Horan horrified

There are a few post-match quotes from James Horan in today’s papers following our catatonic collapse up in Ballyshannon yesterday. I’ll get to the ones in the Irish Examiner and Irish Times in a minute, but, in case you haven’t seen them yet, here are the match reports from RTÉ, the Irish Independent and Hogan Stand.

As you can expect, James wasn’t exactly full of the joys of spring when the Fourth Estate caught up with him in the aftermath of yesterday’s hiding and he didn’t hold back in what he had to say either in his scathing observations on how his charges had performed.

Here’s what he said to the Irish Examiner:

We were just terrible today in every aspect of the game. We looked every bit a terrible team and we’ve got a bad beating, a very bad beating. We need to react in the right way. The amount of ball that we turned over today was unbelievable.

As I mentioned in last night’s match report, I was told after the game that we’d turned over the ball no fewer than 35 times over the 70 minutes – in other words, once every two minutes.

James goes on:

We wouldn’t have won a Division 4 game today, never mind a game in Division 2

And in Division One – where we still are (for now at least) – we’d get our holes well and truly kicked. Which is, of course, what happened yesterday.

James has more post-match quotes over in the Irish Times (where reporter Keith Duggan had a foot in both camps, as a Donegal native and a chronicler of our many misfortunes). Here’s the main one:

When you don’t have a platform of working hard enough, it gave Donegal an advantage. But a lot of the ball we turned over was unbelievable. We were terrible in every aspect of the game. We got a bad beating today and we need to react the right way to it. It could be a thousand little things. We will have to figure it out. But when you put in a performance like that, something is not right.

I know these are just words spoken in the immediate aftermath of a particularly scalding defeat but they’re not words that would fill me with any great confidence about the future. Why weren’t we working hard enough? And why weren’t switches made when it was obvious that those on the field weren’t doing the business?

While we’re on the topic of substitutes, why is the bench full of lads – such as Shane McHale, Aidan Campbell, Jason Gibbons and Alan Feeney – that James doesn’t appear to have any intention of using? You’d have to wonder what’s the point of involving guys that are unlikely to feature as subs, never mind ever getting a starting place.

And what’s the story with Cian O’Neill? I thought he was in charge of the physical side of things but by all accounts he seems to be the man calling the shots on the line during matches too. Isn’t that supposed to be the manager’s job?

It’s stating the obvious that “something is not right” at the minute.  That “something” doesn’t, however, seem to be confined to our recent under-par performances on the field, with James and his colleagues on the sideline urgently needing to take a good hard look at their own displays too.

60 thoughts on “Horan horrified

  1. Glad to see that James is not holding back, but how could he really? We were shite and there’s no way to sugarcoat that.

    I’d also be worried though by the comments, especially the “something is not right”. Well it’s time to find out what that something is.
    The management need to look at themselves as well, some very strange decisions being made lately.

    Still, it’s only March I suppose. Kerry seem to be flying at the minute, yet they also suffered a bit of a hammering so far in this league. So it can happen, but I’d be concerned that this latest performance came on the back of the Down game. A reaction was needed after that, yet the players seemed incapable of even putting up a fight yesterday, which is unforgivable.

    Hopefully the U21’s will give us something to cheer about on Wednesday night.

  2. Looking at the posts I see stuff like “worst since 2004” etc . Dates thrown up are like scabs on our collective, flop of 1982,86, 92, 93,94, 97 final, 99 semi final, I could go on but I would be seen as negative.

    Look someone, somewhere needs to stand those guys up, this county of ours and those that influence our team and tell a few home truths. We are seen as watery and weak when the screw tightens. We seem to learn nothing going back to in my case 1964.

    We give the players praise, we worship the ground they walk on and we the fear to criticize them. Time to tell a few of them that …that they are actually less than ffing ordinary and wearing a Mayo shirt carries a bit more to it than a handy introduction to the birds.

    In 1966 Italy was knocked out of the World cup by North Korea. I remember it well, I stacked a fcking load of turf that week. When the Italians landed in Rome airport they were met by a mob….who pelted the players with rotten fruit and told them they were a shower of tossers.

