Get well soon, Andy

As the excitement from Sunday’s memorable All-Ireland semi-final win over the Dubs starts to subside and we begin to gear up – with no trace of any fights about where the homecoming shindig will be held – for Game 5, it’s only appropriate to pause and reflect this morning on our stricken captain. Andy had his cruciate op yesterday just up the road from here in the Santry Sports Clinic and he’s now apparently targeting the latter stages of next year’s league campaign for his comeback. Obviously, he’s still enormously important to us off the field – as the above photo of the subs’ huddle prior to throw-in on Sunday demonstrates – and will be too the next day. Get well soon, skipper.

Coverage in the national media about our game is now, understandably, tailing off as attention rightly turns to Sunday’s hurling final (where, incidentally, it’d be great to see Galway take the first of this year’s All-Ireland titles west). It’s worth pointing you towards Darragh Ó Sé’s column in today’s Irish Times, though only to say what a rank take on Sunday’s match this is.

As Sean has already pointed out in the comments, Darragh reckons we have Joe McQuillan to thank for our win and instead of providing any kind of considered analysis of the game he instead opts to provide a blokey account of the day a few soft Kerry lads spent going up to the big city with their big soft mouths wide open (all the better to be after horsin’ pints into them) and having a whale of a time altogether. And there was me thinking Darragh was a serious football analyst when instead he sounds all the world like a poor man’s Billy Keane.

The Irish Examiner’s John Fogarty, meanwhile, manages to squeeze the last ounce out of the “Dubs to appeal” non-story by penning this article that confirms the Dubs won’t be appealing anything. Time to move on, John Boy.

You’ll probably have gorged yourselves on the local papers at this stage – I didn’t make it into town yesterday myself but I’m planning a raid on Eason’s for definite later on today – but both the Mayo News and the Connaught Telegraph have stuff online that worth mentioning.

The Mayo News has Mike Finnerty’s match report, Ed McGreal’s post-match quotes from James Horan and Aidan O’Shea while the same writer also has quotes from Mickey Conroy and Cillian O’Connor. What the latter said is worth repeating, I think, as it touches on the dreaded ‘H’ word (no, not the homecoming, the other one). Speaking with a wisdom that belies his tender years, the Ballintubber sharpshooter has this to say about the danger of too much excitement in the Mayo camp ahead of Game 5:

Everyone knows there’s always going to be a bit of hype, there always has been over the years but I think we can deal with that. That’s for the fans to deal with, for them to get excited and to get hyped up, and that’s only a good thing in the county. But our job is to make sure it doesn’t affect us.

You heard the man. Right – Paint? Check. Sheep? Check …

The same paper also has a piece from Mike Finnerty on the three things we learned about the team last Sunday and there’s also a piece by Ballinrobe native James O’Connell who was flying the flag over in faraway Sri Lanka as the battle was unfolding at Croke Park. The usual match analysis pieces by Sean Rice and Noel Connelly haven’t been made available online yet but that’s where the bike and Eason’s come into it.

UPDATE: Sean Rice’s analysis (and very good it is too) is now online – here. Thanks to Roger for pointing this out.

The Connaught Telegraph also has a few articles worthy of mention (even if they don’t say who wrote what). Here’s their match report, an analysis piece, a bit on the key moments and issues in the game and another article with quotes and stuff.

As usual, the Western People are stuck behind their paywall and won’t come out to play at all at all. I know this whole how-do-we-make-money-in-the-face-of-the-shift-to-online question isn’t an easy one to crack but staying rooted to the sidelines altogether surely isn’t the answer, not least given the more enlightened approach their competitors are taking.

Finally, I think we’re due at least a small snigger about the up suas in the Donegal camp over the homecoming celebrations. I know that this is a thick-as-shit local politicians’ issue and has nothing to do with the Church of Jimmy the Redeemer but when The Man himself finds that he has come down from the pulpit and wade into the issue then you know that they’ve screwed up and that they know this too.  Jimmy reckons that talk of homecomings is “disrespectful” both to his disciples and to us infidels. Quite right, Jimmy, you said it, Jimmy, give it to them, Jimmy. Round 1 to us, I reckon.

35 thoughts on “Get well soon, Andy

  1. Fair play to our Enda and Johnno who both achieved prominence in post match papers
    Enda pictured at he Game dressed predominately in Blue and the Bauld Johnno out side croker also donning the Blue. Not a bit of green or red on either. No hype there then adda boys!!!!!

