Dub campaign to smear Lee gathers pace


Photo: Irish Independent

Another day, another article in the Dublin-centric “national” media quoting a former Dublin player alleging that a current Dublin player, Diarmuid Connolly, was targeted unfairly by one of our players. Yes, folks, it’s the latest round in the smear-Lee-Keegan campaign and you can read it in the Irish Independent here.

Clarke’s critique is wrapped in honeyed words – describing our man as a “great footballer” – but the import of what he has to say is fairly transparent. One player – our one – is doing all the sinning and the other one – their one – is being sinned against. How simple life can be at times, eh?

Today’s piece is just the latest example in what is now a a fairly well-established smear campaign. Ciaran Whelan was first out of the blocks on The Sunday Game the night of the drawn match calling for the “instigators” of such incidents to be dealt with.

Funny, I don’t recall him being so adamant for this to happen when Connolly dragged down Ryan McHugh in the quarters, when the Donegal man was trying to get by the Dublin player to join an attack. Connolly pulled him to the ground – unprovoked, m’lud – and was damn lucky only to see yellow for what was as clearcut a black card offence as you’ll ever see.

Alan Brogan has put Lee in the first paragraph of his last two columns for the Herald (a Dub paper for Dubs, I know, but one that still masquerades as a national organ), saying that “Lee is getting away with more than he should be” in one and “at times he crosses that mark” (of what’s legal) in the other. In that second piece he says that he saw Lee drag Connolly to the ground twice but he doesn’t say whether or not he saw one of Connolly’s many strikes on our man during the jersey-gate coming together.

Pillar Caffrey was on the radio on Sunday adding further fuel to this particular fire and, of course, Brolly, the Court Jester himself – always the big boy’s toady and so willing to join in the Dublin campaign with relish – was up to his old tricks in the Sindo. He observed his amazement at “how many of Lee’s opponents lose their jersey, then get yellow-carded for wrestling with him.” I can’t recall a single other opponent whom Lee marked having his jersey ripped but, hey, who care about the facts?

Let’s be honest in this debate. Lee is one tough lad and, like every other elite Gaelic footballer, is well able to do what needs to be done in a game, not all of it strictly within the rules. But is he in any way unique in this? Of course he isn’t and targeting him in the way that the Dublin camp has done strikes of rank hypocrisy.

This is all the more so given who the counter-party is to this particular tango. Unlike Connolly, Lee doesn’t have any track record of violent behaviour. It’s simply untrue to claim that Lee is forever involved in personal tangles like this but it’s beyond dispute that trouble is a constant companion of the Dublin forward, as his poor disciplinary record shows.

In a wider context, of course, the Keegan/Connolly duel is one that should really be lauded – two exceptionally talented players, going at it hammer-and-tongs on the biggest stage of all – but, sadly, the win-at-all-costs approach from the Dublin dirty tricks department has now poisoned that particular well.


Photo: Evening Herald

You can see why they’re doing it, of course – Brolly waged a one-man campaign against us in the days leading up to the 2012 All-Ireland final, branding us the most cynical team ever to play the game (or words to that effect), and this had a clear impact on how Maurice Deegan reffed the match. If Deegan can be got at once, then it makes sense from their point of view to attempt the same trick again and the Dublin-based media are obviously happy to let this tune be sung from the rooftops.

In another sense, though, all this noise should be music to our ears. They’re rattled, that much is now transparently obvious, and they’re grasping for any advantage they can get ahead of the rematch. Odd behaviour for a team that comes into every championship campaign weighed down with all the advantages they have, odder still for defending champions and a side on a 27-match unbeaten run. Whatever it takes to continue winning, I guess. This is what winning at all costs looks like.

It’s easy, of course, to conclude that none of the stuff being written now will be of relevance come Saturday. But then I thought that Brolly’s ludicrous libelling of us back in 2012 would have no impact either. Then the McGees went to town with impunity on Cillian O’Connor in that final where, at the other end of the field, Lee was in the book after ten minutes.

This stuff does matter – otherwise why would they be expending all this energy in making sure the message is getting out there? We’re getting perilously close to Saturday, I know, but there’s still time for our side to redress the balance, though with the national media largely batting for the opposition right now, it’s not entirely clear how best to do this.

Whatever the response is, it needs to happen soon and it needs to be forceful. As things stand, we’re leaving the field clear for the other side to say what they want unchallenged. We’re doing our lads a disservice by allowing this to continue unchecked.

132 thoughts on “Dub campaign to smear Lee gathers pace

  1. The smear campaign is in full swing.
    I work with alot of dubs and they are really quiet compared with 2 weeks ago.
    We really took the wind out of their sails, now lets finish of the job on Saturday.
    We need the same intensity, more cuteness, better finishing from our forwards and more influence from midfield and cut out the soft turnovers and bad passes.
    If we can get a handle of those, Sam is coming west of the Shannon.

  2. You’re bang on in everything you said there WJ, I was reading that article this morning and thinking the very same. It’s a blatant attempt to influence the ref, remains to be seen if it will work or not but either way it’s pathetic. Lee is a damn good player, and while he goes all in when marking a guy he wouldn’t jump out at ya as being a thug of any sort.

    As you said they must be fearful of him, and ritely so, the simpletons in the media jumping on the band wagon doesn’t surprise me either, they’ve been harping on all year that Dublin will win, they want it so much to come true because if the opposite happens then everything they know is wrong.

    Anyway f**k em all, we’ll do what needs to be done on Saturday.

  3. This campaign will also lead to a toxic atmosphere on Saturday. Every time Lee touches anyone, you are going to have all the Dubs going mental. Cannot see how this will not influence the Ref. Totally agree, we need to counter balance this in the media before the match and on the day in the stands when they get up to their dirty tricks. Think the tension could spill over on the pitch as well and let’s hope our lads keep the cool!

