It’s Armagh

Photo: Mayo Advertiser

The draw for Round 3 of the qualifiers has just been made and we’ve been paired at home against Armagh.

The Round 3 ties will be played this coming weekend, with full fixture details to be confirmed later.

UPDATE: The match has now been fixed for MacHale Park at 7pm next Saturday. It’s being shown live by Sky Sports.

116 thoughts on “It’s Armagh

  1. Second worst draw. Home game though at least we’re not on the road again. Will be very tough. We won’t get away with the weak defensive structure we had in Newry.

  2. Tough draw but I still think we’ll beat them. The only worry I have is that it’s another week where it’s going to take a lot physically out of the players for the second week on the trot. Armagh are full of running and will give us plenty. Could really have done with a “softer” draw leading into the next few weeks.

  3. We need to be able to beat Armagh in Mc Hale Park if we are serious about Mayo 4 Sam. Yes we might not have everyone fit but 15 that get jerseys and subs on the day need to show they deserve the Jersey. Time for complacency is gone andcstep up from. Down performance required.

  4. Hard to believe the four strong teams drew each other.
    It’s a sticky game but we are capable of beating them so let’s get on with it.

  5. I don’t want Armagh we never play good at home if we don’t fix the back line it’s our last game of the summer I think we could be in trouble hope not we need to get behind the team pack out with green and red we can be the 16th man they need us more then ever

  6. Joe 2 – please stop using the ‘Joe’ handle. Someone else has a prior claim to it. I think this isn’t the first time I’ve had to say this to you. I’ve added a 2 to your handle for now.

  7. In fairness folks if we can’t win our home games we have no business looking to progress to the Super 8s , we should be well able for a mid table Division 2 team . We’ve won three games at home this year, time to make it four.

  8. Two key players to focus on from the first minute.
    Rian O’Neill needs to be man marked by Leeroy.
    Jarlath Og Burns, midfielder but we should put him in constant physical contests with Aidan to wear him down.
    They have a smart pacey player Jerome Hall, I don’t think he could handle the likes of Brendan Harrison.

  9. Armagh will be disappointed with that draw.

    Remember they’ve had a harder road so far than us and they have their own injury concerns. I’d say it will be hard for them to rise again 6 days after beating last years AI semi finalists.

    With AOS in the form he is in I can’t see us slipping up here. Mayo by 5 to 6 again at the weekend.

    Don’t understand why some posters here are so negative and fearful.

  10. We need every supporter possible in MacHale park. We need a better defensive system also. One plus about been at home, is Darren Coen certainly knows where the posts are in cbar!!. Still feel Armagh are slightly over hyped, but would still rather not be playing them when we could have offaly or laois. Can’t call the winner of this one.

  11. It would be a much toucher draw if we got Tyrone in Omagh or back to Newbridge against Kildare. I think we will have Cillian and Carr back for this one and if we get our defensive structure right I think we will get over the line.

  12. Horrible draw really, but no real history between us and them. Don’t know really where we are as a team and don’t really know where Armagh are at either bar their unexpected win over a decent monaghan side. Real headscratcher this on. However for what it’s worth on the day I expect a massive mayo support at this one.

  13. Another good test for us but one we really should be negotiating if we have any business in competing in August.

    Wanted to avoid Tyrone and to a lesser extent Kildare.

  14. Two good thing about the draw is (1)its at home and (2)if we don’t sort out our defence we won’t have to travel to support Mayo again until next January. Armagh have good forwards they will punish us and put us out unless we aren on top of our game.

  15. Armagh and Down are around the same level and Mayo have home advantage here so its a easier tie than the round 2 one. Avoid Galway and Mayo should sail into the last 8.

  16. Betfair have us as 2/5 favourites, with Armagh at 5/2…they also have the game marked down for 5pm throw in!

  17. That’s a tough draw. Would expect it to be on TV along with the Kildare/Tyrone match.
    Given travelling fans from Armagh, would be good to have ours at 5, and the Kildare game at 7.

