were all ciming back now fresh…..It is a bit strange how the 2 boys are coming back at exactly the same time i know they were injured but i thought Aidans was ankle and Seamie was Achilies but again delighted to see then back as they are powerful and so important to us…..It must be great for the whole squad to them and Ger Caff back….
Easy answer to that Mayomad, I want an onform Cillian on the field, but if not onform I want some other onform Mayo player to replace him. A wide from Cillian is not worth a point by any other player, also a center half back going up the field unmarked and setting up 1.04.or 1.05 and for the opposition this happened on Sunday last, on the previous Saturday evening match V Dublin, Cillian played in the full forward line was held scoreless again and his man marker got up the field to score two points. We need more than that from our player’s regardless of how good you were in previous matches. Cillian just like everyone else should have to earn their place in the Mayo team. Subs sitting on the stands need to know that if they can meet the standards that they too can play for Mayo.
On the topic of Dublin being run as a business. They have invested a lot of time, effort money or whatever you want to focus on, to build their empire/monopoly. That’s an objective view and not an excuse.
They can do this with confidence in the knowledge that players can develop their skill sets basing this on recent sports science/psychology. A good example is in the attached link. That book was published around 2010 by the way.
In terms of Mayo being the 3rd biggest county. The statistic that is more relevant is population density. Mayo are second last in this regard, just ahead of Leitrim.
Mayo’s run for the last few years has been exceptional, especially when you consider that we don’t have a winning tradition which would help remove any doubt that we are capable of winning on the big day.
It’s going to be a mixture of desire, clearing of all doubt and method to get the most from every situation, however ideal. That’s going to show us what we’re capable of.
The inch gained when things are going wrong can bring you miles when things turn in your favour.
Prancing about when everything is good, is worth nothing. It’s only in defeat that you see the full courage.
John Cuffe is on the ball. It sums up mayo football as long as I can remember. It’s difficult to get on to the Mayo team but once you are established it’s harder to get off it. Management, please give the young pacy players a chance. A lot more of them should have been tried in the league.Well done Danny Kirby.
It’s very hard to put a finger on what’s going on at the minute.i know we have being like this in previous years but maybe now it’s that bit more concerning!
However it’s still March and I believe we will see a proper game plan come summer with reverting back to Sweeper and I also believe that the likes of Brian Reape Eoin O Donoghue Michael Hall and Matthew Ruane could push hard.we need that burst of youth into the side now along with our experienced players and maybe it’s time that some off our senior players will be used to come off the bench.
Maybe Billy Joe is right that the end is coming for this team.the only two times I thought the end was up for this team was a Connacht final in 2014 v Roscommon when Andy came off the bench to save the day and in the ist half in qualifiers V Fermanagh last year!
I still don’t believe the end is in sight for this team we need to transition certain players into certain positions not replace certain players .its very hard to replace like for like!
It will be interesting to see how Donegal fair come Championship they have had an excellent league campaign so far after loosing 8/9 players.
It’s not all doom and gloom yet folkes.the time to reflect is at the end of the season and now is time to get behind this team!
Looked at the 40 plus panel members a few weeks back, and i found it very difficult to cull it down to 33 players for the championship panel. But since the Dublin and Cavan game its not as difficult. Lets hope the management take a look at present day form and not what guys did over the last five years when naming the championship panel in a few weeks time, and have a serious look at the under 21 games also.
In the modren game no team can afford to carry a player irrespective of who he. One of the problems last sunday was we didnt run at the Caven blanket defence at speed that why we got few frees inside the 40 yard line another Higgins has to be moved out of the full back line spends more time on his backside would like to see him in the half forward line for next two league games Got to play big man at full forward against Tyrone and Donegal and the ball worked down the wings and then put it that would mean the full back was out of his comfort zone facing the sideline not his back to goal.
I wonder if our team is such a closed shop how did we end up with the following players playing a part in our 2016 All-Ireland quarter-final 13-12 win over Tyrone (a team who were perceived by many to be the second best team in Ireland at that time) :
B Harrison, P Durcan, D O’Connor, C O’Shea, E Regan, C Loftus and S Coen (replacing D O’Connor)
That’s seven of what you would call young players which includes 3 players who played in the All-Ireland U21 final a few months previously: D O’Connor, C Loftus and S Coen. Stephen Rochford had confidence in those players to play a part in that massive win for us. Add to this the gametime that Fergal Boland has seen this year in the league, another U21 player from last year’s team. Maybe the team is not such a closed shop after all.
