109 thoughts on “It’s Fermanagh

  1. This game should tell us a lot. A below average performance may have been sufficient to get past one of the other teams…it won’t be against Fermanagh. A decent team, tough to play against, a few scoring forwards and a wily old manager. Our lads will need to be well tuned in. Should be interesting.

  2. Another 7pm Saturday evening throw in for MacHale park? Kildare Cork Donegal/Monaghan should win the other ties.

  3. You’re right there Mayonaze – this is a resilient Fermanagh side with an experienced manager. They’ve been improving slowly and have a couple of forwards that require tending.

    That should be enough to focus Mayo and sharpen the minds towards delivering the required performance.

  4. Well, it’s not the one I wanted to see. It the hardest one we could have got. Thought we needed more time. And yeah it’s at home. So best of luck to them. Maybe we’ll see some changes and get the season going.

  5. In 5 home games against inter county opposition this year, we`ve lost 4…….
    Roscommon (FBD). Kerry, Dublin, Galway..our only win was against the shambles that currently exists as a Down football team.

    The only harder draw we could have got than this was if it was in Enniskillen.
    Any complacency over this game, and we all know what will happen.

  6. It will be a good test of character and will show if the team has regained it’s focus. We will have to hit the ground running with a definite game plan and no experimentation. A few players have an opportunity to prove themselves after the shambles against Galway. We are lucky to have a home draw as we will have a big crowd again and hopefully we will have something to get us going.

  7. If you were into conspiracy theories, then that draw looks very much like a GAA draw to maximise the crowds. Limerick and Cork, two Munster teams, with the weaker team at home. Kildare v Offaly, two Leinster teams. Mayo at home, which will mean a big home support and an up and coming second tier county, Fermanagh, trying to make a breakthrough, who will bring a big crowd also. Then Donegal or Monaghan against a midlands team, Longford. You know it could not have fell better for the GAA. Was Sepp Blatter doing the draw!

    It is what it is, I would have preferred another team but at least we are at home but you know what, sometimes I feel we actually have a better away record. Getting the injured players back on the park will be vital, that’s the main reason I would have rathered another team but we’ll have to be up for this one or it’ll turn into a real battle.

  8. Well observed Observer!
    Is there an omen there somewhere? And as well, in being the first name to come out of the bowl!! Bursting to get going?
    Let us wish for a bit of polish and promise to wash away all that angst that’s crawled across the fields in recent times.

  9. Have to say it feels weird, like we are in the wrong place. Hope this feeling isn’t shared among management and players!

    Yes our record at home is crap, but I still feel a home draw confers an advantage in the qualifiers, though Fermanagh going to Wexford and winning is impressive.

    As others have said, if we’re any good…

  10. Exile in Galway…big numbers at home doesn’t always translate into a boisterous home support. The performance of our supporters the last day was as flat as our team.

    We used to be known for being loud supporters. The ‘Mayo, Mayo, Mayo’ roar used to spur on our team and let the opposition know whose supporters were winning in the stands. It was belted out with aggressive passion and belief. We need that back and proper supporters should never need the performance on the pitch dictate how they perform in the stands/terraces. The rest are merely spectators.

  11. Still baffles me they have a draw on the radio. They can pair up who they like, where they like

    Anyways, toughest game would be Fermanagh up there, them at home is the next toughest

  12. The draw is now made, lets get on with it. Hope to see great numbers of supporters shouting on their team unlike the empty vessels against Galway. Maigh Eo Abu!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. It’s gotten to a point in recent seasons that if you start shouting your head off at MacHale Park, people start looking at you like youre a weirdo. Even at away games, people who make the trip, need to get more involved. Being there with your season ticket stamped and a
    Mayo scarf or jacket and making the odd ‘cmon lads’ or ‘ara ref’ shout isn’t really supporting your team. If you go to the bother of making it to the game then make the effort to get involved and make as much impact as you can. It does count!

  14. Just woke up to see Mayo v Fermanagh trending on twitter … There will be huge interest in this as lots of people ( myself included)really enjoyed Fermanagh in the championship last year..It will be some game.

  15. Tough game that will require a focus of the minds and a much improved performance. We have been in very poor form since our reply defeat to Dublin last season. A mjor improvement in form is needed or it will be a short summer.

  16. Not the one I would have hoped for. My biggest worry will be injuries, we are already carrying a number of injured and down to the bare bones in certain areas. Fermanagh will be physical and this could turn into a war of attrition. With potentially another tough physical game the following week.

  17. We seen yesterday that there was no buzz or atmosphere from the Dublin supporters but the Dublin players just went out and done their stuff. It didn’t seem to make much of a difference to them. They just went out and done their talking on the field. That’s what our players will have to do from now. We have had enough talk from ex-managers, ex-players, supporters etc. about how much we are going to win games by. Its up to the players to put in a big performance and its up to us to give them as much encouragement as possible from the stands. Roll on the game!

