Fit and ready

We is comin for dah Dubs

Photo: @Officialgaa

We got our All-Ireland final press gathering out of the way last night, nice and early well ahead of the big day itself. Much of what was said by those wheeled out to meet and greet the Fourth Estate won’t see the light of day until the week of the final but there’s a bit of coverage in the media today about what Stephen Rochford had to say last night.

By the way, isn’t that a cracking photo of Stephen at the top? The hooded eyes with that badass look and the Breaffy spires out of focus like some Bond villain’s secret hideaway. Throw in a menacing laugh and a furry white cat for him to stroke slowly and you’d have the whole deal. Beats Jim Gavin and his chartered accountant mien any day, I reckon.

Right, enough about the visuals, onto the words. There are reports on what Stephen had to say to the press last night in the Irish Independent and Irish Examiner, as well as on the GAA’s website.

They all cover much the same ground and it won’t surprise you to learn that Stephen didn’t have a whole pile to say to any of them. Managers nowadays rarely stray beyond the gnomic in their dealings with the media and Stephen is no slouch in the comms department so what got revealed last night was solely what he wanted to get revealed.

What he did say was that the 33-player panel are all fit and ready for action, minus, of course, long-term injury absentees Ger Cafferkey and Jason Gibbons. He praised the county board for postponing last weekend’s club games and he had praise too for Dublin’s performance last weekend.

That’s pretty much the sum total of what he had to say. Sure what else is there to be saying? It’s not as if he’s going to start coming out with some old guff about the great esprit de corp within his squad or about how they’re great lads at imagining the potentialities of extricating themselves from perilous in-match predicaments. No, let’s leave that tack to the opposition.

So, it’s September and the countdown is now on in earnest for sure. I got confirmation of this last night when I saw that August topped out as the busiest ever month on the site, with the 362k hits, surpassing last month’s record of just under 350k. Yesterday also saw the cumulative total exceed 8 million and the 2 million mark for the year will easily be broken ahead of the final.

The Good Lord can only speculate on what’ll happen to the numbers – or indeed ourselves – thereafter. Onwards we go.

Still searching for that ticket? Don’t forget there are six of them to be won in next Monday’s GAA Players Welfare Lotto.Play the Lotto here.

72 thoughts on “Fit and ready

  1. I work in Dublin and have yet to meet a Dub who is now 100% convinced of victory.

    From a mayo perspective, it’s a great place to be. Imagine the pressure on the Dublin players and management. Where as, Rochford & Co are coolness personified.

    By the way, season tickets still have not credited by back account. Am I the only one???

  2. Just got this from season ticket office.

    Thank you for your email.

    We will be doing a payment run today as our systems were down yesterday.

    We will be starting processing payments this afternoon.

    Kind regards,



  3. Tonyk my money not taken yet either have just emailed them. Wonder what section of cusack we will get.
    I think its great the fact thetes not much hype regarding us being in final as yet. Hooe it stays that way…. exciting times ahead great to hear full panel is fit and ready for action

  4. As a Kerry man I wish ye the best in AI final. No hard feeling against Dubs they won fair and square. They are a serious outfit but as ye showed last year your team have the legs and players to match them. Now ye have to insure every player turns up on the day and I think ye can do it.

  5. Even with a fully fit panel please don’t go deluding yourselves, Dublin are a monster to beat. We have 10 percent their population and the change from their back pocket to run our team on. Its going to take a miracle and some serious tactics from Rochford

  6. I see no reason why we can`t win our individual battles from one to fifteen. The right

    frame of mind is all-important.

  7. Yes Tonyk a Dub friend I met last night left early with his brother so disheartened were they. He hadn’t been at any of the recent Dublin victories over Kerry, so he went back into his default mode that Kerry were going to walk all over them again.

    Can’t understand the media lack of analysis of Dublin’s weaknesses, but long may it continue.

  8. Congrats WJ on reaching another milestone! I hope your data servers crash after the final. I think we could all handle that!! Up Mayo.

  9. I think those who are looking down the well for a complacent Dublin might as well jump in now. Dublin are way too experienced and good to take Mayo for granted and Mayo know this well. Mayo will need to play to their own strengths and come up with plan which I am sure they are/have been working on.

  10. Yes! … a big team Dublin. Big animal Elephant!! But nothings too big to be eaten…start with the tail and don’t forget the other bits!

