Lee Keegan is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: @MayoGAA

Yesterday’s All-Ireland final wasn’t a day when the Mayo team shone as a whole. Tyrone fully deserved their five-point win in a game where only a few Mayo players played to their potential.

Chief among them was Lee Keegan. Always a man for the big day, Lee put in yet another lion-hearted All-Ireland final performance at Croke Park yesterday. He drove the team on from first to last and gave his all and more in pursuit of victory. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

Lee wins our All-Ireland final MOTM poll with a decisive 39% of the vote. Congrats to him.

Others who polled well in the MOTM vote and who also stood up for us yesterday were Ryan O’Donoghue (17%), Stephen Coen (15%), Tommy Conroy and Paddy Durcan (both 5%). Well done to all of them for their performances on a tough day for us.

380 thoughts on “Lee Keegan is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. Well done Lee. Superb once again. What are we going to do for the next 3 and a half months folks? Are there any Mayo supporters support groups out there!? From such highs to such lows.

  2. Hands down the best Mayo player of our generation.

    The drive, the passion, the spirit, the heart, the desire, the leadership, the fight, the will to win, the energy.

    Is a Celtic cross the be all and end all, no, absolutely not, would it be nice, yes. What Lee has done for us all defines him.

    Still not finished.

    I hope.

  3. Well deserved. What a performance from him yesterday. One of my favourite Mayo players of all time and that is saying something.

  4. Agree, the best player of this generation, maybe ever…and the finest defender in Ireland of the last 50 years.

  5. Alan – you’re only new here so I think it would be worth your while to consult the house rules on posting comments (which are here) before contributing any further to the debate. The core rule is that the debate needs to be fair and reasonable and you’re right on the line there with some of your remarks.

  6. James Horan = 4 finals 8 goals scored against his teams in those finals, if only one goal scored in those finals ,Mayo would have won one of those for sure, 2013 and maybe two .The stats are very poor for those 4 finals. if that first goal yesterday didnt happen I believe Mayo would have won , even not playing to potential ,the 4 long range points from Tyrone kept the scoreboard ticking for them. Will it be back to the qualifiers next year, if so it will be hard to get to a semi final in the future, are they the best semi final team ever. slan

  7. Inspirational drive forward and point yesterday from Lee. Sadly he was one of few to give a fighting performance yesterday and was needed both in defence and to bail out a shambolic attack. As always he put a great shift in, such a pity his spark couldnt light the fire for the rest of the team.

  8. As has been said Lee one of Mayo’s greatest ever.. will get his 5th All star this year. There may not be many more All stars for us this year.

  9. – Well deserved Leeroy, I hope to God yesterday was not your last game in CP. Make him captain and we get another year from him.
    – It was bad enough that we had no obvious tactics to beat the Tyrone swarm but when you add in our brutal passing and wasting so many chances it was unforgivable
    – Nothing wrong with our conditioning I think our main issue was lack of match sharpness. Time after time we were a second slower in our reaction time than Tyrone hence all the un enforced errors.
    – I am sure the players and management are as puzzled as most of us as to why we were so poor….we may not deserve answers but those answers are key to ensuring that when we get to an AIF again that there is no repeat.
    – I hate the term ‘we will be back’ as if Mayo were never going to play another game. No point in being back if there is nothing learned and that is my biggest issue with the final year of JH’s second term in 2022
    – The ticket fiasco deserves more consideration when the dust has settled. Suffice to say the County Board treated their most loyal Club/County supporters disgracefully just like they have done to SOME of our ex-managers and wannabe managers.
    – I went to a U15 hurling game with a nephew today where an opposing player actually got a double red card for coming back on the pitch to start a melee 10 mins after being sent off. Aido came into my head because no matter what abuse he got on the pitch he never reacted ….a sportsman to the end and a great role model.
    – A change to championship structure could be to our benefit, return of qualifiers and quarter finals will also help.
    -Mayo football has taken a big hit but it is not a fatal one, the club games will be a welcome distraction…

  10. Think the extra time against Dublin suited us on the day as we were on fire at that stage and a replay would have suited Dublin. We took full advantage on the night and jumped into the final. We were like a stray dog yesterday, the plate of food was offered but we kept our distance fearing a trick. We are all in bits today. We were the country’s darlings all week, now we’re the butt of the jokes. But that’s not what haunts us, it’s the punch to the stomach after all these finals. As a people we are high achievers, we seen our teams win u21s, minor, our ladies winning seniors, a Mayo president, a Mayo Taoiseach etc etc which makes it harder to fathom this conundrum. How did so many of our management and players get it so wrong on the day. I think I aged 10 years or more yesterday and I’m at an age where I can’t afford to age! REM sang about losing their religion, I’m losing my love for football.

  11. First task for James is to get to the bottom of what happened, to acknowledge what happened. Maybe acknowledge it publicly. Acknowledge the pressure that’s clearly there. I understand if he doesn’t do this because he may perceive it as being weak. Its plain for all to see. Too many underperformances. We need to do something to take the pressure off the player’s shoulders. We can hardly get to a lower place than we did yesterday.

    On any other day, ie not an All ireland final, we are beating that Tyrone team. Even as bad and all as yesterday was, I could see we had the beating of them. And that was Tyrone pretty much maxing out their performance. Hats off to them for that, for following up the Kerry performance.

  12. Like everyone on here I’m gutted after the game but considering we were missing cillian, Brendan and Jason promotion to division one and winning connaught was a great achievement. In the cold light of day we don’t have enough natural scoring forwards to win the all ireland. Think back to all the winners ye can remember and almost all if not all had 4,5 or even 6 forwards to finish moves. We had too many work horses and not enough clinical finishers. Go back to the great meath, Cork, down teams all natural scorers. I know the game has moved on but it’s still all about getting the scores

  13. Tyrone played to their full potential yesterday, because they had a plan and they executed it to the letter.

  14. Keegan is an absolute machine, without a doubt the G.O.A.T in his position. Mayo even though they played poorly had all the chances they needed to win that game. So many things looked off yesterday that it is difficult to explain.
    Tyrone were much slicker and no complaints here about the result.

  15. I recall a picture of an interview with John o’Mahoney after the 1989 final loss. Behind John was a mayo fan with the following written on his flag;

    “John’ says keep the faith “

    It’s hard sometimes but let’s keep it .

  16. I’ve ran out of superlatives for Lee. Our greatest ever by a mile. Always raises his game when the pressure is on. But he cannot do it on his own.
    Same in ’16 and ’17. He provided the platform in those matches (with his goals).

  17. We cannot do a damn thing about what happened on Saturday except try to understand why so many of our lads seemed to underperform. That is the important work for management over the next few weeks and it will require a forensic look at everything. Finding answers will require a degree of honesty and humility from everyone, players and management.
    Decisions then have to be made about 2022. Who goes and who stays, who comes in both players and management team members? What needs improvement? And then put a plan in place.
    JH is always talking about learning. This is a huge opportunity to prove how seriously he takes this.

  18. I think Horan has to go and Kieran Mc too. Robbie got one kick out wrong so good bye. Where were the full backline for the two goals. Our half back line only got a couple of points. Midfield cleaned out so good bye. Half forward line didn’t score so down with that lot. Full forward line missed all the chances and subs made no impact. Intolerable, especially bearing in mind these guys were such great heroes a few weeks ago when they downed the dubs. Now I know I m only representing some Mayo people with the tongue in cheek above comments the ones who crow loudly when we win and are mega critical when we lose. We are all terribly disappointed with what happened yesterday and for some there needs to be a scapegoat.
    *We can’t tolerate this^ and *this is simply not acceptable* have been the mantra from some fans.We lost and played poorly but pointing the finger at loads of people won’t change things. On a proper note well done to Lee Keegan surely the greatest player Mayo have ever produced. What a warrior. Always top class in the big games. I suppose that’s the big difference. Leeroy always produces the goods on the big day. Other lads just get overwhelmed by it all. Keegan Coen and to a slightly lesser extent Durcan played very well yesterday. Ryan did well other than the penalty and Tommy C had his moments. Robbie made 2 good saves and did well on kickouts but most of the other lads will have regrets about the game. We did a lot of good things this year but are far from the finished article. A break from inter county for a number of months will do the players and supporters no harm.

  19. Lee is definitely the best Mayo player ever.
    Hopefully he’ll continue playing for another season or two.

  20. We are lucky to be the generation that were around to see Lee Keegan play football.

    He was on the ground with the ball yesterday with 2 or 3 Tyrone players over him and still got up and drove through them and away.

    An absolute Rolls Royce of a player and I hope we see him again playing for us after Saturdays disappointment.

    Well done Lee.

  21. Said it the day before the match. Mayo needed to improve a good bit on semi final performance to win. As a Dub we were so bad all year Wexford could have beat us, Meath should have beat us. Putting Dublin as the yard stick was way off the mark. That’s why wit all due respect the betting for the final was all wrong. Mayo played for 10 mins in the semi final and won. Forget about extra time Dublin were a spend force At that stage. Yeah

  22. Surely it’s more than obvious that we ned forwards who can SCORE? As I entered the Hogan Stand on Saturday all the Tyrone players were concentrating on kicking the ball over the bar. Management had ours concentrating on drills.Now I know drills are important but surely on All-Ireland final day we should be kicking the ball over the bar from all angles as part of the warm up?

  23. A superb player and by all accounts a gentleman too. Unfortunately no Celtic Cross for him, but team sport isn’t like that.

    The Ryder Cup starts soon and it is telling how often Europe, despite having an inferior team on paper, actually win, driven by a hunger and desire as a team. Lee no doubt on his own would win numerous majors, sadly, his is always a team sport. As I posted in the aftermath, a review is needed if everything possible is in place to deliver an All Ireland.

    This blog though is to recognise Lee, and rightly he should be recognised for having had yet another magnificent game. His point, maurading upfield from corner back and striking over was a tremendous score. I hope he goes again, without doubt the greatest Mayo player I have ever seen since I started watching early 90s. I’d also have a good argument with anyone that he is the greatest player outside of Mayo in that time period too!

  24. Even though Leroy is a covey from Westport he is our absolute best ever :).

    We are all very lucky to have him – to watch him play is a wonderful sight – excellence cannot be kept down.

    Well done Lee – you deserve every single possible accolade.

  25. We were very lucky to beat Dublin but when you win everyone is brilliant. Loose and nearly everyone is rubbish, We did not play to our potential nor did we as supporters give a vocal support to the team . I have been lucky enough to have been at all the finals since 1989 but deep down i was afraid and I think deep down the Mayo Supporters had this in the back of their minds. Anyway we cant change the past. Saturday is history and the reality is we are starting today with a clean sheet

  26. Covey Magic. Best Mayo footballer in my 30+ years going to Mayo games. A big game player. A warrior. A leader

  27. 46% shot accuracy with 36% open play shot accuracy. Mayo’s old failing reared its head. 32 shots to 27. We had enough chances but so many wides killed us. Tyrone on the other hand were close to 60% shot accuracy. You will never win a game nevermind the all Ireland with a shot accuracy that low. After the penalty miss it fell to pieces completely

  28. Lee Keegan; modest, passionate, creative, engaging focused, driven and who thrives on getting results.Leadership qualities.

  29. Lee is a credit to our county and it beggars belief that he doesn’t have a celtic cross by now.

  30. We are that close, we just need to realise how close we are and it is quiet amazing how quick we managed to come up with an amazing bunch of young talent after losing so many of the great players of the last decade. We now just need to finish it off with the same Management as it is clear to see that since Kieran mac came on board we have become a far more flamboyant team who when in full flow are as good and better than any Tyrone or Dublin.
    So now is the time to finish off this transition and complete the forward options we have with 6 pacey footballers. This involves some of the older players moving on and while I am on this subject “you know who’s” display against Donegal in the All Ireland Quarter Final against Donegal in 2013 was as fine an exhibition of football I have ever been fortunate enough to witness. He is very unfairly treated by the media a lot of the time through pure jealousy and he will always be a legend in the folklore of Mayo Football. We also need to realise that there are one or two others who’s heart Is in the right place but just don’t cut the mustard when it comes into fitting into this new expansive style football we are fast improving at. One in particular who has also had some great days in a Mayo jersey and at Club level he is probably the best in the County. However I don’t think he blends into our new style and the last time he scored was a single point in the very first league match of the year against Down and started Connacht final. All Ireland Semi and the Final with no impact on the scoreboard which if we want to get over the line is just not good enough.
    To finish I would now throw off the shackles and complete this transition with 6 forwards who on their day would threaten any defence in the Country. So here’s to next year’s starting 15 in the All Ireland Final.
    O Hora, Harrisson, Keegan (Roaming)
    Durcan, Coen, McLaughlin
    Ruane Oisin (Flynn if no Oisin)
    McDonagh, Loftus, Carr
    Conroy, Cillian, Ryan O Donoghue

    Keep The Faith

  31. His best season in probably 4 years which says a lot given his age and mileage – what a warrior, and I don’t ever recalling him having a subpar performance in a final? He has 2-4 I think in all our finals aswell – incredible stats for a defender and that’s 2-4 more than plenty further up the field

    Don’t agree with giving him captaincy though – I’d give that straight to Stephen coen, younger, and a great record at underage!