  18. Happy to get Fermanagh will be a tough game but it’s tough games we need if we have any hope of doing anything this year

  19. Agree with you, Observer 2, No room for complacency now! Don’t know what work Stephen Rochford and the boys put in to remedy things during the week just gone by. 12,”more days to a possible season defining Match…… Mayo more than any team in the country seems to pander to the cult of the individual…. ,it’s been like that all my life, and all my life I’ve never seen Sam in Mayo…. It may be great for the individuals in question, but it’s time now to put the team first. I’d like to see the best player’s on current form getting picked next Saturday week, that would mean one or two Star players getting reacquainted with the subs bench. ‘Reacquainted’ is not the most accurate word really, That where a few of them should have been during the league, considering several poor displays in row….. .There’s also nothing better than for an underdogs Team to overturn the ball a few times from a supposed Star player. Each time that happens during a match, it gives the opposition a huge lift, the bigger the player in question the bigger the lift… But them decisions were up to Rochy and Co,. I think he got it wrong during the league, he also got it wrong V Galway. But I also think he has the bottle to get it right for next Saturday week. He has to be ruthless, dropping a Star player will be no easy thing, not an easy thing to do inside the dressing room. And it won’t be an easy thing to deal with sections of Mayo support either… Many player’s reputations are on the line now, especially those involved in the coup. Rochford will be in the firing line himself if things don’t go well…. But, we collectively, the Mayo gaa Team, Management and Supporters have a wonderful chance.. If we get it right, we still can do something this year. Slightly off topic, I watched the Dubs V Meath the can’t recall a Dublin player once running into a tackle during the match. That’s incredible.. Back to Mayo V Fermanagh. Match in Castlebar, so it saves us a trip outside of the EU,

  20. Paddy Power have no doubts about us for this one – they’ve installed us 1/12 favourites to do the business. Match odds are here.

  21. Based on last performance I would expect to see 3-4 changes with an opportunity for SR to make a major selection statement. Time stands still for no man and this is a team in a hurry to get where they want to go and everyone needs to give 100%. Fermanagh are a team with a sense of purpose and they do have focus. They would love to have Mayos scalp again. I would be confident in previous years of a victory but our performances this year to date have left me sceptical.
    The lads will need to ratchet it up a few notches and if the attitudes are right then I expect Mayo to prevail. Our fellas are an intelligent bunch and I’m sure they know this.

  22. Leant ime
    With you on all you’ve said in your last post. You’re saying what I’m thinking…

  23. them odd are ridiculous, Same story when Castlebar Mitchels played in the club final and for Mayo against Galway but even more daft this time

  24. Mayo will beet Fermanagh it won’t be a easy game but we will over come and on to the next game mayo by 6 points

  25. MAYO 51
    I expect one big change. All players are in the panel on merit I’m sure and I’d like to think that the first 15 are picked on form. However, I’m not sure if this criteria applies to Mayo and there is strong evidence to suggest that this might not be the case.
    The fans can only speculate in terms of selection as they are not at the coalface but with a fully fit squad I wold like to see COC at CF with DOC at wf. I’d like to think we could make room for the wily oul fox that is AM if only for 50 mins. It’s demoralising watching opposition filling their sails from getting the better of any perceived star man and it’s almost impossible to take that man off when this happens as that is then seen as another battle won by opposition. Could be the opposte effect if we are 2 or points up and bringing on major impact player.These are just thoughts.

  26. Not many might say it but is it time to drop Aidan O’Shea?

    His performances have been poor since that goal against Donegal last year. Partly form and partly being messed about between different positions. A spell on the sidelines may be needed and our best football this year was played when he was off the pitch in Clones.

  27. Borderboy, I agree that there will be changes, more than one I hope. I would start with playing defenders in defence and midfielders in Midfield. If fit I would start with Loftus, Caralon & Reape. Add some real pace and movement in the forward setup

  28. I have to ask….
    1.Who will have control of the schedule of proceedings for the game?
    2. Will it be çroke park, John P. (aka the connaught council) or the Mayo county board?
    3. Will we have another ticket fiasco accommodating the 4,000 Mayo and God knows how many Fermanagh (1,000??) season ticket holders in a10,000 seater stand? Or Will we just play it by air like we did the last day and look after the ‘dignitaries’ first?
    4. To warm up the crowd, will we again schedule three different curtain raisers, end up with none and just throw on the half time entertainment instead.
    5. Will we have the same P.A announcer who sounded like he just came from an audition for the sea area weather forecast on RTE Radio 1?
    6. Will we be lulabayed by Dad’s Army again at half time so as not to disturb the Mc Hale road residents? – no disrespect to the Castlebar Brass Band!
    7. Will we have to miss mass again on a Saturday evening or can we not go back to the traditional Sunday afternoon throw in?
    8. Will we miss the option of an early Sunday roast dinner or just a big fry up instead?
    9. And finally will we need to go to congress to make any of these changes?
    A lot of questions need to be answered before the big day!!

