James keeping tabs on Gavin

James Horan Gavin Duffy

Photo: Sport.ie.msn.com

We’re still in the West where I’m (almost) blissfully unaware of the Dubs’ latest championship demolition job. I say almost because I have, of course, seen the reports on their quarter-final against Monaghan on Saturday evening but I didn’t see the game itself, though I can imagine fairly easily what it must have been like in visual terms.

So on the blue juggernaut rolls but I’d be very much of the opinion that this isn’t of any enormous interest to us right now. Dublin may go on and do the same to Donegal in the semis (I’d say there’s a good chance they will) but it’s only if we manage to get past Kerry in our penultimate round tie on Sunday week that any of this becomes relevant to us. Which means that all we should be talking about now is the Kerry game.

The main reason I sat down to do this quick post tonight was, however, to draw your attention to two pieces in today’s papers (in the Irish Independent and Irish Examiner) where it’s reported that James Horan was an interested spectator at Tuam Stadium on Saturday night where Gavin Duffy was playing for Salthill/Knocknacarra in their Galway club championship match against Caltra. Gavin lined out at midfield and that Indo report says James “will have been impressed with his high fielding and distribution before he was tactically substituted midway through the second half”.  Salthill/Knocknacarra came out on top, by the way, in this match on a scoreline of 1-8 to 0-8.

Since being called into the senior football squad a few months back, the former rugby international has yet to feature in the 26-man match-day panel. His position within the squad, as a result, remains something of an enigma and it’s still far from clear if Gavin will play any active part at all for us in this year’s championship campaign. Perhaps James’ attendance at Tuam on Saturday evening constitutes a hint that he might but then again maybe it doesn’t. At this stage, I suppose it’s best to keep everyone, in particular the Kerrymen, guessing as to what James’ plans might be in this regard.

114 thoughts on “James keeping tabs on Gavin

  1. Hi Willie Joe I too am maintaining a news blackout in relation to the dubs, plenty of time for that if/when the time comes. i must just once again mention the fact that Mark Ronaldson continues to impress for Shrule/ Glencorrib, having a great season so far, I wonder he doesnt warrant a look, never lacks for heart and scoring freely at the moment. Pocket options are required for us i think.

  2. Was anyone at this game? I find it hard to believe that such a key player that was playing so well would be taken off midway during the second half!
    Can’t see him being a part of any plans for Kerry.

  3. S/K is my club but didn’t make the game. From what I hear he is doing ‘ok’. Apparently Barry Kelly (also former Mayo) is doing very well at midfield for the club and has really impressed.

  4. I dunno, but I just can’t see Duffy getting a place on this team. I mean, where would Horan play him? Full forward maybe? midfield? Not likely with our talent there, full back? More likely, but very risky and Horan doesn’t do risky. The only way I could see Duffy being drafted in, would be in desperation, either were not getting a sniff at full forward of we’re getting rail roaded at full back, which in that case, likely game over before a change is made, ala 2006. Anyway, carry on…

  5. in fairness, can’t see any of the other county lads being “tactically substituted” for thier clubs during championship….. think duffy brings his professionalism and experience to the squad, but can’t imagine he’ll need his boots on the 24th!! also if Horan had serious plans for him, he wouldn’t have been watching him in club c’ship, sure he sees him every week at training, more likely, there was no decent club football in Mayo to watch Saturday so he popped up to galway….

  6. Here we are talking about a player that definitely won’t play a part for mayo. Job done James. This has been a master stroke

  7. Not at game myself but chatting to a Caltra player who calls Shennanigans on the quote. Caught one ball and was quiet during the rest of the game, hence the substitution. Kelly was a better option apparently but was also substituted.

  8. Yearra sure he wont play against Kerry and isn’t that the end of the season anyway so maybe next year.
    A more important question about our last visit to Croke Park this year, will there be a change of jersies? I presume their will as its whats always happened before when we meet those aristocrats of the game. It probably should be us that changes again given that we have the honour of being on the pitch with the second best team in the championship with some of the best forwards the game has every seen.

  9. Any chance the GAA would allow Mayo to give our best players to Kerry as subs for the final, it would be a nice gesture.it would take the sting out of it for Kerry when they are hammerred by 15 points by the dubs.
    The dubs are going to enter their own subs in the 2014/15 uefa champions league competition, the fans already have the hand clapping above their heads thing down to a T, so that’s going to be nice.

  10. Agree with Mayomark, Duffy is a diversion and Horan is happy to have him. A bit like Bernard dunne with the dubs, brings a new angle from a professional outlook but nothing more…

  11. Brolly can be an annoying individual but his analysis lately and in post above is spot on.Horan has been found wanting in these situations and tactically he can.be very naive at times.Now before I am blamed for being disloyal read the article and point out what is incorrect.
    Horan has been magnificent for Mayo and is in many ways a genius but the high ball in has crippled Mayo in finals for years.The day we dont concede goals is day we win it.

  12. Brolly sums up what a lot of Mayo folk are thinking and saying RE: the space. Is it that JH doesn’t take counsel or does he not see it or does he believe it’ll come good during a game and sees him making no change as not panicking? In fairness it’s a regular thing in the last few years. The reason why the Mayo crowd was so ‘quiet’ last year with 10mins left was because we could see the writing on the wall and were shitting ourselves (well I was anyway).

    We gotta get something diff on the line or we’re goosed. BTW the stream of neg stuff about the Kerry game and getting hammered, is that the real belief? or tongue in cheek stuff? I think we have a great chance against them.

  13. Pete
    I think the negative stuff is to be taken lightly, Mayo are a very credible to the 3 others left in it.
    Corks goals were very well taken by quality forwards, look at them again, it was never easy to stop the likes of them. Our issue shouldn’t be on defense as much as it should be on taking at least half the chances we had, we are not nearly as clinical as we need to be in front of goal, a review of the cork game will show how poor we were in taking our chances near goal.
    Fix that and we could be champions in 2014, easier said than done of course but that’s what the training field is for

  14. David

    What did we score v Cork.

    Are Cork forwards better than O Donoghue or Geaney or Brogan or McMenamin?
    What cost us All Ireland in 2012 and what goals did weconcede in 2013?
    Has high ball in cost us in other finals.
    Did Galway threaten via Cummins and Conroy though they are less effective than Cork or Kerry
    How did Roscommon get ahead before we were rescued by Andy.

    Answer these and the big picture may emerge.
    Time to deal with these matters now and I have no doubt he will by the way.

  15. Brolly is accurate in his analysis of what our defence i like right now. The simple fact is that we do concede too much. However a big part of our game is that our 1/2 backs are encouraged to drive forward and support the forwards. So if we were to negate this and resort to a more defensive position with all the backs primarily defending we would lose out a lot of our attacking options. The problem for Horan and the management team is to find the balance required between the two options that are on the table i.e. defending and attacking.

  16. I think Brollys article is an excellent piece of analysis and is indicative of what most people are thinking. James H needs to show in the Kerry Match that he has learned from past mistakes and not leave it to the lap of the Gods. The full back line needs more protection.I think everyone would agree with that.
    Its how the full back line deals with the problem of the high/breaking ball that will exercise his mind most and the space between full back line and half backs.

