Galway review – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E15

Mayo claimed their second Connacht title in succession when they stormed back in the second half at Croke Park on Sunday, beating Galway by six points. The team’s uncertain first half display contrasted greatly with a dominant second half performance, creating several talking points from this novel Nestor Cup decider, the first to be decided at GAA HQ in almost a century.

In this episode of the Mayo News football podcast, we review Sunday’s pulsating Connacht decider. Billy Joe Padden hosts the show and he’s joined by Edwin McGreal of the Mayo News and by me.

We chat about the occasion itself, one that saw Mayo and Galway supporters being able to attend a match in large numbers for the first time since the Covid pandemic hit. We also discuss how the provincial final was won and lost, what Mayo did well and not so well and how they were able to turn things around after the break.

We also hear the post-match thoughts of Martin Carney, with whom Mike Finnerty caught up at Croke Park after the final whistle had sounded.

This episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podomatic and Spotify. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast on your platform of choice and can do that here.

The Mayo News football podcast is produced and edited by Ger Duffy Media. The show is sponsored by Ceramic City and Swinford Motors, two fine Mayo businesses with whom we’re proud to be associated this year.

52 thoughts on “Galway review – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E15

  1. Great stuff, thanks Podcast gang. That’s my plans this evening sorted.

    After a big win, I always listen back to the Midwest commentary by Michael D McAndrew and Martin Carney. Essential listening.

    Another one I’d recommend is episode 12 of the “Football Pod” on OTB sports with Andy Moran and Paddy Andrews. The first part is dedicated to analysis of Sundays CF. It’s essential listening too. Super stuff.

  2. Slightly critical article in the WP by Pat Holmes. He felt the 2 McLaughlins should have started the match and if we had lost this would have been a major criticism of Horan. I guess he’s right but I got the impression he doesn’t like to shower praise on the team.

    Has to be said DOC was very poor last Sunday and he needs to improve the next day.

    I also think Comer had the better of O’Hora in the first half and he still has a bit to learn in the FB role.

    The interesting thing is that when we win people ignore some of the negative aspects of our performance..just like the way they forget the positives when we lose

  3. Prenty opened up the possibility of future CFs also being played in Croker going forward. It seems they made .5 million last weekend.

    Not sure about this though – think they’ll be a backlash from supporters who have extra travel costs imposed on them…and don’t forget that last Sunday there were no concessions- children paid the same amount as adults.

    There’s only so far you can push people you know.

  4. I thought it was 500,000 the connaught council made from it?? Thought I read that somewhere

  5. It was, Liberal, Spotlight said it was .5 million not 5 million.

    On Croke Park Connacht finals in the future, I’m in the Yes camp in on this one in the podcast but I’d be an eejit not to be seeing as it’s within walking distance from home for me. Concessions are a must, though, they’re losing goodwill rapidly on that point this year.

  6. Spotlight you’re spot on about how we look at things in life whether we win or lose. That applies to everything outside of sport too. You could go as far as analysing the psychology of a relationship – when things are going well, you gloss over the bad stuff, when things are going badly, the bad stuff is all you see. Bit deep for a GAA blog but you get my drift!
    I’m sure (I’d hope at any rate) that management would be furious of those errors for the goals, especially the first one – Everyone just switched off, which is unforgivable. It’s their job to analyse it and you’d hope we wouldn’t see it again but we do tend to see similar mistakes arise so who knows.

    Very good podcast this evening, very interesting points discussed. Fascinating what Edwin said at the end – when we lost Cillian most of the county (including me) thought that winning promotion and connacht would be a great achievement without him. Now that those have been achieved, maybe we’re a bit greedy for more. We’ll be up against it with the dubs but it’s a free shot as far as I’m concerned. Keep up the good work lads!

  7. Spotlight is right. I watched the game back again and to be honest when watching it live in Croke Park I thought we had played better and it was a better game.
    We will have to lift our performance by at least 30% if we are to compete with the Dubs. The quality of the game overall was average at best too.