    Not sure what to make of it, one of the 3 teams we didn’t want, though at least we’re at home. We’ll need to improve from Saturday and stop the runners coming through. If we do that, we can move on to the next round.

  18. Not a bad draw, could have been harder, imagine having to go to Omagh or feck1n Newbridge at 7pm on Saturday evening, no thanks. Armagh are a decent and improving side, they have pace which could bother us, we need to shore up the defence. Me thinks Keegan will need to do a man marking job on O’Neill, he seems to be their go to danger man. Glad it’s at home, saves on travel for both supporters and players alike. Supporters need to play their part again, fair play to all that went to Newry. Let’s turn MacHale Park into a fortress, bring the flags and colour. Good to see the large flags out at the weekend, more of the same next week is required. Up Mayo!

  19. I’d still be more worried about Jamie Clarke than Rian ONeill.
    Clarke is a cracking footballer..

  20. Tricky but winnable. Armagh are about the same level as Down even though they are in division 2 and they lost to Cavan (who are ok but not world beaters). Its pretty much the same team that lost to the Rossies last year. They have good forwards so we need to tighten up at the back. My feeling is we’ll be better next week so I’m optimistic.

  21. Paddy Power also have the Mayo match down for 5pm and Tyrone match at 7pm. Do the bookmakers know something everyone else doesn’t? Sky will be showing both of those matches.

    Armagh’s forward line will give Mayo a lot of problems. They are quick and have good movement so we will need to tighten up a lot.

  22. I’ve seen Armagh play in Ulster twice this year, in the Down game and the Cavan one. Down were very unlucky to have Caolan Mooney sent off before half-time on a straight red that was marginal yellow at worst (and we saw the last night how good he was) and they still survived to the end of normal time against fifteen men. Armagh’s bench helped to win it for them in extra-time but they still conceded a last-second goal and only just avoided a replay. Against Cavan they had the match won but then sat back and let Cavan, with Cian Mackey to the fore, back into it. Rian O’Neill, who’d run riot against Down, was poor enough that day.

    Overall, they’re a bit better in the forwards than Down but worse at the back and not as pacey. Plus we’re at home (for all the good and ill that goes with this, though I do think MacHale Park is a better option for us than the Athletic Grounds). They’ll get a boost from having gone to Clones and taken out Monaghan but, like us, they’ll be cursing themselves that they didn’t get one of the softer options in the draw.

  23. might be aswell to get this draw will force mgt to look at Fb line. Good to be at home too from a travel perspective.Would take off a forward and put Vaughan in a’s sweeper if he’s ready otherwise SCoen

    Again the lads need to stamp authority on match from the get go

  24. Tough draw but no point in complaining- they brought it on themselves. They know the level.of performance they’ll need to get to if they are to shade this game. Whether they can sort out the defensive issues in just one training session is another question. Given that Horan seems to lack any sort of tactical game plan makes the fact that Armagh are an unknown quantity kinda irrelevant.

  25. Agreed WJ, they were lucky against Down, have built momentum since, but have played a lot of ball. Our freshness should be the differentiator here and I expect us to win with a little to spare, if we get our match ups right and run the bench at the right times going down the stretch. This has the potential to be a tougher test than the next round which could mean a lot heading in the grander scheme of things. The Down game will have brought us on and this prospect should focus the minds even further. Looking forward to it!

  26. I’m happy enough with the draw, Armagh are a Decent side with a couple of real quality players (Jamie Clarke in particular) but are well off Div 1 standard, they had a good result v Monaghan but Monaghan were very poor on the day. Mayo should be winning this provided we improve on our defensive issues.
    I don’t buy into this better away from home crap some are suggesting, it is always better to have a home game. McHale park is NOT an excuse for losing games. It’s been the same size for decades, Mayo train on it, we know the size of it and by now should know how to play and win on it. McHale park wasn’t the reason we lost to Ros, it was the inability to kick a ball between two posts.

  27. I’m not overly concerned .If we cannot beat Armagh then it is down to our heads not being in it .I think man for man we have more quality .