  4. How many times has connolly been sent off pot calling the kettle black saying Lee keegan is the instigator look back at games connnolly has played in and hasn’t got cards of some discription Lee keegan is a great player

  5. Connolly record on the pitch and off the pitch speaks for its self, he’s no angel!! Under pressure for a big game, never produced it for the dubs on All Ireland Final day

  6. You’d just think that the best thing to do would be for our pundits to get the message out there that some of the Dublin players had to resort to eye-gouging and biting to get the better of their men in the past. Where was the outcry from the Dublin pundits about this? Imagine if it was a Tyrone player that did this, eye-gouged a player and bit a player, Ciarán Whelan would be the first player to go mad about it. At the end of last year’s All-Ireland final ‘The Gooch’ didn’t even want to shake hands with Philly McMahon because of his antics during the game. I wonder why? Why can’t this be brought up by the Mayo pundits?

    Remember when Jonny Copper did a very nasty tackle on Diarmuid O’Connor last year, Whelan said something like, “He is not the type of player to do something nasty”. Its very selective analysis alright. He kicked out at Cillian O’Connor this time at the end of the drawn game, that could be highlighted too.

    There should be a lot more made of the tackle made by Michael Darragh MacAuley as well, he was very lucky not to get sent off. That was the worst tackle made in the drawn game, that should be pushed home by the Mayo pundits in the media. You know what, it’s actually even better sometimes when its pundits from outside the county that make these points, for example, someone like Peter Canavan or even Ray Silke or Eamonn O’Hara. Maybe even the Kerry pundits.

  7. What are the ex Mayo Players and Managers doing who are in the media every week,why are they not defending Lee and talking up Dublin? Mayo will need controlled aggression and more composure on Saturday. MENTAL PREPARATION IS THE KEY IF THEY ARE TO PLAY AT THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

  8. Unreal stuff from the well heeled x-players all out to blow their own trumpets and continue the glorification of all things Dublin. If any of them took a few moments to watch the way Lee plays the game they would realise that he does not engage in the pulling, holding, dragging and tearing that went with man marking of old but rather he goes shoulder to shoulder with his man whenever and where ever he goes when the opposition have the ball. It means he is always in close contact within arm and upper body contact with his man and anytime that he is beat to the ball, he is ready to tackle tough. Anyway I am somewhat expecting Lee will become a scoring threat for Dublin as the game progresses as it is very likely that Vaughan will play midfield from the outset and drop back on Connolly on occasion to allow Lee to bomb forward.
    Expect Dublin to make only one change with Kevin Mac dropping to the bench for Andrews.
    As for the wet/dry day argument, I fancy a dry day myself for Mayo – we play much more foot passes into the full forward line than Dublin which is better rewarded when coming off a dry sod. The only draw back with a dry day is that tiredness might kick in a little earlier, but that it completely within the control of Stephen Rochford of co to manage and deploy our bench smartly and to good effect – and they are top class at that too.

  9. Someone would want put Paul Clarke back in he’s box!
    It’s high time some of our ex players started talking about McMahon Mccauley and Connolly

  10. This media circus by ex Dublin players is a sign Dublin are mentally weak and they know it!!
    There rattled and we rattle them again.
    We are in there heads big time!

  11. Folks make no mistake this is a professional PR job. Headlines like that don’t appear by accident. It’s designed to catch the attention of officials that may avoid reading the paper but will catch a headline. You can see where the AIG cash goes ……you have to hand it to them they have done a good job

  12. They are worried and so they should be.Big decisions for Gavin to make. Brogan and Kevin Mc to come on from bench I believe. These guys are not as good as they have been in previous years and the stats prove that. We have to go out and expose them.

  13. Yes Pat but there needs to be a response to this. Someone like David Brady or bj padden has to go on national media and rebuke these stories and ensure deegan is called on not to affected by these stories. Otherwise we’re have a re run of 2012 but now with the black card this is potentially a game changer.

  14. Look it, the Dublin fan’s can, and maybe will go. Mad everytime Leroy goes near Connolly, but if any of ye care to remember last year’s replay with Dublin, every time Connolly got got. anywhere near the ball, he certainly got the treatment from the Mayo fans.. It definitely effected him and he had another poor day versus Mayo. He got the ‘curley finger’ early from Jim Gavin that day. I trust Mayo fans to be louder and even more voracious next Saturday, that’s one battle the Dublin fan’s will surely lose, just as they lost the vocal battle the last day out,! . We can do the same thing again, and include, Saint Philly and MDMC!…. It’s not nice I know, but versus Dublin, the fan’s who. have been routinely, booing, free takers, even minor player’s, have been subjected to this, intimidation since I can remember. ‘What’s good for the goose is good for the gander’……… I suppose with, 7 official’s policing the match, it’s almost a certainty that some of them might be influenced by a media smear campaign,.. But then again, you have to hope that all responsible for controlling the match will be objective and fair. An early point or two from Leroy would certainly set the tone!

  15. Sinead 37 where are ya. Can u come up with a chant towards our man Lee. Keegan keegan keegan over and over. Let him know we’re there in force.

    Wj it’s annoying surely but we are able for these guys. The keegan connolly battle is only 1 of many duels there has been down through the years with many footballers from many counties. Paul galvin and noel o leary. 2 guys tearing the heads off each other for the cause. Gets the crowd going and after all part and parcel of what goes on.

    There is only 1 answer to all this. Do our talking on the field and beat them. Fair play from deegan hopefully. Ya know u can see some curve ball from Rochford somewhere. Not sure where but I feel something coming down the line. Who ever learns the most from the drawn game will win.

