Enda to start?

The Irish Independent is reporting this morning that Andy Moran’s place on the Mayo team for Sunday will be filled by Enda Varley. Big, fat, mumbling Des Cahill had the same story on the radio a short while ago and, for what it’s worth, I’ve also been hearing similar noises on the jungle drums over the last few days.

According to that piece mentioned above we’re likely to name our team either later on today or early tomorrow and it seems that Pat Gilroy is poised to do the same. If it is the latter, then this humble site won’t be out of the traps rapidly with the news as I’ve stuff on tomorrow that will keep me away from the wider world for a good portion of the day. In any event, you all know by now that @MayoGAA will be first with the news whenever it’s released.

That Indo piece has some speculation about what the Dublin line-up might be, what with Alan Brogan now expected to start on Sunday. The report focuses in particular on whether or not this means Gilroy will as a result abandon the experiment of naming Michael Darragh Macauley at 14 but I’d doubt that it will, on the basis that MDM is operating as a third midfielder and the Dubs will want extra heft there given our strengths in this sector. I think it’s far more likely that Eoghan O’Gara will drop to the bench with Alan Brogan named at 11 and Diarmuid Connolly, who started there against Laois, switching to the full-forward line.

The same report also states that there’s a chance Ger Brennan will be restored to the starting fifteen and that if this happens the consequent reshuffle will see Cian O’Sullivan move to corner-back with Philly McMahon dropping out. That would then be the starting back six from last year’s All-Ireland final.

Other stuff in the papers today includes an interview in the Indo with Dublin’s Rory O’Carroll and pieces in both the Independent and the Irish Times with Dublin and St. Vincent’s éminence grise Mickey Whelan – who, in the latter report, says of his own place in the scheme of things within the Dublin camp “while I’m not involved I’m on the periphery” –  where a fairly cogent case is put forward as to why Dublin are likely to roll out their A Game for us on Sunday.

We haven’t thrown any more meat off the wagon at the media since the press night last week and I gather that we’re not planning to do so either ahead of Sunday so they’re just going to have to continue gnawing on whatever scraps they’ve left since that event. It could be a long few days ’till match day, then.

41 thoughts on “Enda to start?

  1. At least he can take free’s from the left side, something they’ve been lacking. Watching the Cork quarter last year, I don’t understand how SOS can not be on this team. Up Mayo.

  2. Well WJ can I commend you on your rather out of character kick in the arse in the direction of Nice Des. And I fully echo your sentiment.

    East Cork exile has penned a very pertinent piece in the parish behind us and he correctly flags Cian O Neills influence. Amazing how in six months the form book can be shredded.Cast your mind back to February and the fog. Dublin came to town and ate us.

    The full back line was a mess. Barry couldn’t jump not unless you wired him to the ESB mains, Mortimor was shunted all over the place and to quote a great observer of the game , Dillon hit a “girleens” shot at the goalie.

    I was appalled at the shite we produced. Curiously around this time we had rumours that some of the domestiques and grunts within the camp were miffed as regards their place in the pecking order. A trip to Donegal brought forth the flood waters, correctly so might I add…shite is shite no matter how you wrap roses around it.

    Then we played Dublin on a mild March 31st. We ate them. The impostors of a month earlier were banished. Barry was left at full forward where all he did was tie up the Dublin 3 but hey… that’s all he was asked to do.

    The maligned Danny Geraghty had a stormer not in the way we in Mayo like our 8/9s to do it, no Danny is in tune with the game of today and boy did he do his bit.Conroy roasted his man and the Dubs who came full of confidence and fog filled dreams could never get back in the saddle.

    Full back was McHale who was anonymous in the correct format. Quietly he pocketed his man with the result that most of us failed to notice the great job he did. Then the league final came and we got sea sick. Exiting Croke Park a man turned to me and said “if Barry Moran wears a Mayo shirt again , I wont be there”.

    He did and he’s also short odds for an All Star. Riddle me that one would you? East Cork is correct. We actually haven’t a clue as how this one will pan out. Dublin we can read and figure.Mayo no. Mayos biggest game will be played before they even walk out on the pitch and it will be in the head and the belly. Match them up, bury them where they belong and we go in as equals.

    The sum of this team does not add to a total. Benny Coulter led Cafferly a merry dance the last day. Still it had no bearing on the final outcome. Centre back was not in the groove and 11 and 14 are/were two imponderables to me. And yet we won in a canter. Bear in mind that the Down team was the worst I ever saw from up there but as the man says, you can only beat whats laid out ahead of you.