  8. Well, I’m definitely against holding Connacht Finals anywhere other than Connacht… It didn’t sell out last Sunday, the Connacht Council would probably have made way more than. that in a normal year if a sell out Connacht Final was held in Castlebar.. Would the Connacht GAA like local Connacht based businesses to support them in the future, if such a move were ever to become permanent.. By implication alone, it would lead to the further downgrading of Mchale Park, Pearce Stadium, and Hyde Park… Spend the money locally and use that money on amoung other things have your playing surface the best possible, .. Dublin would absolutely love if it was made permanent, .. Doubt that 3K Galway fans were present last Sunday, it takes two to tango, and ideally two sets of rival Fan’s… I hope it never happens!

  9. You have to wonder has Padraic Joyce set Galway football back 2 or 3 years, players the quality of Ian Burke, Adrian Varley, Michael Daly, Ciaran Duggan, Eoghan Kerin, Martin Farragher, Barry McHugh, Michael Lundy, Fiontan O’Curraoin, Dylan Wall, Eoin Finnerty let go or not involved in the set up and most of these players coming into their peak having won the 2013 All Ireland Under 21 title. There is definitely a lot of talent in Galway but fortunately for us most of them aren’t in the current squad.

  10. Report in the Indo today that Aidan O Shea received a facial Fracture below the eye just before half time.
    O Shea said that the injury did not bother him in the second half.
    There will be stories coming out of that game for years to come.

  11. Didn’t O’Shea get an accidental clash of heads just before half time? Don’t think it was a belt to be honest.

  12. Very valid point made by Spotlight. When we win the negatives are glossed over. When we lose the positives are often ignored. We were very poor in the second quarter both in defence and attack. The two goals were very different but the similarity was that they were defended poorly. Our attack was literally going nowhere in that quarter. If you looked throughout the team at half time there were not many lads playing well and we were losing lots of individual battles. Having said that huge credit must go to team and management for second half performance. We got the start we needed with the penalty and after that we drove on, and won most of the individual battles all over the field. Lads who had struggled in the first were now dominating.This reflects very well on the mental strength and character of the players. When it was over there was the feeling of elation especially based on the second half turnaround. But we are very much a work in progress. We will make mistakes as we strive for greater consistency and some of our team (more established players) did not have their greatest days but in fairness had been hampered by injuries in the build up. Overall it was very pleasing but we have a lot of improving to do before the next day Well done to all. You continue to represent us so well on the pitch and brighten up our summers as you’ve done since 2011.

  13. CarraigDubh – you’ve got your facts wrong there and in fairness to the Galway player I’ve deleted all relevant references from your comment.

    As Erris Head said, the incident in question was accidental in nature. I was down at that end of the Cusack Park myself and saw it with my own eyes. It was a purely accidental clash of heads.

  14. I thought it was a great game. If I was asked at half time, I’d have said the quality was very good. People whom I’ve spoken to said they thought it poor (TV). However, the injuries in both halves disrupted the flow of the game, and for short attention-span modern viewers, that’s a problem. They probably switched channels for a while. Hands up, I’d have done the same if it was another pairing. You have to be absolutely focused to get the essence of a game, and being there helps.

    Some non-Mayo people who criticise us, often have only seen chunks of a game, and pick out something stark, say Coen’s wide for example, to dismiss us, but they have really haven’t done their homework. Not so the posters on this blog. I pay attention to those Galway people who post here, because I often learn from their well-informed take on things.

  15. Be in no doubt, it was a great win but really just an OK performance. As has been said improvements will have to be made to compete with the dubs. Just a few very basic observations.
    Will our backs and midfield be able to chip in again with 1-5 from play plus Robbie 45, 1-6 in total.
    Our starting forward will definitely have to come up with more than 4pts from play out of their 1-6.

  16. No the idea of more Connacht Finals being played in Croke Park, it’s a definitely NO from me and the thought shouldn’t be entertained by Mayogaa or any other county board. This year was a once off because of the numbers but from now on Connacht games should be played in Connacht. What’s the point on putting money into grounds if the biggest game of the year isn’t played there. Also not fair on town businesses be it in Castlebar, Roscommon or Galway having the biggest GAA game of the year taken away from them not to mention added cost to supporters. Theres more to the GAA than Connacht council making a few euro.

