Last year’s news


Photo: Irish Examiner

So, the gift that keeps giving for the media provides its latest instalment. 5,000 words – all penned by Martin Breheny in today’s Irish Independent – of an in-depth interview with Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly about the events surrounding the heave against them a bit over a year ago.

I haven’t read the full interview, I’ve no interest in doing so and certainly no desire to give any money to the Indo to get hold of it. Martin Breheny’s gushing trailer on the Indo website (here) is more than enough of this particular panto for me, as I suspect it will be for most of you as well.

At one level, what the lads apparently have to say makes sense. Player ego needs to be kept under control (agreed), outside influences need to be curbed (agreed even more). But this stuff about our never winning Sam until these two issues are dealt with is, to say the least, a bit off.

Had, for example, Conor Lane penalised Denis Bastick for clearly lifting the ball off the turf in the dying seconds of the drawn All-Ireland, leaving Cillian with a 20-yarder to seal victory, then that would be that particular theory blown out of the water. As I keep on saying (because it’s true), history is written by the winners and our ongoing saga of defeats enables all manner of guff – of which this is but the latest instalment – to be put forward as the reason for why we continue to lose.

At another level, this extended interview with the two lads is classic silly season stuff. The papers aren’t exactly chock-full with GAA content right now so it suits the Indo down to the ground to roll out the Mayo circus to fill the gap. Sad, then, that two great servants of Mayo GAA – who distinguished themselves both on an off the field for the county – were prepared to provide grist to this particular mill.

I get that Noel and Pat are still hurting over the manner of their enforced departure. What happened to them was, by any measure, sad and tawdry. But any fair-minded assessment of their tenure has also to include the earlier circumstances of their appointment, which, to put it mildly, were a good distance away from best practice.

But their coming and their going is now, literally, last year’s news.  We’ve been there, we’ve done that, we’ve all moved on. A new management team have a year’s experience under their belts and they’re a team that drove us – including those bolshie players – within a millimetre of the Promised Land.

So, in the final analysis this “explosive” exposé amounts to very little. It’s a story from another time, one that’ll quickly be forgotten. I think most of us would prefer that it hadn’t been dredged up from the depths at this point in time but it has. So it goes.

Move on, nothing to see here.

315 thoughts on “Last year’s news

  1. Sense prevails as always in your blog Willie Joe. Like you, I have no intention of buying the paper. Joe Brolly made sure of that decision for me in the Sunday versions of the publication throughout the summer. This article may prove to be counterproductive to the obvious bitterness that remains because it may work as a shot in the arm to the players.

  2. I’ve not seen the indo either but judging by the online piece why did the management pass the letter onto the independent? Pretty spiteful thing to do when 3 quarters or more of the squad (from what I recall) voted to get rid of them.

    Also I find this piece hilarious seeing that both managers were players in 96 and 97 and they blame attitudes for losing us all those all irelands since 89. Ironic one would say

    Players have got to concentrate on playing football and being as ruthless as it takes to win. They’ve got to allow management to manage and keep outside influences away. If they don’t, it’s unlikely they will be successful. Mayo have been in ten All-Ireland finals since 1989 and won none. That won’t change until attitudes change,”

  3. I like the way(not) that their dubious appointment is not mentioned by Breheny – like I knew it wouldn’t be. Nothing new in this piece for us but will it cause trouble?

  4. I think you have hit the nail on the head Willie Joe there really isn’t anything to see here its yesterday’s news. Looking forward to Jan 8th and Mayo V NUIG

  5. They have named players in it too but they are the same names and rumours we have heard all year, esp after loss to Galway. Why couldn’t they keep quiet. Another reason I’m happy that management pair are gone.

  6. I was disappointed for the two men after all they had contributed to Mayo all the years but I think now they have done themselves no favours regardless of timing brehony is a galway man and thrives in putting the knife into Mayo they had stayed silent for the year and I think should have stayed so.

  7. Embarrassing for the pair of boys and spiteful on their behalves. I mean, if it makes them feel better, good and well but by all accounts, the rest of the country and indeed a lot of the county has moved on.

    Won’t be buying it as I wouldn’t light the fire with the Indo on a normal day. And it’s not like Breheny has any credibility in these parts. But I will have a read of it in the coffee shop later where I won’t be giving them a cent or a click!

    Got the season ticket in the door this morning – can’t believe 2017 is looming large already. Any news on the street about who’s been called in for the FBD?

  8. Load of owl shite. Poor Martin.

    We havn’t heard much mentioned about the “diving” penalty we got against Fermanagh recently.

    Can we have a big exclusive 10 page pull out section on that incident next week please.

  9. I feel by Pat & Noel coming out now, giving all this information and naming players justifies the players thoughts on the two not having the professionalism or knowledge to be able to drive them on over the line. Strangely I think they have confirmed it all by giving this interview

  10. Seriously is no one going to raise an eyebrow about the influence of certain players in the squad.. Hennelly, O’sheas, Dillon and the rest of the breaffy /ballintubber brigade virtually picking the squad?? and things are going to change for 2017?
    Instead of cribbing about reffing decisions we should be disgusted at the egos who are writing e-mails about who should on the team & threatening to strike when we the fans are spending thousands on merchandise , travel, tickets etc and we are supposed to just suck it up.
    Would you blame Connolly and Holmes for speaking out when they see Hennelly playing in the replay and an injured Dillion coming on as sub

  11. Pathetic and disappointing from the two boys. Then again as we saw on youtube with #asknoelandpat they were never much good at doing interviews.

    Everyone else has moved on. Printing the letter was very poor form. Despite ‘outside influences’ being fed stories last winter to try to split the squad they never made any comment. Silence remains their best course

  12. Any respect for Holmes and connelly that I had is now gone. I had a lot of regard and admiration for the way they handled things during the heave. Now however they have let themselves down hugely and you said WJ it’s history. Time to move on.

  13. Well throwintime Pat and Noel whipped Clarke off at half time v Donegal and mistakes by hennelly were critical v Dublin.

    And they decided to leave a multiple All Star like Dillon on the line for all of 2015 and ignored him when the Dublin game was there to be one.

    You see you are speaking of rumours as if they were true. Everybody did their best but everyone made mistakes.

  14. ger bohan
    what are the rumors, that Hennelly fecked again up that o’shea failed to deliver again that Dillion was injured in the replay, that all that was said in the Indo today were lies??

    It’s becoming embarrassing this blind devotion to the players,the best bunch of players to fail again and again, and we wonder why we don’t win? do you think winning teams like Kilkenny, Kerry Dublin would be celebrating failure

  15. There will be no moving on for Mayo football if certain players are pulling the strings.No need to bring up Alan Dillon because he was sore at being dropped..that’s every players attitude surely??While I supported the players heave that article makes for unpleasant reading.Reading about Seamie o shea looking for Hennelly instead of Clarke leaves a bad taste in my mouth..

  16. Totally agree with throwintime why shouldnt noel and pat have there say ? Players deciding managers deciding team selection players priority should be to play . I see nothing wrong with the article noel connelly and pat Holmes have only given blood and sweat for mayo football for the last 30 years and they were treated horrendously it could of being sorted in other ways it wasn’t as if we took a backward step during there year in charge. Cork have never recovered from there revolt imagine a Dublin player or kerry player telling a manager who they’d prefer in goal ffs

  17. I don’t believe that Seamus O Shea or his daddy were responsible for henelly playing in the replay I’d like to believe and I do believe Rochford makes the decision if that’s not the case then he needs to grow a pair in January and do a cull on the panel as he sees fit. Managers need to be allowed to manage. That’s all I’m saying on the matter. Happy Christmas everyone and happy Christmas to you and your family Willie and thank you for this blog. Keep safe enjoy the Christmas and see you on the road supporting the green and red in a few weeks time

  18. Rumours were doing the rounds that
    certain players had influence. I don’t know how true that is. The sight of Stephen Rochford in the stand for the other semi with some of the players was eye catching. While I don’t agree with airing dirty linen in public I think that it might dictate Stephens relationship with certain players going forward. Maybe Stephen finds it hard to drop and start certain players based on relationships, I don’t know. All I know is that we need to win the All-Ireland and need to have the best team on the pitch to do it.

  19. Pat and Noel didn’t say anything up to now because they had to make sure we lost another one because if we won they had no case. They should have not given that interview to the Indo and will have lost a lot of respect from those who had some sympathy with how they were removed. We have to move forward and raking over the ashes is a waste of time. Lots to look forward to in 2017.

  20. I don’t take any pleasure in reading the indo today and Mayo matters being all over a national paper. However, we need to move away from are Holmes and Connelly right or wrong, good or bad etc.

    The piece, whether you agree with them speaking out or not, raises issues going forward about players within the Mayo dressing room. The same rumours that we heard throughout the summer are confirmed in the paper. The reference to a player pushing for the inclusion of Robbie H is worrying, particularly in light of the change for the All Ireland Final replay this year.

    For me, it’s not about whether Holmes and connelly are right/wrong or whether the players were right/wrong. It’s moreso does the piece raise issues about players and their influences which need to be addressed/curbed/stamped out so that they focus 100% on playing.

  21. Willie Joe love your article. You know the one issue that keeps eating away at me since the all Ireland final first game is that incident with Bastick. I seriously think I am going to need counselling to get over it. I was privy to see all video angles of the game afterwards and from the televised angle there is a doubt. However from a side angle you can clearly see he used his 2 feet to readjust his balance and picked the ball straight up of the ground. Rte had this footage and never showed it on the Sunday game that night. A free on The 14 yard line to win the all Ireland! To make matters worse I was sitting behind the goal In real time and had the ref in my line of vision. I spotted the pick up but the ref had his back turned as he was running back out the field with his back turned. So the only person on the day who could have spot it was Deegan on the line and he bottled it. Could never understand why more pressure was no put on him leading up to the replay on that issue. What’s even more annoying is that Dublin win the 1995 all Ireland for a similar incident when the ref adjudged canavan to have picked the ball up off the ground in the last play when video showed the ball was actually bonncing a few inches off the ground! Winners write history!

  22. In that link you provided by the Dubdo subjective, the interview appears to be more of a jab back from the two rather than a bid to enhance football in Mayo.

    As Mayo people, we might well consider steering clear of this newspaper. That really is our only avenue to defend against the character assassination by the Irish Independent, on possibly the most culturally significant organisation in our county.

    Not an awful lot to say about Connelly and Homes, it is what it is. They took a solid knock when they were ousted, very passionate football mayo men whose public life has been interlinked with the game. It is easy to understand their need to talk, however much more we would have admired them for keeping quiet about the whole matter.

    The county board has a lot to answer for in this mess, let us hope they have learnt from it. We must remember they too are for the most part amateurs who have the enhancement GAA firmly set in their sights.

    Move on, unite. we have a lot to look forward to!

  23. Great piece Willie Joe! I won’t be buying the Indo either. I had a lot of respect for Noel and Pat. Sadly it has evaporated now.
    Here’s to a successful 2017. COYBIGAR

  24. Poor judgement on Pat and Noel’s behalf to go this route. I take the players side in this, they don’t want to be wasting their time with incompetence from the county board or it’s appointees if they can help it.
    Mayo for Sam in the near future despite all the nonsense.

  25. I think Pat & Noel were very badly treated by the players . It is time to cull the troublemakers–if not we will never win sam. an end to twitter comments about games would help too.

  26. Breheny is a truely awful analyst. He is a dinosaur at analysing the game.
    This group of players came the closest they have ever came this year.
    I have much more confidence in rochford than holmes/connelly.
    2 great players for mayo but the players didnt believe in them. Once you
    Lose the dressing room its over. It happens across sports with teams. Not just in Mayo ..
    The odd exception like cody and alex ferguson go on their terms ..

    Im optimistic for the new year ..

    Happy Christmas Willie Joe and all mayo supporters ..

  27. Very poor judgement from the lads. I actually admired their handling of a very difficult situation but the timing of this venting is pretty poor. As was Tom Cunniffe’s discovery of his backbone a few weeks back.

    Not sure what any of them hoped to achieve.

  28. I had huge respect for the two lads up until this point. I presume they did the interview at the counter in the Palace bar where the other dreg lives. Vindictave piece that leaves little in way of reply for the players, except that is if the County Board releases the mediators report from the incident. The appointment process, liason issues and all the other criteria that would provide balance in this case would show the players to have acted correctly. I hope in doing this interview the lads have found some form of closure, it’s just a pity that’s it’s this they’ll be remebered for and not their success on the field.
    I sincerely hope the players put that article up in the dressing room wall when they get back from their well deserved holiday to South Africa next month.

  29. To add to the debate I think when we look back on 2015 maybe it was a knee Jerk reaction and maybe we should have taken more time to find more suitable candidates. Mcstay and machale were the alternative and had they been appointed and had the season they had with roscommon this year you can be sure they’d have also got the chop. Let’s hope that now we have the best management team who have learned from the hennelly incident and we can move on.

  30. ‘I haven’t read the full interview, I’ve no interest in doing so……’
    Followed by ‘ Had, for example, Conor Lane penalised Dennis Bastick…..’
    Really WJ? Really?
    Sure lets all just stick our heads in the ground ala the ostrich (or up a turkeys arse seeing the season that’s in it) and pretend like nothing’s happened, nothing needs to be sorted, that’s all rosy and roll on the FBD.
    ‘Move on, nothing to see here’
    Sure why should we try and learn from past mistakes, past experiences, past problems. Where could that possibly get us?

  31. No one should be bigger than the manager or County would not happen around Mr Cody. There will always be strong personalities in a team it’s up to management to show who is the boss. Alex Ferguson made that clear.

  32. Totally agree with Ah now & Trowintime all sides needs to be heard. Remember also was it not the same players who had an issue with selectors under McStay?…all year we we not ‘All in this together’..obviously some more than others

  33. Totally agree Ah now, the players are untouchables. Their performances have lacked total conviction/ability to close out to the end. Some seem more interested in their public image than their football careers. Imo we have a great squad of skilful lads but if we keep wrapping them in bubble wrap to protect them from the consequences of their own actions both on and off the pitch, we are doing them and ourselves ( the fans) a disservice. If our men are men there should be no issue with naming players in today’s article, it’s not u-12s we are discussing.i say fair play to Noel and Pat, I’m sure they had their reservations about giving this interview but I believe if we take note of the issues and learn from them some good might come out of this mess.

  34. I’ve no problem with Pat and Noel having a rant and blowing off some steam in the Indo. I’m fully capable of bearing a grudge myself. Why shouldn’t they be? I’m also in favour of the Indo printing the story. It’s good to see someone go on the record. The GAA has never been good at going on the record, but it’s become really bad lately. Good for the boys for speaking up.

    As for whether they’re right or wrong – well, we’ll never know that, will we? That’s not how these things work. Whoever’s manager when Mayo win Sam next will have a brain the size of the planet Jupiter. Every other manager is clearly a dummy who couldn’t tie his own shoes without googling instructions. That’s how it is, was, and forever will be. Happy Christmas, up Mayo.

  35. In my view the manner of their appointment doomed Pat and Noel from the start and only winning the All Ireland could have got over that. If this helps Pat and Noel feel better then so be it It is all history now and so lets move on 2017 is around the corner and what happens then is all that matters

  36. If Pat and Noel wanted to talk why did they have to go to that Breheny guy to air their grievances? Then again it’s beginning to look to me like this whole thing was stage-managed nicely by the County Board, the boys will give the interview to the Indo and at the same time the CB release the players letter, all to achieve maximum effect.

