Jason Gibbons our MOTM from yesterday

Jason Gibbons

Photo: Mayo Mick

There was a wide enough spread of votes this time but once again we’ve got a decisive enough result, with Jason Gibbons claiming 34% of the total poll to win the MOTM award for his performance in yesterday’s win over Cork. This is the big midfielder’s second such award of the year, having always claimed the honours in our opening League match of the year against Kildare. Jason Doherty (18%) and Ger Cafferkey (11%) both get honourable mentions on this occasion as well. Well done to all of them for the part they played in what was a fine win yesterday.

53 thoughts on “Jason Gibbons our MOTM from yesterday

  1. How good is Gibbons? What do ye think is our or can be our best midfield partnership??

    We were immense in that sector for much of last years champ but cluxton proved that deadly accurate kicking together with strategic running, showed up our frailties- being a lack of mobility. Tho I think it was also just a bad day at the office for us too last sept.

    What about Moran? Now the club season is over, can he make it back on the starting 15? Freeman is a dead cert @ 14 so morans only hope for a starting place is at centerfield…

    Parsons? Back from the wilderness… Can he bring a freshness to the sector? He is certainly mobile but lacking in much needed match practice(injury didn’t help).


    Horan has big decisions to make here… It’s an area where we are quite strong.

    What do ye think?

    Ps: still not over that u21 defeat Willie Joe. It really was shocking and I hope ppl realise just how far behind ros we were and have been at this grade for the last 5 years. Do not allow our current senior success take our eye off the important task of developing young talent in the county.

  2. Don’t anyone ate me but for the Championship we will have a possible 4 CF players, the two O’Sheas, Barry Moran and Tom Parsons. Now, how does Jason Gibbons sound at CHF, flanked by Jason Doherty and Kevin McLoughlin with Keith going back in defence. Would that not be a very strong impressive line up??

  3. Well done to Gibbons, he was immense yesterday and fully deserves the supporters nod for MOTM.

    Mayonzae raises some great questions…i called me dad on the way from work this evening and after listening to his report inn the club final, we went back to discussing the county team and specifically, the mid field pairing, and options for Horan.

    It remains to be seen but Gibbons is really making a string case to be a starter. He been fairly consistent in his league performances, has the physical attributes for a midfielder in that he can win a 50/50 ball, has great pace and can score. Mayonze brought up Cluxton and to be honest, thats the type of match we have to prepare for…we know we can beat the best of the other teams in midfield, but Cluxton and Dublin are the team we must prepare most for. Maybe Gibbons has the mobility and pace to be that roaming midfielder that covers Cluxtons kicks?. While we know AOS can field and pile drive his way through the middle, he’ s not a man to cover the Cluxton tactics as we discovered last Sept.

    Nevertheless, he’s a vital part of our setup and when he plays well, it lifts the entire team.
    Now supposing the pairing is Aido and Jason…what do we do with guys like Seamie and Barry?..have them warm the bench? Both of these guys have massive ability and have proven it at the highest level…many argue that subbing Seamie in last years AIF was the second biggest blunder JH made that day, for he was by most accounts playing really well!

    So I dunno…big decisions for JH, for IMO we can’t leave these two guys on the bench. The CHF position is I reckon up for grabs, therefore I’d say put Barry in there, pump the ball in fast and high and lets see how the Dubs deal with him AND Freezer at FF. It might just be the recipe that we need to overcome them in Sept.

  4. In the last 6 days.
    Ros 4 goals Mayo 1 goal …. Ros won.
    Mayo 4 goals Cork 2 goals …. Mayo won.
    St Vincents 4 goals Castlebar 2 goals…. St Vincents won.
    It’s all very predictable really … the modern game is all about goals.
    It all boils down to taking & preventing goal chances.
    We are slow learners but perhaps weight of evidence will finally bear fruit.
    The quote of the week belonged to JH when he
    proclaimed that ‘we CREATED 10 goal chances but ONLY took 4’. How right he was!
    We may finally cop on!
    Here’s to the day when we take all 10 goal chances.
    That’s the day when we’ll be hard to beat!
    Can we stop goal poachers like Brogan & Connolly & unleash our own like Doherty, Gibbons, O’Connor. That’s the real question in 2014!
    We need TWO MOBILE CENTRE BACKS & all of our GOAL POACHERS on the field continuously.
    We know the score now … let’s prepare accordingly.
    We have been shown the path … to ignore the evidence would be criminal !

