Kerry 1-18 Mayo 0-13: second half squander does for us

Yes, the injuries were a factor in our hugely disappointing exit from the Championship at Kerry’s hands in today’s All-Ireland quarter-final but they weren’t the deciding issue. What was instead was our squandering of chance after chance in the second half at a time when we were more than holding our own in the contest.

Kerry, by contrast, were far more economical with the opportunities that came their way. As we butchered several good openings – enduring a 20-minute spell without a score at all – they got the points they needed to put clear daylight between the teams and were comfortable eight-point victors at the finish.

It was the tamest of endings for us, highlighting in such a painful way how far we’ve regressed since the days when we went toe-to-toe with the best in the country. Kerry were little better than average today but that was more than good enough to complete an untroubled win over us.

For a time earlier in the afternoon, ourselves and the Kerry crowd seemed like gatecrashers at someone’s else’s party. A wild party it was too, as Galway and Armagh served up a truly bonkers contest, one that certainly deserved a second airing when it ended level after extra-time. Replays, however, have no place in the GAA’s ludicrously squashed calendar and so instead the tie had to be decided by the indignity of a penalty shootout.

In fairness, Galway had been the better team in the game and their penalties were better too. In that sense they deserved their win but it was a rough way for Armagh to go out, having poured so much into the contest.

The crowd remaining at a now wet Croke Park for our match was well below 70,000+ official attendance. Gone was the raucous atmosphere and the first half of our game was strangely muted, with Kerry looking tentative and unsure of themselves, as we opened far more brightly than many, myself included, would have expected.

We’d chosen to start Kevin McLoughlin instead of James Carr, a switch that, in truth, never worked. Kevin had a very unhappy first half, while James, when he came on for Jack Carney (itself an odd switch) at half-time, did have an impact and landed one of just two points from play that we managed to bag in the second half.

We opened the scoring when David Gough spotted some off-the-ball holding on Cillian O’Connor close to goal. Cillian popped over the resultant free.

A David Clifford mark levelled it up and when we messed up the restart – which we did a bit in that first half – Gavin White put them ahead. A fine strike from out on the right wing from Conor Loftus answered that one.

Oisín Mullin was going man-on-man with Clifford, which seemed to be inviting trouble but he won the first few exchanges. The Kerry player went down after one of these and looked in bother but was able to continue playing. To good effect, as events transpired.

Aidan O’Shea rarely scores at Croke Park these days but he lamped over a spectacular outside-of-the-boot effort from forty yards to put us back in front. We then survived a major scare at the other end as Geaney burst clean through but dragged his goal effort wide.

Kerry’s corner back Tom O’Sullivan, who would end the day with three points to his credit, raided forward to level it up. A Clifford free then edged them ahead. Rob Hennelly did superbly to pull down a Clifford effort that looked to be going over but O’Shea then pointed to give Kerry a two-point lead.

A nice point from play by Cillian helped steady us. Then, after HawkEye ruled out the first of two Kerry score attempts, Rob Hennelly trotted up to bang over a long-range free off the floor to square it up again.

A Geaney point for them was answered by a cracking Jack Carney point for us. Then Stephen Coen found himself well upfield, following a good drive forward by Aidan O’Shea, and the skipper’s effort put us back in front. Things were now going nicely for us.

In a flash, though, the contest turned against us. Clifford had been well shackled up to now but, tracked by Paddy Durcan, he won the ball way out on the left wing, did a quick give-and-go with Stephen O’Brien and left Paddy in his wake to shoot high to the net on Robbie’s near side.

Worse was to follow as Aidan O’Shea was handed a black card. It wasn’t clear at the time what this was for but I heard later it was apparently for some verbals, which, if so, was a bit odd but there you go.

We did well, though, in that ten-minute spell that spanned half-time. We held onto the ball for much of the time and, when Aidan came back on, the deficit was back down to just one.

We got the first score after the black card, a Cillian free. After Moran landed a neat point for them we had the final say of the half when Kevin Mc blasted over. Although it looked a goal chance, had he hit it low Ryan would probably have stopped it and had he gone left then the angle would probably have been too tight.

Our lads would have gone in happy enough at the break. Kerry hadn’t come at us with all guns blazing and they looked, well, a bit ordinary. We were, for sure, well in it at that stage.

For a time early in the second half, it looked like we were getting on top in this contest. Gough lets pretty much everything go in the tackle and we were tackling hard so won a number of turnovers, leading to a number of scoring chances.

It was then, though, that we lost sight of the posts. Chance after chance went a-begging and some of the opportunities we contrived to miss really had to be seen to be believed. It really was squandermania and ultimately it’s the reason we’re no longer in this year’s Championship.

We scored four points from fifteen attempts in the second half, during which we went through a full twenty minutes without scoring at all. All the while, the more efficient Kerry front line did what Kerry forwards do and took the chances that came their way.

This wasn’t stellar stuff at all from Kerry but it didn’t need to be. From when James Carr knocked over a fine score on 48 minutes, we then didn’t score again until the 68th minute while, in the meantime, Kerry notched eight trouble-free points into the Hill.

Jordan’s point was also our final one of the game but, fittingly, Kerry had an answer to that one too. This came via a close-in free that O’Shea popped over to close out what was, from our perspective, an embarrassingly easy eight-point win.

So, our inter-county season, blighted by a succession of bad injuries, is over. We can only hope that when 2023 rolls around our luck will finally start to turn on that front, though I assume our consideration of what befell us this year on that front will go further than praying for a change of fortunes next year.

This season’s end also feels like an end in other ways too. I doubt we’ll see again a few of those warriors who have served us so well down the years and I’ve no idea what the future holds for James and his management team either. Now’s not the time for any quick decisions on this front, however, as time to ponder options for the future is not something we’re short of right now.

What we are short of is, of course, a place in the All-Ireland semi-final. This is only the second time since 2011 that we’ve failed to make the final four and it’s the first quarter-final we’ve lost since 2009. Yes, today really does feel like an ending, in more ways than one.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly (0-1, free); Lee Keegan, Oisín Mullin, Enda Hession; Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen (0-1), Eoghan McLaughlin; Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Matthew Ruane (0-1); Jordan Flynn (0-2), Diarmuid O’Connor, Conor Loftus (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Jack Carney (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (0-3, two frees). Subs: James Carr (0-1) for Carney, Fergal Boland for Loftus, Aiden Orme for McLoughlin, Padraig O’Hora for O’Shea, Jason Doherty for Cillian O’Connor, Paul Towey for Orme (blood).

Who was our MOTM against Kerry? Pick your top three performers

  • Oisín Mullin (30%, 844 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (22%, 628 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (12%, 324 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (6%, 164 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (5%, 139 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (4%, 107 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (4%, 102 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (3%, 86 Votes)
  • Rob Hennelly (3%, 79 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (2%, 65 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (2%, 62 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (1%, 34 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (1%, 30 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 28 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 23 Votes)
  • James Carr (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Aiden Orme (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Padraig O'Hora (0%, 11 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (0%, 11 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (0%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,421

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123 thoughts on “Kerry 1-18 Mayo 0-13: second half squander does for us

  1. To be fair, we tried a different plan today – credit to JH and crew on that. To be honest, it actually worked very well barring the execution on the field. Some horrible wides or shots dropping short. It was soul destroying and sucked the life out of the team and the crowd in the 3rd quarter.
    Kerry did nothing to make me think they’ll land Sam. Galway and Derry won’t fear them or Dublin.

  2. Time to face facts we need a new manager .Tired of all the shortcomings and slowness of JH .Not quick enough to make changes

  3. Gutted it ended like it did but proud of how they played in the first half particularly after the goal and harsh black card.
    I was more upset after the final last year tho. We blew that. We played the same way we always played. Today we mixed it up, but I think that was a reaction to the public outcry for change.
    I thought myself we should have changed things after the covid all Ireland. Give the older lads one more year and the newer lads a fresh start. Teams often get a bounce with a new system.
    I don’t get why people are so anti change. We have had 8 years or whatever it is. Managers have won all Ireland’s and haven’t got that stent.
    I don’t see why we would re-appoint either. Everything is too familiar. We need faces in there who have won all Ireland’s. We have plenty of good young players who can play. Let them.
    Yes, we have great days but we are a bit of a laughing stock at this stage because we don’t help ourselves… We all get the whattsapps from out neighbours!
    I didn’t go to any game this year. I was so annoyed with last yrs final. I’m on the road since 89, but this year i had enough. Breaks my heart because I love football.
    I’ll be back, we’ll be back but let’s have a proper rebuild. What’s the point in changing faces but not the approach. This isn’t a horan out rant, he’s hurting as much as anyone, but successful teams adapt and move on… We have good footballers coming through… Let’s move on..