  32. Loftus for diarmuid O’Connor in that team above..seriously?

    I’d be shocked if the former keeps his place next year (with all due respect)

    Fascinating to see who puts hand up in club champ over next few weeks

    At least in the 2010s hey-day we only needed to make an odd tweak the year after

    It’s clear for all this second Horan tenure he hasn’t a clue of his best 15 (and nor has anyone)

    Making a semi and two finals is actually nothing short of remarkable when you look at it in the cold light of day in the circumstances.

  33. sorry Joeyo but you are in dreamland – every other county is progressing you can only go to the well so often 6 finals in 10 years all lost leaves you in a very bad psychological place

    on paper teams look good – paper never won a match and a few of the players you have there will not be around

  34. Someone above asks, what are we going to do for the next three months. Well if you’re interested, there are important club league games this weekend followed by the start of the championship the following weekend. So getting out and supporting your club might be something you’d consider.
    Lee a worthy motm winner. Consistently performs on the big day, that’s what leaders do. Coen also showed the leadership and drive we expect from seasoned players. Ryan, for a relatively inexperienced player did exceptionally well and don’t think cillian would have done anymore except maybe nail the free the led to the penalty. Paddy also tried hard but he was targeted by Tyrone as one to stop so only played in fits and starts.
    Still not calmed down, but had to comment when I saw, what are we doing to do for the next three months. It makes my blood boil that so many people spent the last few weeks claiming they deserved tickets over others to see Mayo play, but wouldn’t go across the road to see the same players playing for their club.

  35. Keegan superb as always.

    Club championships in less than two weeks will give management a chance to look at new players.

    Incredible that inter county players in mayo have yet to play a game with their clubs and its half way through september. A shortened inter county season !!!!

    One idea for mayo county board to boost attendances at the club games is to introduce a season ticket that would allow supporters into all championship games this year.

  36. Well done Lee led by example as always the real leader of this Mayo team. I think for the league we need to forget about work horse forwards and play Towey Carr Orme Darren Mc Hale Mark Moran etc give them a chance proper game time and see what they can do no point giving them one or 2 minutes. If we get relegated so what big deal. We need to find a partner in midfield for Mattie Ruane maybe Oisin if he sticks around or else try Jordan Flynn. We have to change things around I’d also be a strong advocate of bringing in Caroline Currie or Niamh Fitzpatrick again also there has to be a place somewhere in that backroom team for Andy Moran to motivate the lads.if you can’t motivate lads for an all ireland final there’s definitely something wrong

  37. Hi Ciaran
    Half Forward and starts this year.
    Down (1 Point)
    Westmeath – No Score
    Meath – No Score
    Clare – No Score (Injured first half)
    Galway – No Score
    Dublin – No Score
    Tyrone – No Score
    That just wouldn’t stack up with any of the top 4 teams to merit a starting 15 it’s time to be brave and change . You’re only as good as your last game or is it your last 7 Games.

  38. In many other sports – albeit individual sports – you will often see best performances from athletes in the latter stages of the biggest events. It’s often the case that world records are achieved at world championships. The elite sportspersons are generally able to manage themselves physically and mentally to perform at the highest level on the biggest stage and on the most pressurised of days. There are obvious differences between team sports and individual sports – and our guys have outside lives. But shouldn’t it be possible to prepare and perform to your best when it counts most.
    Despite the loss on Saturday I firmly support these great guys into the future and hope they retain their self belief and keep going. Full tilt. Tyrone are deserving winners- they had a game
    plan and executed it perfectly.
    We’ve a great bunch coming through and I’m looking forward to seeing them in the bitter cold of the fbd in the new year.
    Well done Lee – what a man.

  39. Would it be an idea at this stage to push Lee and Paddy into the half forward line in the absence of any scoring threat at all from the half forward line.

    Promote Hession for Durcan and Harrison will be back to release Lee.

    Could work.

  40. Congratulations to Lee, a born leader. On another topic, if you have heard the abusive term Joanne Cantwell used towards Aidan O’Shea at half time which led to a torrent of abuse towards Aidan on Twitter, you can lodge your complaint now to feedback@rte.ie and copy the broadcasting ombudsman at info@bai.ie. Aidan has been an outstanding ambassador for Mayo football for the past 10 years. He did not have his best day on Saturday and did not look anything near 100%. However lets support Aidan and not allow the presenter of RTE’s coverage of the the All Ireland Final get away with using an abusive term towards him live on air.

  41. Facetheball I think that should have happened on Saturday in the 2nd half. We had plenty defenders in reserve who could have came in to mind the house, which could have released Lee or Paddy, or both! Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I feel Paddy especially could do serious damage from further forward.

    Anyways fair play to Lee who yet again rose to All Star level on the big day. What a man

  42. Well done Lee great performance.
    Interesting looking back it was the very same scoreline as last years final.
    Look it was the third quarter that was crucial for us in the game.If Tom Conroy had scored his goal chance and we got the penalty would have been a total different game.
    Its little things that changes game’s. We be back again.
    Hon Mayo

  43. IMO – Simply the greatest Mayo footballer ever. A ‘rolls royce’ player.
    Mentally strong and resilent.
    Physically teak tough, athletic and good enough to totally cancel out great players, Connolly, Kavanagh, Kilkenny
    Skilled enough to score long range points and pinpoint shots for goals.

  44. “Culture kills Strategy”
    There is and has been for decades a significant bias to Emotional Intelligence Vs Rational Intelligence throughout the Mayo GAA system and it was very evident and costly on Saturday, both on the sideline and on the field. No contingency planning. Over the years since the 1970s when I was involved, if you spoke any rational analysis it was taboo, and publications since such as O’Mahoney’s confirms it over his period and all managers have been so biased. Biased against analysis, planning, winning tactics, etc., and too much “brotherhood”, politics Vs purpose, loyalty, effort Vs skill, die for the cause Vs do what is needed to win, tradition Vs novelty, etc. There has to be a mix and there must be effective diversity of perspective within a management team and that was not evident on Saturday

  45. Aiden O’Rourke’s article – interesting as always

    I think his point about our attack is well made. Conroy for example had the beating of his man one on one, but the service to him was shocking despite his great runs off the ball.
    Most teams have set plays now where they try to get a particlar shooter on the ball in a specific location. I did not see any evidence of this in Mayo forward play.
    But most damning was the lack of composure and wild shooting, so many times the ball could have been punched over the bar from 10-15 yards to keep the scorebord ticking over.

  46. Maybe if we devised a defensive plan so that it will allow our full forward to stay near our opponents goal it would be a start.

  47. Rober – the chairde Mhaigh Eo club plus ticket gets you into all county club games. Looking forward to club championship now.

    Does anyone know where the Qf,Sf and finals will be played now that mchale park is dug up.

  48. Lee Keegan can always be guaranteed on the big day.
    Some of ye cannot really be serious, in stating that the existing management needs to stay in place.

    Time to give many more players a go with a new boss also.

  49. Saturday will be hard to get over. Very rarely in the last decade have we had any cause for complaint about the effort or doggedness offered by the players, even when results haven’t gone our way.

    Even with an almost collective freezing on the big day, it’s clear we had a good chance of winning if we had taken even the goal opportunities that came our way. We didn’t, and a better organised and more clinical team did. No complaints.

    We’ve got the club championships now to look forward to, and for all the disappointment of Saturday it offers something of a balm as we head into another winter.

    I believe we are further forward than a year ago-some great warriors have left the stage, but more have been unearthed. The plan seemed to give Horan a four year term, and given this rebuilding effort, a national league, two Connacht wins and two all Ireland finals, changing horses now would be an overreaction. Let’s see where we are after next season. But the management team do need to take a serious look at what went wrong with the preparations ahead of the final.

    There’s no chance of us moving to a sweeper or more defensive structure under the current regime. But we’ll need to have more focused defenders in the full back line. For his first championship, O’Hora has done very well. Him, Harrison and one other full back would give us a bit more solidity. Another look at Eoin O’Donoghue?

    Loftus playing around midfield isn’t working in the big games. It’s time to either go with Mattie and Diarmuid or find Mattie another partner.

    We’re going to have to have a couple more scorers in the centre half forwards even if it means sacrificing some work rate.

    To balance that, Cillian back gives a full forward line to be reckoned with.

    A specialist full back, a settled midfield and a rebalanced half forward line will bring us a long way. Being in Division One next year offers us a real chance to properly test these out. Roll on the club championship!

  50. Have to agree with below observation from Aidan O’Rourke on rte website

    “Most strikingly, there was very little evidence of team play in the Mayo forward line. An attack with a collective understanding of how to create time and space for each other would not take the unnecessary touches on the ball Mayo do.”

  51. Perhaps this has been discussed on previous threads but I hadn’t noticed.

    I watched the game back last night and something I hadn’t noticed while watching live is that there was something of a debate between ROD and DOC on who would take the penalty. It seemed clear to me that DOC certainly wanted to take the penalty but ultimately gave the ball to ROD. This raises one of 2 issues (a) surely there was a designated penalty taker before they left the dressing or (b) if ROD was the designated penalty taker his task wasn’t made any easier having to engage in that sort of discussion with a senior player before preparing to take biggest kick of his career.

  52. I agree with Mayo88 regarding the management and this is not a knee jerk reaction to losing. We have a number of players there that are either burned out or not good enough but are kept no matter what. The stats above by joeyo show how ineffective our half forwards were this year.
    As I said yesterday we need to re-build our midfield and forward line but it needs to be under new management and I might be shot for saying it but it should be a manager from outside. The reason being you look at the 2 management teams on Saturday, one packed with All Ireland Winners who can pass that knowledge and confidence on to the new players, the other packed with ex players whose only experience is of losing All Irelands. We will find new ways to lose finals as no one there knows how to win one. The correct outsider will instill the winning mentality and also make the required changes to the squad.

  53. Isn’t it curious that most times Lee gets a goal scoring opportunity in big games he takes it (or looks like taking it; looks confident; strikes with conviction), much more so than many of our forwards, past and present, with the exception of Cillian who is deadly in front of goal. Both of these players have that killer instinct and skillet under pressure.

    I think back to Jason Doherty’s miss in the ’17 final when the game was in the melting pot, or Andys miss at the end of the drawn semi in ’15; Kevin Mc in the replay in ’14 in Limerick. And Saturday speaks for itself! 4 goal chances, 2 of those quite clear-cut. Not only were they missed, they were completely scuffed, snatched at. In an All ireland final? Where basic skills should be at their sharpest? It needs serious, serious examination.

    Could it be that our forwards tense up most in finals when goal opportunities arise? Thankfully Lee doesn’t have this problem, but he’s truly a one-off, in any era in fact. He’s not Superman though, and needs enough of his teammates to be playing in our around their potential.

    Against the Dubs in finals (and Donegal indeed) to my recollection we didn’t get too many opportunities for goals. Andy did score one in ’13. That same year though we were shooting the lights out, smashing in goals for fun, but had drastically fewer goal ops in the final.

    Our backs don’t get a free pass either when you consider the stats (now we can add Sat to that list) on our goals conceded in finals which is now very well documented.

    I think it all comes back to nerves. We don’t carry the same form into finals, with the honourable exception of 2017. Even in the drawn game in 2016, that Dublin performance was the only time in all our final appearances where you could say that the opposition bottled it. But with the help of two fortuitous goals – which we were not blameless for – they manage, of course, to sneak a draw.

  54. For sure Mike, that article seems to sum it up, we can’t underestimate the pressure they brought on ball carrier and they did it further up the pitch than they did against kerry, but if the RTÉ pundits flagged this before the game why did we not have a plan for this.
    We never made many good kick passes to forward line

  55. Cantini, I expect that Do’C vs Ro’D penalty thing was more Do’C taking the ball to draw the ire/backchat/sledging of the Tyrone players to him. Andy Moran did the same thing for Do’C against Fermanagh in 16 – all the Fermanagh lads started pushing and jostling Andy while there was one of their players “injured” on the ground, in order to try to put off the Penalty taker. When it was time to take the Penalty, Andy just handed the ball to Do’C who slotted it home.

  56. What a privilege it is to have been around during the playing days of the greatest Mayo footballer of all time. Lee is not just a generational player, he is one of a kind, the likes of whom our county may never see again. It’s inevitable that other players will in time step up to claim his jersey but none will ever match him. The story of Leeroy Keegan is one that will pass from generation to generation far beyond our lifetime.

    Like so many others I too struggled to pick out players worthy of a MOTM nomination other than Lee and Stephen. While Ryan worked hard all evening to create chances, the penalty miss was unforgivable. Trying to be too clever in the most important game in 70 years for Mayo football was a costly error and one we can only hope that he learns from.

    Unfortunately a new generation of Mayo senior footballers have already acquired the baggage of back to back All Ireland final losses so early in their careers and that will be hard psychological factor for them to overcome. The inability of management and players alike to learn from the same mistakes year after year makes it hard right now to see this team ever achieve All Ireland success.

