Dublin expects

Photo: Irish Mirror (Inpho/Donall Farmer)

It’s two months that have passed since Mayo’s defeat at the hands of Kildare but the blood-letting of the past week has ensured that, even on All-Ireland final week, Mayo is still the biggest GAA story in town. But let’s take our eyes off Mayo and look at this final before framing it in the context of the next phase for Mayo.

The last two months has given me an opportunity to watch a considerable amount of football through unbiased eyes. When I watched Dublin in the past, I was always trying to weigh them up from the perspective of what chinks Mayo could find in their armour. This year I just sat back and observed.

At the same time, I have read a number of books on what it takes to perform at a high level. One of the most interesting was Bob Rotella’s How Champions Think: In Sports and in Life. Looking primarily at his experiences of dealing with US sports people in golf, basketball and baseball, Bob outlines the attributes of those he describes as extraordinary people. He talks about the difference between practice and performance, the need to get beyond the comfort zone, the attitude of winners and trusting the “learned unconscious”.

It was this notion of the learned unconscious that piqued my interest and one that I found again in Dave Alred’s The Pressure Principle. It concentrates on taking the skills learned in practice, and utilising them to their full potential in a performance situation.

So how does this relate to Dublin? We have often heard people complain that Dublin play like robots. They have several similar players and they seem to have a conveyor belt of new replacements every year. But that is just a reflection of what they do in training. They do the same things over and over again until it can be done without thinking about it. It becomes the learned unconscious.

They work to a system. When they break, they work the ball up to the 65m line and then use a 3-man move to break the opposition blanket defence (which everyone uses now). One guy has the ball, a second makes a run, pulling a defender with him and creating a hole in the blanket. A third guy runs into the space created and collects the ball facing in the direction of the opposition goal. This pushes the defence back and creates the space for a shot. If the shot is not on, they do the 3-man move again and try to draw a foul or get a shot off from the scoring zone.

In defence, they work in twos. One guy makes the challenge (concentrating on physically dispossessing the opponent) the other guy’s job is to get the ball.

Their game plan is also the same from day to day. The first 20 minutes are all about putting 6-8 points on the board, the next 15 is about the longer pass, the faster break and the potential for the goal. The second half starts by reverting to getting 4-6 points in the first 15 minutes, then upping the pace by running the bench and wearing the opposition down with relentless scoring. Sometimes, against the stronger teams, they go for a goal earlier, just to sow doubts in the opponents’ minds while reinforcing their belief in their own system.

While they practice this in training all the time, they must have a difficulty in trying to create the pressure scenarios that will transition practice into performance. Given that, the Super 8s were an absolute godsend for Dublin. It gave them a chance to push themselves in pressure situations, while still having the belief that they would win.

Another way that they create performance pressure is by pushing the players to do media work. Give them the script (a mini system), put them in a situation where they are asked questions by strangers (pressure). Assess their performance and give them feedback afterwards.

This concentration on following a system has worked all year and, in the All-Ireland, they will come up against another team that works to a system. Tyrone’s system is not as sophisticated and it relies on a relatively simple strike and defend process.

The key to success in Tyrone’s system is converting each attack into a score, thereby leading from the front for as much of the game as possible. However, if Tyrone go 5 or 6 points down, the confidence in their system goes down, they start chasing the game, their system then goes out the window and the game is lost.

I expect that will be the situation around the 55 minutes mark on Sunday. Dublin expects, and I can’t see their procession to four-in-a-row being disrupted. If their winning margin is less than 8 points, I will be surprised.

So the inevitable questions arises, why have Mayo pushed Dublin so hard in All-Ireland finals? The reason is that Mayo got under their skin and disrupted the system. Mayo pressured all three men in the Dublin attacking system and gave them no time on the ball. Make no mistake, Dublin feared Lee Keegan, they didn’t like Cillian O’Connor and they had a healthy respect for a few more of the Mayo crew.

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

They do not regard any other team in this way because no other team disrupts their current system like we did. They trust the system and expect to win, but when their opposition creates doubts, they wobble.

Remember the way Donegal took them apart a few years ago when the Dublin defensive system was destroyed? Dublin completely collapsed that day as the system failed and their confidence failed with it. The following year they redesigned their defensive system, brought in a few hard men (most notably Cooper and McMahon) and started to use a sweeper. It was enough (just) to keep ahead of us in the following three years. Regrettably though, there is nothing more we can do about it this year. Dublin are cantering to a four-in-a-row and we are on the outside looking in.

But as the evenings begin to close in, as the Mayo blood-letting ceases, whoever is in charge next year will get back to the drawing board. The No 1 priority of the new management team will not just be to get back to where we were, but to come back better than before. To achieve this, we need stop thinking of ourselves as the second best team in the country and start working on a system that will make us the best.

As Bob Rotella says, “If you are always concentrating on making the cut, you will never win the championship”. We need to have our own system that WE impose on others. We need to be brave and the incoming management team must take bold steps to instil that bravery in the squad.

We have the talent in the county that is required to bring us back to the top table, but we must start putting trust in the new lads that are breaking into the squad. And a key thing that must be done is to bring in a forwards coach into the backroom team who will concentrate on how we can get a higher return from our forwards.

As a Cairde Maigheo member, I’ll be renewing my membership for 2019 as soon as it is available.

But for now, despite all the noise that we will hear about four-in-a-row, there is work to be done to get the squad ready for what that next season will bring.

Keep the Faith!

154 thoughts on “Dublin expects

  1. Good, thought-provoking piece WJ. I agree that the Dubs will win, but as it’s a final I disagree with your prediction of the margin – they’ve never won a final by more than three points. I think that’ll roughly be their winning margin on Sunday, and they won’t be too bothered what anyone thinks of it.

    That would also fit in with one really notable thing about this Dublin team; they must be close to, if not the best team in a tight finish that the game has seen. Their composure at the very end of big games is staggering. Aside from edging past ourselves in three finals, the best example had to be the semi against Kerry in 2016. Five points down at half-time and they just mercilessly clawed it back, only retaking the lead in the 71st minute. That’s balls of steel right there.