  2. Sorry guys that post should have gone in the day after spot
    What I really mean to say here is Fair play to Andy Still the heart beat!!

  3. Shocking stuff from O’Se alright – and he’s supposed to be one of the better analyists out there. I guess the ability to talk irrelevant gibberish down in Kerry isn’t limited to Paidi O’Shea and Billy Keane. No mention of Kevin McLoughlin in his ‘analyis’ either, despite his presence and then lack of presence having such a bearing on the game. O’Se is more one-eyed than the supporters that were around him with that piece.

    Never mind. Just pin it on the dressingroom wall alongside the Donegal victory parade details.

  4. “You heard the man. Right – Paint? Check. Sheep? Check …”. I laughed out loud at that line, thanks Willie Joe.

  5. O’Shea was definitely overstating the influence of the ref on Mayo’s first half lead. We led because we deserved to, better shooting, better decision-making. Then again, the more people write up Donegal and the more they play down Mayo the better, as far as I’m concerned!

  6. “And there was me thinking Darragh was a serious football analyst when instead he sounds all the world like a poor man’s Billy Keane.”

    Ouch. That’s harsh.

  7. Darragh O’Se: What Mayo did when they could see that the tide was turning was to drop deeper and get more men back in defence.

    Kevin McStay (in commentary near end): I can’t believe Mayo aren’t bringing men back. They are still going man-to-man.

    The people to best judge Mayo football are us folks here ourselves. Some analysts get things right about us sometimes, most don’t. If John Cuffe or An Spailpín Fanach start writing nonsense, that’s when I’ll get worried! :p

  8. I read what O Se wrote and it’s not a true reflection on the game. But to be honest I don’t care what he writes. Some of Our local guys obviously see it from our point of view. I enjoyed Sean rices piece in the Mayo news. Read it if you can.

    One journalist who really is getting in my wick is Martin Breheny in the Irish Independent.. He is constantly getting andy and Barry Moran mixed up. Today is was the turn of Seamus and Aidan O Se. I’m referring to A picture of Seamus and a few libes tgen about Aidans score on sunday…..He is either a lazy so and so or just keeps making errors to get on our nerves….

    I hope we are going to be continually wrote off. Suits us grand. Colm O Rourke says Donegal are invinsible. Really Colm? Sure we will show up anyways and see how game 5 goes…. And I hope Donegal sort out their differences over the homecoming in the not too distant future….. It’s important to get it right so keep squabbling till Ye do lads…..

  9. Oh and best of luck to Andy Moran. I know Andy is doing a cycle in two weeks after a cruciate ligament operation for Mayo/Roscommon Hospice! What a guy! I’m looking forward to seeing Andy back to full fitness in the league next year.

  10. Joke going around Donegal this week apparently:

    No issue with tickets for the final now that Mayo are in it. Since their supporters generally leave All Ireland Finals at half time, there will be no shortage of free seats for Donegal fans in the second half.

    Another one for the dressingroom wall perhaps…

  11. Lads i’d put the homecoming thing to bed, Donegal are no different than most counties, they organise a homecoming before the game itself, it’s a win or lose homecoming, we had them too, right back as far as 89 up to 04 anyway, i can still remember the big stage set (89)up in the square in Ballagh outside durkins pub/resturant and Jimmy Browne giving a rousing speech about going one step further the next year ( we were knocked out 1st rd in Tuam if my memory serves me right).

    In 04 it was in mchale park, players were a tad embarrassed about it all that year (i think). My point is these plans are always in place beforehand.

  12. Poor stuff from o Shea. His book was the same shite. They just will not give Mayo any credit. If we were wearing Kerry jerseys last week they would be full of it about the best match ever blah blah blah.
    Thought Horan did very well on the line in contrast to Gilroy. What ever about Alan Brogan why leave McMenamon so late? He was always going to cause us trouble.
    Barrett did great for first match. Vaughan is still not firing. Just not happening at the moment.
    O Shea is grt bit of stuff but wont last 70 mins. SOS with 15 mins to go? Or up FF for last 10 mins.
    23 lads played last sunday. Freeman won vital free, Boyle was boyle, Gibbons looked sharp, Feeney was class, Lee not missed at all.
    Dillon and Kev what a display of intelligent football. Caff had a stormer and Keith……..WHAT A MAN!
    Spoke to a worried Donegal man yesterday.Mayo were not part of the plan at all. Just think its setting up very nicely at min.
    Now McFadden time to strain a hamstring or something……………..just a thought.