  11. afternoon everyone. my first post for a while. delighted to have been in croker to witness our victory over tipp, and now we move onto the big one. Stephen Rochford has now brought two teams to all ireland finals in 18 months. The man deserves great praise. He has been up against it since his tenure began. Injuries and unavailables ment he did not have a full squad till late into the league. Our loss to Galway was a blow but they got back on the horse and now we are in final. Alot of talk bout the dubs professional approach and all their resourses. Yes they have all of that but when the chips are down and men are wanted to do something special they have guys who can do just that. U cant coach players to do what these individuals can do. They are talented. Connolly. Mcmanamon. O Gara. They kicked 3 great scores at the end. Never did they think of off loading to anyone, They took responsibility and believed in their own ability. Thats the difference between winning and not winning. Despite what is being said about weakness in the dublin team i dont see too many. So the task the next day for us is huge but not beyond us. Lets concentrate on our strengths. Our ability. We have guys who can also kick great points. Our defending has improved. We have big powerful guys. A management team who have got us this far. Can we go 1 step further? I think so. I know a major battle lies ahead but we thrive on that. We are underdogs. We thrive on that. We are written off. We thrive on that. We have big match experience and guys who can run all day. Thats why we are the only team who may take dublin down.

    Kerry lost 2 guys to injury in Donaghy and O Sullivan. They were losses. But territorially i felt the lost out badly to the dubs. They coughed up so much possession to the dubs and u simply cannot do that. Dublin get alot of bodies back nowadays and they tackle fiercily. On the edge perhaps. Very effective. Quick delivery into forwards is key. While the space is still there. There runners also have to be tracked. Dublin have pace and power in abundance. None of them lack pace. We will need to be fully fit ready to go. Every player must be prepared to die on the field to stop the juggernaut. The sight of a dublin jersey will be motivation enough for the boys in red and green.

    i was thinking of a new song for all ireland final day and i came up with franky valli and the 4 seasons hit ” cant take my eyes off u “. We could use the courus. It would go something like this :

    we love u mayo and if its quiet alright
    we love u mayo to win the sam maguire
    we love u mayo trust in me what i say .

    Not bad i reckon.

  12. “We love you Mayo, we do,
    Oh mayo we love you. ”

    Sang in the usual tune and its easily up there with dublins chant.

  13. I have been critical at times of the CB, but I will give credit where it’s due and I believe it’s due for the way they stood their ground on the “Dublin Joe” issue. Make no mistake about it, Croke Park had McQuillan lined up for the job and only for the insistence of the CB and a timely article by our neighbour Mr Breheny, he would have got it. (they still have him on the sideline though).
    It’s marginal gains that matter folks and while the war is far from over, we just won the opening battle.

  14. Credit to the Moffats/Martin McIntyre for having all in good shape at this time of the year. Please God all will be healthy and ready to rock on the 18th. Timing is key 🙂

  15. Liam, what Breheny article are you referring to, wenta googling but couldn’t find anything?

    Also what exactly did the CB do?

  16. Welcome back Toughnup and I can hear your choice ringing out all over C Park.T’would work excel but you de want to demonstrate to the masses who I’m sure would respond with great enthusiasm and joy!

  17. Liam, where did you see that about McQuillan being challenged? He was never in line for the final. It is always a quarter final referee and Joe McQuillan never did any.

    Mayonaze the County Board are selling tables of 10 with 10 stand tickets and tickets for the after match banquet for crazy money. I think it’s high class touting.

  18. A less incendiary interpretation of it, Cynthia, would be to call it corporate fundraising. It’s been going on for years in the GAA and personally I see little wrong with it. Being in a final is a valuable fundraising opportunity – especially for a county like ours, which, unlike the opposition, doesn’t have a tsunami of money coming into it every year – and we’d be foolish not to exploit this to the full.

  19. Fair point Willie Joe on the need for fundraising but why should the GAA complain about me selling my ticket for 10 times it’s value when they do the same themselves? There is a lot of fundraising needed to pay our historical bad debts. I just hope fair resources go to the team. I do think that a lot of genuine club members can lose out in these cases though and there is often little accountability about where the tickets go.