    Tyrone will give it a lash, and for the sake of the spectacle I hope they don’t implode early like they did in last year’s semi. I don’t think they will. For me it’s Dublin to keep them in the game for an hour and then slip past them down the straight for four-in-a-row.

  2. Thanks, Davy, but it’s not MY piece – it’s a guest one by FourGoal. I agree with him, though, because even though the Dubs haven’t won their recent finals by much that’s because they were up against Kerry (in the rain) and us. Tyrone aren’t remotely near that level and I think that in the wide open spaces of Croke Park they could take a real tanking.

  3. Good piece fourgoal. Constantly amazes me that we never get this level of analysis from our national broadcaster, you look at others such as “don’t foul” who are unpaid amatuers at analysis and the level of insight is spot on.
    The people paid to do it are generally spouting nonsense about what happened in the 80s or focusing on the county cliché bingo which is predicated on whatever the county is typically known for is what is going to happen in that match “Galway have lovely footballers” “Meath never give up” “Kerry the aristocrats” etc. etc. etc.
    Some actual tactical analysis is very refreshing

  4. East Cork Exile – Sky is quite refreshing in that regard insofar as providing actual analysis of what to expect or what has gone on, rather than the dross that RTE pedal to us in return for the licence fee.

  5. Very good article, Fourgoal. The only thing I think we don’t agree on is the winning margin on Sunday. I’d love to see Tyrone win it but to my eye there’s only one likely result due. A battering. Tyrone don’t have the legs or skill to stop the monster and for that reason it could be a scoreline of 3-20 to 1-14 points or similar. I see a few of the Tyrone names and remember how they were very ordinary looking against this summer, specially against Monaghan. Mickey Harte May have coached them to 3 titles but that was a lifetime ago, Dublin were just a “ team” in those days , like everyone else. Today it’s like they are pros, racing up and down the pitch year round winning everything.
    Now to Mayo county board, get this mess sorted out and get James Horan and some good backup for him in place, ASAP, and let them start preparing to stop the 5 in a row.

  6. Excellent piece – really enjoyed that.

    Have read some of Rotella’s books and what he says makes so much sense, sounds so obvious and yet so many athletes/teams pay very little heed to getting these basics right.

  7. I fancy Tyrone to ambush the Dubs and win by a point or two. Very slow low key build up. Not even a word from ex dub players marking the refs card about Tyrone sledging or cynical play

  8. @backdoorsam Its possible Dublin don’t feel the need to have their ex players mark the refs card as the did in 2016.Sledging won’t bother Dublin,having to pay against somebody like Lee Keegan might.

    Personally dislike Tyrone because if the sledging,feigning injury etc and dislike Dublin because of all the unfair advantages afforded them.I really couldn’t care less who wins and it seems to be the final that’s captured the imagination the least in my memory.
    At a push I’d say Dublin by 6-8.

  9. I’m not sure Tyrone will win but think it could be tight. I’m not sure the dubs are at the same standard they were at last year. Connolly is a huge loss, and I don’t think their young players are as good as the old guard. I would include Byrne, lowndes, murchan, Costello, Scully, and O’Callaghan on that list. Howard is the real deal. Then again if the dubs get an early goal it could be a mauling!

  10. Dublin not this unbackabke since 1992? Still I think the dubs will win it with a bit to spare.

  11. Just can’t see Tyrone matching up with the Dubs. Their best bet imo is to play long periods of possession football in an attempt to keep score down. In that way they may sneak it. Dubs still very highly motivated, will be very determined to complete four timer and go after the elusive 5. They posses too much fire power for me.

  12. Expecting Tyrone to have a right go. Feel they are being completely underestimated. Tyrone by 4.
    Of course if they don’t then what about a dublin v a John Maughan inspired offaly final next year, with Séamus darbys grandson giving philly Mc a nudge in the back before rifling the ball to the net, preventing the 5 in a row.

  13. Dublin will win this well and it’ll be as boring as the football championship all year.
    No build up whatsoever to it. As much as I enjoy every game of football this is one I won’t be watching . Off with them with their sledging and cynicism. On further thinking maybe we should thank CB for keeping us in news all week and every sports programme as we seem to be the only footballing county everyone is interested in.
    God help us.
    Any chance of Kilmaine beating Westport at w’end!!!!

  14. Tyrone to win it with a bit to spare. Dublin don’t play than well in finals , Mayo should have taken them but for bad luck, marking men who were unable to walk , own goals, missing frees etc, Tyrone wont make them mistakes. Dublin defence is not great and most of their subs are forwards , also they are Missing Connolly and the Brogans this year, there are the men that always showed up in the finals when needed. So no surprise to me if Tyrone do a Donegal on them like twice in the past

  15. I’m surprised nobody has thought it worth mentioning that Carnacon’s appeal against Mayo Co Board has succeeded as I expected it would. Nor about Sarah Rowe’s getting a callup from Aussie Rules club, Collingwood, for the winter. She promises to be back for Mayo’s championship run next summer. Congrats to both her and Carnacon. Now lets hope that the Co Board can get their act together to make Sarah’s return in summer worthwhile. By the way can anybody tell me if Sarah is connected to Stanley Rowe of Ballina who played for Mayo in the early sixties?

  16. Think Dublin will win this pulling up, to cap off the worst year of football overall that I can remember in recent memory

  17. Great piece four goals.
    Now thats what i call analysis.
    Jack oconnor had zero respect for mayo football
    His words not mine.what has changed since.
    Theres only one man for the job in my opinion and thats horan.
    If the CB want to make up for this shambles we are in,they need to stop talking and start listening.
    Think an outside manager would be a very big gamble would take to much time to settle in.
    Horan knows mayo football inside out and demands perfection.

  18. in keeping with our fine tradition of being unable to keep on topic ………Theres bound to be someone on the CB who has Tommy Lyons number (and not Crossmolina Tommy), surely hes worth a bell 🙂

  19. Andy D
    Stanley Rowe is a first cousin of John Rowe who is Sarah’s Grandfather. Paddy Jordan former Mayo great is also her maternal grandfather
    The pedigree is good.