  29. I agree with Ger Bohan its time to drop A O S. management needs to make a bold statement to show our guys that NO player is safe if they are not pulling their weight , Aidan need time out of the starting 15 to reflect on his own game ,

  30. Mayo mad
    Phew you have really gone for a refreshing approach whereas I’.m a bit stuck in past dreams!
    What I would really hope for is a return to the gun how confident football that this bunch is capable of and which brought to within touching distance of the holy grail on more than one occasion in the past 5 years. Amy room for AF?

  31. You have a point Ger Bohan, but I feel personnel are not the main issue.

    Are they fit enough, physical enough, smart enough?

    We will have three weeks which is a blessing, but I was mystified by Rochie’s comments around the London game about how little time the players had together. We were late into the fray, but we have been there since January. I also felt from a very distant view of the Dublin game last night that Meath put it up to them physically, for a while anyway. IMO lower divisions have been catching up in the S&C stakes.

    As for the radio draw, wow, it is something else. Balls heard hopping into jars, teams listed in English by the RTE guy and then we have the blazer, in somnambulant tones: OO FAWLIA, CAVAWN, and so on. Would love to have that one broadcast to the world and see what they make of it.

  32. I am quite happy with this draw.. 1. We will see where we are. 2. There are a few on the pitch that need to be shown there are no easy games.
    I expect to see a completely different attitude to the Galway game, a lot of our big names came in for criticism (myself included), and have a massive point to prove after last winter. I feel there may be a bit of “Rumours of our death have been greatly exaggerated”

    I think a few changes should be made though, positional and personnel, a game or two on the bench may do a couple of players no harm. Our team need to get back to basics. Play Players in their proper positions. I would start with:

    Clarke
    Harrison (Barrett will not be fit)
    Keane
    Higgins
    Boyle
    Coen
    Keegan
    S. O’Shea
    Parsons
    DOC
    COC
    K. Mc Loughlin
    A. Moran
    A. Freeman
    E. Regan

    A. Moran scored 3-7 from play at the weekend. Granted, it is club, but nobody else id on this sort of form. I think he has seen his opportunity after last weeks shambles and seized it, this would be rewarded in other counties with a lot of crosses in their pockets, we should do the same!
    The sweeper system is not working in it’s current format. We need a sweeper that is going to play the situation, not just sit dutifully on the D.. DOC is ideal for this as he has an unbelievable engine and is an excellent reader of the game.. You can then get Kevin Mc back to basics playing as the link man, getting fast direct ball into the inside forwards, who given the right ball are all very good scorers. I would give Andy and Cillian a license to rotate given each a break and causing confusion inside.
    You have Aidan coming off the bench for a game or two until he gets up to the level he was at a couple of years ago, whether that’s a fitness or mentality issue, we can only speculate, but that is a terrifying prospect for a tiring team!

    On Aidan, I’d love to hear opinions on whether we should persist with him at FF where teams will double mark him & foul him out of a game and we won’t get the frees for it, or whether we should start using him in midfield where he was immense in our All Ireland Final runs in 12/13?

  33. *Edit (From myself included), unfortunately my opportunity of being called a big name for Mayo are long gone.

    Ger Bohan – I would agree it is time for a spell on the bench for Aido, and have a look at AF at FF!

  34. Tough draw but one to blow out any cobwebs that might be in the system . at least we have a fixture to look forward to and I am sure the lads will make up for any failings last time around .

    A big physical fermanagh with defensive setup, perfect fxtuer to work hard and bomd as a team in a steely fixture .
    Big game for Kevin Keane again at fullback and with ‘managh leaving a 2 man fullforward line will be interesting to see how we setup.

    do you play your sweeper in Kevin Mc but yet have your no.4 out the middle of the field?
    this one will take a bit of thinking about but if Stephen Coen is no.4 it may well suit him to go out the field .

    Our two midfielders will be all the better of a few weeks training and if Diarmid and Cathal Carolan are added to the half-forward line then we have real pace and runners .

    Looking forward to it

  35. borderboy, at this stage I dont see why we should stick with all the same old faces. They havent been doing well all year and looked burned out v Galway. There are going to be major changes to the Mayo panel next year so why not start now. There are players sitting on the bench who have all ireland medals and are bursting with confidence.

    I would like to see this team line up( will not happen though)

    Harrison, Keane, Higgins
    Keegan, McLoughlin, Boyle
    AOS, Coen
    Carolan, DOC, Loftus
    Regan Cillian, Reape

    KMc plays cb at club level and plays it very well. Freeman is a close call, would like to fit him in and would bring him on with 20mins to go.

  36. Absolute lunacy to consider dropping Aidan.He did not have a good game last time out but he seldom lets us down and more often than not is motm.I feel dropping a player because of one poor game shows little cop on frankly and I bet Aidan will have a stormer the next day.Maybe if we decided where he is utilised it might help.
    I truly despair of some Mayo supporters at times.