    Dub supporters very sporting. Only prick i met was a meath supporter, dont get me started!
    Hup Mayo

  13. The article from O’Se is simply pitiful.

    I can’t even bring myself to comment on his final paragraph.

  14. lads dont worry who says this or who says that .. He’s paided to say stuff like that and his pay masters are Dublin based. People like Daragh would want Dublin to…. more ching ching for another cute kerryman……………………….. Savour the moment and enjoy the build up to the allireland. Hey Andy get well soon and all the best in your recovery…..

  15. Hearing one of our paralympians on the radio this morning making the case that this paralympics seems to be more about ability that the athletes have rather than their disability got me to thinking about those that analyse Mayo football games – they are always on about our failings rather than what the team can do . Just saying like

  16. Firstly – Get well soon Andy. Not only is Andy a great footballer and a true leader but he is a gentleman off the field. Any young footballer couldn’t pick a better role model.
    I said before the Dublin game in a post that whatever the outcome our lads would do us proud and that now it was a pleasure for me to go to a Mayo game in the certain knowledge that they would give a great account of themselves and not get hammered by anyone. Let me go one step further – these lads are the real deal – they are damn good!
    On another point us Mayo folk know only too well that AI final day is a different beast – it does funny things to players. I reckon Donegal players will face problens the likes of which they could never have imagined on the big day and I wouldn be durprised if some of them cracked!
    Their huge vulnerability is their well aired belief in the so-called system! Now dont get me wrong – belief is a wonderful thing – but is also quite delicate and fragile. What if Mayo were to rattle in a few well taken early scores – maybe a goal or two? When belief turns to doubt and hope turns to fear and the burden of hyped expectations and the prospect of failure and disappointment looms and 82,000 are watching its amazing how heavy the legs get, how narrow the posts become and how big the opposition look!
    As I said many times before ……football is a funny auld game!

  17. You summed it up Diehard-Well done to all last Sunday and best wishes to Andy in his recovery

  18. Yes we all wish Andy well. Darragh O Se is entitled to his opinions and even negative opinions can have their uses. In a way its better than praise.
    With regard to hype what is important is that there is balance. How do you support well and yet not add to hype. I think focus is the answer. I would rule out mad songs, cars painted all over the place ,wild exorbitant claims and one sided analysis – a bit of which we have got in the last few days. Donegal are a very good team. You must accept that and then look at how they can be beaten.Rubbishing their players (or supporters) is childish and the day of sticking articles on the dressing room wall is long gone.
    It would be silly to imagine that people close to the team (even players) do not read blogs. So we must be positive and realistic not using hyperbole and exaggeration.
    if we have good suggestions to make – let us make them and let us save our flags for the day. The lads are in nodoubt all of Mayo and beyond is with them.
    Of course we can enjoy it but I remember the team being waved off being distractions in 2004 and 2006 as well as 1989 .
    Above all leave the lads alone!! No asking for tickets, no mad rumours being put to them, no pressure. THen we have a chance- a real chance.
    And consign Mike Denver and all that rubbish to the bin.

    One final thing- Lets stay to the end to support the lads no matter what.

    Keep the ideas coming- I think the real strength of this site is the positive and intelligent suggestions that are made.

  19. I see Gilroy is gone. He looked a beaten man.
    Hilarious talk about homecoming in Donegal. What a can of worms for McGuinness. We are two points up already. Keep the hype stoked up there lads. Very happy down here.

  20. Looked at the game on the rte player last night. I think we had 3 clean catches all the game from kickouts(Barry 2 and Gibbons 1). Sorry to be negative, but we really did not perform at all well in gaining primary possession in the middle third from kick outs despite all the praise our midfield got. Dublin won that area and a mixture of poor dublin attacking and great defending by us helped us counter that problem. There was huge pressure on the backs. McAuley and Flynn won loads of ball. Brolly said at half time that we were been cleaned out a midfield and he was right.We will have to be a lot better in gaining possession in the final.
    Can we be guaranteed to be that efficient in front of goal the next day if we have less possession again than the opposition?
    Vaughan really needs to up his preformance big time as well. He looked totally lost. He will come under serious pressure now from Barret and Feeney.
    Sorry to be negative but we need to look at these things.

  21. Agree with facetheball Donie was poor, however, he can up his game. He’s a proven performer and having gone through the debate to drop him I don’t think we should at this late stage start making such a serious adjustment. He comes under such serious scrutiny because we are used to him playing so well in the green and red.

