Jose Mourinho fascinates me. Never a player of note, Jose started out as Bobby Robson’s translator at Barcelona. The rest is history. Like most ultra successful people, Jose has the bully’s streak. His great achievements come, often, tainted with cheapness. His treatment of the Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro smacked of chauvinistic boorishness. His undoubted brilliance comes tainted with a price.

Correctly identifying Alex Ferguson as the biggest threat in the school yard a few years ago but not having the balls to challenge him, Jose instead took aim at the next biggest threat, Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger. The Professor is many of the things Jose is not. Mourinho cleverly couldn’t attack the Arsenal boss’s methods or standing. Instead he described Wenger as a voyeur. It was a broad stroke, leaving the listener to decide exactly what was meant. It certainly cast Wenger in a new light.

Mayo the footballing county attracts voyeurs. The recent managerial contretemps had a few of the usual suspects sharpening the pencils. So let’s make a few things clear to non-Mayo footballing people. There is nobody harder on Mayo GAA than Mayo people. There are none more critical than Mayo people. Contrary to popular opinion, we are actually aware of our shortcomings. Contrary to popular opinion we try and rectify them. Also what happens within Mayo concerns nobody but its own citizens … ok?

Over the years a number of thorns have pressed the Mayo flesh. The Sunday Game’s Colm O’Rourke and Joe Brolly have been scathing about Mayo. Not alone scathing but deeply personal in the treatment meted out to Ciaran McDonald and Conor Mortimer in particular regarding their dress mode and sartorial style. The ringmasters, Cahill and Canning, indulged them with smirks. Martin Breheny seems to take a big interest in us. Galway hurlers are now on their second attempt to unseat Anthony Cunningham. This has nothing to do with us but Breheny has coupled the two counties together and branded the players over their cheek at seeking betterment.

Martin would do well to recall that the Mayo players have moved on from that particular impasse, their managers were removed and Galway’s isn’t. No need to reference us, Martin. However it’s Eugene McGee that beats the tired old tin once more. First of all thanks to blogs like this one as well as Twitter, Facebook etc. the likes of old men writing tired rubbish are redundant. The only difference between us and McGee is that he gets a fat cheque for his opinions. We don’t but ours are equally relevant. Naturally Eugene has cut at us this week.

Citing the fact that we have reached five successive semi-finals and winning “only” two of them, McGee seems blinded by his bile. Reaching five successive All-Ireland semi-finals in a county like Longford, Cavan or Offaly would be seen as success. Five times being in the top four counties in Ireland merits a bit more than an “only”, Eugene. The first three years of Mayo’s last four appearances saw them take out the previous year’s winners. The last four semi-finals saw them win two and lose the finals; the latter two semis saw two replays plus an extra-time. The last four All-Ireland champions have had to beat Mayo at the penultimate or ultimate stage, Mr McGee. Thats not “only” , that’s not failure if we were to contrast with the counties listed above that he had connections with. Driving through them you might be hit by the tumbleweed blowing thorough their GAA pitches.

The Mayo players are actually the only ones who can tell what’s lacking, what came up short over the last five years. They tried the noble way of getting the message across. They didn’t leak to the press; it wasn’t them that had Marty Morrissey in MacHale Park doing a vox pop with Martin Carney. They have every right to do what they deem necessary in that drive. Be in no doubt those voyeurs that watch us, we will be the first to scream blue murder if things go pear-shaped.

I watched a beautiful interview on Second Captains with that deep soul Ciaran McDonald. Replying to a question about being berated by the media and why the likes of O’Rourke and Brolly were allowed to pour scorn on him, McDonald replied “because they knew I wouldn’t challenge them”. I found that moment moving, Ciaran was a class above crass. And McDonald typifies Mayo people: decent, mannerly and good-natured. They listen to shit hurled at them, smart comments from so-called experts. And like McDonald, they, in the main, let it flow over.

However, I note the silence by certain writers when it comes to looking at other counties. Did those scribes think that Cormac Reilly had a good day in Limerick last year? Colm O’Rourke to his credit lambasted that performance. Did any of them comment when a Mayo player’s boot was tossed into the crowd that day? Any deep opinion, lads, on the “alleged” head-butt O’Shea got from Philly, any comment on Donaghy’s eye-gouging by the same player? Go back a bit” any opinion on John Finn’s jaw being broken, culprit free to this day?

You see, it’s easy to bash Mayo. You won’t bump into their players around Independent Head Office or nearby watering holes. And yet this is the team the played Dublin, not Kerry mind you, not Donegal, not Tyrone … no, Mayo, who sold out not one but two semi-finals within seven days. They must be doing something right, boys.

Thirty-two counties will set fire to hard earned cash from January on. No-one begrudges them, it’s called dream chasing. All will play in the same competition but out of the thirty-two, realistically only Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Donegal, Tyrone and one bolter have a hope.

Out of the above five or six, Dublin stand ahead, Mayo and Kerry next. That’s realism. Kicking bodies that aren’t interested in kicking back is easy; Eugene McGee has spent the last twenty-five years slicing Mayo. The truth is simpler: Mayo might never win another All-Ireland, Eugene, but they are a damn sight closer than twenty-eight other counties, particularly your own county of Longford, and the two counties you managed as well, Cavan and Offaly.

The facts are plain, over the last five seasons Mayo have hovered between two and three in the rankings. We all can carp. I have – I demand, I’m angry at what I perceive at times as shortcomings, anyone reading my two-pence worth here over the years knows that. But I come with one important caveat … I’m a Mayo man and like all Mayo people I can comment about us because I am emotionally part of the Green and Red. Those that aren’t of us sure think twice before trying to figure us.

Mayo the people and the county suffered most during the Famine of ’48. The county lost half its populace through death and migration. The awful 1930s and ‘50s saw further mass movement of Mayo people, across the nation and across the world. Maybe, just maybe, to Mayo people, football, particularly Gaelic football, is there to be enjoyed, that having suffered dark days, they can see sport for what it really is, manly, honest and fair, not tainted with butts or gouging, sledging or win at all costs. Perhaps if other counties had Mayo’s perceived issues, fairer writers than McGee might deem the last five years for us as five magical ones.

162 thoughts on “Knockers

  1. Never one of your fans John, actually far from it but that piece is the most sincere article I’ve read from yourself, and I’ll give you good praise for it! Perhaps I sense optimism in you yet?

  2. Good stuff. Yes the culprit that broke John Finn’s jaw in 85 in a vicious attack, still walks the streets today a free man, having never served a single day of a stretch in the nick.

  3. Incredible writing, John. Defiant and proud … one of the best articles I’ve ever read by yourself (and that’s saying something).

  4. John, excellent as usual I dont always agree with you but I certainly always respect you,keep it up and hopefully we will be there at corick bridge to welcome the cup into erris

  5. My favourite of the many pieces of yours that I have read John.

    Boys pull together, in all kinds of weather…

  6. I don’t know. I don’t even worry about what these guys are writing. I go to the matches myself, FBD, Challenges, league and championship. I go to club games and training and underage games and I read WJs excellent blog. I don’t need Eugene or Colm or Joe or O’Se to analyse the games for me. I can do it myself. I don’t care what non Mayo people think. I only care for The Neale and Mayo. I have no sympathy for other teams. I dont worship other teams. Let them at it. What does it matter to us. Keyboard prostitutes.