  28. Yes , Armagh will be a bit of a handful, they have some good young players and dangerous forwards but think we should have the right men to deal with them:-

    AOS to pick up young Burns in midfield
    Harrison to pick up Clarke &
    Leeroy to sort out young O’Neill (will be interesting to see how O’Neill can handle it when Leeroy ‘bombs’ forward).

    Think we will have too much for them

  29. Expect to beat a division 2 team. If they can’t, then no business being in the Super Eights.

  30. We should win but this is a tricky assignment.I’ve seen Armagh this year as well and been impressed.
    They are a team easily capable of getting 2-3 goals. As we saw on the weekend, if you can score 3 goals you’ll win most games. Clark is classy and O’Neill and Campbell are the type of physical forwards we can struggle against.
    Will be very interested to see what Horan does to tighten up that defense. McLoughlin to sweeper well worth a try as I dont think its working for Kevin inside and hopefully Carr and Cillian may be available to us soon.

    This should be a high scoring and pretty open game. (Just put the hex on that I know) Fancy Mayo by 2-3.

  31. Happy with the draw and being at home. I think travelling takes a few percent off any team especially to far flung corners so we will have that few percent advantage.
    I think Armagh will give us a few problems. I especially like the look of Jarlath Og so we definitely won’t have it all our own way in midfield. Jamie Clarke is a class player. We won’t stop him scoring so just limit the damage and the best way to do that is us to do better than them up front. I think Boyler could go back to the bench. Did nothing wrong vs Down but didn’t stand out from the crowd either. If Cillian and Carr get in the 26 who should we drop out, only Regan comes to mind and he actually played most of the Down game doing well for some of it and making wrong decisions at other times.

  32. Armagh are a young inexperienced mid table division 2 side, the kind of team Dublin would beat by 20 in first gear. I’d be happy with a one point win at the moment

  33. Really feel this is the one where we start to get a complete performance out of this group, We come in and out of games so much its time to tighten it up. Loftus has earned his place and maybe Carr in there aswell could keep the scoreboard ticking over. Armagh are a good side but on paper we have them…
    Geezer will have them gee’d up…..wouldn’t be surprised if there is a bit of overt physicality early on but our men can deal with that.
    At the back its the basics of covering ourselves better from restarts and not leaving lads isolated.
    We can do it!!!

  34. @SeanBurke, in the latest podcast, Horan says Cillian and Carr are working their way back to fitness. I think he said they could both be in contention this weekend.

  35. We also have our inside man Billie Joe in Armagh. I have no doubt he’ll be widely consulted for this one given Horan’s attention to detail.

  36. Jasus will ye stop this tough draw nonsense glad most of ye are not in our dressing room for motivation. Give the lads some credit they just won a National League. Come on Mayo ye are more than capable lads.

  37. Armagh beat monaghan who were very poor in this year’s championship
    A team with ambition should be winning that game,if we can’t beat them we are no business to super 8,
    Like to see McLaughlin on the 40, o Donoghue incorner and Keith or Kevin as sweeper

  38. Good to hear . I’m happy with progress now , we are building nicely . Obvious worry is we are not tight enough at the back , just hoping that will improve for the weekend . Clarke will need to be shackled for a start , he is a truly magnificent footballer .

  39. The flip side of my Armagh optimism is they easily beat a Monaghan team people here and elsewhere fancied and they have a marquee player Clarke which Down didn’t. Changes needed in the backs or at least defensive structure.
    I don’t see Carr displacing Treacy who looked like a racehorse when he came on the other night. The only one he’ll budge is Regan who’s also a left footed free taker. Loftus did miss one free from the wrong side (one that wasn’t too hard for a left footer) but then proceeded to nail a more difficult one. Overall Loftus definitely steadied the ship with frees. If Cillian moves someone out of 26 very little scope for Carr to get in. Timing of injury unlucky.