  16. Just watch Cooper and McMahon in every game they play, always hitting the sly dig. There is only one way to deal with that, which is to drive at them. This influencing referees in the media is completely unacceptable. We will not bow down.

  17. Don’t need to look back to previous matches to see Connolly’s antics. Have a look at our final attack, Connolly just drags Keegan to the floor to prevent him getting forward. And in the lead up to one of their og’s he has a hold of Keegan’s arm under his and will not let go and Whelan claims that Connolly would never instigate anything.

    If there are any video editors out there, well here is your chance to do something for the team. Get the clips, post them somewhere let us know on here and we can all share, forward and link the shit out of to get it noticed.

    We will have a long wait if we are waiting for any Mayo pundits to help the cause never mind external people. We have to look after ourselves in this regard and this is maybe one way we can.

  18. I really don’t see why people are so outraged. Ex-Dublin players and managers toeing the party line? Oh, the horror of it all! Shocking stuff all-together. Who would have thought? Will someone please think of the children?

    Ah c’mon, what did you really think they’d say?

    As for Brolly, have we not learned yet that he’s an attention gobbler, who’ll say anything about anyone to stay in the limelight. As I recall the Mayo CB paid him to show up at a Mayo event, a mere couple of weeks ago.

    If I can suggest, hold back on some of the outrage, and instead direct it at the lack of a coherent Mayo response to media coverage seen as biased. No-one here can dictate what an ex-Dublin footballer with a brother on the current team gets paid to say in the national media. You can hardly condemn him either. He’s not there to be strictly fair, he’s there to appeal to the largest audience possible. I’ll take Brogan’s approach over Martin Carney’s any day of the week. If I was a Mayo supporter, I’d be livid, but not with Alan, or Ciaran.

    Who’s job it *is* to be fair and balanced, is the referee. I think we need to give them the benefit of the doubt that they will do the job they are supposed to. Not easily done, mind you. “Dublin” Joe McQuillian may never ref another Dubs game again – there was no Dublin media involved in making that nickname stick. It was solely his intervention that had James McCarthy Black-Carded last time out.

    I enjoy this blog, I’ve learned alot from it, but I fully understand this is a Mayo Blog, and I have no illusions as to where it’s loyalties lie. But sometimes harsh objectivity is called for. You cannot possibly demonise Dublin by claiming that they are a win-at-all-costs outfit, when the very Mayo player in question here is on the record saying *exactly* the same thing:

    “If you’re going to win the All-Ireland you have to have these actions. Unfortunately, they mightn’t be the best viewing at times but if you’re going to win a game you have to win it at all costs for your team.”

    They are HIS words.

    I have to tip my hat to Lee, I really do. Don’t get me wrong, I detest the sight of him, but he does his talking on the pitch, and it’s a loud roar he has there. If he wore blue, there’d be a poster of him wedged between my Philly and Diarmuid ones.

  19. Dublin so far have aced the PR stakes. Put bluntly I have no faith in Maurice Deegan. We reference the All Ireland final v Donegal and Brolly. Have people forgotten the league final 3 months earlier with Deegan v Cork. Let the Irish Independent report refresh you.

    “Indeed, an incident in the 56th minute will have occupied much of the post-match discussion among Mayo supporters as it handed Cork a sizeable advantage which they exploited clinically before living off the interest of their investment all the way to the finish line.

    Mayo were trailing by two points when wing-back Lee Keegan drove hard the centre of the Cork defence, but just as he was about to get into a shooting position, he was tackled by Cork midfielder Pearse O’Neill.

    Keegan stumbled and the ball squirted forward, allowing Cork to begin a counter-attack which presented Fintan Goold with a point opportunity. His shot clattered off an upright and fell invitingly into the hands of Aidan Walsh, who beat David Clarke from close range.
    In less than a minute, Mayo had not only lost a possible goal-scoring opportunity but also conceded a goal at the other end, leaving them five points adrift. It was a defining moment as Cork, backed by an icy cold wind, were never going to be caught from there on.

    Were Mayo hard done by in the Keegan incident? Probably. Keegan appeared to be clipped by O’Neill but it was difficult for referee Maurice Deegan to tell whether it had caused him to stumble or whether that was already happening before O’Neill made contact. Deegan gave the benefit of the doubt to Cork and they hit the jackpot again almost immediately with their second goal.”

    So Deegans All Ireland performance mirrored his shitty league final performance. Interestingly Barney Rock once said “nobody in the GAA world takes Mayo seriously”. We all have our opinions and I can see why Barney choose that one. However he hit a sore. We are looking for “pundits” to stand up for us. Well fuck them, none of them seem to be able to get the message across because they have that old Mayo trait, too effing nice.

    Too nice , not articulate enough, no grasp of history, no quick retort along the lines of “Jesus Joe/Colm/Pat/Ciaran/Paul/Alan you’re not serious here are you, Lee a bad boy…and Philly? What about Coopers effort at halving young O Connor in last years semi…come on folks, get real here”. Instead we are at the mercy of O Hara (1 Connacht medal), Cake, Dessie Dolan and Tom Carr county status to be defined.

    Alas too late in the day looking for fire now. Our @pundits” are puss poor, nice lads, pat on the head shite but no grit, no bite. We allow fat Des to smile that knowing smile at us. We allow Lyster to smirk. I tuned out on Chocolate Des two decades ago when he described Mayo followers as “going bananas”. What did he want them to do, start a decade of the rosary.