  20. Great piece Fourgoals well done sir. I cannot believe there are people out there expecting Tyrone to win, its quite amazing. Monaghan should have beaten them. I agree that all Cairde members should continue to buy their season tickets in 2019. I do not share your optimism regarding where the Mayo team will end up in 2019. It makes me nervous when people compare Mayo with Dublin or Kerry. There are so many deficiencies in the Mayo half of that comparison that I feel it is unfair at least. Dublin and Kerry are light years ahead in terms of structures, resources, finances, and organisation, Yes we will get a manager and a team to play next season. We may even start winning sometime in the future. But it is more likely to happen by chance rather than by design.

  21. Tyrone goan cop a whuppin’, 7-9 points I reckon. Their fans talk a good game about their pedigree in finals yards yadda but their forwards ain’t a patch on their side of the Noughties.

    Has the Sarah Rowe story been confirmed?

  22. We have been waiting on Tyrone now for a long time. Harte will have them biting, poking their fingers in opponents eyes, sledging and abusing their opponents all day long. When it ccomes to the football they are not strong enough or good enough. Their game plan has been found out and they have no plan B when they are 4 or 5 behind unless the other team are playing with 14 men. We have not seen Dublin in full flight yet this year. They were in 3rd gear in the semi final. Galway were pathetic in the second half. Their weakness is they do not know their best 25 players. They may not need to find out on Sunday.

  23. The only reason the 2016 & 2017 AI finals were close was that Dublin underperformed. The scoreline flattered us although many got ahead of themselves with all this rubbish that we’re the only team to challenge them. Tyrone will turn up in Croke Park on Sunday and do what Tyrone do when they get to finals – win !

  24. 45 is obviously looking for a response there…anyone willing…personally I couldn’t be arsed.

  25. That was a very insightful piece and reminds me of what is going on in soccer over the pond with the likes of Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea. These guys don’t bother with a plan B they just make sure to keep improving plan A. That’s what Dublin is like. However, like a professional side that have the money and the time to do that (The Dubs are always at home and not scattered to 4 corners of Ireland and beyond like us). Dublin will win this final at a canter. When Kerry were winning their 4-in-a-row in the 80s people accepted it as an exceptional team from a county with a tradition of playing winning football for generations. Dublin is different. This is a county where success comes from the advantages of population, continued investment of huge sums of money, location and obvious favouritism from the GAA in the face of competition from soccer and rugby within the city. My fear is that they are getting stronger and it’s strangling the game elsewhere. The obvious beneficiary is hurling which has never been as popular. If interested in the psychology of winning try reading “The Winner Effect” by Ian Robertson – it might be more entertaining than this Sunday’s All-Ireland final!

  26. Forgot there was a match this weekend . Got two phone calls ( from Dubs ) I’m involved with at club level to see did I want a ticket . Think Dubs have more quality player’s . Kills me but Dubs by 6/7 points

  27. as the match is coming closer I sneaky feeling Tyrone could sting Dublin I could be wrong change my mind who do you think will get manager job,

  28. Hoping for a Tyrone win for the ages but fear a statement by the Dubs to stake their claim emphatically. Sitting in 318 vs the Hill last year. Glad it’s not reversed. Seeing Rock’s kick flying straight at me is a sight I’d never get over. Dubs by seven.

  29. Thanks for your reply to my query re Sarah Rowe. My curiosity is satisfied. The name Rowe does not seem to be all that common and I guessed there would be some connection. With the Jordan genes as well she certainly has it from both sides of the family.

  30. Great post Four Goal. Whatever happens now has to happen in the best interests of Mayo football. Petty differences, saving face, Its my way or no way, at this stage anyone will do, all needs to be parked and put to one side immediately. It’s not unreasonable to think that Tyrone will ship a hiding on Sunday and if that is the case then it will put Mayo’s performances in context. If we have come that close, and with the talent we have coming through and with the proper management team we can take the next step. But we have to have the best possible management team out there fully supported by the county board and supporters. We can’t be wandering around in the dark arguing while probably the best team in a generation is been wasted.

  31. Standing off Dublin (or any team) concedes the psychological advantage which may be justified, if losing that battle leads to winning the war but rarely does. Seems to me that Dublin receive too much credit for the tatics they employ when in fact its invariably the opposition who allow them carte blanche to go ala carte. The analogy that comes to mind is when team A is faced with an opposition reduced to 14, the immediate focut is upon team A’s use of the extra man, when in fact the opposition determine that outcome, by deciding whom not to mark. In other words the supposed weaker team has an ace or two which is not always obvious and so it is on Sunday. If I were playing Dublin I would play man-to-man in their face but when we have the ball we play keep-ball & even pass-up 50/50 scoring opportunities in order to deprive them of the ball. You have got to wrench the initiative from Dublin by doing the unexpected and doing it well and then see if their much vaunted tactics are proactive or as I contend reactive. (Above is predicated upon my team being ultra mobile)

  32. Thanks for the reaction, folks. I coach teams and I study the game. I draw my conclusions from experience rather than opinion. Looking at last weekend’s championship matches, I really believe that our future is in our own hands. We can accept second best or drive on, that’s our choice. Do we have the balls to go for it?

  33. Fourgoal, I enjoyed your article and I love your comment that you draw you conclusions ‘from experience rather than opinion’! I cannot say any more than this because I don’t coach or play. It’s fabulous to read the range of contributions from posters here based on their own experiences from coaches, to volunteers, writers, observers, wits and more. Thanks also for the fabulous much needed optimism in your comments!

  34. Good read fourgoal MGee but i have to say after the poor year league and championship I don’t think many if any will be thinking of Mayo as the second best team in the country right now but once a new management is put in place a system is needed to do much better in 2019 or else that 2018 season could well become something more common

    As for Sunday don’t be surprised if Dublin only win by 1-3 points once again in a final. Last years trimming was a once off IMO where Dublin got off to a great start and Tyrone’s system totally malfunctioned. Tyrone are better now, a year older and wiser with a strong bench. In Mickey Harte they have a manager with outstanding record in All Ireland finals going back to when he was with Tyrone minors in the mid 90s that alone should not be underestimated

  35. I certainly give Tyrone a punchers chance….. Mickey Harte had 3 weeks to devise a master plan… He will have needed to use ever minute of that time wisely.. He will need to take risks to give himself a chance, He and Tyrone need to approach this fixture with a Death or Glory mindset… Dublin are quite Conservative this year, holding the ball and running down the clock, Very well practiced and I think Dublin would be delighted with a small victory margin…and be feeling comfortable going into the final quarter… On the observation of this year, Tyrone need to find a 10-15% improvement to trouble Dublin… My worry for Tyrone is an early goal for Dublin… I think Paul Mannion can burn them and wouldn’t be surprised if Mannion burst the net early door’s.. Logical hat on again, can’t see Tyrone coming within 4 point’s of Dublin.. 50/50 it will be over as a completion after 20/25 minute’s!… From Notradamus/Leantimes, it’s over and out!