    He needs to come up with a more defence minded formula fast to deal with a very fast and freescoring Kerry attack and prevent needless and soft goals.

    If they can prevent/limit space to Kerry forwards then I think they will be well on their way to success.

  17. I would agree with pretty much everything in the Brolly piece. The high ball in is a dangerous weapon!
    But I would also agree with the corollary of it – ie. do to others as they would do unto you. Loft a high ball towards the opposing square and wait for the fallout.
    It requires a man in there in the mould of Ray Dempsey who can win his own ball or at least knock it loose. (we have one!)
    I`m talking about ‘Garryowen style’ – something that`s long enough in the air to allow other forwards to swarm around in hope.
    Precision passes into the forwards has worked well for us I know. This is not a criticism of our system because these lads have made us all proud.
    But we desperately need a variation sometimes in attack in order to keep
    the opposition guessing. Plus ….. it bears fruit!

  18. Best MAyo Team IMO to play Kerry
    ___________Robbie H
    _______O Shea___Vaughan
    ____________O Shea_

    Game would suit Feeney at no.7, mark the new pretend Galvin, but doubt we will see him . I dropped Andy but doubt Horan will.

  19. Same as that outside of boot, I think Freeman in on O’mahony would cause Kerry a lot of problems. Moran would suit omahony.
    The way to beat Kerry (and dubs) is deny them space by pressing them high up the pitch. Mayo did it almost to perfection in the 1st half last year, problem was too many wides and a soft goal.
    Overall Can’t see Kerry coping with Mayo’s pace and physicality.

  20. No problem with Joe’s analysis – for once. It’s a strange day when Joe Brolly and John Cuffe agree on something! (I’m referring to John making the point some time ago that, put simply, we concede too much in finals, particularly goals.)

    Is JH going to do something about it? If not, then we might get to the final, and we might not. Certainly Eamonn Fitzmaurice will have noted the weakness and will be planning to exploit it accordingly. He certainly has the shooters to do so, even without Gooch.

  21. Completely agree with outside of the boot except I would have jason gibbons in midfield with vaughan moving back in place of barrett, who I feel is lacking in confidence after such a long lay off (which is natural). I would follow jh to hell an back if he’d ask me, he has transformed mayo football for a long time to come, but, if he starts with andy instead of freeman against kerry then serious questions will have to be asked. Andy has been a great servant to us but he just does not contribute from the start anymore plus his constant falling is really pissing me off, has to be freeman from the start with andy to come on in the last quarter running at a tiring defence which will suit him way better.

  22. Excellent analysis by Brolly alright.
    The key now is not to keep making the same mistakes.
    Anyone close enough to James to have a word in his ear or failing that a loudhailer !
    The problem with pressing high up the pitch (which I totally agree with) is that we are inevitably going to leave too much space in front of our FB line which lethal finishers at this level are going to exploit.
    The key is to get the balance right. The last day against Cork we got 7 points up & then developed a terrible bloodlust. On reflection at that stage we might have been better to go to blanket defence & see the game out hitting occasionally on the break.
    We just need to be cuter.

  23. Joe brolly talks about football, james horan manages mayo very successfully, he watches the panel training, so I think jh possibly knows more about mayo than joe brolly

  24. I see Coldrick is the ref for Mayo Kerry. I’m surprised, I thought he’d be in line to ref the All Ireland. I also think he’s probably the best of what’s there, so I’d be happy enough really.

  25. I don’t think Hoofing in high balls is way to go.

    Also I cant understand the desire to replace our captain before the game begins. He is coming back to form and did quite well against Cork and saved us against Roscommon. Sure he may need to be substituted but that’s another issue.
    Freeman deserves to come on for whoever is not going well in forwards but having him in there to hoof balls into is shortsighted.
    Mayo need to play tight game with someone in front of JOd and good decisions on sideline.

  26. In an effort to parse many of the comments above – it’s all about balance over the next outings. We’re facing two formidable forward lines and while we need to protect our full back-line, at what cost to our strike rate?

    This is the real challenge for JH. Personnel (Moran or Freeman) is important but arguably the formation and strategy are crucial.

  27. If Jason gibbons is fit then I think he should start. Aidan o Shea the last day proved his credentials as a very dangerous forward.
    It’s hard to decide about Andy Moran. He is undoubtedly a very good footballer and a clever operator but I am concerned at the number of times he fell the last day against cork. In days gone by this used to be a sign of an unfit player or someone who is gone over the hill. I sincerely hope this is not the case and that it had to do with his studs. A fit Andy Moran is an asset we could badly do with.
    JOD is a real threat but I don’t think he has come across the likes of Higgins or Cuniffe yet. As well I can’t see him getting the kind of supply he got against cork or Galway. There are other very dangerous forwards there so too much focus on Jod could open the door for them.

  28. Was reading the kerry blog and imo they sound very loudly confident that’s exactly we’re we want them ..I whole heartedly agree on starting freeman last year he was brilliant in the semi-finals a repeat of that performance and we should be in good shape

  29. My selection to take on the kingdom:

    1. Hennelly
    2. Harrison
    3. Cafferkey
    4. Higgins
    5. Keegan
    6. Cunniffe
    7. Boyle
    8. S.O’Shea
    9. Gibbons
    10. McLoughlin
    11. A.O’Shea
    12. Doherty
    13. O’Connor
    14. Freeman
    15. Dillon

  30. Cuniffe instead of harrison, boyle at 6 and donie at 7, and The rest as they are would be my ideal starting 15. I think harrison would be too risky in a game of this magnitude.

  31. Mayobornandbred
    I would leave Chris Barrett out. He hasn’t had a great run so far.
    I think I would leave Andy until the last 20 / 30 mins or until someone in the forwards got injured or performed badly but that depends on how he and freeman are getting on in training. I know he would have a huge impact towards the end of the game when perhaps we need his experience and intelligence on the pitch. My line up would be
    Cuniffe. Cafferky Higgins

    Keegan. Boyle. Vaughan

    Seamus o Shea Gibbons

    Kevin mc Loughlin Aidan o Shea. Jason Doherty

    Alan Dillon. Alan Freeman Cillian o Connor

    I would have no hesitation in sticking big Barry in the ff line for the last 10 mins of the second half just to pose different problems for the fullback line.
    We might need to come up with something less predictable in order to unsettle the opposition.

  32. I cannot see what sweepers would have done to prevent either of the Donegal goals in 2012 or Brogan’s first goal last year. All three were long balls in which would have bypassed any sweeper.
    Maybe – only maybe – a sweeper might have prevented Dublin’s second goal last year. But playing a sweeper, especially against Dublin, means leaving a loose defender for Cluxton to find with each and every kickout setting up Dublin attacks. Equally leaving a Kerry defender loose and unmarked would be fatal.
    If Dublin are to be beaten it will be by pressurizing their defence especially on kickouts. Mobility will be key and that is why I think that Jason Gibbons as partner to SOS will be a key man if fully fit. Donie Vaughan on his form against Cork seems to be the best option if Gibbons not 100%. I also think that Freeman would be the ideal No 14 but he seems to blow hot and cold. He was very hot early in the year but against Dublin and Derry in the Semi he was cold. And I don’t buy the story of the ball in not suiting him. The problem in those games was that he was consistently behind his marker as if he was waiting and hoping for a mistake. Against Rosc in the championship much of the ball in was inaccurately placed and he could not be blamed for that. If he is on his game I would have him starting in Andy’s place with Andy coming in with about 20 minutes to go. In the end of the day we will win if on the day our players play better than theirs allround. At this level there is no room for compensating for weaknesses by leaving other weaknesses.