    Look I’m getting thick. Our words won’t matter from here in in. So the players better carry that fucking thickness that has allowed Mayo people to prosper world wide. Ram it down those throat next Saturday. They will do it to us if they can. So let’s end the nice guy shite once and for all. Don’t depend on a Dublin centred media to do it. Aghhh

  20. The Dublin scribes (ex footballers ) conveniently forget Connolly’s record against numerous opponents. Also a blind eye turned to the behaviour of Dublin defenders over recent years. e.g. eye-gouging, biting etc. And the battle between Connolly and Philly which continued on the sideline after both had been sent off in the Dublin championship.

  21. Interesting headline from Clarke.

    “Lee Keegan pulling out of Connolly”. I didn’t know that type of thing was going on between them. Maybe they should get a room!

    Seriously though lads. Look we have them rattled. They are behaving like a cornered rat.
    We have them where we want them. Mayo players have got this in the bag.

    Keegan could say to Connolly on saturday, “Dermot, you blew it the last day when ya went for glory with 40 seconds left. We wouldn’t even be here today in Croke Park if ya had done what Kilkenny wanted to do and keep the ball”.

  22. Jaden, even though you’re a Dub I don’t understand why you detest Lee Keegan, yet you have a poster of Connolly and McMahon, so you obviously adore them. Connolly and McMahon will punch, eye gouge, and bully opponents. Keegan never gets violent, he engages in the dark arts, but never attacks an opponent.

  23. All this noise..and that’s exactly what it is is a sure sign the dubs aren’t confident going into the replay. This of course should be meaningless once a ref does his job properly but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen and refs can indeed be influenced by this rubbish. I do think though that some of the ex Mayo lads in the media should call this as it is..a smear campaign against Leroy.

  24. People talking about 2012 like it was the refs fault. We weren’t good enough that day, we didn’t deserve it. It’s nothing to do with the ref.

    That’s the sort of house of pain stuff this squad has left behind!

    The media will balance itself this week, the neutrals will come towards Mayo because the Dublin force as been out loud and proud.

    The media won’t kick any points on Saturday so i wouldn’t be getting excited.

  25. I’m with you ‘softandcraggy’. We don’t want to cast ourselves as ‘victims’. Just go and play.
    One thing we could do is for our sideline people keep the pressure on the the officials.

  26. Think everyone needs to take a deep breath. People are working themselves into a frenzy. Ex Dublin player backs current Dublin player, followed by pope and Catholic and bears and woods.
    It’s a nice day outside, maybe take a break from Twitter and the other online outlets. After all, this is the last Tuesday anyone under the age of 65 from Mayo will be able say they haven’t seen us win Sam.

  27. Jaden,I enjoy your posts,and can see where you are coming from in defending your team,but the media is all Dublin biased,so we need to step up to the plate to defend our team,it will be very hard fo a ref not to notice the constant attacks on Lee,so we must try and draw attention to the behaviour of Cooper,Philly,Small ,Mac C Dermo,and Killkenny

  28. I detest the sight of him, but admire him all the same. I don’t see the hypocrisy of a grudging respect.

    On the other hand, calling players “Total scum” is something I wouldn’t like to think I’d ever stoop to. And if I did, I hope that someone would call me out on it, and tell me to cop the fuck on.

    Lee Keegan, Diamuid Connolly, Ciaran Donaghy, Philly McMahon, Neil McGee. You could argue ’til the cows come home on who is the worst offender on the pitch. But then again, tell me which one you wouldn’t want on your team.

    P.S. The posters thing was a metaphor.

  29. Maigh eo go deo you are completely missing jadens point here and calling people scum helps in no way , in fact it just tarnishes mayo fans.

    this is a concerted effort by dublin ex-players through the media to influence Maurice deegan.

    we now need an effort from our ex-players to bring the narrative back to the even keel that both players are locked in a duel.

    if deegan is biased towards lee and sends him off saturday then thise dublin ex-players will be delighted and can expect back-slaps in all their clubhouses.

    where are our corps now ? time to step up lads , you will all be on the radio and on paper this week

  30. Fair play hopespringseternal.
    Cooper kicked coc as he came off the pitch.
    Not a word.
    We all know who broke John Finn’s jaw in 1985 and they are still up to their underhanded nasty stuff.
    Would not give tuppence for brolly and his ilk!

  31. deegans reputation took a bit hit after the 2012 final for letting the media influence him and I’m pretty sure he won’t want that to happen again. What are the odds Keegan and Connolly beat the shite of each other and neither get carded. It does make for a toxic atmosphere though. Dublins enforcers will be out in full force next sat, they will punch kick bite gouge and do whatever they have to do to get on top, we have to take it and give it back two fold. Lads like AOS need to keep out of it as much as possible as there’s always a different rule for big men but boyler and co, go out there and do damage. Kevin mcmanamen attempted to injure Diarmuid at the start of the drawn game and he was carded, that set the tone for the day, players knew they wouldn’t get away with it. Expect to see similar at the start of the next game, if no card is shown its all out war!

  32. I think one of our best pundits will speak out about this soon and hopefully the rest will follow.

  33. Everyone is expecting the big showdown between Keegan and Connelly. It could actually be a damaging distraction. If I was SR I would consider putting Keith Higgins on Diarmuid Connelly on Saturday. If he thinks Keegan is tough he would need to experience zippy for a while! Who was it said Higgins is the best defender he ever played against? Gooch I think.
    Keegan then would have more freedom to burst forward. Could make the difference.