    By 1970 only the brilliant Brazil stopped Italy winning the World cup final. Since then they (Italy) added two more plus making another final. Now the message seemed to get through. I know, we wont throw cabbages at our boys but time maybe to see that they are seen nationwide as about having as much threat as Cavan, Offally, Limerick, Wexford and Laois have. And that folks is wrong….so what are they gonna do about it and I dont mean tweet, huddle or bullshit to the press. Aghhhhhh

  3. Not enough steel in our team.We need a few tough men.Too many small forwards–we can carry 2 but no more.We complain about AOS being sent off for hitting out–perhaps we need more of that. Nice guys win nothing.We need backs that can defend first & attack second, not the other way around.Hopefully Clarke is now our number 1 goalie.

  4. On another point – why aren’t the local media asking these question in post match interviews – direct questions like why can’t our forwards put the ball over the bar from 40yds out when playing with the wind? all too often the managers are interviewed and are allowed to give a general appraisal of how good or bad the team did, whatever happened to a direct question? it might serve to wake these guys up because at the moment they seem to be in a bubble removed from reality!!!

  5. I’ve no problem with getting the team getting more physical – and I agree we need more of that – but Aidan using the elbow in retaliation right in front of the ref certainly isn’t what we need more of. That act alone went a long way towards our undoing in the Down match, robbed us of his presence yesterday and will do so again next Sunday. We need to be far more cute about how we use our physicality and, like everything else, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel in doing so either.

  6. Agreed WJ and if your team doesnt have natural tough guys like we do at present then trying to be “Bad” is actually embarrassing. Our game is and was always based on speed and quick movement. Are you listening Mayo half forward line !!!!

  7. I wonder if we are putting ourselves up too high.

    Maybe we’re simply not good enough to stay in Div 1. We have struggled over the past couple of years and are struggling badly again this year. So maybe Div 2 is where we should be and playing against teams we are better equipped for.

    On the back of yesterdays defeat, if this is what we have to look forward to, well it looks like its going to be a short summer .

    Maybe also its for the best as another hiding in Croke Park is not what I need anymore.

  8. Wj you raise a very interesting point there….what is cians role in this squad? He seems to have assumed the role of manager. . . Is he undermining the actual manager? I think this is a problem. James Nallen seems to have gone to ground completely.he was not on the pitch once in the last two games. I reckon here could be fireworks over the course of the next week and honestly something is going to have to happen. A stance is going to have to be made by horan now. His first big test.the only positive is that we have hit this crisis in march not June. There is still time to fix it.

  9. Cain oneil may be doing the shouting but he is a physical trainer, maybe he is overstepping his roll a little. Horan needs to be the man, he is in charge or else walk away and let someone else do it. Once the players start giving up, if that’s what has happened here, then it’s very hard to get them believing again.
    Freeman and co should be running riot at this stage of their development, young lads with lots of speed and skill instead looking dead on their feet and being skinned by a pretty ordinary donegal team. And the reports say the tactics were a mile off yesterday, are they looking for an excuse to walk away or what?

  10. It’s too bad if a big personality clash is causing what could be a big year for mayo to go to waste, or is this collapse just a blip?
    I really hope the whole lot of them can sort it out and get Mayo back on track of ending this famine of ours.

  11. Hello, long time reader and 1st time poster.

    Just to say Willie Joe that this is a fantastic resource that you maintain here, really top quality. Thank you.

    On the thing about Cian O’Neill, remember back in the FBD when things were going well that people were openly complimenting Cian O’Neill for his input, energy and encouragement. Just because things have gone bad recently doesn’t mean that things need to be changed from what was previously seen to be constructive. Roaring and shouting doesn’t mean that he is calling the shots, although I would imagine he does have a valued input.

    Just to finish; keep the faith lads.

  12. I to was disgusted wit the performance of the team and its hard to phathom why we crumbled so much in the second half.We simply do not have the tallent in the county at present to compete wit the top teams.We seem to have no plan or system of play.THERE ARE PLAYERS ON THAT TEAM WHO ARE NOT COUNTY STANDARD yet some posters believe they will ad steel to team.Now we turn 2 blaming Cian oNeill …. WAS he around 4 the last 6o odd fucking years .