  4. Sadly, our inferiority complex towards Kerry continues despite 2017. The best team for 50 mins and yet unable to show that dominance on the scoreboard. Only Mayo can do that. If we could only show show a fraction of Galways composure in front of goal we’d still be in it. It’s so disappointing, I’m tired

  5. Willie Joe, I just posted that comment to see if anyone else had heard it. I don’t post but have enjoyed the blog for many years. I am a native but have been away 40 years and the blog keeps me in touch

  6. Bad day at the office, what’s done is done. I’m just trying to think of the positives for 2023.

    1) Harrison and McBrien back from injury and into the full back line
    2) Oisin and Leeroy can be released further up the field
    3) ROD and Conroy will be back from injury
    4) Some new, young faces to freshen up the squad a bit and give us some sharpness
    5) And all of the above will hopefully lead to a stronger bench being sprung for the last 20 minutes of games

  7. Boholabob – if you read the blog regularly, then you should know that spreading or seeking information on unconfirmed rumours isn’t allowed here. You’ll no doubt have seen all the horsehit posted here by various people about Oisin Mullin’s supposed injury over the last week to see just how difficult this is to control. And don’t get me going, tonight of all nights, about that individual you name-checked, the details of which I’ve deleted.

  8. Not sure whether JH will stay or go but if he goes he leaves with head held high. Took us over at an all time low after 2010 and made us a force to be reckoned with. Returned after 2018 and amazingly despite the retirement of so many warriors managed to take us to 2 more AI finals. True he didn’t deliver the big Sam but who did since 1951. This year totally blighted by injuries but we made it to QF. Never expected us to win today but only 2 down with 15 minutes left. Was soul destroying watching team kick such bad wides. Having said that I have huge admiration for their efforts Our Achilles heel for as long as I can remember has been our inability to score enough.We are superbly committed and courageous but what would we give to have a chap like Clifford. One chance one brilliant goal.Thats the difference between good and great

  9. Went to the game with a fear it would play out like it did and it felt worse than i expected for the last 15-20 minutes.

    Kerry were they for the taking today had we more composure in front of posts.

    Best of Luck to Kerry in the next round.

  10. James cannot kick the ball over the bar. Neither will the next long awaited by some manager. Horan has nothing to do with today’s failure in front of goal. No conroy. Rod. Plunkett. A cillian that is only trying to come back to this level. When a team creates so many chances its unfair to blame the manager.

  11. Glory Days, they’ll pass you by, sang Bruce and Macca at Glastonbury last night. We have had many Glory Days over the past 12 years,thanks to JH ,SR and our amazing warriors. Those days may be a while in returning though there were Red and Green shoots on view in Tullamore yesterday. While the usual suspects will be out with knives sharpened and fangs a blazing, It’s time to respectfully let management and players be and we go again 2023

  12. if the manager resigns minimum standards need to be set for the backroom for the next appointment
    i.e a high calibre attack coach and high calibre defensive coach in addition to the manager.
    Preferably these coaches should have played in the Full back and full forward lines as our #1 shortcoming is the inability to stop goals going in and score goals down the other end of the pitch.
    also, sport psychologist support for the squad should be mandatory

  13. Who do people think is the best club manager currently in connacht that mayo could get? Are they better than kevin walsh or liam mchale?

  14. So frustrated as a mayo fan, the last couple of months has been probably the worst in 11 years, underperforming and injuries, hopefully it will take a upward curve next year, on to the club championship, back at it next year, thanks Willie Joe

  15. The material to win it is there.If we can get our best 15 on the pitch and find a few more and get guys back to form then we are really not far off.
    worse part is 7 months now with no football…feels sad

  16. We will dust ourselves down over the coming months and we may go again or decide enough is enough.
    Better to go out in a quarter or semi rather than another final.
    A change is as good as a rest, new voice and some new players.

    Thanks to the current bunch of players ( particularly the guys that have been there for 10 years or more) and management for giving us great days out. All good things eventually come to an end.

  17. Sums up our forward woes when the best mayo forward on view all weekend was playing at no 13 for galway, young rob finnerty gave a display of poaching and finishing that is alien to mayo.

    Same old failings, year after year after year

  18. Our forward play wasn’t nearly good enough to trouble Kerry. But we kinda knew that beforehand! We need to remember that Ryan O Donoghue and Tommy Conroy were a huge loss. We also need to remember that Cillian and Kevin are well past their best and that Jack Carney is only new to the team. Tom O Sullivan ran the legs off Cillian. Sadly it seems his history of injuries is catching up with him.
    And Diarmuid has been off form apart from a couple of games.
    Our wides and balls dropping into the goalie sucked the energy out of us and that was that.
    The future – rest, recovery and a rebuild for the future.

  19. Many of the shots in the second half were kicked into the forward who was often marked with two players. What were we expecting to happen. It did t work anytime but we continued to do it. We brought the ball up midway and then kicked it away.
    A Few More Meters And More Bodies In There Would Have Helped.
    It was like we were afraid to get too close to goal. I didn’t see much change in play for the second half. I just saw us do the same thing again and again with the same result each time, a turnover for kerry.

  20. Very strange to see how O’Shea could be done for verbals , when the ref never reacted to the incident at all and based his decision on a linesman who was fully 40 yards away from the incident , O’Shea tried to say he reacted to a punch . which appeared to have some substance from what i saw on the brief replay .

  21. Dooniver Swifts, nice post.
    Thank you to our Trojan management, players, fans and to the Mayogaablog.
    I truly appreciate the efforts of all.
    We do indeed have warriors on our team.

  22. Tired team, tired support, no buzz, no energy…we need this break. I’m actually happy we lost cause we’ve been running up that hill, on empty for quite a while.
    Amazing players, amazing effort…thank you, one and all. Maigheo go deo!!

  23. I honestly feel a change of management is called
    for , Derry were devision 4 team a few years back
    & see the passion & intensity they now play with ,

  24. Hard luck to our players and management.

    We did alot of things right.
    We had as much posession as Kerry.
    We had more attempts.

    Too many missed attempts though.

    Kerry put in a certain type of ball to their forwards.
    It doesn’t need to be within 6 yards of where the forward is situated, the forward already knows where the ball is going to be played, out in front and was first to every ball today.

    Mayo ball in is completely different.
    Mayo try to hit the forward between the shoulders with the ball and when the ball isn’t 100% perfect we lose the ball.

    Kerry play a much simpler game than we try to play and I think that is why they are so successful.

  25. Bbmidlands, interesting observation. It felt something like this watching on TV.
    Would be good to get a handle on what happened exactly.

  26. Tommy+Joe

    To be fair, we tried a different plan today – credit to JH and crew on that. To be honest, it actually worked very well barring the execution on the field ?

  27. Thanks to you Willie Joe for all of your entertainment and hard work with the blog this year.
    Thanks to all the players and management for their efforts this year and for the past 10 years. It has been a remarkable journey we have all had. Next year is for another day.
    Up Mayo!!

  28. I think JH & Co has got the general consensus around the county that a change and new approach is needed. It sounded on the Sunday game that he’s going.
    And yes the new management need a forward coach, someone similar to what Donaghy has brought to Armagh. And one of the most intelligent forwards of the last decade was Andy Moran. So let’s get it right and give our forwards a chance next time.

  29. Well it came to pass. Kerry were expected to beat us. Our forwards wouldn’t score enough to win and so it turned out.

    Yes forwards the problem and lack of efficiency, in front of the posts when it was there to be won.

    The other sad note from today was the series lack of Mayo support. I think September 2021 killed the Mayo fan base, sadly but there you go.

    In terms of change, if there is anything better bring it on but I don’t think there is so it’s moot.

    The change that is really needed is 4 or 5 consistently scoring forwards but that wait goes on.

    Both plan A and B failed today.

    Last September was the nadir of Mayo football it seems.

    I hope the dubs do it it. There the lesser of four evils think about it.

  30. Watched back the first half there.

    Jordan Flynn was outstanding. Set up a huge amount of scores. Mullin excellent too. Keegan did a great job on Paudi Clifford.

    Diarmuid jumped straight back to his feet after the elbow. Credit to him but if he stayed down a while it may have been a red card. A filthy hit.

    The black card for O’Shea was bizarre. Ridiculous decision.