  33. For the Brogan first goal, keeper was at fault shouldnt have come off his line, but what brolly is saying is that it should not be one on one when the high ball comes in we got caught against Donegal this way as well.

  34. Cheers jr, they seem fairly confident alright. Yerra sure why wouldn’t they, we are a long time on the road, AOS goes into hiding & Horan is a poor manager Yerra

  35. Brolly is correct and the soft centre has been a feature of this team since Kerry 2011. High ball in, keeper charges out, crashes into full back and breaks to Gooch. Steps back and fired into roof of net. 2012 high ball into Murphy not double marked, bang into net. 2013 high ball into square, read 2011 scenario , same actors.

    Last day v Cork for 2 goals Cork allowed to work ball into firing zone. “Serial foulers” don’t foul and Mayo get two blasted past them. Full back major problem for Mayo , has been and not addressed for 4 years. Soon our luck will run out. I don’t want it to but long abandoned belief in that area, neither physical nor astute enough.

  36. I have to agree with you John in that full back is and has been a major problem for us. Its evident to me for a long while that we seem content to cede this turf, or rationalize away why our FB had been beaten! This has been demonstrated time and time again, yet we get by, but on AI final day, against the best teams, we are and have been found out! I don’t pretend to have the answer but I fear again, it’s too late this year to address it now.
    Despite this, I hope and pray we just score more.

  37. I think Ger Cafferkey is an excellent full back, hurley didn’t get a sniff once caff was switched on him, higgins was at fault for his goal, he was picking him up at that time. Hennelly was at fault in last years final, should have stayed on his line, ger got a touch on the ball against the best ff in the country last year and it would have trickled harmlessly to robbie had he stayed. And come on, there was only one man at fault for both goals against Donegal, the poor lad hasn’t been the same player since. Its our tactics that are wrong not our fb, he just doesn’t get the protection other fbs get. We need to put bodies infront of him and if we do that we have a chance against kerry.

  38. John for a team that’s not physical or astute enough they have not done too bad. Come to think of it they have done better than any Mayo team in over 60 years. Also they have been one of the top three teams in Ireland in last 4 years. Maybe we happen to have a fine team and a fine manager with lads who can be physical ie Boyle in conn final and Cuniffe v tyrone. Maybe just maybe Horan has been relatively astute in guiding us to 4 provincial titles and 4 AI Semis or maybe Im living in cloud cuckoo land and should only be content when Mayo have bludgeoned their way to few AI titles by kicking the s..t out of all opposition with our manager pulling fast ones left right and centre which leaves all our opposition gobsmacked by how clever he is.

  39. I would definitely agree with Juan there. It’s lazy analysis to just blame the full back when goals go in. And that if the full back did not command his area, then he is not good enough. The modern game does not work like that. Players switch, various tactics mean that the full back doesn’t just hover within 15 yards of the goal for the full game anymore. As Juan pointed out, Cafferkey was not at fault for any of the goals mentioned.

    He has been fantastic for Mayo over the past number of years. You’d be hard pressed to name a better full back in Ireland in the past 5 years. If the other backs were as tight marking, as good in the air and get the hand in like Cafferkey constantly does, there would be less goals.

  40. Actually Adrian, and I know this might seem like nit-picking, but for Donncha O’Connor’s goal Cafferkey could have done much better in my opinion. Not that the goal was his fault entirely but go back and look at it to the time where O’Connor receives the ball and watch Cafferkey’s positioning at that point, he’s looking at his man Hurley (I think) who is walking away from goal and showing no interest, the only danger is O’Connor. Cafferkey’s decision-making was both very slow and incorrect in that instance and had he been quicker, in my opinion the worst that would have happened is O’Connor being forced into kicking a point.

    That said he is one of the best full-backs around, particularly, when having to keep tight to his man and on low ball into his man. Not the world’s greatest reader of the game, as pointed out above, but very solid.

  41. I think cafferkey will only be truly appreciated when he hangs up the mayo jersey or takes a year out etc. Ive Been reading the kerry blog alot and they are very confident, hope to god we can contain they’re forwards.

  42. Cafferkey is fine footballer and goals not down to him.Yet John Cuffes points are completely valid and your reply towinjustonce does not address them at all.It is just blind faith in James who I admire but surely you admit mistakes have been made in past?

  43. Good corner backs make a good full back. Barrett is a problem at present-but he is just back. I think we need a sweeper.

  44. So why are we leaking so many goals? We have been letting goals in by the bucket all year and Barret albeit not himself is only back from injury , this was happening right throughout the league campaign even v Westmeath.

    Caff has some great attributes as a footballer but he also has flaws as a full back and Hennelly saved him a couple of blushes in last years final too,im not sure how it can be shored up but we will have to if we are to keep the kingdom at arms length. We cannot afford to leave too much space between the back lines like we usually do due to our attacking nature of hb line unless we think we can kill them that way but that is a dangerous play .

  45. Gavin Duffy will be the one change to the match day program on All Ireland final day. He will be a surprise last minute inclusion.
    You heard it here first.

  46. Theres no way they will let an inter county transfer go through during the championship season; If Duffy wants a shot at playing for the kingdom he will have to wait till 2015.

  47. Good one Sean!
    Seriously though, you touch on something, a problem that we seem willing to ignore , hope for the best if you will. This will mean us having to negate the goal difference , somehow.

  48. Lately as a Ballinaman reading this blog I have to say I am feeling as isolated as a conerback left one on one with the Gooch on All Ireland final day!! It seems that the men from the banks of the moy are systematically doing their best to ensure that our great famine is to go on indefinitely!!
    If it isn’t Ger’s spot fixing like concession of goals you have got Brady and MacHale talking down the teams chances which makes us mad then talking up the team which makes us even madder not to mention the evil that is Kevin McStay!!!!
    Ballina , as always some would say , look to be the last road block to negotiate if we finally have to land Sam!!!
    Some might say I am not being rational in my analysis but to those who question the above as reasonable or valid I leave you with a quote that even such lofty writers like DB and Liam MacHale will struggle with ;
    ” My talk is surely the handiwork of wisdom because not one word of it will you understand ” !!!

  49. Crete Boom, I fully agree with you.
    Our media lads should be manning the pumps a bit more for us but I think that they have caught a general malaise that has gripped the national media this year in the way that Dublin is played up at every hand’s turn and everyone else is played down. I’m not talking about realism in recognising your own mistakes (which is there to see in the local media), but the generalisations that get away for journalism in the national media vary between amusing and astonishing.