  57. Well done to Lee. Well deserved. I agree with the post @‘sick as a parrot’ that said we could have won if they didn’t get that first goal. Unfortunately they did but the missed penalty was the turning point. Can’t blame our lad for missing it. Serious pressure on a young fellow. It was our decision making that undid it for us. Why this mad desire to go for a major when a point is there for the taking. At least 5 points passed off by trying to work a goal. Surely the way we dispatched Dublin with pts only and Kerry’s futile goal efforts should have set a plan in motion, ie Take your pts unless in a 2 v 1 situation. I’m sure the stats guys have all the numbers that show it’s more beneficial to try for a goal v taking a shot for a point when in a position with an 80 or 90% chance of success so who am I to question the wisdom of their ways. Anyway couldn’t be more proud of this bunch of players and some where deep inside I view these bad days as down payments on what will eventually be the ultimate reward. But at the moment just gutted for the players and management.

  58. Re 2016, you could of course say we were the lucky ones to sneak the draw with Cillian’s last gasp wonder point, but I think even Dublin will admit they were bloody lucky not to lose that day.

    Well spotted supermac, that’s an important paragraph in Aidan O’rourkes article.

    Also check out Cora Stauntons article today highlighting similar themes, particularly our hesitancy on Saturday putting ball into the forward line.

  59. Chris Barrett was sorely missed on Saturday. One of very few Mayo men that have not perished in the second half of All Ireland finals.
    There’s just no fcukin way Darren Mccurry would be MOTM if Barrett was still on the panel. This is a 29 year old journeyman corner forward, who refers to himself in the third person as Dazzler, that was dropped completely from intercounty football 2 or 3 years ago by Harte, that has flattered to deceive his entire career, yet we made a hero of him on All Ireland final day.
    So typically Mayo.
    I know O’Hora was good earlier this year but Jesus he’s a flawed player at this level and the great aspects of his game are severely cancelled out by other limitations. Unfortunately our other corner backs lack of intensity in the tackle was also brutally exposed and was in the dugout by halftime.
    Harrison needs to get a full year of football into him and get back on that team ASAP.

  60. Liberal role in the tie – you’re right our best performance in an AIF was in 2017 and it was the one year we had a sports psychologist on board! We need to get one into our backroom team ASAP.

    Aidan O’rourke as always talking sense. If Horan is serious about learning – get this guy in as a selector. His analysis is always on the money

  61. My post match assessment of Mayo v Tyrone:
    JH is a top coach, one of the best in the country. Look at his achievements: keeping Mayo competitive for a decade, bringing forward new players, developing distinctive running game etc. He has stated his no 1 interest is coaching. This I think is the weakness. To land all ir he needs to develop management side of things further, especially tactics (Rochford has this), analysis of opposition & psychology of managing on the big day.
    What should he do: first, have thorough look at performance last sat, take views of all stakeholders including players and management team. Second, look at his own strength / weaknesses and act on this eg does he need co manager or assistant with some of skills he lacks, better tactical preparation, strong sports psychology input. Does management team have right mix of skills, not just coaching. Third, the psychological damage from all these losses is huge. Needs to have strong expertise in dealing with this.
    JH is strong into learning from each performance. Confident he will take on board the learning from last sat. P

  62. Maybe FBD – II mean its clever if that is what he was doing…. or maybe DOC was remembering slotting home that penalty previously in a big game.

  63. I had a quick look through the archives. I compiled a list of our five top scorers in all seven finals played since 2012:

    Cillian O’Connor – 0-45
    Andy Moran – 1-8
    Ryan O’Donoghue – 0-10
    Lee Keegan – 2-4
    Kevin McLoughlin – 0-6

    For a defender to be both our top goal-scorer and joint third overall is a phenomenal achievement and a measure of how he is the ultimate big-game player. That does not even take into account his defensive and man-marking contributions. He truly is Mayo’s most important player and I hope there are many big days ahead for him.

    Looking at the stats in the cold light of day is quite sobering however. Three goals scored in seven finals and never more than one goal in a game. We have conceded goals in every single final and 12 goals overall. It has killed us every single time. We obviously had a plan to stem this from the semi-final onwards but until we can definitively get a grip on this we will always struggle in these matches.

  64. Somebody mentioned Meath forwards above.

    Brian Stafford never took frees until he played for Meath, Boylan said he like the way he kicked the ball and put him on the frees.

    Brendan Reilly played corner back in 91 AI final and Gerathy played wing back in 94. Both ended up playing in the full forward line for Meath.
    Do we ever try and convert our defenders into forwards. No we decide to leave most of our talent in the defence.

    This is what I’d like to see tried next year in the league for midfield and forwards

    Hanley (if available)



    Everyone of these players have talent and are a match for anyone.
    We need to start thinking outside the box a little bit and push our talented players up the pitch

  65. If James is to stay on in the job he must make Lee Keegan captain immediately for the new season. Our greatest player ever.

  66. We really need to identify better half forwards in the county, why are the likes of Jack Reilly, Cian Hanley and Conor Diskin not been given a fair chance while there is players on the 42 that are not up to the standard required.

  67. We have kids from Thailand and alf Stewart from home and away all disappointed today, the amount of hype we generate is unbelievable, but that’s not teams fault.
    I thought every team had a sports psychologist these days

  68. Well deserved, Lee. Always performs for us. Let’s hope he stays around for a few more years. Agree with the posters who pointed out the deficiencies in our full back and half forward lines. Conceding soft goals in the league and Championship to ordinary opposition and not correcting this is unforgivable. Our half forwards did not score a single score between them in the Connacht, Semi or AI final.

  69. I keep coming back again to how one dimensional we are in our attacking, Tyrone kept mixing the play up with everyone on their team just as comfortable kicking long off the foot as running through the hands

    Its imperative we include a playmaker in our half forward line next year who has a good passing range and can play those long balls (see Meylers assist for McShane, when is the last time we got a goal like that?!). So many of our players are idendikit

    Who can we try at number 11 next year then, Mark Moran might be worth another look, Fergal Boland has a good kick pass and has impressed in croker before, i would even contemplate playing cillian deeper at 11, he has a great kickpass on him and could pick off scores from long range against a deep defence. Anyone else in that mould?

  70. I think we should all remember until JH came in 2011 nobody feared us and if we won games it was like a fluke.
    In hindsight Kerry game would have suited us better, they may have beat us as well due to the forwards they have but we would have got better scoring chances

  71. Also I think JH 3rd year in charge was when we were at the peak of are powers
    We should have beaten Kerry that year in replay semi, maybe 3rd year will be the same again I hope

  72. Many have commented on the lack of cohesion/teamwork/structure in our forward line. Is it any wonder? Could anyone tell me where Aidan O Shea was supposed to be playing? He was at ff,chf, MF and everywhere and anywhere around the field. How in gods name could you prepare and train a forward line when the rest of the forwards don’t know where Aidan is going to be or what his job is? I’m not blaming Aidan but it seems to me he should have been given one job wherever that is and asked to stick to it. Then you can devise plays and structure and understanding. I sat beside a very well known and knowledgeable GAA man. He commented to me at one stage in the first half that all our forwards seemed to be playing as individuals. Is it any wonder?
    And then when you fail to get the scores that your possession warrants and you miss goal chances the confidence begins to drain and doubts set in and the rest is history.

  73. TH as far as I know Cian Hanley opted out this year to concentrate on work. Diskin has had chances but never really made it. I can’t see that he made much of an impact for Mayo when he did play at senior, but he’s young so with the right attitude he will progress.
    The archive on this blog is showing that Jack Reilly appeared twice for Mayo at under 21 and scored 2 points, and twice at minor and scored no points. I’ve heard great things about the lad but I don’t live in the county so haven’t seen him in the flesh so can’t comment on current standard.

  74. I agree diehard. If they had given him just a simple role of sitting behind the midfield would likely have been much more effective also would have made it much more difficult for Morgan to go long.

    He’s not a good enough footballer to play roving role very few are exception might be Murphy and Cavanagh even then im not sure was it the best use of their talent

  75. Our ability to unearth new players has been good, and JH has to be credited with that, but we have to accept that some starters the last day will have to be impact subs if we are going to win, see the impact McShane had for tyrone

  76. Who was the back room guy having a go at James Horan on the line ? Am I imagining it or was there a “bit” of a dispute ?

  77. They said we couldn’t, we wouldn’t and sadly they were right we didn’t.
    Last Saturday was the most gut wrenching defeat of all the All-Irelands that we have lost.
    Why? Because we simply didn’t turn up.

    Bar the performances of Keegan, Coen, Durcan and ROD, most of players had an off day.And yet we still had the chances with the missed penalty, in my view, a game changer.

    The wait goes on and the years continue to count with 71 years now a minimum.

    Yesterday, I experienced a new low as in the lead up to the final I never once contemplated defeat.
    I was sure our time had come. I was sure too that we would leave all on the field in pursuit of that goal.

    Sadly, it did not pan out that way and so the low I experienced was graver again.
    But, we are Mayo, and all we can do now is nurture our wounds, regroup and go again.

    The dream remains. We must continue to believe in that dream. There is no other plan.

    p.s. Lee Keegan is an absolute legend, the best ever Mayo footballer and hats off to him.

  78. I wasn’t as disappointed for some reason, maybe it was because we didn’t play well so didn’t deserve to win or maybe it was because I wasn’t at it.
    For me the replay in Limerick was the most devastating, I think we would have one it that year and réf really did stiff us that year not to mention the disgrace to move it out of croke park

  79. The hardest thing to take I find is that other counties can come from out of the blue to win 1 All Ireland and then half disappear after – Donegal, a pretty average Kerry team, a Tyrone team now that couldn’t get near the Dubs with the same group the last 3/4 years, even Cork a little further back, Mayo’s consistency seems to count for absolutely nothing.

  80. FBDinshui
    Chances? Diskin came into the Mayo panel at 20 for one season.You can’t judge a player on one season at 20 years of age.He was the best player in the 2018 All Ireland final that included Ryan O’Donoghue, Tommy Conroy and Jordan Flynn.
    Your judging Jack Reilly on his Mayo minor and Under 21 games while Bryan Walsh didn’t even play Minor or Under 21 for the County but I suppose if you play for clubs like Ballintubber, Westport or Crossmolina you will get a fair chance!! Both players in my opinion have been the best players for Claremorris and Charlestown for the last 4 years and havnt been given a fair chance.
    Dylan Prendergast from Louisburgh and Barry Duffy from Balla are 2 other players worth looking at. Eoin O’Donoghue is a player that is been completely ignored, much better Corner back than Plunkett from what I have seen over the years.

  81. Jack Reilly has been talked about a while but I’m not sure he’s at the required level, he must be about 24 or so now so surely would have made an impact at this stage.
    We definitely need new players to step up.
    The following are guys I think have something to offer:
    Mark Moran – 20 yo, Alan Dillon like playing style, needs to bulk up but I have high hopes for this lad.
    Cian Hanley – 25 yo. Definitely has talent. An athletic player suited to the modern game. Someone said he dropped off the panel to focus on work commitments – doesn’t he work for andy Moran in the gym?
    Ruairi Keane – 19 year old full back, standout underage player. should be getting onto the extended squad at least next year.
    Ethan Henry – 19 yo midfielder, another standout underage player.
    Aidan Orme – think he’s about 21. Was good to see him come on the last day for a few min, obviously been impressing at training.
    Ciaran Treacy would be about 25 or 26 now – I alway liked his composure and he would have been useful yesterday on the end of some of those chances I think.
    There’s other youngsters I don’t know much about such as Jack Carney of Kilmeena, the young Coyne lad from Ballyhaunis and a couple of other youngsters. Jack Mahon of Charlestown also appeared to be a talented forward in the u20 side this year.
    There are other posters on here who will know far more about these guys than me.
    I’m convinced however there is plenty of young talent in Mayo. A new goalkeeper would be good to see coming through too, there was a fella from ballinrobe a couple of year back at Minor that seemed very promising , O’Brien I think he was, not sure where he is at?
    There’s also a couple of big clubs in Mayo that have not produced a huge amount of established intercounty players in many years. Claremorris, Kiltane, even Ballina and castlebar have not provided much young senior intercounty level talent in the last 4-5 years, Paddy Durcan and o’hora both being in their late 20s.
    I see Luke Doherty from Ballina on extended panel but don’t know much about him at all.

  82. there has to be questions asked of Management both on the day and the team/panel selection, why was the old problem of goalkeeper and fullback not solved its there for a few years now. Surely there is a young agile keeper in the county that can see danger and dart off his line and a fullback that can field a ball over his head. Mayo always had midfield players who could catch high ball , this was absent the last day,and the never ending problem of forwards who cant or wont score from play. Aiden is a great player and didnt play that bad the last day but again where is he playing , is he roaming the field himself or is it the instructions of the management , nobody can play very where, give the man a position and keep him there. Also O Hora was just starting to play the last day just like the Dublin game when he was taken off

  83. RahoonSean it didn’t exactly look great did it? Not sure how clear it was at the game but seeing the pictures on TV it gave off a very negative vibe just when the team needed any lift they could get – that bickering on the line can’t exactly have been helpful.