    On the plus side this washing of dirty linen in public might drive players and Management on to another level, if that’s possible then we could make it over the line in 2017.

  37. An awful lot of new posters here today. Usually happens around a time of controversy (all to common in our county unfortunately). You can almost hear the sound of the wheel spinning and the grinding of the steel coming through the ether…
    Happy Christmas to WJ and all the regular bloggers, especially you cait, that holiday in Spain done you a power of good. I’m looking forward to re reading that article tomorrow night when it’s keeping my cod and chips from dripping grease onto my fingers.
    Here’s hoping it’s the boys in green and red who lead us to Valhalla in 2017 and not Trumps errant handling of the nuclear codes.

  38. There is a follow up article that prints the infamous letter from the squad to the county board from October 2015. I’m not even going to link to it – it beggars belief that such a mindset could exist in a Senior Football panel.

    I thought that a couple of two footed forwards and a little more sideline cuteness would go a long way to getting Mayo to the promised land. It would appear I am mistaken, there is something very, very wrong with the Mayo Senior Football setup.

  39. Correct assessment WJ, fair play to you. Old News peddled by M B and Co. I was really sorry for NC & PH last year. This was not an exercise in shooting off the big toe, more like taking the whole foot clean from the ankle. On a more important note HSE has once again provided us with a link to a great read about planning and positive thinking on the last thread. I would like to recommend it to you.

  40. Jaden,
    Given that Dublin,
    -Play 99% of their games in Croke Park
    -Use the same dressing room and warm up at the same end of the pitch
    -Have a couple of local ex heroin addicts as the warm up act before the All Ireland
    -Have 10 times the population of Mayo
    -Have 10 times the resources of Mayo and everyone else
    -Have the host and main panelist on the Sunday Game
    -Have the ref living and coaching in a dublin club
    -Have the national media backing you because they sell more papers in Dublin
    -Orchastrated a campaign to blacken the best player in the country

    You’d think with all these advantages you’d be beating us out the gate and yet after 160 minutes of football you beat us by ONE point. So you don’t mind if I take a little offence with you coming on here with your mealy mouthed talk of a few two footed forwards and sideline cuteness seeing us to the promised land. I know its the season of goodwill and all, but go and fuck off.

  41. ‘Old news’ So everybody who followed mayo in the last two campaigns knew that team members were writing emails and canvassing for certain player’s selection?
    That the squad wrote an email demanding certain conditions or they wouldn’t play?
    In fairness if they had won this year they could have claimed some justification but to oust the management and then get brushed aside so predictably is spineless

  42. Would martin behany reveal the letter the galway hurling wrote to axe anthony cunningham? Don’t think so or approach the players behind anthony departure. If conor Lane had awarded the free to mayo in the first game for a deliberately pick up off the ground from a Dublin player . Mayo would have been all ireland cramps pat and noel would not be speaking to media about last year. Let’s look to 2017 . Donie Buckley remained on for 2016 and has committed for 2017 enough said.

  43. Good post WJ. I cant see the sense in filling a media column just now. Specially for that pleb Brehony. Off season stuff maybe but I’m sure the 2017 preparations are underway with fitness programmes etc. Why would the brother of the County Board chairman seek to introduce turbulence into the camp. Why would he want to. What would be the point in it. I have great memories of Pat & Noel playing in the ’90’s. They should be remembered for their footballing legacy. But they need to leave the stage now and allow space for Rochford and his selectors to manage this Mayo team. The year ahead will be difficult enough. Happy Xmas to all.

  44. Wowzers, some craic this for a week before Christmas. I’ve no issue with the lads saying their piece, it was bound to happen some time. The long held suspicion that certain players may have had a hand in the decision to drop Clarke for the replay has been given a little more substance. I’ve held on to the hope since the replay that the outcome of that decision would have learnings for all those who had a hand in making it happen. The sheer calamity of it all acting as a mirror for those who pushed for it, making them take a long hard look at themselves, players & mgmt alike. I think the article as a whole will hopefully act as somewhat of a catharsis for the squad to really move on now, and go a step further in 2017. The best teams are just that because they are humble, work harder than everyone else, and get the basics right, all of the time. Any of those elements fall away and they won’t be the best for long. We know what has to be done and I’m pretty certain the players do too, keep the faith folks, and happy Christmas!

  45. This story was always going to be told at some stage but 10 years time might have been better when everyone involved is retired. I wasn’t impressed by the way they were appointed or the way they were dismissed. But all that is history.
    The real issue is Mayo 2017. If what Holmes and Connelly say about some players and “outsiders”is true then I have to wonder if this kind of stuff is still going on. If so I’d be worried – very worried!

  46. Throwintime, how were they “brushed aside”? Mayo are in a position every county in the country bar Dublin would love to be in. We’re closer than ever and Dublin only won this year by the skin of their teeth. There was no brushing aside.

  47. Wow Liam, Wow.

    If having a go, and telling me to fuck off, makes you feel better, fire away. I’m thick skinned enough not to be concerned with petty personal attacks.

    The attitude you have displayed is the embodiment of everything wrong with the GAA generally, and Mayo GAA specifically. To paraphrase a quote from someone smarter than me – If you haven’t figured out what the problem is by now, it’s likely you are the problem.

    As long as you continue to believe that your woes are someone else’s fault, you’ll almost certainly never get over the line. Your stern refusal to see the issues, are ensuring they are never rectified. But please, if you need to think that the half-time entertainment was the root cause of your loss, go right ahead. More SAMs for us Dubs as a result.

    Merry Christmas All.

  48. Jaden,

    You came onto a Mayo supporters website and firstly decided to condescendingly tell us a few two footed forwards would cure our problems before declaring there is major, major problems in Mayo GAA and you wonder why I might take offence.
    I will be the first to admit there is issues within the county that need addressing, but I’ll be damned if someone who has every conceivable advantage can come into our site and lecture us on our problems. Dublin have gotten many things right, especially in their coaching and administration, but you and a growing number of your fellow suporters refuse to acknowledge that what allowed you to do that is the disproportionate amount of funding you receive. Give us an extra €1 million a year and see how we do. Anyone who points this out is rounded on and called anti Dub or a begrudger.
    Finally, if Mayo is this close to winning despite being in such a calamitous state as you declare, God help ye if we get it anyway right.

  49. Exiled in Dublin and someone else mentioned that this might spur the players on…how many times has that been rolled out over the last 5 years.

    I felt for Pat and Noel after the final last year. Mayo would have probably beaten Kerry that day. But once the players turn, they had to go.

    I can’t understand the leeway the management is getting on the keeper shambles/fiasco you name it. If that was Maughan the county would be up in arms…

  50. Whatever your opinions are about the timing of this article, the judgement of Noel & Pat to engage in same or the agenda being persistently pursued by Mr Brehony, there are a few home truths in this very public revelation that need to be considered very deeply over the coming weeks and months by a number of the players and by Stephen Rochford. While a lot of what is contained in the article is not new to those who have had their ear to the ground over the past 12 months, the confirmation through this article of the behaviour of the players named remains concerning. The advice being conveyed by Noel & Pat on the need for a change of mindset by a certain core group of players should be reflected upon by those individuals in question as it undoubtedly will by Stephen Rochford and Tony McEntee as the new season approaches and a new push for Sam takes shape.

  51. I came onto a discussion forum, and offered an opinion – that’s kinda the idea. Nothing stated as fact, simply a point of view. I think you’re simply trying to be offended (again, an opinion).

    All the advantages didn’t do squat for 16 years from 83 – 95. But not for one minute do I think that the funding has had so affect on our success – on the contrary, I’m proud of it. The DCB came with a plan, got the nod and funding, and executed it very, very well.

    There is nothing, I repeat nothing to stop any other county board from doing the same. But they don’t hand out blank cheques for the craic.

    Mayo are in the top 3 in the country on spend for the Senior setup, so even you will have to admit, money is not the be all and end all.

    The GAA sought to promote Gaelic games in a county where GAA was the third placed sport in terms of playing penetration. If you want to scream about injustice for doing so, fire away. You are entitled to, the GAA is as much your organization, as it is mine. The thing is, few are really listening.

  52. Liam/Jaden – I think that’s enough from both of you on that one. I don’t want this to descend into another Mayo/Dublin he-said she-said thing.

  53. LIAM, I totally agree with Jaden. It may not be a totally level playing field, but in my opinion your being a bit ridiculous.. Anyhow Breaffy /Ballintubber undue influence is coming under the microscope. But we to have to be fair, Breaffy in particular have at the moment at least two, players, U21, winner’s who are deserving of a chance at the senior set up. Theese player’s are totally blameless and worthy of consideration without any reference to what may have happened in the past, by repesentives of their club, be it real or imagined?? . As are all, possible new recuits to Mayo. As for any possible new recuits to the Mayo team, or indeed current fringe player’s, it is essential that the selection of the team be made without the influence of any ‘Cabal’ of player’s. Any such ‘Cabal’ whether real or imagined would contain only seasoned established player’s, who could hardly be expected to be objective, especially if one of their own places was at risk, from a young pretender. Any how onwards and upwards for Mayo, if their is a silver lining in this, it had to be, the fact that Stephen Rochford had nothing to do with thMe heave. He has the job of ‘Positively Influencing ‘ Mayo football for the foreseeable future. I wish Stephen and his management team, every success and much more influence over Mayo, than what they appeared (real or imagined) this year.. Smaller things than this would cause other counties train to come off the rails altogether, Just another bump in the road for Mayo, we’re a resialiant lot.

  54. Concentrate on the message and not the messengers.

    This interview should have been given in December 2015 to the Mayo News and Dillion’s text should not have been attributed to him whatever about published.

    Jaden I have no issue with either what u said or how u said it. We need outsiders on this site for a different perspective.

    Liam you are usually very humours in your posts so revert to type it is more entertaining.

    At least the players were decent enough to give Rochford a second year…

  55. Old news maybe but a plethora of new problems. What possessed the players to meet with the arbiter? The release of his report will be the next episode in this rather strange plot.

    Who is damaged? Well names were named, emails released along with texts. Rochford now has to pick up a mess that has the O Sheas, Hennelly, Clarke, Higgins, Dillon , and COC in the headlines. I wonder is Andy happy that Alan thought he shouldn’t be in? Is Clarke happy at Seamus bearing in mind October as well. By the way, I understand where O Shea was coming from with the kick outs but Hennelly wasn’t the solution.

    However overlooked is the board. Would this happen to a streamlined business? Would this happen if the original appointments of the duo weren’t clouded in chaos? Did anyone on the board know that this torpedo was on the way? Actually has the board any opinion on this seeing as it’s their current players and managers that are hung out to dry?

    Rochford now has a new problem. Drop any of those mentioned and he will be accused of also pandering to them earlier. Keep them and he will be accused of being afraid of them. This article may be old news but it has the capacity to tear the county asunder. Beware a vacuum, someone will fill it. The results may not be pretty.

  56. F’deelin, My point is this. If I was a player who’d put undue influence on mgmt to make a change and that change spectacularly backfired in the most important game of the year, I’d feel culpable and would hope that I would analyse whether or not I did the right thing. If I was being called out in the national press as a player who sought to influence selection, substantiating long held suspicions, 2.5 months later, I’d hope that would lead to further soul searching as to whether or not my behaviours were acceptable. So rather than spur the squad on, my hope is all of this shite acting that we’ve been hearing about since Horan left will be put to bed, and the players will get on with concentrating on improving themselves individually and collectively as a team, whilst letting mgmt get on with their jobs of ensuring the best available team takes the field, prepared and drilled to implement whatever game plan mgmt have set out for them to execute.

  57. Thank God for someone like you Willie Joe that talks sense. Last years news is right. Onwards and upwards to 2017!

  58. Pat and Noel were good servants to Mayo football. They invested a lot into and alot has been said in the media about them so they deserve the right to reply and give there opinion. In fairness it wasn’t that toxic Whst they said considering it was a humiliating experience for them in terms of what they did say in a big group if talented people in such an emotive environment as Mayo football there will always be a dynamic and an edge abd maybe it’s no harm. As others have said it’s time to draw a line under it and move on but the 2 lads were entitled to give there side of the story hopefully there will be no response from the players now and they should just focus on 2017. A very blessed Christmas to all….

  59. I was hoping that we had heard the last of last years management because I had great respect for their service to Mayo football,sometimes outstanding,some times poor,but this leaves a very sour taste in the mouth,what happened in appointing them even though I was fully behind them when they were appointed. But this is the wrong time and after Tom you would be entitled to think that perhaps it is point scoring time, if they want to talk perhaps they mention players on the panel having to pay into the Galway game, or not enough room on the coach because of hangers on, or the fact that someone who failed was up in the stand to watch the players they should just have left it. But we can go back to M Moran for bad judgement by the board, or 1997 when everyone in croke park could see an injured player, or no change on the foward, we need to realise that many mistakes have been made by the board and different managers, in relation to Stephen I fully believe that no one will try a d influence him, he has the medals to prove it, and I know it is raking over old wounds but anyone who watches the first match will see the kick outs all went to Tom Parsons on the half back line does anybody believe that Dublin would not target it.Anyway if you allow this rant Willie Joe all the best to you and yours for the season, and all the posters some which I don’t agree with but always enjoy. And it even increases my admiration for James Horan who said he would knock the bulls**t out of Mayo football some job

  60. Why come out with this article before Christmas does not make sense. Time to look forward to next season.

  61. Willie Joe
    You give a wonderful service but Im thinking its the ideal platform for some first class
    moaners.Joe Brolly,Martin Carney,Martin Brehony .referees,venues, newspapers ,false
    pick ups and a host of others are to blame

    However if you talk to neutrals,some who have won and lost All irelands,they will say Mayo
    were not quite good enough on the day.Unlucky ,yes, but that is sport.

    Can I say Kerry were going for an incredible 5 in a row,something that was not or unlikely to be achieved when in the final minutes Tommy Doyle was nudged in the back by S Darby who scored the winning goal for Offaly. Did Kerry complain ?NO .

    Today Simon Zebo was wrongly yellow carded and Munster lost by 2 points.Will they
    moan and complain ?I doubt it.Surely its time to stop blaming other forces for lack of
    an All Ireland .In the recent past mistakes were made at the back and we didn’t have enough scoring forwards.{Dublin brought on Costello who scored 3 points.I doubt if we
    have the same talent.}
    The best way of boosting the sales of the Independent is to keep talking about it.That what
    it is trying to achieve.

    Finally it would be nice if we were more objective and realistic.Its the best way of supporting the team.
    Mayo can win the AI if a few less mistakes are made together with one or two scoring

    Please stop blaming others for lack of success.It is of no help whatsoever.

  62. DID buy the Indo today and did read the whole thing through, and it’ll bear rereading. If I was Breheny’s editor I’d be giving him a Christmas bonus. While it may be the silly season, he got the guys to talk, and I doubt if they could say he didn’t do them justice with two whole pages of in-depth interview. It also demonstrates that Mayo are box office.

    Indeed the ‘lads’ name names and get down and fairly dirty. When you couple this with the Tom Cunniffe interview, it does point some fingers fairly clearly at certain players. Objective outsiders might say this lot chucked out one management because they didn’t deliver and then didn’t deliver themselves, however close they came.