  37. I cannot agree with this argument of playing “defenders in defense and attackers in attack”. The modern game does not work that way and yesterdays games were a prime example of that. Ciaran Kilkenny and Dean Rock were receiving kick outs from Cluxton on their own 40 while Karl Lacey was kicking points from the half forward position (not the first time this season either). The middle third of the field especially is an area where the traditional positions no longer exist. The only time they do is for the throw-in. Whatever about the full back and full forward lines but everywhere else is about mobility, space and skill set.
    Kevin McLoughlin started his Mayo career as a half back, therefore, it’s not entirely unreasonable for a manager attempting to utilize a sweeper system that he would look to McLoughlin to fill the hole. He is disciplined so he won’t cough up many frees in scoring areas, he is an accurate foot passer so he should be able to start counter attacks from our 40 and he is a relatively good reader of the game. It was tried, it failed miserably and we move on. Personally, I think Nally is the ideal man to play as sweeper as he proved it in the league game against Dublin where he held his position in the hole and nailed anything that came in to it.
    The draw is ideal for us in that we will be tested physically and mentally against a tough fit team. A wily old fox like Pete McGrath will scent blood and test us.

  38. Don’t think there’s any point in trying to pick a team 12 days out from a match,.. Personally I hope we don’t begin with a sweeper. Only time I remember it being an outstanding success was with Barry Moran v Donegal. The A versus B game next week Saturday should be interesting. If I were Rochy & Co I would mix up the teams on ability assuming that our first choice were playing our second choices in the. previous matchs. I wouldn’t play Cillian and Aiden on the same team. Let be known that the team will be picked on their efforts to play with and for each other. A point scored from play, is no better than a point whether it’s AOS, Patrick Durcan or Freezer. All players are not equal but all points or goals certainly are, or a goal or point prevented.

  39. it is a typical Mayo response to move a player from his best position and then want to drop him when he is not performing.

  40. I would firmly be in the play Aidan camp.
    there are numerous wives tales and rumors doing the rounds which appear to be clouding peoples judgement of aidan .

    Sure Mayo havent being match fit this year and sure Aidan had other distractions during the league but his raw talents and ability cant be questioned .

    To maximize him I too think he needs a defined role but for me that role is as a third midfielder .

    __Keegan_____KevinMc___Boyler
    _____________Seamie
    ________Parsons______Aidan

    Seamie doesnt go past halfway line, Parson and Aidan running at defense with ball in hand is as powerful of a duo as you can imagine .
    Aerially we would dominate , also nobody should be able to run down the middle of use with that much power there and with a fast halforward line in DOC, Higgins and Carolan creating overlaps , I think thats our best lineup .

  41. We’ll be well clued in for this one. It’s the draw we needed as there’s little value in us limping towards the bank holiday weekend in August with a couple of facile victories. Fermanagh will put it up to us and that’s what we need. If we can’t deal with that then we have no real business progressing any further.

    I’m pretty confident we’ll see a very different performance from Mayo next week. One that we’ve become accustomed to over the last five years.

  42. On the empty vessels comments, traditionally are they not capable of the most noise?

    Fermanagh will not be easy. Anyone who thinks that the bookmakers have the prices wrong should get on Fermanagh now, and not wait until after the match to come on the site telling us how ridiculous the price was.

  43. I would, if I was in Stephen Rochford shoe’s drop AOS, he has not been effective since the Sligo match last year. True he got a brilliant goal V Donegal but previous little else in that match. Now he had to endure some very lax reffing V Dublin and Philly McMahon, but bottom line Philly completely dominates AOS, holds him scoreless and gets up the field many times even scoring a goal. Has Aiden played a good match during the league.? He keeps running into tackles, instead shipping the ball on quickly to the man in the best position. He by no means is alone on the Mayo team with that particular fault, yesterday no Dublin player ran into a single tackle that I can recall. I think it would be much better to drop AOS off the starting team and bringing him on if that’s what’s required, and rather than taking him off. Taking off a Star player, can be a big boost for the opposition.. What the posters in the AOS camp, and no doubt there are many who argue that the AOS can’t be dropped, have to realise is certain other players on the Mayo panel are currently better than AOS. Now there have been days that Aiden has been quite brilliant, virtually unplayable but oppositions have learned how to play him since then, they just double or triple team and the big man is not getting frees these days. I long for Aiden to get back to his best form, he’s a young man of course he can and should get back to his best. But no player had a God given right to the jersey. The management has the duty and considerable responsibility to pick the best team whoever they choose to play or choose to leave out,