  20. County boards get tickets to distribute to clubs who in turn should distribute to those who play or help out or indeed just support their club as they do their county. Throw in the cairde supporters too. That is where the tickets should be going, I’m sure you’ll all agree. A large number of tickets this year above any year seem to be ending up in fundraising draws and other money grabbing ventures. Are the Cb going to do as they did before ie €2000 if your club wants extra tickets? Are the Galway Cb going to whip up a frenzy in supermacs in ballindine with their €10 to be in with a chance of a ticket? Are clubs going to fleece their own with all sorts of draws and lotteries. The answer for the real gaa supporter is sadly, yes they will.
    Isn’t it great to see the Gaa tackling head on those two problems they’ve spoken often about in the past few years. Ticket touting and the scourge of gambling.

  21. Cynical Cynthia the difference is you sell your ticket for 10 times it’s value and you keep the cash. The extra money the county board gathers goes into Mayo GAA/funding the team.

  22. Just read this on Dublin Live website…..what a sad spiteful, hateful little article from talentless git that can’t see beyond his own prejudices or come up with a viable newsworthy article bar this dung…..The Site Editor should be embarrassed to stand over that muck……. .Good job there are decent Dubs that love and really understand GAA and are proud to be of Ireland as a whole nation and all its people – not just one little corner of it. Dubs that you can have a good banter and the craic with and shake hands after a match – no matter what the score or result. Trash journalism from a Capital Tosser……

  23. I guess they complain when any sale is for personal profit. If a club holds a raffle and takes in a few grand for two final tickets that have a face value of €160 then there’s never a problem, nor should there be. If you or I flogged tickets for the same amount for personal gain then I can see why they’d have a problem, even if (unlike Brazil) nothing illegal would have been done. Fair point re resources going to the team – I haven’t heard that there’s any issue on that front this year but it is of course important that the funds are there. I get what you’re saying on the club members too but I guess the other side of that coin is that the bulk of the money that goes to pay for the running of Mayo GAA comes from the clubs so the more that can be got from other sources, such as corporate, the better that is from the clubs’ perspective.

  24. To be honest, Play the Whishel, I wouldn’t encourage anyone to bother taking the time to read that piece. From my reading of it, it serves no useful purpose at all.

  25. Bobtheman. .it’s still on the Irish independent site..just scroll down to top stories section and you’ll find it..

  26. To be honest anything on that website is generally just clickbait. The fewer clicks they may get, the better.

    Capital tosser is a good description for the Author though.

  27. Re, tickets!. The GAA is not a business, it needs the good will of the people, especially the volunteers all around the country and indeed the world that maintain it and help it to flourish. I have no problem with clubs or the county board’s raffelling tickets, no problem with County Boards holding Corporate events and that’s the way the world works nowadays. But there needs to be complete transparency in the way the association does its business. The Hickey /Rio (& now London) Olympics tickets saga has only begun, a non statuary public inquiry is now underway. I would not be surprised if it ends up a statutory inquiry, or in the Public Account Committee. In my opinion and I am. only a normal member of the GAA and a half normal Mayo supporter, any member of the GAA that resells an All Ireland ticket at exorbitant prices for ‘PERSONAL’ inrichment should never get a ticket again from an official GAA source. When I see a ticket advertised on the Internet, it makes my blood boil. I know what it’s like to be desperately looking for a ticket, by buying one of those tickets you are only insuring that things are worse for future years. That’s my Tuppence halfpenny worth anyway!

  28. The picture of Stephen is awfully good pity there no black cat with him their a sign of good luck a black cat.

  29. Willie Joe, I see the poll is at 67%-33%, how does that match up with previous matches over the years?

    Anyone have their account debited for their ticket yet?

  30. Well done WJ. Great to hear all are fit . Please god there will be no knocks over the next few weeks .

  31. NiallMc – poll results from our other championship matches were as follows (question was always, except where indicated, would we beat them):

    Tipp: Yes 88% No 12%
    Tyrone: Yes 73% No 27%
    Westmeath: Yes 89% No 11%
    Kildare: Yes 89% No 11%
    Fermanagh: No poll held (can’t recall why this was)
    Galway: Win 93% Lose 5% Draw 2%
    London: No poll held.

  32. I was at the match last weekend and I’m going to go against the grain here and say that I felt Kerry were very poor for the majority of the match and Dublin did just enough to beat them. Crowley seemed afraid to even touch Connolly from the first minute and didn’t get close to him at all. Donaghy, O’Mahoney and the Gooch to a lesser extent were relics of the past, none of them contributed to the game in any great way.