In saying that of course we still need to add something more up front and we probably need new blood in midfield also and an out and out full-back would not go a miss either. We should remember in the replayed All-Ireland final we still had a free to bring the game to extra-time and our substitutions were limited that day after we were forced into 3 changes: Vaughan, Keegan and Hennelly all had to be replaced that day. Again Stephen Coen, our U21 captain from last year, was trusted that day to mark the perceived best forward in the game and he repaid that trust placed in him by his manager Stephen Rochford, by doing a very good job.
Please, please, please, please for the love of yahweh, Allah, zeus, wotan and thor, don’t let us see AOS at full forward on Sunday. Please…
Some very simplistic solutions being put forward. If we dropped everyone after one or two bad games there wouldnt be many left to play. We are constantly calling for new blood and while a few good fellas have broken into the team in the last few years unfortunately few of them are forwards so we have to go back to the tried and trusted chaps year in year out. Evan Regan was going to be our saviour ,, didnt happen, then Loftus or Irwin or Reape etc etc Dublin keep producing forwards who are superior to us Thats not because of their CEO. Kirby got 4 great points last Sunday, fair play to him. He is now our great white hope. One bad game later we will be calling for his head. Winning an U21 title is great but guarantees nothing, winning an intermediate club title is irrelevant to the bigger picture. Guys have not been dropped because there havent been better guys to replace them. Its easy for Gavin there are fantastic footballers waiting on the wings and this keeps everyone on their toes and the whole set up competitive. Last year despite some mediocre performances we managed to peak for the AIF and put in two Herculean performances. This team is incapable of peaking on a regular basis so the best we can hope for is to plod along in the league, hopefully avoiding relegation, get ourselves up to a certain level in Connacht which we are by no means sure of winning and then trying to peak in August September which we may or may not achieve. It would be great to give some of the older guys a break but losing 7 out of 7 in the league would have us all crying. Ros were flying this time last year, but fat lot of good that did them in summer Our management know its all about championship. Thats what will define their tenure. This team may or may not be good enough to give us a seventh summer in a row. We wait in hope.
HopeSpringsEternal, those facts mentioned are undoubtedly true, and combined Mayo team acquitted itself very well indeed. Including player’s that played poorly in Mayo’s run to the All Ireland final. But it is the player’s that are never dropped or replaced during a match regardless of how they are performing that is of concern to me!
All due credit to Danny Kirby on his scoring feats on Sunday at midfield However we were well outplayed overall in midfield, and also in the previous game v Dubs which begs the question ” what is a midfield players primary role”. I would respectfully suggest that it is firstly winning possession and supplying good ball to inside forwards and secondly ensuring that when opposition midfielders win possession that they are not allowed free passage forward from midfield. I am not convinced that either primary function was adequately served by our midfielders last Sunday, or the previous Sat. week, v Dubs,or &1st half v Kerry, and other posts from me have highlighted our ongoing problem of opposition players ( Fenton & MDM, D Moran et al ) coming through the middle of our defence, almost at will. If D. K is a free scoring player we badly need him up front, and our midfield players would do well to give due attention to tracking raiding opposition midfield players, gleefully striding through our defence.
There’s only 2 players never dropped in the forwards Cillian and AOS. People have made the case for dropping Cillian if his form is off but Dublin gave Rock a lot more game time than he deserved because he’s a top free taker. Kerry don’t know what to do with Bryan Sheehan but he’s the best long range free taker in the game. AOS can be subbed in the last 10 if tired but it looks like we need a big man. Although maybe Kirby 2017 could do more damage with superior passing and shooting than Aidan. I can’t understand Mayo Mark’s comment about not playing AOS at FF, for me his distribution isn’t fast enough from 11 and we probably need him on the pitch. He could shoot the lights out from 40 and 50m as a minor and was free taker in the seniors at 19 so has shooting ability but not showing it compared to M Murphy who has similar attributes. The Dublin’s of this world set up well to stop him but just having him in FF keeps them a bit worried. Maybe Kirby should start FF the next day and see if it works.
On Keith Higgins role I’ve long been a fan of having him in the half forwards because he’s our best kick passer and always moves the ball at great pace whether running, fisting or kicking. That role can double as sweeper. Kevin Mc is our most voracious breaking ball expert so having him 1st sweeper limits that strength. Doherty is 2nd best but he’s in direct competition for Diarmaid’s shirt, less than 50% he’ll be a starting forward in 2017.
Keith moved out means solving full back if Caff doesn’t make it or as backup. For me the options are Vaughan, Coen, Drake, Harrison, Nally, Keegan, Hall, Diarmaid, SOS, AOS, COS.