  40. More positivty and less fearfulness needed on this blog lads. Put the shoe on the other foot for a minute. How do you think Armagh felt this morning? They wanted the soft draw far more than us and they’ll have felt they deserved a bit of slack after their efforts so far. Instead they have the League champions away. They’re the ones who need to be feartul today, not us. If they beat us fair play to them, it means we’re in terminal decline, but I don’t think they will. Let’s turn up at the weekend and roar the boys over the line. We either believe we can win Sam or that a team like Armagh can beat us, but either way we’ve got to stop crapping ourselves before every game.

  41. Happy with that draw a tough physcial team with lethal corer forwards.

    Ideal preperation for the year ahead .

    Get plan together to tighten up our backs but yet Coen, McDonagh and Loftus exposed to championship heat.
    they will hopefully take confidence from the last day and step up another gear after this match .
    Get Cillian reintroduced also set us up then for one of Cavan, Galway, cork or Meath .

    Team I’d play
    ______A O Shea____Diarmuid

  42. Don’t read too much into Armagh’s recent performances. Kildare lost to Carlow last year in cship before beating us.

    We never get a ‘gimme’ in the qualifiers do we?

    Sky intend showing 2 games this weekend… no conspiracy theories please on nature of draw.

  43. Good to hear James Carr was actually injured
    He might be back in panel next weekend so………

  44. Armagh will look at our match in Newry and take confidence from the amount of opportunities we gave Down. If the same chances are offered to Armagh they will punish us. If our defensive structure v ros was a 1/10 then it was 5/10 against Down. A big improvement required.

    We really should be winning this game with a bit to spare. I don’t agree with some that we needed a tough game. We needed an easy one due to the rapid sequence of potential games ahead. Hopefully we get a good start and nail it early.

    I would urge everyone to double their efforts on colour and noise in Castlebar.

  45. Another Ulster Team…Expect it will be tough! @Rodger Milla our qualifer record is 100% successful in Castlebar, this decade, even if our performance’s, wasn’t always without flaw’s…. beating Fermanagh, Kildare and Derry.. and I think Rossies in the Naughties (when the Rossies weren’t as Naughty as they were a few weeks ago) as opposed to our away qualifer draw’s , Derry, Longford, and Kildare have all put us out of the Championship in their home Ground’s…. (So maybe something of Urban Myth that we are better away from home) Armagh will be very tough as virtually every Ulster Team is, and I expect nothing else for next Saturday… and full of Confidence after their surprisingly win over last year’s All Ireland Semifinals… and the margin of the victory was a bit of a shock…. It’s a tough enough Draw to keep the our mind’s on the Job!

  46. Last time we met Armagh in championship was 1950, and we went went onn to win all ireland.
    Here’s hoping for history repeating.

  47. Armagh are a good draw for Mayo. They are a step up from Down as I feel their earlier battles with them were overshadowed by tension as Mc Geaney had not won a game in the Ulster championship for so long. Next weekend Armagh will have little expectation weighting their shoulders and I believe they will bring their A game to Castlebar.

    They have some fine players and if ye give the likes of Clarke room he will slip a noose around your neck before you know what’s happened. Saying that ye are league champions and ye need to show what ye are about next Saturday night and get a result out of this one. This game could be the springboard that ye need to get ye up to speed, ye have top players coming back and if Horan can get a bit of championship football into their legs next Saturday night it could prove very rewarding for all.

    Forget the negative Doubts, Cork, Cavan, Meath and Galway will be watching both games next Saturday and praying for a Armagh and Kildare victory. No one is going to be happy to draw either team and that’s for sure and certain.

  48. I’m worried about this mainly because it’s in Castlebar. Our form there is terrible.

  49. Would also be concerned about our lack of pace at the back against their nifty enough forward line. Armagh can get goals and I expect they will.

  50. Armagh will take a lot of encouragement from the ease with which down opened us up the centre. Their game plan will be similar. Horan said in his post interview he has a simple fix and it’s a pity he didn’t put in place for part of game v down.
    Armagh will be delighted with high profile draw and opportunity to take big scalp. Also aware of our vulnerable record in McHale. Cillian has been absent for long time and posters here are expecting too much of him.
    All in all it’s the game that will make whoever wins it. They will carry a lot of momentum into next game, whereas Galway Cork Meath and Cavan are all on a low after convincing defeats.
    Defining game not to be missed. Is it Sunday fixture?

