Dubs name strong team for tomorrow night

Dublin named their team early this morning for our refixed NFL clash at McHale Park tomorrow night (throw-in 7pm). In doing so, Pat Gilroy fairly blew out of the water my theory that they might be a bit indifferent about how they get on in Castlebar, as he’s named a very strong starting fifteen. Indeed, I was told by someone close enough to the Dublin set-up the other evening that they’ve now got their sights firmly set on adding a league title to the All-Ireland they won in such dramatic fashion last September. We’ve been warned, in other words.

Here’s the Dublin team for McHale Park:

Dublin (NFL Division One v Mayo, 31/3/2012): Stephen Cluxton (Parnells); Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes), Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes), Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams); James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams), Ger Brennan (St Vincent’s), Kevin Nolan (Kilmacud Crokes); Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St Enda’s), Ross McConnell (St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh); Paul Brogan (St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh), Barry Cahill (St Brigid’s), Bryan Cullen (Skerries Harps, captain); Tomas Quinn (St Vincent’s), Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s), Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s).

The above team shows three changes from the one that eventually steamrolled Donegal in Croke Park last weekend. James McCarthy (who, you’ll recall, got a straight red in the fogbound half-match back in February) comes in for promising youngster Johnny Cooper at wing-back, Ross McConnell plays instead of Eamonn Fennell at midfield while Barry Cahill lines out for the first time this year, where he replaces Paul Flynn in the half-forwards.

There are also just three changes compared to the Dublin team that started against us back in February, with Cian O’Sullivan, Kevin Nolan and Barry Cahill coming in instead of Darren Daly, Craig Dias and the injured Eoghan O’Gara.

38 thoughts on “Dubs name strong team for tomorrow night

  1. And as usual we await ours. Why? boys at college, men at work, the good weather , cutting the turf? its not as if there are going to be seismic changes, some misfortunate will lose a place in the forwards, the status quo will remain and a back will move his deck chair closer to the sunshine and another will fold his seat and sit on the line for a while. Its only March folks, its only the league so why the wait?: Yes I am crotchity this morning, I cannot sleep in this weather.

  2. John – Friday night now seems to be the normal night for releasing details of the team, as they have a training session then (due to the fact that a lot of the lads are based outside the county). As a result, we can expect white smoke later on tonight.

  3. I think the Dublin selection does no support WJ’s earlier theory in the week that the Dubs are not pushed about winning this game. B Cahill at Dubs No 11 vs D Vaughen should be a good battle. K Nolan dropping back to the half back line suggests that they will run at us in waves, with McManamon named as well (at 15 but likely to play much deeper) this looks even more likely.

    My comment after last Sunday about us needing to decide what our half forward line is for is very valid here. If we adopt the usual “what the fuck are we supposed to be doing?” tactic with this line, we will struggle.

    I suggest that we deploy a target man inside, get long early ball in as much as possible. This will both create scoring chances for the inside forward line or allow breaks out to the half forwards creating shooting options from 30-40 yards. The result is that Dublin get pinned back in their own half and cannot deploy their running game.

    On the other hand, if we continue to use this line as individuals who become extra half backs, sweepers, mid fielders, we concede an entire line of play.

    We wonder why we lose against a 14 man opposition? It’s because we play a 12 man formation with the extra 3 men supporting the other lines of play. We have to stop that nonsense, otherwise we will come away disappointed and frustrated again.

    Keep the Faith!

  4. By the sounds of it lads we will be trying out a different full-back tomorrow night, McHale? Feeney ?

  5. Have to agree with the poster above about the big man at 14. I think Barry Moran at 14 (I know we have a lack of mid-fielders at the moment) would be a good shout for tomorrow. Has always played well there for Mayo.

  6. Barry Moran is not a natural forward unfortunately, but given the dearth of forward target men at the moment in the panel, it would appear we do not have other options at this point.

  7. If we find ourselves a man up again, we might consider using the extra man to allow Keith to go wing back (or even wing forward). That blinding pace of his would keep the opposition pined back. only if we are a man up! His pace opened up donegal’s mass defence when he ran @ them.

  8. @Digits I think it would give there team something to think about, throw them off a bit. I know he’s not that natural of a player but he’s way to immobile/unfit for a mid fielder and I actually think, having watched him a lot at club level, he’s a good score-getter, both points and goals.

  9. Another part of our problem is that we use smallish men to run at packed defences. Inevitably, this results in the man being unable to break the line, getting swallowed up by the defenders and coughing up possession.

    The fiasco of leaving a back free against 14 men when we were struggling at centrefield cost us dearly in the last two games. The aim has to be to play as much of the game as possible in the opposition half of the field. This means that an extra centrefielder or an extra half forward should have been deployed when we had an extra man.

    Instead of that we left a back free in both games and adopted a strategy that invited Cork and Donegal to play THEIR game in OUR half. Against any reasonably strong team there can only be one result from this strategy. Even against a team like London, you risk losing the game with this approach.