SOS could be the best of these but not convinced based on league that without him our midfielders would complete unless AOS moved out there. COS scoring a bit up front and has good workrate but FB also a position where defensive experience is very useful. Tyrone took one of their best midfielders ever Cormac McAnallen and put him full back because needs must. They did the same vs the Kerry twin towers bringing half forward Joe Mcmahon back to full back and not sure Justin Mc played corner back prior to that final, think he was a half back. COS might be long term option given his size and mobility but bit risky given his age and never having played there. We sacrificed Keegan to the role in a few games last year and it worked well.
@Leantimes, yes you would like to see changes made quicker alright. That did happen in some games last year, like the Fermanagh match but you would like to see it happen more often than that. Even keeping some players in reserve and bringing them on in the second-half might be a good idea too rather than moving some players from pillar to post and trying to fit square pegs into round holes. For example we probably could have kept the likes of Donie Vaughan or Colm Boyle, Andy Moran or Kevin McLoughlin etc. in reserve in some game and brought them on when needed. With maybe someone like Shane Nally etc. seeing some more gametime.
Very interesting point made by the guy from Cavan (can’t remember his name) on the podcast about Cavan targeting the Mayo game for 2 points. I remember in the interviews after the Monaghan game their players were saying the same. His point was that Cavan had their strongest team out while Mayo are missing some and trying things out. Id imagine this is a similar scenario with Kerry who are also aiming to peak for the summer. If you compare both our finishes in the league we have finished 5th, 5th, 3rd, 4th while Kerry have finished 2nd, 6th, 6th, 6th. When you think of the combination of us starting later than everyone else and then playing teams who are going all out against us its amazing we have stayed up for so long. I suppose the worrying thing this year is that our performances haven’t got any better as fitness is improving & we are also left with two very difficult games.
Also thinking about people calling for more of the Under 21s being given a chance. If you look at the Dublin squad I cant think of any under 21 who has featured for them really. Con O Callaghan is supposed to be one of the best young forwards in the game he is nowhere near the starting line up. The likes of Conor McHugh is just making it into the Dublin team he scored 1-06 in an under 21 final in 2014 so he is 23 years old so it just goes to show even though we need them the likes of Loftus and Ruane need a few years to bed into the senior set up. Obviously there are the exceptions to the rule like Jack McCaffery and Kilkenny but we have Cillian and Diarmuid who have done the same. It seems in the modern game players don’t really make the top teams until they are 22/23.
I wouldn’t be giving anyone their p45s yet anyone remember what happened in 2014 ??? ( insert angry emoji face) Kerry finished bottom of league table just about stayed up written off by everyone …. this is a report I found after that particular AI Report from GAA.ie
Of all Kerry’s 37 All-Ireland wins, this was surely their most unlikely. Having been written off by pretty much everyone at the start of the year – a new team, a rookie manager, an injury to their star player and a host of multiple All-Ireland winners having retired at the start of the season – the Kingdom came to Croke Park and proved exactly why they are the aristocrats of Gaelic football.
I think what’s upsetting everyone is that team spirit and the fight “seem ” to be gone If they had lost the last two games fighting tooth & nail for everything then I’d be worried but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt this team seem to play better when their backs are to the wall they’ve proved it time & time again if the spotlight taken off them for a while might not be a bad thing ! if it’s not to be then it’s not to be but if we go down I’d prefer to do it fighting , a few supporters suffering from burnout too I think ! A break might do us all the world of good ?
Good post there JP. I watched the first half again last night and there were a lot of positives there. Second half won’t be so good of course, but it was all winnable.
Agree that KH is a problem at full back. But all backs will struggle in one on one with knack forwards. We shouldn’t be allowing that situation to recur. Midfield or competing around the midfield area is a real problem that has to be addressed – 5 along the middle? McKiernan was fantastic – a joy to watch actually – and. and as I mentioned before, a reincarnation of Dermot McCabe from a few years back. However, with Rochy’s famed research on the opposition we shouldn’t have been surprised and should have been giving him plenty from the off.
There was complacency there no doubt. Think too we were expecting a few close in frees and got one for the entire game! Most unusual that, but it goes to show that defences are becoming more canny and not conceding these close ones. Dublin are able to ride this because Dean Rock can put them over from about 55 yards. Cillian struggles with these and that makes a huge difference. Your accurate free taker will hit a big percentage of your total scores. Rock has really helped Dublin there. Brogan wasn’t in that category, and Cluxton was hit and miss also, though of course he did and still can hit crucial scores.