    Every article I have seen since is proclaiming this Dub team as the best ever (poss due to the fact that there are so many ex-Kerry players in the press) and I’m delighted with those articles. I simply cannot wait for the 18th, giddy up

  33. SkyHigh thats more like a comment on the Mayo Tipp game Tipp were mediocre and Mayo did just enough to beat them From my perspective the Dubs were very good last sunday apart from the 10 minutes before half time when they suffered something of a meltdown. I thought at half time that Kerry would win as I figured that with them having no sense of inferiority complex they would drive on. Dublin showed remarkable composure in the second half, coming back to level, and even when they trailed by 3 with ten minutes left they never panicked and won the match. Had Mayo produced a similar performance we would all have been drooling. I felt that after a bad opening 20 mins Kerry did ok too and overall it was an excellent match. I couldnt understand Fitzmaurice taking off Geaney, Kerrys best player, but I have always had my doubts about him as manager. He got massive credit in 2014 but was poxed with luck. We blew a five point lead against them in Croker when we were down to 14 men and in Limerick everything that could go wrong did go wrong yet we still took them to extra time . Meanwhile Donegal took out the Dubs, didnt perform in the final and gifted them a goal through Durcans error. I still believe that year was our best opportunity to have won Sam. If we are to win it this year it will take a fantastic performance to beat what is undoubtedly a brilliant team on a 27 match unbeaten run and searching for their 4th AI since 2011. But this is sport and anything can happen. Just look at Leicester and and Connacht.

  34. True that, another shining example was the New England Patriots in American football, unbeaten the whole season and lost the final which you would have bet a penny on them losing. Strange things do happen in sport but this Dublin team are really a good bit better than the rest of the top teams, Mayo will be doing well to keep the ball kicked out to them.

  35. Mayo the tune of tony Christie show me the way to amarillo….

    When the day is dawing on ai sunday morning..
    Oh i long to be there…sweet sam is waiting for me there….
    When we lift the cup..all of mayo will cheer….
    And we’ll bring it home to the party of the year…
    Show me the way to croke park..i have been dieing to see us win it…dreaming dreams of sam maguire…
    And sam maguire waits for me
    Sha la la la la la la..mayo….repeat last line a couple of times…

  36. theres a lot been made of the fantastic Dublin squad and that’s certainly true with regard to the forward unit. They brought on 5 subs agains Kerry 4 forwards and one defender, Michael fitzsimmons. Against Donegal when McCarthy was out they chose to play a forward, Kilkenny in the half back line. They don’t have the same strength and depth in their defensive unit. They are one injury or black card away from being in real trouble. Meanwhile our defensive unit in playing the best I’ve seen in it 5 years. I genuinely think if our forwards have their shooting boots on we’ll win the game as I’m sure that our backs will do the business.

  37. Hi guys . Just a quick note for none season ticket holders . Was resigned to not getting to this years final , all my old sources seemed to have little or no confidence in getting one . I live in the mid lands now and was telling a lad Monday at work the feckin torture of trying to get a ticket . He rang me this evening to say he had a ticket for me . Turns out his dad sponsored a team up here so got a couple of tickets . My main point is to keep trying and hopefully ya will have the same luck as I did…

  38. Dublin’s performance last Sunday deserves further scrutiny. Of 22 scores 11 came from Rock frees. Some say ‘they never panicked’ but McMenamon’s shoulder at the end was reckless if not ‘panicky’. They also created only one goal chance (in the first half which was butchered).
    My point here is that because they squeezed out a victory the press and public see their performance in an extremely positive light….and fail to properly highlight some shortcomings.

  39. I hear ya spotlight. But I think it’s good for us that the media big up the dubs as much as possible. According to mist we don’t stand a chance. What better motivation for our boys. A bit like galway against us. The media gave the team talk for Walsh. Their doing the same for Rochford now. I think our boys will be very relaxed. Kerry gave away a lot of possession and frees the last day. U simply can’t afford that against any opposition. Dublin did not panic as they have that swagger that champions have. Guys who can take responsibility and believe in them selves. They have class. We’re gonna need a lot of it too

  40. Inbetweener…i cant sing to save my life…hope you or somebody here knows someone who could release it!!! Ive provided the lyrics n tune…someone else sing it!!! Funnily enough ive had them lyrics n tune in my head since before the ’13 final….