  22. 1. The publicity about the ref beforehand did us no harm
    2. Management did a great job.
    3. Whoever the psychiatrist is he/she did a great job. With no disrespect to Andy Moran he was hardly mentioned before the game. it was not an issue. James Horan when asked about it he said “we moved on from that three weeks ago”.
    4. Some people in Donegal are saying that we only need half a ticket as we only stay until half time. At least we know how to apply for them and where to get them as we have been there more than once in twenty years.

  23. Cool Hand Luke…..you’re absolutely right…..as well as the call for restraint on car painting, sheep painting etc., the razmataz team send off to the game should be a definite no no…….Just let James and the lads go and do the business for us, then celebrate big-time ! I recall interviews at the departure from Knock Airport one of those years, incl a very cool-acting Liam McHale giving a comment or two before the team embarked, and the whole thing backfired sadly on the big day. Again on another excitingly hopeful trip to a final (2006 ?) in Croker with the Da, we pulled in to a pub in Longford for a motivational and soul-charging ‘Up for the Match’ pint break (….we thought !) and I was dismayed to see Liam on that show, when asked about our chances against Kerry, say the immortal line “…..anyone but Kerry”. Don’t get me wrong…Liam has given great service to the county and many really great displays for us at midfield, but the days of Mayo fearing any team are over, the days of Mayo being affected by any of the usual cliches and put-downs before a ball is even kicked are gone.

    I definitely think Mayo turned the tide there in 2011 in the Kerry Semi…..A loss certainly, but a great determined display of team play and intent (until Gooch zapped us), and for the first time, I sensed none of the pre-match jitters on the pitch or in the crowd that sadly affected us in the 2004/06 finals…..that sickening feeling that your chances are gone….. On to Dublin last Sunday, and you could sense there was no fear in the Mayo camp at all, and that was there too from the throw in against Down…….that they’d go out to do the business in a professional manner and win or lose, the absence of jitters/fear would be a key feature of that performance………And they certainly proved that !

    I looked again at the last 10 mins on You Tube this evening and was amazed at the determination of Mayo not to lose that game, and indeed to win it scoring, which we did.

    So for me, that focused calmness and determination that James Horan has developed in this team is worth a handful of points in any match. Even when the chips are down, they regroup, try to play their way out of trouble and don’t panic, and I expect that character to be displayed by our lads against Donegal on the 23rd, and it will be a big factor in us winning the Sam for the first time in 61 years……

  24. Is it possible, as some donegal fans are saying that donegal are a fitter team than mayo? I thought Mayo would be up there at this stage.

  25. Hype is thousands (myself included) back at Knock Airport seeing off the team in 1989. Hype is stupid/asinine songs blaring 24/7 on MidWest.
    Hype is annoying the holes of players when you see them in town asking for autographs and photos. Saw this first hand last year the Friday before the Kerry game.
    Hype is having hundreds parading around the town in full regalia the Friday BEFORE the game-http://www.castlebar.ie/St_Pats/All_Ireland_Fever_in_St_Patrick_s_BNS_2708.shtml
    Hype is publicans offering to sell drink at 1951 prices for the homecoming parade
    Hype is anything that interferes with or detracts from the teams preparation or focus.
    Hype is former players giving interviews saying things that are dressing room material for the opposition

    We’ve been there before. We will be there again. Head down. Say nothing. For once let’s do our talking on the field

  26. Best wishes to Andy certainly, as for some of the points raised in earlier posts. Did’nt read what Darragh O Shea said, dont care, it wont redister with the team.. ……….Are Donegal fittet than Mayo? well maybe they are. The real question should be are Mayo as fit as they posibbly can be? I would certainly say so…Mayo are doing most of their work on skill, I dont think Donegal are not quite as skillfull as us, or at least they havent shown the same level of traditional skill as us thus far..the problem playing Donegal has been the way they set up other teams would need super human fittness levels the way they have played. Eg Cork played really well in the first half but could’nt maintain that level of performance!……So I likef some of the things we done last Sunday, all Mayo footballers are able to play off the cuff, good long kick passers of the ball, did’nt bring the ball into tackles in front of the Dublin goal, so that’s why I give us a very good chance of upsetting Donegal. Now it was a fantastic day last Sunday to play that type of match..At playing that type of match Mayo are certainly one of the best in the busines, …Another thing, Mayo have serious pace all over the field. So Donegal may be the fittest team that ever played gaelic football, but with most or all their team camped inside their own 45, tne majority of that team have not been tested in covering the full pitch, if Mayo can build up a lead, they all of a sudden might find their not quite super human fit as previously taught..So come Game 5, Mayo players need to kick long & accurate, very quick decision devision making & any scoring attempts, hopefully over the bar, but at all costs the ball has to be kicked dead. Last Sunday, we kicked very few wides, and at no stage kicked the ball into the goal keepers hands..so plenty of eveidence there that we are well equipted to deal with Donegal, and for an encore, sure we will break into Forth Knox!