  44. Mayo shouldn’t line out much different than against Galway, pure Madness if we do. This is a win or bust game, and trying players who are untested at this level from the start isn’t a smart thing to do. Think dropping Robbie would be the wrong, back your players and I think rochie will back Robbie, as should we all!!!! backs will line up (barring injury) as v Galway, midfield should be Aiden and Tom, and from this moment on Aiden should stay in midfield! Duirmuid, and Kevin Mc on the flanks, only possibility might be moving Cillian out to 11 and having a ff line of Regan, Freeman, and Andy tho I cant see rochie moving Cillian out the field. that’s what my opinion is. All likelihood is that Aiden will start 11, and Seamie and Tom midfield

  45. You have not picked a goalie Mayomad??

    Clarke
    Barrett
    Keane
    Higgins
    Boyle
    Coen
    Keegan
    S. O’Shea
    Parsons
    DOC
    AOS
    K. Mc Loughlin
    A. Moran
    COC
    E. Regan

  46. Ballagaman, I do love the whole Hennelly v Clarke Debate and the argument that closely ensues so I think I will opt for Mayos All Ireland winning Keeper, Flanagan 😉 he is goingto be there next year anyway.

  47. Surely Andy Moran has to start the next day. He has never let Mayo down and is still scoring freely. I think he has been very hard done by the last few seasons not getting a starting place. He deserves a start.

  48. And Outside of boot….isn’t that having AOS at 11…. and using himself as you suggest….and as has been suggested many times. But can he do it? Can any of them do what is required ?Having K MC L at CB is spot on or irrevalent if it’s not in the team to play any kind of a pre determined system.There is much comment about who should be where and doing what,and really you might as well be trying to count midges on the bog as expecting these players on recent showings to come up with a convincing/effective format of play.
    Leantimes spells it out. Is it skill,athletism,practice,fitness or what……that we haven’t got??…that enables Dublin to stream up the field from any position generally without galloping into a bottleneck.Seems to me a masochistic way of trying to do things rather than releasing the ball before the tackle and keeping the movement going. Not keeping it going is where all teams fall down and of course all teams have bought into it and thus make a shambles of the games. They just don’t have the wherewithal to do it properly.
    That is the basis of Dublins success and until other teams can match them in this one element then they shall remain the kingpins and deservedly so.
    Hilly bits….I don’t know any of the answers to any of your marvellous questions but I’m loving the prospect of revisiting them many times and I’d say I’ll be able to enlighten you sometime!!! It’s a side of preceedings though, that adds a particular charm to the day or evening, be it Sat or Sun before or after mass or whether it is the roast or the leg of mutton or lamb or whatever!!!

  49. I really wish people would put up the 15 they’d rather then this wishy washy talk of dropping big players. Just come out and say it. At least then it can be discussed.

    I’d go with

    Clarke
    Harrison, Keane, Higgins
    Durcan, Boyle, Keegan
    AOS,Parsons
    Diarmuid, Cillian, McLoughlin
    Loftus/Andy, freeman, regan

    I wouldn’t drop a forward in favour of a sweeper as I think we just need to win and to get out forwards scoring again, Cillian and McLoughlin to pull the strings in the half forward line, hard running by diarmuid and out half backs with 3 sharp shooters in the ff line. AOS to drop back into the half back where required but not thrown around the park as has been the custom recently.

  50. But NiallMac….are you listening to what I said?Names on paper here are quite irrevalent.You can shuffle them around anyway you like but if they hav nt got the basics of the modern game then off to the bog to count the midges. I’m feckin serious.

  51. Niall, I would agree with you regarding sweeper. I wouldnt drop a forward for one, this mistake was made way too often in the past. Our forwards dont score enough from olay as it is without reducing their options. AOS to midfield, win the ball and lay it off, simple. Im sick of the big burst up the middle, run into contact, get surrounded and cough up the turnover. The likes of Regan must be frustrated watching it after bursting a gut to find space time and time again knowing rhe ball will never come.

  52. We have lost Jason Gibbons who started at midfield against Galway and Tom Parsons, Seamie O’Shea, Barry Moran and Donal Vaughan are all just back from injuries so we are very short of match fitness around the middle third of the field at the moment. Add to that Aidan O’Shea’s lack of form, again that is why I would have preferred an easier game to steady the ship.

    The main reason we have beaten Galway and a lot of the other teams the last few years is because of our physicality in the middle third along with McLoughlin picking up the breaks. A lot of that has been missing the last while. So we really need to have Aidan O’Shea back on form probably playing at no. 11 with Tom Parsons and Seamie in midfield with Kevin Mc and Diarmuid picking up the breaks and Seamie covering back. Then get the ball into Cillian, Evan Regan, Loftus or Alan Freeman, Andy Moran etc. to do some damage on the scoreboard. I wonder did Conor Loftus play at the weekend, I didn’t hear any mention about him.