    Take the following examples of how Mayo and Dublin are reported differently:
    In 2013, Mayo smashed through the opposition to arrive in the semi-final but the story in the media was that Mayo was untested. In 2014, Dublin has arrived in the semi-final smashing the opposition and the media story is that they are unbeatable. In 2014 Mayo dug out a win against Cork in a very exciting finish – reporting pointed to the ref, Mayo’s struggle to close out the game when ahead and (somewhat reluctantly), Mayo developing a tougher edge. In 2013, Dublin dug out a win against Kerry in the semi-final – greatest game ever played, Dublin will always score more than they concede, etc, etc. As an aside, did you ever notice that a prerequisite for “greatest game ever played” has to have Dublin in it? In 2013, Mayo struggled for 20 minutes before putting Tyrone to the sword – Mayo had a soft underbelly! In 2014, Monaghan kept Dublin scoreless for 20 minutes – aw but look at what Dublin did then, unbeatable. In the Dublin Mayo league game earlier this year, we played them off the pitch for most of the game and but for that draw they wouldn’t have made the league semi-final, yet the media would have us believe that they were untouchable so far this year.

    Ah but shure, they are great really. And as we face up to Kerry, isn’t it great to know that one of us will win the right to lose the final to them. My arse we will! There are still two semi-finals to play first and whoever gets to Croker on 21st September will be brewing up a storm that the national media just doesn’t see coming. There’s a fair bit of football left in this year yet and a few of our own former stars should have enough oil in their collective lamps to see this!

    Keep the Faith!

  50. Sean, how can he be in the panel if he can’t play because of club geography?
    Can he be on the Mayo panel and not be allowed to played because his club is in Galway?

  51. The difference is lads/lassies, Dublin have won two all Irelands out of the last three, it doesnt matter (fair or not) what Mayo do , untill we win Sam we are not going to get any credit for what we do before it as such, at least not in the same light as counties who have won it in recent times.

    Im actually delighted with the media take on this years chase for sam, whoever wins our semi couldnt ask for a better bulid up to the all Ireland final because if Dublin beat Donegal comfortably , which i think they will, it is set up perfect . It will be all about the machine that is Dublin.

  52. Sean,
    I am not concerned at all about the fairness of the national media. They just want to sell papers or get viewers/listeners. It’s a bit like the English tabloids, if they say England will lose, they lose audience. Very similar with Dublin as more than a third of the population lives or works within 50km of the spire.
    But what it has done is create a bubble around Dublin and bubbles have a habit of bursting.

    As you say, set up perfectly!

  53. Dublin are good, sure, but they are not THAT good. No team is unbeatable and Dublin have, like every other team, strengths and weaknesses.
    In every sport, from track & field to boxing, from hurling to football, from soccer to handball, there have been greats of their sport. Men, women and teams that dominated an era and seemed elevated to another level high above the rest. Winners that won in style and seemed unbeatable, winners that were enshrined in the history of their sport and where a defeat seemed impossible. Well guess what? they lost eventually, all of them.
    Someone, or some team, came along with a plan and a desire and a fearlessness and defeated them. They didn’t stand there in the dressing room pissing themselves with fear and nerves, they didn’t take to the field, or ring, or pitch or ball alley looking at their opponent with resignation in their eyes, beaten already before the challenge had even begun. No. They had a belief and a total trust in themselves, their plan, their teammates and they knew that they were not going to end that contest defeated. No matter what.
    How many division 1 teams have Dublin played so far? How many times have Dublin still been in a game with 10 minutes to go? Where their mettle will really be tested. How many times have their weak points been exposed and serious questions asked of them? The answer is none.
    They may win it outright again and if they do, fair play to them. Then they can be considered a great side, but, they haven’t won it yet and there is a fair bit of ball to be played so let us just focus on Kerry for now.

  54. Well said Pebblesmeller, every power in the world has fallen, Dublin are going to be the next one to fall. Who knows when, but they will fall.
    Wondering if Mayo will be ultradefensive to stop Kerry or will we just play our game as usual?

  55. If you were a Yerra instead of an Arragh then this is how you believe the semi final will go:

    – Kerry scores 1st goal after 5 mins (Declan O’S left unmarked while 4 Mayo backs track JO’D.

    – 2nd goal scored with 8 mins on the clock, this time JOD scores as 4 Mayo backs were tracking Declan O’S.

    – Ghost of Christmas past (Donnaghy) is subbed on and with first touch scores another goal for the Kingdom.

    – 20 mins on the clock and game over.

    – Remaining 52 mins taken up with analysing possible permutations to face Dublin.

    Aside from a famous victory in 1996 we have been beaten by Kerry and well beaten in the majority of our championship meetings for decades. In order to turn this trend in Mayo’s favour there is no doubt in my mind that

    – We have to improve by probably 20% from the Cork game

    – Experience will count so I expect to see Andy and Dillon both named to start with at least one actually starting.

    – The players showing best in training will be the first to be subbed on, why would JH and management team do anything other than this ? If Richie is not coming on with 20 mins to go then Richie must not be going well in training and we should accept that.

    – Less respect to Eamon Fitzmaurice, he is tagged as being cute but is he cuter than JH ?. Remember he bought on a very inexperienced back in the semi against Dublin last year who made a few basic mistakes that helped turn the game for Dublin.

    There is one hell of a kick left in this Mayo team and I expect we will see it if it’s required on Sunday week, of all teams we owe Kerry big time.

  56. I am sure every Dublin player and every member of the management know that they are not going to be top dogs for ever and maybe not even for very long. They will soak up the glory and move on with their lives. It is up to another team to be good enough and man up and beat them.

    Dublin has won two AIs in the past three years and would be enough for anyone.

  57. I think if you are quietly spoken and from Kerry you are immediately assumed to be a cute hoor. In fairness to him, he has had success in the Hogan Cup but did not our Jimmy have considerable success with Ballintubber?
    Another thing to consider, everyone is falling over themselves to portray Jim Gavin as some sort of footballing genius the likes we have never seen before. But think back to last years All Ireland and imagine if we had won by a point, Gavin would have been lacerated for going into the last 18 minutes of the final having used all his subs and 2 players on the pitch out of action!!! Horan would have been a legend for evermore and Gavin would probably have stepped down. Now, we all know the real outcome but it was only 1 point, ONE POINT!!! Yet look at the difference in respect shown to the 2 managers from within their own counties and you would swear that we were beaten by 12 or 15 points. Previous Mayo managers were beaten by that amount in Croker, overseeing complete humiliation of us as a footballing county and making us a laughing stock, and yet they still are held up by some as shining lights in the managerial world.
    There is more to come from our lads, we are nowhere near the levels we were at this time last year, and that is a good thing.

  58. (Opinion of the neutral, not mine)

    Mayo lost by a point , never looked like winning a game where Dublin never showed up.

    Dublin have shown they have improved greatly since last years final, Mayo haven’t.

    Theres another side of the coin to Dublins injured players on the pitch!! im not too worried about it at this time, no sense in it,when we’re at this stage of another championship.

    Not sure what mangers you are on about,John Maughan lost three finals his last to Kerry by 6/7 points i think and if we want to be funny about he brought us closer than anyone having drew with Meath in 96 final. Mickey Moran? Johno?