    Ahh not again, Cormac Reilly screwed us royally that day, but management leaving cafferkey on donaghy, us getting cleaned out in midfield, going long with every feckin knockout despite being cleaned out at midfield, not tracking Kerry runners all day and running out of steam in extra time were the main reasons. Yes the clash of heads didn’t help and at the time I felt yes we were robbed but 7 years on it’s clear it’s just part of a pattern of not being able get over the line in the big games, and we can’t keep blaming intangibles

    That was a fairly mediocre Kerry team , probably 4th or 5th in Ireland at the time yet like Tyrone this year they took their chances when they had them , never blinked when they built up momentum in a fairly chaotic championship , and showed real champions mentality to get over the line against the odds

  84. Well done to Lee! Brillant performance.
    So so heartbroken for the lads and what they have to go through in their heads for next few weeks, as they say ‘it’s ok lads to not feel ok’ but it will pass and knowing ye as we do, ye will learn and take it onn wholeheartedly again because of ye’re passion and love for our game by all of the panel.
    AND know we will be with ye all the way.
    Ignore the evil abusers, and focus on all the luv and support from yere families and management and all genuine supporters.
    Please mind yerselves, and Thank ye all so much for the unbelievable dedication always.

  85. On the Goalie issue we need to identify who is going to replace Robbie Hennelly as Number 1.
    The 3 best young keepers in the County are Luke Jennings, Jamie McNicholas and Ronan Connolly.
    Out of Rory Byrne and Colm Reape, I think Reape is the better and deserves a fair crack in the upcoming League campaign.

  86. @Ahh not again This was the 3rd year of James’ 2nd reign as manager so I hope we haven’t peaked yet!

  87. Not it sure what the cameras picked up but It was right in front of me Rahoonsean. Conor Finn seemed to be pleading his case with James on a few occasions and in a fairly determined way too. I saw the linesman come over to them at one stage and gesture to them to cool it. This is in the last few minutes of normal time. It just didn’t look or feel good. The mind boggles.
    Anyway, looking forward to getting a few club games in over the next couple of weeks.

  88. Everyone agrees that the missed penalty was a turning point. Even Seán Cavanagh agrees that it should have been retaken as the goalkeeper left his line and two Tyrone players crossed the 20 metre line. We all remember what happened when Hennelly retook the 45 in the semi final – changed defeat into victory. So if Ryan scored the retaken penalty, the course of the game could have been completely changed.

  89. Fair enough Jimmy, good point, I think covid probably has made last year difficult so we will see what next year brings.
    I have to say I’ve always hated tyrone teams under mickey Hart, Ive alway believed it was him that brought that nasty element to tyrone, I thought they played game in great spirit the last day, nó complaints on that front.
    Even when they played Dublin in Aif I shouted for Dublin, I think that dislike for tyrone football has finally gone.

  90. Out of this years Under 20 side that played against Roscommon I thought no one was up to the required level needed to make an impact for next year’s Senior panel.

  91. TH – I’m not looking to get into a row over who should and shouldn’t be in the squad. There’s loads of reasons why someone who appears to have an abundance of talent at club level may not make it at intercounty – biggest ones are usually attitude and commitment.
    I’d agree that it’s not fair to judge a 20 year old based on one season at senior but we don’t know the ins and outs of why Conor didn’t feature beyond the 2019 season. Maybe he didn’t have the right attitude.
    I’m also not judging Jack Reilly at all – I just pointed out the information available – I mentioned that I don’t live in the county and haven’t seen him play so I could not comment.
    Only 4 of the minor winning team from 2013 were involved on Saturday, and 8 from the 2016 winning team involved in any capacity this year. You’d have to wonder why we’re not getting more out of that group of lads but sometimes life changes – from that 2013 minor team there’s been a few that were just unfortunate in how things turned out for them in life, and one of which is sadly no longer with us.

  92. Haven’t commented since the game. Well done Lee on a brilliant individual performance. That’s 7 all Ireland finals he has played well in now. Apart from him and Stephen Coen, everyone else will look back on the game with big regrets.

    I couldn’t believe how we got cleaned out in midfield. Mattie and Loftus were brilliant up to the final, but were the 2 biggest disappointments IMO. We just seemed so flat in general play. They said on the Mayo news podcast that we had 20 tackles to Tyrone’s 60. Not sure how accurate that is but it backs up what I saw. Ryan O’Donoghue had a big turnover on McKernan in the first 2 minutes but there was nothing after that.

    An underperformance so bad it reminds me of 04 and 06. This will be a tough one to get over as we didn’t perform near our best, and don’t have the “comfort” of being beaten by the greatest team of all time. Congrats Tyrone but I think if we played them again next weekend, there’s a good chance we beat them.


  93. Agree with Anthony moyles on OTB this morning, Rob hennelly has had an absolute shocker for the mcshane goal there.

    I know some people are fingerings mullin for losing track of mcshanes run but the fault there lies entirely with the goalie for me.

    I played in fullback line all my life and even at a mediocre club level the understanding is that if defender plays from the front then the keeper absolutely must be sweeping everything. There’s no way that would happen at the other end with Morgan who was quick off his line sniffing out danger all day long.

    Its not the first time with hennelly either, it was a criminal goal to concede. I’d say Mcshane couldn’t believe how handy it was

  94. Just re watched the game again and if I could make one request of JH it would be to use the FBD and next year’s div1 games to get positions 2 to 6 sorted and that defence locked up. 15 points wouldn’t win many AI finals but I’d settle for it. There’s better performances in our front lines to come next season. This pain will pass! Well done to Keegan, a warrior if ever there was one!

  95. Hennely had a fine year, but you are correct that brogan caught him off his line for a goal as well

  96. God help Hennelly. Mark your man if you are able and if you are clearly not, the manager should get someone else like Aido. Hennelly is not blameless, but the proportion of responsibility is less with him than others.

    Ultimate problem is that there are no full backs anywhere in GAA anymore and the reason is clear when you consider the profile – dependable, responsible, level-headed – these people are ideal husbands and fathers and will not play contact sports that demand a half-life and only offer emotional reward!

  97. Also we would not be in the final only for his kick against Dublin not to mention how good he was at restarts.
    I don’t think we have ever got the balance between defense and attack, I hate to say this but I think we need a coach from the North who seem to be experts at this

  98. A kerry man I met on the train going from Dublin to Cork yesterday said to me that mayo’s problem when it comes to finals is that we beat ourselves on the way to Croker. The history the weight of expectation sow seeds of doubt in the players minds. I dismissed this at first but having thought about it since maybe he is right. I am glad I am off on holiday this week to be able to relax in the sun and not be here defending my county’s honour against my cork neighbours.its not like they have pulling up any trees for a long while.

  99. Disappointing day but in fairness I think perspective is needed. We have to stop buying into media created agendas. Those young lads are not ready to win an All Ireland yet. The other problem is that way some of our players are being castigated. If this continues what lad will put himself in those crosshairs. There is no immediate solution, getting rid of the manager etc will not change things one iota. Keep the faith, let’s not become a divided county fighting amongst ourselves. A Meath man said to me this morning that he would swop with us any day. Roll on February when we can all shout for them again.

  100. The aforementioned aidan o’rourke would be a great addition to the backroom team, all ireland winner too which is what the entire tyrone backroom was littered with

    @Rahoon – i was sitting about 30 rows back from mayo management and i must say i saw what you saw as well, a lot of consternation amongst management in that 2nd half, it was very heated. I saw finn and burke (i think) in very angry exchanges with Horan in 2nd half and ciaran mac seemed to have resigned to the subs bench amongst the players for most of second half, it was all very strange and tense.
    Obviously we can have no idea what was being said but i suspect there is one man and one man only calling the shots and thats JH.

    By comparison you could see Logan consulting with peter donnelly and Joe mcmahon an awful lot, mcmahon was scribbling down stats throughout. Thats some brains trust and experience there

  101. The Aidan o Shea conondrum is going to be major issue year. Where can he make the best contribution to the team?
    He certainly doesn’t have 70 min of football at this level left in him.
    He’s not a natural scorer. He’s a great ball winner and tackler. Doesn’t have the athleticism or fitness to play midfield.
    What about centre half back? Or even fullback? Would take care of the McShane type monster full forwards under the high ball. Doesn’t require huge athleticism and a big tank either like midfield.
    Full back (with a sweeper in front of him similar to Rochfords style) could utilise Aidans talents most effectively for the last 2 or 3 years of his career.

  102. The Sunday Game, team of the year.. none of the pundits even mentioned, Galways Shane Walsh,.. He’s two footed, probably the fastest and best ball carrier in Ireland.. and a terrific free taker, can’t see for the life of me why he didn’t get named.. Galway had a bad year, it would have been allot worse on except for the outstanding Shane Walsh.. I wish he played for Mayo.. Anyhow another thing that’s annoying me slightly, one decision by Joe McQuillian, it didn’t have any effect on the outcome of the game,.. and Joe McQuillian did have a good game, and for an All Ireland final, no doubt helped by the fact, that it was played in a very sporting manner.. The Red Card for Mathew Ruane, correct decision, but if you’re giving Mathew a Red Card in an All Ireland final,.. Mathew reacted to being stopped making a support run, and the Tyrone player, as well as stopping Mathew attempted run forward also attempted a strike on Matthew, nothing too much, but it happened and it happened a fraction of a seccond before Mathew reacted.. Now if your giving Mathew a Red Card, you also have to give the’Black’ card for the Block on the attempted support run by Mathew, or possibly a Red for an attempted strike.. Ciaran Wheelan , said on RTE, you can’t be doing that in an All Ireland final, with all the cameras in Croke Park..he never mentioned that the completely unprovacted strikes by John Small off the ball on Ryan O Donohue stomach, or the strike on Diarmuid O’Conner throat by James McCarthy, or the strike on James Carr’s throat by Paddy Small.. Strange that, don’t you think an impartial pundit missed all those incidents in the semifinal, which was supposed to be under the same rules as the final? .. Joanne Can’t, well be accused of bias, in her asking questions can she?.. Is it me being paroniod or are there different rules for Dubs?

  103. Next year we are headed into the 4th and probably
    Final year of James second term in charge so
    I don’t realistically expect him to change much. Every other Connacht county would love to have James Horan as their manager and the success he brings in Connacht and the league and the way he devolops young players. The 70 year old monkey on our back is killing the team and supporters Phscologicially whether we care to admit it or not.

  104. Well done to Lee, I really hope that he stays on for at least another year. We badly needed leadership on Saturday, the sense of panic in the second half was palpable . I do feel that Cillians presence in the forward line would have steadied the ship significantly though. The missed shots/goals would undoubtedly have sailed over the bar or into the net if it were an A vs B game. Perhaps this year playing lower division teams did not help as the tackling intensity provided by Tyrone was significantly higher but IMO much of the poor performance was psychological. When the limerick hurling captain name checks their psychologist Caroline Currid during his acceptance speech it is clear what regard there is for what she has achieved in that team. I presume as we are an elite team we have a sports psychologist, if we don’t then we need to get one (and indeed if we do then maybe a change is required).

  105. I have to face the facts that we we’re lucky to be in an Aif, we were poor in first half against Galway, and if that had been a Jim Gavin team we wouldn’t have beaten Dublin, don’t think we have the team we had a few years back and more building is needed.
    That been said when Tyrone got to the final I was sure we would win as are record of beating them and other northern teams was so good

  106. Agree glory days what Horan has done twice and alot of counties would love to have jh, I’d love to see him getting over the line but if he doesn’t he will have left us in a good place for next manager as he did before

  107. Larry Duff, your question is symptomatic of what’s wrong with this set up – why do you feel we have to play Aidan somewhere? He’s not a forward and doesn’t have the pace for midfield or defence, so the answer is simple. Just one example of players that have to be played no matter what. Another example – plunkett was taken off against Dublin early in the 2nd, half-time on Saturday, no problem. Diarmuid puts his heart and soul into his game but what’s the end product? Bryan Walsh, the same. No scores from either, in a lot of matches. Then this strange situation with Colm Boyle, always a sub, never put on? There are more examples. I wonder which of the above the management team were arguing with Horan over?

  108. Well said Supermac – I think you are right on the money and your summation is not surprising if you think the big picture through.

  109. You need to have 3 or 4 defenders as subs. Boyle was obviously just too far down the pecking order to be brought on. Don’t think there’s any scandal there. Please don’t start suggesting Aidan O’Shea plays full back. No team in the country has a 6’4″ full back and for good reason. They would be turned inside out by any decent forward.

  110. Lee Keegan was immense on Saturday, especially in that second half when things were unravelling all around him. He has to be involved in 2022. Until we score 20 points+ in a final we won’t get over the line. 1-16 is our best final score in the last decade. Despite our malfunction in so many areas on Saturday, we should still have got to 20+ with chances created. That’s what stings the most.