  17. Great podcast lads. Like you John, I’m still fuming about the disallowed goal. I thought he just used the hip to nudge the defender. After getting home I watched it with my son in law, whose still playing the game. He saw nothing wrong with it either. Quick question, has anyone here ever seen Donaghy of Kerry being pulled for it. He did it all the time.
    On another point. Everyone praised James for the changes at halftime and rightly so. But one thing I noticed during the game was the amount of times Ciaran could be seen talking to him and more importantly that you could tell he was listening.
    Finally best statement goes to Billy Joe.
    Galway were Sh..e.

  18. Connacht finals played in Dublin should not even be considered unless in exceptional circumstances such as this year.
    Connacht towns and businesses deserve to benefit from these occassions as well as the obvious point of making it an easier journey for the vast majority of supporters.
    Money and a minority of supporters who would benefit from having the games in Dublin (and I’m one of them) shouldn’t hold more sway.

  19. On any Connacht games being played outside of Connacht, I’d be against it really. This year with Covid and numbers being able to attend should be an exception and only unless we have a continuation of the current situation should that ever be considered.
    My views on this are that if you’re going around Castlebar or anywhere in Mayo looking for sponsorship it’s hard for a business to justify the spend on a hoarding that won’t be seen by the audience that it’s intended for. I can’t imagine cox’s or whichever bar had it’s name on the side posts in McHale being delighted at their money being spent on that while there’s no mention of their business or sponsorship on the hoardings in Croke Park.
    And I say this as someone for whom Croke Park is by far the easiest ground to reach.
    I get that for the players they want to play in Croke park and I was speaking to one who played on Sunday that it would make a big difference to them to be playing in front of 18,000 rather than the 2000 odd vs Leitrim, and to be fair it is the players that have to make the sacrifices for our entertainment, so if there is anyone who should be consulted on this it’s the players themselves.

  20. On the game itself – it would give you plenty to worry about and to be excited about at the same time. We certainly can’t have any of the failings in the second quarter of the game re-occur against any opposition we might face It from here on out, not even for 5 minutes.
    It was certainly a game of 2 halves and while we were fortunate with the injuries Galway got (Finnerty, Kelly, Walsh) we came out with a far better attitude in the second half, dispossessing Galway countless times when they attacked and a much more cohesive forward unit in place. The first half certainly looked like our lack of experience against Division 1 sides was playing against us. Keeping Galway to scores from frees only in the second half was quite remarkable and we appeared to have structured our defense much better and gotten our match ups right. I can’t help but wonder however how much the cross wind is a factor when shooting into the Hill. We had a number of wides that side ourselves, and Galway weren’t able to score for Toffee when heading that direction themselves.
    We should also have won by more and I’d be hopeful that we will be working on putting right the chances we should have really buried the last day.
    Do’C sending a shot wide from the ground should at least have been a point.
    Ryan’s Goal was a fair goal all day long and should not have been disallowed. I’d echo Willie Joe’s comments insofar as had that been Clifford or O’Callaghan there is no way a ref would have disallowed it – refer to Con’s goal when he pushed Keegan in the 2019 Semi Final for a start, or even the 10 steps taken for his 2017 AIF opening goal. There’s no point in bitching about those scores but it’s making the point that he was allowed take those liberties, and there is a serious lack of consistency in the application of the rules between referees.
    Eoghan McL’s chance was well saved, and Robbie converted the 45 so we’ll chalk that down to both keepers and leave it as a point.
    James Carr should have scored a goal when he went for the point at the end. This does come with a bit of an asterix however as I was down that side of the pitch and my match going colleague pointed out to me how McLoughlin berated Carr when his first pointed effort went wide. I’m sure that was on his mind when he was one on one with the keeper and knowing that 6 points up is better than 5, the point was the safer option, but I still think he would have buried if he had gone for it.
    From those 4 efforts – we should really have had at least another 6 points on the final scoreboard.
    Taking the positive from it all – it’ll hopefully be worked on for the next day. We have a fair bit to work on but I’m not going to get ahead of myself. Assuming Dublin beat Kildare – and given how Kildare played against Westmeath it’s hard to predict anything different – we’ll have our work cut out for us and I’m not buying that whatever regression they have endured has brought them any closer to us or us to them. They would be rightful favourites against us should they win Leinster. If it’s Kildare, I reckon we’ll have enough for them.
    If we can address the issues we saw the last day, I think we certainly give the Dubs a right good rattle.