  36. Great post four goal . Hard to get excited about this final . It’s like a Kerry v Dublin job.
    A bit conflicted on this one. Normally I would be up for the underdog v the Dubs
    So hopefully Tryone do an ambush job
    However it’s so hard to listen to them and the holier than thou Tryone expects type attitude and we could have won the last few years when Mayo failed to do so (well shame on us)
    Usually Any body but Dubs but this time if they win it at a canter does it not confirm that we shouda coulda won it when nobody else were within an asses roar of the Dubs
    Roll on etc

  37. If Dublin play as poorly as they did in the drawn 2016 All Ireland final then Tyrone have every chance of winning. Just 0-9 they scored by themselves in that final, it took Dublin 30 minutes to get their first point a Rock free and Andrews on 34 minutes kicked their first point from play.

  38. Mayo Exile,
    You say that when a team s reduced to 14 men the opposition is seen as having the advantage but really the ream who loses the man can decide who not to mark.That is true but if the team with the extra man has planned for that possibility they can counteract it by a substitution, i.e. by taking off the man the opposition decides not to mark [because they figuure he will do least harm] and replacing him with a man calculated to do maximum harm. Its all about planning for every eventuality.

  39. @MO2018 Did Dublin play badly in the 2016 drawn or was it that Mayo made them play bad with our intensity, tackling and marking. If Tyrone want Dublin to have an off day then they better being a high level of intensity and force them to play bad.

  40. No , its very disingenuous to say Dublin didn’t play well in 16 . Jeez what do our bucks have to do for a bit of credit like , we had Dublin rattled in 16 , we were brilliant . John Casey might of exaggerated his commentary on the tunnel incident but have no doubts Mayo had the wind put up them from the start.

    History might be unkind to this team because they obviously never won an all Ireland but they brought a pride and steel to Mayo football that was never there before . Not once did them bucks back down off any challenge . That will be their legacy , warriors each and every one of them . And most of them aren’t finished yet so who knows about that elusive all Ireland .

    The Berlin wall came down , there’s relative peace in the occupied six counties , Donald trump became the US president , Leicester city won the EPL , Armagh won Sam ,Clare won Munster , Leitrim won Connacht , all in my lifetime ………….. Mayo will win an all Ireland too.

  41. Simply can’t see anything other than a Dublin win. Don’t even think it will be remotely close.

    It’s not the Dubs fault they’re so dominant. I agree they have a serious advantage and the GAA don’t help matters in terms of home venue etc. It’s also a fantastic challenge for everyone else, an opportunity to take down one of the best teams in living memory.

    That’s what lies ahead of us and our new mamagement team.

  42. I said in an earlier post I
    Thought Tyrone might ambush Dublin and win by a few points but I hope to God Dublin beat them
    Out the gate by 10 or 12 points for what they did to Lee Keegan in Castlebar

  43. Well if it’s November , really think we should move things on . Nothing is going to be ideal at this stage , we will just have to deal with whatever hand we get . I’ve won poker games with the shittest hand on the table .

    Betting odds on Horan have come in to a backable 4/5. Solan has had his odds dramatically slashed into a clear second favourite at 13/8 , Jack o Connor is now third favourite at 4/1 after only entering the market yesterday opening at 8/1. Honestly not sure about this market at all.

  44. @JasonB Dublin played badly no question in that 2016 drawn final, when it came to intensity it was all off the worse Dublin have played under Gavin they couldn’t even get the basic right in that 1st half and only led due to OGs. The three championship games Dublin played v Mayo since Dublin scored 1-17,1-16 and 1-15 and that was Mayo throwing full on high levels of intensity at them also.

  45. Great article. Cant decide who i want to win as I cannot stick either of them. Wouldnt it be more in the county board’s line to be organising and planning for New York in 2019 than all this whoha of looking for a manager when we had a manager in contract. Stephen is on with Miriam on radio 1 tomorrow morning at 10am.

  46. So when Dublins level of intensity is matched or bettered it had nothing to with Mayo s level of intensity , it was just an off day for Dublin. Can’t believe I’m getting into an argument with mayo supporters about this .

    I’ll tell you this in the years after this era , when Jim Gavin or whoever writes a book you’ll understand how intense Mayo were going right back to 2013 . I’ll agree we have made mistakes obviously as we didn’t win it but no way am I backing down to anyone who says our bucks didn’t bring levels of intensity to the games v Dublin that no other team has so far. The Dublin players will tell you themselves how sore they were after the games v Mayo . There was an interview after 13 with a Dublin defender I can’t think which one but his story was exactly how I’m telling it .

  47. Was reading in a weekly Roscommon paper yesterday, that the Roscommon Co Board issued a statement last Wednesday, after rumours linking Kevin Mc Stay with the Mayo job.
    The short statement said that ”as far as Roscommon Gaa is concerned, Kevin Mc Stay is Roscommon manager, and will continue as Roscommon manager ”.

    You’d imagine that Kevin would have known about the statement being released.

  48. Great piece Fourgoal! Looking at the ages of both teams, outside of Cluxton, there are only 2 dubs on the 30 mark. Rest are in low to mid twenties. Tyrone has only Cavanagh over 30, rest are avarage mid 20s. Then there is Kerry coming up, with their youngsters. This is bloody scary cos of our own age profile. That’s why it’s so crucial that the CB get it right.