  41. Some of the strategy
    1) Learn from last year about kickouts, long ball accuracy and Kerry’s mistakes in the semi.
    2) Try to execute the best match ups if we’re let as Dublin may not be predictable. Durkan could be the man to follow Kilkenny as he has superior pace and can be encouraged to attack when on the front foot. Lee will probably be asked to watch Connolly as is one of the few players in Ireland who does well marking him but if Connolly plays far up we need another back to attack.
    3) Learn from Kerry’s poor kickout return especially in first half the last day. I believe using AOS is one way of improving our return.
    4) Sweeper tactics, Dublin will assume it’s Kevin McLoughlin and try to counter so maybe vary it a bit with Diarmaid or midfielders coming deep.
    5) Start Tom P or not. I would say yes because early in the summer our 3 first choice Tom, Seamie and Barry were all either injured or recently injured and now they are all fit. Donie has done fairly well and maybe suited to Dublin for his tracking but would prefer Donie as 3Rd midfielder with J Doc losing out. Donie had very big work rate vs Tipp and his form suggests finding a position on starting 15 but I think we need Parsons on from the start to add stronger aerial ability.
    6) Where to play Keith. He will probably have 4 on his back but he’s great on the front foot so plan could be flexible so that when he makes a run a zonal defense is set in place until move is over and he can get back.
    7) Regards of tactics the lads need to be motivated to play the game of their lives. It’s a case of triumph over adversity.
    8) Plan to score goals, we’ll need a few to beat them and Dublin’s defense is not as good as their attack. They will work on not conceding silly ones like the last day but O’ Sullivan’s positioning should be countered. Take them on where they’re weak not strong. If O’ Sullivan deep play to wings and if he pushes out send in some quality high ball. Kerry sent those in too soon and from slightly too far out last day.
    9) Get out tackling technique back to previous years. I believe the 4 week prep will have us at 100% peak fitness which makes implementing our tackling technique easier to get right and hopefully Buckley will have been drilling it in. The late start and injuries have meant our fitness is later coming than previous years but it will be just right for the final.

  42. listening to most of the pundits and looking at the bookies odds (1/3 dublin) would have you think this is a foregone conclusion.

    however good this dublin side may be they were only 3 points ahead of donegal in the quarter final going into injury time and beat kerry by 2 points in the semi.

    we cannot go 15/20 minutes without a score as we have done in previous rounds and need to avoid a really poor passage of play.

    we have a chance though

  43. Shufflly deck. Good analysis. Another thing we need to stop doing is running down cul de sacs with the ball. We’re guilty of it a lot. Turning over possession to Dublin like kerry did is disaster because they will open u up from all angles. A strong bench too please

  44. Without question, the big wish is for a winning performance from the Mayo team. Failing that we would hope for a performance of grit determination and one to enhance the reputation for the future. And as time moves on the possibility of achieving both is appearing
    more and more attainable! And yet again J Horans face pops up!

    That’s a great round up Shuffly Deck. I can see it!
    However outside of what happens in the arena on the 18th it is so obvious that a great number of people are of the opinion that the fringe element of All Ireland day leaves an awful lot to be desired. It is possible that the call for a bit of, call it razzmatazz has its root right there in that musty old place!
    The v same format is religiously followed year after year. The same greying ageing faces splurt out their same long rehearsed vacuous commentaries.
    It seems to me that a great opportunity is lost by the GAA and twin RTE to add a bit of genuine umph to the day. The games just happen in a flash. The minor match is usually run off as though to get it out of the way of the main event and in the presence of a mostly inattentive,arrive at any time crowd! You don’t mind if you’re playing,its what’s expected and its part of what has become great tradition!! Whats dished out is accepted as though there was no other way. J Horan didn’t see things like that in relation to how fellas should apply themselves! it just seems there is something not right here…seems it should be different! Seems it deserves more….less trite, humdrum and predictable.With the whole world watching surely we can do better than wave a few flags and let out a few roars? Where is the great inventive imagination of the great GAA organisation? Where is our own? Well done Sinead37 and Fat Larry!! This is a day for great celebration no mater who wins. This is the All Ireland Final day after all which imo deserves an awful lot of spring cleaning and a general freshening up of procedures!

  45. Based on Dublin’s performance over the last 9 months, you would think they are definitely beatable. Based on Mayo’s performances over the same period, nobody is giving us a hope.

    Whilst we all seem to agree (or hope), mayo are building up to a big performance, I think we should realise, it is equally likely that the Dubs also, have another gear in them.

    So, as I see it, there are 4 possible outcomes:

    1, Mayo step-up, Dublin don’t. Mayo win
    2, Dublin step-up, Mayo don’t. Dublin win
    3, Both teams step up, Dublin win
    4, Neither team step-up, Dublin win

    I know things are not this simplistic, but if things were, then……….