  13. Over the top reaction from some Mayo fans as usual. We won a few FBD games and 2 league matches and we re world beaters. Then we lose to 2010 All IRELAND finalists and 2011 semi finalists and we re the worst ever. So JH is wrong Cian O Neill is wrong James Nallen is gone to ground The players are not fit to wear the jersey and we should be telling them that. How mature. Its march. Were we doing so much better this time last year, yet we got to A LL iRELAND SEMI FINAL last August. A bit of faith and support rather than going over the top when we win a few and hurling abuse when we lose a few.

  14. agree with u in some points but exile it was in the manner in which they lost.how many games have you seen them play this season

  15. Last year was different, though, Exile in that it was James Horan’s first year in charge and he spent the whole of the league trying out loads of players (making at least six changes from one league game to the next). This year, he’s opted for a more settled team and, in doing so, appears to be placing more faith in the old guard. The results are bordering on alarming: terrible in the first half against Laois but then rescued by a freak goal just before half-time, terrible in the first half against Dublin but saved this time by the fog, good against an understrength Armagh but we still nearly got caught at the end, terrible again against Down and worse than terrible yesterday. That wasn’t our form last year and supporters are right to be concerned.They’re also well within their rights to voice those concerns here. Also Exile I think you need to distinguish between criticism and abuse – on my reading of the comments there’s been plenty of the former but little or none of the latter.

  16. willie joe as a man in the know do you believe in your heart tat we have the talent to compete wit the top guns. I don’t and tat where our problens lie.

  17. I agree WJ.I have supported Mayo since the sixties & I suppose i allways will.I never complain once the team tries its best.We have a tenden cy in Mayo to pick fancy rather then effective footballers. Too many of our backs are not tight enough & alot of our forwards can not kick a point from more then 20 yards. Our forwards never even try to fist the ball over the bar.

  18. Agree with you on the trying of new players last year WJ and indeed we have every reason to be worried especially with cork kerry and dubs to come but no team in div 1 too convincing so far with possible exception of kerry Maybe our lads in heavy training bearing in mind our late championship start. By the way excellent site with very interesting contributions Well done.

  19. So we got beaten by the All Ireland finalists of 2010. Lets not forget we drew with them in 2011 when they had Marty Clarke. We also beat the then All Ireland champions and current league champions twice.

    I believe that people who comment here and vent their justifiable anger are entitled to …just as those who hold an opposite view. I dont see an over the top reaction from people. I saw Mayo v Dublin albeit for 35 minutes and I was appalled.

    Yesterday in tandem with the Down match ( a team that Cork creamed in last years championship before we did them) was a disaster and no matter how you dress it up …its still abject. I for one would love to come on here and say “Hey we are on plan and on route and we will at least give it our all”. This years league has asked questions of us and the answers so far speak for themselves.

  20. Thanks for that Exile. I agree that Division One form is all over the place so far this year, with the exception of course of Kerry who really seem to be motoring (yet again).

    I’m not sure what I think, Raz. Like many others, I wasn’t too confident that we’d beat Cork in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final but we raised our game hugely to do so. It’s difficult to know how we’ll do this summer and it’s too early to be writing us off too but you’d have to say that our line of form wouldn’t give you too much confidence. There’s still time to turn things around and how well we manage to do this will tell us a fair bit about the collective abilities of the management team and players.

  21. Unfortunately the only sane conclusion we can come to is that we are simply not good enough to compete with the top guns … we have simply been deluding ourselves for years because of a few half decent performances here and there. When the players reach this same conclusion we get the type of performance we saw yesterday. It is all about belief and pride in the county. The players we have today are in the immortal words of John Cuffe somewhat less than ordinary. This will change when the players decide they want to change it … when they decide to make change happen. Otherwise nothing will change & we’ll still be blogging here for another generation.