  49. Anyone see Kyle Coneys interview on his regrets,it shows that talent only gets you so far,he said his kill and strength was fine at underage but when you get out with the seniors you much more S\c so it is with a lot of Mayo prospects of we take it that panel are doing say 30 hours a week at peak training,someone who has ideas of making the panel would need the gem say ten hours a week just to make the panel,a lot of guys might not be able to give that commitment either because of work or study of just to have a normal life.I would like to believe that S Cuniffe,S Akram,J Carr ,B Reape could make the step up

  50. Agreed Sean, people talk about Dublin having ‘off days’, amazingly they only ever seem to happen when they play Mayo

  51. It was Johnny Cooper in 2013 said it was the toughest match he ever played in. After last year’s final, James McCarthy said it was the toughest, most intense game of his career

  52. In Bowes for a pre AIF pint….not a bit of green and red ?……wouldn’t even know it was on tomorrow.

  53. Saw him on the news this evening with Marty Morrissey .. Nothing major to report , much the same as statement ..Looked genuinely gutted not to be managing Mayo next year

  54. I heard that – don’t know if its true or not. but he was on 6.1 news with Marty Morrissey and said nothing of any consequence. it seemed a completely pointless interview. i dont know who (if anyone) is advising him, but he needs to stay away from the media unless he actually has something of importance to say. I dont know what he thought could be achieved by that interview with the lovely Marty

  55. Oops all of us saying same thing.
    Is the shit going to get worse after the morning interview? Looked determined to me and ready to say it how he sees it.

  56. Still shaking my head from Marty interview, hope team talks were more upbeat, why did he say we haven’t won any silverware, didn’t make super 8’s didn’t bring in many new players, and then is wondering why the CB didn’t contact after he resigned! Baffling!

  57. The CB executive have a lot to answer for .Will they ever get it right ? They need to learn how to listed to the clubs .

  58. Sorry folks but the one thing I got from his interview was that he’s a man that did not voluntarily resign- I think that’s pretty clear.

    He’s entitled to do the interview; I think we can all agree this has not ended well and that’s a pity to say the least.

    My one genuine criticism of SR was the lack of young players tried out. Other than that he did a very decent job and came within a ‘pick-up’ of winning an AI.

    I’d like to use this forum to wish him well in the future – that much he deserves ……and hopefully the ‘communication issues’ that arose regarding his departure won’t re-occur in respect of future managerial positions!

  59. Hope the match is better than”Up for the Match”. … If I watch anymore of it, I might start shouting for Tyrone…The team is hard to like,… the Crass Dubs in the studio are even harder to take a liking to! Hope the Tyrone crowd make more noise in Croker tommorow!

  60. Sure it was clear from his resignation statement on Monday that it wasnt voluntary. I just dont see what that interview could have achieved other than keep the story in the headlines for another few days

  61. Was anyone down in Bekan for the Ted Webb games earlier today? Not easy to find the results online but from what I can see it’s Mayo North/South against Galway City/West in the final next weekend.

    Mayo East/West and Galway North are in the shield final as they lost in the semi-finals.

  62. Think the point of his interview was to put to bed the notion that the players where envolved.
    He mentioned he had the backing of the team.
    He has always being straight up in all his interviews and cant see this one being any different.
    Its plain to see he didnt want to leave.

  63. 11/2 for a Tyrone win is mad odds but Dublin will probably have too much for Tyrone unless Mickie Harte can pull off some sort of tactical masterclass over Gavin but again thats hard to see. Sludden out of form and its unlikely to be regained in a final. Tyrone need to get every chance over the bar and a goal or two. If Tyrone are ahead or within 2-3 points in last 10 minutes they might be able to do it but I wont be taking the 11/2. Dublin are far ahead of everyone else and as a Dublin clubman said to me yesterday we didnt get out of 3rd to beat ye and we will hammer Tyrone in the final it will be relentless or words to that effect. I hope he is wrong as football is a poor spectacle already without Tyrone taking a hammering in the final to top it off. Anyone know the Super8 pairing for 2019. In 2018 it was obviously Connaught/Munster + Leinster/Ulster.

    Good luck to our minor team tomorrow against the Kingdom.

  64. Yea have a very good centre half back Reamonn on the minor team, Tony Gill. Both parents are from Mayo but we’ll let him play for yea tomorrow.

  65. County board playing silly buggars for sure….poor stephen rochford. Did his level best and sacrificed a lot from a personal point of view from what I heard to keep the show on the road over last couple of years. He’s a married man with a young family with enough pressures as it is!!! The Mayo managerial position is a poisoned chalice at this stage as the bar is raised to the highest possible level…the manager is rated on one outcome only. Who would want it now? Would you? Willie joe is right I feel…2019 won’t be pretty!!

  66. Great stuff there Fourgoal. Are you in the frame for the big one?

    On Rochy didn’t see it but shows up County Board in a callous light.

  67. It was obvious sr didn’t want to leave, came accross in the interview as very honest and decent man, I felt for him. What more can you say…..

  68. Rochford was shafted by county board. Anyone clued in knows that he retained the support of players as well as the vast majority of Mayo supporters. It doesn’t make sense. CB have a lot to answer for. So so detrimental to the progress and reputation of Mayo GAA. It’s so frustrating.

  69. Harte did come up with the Mcmahon defensive system against the 2 towers alt some they ‘played’ the officials to the max that day. The Tyrone beardies also spooked Kerry a bit, just made them look a bit more intimidating.He also managed Canavan injury very well in one final.
    He’s not beyond coming up with a good plan, just whether or not it works. For me just play like demons for 35 and see where it takes you. Don’t give any time on the ball.
    Last year would’ve been quite different if Dublin hit a few early chances wide as their shooting angles were wide and risky but they went over jettisoning Tyrone game plan.

  70. I think its clear for everyone to see that despite evwrybodys faults about the man. Rochford deserved another year to prove himself. He made mistakes but an injury hit panel in 2018 was an impossible situation. He deserved 2019 to prove himself. He was the best candidate, even had the players backing. What happens from here on in rests on the shoulders of the cb.

  71. The yearning for an All Ireland is so huge it hurts. It hurts to talk about it hurts to think about. The only thing that eases the pain is the thought of next Jan / Feb and Round 1 of the League. Because somehow, seeing our guys in the green and red doing their thing will be back to normality for us. I am looking forward to the ROAR they will get when they take to the field. I will be there. I will not give up. Keep the faith.