  111. Well I think Aidan has enough talent to be played somewhere, even as a sub. Agree that the likes of plunkett, Walsh and a couple others are the 13th 14th even 15th best players on the team and likely to be replaced the soonest. We don’t have a talent pool so deep as to be leaving a player like Aidan out of the panel entirely. When we have a loaded bench with options everywhere – they yeah fine. But we dont. It’s up to the coaching team to maximise the talent we have at our disposal
    For the poster who said a 6 ft 4 full back would be skinned by a decent modern FF – that may be true but what happens when someone like McShane gets hold of our defence? The smaller guys like Mullins just aren’t able for him?

  112. Supermac, the team was not relying solely on running the ball (i. e. Horanball) on Saturday. I noted a lot of long kick passing especially in the first half.
    This was an attempt at mixing it up.
    1. Tyrone were marking our key men out of it (especially our transitional players. Mattie and Paddy are two examples). We need to acknowledge this.
    **We need to face up to the fact that Tyrone were man marking strongly all over the field**. They had done their homework. It wasn’t all down to the weakness or ineffectiveness of our players, as many posters would have us believe. How many of you have mentioned what Tyrone were doing?
    On reflection, I think Tommy and Ryan were getting some freedom because Tyrone were deciding to focus their man marking further out. Perhaps they thought that was where Mayo’s main game came from.
    2. This is a young team, in year 2, essentially. We simply do not have all the strings to our bow, game wise yet. Horan has been putting in a foundation of a fast running game first. I expect more tactics to be added on to this as the team moves into coming years.
    3. I personally think the main problem was that we did not analyse Tyrone in a deep tactical way and try to upend them, i.e. look to target specific weaknesses or to anticipate their potential game plan versus us and circumvent that. I mean ‘head them off at the pass’ – their goalkeeper was bound to be used against us; McShane to be absolutely shackled; absolutely stop goals – this won them the game versus Kerry.
    In particular, the Tyrone management tactical nous and homework have won them their games. They tailor this for each team they play – they need to meet a clever fox on the opposite management team who can outwit them next time.
    On a more general note:
    4. It is crazy to call for Horan to leave. Please steady on people. Look at all the factors. This is a young team whose game is still being built. I’ll remind ye of what Tomas O Se said after our win over Dublin, ‘James Horan, what a manager’. I also heard him rate JH as the best manager in the country this year a few weeks ago.
    5. Pundits on TV or online are not necessarily gods. It irks me when certain posters portray them as if they are. See some posts above.
    What happened on Saturday has come from a combination of factors.
    Can we lay off on the psychological weakness and the psychological damage too, please?
    I’m not sure if psychological weakness or psychological baggage is what was at play on Saturday and what lost us the game.
    More at play was that we are a team at an early stage of development whose game is not yet seasoned. We may have over-achieved this year getting to an AI final (though it was great to get there).
    I’m also getting a bit tired of storylines written in the media about us, good, bad or indifferent. They’re a bit guff, really, and just distracting.

  113. Puckout completely agree.
    The modern game has passed aiden by, especially when it gets to croke park. It’s not a place for anyone with any degree of sluggishness nowadays. It’s a place for athletes with skills. At ff he’s taken out of position by an attacking fb, At hf he’s forced to track the 6, at mf he’s bypassed by opposition and often left in no man’s land. Anyone who thinks it’d be any different at 3 or 6 are absolutely deluding themselves. It’s not his fault that the modern game has passed him by but surely someone on the management team can see this and more importantly deal with it. He owes us nothing but he’s race is run. That imo is just an unfortunate fact at this stage.

  114. One request I’d make of JH is to use the FBD and league matches to organise the 2 to 7 positions in the best way possible for the year ahead. Hopefully, having a fit Harrison in the time will be a start
    Was able to watch the match again last night and errors at either end were no easier to watch.

  115. Larry Duff – Don’t think anyone said drop Aidan completely, he’s still well good enough to be on the panel.

    It’s not that difficult to deal with McShane when players defend properly. If Hennelly stayed on his line, the ball would have just bounced into his chest. If Mullin was marking from behind he’d easily have broke the ball away from McShane. Mullin is not a small guy at all, he can field the ball over most players.

  116. @SwallowSwoops. I agree with a lot of what you have said. However, we cannot dismiss the psychological aspects of Saturday. Missing four goal chances and conceding one soft goal eroded our confidence bit by bit to the point where we ended up playing ‘desperation football’ for the last 15 mins. You could sense it in the stands. Fear replaced composure and all the ugly chemical stuff that the brain produces in such circumstances wrecked the heads of many of our players. And that’s not to even mention historical damage if such a thing exists.
    We could still possibly have won that game even after conceding McShanes goal with just a bit of our normal composure. Because Tyrone weren’t that outstanding either.
    And of course the above isn’t the whole story either but it is part of it that needs to be fully acknowledged.

  117. Even the dogs on the street from a number of years back know what McShane is capable of. I mean if you never watched a game in your life or never heard of this guy and only saw the Kerry v Tyrone match you would have seen what he can do.

    The minute he stepped onto the pitch he should have been a planned marked man with a huge target on his back. Biggest sideline error in the whole game. So simple yet too hard. Unbelieveable stuff. Tyrone management left us for dead. Similar story back in 2012 – nothing learnt. Well done Tyrone – no excuses – we deserved what we got – this and Donegal are the two that should have not got away. Again McGuinness outfoxed us back then. Tell me if I am wrong.

  118. We did have a plan for McShane. Oisín Mullin went straight onto him and did a good job too apart from 1 obvious moment. Oisín was the right man for the job as he has the strength and athleticism to beat McShane.

    I don’t think you can blame management for that.

  119. Lee Keegan is an all time great player. Of that there is no doubt. He has mastered two very different positions on the field and played at a standard very few could dream to reach.

    I have to admit that a few things about Saturday have been a little frustrating .

    1. The game against Kerry was a great template on what not to do against Tyrone. The lessons do not appear to have been absorbed fully. ESP about taking the ball down cul de sacs into contact.
    2. The dogs in the street knew in advance that Morgan would go long on some kickouts potentially causing instant danger in defense. There wasn’t a strategy to counter this.
    3. One of the most frustrating thing was Aidan O Shea’s placement. He was clearly not at the races. He can be the cause of the first problem ( and slows down play )and the solution to the second.
    4. I’ve said for a while now that having Aido placed at CHB would absolutely deter the Morgan’s of this world from trying that.
    5. Finally Aido has proven he can play full back. After 40 minutes he generally looks pooped anyway so why not use him (with an eye on McShane )as the sweeper in central defense / in front of the full back line.
    6. Aido was in the ridiculous situation of being the one sending in the ball to the edge of the square instead of being on the receiving end.
    7. One change could’ve solved these problems and made our whole unit function more fully while reducing the risk of ambush. Play Aidan as sweeper in the second half ( and occasional forays to the square if feasible and only if necessary )
    8. Playing Aido like this in a pre determined and logical manner would’ve cut off the headless chicken effect of him not having a clear sense of what to do if plan A didn’t work out.
    9. The most frustrating thing of all is that all of this was predictable. It was foreseeable and in a way not having ( proper) plans ( plural)was unforgivable.
    10. Robbie was brilliant all year but that mistake should not have happened.

  120. Sorry Food4thought but Aido has not proven he can play Full Back, far from it. He did a specific man marking job on one player who was well past his best and did okay (this performance has been exaggerated over the years). Cant say he has proven he could play there. Because there is so much debate about where to play him proves there is a problem and the solution lies in how Horan wants the team to play, if he wants to continue the hard running, high intensity game then there really isnt any room for Aido, best option there is as an impact sub. If Horan wants Aido on the field then he has to adapt his style to include early long balls to Aido for others to feed off. Suggesting Aido plays full back is nonsense, Harrison is a better option, not CHB either, Coen is better in that position.

  121. I appreciate all your points Mayomad but I’m not advocating dedicating him as the primary player at either full or center half back. It’s as a defensive sweeper between those two positions. In a way , you can’t really play HoranBall without that “ soundness in defense” Plus the players up front need more space to run into so having a sweeper like Aidan is necessary for Horan’s preferred game.

  122. I’m afraid if you watch the replay you will be astonished how many times defenders waltz around him as a forward, so no, Aido is not an option in a modern defense

  123. Rapparee I agree he is not the complete package as a modern defender but no one can deny his still formidable aerial skills. Defensively he reads the game well also.
    Both situations I mentioned relevant to the Tyrone game are based on him dominating the air on Morgan’s kickout and in the event of a high ball in to McShane.

  124. Food4thought, I do agree Aidan could have added something tactically elsewhere. Maybe that is hindsight.
    I would have liked to see Aidan at midfield as that would have caused a big problem for the Tyrone midfielders whose height the Tyrone management identified as a plus for them (contrary to pundits’ views beforehand).
    To be fair though, I’m sure our management had a plan for Aidan and I won’t criticise it as I don’t have the full knowledge to do that.

  125. But I’d love to have seen Aidan at midfield. And I think he could have bothered McShane too.

  126. I asked the question a few weeks back on what is a genuine mayo fan. And reading a few comments above it’s easy to pick them out. Calling for players to step aside? We just can go out and buy them it’s not the premier league we’re in. Has to start down in bord na nog. Simple as. Hopefully we can bring a few more through from the club scene this year

  127. Fair play Lee, no better man, fought to the dying end. He has been Mayo’s best player in my opinion. I think JH will get a year extended to allow for two years of space. He’s going in the right direction, but he needs a fresh voice to begin the next phase of this team. I expect a few more names to call it a day, I reckon Aidan will stay on, but I wouldn’t be so sure if he will be a starter anymore.

  128. To be fair Swallow Swoops it’s not just hindsight. I wrote this post below on the blog on May 18 th. Just pasting the relevant piece.

    His presence would give the younger defenders even more confidence in their forward raids if he was “minding the house” In the event he was being lured out of position to open the center he could revert to thinking zonally as a sweeper ,something he does incredibly well. ( Fwiw -small point –Donegal would not be inclined to kick out the ball over the top of midfield)

    Watching Kerry against Galway shows how dangerous the long kicking game is against any team. When played well ( requires super accurate passing,super fast running and constantly interchanging movement by forwards and therefore defenders well removed from their markers)the modern game of hand passing and lobs for“basketball goals” make it almost impossible to defend against once the overlap has been achieved.

    The kicking game goes like this. Kickout to the wing , then into the corner. Options then open up, deft inside play leaving the defender for dead and straight on goal,or more likely back out to the middle where the hordes of on rushing cavalry practically guarantee an accurate hand pass followed by an accurate shot, another hand pass or lob.

    Now imagine that Aido is at number six. For opposition kick outs he would be positioned just behind our midfield “ fielders” There is very little clean catching going on nowadays and there’s nobody like Aido to mop up dirty breaking ball. His skill and power would be obvious here. He has fast hands and is able to off load quickly and can be an accurate foot passer. He is the consummate dispossesor at close quarters if the ball doesn’t initially break his way.

    This is especially important if Mayo want to press high themselves. Having Aido right behind midfield means the opposition almost can’t go long down the middle.

    It’s going to make the opposition long kickers think twice.They are going to have to be even more accurate if they don’t want the possibility of launching an immediate serious counter attack against themselves. Mayo have this counter attacking game down pat and no opposition wants to encourage any more of that caper.

    Also,as we saw with Donaghy and Murphy there is no one like Aido to mark the big men. Having him defending in the square to watch the big guys including Murphy / Clifford is essential to avoid that kind of catastrophe. It “almost “shuts down the opposition big boy game.

    Marking big guys at midfield for kick outs is a waste of Aido’s time and a counter productive use of him.Just break the ball, if fielding is not possible ,and Aido is waiting.

    We need his presence defensively. We have two running midfielders ( number 9’s if you will ) in Diarmuid and Matthew Ruane. We need a number eight with the number six on his back.

    All of this assumes that Aido is fit and not injured. It assumes that we take our usual man marking approach to the uber dangerous opposition players in big games.I think Aido could last the full game at number 6.

    I hope this has been tried in practice because it plays to Aido’s and the team’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Food for thought.

  129. I honestly believe it’s time for a change in the management team to freshen things up. For the past few years under Horan we had no defensive plan and as a result we have conceded goals on a regular basis. Now to compound things, we seem to have no attacking plan. If McDonald was brought in to improve the forward play then it hasn’t worked. Can anyone honestly tell me what our forwards are trying to do? Aiden O’Shea standing at the corner flag at times, Tommy Conroy back behind our own 45 etc. We couldn’t have made it any easier for Tyrone. Another major gripe I have is that the current senior management team are rarely if ever seen at any club games. I attended games every weekend and they certainly wouldn’t be too hard to spot due to the small attendances. If a player doesn’t stand out at club level then put a line through their names. We have lads starting that don’t stand out for their clubs at both senior and Intermediate level.

  130. Horan always mentions the performance.
    Seems a bit strange then if there is no performance coach in place .?
    Does anyone know for sure. ?
    Mayo news listed full back room team but didn’t see a performance coach listed.?
    The mind plays a big part in these games especially with the amount of losses we have had.