  7. good article John – 3 quick comments
    – It’s always better to be talked about than not talked about :). 5 years ago lots of people outside Mayo probably didn’t know who our Manager was, Couldn’t have named 5 players. We are firmly at the ‘big boys’ table since 2012 thus the extent of the interest.
    – The spite voiced against Mayo on various forums is actually a complement of sorts. If we really weren’t a threat to take down Dublin or Kerry next year – people wouldn’t even bother to comment.
    – I am a big believer in the ‘siege mentality’ ‘everyone’s against us’. The player’s have that in spades now. Recent events will drive them on in 2016.

  8. Fair play John.excellent piece of writing.I hope the McGee’s,O’Rourke’s of this world look at this blog…they might learn a thing or 2 about our great county’s tradition in Gaelic football and show a little well earned respect

  9. That really was great stuff John, fair play.

    Just compare McGee’s piece with that of BJ Padden.
    Now I’m not just saying this because I agree with BJP (and because McGee is a tool), but he was involved with Mayo teams in the recent past and knows what he’s talking about.

    Fair enough, he may have allegiances to some of the players, but at least he can talk about the subject from a position of knowledge.
    McGee is just a dinosaur from a by-gone day that he still clearly yearns for.

  10. Lovely stuff john. Mayo are laughed at by some but even the likes of Dublin will not relish having to face Mayo in 2016,at any stage. I feel that Mayos senior team has taken it upon themselves to trample over anyone that gets in their way, management first, opponents next and I wager that if the players get the right manager ( which of course they will) that they will aim for league title straight off the bat and then think about summer. Don’t worry about Martin carney and these type fellas, worry about getting your ass out to the league and championship games and getting a good big Mayo flag outside the house.

  11. Great article John. That’s really put the fire back in me belly! We, as supporters of this great team, really have to get behind them now. Now more than ever!

  12. Thank you for this piece, John, it’s absolutely magic!! Stirred up the emotions no end. I wouldn’t wish for a second to be anything other than from Mayo and following this team, despite the disappointment that we are all still feeling.
    I’m proud to say that my brother flew from overseas for both semi-finals and it was special sitting beside him and sharing the experiences. He made nothing of it and was working again both Monday mornings which was no easy task let me tell you. It was our Mayo team and Mayo football that made both those brilliant occasions possible. If we made the final we’d decided that we were going to fly the youngest fella over!! 😉

    When I reflect on all the great days we’ve had as supporters, and the not-so-great, the joys and special memories definitely trump the sadness. There is sill an aching void from the obvious and there will of course be times when we are not happy with how things are going and questions of all sorts will be asked.
    But we’ll all continue to keep moving towards the same goal together and let the others all look on!!!
    It they don’t like what they see, perhaps it means we’re doing something right.

  13. So good I read it twice!Thanks for that John.. And not a mention of the word rubicon !!! If I never hear that word again it will be too soon..

  14. Dec. Play the ball not the man. My tuppence John, a very enjoyable piece. Fair play to you.

  15. Top class piece John, well done, really enjoyed it. I know what you mean about knockers, sure you have one of your own.

  16. Dec if you think that John C is a loser….bitter….mother on the sideline then you have not read any of his previous writings.I suggest you do.

  17. Great piece John Cuffe, so true
    Brolly is a smart ass guy, slagging off
    Ciaran Mc. He should go see the man
    train or work.It would make him feel like
    the cowardly boy he is. He would not lace his boots. More cheap shots at the
    gooch Cooper another sporting genius.
    These Mayo guys have being ridiculed
    to often. They have made us proud to support them. They will have their day of that there is no doubt.
    Remember we never got out of Connacht in the 70’s. They were the tough years.
    Roll on 2016

  18. Excellent article, John. I say that despite not often agreeing with you in the past.
    McGee has been dining on his Offaly win ever since, forgetting his later managerial efforts in Cavan and Longford which as I recall were quite short. Did he lack heart and/or patience in dealing with teams which did not have any outstanding players? Or did those counties realise that there was little substance to the man and cut their losses? Ever since he has found it easier to dine off past glory than to work at the coalface.
    O’Rourke has never had the courage to take the Meath job although he was Meath supporters “great white hope” for years.

  19. Great piece John. I would have disagreed with much you have written in the past but i must say you have nailed it this time.
    Fcuk the lot of them! We ll have a rattle at it again next year and youd never know what might happen! And fair play to the team for putting their necks on the line. They certainly are not lacking in the courage department and thats for sure.
    Hon Mayo

  20. Excellant , well said john from a tabhain na hultaigh man to a fodh dubh man ………

  21. I’ve never commented on your other posts John, as to be honest I thought you ramble and maybe show off a bit.

    But I have to say, that was a brilliant read. Fair play Sir, you’ve summed up my feelings and 3 others here in a car (whom iv read it out loud to). Great piece, hats off to you.

  22. Dec Says. You must be a new kid on the block. You don’t know me son and don’t ever compare me to some mother of a 7 year old. My opinions of Mayo and winning are fairly widely known on this blog.

  23. I’ve come to this site this evening after listening to Martin Brehony talk unadulterated rubbish on Newstalk. Fair play to Woollie who wouldn’t accept it from him. I then read the Indo article and my blood boiled.

    John, I don’t always agree with your views, but this evening, all I can say is thank you sincerely for a fantastic piece of writing. It says everything and much more than I was shouting at the radio and texting to the programme.

    Even though I am old enough to remember the Galway 3 in a row, I cannot understand the journalists and commentators of my generation and younger seeming to peddle the type of “Croppie Lie Down” view point. How they believe that intelligent articulate amateur players may not have an opinion on the organisation, leadership and communication policies of the Co Board and of team managements; how they seem to think that players are expected to do as they are told even when they know from bitter experience that better is required – that amazes me.

    I sincerely hope that, when the current situation is rectified and we are back supporting this wonderful group of players on the field again, the players carefully choose to whom they give interviews. The list of whom they should avoid is growing by the week!

  24. Ah John….
    I must say you are a scribe of the truest nature and also to all the other excellent posters on this beautiful blog.
    The comments in general are always written with deep thought and from well informed, passionate and true, loyal MAYO supporters….
    I’d put my green and red jersey on it that nothing of this quality exists in 31 other counties.
    It’s my first time to post on here but while the winter closes in are we not fortunate in some way to still feel compelled to be so deeply committed to our cause..
    The knockers we have….Don’t mind them! They’re just jealous how our fabulous players keep coming for more punishment year after year and never seem to lose the hunger for battle..
    When the mayo gaa blog went quiet for a couple of days you knew what’s next was gonna be good….
    It’s like the bible against drivel written by the aforementioned gobshites mentioned above…..Top class everyone…keep it up… That door will be broken down soon…….

  25. Dec, you’ve just proved John’s point, picking on an easy target. As much and all as you similar to Brolly and O’Rourke and co in that respect, there’s a fundamental difference: at least they have some balls and speak openly without the protection of a pseudonym and don’t troll a supporters’ blog and post nasty comments.

  26. I don’t agree with your opinion Dec but you are indeed entitled to it for me the last 5 years were fantastic going to Dublin in August and September with real hope and confidence in our team I ok we didn’t win Sam but we will one day we are on the right track once again well done John Cuffe

  27. John your article is admirably full of passion and I get that!
    But after reading it, I wonder what was its goal.
    It omits or deliberately skirts the self inflicted crisis that has engulfed the Mayo football program. Time to face reality! its not McGee or Breheny, Brolly or O’Rourke that’s the problem..its our selves and the sooner we face up to it that reality and stop cribbin about what others think or write of us, the better!
    I usually agree with you POV but not on this one John.

  28. On another forum, someone reckoned that Mc Gee is a ” closet Rossie”, very rarely criticising them, even if they need a good criticising.