  72. After watching and hearing about games last week I think the 3 forwards to bring in to the Mayo panel now are Brian Reape , Darren Coen and Jack Reilly.
    Listened to the interview tonight on RTE news , I feel so sorry for Stephen Rochford , it looks for definite now he wanted to stay on but our great CB had other plans now it looks as though they have no big name replacement lined up what so ever.

  73. What a mess we are left in by our County Officers / Executive, whose overriding motivation sadly is influenced largely, by agendas like “Power, Self promotion”, “Business development” and “Political opportunity” with Mayo football being used as the platform for all these. This inner circle should not be regarded as the “County Board” as the County Board ,proper, consists of an additional 50 people i.e one delegate per club who in practice are expected to rubber stamp the wishes of the inner circle group with little or no communication, discussion, or recognition. The only recognition for them being to carry out menial tasks like stewarding, collecting dues from their clubs etc.
    It is imperative that this inner circle grouping is made more accountable for their actions now and into the future and to this end a complete shake up of how business is conducted at Senior officer level is urgently required.

  74. SR on Six one news- Car crash tv…on one hand its so obvious how much being Mayo manager meant to SR. He has obviously invested so much in the whole thing. Felt and empathised with the pain bigtime.Heart went out to the man.

    Yet its also obvious he was both being milked by MM and RTE and pursuing a certain agenda himself. CB were within their rights to question how things went this year and how this was goin to be addressed -Does he think he is above that?
    He and we need to move on…

  75. As sean rice pointed out earlier this week we have a long history of things like this.
    If a manager gets the job he puts the best people available around him to get results.
    Is it to much to ask that the county board do the same?
    We are all looking for the same result at the end of the day.
    Liam has being saying this for years and you can sence his fustration in his posts.
    We will appoint somebody new and be back to this in the near future.
    We are up there as a team (all players injury free) )with the best of them.
    Rochford knew lads where struggling with long term injurys and done something about it and
    Probably cost him the job.
    Like horan before him they where thinking ahead for the betterment of mayo football.
    Its just a pity we have’nt more horans and rochfords fighting our corner.
    For the life of me i can’t see this turning out good.
    Sincerely hope i am wrong.

  76. Dia daoibh muintir Mhuigeo
    I saw the interview and like other persons was a bit confused regarding its purpose!
    It seems to me that SR is very surprised that he will not be the Bainisteoir of foireann Mhuigheo for 2019!
    I am wondering if we the Mayo fans should have a say in this matter or is it too late. Has the horse bolted?
    What if we started a pettion and take it to the CB to have Stephen reinstated as the manager for next year?
    It is of paramount importance that we have continuity going forward. Remember we were a ‘grain of sand’ away for the past 2 years. I think we as fans should have a say in deciding who is going to lead us for the next few years!. I wouldn’t like to see a new manager coming in from outside the county as this would be a retrograde step for sure!
    Maybe WJ can start a discussion on the blog and decide if it is a runner in the first instance?
    In my opinion it is time us fans had our say! Cad bhur bharuil?
    Slan agus beannacht agus Mhuigheo abu!

  77. Don’t think I have ever been less enthused about AI Final. Maybe that’s because we were there in the last few years or it could be our management crisis at moment. Think the odds are ridiculous and expect Tyrone to be in with a real shout. Mickey is no fool and if they get in to position Mayo were in over last 2 years I expect them to win. They don’t carry the baggage or history we do and they will have no doubts about themselves. Don’t know whether Dubs are as good as previously but even their own fans don’t seem as up for it as one would expect going for 4 in a row. I think it will be very close with dubs getting there but 6 point spread for Tyrone appears excellent value. For all Dublin’s brilliance look at the closeness of their AIF results. Beat Mayo by point on 3 occasions, Kerry by point once and by 3 on the other occasion. Maybe 45 thinks they underperformed on all these occasions or at least in their games v Mayo.

  78. No no no , ffs no petitions. Please don’t start with that kind of rubbish . Sometimes it’s just better to move on and get on with it.

    No individual is bigger than any team nor organisation . Way back in 2008 I really wanted to be in the Ciaran Mac corner so that’s where I went without even considering JOM s position. When I look back I can recall the Aul fella giving another side of the coin take on it, hed say ” how come James nallen never kicked up over the text ”

    There’s nearly always another side ,CB are this that and the other , perhaps. But they might find a little justification in their stance me thinks.

  79. Is it possible that inner circle grouping in CB could pressure the top table to reconsider Stephen again? It appears90% want Stephen back. He wants to be with these players.The delegates are our clubs reps.
    Listen to the people and most of all the players who feel SR should be given the chance to lead in 2019. What can be so wrong that he can’t be ‘re instated for 1 more year for continuity? I think after todays All Ireland we’ll realize even more that we just a click away and only ones to come so close to best team of the decade. Can’t we all remember ’16 Cillian getting that pt to take it to a draw and front page headlines next morn. ‘Another million for the GAA’
    No matter our differing opinions, we all want the same thing from the top down to see our players walk behind the Artane boys band on All Ireland day.

  80. I feel sorry for Stephen Rochford having watched his interview with RTE yesterday but I also think he should have met the county board and outlined his strategy for the coming year. At the end of the day we are answerable to our employers and sometimes you have to bite the tongue and get on with it. If I was the county board I would have sat Stephen down and the first question I’d ask him is explain your substitution policy why are you bringing on guys with 90 seconds to go when the the team has been tiring for the last 20 minutes.

  81. Rochford on rte news last night and due to be on radio 1 this morning again . Wow, car crash stuff. What is he hoping to gain ?

  82. Agree Backdoorsam.
    If one went to a bank and asked for a loan of half a million (senior Mayo team probably costs more) I think it’s reasonable for the bank to ask me what I planned to do with it.

  83. Up for the match ended with a 3-4 minuite long Dublin song. Rochford given air time on the eve of the final.

    Tyrone deserve some respect. Best of luck to them today.

  84. How many people were honesty happy with our team performances during league and championship this year. To me we only really opened up and played in last ten mins against Tipp after we got the lucky goal – if we didn’t get that lucky goal we were in serious trouble. We had some very poor performances this year – even against Galway that game was there for the taking. Every team has injuries – that’s why there is a panel of 30 players. Barry Moran a natural midfielder was not used in any game. Why was he kept in the panel if he deemed not good enough. Remember Buckley and McEntee were gone for next year- that’s a huge gap to fill.
    Stephen resigned – the cb issued a statement publicly thanking him – that is the end of it. Can’t see why else a member of cb would need to contact him after he resigns.