  27. Its a fair assessment that this Mayo group have steadily improved each game since the League game in Ballyshannon, definitely improved,
    I think its fair to say that Mayo will improve further in the next two weeks, that Mayo will concentrate on their own game plan first rather than changing to negate Donegals, but there is a knot deep in my stomach that says our best performance Vs Donegals best will give donegal a result unless something external to our own control happens on the day to swing it in our favour, I suppose we will just have to wait and see, Nothing beats being a mayo supporter of this current group they give their all and for that we are thankful.

  28. back to the football, we did indeed get a beating at midfield on primary possession, Cork would be considered to have one of the best midfields in the business and they got absolutley wiped by Donegal. Dublin won alot of primary possesion in midfield, however we wont alot of that back relatively quickly before they could get into the scoring zone so it wasnt as damaging as it could be. However, that takes shit loads of energy and is one of the reasons I beleive we were so dead towards the end. Donegal wont give that posession back when they get it, so we absolutley have to improve that.
    In the first half it may have been a tactical thing as Aidoxi was dropping more back for kickouts and seemed to be playing more of a role of “well if they get it we wont let them pass”. This area really concerns me for the final and could be the winning and losing of the game

  29. Get well soon to Andy.

    I agree with some of the comments re: midfield. Although a lot of this was tactical. We pushed our 6 forwards up onto the 6 Dublin backs to prevent the short kickouts. This leaves the midfielder in more of a one-on-one situation. While Barry and Aido held their own MacAuley did very well against Vaughan in fielding ball. However we defended excellently by letting MacAuley carry the ball but not getting drawn to him – he won’t score too many – and sticking to the inside men.

    The trouble started when MacAuley went to midfield and McMennamon came on around the same time as McLoughlin went off. This meant Dublin had finally their best man in midfield and had another proper half-forward winning dirty ball, while we lost our man doing that job.

    I think then there was some dithering over McL coming back on but really S O’Sé or Gibbons could have came on earlier. They, along with the re-emergence of McL, helped turn the game back in our favour.

  30. East Cork, thats true what you say about Cork’s highly rated midfield getting beat by Donegal’s, but last year the 2 O’Shea brothers annilated Cork in midfield, another thing Kerry’s Antony Maher totally dominated the skies v Donegal..so I suppose its all about on the day, we got loads of midfield options..I wonder if Donegal winning primary midfield posession & us disposessing them would’nt suit us better?. Donegal’s game has been winning the ball back from the attacking team & quick, very well supported counter attacks, so we should’nt play into their hands. Donegal are not unbeatable, fact! We should look at what the teams that got near Donegal done, eg Tyrone & Kerry, ok you might say Kerry were well beat, but they lost their free taker, concided a freak goal & Jack O Conner got it seriously wrong on the day, his finishing 15 included had several walking wounded, having taken off several of his fit players, most noticably & bizzarly Declan O Sullivan, So plenty of grounds for hope,

  31. Donegal have a big problem, rising to the occasion to beat Kerry and then being able to do it again to beat Cork was a big ask. The question in my mind is will they be able to do it again, I don’t think so and its our poor displays of the past that gives us a huge advantage here. With all the hype around them now and being the ‘superteam’ that has taken out the two Munster sides in the toughest part of the draw, it will be near impossible for them to take us as serious opposition. That coupled with the fact that we are utterly unpredictable, grinders one game and flyers the next or both ,as we saw on Sunday last gives J Messiah a much harder job than James H.
    How could any manager work a game plan to counter such variance whereas the Donegal ‘system’ is the most covered topic all summer.
    Kerry and more so Cork varied their games to suit (or so they thought) the Donegal style while abandoning their own proven winning technique.
    The only thing that could get in our way in this one, would be ourselves (mindset and fitness)…Sure Donegal have Mc Hugh, Mc Fadden and Murphy but havn’t we got eleven or twelve of such in our side, scores from anywhere and anybody and huge totals to boot. This Mayo side has some serious footballers and more of the likes that have not been seen in a mayo squad for decades. There are a few creases to be ironed out before the 23rd but JH will, no doubt have all his pressing done come then.

    Best wishes to Andy Moran…….Maigheo Abu

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