    I also thinks there’s little doubt that Rochie and co may have had some of the same problems, at least during the early part of the year. I recall a heated on-pitch ‘discussion’ during the Galway game between Tony McEntee, Aido and Keith. I’d say the type of game the new management wanted to play met with a lot of resistance but I feel that they (the management), got on top of it by the end of the season. They may have to be even more assertive in ’17.

    Also, if Pat & Noel had to do it, better now. The ‘new’ management are in a stronger position, now. Everyone can deal with it a little more objectively at this stage.

  63. I wouldn’t be too hard on c&h. They got poorly treated by the players and entitled to their say. I have no doubt whatsoever if Clarke had started final we would have 30 lads with all Ireland medals today. Current management gave into pressure probably from players mentioned and everybody got robbed of all Ireland medals. It’s better to highlight this shite this year and put a stop to it than continue to ignore it and let it carry on.

  64. I hope Holmes and Connelly feel their reputations are fully rehabilitated after that.

    Leaking details of player texts and emails is sure to guarantee they will be high demand the next time a managerial job becomes available. Provided one of their blood relatives is picking the manager.

  65. Fail to see the point of this article now.This should be for dressing room not media.
    Pat & Noel own goal.

  66. Its a funny old world. When Pat & Noel were ousted, every Tom, Dick, & Harry wanted to know what happened and why. W.J. & John Cuffe were also wanting to know. Every Mayo supporter wanted to know, and when this Mr Conroy did his report every one wanted to read it. It was like the Secret of Fatima. Now that it is printed nobody likes it. It didn’t pan out the way it was supposed to. Its about time some body in Mayo GAA called a spade a spade. If names were put out in public, remember there is no smoke without fire. Everybody keeps saying that Mayo GAA don’t tell the public what is happening, and lo and behold when we hear TRUE FACTS we go and shoot the messengers. Going forward this team might say “We blew it, a few times”. Actions speak louder than words, and we have a few that this refers to. All talk and no actions. Hope 2017 will bring its rewards.

  67. Wow is right jaden. Liam’s post is the truth. Your coming on here lecturing Mayo people is very funny. Still, you can look forward to winning the Leinster title year in year out for the next 100 years, and Sam Maguire maybe 80 out of 100 do you’ll have plenty to lecture the runners up about.

  68. I have to correct you there, True Grit. I never “wanted to know what happened and why” and I never called for the whole story (or one side of it, as appears to have happened today) to come out.

  69. Of course the ex managars were correct to put this out there. Thumbs up to the journalist and the newspaper for facilitating this.

  70. I do not really remember Kerry bitching that much about the Darby goal. What did they do the next year?
    They won the AI. What did the do the year after that?

  71. They did, Berry, loudly and for a long time too. And they didn’t win the All-Ireland the year after, Dublin did, but they did of course win a three-in-a-row after that.

  72. Europe waits with baited breath for article 50 but Pat and Noel steal a march on the Brits by triggering article 51 and purge their souls to the hater of our beloved Green and Red jersey. My nuts are shaking in my togs from the pain of it. Anyway its Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid, Leeds won today, holidays next week, got the old season ticket today, Andy is not for retiring, Lee Keegan is convinced we have what it takes, that’s good enough for me.

  73. If these problems with “ego” existed while Pat and Noel were in management, and if, they as managers – and remember, there were two of them – failed to address them while in a position of control, it doesn’t exactly suggest that they would have had the ability to succeed in addressing them in 2016 either.

    Therefore it appears that this has served firstly to highlight their own failings, as well as showing them to have broken the confidence of the dressing room, taken a few pot shots both at individuals (the naming of Alan Dillon in particular in this scenario is rather classless), and criticised the regime that preceded them as managers. I wonder if they have aspirations towards management elsewhere? It certainly doesn’t look like it.

    So while I completely agree that they had every right to have their say, I genuinely don’t see how they feel their actions can benefit either their successor, or Mayo football as a whole. What exactly do they want to achieve? If we’re calling a spade a spade here, do they want the current management to drop the O’Shea brothers, when they didn’t have the courage to do so themselves? What solution to this issue is being offered, under the guise of wanting the best for Mayo football? I don’t see it.

    Their comments about the ten All-Irelands lost are also interesting. Were Noel and Pat not involved themselves in ’96? Was “ego” a factor then, I wonder?

    True Grit, every Mayo supporter did not want to know. I am pretty certain that I wrote on here this time last year that what happened within the camp should stay within the camp, because there could be no benefit in every Tom, Dick and Harry watching the pantomime play out. Unless, of course, the players now want to tell their side of the story, which might also raise an eyebrow or two. But even now, I don’t see the benefit. Apart, of course, from placing us under the spotlight and laying us open for more ridicule in winter, yet again.

    Happy Christmas everyone!

  74. A few minutes after the All Ireland reply I was speaking briefly to a square jawed former Galway full back who was known for his ability to lash a ball 70 to 80 yards with ease. He remarked that the better team had won so I put it to him that if Hennelly hadn’t made the error, then we probably would have won. He replied “If he hadn’t fucked up someone else would, that’s Mayo for ya”. I think its time to look for a dark room until the start of the FBD.

  75. 1. I presume all the people who are delighted that this half of the story is in the open will be as eager for the mediators report to be published to show the actions of the management and county board.
    2. Anyone who was surprised by the Alan Dillon text has obviously never played or managed the game. Every player thinks they’re better than the next lad. Successive county managers overlooked me at the county’s cost.
    3. Cause and effect. What do the two lads expect to gain by this? I would genuinely struggle to believe that this move was based on anything other than malice.
    4. It’s not you, it’s me. Sometimes people go along way around to say what they really mean. I’m sure it was a number of issues but ultimately it came down to the fact the players simply didn’t like one or both of them.
    5. Sorry Olive, not always in the mood to be patronised too. I’ve no problem with outside views, Cantini, Martin and Gamechanger are some of the finest but there was no intention there today other than to throw the boot in. Normal service will resume shortly.

  76. I agree with John Cuffe, although we disagreed at the time of their appointment, I must say I think the liason officer has a lot to answer for because if he had been doing his job properly he would have picked up on the trouble in the camp, but he must have been blind and deaf not go notice something wrong, but as John says Stephen has now to sort it out I don’t envy him, I still think we are very close so it would be a tragedy if anyone walked now, at the risk of upsetting some posters who feel that they invest more than the plaers I don’t agree, these players will already be preparing for next year, I also want big big egos on the team because if anyone believes that the Spillanes, J O Shea or other top players have not got big egos get the biggest stockings for Santa you can find.anyway hopefully it will blow over and we can look foward to next year

  77. It wasn’t easy reading the article but IMO it is good that it was published. We were listening to these rumours all year and now hopefully the players named will take a look at themselves and leave out this rubbish. The likes of Aido, Seamie, Keith and Dillon probably won’t be playing in the FBD so this should have blown over by the time we see them back playing.

  78. By the way, I didn’t agree with the dig at Alan Dillon either. I think it was proved this year that Dillon was criminally underused by Holmes and Connelly.

  79. I certainly did not want to know anything about what happened in the past. Noel and Pat should have kept their mouths closed at this stage, The only thing that interest me is how we perform next year. What good has this article done for Mayo Football

  80. Shaking my head at H&C coming out and doing this now. Nothing only bitterness shone through for me. The Dillon text was a disgrace. Good riddance to them.

  81. Liam, I still maintain if you’d been on the field below in Limerick in 2014, we’d have been celebrating the three in a row this year. Nothing will persuade me otherwise!

  82. It’s easy to say it’s all in the past now but I wonder what would happen next year if Management decide to drop Hennelly from panel.

  83. Draw a line under it? Not possible I’m afraid. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle and will not oblige by returning quietly despite our best pleadings. As John Cuffe has said names have been named and things have been said. And I suspect this is not the end of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brehony had more, even uglier stuff at his disposal, if those rumours that were going around were also substantiated by Holmes and Connelly.
    Sadly, all this will do little for the 2017 team.
    What to do?
    1. The co board meet with Holmes and Connelly and agree that there will be no more comment or revelations from them.
    2. The team meet and hammer it out in private. If hard truths have to be faced then do it. Then make a statement taking the heat out of the situation. Above all do not feed the beast by making counter allegations. They already have had their say.
    3. Rochford & co bring the focus back on football in January and dish out a hammering or two in the first couple of league games.

  84. The word ego was used and you know what, the person with the biggest ego is the man who wrote this piece. Mr. Breheny has been like a dog with a bone chasing this story. His mantra right from the start was that the players were wrong and the previous management were right. In life the most important thing to any person when involved in an argument is to be proved right, in his ego trip he now feels that he was proved right in what he originally wrote in relation to this episode. Tom Cunniffe, Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly were all pawns in Mr. Breheny’s hands. Does he really give a fiddlers about them or Mayo GAA.

    This point was proved by the way he started the main part of the article today, the exact same way that he started his piece after the heave took place. He took us back to the fateful moment when Lee Keegan had the chance to put us five points up in the replay against Dublin. He missed and Mayo collapsed, he continued, he declared the players were to blame for this and should have accepted this and not get rid of their managers. This is the numb of the argument from his point of view. You’d think that as a qualified journalist, the first rule is, provide some balance.

    Barry Moran started the replay, leaving us with no midfield cover on the bench. Then when Seamie O’Shea got black carded that was the start of our problems. We had no like for like replacement to come on. Andy Moran came on earlier than expected. We ended up the match with Alan Freeman and Stephen Coen in midfield. Surely that was a failing of management not having adequate replacements on our bench for all of the required positions. Compare this to the replacements that Dublin brought on, Alan Brogan, Kevin McManamon and Michael Darragh MacAuley all in their proper and correct positions. For example the minute that Andy Moran started causing problems for Jonny Cooper, Michael Fitzsimons was brought on to mark him.

    Yet for us when Barry Moran went off, our defence was left with a gaping hole down the middle of it, which Dublin exploited to the full. Surely we should have planned for this in a much better way, i.e. who would fulfil this role when Barry Moran went off, playing the sweeper role in front of our defence. Why did Mr. Breheny not provide us with this kind of information in relation to our collapse. He didn’t because it would not have fitted into his argument that our team collapsed solely because of our players and not because of our management.

    This is not to say that our management didn’t make mistakes this year, of course they did as well. Not starting David Clarke been the most obvious one but you would still have more faith in Stephen Rochford than Holmes and Connelly. Look, back and forth arguments like this could be made for weeks on end and sure in the end we still would have no winners, except that Mr. Breheny feels that he is a winner tonight.

    We have not won the All-Ireland title since 1951. Since then we have had failings by our management, our players, county boards and even by us supporters. Everything is out in the open now so all we can do is move on and try to put all of this behind us, what else can we do at this stage. All sides have to look in the mirror and accept their part in the failure of us not getting over the line.

  85. My estimation of PH and NC has reached rock bottom!
    Their comments about the O’Sheas and Alan Dillion are scurrilous and maybe even libellous!
    Aided and abetted by a journalist who has never been a friend of Mayo!
    I wonder which county he is from??
    To think that they present these ‘pieces of advice’ under the guise of helping Mayo win Sam is laughable!
    It’s obvious they want Stephen R to fail / but in my opinion he is a much better man manager!
    Shame on PH and NC !!!

  86. Yeah Diehard and Sinead, I was thinking that too. I noticed that Mr. Breheny mentioned that Aidan O’Shea questioned why a certain player was not in the 26 man squad and my first thoughts were, will this player be named next as part of this on going saga. As I said there are no winners here apart from Mr. Breheny feeling that he has won in his own head.

  87. Md, seeing as we’re blaming managers, surely J Maughan was to blame for leaving Holmes on M Fitzgerald that day.

  88. my point is there is too much effort made trying to find excuses and blaming outside
    forces for lack of that AI.Frankly its boring at times and doesn’t get us anywhere.

    By the way Paidi OShea is reported to have put his between his hands and said
    “where the xxxx is Offaly anywhere”?

    The best teams and champions do not make excuses in defeat.Fact.

  89. Observer Not sure where you got that line. Kerry bitched about the Darby goal for a long time, with some justification to be fair to them. It was their 5 in a row and they were in control. Totally lost all respect for Tom, Noel and Pat. Used to be my heroes. Now I would not support their appointment to looking after the U14 team. Their management skills are now laid bear for all to see. I would now ask how were they appointed in the first place?

  90. Anne-Marie, from reading the article today, it seems Pat and Noel did contain the egos during their reign, as they refused to pander to their requests. The egos threw a tantrum, as they were frustrated at being contained, they wanted new management and wanted input into the selection of this new management.
    Stephen Rochford is going to have to show a little more belief in himself, he has proven to produce the goods with Corofin and obviously has great knowledge of the game, but he showed a lack of confidence in his own ability by bringing players with him to watch a game and also his team selection for the replay shows all the signs of player’s influence.

    We obviously have huge issues within the squad that need to be resolved. Yes, Holmes and Connelly have opened the can of worms and there is going to be mixed opinions on whether or not they did so for the general good or not. I wouldn’t blame them for feeling bitter but in fairness the article is more matter of fact than personal.
    I can imagine that watching how things unfolded in September must have been sickening for P and N -to know that what they witnessed at the helm last year, directly cost us this year’s All-Ireland. It says it all when the our All Star winning goalkeeper was left on the bench for an All Ireland replay.
    Unfortunately I couldn’t get a ticket for the game but I remember how shocked the RTE pundits were when they realised Clarke wasn’t starting …it was incredulous!

  91. Agree HSE that is good analysis. Our sideline lost that game in 2015. You only have to look at the Mayo team and the patch work that we were trying to use to beat the Dubs at their own game The warrior in this squad brought us back to Croke Park against all the odds in 2015. JH had this squad in a great place up to 2014 and there was a big dip in 2015. Would be nice to to have another look at their appointment process though. Holmes and Connolly have shown their hand now. Yesterday news

  92. Congratulations Noel and Pat on putting your side of the debacle – although apparently the baying mob would deprive you of exercising your right to so do, Having to tip-toe around the bigheads as well as having to massage egos has no place in any voluntary activity. I would like if more of those involved would be as forthcoming as their then colleague, Tom Cunniffe. has been recently.
    Implicit in the player action was the notion that the management team was the problem – the 2016 outcome exposes that fallacy.

    I suggest that the current group ostracises any of their colleagues getting too big for their boots in future.
    Finally to refer to the Martin Brehony article as “last years news” may be factually correct but nonetheless sets the tone for the subsequent responses.

  93. Where’s the “baying mob” you refer to, Mayo Exile? The analysis of the situation here to date seems pretty reasonable to me, from both sides of the fence.

  94. They were publicly humilated by the players and have a right to reply. The article published a year too late though. Same problems seem to exist

  95. In my opinion Holmes and Connelly were the wrong men for the job. I felt that when they were appointed and nothing has changed. The players showed immense courage. That took something special. These men who represent alot of our hopes and dreams are not stupid men. They did not take this decision lightly. They battle for themselves and for all of us with such intensity pride and unabathed passion everytime they cross that line. It is vital that they believe in their leaders. I trust their judgement and they will prevail. After living in America for good few years I became a big supporter of the New England Patriots. their 91 season consisted of 15 loses and 1 victory. They reached the super bowl in 96 I think and were beating fairly by the Niners, a team I can never warm to despite having lived in Frisco for ten years. I think Bill Parcells was in charge back in 91. Great manager back in the day but he simply could not evolve. Holmes and Connelly have both served Mayo well in the past. They have let themselves down. This bullshit talk only panders to wounded egos which was probably Almost half the problem in the first place.