  34. Not impressed with Damien Dempsey being announced as the musical act before the match starts the GAA did the same thing last year they got Aslan to perform before the replay another true blue dub band who preceded to rev us the crowd with shouts of up the Dubs etc Damo Dempsey will do the exact same it shouldn’t be allowed it should be a musical act from a non competing county that might sound a little daft but I guarantee you the object of the excercise is to whip the Dub fans into a frenzy. Let’s hope we win despite all the odds

  35. Jaden. You’re clearly embarrassed about me calling you out on your comment that Keegan had “fist pumped” when Connolly received a yellow card and you’re just trying to get back at me 😛

  36. Damien Dempsey could possibly be the real danger man. Maybe it would be a good tactic to switch Keegan on to him.

  37. @Maigh Eo Go Deo. When I first saw it, I was full sure that that’s what he was doing. Upon repeated viewing, I’m not so sure, and will have to concede that he deserves the benefit of the doubt in this case. I’ll content myself with the notion that he was happy about it on the inside. 🙂

    Objectivity is getting harder and harder to maintain as the week drags on. I shudder to think of my mental condition come Saturday afternoon.

    I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this.

    @Berry solid idea. We’ll leave Connolly on stand-by in case the backup entertainment is Nathan Carter.

  38. The papers sell more copies in Dublin. Therefore a Dublin bias is in their interest. Sadly, it also potentially influences those in charge of officiating the game, potentially helping to get a Dublin victory and even greater sales of papers. Again, this is in their own interest. The beast feeding the beast.
    Yesterday, Brolly stated on Twitter that he did not believe in balance. In including the Irish Independent in that tweet, he has also stated that the Independent also has no interest in balance.
    So we will have to find balance elsewhere. We have numerous people from the county working in national media. Where the hell are they when their county now needs them?
    As Andy Moran said some time ago, we are all in this together.

    Will the real men please stand up!


  39. Hope ye all have hotels booked for sat the 8th I think this could have a Dublin v Meath saga of 1991 about it

  40. Laugh all ye want but a Dublin band providing the “entertainment” is another subtle advantage but sure I suppose he was cheap and won’t cost the Grab all association too much

  41. Even before this latest pot stirring orchestrated by Dublin pr machine i was worried it could boil over a la 1996 replay. Deggan needs to be strong from the start.

  42. So I actually think when our defence is fresh a switch out of Leeroy might be worth a shot. Try and get him to bag a point and a goal chance.
    Then late on when we have a few leaks appearing like any 55min+ defence, put Leeroy back on Connolly.
    All year we really haven’t had enough scores on the board in first 55 mins. Only the Kildare game.

  43. Jaden. Just a point in relation to Keegans “fist pumping”. I dont know where you were in the ground but it was pretty obvious to anyone down that end that keegan was getting onto the umpires. And remember this is the end the majority of the Dublin fans were but yet the line was trotted out that keegan was celebrating
    Now think about this objectively. Why in the name of god would keegan be celebrating this. He is the defender on a yellow card. All of a sudden the forward has an advantage. This is something that is lost in all this noise about connolly / keegan. The defender on a yellow is always an advantage to the forward but we are now been lead to believe that keegan is instigating all these situations

  44. @Ollie, it’s an interesting point.

    I don’t doubt that you would normally be correct. A yellow apiece usually favours the Forward. However, this pairing is not your typical scenario.

    Lee is sent out to do a job. The job is to nullify Connolly at all costs. Anything that limits the effectiveness of Connolly is alright as far as Keegan is concerned. Getting him booked goes a long way to doing this – Lee is happy to take one for the team here. On 61/62 minutes, he has done something that takes at least some of the usual “last ten minute sting” out of the Dubs attack.

    Lee sacrifices alot of his typical game to keep Dermo quiet. He is, I think, only one point behind Aidan O’Shea in terms of scoring this year. This part of his game, as an attacking wing back, is an important facet of his contribution. Him and Higgins do this well.

    I’ll put it this way: If Lee was offered a black card apiece for him and Connolly in the 1st minute of the replay, I think he’d jump at the chance. While this hurts Mayo, it hurts Dublin more. Lee is effective in his role, but Connolly let loose can cause game changing damage.

    What do you think?

  45. Roger milla ya I think so.it would need to be a draw after extra time for replay but never say never.

  46. @mayomanindublin – You’re correct, only one other, the League Game in Feb. Not sure how that’s connected to the discussion at hand.

  47. I can see why Jaden would detest him. Let’s be honest if he was a Dub we would too. He is not though he is our man. That’s the beauty of sport I suppose. I get annoyed I guess because Dublin have got the better of us in the PR game not because Lee is in danger of losing his spot in the queue for being Canonised

  48. Oh Christ Aidan, don’t even go there – I have flights booked to the US for the 5th and I booked them deliberately (back in June!) around the possibility of an All-Ireland final replay …

  49. Pat, im not sure we have lost the PR game. Its not hard to see through this Dublin media blitz for what it is, a very scared outfit that is on the backfoot scrambling to get back on its high pedestal. it would be very easy for the mayo outfit to come out and challange the accusations thrown about but that would mean them taking their mind off of what matters, preparing to win.

    Mayo are quietly going about their business while all of Dublin are acting like a spoilt child that didnt get it way. We will turn up on saturday, take their precious Hill again and finally snatch their rattle away.

  50. Well now Conroy didn’t say half enough. What airwaves was he on? Damn Ye all! I go away for a breather last night. Get up calmer in the morning and see independent and then red. Come on here this afternoon and it’s like a pressure cooker exploding or ready to explode. Ye all need to get on the hill on Saturday and explode there. Also the hatred between fans on social media is getting a bit much and a bit dangerous. It’s too nasty.

  51. Jesus Willie Joe, I was away for a few days and I feel as if I have returned from another planet. You’ve certainly been busy.