  21. Spotlights’ comments are worth noting as the euphoria is wearing off – we were pathetic in second quarter and the lack of truly competitive games was very apparent. On the positive side Kevin Mc took charge when he came on – it was a big mistake not to have started him as well as Eoghan Mc. I think we’re still vulnerable in the FB line – it was ever thus!. Re the move to the Croker for Connacht games – the whole provincial system may be due for an overhaul – get the Dubs out of headquarters too.

  22. last point for now – I also thought we managed the game well at the end, something we’ve never really been able to do in the past, and I had visions of the game in 2009 vs the same opposition that meant Peader Gardiner had to pull our fat out of the fire. I wasn’t alone as a Mayo supporter not far from me roared a reminder of that day as we came down the closing stretch.

  23. The next Mayo v Galway Connacht final could be played on a freezing March Sunday if Congress votes for Championship reform option 2. Provincials would replace the league in the spring as basically Championship warm ups. I don’t think We’ll be taking our seats in lower Hogan for that. Option 1 is moving an Ulster and Leinster team into Connacht to give all provinces equal numbers. A trip to the new Casement Park to play Antrim in Connacht Championship would certainly be a new experience.

  24. There must be an awful lot of Leinster based supporters on the blog if the idea of holding the Connacht final in Croke Park isn’t being laughed out the gate. If the job of fundraising wasn’t difficult enough it is now being suggested that the one day a year when a county town might get 30k supporters spending a few euro in the local economy be moved to Dublin, how may I ask can anyone ask a local business to support them?
    Connacht GAA doesn’t make its money from sponsorship, it makes it from gate receipts where as County teams are hugely reliant on local businesses. When Covid is over and we can get grounds back to normal capacity why would we need to go to Croker? Have we not spent enough money in every shop, take away and pub from Frenchpark to Clonliffe road over the last 20 years. If the structures are to change regarding the championship then so be it and not before time, but until then lets not continue to redistribute anymore money to the capital than we need to.

  25. I think that keeping the 2 Mc’s til the Galway legs were a little heavy shows that we are thinking of the bigger picture.It’s now an 80 min+ game,and finishing with the strongest 15 on the pitch has got Dublin over the line in all their AI successes.Kudos to James & his gang.

  26. FDBinashui touched on a very pertinent issue which doesn’t just relate to last Sundays game i.e. shooting into the Hill. Both teams struggled to score last day as there was a cross wind.
    Not saying we don’t struggle at the Canal end on occasions but it’s definitely an issue.
    I’m pretty sure Cluxton always always points to the Hill when Dublin win the toss – they have the Canal for the 2nd half and it’s not just the Dub fans putting the forwards off.
    We can’t play into the Canal both halves but it needs addressing by team/management.

  27. Aha- Government has announced that crowds will double for AI semis…the fun is starting now

  28. Mayo fans , this could be ur year . Dublin are regressing .
    15 players have left the panel since 2019 and while we still have a good team they are vulnerable this year. Not having Jim Gavin to steady the ship is huge.
    Watching Mayo against Galway showed that Mayo are getting stronger and I think this year they can take Dublin.
    Unfortunately I don’t know if they are good enough for Kerry .
    Anyway having had some great years following my team I think there will be a new winner this year .Genuinely hope Mayo can at long last win Sam . They deserve it.

  29. @spotlight, govt are considering raising the allowed attendances for Croker, not a done deal yet….. 36k/40k in there should be manageable.

    Having watched back most of the game now, as others have addressed, we were bad in the first half, a better team would have done more damage but that’s all ifs and buts.