    Can’t deal with watching the second half for now.

  31. It’s as if we had a plan for Kerry to be at their best but we didn’t have a plan for them to be shite and it caught us by surprise

  32. Before people are to hard on fans not travelling this year, we are in a high time of high inflation. Its a 100 euro between fuel and toals to travel to Dublim from.some parts of county
    Add in costs of tickets and meals…its very expensive so some people cannot afford it.

  33. Kerry were there to be beaten today. Had they played either Galway or Armagh I reckon they would have been beaten. It took them almost an hour to get going properly and by that time Mayo had missed a clatter of chances. Those misses are such energy sappers by the final 15 minutes the confidence had drained from the Mayo team and Kerry closed it out comfortably.

  34. Tough day for those lads and management. For the guys that do retire, every success in the future, thank you. Hope your families enjoy having you back
    The Mayo team, management, S&C and backroom you are wonderful role models. Im sure the Mayos under 17’s have fire in their bellies based on what they have experienced from you guys over the past number of years.
    I salute each and everyone of you, esp James Horan, always professional.
    He may not have got us over the line but he sure has braught us on some journey. As always we are disappointed for you not getting the Celtic cross but it does not define you either.
    The milage, the injuries you lot have endured, the commitment, the excitement, the pride in your county, your exceptional connection with your fans defines you..sincere and grateful thanks.
    To the senior guys…dont go if you still have the urge to play!
    Enjoy your summer but no giving up on us!
    We need you next year.
    Maigh Eó abú

    Thanks to the blog too

  35. I for one wont be sorry to see the back of david moran when he retires, he was imperious today and always seems to save his best performances for mayo

  36. I agree re support – the grá seems to have disappeared for a lot of people. We can blame it on rising fuel costs and so on, and that does play a part, but there has been very bad feeling around the county since last September. A lot of very jaded fans. Lots of people fed up with watching the same rubbish. I think people could accept the losses to Dublin because they were clearly a great team and we gave it our best shot against them and just came up short. We gave a good account of ourselves in those finals. Last year couldn’t have been more different to that – Tyrone were and are average and we didn’t acquit ourselves well on the day. We threw it away. It’s going to take a long time for people to get over that, I think.

    What worries me is the lack of fight and conviction we’re seeing this past year. We’re told training is ferocious but none of that ever comes out on game day. The never say die attitude associated with Mayo over the last decade has not been remotely on display this year. Makes me concerned about morale.

  37. Maybe it’s hard to keep going, Dreamy.
    Maybe it’s challenging to be “consistently competitive”, in all the ways that means.
    Maybe a rest, a real rest, is badly needed.

    Yes, Kerry were there for the taking today, but we need a rest, to press “pause”.

  38. Thinking back over how we exited the championship over the last 4 years, you don’t really feel we’re closer than when James took the helm.

  39. Would like to see Ray Dempsey go for the Top job with Terry Kennedy or Liam McHale in the backroom team,think we need a change in the strength and conditioning too ,Conor Finn has been there a long time now and it needs freshening up. I know we missed ROD and Tommy Conroy bad today for scores but we need to badly need identify players who can score from play, too many of these athletic type runners who put the head down soloing in JH teams and can settle up for a simple score in front of the posts.

  40. “injury issues make this one a huge challenge for us”

    Cant say in a fan of this narrative now. Dublin down con and James mc. Kerry down Jack Barry. Us being down two starters isn’t exactly bad it’s about standard or even on the lucky side of things

  41. Willie Joe. i’m just in the door a while. Turned on the golf to see P Harrington win the big prize and of course there was a fellow at the prize giving sporting a Mayo jersey . Well, i thought to myself,that fellow must be a proud Mayoman and sure aren’t we all! Proud of that team that did their best today . Proud of James and his management team and especially proud of all those loyal supporters who turned up in Croke Park today . Keep the faith everyone and our day will come… and Willie Joe , keep up the good work with this blog . Slan

  42. Dreamysnoozy etc if Mayo fans are bored of watching the same rubbish I wonder how other fans must feel. Mayo teams have not served up rubbish for the past 10 or 12 years. If fans are jaded turning up 4 or 5 times a year I wonder how players and management feel after turning up 100 times a year. I dont think our team deserve to be insulted like that. Does Leeroy or Oisin etc etc serve up rubbish. I think not.

  43. I suppose we have been up near the top of the pile for almost the whole of the past 10 years.

    Kerry have been trying to get back to the top of the pile for most of the past 10 years.

    Dublin are trying to figure out how they dropped a division and didn’t reach a final last year.

    Kerry, the perennial winners are wondering why they havent won Sam for most of the decade.

    We are beating ourselves, our manager and our teams up for not having landed Sam in the past decade when even the Kingdom haven’t landed it for most of that decade.

    We’ll get there eventually but like everyone else, we have to figure it out.

    We cannot force it to happen or buy success or manufacture a one size does all type player.

    It will happen when it’s time for it to happen.

  44. Lads every team have injury issues, what makes them contenders is coping without them.
    We’ve lost Mulkerrins our full back all season ; and although it’s an issue, we’re still there .. I think this Mayo team even with the lads up top missing need a new injection. It’s gone stale, and I think definitely 3 or 4 of the older lads may step away.

  45. The amount of people that were not going to the match was shocking but no surprise .last years all Ireland final has done serious damage to the morale of fans and the costs.

  46. A common theme in James Horans teams from 2011 to 2022 was that the best scoring forwards in Mayo for e.g Mark Ronaldson, Enda Varley, Neil Douglas, Evan Regan, Alan Freeman, and Brian Reape all struggled or failed to get up to the standard they were capable off.But is that more down to the system Horanball as it is known ,that it does not suit inside forwards ,
    I think most of these players would have made bigger impressions in other counties.

  47. When will Mayo team ever score a goal again? Never came near a goal since the league. No forwards with pace to break the lines and no off the shoulder support. Shooting and shot selection were atrocious today. Why is this so when we have a manager and selector who were very good forwards.
    Time to reset and thanks to all for their dedication and contribution to Mayo football over the last decade.
    Onwards and upwards Mayo

  48. Can’t for the life of me figure out how we’ve lost the ability to kick the ball over the bar. Paddy and Lee were always good for a few points but even they have lost it. I give up its totally depressing.

  49. Galway win there 2nd game in Croker in 21 years in a penalty shootout and their telling us how we should be managing without our 2 best forwards.

  50. @lineball scored 1 goal against Monaghan and two against Kildare. Never really looked like scoring one today and Kerry sorting out their defence under Jack O’Connor is one of the reasons for that. Gone is the Peter Keane Kerry team that was ropey in defence and conceded 3 soft goals to Tyrone.

  51. Seriously commited Mayo supporter ! Watch every match. I was in Croke Park today for the 1st time. Good 1st half. Despite my grandson’ s roars of support 2nd half dissappointing. We will be back next year! Mayo won in ’51 , the year before I was born so they must win All Ireland soon !!

  52. Leave the Galway crew alone. We have only ourselves to blame. Plenty of chances in the last 11 years and still pleniless.

    On that though, for any Galway fan who thinks injuries are their problem they ain’t got a clue. They have a clown in goal. Galway got away with it today. We don’t have forwards but they never had a goalie.

    They’ll know what it’s like shortly to be missing people in key positions.

    Like the Galway lad said adopt and overcome, there still there but with nothing to show for it.

  53. Keep calm everyone..We can all still support Mayo’s Minor’s v Galway in Hyde Park in the All Ireland final… and our Mayo women still… and wish Galway the best of luck in the Senior Championship..

  54. If indeed James is gone he deserves huge credit for what he has done in so many areas for Mayo.
    But change is inevitable in life and indeed essential in this instance. We need to look to the future and this management team is stake and tired. That happens after 8 years and there’s no shame in it.
    Longer term though, this Mayo manager job is one of the most attractive positions in Irish sport. There is no doubt about that. We have a core of very good players 24 and under.
    Ryan O’Donoghue
    Tommy Conroy
    Oisin Mullin
    Are three outstanding young players that would make any first 15 in Ireland.
    Just behind them, are some guys that are becoming established senior players for Mayo for the long term:
    Jordan Flynn (most improved player in Mayo in 2022)
    Eoghan McLaughlin
    Jack Carney (still u21 and has all the attributes to make it)
    Enda Hession – will play a lot of championship football for Mayo.