  53. Outsideoftheboot – I don’t think anybody would or could questions Aidan’s ability, Christ, the man is an absolute animal. I think we are questioning if he was anybody else putting in the performance levels he has been since the Sligo game, would they still be on the pitch? Aidan O’Shea applied and playing is top 5 footballers in the country, absolutely no doubt about it, but the performance levels haven’t been there.
    There are a mixture of reasons in my opinion (speculative) for that, which obviously aren’t ok here, but one thing that is definitely not helping him is playing 5 minutes at midfield, 5 minutes at cf and 5 minutes at full forward. I still think a game or two on the bench might help him refocus as well as send a message to a few others on the squad that nobody is undroppable if they are not performing. When they do bring him back in, bring him out the field where he is at his best and can not be double marked and fouled out of the game as he is at 14.

    Our problem here is that the tail wags the dog in that respect. We have certain players that it is unthinkable to drop. It happened to STAR, happened to Bernard Brogan and they got their heads down and were the spear heads for All Irelands on coming back to form.

  54. You are dead right goingwellintrain and inbetweener AOS isnt on form or hasnt being this year , but its not AOS fault that he is getting these 5 mins here and there, what I am sayin gis station him around the middle leave him there .

    Let our natural forwards tag on the scores . He is not a natural foward, if as a defender you are told to mark O shea, what do you need to know

    1 he is taller than you, will win ball in the air
    2 he only has a left boot
    3 he is strong but clumsy with the ball and greedy

    so what do you do , Isolate him ,let him win the ball, stand off him and watch the ball before taking it off his toe . top class defenders like Phily Mahon has done so, Aidan O Mahoney too.

    I dont for one second think anyone is undroppable but I do however think he is under extra scrutinity . Jason Doh was hasnt played well for ages yet gets branded a hard worker for doing what running backwards to the half backline, thats not football, AOS at least is trying to play ball, yes he needs to release sooner but its down to management not to have him isolated and not to be explelling such energy unnecessarily in trying to ride tackles, give him pace in forward line to take the ball off him .

    And I dont think the idea of Cillian at 11 is a good one, Cillian isnt mobile enough for 11 and why would you have your marquee forward running himself ragged when he should be up the other end conserving his energy to kick the ball over the bar .
    We have many players who can run in the squad but none who is as accurate as Cillian so leave him close to the posts .

  55. Those who watched Dublim last night were looking at the real winning formula. I don’t hear the Dubs saying that ye are not allowed copy us. There is no rule in the book to say that either but neither would I be surprised if there was.As has been said by all the greats here on the blog we need to score more regularly and consistently than we ve been doing of late.OK! How?? We know we must get the ball to the right man at the right time for the score to happen.OK. so far….! We all know that bit.The next bit is the problem. If you keep on hitting ball to E Regans corner ,for example, and to his front,this v quickly becomes old hat and predictable. OK. Evan has done well on first contact but what of it…he gets munched in a shot! Apply same to a ball directed to front of goal…old hat too….an odd successful outcome but…!
    Same for other corner.IOW that was the old game of our fore fathers. What these players need to do is get themselves involved in the modern game and move away from their assigned spots …..to lose/ unsettle their markers and most importantly engage in that stream of ball movement that results in fellas eventually finding themselves in scoring positions. To find these positions you have to search them out or more like, create them with your fellow players.
    People use the word static and it’s in this regard that the word finds a meaning…..static/ obvious/ first option/ wrong option.
    We have to move around from our positions….like a man with a fly on the river..up and down over and back..or else there ll be no trout for tea!

  56. We must have been watching a different league
    Aidan had pretty solid games and his performance against Donegal was not as bad as that of many others.
    Yes he should have been taken off in Castlebar but I am frankly amazed that people think he is not in top 15 in Mayo.And I really feel the criticism he is shipping here is unfair.He is one man who would make most county teams imo.He was good against London and blaming him for the loss to Galway is some leap.
    Oh as regards speculation and rumour and innuendo I thought this site was better than that .

  57. Everyone knows Aidan OShea is a top player and on his day is a force of nature. Has he been hitting top form lately? The answer would be no, but alot of our big names havent been either. Aido in my opinion is suffering badly from being played out of position and expected to cover multiple positions. This for a huge man who isnt the most mobile in the world. He has been shoe horned into ff, a position he doesnt like. His best work has been done around the middle so pick him there and leave him there for a whole game and see how he does.

  58. Hueyandlouis, there was much more wrong with the performance v Galway than Aiden OShea, but why take off Evan Regan. If your not doing it on the pitch at the time, it’s no good. Umpires won’t wave the white or green flags, thinking about a players glorious past.

  59. Kerry Dublin Donegal don’t have a plebiscite if they decide not to pick MDM, McMenamon, Star, Brian Sheehan or McBrearty. Their respective managers keep it in house, their panels are competitive not with reserved seating. And yet we are debating AOS etc. This worries me. The managers must always appear to be the ones in charge making the calls not the camp followers (of which I include myself).

  60. Hueyandlouis – What specifically concerns you in the “speculation and rumour and innuendo” department? I don’t think anyone has said anything out of line about individual players over the last few days but if you could point me to any specific examples that concern you I’d be happy to have another look at them.