    Kerry last year exposed the gulf between us. After the feelgood factor wore off because we gave them a game minus 20 mins a lot of the old ghosts still whistled their tunes. Its as simple as this; on Sunday we have no choice, its win or bust and that’s a great thing. Win and we get a crack at the Big Fella. Lose and Martin Breheny will be on giving out about the handy exit Mayo got from Connacht and shure beating Leitrim and Sligo isnt a big bean hill.

    We are where we want. The rock and the hard place looms over us. Sometime we will stride over them and say fuck to the haters. This Sunday is as good a day as any to start.

  3. I’d agree with a lot of what’s been said about Sunday, I haven’t a clue how this one will pan out.
    I’ve been wrecking my head for the past 2 weeks trying to work out the possible permutations, but all that’s left is one giant question mark.
    The one thing with this Mayo team is that I think we can expect a ‘performance’. The way we’re set up, the unity and incredible work rate should ensure that. Whether or not that added to our undoubted skill will be enough, time will tell. If Dublin play like they have for the majority of this years championship, then I think we’ll bury them. But I very much doubt they will, I’m sure they have a big performance in them. But so do we. Can’t wait.
    Paddy Power are refunding bets if Mayo win on Sunday, so clearly they think we have no chance!
    Good luck to the lads on Sunday.

  4. It’s very hard to predict this, i have choped and changed my mind 100 times.

    I got the feeling from the Dublin camp and their media supporters in the last two days, that they will be a different animal completely to what we have seen so far in this championship, Mickey Whelan in an interview today indicates that way too.

    Willl we be able to match a Dublin with the same intensity they showed against Tyrone for example last year, i’m not saying we wont be able to up it too but my mind goes back to the Sligo game. That is the only game where we met a high intensity defence this championship and our forwards were pretty poor under pressure.

    I just don’t know but as it draws nearer my earlier confidence seems to be draining and making me look like i was just full of a juvenile type bravado.

    Varley…i’m not sure tbh, he has not shone through when starting , i heard feeney will start too though. I like many others would like to see SOS given the green light but we have to believe in Horans selections either way, .he knows better than we do

  5. sure James hasn’t even named his team yet RELAX all … And even when he does have a feeling he will have a few surprises on the day … BELIEVE 🙂

  6. Lot of talk of 2006 and Mayo’s demolition of Dublin in the league this year. Our most recent match against Dublin in Croke Park was in 2011, and frankly it was embarrassing. Diarmaid Connolly hit 3-3 and even Mossy Quinn managed 1-7. Mayo hit back after the Dublin onslaught, but Dublin had eased up at that stage. It would be nice to think that this game marked a turning point; transforming Mayo from a leaking vessel into a hard-edged machine that does not cough up easy scores or turnovers.

    Despite all this progress, Down exposed quite a few gaps in Mayo’s defence in the quarter final but they were papered over by Mayo’s goals and Mayo prevented a Down comeback in any shape or form by cynical fouling out the field, especially after the third goal. This was certainly evidence of a new ruthlessness, and it will need to be in evidence again on Sunday, because Dublin are a formidable machine that, as Mickey Whelan has observed, are playing with the confidence of champions.

  7. if dublins displays in this championship are full off cofindence as mickey whelan claims heaven help them when they have a bad day , i sense a touch of fear coming out of the dubs camp ,you cant pick and choose when to have a good game dubs havent fired the hunger is gone,i dont for one minute believe A brogan is fully match fit . mayo are in a great position to shove it up the socalled pundits who snigger at poor ould mayo , go for it lads all the pressure is on the dubs roll on sunday

  8. big fat mumbling des cahill jayjuz willie joe thats the understatement of the year every time he mentions mayo he has a smirk that only a slap in the gaub could cure

  9. Good luck to Mayo on Sunday, hopefully we can renew our rivalry next year minus the present incumbent ( he is a decent sort, but just not up to the job). Take care, safe driving and all that.

  10. As a few people here have said this one is very hard to call, and I must agree. I think it’s hard to be either very optimistic or very pesimistic on this one.

    On one side, Dublin are formidable: IMO they have the six best defenders in Ireland. Donegal may have a better team defensive system, but I think the individual Dublin defenders are top notch. Their forwards ‘blow hot and cold’, but they (and Kerry) are the only teams that can hit you for 2-6/7 in 10 minutes. It looks like Mid-Field is our strenght so, I expect them to turn that into ‘law of the jungle’ where even if Barry/Aidan fetch clean ball, then wont be able to distribute it.