    Horan has done brilliant for Mayo , i dread to think where we would of been without him and now is not the time to throw negatives towards him . The collective mood should be to support him and the team obviously and then we can discuss after our year ends , hopefully with Sam residing in Mayo.

  59. Ah Pebblesmeller, you are a breath of fresh air.
    Those last two posts summed up exactly what I currently think.

    I’m sure there’s an inferiority complex running through some of us.
    I know these final defeats have had an effect, but it’s time to toughen up.
    The players have done it (no-one pushes us around anymore) so it’s time for us as supporters to do the same.

    There is such a fine line between winning and losing.
    We’re so close, so let’s all band together for one more final push. No more negativity or questioning player selection (for fuck’s sake, do you not reckon James Horan would have a better idea than the rest of us??), let’s just go and win this fucking thing once and for all.

    And just on team selection and Richie Feeney particularly. These insinuations that Horan has a grudge or they don’t get on etc etc. If that really was the case, do you not think Richie would have just walked off the panel ages ago?
    Players that don’t play seem to get better and better as time goes on.

    Let’s just trust the people that know far more than we ever will and let them get on with the job or bringing Sam back.

  60. I honestly think people forget about games afterwards depending on the result. I genuinely think people think we got steamrolled by Dublin last year. It is absolutely bizarre.

  61. Pebblesmeller, we are on the very same page. Your last two comments are top drawer stuff.

  62. With respect think Pebblesmeller and four goalare missing the point.
    James is great manager and yes lets be confident.Yes we are a super team and have reached new heights of consistency.Since we are all Mayo supporters no need to rattle the drum and stoke up support.We all want to win…noone can question our support.
    But true analysis in my humble opinion does look at shortcomings from the last two years.Any manager would do that.As John Cuffe said we have in the past been destroyed in the full back line and by the high ball.Some evidence of that this year too.I dont see it as any lack of support raising this.Better now than September end.
    And so people have views on selection…dont see problem there either.Someimes it feels as if we are only to offer unconditional total zupport and not express any analysis at all.More popular to beat the drum I suppose!

  63. I have being saying this all year, if jh has not been fair I think some players would have walked.i would have liked some different players starting, but I don’t see them training so leaveto management who to pick, next week the best team will start and beat kerry. After that who knows

  64. “Someimes it feels as if we are only to offer unconditional total zupport and not express any analysis at all”

    Well, we are called supporters. Maybe we should concentrate on our own performance which has, frankly, been lacking in the past when it was needed most.

  65. mayo support was the best by a country mile the last day out of the four counties.

    As was pointed out to me the last time i took your type of argument about support ”how in the name of god did Cork ever win a game , never mind all Irelands” 2010 they hardly raised a cheer in Crker on their way to lifting Sam.

  66. I’m not pushed about Cork’s support, I do care about ours though. If you think good support from the sidelines doesn’t make a huge, huge difference then you’re mistaken. Also, if you think that the abuse given from the sidelines (not accusing you here either, just making the point!) has anything other than a negative effect, you are also mistaken!

  67. MayoMark

    I cant believe you think Mayo support has been lacking.I presume you were at all the matches this year.Mayo supporters I believe are the best in Ireland consistently.This blog alone proves that.
    Actually you make the point.Lets not question or analyze anything.We will just shout louder.We need not have minds of our own at all.Scary.

  68. I never said not to analyse, nothing of the sort. I just made a point. It’s mad, supporters can’t take the criticism at all. We pat ourselves on the back for being “the best support in the country”. Yet we feel we can say what we like about the players and management and moan when someone has a pop at us for that. It’s brilliant to see the numbers travelling, terrific, but some of the absolute vile comments on social media and even worse, at the games themselves, uttered towards James H and one or two players in particular, not least our captain, have been nothing short of despicable. And that is every single game without fail. And it’s not just one or two, this has become a trend of late, there’s a lot of bile posted about JH in particular on Twitbook. He was even tagged once, which was disgraceful.

    And I’ll say it again, when the chips were down in the AI Final last year, we collectively sat on our hands while Dublin fans absolutely roared their team home. It can’t be denied. It happened. We gave up in the stands and the players knew it. They are human, after all. I think we should look at ourselves critically and never let that happen again.

    And I’m just being critical here, call it constructive! There’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than the roar we make when we get a late winner or an insurance score. Seamus’s point in 2012 agaunst Dublin to put us 3 up, the roar sends a shiver down my spine every time. And that’s hearing it over RTE’s crap coverage!!

  69. Fair enough …some sensible points there.I too dont like players being abused or manager but analysis which os reasoned is good.
    Take your point about abuse on twitter and yez I agree that is wrong.I do think though some lessons need to be learned from previous All Irelands.Dublin fans are great…when theyre winning!
    I think we can both agree comment on this site is well regulated and generally the posters are quite discerning.
    See you for a pint after we beat Kerry!

  70. mayobornandbred, I think if you look at most of my posts you should see that I do analyse and criticize where needed and I am far from a “drum-beater”. Constructive analysis is needed and as for differing team selections? well we could have thousands of variants. However, some of the criticism of Horan has bordered on abuse and I think it is safe to say that Horan and his management team have a better idea of how the players are faring on in training/carrying injuries/job or domestic hassle etc etc than any of us do. As for falling out with players, it’s Feeney one minute, Freeman the next, Gibbons next week. I do not agree with some of his selections and I also was disappointed with his handling on the line of last years All Ireland final, but do I think that anyone else could have done better with the players available?? No.
    4 years ago where were we?
    As for just shouting louder? I wish to Christ more of us did that last September, It pains me to say it too but, as I said on here before, we were found wanting. I have always felt that a lot of big day tickets end up in the wrong “supporters” pockets. The “sun glasses in the hair brigade” I call them. There for the big day and not really bothered about the match, Most think they are at the Galway races.
    Rant over, Hon Mayo

  71. Fair enough Pebblesmeller.I too was disappointed with his handling on the line and I too feel he has generally been superb and hope he can learn from last year.
    Agree too some tickets get into wrong hands but Im fed up singing that song.
    You too deserve a pint when we beat Kerry!

  72. I’m not going having this debate as its just repetitive on my behalf .Just to clarify as a supporter, i have and always will remain positive towards team and management at the game , ill debate and say where i felt we went wrong after in the pub/club/hotel or tthe house .

    Pebblesmeller sums up how i feel about Horan etc.

    Tickets on all Ireland final day are always going to find their way to people who dont give a rats ass unfortunately and will just be there because of the occasion , tis the same with all major sporting events , maybe more so with aI finals though.

    Oh and i do agree with you Mark on supporters can make a difference , sometimes i just tend to play devils advocate on the internetz to encourage the opposite , a black op of sorts, lol.

  73. Mayobornandbred,
    I was going to respond earlier but Pebblesmeller got there first. As for the lack of analysis in my most recent comments, I think the first one was actually an analysis of coverage by the national media? In general, my previous comments and posts are analytical. The fact that I generally see the glass as half full, as opposed to the other way, is just the way I see things. Once again we are just two steps away. One of these days we will get there

  74. I don’t see where anyone is saying analysis and debate isn’t welcome. There’s plenty of smart analysis and debate on these pages all day every day and for the most part the contributions are a credit to this blog and indeed to the county. But frankly we could all do with beating the drum a little louder on match days.