  5. Can’ for the life of me see Barry Moran as a centre half forward. Full forward or midfield, that’s it.

  6. TWO Centre backs? Explain your reasoning please. Some other position has to be ignored. It is also a fact that goals come more easily if a team is capable of consistanlty kicking points. A team concentrating on goals is easily defended against.

  7. Is there any reason why Alan Freeman could not play corner forward as effectively as full?
    Given the proper ball Barry Moran would be the most effective ball winner while Alan could also be a ball winner as well as executioner as a corner forward. We would also have the option of moving Barry out to midfield for a period if the need arose without having to make a substitution, I also thing that Jason Gibbons would be a real option at centre forward. Nor do I consider Aiden O’Shea to be so immobile that he could not deal more effectively with the Cluxton kick out if he put his mind to it. Another point regards Mayo corner forwards tendency to only get ball while running away from goal. Is this not because of their positioning when midfielders or half forwards get possession? If they were playing in the corners they could get ball played in front of them while running towards the prime scoring area rather than away from it and be able to offload it to players coming towards them as well.

  8. I think, by placing Freeman in the corner, you curtail his influence and do not play to his strengths. He needs to be placed at FF for a number of reasons.

    He needs to win the ball in a central area where he has the option of turning either way. In the corner, he could be forced down blind alleys (much like we see with Conroy). When he wins a ball he is amazing at taking on his man, out muscling him and making directly for the posts. If he wins the ball as a corner forward he will be operating in an area of the pitch where he has less space. Also, if he beats one man then he will almost certainly run into other retreating defenders. He is best in a clean one on one situation.

    When kicking a long ball into a FF there is a certain margin for error. If the ball hangs a bit then it gives the FF time to adjust his run and at the very least make a nuisance of himself. In the corner this isn’t a great option. The ball needs to be more accurate. What use is Freeman getting the ball at the sideline?

    We saw against Westmeath how Freeman made his runs. He got in front and won the ball centrally or else made arced runs that allowed a ball to be thrown into a bit of space in front of him. Too often, in the corner forward positions, it’s a flat out sprint between the CB and CF to get to the ball.

    Freeman is a big lad, 6’2 or 6’3, he’s strong and has a great set of hands. He’s a little awkward looking and is deceptively fast. He isn’t as quick over the first 5 yards as some but once he has momentum then he is nearly impossible to stop. He is easily the best FF on the panel whereas, I don’t think that he is the best corner forward. So by placing him in the corner we are losing out on two fronts.

    I’d leave him exactly where he is. Work on getting him the ball centrally 15-25m from the goals. Have players coming at pace off him. He will do damage in that kind of situation.

  9. Yeah Joe, I agree it may be worth a look. His foot passing is very accurate and he can fairly shift through the gears.
    Everything is worth looking at because I believe that we need more unpredictability in our starting 15 and our style of play. Going into last years final everyone knew what our starting 15 would be and therefore our tactics. That makes it slightly easier for the opposing manager to set-up against us. i think we need to adopt a “horses for courses” approach in that our starting 15 and our tactics would be partly based on our opponent and their style/tactics/strengths/weaknesses etc. Just because our starting 15 was good enough to beat Tyrone in a semi-final why do we assume it was going to be good enough to beat Dublin in a final??? A completely different team with its own strengths/weaknesses etc.
    Horan needs as many options as possible. In fairness to him, he is shaping the squad nicely.

  10. pfb if there was any doubt as to where Freeman’s best position is, you have certainly cleared that one up. As Roger has already said, it’s an excellent analysis piece as to why he belongs at full forward and nowhere else. We bemoaned for years our lack of a target man in the square and now that we’ve found one, let’s for heavens sake leave him there. I watched him closely on Sunday and it’s not just the balls he wins or whatever scores he gets, it’s his constant movement and dummy runs that drive full backs to distraction – lets hope he stays injury free.