  22. can’t 4 the life of me understand the amount of turnovers we had yesterday and why james does not balance his team better. Also any player worth his weight needs more than a few minutes as a sub. Lets give some of those lads game time and see how they perform.As far as i’m concerned alot of places are up 4 grabs

  23. I can’t accept the players are no better than what they showed yesterday. Not for a second. If I thought that we were that bad I would simply give up and encourage them to do the same. I will never accept what I saw yesterday as our true worth. For sure we are not near Kerry but we can definitely use the Dublin template and try and get closer to them. For me it’s a realistic target with this bunch of players

  24. When James Horan got the Mayo job everyone said to give the man time. We enjoyed some success in 2011. We win two and lost two in the league 2012 and all of a sudden questions are asked of Horan and his method and back room team and etc etc etc.

    Mayo are a decent team. The players let themselves down last Sunday and the management didn’t cover themselves in glory either. Ya that’s frustrating but we like the management are looking to see what players stand up and be counted when the chips are down. Not many stood up on Sunday but with alot of the unwarranted criticism levelled towards the set up I expect a backlash on Sunday next.

    With regard to cian o’neill, he is a top class coach with a fantastic record. He knows what it takes to have success. It was a coup by Horan to get him on board. Make no mistake either that James Horan is the manager. He has a dedicated professional back room team that is second to none in the country. Have some patience. Changes will be made and success will be delivered. Between the end of the league and our championship dates, there is lots of time for things to come right. Keep the faith.

    P.S. Kieran mcgeeney is in his fifth season as Kildare boss. He is highly regarded in Kildare and they play in division two. James Horan achieved more in his first season as manager of Mayo than mcgeeney has managed in nearly 5 years. Just a thought for ye…..

  25. Ill reserve judgement for a while longer,I think we all agree though league campaign has been unimpressive so far even though we’ve won two games.

    I’m not convinced jh is as competent as we are led to believe, his interviews etc, give me the inclination he is not too sure of himself ,,I’d guess he is very open to different ideas from others.

  26. It’s a pity that we haven’t looked so far as we can kick on from last year but from what I have seen and heard (on the radio) this year, starting with the FBD final, it does appear that the sideline may be where the problem lies. As someone has pointed out here previously, we don’t need to broadcast that we are a harder team, just get on with winning games you should win. There’s an awful lot of discussion going on in the sideline during games and apart from leaving it late in introducing subs, and switching players around a bit it makes me wonder if everyone is sure of their role. The backroom team changed last year and that may not mean anything but if the dynamic with this year’s backroom is not right, it needs to be fixed as soon as the league is over

  27. Patriot with all due respect the criticism is completely warranted. Some Donegal fans were actually laughing at our display yesterday. I could understand why too based in what I was looking at on the pitch. As for the backlash patriot, was the time for that backlash not yesterday after the horror show against down. I’m sorry but there comes a time when you need to call it like it is and stop hiding behind what might happen and call out what actually has happened. Yes we have lost two on the trot in the league before but not in this fashion.we reached a new low yesterday

  28. Mayo are now at a crossroads. First things first, if the players have no faith in the management, then why on Earth persist with 13 of them until the closing stages? I cannot for the life of me figure out why Shane McHale, Jason gibbons and Colm Boyle didn’t get some gametime yesterday. Bloody hell, the three of them would hardly be as bad as what was out there. On the issue of subs, someone asked a question on yesterday’s piece about the role of Pat Harte. Yes, he did come on in Alan Freeman’s stead, however Andy Moran was moved inside (obviously management thought to have a target man without the breeze!!!) and our ability to win some hard breaking ball was lost. I’m not sure now at all about what our proper midfield partnership is. Does anybody? I usually am kind of optimistic, but after witnessing the Laois game, where the goal before half-time saved us, the Dubs running riot before the fog came, the inability to score easy frees against Down and yesterday’s absolutely terrible performance, all optimism is drained out of me. I cannot see us maintaining our Division One status as I cannot see how the team can turn around and pull a magical performance out of the bag. I may be proven wrong though, I HOPE I am.

    Sorry if I went off on too many tangents, but the more I think about yesterday the more depressed I become.