    I have to say, I 100% agree with MayoMark here on what happened last September (and indeed, it was MayoMark who came up with the idea last October of actually doing something about it, the result being Club 51). There was silence all around me in 310 last year. I was told to sit down and be quiet, that the game was over. With ten minutes still on the clock! I still feel furious every time I think about it. The best supporters indeed!

    Look, there’s no doubt we travel in numbers, that we’re always there, we invest a huge amount of emotion in the team, but in truth, “the best” supporters stand up and encourage their team not when they’re five points ahead, but when they’re five points down and need all the help they can get. That’s when supporters are needed the most. When the chips are down, audible support instils the players with a little bit more confidence and belief. And this is something we in which we can all play our part. And as Mark says, anyone who thinks good support doesn’t make a difference is mistaken.

    Sean Burke you are right, our support was streets ahead of anyone else the last day, and it was brilliant. Now we are in the big leagues and every shout, every cheer and every clap will add up come semi-final day. And if we reach the final, we need to stand up and compete with our opposition – the simple truth of it is, we have been drowned out in Croke Park for two years running. How?

    How many season ticket holders do we have in Mayo? 4,000? So while there will always be a certain amount of fans who are there as passengers, that didn’t impact on Donegal’s vocal abilities. Or Dublin’s. We have a huge core there of people who are properly, highly engaged football fans, who will be there next Sunday week, and should we beat Kerry (here’s hoping) on 21st Sept. So there is no excuse for silence.

    Keep the faith, as a man once said …

  75. AnneMarie
    A lot of that is correct .Of course support helps and of course we should shout as loudly as we can.However the notion that Mayo supporters are quiet or Mayo does not have good support or that lack of support cost us an All Ireland is daft.And analysis.Well a lot of analysis is met with James knows best he sees them in training …we should just shout louder.
    Of course the wrong people get tickets .That has always happened in finals and it is annoying.
    Specifically answer Sean Burkes question…why are we leaking goals.
    or John Cuffes…why cant we defend the high ball
    Or many posters…why were D.O.Connor and C.O.Shea picked for first game?Oh wait James knows best.
    Yes this site is great and thats the point.I dont see any abuse of James.It is well regulated and abuse would not get through.If there is abuse elsrwhere deal with it elsewhere.Trying to stop supportets having opinions about their team is silly.
    James Horan and players do us all proud day in day out and they deserve support but not daft notions that lack of support cost us an All Ireland.It did not nor did James or playets suggest it did.In fact they are very grateful for support.
    This debate and mud slinging against genuine supporters is tedious and frankly I.do not intend to engage further with it.

  76. You’d actually think that some of the subs that we bring on having zero impact on the game would be one of the biggest reasons why we have not won the All-Ireland title the last few years. You’d wonder does this drain energy from the supporters as well when we see players coming on who have not done it on the big day. If you look at our minor team last year there was loads of noise and plenty of cheering for them, why, you could see at the beginning of the second half the players grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and you could see that they were going to win. This is what Dublin did in the senior game. I think it was Des Cahill on RTE that said it was the most noise he heard at a minor final. We had loads of All-Ireland finals in the past like 04 and 06 when we totally outnumbered Kerry but we got hammered in those games. It really is up to the 15 players chosen and whoever comes on to just grab the game and win it like our minor team did last year. Just look at the Irish Ladies Rugby team, very few people knew anything about them, they came out and beat New Zealand in the group stages of the World Cup. After this there was loads of hype etc. what happened next, England hammer them in the semi-final. We have often seen this in the past with Mayo, you’d go to a game with very few supporters there, expecting us to lose and then they’d put in a great performance. There would be loads of hype etc. loads of supporters for the next game and we’d flop. So you just don’t know, the players owe it to themselves really more than they owe to supporters to just go out and put in their best performances on the biggest day. James Horan has done a great job and got most things right. He owes it to his team to make the right changes when needed as well. We still have not managed to put in our best performances in the All-Ireland finals we have played in under James Horan. We’ll get a chance to take another step towards that goal next Sunday. We’ll all be there to roar them on too. Roll on the big games!

  77. I too was surrounded by silence in the last 10-15 minutes last September. Even though it was unhelpful, I understood it too. As supporters, we are scarred. 7 All-Ireland Senior defeats in succession is very difficult for any supporter of any county to take.

    Like many on this board I’m sure, I am sick to the back teeth of the smart-arse remarks people from other counties make when I mention that I’m from Mayo. Sick to the stomach of being the butt of the joke. All the “Mayo God help us” bullshit that has been foisted upon us time and again by Eugene McGee among others. And I live and work in Galway, so I get this crap every day of the week.

    So I’m greatly looking forward to the day when I can shove it back in all of their faces. With interest.

    Last September, I thought and hoped that day had come. But with 10 minutes left, my honest feeling was that Mayo were gone. Robbie Hennelly had, in addition to causing one goal with an unwise run, stopped three others with superb saves to keep the score down. JH had brought on Varley when Feeney was required. No ball was sticking inside. Not one player had shown the gumption to try a shot from outside the 20m line in the second half. None of that was the crowd’s fault.

    I let a few angry roars out of me. Tried to get the ‘May-o, May-o’ going. Silence all around. I understood what the silent Mayo supporters were going through – they had dared to get their hopes up, knew those hopes would be shattered again, and were bracing themselves for another year – at least – of being the butt of the joke. That’s understandable.

    To say that the lack of noise from the Mayo support cost us the final last year – as Keith Duggan has in two separate pieces for the Times – is, to my mind, wrong. I stood on the Canal End as a 17-year-old in 1989 and roared my head off for the duration of the final. So did everyone around me. But despite Finnerty’s goal and near miss, that final was gone with 10 minutes left too. We kept roaring. It made no difference.

    Loud support is fantastic and should be appreciated by any team lucky enough to get it. I am delighted to see the efforts being made by Club ’51 in this area because Mayo supporters could certainly do with being a lot louder at matches. I was in the stand at the Roscommon game and the noise was tremendous, especially when the game was up for grabs. And I hope that if we should reach September again that it will be wall-to-wall noise from the first whistle to the last.

    But IMHO, in all sports, the crowd reacts to the deeds of the players on the pitch. If you’re lucky enough to play for Mayo, and you’re worth your salt, it’s up to you to do your stuff to give your supporters something to shout about. You don’t rely on the crowd to bring you to life. They have paid good money and travelled long distances to support you, and see you perform. It’s not their fault if you don’t.

  78. “But IMHO, in all sports, the crowd reacts to the deeds of the players on the pitch. If you’re lucky enough to play for Mayo, and you’re worth your salt, it’s up to you to do your stuff to give your supporters something to shout about. You don’t rely on the crowd to bring you to life. ”

    Then what is the point? If that’s the case we are just customers wanting to be entertained, not supporters. I have been all over Europe to see ireland play, and it’s when Ireland are in trouble where the fans are at their absolute best.