    Those 7 lads should be playing for Mayo for the next decade. Some may argue it’s a bit early to put carney in that list but I’m very bullish on him long term. He’s awkward for opposition teams to handle. They will all be key cornerstone blocks between 2023 and 2033.
    Hennelly has another few years left as a keeper if he wishes, he has steadily improved throughout his career to be playing his best football at the moment.

    Then you have the medium aged guys that need a break to focus on club again but still have plenty to offer in the next 5 years or so. These include
    Matty Ruane (26)
    Diarmuid o connor (27)
    Paddy Durcan (28) – he really needs the 7 month break to refresh himself and find form again. I do worry about how demanding and attritional his hard running game style is and whether he can be as effective into his 30s however.

    So far I’ve listed 11 proven championship performers available to the Mayo manager in 2023.
    Beyond this you have Leeroy who should play as long as he wants to. Still a class act with easily another 2 seasons left in him at the required level.
    Of the other veterans, Cillian is still only 30 and with a full and healthy preseason has plenty still to offer for the next 3 or 4 years. He is not fast (never was really), but if you surround him with speed then his lack of pace can be compensated for and his other good attributes can come to the fore. Before the Achilles tear 12 months ago he was arguably the best player in Ireland remember.
    Other over 30s – I think it’s definitely the end for Jason Doc Conor o shea and Kevin Mc. As for Aido, I thought he was not bad today actually. Would be a good impact sub option in the next year or two. A new manager could get more out of him for the end of his career.

    From here on, you are looking for guys to do exactly what Jordan Flynn did this year, and jump from being a fringe player to being a key player. Jack Carney has also made great headway in 2022. Other guys should be looking at those 2 and thinking “why can’t that be me”?

    Players in this bracket (there’s a lot – I’ve listed the ones I think are most likely)
    Plunkett – if he didn’t get injured I think he would have played every minute the last few weeks. A very versatile player that improved a lot even in the last year.
    Carr – showed flashes this year. 25 now and it’s time to get moving. Needs to stay fit and put in a big off season. He’s not maximising his talent fully yet.
    Aidan Orme – he’s very young but the jury is still out for me. Needs to dominate club championship. I like his pace and left foot but he’s got work to do.
    Fergal Boland – he’ll never be an all star but under a new manager he might flourish. Was a bit disappointing for the 20 min today.
    Stephen Coen – probably one of his better games for 2022. He’s had a tough season. Coaches all love him so he will definitely play for the next few seasons (still only 27) but he will be hungry next year to prove that making him captain this year wasn’t an error. Lack of pace a concern.
    Mark Moran – very talented but needs a huge club campaign with Westport now. He seems a bit of a maverick type that a manager might need to coach a bit differently to get the best out of. Still only 21 I think? Incidentally his 23 year old brother Colm should be one of the first lads invited in next year. A proper natural forward in my view.
    David mcbrien – highly regarded in Mayo club circles but he’s constantly injured. More of a long shot to make it I feel but could be wrong.
    Bryan Walsh – a useful fringe player who actually suits Croke park with his gut running ability. Another ruined by injuries.
    O’Hora – he’s 29 now and probably will be just defensive depth. Lacks a yard of pace but I love his attitude and can imagine him driving training standards. Still has 3 or 4 seasons to offer.
    Loftus – unfortunately one of mayos most maligned players in the last 2 years. A new manager with a different style could unlock his best attribute which is long kick passing. Horanball doesn’t allow that.

    There’s other fringe guys like Towey, Brickenden, Fionn mcdonagh, Darren McHale, Harrison (he’s been so cruelled by injury its so unfair) that could step up but probably less likely to become regular starters.

    Finally – the most exciting part for the Mayo manager.
    Obviously there is some freakish forward talent in the u17 team. We will hear enough about them in future. But there’s a couple of good lads in the 18-21 age bracket too. Sam Callinan and Frank Irwin are two. There’s lads like Ruairi Keane, donnacha mchugh (good sign when he was on the bench all year for the seniors), Ethan Henry, Fenton Kelly of Davitts, and conal Dawson & Tom O’Flaherty who made the u20 starting team this year despite being still u18.
    I’m really excited about the club championship. Great opportunity to have 10 or 12 weeks of club football in nice weather now and for some ambitious young bucks to put their hands up and say -“I’m ready to play for Mayo seniors in 2023”.
    The only concern I have is the persistent injuries. We have to improve in this area. We can’t have the likes of Durcan or Mullin or ROD spending 8 weeks rehabbing a hamstring or groin in the height of the season. It just fucks up the entire campaign for them lads.

  55. @stephenite
    Jack Barry missing was a positive for kerry. He’s absolutely useless and wouldnt be fit to lace David Morans boots to be honest.

  56. I think, even the Gooch on the.sunday game said that ” theres no way mayo could do without Tommy Conroy and Ryan O ‘D and still expect to be in the running for Sam “. I think he meant especially with our lack of forward firepower.

    Other teams with lots of forwards might have managed.

    They were massive losses for us.

  57. Your right Revellino, .. Ryan O Donohue was by a country mile our best player in 2022… But we have to factor in, David Clifford was only half fit. .. We never really found our feet this year… Not sure how great Dublin or Kerry are? (Dublin or Kerry didn’t really have to be great to beat Cork or Mayo) .. Could easily be Galway or Derry last week in July!

  58. Revellino. The gooch is spot on. Remember back to February when we got the news on conroy. This blog was hot on it. Because everyone on here knew that it was a massive blow. Add Rod to that and that’s a big reason why we lost. This defeat doesn’t lie at jh s door. If jh does step down which I hope not he will leave us with a very good young team unlike thee last 2 previous manager s . Jh deserves massive credit for finding more this year in the shape of flynn. Carney. Hessian. . Jh has been so unlucky with injuries. He should stay and try again next year with hopefully a full hand. Pray to God that Lee keegan doesn’t retire ?

  59. In the last 30 years the best management that have progress ed mayo football were Maughan. Micky moran and James horan. More so Maughan and horan because they built their own teams. Harrison. Plunkett. Mcbrien. Also injured so never got a chance to really blood Mcbrien. But flynn. Hessian and carney have progressed this year. Unfortunately carr. Orme. Walsh. Towy didn’t reach that level this year. The Time is up for Doherty. And probably Kevin mcgloughlin Unfortunately. It was not a game plan today.. it was all the wides and alot from very scorable areas. Also Rod is more consistent from short range than coc and better from play as well.

  60. Grain of Rice name checked every player that Horan has played this year.
    The problem is not that they haven’t been given an opportunity- the problem is they haven’t reached the physical criteria being applied

    The ones who can score – generally aren’t big enough or strong enough for this level

    That isn’t James Horans fault – it’s a 70 year old problem.
    How many strong, powerful and lethal forwards have we produced in 70 years. Those kind of lads play in halfback centre field for their clubs in Mayo.
    In Kerry they play at centre forward or full forward

    A Geaney, Clifford or Sean O Se, Maurice Fitz etc would be midfielders/ halfbacks in Mayo where they would be encouraged to do solo runs all day.
    In Kerry, a solo run is only acceptable when trying to beat the last defender.

    We don’t help ourselves though – almost every player we have had missed two months of football in the 6 months we needed them to be fit- that’s an S&C problem
    Overtraining young lads is the root cause.
    In a 6 month county season we might have half the panel playing U20’s and sigerson at the same time – playing 2 matches a week in February when there is nothing to be won and not being fit for the 2.5 months they are needed.
    This is not just a JH problem – we ruined our 2013 minor team and half the team had major surgery before they were 22

  61. @Craggy boglands couldn’t agree more, we need to be very careful what we wish for when asking for JH’s head.
    He’s being taken down by expectations that he set 12 years ago. Surely we should hold our heads and wait for ROD, Conroy and others to be back in 2023. We will hopefully be in a much better state then.

  62. Some good posts here in the wake of a disappointing defeat. Would fully agree that the rest isn’t a bad thing now, most of our players have been on the go for two to three years and are probably knackered, given how intense our style of football is.

    Strange thing about yesterday was that we actually took some good scores in the first half- who would have thought that Aido would be launching one over from forty yards out! Indeed, had Kev McLoughlin not thrashed at a goal chance we would have been deservedly ahead at the interval.

    But in the second half we seemed to lose our heads and went for some mad shots from 50 metres out, rather than working the ball inside. Kerry in contrast stuck to their plan and ran up several simple scores in the last quarter.

    Our forward play has looked very disjointed for most of the past few seasons, aside from catching fire against the Dubs for 30 minutes last year. Cult hero though he is, I would question what Ciaran MacD is adding to the set up in this regard.