  29. Yes I’m serious, stating most of piece loser talk is total BS and was a predictable, cheap, easy put-down, just like O’Rourke etc. John balances what he is saying by acknowledging the anger that is felt and that we won’t settle for second best. His other pieces will enlighten you a little more on that front and may help you to see the context of this article more clearly.

  30. Dec – I’ve only now seen your series of comments this evening, which break several rules on commenting here. There’s the one about not attacking or offending others who post here (rule 3), improper use of the English language (e.g. “should of” – arrgh!, rule 5), playing the person and not the ball (rule 6), inventing a motivation for what someone else has said (e.g. “that’s loser talk”, rule 7) and trash-talking others (rule 8). That’s quite a charge sheet, enough to land you on moderation watch for a while. The short version of all this is that you shouldn’t come on here and act like an arse towards others. I know this is the online world but this bit of it aims to be a tad more civilised than elsewhere so if you want to continue commenting here you’ll need to bear this in mind and act accordingly. This doesn’t mean, by the way, that you can’t disagree with others or criticise what they have to say but it does mean you have to at least make an effort to do so in an intelligent manner.

    All – this particular debate (i.e. the one instigated by Dec) is now over.

  31. Great article,
    No need to make Cavan, Longford and Offaly collateral damage, the already had enough to put up with with McGee

  32. Sorry about the should of, I missed that day in English class.. I probably should have read the rules first.. I should have never of used the words loser talk just wrote without thinking but I definitely should have thought.. I only made 2 smart comments in my first post but you deleted them all, there was nothing bad minded in any of the rest of them.. I could pick out plenty of examples of improper use of the English language but you single out mine.. Anyway my apologies to John for my comments and I do enjoy this blog so I’ll tone it down from now on and learn some good proper English before I post again..

  33. I really think that too many of us are beginning to get a bit over sensitive if anyone writes anything bad about our senior team. I mean they are paid to write articles and as we had a player revolt then of course they are going to write about it. Why do we have this mentality that everyone is out to do us wrong?

    Im also not sure how a article written by McGee is linked to the football fortunes of Cavan, Offaly and Longford. Its a long time since he had anything to do with those counties and those players didnt have a revolt so why would he write about it. The tumbleweed comment is a bit much as im sure the players in those counties are just as commented to their jerseys and also Cavan won 4 U21 title in a row in Ulster recently which shows some football quality in that county.

    A poster here also made reference to McGee not critising our neighbouring county even if they needed it. Is that comment not a complete contradiction of this entire post. We feel picked upon if we are critised but it would be ok if another county was critised. This is a fantastic blog for true GAA supporters so different opinions are very helpful. I totally understand the concept of not playing the man but some posters here have done that with some of their comments about McGee Brolly and O’Rourke. We should be more mature to know that paper doesnt refuse ink? Why do we get so annoyed about it. U know that this will happen until Mayo win the All-Ireland and if we fail in 2016 then the press will have a right go at the players.

    I dont care what is written about Mayo GAA in the papers. If you dont like it then dont buy the papers or read it. Go to the matches and support the team and then you know exactly what is going on. On a lighter note I think Castlebar will the championship. Keep up the good work WJ. Also keep writing on the guest slot John. Great admiration for you even if I dont always agree.

  34. Great article again by John Cuffe. The last five years have been the most enjoyable of my life as a Mayo supporter and the players have earned the right to demand what they see as necessary to get over the line. If this does not happen, it will not diminish my admiration and thanks for what they have done.

  35. That’s fine, Dec, I’m sure John will appreciate the apology. I deleted all the comments as the row was just escalating and I wanted to end it. On the ‘should of’ issue, you’re not the only offender, far from it. For what it’s worth, I never enjoy invoking the rules but unless I do the level of debate wouldn’t be the same so thanks for understanding this.

  36. 2016 is the year to celebrate the uprising. And by all accounts the uprising feeling is spreading, first by the defiant players who all ready have created a deep siege mentality of “is feidir linn”, second sign is this article is top drawer, people stick the boot in on Mayo because history says they won’t climb Everest and call them out for calling us weak. Deep down people begrudge Mayo, the never say die spirit, the eternal optimism and the “we will rise again” attitude is so powerful it gets under Eugene McGee and Co’s skin so they just try kicking us again. This winter the battle plans will be drawn and the spirit of the uprisers is growing #mayorebellion2016

  37. Would think thats you best ever article JC Well done on that Have found myself disagreeing with you on some issues in the past but have admired your honesty and passion throughout.Listened to Breheny make a fool of himself on Newstalk this evening. Felt Parkinson really exposed him for the dinosaur he is. Really wish these experts from outside the county would dry up as they have no idea whats gone on in county team this last year. Only the players and former management know that and in fairness both the players and P and N have behaved in a very dignified manner these past few weeks no major bloodletting no hurling of abuse at each other etc despite the best efforts of some media experts to stir it up. Brehony and his cronies have no divine right to know what exactly were the issues in Mayo and Galway no more than we the public have a divine right to know what are the issues that make Brehony and McGee two bitter men with pens in hands trying to make themselves seem important.

  38. No need for apologies. I’ve been on the bold step myself. We don’t lack the passion and that’s what matters.

  39. Haven’t listened to breheny yet, it’s the 13 euro I lashed out for his shite book on one of Ireland’s greatest sportsmen Brian Cody that’s putting me off.

    As for McGee he has earned his right to pontificate in the national media, but he has also earned the right to be called out on it when he spouts rubbish, which is pretty much every article of his I have read over the last five years.

    Well done John for an enjoyable piece. You can’t beat a bit of John Cuffe, I don’t always agree but I always enjoy. Maybe easy on those weaker counties John, we were dining at the kids table a while ourselves. Happily no more.

  40. This Mayo team may not [yet] have won Sam but they have established a unique record in coming back again and again despite defeat and disappointment. Four years in a row they have been beaten by the ultimate winners and still they come back. That takes guts and courage. No other team can compare. And by their recent actions they have shown that they are not finished yet.

  41. That’s a great article WJ. The essence of great gaa fans and the game we love.

    I have no love for mayo. As a “neutral” I have supported them a handful of times. The 85 replay, 96 all ireland, the 2013 SF and final. This years semis. There is a correlation there with either age or the current crop of mayo players. In the 97 final I was in the old canal either and laughed condescendingly as McDonald missed a few handy frees….when I watched him become the player he did I am embarrassed about that day. He is a player I would pay to watch everyday and that is the beauty of not being a mayo fan… Isaw how great he was, enjoyed it and didn’t have the baggage of caring about the result….like watching Connor, Fitzgerald, canavan, gooch…and KMc deserves his place among that pantheon…AI medal or not! My admiration for Andy Moran as balls and guts of highest level is documented here already.

    I still have no love for “Mayo”. I am one of your ” voyuers” that u refer too! And indeed I don’t even wish ye that much luck…generally speaking…but as u have alluded to and lee Keegan said very clearly…ye don’t need anyone’s support or sympathy…and fair play…2016 is the only thing we all care about now.

  42. Martin Brehony should carry a 2 penalty points offence for anyone caught listening to him while driving. And Eugene McGee I would think a even higher penalty at 3 points. That might stop us listening to them.
    was driving and listening to Brehony on Newstalk Off The Ball earlier and got so infuriated listening to him – even with his totally predictable ‘how dare the players” views – I could have lost control and caused an accident. “I’m sorry judge but Martin Brehony interfered with my concentration for a brief few seconds until i bumped the car ahead of me”. How would the justice look on that line of defence?