    As regards the MOTM poll, Gibbons was deserving of it no doubt, but I thing we should have a category where we might name a player with a most improved performance. I say this because I thought Cafferkey at full back was top notch on the day, didn’t give his man an inch and was superb under the high ball. A lot were critical of his performances to date including myself, but he looking a different player yesterday…..

  11. I can’t speak for Joey but my guess would be that he meant two mobile centre-fielders…

  12. We’ll done to Jason Gibbons,fully deserved,worked very hard in midfield and took his scores very well.We have tried every sort of combination in the full forward line but it seems to me that we always end up with lads in there that are not big enough or strong enough.Like was said in another post,how about putting the best corner back in the country back to his best position,have a half forward line of Kevin Mac,Jacon Doc and Jason Gibbons with a full forward line of seamie,freezer and Coconnor,all good ball winners who can take a score and create and take goal chances,start barry in mf with aido.That leaves you with a very strong bench as well with the likes of Dillon,A Moran,the two Gallaghers,Richie and maybe Evan regan and Tom parsons to come in

  13. I could be wrong and often am! But where does it say that your line up has to be 3 full backs, 3 half backs, 2 midfielders, 3 half forwards and 3 full forwards? Are there not alternative line ups to suit your particular strengths as a team? In placing our players we seem to be locked into a way of thinking that has more to do with tradition than what actually works. Could it be that this way of thinking actually prevents some of our best players starting the game?
    Could we for instance play most or all of them Jason, Barry, Seamus and Aidan or Tom parsons around the middle with just 3 or 4 out and out forwards? Let Barry or Aidan drift in and out of full forward line from time to time.
    Could we on another day play Keith Higgins or Lee Keegan or Donie Vaughan in the mid field instead of one of the five I mentioned depending on how we want to play?
    There are obvious flaws in the above but we do need to MIX IT UP. I think we have the players to utterly dominate the middle third of the field.
    The game has changed. We need to change with it or better still create the kind of change that leaves the other teams struggling to adapt. Placing our team more imaginatively could well give us that edge.

  14. With the vast amount of space in Croker pace is now the king.
    Whoever plays in the No.6 shirt has a near impossible task .. his direct opponent deliberately going walkabout to take him out of the centre with opposition midfielders & half backs pouring down the middle all day into his patch.
    The result is overload, too much space to be covered, the full back line then becomes exposed, the overlap is created and we then have the palmed in goal or other such finish.
    The key to preventing this is to deny space around the No.6 position by getting additional people into that area as soon as we lose possession. The direct route to goal then becomes congested. The opposition then have difficulty in breaking the line or hitting & isolating their inside line with a consequent decrease in their goal opportunities. We need to be smarter about which area of the field could hurt us most & get bodies there fast when we lose possession.
    I am easy about how this is achieved but as soon as we lose possession I would like to see both midfielders dropping deep basically into the No.6 position so our defence can assume the ‘brace position’ with our half forward line dropping into the midfield area. When we have possession I would like to see both midfielders return to midfield or beyond & have our wing backs bomb forward at will with our wing forwards reverting to cover them at wing back.
    This is what I mean by having at least TWO CENTRE BACKS as soon as we lose possession.

  15. Essentially what you’re saying is we employ a sweeper. I think there is certainly merit for it this year becasue of the new black card rule. Backs are afraid to put a hand on opposition running through. So yes I agree you need someone there as cover.

    Personally I think that should be Kevin Mcloughlin as he has pace, can defend and is also able to pick long range passes for when counter attacks are required.

    Bottom line is that whatever top team works out the best way to play the black card (in defending and attacking) will have a serious advantage in this years championship.