  51. We nearly in July so if mayo not capable of beating Armagh at this time of the year then we as well of out altogether. I think we get a test but should be comfortable in the end. We will know alot more about ourselves after this.

  52. Thanks for that optimistic nugget Mairead, I wondered if we ever met them in championship before and that answers that particular question.

    The home draw is great for supporters but more importantly for the team as these week in week out matches are demanding and the more time they get to recover the better, that’s assuming we need the recovery time ? I know Castlebar isn’t exactly a fortress but our qualifier record is good there and I’d be much less optimistic if we were heading up to Armagh to play this one.

    It’s a dangerous draw, Armagh are building a nice bit of momentum and after taking out Monaghan, they’ll have a right cut at this one. For Mayo it’s a tough draw and a step up from Down but if we can negotiate it, it will be a great confidence builder heading into the next series of games and we’ll learn an awful lot more about the team than if we drew one of the weaker counties.

    Mayo to get home by 3 after a right good tussle.

  53. Forget about putting this to bed early. That’s unlikely unless we get the 1st goal after stretching a few points lead. Armagh like us fighting for their lives so don’t expect anything less than positive endeavour from them.
    I agree Armagh very capable of getting goals. While they don’t look as strong as us physically if they get 2 goals and we don’t then will need to out shoot them a good bit on points. Some of our points the last day were excellent & we clocked up a decent enough 1-16 but looking at Dublin as the level to reach we could do with clocking up a bit more and tightening the backs. Best way to do this is Kevin Mc back on in the HF Line sweeping back and Higgins in HB line preferably CHB with Boyle on the bench. Otherwise leave Boyle there and drop Higgins altogether. Kevin also our best sweeper of breaking kickouts an area we weren’t great on the last day.
    The young guns offering more energy than some seniors at this point. I would replace Doherty with Boland. We could ship a score in this one but if I was Geezer I would be very worried about Armagh backs who are probably weaker than Down’s. Could be something like 1-20 to 2-14.

  54. leantimes i take your point about the qualifiers but if you throw in the connacht champioship our home record plummets! then throw in the league and it becomes worse again .

    But next Saturday is as good a game as any to get ourselves back on track.

  55. Let’s call a spade a spade. We are better than them in every position. They have won two championship games in 5 years. If we can’t beat the likes of them, we are as well off going out at this time of year. With that said, I think it will be a similar game to this week, it is an opportunity o try something new in defence as we will be punished further on in the summer. get through it and get ready for Rd. 4 and super 8s!

  56. @Rodger Milla , Where do you think Armagh would prefer this fixture? .. I’d say that they would love to get us in Armagh! @Shuffly Deck I agree with you as regards where to play Kevin McLoughlin, I don’t think that he is a corner forward and far better coming on to the ball than waiting for it to come in his direction… So a sweeper for me, In our last 3 big match’s, the League Final, V Kerry,, Roscommon and Down we have conceded early Goals.. I think Armagh with Kieran McGeaney in charge will play a blanket, further reducing the influence of Kevin McLoughlin in the corner…. So that’s what I would do, try Kevin as a sweeper . .. But then again I don’t pick the team and I can’t say for 100% certainty what way or with whom James Horan will go into battle with!

  57. Slightly off topic, but has anybody had their season ticket attendance reflected from Pairc Esler on Saturday evening?
    Mine is still showing as “not attended”.

  58. Exactly goinwellintrain .

    We need to get reinvigerated, see more over laps more men on the shoulder, more support runners on the loop around .

    we miss Cillian in every aspect but most glaringly for the loop around run take ball off man and over the bar .
    Noone else brings that the way he does .
    His return has to get the crowd excited .
    I would still leave the frees to Loftus but let Cillian play his own game inside .

    I know it will be deemed controversial and WJ will be carding me but there s just too much smoke without fire, of all things not being rosey in the camp .
    I do think Horan is over compensating but I hope we can move forward .