  85. A great admirer of Stephen R but he resigned – game over – no going back – finito!!!
    Let’s move on and get new management team!

  86. Steven on Radio! Came across well but going on radio at all in these circumstances is questionable.

  87. Nice man is Stephen but no silverware in three years says it all. Hope Horan comes back and more young lads brought in. I’m looking forward to next year

  88. Well that’s that. I would have liked if he got across more that the players were not behind it contrary to some rumours and a great bunch of lads to manage.

  89. I’m sorry but going on radio is a fucking load of crap. Fitzmaurice a Kerry friend told me stepped down before he was pushed but you won’t see him going on national radio. Most management changes are messy but most counties do it discreetly.

    We in Mayo love shooting ourselves in the foot in the glaring eye of public opinion. As one commentator said on radio we are a funny county for sure.

  90. I suppose he is just trying to put it to bed and get us all (Mayo and country) to move on and let Mayo GAA get on with it. No real story to see here, over and out kind of thing.

  91. Yew tree – Fitzmaurice has been on Newstalk a few times since he resigned so that’s not true. Kevin Walsh has also been on the radio.

    I didn’t want Rochford to go because I don’t see what better manager is available to replace him. But it’s done now so please don’t start petitions for him!

  92. “firzmaurice has been on newstalk ” yeah but to contextualise that v Rochford been on rte the night before the all Ireland final telling us the CB haven’t been in touch since he resigned is farcical. He shouldn’t of gone on .

    Best of luck to Stephen and thanks for some of the finest performances we’ve seen.

    We need to move on now. Mayo need a manager that’s the important issue to get sorted.

  93. S. R on Miriam O Callaghans show this morning came across as very competent. Fielded the usual criticisms about no silverware etc. without losing face blaming anybody or anything. Lauded the commitment of his players to him (whether deserved or not) and sounded very disappointed without the usual accompanying bitterness. Overall sounded too nice to be dealing with the hacks at the top table of C.B

  94. Lee Keegan was just on The Dressing Room live on RTE player and seems to be just trying to move on saying similar to Rochford. I think they just want all the speculation etc to stop. Like they are putting out a fire between them. Fire fighting for Mayo GAA! What’s done is done, move on for the greater good of Mayo football. Hopefully nothing to hear until we have a new manager which could be months if last time is anything to go by.

  95. Sean. It’s “ shouldn’t have” and not “ shouldn’t of”. Anyways, Dublin to win easily today, and win the league next year, and then the championship, and then the league in 2020, and then the championship and the league, etc etc. Thank God for tennis.

  96. Going to annoy some of ye now, Wishing the Galway Minor’s the best of luck today. Point Up already.. Not sure if I like the design cut of the grass on the pitch…. Slightly more Sea Gulls in Croke Park at 1.05 PM than actual fans of either Galway or Kerry wouldn’t happen of Mayo were there…0.02 ..0.01 in Favor of Kerry as I finish!

  97. Alot of.people saying to move on and in any case.that will happen.

    However, whatever bumps that are there and in fairness have been there on several other previous occasions also need to be addressed so that we don’t have this repetitive cycle.

    Every Mayo managment change shouldn’t end up appearing like a heave. It’s our business and we should be doing all our business in house and not blow by blow in the national Media.

  98. Outside the pale I agree after listening to Stephen this morn that he is too much of a gentleman to deal with all the power politics of Mayo Gaa. He will be snapped up for intercounty management and he will win with them.
    In a few years we will look back and say ‘how did we let this happen’, again. C’est la vie. He didn’t deserve that end after all the commitment and glorious days we had in and out of arena.
    Best of luck to Stephen and family in the future and thanks again.

  99. Some achievement by Kerry in fairness. The lads on the pitch today were playing U12 football when Kerry won the first of the 5 in a row. They’ve put some structures in place to keep producing that quality of footballer.

  100. I hear the Ky u16 development team this year is better than any of last five years. We talk sh### about football and are all over the media – and Ky keep wining all-Ireland’s- some things never change.

  101. Why is there such a gap in tradition when it comes to Kerry and mayo , the day we try to address this is the day we move forward

  102. 6 years ago the Kerry county chairman put together a committee to deal with the fact that they hadn’t won a minor final in 20 years. Look at the structures they’ve put in place now. Different players every year and they produce the same result, we’ve different officers in the county board over the years and we produce the same results. We spend endless hours discussing corner backs and selectors while not giving a second thought to who’s running the county board. Kieran Shannon said it in an article before, the successful counties all have one thing in common, competent county boards. Until we start taking as much interest in who we entrust to run our county as we do in the on field action, we are locked in this cycle of firefighting management, stumbling from crisis to crisis.

  103. Its not just tradition Sean, it’s history, they have a history of winning and expect to win. In fairness I think that Mayo team had great belief in their abilities but didn’t get over the line and with that brings extra pressure. Kerry in football are a bit like the all blacks in rugby, there is a belief bordering on arrogance. Dublin may be dominating at the minute but you just know Kerry will challenge again before long…look at what they are doing with their minors..creating history.Speaking of Dublin dominating the A I is over as a contest by half time and Dublin were poor for the first twenty. Maybe some of the geniuses on here who thought Dublin didnt perform against Mayo the last couple of years and predicting a Tyrone win should think again. That Tyrone team are not in the same league as that Mayo team were and anyone that thinks otherwise knows fuck all about football.

  104. Tyrone shooting themselves in the foot here from a decent starting position, crazy goal conceded from their own kickout.

    It’ll have to be a monumental comeback from seven down at half-time, pace of the game really suits Dubs at the mo.

  105. Feeling really sorry for Small John… that was a ferocious blow to the face… blithering idiot!!

  106. When you put on a teddy wash and are about to fold a load of washing during an AI it says it all zzzzzzzzzz

  107. And there we have it another all Ireland for Dublin . In a pub here in malahide and 90% of them don’t know what’s happened .