    We are in transition now, and it’s probably up to a few younger players, the likes of Orme, Walsh, Carr, Carney etc. to start pushing on in the way that ROD and Tommy Conroy did last year, and Jordan Flynn has this year.

    I’m still looking forward to the minor final, the ladies and club championship this year, plenty of football to feast on.

    On a slightly sourer note, and with due deference to the likes of West Kerry and Gamechanger, Pat Spillane is an awful yoke. Apart from pointing out the obvious efficiency deficit yesterday, once again his tone was shockingly biased and jubilant at our demise, not to mention making a show of himself after the Armagh-Galway game. The man has an agenda against certain counties (ourselves, Northern teams, the Dubs on occasion) and it’s long since time that the likes of himself and O’Rourke were put out to pasture. He makes me want to root for Dublin in the next round and that’s saying something!

  63. I am constantly hearing about our physical game been the cause of so many injuries. Armagh and Galway and other teams play an equally hard game. Armagh only trained once a week when their young players were playing student games. Galway just seem to enjoy their game and get on with it. They don’t look for excuse and drive on.
    But there is a big difference in how we use our pitch. We leave empty spaces up front and when the ball gets there there is only one player there, but the others don’t crowd the space like other teams do. We have this crazy expectation from one or two players up front. We played like this when AOS was centr forward. I saw the same style in the ladies. We seem to have only one system in Mayo.
    We need to change the plan. There was no real plan B there yesterday. I don’t think Management have the imagination to change the plan. They didn’t really experiment. Trying players in very different positions. It was the same style again.
    We have great players, no doubt there, but management are not bringing out the best in them. I do blame management for this year. We have the same excuses every year. There is always a reason why we lost. Stop moaning about injuries and ask the question, why we have so many. It isn’t all about super fitness, attitude plays a huge role. It gets average people very far!
    I think we would have many people interested in this job, but here I think the committee are the problem. It was very telling when Moffett left after 2 years. I really believe that politics within the county have a role to play is the same mistakes every year.
    I think supporters were right not to turn up if it was so expensive. Money talks. Blindly supporting without asking questions is madness. And this nonsense that there is always next year! Something has to change if there is to be next year.
    You cannot keep doing the same thing, and expect a different result.

  64. Lads from a Dub fan, I know it hurts now but after the heat of battle look at it logically. These lads, management included give it everything year in year out. We sometimes forget about amateur status because they have set the bar so high with athleticism, dedication, and skill. Your county has pushed the greatest team of all time to the limit. Any other era yous would have 2/3 All Ireland’s. Every year yous are in the mix. Bad day in the office today despite being the best team for 50 mins. Was it a batman film that said it’s darkest before the dawn?? Even the great Dublin team had to go through the “startled earwigs” in 2009. Yous have some of the best young players in the country, and a couple more to come through from an excellent minor team. This year it seems to be doom and gloom but yous aren’t as far off as it seems now. Your lads are warriors with no quit in them, so just to some of the despondent Mayo fans don’t quit and them. Yous are too good for football to fade away. Sorry about the long comment, but just something needs to be said from someone detached from the emotion of yesterday’s defeat.

  65. Scoring totals in the last four exits from the championship

    2019 – 1-10 v Dublin ( only 0-4 came from the six starting forwards)
    2020 – 0-15 v Dublin (O’Donoghue,T Conroy started)
    2021 – 0-15 v Tyrone (O’Donoghue,T Conroy started)
    yesterday – 0-13 v Kerry ( without Conroy and O’Donoghue)

    Fairly consistent on the scoring there regardless of the personal and clearly not enough when going up against top 4 opposition especially when you concede 3-14,,2-14,2-14 and 1-18 against them.

  66. Thanks for that, The Risen 16, and no need to apologise for the length of the comment. What you’ve said is a message many of us needed to hear and heed this morning.

    Also, can people please lay off poor old Tuamstar? He’s a long-standing reasonable contributor here and there was nothing wrong with his comment. We should be big enough to accept outside views when they’re expressed in a fair and reasonable way as this one was.

  67. ‘Lost sight of the posts’ should have been the headline here and forget about injuries.
    People are on about plans and tactics for this game…….there was no plan whatsoever.
    Players were trying for points with the right foot from right of the goal when it was obvious to turn and strike with the left.
    Players aimed for the clouds and duly sent the ball wide.
    Training sessions must have consisted of handpassing drills and very, very little kicking.
    I would bet that Kerry folk are not singing the praises of their set-up this morning after a poor enough display by their team. No point in encouraging a bad display—it just keeps it going.
    Up Tipp.

  68. Financially it’s not viable for James Horan to stay on. If he stays on you can reduce the revenue from matchday tickets by 10% minimum.
    That’s an expensive decision.
    There’d be much higher attendance with a new manager and a fresh approach.

  69. @TheRisen 16: Good comment, but people will be a bit down on here after a dispiriting defeat. Hopefully the minors can win their final and it will perk everyone up a bit. If yesterday’s game is any barometer, ye will give Kerry a proper shoeing, especially if David Clifford remains half-injured.

    @mayomagic: True, Conroy and O’Donoghue won’t kick ten points for us from play. But I do think they both an attribute- pace- that our forward line has been sorely lacking in their absence. I would also think that if we can get a fit and sharp Cillian, Tommy and Ryan on the pitch next year (something that hasn’t happened in the last two years), then we can go far in the championship. But we could also do with looking at how to structure our forward play, because it looks aimless a lot of the time, in contrast to all of the teams left in the competition.

  70. Bernadette…….Welcome to the Blog and regardless of yesterday’s result, hope you enjoyed your first day in Croker and wishing you many big Mayo days there in the years to come…….You could be just the mascot we need, with your birthday in 1951 !

  71. Can everyone take a pause and look at the cold hard numbers of our four championship exits
    1. 8 goals conceded 1 scored
    2. Avg 21pts conceded v avg. 14 scored
    3. Avg. margin of defeat 7pts
    That’s not a track record to invest anymore time into.

  72. Thanks therisen16
    You are on the money I remember talking to Limerick hurlers in 2016 who thought they would never win an All Ireland and yes the shock waves in 2009 in Dublin were deep they thought they would never get over the line.We really arent too far away

  73. @1989 right now we are far away. Look at the numbers, anything else is hearsay.
    Four championship seasons of proof that we are 7pts on average away from winning the last game.
    How many more seasons proof do you want from a 75 min high scoring sport?

  74. Willie Joe whats fair about comparing Muukerrins to our injuries.We have an all star full back out injured.Add in starters Plunkett and walsh and the comparison ends.Then we have Conroy and Rod two players that would walk onto the Galway team.Remember its Armagh that Galway beat yesterday and not Dublin or Kerry. I love reading outsiders comments on here but i felt last nights from Tuamstar was a dig when we are suffering enough.I dont see my reply to him and if it has been deleted i feel you have got this wrong.I always wait a day after a loss for a clearer head but i wont give anyone a pass because they are an outsider.

  75. Hear Hear Willie Joe I’ve always found Tuamstar to be an excellent contributor

    Very exciting times for Galway it must be said. I expect the hurlers to probably lose out next Sunday, meaning its the first time really in quite some time the footballers will be carrying all the hopes of the county. I expect a big crowd to travel up to the Derry game, this isn’t 2018 where they more huffed and puffed their way into a semi v Dublin playing some pretty abject stuff, this year they play with flair and creativity, combined with a much tighter defence – Cian O’Neill is probably the ‘signing’ of the year so far

    Their conversion rate must have been north of 90% yesterday, they had maybe two “bad” wides all game – both in extra time from Walsh and Finnerty, and both were still a fair distance out. Great forwards always give you a chance

    Am aghast that Derry have been made favourites for this, but then again Mayo and Armagh were both favourites also and plenty thought Derry would put Galway away in the league as it was their first “test” of the year – instead Galway pumped them, in a virtual promotion decider, up in Derry to boot. The odds are probably a result of Derry winning the highly overrated Ulster Championship… Armagh and Mayo – who Galway beat – bet all the same teams as Derry did in Ulster, and Galway would have bet Clare by well over 10 points also

    I’ll definitely be in their corner for the rest of the champ anyway, would be great to see Sam head west and a new team (who play a lovely brand of football and have some of the best forwards in the game) winning it out – enjoy the next few weeks Tuamstar and co.! That said I wouldn’t begrudge Derry at all either. I find it very hard to see Dublin beaten in a final but I’ve no doubt Galway would have bet Kerry on yesterday’s showing. Can Kerry improve enough? Recent history doesn’t exactly guarantee they will

  76. I think you might have been reading too much into the comment, Declan! Tuamstar has been contributing here for years and I can tell you that digs are not his forte. It was a fair point he made too – the pandemonium in the Galway full-back line yesterday showed how much they’re missing Mulkerrins this year.