  16. On current form you have to say that Gibbons is ahead of most of those guys. SOS was poor when he came on against cork and if he doesnt improve then he shouldnt be placed ahead of Gibbons in the pecking order, simple as that. I dont get why you would move your best performing midfielder to centre forward either. Surely if they are playing well then you keep them doing exactly what they have been doing?
    As regards a starting midfield pairing, it should be horses for courses. If dublin are going to try to play a running game then we should be ready for that. Our half forwards should play deeper to close down the space and we could put Keegan in mf. He would stop McAuley in his tracks. Doherty in the half-forwards could have a big say in stopping Dublin. He is a very dynamic player who has the ability to hurt their style of play.
    Make no mistake, Dublin have had their sights on this game for a few weeks. They have been resting players in the last 2 games in preperation for it. They wont be rested against us. The upside of that; Mayo have them worried.

  17. If J H had any plans to try combos like those mentioned here he has the ideal opportunity last Sunday; Aido and Jason both playing well and SOS needing game time.. Much of it by the look of him..so it appears by removing Aido from the board that he sees all three as MF players only.
    I would caution against an apparent expectation that we must prepare for a repeat of last Sept v’s Dublin; Firstly, in football, its unlikely to ever pan out as expected. and… were only scheduled to play them in two weeks time, so lets stop counting half cooked chickens!

  18. Think Mayonaze has got it right.

    Midfield dominance is worth nothing if other teams cop on and move the ball out of defence and fast. This is what Vincents did yesterday and meant Barry Moran’s aerial power counted for nothing. Same last September. And Westmeath exposed Mayo also for much of the first half with that tactic.

    We have to get a sweeper system and our forwards have to get back their effective tackling capabilities, which they did last year for a while, but which disimproved as the Championship wore on. Even London exposed us this way at times.

    Midfielders will have to become much more adaptable. Seamie O’Shea very good here. Aidan is immense but JH and Donie Buckley need to work on something that doesn’t leave him chasing down blind opposition alleys and wasting precious energy.

  19. Dublin are the best team in the country. To win the All-Ireland we will have to beat them. So just as we put what we learned from the 2012 AIF into action when playing Donegal last year, we will need to do likewise in preparation for meeting the Dubs this year.

    I take your point that championship football is a game of chance and shocks are possible. And indeed we mightn’t get as far as Croke Park at all! But given what this team has achieved so far, James Horan would be foolish not to operate on the assumption that Mayo will win Connacht and Dublin will win Leinster. Kerry, Cork and Donegal will try their damndest to upset the applecart but even at this stage, a Mayo-Dublin final looks likely.

  20. Thunder serves as a warning, lightning strikes. Yesterday lightning in the form of Diarmuid Connolly struck Castlebar. There was no shame in the Mayo lads defeat, indeed they can say that they left the battle site on their shields.

    No bottling, no mad misses, no afraid to win. The difference boiled down to two players and a single fusion of leadership. Connolly and Brennan put up their hands and led. Castlebar worked hard across the lines but they didn’t possess two leaders like the aforementioned. Perhaps Danny Kirby.

    A common thread in winners is that they possess men who stand above the trench and defy the bullets. Dara O Sé, Brian Dooher, Sean Cavanagh spring to mind. We dont possess those type of men. We confuse screeching like a girl being chased as leadership. Last years All Ireland final showed two cameos. Connolly bottled up the Mayo springboard from centre back and at one stage held two Mayo jersies by their stretched elastic. A fist in the gob would have released his grip, it never came.

    Ger Brennan sauntered up the pitch and kicked a point with his weak foot after we missed a sitter. That stripped our souls. Brennan and Connolly are alien to mayo style football but their essence is whats needed to turn perennial bridesmaids into brides with bouquets. We blanche at finding them, we fear liberating such players.

    There is a thin line on every pitch and in every game. Its invisible. Cross it and your gone, bend it and you have silver. Connolly, Brennan, Cavanagh, McGee, the O Ses knew where it was/is. Ritchie didn’t yesterday and paid a price. I assumed that this competition didn’t incorporate the black card since it commenced last season but seemingly it did.

    So no shame and much credit to Castlebar. No weasle words will placate their inner pain and soul. The road back is long and torturous. They may not make it out of mayo next year. The day to win is the day to win, that moment. all else is winter fodder and forlorn pain. Who from Castlebar will mayo take? Barry told us nothing we dont know, Ritchie likewise. I would go with Kirby, Walshe and Douglas but then I am sitting at a typewriter up in Meath.