  29. While conor mort is on the panal mayo wont go amywhere you have o connor a fantastic free taker on the sideline and put out of the position just to accomandate that [deleted – WJ] player my forward line would be o connor conroy and varley big stong lads

  30. i sound harsh butwhat i mean is that big teams have big forwards and and o connor varley and conroy would better to handle cork on sunday mort got no points from that not good enough he is too smallmayo to win on sunday and wed

  31. F’Deelin, did you lose you season ticket yesterday, or was that someone else?

    At this stage, unless we get points out of the big 3, we are reliant on Laois and Armagh not picking up anymore points.

  32. Are McGarrity and Trevor Mortimer gone from the scene- would it be a retrograde step to bring them back training??

  33. Caitriona – as you haven’t posted a comment on here before and understandably aren’t aware of what’s acceptable and what isn’t, can you please note that while criticisms about specific aspects of a player’s performance are okay, personal insults aren’t. A note on house rules regarding comments is here – please note for future reference.

  34. T.mort has been travelling and R.mcg is recovering from injury and building his fitness back up and they should be welcomed back into the squad when ready

  35. Can Ronan McGarrity be got back.(has been known kick an odd point from around the 40)I think James kilcullen might be worth another look. This would leave us with a surplus of big (able) players to shore up other areas. Do any of our forwards come anywhere even remotely close to the stature of Murphy? Other than Clark,Higgins and Andy there should be no dead certs in the panel on current performances

  36. As a team mayo dont seem to have a problem giving in , easing off when the going gets tough.
    This was noticeable last yr v Kerry last 10 mins.
    and Last sun wk v down last 20 mins. last sun????
    Are there no forces within our senior team which make it uncomfortable for guys to ease off. I dont just mean O neill and horan etc who obviously should make it very uncomfortable,is there no hard core within this team who would but the fear of god into anyone who drops the head…well thats a problem isn’t it.

  37. Well the way I see it the truth will out , this team is a very mediocre bunch ,we need a few stars to bolster a panel of decent players it’s hard to see a mc Donald or a nallen or a mchale or mcmenamon out there ,all the big teams have stars I think we might have one or two with that potential ,time will tell ,the worst thing that happened last year was for mayo to get as far as they did ,too much hype and expectation this year ,Connaught teams are at a disadvantage they win Connaught and another game then their in the all ireland semi .simPle were not. Good enough ,good teams are consistent and that’s not mayo .who is our centre forward ? I can’t see any one on the panel to fill this position,our wing back need to learn to defend ,don’t want to mention names but there’s three players that have been around for a good while they don’t need any more chances ,Joe Corcoran deserves to remain mayos leading scorer ,maybe a new captain and keep looking for strong tight marking wing backs.so when we play well enjoy it and when they start to play well consistently lets begin to hope

  38. Just to clarify T Mortimer is not travelling . He is actually now working abroad and was to return to panel but it looking less likely now due to those work commitments .

  39. Yes Digits that was me indeed. I didn’t hear the tannoy too well initially, I thought I won halftime draw!! But I got it back. It was embarrassing enough to be beaten the way we were, but to get called out in public for all to hear then made it worse! Now I’m ‘outed’ here too but I’m sure plenty know who I am at this stage.

  40. Ah lads settle a while, it’s the league, it’s not the end of the world if we end up in Div 2. Personally I would love to see us win the U’21 match against the Rossies and hopefully go on to win the Connacht U’21 and have a right good go at the AI. Cillian shouldn’t even have been on the bus to Ballyshannon. JH exceeded all expectations last year so cut him a small bit of slack in March, we are at least 4 players short of a good team and we have to look to the young players and maybe another year or 2 to get everyone in place. Heads up.Onwards to Kltoom

  41. did any one else here the rumors that the players were [remainder deleted – WJ].

  42. Mayo_lad – I’ve had to delete the rest of that comment as I cannot allow the peddling of unsubstantiated rumours about the players on this site. There are, I’m sure, plenty of places on the internet for this kind of stuff, this site isn’t one of them. Please bear in mind for future reference.

  43. that;s fine Willie Joe ,

    there dose seam to be a large descrepency between the preformances in ardmagh and the last 2 days out for the team .

  44. ‘Horan Horrified’….I hope he was horrified by the performance of the sideline too. They surely have questions to answer.
    1st half in Laois and in Dublin we were no good and then 2 bad defeats to Down and Donegal (2 Ulster teams…so it might just go to show the difference in standard and how bad Connacht football has gone? I dont know!).