    In fairness as already commented on in an earlier post Woolly, fair play to him, was challenging his stance but he has a very old fashioned view of the modern game.
    Great piece John – you’re not the only one infuriated by the poor quality lazy journalism and punditry that gets into print and on the airwaves. It’s not just saying that with Mayo in mind – I think there’s evidence of it all over the place. Mayo gets more than it’s share but that’s only because we are up there and easy subject matter to fill a few paragraphs without having think to hard.

  43. Well that has perked me up, was heading for the bed and decided I’d see what the latest news was and now I’m rearing to go – when does the fbd start!! The thing I love about mayo and mayo people is the hope and that we feel it deeply, each win is joy and each loss is heartache, and when we do get knocked down we get to our feet and roar again. We are privileged to have such a team represent us and maybe we will never win the bloody thing (and I sincerely hope we do win it) but I for one am proud to be from mayo. On the knockers don’t mind them, a wise man once said fuck the begrudgers. We’ll do our own thing and probably do it the hard way but that’s our way. UP MAYO

  44. I was in tears reading this John excellent altogether , we are a strange lot but proud defiant loyal and relentless !!

  45. Thats a very well written piece John, fair play to you. Your a very talented writer.

  46. Great piece but very misleading headline title, i was expecting to see Sam Fox or Linda Lusardi in their hay day

  47. Great piece John. The title of this article is apt in more way than one. It’s the tits in the media that would get you down. Paper never refused ink and no doubt the hacks in the media were overjoyed that they had something to write about during the silly season.

    Most of the commentary around the player heave has missed the mark. Eugene and Martin and Colum have been busy arguing against strawmen, this idea that the players blame the management and not themselves for all the losses over the years and that the Mayo public has lost all respect for them. Good players don’t make excuses and get on with it, etc etc.

    Well keeping it short – to hell with what all the begrudgers think and if the players who give up so much of lives strongly believe that change was needed then all power to them. Maybe it’s this kind of ruthlessness that’s needed.

  48. Some great comments on this post. Heimat I’m in stitches reading that. Peteen, yours invoked a similar response. And always mayo, you’ve nailed it.

  49. John Cuffe. A gifted wordsmith who tells it like it is and calls a spade a spade.

    Is it true that Martin Breheny and Eugene McGee each have a sign stuck to them saying

    “Dont operate machinery or drive, while listening to this man or reading what he writes”.

    I never knew that. Must be a heavy cross to carry for the two of them.

  50. Jose Mourinho may not have challenged Alex Ferguson as the post suggests, but posters might be interested in an upcoming documentary on BBC 1 (Sunday 10:30pm) on the same Alex, sorry Sir Alex.

    This documentary, with ex political editor Nick Robinson interviewing, promises to reveal “how he stayed at the top of his profession for so long and, crucially, how best to motivate, discipline and inspire people”.

    Might be something there for the next Mayo manager to ponder.

  51. Heimat I almost crashed car also shouting at the radio !! But Willie Joe’s lesson on how to use this blog had me in raptures thank you Willie Joe! 🙂

  52. Regarding Mayo footballers and Galway hurlers, Martin Breheny seems to think less of players when they refuse to pillory, denigrate and specify faults in their management for public consumption.
    It’s a bizarre opinion to hold.
    Even for Martin

  53. Don’t read or listen to any of the crap from so called Journalists. Don’t need to, everything required on this Blog. Onwards and upwards. Hon Mayo!

  54. On that specific point about the players not providing details publicly about their issues with management, Ed McGreal in the Mayo News this week made a very valid case for not doing so by referencing the 1992 heave (which, incidentally, Pat Holmes was also involved in, though that time on the players’ side). As Ed pointed out, that player revolt was at the time (and will be forever more) associated with the pushing the car round the carpark issue, which was used to lampoon Brian McDonald’s methods and justify the move against him. Ed questioned whether or not there was any benefit in everything to do with this heave being similarly associated with one particular incident. The nationals would love for sure to have stuff like that to write at length about but it would only serve to denigrate Pat and Noel. Far better keep that stuff behind closed doors where it belongs.

  55. Indeed Brian McDonald got a very unfair pasting back then. The so called pushing the cars episode was actually a fun thing that they all bought into on the night. Only later did it take a more sinister aspect. The players have done well. A closed mouth often saves smashed teeth, sorry for the example , it sounds better in Irish .

    Go Johno63 silim go bfuil aithne agam ort agus do clan. Bhi aithne maith agam ar do athair. Mo trua dibh uilig ar a cailuinth anuraigh.

  56. Heave! How appropriate that word is, in the context of MacDonald’s 1992 training methods.

  57. Great piece John, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A realistic, yet optimistic view on things. WJ, I am a huge fan, but regarding the use of proper English, I have to say that bringing up the difference between ‘should have’ or ‘should of’ etc is a little unfair. This is a great outlet for all to express honest options, and I don’t think there should be any bias or prejudice based on ones writing ability. For example, my father probably has some of the best ideas and views on Mayo Gaa, but his command of written English may not be perfect. I’d hate to imagine this deterring him from expressing his views. I do agree though that use of some ‘text language’ to be deemed unacceptable to some degree.

  58. The pushing cars thing in 1992 was actually very modern fitness.
    There are current Olympians and professional athletes in a range of disciplines who would do what weighted sled pushes. You get the same by pushing a car.
    From the soles of your feet to your jaw muscles and all in between you are working hard. Great for developing coordinated total body power rather than sitting on yer back doing bench presses. Much more functional than a lot of weight training. You add a competitive element by doing relays or timed runs etc.

  59. John Cuffe,
    You have represented me in your piece. That’s the highest compliment I can pay you today.

  60. Interesting piece John, I too find Euegene McGee, Martin Carney, Brolly, Colm O Rourke tiresome and boring. But I blame myself for reading the Bullshit. It’s like this you hear some or other politician droning on repeating some half truth mantra on prime time, another politician gives his contrary tuppence worth, the debate descends into trivallity. When these people are paid for opinion, they give their funambulist opinion. They won’t rock the boat. McGee had been on many Croke Park committees, getting paid expenses, getting paid for his converseritive opinion. Have you ever heard McGee ,Carney, Brolly or O’Rourke trail against the cancer of “Tuggery” in GAA . match’s. . What did O Rourke say about his own nephew’s actions in the match V Westmeath. He said and I paraphrase, The Gardai should get involved when some gave abuse to his nephew on social media. True they should, but what about an unprovoked “assault” on a GAA pitch by Paddy O Rourke . When have any of them taken up the cudial against the over complicated, many layered and totally imeffectual disciplinary committees in the GAA. Ah no they won’t, they just go on being their boorish, boring selves. All the time giving due respect to those in authority that help to have them where they are!

  61. The way I see the problem with the media (outside of our own local journalists) at the moment, is that they have no information at all to work on.
    They’re basing all of their assumptions on the players ousting the managers, so “player power” etc…

    If they actually knew the facts behind why they did what they did, I’m sure their opinion would be different (well, in some cases anyway).
    But I’m glad they don’t know the facts. This was an internal matter between the players and the management and latterly the county board. The players did not want any of this made public.
    I’m guessing here, but I can’t imagine that the leak came from the players, more than likely it was a member of the county board or possibly one of the management team.
    Again, not the players fault.

    The national media are in a tizzy because they have no discernible facts on the root causes of this.
    Fools like McGee and Brehony are spouting shite based on misguided preconceptions on what might have happened, as they simply know no better.