    On the other side, Mayo have definetely improved and the trajectory is up. We are a better team that Kerry beat by 9 points. But questions remain. Although I think Caf and KK have played really well this year, I stil have the feeling that we could leak goals if put under pressure. On the forwards, I think there are a more than a few question marks. We still dont have a reliable kicker of 45s or long range frees (nothing like Michael Murphy anyway). Dublin are very disciplines so if they give away frees many will be 40 yards+. We scored well against Down, but the space available at times was almost laughable. Michael Conroy just wont get that time to turn and run Sunday as he did in the SF.

    Biggest question for me is this – mentally, can this group of players respond if Dublin blitz them for 1-5/6 in the first 10 minutes on Sunday. I think they can, but we dont know and we wont know until they do. Can this team close out this game if we are 2-3 point up with 5 minutes to go. I dont think anyone knows, but, I guess we’ll find out. Whatever the result, for me, the most important thing is the performance and that we put the final nail in the ‘Mayo are soft/naive’ coffin. If we win – great, but, if we lose, it has to be in a way that cuases other teams to say – ‘I’d hate having to play Mayo next year’

  11. Any team can be seen as disciplined if referees don’t blow them up for fouling. Dublin foul all the time, especially two man tackles, that are rarely blown up these days.

  12. Good luck lads Hope mayo win like the galway would be nice to have 2 west team involved in sept

  13. Juat listened to CMcD on Off the Ball. He is just as good on radio as he was on the field. Much better than the lads on The Sunday Game. Knows his stuff.

  14. Great stuff from McDonald, real genuine lad with no ego.
    Knows his football as well, would be good to see him involved in coaching (if he’s not already).
    Liked Brady’s “bullshit” remark as well about the hype around Donegal.

  15. C Mc Great just as I would expect Good to hear him say told to come deep might stop
    some of our supporters complain he would nt hold his position His heart was always in the right place and did what was asked of him AND MORE

  16. Look like the Dubs team is name(Robbed from a dubs forum)

    cluxton
    fitz
    roc
    cian
    jamesy
    ger
    kev
    bastic
    fennell
    flynn
    al
    cullen
    dermo
    mc aulay
    berno

  17. Dublin as champions are already whistling in the dark(Mickey Whelan for example).
    Bookies make the form team 11/2 half time/full time.Good luck all.

  18. Ciaran McDonald well fit for the Sunday game or any game.

    Enda Varley (?). It is up to himself. the only fault I see with him is that he does not kick the ball hard and far enough. How many times has the opposition – mostly the goalie – caught his kick for a score. He has the ability.

    He reminds me of kicking a football in the back yard and if you kick it too hard it will go over the wall and you have to go and get it. He can have a great game and I am wishing he will.

  19. just listened to McDonald on Newstalk, very very good, know his stuff and love football, have to say it was sad to hear the ” so called “green and red supporters abused him and his family when he started his fottball career with Mayo and missed out on 2 years
    Probably the best Mayo footballer in history!!!!!

  20. /\/\ League game in Charlestown against Kildare , i’m sure it was, idiots started giving it loads to members of his family.

  21. Hi facetheball, what was the name of that dubs forum that you got the team from ? Thanks

  22. Yea Sean remember it well and Liam Mc Hale got it on other occasions just because they were different Thank God they were

  23. Reservoirdubs is the website where you can see what the real Dublin lads think about us and the game on Sunday.

  24. I think freeman should start.More of a presence and might grow in confidence if he started a game

  25. Dublin team just announced: Cluxton; F’simons, O’Carroll, O’Sullivan; McCarthy, Brennan, Nolan; Fennell, Bastick; Flynn, Macauley, Cullen; Brogan, C’lly, Brogan — The GAA (@officialgaa)

  26. Same names as facetheball had. Different positions. Not that it would make any difference. Interesting to see Brennan back and MacAulay retained. The match ups will be interesting.

  27. To be fair, I don’t think we’re alone in having a few idiot fans. Club rivalry and general ignorance will always ensure some spite from certain supporters.
    McDonald did say that he regretted his 2 year exile from the inter county scene, saying how he shouldn’t have taken the actions of a handful of supporters as representative of all Mayo supporters. But as he said, he’s well able to handle the abuse, but once it starts on your family I suppose something had to be done.

  28. glasshalffull…cheers for the link!
    Excellent interview and great to hear him say he plays the game cause he loves it…class act on and off the field…why didnt he ask him if he’d like to play for the county again?

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