  61. Your 100% right there John, He at a minimum has to ‘appear’ to be in charge!

  62. Nobody is on here to criticise anyone. We are all fully aware of the sacrifices made to play for the county. Different approaches are needed for different players when they lose form. Some need to play through it while others need a break to refocus. Poor play is a disease thst can spread and so it did with numerous Mayo players carrying the ball into tackles and getting turned over. I think I’m in a minority who thinks we have some serious artillery in our forwards but I fear our new messiah has failed to recognise this as was evidenced by the stupid defensive game that we tried against a team that we have pummeled with the last few years. We have the players and they need to be given the confidence to go and do what they are good at. No forward in the country would have looked good in that Mayo team the last day. No more than Am,can anyone tell me why DV is not considered at CB as he has a presence and would free CB for wb.
    Leant ime
    Did you steal some of my script?!

  63. Dropping AOS would be foolish! Have we someone better on the bench? I am no fan of AOS and his attempts to barge through defenders and other aspects of his play but he is still a huge presence on the field. What he he needs is a good talking to, a bit of clever coaching and a definite role that suits his talents not a macho show of strength by a newbie manager. Give him another chance to prove himself and if he fails to respond and produce a good performance in the next game, fair enough, take him off. But dropping him is most certainly not the way to treat one of very best players. This is the big challenge for SR. and I have outlined this on a number of occasions. How SR. handles this will either make or break him as a manager. Anyone can manage ordinary lads but it takes real talent to manage big characters with big egos (and big flaws).

  64. Borderboy, didn’t steal your script! .But on the other hand, you know what they say ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’

  65. Agree totally with your point – NiallMc1983

    Can posters just name out there teams for the next day, rather then wishy washy talk

  66. Diehard, SR has tough decisions to make thats for sure but I think the making and breaking of him will be next year.

    This is not his team, its still Horans team. Rochford came in very late and had no choice but to go with whats already there. Next year he will have had a good look around Mayo. Probably one of the reasons Sean Carey is a selector, few know club football around Mayo better than him. There will be huge changes to this team next year, alot of new faces, not all from the U21 either. Next season will be his make or break season. Next years panel will be his panel.

  67. Drop aos? You could drop him, but why not use him properly rather than give him an impossible task and leave him beyond frustrated. Put aiden at chf and leave him to do his thing. For this Fermanagh game,

    Hennelly
    Harrison. Keane. Higgins

    Boyler. Keegan. Durcan

    Parsons. Sos

    Diarmuid. Aos. McLoughlin

    Regan. Coc. Freeman

    There’s a strong spine all the way through, and if someone is having an off day, loftus, Carolan, Doherty, Donie, reape, Andy and others are all more than able to do the job
    And for this one game please let them look up for a second and spot the open player rather than carrying it into the tackle and or having a crazy shot from a bad positions. it’s do or die this time and I expect Mayo to do.

  68. Willie Joe
    I think it is unfair that all the focus is on Aidan.Several posters have referred to rumours and speculation and though I know you in no way encourage this I do feel scapegoating Aidan is out of order.
    That is my opinion and all posters are entitled to theirs.Just goes to show you can be a hero for several minutes….one poor game..and suddenly youre out of the first 15.
    I also think reference to big egos on the team is unsubstantiated.I saw no big egos when the lads signed jerseys for young lads for an hour after a press night or when they mingled with the crowd in London.

  69. I agree with Die hard the anwser is not to drop Aidan O Shea the anwser is to get the best out of him like John Maughan got the the best out of Liam McHale circa 96 97 and Ciaran McDonald 04-06 like Alex Ferguson got the best out of Roy Keane when Mc Carthy couldn’t . Aidan has loads of talent and ability Rochford has the makings of a good manager but imagine a Jack O Connor or a Sean Boylan/Jimmy Mc Guinness type of manager they would be building their team around O Shea and getting inside his head to play like a winner everytime for 70+ mins fair enough drop him if he’s not performing but then you have to ask why isn’t he performing has he no interest is he not motivated enough whatever chance we have one day of winning Sam with him I feel that chance is slimmer if he’s not involved let’s not make the same mistake we made with Mortimer and Mc Donald they were cast off rightly or wrongly before they had hung up their boots

  70. If players are not performing then they sound be dropped. I am not going to mention names but s Rockford needs to bit the bullet on it. I am sure d o Connor will start.

  71. Aidan O’Shea will not be dropped. Nor should he be. If we’re going to nail guys on the back of a no show the last day we would list Boyler and 14 new additions.

    The unrelenting criticism of Hennelly and O’Shea is batshit mental. O’Shea suffers the brunt of this bullshit because so much is expected of him. He should win ball at midfield, break tackles, horse it into the square and get on the end of it himself.