  96. Pure bullshit about the players having egos Everyone has an ego and people usually think they are always right. H and C have egos as well and hope this article will massage those egos a bit. Lets talk facts. Mayo 2016 were better than Mayo 2015. Both sets of management made errors. From my perspective the last 15 mins of Mayo v Dubs in 2015 semi replay was the only time in the past 6 years that I saw a Mayo team give up. that never happened under Horan or Rochford. H and C claim they want whats best for Mayo. Todays interview is not whats best for Mayo . The only winner from all of this is the biggest gobshite of them all Mr Brehony a galway man.

  97. To win just once, I have to disagree with you ( I hope that doesn’t dent you ego ?) The truth always comes out in the end, the interview itself is not the problem, the revelations of the interview are the problem. But those problems were there all along, just now they are out in the open.
    You bring your car to the garage to get it fixed if it is not working properly, otherwise you may not reach your destination. 1000’s of Mayo fans travel the length and breath of the country in the hope that their support will help our team reach their destination.
    There is no point us all cruising along if there are fundamental issues that need to be addressed.

  98. Great analysis HSE. Has anyone asked why they went to Breheny? Could it be that he had already stated his views towards the heave and they knew he wouldn’t ask them any hard questions about their role in the whole affair. Maybe Colm Keys or Malachy Clerkin would have questioned if there was ANYTHING that they feel they got wrong, because in a 5000 word interview I didn’t read one sentence where they admitted to any mistake. Everyone has their own feelings or views on what happened in 2015 and that’s only natural. My view has always been that we underhandedly appointed a management team who were completely unprepared for the level the game had evolved into, who had pre judged certain players who they felt were too big for their boots and decided that they’d bully them into toeing the line. The problem was that the players had formed an incredible bond under Horan, who had moved things to another level and when the two lads arrived with ancient training tactics and a bullying attitude, the die was cast. The interview 100% confirmed for me everything I suspected and had heard.

    Finally, is anyone going to highlight any of the obvious mistakes and lack of preparation shown on numerous occasions? The humiliating hammering off Dublin in the league. The “jeez, I never seen that before” comment regarding Tyrone and that radical new defensive system called the blanket they unveiled in Castlebar in the league? The power and influence that started to be bestowed on a former manager who was being lined up as U21 boss (they had a big problem with outside forces for the players but not by themselves) The antics of a member of the management team the night before the Kerry league game? The lack of hotel rooms for players in the semifinal? The visits of certain individuals into the dressing room on game day? And the biggest one of all, the way they got the job, which would shame a third world dictator such was the level of underhandedness.
    As the old saying goes, there’s two sides to every story.

  99. Unfortunately ‘last year’s news’ was just that…..until today! Like it or not it’s a good article as there are a number of revealing comments (look at the number of comments on this thread). They crossed the line on the reference to the Dillon text – they should apologise to him for that as he should not have been singled out in that manner.
    For me the most interesting thing is basically the confirmation that indeed there was a cluster of players ‘challenging’ management on various issues – this of course had been widely rumoured.
    The key question now is whether the same cluster are challenging Rochford also.
    Here’s the thing though; all this stuff about player power etc. It wouldn’t be a point of discussion of we won the AL – these things are only issues when we lose.
    Finally isn’t it heartening to see the level of comments on this thread in the dead of the season…..all because we love Mayo football!

  100. Bad news for the Independent group. They were forced to apologise publicly for that disgusting piece by Tommy Conlon last Sunday about joe Brolly. Also the were obliged to pay Brolly a “considerable sum” which Brolly immediately donated to charity. Conlon also apologised and the Sindo admitted the article was disgusting. What ya think of that Joe Brolly?

  101. No harm. Maybe a good thing. Rochford will have learned a lot and excessive egos exposed as gobshites. Thats a good thing. They can choose to learn and decide to step up to the plate….or not. We will see. There are a lot of positives to look forward to.

  102. Apologies WJ for getting my dates wrong. I was watching an excellent Connaught team turn over one of Europes top sides as I wrote that blog. Winners to losers I suppose. My point was that they came back and won AIs quick and fast. They are not still without an AI 30 years later blaming the Gods for being harsh to them. You make your luck.

  103. U might be right WJ that Kerry bitched about the Darby goal and still do….but they did so with a wry smile as though they were winding u up…they knew no one had an ounce of sympathy for them anyway. I never met a Kerry man who felt really aggrieved about it…there is no less sympathetic supporters than the Kerrymen…:very rarely I here them blame anyone but their own players…that was what paidi was getting at years ago when he referred to his own as the worst kind of ***ing animal…

  104. Lads it’s 5 past 1 in the morning get some sleep we won’t solve Mayo’s football problems this side of Christmas

  105. The analogy of this being the first stone through the window could not be more apt. Get ready for more. Brehony, folks, I mean come on!!
    None of us like reading the nitty gritty of this but the fact is that Pat and Noel could have done something to curb player power early on. By simply dropping a couple of lads everyone would have then known who was boss. (note: Jim Mcguinness drops Kevin Cassidy = Donegal win All Ireland, albeit in different circumstances, but the case still applies).
    I’d hazard a guess that most team dressing rooms are full of egos. The onus if firmly on the manager(s) to let the players know where they stand. While some of the players named are big players, it still seems to have started off with a small number trying to dictate terms. That was the time for the managers to assert themselves and show the whole set-up what they were made of.
    I’m sure that the kind of nonsense the players were at is at least attempted by more teams/players than just Mayo. Players are human and human nature holds that people will continue trying to get advantages and pushing boundaries if they see a weakness or vulneralbility. Sure why not keep on emailing if your sitting pretty knowing full well you’ll be picked for the next match anyway.
    It’s a bit rich that they’re releasing all of this now when they did nothing to control it themselves at the time. To me this was the central failing of the entire saga and I doubt they’ll win much credit airing a stale story like this a year and a half later.

  106. Excellent comment by liberal role in the tie. Sums it all up well. Some people here are blindly allied to either side of this dispute. As always the truth lies somewhere in the middle. H & C appeared to be weak man managers to allow this kind of stuff to happen. Alan Dillon’s name should not have been attached to that text.
    But they are also entitled to air their side of the story in light of the reputational damage they incurred.
    I’d also ask some of the staunch defenders of the players – do you think it’s right that Aidan o shea sends emails to the management asking why a certain player is not in the match day 26?? Can you imagine that happening in any other high level sports team? It’s absolutely farcical. Imagine an email like that dropping into jim mcguiness or Brian codys inbox. You wouldnt be seeing that player again in a hurry.

    One think we can all agree on though, is that Martin breheny is an A grade W**KER ???

  107. Liam, Were you in Ballyshannon under Horan that was the hardest day I endured as a supporter. Did JH not have a huge influence on the appointment of the U21 manager. U21 & Senior are inextricably linked. They didn’t give the job to themselves. I mistakenly believed Buckley & Solan were doing the training tactics. As for some of your other speculation, there was speculation at the time H&C were moving on more of JH backroom team and that was the final straw for the players.You didn’t mention the Corn Rows was that the bullying.

    This whole saga could of being avoided if the Conroy report had not been buried. I genuinely believe our problem is a lack of leadership from the top of our CB.

  108. REDCOL is right. Our CB lead this situation arise from appointment through to resignation. There is a clear conflict of interest there anf no accountbility

  109. Mayo continue to generate amusement and entertainment for the rest of the country!
    While H & C are entitled to give their side of the story, the way it was done really grates.
    Firstly the ‘journalist’ and ‘newspaper’ chosen – a rag and a Galway man who loves to put the boot into Mayo whenever possible.
    Secondly, if they are going to highlight the players failings, they should have the honesty to acknowledge their own failings also.
    I think it might be no harm that they’ve mentioned egos in the camp. We’ve all heard those rumours and this might force those players to take a look at themselves and concentrate on their performance rather than trying to control everything.
    But what they did to Dillon was unnecessary and dirty. Nasty and betrays privacy. Why would he be happy to be dropped!? I don’t see how it adds anything to their story other than having a dig.

  110. Was just wondering what might happen if one o the Kilkenny lads dropped an email to Cody asking about the selection…..

  111. REDCOL,

    I agree 100% on publishing the Conroy report. I also agree there are issues that need to be addressed regarding players. What’s needed is balance.

  112. If the players dictated the change of goalie for the replay we are in a bad place.Egos have to be reined in & the squad needs freshening up.Our new selector might help too.

  113. We have a serious problem if players are dictating. Absolutely disgraceful carry on. We can bury our head in the sand and blame referees, Gaa, venues, Dublin….etc etc but the fact is we can only control our own house and the interview only confirms the whispers of the past 12 months. Heads need to roll and I do t care what your name is. Fuckung hell I mean any player who thinks he can dictate to a manager should be told to fuck off….I’m raging

  114. Post at 12.13 by Liam .this is spot on. I said at the time it should be a one year contract the house didn”t need rebuilding two bricks needed,If this was done there would be none of this bullshit ,one man against another. JH got rid of the bullshit , the team were playing like never before. 2015- 2016 those two years should have been nailed, were those two men watching the team from 2011 onwards ,there is a specsavers in Castlebar .i think.

  115. I don’t think anyone likes the way our furry laundry is being aired in public but it’s out now so nothing we can do about it. We have serious problems. Our wait will continue until we look in the mirror. I feel since Limerick we have lost the run of ourselves looking to blame outside influences when we should be looking in the mirror

  116. Brace yourselves. Sligo Eamon Sweeney takes to Sunday Independent back page to reheat Galway Brehenys article. Then in case we didn’t get the message Dermot Crowe gives us a lash in same paper.

    So the silence continues….from the county board. We await a robust reply. Do they agree with Holmes and Connolly? If so did they ask them why they didn’t dump the named players at the time. Seeing as Holmes and Connolly are no longer involved with Mayo it’s pointless engaging with them now. So a gaping gash has opened. The Indo references Brian MacDonald and 1992. Rochford gets hammered. This has done immense damage to us and WJs apt headline can be ironically viewed now. This folks is going to run and run. Solution? Appoint a separate three person group to oversee the county team, this group divorced from county board. Let Co Board focus on debt clearing and running club championships leagues etc. They are unable to run a senior county team, not now, not in 1992 and best summerised by Eamon Mongey in 1982, “What we achieved was DESPITE them, not because of them”. Fucking painful.

  117. Why should the county board say anything at this point, John? To help the Indo sell more papers, perhaps? The most relevant bit of today’s helpings from the Indo was in Dermot Crowe’s piece where he said the players are saying nothing. Hopefully that remains the case and that yesterday’s article was the end of it. From a Mayo GAA point of view, there’s no point in facilitating this public circus in the Indo continuing any longer, though clearly that organ has a strong commercial rationale to flog it as hard as they can. The board, or anyone else, making public statements about this would merely guarantee that it continues to run and run.

  118. Lets be honest here, everyone on the way to the replay with an access to social media in pubs, trains and buses scratched their collective heads and asked the question “Clarke dropped and Hennelly in, what’s that all about?” And we weren’t all smart after the event, we all asked that question beforehand. Surely a question has to asked about Rochfords decision? I like to think it was based on stats etc and how he was going in training. But he needs to address it, he looks very naive if he doesn’t.

  119. Well WJ I see your point. But saying nothing won’t stop what’s coming down the line. Someone needs to take charge. Someone needs to put a perspective on this. When Joe Brolly took on Gooch he found he took on the Kerry press connections. When Keegan was targeted we took on the Dublin PR team. In Mayo we have no public figure capable of articulating and placing this tripe where it belongs. Media wise we are lightweight and a pushover. I’m a great believer in fighting fire with Fire once you are armed with the facts. We , apart from this blog are like neutered cats, all purr and miaow. By the way H&C did raise a very valid point about player power within the Mayo set up, but it has been watered and tended by the board for as long as I followed the team. We also have a situation where the board itself was wedged by the players when H&C were deposed. In essence it wasn’t just the managers that got a black eye, it was the board as well. I recall the statements issued by the board sfter listing semi to Dublin along the lines of “what heave, what Crisis, its paper talk , nothing to see here folks”. This was from within the executive. Well we know how that one worked out, the mess is on this mornings ceiling. So it’s my belief, I’m not a PR man, but this issue needs handling, this issue needs closing and I for one don’t have confidence in the tools available to us. I commend you and your site. We have this to vent . Time those with access to national media started cleaning this up. Read Dermot Crowe and Sweeney, see the spin on how they see it, we have abnew car pushing scenario. We won’t fall out though WJ.

  120. You would have to admire the Tyrone set up the way they stood up to Rte. Mayo on the other hand every time Breheny and Brolly talk shite about us we promote it and rush out and buy papers. Is it any wonder they do it. We should all stop buying it and clicking into it.

  121. Imagine a Kilkenny butler or Kerry footballer going to management saying I want such a person in goal…..he would be told to fuck off.

  122. The part that grates with me is in knowing they were going to destroy the managers reputations, the core reasons were not shared to Pat and Noel.
    The explanation in the letter is a generalisation.
    Seeking to take time out for a TV program debunks any notion that the standards were above Pat and Noel. Seeing as Pat and Noel quashed that idea of effectively not training for a week or two mid season.
    You can’t self proclaim the highest standards of preparation while at the same time being comfortable with missing training.

  123. Lets say players arent happy with management , that a previous management had set standards and they wernt been met by new management . Lets say it was even basic stuff like in a v b games there wasnt even different sets of togs and socks . Are players meant to just settle for a drop in standards or do their best to make do for a campaign and make their views known when the campaign ended?

  124. For sure we won’t John. I’m not a PR man either but as I see it the ones with the most agenda here are the Irish Independent and their agenda is to shift as many papers as possible and get as many hits as they can on their website. Keeping their story alive serves no purpose from a Mayo GAA point of view, on the contrary the longer it runs the more damage it will cause us. While I respect Noel and Pat’s viewpoint, I think they’re 12 months too late coming out with it and their service to Mayo GAA – long and honourable in both cases – is now quite obviously in the past. To that extent, they’re noises off and that’s where the noise should stay – away from the current set-up, county board and players.

    If there’s any positive to come out of this – and I’m not sure there is – it could be that yesterday’s interview serves to strengthen Stephen Rochford’s hand for next year. Because of the timing of his appointment last year, he had little or no time to put his own stamp on things before the action got underway and that showed over the course of the year. Twelve months on, things should be very different but it’s only when next year’s football gets going properly that we’ll see if this is the case. But, make no mistake, out on the pitch is where we need to see evidence of this and it’s there – and only there – that the players need to do their talking next year.

  125. They should have had the character to at least share what the drop in standards was.
    Donal Buckleys coaching, the fitness work were all said to have been fine.
    If you publicly do this to two people you owe them an explanation better than cant meet our high standards. Which are obviously not that astoundingly high seeing as missing training is something can be agreed with the next Manager.

  126. It’s a fantastic scoop by the Indo anyway, even though I wish it didn’t come out…if you were a neutral it is a fascinating insight into the internal workings of a team…though this stuff usually comes out 10 years down the road. But sure lookit, we’re Mayo we love the circus and so does the team

  127. is my memory playing tricks with me or was Hennelly warming up with about 4 minutes to go in the drawn final.If a change was made at that stage we would be champions as clarke had very poor kickouts from there till the end. Bottom line is that Hennely has made costly mistakes in 2 finals & will have to be replaced.

  128. And last year’s semi replay and Galway this year…anyway Hennelly is not part of the main discussion. I must say WJ that I don’t agree with you that it’s last year’s news, while it happened lat year, the players are still there. And will be for some time to come it seems.