    Mayo need grit and mobility and a dash of “bad”. Danny Kirby has it. Will he be picked…does Santa get stuck in chimneys and do politicians keep promises?

  21. Lads and lassies, I have never read as many good, accurate comments here on the team going forward. There are so many singing of the same hymn sheet, suggesting lots of great new combinations. Someone tell JH to have a gander here and we might win Sam.

  22. I saw on Sky Sports news this morning All Black legend Frank Oilver died the suddenly on Sunday. I belivev he is James Horan’s uncle although I am not 100% sure?

  23. I agree with John Cuffe about Danny Kirby , he should be on the mayo panel for sure , he has assets that would be useful on occasion .

  24. Sigh.

    I was wondering how long it would take before the legend of The Pulling Of The Jersies would resurface.

    For the millionth time, Diarmuid Connolly’s total impact on All-Ireland Final 2013 was: one point. Handed to him on a plate from a misplaced pass by Ger Cafferkey.

    The notion that Mayo are somehow not hard enough or mean enough these days is complete and utter codswallop. This was the very first thing that James Horan addressed and is the main reason that we have vaulted up the national rankings: nobody pushes Mayo around any more.

    This was plain to see as long ago as the 2012 final. Check Vaughan’s third-man tackle on Karl Lacey, for example. Is that ruthless enough for you John? No? Should he have taken a baseball bat to him instead?

    The Donegal players said after that game that Mayo had hit them harder than anyone since Armagh circa McGeeney’s time. Paul Flynn called last year’s final the hardest game he had ever played in. Dublin were the team that finished with 13 fit players – not Mayo. So Mayo have plenty of ‘bad’, as much as Dublin, Donegal or anyone else out there.

    And it is also false to say that we have no leaders. Even in last year’s All-Ireland final, Lee Keegan and Andy Moran were not found wanting when the need was greatest. Had Alan Freeman been given 70 minutes, he would surely have made a difference in what was ultimately a one-point game. And Aidan O’Shea has put his hand up on many occasions in Croke Park, and will do so again.

    Mayo’s critical missing link is scores from distance. Check the ‘Shot Charts’ here (http://dontfoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/dublin-v-mayo-2013-all-ireland-final/) for damning confirmation of this – not one attempt from outside the 20m line from play in the second half of the final. This was morale-destroying when the team badly needed a lift. Sort that, and no-one will stop us.

    As for Castlebar – they lost ultimately because of managerial naivete. Give a good player like Connolly the space he needs to hurt you and, guess what, he’ll hurt you. Castlebar never laid a glove on him. Much like Maurice Fitz in 1997. I would have thought Pat Holmes’ personal memories of that encounter would have concentrated his mind yesterday to maybe, you know, do something about it. But sadly not, it seems.

    I think that puts the tin hat on the ‘Holmes for Mayo’ movement.

  25. Agree regarding Kirby … has been scoring goals recently & we know how important those are … useful assets as mentioned above.

  26. Well done go Jadon Gibbons. He led the fight back against cork and it’s been a long time since a CM has scored two goals for mayo in any league campaign. I’d be shocked if JH split Jason and A O Shea up when their partnership is clearly thriving. They compliment each other so well. Ya mayo have Barry Moran, Seamus O Shea and parsons to challenge for places there but it’s performances, not reputations that count for selection!!!!

    Danny Kirby would be good cover for freeman at full forward. Only for the st Vincent’s keepers good save in the 1st half, Kirby would have had 3 goals in an all Ireland final….

  27. Most sensible comment on here in a long time DavyJ. Mayo are the 2nd best team in the country behind Dublin, of that there is no doubt. There’s very little that the team lacks.

  28. Lots of mix up with this I think. It’s pretty simple to follow , if you disagree fair enough , you’re entitled to an opinion like every other supporter but just tell me why we keep letting individuals like Micheal Murphy and Bernard brogan destroy us in finals? Go back to 97 with Maurice fitz, Kerry s gooch and star etc.

    How come Tyrone could deal with them on three occasions, what did meath do to Canavan in 96?