    I’m already on record about how hampered we were yesterday (and all year) with injuries but plenty, including within the county, don’t agree with that argument. That’s okay and if different opinions are expressed reasonably then I’ve no problem with that, regardless of where the contributor comes from and what county he/she supports.

  77. Hope everyone shows respect to James and the lads and not weigh in with all the blaming and insults. It’s pretty well accepted that our injury list and loss of form from some of our top players would eventually catch up with us. Time now to look forward to the club championship and let the county team recharge the mental batteries. Like most fans I will be on the road again as soon as the FBD starts and will be hoping to see a team that can call on the likes of McBrien, Harrison, Plunkett, Callanan, McDonagh, McHale, Walsh, Conroy and O’Donoghue as well as yesterday’s panel. Finally, is it just me or does the new format with the condensed timetable and matches having to be concluded on the day feel like too much of a change from what we were used to? Even relatively minor knocks are a big problem with a lack of recovery time. Sure it’s the same for all counties but I feel there should be time allowed for recovery and for a replay after a first day draw.

  78. Sincere apologies to anyone I upset last night, it totally was not made as any sort of dig.. I was trying ( badly) to make a point regarding injuries etc.
    Gleeson was number 2 at the start of the year for Galway with young Conor Flaherty number 1.
    Flaherty and Sean Mulkerrins both got season ending injuries in Sigerson and I believe that has hampered Galway since in that full back area. Apologies again.

  79. No need to apologise, Tuamstar – there was nothing wrong with what you said and, as I’ve already pointed out, I know that it wasn’t meant as a dig. You’re always welcome to comment here and your contributions are always valued. Best of luck to Galway from the remainder of the Championship – it’s there to be won by any of the four left in it.

  80. Yes change is needed.
    But let us wait till this championship is played and not have another media circus.
    Personally I think both Horan and co will step a side.
    Mclouglin and Jason will hang up the boot’s.
    Hope Tony mcantee shows interest in the job.
    8 point loss to Kerry to start this journey in 2011 8 point loss to finish it.
    Time to start from scratch.
    Thanks Willie Joe for all your time and patience over the past year.
    All the best.

  81. One big issue I see for our ability to produce forwards is where the guys play for their clubs. Of the starting forwards yesterday, Carney, Loftus, Flynn and DOC all actually play midfield for their clubs rather than in the forward line.

    Like how in the name of god are we expecting these lads to do it at inter county level in the forwards when they don’t play these positions week in, week out. All of the Kerry forwards play in the forwards for their clubs, they know their positions inside out.

  82. Comments this year are not as fueled as normal, I think there is a acceptance that we were fairly depleted this year and the writing was on the wall after Kildare, maybe even before.
    Was a huge Horan fan and I was sure he would get the job done second time around but it’s just not going to happen.
    We don’t have the same level of players we had for his first stint in slot of position

  83. The only thing is that in Carneys case he has never been a forward at club or underage level.

  84. If JH does go then he owes us nothing and deserves a debt of gratitude for bringing us from the doldrums to the top table consistently.
    Its his call at the end of the day, frankly I dont know how he does it with a large young family and a very demanding day job. By comparison Jack O’Connor, as an example was a full time manager for years, read his book, even in his first stint with Kerry the VEC asked very little off him and his main focus in life was managing Kerry. Those of who work for multi nationals know that the likes of Coca Cola will be somewhat supportive but they day job will come first.
    The key question of course if he was to go was, do we have someone better? If we dont then we better do all we can to keep James if hes interested. Personally I think the lads need time off away from eachother, you put the 2 forwards back in, move Jack Carney out to midfield with Jordan Flynn, let the other young lads have a year more to develop and theres the makings of a serious team there.
    I still think James tactical issues on All Ireland Final day and the way we appear undercooked when we get there are a fatal flaw, but if theres no one else of his standard that can drive us on then its very very risky to be trying lads and hoping for the best.

  85. I know we are hurting after the outcome yesterday but I hope we remember Aido’s booming point! What a delight to see it. I was thrilled for the man. And it felt like it slayed a lot of dragons with that alone.

  86. One other point from me, while I think the running game has worked for us over the years it is helpful for our full forward line. It crowds the space and means that every time they win a ball in front, they are under immediate pressure.

    Contrast that with Kerry today (and our backs did well I thought) where there was an ocean of space in front of their full forward line. The space means that fast balls can be kicked in and if it is won by the forward they are then one on one in space (a forwards dream). To sum this up, they kicked three forward marks, we didn’t score one (although Carney did put his wide).

  87. Tuamstar the point you make today is completly valid and both of those players are a loss to ye.

  88. As a Galway fan I was not overly excited on the way home last night. I’m still to be convinced. 6 points up against Mayo, hang on to win by one. 5 up against Ross, hang on after conceding a late goal. 6 up yesterday 2 sucker punch goals and lucky to win on penalties. Positives were McDaid Tierney and Finnerty. Not Shane Walshes biggest fan but the treatment he got off the ball yesterday was something I’ve never seen before, unbelievable how it’s not picked up.

    On Mayo, I like Hession but he definitely struggled early on. Durcan wasn’t himself either defending or attacking must be carrying an injury.
    Very impressed with Mullin Flynn and Carney.
    Hennelly was also solid all day.
    Mayo have the makings of another good team coming along. I think Ryan O’Donoghue needs to be the main man up front, frees as well and build the froward line around him. Same with Mullin or Hession at 6.

    The Mayo crowd were flat yesterday also which I was surprised with. They had been vocal and buzzing earlier this year at league games.

  89. I didn’t even realise ye had lost Yere starting keeper Tuamstar. It’s a huge issue ahead of semi final . Armagh have only themselves to blame . After finally exploiting that area in injury time of normal time they reverted to holding the ball in extra time again. If they had been braver ………
    I think Armagh are a better team than Derry too so ye should have an AI final to look forward to . And then who knows !

  90. What’s particularly galling about this defeat, is that Kerry were so average. When have you ever seen Paudie Clifford, Dara Moynihan and even Sean O’Shea, all play so poorly in the same match. This match was there for the taking yesterday in the early stages of the second half, but we always seem to find a way to lose, in these big matches.

    Several people on here are calling for “” a high calibre forwards coach, who has played the game at the highest level “”.
    I remember when it was announced that Ciaran McDonald was coming on board as a forwards coach. The euphoria in Mayo was off the scale.
    Yet, can we honestly say, that appointment brought anything extra to our forwards ?

    The entire Senior Set up in Mayo needs filtering.
    New management is required, and by new, I don’t mean the return of Stephen Rochford. And for God’s sake, will people stop going on about Jim McGuinness and Peter Canavan.
    There are players on that Mayo team, who haven’t played a good game in a couple of years, yet there they were again on display yesterday.
    Some of the extended panel have never made an impact, yet they are a barrier to new blood getting a chance.

    Some people above are saying, that if this or that happens next year, we’re not far off !
    Not far off what?.. Surely they don’t mean Sam.
    There’s no All Ireland in the current Mayo team, even with the return of the 2 injured forwards.
    It’s time for an overhaul, on and off the pitch.
    Where that takes us, only time will tell.

  91. We now have three years to modernise ourselves to the modern football template of Dublin and Kerry to be ready for the best influx of talent we’ve had since 2006 u21s.
    There are also quality forwards following behind our u17s.
    But there’s no point trying to work out how to play more like Dublin and Kerry when those players arrive at 20.
    We need to have that groundwork done.
    There’s a Sam challenging squad when Oisin and Ryan and Tommy C and Jordan and Sam Callinane and Frank Irwin are in their mid to late 20s depending on current age of aforementioned.

  92. Daithi Burke to 3 if we lose to Limerick eh. Poor Gleeson had a horror show he needs to push it over the bar rather that bat it into the middle. It almost surely was a square ball though for 1 of Armaghs goals. Shane was fouled many times off the ball all day but lets face it a very poor set of officials failed to act. Fair play to Shane and Damien they still scored the penos. Mulkerrins and Faherty out leaves Sean having to go to 3 its a testament to our forwards that we survived and it will give us great heart Im glad Derry are favourites in a repeat of the 98 semi.