    It was good to get that poor performance out of the system when it happened. Learn from it and plan.

    We did leave 2, 4/6 behind us. Can’t happen again. Dubs will be ruthless.

    The long wait continues to mid August.

  30. I don’t have criticism with not starting Eoin Mc or Kevin Mc . We had other match ups that were wrong in the first half . Weren’t we always jealous of the dubs and their game changers finishing team ? We now have lads who can come on and make huge impact. That’s the way I’d see it .

  31. Hi John,
    The current Dublin manager won the All Ireland lad3t year in his first season in charge.
    Make no mistake Dublin are favourites this year to go all the way.

  32. John Martin, I think you saying it was a big mistake not starting Kevin Mc and eoghan Mc is ridiculous to be honest. Especially in light of how the game transpired. It’s an 80 minute game. How many times have we started our best team in big matches and ran out of steam with little or no impact off the bench. The dubs have been so good because they recognise it’s a 20+ man game and they have previously spoken of their finishing team being stronger than their starting team. Glad to see James Horans management and selection has evolved and tactically he was on the ball on Sunday. He and the team will be ready for Dublin

  33. @Our time has come.. I doubt seriously that the any of the starting Dubs think themselves inferior to the finishing Dubs.. A first half like last Sunday, against the Dublin first 15, and we would be too far behind for it to make any difference.. Absolutely Kevin McLoughlin and Eoghan McLoughlin should be starting, it’s an absolute no brainier… Both can finish 80 minutes game,.. The Veteran Kevin McLoughlin and one of Mayo best ever players, is one the fastest quys on the Mayo team, while Eoghan McLoughlin is an absolute phenomenal athlete. . The Craft of Kevin McLoughlin was badly missed in the first half last Sunday.. If you were to mark the score card on all the Mayo starting 15 last Sunday,.. I can think of 3 who would have low marks!

  34. @Our time has come.. we were seriously short of experience and were rapidly rolling over in the first half. We’ve been used to the leadership of Cillian in those crises moments but in his and Kevin Mc’s absence we were being over-run. Dublin have got the jump on us in the 1st half in most of our key encounters so we simply must match them in the early stages and that requires guys with craft (Kevin Mc) and, to a lesser extent, Eoghan Mc, for his speed. Muighe Abú.

  35. Im sorry Leantimes but I have to disagree with you . If the other match ups right and we were well in the game we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. Are you honestly telling me you don’t see the advantage of bringing on a sprinter in the second half running at a team that has all ready done 35 plus mins in the soaring heat ?

  36. I’m with you on this lean times. Ideally, it would be brilliant to finish with your strongest fifteen. However, for that you’d need an incredibly strong panel like the dubs have. Looking at our 26 the last day, we don’t have that luxury. We need to get ahead of teams. An athlete like Eoghan Mc can easily last 80 minutes.

  37. Watched the game back and it struck me again just how important goals are. The first Galway for goal settled them and rattled us and their second just added to that.
    Our penalty after halftime set us up for a ferocious comeback.
    Goals are worth more than 3 points – they inflict psychogical damage on the opposition. Dublin know this only too well and always try to stick one in early on. Kerry the same! Above all else we need to make sure they (and I am assuming it’s Dublin we meet) do not get an easy goal chance early on. Manage this and God only knows what might happen

  38. Leantimes, I agree with your sentiments on Kevin – a most under-rated legend nationally and still as pacey as ever and heaven knows I was crying out for his introduction at half time on Sunday. I also agree that a first half like we had on Sunday against Dublin would see the end of our campaign.

    However, and this is where we disagree, it is impossible for any team to play an entire 80 minute match at 100mph like we did the second half. It’s not sustainable in the modern game no matter how good your fitness is. Kerry don’t do it, Dublin don’t do it, Tyrone don’t do it. This is because of the “whole team press” – every attacker defends and almost every defender attacks. Dublin have become masters of slowing the game down to conserve their energy and attack in purple patches. The thing is Dublin have become quite sluggish in the second half of late, probably because they don’t have the strength in depth they once had to spring from the bench.