  129. A Kilkenny player took part in that programme last year, The Toughest Trade, and Kilkenny went on to win the All-Ireland title. A player from Tipperary was part of the programme this year and also went on to win an All-Ireland medal. The programme had no affect on their performances later in the year.

    In 2014 Marc O’Se was dropped for the infamous replay in Limerick against us. He said in an interview that he went to the Kerry manger Eamonn Fitzmaurice and told him that he thought that his decision was wrong but he accepted it. So other team’s players do question their manager’s decisions as well, even in Kerry.

    It was interesting that in 2015 Keith Higgins was not allowed to play for the hurlers but he was allowed to play in 2016, maybe another symptom of the intransigence of the 2015 management team.

    Yes Noel and Pat were entitled to put forward their point of view but I think that people would have a lot more respect for them if they spoke to The Mayo News or to The Western People.

    It didn’t look good alright, players trying to dictate who plays but it’s up to a strong manger to clamp down on this.

    For me at the end of the day, I’d prefer to have Stephen Rochford in charge in 2017 rather than Noel and Pat. That’s all that matters really. Stephen needs to be his own man too though and not be overly influenced in his player selections for matches, if that was the case this year.

  130. This Indo article proves the players were 100% right to dump the management.

    Holmes says “In our days playing for Mayo, we wouldn’t have stood for a small group calling the shots or having all the say.” Well he was part of the group who shafted Brian McDonnell and everyone knew that heave was led by a few!

    He also stated “We’re two Mayo men first and foremost, passionate about football and our county,”
    “Anything that happens which reduces the chances of Mayo winning an All-Ireland title saddens us. Well they have just stabbed us all in the back – not just the players.

    As for Tom Cunniffe, his interview was just a taster for the ex Management’s outburst and I ask myself, would he have spoken out if Rochford and co. had tried to get him back ? The new men got a quality replacement and even the Mitchels were not weakened.

  131. When is scapegoating effective? Some are interested in scapegoating the players. Some are keen on scapegoating the managers. Some are keen on scapegoating the county board. Some are keen on scapegoating the media. Some are keen on …

    Everyone is so keen to find that inch that would put us over the line, except that we are doing it in a scapegoating kind of manner. Who knows, maybe the inch we need is to stop obsessing about the inch?

  132. Best thing for all our county now is to keep quiet. Say nothing. H and C have said their piece and if Co Board, players and Rochford now say nothing this story will die and will be irrelevant by the time January comes around. No doubt brehony will go sniffing again for someone else to spill the beans but hopefully common sense will prevail. The only people who want this to drag on are those with gripes against certain players as this is seen as a vindication of what they have been saying all along. The way I see it is that for all of our supposed problems, we were a fraction away from winning the AI Some slight tweaks and improvements in 2017 could see us over the line. Witch hunts and public condemnation will not help. Up Mayo

  133. I think this will empower Rochford. If there is a clique of player hierarchy with a festering entitlement then its good that the air is let at it. They know its time to do the business or get off the pot and no longer slinking around behind a closed veil with melodramatic politics and bullshit. They are too coddled so its no wonder that the entitlement was cultivated.

  134. Agree with throwintime- Mayo will not win an All Ireland if a clique of players are trying to exert undue influence on management.

  135. It would be a major mistake for the County Board or anyone purporting to speak for the county or players to respond to this article. That is exactly what the Indo is hoping for so they have an excuse to keep the story running. Maybe they do have more to publish in the coming weeks but seriously how many people outside Mayo are paying any heed to us washing our dirty linen in public at this time of year

    Once we don’t feed it it will die a natural death. Soon it will be 2017 and all attention will return to what is happening on the pitch. While like most people I was horrified at the Clarke/Hennelly call I saw enough this year to maintain my confidence that Rochford is the right man for the job. Onwards and upwards.

    Thanks again Willie Joe for giving us this wonderful site and for moderating it so well Merry Christmas to you and yours and to all Mayo supporters, players and management and a happy and peaceful New Year

  136. I think a lot of us need to be a bit more thick skinned in all of this. Presumably the Indo didn’t put a gun to the heads of H&C; presumably free will was in operation when they decided to go public in a national newspaper. It’s very doubtful that a Mayo paper would publish it.

    I agree that it should strengthen Rochford’s hand.

    I think (but how do I or anyone else know when we aren’t in the camp?), that his real challenge has been to get the players to play a style that he and selectors want to impose – a more defensive game. This limits attacking options and requires a more talented type of forward, who still has to be tough. There was plenty of evidence during the year that the players hadn’t fully bought in to this approach and that shouldn’t surprise as it requires a change of mentality and that takes some time when everyone has been gung ho about the requirements of the running game..

    This approach will need reinforcing during this coming season; the worry is that H&C feel that the ‘egos’ are capable of undermining things further. If this is true, their mission is not destructive, but a coded plea to Rochie and co that extra steel is going to be required, internally as well as externally.

  137. Are certain outside influences going to be allowed? We all know who it is….he should be told to F off. The buck stops with management no matter who he or they are.

  138. Fair play Liam, well said, and indeed I’ve enjoyed all of your contributions to this thread.

    There wasn’t an ounce of journalistic integrity in Breheny’s piece; not a single shred of evidence that he had questioned H&C’s own approach. No effort made to shine a light on the alleged drop in standards which led to this action in the first place. The hypocrisy contained within the piece is quite something.

    Which made it all the more laughable to see his Indo Sport colleagues bigging it up on social media as an excellent piece of journalism. 5,000 words and not a single question asked.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the only approach now is to ignore this; neither the players nor Stephen Rochford are answerable to this rag.

    Hopkins Benny, good managers command respect, and H&C failed to command the respect of all but seven members of a 30-odd panel. If you fail to do that, it’s game over.

    If I were a certain player reading the comments on social media this morning I’d be asking myself if it was really worth it. Ego or no ego. We in Mayo are certainly All-Ireland champions when it comes to washing our dirty linen in public, but even more so when it comes to turning on our own players.

  139. That’s not how it works though Anne Marie. Why would Holmes & Connolly agree to an interview if they weren’t going to be allowed to completely tell their side of the story unchallenged ? It was a major scoop for the Independent because they spoke to them & them alone & they ended up getting an insight into the internal workings of one of the most prominent football teams out there.

    When you consider the PR ridden sport the GAA has become, it’s a fantastic story for everyone else to enjoy, except for ourselves.

  140. Folks, we have a dinner guest coming and I haven’t time to read all 161 comments. I’ll do that later. What I will say is that I’m not surprised at the reaction of the ones I’ve read here. That being “I won’t buy the Indo again because they printed and published the truths that we blinkered Mayo folk cannot see or accept.”

  141. @yew-tree
    I agree 100% with your comments about the ‘outsider’. The influence of this ‘outsider’ on the team I believe is inappropriate and needs to be addressed.

  142. Ann Marie it’s hard to disagree with what you say but do you think there is a problem? We can’t go turning this as a watch hunt against poor Mayo. It’s time we addressed why we keep coming up short don’t you think?

  143. If these prominent players were so destructive to the cause why were none of them dropped by H&C? We can all draw conclusions about the identity of the ringleaders and I for one cannot think if any championship game in 2015 that they were dropped for???? Sending an email questioning the match day 26 (if this is true) is surely a complete case of overstepping the mark as a player and should have been punished accordingly. … why wasn’t it??

  144. Sending e mails to managemebt smacks of a severely inflated ego. Better the time was spent practicing hitting the target from beyond 30 yards. Too many of Mayos failings must be ‘owned’ by the players themselves before the publics respect is eroded. H and C should have dropped said individuals and explained their reasoning. It is nonsensical bs to be expected to tolerate this.

  145. JG, I would say lack of gumption. Didnt want to rock the boat. Perhaps they were guilty of facilitating the attitudes in certain players.

  146. Sourceoftherode your probably right here was a article brimming with information that if acted upon would remove much of the roadblocks that have left us falling short of ultimate glory and if had not existed would have ment Mayo being the top team for the last number of years instead of the perennial mantra were in the top three or top two teams in the country. No the best thing is to character assassinate the journalist and blame referees and curse the bouncy ball and whatever else!

  147. Conchubair …a lack of gumption…. precisely. But yet these two are lecturing now about what Mayo football “needs” to win an All Ireland. Give me a break.

  148. Do you think Breheny’s was the first door they knocked on, Joe? Really? Of course it’s an enjoyable and a fascinating story, but good journalism it is not.

    No-one is turning this into a witch hunt against us; we damage ourselves without any help. The sad thing is, the power to address this lay within all along – on both sides – but as usual when those within the setup fail to work out their own issues, arms are taken up in the media and meanwhile Dublin and Kerry are winning Sam Maguires and we’re left crying into the soup in Citywest. No wonder we’re a laughing stock.

    Yew_tree, how do you propose “we” address this? I’m a supporter, nothing more. What kind of power do “we” have to address the issues, more than a manager or the county board does?

  149. This whole debacle has pissed me off so much. Its actually worse than losing the All Ireland by one point…. again.

  150. Anne Marie, I would totally agree with you if it was as simple as that. All but seven players stood by the management. Yet, we have Tom Cunniffe coming out to apologise for being sucked into the whole debacle, how many other players felt bullied/ under pressure to surrender their own beliefs, and follow the stronger characters or bigger egos within the group. The players letter threatened strike if H & C remained,it would be difficult for some players to stick by their guns if their team mates are threatening strike.

  151. I would say Martin Breheny made a few attempts during the year to get the interview & built up an element of trust there. I work for a national media organisation & I know we made attempts to get an interview with H&C but were told no & I also know that H & C would have had their pick of any of the national media outlets for such a story.

    It’s good journalism because he would’ve been chipping away at getting that story for a long time, they were only going to speak to someone they trusted , it didn’t happen overnight.

  152. Good journalists provide balance and ask questions. Literally nothing was asked of either of them. There was no attempt to even present another side to the story or any real suggestion as to why the players no longer wanted them in charge. The article is simply an exercise in absolving the management of blame and portraying the players as “uppity”. I’m sure they both knew that Martin Breheny was the man to go to because he wasn’t ever going to pose any difficult questions or try and add any semblance of balance to the piece. He has had an axe to grind with the squad since this started. He has always been on the side of the management and wanted any excuse to get the knife in. Both Holmes and Connelly knew this, I’m sure, and knew they’d be allowed to talk unquestioned. Poor journalism from a poor journalist in a rag of a newspaper.

  153. Spot on there Joe. Don’t care for Breheny, or the Indo, hate the Sindo, but as I said earlier, if I was Breheny”s editor I’d be giving him a bonus for this one..

    BTW why do so many of us like to be liked? We really need media folk to be kicking our asses a lot of the time. Other counties thrive on it.

    What I would really like from all of this, is an ever greater desire burning within the squad – ‘ we’ll really show those bastards’.

  154. Off the Ball today have analysed this (and Sweeney’s ridiculous follow-up piece today) from an outsider point of view, and I think it’s a pretty fair analysis. Well worth a listen.

  155. I keep coming back to the fact I whole heartily backed Pat and Noel when they got the gig even questioning John Cuffe who I feel is an outstanding supporter because he wanted Kevin and Liam,but I was completely wrong ,if they had been in charge they would not have had outsiders and no marks on the coach and in the dressing room,would not have a failed manager of many teams in the stand advising them,it is complete luancy to say a small clique of players were trying to run the show,twenty seven to seven is not a small number,we are in a very difficult place at the moment because now people will question Stephen whatever decisions he reaches,if the players highlighted take offense we are well and truly shafted,I wonder is there a problem between the county board and management,and to all those who say that everyone was shocked by tbe decision to change goalkeepers no I was not shocked,I believe that the stats showed that four scores came from kickouts in the first game anyone which if it had been prevented would have got us over the line,I do not want to favour one player over another and hope that t:hey pay no head to me or any other poster who questions who should be on the team.i would certainly question why a manager who had ample opportunities to get over the line with various teams was given so much respect by both the county board and Pat and Noel especially as he had the best chance to win the easiest all Ireland in ninty seven

  156. I’m sure in the interests of balance Martin Breheny would be very happy to pen a 5,000 word response if any of the Mayo players want to sit down with him.

    Sport is entertainment nothing more, nothing less . It’s not Martin Breheny’s job to defend Mayo players, they can do that themselves.

    The only people saying this isn’t good journalism are Mayo people, do you think we’d all be criticising the journalist if a similar article was penned about Dublin?

    The only ones who should be criticised here are H&C for breaking dressing room code & for masquerading that they are doing this out of some deep concern for Mayo football . It was score settling plain & simple & the singling out of Alan Dillon in particular was disgraceful .

    Breheny writes plenty of rubbish during the year but as was said on OTB this morning, this is the GAA scoop of the year. The only thing the Indo need to do is provide the players with the right of reply

  157. Everyone here should put themselves in the shoes of the managers.
    Imagine getting a letter saying you must quit your job by Monday evening or else.
    No negioation
    No comeback
    No reasons why
    No explanation at all
    No pathway to reconcile and discuss improvements etc

    You would be humiliated, you would not take it lying down either. Pat and noel have remained quiet despite their reputations being shattered.

    In life there are systems in place to give everyone their right of reply and to be presumed innocent. Its a joke the mayo supporters siding with the players when not one reason for their stance has come to light and for the players stance not to allow the independent Mr Conroy to share with pat and noel their grievances.

    Not one mayo supporter would take being sacked without reason from their job on the chin. You would be be bringing your employer to court

    No doubt many posters here will take a similar line to Ollie Dillon in county board meeting who said “even the dogs on the street knew there were problems in the camp during the year” is that right Ollie, then if the dogs know then you can tell us what the problems were to which Ollie replied ” I don’t know”. Only in Mayo.

    All I ask is for mayo supporters to walk a mile or 14 months in Noel and Pats shoes before criticising them or blindly supporting the players as you want to see Sam in Mayo before you die.

    The players essentially blackmailes the countyboard

  158. Ann Marie – we are indeed just fans but we can discuss here. Fact is a few players are getting above their stations. You ask any one that has won an all Ireland and they say EVERYONE has to be pulling in the same direction. That’s not the case here. We will suffer more heartbreak in 2017 it appears…we all want what’s best for Mayo football and I do t doubt the players do too but two or three have come across badly here. No player is bigger than Mayo.

  159. After all these year of reading a few newspapers each day and being happy with that,I come on here and the standards of journalism are teased to the umpteenth degree.

    Could you all help me here and tell this life long Mayo supporter what papers and journalists I should read? I would not want to be exposed to anything less than the acme of journalism.

    Please. Please.

  160. It’s good to see that most people have dispensed with the whole “they’re doing it for the good of Mayo football” garbage that this hatchet job was masquerading as. The Independent will do their best to keep this in the limelight in order to sell more papers, that’s their job I suppose, but as long as its starved of more oxygen it’ll die a natural death by the weekend. The growing consesus from outside the county seems to be that H&C are throwing a number of players under the bus in a act of pure revenge. More than one pundit has pointed out the irony of the pair blaming the players for not taking responibilty for their actions, while blaming everyone but themselves in the interview.
    I know it can seem chaotic at the center of a storm, but the reality is that most everyone else in the country is focused on the upcoming festivites and not on the latest chapter in the increasingly colourful book that is Mayo GAA….