  46. We should remember that Corofin, then managed by Stephen Rochford, beat St. Vincents, the then All-Ireland and Dublin club champions in the All-Ireland semi-final in 2015, so that augers well for us. Rochford had the correct plan in place to win that match, lets hope that it is the same on the 18th of Sept. against Dublin.

    In the league last year, the Dubs beat us by 14 points and you could see that when we played them in the All-Ireland semi-final that result was probably still in the back of our minds as we seemed tentative early in that game. This year they beat by 2 points in the league, that is an improvement of 12 points in twelve months. Lets hope that it will be the same in our championship meeting this year, that we will see an improvement similar to that from last year’s championship result.

  47. I reckon if we break Cluxton the rest will crumble. A lot of that team see him as a god who can do no wrong, but we saw last week that for that last 12 minutes of the first half the dublin half and full back line totally broke down after the goals. This led to even the mighty Fenton going quiet and supply of ball to the forwards ‘dusht’. Get in his head press forward on kickouts and take advantage of it.

  48. Dublin are very comfortable with the ball, passing it on with pace and great skill, if you let them? , great at taking scores from distance, if you’re not on their toes? . Great at creating goal chances if you are pushing up and get caught on the back foot! .. But we Mayo are not going to play into their hands. Tough challenge to stop a team with so much ability and belief in themselves. Dublin are now going for 26 or is it 27,consecutive wins, Dublin will trust in their own process.. Mayo will and I’m 100% certain disrupt their process. Some Dublin players may be a allowed plenty of possession, but the transition will then be disrupted. Cluxten will have it easy, and then every so often, extremely difficult as Mayo alternatate between between full court press & the concession of easy restarts. Any Dublin players, that are likely to be blow a gasget, eg. Connelly and Cluxten will be frustrated to boiling point, there are more Dublin players than those two, Philly the Saint, and the Johnny Cooper I would suggest!. likely to have a blow out, this is where the Mayo fans need to come in, raise the decibel level, they will be under serious pressure at times from Mayo, let the Mayo fans turn up the heat on them to boiling point at the right time. Diarmod O Connor wants the Hill to be Dublin only, (does he also want Mayo supporters to sit in the back of the bus as well, ala Montgomery Alabama,? Hope he doesn’t expect any sympathy from Mayo supporters! We are not naive in Mayo, let’s make it Loud, let’s be louder than the Dubs, Look this is Dublin, Aiden is definitely going to be a targeted, not just by certain Dublin but by multiple Dublin player’s but also the Dublin fans. Expect the same for Leroy and , Cillian. Every free into the Hill by Mayo will be out boo,ed. Dublin do this even to minor teams. ,We Mayo fans will need to go respond in kind . Let’s see if Dean Rock can hold his cool under the impression same pressure. I’m afraid there will be a no Samba rythem for the Dubs to get comfortable in, like there was for much of last Sunday, You ain’t seen nothing yet!

  49. Agree with HSE, Stephen Rochford has shown himself to be tactically astute and has been preparing this Mayo team to be flexible and versatile. While none of the performances so far have been at the level expected of Mayo, they have done what was required while adjusting to a totally different way of playing.
    I would think that the Tyrone victory will have given the team a belief in the SR system and the advantages it provides.

    SR has also strengthened the bench considerably this year and given most of the subs a reasonable amount of game time in the heat of battle.

    Now to beat this Dublin team the plan needs to be really good and executed to perfection quite similar to Tyrone in 05 who basically neutralized Kerry (A Kerry team that won 4 of the 6 All-Irelands from 04 onwards). It wasn’t pretty but they got the job done.

    No question about the appetite or commitment of this Mayo team, the questions is can management get the setup right and will the player perform to their potential. Its a big ask no doubt, but I think the mix could be just right.