    So if we start Kevin and Eoghan, who then do we launch from the bench to give us energy and momentum in the second half? I’m not against starting either of those guys by the way, but you need to look at the big picture of finishing games, even stronger than you start them. It worked well on Sunday and Heaven knows that’s been our downfall in the past

  39. Your right Tommy+Joe .Eoin Mc would last 80 but it’s not just the physical impact he will have but the physiological impact on other teams thinking to themselves well fuck it this lad is seriously quick I have done a half of football not feeling as fresh and be like god this lad is going to run hard at us and we have to try hold him.

  40. County board have just announced that Hastings insurance brokers have taken over the naming rights of McHale park.

  41. Really interesting debate regarding Kevin and Eoghan and all points are valid. Perhaps start one and leave one in reserve? I’d personally start Kevin. A wise, experienced head. I’d also worry that if we’re being too cute then the Dubs could be out the gap after 20mins. Starting both sits better with me. Unfortunately a couple of players may deservedly lose their place because of last week’s performance and Kev and Eoghan deserve their start. They’ll be buzzing. Start players on form.

    I watched all of last years final last night. Con’s goal in the first half did us in. Plain and simple. We’d recovered superbly from the 13sec goal and were moving well. But the second goal was a sucker punch. Too many unforced errors throughout the match but the Dubs had a few themselves, and like us they missed a few easy points too. They just finished stronger.

    Unfortunately our subs made little impact and the last 15 minutes were torture. We all knew it was game over. I’d almost forgotten Fitzsimons’ nasty hit on Lee. Raging. Lee was in a terrific position as is his pattern in clutch moments in All Ireland finals. That was a moment whereby we could have pushed on but it was thwarted. I hope Lee and the lads get their sweet revenge.

    To be honest, watching it has brought me down to earth from Sunday. We’ve a job of work to beat this Dublin team and until we do there’ll always be the question mark. But its fair to say we have improved on last year. But… Cillian was super in the final, especially in the first half. He’ll be missed in 2 weeks time. We can’t afford to have passengers. Aido needs a stormer. He has it in him. He had a poor final last year. At least the FF option is a very viable one now for him. Mixing it up with work out the field. This is probably the best way to use him.

  42. @CarraigDubh I met Aidan O’Shea on street in Castlebar on Monday afternoon and not a mark on his face.

  43. One point a lot of people seem to be missing about Kevin and Eoghan is that both of them were not in the match day 26 for the Leitrim game so maybe there was fitness issues (covid or otherwise) that would have left question marks about them lasting 70 odd minutes.

  44. Slightly off point but it’s gas Sligo/Leitrim loose by 20 and 24 points, the talk is they should be in a second tier champo.

    Cork loose by 22 points, nothing said.

    The big tactical decision that needs to be addressed going forward is using a sweeper.

    There is too much space in front of our full back. That ball off the post the last day, in theory, would have swallowed up by a sweeper and the second goal a sweeper would have forced him wide or pass probably leading to a point at worse.

    That tactical decision was made by Dublin after 2014 and it made them the team they are/were.

    It’s hard not to see us dominate Connacht for the next few years. Galway are miles off it, no conditioning, inability to press kickouts, and no team work all individuals no savvy in their play.

    It will take them a minimum of two years to address if they even do.

    Keep an eye on Sunday because Dublin could catch fire. There is every chance they will blow Kildare off the pitch and us and Kerry along with them.

    It’s a game that will tell alot about Dublin and where there at.

  45. I have heard people say including in the podcast that galway have better individual players than mayo. Can someone please explain who they are. Other than Shane Walsh they have no better individuals than 9 or 10 mayo lads. This has been spoken about for a long time and hasn’t been true since the 98_01 team. Just a thought.