  93. Observer 2 , maybe those Kerry guys were average yesterday because some of our defenders played very well.Big Mike and Tuamstar, congrats and well done. Ye have every reason to be confident. Conceded 3 bad goals, got only an average performance from S Walsh and Conroy and still won. Reckon ye will beat Derry and have a serious chance v dubs or kerry.

  94. Always hard to lose to Kerry, especially having a Kerry missus. Something disappeared in me after last September’s AI final and was desperately trying to come back this year. Looking at our last successful outings against Kerry in the championship, a certain Andy Moran was in full flight – a natural forward and one who played up there for his club. I agree with comments by TrawleyBaron and others regarding the use of midfielders from the club scene in every position on our senior county team over the years. A brilliant midfielder does not imply a natural scorer. It’s only recently we’ve used actual goalkeepers to play in goal – for years it was again midfielders ( although that may revert based on the new fly keeper methodology as of late). The coaching in this county at underage can leave a lot to be desired. Young lads showing inate flair and ability, in the main have it coached out of them by jealous dad-managers wishing to see their sons be as good. Harsh but true. ” he’s too greedy and he won’t pass….” ” pass when you get the ball….don’t be going off trying to score yourself…” .The result- the dumbing down of raw talent. In Kerry that ability is celebrated and nurtured hence the production of scoring machines.. ie lads who WANT to score instead of being AFRAID to.
    James Horan has worked hard to bring us from the Longford loss of 2010 to where we got to but last year was the straw etc. Change is good sometimes and I think that will come soon. This year’s all ireland is there for the taking. No absolute standouts to date. Best of luck to all especially Galway. Will always support a Connacht team.

  95. Yesterdays result was what I expected, but the manner of the defeat is harder to take because we blew our chance and I didn’t think we’d even be in with a chance! There will be huge regret in the days ahead, for that shockingly inept 15 minute period in front of the posts. We quiet literally kicked it away. I was amazed that we had so many chances but some senior players really shit on their shirt tails with terrible shot selection and execution. Ruane dropped one terribly short and rushed to swipe another one wide. Cillian fluffed two gimmes and Diarmuid was almost equally at fault. I counted 5 very scorable chances that we messed up in that period, a period when we were on top, and, a time in the game that could have brought Kerry to the point where we would really see if they had the gut for the fight. Sadly, although we had them on the end of the hook, we let them off. They tapped over 3 or 4 points and all of a sudden the gap was 5 and the game was gone.

    In truth, we’ve been running on empty since the start of the season. Injuries are part and parcel of the game but our injury list definitely requires further investigation. Surely someone somewhere is carrying out an analysis on what the hell has gone wrong with our injury prevention, our S&C workloads on the players, the RPE figures and recovery rates? They can’t ALL be freakish impact injuries? Closer liasion with clubs and colleges might have helped but, we know by now, that Horan doesn’t do communication with anyone, fans included, outside the “team environment”. Undoubtedly our hard running, intense style of play is attritional on the body and that doesn’t help.

    There will be much discussion over the next few months with regards to which players/coaches might step away, and if Horan himself will want to stay, or, if the county board will look elsewhere instead of extending his contract (given the way the CB operate and Tuohys fawning to Horan I don’t expect this to happen). Herein lies the crucial point! I have shown my cards on here on Horan and why I feel he should have stepped away after last Septembers horror show v Tyrone. In fact, regardless of him having another year left in his term the county board should have “encouraged” him to step away. No other county with serious ambitions of winning an All Ireland is being led by someone who has lost 4 of them. This is nothing personnal against Horan, it’s just the plain fact that the same voice, preaching the same message, using the same tactics which ultimately are flawed and not progressive enough to win it all, is not going to able to bring the freshness and innovative thinking we need to keep us among the top 3 counties in the country.
    As highlighted above we have the bones of an excellent squad, many players <25 yrs old, and few reaching their peak of 28, and even O'Shea (who I thought had one of his better days yesterday) and Cillian are 31 and 30 respectively so there's more thread on their tyres yet. I'd expect McLoughlin, Doherty and Harrision to call it a day. I fear that Keegan may too. Of those, only Keegan would be an irreplaceable loss. In Mullin, Durcan, Ruane, Conroy and O'Donoghue we players who would get in to any other side and should be the spine of ours for the forseeable future. Add in those listed above and it's a talented, committed squad who anyone would kill to work with.

    What we need now is a different voice on the sideline, someone with fresh ideas, innovative tactics, someone who won't keep dynamic, hugely athletic players like Keegan and Mullin caged back in the full back line, someone who will bring a different attacking style and shape to our offense so we get our forwards in space in the scoring zone – not hitting 40/60 efforts from the channels or swingers from 50m out! We need a clear role for O'Shea that will get the best out of him. We need Durcan, Keegan and Diarmuid O'Connor to sit out the FBD and the first 3 rounds of the league – they need rest and recovery.
    When you see the immediate impact that Gallagher has made in Derry, O'Connor in Kerry and last year in Tyrone with Dooher, it's obvious that we don't need a 5 year plan or anything like it. No more than club management, any manager that's around for longer than 3 years and the message gets diluted, things get stale. It's only natural. There are exceptions like O'Dwyer, Boylan and Gavin but Horan isn't in their league so shouldn't get the patience that they were afforded.

  96. @swallowswoops. So one of our midfielders/half forwards kicks a single point in a game in Croker and we should take that as a positive for the day. I think that could be the definition of clutching at straws there. No offence to Aido but its a gaelic footballers primary objective to kick the ball over the bar. Also I don’t know if it’s allowed in the county to question the great Ciaran Mcdonald. But he was introduced as forwards coach a few years ago to great excitement and fanfare. And has there been any improvement in the end product in that area of the field to the years previous. Probably one of the worst displays of shooting ever for Mayo yesterday and that is saying something.

  97. I don’t agree there needs to be a 3 or 5 year plan either. We’ve a very strong panel and a good age profile overall. Hopefully Lee sticks around. David Moran is 34 now so age shouldn’t be a barrier to Lee.

  98. @Wideball, my reasoning on the three year plan is that it took Dublin three years 2015, 2016 ,2017 to really master what is still their current game plan
    So to be clear at the end of that three years the aim would to be at a level where Dublin and Kerry have been at.
    So no more of the playing down to our opponents level. No more exposed full backline. No more stuttering individual attacks.
    That’s not transformable in one year, year two making a lot of progress, year three close to mastered, start of year four it is mastered and now we add young 20 year old talents into the mix joining a mature setup.

  99. It would be great if Kilmeena play Jack Carney full forward this season. He has shown massive potential there in the last 3 games, probably his first ever experience of the position? Only turned 21 a few months ago so has the potential to really learn and grow into the role.

    Ryan and Tommy will improve the forwards but both are on the small side. Every team needs a balance and Jack gives you that.

  100. JP – I accept that but Kerry transformed their defense in 6 months. Dooher/Logan turned Darren McCurry from a flakey corner forward into one of the best around. I don’t think there’s huge change required to our panel. Just some fresh ideas.

  101. A bit like Knockmore in the Connacht Championship earlier this year. You won’t really win too many games with 12+ wides, regardless of opposition. They created plenty of opportunities on the day but had left the kicking boots at home. They had a few injuries to key players too.

  102. Dave Johnston, I’m quite entitled to be delighted to see Aidan kicking that score yesterday. I’m sure too that you understand the context of the feeling I have about it. You know as well as I how people have questioned the man’s ability and how his spirits must have flagged under it. This was a moment of bravery and achievement – to take on the shot – from distance too – and nail it.
    If you feel differently, so be it.
    I’m not saying you should be happy with Aidan’s point for the day out. How that can be read into my post is odd.
    I feel worse after this defeat than last September’s. Then I felt we only had a 50% chance of winning so a defeat didn’t upset me unduly.
    Yesterday’s was galling because we didn’t score in over twenty minutes. We are more professional than that or should be.

  103. @wide ball, Think we’re in agreement on that
    Year one I’d be expecting a huge improvement in defence and goals conceded.
    Can be done in one year.

  104. It’s a real disappointment that Ciaran McDonald’s presence there hasn’t improved our forward play. The county board need to acknowledge this. Perhaps the current management project has come to a natural end. We’re limited in terms of ability in our forwards (especially with injuries) but for some reason we’re still underperforming. Many of our misses were scoreable. Same old story. Groundhog day surely, as one poster said. Why is there such a lack of confidence?