  59. If we win this game we’ll definitely be in C.P end of August, I’m beginning to believe now that the qualifiers could be the best journey for us this year esp with the younger players coming into their own stride alongside the great warriors.
    Perchance to dream to see Cillian coming onn during the game.

  60. Should be a cracker of a game
    Will develop into a shootout I suspect

    Armagh present different challenges to down in that they have numerous excellent attackers but are crap in defence and in goals. Grimley and burns a decent midfield too. Will probably need a defender cum midfielder (Vaughan?) who is willing to track burns bombing forward all day

    If we get through this our tails will be up big time having come through 2 tough ulster style games. Will really stand to us

    Seems like a really novel fixture. I’m scratching my head trying to think of any significant meeting between armagh mayo in recent times

    The way the draw is shaping up with the better sides meeting each other you could easily see 1 or 2 of those mediocre leinster sides poxing their way into the super 8s

  61. “They have won two championship games in 5 years”

    Eh? That can’t be right at all

    They made an All Ireland Quarter final in 2017, round 4 of the qualifiers last year and already won a game this year

  62. Horan just squashed all rumours about cillian.
    He must be getting pissed off with all this pub talk.
    Best supporters my hole.

  63. Mairead if Mayo win this this will be drawn against a provincial final loser ( could be Galway) to be played the following week in a knockout, winner will play in 8s loser is out..think Armagh have won 2 Ulster games in five years but better record in the Qualifiers..

  64. It’s not about what Armagh have done in the past. It’s where they are at right now. A damn good side. They’re young lads will relish the task of taking on our backs at pace. McLoughlin as sweeper is a must choice. Big game for Darren Coen because we will have to use him as target man. Supporters likely to come in big numbers too. Fascinating game

  65. Mayo match fixed for 7pm. Wonder how many will travel from Armagh. Just like on saturday for Mayo fans, it will be a long trek for Armagh fans

  66. “think Armagh have won 2 Ulster games in five years but better record in the Qualifiers..”

    Fair enough – our own provincial record ain’t looking too stellar in that period though either (well in last 4 years anyway!)

  67. Joe 3 (feel like I’m repeating myself here today!) – please don’t use that handle as it’s already in use by someone else. I’ve added a ‘3’ to yours for the purposes of clarity. By the way, I see you’ve posted here before using three different handles so it might be easiest all round to stick to using one of those.

  68. Lot of people calling for KMc, Higgins, Coen or others to be played as a sweeper. While something needs to be done to reduce the space being left in our defence, playing an out and out sweeper would be a huge mistake IMO. Sweeper systems take time to implement, time we don’t have, also Horan has never played with a sweeper so I have little confidence he can set up a team to play with one (There is a lot more to it than telling someone to stand in front of fb). Finally, a sweeper reduces our options going forward (One less forward option on the field). If Horan was to play a sweeper, this needed to be worked on since January, not the end on June. The safer option is playing a deeper lying half back line, squeeze the space between the back lines and feed the forwards with early all.

  69. An ideal draw, kill or cure. If we can’t win it, best to find out now, but if we perform and come through it will stand to us big time going forward.
    I’m sure Dublin performance yesterday wasn’t lost on people. They’re not just on a different level right now, they’re on a different planet. But sport is strange, and they’ll get tested by some team eventually. Maybe this year, maybe not. Plus, while they won’t admit it, they’re under severe pressure with the 5 in a row expectation. It’s not noticeable now, but its bound to manifest at some stage. They’re still only human and it happens even in professional sports.

    So any team going to meet them in super 8s or wherever and hoping to compete needs to prepared like never before and with Armaghs momentum and dangerous forwards, I believe this may be the challenge we need right now. If we overcome it, we’ll know a hell of a lot more about where we’re at.

    Home advantage is absolutely crucial especially given the recovery time if we win. Players are spared a potential 6-8 hour round trip bus journey and can instead immediately focus on getting the bodies right.
    So no excuses. I’m looking forward to this one a lot.

  70. There seems to be little consideration at times for supporters, you can imagine how annoyed we would be to have to go to Armagh for a 7pm throw in. Anyone else notice how some of the service stations on the M4 were winding down on the way home Sat night, not used to that demand after 11pm I guess.