  46. A mistake that we made at the start of the second half of last December All Ireland final, was to bring on aand play with a sweeper, with Mayo a man up for 10 mins (maybe James Horan was thinking of the early second half anslaught of the 2019 All Ireland semifinal).. Dublin had a man black carded right at end of the first half.. Look I think that the strength and experience of the Dubs stronger panel would probably have caught us before the end in any case.. But on the score board we were well in the game at halftime.. But the energy used to score enough points to nullify the Dublin goals took it’s toll. Also while both O’Conner brothers were playing very well, we ended up with Cillian playing too much of the second half in his own half of the pitch… Diarmuid had a brilliant first 3 quarters of the game, definitely getting the better of arguably the best player in Ireland, Brian Fenton, .. But really the goals against us were killers, and Dublin are no Galway and know how to keep a lead, and kill the game!

  47. Diarmuid looked very tired in the Galway game. I would hold him in reserve and start Darren McHale in the half forward line.
    Agree with the view that we need to really assert ourselves on the first half against Dublin as Dublin can be very streaky and finish you in 10mins. To that extent assuming he is fit to, would start Eoghan McLoughlin wing back. So the halfbackline would be the quickest in the country Paddy Durcan, Oisin Mullen and Eoghan McLoughlin.
    Stephen Coen is perfect for nullifying James McCarthy. James McCarthy has been a problem for Mayo in almost every big championship game we’ve played. Regardless of McCarthy at midfield or halfback, he’s essentially a middle third player whose value is in driving at the opposition with his galloping power. Now, the thing is he’s on the downward curve part of his athleticism at this stage factoring 31 years of age and mileage. Stephen Coen still 25 is at his peak power and athleticism wise. Stephen has always been a very disciplined player when assigned a role like that. He’s brave too, he won’t shirk to go in hard on ball on the floor or in the air. For me a quieter James McCarthy is massive.
    I’d be in the school of starting plenty legs so our middle would be Mattie + Stephen Coen.
    Brian Walsh Conor Loftus and Darren McHale.
    I would hold Kevin McLoughlin in reserve as at 32 and mileage I just would favour him entering a game that has slowed down at half time or later if half forwards going well.
    Then you also bring in Conor OShea and Diarmuid OConnor. Try to wrest the momentim if the game coming down the stretch.
    Diarmuid and Conor OShea from the bench fresh is a lot of power and size to bring on.
    If we can be patient with Aidan at 14 he creates space for Ryan and Tommy.
    For it to work we need to come down the stretch with fresh big men with legs out ariund the middle to secure posession. We don’t want to be needing to hit the batman alarm to bring Aidan out to midfield because we can’t secure kickouts.
    Assuming we can be in a good position I really love the idea of Kevin McLoughlin beingbouncing off the ground fresh and having Aidan inside as a target . You’d assume things would be loosened up a bit with bodies getting tired and the card count with yellows.
    Strategically we’ve always gone hammer and tongs with our best 15, often with a few oldies or non athletic players in terms of pure running. We’ve ended up at the 60 min mark and we hadn’t the legs for the players who play full game or the bench options strength to make an impact. We’ve been pretty comprehensively beaten if you stacked up the total run of scores 60mins to finish all of the Mayo Dublin games.
    Like even pace running in the 800m, Dublin don’t improve, it’s that we have been tying up and falling off at the end of the game.
    To my eye test we look fitter this year, just in terms of pure repeated running ability.
    I think we look a bit more settled as a team.
    Think our defence has more pace than its ever had.
    With Cillian being out I think there’s some merit in almost being overboard in a mix of stamina and pace on the pitch. Ya we’re all in on that ticket bar Aidan who is more of a power and size player, but when yiu have 13 outfield players that are a mix of either raw pace or pace/stamina or stamina, and your 14th is a power player, that nearly makes you competivve on its own merits. Gaelic football unlike soccer has quite a bit of performance reliance on raw running ability and power.
    The bit that concerns me is a lack of height and size. It’s why I’m such a fan of the idea of Conor OShea and Diarmuid from the bench.

  48. Watching the Ulster final. The strategy with the keeper coming out on opponents kickouts and covering the space is very high risk but makes sense. I don’t believe Mayo employ that strategy but could be something to look at.

  49. anyone know what the story with reservoir dubs forum is, was it hacked recently?

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