    We have to be bold and adopt the old adage that the best form of defence is attack.

    Keep the Faith!

  10. Oh I agree seanod, I think it’s the thing to do at this point, I’ve always been from the school of thought that you need a big man at 14. I would just prefer if it could be someone with a forwards natural instincts.

  11. Higgins should be tried in the half back line. It looks like Keegan might be struggling and if Keane and Mchale are both fit, they could be given a chance in the FB line. Both have shown enough to persevere with. It might be a bit of a risk against the AI champions but feck it.

  12. Surely Alan Freemn is the obvious choice for number 14. He was only moved from there last year to accommodate Andy. He was excellent against dublin there last year in croker in the league. Himself and Doherty caused them all kinds of problems.
    Why was he moves from that position. He is big, good hands and can score.
    Put him back in there and leave him there. That’s his position. Not mobile enough for put the pitch.

  13. Dublin will be hoping we continue to play as we have done so far in the League i.e. try and walk the ball through their defence. Well if this happens the result will be a massacre.
    They will eventually intercept the passes as there just won’t be enough room. Then they will counter attack the resulting open spaces in our defence at will.

    The only way I can see us beating them is to play them at their own game i.e. defend deep and counter attack immediately with the long low kick pass into fast forwards like mortimer or Conroy.
    This means the 1/2 forward line has to able to move the ball quickly by a foot pass and no soloing (something they have been able to do to date).

    If we do this well I think we have a chance however Dublin will also conteract this ploy by fouling high the pitch with the intention of slowing play down so they can re-group at the back.

    Ideally we will have 3 fellas high up the pitch at all times (Conor, Conroy and AN Other) with the instruction to turn and have a pop when they have the chance or else hold up play and bring others who are counter attacking into the play.

  14. Andy is our best nr 14 ,but unfortunately hes our best nr 11 as well. Freeman @ 14 for me or a fully fit Kerby.

  15. In fairness lads we could do with Andy at 11, 12, 14, and 15!!

    It’s true though that Freeman’s best position is 14. And I suppose given that Seamus is out injured, a more realistic line-up would see Barry and Aiden centre-field with Freeman at 14 and Andy at 11.

  16. Would people stop calling for Higgins to be moved from a position that he is excelling in. Why Shift a player who is playing well in his current position. . Only in Mayo. Again andy is the best full forward option we have and yet people are calling for him to be moved out of it to be replaced by a player who is not proven in this area and playing poorly namely Barry Moran. If a player is doing really well in a position leave him there for god sake and try and build around them. What next? Cafferky to be tried and centre back?

  17. I agree with idea of a big full forward who can play the position as a target man, win possession and distribute intellingently, like Kieran Donaghy does.
    My choice for this job would be Aiden O Shea, I know he is playing well at mid-field but i would have Ronan McGarrity here partnerd by Seamus o Shea, with Barry Moran as a back up.
    What-ever about tactics of playing extra men where-ever, I cant understand why County footballers cant or wont kick the ball over the bar from 40 yards out.If every forward just scored two points from play over the hour, and along with a couple of frees that should be enough to win most games, if defence is doing its job as well.

  18. Just because a player is playing well where they are does not mean that the team doesn’t need them to do a job elsewhere. The whole should be greater than the sum of the parts. For example, Tyrone won the All-Ireland in 2005 with Sean Cavanagh playing well in midfield. In 2008, they won it with him at full forward, because that is where they needed him. Many players in the history of the game have moved positions to benefit the team and give their team something different. Even in recent years on the Kerry team alone, Declan O’Sullivan moved from 14 to 11, Donaghy moved from 9 to 14, Darren O’Sullivan moved from 13 to 10. The list goes on.

    Furthermore, who says left corner back is Keith’s best position? Andy Moran is a fine footballer and has shown he is excellent in winning one-on-one duels. Last year he destroyed Marc O Se and was it Michael Shields when Mayo played what was a full forward line of himself. If we are playing with an orthodox three man full forward line, we lack height. In the era of the packed defence, we need another route.

    As an aside, Ger Cafferkey used to play centre half back in his youth. Not suggesting that he be moved there though.

  19. Digits I see ur point but ur not comparing like with like. We ain’t no Kerry or Tyrone. They did move players around but look at the quality that replaced them. So let’s say you move Keith out to half back line who will replace him and do as good a job? No one comes to mind. Keith has saved us so many times this year in the full back line. Same with andy moran? You saying Barry Moran has the potential to be a donaghy? Nah don’t think so. We have been waiting years for a good full forward and now we want to move him out to the half forward line? If we had a an alternative to replace him I’d be all for it because we really need a centre forward to but we don’t have an alternative despite much experimentation.