    On Deegan, there’s no point in moaning now. Like Brexit, it’s a question of what we do about it. I presume, and sincerely hope that Rochy has spent a lot of his waking hours pondering this one, and that he has a plan, both for the Dubs and for the ref. One possible glimmer is that Deegan was linesman and so will have his own opinions on how the drawn match went. We’ve got to be tuned in to his moods, no whinging, no stupid stuff, but giving it to the Dubs with as much legitimate intensity as is possible.

  52. It is important to highlight D.Connolly’s holding of two Mayo men as he must be getting upset at the concentration on Lee Keegan. It is also equally important to mention Dr Philly Mc Mahon’s open-air clinics near the Dublin goal.He guarantees a thorough examination and, unlike Specsavers, no appointment is necessary.

  53. I see your point Mayomad and yeah I think we are handling it well etc. However the same ref was influenced in 2012 and it could happen again

  54. You have made an absolute mockery of the smear campaign WJ.

    Mossy Quinn will be getting a new script for Off the Ball on Thursday!

  55. There is no question Ciaran Whelan does his bit for Dublin.

    After last years quarter final against Fermanagh there was plenty of guffaws and crack about the alleged quigley goal where he allegedly pushed Cluxton over the line. On the Sunday game that night, Whelan got very antsy complaining about the officials giving weaker teams decisions against the Dubs and it needed to stop.

    Then Des Cahill asked him “is there a possibility the ball was over the line before quigley pushed him”….at which point i jumped out of my seat and said about bloody time as i that is what i believed occured all along and indeed thanks to the technology that is Sky plus have the bloody proof too. Cluxton caught the intial ball about a 1-2 foot inside the line and i believe the umpire correctly awarded the goal as a result of this – that Quigley pushed him into the goal half a second later was an irrelevance….

    …but to my dismay Whelan responded petulantly to Cahill and said “not at all the ball was not over the line and went on another monologue about the anti-Dub bias of referees”. I sent the conclusive pictures to Joe.ie, Off the ball etc…no one gave a sh*te. The narrative was quigley got a goal for pushing Cluxton over the line and Whelan’s plan worked a treat. RTE had the bloody technology to do the same thing i did in my living room to prove the case one way or the other but instead just relied on the word of a worked up Whelan in rant mode. This was before a semi-final against Mayo.

    no doubt he is at it again but i’d hope refs take no heed…don’t believe his outburst after fermanagh did by the way…but we know it goes on.

  56. THE articles in the papers are there to sell papers, and there are over one million people in DUBLIN,I hope we are not looking for excuses,and thinking we are going to be the victim of poor refeering decisions WE AS SUPPORTERS NEED TO BE GETTING OUR FLAGS and voices ready for saturday at 4.30 when the mayo team arrive on the field and keep cheering and roaring the team on until the final whistle is sounded.WE need a positive mental attitude from now until the match.I have complete faith in the management and players to win the all-ireland final. THE SUPPORTERS must believe it as well.

  57. I’ve a feeling Lee Keegan is going to get some welcome to croke park the next day. This for me is what all this paper trash talk is about. Those of us wearing the green and red tinted glasses would feel that Keegan is more sinned against than sinner when it comes to Connolly and I don’t feel for one minute these ex dublin players want the ref to keep to close an eye on it just in case the wonderful Diarmuid has another brain fart and see’s the line. I’ve a feeling Dublin will really target Keegan the next day and they are trying to put it out there that with the usual carry on of Keegan, anything he gets is fair game.
    Over the last few meetings Dublin had the luxury of sacrificing Connolly to restrict Keegan. I think Gavin is now starting to realise with the other forwards not performing he needs to get more out of Connolly. They will be coming up with some strategy to get Connolly free from his grip and this I feel will carried be carried out by any means neccesary

  58. I`m a bit worried that we could easily develop a siege mentality. I would`nt like the

    players to go out thinking — `they`re all agin us`. Personally I would prefer our boys

    to fiercely focus on “the round white thing”. Go bald headed for it. But stay within the

    rules of engagement. Banish every other thing from the head. As Gerard further up

    the page said — Controlled aggression and composure. If I could talk to the players

    that would be my constant refrain. Its the BALL you want!

  59. Yes leemuid is hitting the headlines. But that’s only 1 battle mayo have to win. We need to nullify all there attacking threats as much as we can. We need lots of tracking done. Keegan is well able for Diarmuid. We all know that. But he needs an odd attack as well to support our forward line. I’m sure all the analysis is done. Plan is in place. We’re looking good. 50 50 game again. Who ever can canter down the final furlong will win.

  60. @pat – He’s picking a blade of grass of Lee’s gum shield, while Lee is trying to get a look at Diarmuid’s new Tattoo.

    Isn’t that obvious? 🙂

  61. Pat. What Connolly is doing is known as a fish hook. You may remember Paul Galvin getting an 8 week ban for something similar a few years back. Or maybe Lee is biting his thumb. Poor Diarmiud. Why always me

  62. Don’t you find it ironic the amount of closed fisted punches Connolly dishes out to his victims . Looks at the hair brush during the Westmeath match or worse again the several punches Connolly threw to the face of lee Keegan when he was on. The ground and unable to defend himself in the drawn game in 2015 .

    Isn’t it funny how the same people are always victims IE Philly McMahon , Connolly , cooper . You never hardly ever get that from rock brogan or Bastik.

  63. Small point @ Left Half Back – Bastick was at one time, the most prolific collector of Red cards on the squad.

    Sent off in the 2006 Game with Mayo.
    Had an incident with Donaghy the water carrier in 2009.

    It’s a long list, but these days, his behavior is exemplary.

  64. Bastick was sent off against Mayo?
    Don’t think that’s correct, if it’s the semi final you’re talking about anyway!

  65. You’re right, I’ve Mayo on the Brain, he was one of four (I think) sent off in the Battle of Omagh. Jasus, we got into a fair few scraps that year.