    “They have paid good money and travelled long distances to support you, and see you perform. It’s not their fault if you don’t.”

    Ah yes, the old entitlement card. First of all, nobody forced them to spend money and travel. The players don’t get this money, they aren’t there to entertain you or anyone else. Second of all, it’s not support if you’re just there to be entertained as in my first point. According to the above, if you perform you get support, but if you don’t perform forget about it? That is incredibly backwards. I actually can’t get my ahead around it at all

    To conclude, nobody blamed the fans for losing last year. But why can’t we look at ourselves critically? Why is it just the lads who have grafted hard for 4 years and beyond, lived a healthy lifestyle everyday to get into the shape they are in and done countless hours of training at the gym and on the pitch that are criticized? Because we paid some money and drove a for a couple of hours? Nonsense. Surely we have a role in this apart from just partying on the back of these lads’ success?

  79. Case in point, Liverpool fans, love or hate them, at half time in Istanbul singing you’ll never walk alone when 3-0 in a European down was absolutely incredible. Their way of saying to the players “we’re still here with ye”. And my God did that have an effect

  80. MayoMark, firstly, if I just wanted to be entertained, I’d sit at home and watch the games on TV. I don’t. I travel to games, country-wide, league and championship, and support the team vocally, in good times and bad. That makes me a supporter in any man’s language.

    And I’m not saying ‘if you perform you get support, but if you don’t perform forget about it’. I’m saying that the supporters cannot win or lose the game. If they could, our All-Ireland wait would have been over long ago. Only the team can directly affect the result. Therefore by definition it is up to the team to perform in order to win the game, regardless of the amount of support they get.

    If they can draw inspiration from their supporters, that’s great, but it’s still up to them to get the job done. The responsibility for winning the game ultimately lies with the players.

    You quote Istanbul as an example to support your case. I note you’ve travelled widely supporting Ireland. You’ll have no trouble then remembering the 15-minute version of ‘Fields of Athenry’ that was sung as the team was being dismembered 4-0 by Spain in Euro 2012. Such was the noise that German TV went without commentary for the remainder of the game. But there was no alteration in the performance. Just like our shouting and roaring in 1989, it made no difference.

    And if nobody blamed the fans for losing last year, why was JH complaining about it being like ‘someone was dead in the stadium’? Why did Keith Duggan write two separate pieces suggesting that louder Mayo support could have affected the result?

    I have no problem with us fans looking at ourselves critically. If you look back at my post above you’ll see me acknowledging that we need to be louder at games, and you’ll see me praising the work that Club ’51 are doing too. I just think that while supporters should do their bit and should be loud, they cannot be expected to make the tackles and kick the points, and they should not be maligned after an AIF as if it was their fault that the game was lost.

    And as for partying on the back of this team’s success – well, I can only speak for myself, but I was there for a lot of grim, grim days with Mayo, and I know I’ll be at many more once the JH era is in the rear-view mirror. The ‘sunglasses in the hair’ fans cut no ice with me.

  81. MayoMark
    It is diabolically unfair to cast slurs on Mayo.fans as you do.You have no idea of the sacrifices made by them.Many I know save week in week out to go support their team.After losing many All Irelands we are still there to support the team.
    I honestly cant believe the fans are being pilloried like this.Sure there was silence when things went wrong last year…thats human nature.But fans were there in numbers many going through hell to get tickets.I travelled to the far end of Kerry for a ticket on Saturday back to Mayo and then to Dublin.I have supported the team for six.decades.I drove some of the players from Dublin on occasions to training.
    You are not the only supporter and you do not have proprietary rights to Mayo.Our supporters are class..our team is class…and our manager is class.Together we will bring back Sam but please God its soon.Not from entitlement whatever that oul cliche means but because it would be great to.
    Well done to Mayo51 and all.supporters clubs and especially all.supporters who support through thick and thin.

  82. The one thing I’ll say about just how big an influence supporters can have on the outcome of a game is this – how in the hell have Kerry made it to Croke Park so often in September?
    Their support up to the final is shocking. And they are regularly outnumbered and ‘out-shouted’ on All-Ireland final day.

  83. I’ll respond properly to the above later when I’m on the laptop, but I refuse to be labelled as someone who is somehow slamming other mayo fans. Not once have I pointed the finger at others and not once have I disassociated myself ffrom my critical look at us as mayo supporters. I’m aware I am not the only supporter but I am absolutely allowed to have an opinion. My argument is solely about what an affect a consistent, good support can do when things aren’t going well.

  84. As to how much influence supporters have on their team, somebody mentioned Liverpool, my second team, they have played a lot since , and their supporters have not won anything, for them.dont forget roy Keane complaining about man u supporters, it did not do them much harm.getting down to managing the team and subs, I dont have a problem with anyone picking a team, I have spent many many years doing it myself, but I realise I don’t have the information the management have, with regard to conceding soft goals, I dont have any advice I think most defenders have been tried, is there anyone better than the starters, our problem is nobody has come through, like Dublin with subs who would start for most teams, however I expect we will beat kerry after that we will have to try and take Dublin

  85. I think Mayo have great and loyal supporters.
    I travel the length and breadth of Ireland for my job and wherever I go I am amazed at the Mayo flags flying in foreign territory- even in Kerry.
    Also I note that even at other matches you will often see the Mayo flag making an appearance even when Mayo are not involved. Mayo folk are passionate about the game and this blog is proof of that.
    Like a lot of supporters though we shout loudest when a goal goes in or a spectacular point edges over the bar. We still support when we lose- sure what else would we do.
    So we complain and give out when we lose- its called disappointment.
    I think all posters here on this site are great supporters and many supporters have never even heard of this site!
    I do wish like others that the one time attenders in SEpt would give way to those who travel all year. I wish we would all wear the colours though we are way better than most counties and above all I wish we could all get drunk in Castlebar,Achill,or Lahardane on the Monday night after the All Ireland having captured the damn thing!
    We will not give up!

  86. I don’t remember exactly the changes made but I reckon that the tactical changes and substitutions that Rafa Benitez made at half-time when Liverpool were 3 down in the Champions League Final had a lot more of an effect on the outcome of that game than the fans singing. Again if we look back to last year’s All-Ireland final, Eoghan O’Gara coming on scoring two points and Denis Bastick coming on setting up Dublin’s second goal had a lot greater effect on the result of the game than the Mayo supporters been quiet in the last 10 minutes of the game. So thats why I’d be a bit worried that even again against Cork the same players were brought on and made very little impact. Well I reckon its time to give other players a chance when we are making changes before and during games but hey, we’ll just have to wait and seen. We’ll still give the team and management plenty of support anyway. Well done to Club51 for putting in all of the effort too.

  87. Of course it did HSE but can you seriously not see how it effected the players? Professional or not they are only human, of course it stirred something in them. I guarantee you it made it a much easier team talk

    Celtic beating Barcelona was hugely impacted by their support.

    Seattle winning the SuperBowl this year had enormous help from their support in all their home games. The main reason teams hated playing in Seattle

    If ye want to take my comments as “Mayo supporters lost the all ireland” last year, then that’s your call. But I never suggested it. Not once. But did our silence have an impact? In my opinion, I can’t see how it wouldn’t have an impact.