    The players would have known this was a likely outcome and could well save themselves a lot of hassle by divulging the facts. But to their credit (and to Noel and Pat’s credit also), they have resisted the temptation to turn this into a public slagging match.
    To be honest, this is why my admiration for these lads has grown over this whole incident.

    It’s not a coincidence that the local media/ex-players etc have by and large been quite supportive of the palyers stance and have held back from abusing the players (Maughan aside, although his so to be role in the U21’s and loyalty to N&P may explain this), they are just more informed and have a clearer picture of what happened and more importantly – why.

  62. WJ, that doesn’t explain why the players failed to provide any reasons to the managers directly for the vote of no-confidence in them.

  63. The players behind the heave against McDonald were wrong as proven in 1993, at least players of now are doing it for good reasons

  64. John C, have to add my admiration for your article as well. Most of all I thing you capture an awful lot about us folk in your suggestion that “To Mayo people, football is there to be enjoyed…we see sport for what it really is manly, honest and fair”.
    Also perhaps a scribe such as yourself could be thrown in somewhere in the shadows of the new management team! – Script such as yours might just work wonders as a gee up, second wind, that extra ounce when throw in the mix with all those team sheets, defensive systems, tactics, diets and statistics.

  65. Brehany and McGee, pair of dinosaurs.

    “Brehany and McGee are so old, when they were young, rainbows were black and white”


  66. Yea …… I might carp a bit myself about things on this blog. But I am on the inside of

    the tent pissing out. I would think long and hard before having a go at players from

    another county.

    I well remember the comment about C Mc Donald on air. “you will never win

    anything with poster boys” It hurt me.

    When I saw him interviewed on telly recently I thought ` That fella never looked at

    himself in the mirror and saw a poster boy` He was mature , polite and most

    entertaining. When I switched off the tv I felt proud to consider myself to be from the

    same tribe. That`s the truth.

  67. A flowing, emotive prose style. Oozing pride and love of place. Humble and graceful in expression like so many from that fine county. Well written Sir.

  68. Its understandable to get emotional about the county and the fate of our team. We then tend to close ranks and circle the wagons, so to speak.

    But its also quite easy to let these emotions be the driving force leading to our decisions and rarely are good decisions made with emotions running high.
    If we extract the emotion and look at this from another lens, lets say, someone from outside the county, then emotion doesn’t factor into their view of how this is playing out. In their view, and many others, this is viewed as a player “uprising”, a “revolt”, even a “mutiny” that breaks the code of conduct and the age old respect for the county’s team and its manager.

    It seems to me that a lot of people are being kind to the players, are reluctant to criticize them and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I suppose that’s understandable, for we like them a lot.

    But looking at this in the cool light of day, does anyone really think this is the right thing to do? One can still be critical of the management, for they wont always get it right, but this is just not the way to go about. This management team had just one season and they did no worse than James Horan did the year before!
    Supposing the players don’t like or approve of the next management team? What then? Another walk out?
    Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in loyalty and obedience to the team, to the county and yes, to the Management team.
    Otherwise, you get what we have now…a shambles!

  69. Someone mentioned it earlier and I didn’t get to read it until yesterday but Anthony Hennigan’s article in the Western is well worth a read.

  70. I have to say, I fundamentally disagree with you on this one Mister Mayor. Allow me to address your post.

    “Its understandable to get emotional about the county and the fate of our team. We then tend to close ranks and circle the wagons, so to speak. But its also quite easy to let these emotions be the driving force leading to our decisions and rarely are good decisions made with emotions running high.”

    – Yes, of course it’s natural to get emotional. But that is not to say we are not capable of looking at things with a measured eye, without emotion. We very much are, and this has been very evident in the discussions here over the past few days. The actions of the players were hardly made with emotion running high, either. The signs had been there all year, we had all heard the murmurs of discontent. The decision was clearly well thought out, and clinically executed. The behaviour of the players, including waiting for a week after the All-Ireland final to make their move, presenting a concise statement and united front, and not breathing a word to the press, is not the behaviour of a group whose emotions were running high. I’d argue the opposite, in fact. This was done with cool heads and clearly after a lot of thinking, discussing and planning.

    “If we extract the emotion and look at this from another lens, lets say, someone from outside the county, then emotion doesn’t factor into their view of how this is playing out. In their view, and many others, this is viewed as a player “uprising”, a “revolt”, even a “mutiny” that breaks the code of conduct and the age old respect for the county’s team and its manager.”

    – Respect is earned. We were taught in school to respect our elders – that “age-old” tradition you speak of. Regardless of the fact that the same elders were physically abusing children in front of our very eyes. Now, I’m obviously not comparing Pat and Noel to bullying schoolteachers but I am making the point that respect is not a given these days, nor should it be; rather it is very much earned. I would also argue that the players acted with respect in giving the managers every chance to resign, until someone on their side broke the story to the media. What other counties think from afar is irrelevant. They are not privy to the workings of our county nor of the reasons behind the players’ actions, any more than most of the rest of us are.

    It seems to me that a lot of people are being kind to the players, are reluctant to criticize them and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I suppose that’s understandable, for we like them a lot.But looking at this in the cool light of day, does anyone really think this is the right thing to do?

    – I don’t see that there was another way, frankly. I had my doubts at the start, but even with the limited amount of information that has since come to light, I now think it was exactly the right thing to do. This is not kindness. I don’t know many of the team on a personal level to know whether I like them or not – I can only judge them on the way they conduct themselves on the pitch and in the media.

    “One can still be critical of the management, for they wont always get it right, but this is just not the way to go about. This management team had just one season and they did no worse than James Horan did the year before! Supposing the players don’t like or approve of the next management team? What then? Another walk out?”

    – You seem to regard our team as a bit petulant, without fair grounds for doing so, it has to be said. Another walkout is hardly likely, and will be even less so once a professional setup is in place that caters for players’ needs, and once players, management and county board can handle disputes in a respectful and open way. (This does not mean, for example, the brother of the manager and the Chairman of the county board acting as a player liaison officer.) The players achieved what they had achieved the year before – a testament to their determination to go again. Had the proper structures been in places, such as a proper recovery session after the first Dublin game, for example, they might just have had the legs to push on in the replay and go a step further. Fine lines and small margins, which crucial at that level and and that stage of a competition.

    “Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in loyalty and obedience to the team, to the county and yes, to the Management team.”

    – I’ll call you old-fashioned. 🙂 The notion of “obedience” among a group of grown, educated men, professionals in their field in everything but name to another man or men is antiquated. Particularly in an amateur game. This is not a schoolyard; mutual respect goes far further and garners greated committment.

    “Otherwise, you get what we have now…a shambles!”

    – Or an absolutely golden opportunity for our county board to step up to the plate, take a more professional approach and start making changes for the better in the way business in the county is done. Will they take it? Let’s wait and see.

  71. Ah fair enough Anne-Marie, we obviously see it differently.
    But I agree we need to wait and see, for its all we can do now; whats done is done!

  72. WJ, It’s been widely reported in the media and confirmed by the County Board in interviews that no reasons were given to the management or County Board.

  73. That may be what County Board members have said but neither the players nor Noel and Pat have made any statement (and they’re unlikely to at this stage) so there’s no way it can be confirmed what was or wasn’t said at the meeting where news of the no-confidence vote was conveyed.

  74. Corofin’s Kieran Fitzgerald gives another ringing endorsement of Stephen Rochford in today’s Indo, talking about the week-end’s Galway County final:

    Whatever happens on Sunday, the future of Corofin manager Stephen Rochford is sure to come under the microscope. The Crossmolina native is among the frontrunners to take charge of his native Mayo and Fitzgerald has no doubt he’d be an asset to the county.