    Why is it always Mayo this happens to.

    Quick question , would you lads and lassies who give me the impression you would not like to think of Mayo engaging in the darker arts to gain the big prize .

    If we had a man who done a tadgh Kennelly on Diarmuid Connolly in a final, would ye be all right with it?

  29. I agree wonder though will the change midfield for dubs with big guys mccauly and is it Cain o Sullivan can remember I don’t think they should

  30. Well done to Jason on MOM but I think in assessment we should mark like an exam i.e honours or pass paper? for instance ; what was the calibre of the player marking the receipient?

  31. can’t agree took his goals well but looked very awkward in possession at times.

  32. I’m inclined to agree with throwintime. I know he got the two goals but a lot of the time he just didn’t seem to get it right. I can’t quite remember the incidents but I remember being disappointed several times with his performance.
    I will say here I was hoping he would be really good, that’s why I use the word ‘disappointed’.

  33. jesus lads . some combos being dished out .Big barry is good fielding mid fielder , if we see him headin in FF for mayo, we are in trouble. Surely what we must realise now that we need NATURAL forwards. leave Keith back minding the house with Caff and lets do the simple things right. If we don’t unearth some new forwards im afraid we will come up short again. SORRY not being negative just realistic

  34. Congrats to Jason, it’s great to have a mid-fielder with scoring potential. All of the best mid-fielders are well able to take their scores. So far, he is doing very well, fair play to him. His biggest test is coming up, playing the Dubs in Croker (if he is selected, which you’d expect that he would be). If he comes through that challenge with flying colours, then it’ll be very hard to dislodge him for the championship. It’s also interesting to note that Jason Doherty is one of the three nominees for the GAA.ie player of the week, so fair play to him as well. He also made the Hogan Stand team of the week along with Ger Cafferkey, well done to him too. These were the three players who topped the poll here as well.

  35. To reach the top we have to try to get our best 15 players on the field and devise tactics which both gets the best out of them and neutralises the opposition. It would probably not be feasible to rank our players 1 to 30 and put the first 15 out to start as there would probably be a few round pegs in square holes. Because something appears to be working well in March does not mean that it can not be improved on in the next 6 months. For that reason I do not believe that Alan Freeman has to be at full forward and nowhere else. I believe it would be well worth trying him at corner forward and Barry Moran at 14. If a corner forward positions himself in the corner he should be receiving the ball in front of him and if it is given early there should be lots of space. It is also the responsibility of forwards to create space for each other by the runs they make off the ball. When a half forward or midfielder wins possession his team mates should know what he is likely to do with it and he should know what is teammates want him to do. Its not always that simple of course as the opposition cannot be discounted but it will happen often enough in a match to matter. A full forward line of Cillian O’C, Barry Moran and Alan Freeman would in my opinion be well capable of taking on their men individually, beating them and making the most of these opportunities. I do not think there is any better combination in sight in our panel. This would also allow our half forward line to drop back further to help our defence while allowing our half backs to attack.

  36. For what it’s worth, a friend, a very shrewd non-Mayo observer didn’t rate Danny K at all; thought his inability under pressure would tell against him.

    Still, two goals in a final are two goals. Why not give him a try? Problem is now that panel is solidifying and breaking in will be difficult.

  37. Well done Jason Gibbons,………has to get a start against the Dubs, The Doc also.
    Many have said that Sweeney is too light or maybe even too small but he is the nearest we have to a ‘Gooch’ fantastic vision and delivery……………Big backs have more problems with smaller forwards when the ball is sent in low or waist high and they also lack the same cog. Mc Menamin for the Dubs is an example.

  38. Well AndyD how is it that when we have players like Alan Freeman, Jason Gibbons and Jason Doherty playing good and intelligent football all of a sudden you want them to be put into other positions to make place for other players to make team. Alan Freeman is a full forward, Jason Doherty centre forward, Jason Gibbons is a midfielder. Time to stop this ” we could put him here and he would be great ” Horses for courses. What makes those 3 players stand out at the moment is “KNOWLEDGE MAKES WHAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE SEEM EASY” We always in this county make room for players who are living in their past. That why we have lost every All Ireland since 1989, I wont go into the history but it is there for all to see.