  161. Remember Rochford arriving at the U 21 final in Ennis with at least 2 of the present panel and thinking why wasn’t he there with selectors.. or anyone else ..And then his company for the semi final has to be mentioned..There has to be a clear line between mgmt and players and that line has been muddied over the past 18 mths..Have confidence in Rochford but he’s going to have some serious decision making in the New year..

  162. Berry,

    The National Enquirer in the States runs headlines such as “Elvis spotted working in a diner in Albuquerque” or “JFK marries Bigfoot”, at the moment we are somewhere around that level.

  163. Tubberman I agree with you. Mayo still entertaining the nation in what is the closed season. What grates most is that H&C in spiteful mode runs to a herring choker who has been waiting to write us down all year. This is the caliber of decision making our team had to endure throughout 2015. This was the calibre of decision making we relied on to beat the Dubs in an All Ireland semi final in Croke Park.. The warrior in this squad got us to Croke Park in spite of this incompetent pair and not because of them. The Mayo squad almost to a man rejected this pair. Proper call as it turns out.Claiming to be a manager without a team to manage is just another word for a fool. Unfortunately our country is full of it. We got suckered on the double. They were unable to match the managerial skills and ability set by James Horan. This was the yard stick and they were not up to it. So they named some of the finest footballers what ever donned the jersey. Shame on you I say. I do not want see them take charge of any Mayo team in the future, that door is closed. The Indo is a commercial entity nothing wrong there. Being shafted by your own runs deep, you can write it on stone.

  164. Liam you are making a lot of strawman arguements.
    You talk about the firing being starved of oxygen when you should be discussing why the fire started. The fire started because the players got Pat and Noel the sack while refusing to give any reasons why. Not one. Not very brave of these players who have such professional standards.
    Id love to be able to get people the sack and find people guilty without any explanation. But in the real world that isnt accepted. In mayogaa its accepted.

    The article lays bare the hypocrisy of the current Mayo senior squad.
    Aidan being interviewed on newstalk and saying the players will have no input into picking new managers yet the letter states that they the players will require equal representation on the committee picking the new managers

    The players state they have the highest standards personal and collective yet when Pat and Noel improved the medical team by having Chartered physios in place the team werent happy. The injury rate was minimal apart from the impact injury suffered by vaughan in the first match. There is no higher standard than the medical team they had and the evidence supporting this is concrete.

    Noel and pat should have done what the players did. State the players causing trouble. Offer zero explanation either to the players, the county board or mayo supporters. Offer no recourse.

  165. A lot of us are losing it here folks. We’re a bit like the McGregor fanbase, raging against anybody who dares question their hero(es). The absence of middle ground in this debate must be great fun for our visitors to this site. Holmes and Connelly were ousted without explanation after a reasonable year in charge. A cloud has hung over their reputations, with the general inference being that they weren’t up to it or were incompetent as a management team. There was no talk of axing them and then the heave happened. No explanation. Just go. They went with a dignified statement and have kept their silence for more than a year. I didn’t want Holmes and Connelly. I was appalled by the manner of their appointment. I found Pat, the main mouthpiece for the duo, uninspiring. I thought the team broke even under their watch even though they were a huge comedown after Jimmy Horan.
    But are they not entitled to have their say, and is now not as good a time as any to do it? They’ve had to sit there in silence for 14 months being seen as incompetent failures. What they’ve come out with is something along the lines of what many of us would’ve suspected. Personally I’m glad for them they got it off their chests. It must have been killing them, all the innuendo which resulted from the vacuum created by the absence of an explanation.
    I’m very proud of these players. Wouldn’t swap any one of them for any Dub or Kerryman. They’re ours and we rise and fall with them. But just because we back them to the hilt it doesn’t mean we defend them to the death. I don’t think it’s any harm they’re getting called out for allegedly acting the bollocks on occasion. We seem to be getting a bit misty-eyed and losing sight of the fact that 99 per cent of their actions are driven by self-interest. Just as with any one of us.
    Breheny’s Breheny. The man has driven me mad for years and his bias against us was well documented before this weekend. But it’s a cracking story and the Indo are doing exactly what any media organisation would do. We seem obsessed with shooting the (biased) messenger – but it’s not a comment piece, the two boys said what they said.
    John Cuffe, your point about our inability to circle the wagons in the media is a huge thing. The likes of Horan, DB, Billy Joe, Mort, McStay (for a long time) – we have massive representation – is there no joined-up thinking at all?
    Willie Joe, you’re spot-on, the bullshit said about their alleged carry-on being why they didn’t win the All-Ireland is just that: utter bullshit. But I think ‘Last year’s news’ is coming back to haunt you – more comments than the drawn final!

  166. Imagine if the players wrote a similar letter regarding this website.

    Dear WJ take down this website by Monday @5pm
    We will require equal repesentation when picking a new website/blog for Mayo supporters.
    Please do this quietly and without fuss.
    If you fail to delete this website we will be forced to withdraw our services to play or train with Mayo.

    Mayo squad.

    PS wj do not bother asking why we want your website deleted
    Please do not ask. You will never find out.
    There will be no changing in our stance. We stand together.
    We will participate in an inquiry into why we feel that this website needs closing but we will not allow this inquiry to share our reasons with you.
    Pps. Remain silent forever or our loyal suporters will be out for you.
    Ppps we know this action humiliates you and ruins your reputation in your home county of mayo forever but we have high standards.

  167. Last time I checked my fingers twenty seven against seven was not a minority,but a massive majority to say get lost you are not up to the job

  168. H&C were great servants of Mayo as players & managers but they came up short. Using their analysis now that the whole management thing moved on in 2016 is sheer madness. This has to have Martin Breheny having a right good laugh at Mayo’s expense.

  169. Only3times, Bulltoe, Ye have to be taking the piss, surely.

    Who leaked the story to the press? Since so little was subsequently in the press I do not believe it was the players. The break between players and management cannot be totally separated from the way H & C were appointed in the first place, on the whim of a chairmaan who did not want an alternative management team, withouut any proper consideration by the wider Board. Neither can I see what the players had to gain by leaaking the story so early, before their deadline had expired.
    Had the story not been leaked there would have been no public loss of face. That I believe was down to “friends” of the management.

  170. Mayo are twisted over the flames to feed the independent and give the country a laugh. instead, why doesn’t breheny investigate why one county is given massive advantages and massive money?
    Is he afraid he will lose some privileges and upset his paymasters in the county.
    To Mayo panel members, shut the hell up, don’t give them an inch to print ever again. Don’t give them any interviews, 2 very simple and powerful words. No Comment.
    Let them make it up, as usual. I’ll never buy that newspaper ever again.
    To Holmes and Connelly, what did you expect? You took the job and should have known that you had no credibility because of the way it was given to you. The players are not fools, they seen right through the charade and brushed you off. And then you come out with this nonsense, Christmas week, and you bring this? It speaks volumes and shows how right the players were.

  171. Dreamysleepysnooze…. on the balance of probability i don’t think pat or noel know the reasons

    The most important reason is they definitely have not been told officially what the grievances were. This is key. Imagine a colleague gets you the sack. Your manager says im not telling you why. You ask. They refuse to give the reasons. Now if you go down to the canteen and hear rumours or if someone gives you their opinions to why you were sacked it still does not change the fact that you have not been told officially. There is no way in hell you would accept hearing it in the canteen or through grapevine. If you went home and your husband/wife told just accept what you were told in the canteen you would say thats crazy. That you deserve to be given reasons. You would be demanding to be told the reasons. 14 months later still with no answers you would not have accepted it.


    1. Keith Higgins who to me is a loyal honest person told Pat and Noel that he wasnt in a position to give the reasons
    2. The independent report by mr conroy was not allowed to give the reasons to Noel or Pat
    3. Why would they give an interview and name names if they were withholding the legitimate reasons for the players grievances. If the grievances held any water they would not go and give that interview. It would only aggravate the players who would be in a position of strength to respond and bury Noel and Pat.

  172. Thanks Liam for that. At least they have not really written something along the lines of Mayo team grows a pair and will wins one. Now that would really be out there.

  173. Did the players not block the appointment of Mcstay as manager because they didn’t want McHale?
    Best sign of a new beginning is a shake up of the panel in 2017 with some new faces in and genuine competition for places to keep people on their toes.
    And less of a presence in the media it certainly has an impact on performance,difficult to see how Aos was focused on what was best for the team in 2015 when he walked off the pitch wearing a Dublin jersey

  174. Why did Tom Cuinniffe come out of the woodwork all a sudden? I wonder will he have more to add?

  175. As i said dreamy officially they havent been told and thats all that matters. According to ollie dillon the dogs on the street know but noone can state the reasons
    According to the article….the reasons that pat and noel know about are in there.

    Cheers for playing the man and not the ball by calling me deluded. Im sure WJ will deal with you.

  176. It seems the reason that Dillon was called out specifically was because he went from 100% happy with the setup and standards to not being happy because he wasn’t making the team. However, you can understand him making his case for inclusion. But one would have to question if he put himself before the team when he confirmed himself fit for the Dublin replay with a broken bone in his foot?

  177. If this sort of stuff was going on in 2015, I’d say it was happening by the players mentioned in the Article this year too

  178. Only3times,

    If you were hired in a chaotic and underhanded fashion, you can hardly complain if your fired in the same way. As for strawman arguments, point out the part in the article where H&C dropped a player and were met with a players delegation stating they wouldn’t play unless said player was reinstated. Because that’s the kind of bombshell I was expecting in this piece and not a hatchet job on Alan Dillon because he wasn’t happy warming the bench. The article is littered with words like “demand”, Seamie “demanded” that Hennelly play. Did he go up and say “I’m not playing unless Robbie is playing” or did he say “I’d prefer robbies kick outs”. If it’s the former then why wasn’t he given the road? If it’s the latter it’s only natural that a midfielder would prefer a certain goalkeeper, ask any player in the country. If the breaffy lads bullied Rochford into switching keepers this year for the replay, did they also do it to H&C before the Donegal game last year when they dropped Clarke in 2015? If so why didn’t they stand up to them.
    The worm is turning and people are beginning to see this for what it really is.

  179. A simple answer to all of this, PUBLISH THE REPORT BY MR CONROY. Then we can see what is what. Very Simple. If the players think they were right, this report will go a long way in finding the real TRUTH. This problem will then be solved, and we can look forward to 2017. Why should Martin Brehony ask Pat & Noel about what people might perceive as facts. He wrote down what he was told, and if anyone has PROOF of something else prove it. Iv’e just heard Noel and Pat are to take up the replacement for Pat Lam in Connacht Rugby.

  180. Liam, you start with another strawman…pat and noel didnt hire themselves, they didnt create the recruitment process. As much as anyone they are the victims of the recuitment process. They were in a know win situation.
    The county board hired them.
    The players fired them.
    Thats what happened
    Also just because there was a poor recruitment process doesnt mean you get to justify the manner in which pat and noel were forced to resign.
    Noone would accept the manner they were treated if it was done to themselves. Read the players letter and put yourself in that situation on the brunt of you have until Monday @5 to leave or face serious consequences. How would you like it if your reputation was taken from you with no reasons.

  181. Why isn’t the report by Conroy not published? With all that has happened on a personal front, I just don’t know why!

  182. Andy D ya of course it was the managers who leaked it.

    By all accounts they were planning on the following year so why would they leak that the players had a vote of no confidence in them and had asked the county board to remove them.
    By leaking it the supporters and national media would back them and force our very strong county board to keep them against the wishes of the players

    Or the players leaked it
    By leaking it they knew
    the mayo supporters back them unconditionally,
    The mayo supporters are already unhappy with how the two boys were recruited so the county board will be in a though position again
    In the history of sport any manager who loses the dressing room is forced to leave. Therefore if it gets out that the players have no confidence then the managers will be in a very awkward position ans must be ready for a big public fight including a strike in order to remain managers of a team that dont want them

    So on balance
    The players had more to gain by leaking it.
    Tom cunniffe supported the view that the players leaked it.

    Over to you

  183. Only3times, just cos Pat and Noel told Martin Breheny that they didn’t know the reasons doesn’t actually mean that it’s true.

  184. Only3times,

    If you accept that your appointment was wrong then your already setting the tone of accepting shoddy standards. I again ask you to point out the bombshell in the piece that states a player said he would not play unless the management reversed a decision. They asked Aiden O’Shea to not do a TV program and he didn’t do it, he may not have been happy, but he didn’t threaten to leave the panel and if he did then they should have let him walk. They attempt to drive a wedge between Alan Dillon and Andy Moran stating one thought he should be playing instead of the other. If Alan Dillon was happy to warm the bench then he didn’t belong there.

  185. Why have we waited over 12 months for Mr Brehony to bestow his wisdom on us? Why, when in reality the article he published can be summed up more or less as “Move along there, please, nothing much to see here”.
    It is time for Pat and Noel to accept that what happened happened and cannot be made to unhappen. Something like this happens in all our lives when we think that we did not get the credit, promotion, etc we deserved. We have tto take it and move on if we want to have a life. It is time for Pat and Noel to move on now and write the next chapter of their lives. The only other possible outcome is to engineer the breakup of thiss Mayo teaam with recrimination and counter allegation. It would be a shallow victory for them and would do their reputations far more harm than they might imagine has been done to them already.
    Meanwhile the players should quietly make it known that Mr Brehony is not welcome in their company and let Mr Brehony publish that if he wishes.

  186. Sleepy – the county board meet every month, each club has representatives, they are open to the media. It has never been said that noel and pat have been given the reasons. Therefore we assume they havent been given them. I suggust you ask your club rep to ask whether or not pat and noel have been given reasons at the next county board meeting.

    The players made it clear that they would only particpate in the review if pat and noel were not told the reasons. This hasnt changed to the best of my knowledge.
    Keith higgins didnt give the reasons when asked.
    Why would Pat and noel lie when it would come out in the future?

    Show me some proof that they know.

  187. Liam i never argued the points you are raising. Again create a strawman about dillon and driving a wedge. I never commented on that.
    I merely asked you to put yourself in pat ans noels shoes and be on the receiving end of that letter.

    Then i ask woukd you accept being sacked from your job and for the reasons for the sackinf not being given to you.

  188. All that Mayo needed this year was a scaldy bit of luck. Both teams were equal to one another. I don’t give two highlands why the team felt that HC were not up for the job. Being a manager is a important and influential job in any enviroment. HC inherited a “Serious Team” and they still remain just that. Sometimes it’s a good thing to clear the air. This is a great and safe place to do just that. Thank you WJ and a Merry Christmas to you and your family and everybody who contributes to this fantastic place, whether I agree with you or not.

  189. I”m crying with anger. Why now?
    And to speak about Alan Dillon like that. ALAN DILLON who has dedicated his whole young life to Mayo team.I feel so emotional about this awful piece of work and our OWN turning on our OWN and to do it with that wicked man Brehony. I despise him not just for this but all the condescending pieces he has written about our beloved team.
    Sure we all have ego’s for God’s sake and if H andC were so brilliant, why didn’t they deal with the ego’s. I’m sick. Brehony must be laughing in his boots that he has every county laughing at us.
    Well I say to everyone here WE ‘RE IN THIS TOGETHER. No matter what and we as supporters will be behind this team all the way to the end.

  190. Liam Hennelly replaced Clarke at half time in the Donegal game in 2015 because Clarke had got injured in the first half.

  191. Imagine if H+C did show SOS and Dillon the road! Holy God, this place and others would come crashing down complaining. Just saying.