  66. Don’t worry, we all have Mayo on the brain.
    Has been stated before but it’s high time Brady, Casey, Carney got going in the media. This shite talk about Keegan has been in all the papers today. Them boys were all over the press coming up to the drawn match. They need to get going now and earn their crust. Point out Connolly’s punches, how Aidan still isn’t getting frees etc. and rubbish this Keegan talk.

  67. I feel helpless!! Someone do something!!! Get some inspiration out there to supporters on how to raise their game higher than last week. We were amazing last week. Never heard/saw us so good. But now we need more than that. That massive Mayo flag would be a help.

  68. Tuesday, still no ticket but not panicking, some promises, like the game, stick with the process. At least it keeps my mind on something else other than the game until I get tickets sorted. Think there will be an unreal panic re tickets on Friday night and Saturday as extra tickets going to clubs on Thursday night!

  69. All the talk about Lee and Diamond Really. If Aiden O Shea was to react to all the abuse he gets in the same way DC does he’d be sent packing. How many times did Connolly hit Lee in the face. Who yanked whose jersey first? I don’t care whether our Mayo pundits raise these issues or not but I hope I’ll never feel so angry and abused as I was after that famous game in Limerick. I expect Mayo to win with or without Lee. Whether we are as good a team as Dublin or not I know that the hurt pain and frustration, when channeled positively is what will win it for us. Mayo forever.

  70. True toughnup but Connolly has 3 All Ireland’s and 4 leagues.
    Lee Keegan and this team need this title

  71. I believe extra tickets from the minor counties going to clubs on Wednesday/Thursday.i see the Dublin hill 16 page giving out again about tickets!

  72. I’m fully aware of that. I’m just highlighted why st Diarmuid has only 1 all star despite being so talented

  73. Hey everyone,time to calm it now.
    Alto its hard to take this crap we know what we have to do. Make our voices louder and louder when an injustice done to Lee. He’s Player of the Year in my book. What he did for Mayo team in drawn game was unreal. Dont worry he’s got it covered.
    For my tuppence worth I think SR and McEntee are going to come up with masterplan sat even. I think Lee will not be on DC as DC may be on bench and be “super sub”(pardon the dub phrase)
    Anyway I dream of singing Moonlight in Mayo in Croker under the lights after 7 and hopefully looking to the moon and the heavens.
    Keep calm when all the others are losing theirs.

  74. After watching that game through i am rippin at the amount of chances we spurned and the amount of stuff they got away with.No need to list them…! That Dub team was beaten home but for a bit of steadiness all over the field on our part. Andy, Aos, Sos,PD, KH,DV CB, K mcL,Doc….!! They will all know it more than anyone and will take the necessary action to drive home the killer blows on Sat. You create the chances , you finish them off! It’s not complete until you do.
    Everyone needs to be more than careful of cards without letting up on intensity or aggression!
    And I would like to see this slad happening at the beginning of the game and see it through to the end so that we can all enjoy this great enterprise. Its just a wish! Its not at all beyond us but its just too imp to be leaving it till the end bearing in mind our luck. This team is ripe for the slaughter. We are ready to execute!!

  75. I am sure that all attention on Connolly and Keegan must be a distraction for players. Time that media focus on game not the player s in question.

  76. Not much mention of Michael Daragh McAuley and his blatant studs into Leroy’s ankle in the first half and then a neck roll on Cillian in the second. Dublin consistently do third man “interference” – not quite a tackle but disrupt the opposition from tracking a man by systematically running across their path. Hopefully Deegan isn’t this easily led but it is setting up Dublin to retaliate first with impunity. The only way to beat this is raise the intensity out the field and give them no time on the ball.

    I will not be able to make the match Saturday as I will be in South Africa. I know you are not a fan of Sky Willie Joe but I am hoping to see the game on Sky Go. Rte bias is p#$*ing me off anyway. I will be wearing my Mayo jersey with pride. Hon Maigheo.

  77. Players won’t be anywhere near social media this week of any sort.they prob won’t even be reading papers either.
    Dublin media campaign is aimed at trying to catch attention of match officials!

  78. Sinead37 I think the huge plus Mayo have going into this replay is the positive influences of Stephen Rochford. Here you have a relatively young manager who obviously thinks deeply about strategies, gameplans, and how best to implement them, by first of all getting matchups right. It’s hard to believe he has just been in charge since last Dec. I notice the team is growing in confidence with each outing, and he seems to be the 16 player. I expect the winning of this game will come down to Mayo’s forward play. Stephen mentioned in an interview yesterday that Mayo will need to score a goal to carry the day. He gave scant mention to Dublin, and you really got the feeling he knows Mayo have it within themselves to play better and more cohesievly up front. This time they will not accept No for an answer! By the way, I heard the nee Brigid Jones Diaries is a scream if you still need to chill! Lol

  79. This thread is pissing me off. Either the Mayo pundits reflect on Dublin’s misdemeanours or not and move on. Ref and his linesmen will either be influenced or not, move on. Neither of these are within our control on this blog. We have a game to be won and our role is the 16th. We’ve seen them meltdown over yonder on Reservoir Dubs after the match, we don’t need to replicate over here.
    As far as I can see our scope for comments is MacCauley getting lucky not once but twice and persistent technical fouls by 2 of their players as well as McMenamon taking out Diarmaid for which he got punishment. I didn’t spot any shenanigans from Philly or Cooper during the game so unlikely anything they did after whistle at the end of the game will sway opinion. Poor sportsmanship alright but Cillian had been pushing for Mayo decisions earlier including the Mccarthy card so they were still peeved with him.
    Yes could be a nasty affair on Saturday but we were afraid last year’s replay would be a farce and turned out game of the year. Ref can set down a marker early and also speak to captains if there’s an unsavoury edge.