  131. The West is Best, calling for a change in manager is a knee jerk reaction that comes up every year, we have changed managers before and haven’t fared any better. Before Saturday everyone was raving about Horan and McDonald, no one was asking for their heads. Horan needs to stay on, if someone emerges that could add value to the backroom team then by all means bring them in but no point making changes for the sake of it. Anyway if Horan did leave who would replace him? cant think of a club manager in Mayo that would be better than Horan and no experienced outside manager would touch Mayo after Him (too big a job) so does the County board take a chance with an inexperienced Ex player, that would be foolish in my view.

  132. I am going to sit down tonight and watch the game in full, didn’t really feel like I was watching the live version on Saturday.
    I need to do this for myself to see where things went wrong.
    In my book, a 5 point defeat is a bit of a hammering.
    Tyrone did beat and draw with the Dubs in league games from 2012 to 2018.
    I mentioned this a few years ago here, Mayo are always at a disadvantage from having a manager that has lost an All Ireland at some stage, in many cases.
    Where to now.
    There must be something that Mayo get wrong time and time again.
    Maybe a better approach for a final could be much less running in the last week, more stretching, loads of Psychological stuff and a relaxing drink or two. The focus that it is in fact a final needs to be taken out, to be replaced by its just another game.

  133. I rate Horan so highly as a manager, must be up there as one of our greatest every managers. 7 seasons, 6 Connacht titles, 7 semi-finals, 4 finals – the record is unbelievable. But unfortunately it has to be said, I think his teams have underperformed in every final he’s been involved in.

    Now I’m not saying Stephen Rochford (who was a fine manager) is better or deserves another go but the three finals his Mayo teams were involved in you’d have to say his Mayo team played almost as well as they possibly could have. The same can’t be said for James Horan’s side. I think if the Mayo team put in as high a level of performance in 2012, 2013 or 2021 as they did under Rochford, we’d have a few All Irelands won.

    So big questions need to be asked about why we have this blind faith in the way we play being good enough to get us over the line. We need to start treating these finals as one off games and adjust our tactical plan to suit that. When McShane came on, we should have introduced Harrison, instead we introduced a midfielder/half forward for our full back…You have to match up with the team you are playing, not have blind faith in your own ability to out score them.

  134. Mayomad I agree with you to a point, BUT, Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

    If someone can honestly tell me what our defensive plan has been under Horan during all his reign then I shall buy them a pint or if they can tell me what our forward plan has been, then I will happily buy them 2 pints. I honestly haven’t met anyone yet that seems to know.

    If nothing changes then how can we win.

  135. Stating the obvious first Mayo created enough to win the game but weren’t clinical enough. Secondly the game was played to the Tyrone game plan, we knew what it was going to be and they didn’t change script from the Kerry game. It was there from start to finish. This I have a problem with as Mayo Mgmt let it be played on their terms. Surely they had to take some learnings from their Semi ? Tyrone play a very different system to Dublin/Kerry so it needs to be planned for. A couple of posters here before the game mentioned Carr/D.Coen starting – that had plenty of merit as these are big enough guys who can field ball. This to my mind would allow us be a bit more direct and not run the field and give Tyrone time to organize and smother. Bunching, running into the tackles forcing errors were how Tyrone wanted it and we gave it to them on a plate. Tyrone style can suffocate and suck the life out of players and bar a small few of our players none would have experienced this level in championship before. So back to my point Mgmt did not do anything to counteract this style or game plan. Horan for all his positives tactically didn’t get this one right, there was no rabbit in the hat.

  136. I have not had the heart to come on this site since Saturday evening and now that I am here reading some of the comments does nothing to lift the mood.
    147Joe, What does a performance coach do exactly? I have listened to a few of them in my working life and decided that they are pure and absolute bullshitters, but I believe their fees are not bullshit.
    And as for those looking for new management etc. who do they propose? Who is showing up in the club scene? As for looking outside the county remember that only one outside manager has won Sam in living memory. A manager who Mayo Co Board disposed of and brought back when he was burnt out.
    Congrats to Lee Keegan both on being voted Mayo Man of the Match and on his performance on the day. Several people, some who played against him and some who met him at Cúl Camps etc have told me about what a gentleman he is to meet and I have no doubt about it.
    On the issue of where we go from here I have wondered why we never try to engineer a palmed/fisted goal opportunity for Aiden O’Shea when he is posted at full forward – or elsewhere on the pitch. Maybe it has been tried in training and for some reason not worked but I find that hard to understand.
    Secondly, I have never been part of the criticism of Robbie Hennelly in the past but having seen him caught in no man’s land for both goals on Sat. I have come to the conclusion that he lacks the positional sense and appreciation of when to leave his line and that it is time to look else where. I’m not advocation dropping him outright but we need to look seriously at alternatives.
    Thirdly and lastly I believe that all penalties should be ground shots shaving the grass and aimed at the goal stanchions. With reasonable power – no need to blast them – no goalie will reach them. Some, with better eyesight than me, tell me that Ryan changed his mind on the run up when the goalie moved. If he did it was another cardinal sin. A penalty taker should decide and never change his – or her – mind.

  137. Check my commect at halftime during the final, it read we need one or two defenders to come on, as one was injured ( Mullin ), and I knew McShane would be introduced in 2nd half.
    I am blue in the face for stating that Mullin should never be stationed at full back.
    Mayo got the match ups wrong, I have followed McCurry in all Tryone’s Ulster championship games, he was by far their best forward, small, fast and slick. Yet he didn’t play well v Kerry but destroyed us.
    O Hora is good under the high ball in around the square, I spotted this during the Galway game in 2nd half. He kinda grows into games, gets better in 2nd half.
    Nobody has really mentioned why Mullin started if injured, I spotted this at halftime in the final.
    Notice how McShane was left one on one with Mullin for the goal, Tyrone were clever, spotted this in 2012 final v Donegal and 2013 v Mayo.
    The highlight of the game for me was the Tyrone goalkeeper sprinting out from his goal, past about 6 players and taking the high ball out of the sky, this alone gives a team the same lift as a goal.

    Tyrone management focused on Mayo’s weakness, nullified the midfield, shut down Ruane when he got the ball, didn’t let him take off on a run like he was doing all year.

  138. Food4thought
    In fact Rochford mentioned AOS in 6 or sweeper position on the podcast.With the idea of stopping Morgans long kickout.
    He didn’t say for sure he would use him there in fact he said it would be radical….however he did say it was essential to take account of that tactic from Tyrone.

  139. Alan – okay, now I recommend that you definitely have a read of the house rules before attempting to post anything again here on the blog. Specifically the bit about dissing players at a personal level, which is out of bounds.

  140. AndyD
    Eugene McGee from Longford won an All Ireland with Offaly in 1982.But if James doesnt stay on I would like to see Ray Dempsey get a chance as manager, I think no one knows the club scene in Mayo better than him.

  141. Aidan would have been perfect at 6 in the second half, Morgan’s kickouts were just pure class and they killed us. His running outfield to create overlaps also warranted an extra defender to come on. I would like someone of James Carr’s stature and talent to be persisted with at full forward next year, Aidan is not the man for that role.

  142. Wow..bit if a sweeping statement on performance coaching Andy D. Would you say the likes of Caroline Currid had nothing to do with any the teams she went to winning All Ireland finals.? . I think it’s no secret that performance on a given day can have a lot to do with mental prep work in advance. This applies to all sorts not just Gaelic football . If not the case then why do professional sports people waste time and money on them.
    Another question might be of any of the teams that recently won All Irelands in recent years did any/all have a performance coach on their backroom team .,?
    Think at this stage we need to try address our failings and try look at solutions to try improve things otherwise same mistakes keep repeating. Just me opinion

  143. Thanks for that 1989. I hadn’t heard him but I’ve obviously harbored the same thought for a good while. Not only that but ( and I say this very tongue in cheek ) just like the idea of Feng Shui for furniture and energy in a house , I believe moving Aido there would be good for the energy of the team. Please don’t get upset . I’m joking.

  144. We currently have a manager. I’m sure he will be the manager for another 2 or 3 campaigns. That will be his decision.

    Was talking to a lad in Ballina an hour ago and he reckons the next manager should be Cora. A born winner and no bullshit.

  145. Just heard Tyrone manager on Newstalk talk about his performance coaches and how their input in their All Ireland success..
    Guess they all bullsh*tters too Andy D.?

  146. It appears nobody’s quite clear what style and systems (defensive and attacking) JH and players planned to play on Saturday.
    Its either that or Tyrone prepped their homework better than us – it cant be that because we had 2 extra weeks to plan? If it is true thats unforgiveable.

    It feels like we’re back in 2013/14 with the hard running Horanball as all we’ve got, and no overall plan or systems or Mayo style which the players and county can buy into and believe in.
    Funny enough we’re always talking about individuals, (either injured, underperforming, nonselected or great future individuals who’ll make everything better) and rarely debating if our attacking or defensive systems are working or need change.
    It was mentioned above that Horan looks on himself firstly as a coach, someone needs to convince him that he needs someone to manage his team to play to systems and a process.
    The Mayo chaos is great and passionate and maked our summer every year but we’ve seen it before and we’re back where we started. Sorry theres no lift in spirits today.

  147. I’m still so angry at our lacklustre performance, I’m trying but I can’t get it out of my head. I’m angry for the fans and I’m angry for the players and management too, this was an opportunity missed. Why did we not perform? Why did we set up as we did? Why did we not factor in tyrones tactics against Kerry? Why did the team crumble under pressure? Why isn’t there a sports psychologist involved with the squad? Why were the “fans” so flat – I think we all know the reason for that in fairness.
    The one positive I’m taking from this year is that in the absence of cillian, Tommy and Ryan have had to step up. It means next year when cillian returns, hopefully in decent form, we will have a serious full forward line. Defence and half forward line need work and we need one new midfielder. Should go without saying but We need a serious look at our tactics to improve our scoring rate and reduce our goal concession rate – maybe a change in selectors is in order (not Ciaran McDonald or Conor Finn) – get Aidan o’rourke

  148. I can’t fathom the clamour here around Aidan O’Rourke coming on board as a coach/selector. He’s had no success in coaching at county level, writes an overly complex analysis piece for RTE full of coaching buzzwords in my opinion. Also if he was so highly thought of why hasn’t McGeeney got him involved with Armagh?

  149. Robbie Hennelly has had a good year all in all. He is currently our No1 keeper, no problem with that, we wouldn’t be in the final without him, not a chance, he was my MotM in the semifinal .. However under the diagonal high ball is not his strength, we have to accept that.. And we were exploited on this on Saturday, we were exploited on this in Clare twice in the league.. and Aiden O Shea was back on the goal line for both of those Goals and still conceded those Goals.. We were almost exploited on that by Galway, when Damien Comer gets the flick on from a high ball into the square and it crashes of the crossbar, only to be cleared by Padraig O’Hora.. So we needed a big guy back close to goal when Cathal McShane came on.. Now Aiden didn’t do the job in Ennis and as Aiden had started the Match and he’s not a 70 minute man in any case, so in hindsight Jordan Flynn might have been the guy.. Easy say that now, but despite his brilliance it wasn’t playing to Oísin Mullen strength either and that was easily known before hand… Now as we have seen, the role of the Goalkeeper has evolved into the new and exciting Niall Morgan and Rory Beggan brand,. On Saturday from my vantage high up in the Hogan Stand, Morgan was outfield so much and done it so expertly, it was like Tyrone were playing with 15 outfield player’s versus Mayo’s 14.. This might just take off as the new Gaelic Football for 2022…If teams that are doing it are winning and teams that aren’t are losing, it will take off… However not every County has a Rory Beggan or a Niall Morgan, and both Beggan and Morgan play outfield for their Clubs, no wonder they look so comfortable in open play..If Mayo were to try something so adventurous as this,I have a suggestion, Danny Kirby, he’s 6’5…playes midfield for Castlebar Mitchell’s, and has played in Goal for Castlebar Celtic FC and impressively so ..I’m not saying he could be as good as Morgan or Beggan immediately but he’s the nearest we got..If we don’t,we have to stick with Robbie Hennelly, and Robbie brings allot to the table, he certainly has this year, his kickouts have been excellent all year, and he made some excellent saves throughout the year, including last Saturday, but we as a team have to do allot better than we did last Saturday to protect against the dangers of a high ball into the square..

  150. Aidan O’Shea.
    If he is to be put to full forward 3 things needed to happen.
    1. Give him the ball. Didn’t happen.
    2. Change the type of ball being played into the forwards like Kerry used to do with Donaghy. Didn’t happen.
    3. The other inside forwards needed to make different runs to suit the tactic. Didn’t happen, they kept doing the same thing.

    All of the above are 100% the fault of the sideline and not Aidan O’Sheas fault.

    The flip side.
    1. Aidan O’Shea taking frees out in the middle.The one he kicked to Frank Burns at the start of the second half. Shouldn’t be taking them.
    2. Tyrone targeting Aidan when the Mayo forwards were pressing. He was gassed, not his fault, bring on fresh legs.
    The above also the fault of the sideline and not down to Aidan O’Shea.