  192. I can completely understand their hurt and up until yesterday I would have had no small amount of sympathy for them. I’ll leave it with this point. In two hundred plus posts, not one person has said they want them back or Rochford gone. We may not all like or agree on how the coup was handled, but everyone appears happy with the outcome….

  193. Liam so the ends justify the means. I disagree with that logic/thinking. The players are tarnished. If you got promotion over a colleague by using threatening behaviour and as a result you got a big paycheck and extra holidays which you love. You would still be in the wrong. And your colleague would be justifably angry.

    You cant treat people like that and then play we have the highest standards personally and as a collective card. The players ruined the reputation of 2 good people who did their best.

    Il leave it with this Liam, one day you may be put into the same position as pat and noel were. I hope you get treated better than they did

  194. Pat and Noel complained about players having egos! Heaven help us if we were putting out a team who didn’t have egos, they’d be bending the knee to the Dublin’s and Kerry’s, maybe even to the Galway’s and Roscommon’s, and we would be getting hidings day after day.
    Perhaps if Pat had an ego in 1997 when he came up against Maurice Fitzgerald he might have competed for the ball with him instead of watching him kick it over the bar, fearful that Fitzgerald might get behind him and bag a goal.
    Any player worth having will have an ego, sometimes to much so, sometimes too little. Sometimes a players ego needs building, sometimes it needs taking down a peg or two. Management is about knowing how to manage egos [man management] as much as much as it is about tactical football decisions.

  195. Sinead and Liam the point is the two boys cant go back. Their reputation has been ruined. Posters have said they wouldnt have them as their club managers despite
    Winning national league
    Winning all ireland u21
    Winning connacht final with mayo
    Winning county and connacht titles with castlebar mitchels
    Getting mayo within a kick of a ball for winning the all ireland

    So the result is that it is unlikely that they will be back in management soon – club or county

    But as long as the ends justify the means its all ok with mayogaa supporters such as Liam and Sinead

  196. It’s a pity it’s come to this and I’m not sure the effect it’ll have going forward but it certainly doesn’t help. The two managers are allowed their spake as the fella sez but it barely sheds any light on the real events. I’m guessing there’ll be more ‘exclusives’. There’s still a lot of spaces to be filled and vacuums get filled with all sorts of shite. As for the Indo and all the rest of the journalists, well they’re just shills so I’d expect little else. It’s a balls.

  197. Yes. Exactly, as a result of going to national rag over a year later. Why didn’t they do it back when it happened?

  198. They shouldn’t come back to management ever. Going to the national press and detailing the contents of private conversations, text messages and emails with players is a complete breach of trust and a disgrace really. Any manager who expects to gain the respect and trust of players would and should know better than to deal such a low blow.

  199. That’s correct Only3times. The players knew that there were supporters who would back them blindly, no matter what they did. Aidan O’ Shea actually said that at the time of the coup in the interview he gave to Newstalk, stating that they had ‘built up credit’ with supporters. Such arrogance. They took us for fools.

  200. Only3times, I think the lads have stuck the dagger already in their backs in deeper all by themselves. No help needed from myself and Liam or any other ‘such’ mayo gaa supporter.

  201. Dreamy and sinead. Maybe you should consider the reasons why they felt going to national papers a year letter was necessary??? And why they felt it was neccessary to disclose those texts/emails

    I dont think its something they would have done lightly, i dont think they ever courted the media or ever did punditry when out of management. By all accounts they like the low profile and wanted to keep everything in house. They walked quickly at the time.

    So maybe you should cut them a bit of slack. They had their reputations ruined without reason and without recourse. This does not happen in any walk of life yet you ask them to accept it and move along. Not one of us would accept it if it happened to us.

    They must be very hurt over what happened and how it happened. They are entitled to their good name and a right of reply. They were not afforded any of this 14 months ago.

  202. I don’t care how aggrieved they felt. There’s a level of basic decency that should be met when dealing with matters of conflict and crying to the national media and revealing personal gripes with named individuals and detailing what was said to them in confidence is a complete disgrace.

  203. Disclosing the contents of texts, emails and private conversations was not in any way, shape or form “necessary”. It was below the belt stuff.

  204. Mairead Yea I am the same place right now. Fully behind the lads on this Mayo team. They done us a great favor by highlighting the incompetence of this pair of would be managers. Their decision to run to the herring choker shows us all their true caliber. Their ability to publically hang themselves before all the Mayo supporters given enough rope by the herring choker. Where is their guile and leadership. James Horan made a great team out of this bunch and they are trying to undo his work from within and from outside the camp. Naming players in a derogatory manner in the press is a red line I will never condone. It is cheap and unprofessional. Mayo supporters deserve and should always demand higher standards. Have they ever heard of a 1 to 1 with someone that needs talking to.Their comments about players egos is a joke of Titanic proportions. The only egos they need to concern themselves are their own.

  205. Dreamy speaking of basic decency….the letter the players wrote has zero basic decency. Their actions in this letter would not be treated in any workplace in the world. Pat and Noel have not been shown any decency in how they were sacked. Fact.

  206. toughnup – that’s a breach of the rules, I’m afraid – the one about trash-talking players.

    Only3times – for someone who posted here for the very first time only a few hours ago, you’ve been pretty active since. Mind you don’t pick too many arguments at the one time! Maybe a break for a cuppa might be in order. The place could do with calming down a bit.

  207. Im having a break until dreamy comes up with just one reason. Just the one.

    This break could be long.

  208. Only3times, I know what you are saying but why wait so long? Something in their contract?! I could not let something fester for 14 months and then strike. I would be brave enough to stand up for myself straight away. The anger/hurt would have dissipated from me. To me it smells more of revenge and shit stirring. And that I don’t like. Anyway what does it really matter what I think. I can do nothing about any of it. Just have to sit now and cringe through any other revelations that come out – just as we are about to get up and running again. To be quite honest I have more allegiance to the players than C & H. Why wouldn’t I? I never wanted C & H in the first place. I’ve had more of a journey with the players, so I am more loyal to them. In saying that I would not like to think that a select few players would unreasonably dictate or be allowed to going forward. You don’t see Lee Keegan coming out and complaining about his treatment by the media. He was one of the 7 who did not vote against them but they are possibly making things more difficult for him now too. They should have sucked it up at this stage and kept their quiet. They would have been respected more. They have now only made things way worse for themselves and possibly for Mayo Gaa. I see what Mayo supporters on here are saying and agree with all of what some posters are saying, parts of others. I don’t want to argue.

  209. Hmmm. Let’s see. How about inviting people outside the squad into the dressing room before important matches? Or trying to undermine the foundations that had been laid for them by James Horan? Or farcical stuff like leaving important info behind them in the hotel before a match?

    Cry me a river. Pat and Noel were never up to the job. That is the real fact. Their running to the national media and revealing things that were said to them privately and in confidence shows no decency.

  210. Only3times what do you think should be done about all of this mess then to make it right?

    This is a massive thread so excuse me if I missed a previous answer to this.

  211. Only3times, if you’re genuinely so interested in hearing the reasons, you could start by reading Liam’s post of the 18th, at 12:13am, where a number of suggestions are given. That should keep you going until the end of that cuppa at least.

    There is no such thing as “unconditional” support. I don’t know one person who hasn’t questioned certain players at one point or another. Nor one who didn’t stand back and question the manner of the heave, either, whether they backed it or didn’t.

    There does, however appear to be an expectation that our unpaid players – all of whom were mere human beings the last time I checked – meet rather saintly levels of behaviour, relative to non-players within the Mayo setup.

  212. Monday tomorrow ladies and gentlemen. I’m sure WJ could do with a night’s sleep. Perhaps we all should and see what tomo brings!

  213. I believe that H&C have done Rochford a real favor with this interview. He can now clear the decks and bring in some of the promising under 21’s without fear of interference by some of the elder player who are clearly past their sell by date. It was surprising that they were not getting a better representation during last years campaign but I think we understand better the reasons why now.

  214. Nobody comes out of this with much credit.
    1. The county board in the dodgy way Pat and Noel were appointed thus devaluing their status from the get go
    2. Pat and Noel themselves by failing to win the confidence of the players and dealing professionally with the egos that exist in every team. Then by giving this interview now as opposed to 2026 (hard and all as it would be to keep quiet!) I respect them as great servants of Mayo football but there is a large element of vengeance involved in this interview.
    3. Some of the players who, if we are to believe what is said, sought to undermine the management during the season. Tom Cunniffe, who it seems lacked the courage of his convictions when it really counted.
    4. The ‘outsiders’ who seem to exert inappropriate influence on the team. (And for me this is a very big issue)
    We are all diminished by this and I am fairly dejected. It has resonances of Saipan.
    Strong leadership is needed now both on and off the field based on old fashioned values such as honesty, service and commitment to the cause, integrity, respect and humility.
    I will still be out in January for the FBD but a little diminished in my enthusiasm!

  215. God forbid but I don’t think this is over yet. More to come next week from the rag. But I hope current squad and management stay quiet and do their talking on the field in a few weeks time.

  216. I think some of you should set up ye’re own newspaper. Better writing and arguments than most we have at hand.

  217. Also, a word of acknowledgement to WJ once again for his services. It wasn’t enough to have the longest season in years, nor the most harrowing end, nor the busiest year to date in the blog, but now for the third drama-laced winter running he has been called back to duty to keep watch in the off-season where a break might have been far more welcome.

    Thank you WJ for the time you give to provide us with this incredible platform to debate and argue with those we might not always agree with but also to reflect and learn. If we didn’t have this, Lord knows how we’d be blowing off steam …

  218. @ Diehard I’m really out of the loop with the Mayo whisperings at the moment, kinda took a break for my own good after the final replay. But can it be said who these “outsiders” are?

  219. WJ you should charge for membership of this blog, it is better reading that the National Rags and you could give up the day job. Well done on keep people in line.

  220. Dreamy nice attempts
    1. Extra people in dressing room…this is disputed by noel and Pat. Hardly justifies strike action.
    2. Undermine the foundations laid by james horan. Pat and noel improved the medical team as evidenced by the reduction in injuries and mayo having a full squad available to choose fr and a outside chartered physio reviewing the setup and saying it was good and did not need extra man power. Pat and noel did try to curb outside influences left over from james horan regime. Again i dont think anything justifies sack and potential strike action
    3. Leaving important info behind in the hotel. Pat and liam put the players at fault for this one and brought it up with the team. So again at a minimum its disputed and doesnt justify a sacking.

    So you need a little bit better than that to justify the players action. Using their interview 14 months after the fact doesnt wash.

  221. JammerCee – there’s one name that always stands out fairly clearly when outside influences are mentioned and it wouldn’t take any first class detective work to figure it out. That said, I don’t want to see names bandied around here, for obvious reasons.

    Tugrul – I’m not sure the economics of that suggestion would add up, even if it does sound tempting!

  222. @Jamercee
    I don’t think it would be wise to name ‘outsiders’. I reckon you would need a good solicitor and deep pockets before going down that road. Not even the Indo would take that on. And to be frank I think this is a can of worms best left unopened for everybody’s sake. But it MUST be dealt with.

  223. Jammer the two sides need to meet, reconcile and joint statement.

    Ann Marie pat and noel are unpaid too.
    You say players are held to higher standards. I disagree. The players wanted managers sacked and got their way without having to share the reasons why and decided that it was OK to ruin their reputations along with it. That is a much lower standard than anyone of us has to deal with in society. The players could have chosen a different path and should have done so. Maybe they were badly advised by shall we say outsielde influences.

    The players do get unconditional love of a majority of mayo supporters. They can do no wrong. You cannot justify their letter or actions last year.

    the journalists in your paper write a letter to the editor ordering you to be sacked as a columnist by monday evening or else they will withdraw all their services to the paper. They offer no reason but their threat is serious. You wont be offered one final column to your readers. How do you react? Stay quiet for life. Accept it. Move on.
    The following week the editor doesnt acknowledge you leaving in the paper, they have a new columnist who is already popular. You meet people on the street who put their head down, others make awkward chit chat, ohers ask why and all you can muster is “i dont know” they dont believe ya, of course you know.

    14 months later. You are still out. No closure. Nothing. But for the good of the paper and your loyal readers you decide to keep your mouth shut.
    Thank god says your editor and journalists.

  224. Agree 100% there Diehard re the point on outside influences, both in relation to naming names but also the need to deal with this issue once and for all. It’s been a running sore for far, far too long now.

    Only3times – I really think you need at this stage to go and take that cuppa (or maybe something stronger)! Also, if you expect the players to have anything to do with Pat and Noel after what they’ve now said publicly, you’ll be waiting. I’d say there’s zero chance of any kind of meeting, still less a reconciliation or joint statement. Boats have been well and truly burned now.

  225. Dreamy the issues that Clerkin reported during the heave have been validated as the players issues by Tom Cunnife and that is the reason he knew he was being used, as the agreement was the issues would not be divulged. As it turns out these were trumped issues and have been shown to be without merit.

  226. @ Willie Joe and Diehard – no bother lads I understand, I have a fair idea who yer on about but I wasn’t sure if you were on about others. I do agree though that it is an issue that hopefully gets sorted asap.

  227. Isnt your rule wj to play the man not the ball.telling me to be quiet is playing the man.

    If you want this saga to be old news then whats your solution? We know that keeping quiet is not working.

  228. Only3times – Remind me again how many times you’ve posted here this evening since you made your debut a few hours ago? Clearly I’m exerting very little influence if I’m telling you to be quiet. All I’m hinting it is that you might let others get the odd word in too. Oh and if I were you, I’d rack up a bit more flying time here before lecturing me on how to apply the house rules. You’re only on a provisional licence yet so just keep your eyes on the road and stay clear of the ditches.

  229. Wj your default position of protecting and siding with the players is wrong in my opinion.

    How can you say that the players wont have anything to do with pat and noel because of the article.

    How about Pat and noel wont have anything to do with the players after they ruined their good reputation 14 months ago.

    Balance should be there

  230. All I want from Santa is that our wonderful U21’s get a fair crack of the whip next year without the feeling that no matter what you produce in training or challenge games you will not break into the match day team. The team has to be picked on merit not on outside and senior player influence.

  231. Your analogy there is an interesting one there, Only3times, apart from the fact that the managers did decide to resign by themselves. And of course, the fallacy that the player discontent came as such a surprise.

    Let’s be clear on this; I have no problem with Pat and Noel having their say. I did have some sympathy for them, and I hope they feel better having got it all off their chests. Neither do I have a problem with the players not having their say. But if Noel and Pat’s actions yesterday were designed to rehabilitate their reputations, I’m afraid they did exactly as we did in the drawn final and scored two rather unfortunate own goals. And suggesting that there can be any possibility of a joint statement at this stage after the personalised nature of their attacks is a bit naive at best. And I know it’s silly season, but suggesting it was for the good of Mayo football is fantasy territory.

    As for telling the host of the site and provider of this forum how he should be positioning himself, well, that’s just downright barefaced 🙂

    Diehard, that’s a succinct assessment and I wouldn’t argue with a word of it. Unfortunately I can’t see this being dealt with in any meaningful way in the immediate future; it’ll fester for a few weeks left.

    In terms of moving forward, players and management could do with the old “honesty room” or “purging” approach as practised by the Dubs and Connacht rugby maybe. But of course, there is the small matter of cleaning up the pile of faeces on our doorstep first because as we should all know by now, it doesn’t ever go away by itself.