    (He’s a super manager and when you have someone like him you are bound to get some keen interest. His attention to detail is second to none and he is strong in his beliefs. I have no doubt that inter-county is his scene and Mayo wouldn’t be doing a bad thing by getting him on board.)

  75. Catcol That’s a great piece in the Examiner. I am still laughing, I enjoyed it so much, and it will bring most of us back to another time.

  76. Quincey – you’re just not getting it about what’s allowed here as a comment and what isn’t, are you? If you want to disagree with what someone else has said then you have to concentrate on the point you disagree with rather than firing insulting and antagonistic remarks at the person who made it.

  77. Quincey – you’re really starting to annoy me now. To repeat, you cannot make disparaging remarks about others who comment when you comment yourself. What’s so difficult about that and why isn’t this point registering with you?

  78. Beautiful piece John, heartfelt and soulful and written by a proud Mayo man.
    Dignified like our wonderful team who don’t bitch and moan ( we do that for them ) but just keep coming back again and again., They did what they believed they had to do and now that it’s done I hope they keep their council and get their focus back on football and next year. Never mind those hacks, what the hell do they know about us ?

    There is something indomitable about this group, lesser teams would have buckled by now but they refuse to do so.

    Maybe they won’t get their ultimate reward but even if they don’t nobody can question their stomach for the battle. It’s been an incredible, almost spiritual journey. Let’s hope they get their September Sunday climbing those famous steps but even if they don’t they’ll have given it everything and you can’t ask for more than that.

  79. No, Quincey, you’re still not getting the point. Why not stick to the point you’re attempting to make without making negative references to the person who made the original comment that you’re trying to respond to? So, to help you – none of this “cast aspersions” or “easy to sit at a keyboard” stuff – just make the point you want to get across in a calm, non-inflammatory way. Jesus, it’s not that difficult to do this! I’m off out now so you’ve a few hours to come up with something that works.

  80. Am I missing something, Quincey? What am I looking at? I saw the reference to the medical team and the amount of work Cillian put into rehabbing, but I’m not sure what else you’re referring to.

    I missed your earlier comments, so can’t respond to those, I’m afaid. 🙂

  81. Ok WJ got it. To follow-up my last point, Anne Marie has cast aspersions on Barry Solan who would have been in charge of recovery between games without having any facts. Was the team in oxygen tents between drawn and Kerry reply last year – don’t think so.

  82. We currently have a situation where there’s a free for all with rumours and innuendo doing the rounds and the reputations of mangers and back room teams in Galway and Mayo being ruined. What don’t the players come out and say what their grievances are. There’s nothing honourable about making accusations and then not saying what they are.

  83. Yes PJ (McManus), the Paddy Heaney piece was very insightful on Mayo, and his recall of that Utd v Arsenal Cup semi final replay was fascinating. The FA Cup meant something then

    I too, (though I have grown increasingly sceptical of the Premiership in recent years), remember that match well – from a BBC 5 radio commentary! I was travelling to the UK by car/boat the next day and only saw the Giggs goal on a replay in some motorway caff, and it seems to be all the more vivid a memory for that.

    The bonding formed on car journeys during wet miserable nights sure is powerful.

  84. I didn’t intend to cast any aspersion on Barry Solan, Quincey, and reading back on my post, you make a fair point and I can see how it may have been construed that way. Point taken, and I should have put more thought into it before I flung it out an example.

    Perhaps “proper session” was not the phrase I should have used – maybe “better recovery process”? All I know is what’s in the public domain, and our recovery process was not at the level of Dublin’s – that is clear, and it showed on the day of the replay.

    The aim of those in charge of Mayo football should be at all times to enable the provision of as much assistance and resource to the players as it takes for them to to their jobs to the best of their ability – that is the main point here. There is no shortage of goodwill and a willingness to contribute to the cause, but supporters need to be reassured that all matters board-related are run fairly, transparently and professionally.

    I don’t believe that the players need to come out and state their grievances – what would it achieve apart from making more headlines for the national press? The article by Edwin McGreal in the Mayo News referenced in another post makes that case in a far more compelling way, and says all that needs to be said about that.

  85. Below is an extract from the Damian Lawlor piece in the Sunday Indo, where the players specifically mentioned that they were very happy with certain aspects of the backroom team and were not happy with other areas:

    (Gradually, confidence in the set-up drained, although the players remain adamant that they tried to front up by telling management and board members of their concerns. They also said that the coaching, and the strength and conditioning expertise, to give two examples, were top class. So when the entire backroom team of 24 people were listed in local media reports it came across as if the players had no confidence in any of them. This only angered the players more.)

    This would indicate that they were very happy with the input of Barry Solan and Donie Buckley.

  86. I’m lost did the players give reasons or not, or is it that Damian Lawlor got a exclusive interview?

  87. Thanks for the link HopeSpringsEternal so does this mean that the players did a interview with Damian Lawlor?

  88. That’s my point exactly Mayo Magic. One minute we hear that the players are maintaining their silence and that they should commended for this. Next we hear that comments in the media are directly from the players. Would it not have been more commendable to release their actual reasons to the managers and Country Board rather than taking to media?

  89. I have a keen interest in Mayo football and have read every newspaper article I can lay my hands on to see what exactly this revolt is about.
    As of yet I have not seen or heard of any rational reasoning to justify the players actions. Damian Lawlor has not stated the exact source of his information, so we can’t rely on the validity of his writing. In any case, most of the issues he listed are not directly related to the managerial posts. Anybody can speculate as to what the players motives might be but until the players come out and give valid reasons for their actions, the reputation of the management team ( fellow Mayo men, with passion and dedication to our county’s cause) is left hanging. In fairness to PH and NC they have not commented in any negative or bitter way about how they have been treated. How do we expect to attract top class managers from outside the county if this is how we treat our own? I can’t imagine that any manager with a grain of self respect will put his( or her!) name in the hat while he (or she) is unaware of the supposed alleged shortcomings of their predecessor. Knockmore Abu!

  90. Your welcome Magic Mayo, according to the piece by Lawlor, issues were raised with management and with the County Board by the players. But the County Board said that the vote of no confidence was a bombshell to them. That’s the info in the public domain anyway.

  91. Anne-Marie, You state that you didn’t intend to cast aspersions on Barry Solan and that you acted in haste in using that as an example. Then you proceed to make the exact same statement again!

    There are a number of issues here

    1) You imply that a better recovery process should be been used. What do you know about recovery processes? I understand that it is a highly technical area and the best man in the business was in charge of it for the Mayo team. Do you have details of the recovery undertaken by the Mayo team to indicate to you that his preparation of the team in this regard was left wanting?
    2) You mention funding of the team. “There is no shortage of goodwill and a willingness to contribute to the cause”. Where exactly did you feel funding was lacking in the preparation of this team?
    3) You mention “supporters need to be reassured that all matters board-related are run, fairly, transparently and professionally. I agree with you on that point Anne Marie. We need full transparency on this issue so that rumours and speculation are avoided.
    4) And finally to my last point, you state that ‘I don’t believe that the players need to come out and state their grievances – what would be achieve apart from making more headlines for the national press. Surely, if the players were motivated in getting the best management in place, they would make public their issues so that the next incumbent would not slip on the same banana skin. That would be real transparency.

  92. Sorry don’t mean to be pedantic but the piece by Lawlor if it is not sourced from the players then I don’t see a point in referencing it, I have many much conjecture I could share but I prefer if this was not a gossip forum!