  20. Agree with Ted about moving Higgins from a position that he is excelling in. Doubt Horan will try Cafferkey at CB again, didnt do a whole pile wrong their last year, probably needed more time at the role to adapt to it. The Dublin game last year in Croker didnt help his cause but did recover from it.
    Expect at least 4/5 changes from the team the last day

  21. A good home crowd at the match should be expected (seeing as its free etc.) It should also be worth a couple of extra points to us. Unfortunatly (after being at the original) I can’t make the replay due to other commmitments. Anyone know of a good Mayo bar in Galway city where a true few will be watching on ??

  22. Andy can play 11 or 14.Freeman is a better 14 than 11. As regards Keith, hes a natural wing back filling the roll of a corner back in the absence of a proper corner back. Until we have adequate cover for the corners Keith will be left there. It is no coincidence that our two best players can slot into 3 different lines of play. For me they are the stand out players on the panel and an example for the rest. Attitude, discipline, fitness and work rate

  23. I agree, we need Keith at 4, 3, 6 and 11. Andy at 14, 11, 12. Another way of pointing out the shortage of tallent we have in key areas of the field. Tomorrow we need players who are willing to stand up and be counted on the field of play. We do not have too many of these. Too many who want to play basketball without a basket in site. Too few who are willing to win dirty ball. Too few who can kickpass quickly and accurately. Too few who are willing to repeat the moves that work. We need more like Keith and Andy surely. Keep the faith its only March

  24. to jpm ,anth. finnerty[ex mo foot.] has a hotel n lower salthill.forget tha name bu any tha locals wil tell ya. On shop street i ,d go to taffes to watch a game[a connemara man s tha landlord a sound man n always up for bit banter bout mo-gaway rival.

  25. Haha, if we were as good as Kerry or Tyrone, I’d say we’d be a lot happier with a few All Ireland’s in our pockets. Barry Moran is certainly no Donaghy, see my comment above about how he is not a natural forward. My point is that you need to play to a system to win.

    We can only work with what we have.

    As an aside, but I feel it is relevant – over the last decade Mayo have had a good record against Tyrone. That is because Tyrone by their own admission had no idea how to set themselves out against us because we had no system, we were so unpredictable.

    But you don’t do well over the course of a season playing unpredictable. And in the era of the packed defence, you need a system to beat it.

    Football is a simple game, there are simple truths, and it’s the managements responsibility to train and guide the players the way to win.

    The obvious system to score is to play quick (preferably diagonal bouncing) ball inside, or else shoot from distance. If you fail to do that, as Mayo have unfortunately being doing so far this season by and large, then you need a Plan B – to be able to launch it into the square for someone to fetch or break.

    The players fulfill the roles of the system needed to win. I’d say that anyone suggesting that Barry Moran be moved to the edge of the square is acknowledging the fact that we need to add a different dimension to our attack, and is probably an acknowledgement that he probably doesn’t have the mobility to play midfield intercounty, based on recent matches.

    As for moving Keith out to CB from corner back, where he has been so excellent – as you point out who has the quality to replace him? But the other side of the coin is that he is adding himself to the half back position.

    My own personal view is that our full back line is probably our weakest point, and as the old adage says, prevention is better than cure. Rather than relying on Higgins to have to clean up the full back line, why not prevent that by winning midfield and reducing the amount of ball that goes in.

    Again, a personal view, a middle eight of Higgins, Keegan, Boyle, A O’Shea, Vaughan, McLoughlin, A Moran and Freeman have the attitude and the workrate to win midfield breaks and deliver ball inside quickly. Or take the ball on the run and score from 30 yards. If that fails, then they can launch B Moran on the edge of the square.

    Anything but the holding up and going sideways that we’ve had to witness.

  26. I’m worried about the Mayo team that’s been named. We could get a savage beating. I hope I’m very wrong. It’s hard to be enthusiastic looking at it. Good luck to the lads….

  27. Patriot. I agree with you. I think we are in for a big beating. This team is not a team that the Dubs will fear. Mayo teams are now like shifting chairs in the Titanic. Could anybody tell me when did James Horan & co pick the identical same team twice in a row? Pity because players will never know how to play as a team with all the chopping and changes. Good luck to the lads….

  28. WJ I’m sure will have it up soon. A wave of depression came over me when I saw it. If anyone is saying a prayer for muamba, say one for Mayo too.

  29. I’m not taking the piss PM but this ain’t my website and I’ll leave to the man himself, WJ to type it up. Just opened a bottle of Chardonnay…. It might lift my gloom. Even the wife is having a glass after seeing the team….

  30. A come on it can’t be that bad. At this stage there can’t be that much suprises/changes.

  31. Not sure if I’m allowed state the team I saw on twitter here but at least I think the team are learning and playing Barry at 14. Lots of mad changes in the team though. Hoping for another good performance and a win. Also at least the management are brave enough to try different things, good to see.

  32. dillon, andy, mcloughlin .freeman, jason doherty,conroy.a.osea,b.moran AT MIDFIELD,keep mortimer in reserve.hope colm boyle is fit did a great work last week.good luck MAYO.

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