    He’s a super player that needs a confidence boost. We need to find a way to bring him into the game because on form he’s a force of nature. We don’t need to park one of our key operators on the bench.

    Anyway – I’m not sure the bench would hold him!

  72. AOS’s form only dropped when he was been directed to play every position on the pitch. I remember a few league games under Holmes and Connolly where he seemed to be moved every 5 mins thinking, what are we trying to do to this player? I don’t think he’s a natural forward as he’s not that accurate so I’d bring him back to his natural position in midfield.

  73. I think the debate so far has been reasonable enough, hueyandlouis, with opinions being expressed and challenged. I don’t think that anything that’s been posted about Aidan has been out of order, though I am continuing to keep a close eye on the debate to make sure it stays that way.

  74. Rock…I’d be 100% with you on that but you de need to find a way of bringing the rest of them into the game as well.
    Who ever mentioned that we are and always have been very prone to individualism in this county is also bang on. Even us bloggers can’t get away from it. Maybe the time has come for us to create occasions that will evolve into wonderful glorious memories in place of what we ve had to put up with!!

  75. Thats fair enough WJ.
    As I said it is only my opinion that it is unfair to make Aidan the scapegoat but I do accept the right of others to disagree.I dont quite remember the same level of discussion in relation to the shortcomings of other players and that is no harm.

  76. I don’t think there are going to be that many name changes from the Galway game to the Fermanagh game. Gibbons of course is gone and I’m not sure if SOS is match fit yet so not sure if he will start.. could see Vaughan starting here instead. Diarmuid will hopefully be back and Durcan or Doherty will make way there. Aside from that it will be as you were the last day out. The set up could be very different and I like many would like to see AOS back as a defensive midfielder with Stephen Coen allowed to venture further up with Tom P. I could be wrong but I think Rochy will preserveer with Higgins high up the field and McLoughlin as sweeper. I just hope whatever the plan is the next day that it flippin works otherwise our year could be goosed.

  77. It was reported the CCCC was meeting today to discuss throw in times and venues but that appears not to be happening now?

  78. Rochford won’t shy away from dropping any player who needs to be dropped. Already dropped an available player to the subs bench for the Galway match who was reportedly recovering from injury…

  79. 45 if that was a tactical decision it was a very poor one on a pretty awful night for the manager.

    I was a supporter of Stephen getting the job but have been very disappointed with how he has done so far. There has been no pep in the team, no real innovation in terms of tactics, no big plan and results have been downright poor. He really needs a few championship wins under the belt to justify the faith that was put in him

  80. Very difficult to know what team will be picked for next week’s game. Andy Moran’s heroics should be enough to justify a starting place. There needs to be a few adjustments but if attitude is off, or if rumours of disharmony are true, all the reshuffling in the world won’t be enough. A tricky assignment against a tough team, under a manager with an excellent record. A narrow win could be the catalyst to better things. Team I feel would be the strongest: Clarke, Harrison, Keane, Higgins, Keegan, Boyle, Durcan, Coen, Parsons, D O Connor, Aidan O Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran, Cillian O’ Connor, Evan Regan. Think Freeman, Vaughan, Nally, and Barry Moran, Seamus O Shea, Conor Loftus (if fit) could make a difference. In an earlier post I said Aidan O Shea could do with a spell on the bench. If he is on form in training and more or less left on the 40 I can’t see who would be better. Though the day he was black carded v Monaghan, we played fine without him. This is a very different game.

  81. Aos at chf and leave him there. Don’t drop him unless there’s someone better to replace him, and there’s not at that position imo.

  82. question marks as to whether or not Adains position is even at chf . Is he worth chancing in the centre along side his brother ? many would not agree with me but just look at the Galway game , he was man marked out of every single ball . no dought that Fermanagh will have some sort of plan for him .

  83. Let them plan all they like, if they double mark him that means there’s some Mayo man free on the pitch.
    if he’s at chf he won’t be frustrated by defenders hanging out of him like they do at ff because he will not be double marked. I think Aiden will work out very well in that position if he’s left there rather than trying to make a superhero out of him in different positions.

  84. ‘Near hand in’
    You mention rumours of disharmony. I am generally skeptical about such rumours and tend to dismiss them. However, it seems to me that everyone I talk to lately has some sort of story or other. A big win is badly needed!

  85. Diehard. It seems these rumours only come to light after a defeat as I heard nothing during the league or after London game. I hope there is little to them because these things rarely end well.

  86. Willie Joe. I merely alluded to talk about rumours…..I didn’t intend to fuel anything, nor would I intend to breach the rules laid down by you. Next Saturday will unveil the truth.

  87. Yeah we should know quite early this morning. The hold up was for the Cork hurlers – to see if they got through and especially whether they would draw Limerick in the hurling too. That they haven’t probably means that game will be played on Sunday. We are likely to start at 3/3.30 on Saturday with a hurling double bill in Thurles at 5 and 7 on Sky.

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