    Tyrone won this All Ireland on the line I’m afraid.
    Their best performance of the season.

  151. Swallow Swoops (as always) makes some excellent points above, notably about Tyrone tailoring their game to prevent us from playing the way we wanted, and this being a very young team that quite possibly has over-achieved. However, the former doesn’t account for our rate of unforced errors on Saturday which was shocking.

    If it is a case that we overachieved by reaching a final (which we very easily could and should have won), is it better for those young players to have gained the experience of playing and losing a final, or would we have been better off losing at the semi-final stage to prevent the psychological damage of a final loss (because I don’t believe we can dismiss this)? Note that no other county, would losing an all-Ireland final be seen as potentially psychologically damaging to a team which depressingly, says a lot about where we are at.

    For those calling for Horan to stand aside (and believe me, I feel he has questions to answer after Saturday), can you suggest who you think might replace him? Who have you seen within or outside the county that you feel can bring what Horan does not? Who do you think is out there that would actually like to take on this job? Aside from Rochford, but after the way he was treated at the time as well as the criticism he received, I hope he would have the sense to run a mile. There was no queue forming three years ago and there is no queue forming now. Maybe we also need to ask ourselves why that is.

    So sick of being here September after September torturing ourselves with should haves and what ifs, while the same problems persist, year after year in the background.

  152. I think the job as manager is so massive now that a doubling up a la Tyrone seems sensible or at least reasonable with of course hopefully complimentary skills.
    I think this should be tried again. Horan and A N Other.

  153. Big Mike, Stephen Rochford agreed with your points one and three above re Aidan (on Balls.ie post match podcast).
    He said he thought Aidan played well in the forwards in the first half but wasn’t getting a delivery of ball to do anything with. He was in good positions but couldn’t do anything from that.

  154. Does Horan communicate much with his selectors during a game.
    Jim Gavin spent every game listening to people on his ear piece. I heard somewhere he has people stationed at various places throughout Croke Park feeding down information re what is happening directly in front of them. Gavin was always concentrating on what he was hearing in his ear piece – you never saw Gavin caught up in the excitement of a game.
    Is Horan willing to listen to people during a game?? Is he too much his own man?? Is he trying to do it all on his own

  155. Ideal management group:
    McGuinness with Rochford number 2. A Moran forward coach. Peter Forde or someone else who has played full back defensive coach. Plus a goalkeeping coach.

    Second manager choice for me would be McEntee comes across really well anytime i hear him on.

  156. I very seldom post on the blog, but am a regular reader. Like the rest of you, I have been feeling very down the last couple of days after yet another final defeat for Mayo. However, when I look back over the last decade of Mayo football, I realise how lucky I have been, to be around to witness a very special time for our county footballers. Since the start of James Horan’s first stint with Mayo, we have played 68 championship games, winning 48, losing 16 and drawing 4. In that time, we lost 6 finals, 4 semi finals and won 7 Connacht championships. Forgive me if my maths isn’t totally correct, but I hope you get my drift. We beat all the top teams in that time and had some wonderful times going all over the country supporting them. One of my own favourites was the one point victory over Cork in Limerick in 2017.
    There are a lot of other county supporters who would love to have a fraction of our good days.
    Don’t get me wrong, our journey won’t be complete and we won’t be happy until we win sam. I , like most of you, think that last Saturday was a huge missed opportunity. However, I also think that Mayo will be back challenging at the business end, for the top prize over the coming years.

  157. First time posting since match. I’m absolutely sick.

    I’m just gonna say one thing. By far and away the most important thing that happens in Mayo football over the next 6 months is Oisin Mullin staying with us. Absolutely crucial.

  158. I actually love the sound of Cora coming into the backroom team, a Mayo person with a killer instinct. It’d be as revolutionary in men’s GAA as a keeper playing as an outfield player, or joint managers winning an All-Ireland in their first year. Cora takes no shit!

  159. Reading the comments regarding Aidan O’Shea and where he should play is totally depressing, people will be suggesting he plays in goal soon.

    I fell sorry for the lad and I think all this uncertainty helps to fuel the trolling as well.

    He is the wrong side of 30 to be playing in midfield end of story and forget this nonsense of him floating in and out.

    There are only two options remaining, you either do not play him at all or you play him at 14.

    In my opinion he should be in at 14 and remain there but it’s a total waste of time having him in there if he’s not getting right ball into him, I’m talking about high diagonal ball that he can fetch out of the air, and either turn and score, punch into the net, lay off to the runners or draw a penalty. He can also pressure the keeper on kick outs and occupy defenders.

    It would give us an added dimension and would absolutely give us more goal scoring opportunities.

    This should have been part of the plan for the last two weeks but clearly it wasn’t.

    It’s worrying that everyone isn’t singing off the same hymn sheet regarding this.

    The lads career will be over and still people will not know where he should have played, that would just not be acceptable in any other county with aspirations of winning an All-Ireland.

  160. Alot of snide remarks coming out of Galway and the sheepshaggers on Social media, one a so called big football power that has only won 1 game in Croke Park and been in 1 semi final since 2001 and the other hasn’t been in All Ireland Semi final since 1991.

  161. I had decided not to comment on Saturday’s match and I’m not going to now apart from making the observation that the better team(on the day) won. but if James Horan is looking for expertize he need look no further than this blog, There’s commentators on here that are now experts in goalkeeper positioning, how to score goals with hand or foot and how to take penalties, If JH only had known that this fountain of knowledge was so readily available and free of charge I presume, no big fees involved. Hindsight is such a wonderful source of wisdom.

  162. …and sure while I’m at it. Diarmuid O’Connor is wasted on the wing. I’ve been saying this for years. He is a box to box central player. The obvious guy to put beside Ruane if Mullin doesnt fit there.

    OR play him Diarmuid at 11 or even at 14! Diarmuid has a real eye for goal, something that we desperately lack. He needs his mo-jo back. If you could get him buzzing again, something he really hasnt done in a while then it would be huge for Mayo. As they say in soccer it’d be like a new signing.

  163. Finally posting, nearly 3 days after. Couldn’t bring myself to do it before now.
    * Lee great, no question.
    * FDB noted re DOC and the penalty. Must compliment McQuillan and his team on this however. The linesmen were in immediately, and marshalled Tyrone away from messing us about. Ryan then had every chance. This was the critical moment; Tyrone gained hugely and goaled immediately. Their counter attacks were like lightning, and were hard to deal with. Our confidence drained after this.
    * Tyrone choked us at midfield. We caught a lot of ball, lost it coming down, and we’re eaten alive on the breaks
    * Horan getting a lot of stick, but subs didn’t deliver: kicks short, wides, over carrying, poor decision-making. I would question sending on Orme with little time left. What was he expecting from him?
    * Some of Big Mike’s points are valid – perhaps Conor O’Shea for Aidan for the last 15 minutes would have upped the physicality and pace

    Finally , f*** the begrudgers. We will be back next year. I heard it in 2013, 2017 – Mayo will never recover from this. We have and we will.

  164. 100% viper and exactly the point I was trying to make. Watch how Kerry used Donaghy, it was a target they worked on and perfected. Donnacha Walsh and Galvin knew what to do with the ball, Gooch and those inside stood back out for a break or made it space for him. It was a tactic they worked on and perfected. It also won them a couple of All Ireland’s l

  165. Agree Mayonaze, keeping Oisin is key, look at Cathal McShane, he has come out and said in the paper that staying in Ireland was the best thing he has done. He now has an All Ireland medal in his pocket. Oisin is a better all round player than McShane, we need him playing, he’s a key player. We are not far off winning Sam, Saturday was awful, but there is the talent in that squad to win the All Ireland in the next year or two. Our big problem is in the mind, consumed by fear on the big day.

  166. Good point Casual Observer. I do think though that Aidan was getting into good positions in FF but when he’s receiving the ball with his back to goal he’s too big of a unit to turn, beat his man, and hit the net. This will never change, and its no fault of Aidans. Opposition have him well sussed and they’re not even bothering to double-team him. No need.

    The big question for the Mayo manager is an obvious one: how to instill belief into this team, into any Mayo team for that matter. Imagine the entire team and panel were replaced in the morning (I’m not advocating this by the way), the manager would still face the same bloody issue: how to get Mayo over the line given the baggage of our woeful September record.

    Of course there are no guarantees we’ll be in another final any time soon.

  167. Agreed @casual observer, if any other Mayo forward had gotten onto that through ball in the first half it was an instant goal chance, but Aidan’s turning circle was so cumbersome that Morgan had time to get back on his line from way out of position, and he was also blocked down. He’s given a lot to the cause over the years and no way should he get personal abuse, but IMO it’s hard to see where to play him, as he doesn’t have the legs for out the field any more and he’s ineffective at 14.

    Would also say that anyone who doesn’t have grave reservations about JH’s tactical abilities is kidding themselves at this stage. Whatever himself and MacDonald observed at the Kerry v. Tyrone game, it wasn’t close to what panned out at the weekend, and the rumours of a pitch side bust-up are not good.

    On the other hand, Logan and Dooher saw that our hard press would leave lots of space up the field and boy did they exploit that with skillful long passing, which must have yielded 2-5/2-6 for them. And our management team did nothing to counteract that, when it was crying out to put a sweeper in.

    Whether it’s time for him to step down or not is up to him, but if we do need to find a manager externally, there are a few All-Ireland winning managers going idle at the moment, namely Pat Gilroy, Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin, Pat O’Shea, Conor Counihan, John O’Mahoney, Pete McGrath, Seán Boylan, Joe Keenan. Maybe some of these names are over the hill, unrealistic or haven’t worked out in the past (as with JO’M), but I’d say some are worth talking to if the situation arises.

    I’d also suggest Stephen Rochford but he’d probably never talk to the county board again after the way he was treated last time, and who could blame him?

  168. Anne-Marie, I note your point about unforced errors. I’m not sure which ones in particular you mean but perhaps you mean the pot shots for points later in the second half.
    There were also perhaps decisions taken to go for goals that might have been better as attempts at points.
    I would actually say the unforced errors were due to Tyrone shutting down key players and taking them out of the game. What I mean by that is we looked ragged in the second half after McShane’s goal; our chosen high intensity blitzing game was creaking and not working, and we ran scared, because that is what we were mainly relying on. Specifically, I get the feeling that players on the field knew that our go-to scorers were being swallowed up. We all know that we don’t have a plethora of scorers or scores – we rely on a spread of men definitely getting one or two scores and that they all add up. That’s why I say we could have done with another dangerous forward on Sat. I’d have put money on Conor Loftus scoring from distance in the second half but even he couldn’t manage it. Diarmuid couldn’t even get a score (correct me if I’m wrong as I could be). Mattie didn’t get a score. In this context Stephen Coen’s score looked like a godsend and inspirational. Maybe Tyrone hadn’t earmarked him as a scoring threat. Oisín Mullin didn’t get a score and you’d peg him as one who could. Even Kevin Mc’s point was astounding and not easily achieved, kicked over his shoulder while not even looking at the posts. I got the feeling the players knew their scoring ability was under pressure with Tyrone’s marking of key players and this led to fear in that second half.
    One can’t underestimate either the thrust and onslaught of Morgan coming off this goal line to send ball in long – one would be bound to feel rattled at that too. Would you feel you were under a lot of pressure, particularly to find scores?
    I can’t understand why we didn’t attempt points from distance in the first half when chances were there without pressure. We nailed such attempts in the SF. Perhaps players were afraid to lose the ball.
    I think management looked a bit rattled late too in the second half sensing the pressure their game was under. This was far from the calm of the SF.

    However, if we had nailed the penalty, momentum might well have switched to us and with our tails up, we might well have overrun them. Note how that looked in the opening ten minutes of the game when we were in rampaging form and Tyrone looked edgy and nervous. We did this in the Dublin game. If momentum had switched to us and ‘we really got going’ (to use similar words to JH pre-Dublin game – he said we can be really dangerous), we could be talking about a different result. It just didn’t transpire. It’s a pity but these things can be a bit cruel.

    SouthMayoExile, great question I feel about in game communication between management. I thought they were stellar at this in the Galway and Dublin games but it didn’t radiate the same feeling on Sat. As a previous poster noted, I didn’t see Ciarán Mac close to Horan. Maybe he was looking down from the stand. I didn’t see sharp tactical in-game switches either.
    This is another nudge for me to think that management might have gambled on trying to impose their high energy game on Tyrone instead of making in-depth adjustments to cater for Tyrone’s particular game. It’s hard to know. They only had two weeks for this inexperienced team to prepare for Tyrone, a different proposition, and the management team knew the team had practised Horanball all year and were proficient at it. It worked somewhat re Dublin and probably might have worked well with Kerry. It didn’t work with Tyrone, their system and wily management.
    These are just my views and suppositions (that could be wrong).
    Maybe things did turn on a knife edge.

  169. With 10 mins to the end Mayo needed someone
    Who could maybe change the course of the game.
    What effect bringing on Colm Boyle would have had both on the Mayo crowd and the Mayo team.
    What was the point in keeping him on the sideline if he was not to be played ?
    Mind boggles on this one.