  93. If the players are calling for openness and transparency on the appointment of team management, can we not expect the same from the players on the dismissal of same??

  94. Quincey why should the players tell the papers??? The management know the reasons, do you want the management being made a laughing stock of again like they did to McDonald 20 years ago?? All papers want his a story move on everyone else in Mayo has

  95. I wonder who will Be the manager now hope it’s Steven Rockford but corofin don’t what to let him go.,as for all stars hopefully it be cillian dermo and Keegan I think p Andrews could oust out o Shea

  96. Recovery
    I have posted about this before. I am no expert on recovery or indeed on anything else for that matter. However, it doesn’t take an expert to see that dublin had a better recovery than us. But why wouldn’t they? They only live down the road from Croker. The Brogan’s could be at home by 6pm if they chose. What time do you think Chris Barrett got home? And then Mayo had to be on the bus for dublin the following Friday by 2pm while the dubs could be at home until lunchtime on Saturday. Not fair!

  97. Jaysus, poor oul Ann-Marie is getting torn to shreds. Quincy, you must be a barrister by day? 🙂

    I’d agree with the people who say our players should avoid releasing details to the press. Its nobodys business, including ours. Im sure they’ll outline their grievances to the next manager behind closed doors, the way it should be.

  98. I get the impression that people think that if the mgt set up was better we would have won the all Ireland? Can’t agree. Reason we didn’t win is the same as any of the years under horan. We’re not good enough. Simple. A full bk and 2 scoring forwards required. I.e. a Ross o Carroll and a Andrews & Kilkenny. It’s not rocket science guys Jesus.

  99. For you guys, calling for players to come out and state publicly what their grievances were doesn’t make any sense at all. Pat and Noel I would imagine, would have been informed of any shortcomings by the players, as would the Co Board. After that it shouldn’t matter to anyone else, except those interested in headlines.

    Whoever the new Manager is, will be given all the information he needs and hopefully get the financial backing needed, to allow these fine group of players have another crack at winning Sam.

  100. Well done John. Your love for the green and red and all that it means was never in doubt. The horse has left the stable for another year and I hope that when we are in the heat of battle again next year and that horse is rearing and the steam is billowing from it’s juiced and bursting nostrils, that you will jump on board with another equal surge of + passion.

    After the Ciarin Mac interview I also was humbled to be so fortunate that I hail from this indominatable green and red tribe. There was one thing Ciarin stated that stood out for me. Ciarin’s response to the one of the poseur peoples question regarding, “How did he feel to have kicked the winning point for Mayo”in the 2006 semi final, was intriguing. Ciarin I believe is both credible and genuine and a paradox who inhabits a paradox. I don’t know what that means either.

    Anyways, Ciarin responded, “After I made that point I missed an easy tackle and I thought, “Here we go again” Now Ciarin is a maverick and will never be broken by other peoples self induced societal reins. But even he was thinking within the realms imposed by our own self induced mental shackles that constantly restrain us from flittering that door to smithereens.

    The players themselves have taking the reins and I will follow them where ever that will lead. Come next august we will need rallying cries from the ilk of John and others to roar the the men from Mayo through.

    “Come On Mayo !!!”

  101. Mayo McHale, I think it’s better that we don’t rely on information that someone has imagined!

  102. Have to agree Gerard, I have quite a bit more information about how this all came about however until my sources are ready to go on record I will keep my powder dry

  103. At the end of the day us as supporters and fans will probably never know what went on behind dressing room doors and what was said to who by whom. But we do have eyes to see and we seen what we saw.

    Yes our players made mistakes and missed chances at crucial times but the fatal flaw was our management not having any midfield cover for the replay against Dublin. In the first game we seen that Dublin lost two of their midfielders to black cards and we went to town on them. When Barry Moran went off, after we had also lost Seamie, we had no like for like replacements. We were wide open through the heart of our defence. When Dublin got their first goal the dam had burst.

    Perhaps that was the straw that broke the camel’s back of our joint managers. You can’t take chances like that. It’ll be up to our new manager not to make fatal mistakes such as that. Our players and management got away with other errors but the management didn’t get away with that one. We will have to learn from these type of mistakes.

  104. Anne Marie I have always enjoyed your your well crafted well informed contributions. No need for you to change a thing going forward. Two points come to mind. The first is that not everyone will agree with you no matter how right you are, and the second is that not everyone in Mayo supports the Mayo team. I believe we operate at 50% or less.

  105. I think we can forget about hearing any big reasons from the players, the deed is done and they will leave it at that. Time to move on.

  106. Well written, incisive article John. I enjoyed it immensely.

    It has also generated an enjoyable debate. However, I do not think the debate will have any influence on the potential for further revelations from the squad. I think that they will keep their powder dry for now.

    On picking the new manager however, it would be useful if they were represented in the selection by a few recent past players like Billy Joe Padden and/or Ronan McGarrity. These are solid, respected men who know the modern game and the type of management that the lads need if they are to have a 100% chance of getting to the top of the pile in 2016.

  107. I was in a pub in 1993 with another Mayo man and a friend from Galway. When the Galway man asked me this question “which would you rather; Mayo win the All Ireland or Ireland win the World Cup and without hesitation I answered Mayo win the All Ireland. He looked at the both of us, in dismay and said “ye f**kers I’ve yet to meet a Mayo man answer Ireland win the World Cup and I started this question in Claremorris during the 1992 WC when the whole country was crazy about Ireland”.

    He asked us why we always answered Mayo and we answered in unison that they were our players. Your article reminded me of why we support Mayo and we’ll never give up on this team regardless of who is playing for them or how good they are. They are our team end of story!!!

  108. I really enjoy keeping up to date on Mayo GAA through this blog from the other side of the World, thank you WJ for that. I like thousand of other Mayo fans, living around the world, were preparing for a day out in Croke Park should Mayo have progressed one more step. I have been following the developments in the blog since and feel obliged to comment. I did not expect much from the new management when they were appointed but felt they did really well to build on what was achieved by JH with some intelligent variations. I was really optimistic for next year but not so much any more. I feel the way this whole upheaval was handed by the players leaves a lot to be desired. If they had genuine concerns about the management this should have been addressed through the proper channels, I am sure there are review sessions scheduled with players at the end of each year. I think the whole management team has been very dignified in keeping their silence whilst their reputations are called into question particularly on this blog. A lot of the commentators here appear to be well informed of so called players issues but I feel this is not the place for that, and is causing further rifts in the Mayo GAA following. I hate to see this great county and football Team which have given us so much over the past 20 years behave in such a crass manner. Remember you are merely borrowing the jersey until the stars of the future arrive so please have respect for it.

  109. Dont know how the words mayo players and crass can be used in same sentence ..crass to me implies tackiness and lacking in class . those players dont merit that term imo ..and as for respect for jersey ?theirs have more mileage that most and their love for it and what it represents is clear ..thats why we are in this situation..

  110. Interesting quotes from Michael Moyes on regarding Rochfords suitability and how bookies get there odds.
    we any chance of a poll to see who the fans want and another to see who they think will actually get the job?

  111. Mayoexile,
    Maybe the stars of the future could be here here already and are looking for a hand to reach the top? Maybe 2016 is their year and they know that they can reach the final on the presumed softer side of the draw, it’s beating Kerry or Dublin that will require some serious tactics and coaching.

  112. I think we should avoid phrases like “softer side of the draw” regarding 2016 AllIreland Series. This provides ammo for Tyrone, Monaghan, Donegal to stick on their dressing room wall. Not clever. Not helping our team.