    It’s not just management who might be considering their future with Mayo. Sad to say but I suspect a few of the older lads will move aside, due to a mixture of mileage, injuries, age, psychological damage (from inability to get over the line). Time now to begin a proper rebuild over next 5 years, including developing some of those promising Minors.

    Not laying blame on one player, but Kevin’s goal miss was symbolic of our frustrations. A 80:20 chance to hit the back of the net at a crucial time, but he fails. I can cite numerous other examples of players doing similar in big matches. It’s even more infuriating given Carr was benched to accommodate Kevin, despite the Knockmore man having a truly awful year. These are the millimetres. I hope that wasn’t blind loyalty on James’s part.

    But look, Kerry missed goals too, but they (Kerry) were there for the taking and if we’d took our chances in the third quarter it may have set up a wonderful last few minutes.

    Mayo supporters are officially burnt out. Whether that’s right or wrong, i dont know, but it’s a fact.

  105. Someone may be able to correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t recall our shooting being as bad under Stephen Rochford as it has in the past few seasons. Yes our personnel has changed slightly but Horan’s teams seem far too inclined to take on a low percentage shot in comparison to other teams?

    Although having said that, teams in general have worked out how to play against us and its not very complicated. Clog the middle, force us wide or backwards and watch us kick wide after wide from silly angles – it worked perfectly for Galway this year.

  106. Unstoppable – Galway had us well figured out during Rochford’s time. Don’t think we ever got more than 12 or 13 scores against them. I remember the qualifier against Derry in 2017 too. We missed an ocean of chances before Loftus got the goal.

  107. Wide Ball, very true and it shows the blinkers the memory can play! He never beat Galway actually, 0 from 3.

    But I do think he had a better ability to squeeze every last bit out of us in the bigger games and I don’t think his side ever put in a flat performance in the three finals (replay included). Horan’s teams on the other hand have never played to their potential in these games.

  108. The Rochford Connaught and qualifier struggles were on small or crap provincial surfaces and often in bad weather.
    Once we were in Croker we were almost always transformed.
    The kicking was better, Andy was part of that as a target man am shooter.
    Cillian, Diarmuid, Andy and Conor Loftus. That was four forwards with good technique receiving the ball quicker and in space compared to the current tactics.

  109. Pebblesmeller comments
    “Yesterdays result was what I expected, but the manner of the defeat is harder to take because we blew our chance and I didn’t think we’d even be in with a chance! There will be huge regret in the days ahead, for that shockingly inept 15 minute period in front of the posts. We quiet literally kicked it away. I was amazed that we had so many chances but some senior players really shit on their shirt tails with terrible shot selection and execution. Ruane dropped one terribly short and rushed to swipe another one wide. Cillian fluffed two gimmes and Diarmuid was almost equally at fault. I counted 5 very scorable chances that we messed up in that period, a period when we were on top, and, a time in the game that could have brought Kerry to the point where we would really see if they had the gut for the fight. Sadly, although we had them on the end of the hook, we let them off. They tapped over 3 or 4 points and all of a sudden the gap was 5 and the game was gone.

    In truth, we’ve been running on empty since the start of the season. Injuries are part and parcel of the game but our injury list definitely requires further investigation. Surely someone somewhere is carrying out an analysis on what the hell has gone wrong with our injury prevention, our S&C workloads on the players, the RPE figures and recovery rates? They can’t ALL be freakish impact injuries? Closer liasion with clubs and colleges might have helped but, we know by now, that Horan doesn’t do communication with anyone, fans included, outside the “team environment”. Undoubtedly our hard running, intense style of play is attritional on the body and that doesn’t help.

    There will be much discussion over the next few months with regards to which players/coaches might step away, and if Horan himself will want to stay, or, if the county board will look elsewhere instead of extending his contract (given the way the CB operate and Tuohys fawning to Horan I don’t expect this to happen). Herein lies the crucial point! I have shown my cards on here on Horan and why I feel he should have stepped away after last Septembers horror show v Tyrone. In fact, regardless of him having another year left in his term the county board should have “encouraged” him to step away. No other county with serious ambitions of winning an All Ireland is being led by someone who has lost 4 of them. This is nothing personnal against Horan, it’s just the plain fact that the same voice, preaching the same message, using the same tactics which ultimately are flawed and not progressive enough to win it all, is not going to able to bring the freshness and innovative thinking we need to keep us among the top 3 counties in the country.
    As highlighted above we have the bones of an excellent squad, many players <25 yrs old, and few reaching their peak of 28, and even O'Shea (who I thought had one of his better days yesterday) and Cillian are 31 and 30 respectively so there's more thread on their tyres yet. I'd expect McLoughlin, Doherty and Harrision to call it a day. I fear that Keegan may too. Of those, only Keegan would be an irreplaceable loss. In Mullin, Durcan, Ruane, Conroy and O'Donoghue we players who would get in to any other side and should be the spine of ours for the forseeable future. Add in those listed above and it's a talented, committed squad who anyone would kill to work with.

    What we need now is a different voice on the sideline, someone with fresh ideas, innovative tactics, someone who won't keep dynamic, hugely athletic players like Keegan and Mullin caged back in the full back line, someone who will bring a different attacking style and shape to our offense so we get our forwards in space in the scoring zone – not hitting 40/60 efforts from the channels or swingers from 50m out! We need a clear role for O'Shea that will get the best out of him. We need Durcan, Keegan and Diarmuid O'Connor to sit out the FBD and the first 3 rounds of the league – they need rest and recovery.
    When you see the immediate impact that Gallagher has made in Derry, O'Connor in Kerry and last year in Tyrone with Dooher, it's obvious that we don't need a 5 year plan or anything like it. No more than club management, any manager that's around for longer than 3 years and the message gets diluted, things get stale. It's only natural. There are exceptions like O'Dwyer, Boylan and Gavin but Horan isn't in their league so shouldn't get the patience that they were afforded."

    Great post as usual. I agree with a lot of what you said.
    A lot of great servants to Mayo on that panel, they dont owe anybody a thing. The time and dedication they have put in has been incredible. That also goes for James Horan, he has elevated Mayo to be a very serious contender during his eight years. We just need a little more variety and skill in our forwards.
    Personally, I have not gotten over last years all-ireland defeat. We were simply out coached, and tactically we were inept. I feel it is time for a change on the sideline. We have a very decent panel and are a top 4/6 team, we need some to get us over the line. It would have to be a very strong manager, that the players would buy into not vice versa.
    I would offer it to Jim McGuinness.
    Lastly, any young fella U12 U14 who has asperations to play for Mayo should be told you need to be comfortable with both feet, simple but a vital trait needed.

  110. Its not been a good year but there is hope. I’m saddened by the supporters imploding but I get it and currently money is tight and priorities have to be considered. I have often said here that we accept mediocrity and applauded defeat and it might not be any harm for the county board to see that like Kerry Fans or Dublin fans that we want to see a better return for the resources being spent. Whether we like it or not the buck stops with management. Jim Gavins military background taught him that you can have individually the best people in your corp but if you cannot mould them into a cohesive unit then the weakest link will be what brings you down. Look back on the league game against Dublin. A unit, a team. What went wrong after that? We have not had a set bedded down team since then. JH may been an unlucky general this year but we were been told for the last 2 years about the amazing panel available, largest in years so its hard to understand. Last years final has poisoned us but lets not make that define a decade. That said, we need to be realistic. The rot has been showing since 2018 and our wild pot shot kicking didn’t start yesterday.

  111. injuries to key players killed us this year, Tommy Conroy’s pace and acceleration was greatly missed, oconnor brothers not fully fit, missing 2 marquee forwards, a point scoring back and 4 other players yesterday. Would Kerry have won without Clifford and Sean OShea in their ranks? That was our lot, missing 2 key players.

  112. Yes, Kerry would have won without Clifford and OShea in their ranks. We wouldn’t have won with Clifford and OShea in our ranks and Kerry missing those two. That’s how ineffective our defensive and attacking tactics are.

  113. For a short period yesterday in the 2nd half, I thought that Mayo were going to go on and win the game. They had taken what Kerry had and were dominating possession. Scoring under pressure has always been the Achilles heel for Mayo but it would have been very interesting if they had managed to convert some of those chances they created . It is hard to imagine that a county the size of Mayo with the number of clubs that they cannot produce enough opportunist forwards instead of relying on defenders to win games. No other county expects their defenders to defend, man mark, launch attacks and score as much as Mayo.

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