  50. @Leantimes, you mention that Dublin are very comfortable on the ball and indeed they are. But the question is why are they so comfortable? Why is it that a Dublin man in posession looks so confident and at ease while players from other teams can look panicy on the ball when the pressure comes on. Is it that they are so superior to the rest of us in terms of skill?
    NO! They are no more skillful than the rest. It is down to this famous “process” they occasionally talk about. When a Dublin player has posession he always has one foolproof ‘out’. There is always someone behind him to take it off him if he gets in trouble. All he has to do is turn back and there it is. They work incredibly hard to provide this cover – a bit like an insurance policy. This knowledge gives great confidence to the man on the ball and allows him to play heads-up football always looking for someone in a better position. And it allows them to be patient and set up the runners who break the defences.
    There is unfortunately no easy way to counter this except to outwork them. It means running more, covering more, disrupting more. In other words a battle of wills, a battle of fitness and a battle of disciplined aggression……….starting with Cluxton and the kickout and continuing it until someone cracks!
    And Dublin understand this “process” and the importance of keeping posession. They also understand that other teams don’t quite get it and they put incredible pressure on opponents and cause panic and turnovers. Look how many times Kerry gave away the ball against them. Kerry don’t do this normally – they were forced into it by a team willing to work their arses off to make it happen.
    That’s what we have to do on 18th – outwork the b**t***s…………if we are able.

  51. Very astute post Diehard. I think we could be disruptive through sustained aggression but that basically is what our Mayo game used to be. It is energy sapping stuff and the problem is maintaining it for 70 minutes +.

    Against the Dubs we would need to maintain that for maybe 78 minutes. Being realistic we need a combination of approaches including this one you suggest either side of half time.

    The difference for the Dubs is they practice this process relentlessly ( same as McGuiness Donegal team ).

    They can trust the process because they have practiced it so much . We are under a new manager and I’m not sure he’s had the time for us to be as slick as the Dubs.

    However I believe Rochford can unlock this Dublin team with a combination of approacheds.

    Even so , the only way the players will actually win this All Ireland is if they are focused , fast and ruthless – all game long.

    Not sure you can practice ruthless . It’s either in you or it isn’t .

  52. I’d agree diehard re Dublin’s “process”. They never leave anyone isolated, there’s always someone to offload the ball to if a player runs into trouble. They always support each other, are always in the right position to take the ball on if another player gets into a bit of bother, and they are always hungry for the ball. They never seem to have this problem of running into a dead end or taking too much out of the ball, because someone is always there in support. They work incredibly hard to make sure they don’t get dispossessed. It’s a major factor in their success.

  53. swahili, while you maybe cannot practice ruthless you can sure as hell learn it , mayo ruthlessness has increased exponentially since james horan took over. I expect to see plenty of it on the 18th

  54. Roger Milla , I agree completely . But it will have to be at a level we have not seen before to pry Sam from the Boys in Blue.

    The Dubs ruthlessness in dispatching Kerry was at a level I have not seen yet from Mayo ( on the field of play ). Of course their post season showed a ruthless side to them ( off the field ). I also believe some members of the team namely Keegan and Cillian are the real deal in this respect and have real conviction , belief and killer instincts .

    However , Joe Brolly was right to question their collective belief – in themselves – when the chips are down -because it is actually the thing that will carry them over the line .

    I honestly think they will finally do it. I think there will be a moment from one of our ruthless leaders when the signal will go up to the whole team that ” we have this”.

    I don’t think it will be a poxy goal . It will be a statement of real intent and real conviction , a massive stop by Clarke , a huge shoulder at a key moment ” out of my FN way ” by Aido on O ‘Sullivan , a lung busting solo effort by Diarmuid or the like.

    I have always maintained that the quality of this team shows itself first in the forward attitude towards harrying the defence. When we are up for that I get excited about the possibilities.

    If they have true collective belief and collective killer instincts then there will literally be no stopping them. They will trample the Dubs.

  55. I have the prayers said for 2 weeks time really hope Mayo do it . Bit boring when Dublin and Kilkenny are wining it every year.

  56. That’s the style cait. I think we ll win it if there’s a God up there listening to prayers. He ll have no choice with the amount being said!

  57. I think the cats meeow will be tipped and topped or topped and tailed by Sumday evening after another phenomomonal clash in Croker.

  58. What are Dublin bringing to the table this year more than last year,
    They are minus 2 all stars and you have Bernard Brogan struggling to find his best firm,

    Then you have to have a close look at the Kerry team that they beat , Kieran Donaghy was never good enough for midfield even at his best. No pace, Aidan o Mahony 35 years old the sell by date well and truly over, The Gooch not the Gooch of old James o Donoghue not fit same for D o Sullivan , I also believe that Fitzmaurice lost another all Ireland for Kery , by not moving David Moran to full foward in the last 15 min ,Theose are some of the reasons why Mayo will win this All Ireland ,The referee saved Dublin ,

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