  39. Well done Jason Gibbons.. apart from his midfield display and taking of scores the thing that impressed me most was his accurate long distance foot passing and ability to cover ground quickly into opposition territory.. As others point out JH is going to have a bit of a selection headache and yes the traditional format/layout will have to adapt to have the best 15 players on the field.. simply put, the best 15 is strong enough to prevent them from scoring, disposes and yet mobile enough to move the ball at lighting pace and accuracy to one on one situations where our forwards can beat their man and score. This could be three mid fielders (one attacking, one defensive) or a sweeper, or additional players pushing up and to the wings (cluxton kick outs) and additional players sweeping in around broken ball in the middle of the field. What I would like to see tried in croker is Higgins moving back to his usual, Doherty moved to out to the wings, gibbons to chf and SOS put on from the start.. I couldn’t agree more when people say we move the ball too slowly.. we have the talent to move the ball quickly.. let the ball do the work.. personally I would prefer to see AOS tackling back more and preventing line breaks than trying to chase up the field all the time (it too slow and gives the opposition time to get players into position).. Its a long road ahead but I have to say its very heartening to see the spread of fine individual performances, competition for places and the strength and depth of the panel so far.

  40. Some excellent comments there though I wouldn’t agree with the stuff about Holmes Some people here constantly accuse Mayo of being too soft. What nonsense they are very tough. Just look back to last year. In their games they outmuscled as well as outplayed the opposition before matching the dubs on both counts. This constant harping back to Connolly pulling Mayo jerseys is embarrassing. He had a very minor impact on last years final and I don’t think his pull on Mayo jerseys got dubs over the line. In contrast he was brilliant yesterday but that’s the sort of player he is. Blows hot and cold and when he is good he is excellent. Yes he should have been marked tighter but maybe Castlebar didn’t have anyone capable of doing so. After all this is a club team not a county team we re talking about or maybe they don’t believe in giving guys a punch in the gob or maybe that’s what the new rules are about protecting the skilful player

  41. Mayo minors beat the Ross tonight in minor league. Crazy the match is actually not long finished.

    Mayo 1-14

    Ross 1-11

  42. Tighter? He had yards in front, behind him and left and right of him, it was farcical .

  43. Sunday was the first time that I have seen Gibbons play this well, hope he continues this into the future. I thought it was interesting that the midfielders tended to mark space last Sunday rather the follow the Cork midfielders, not sure that this would fully counteract Cluxtons kick outs, but may reduce their effectiveness. Will see on Saturday week.
    Also would be interested in seeing Sweeney being given more time, he certainly has the vision, and is a goal scorer at club level, needs time to develop the confidence to score consistently at the county level.

  44. Connolly had very little impact on last year’s All Ireland. He held his place on the best team in the country and then walked up and picked up an AI winners medal. All Ireland’s are not won by teams carrying players. I am sure his contribution to the game boiled down to more than one point. I always respect a winner.

  45. Totally agree with what you say about forwards getting early ball and forwards making runs and making space for each other but all of this makes no difference to the forwards if Aidan oshea does not let the ball into them first time when he gets it.All to often we see it when he wins the ball and the forwards are in acres of space,instead of letting it go first time he carries it into the tackle and gets turned over or gives away a free for over carrying

  46. Jason Gibbons showing this year’s debut performance in the league was no flash in the pan. Tough on Tom Parsons but Horan must be loving it – real options in that middle 8.

    I have to agree with some of the posters above – should we play 3 or 4 midfielders? Why not? We know Seamus O’Shea can play on the wing, Aidan loves to attack but he’ll stick to centrefield where he can dominate. Doherty’s been a revelation at midfield, whether on the wing or running down the middle.

    Dublin play 4 or even 5 midfielders. Most of their kickouts go to Connolly or Flynn on the wings – midfielders who will field ball on their own. They are not traditional half-forwards, one of the reasons why Cluxton’s kickouts are so difficult to deal with. Could Mayo profit from a similar system?

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