The forward play was impressive as you said and Kirby did very well (voted for him in MOTM), but half forward line may be the best option. Maybe Parsons there too. Just have to get fielders and slavish workers around the middle. They are there, it’s a matter of attitude and the right guys for the opposition.
Am reasonably optimistic about Tyrone. We have to win; they don’t. That’s always critical in the league. Cavan had to win on Sunday, we thought we would win in a canter and the difference in attitudes was what it was all about when it came to the closing stages.
Hopefully Stephen will be able to have both AOS and SOS available for selection on Sunday next, but it is a little bit much to expect both of them to be able to compete at the level needed for 70+ minutes, considering neither has played inter County football since the 1st of October last. Incidentally I think that game was SOS’s finest hour in my opinion in a green and red jersey! But some time on the pitch would be a most welcome sight for Mayo fans and team alike, whether starting or coming on. The level of fitness both have at this moment is something our management will have to assess. But to expect 70min of quality football from either is unfair at this particular time.
Anne Marie – Thanks for that. All is well this time but one of my tickets wasn’t scanned at the Monaghan game and they wouldn’t do a thing for me! As you said, they’re very helpful.
….Cortisol…..we have too much cortisol in our Mayo genetic make-up,,, Just seen Henry Shefflins Winning documentary again on the box – If they tested us lot the stress hormone production level would be on a par with a getaway car driver down to the rims in a highspeed chase ……….. Need an All-Ireland title to live longer and boost th’owl teshtoshtherone. (a league title would be nice too)
Well we are far from being finished or being the finished article. I admit I am a bit stressed about the current showing as I know in my heart and soul we should be making life much easier for ourselves. I would assume that the management can see what we can see…or..? the current positioning and team structure might be experimental but is it at a cost. It can be a thin line between ruining or strengthening a players confidence…. by sticking a well trusted operator into an unfamiliar position…where he doesn’t do well…….etc etc. I know we can be a force to be reckoned with come summer…..If….If we get the best out of what we have available….we are not going to disappear into the wilderness all of a sudden….
But we need to start the engine and get it warmed up. I was 50 times more disapointed with the result from the Dublin game than the Cavan one. The Croke park performance was a capitulation on the scale of old and it belittled the quality and effort of our 2 AI final appearances from last September. Kerry are in test-it-out mode as well at the minute but they rarely allow any team to wipe the floor with them – its not good for the morale or the perception of them as a footballing powerhouse. We need to retain Div 1 status and get our act together for the tyrone and donegal games. If we set-up in a clever and proper manner, if all our lads give it their best effort and if we are beaten (but only just) into the second tier, well then so be it. But the strength of our character as a footballing powerhouse should be on show….from now on…..its in us in buckets……
We need the O’Sheas to get into the mix, develop a full back if Caff is not in form (Vaughan, Barrett…often thought Seamus o shea would be a massive full back). Durcan is wasting away at corner back. Parsons needs to be more confident in his ability and burst through tackles. Kirby would be my choice for the edge of the square or in it…he can score and is strong in the tackle. I like the look of Shane Nally now – he was one of the few that flung in a few shoulders when he came onto the already sunken ship during the dub game -.
There is one final thing i would do -and that is get the players to try maybe a Kick Pass……or 3.
Mayo – beo go deo…..
We should remember that Dublin beat Kerry by 11 points in last year’s league final, like we lost to Dublin by 12 points a few weeks ago. Roscommon went down to Kerry last year and beat them, like Cavan came to Mayo and beat us this year. I think I read somewhere that after St. Patrick’s day Dublin have only lost one game in the last few years (against Donegal in 2014). That’s what you are up against.
So for us, all we can ask for is to see the same heart and spirit that we displayed in the second-half in Tralee against Kerry replicated in Tyrone this weekend. Best of luck to all involved.
Maybe WJ could post up a link to Dr Ed Coughlans piece on Off the Ball last night. Might give some people an idea why our league campaigns are topsy turvy. One collective training session a week until the colleges finish in late May. Imagine trying to implement a new playing style under those conditions. Dublin players finished their sessions and beginning the recovery process an hour before our lads even start. Travelling two and a half hours in a bus to get to training, then those players having to warm up an extra 30-40 minutes before training to counteract the effects of the journey. That same journey after training, eating your recovery food in the back seat of a car going through Tarmonbarry while your closest competitor has been home in bed 2 hours. To think of all the extra hurdles we have to jump and yet still manage to stay in Division 1 for 20 years, get to 6 All Ireland semis in a row as well as coming within a point of Dublin after 140 minutes of football.