  71. I don’t think there has been a genuine full house at MacHale pk since they built the new stand. Can’t see it happening against Armagh in a qualifier.

  72. Aware of that Tuamstar, just saying Down and Armagh are the 2 best tests getting to super 8’s.
    1 down (excuse the pun) 1 to go.

  73. @WillieJoe
    Would you put Keegan on Jamie Clarke from what you saw of Armagh in the flesh or would you leave the man marking job to Barrett or Higgins? Also how will Jarlath Og Burns measure up against O’Shea and O’Connor in the middle?

  74. We are league champions, and Kerry are runner up. After watching both Mayo and Kerry this weekend, I would say if you picked the best players out of both teams on this weekend,s display , the Dublin team that played this weekend would beat Mayo/Kerry by 10 points easily. True for last nights GAA program both panalists said Kerry were a bad League team. Armagh are not coming to make up the numbers. We used 10 forwards , subs included and what did we get to see who will be starting the next day? We are going to have a serious week in picking a team to hopefully stop Armagh, something that could be easier said than done

  75. I think it’s a good draw. Tyrone home or away would have been harder. And Armagh away off course. Need improvement from last game which is exactly you want if you want to get to the real business of the Super 8’s. Agree with Sean and a few more that accepting our home form has been suspect in the league and conn championship, a home draw is always more desirable for both supporters and team alike. And let the media talk up Jamie Clarke, Rian O’ Neil and Jarlath Og. People here at times seem to forget the quality we have at our disposal. Naming just three Aidan O’ Shea, Lee Keegan and Diarmuid O’ Connor. I know which 3 I would pick every day of the week.

  76. I’d be happy to leave the match-up decisions to James and his colleagues, Crete Boom! Jamie Clarke is, for sure, a sublime talent, but only when he feels like it. He did little or nothing of note in those matches against Down and Cavan and, on those showings, was the laziest looking inter-county footballer I’ve ever seen. That said, he has talent and if he can be arsed to turn it on will need watching.

  77. Mairead if ye win on Saturday, Mayo will ho into rd 4 in great shape, whereas the provincial losers are coming on on the back of a bad defeat. I think Tyrone and Mayo will come through on Sat..

  78. Mayomad,
    James does play a sweeper, but only when the other team are not going man to man. When a forward on the opposing team goes back to defend, the backs regig themselves and one of the half backs stays between the 20 and the 45 to block up the centre channel. We did that on Saturday in the second quarter to stop Down running through the centre. Boyler was the man in this role most of the time but it was rotated. Even Aido took a shift there for a short while and allowed one of the wing half backs to bomb forward.
    However, I have never seen him deploy a forward as a 7th back.

  79. Agreed we shouldnt try implement an outright sweeper.
    think game has evolved from that stereotype Colm Cavanagh role .

    Chris Barrett dropping deeper than usual at Centerhalf back with Kevin Mc coming in and around the half back position shouldn’t deter our attacking options but yet help us win more breaking ball and provide defensive cover whilst shoring up the middle with Barrett playing that role .

  80. Tough game but we’re fully capable.
    I’d like the Full back line sorted out with a new number 3 e.g Vaughan, coen , Crowe.
    Loftus good on frees so leave him in if we don’t have Cillian.
    Mchale is a small pitch but hopefully it will suit us

  81. So just so I’m clear, if we win on Saturday we face another tough match before we get to super 8, if we get there it will be tough, we will need serious squad rotation

  82. I’d also hope that we train MacHale alot this week. Our shooting v the ross was chronic. I’d hope we do lots of shooting practice in Machale all week. Speedy players are a must on Satuday. I think id start Drake for his pace alone, and move Barrett to CB.