    I also never once said we didn’t have a large, loyal support.

  88. It’s a game of inches. The smallest thing can happen at any time in the match from the first minute to the last that can change the way the pendulum is swinging. There are so many strands that are interwoven into the winning and losing of a tight football match – it’s impossible to put a finger on one of them. All you can do is try and mange these strands and direct these strands as best you can, because if there’s the possibility that any one thing could affect the way the pendulum of victory is swinging, then you have to have it done, and done well. If it’s in your power, control it. If it’s not, then at least try and meet it on your terms.

  89. I am surprised and a little bemused by all this comment on fellow supporters and a little puzzled as to when it crept into the game. When I was taken to my first games back in the sixties and afterwards had to take in the hour or two sitting around drinking cidona in some freezing pub, I never heard any of the adults make any reference to the supporters. Football was the only thing discussed. These were people who had actually seen Mayo win All Irelands. I never once heard anybody clap him or herself on the back for being a proper supporter and refer to somebody else as less than such. They never claimed any credit in Mayo’s successes to their great support on good days. They knew the game was won out the pitch as any Kerry person will tell you.

    In my opinion a person buys a ticket if is available, goes to the game and while there can behave as he or she likes as long as rules or laws are not breached. Who am I to judge a person I do not know or claim that it is the wrong person to get a ticket? If I want to go to a game and not open my mouth once that is my right. Maybe I am a quiet undemonstrative person, maybe I am going through a bad time, maybe a million other reasons. To be judged by a complete stranger is not something anybody would appreciate.

    All Irelands are won by the best teams.

  90. Berry,

    “I never once heard anybody clap him or herself on the back for being a proper supporter and refer to somebody else as less than such. They never claimed any credit in Mayo’s successes to their great support on good days. They knew the game was won out the pitch as any Kerry person will tell you.”

    Where has anyone said anything resembling this?

    “In my opinion a person buys a ticket if is available, goes to the game and while there can behave as he or she likes as long as rules or laws are not breached. Who am I to judge a person I do not know or claim that it is the wrong person to get a ticket?”

    I have no problem with who gets tickets as I feel there are more than enough avenues these days for the loyalest of supporters to get their hands on AI Tickets. So I agree with this.

    “If I want to go to a game and not open my mouth once that is my right. Maybe I am a quiet undemonstrative person, maybe I am going through a bad time, maybe a million other reasons.”

    Absolutely it is your right and I have no problem with that whatsoever.

    “To be judged by a complete stranger is not something anybody would appreciate.”

    Which goes on every single day of the week towards the players and management, on occasion on the comments on this blog, on social media and in person by people in the crowd.

    Why is it that players performances and manager’s decisions are up for open criticism yet nobody can look at the supporters critically?

    Could Mayo have done better against Dublin? Absolutely
    Could Horan and his management have performed better on the sideline? Absolutely
    Could we on the slopes have done more? Absolutely

    And what is the harm in saying that?

  91. Mayo mark, could mayo have done better against Dublin yes we could have beaten them.could james horan and his management team have done better, it’s a matter of opinion. What would you have done to win

  92. Lads I don’t think anyone here is blaming the supporters, or saying the support lost Mayo the All-Ireland last year That’s a bit daft, really, in fairness.

    Nor I don’t think anyone is saying they are a better supporter, because they’re louder. That’s also a bit daft.

    But personally speaking I would like us to stand up together, as one, as a unit, and make ourselves heard too from now on. It might not make the blindest bit of difference, but I believe it just might. I can certainly tell you that for players on the field, feeling that your support has given up on you (writing apparent on the wall, or not) does make a difference.

    And ultimately, tearing strips off each other in here will achieve nothing, because each and every one of us ultimately wants the same thing.

  93. @ corick

    “Mayo mark, could mayo have done better against Dublin yes we could have beaten them.could james horan and his management team have done better, it’s a matter of opinion. What would you have done to win”

    I actually agree with you. I have never laid blame at Horan for September, I was just using the above to make a point that if he is open to criticism along with players, then we should be too.

  94. Really AnneMarie
    you referenced both Donegal and Dublin supporters and bemoaned the lack of our support.And you believe ‘it just might’
    Berry is of course correct.It is what happens on the field and on the line that matters.Support from Mayo will always be there and frankly to be ranked second to Dublin and Donegal is annoying.We are told keep down the hype and then to be louder.
    And we are spread out around Croke Park.
    And Mayo Mark I dont know where you live but every year people who attend matches in league and early championship lose out to those who go with their entire families on AI day.
    I have always had a ticket but I and probably you know plenty who dont get one.My son watched it in a pub near Croke Park last year.As a student he does not have access to tickets like others.Work out why.
    I agree Anne Marie lets all pull together and support James and the lads who have always done their level best and stop running down the most loyal and put upon supporters ever.

  95. “Really AnneMarie. you referenced both Donegal and Dublin supporters and bemoaned the lack of our support.”

    I think she made 2 points on this. Donegal outnumbered us hugely in 2012. That’s a fact. Dublin were louder than us last year. That’s a fact.

    “And Mayo Mark I dont know where you live but every year people who attend matches in league and early championship lose out to those who go with their entire families on AI day.”

    Both Cairde Maigh Eo and Croke Park Season Tickets gain you access to all of the above mentioned league and early championship games and also guarantee you an All Ireland ticket.

    “I agree Anne Marie lets all pull together and support James and the lads who have always done their level best and stop running down the most loyal and put upon supporters ever.”

    Who is running anyone down? When you say you think a player underperformed or shouldn’t start a certain game, does anyone accuse you of running them down?

  96. No-one is put upon, Mayobornandbred. It’s entirely our choice to be supporters.
    And if you re-read, you’ll see that I “ran down” nobody.

    Anyway, this is an utterly pointless argument and I’m not getting into it. I, like most of you I’m sure will be in Croke Park this day week getting behind my team.

  97. I think we should not get ahead of ourselves-we are not in All Ireland yet and might not be so talk of tickets premature.
    I do not think Duffy will start or even should start. Lots of lads in pecking order before him though if he is showing outstanding form (I do not think he is) then fair enough.
    I think changes need to be made early when subs can affect outcome.
    By the way great article by Colm O Rourke in Sindo. Timr Croke Park allowed us to see replays of big incidents. Whats the point of big screens otherwise?

  98. Lads and lassies how about a bit of camaraderie , no need nor sense to dividing support . We’re all supporters who care deeply , some different opinions of course but we all desperately want the same thing.

  99. Good man Sean … A fair bit of waffle alright but everyone entitled to opinion ,.,. We all need to get ready to roar our lads home like we always have, , ,

  100. I suppose the original question was: Why were the Mayo supporters so quiet in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the All-Ireland final? My feelings are the changes Dublin made during the game had a positive impact on both the team and their supporters. The changes Mayo made during the game had a negative impact on both the team and their supporters. Maybe that is a very simplistic way of looking at it but maybe it might be the right answer to that original question. Anyway Donegal were champions in 2012, Dublin in 2013, we now have the chance to be champions in 2014. Roll on the big games and lets roar them on to victory!

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