    But one thing that I’m wondering does JH have any sort of game plan? Posters keep mentioning the other members of the management…but what is their role and is their viewpoint taken serious? Its quite odd that both Paul Jordan and Connolly left at the end of last season so what exactly is JH doing or more importantly not doing

  45. Willie joe last year when we played cork in castlebar i was impressed by the way we played. In that game james killcullen made his presence felt and i think he scored 2 points. Further more I DON’T think we lost when he started 4 us last year.Where is he this year……………….What happened last sunday is worrying and no matter what time of the year it is there can be no excuses 4 tat type of display.

  46. A wonderful piece by An Spailpin, as always.
    A cool head amongst what seems like almost endless panic and overreaction.

    An interesting game next Sunday. Cork will be smarting after their loss to Kerry, I’d hope we’d be the same after a woeful performance.

  47. Is James Nallen gone from the sideline. Don’t appear to see him running on to the field making changes similar to last year. Is this man O’Neill in charge? He gives a gee up to the subs just before the start of each game but it is not working.

    Willie Joe says in his orginal piece above that “something is not right” . Are we not “pulling together” as a Board and a senior team one wonders?
    Under 21’s tomorrow night in Kiltoom. Another under-age Connaught Final this year?? after this semi final. Do footballers peak at 21 in our county. We don’t appear to be able to do it after that.

  48. Completely agree with raz’s comments above.
    Kilcullen had a big game that day & given our current problems around the midfield area I too am wondering where he is.

  49. Re James Kilcullen, the last time he played for us was over in London last May where he lined out alongside Jason Gibbons at midfield (and scored a point). Aidan O’Shea came on for Gibbons in that game and then for the Galway match the two O’Sheas were at midfield. James hasn’t featured since.

  50. Spailpins piece is excellent as always. Mayo need to forget about All Irelands for a while and concentrate on less lofty targets – like surviving Div 1 – winning a Connacht title and doing themselves justice in Croke Park. And maybe……..just maybe in a few years if things go well and we improve sufficiently we might start having loftier ambitions again. Right now it is time to get the basics right by building the skills, fitness and mental strength of our best 20 / 25 players so that we can compete at Division 1 level.

  51. its all or nothing with Mayo fans…only a few months ago we were hailing the return of the Corncrake, now its Armageddon! We have a lot of work to do…and we had last summer after Cork too. Lets keep things in perspective,,,and can everyone promise not to get over excited if we beat a decent team this year in Croke Park…keep it until we actually win the all Ireland.

  52. By that way of thinking maradona,, there would of been no excitement in Mayo for the last sixty years, would of been a drool location in fairness, tourism would of suffered greatly. .lol

    Look boys and girls, we have to get over ourselves, shake off this prolonged hangover we have from competing at the top without getting the ultimate prize.

    I believe a doze of reality is needed, we had fantastic footballers in some of them periods since 1989, seven to ten out of some of them teams would of walked onto any county team. We do not have that calibre of footballers at our disposal today, certainly not as of yet, maybe some of them will come on to be great footballers in time. .

    Realistic goals at the moment is to retain the nestor cup.

    The most worrying trend I find of late is the lack of manliness of what we are producing. I wasn’t at donegal game but spoke to some who were the description of “two men hanging out of murphy and he kept plouging through” summed it up for me, reminded me of how Sheridan done the same couple of years ago, it’s like imposing forward lines can just say to our backs “get out of my way ya windy ponse” and they oblige after a faux attempt of boy like bravado

  53. Sean it wasnt just Murphy that just bowled our lads over. I counted at least 4 more occasions where a mayo player bounced off a donegal player and landed flat on their ar*e! Donegal looked an awful lot bigger than us. Someone once said a good big one is better than a good small one. Would an average big one be better than a good small one? The closest we came to winning sam in my lifetime was back in 96…then we had a bunch of men that could have represented ireland at rugby. they werent the most talented bunch ( i remember scores from play were as scares as hens teeth), but if there was a 50:50 ball to be won they won it and of course there was maurice sheridan too…..food for thought perhaps

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