  108. I can tell you today who will win the National League in 2019 and 2020, and the winner of Sam in both those years too, Dublin. can anyone say different? Hollow victories but victories all the same.
    Thank God for hurling is all I can say today.

  109. Well today shows anymore who doesn’t believe that Mayo support is by literally by miles the best…When Tyrone got their penalty goal, and a point.. what did we hear, coming from the stands..’Dublin in the rare auld time’s’. Wouldn’t happen of Mayo were there today, .. most of the place was empty when Stephen Cluxton lifted the cup last year because we outnumbered them. Are we the supporters appreciated enough!. Best team won.. Jim Gavin made a big mistake bringing in NcManamon,gave the ball away time after that…Bernard Brogan and Paul Flynn didn’t play???

  110. depressing viewing today. Dubs do 4 in a row with a young side and Kerry do 5 in a row minors. Meanwhile we haven’t even got a manager and our side is ageing. Maybe I’m just pessimistic today as the final brought back loads of horrible memories about close defeats but I fear we are about to slip miles off the pace.

  111. If Tyrone won today we could all be more pessimistic. Thank god for small mercies.
    Let us galvanize and come back and save football next year 😉
    Most boring championship and All Ireland final I’ve been through since as far back as I can remember.

  112. Jesus is their any point us togging a team at all next year so ?????
    I’ve seen enough from Dublin this year to know they are not at the level they were
    How come the “long time on the road “ argument doesn’t come up for them ?
    Cluxton , McMahon and a few more are beginning to creak
    Their bench isn’t as strong as it was
    And when all is said and done about their great panel they still rely on the same core group of warriors as we do
    Best thing that happened was them winning it
    We won’t be far away mark my words ………

  113. Gill played well Revellino we should have closed that game out before ht but they are only young lads. Kerry 5 in a row but when you look at minor roll of honour there are feck all Dublin wins (1 win 3 runner-up since 2000) so minor doesnt auto translate to later success.
    Tyrone shot conversion very poor I thought maybe 13 actual chances missed compared to Dublin 7. They were out on their feet and Dublin could have beaten them by another 6-8 points. Ball is really in Dublins court now with a young team and endless new talent at his disposal it will look like everyone else playing for runners up.

  114. The county which has the best chance to do it soonest is ourselves in my opinion. That’s if we haven’t got too tired. Let’s hope not. Crucial to have a chance against them is experience playing them at the later stages of the Championship in high pressure stakes. Mayo have been challenging, learning and adapting to Dublin at least since 2015 and this is why we are able for them. We’ve wanted to win and we had to learn. We’ve had to strengthen and refine our performance.

    I thought Tyrone were good today, had great energy and skill. What made it hard to challenge is that this is their first All Ireland in about 10 years and only their second year playing Dublin in the later stages of the Championship in recent years. They haven’t a tailor made game yet for Dublin because I think that comes through development and learning through playing them. It’s hard to get perfect first time around. Just my opinion. Tyrone were rookies and I mean that in the best sense of the word. As I said, I thought they have great abilities though and gave it a good go. They definitely have the stuff to develop.
    For example, any team having suffered AI Final losses against Dublin will know it’s hard to beat them if you don’t convert your scoring chances. We have learned this. Yet Tyrone hadn’t learned that yet. And that’s just one small thing you learn through the experience of constantly playing them. I also thought Ciaran Kilkenny was allowed a lot of latitude today that Tyrone might not allow a second time around (if they were to play the Dubs in the AIF next year, for example). Maigh Eo abu! : )

  115. From watching Club football and Mayo under 20s over the last 2 months since Mayo where knocked out againsy Kildare some players I think that are worth a look for the FBD and National League next season.

    Darren Coen Hollymount
    Brian Reape Moy Davitts
    Jack Reilly Charlestown
    Mark Tierney Garrymore
    Conor Diskin Claremorris
    Killian Kilkelly Westport
    Oisin McLaughlin Westport

    Matty Ruane Breaffy
    Jordan Flynn Crossmolina

    Seamus Cunniffe Ballagh
    Eddie Doran Achill
    Michael Plunkett Ballintubber
    Sharoize Akram Charlestown
    James Stretton Claremorris
    James McCormack Claremorris
    Cathal Horan Kilmovee

    Who is the next best goalie in Mayo after David Clarke and Robbie Hennelly???
    We need to identify someone so we have backup when Clarkie retires. On recent club form for Breaffy I think Robbie has been very impressive and probably deserves a run of games come the start of the 2019 National League in January. His Kickouts and dead balls against Ballintubber were really good.

  116. Fellas still touting RH for the number 1 jersey, I see. How many times do we need to concede preventable goals in big games before the lesson is learned? Better to give a young lad with proven big game temperament a go, such as young Flanagan from Balla or O’Malley from Westport. I’d even give Rory Byrne from Castlebar a go in sticks during the NFL. Why revert to something we know hasn’t worked in the past?

  117. Thought O’Malleys kickouts were poor against Kildare in the Under 20 final.Flanagan is worth a try was really impressed with him in the Under 21 campaign in 2016, just maybe lacks a bit of height.I remember watching Rory Byrne against Garrymore in the County Semi final and he nearly cost Mitchels the game with his kickouts. Ballinas sub keeper for Clarke last week was very impressive against Ballaghadareen don’t know his name.

  118. You must have more might vision TH, Jack Reilly was in New York the last two months, not sure how much you seen of him. It might have been Paddy Goldrick or Paul Towey your thinking of.

  119. Good man Liam u like to be a smart man I see.Well I seen him in Garrymore last week where he came on as a sub at half time and he kicked 3 points of Caolan Crowe, and his form for Charlestown before he left for America this year and last year had been really good.He is due a call up to the County panel under the New manager, he can kick comfortably off both feet which can’t be said of too many Mayo forwards, hes the nearest thing to Shane Walsh in Mayo in my opinion.I think he could be the answer to frees of on the right hand side suited to a left footed player were we have been missing these frees in big games.

  120. Stephen Rockford on radio how dare he,he should just now down to his bosses on the county , lol,we will find out over the next few years how good he was despite all the obstacles he faced with injuries and travelling for players,all the best to the new manager but I don’t envy him

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