  232. Right, Only3times – you’re getting close to stepping out of line now. I have my opinion, so do others, you clearly have yours. But don’t think you can come on here drawing conclusions about what my “default position” is on anything. You’ve only just arrived here and you won’t be staying too much longer until you start to wind your neck in and sharpish.

  233. Noel and Pats article in terms of simple facts destroys the supposed player issues listed in Clerkins article.
    1. Transport – Derry bus journey a petty issue and quite obviously pushed forward by the player who had issue with it at the time.
    2. Nutrition – same Nutrition team and just a 15 min delay in a meal is the worst issue?
    Coaching – they said Buckleys coaching was fine
    Fitness – they said Solans fitness was fine.
    Extra People in Dressing room – No truth will ever come out on that.
    Football on the pitch – No massive departure from Horan. Actually managed to draw with Dublin.
    In my view the reason no hard hitting reason ever hit the press is because there isn’t one.
    Hence the generalisation of high standards and the patchwork of minor quibbles given to Malachy Clerkin.
    Very tellingly Lee Keegan was not to be brow beaten into voting Go.
    Lee Keegan has always stated we haven’t been good enough.
    The 27 vote go was formed in my view by the initial group of likely no more than 9 growing that number by stating if they stay we’re gone.
    If there were any valid reasons they would have been leaked to Malachy Clerkin at the time. Spare Noel and Pat from embarassmemt, very unlikely given the they go or we strike tone.

  234. My last thought for the evening is, does this all make sense when you look back at the replay and a soon to be crowned All-Star warming the bench, a sub with a broken bone being used and another sub we end up looking to that struggled and was subsequently substituted in the club championship. Definitely the smog of a smoking gun apparent,

  235. So wj is above reproach ann marie? Sorry i didnt know. It was only my opinion. Still on a provisional you see. Sorry WJ.

    You are right ann marie they did resign and i dare saw you would have done likewise in the scenario I outlined above. We know in sport once that letter was written there was only one option for them to take.

    I think the world has shown us that reconcilliation is possible even in difficult situations. I dare say that even a mayogaa saga is possible to fix in a way that makes all involved happy or at a minimum gives closure. Its a shame that mayo supporter want to brush everthin under the carpet. As if thats the best solution to most problems.

  236. I think that we need to know what went Sooo wrong in order to move on . The two lads are right in my view to give there side of the story . However not in the way they have done eg . slating Mayo players . We all surely don’t expect them to take there effective “sacking” by the Mayo players with a pinch of salt do we ? Anyway what’s done is done and what’s won is won and what’s lost is lost and gone forever.

  237. It’s my website, Only3times. If you think you can come on here and make inferences about me, you can think again.

    That’s 21 posts from you now since you first appeared at 6.28pm this evening. I’d leave it at that for the night if I were you.

  238. I am going to have a cup of tea with ginger nuts and 2 slices of nice cake. that’s it!! I just couldn’t comment now. it’s fucking crazy..
    Happy Christmas everyone and for Jaysus’s sake take a dose of happy pills and think of all the people who are really suffering just now. Be thankful for your health and if this is what life has become for a Mayo person, we are cursed indeed!!

  239. And now I’m after learning more than I already knew in the past few mins and am in total despair for mayo football. I’m depressed.

  240. U despise Brehony but to focus on him is a rookie mistake. Why are we in the media today…why? Our own doing. A bloody mess.!we really know how to shout ourselves in the foot in this county. I’m utterly disalluosoned right now with the whole lot .

  241. I see a lot of people on the site having a go at Martin Breheny. From what I have read, he has equated Galway and May o’s failure to win recent AI finals – hurling and football, and is firmly of the belief that at vital times within games each team had the chance of going for the jugular, but failed to take the opportunity. Colm O’Rourke once gave an insightful piece into an inter-county team set-up: you will have a core group of leaders – 6 or 7 and these players have a huge influence on matters, both on and off the field. Mayo are no different and are so close to the big prize. Sure Pat and Noel were disappointed – but hey, that’s human nature, and now that’s out of the way, I think this is a great opportunity for Stephen to put his mark on the team. He should seek to rebuild all bridges; firstly by inviting Tom Cunniffe back into the set-up. By the way does anyone think Putin might have had a hand in this ‘great disclosure’!

  242. As Colonel Walter E. Kurtz said in Apocalypse Now “The Horror” “The Horror”. GAA politics is the most devious of the lot.

  243. It’s time for the Independent report to come out now so we can have a full cleansing and then get back to business in Jan. Do you agree?

  244. Would half agree with you Tugrul. Only this time next year we’ll know I suppose. He deserves 2017 to be judged on that one in my opinion.

  245. I hope comment on this matter will cease when the League begins otherwise we will be in the Guinness Book of Records.

    Who will win the AI in 2017? Thats the question

  246. Tugrul – I’ve had to delete that comment from you. In both cases, it’s pretty obvious whom you’re talking about but both allegations can’t be substantiated and could lead to fairly clear difficulties so I’ve no option but to delete the comment.

  247. It’s understandable that Tugrul’s comment was deleted. It raises the serious issue that could have legal repercussions for the man in question.

    But, it’s the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. How can a stop be put to this without it becoming a legal issue. We can see from the article that H & C laid down the law, but we see what happened to them. Who can sort this out now?

  248. Some debacle. The whole interview is so contradictory it is embarrassing. Self serving bullshit. If a player/ staff employee sends an email to a manager suggesting how he/she does he job/ picks a team/ does their job ordinarily it is dealt with there and then-normal practice. Are people naive enough to think that a group of management and players totalling 40/50 guys operating tightly together for 3/4 years wont develop cliques/ favourites etc if left to their own devices? That is when a manager is supposed to manage-do his/her job and deal with it and ensure cliques do not fester to the detriment of the team or organisation. Hard line taken if required, etc. Good close personal management, with open lines of communication is what would be required simple as that. These two were obviously incapable of that. Running to the media telling tales of players emailing them or texting them, sure any manager with a grain of pride in themselves wouldn’t be spouting crap like that, its more embarrassing for themselves than the players involved. Need to grow up, and they are the one’s talking about ego’s?!! Players emailing trying to pick a team-sure its the managers job to cut that shit out at the start. Obviously there was zero communication between management and players, a do-as-I-say operation, which was never going to work after Horans style of management-from there the bitterness has developed.

  249. Debacle is right, Robert. And self-serving to the nth degree. But bullshit? I don’t think you can dismiss it all as that. There seems to be more than a grain of truth in a lot of it.
    It appears Eamon McGee has lashed H&C out of it in The Star today, while in the Indo Hogan is broadly questioning the players and Mayo institutionally. Fogarty is neutral enough in the Examiner, just a newsy bit. Shane McGrath of the Mail was good on Off The Ball’s sports pages review yesterday. He reckons the players will say absolutely nothing and should say absolutely nothing. I just wonder can they manage to keep it watertight. After a night to half-sleep on it I’m now certain this is going to get worse before it gets better. Will Horan go on Off The Ball tonight? Surely he’s obliged to.
    The main quote from Holmes that’s grating with me is: “This Mayo squad is often lauded for being ‘consistently competitive’ but ‘consistently competitive’ doesn’t cut it in Dublin or Kerry.”
    ‘Consistently competitive’ was the phrase Horan coined and this is scattergun stuff from H&C. Whatever about hitting out at the players, what’s with hammering the predecessor.
    Obviously the “They told us that tactics and match-ups were wrong, opposition analysis was poor, there was a lack of adaptability and they had no defensive plan” line must be put to Horan as well. Like I say, worse before it gets better.

  250. What do they honestly think is going to happen. The “certain players” are going to reconsider everything that happened and change their “attitudes” and suddenly Mayo football will flourish…..Bullology
    You are right W.J but for a few twists of fate we would be All Ireland Champions..
    I had huge sympathy for the Noel and Pat, they are great football men and have carried the torch but they were humiliated and angry and that’s what this is born from.
    Like most things though there is a bit of truth in that some players might believe their press a bit and are a bit big for their boots but that can happen in any county with any player.
    Rochy has a huge job on this year to move us forward, look at the frailties we have particularly up top lessen the mistakes (management and players) and get the monkey of the back …we are so feckin close!!!…..Hon Mayo

  251. wow….based on all of the above and today’s papers the headline to your slot WJ is certainly not accurate even if it was a fair refleciton of your initial review….

    Last years news…this certainly ain’t.

    I simply can’t believe the amount of people that think H/C aren’t entitled to a right of reply to what happened to them. You can disagree with what they say or call it sour grapes but there is no walk of life that people will accept that sort of treatment and take it lying down. You will see managers, players etc staying tight lipped after been dispensed with but that is usually after signing an agreement that sees millions of pounds deposited in their bank account. With no such lure to silence why should they not put their case forward…they have been remarkably constrained to do it 14 months later in the dead of winter. If they were just being vindictive they would have done it during the summer or after the defeat to Galway or even after the final defeat and in particular around the change of keeper. I think they should have been able to manage the problems they identify but perhaps after 1 year in the job that was exactly what was on their project plan for year 2 and the powers that got them removed knew it was coming….just a thought.

  252. Time for everyone to grow up a little. Does anybody honestly think that you can have 40 or 50 competitive individuals in a squad environment all getting along and all loving each other? No rows, disagreements, personal dislikes, differences of opinions? Really? H&C are entitled to defend their reputations. They were undermined, shamed and embarrassed by the squad and, whether openly or leaked, had stories told and accusations made against them that they did not refute. Until now. In fairness to them, at the very least, they waited until the season was over and did not interrupt with our journey to yet another final defeat. I don’t know either men but both have done more for Mayo, on both sides of the line, than most of the current squad and did it at a time when they did not have the full resources of the county board behind them to reimburse them, to take full care of their medical needs, or, fly them to Dubai for an end of season jaunt. Or sponsors supplying them with cars and companies queuing up to make them their “product ambassadors”.

    If half of what H&C said is true then the players responsible (and I don’t care who they are because remember there is not A SINGLE CELTIC CROSS BETWEEN THEM!) should be ashamed of nit picking and attempting to undermine a new management. It’s their fucking job to win games and NOT laud themselves for being competitive and in a “high performance environment”. Big fucking swing. It’s not their job to insist on certain medical teams, selectors, managers, team and squad selections, tactics or openly question managements decisions. It’s their job to play football IF SELECTED and try to win matches. NOT go scoreless from play in the last 25 mins of an All Ireland final. NOT kick high aimless balls out over the end-line. NOT allow your marker score 1-4 from play. NOT drop simple gimme U12 style high balls over your head and cause a penalty that goes along way to losing YET ANOTHER FINAL. They still have NO MEDALS to show for it. It’s one thing shouting your mouth off when you can back it up with silverware but it’s another thing entirely when you are part of a squad that has CONSISTENTLY fallen at the final hurdle. The truth can be harsh and it can hurt but it’s time we all grew up and called it out for what it is.

    As anyone who has had the misfortune to read my posts knows, I am a huge supporter of the players but we all must realise that no matter how fine you slice it, there are two sides to everything. H&C might just have done a huge service to Mayo football. It’s up to us now to see if we are going to be mature enough and brave enough to face ourselves in the mirror, root out our faults and be honest. It’s quite obvious from the vote figures that pressure was put on the newer, younger players to vote a certain way. Whatever senior players were involved in coercing these younger players should be identified and never allowed wear the geansai again because that borders on bullying. The GAA have a certain stance on that in their code of behavior documents.

    As for certain players “being back next year”? It’s not their choice. It’s Rochfords choice. End of. Players apologizing for losing again, posting shit on Facebook, thanking us for the great support and promising to be back next year! We will be back. But they might not be if Rochford decides otherwise. It’s time for all this shite to stop. Stop thanking us, stop crying on the Croke Park pitch hugging each other and just go and win the fucking thing and shut up.

    As was said, it’s not about how many followers you have, posts that are liked, snap streaks you have, tweets that are tweeted. It’s about medals. We have none of those.

  253. Well said pebblesmeller. I think us fans need to stop moaning too about referees, bad luck, Dublin advantages etc etc. The reason we loose is down to ourselves. Identifying the problem from within in the first step.

  254. Ger Bohan, surely the liaison person for the players is the captain?

    Excellent post pebblesmeller.

  255. If there is any truth of any players demamnding that certain players must play for whatever reason, I would like to request that the current man in charge politely tells them to *$%& off so we can all get on with it?



  256. Ladies and gents we all need to calm down for a minute. While I admire everyone’s passion here, some of the comments are outrageously biased on both sides. These are the facts:
    H&C were entitled to talk.
    H&C should not have named individuals.
    The article was incredibly one sided.
    Some players are well out of line.
    This was not done for the good of Mayo football.
    Whatever your opinions are, try to be reasonable and see it from both sides. Both sides are in the wrong as far as I can see and while nobody is above criticism, keep it fair.

  257. “Never allowed wear the geansai again”??? That’s far too extreme pebbles, however I do agree that certain players are out of line

  258. If its radical surgery that people are now prescribing, then let’s go the whole hog and start with the top. A fish rots from the head and if everyone accepts that there are issues on the player and management side, then we have to accept the County Board is equally at fault. There is no point in performing surgery that has every chance of killing the patient only to leave the root cause of the disease intact. While players and management have all changed within the county in the last 20 years, by and large the same faces have remained at the top table.

  259. Does anyone agree the article while shocking to most of the country is just the rumours in black and white we have all heard over the past 12 months? No smoke without fire and all that.

    I don’t like coming down heavy on players as they are doing their best but it’s clear there are issues. I also think a few are too media happy.

  260. Pebblesmeller – Slavery was abolished some time back. Without players who are capable of strong opinions themselves you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.

  261. Excellent post, Pebblesmeller. Couldn’t have put it better if I had spent an afternoon at the keyboard.
    The manager manages, the players play. They’re not called what they’re called for nothing. I despair at the thought of players influencing team selection. Truly despair. Because if they are, we’ll never win Sam. It’s as simple as that.

  262. Fair play Pebblesmeller, that’s the best post I’ve seen here in the last number of days.

  263. Andy D, so you are comparing a senior intercounty footballer to slavery? No one is putting a gun to their heads to do any of this. Almost every one in that senior set-up is being well looked after, and rightly so. I think you are pushing the boundaries a little. There’s a difference in having strong opinions and dictating to your manager who should play where and when and who the medical team should be. Three managerial set-ups, narrow heart braking defeats in 5 consecutive years to the eventual champions, one common denominator. In fairness to most of the players, they are not denying this either.
    The late great Paidi O’Se once described his own footballing countymen as “fucking savages”. This was when he was under pressure from his own folk AFTER delivering an All Ireland title and winning 8 himself! A GENUINE legend of the game. Silverware to back it up. 1 point conceded from play in the 10 All Ireland finals he played in! I wonder if Kerry or Dublin or even Tyrone (where another GENUINE legend in Mickey Harte is under pressure after delivering THREE All Irelands and tactically re-writing the GAA handbook!) supporters would be as forgiving a bunch as us? Just a thought, and don’t jump down my neck as I am as loyal to the players as anyone, but I’m going to put it out there anyway. Maybe if we were less forgiving and less tolerant of losing finals, and were more “savage-like” we might be better off.
    I’ll close my ears now and await the backlash 🙁

  264. This latest controversy just reminds me of 2006 when Mayo county board relieved Micky Moran of his job after getting to an all Ireland final in year one. The management never said a word, I presume they were gutted too and reputation s tarnished.that still intrigues me and no one has even answered why they were disposed of.

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