  83. My team would be:
    1- David Clarke
    2- Chris Barrett
    3- Stephen Coen
    4- Eoin O’Donoghue
    5- Paddy Durcan
    6- Lee Keegan
    7- Colm Boyle
    8- Diarmuid O’Connor
    9- Aidan O’Shea
    10- Fionn McDonagh
    11- Conor Loftus
    12- Fergal Boland
    13- Jason Doherty
    14- Darren Coen
    15- James Carr

  84. That’s exactly it up for the match if we win on Saturday we will be in the draw on Monday against one or the beaten Provincial finalists at a nuetral venue.if we get that far I’d like to avoid a rejuvenated Cork at all costs. But let’s see how Saturday pans out first

  85. Mayo Joe That forward division with the exception of Jason Doc is seriously lacking in experience JH went for an experienced side v Down. It worked. I reckon he will go for similar experience v Armagh as well. Still have seen little of Carr other than league final where he kicked two good scores but he seems to be getting better with each week that passes.

  86. To win just once, I tend to agree with you there, Carr has undoubted potential but he has been hyped up over the last few weeks based on a 10min spell in a league game (yes a final, but still a league game). I have seen Drake and Crowe mentioned also, Richie Feeney syndrome is alive and well in Mayo, the more you don’t play, the better you get

  87. JH said in podcast they would probably train Wednesday and Friday night. Pity they cannot train in Castlebar on Wednesday.

  88. Unless i’m mistaken, Willie Joe posted 5 different articles on here in one day yesterday.

    I believe that is a joint record high with a day from a few years ago after an All Ireland semi final. (Could be wrong on that though). Off topic i know, but the effort the man puts in should not go unnoticed.

  89. Well are the Armagh supporters going mad about a 7pm throw in at Castlebar? Will be interesting to see how many travel. We need huge Mayo support for this one, no excuse about the travel this time!

  90. Prob all 105 of them not bothered!
    Need a huge improvement next week. Down made us look slow. They were so fast.

  91. I’d need to check that, Carrot face. I think you’re right, though – from what I recall I posted five different pieces the day after the drawn match with Dublin 2015 and, from memory, that was the only other time aside from yesterday that I did this.

  92. Horan actually tried mcloughlin as a sweeper during the league in his 2nd or 3rd season. Playing a full time sweeper is now defunct, there’s very few teams doing it. It’s also a pointless exercise taking a sweeper from your forwards when the team you’re against team with only 3 or 4 up. It’s more important to ensure defense is organized and the spare men in the back support the lads man marking.

  93. @wide ball, no mistake about it, Harrison not our best man maker, Keegan is Mayo’s best ever man marker, has the track record to prove it also.
    At the moment, I think Harrison and Higgins are lacking the power to be an out and out man marker / tight defender, Higgins is a great sweeper and reader of the game.
    Maybe it’s the good wine here in the south of France, but I sense a feeling of dejavu, came here before in 2017 on the day Mayo were beaten by Galway and look how far the 2017 season went.
    It will be interesting to see the improvement in the next game, that’s the great thing about the back door games come thick and fast, more guys also coming back from injury.

  94. Mayo88 – Agreed Keegan is a great man marker but generally further out the field (Mooney the last day). I was talking about the full back line and James won’t play Lee there, at least not from the start.

    Harrison is always put on the opposition’s most dangerous inside forward. Connaire Harrison against Down, Cox against Roscommon, Clifford against Kerry, McManus against Monaghan etc etc. It was the same during Rochford’s time as well.

    Usually Higgins is put on a lesser forward these days with the idea being that he would sweep at times too. That has had varying degrees of success.

  95. Sinead37, you don’t know much about Armagh support. They’ll bring more than 105. A damn lot more. Very ignorant comment in my opinion.

  96. I agree Justin, I’m surprised that that comment was left up as its a Mayo supporters blog, not a criticise other supporters blog!

  97. I’m sorry for the comment and I don’t normally set out to insult other counties supporters. What I was getting at is that we normally bring a hell of a lot more supporters to matches than other counties. Wasn’t trying to be derogatory or offensive and if I thought there were loads of Armagh supporters on here, I wouldn’t have said a thing. Some people here love jumping on others and putting them in their place. I think it was easy to see I meant no harm Justin Morgan but I apologise if I upset you.

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