  80. I don’t believe it, in The Examiner this morning:

    Ger Brennan urges officials to keep close eye on Lee Keegan

    Ger Brennan has added to the growing chorus of Dublin GAA personalities calling for Lee Keegan to be watched closely by match officials in his anticipated duel with Diarmuid Connolly on Saturday.

    Brennan also claimed the Mayo attack also crossed the line in the drawn game as much as he was complimenting them for it.

  81. Article in The Independent where spokesperson for Hill 16 is complaining about tickets going to other counties are ending up in the hands of Mayo Supporters not Dubs. This is not fair as The Dubs get large crowds at their matches. The Independent contacted the GAA for comment.
    We will beat the Dubs, their supporters and the media on Saturday. Mayo4Sam

  82. Ger Brennan. Another filthy player. They can say what they like. Referees know the story. They won’t be swayed by this. In fact the dubs will be happy enough that keegan may not be scoring threat again the next day. But I have a feeling a curve ball is in place for Saturday. Can’t wait.

    I’m urging fans don’t get riled up by thus stuff. Stay focused. Games are not won on paper. They are won on grass

  83. Ger Cafferkey is a great lad. Huge respect. This stuff is riling me up. I wanted something to as I was wondering how I could beat my own performance the last day. I know I can now. But I would rather a diff reason for my energy!!!

  84. And yes toughnup Bridget Jones is hilarious. Would recommend to all here for a break from leemuid!!!!! Men would even like it. Maybe Dublin ex players could do with going.

  85. Let’s make sure Lee gets a roar from us on Saturday when his name is announced on the team sheet that will be heard in Keem Bay!

  86. To be honest I think they may have gone one article too far this morning with Ger Brennan… Connolly may have had a bad rap 5 years ago!! Who is he really trying to kid here, did he not try to decapitate James Dolan in the Westmeath game just 10 weeks ago and get sent off against Donegal a few weeks later. Laying the seeds early on for Deegan may have been one thing, but going OTT with the campaign may just backfire on the Dubs!
    And I agree on the massive roar and a standing ovation for Keegan when his name is called out on Sat… Hopefully I will get my hands on a ticket!!

  87. If one or two dubs had came out and mentioned lee it would have been better for them, this systematic campaign is incredibly transparent and if anything will more then likely go against them.

  88. And if pre-match entertainment is too biased in Dubs favour (Damien Dempsey I think?) then we should just start our noise early and drown him out!

  89. Oh and just for a laugh the #ThingsLeeDid campaign on Twitter is hilarious… so if ya want to lighten the mood a bit lets get it trending today 🙂

  90. #ThingsLeeDid xD Hahahahah brilliant Trevor Naughton for getting it going

    Everybody, weigh in and get it trending nationwide!

  91. I just wonder is the real purpose of this to get into Lee’s head and not the referee? It’s hard for him to focus properly with all this going on. I sincerely hope he is insulated from it all.

  92. Exactly Niallmc1983, exactly.

    They’ve fucked up royally here. It’s clearly a systematic campaign to release these comments as the week has gone on. But it’s just too many now, they’re looking foolish.

    Deegan was influenced in 2012 and must be aware of the fall-out from that.
    If I were him (and I’m glad I’m not on Saturday…), I’d find this all insulting to my character and reputation.
    The Dub’s clearly see him as a weak ref who can be influenced. The will hopefully make him more determined than ever to prove them wrong.

    I saw Brady yesterday and now Caff today have commented. Let’s leave it there and let the Dub’s continue to make complete arses of themselves.

  93. Now it’s Brennan, a man who got sent off v Mayo 2013 league for decking 2 Mayo players and liberal use of the size 10s. Looking forward to Ciaran Duff and Brian Mullins vets of 1983 when Galway were ambushed by the Dubs. Or maybe the coward who broke John Finns jaw ’85 might stick his hand up all those years later. I mean they portray themselves as MEN who can take it

  94. Was Ger Brennan not to same man who was off of Cillian unjured shoulder in 2013?
    Btw Ger, Connolly wont venture into ff as its much harder for an umpire to see a fist flying from 45m away than 5m away.

    I agree that the Dubs are making a laughing stock of themselves at this stage, its way too much and now the whole country are picking up on the panic, Deegan may have been swayed by a couple of choice comments in the media but at this stage even he must get a giggle out of the desperation of ex dublin players.

  95. This absolutely reeks of pure desperation. It’s getting pretty pathetic to be honest and has the potential to backfire spectacularly on them.

    I reckon Lee and the rest of his colleagues can only be emboldened by this bullsh’t.

  96. John Cuffe.

    The “coward who broke John Finns jaw in 85” will not be holding his hand up anytime soon. It would be too embarrassing for (reasons we wont go into here out of respect of the house rules) the current Dublin team.

    As for Brian Mullins and Ciaran Duff in 83 v Galway. Them gents were in a league of their own. Exemplary behaviour at all times of course.

  97. If keegan got forward early on and popped 1 over the bar it would be some crowd rowser. There campaign could blow up in their face

  98. Wish I was there for the match…living in Paris…will watch it over there in on GO GAA…… will be tight…25 degrees in.Paris today….

    Allez les vert et rouge!!!

  99. Apologies to Mayo fans about the bs being spoken about Lee. He is a fantastic player and us dubs know that . Connolly n Keegan respect each other n I wish the pundits would just stop trying to be controversial .If Mayo or Dublin win it will be because they were the better team .
    I will have a pint with my mates and the Mayo fans afterwards .

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