  113. If Horan doesn’t want it , I’d ask Andy Moran would he be willing to give it a go. Think it’s too tight nit of a squad to bring someone different in .

  114. I think you are right Sean if Horan does not want it then Andy Moran is your only man. Just as Anthony Finnerty predicted in his article.

  115. DOB – yes, there was. For a first comment, it was a touch too sarcastic and added nothing to the discussion so I felt it didn’t merit letting up on the site.

  116. The players to get a current player Andy Moran as player manager imagine the headlines that will come from that appointment? Its between a returning James Horan or Rochford i can’t see anything one else.

    Mairtinin spot on, this softer side of the draw talk has to stop.

  117. Andy Moran is too close to the squad to get the job he would find it difficult telling men that he has been playing with for the last ten years that they were being dropped from the panel or weren’t starting in a big game.If Corofin get beaten tomorrow Rochford would be in pole position for the job if they win he could be tied up until mid march he couldn’t keep both jobs going they would both require his full attention.

  118. MagicMayo I don’t think there needs to be any holding of analysis as regards next years championship, Mayo are currently number two team and with Dublin and Kerry on opposite side of draw there is no doubt that Mayo will be in the final.

  119. magicmayo if cork beat Kerry in munster then Kerry are in mayo side of draw if they beat back door team so don’t count ye chickens yet

  120. Kingdom yes your right but then that would mean Kerry are not number 3 anymore and would hence not be a stumbling block.

  121. For fecks sake! We don’t even have a manager and yet some think we are a lock for the final next year! Please, stop with this madness!

  122. what number three there 32 teams that will b in draw next year and we all start on same number Kerry were number 2 this year number 1 last year we see what we are next year but we all start with same number tyrone Dublin Donegal mayo Kerry cork all start the same like get a manager 1st and see how ye do. we no management team at moment either so we don’t know how good we be for fuck sake it not chrismas yet and u think ye in all Ireland like mister mayor said cop on and u do u get nocup for being number 2 and we know that down here in Kerry this year . best of luck next year with new manager

  123. Magic Mayo first off my username name is mayo magic. No doubt? the same could have been said in 2013,2012 or 97 but it seems some supporters don’t learn lesson by looking too far ahead?. Tyrone,Donegal, or whoever comes out of Ulster could be stronger next year and Kerry could end up on Mayo side of draw if they lose in Munster (could have lost this year) Mayo haven’t beaten Kerry in the championship since 1996 BTW.

  124. Kingdom you sound like the financial regulator warning after every bank advert, past performance is no indicator for future performance, well you can bank on this Mayo will be in All Ireland final and what’s more will win it

  125. How do I know this? The next Mayo manager will be James Horan and he will be ably assist by Alan Dillon.

  126. Hahaha, a year is a long time . I wouldn’t slate yer man above though for saying he thinks we will get to the final ,always gnaws at me at the way people are so quick to shout others down when making a prediction , although it is a bit bold and too definite for this time of year.

    Nobody knows for sure is my point ,it’s just a prediction.If you were to do a survey in all the gaa clubs pubs next weekend and say .

    How do you think the 16 championship will fair out ?

    ” well sure look , tis very early for that sort of thing but I cannot see past the same teams again in the shake up , Dublin will most likely be the team to beat, Kerry won’t be far away , Mayo and Cork depends how the new management settle in but they will be there in August anyway you’d think, Tyrone are making right good strides should be there ,Donegal I’m not so sure think Monaghan might replace them . Roscommon and Galway will probably still struggle along with the rest” and I bet 100 euro that would be the crux of people’s thoughts . I don’t see why the gaa world gets so uptight about prediction stuff.

    If we come back in 16 and start tippin along like tense last few years ,wtf wouldn’t we make an all Ireland final , be hardly a shock horror for it to happen.

  127. How are you John good piece on Eugene and what not, but its time for all people in Mayo to get real players included to stop making excuse’s time and again when you keep losing games.

    This thing of Mayo being so fair and playing the game the way it should be played, really is that gonna win you All Ireland’s. get out and fight for it and untill you win it you can all point the finger. If you don’t have 26 savage, hard, animal players who are willing to sacrifice the mind,body, and soul for it. your past will just keep on repeating itself.

    That might sound harsh John and very critical but you can;t have it both ways! its down to the Men on the pitch. like Seve the best Golfer well best shot maker their ever was may of had a caddie but it was him who had the vision and took the shots on.

    No one would begrudge Mayo their day in the sun, but too many excuse’s are being put forward for past results and games that have not even been played yet. So I wish you all the best of luck, but if you can’t get up to the standard that the Dub’s are playing at well its gonna be same again Sam ( pardon the pun ). I hope Mayo give it a good go cause if they don’t produce better than this year its gonna be a fairly poor Championship, cause they are the only team that got any where near Dublin.

  128. Hi again WJ. All the news here in Australia is about the training that the Australian rugby team undertook before the World Cup. They spent time in America sleeping in chambers that replicate high altitude conditions similar to the summit of Everest. This induces hypoxia which is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. This temporary measure (anaerobic metabolism) allows small amounts of energy to be released. Thinking straight under these conditions can be extremely demanding, however, this has turned an average team of under performers into a team of World beaters, look at the way they demolished England and withstood an almighty onslaught from Wales last night.
    Now to my point, I think this is what Mayo players need, forget about oxygen tents and all that nonsense this is the real deal.
    If one of these was to be built in McHale Park high performance unit, this will revolutionize Mayo football. There will be no more wides, balls dropped short or poor kick outs when the pressure comes on in future. I for one would do a whip around collection here in Bondi Junction for such technology.

  129. Mayo exile – great stuff. Bring on the hypoxia inducing chambers. Right now! I’ll join the whiparound.

  130. Sean to be fair, our problem has and continues to be the last 3 teams aka semi and finals. Getting there is not a stretch but winning and beating the best teams has been. Anything less than winning it next year is a failure, no matter who the manager is. Otherwise we just accept it as another loss and tell everyone we’ll be back next year. Nevertheless it remains premature to be predicting a final appearance when there is discontent in Mayo GAA and we don’t even have a manager.

  131. I’d tend to agree with most of your sentiment there mayor . Although I’d add we have been so agonisingly close its sickening . You say we can’t beat the last three teams but at the same time there has been four teams contesting for the most part since 2012 , Dublin , Kerry , Donegal and ourselves , we have never been beaten out the gate by any of them and beaten both Donegal and Dublin at different times . When we reflect and think about it Kerry won the all Ireland last year and we had them beat both days only for they got the rub of the green in a way we never seem to get it . Not harping on about it but god damn it we are bloody unlucky too.

    I’ll stick with what I always believe although others will say it’s just rubbish , one scoring forward is all it will take to add to that team , a man who can take on his marker , turn and shoot . Watch Andy Moran for cillians goal v Dublin in replay , watch they way he puts his body directly in front of the defender and goes , that’s what a natural forward does. We have one too many who look to go towards the wing in a lateral movement .

  132. Great win for Breaffy today. Was also surprised at Ballintubber. James Horan was helping them out with their defence so looking at how that panned out, I would keep my money on Rochford.

  133. Jesus, did someone really just suggest hypoxia induced chambers be built in Castlebar?
    Just send them to a meeting of the treasurer sub committee of the county board, that’ll have the same effect. A lot cheaper too

  134. John,
    Always an admirer of your pieces and this is one of the best. Took me a while to getting around to having a good read of it but, better late than never.
    Wonderful stuff.

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