  170. A few people have said get Jim McGuiness in. It won’t happen, but even if he was interested I wouldn’t have him. That performance on Saturday reminded me of Donegal in the 2014 final. Completely flat and no plan B.

    Also, Rochford had his chance. Despite everyone praising his tactics, he couldn’t beat a defensive Galway team 3 years in a row and lost to Kildare in 2018.

    If there’s a better candidate than JH out there I’m all ears, but I don’t see it.

  171. Well done to Lee Keegan – he has football nous which is difficult to coach and more difficult to replicate.
    IMO, Its a no brainer – make Stephen Coen captain for 2022.
    He has captained the Minors and U21 to All Ireland success as well as subsequently captaining UCD to Sigerson Cup victory (which is the 3rd-level All Ireland)
    He had a fine game on Saturday and has eventually established himself on the Senior team but above all he is a lucky leader – you know what’s said about Lucky Generals.
    Up Mayo through thick and thin

  172. A forward like James Carr, for instance, can do everything Aidan can do at FF, ie, strong and able to win his own ball. But the crucial additional factor is that Carr is a natural FF. So if Carr received a similar ball to Aido for the goal chance on Saturday, I’d certainly fancy him to make more of such an opportunity. Surely James Horan sees this now. Give young lads like Carr a chance at least.

  173. @Liberal role in the tie, I agree completely Carr is the man to persist with and maybe Jordan Flynn as the understudy maybe, Darren Coen then offers something else again at FF. Cathal McShane didn’t start out as an outstanding footballer, Harte morphed him into that position so I can’t see how Mac and Horan can’t do the same with Carr.

  174. Incredible to see us, who haven’t won an All-Ireland since nearly the Second World War, turn our nose up at All-Ireland winning managers, even notionally.

  175. We definitely need to do something to our half forward line next year. I’ll be keeping an eye on Westport over the next few months to see how Mark Moran is playing. If he kicks on, it would allow Tommy, Cillian and Ryan to stay in the FF line. If we can’t find someone new, put Ryan back to 11 and start Carr or Aidan Orme.

    Need to sort out 2 wing forwards too that are a scoring threat. I still think Diarmuid is a brilliant player (should have got an all star last year IMO) but it didn’t happen for him at all on Saturday. Maybe the hamstring injury killed his momentum this year.

  176. @AnnDeeDee, at twice or 3 time’s since the semifinal before the All Ireland, I posted about our vunerabilty under the high ball, I referenced the two goal conceded in Ennis, and I expressed that I expected either Kerry or Tyrone to target us with high balls, I also said that I believed Tyrone could beat Kerry, and could beat ourselves!

  177. Our scoring returns from play from starting forwards was very poor in the Galway and Dublin games. Yet We started three forwards – AOS, DOC and BW – whose scoring returns from play are very very low. We need to start at least 5 scoring forwards. Too many hard workers been picked in the forwards instead of natural forwards. Like someone said above Mark Moran could be interesting. Would hope Fionn Mcdonagh could rediscover his form and stay injury free.
    Fergal Boland could have been used more this year – he can score from 30-40 yards out and also a good passer. He had a lot more to offer in the half forward line than some players who got a lot of game time.

  178. Regarding the goalie, Colm Reape is on the extended panel. He could get a run next year along with Byrne and maybe Matthew Flanagan.

  179. My best advice to everyone is to hold off on any further analysis of the game until ye watch it again.
    I watched the game this evening, looked different than the live event.
    Here are the real facts.
    Mayo were good in 1st half.
    At 45 minutes it was 9-10 in favour of Tyrone.
    Tyrone got the goal on 46 minutes, from here on the game slipped away, because of the following,
    A long range free kick from the ground went wide, 2 wides from Loftus, a wide from Walsh, all this happened in 8 minutes.
    Tyrone got the second goal on 55 minutes, the 3rd quarter was the losing of the game.
    Tyrone looked fitter and faster than Mayo for long periods of the game.
    Was Ruane and Mullin carrying injuries into the game ?
    Mayo battled right to the end, Keegan by far the best Mayo player.
    Big mistake taking O Hora off.
    Tyrone must have listened to Tomas O Se, he mentioned in the 1st half commentary that the long ball could pay dividends for Tyrone.

  180. Here we go again after another All Ireland Final loss,
    Player A should play in this position, Player B should play in that position, Aiden o Shea should play as Goalkeeper..
    It does not matter where they play if they do not perform in an All Ireland Final.
    Mayo have great players and will be back next year but must find a way to be ruthless and clinical in an All Ireland Final.

  181. We’re lucky to have James Horan, I don’t see too many All Ireland winning managers who have won All Ireland’s with a second county. Are there any ? Anyway considering the standards he has set, he will more than likely get us back to the business end of things next year. The vast majority of counties would love to have him, including Galway. .

  182. @Itmeansnothingtome is this sideline bust up explain ciaran mac sitting up in the stands taking a backward seat?

  183. @ Wide Ball.
    You seem to have forgotten that the best displays ever from a Mayo team were the AI finals in 2016 and 2017 when Dublin were at their peak.

    Steven Rochford was preparing the team to win an All Ireland and I don’t think beating Galway was at the top of his chart in all honesty.

    You seem to have forgotten our injury woes in 2018.

    James Horan does a brilliant job at uncovering new talent. Unfortunately some of that talent was kept on the sideline on Saturday until the horse had bolted.

    The Kerry Tyrone game was the perfect template of what we needed to do and what we needed to avoid. Unfortunately we failed on both counts. There were no lessons learned from the Tyrone Kerry semi final.

    We replicated Kerry’s mistakes I’m afraid to say.

  184. JH record in All Ireland finals
    Keane on Murphy in 2012 lost us the game.
    Took off Seamus O’Shea instead of Aidan in 2013 final with Aidan dead on his feet while Dublin had two players wandering around punch drunk.
    Failed to deal with Donaghy in two games in 2014 (and got screwed by ref and bad luck in Limerick in fairness)
    No bench in 2020 final, Higgins, Boyle etc.not used. Seemed to be no plan to deal with Dublin bench.
    2021 – beaten tactically by Tyrone management comprehensively, no plan for McShane. Mullin on McShane. Caff on Donaghy. Same shit different day. Fabulous players used badly. His job was to have players prepared tactically, physically and emotionally for the game. He failed.
    Management is about getting the best from your team for the big games and getting the big decisions right in those games. He hasn’t done this in any All Ireland final.
    Arguing on the sideline for a long time Saturday with his right hand man. I could see it from the upper Davin. I’ve never seen that in an All Ireland final before with any team.
    JH has got so much right in terms of developing the team and many young players and making us consistently competitive as he stated he would but he is never going to help us win an All Ireland. I more than anyone wished he would but time to face the music if it’s an All Ireland we want.

  185. Casual Observer I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree there – Aidan o’rourke is probably the most insightful analysts going. Would be a great asset to any backroom team

  186. Even if you go back to the podcast. Kevin Mcstay was hammering home the point that we needed a fast mobile marker on McCurry. He identified him as the main danger. I think McCurry ended up with 1 – 4. Almost 2 – 4 except for a brilliant save by Robbie.

    1 – 4 and we lost by 5. If McCurry had been properly marshalled we could still have won the game even misfiring as we were.

  187. Wide ball
    I think that’s unfair to Rochford.
    You could argue on that logic that Horan has had 2 chances and 4 finals….
    In 2018 we had horrific injuries ie Tom Parsons, Ruane.
    Not saying Horan should go however Rochford is a good candidate and could be back in charge in 2 years time.

  188. Southmayo Exile, I think it’s a real shame we haven’t seen more of Fergal Boland over the past year – he is calm under pressure, a great kick passer and well able to shoot from distance. I felt the game was crying out for a player of his abilities in the half forward line, but for whatever reason, he never seems to be in favour.

    It Means Nothing to Me, Jim McGuiness won one soft All-Ireland against us in 2012 (another one we threw away), and while I could be wrong about this, I don’t feel that his favoured style of football from a different era seven years ago would win us anything with the players we have. And by all accounts, it wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun for them either, on or off the pitch. Mind you, he might be a good match for the county board. What do you think he might bring to the table – if he was even interested in coming to the table, which I doubt he is?

  189. Agree with Liberal and Quayman. James Carr needs real game time. Not token minutes at the end. Give the lad a proper chance in the league at 14 or in the corner. Two to three consecutive games and leave him on the pitch otherwise we’ll never know. Its very unfair to expect him to come on randomly and turn on the style. But the boy has talent. It just needs to be nurtured…supported. There are few on the panel with his natural scoring threat and he has the physical attributes too. I’d love to see him given a real go next Spring. Give Diarmuid a central attacking role, keep Mullin and make Stevie Coen captain.

  190. The young fella asked me a while ago, how do you beat the Tyrone defence ?, I told him not by pulling all the full forward line way out the pitch, this makes that area too congested. Are Mayo corner forwards expected to do too much ?, ie, score but also put in tackles way out in midfield area, this also brings the corner backs further up the pitch, which can cause problems in turnovers.

  191. Revellino – we were excellent in the 2017 final, I don’t think we played especially well in 2016. 16 points would have won the drawn game, but we couldn’t reach that. Sorry, but you can’t just write off 3 losses to Galway because we’re planning for future games down the line. We’ve had worse injury disruption this year than in 2018. There was also a trend of red cards under Rochford which cost us against galway and Dublin.

    @Kilkelly Exile – who would you have put on McShane? Mullin was the obvious choice. If Hennelly had waited on his line McShane would probably have been kept scoreless.

  192. Anne Marie we’re not winning much with the current brand of football we have the last 10 years, are we?

    Donegal won a soft all ireland in 12? would be interested to know how you came to that conclusion.
    For me they had half a dozen top drawer players and one of the best drilled sides i’ve seen in croke park.
    They also weren’t conceding a couple of goals almost every big match they played in.

  193. 1989 – As I said we’ve had worse injury trouble the last 12 months than any time under Rochford. I just think with Rochford people seem to forget all the poor performance in connacht and qualifier games.

  194. Would Tyrone have won the 2021 All-Ireland with the Tyrone legend, Mickey Harte in charge? Sometimes change works and should not be feared. Losing Keegan, Oisìn or McLoughlin, now that’s something to fear.

  195. @Wide Ball…I still cant understand why Hennelly came off his line for that. It cost us hugely, just like it did in 2013.

    His kickouts were excellent but he is a liability under a high ball. The evidence is there. Even in the league final win, the first high ball that came in he punched away despite no one being near him. It was a simple catch. For as long as he is there, opponents (one’s with good strategy) will just lump high ball in, unless there’s a really solid commanding full back. It’s a major problem for us.

  196. Mayonaze – Hennelly was near perfect on the kickouts and made 2 good saves. Unfortunately that McShane goal was a killer coming so soon after the penalty miss. There was an air of panic with us after that point.

  197. @Wideball.

    I think that was the year we scored the two own goals. Dublin scored 2 – 9. Those 2 goals were just bad luck.
    We held Dublin to 9 points that day if you take out the own goals.
    That’s right, the supposed greatest team of all time. And we held them to 9 points.

    Now I don’t know where this Tyrone team rank on the list of all time greats but we managed to hold them to 2 – 14. That’s right. 2 – 14.

    Of the 15 points we scored against this mighty Tyrone team, 7 were from open play.

    Of the 15 points we scored against the greatest team of all time in 2016, 11 were from open play.

    Now maybe you need to go back and look at the 2016 game you referred to, against the greatest team of all time, and compare it to Saturdays shambles. And if you think scoring 15 points against Dublin in 2016 is on a par with scoring 15 points against this Tyrone team last Saturday then I’ll drop in a Western People a bottle of lucozade and a bunch of grapes to you later in the week.

  198. Lee Keegan is the best Mayo player ever. Saw him in a league game many years ago and was amazed how he glided over the park. It’s a natural talent few can replicate with huge effort.

  199. Dublin were terrible in that game in 2016, none of their forwards performed. It would be like praising us for keeping Dublin to 14 points after extra time in the semi final this year.

    I think Rochford and Horan deserve some credit for those 2 games, but lets not go overboard.

  200. @ Revellino, the performances under Rochford in 2016 and 2017 were the best, by a long way, that any Mayo team produced in my 35 years following the team. We were ridiculously unlucky. Outstanding performances, good enough to win most All Ireland Finals BUT, we didnt, so it’s no consolation whatsoever.

    Our performance in last year’s final was good in the 1st half. Bad 2nd and our performance last Saturday was akin to 1997 but worse in some respects. In 97, Sheridan went off injured and was a massive loss. We have no excuse for the display at the weekend.

    Anyway. Time to move on, I guess. As I said earlier, the priority now is to keep Oisin.

  201. Anyone have any thoughts on the member of the background team wearing the big straw hat, and what looked like a Mayo headband around it. By all means where one on Hill 16, but on the pitch giving out water at the breaks ? What in the name of sweet Jesus is that about ?
    It’s an amateur sport yes, but surely dress for the occasion, the biggest occasion of them all.

  202. The bright side is the problems are solvable and we have players coming back.

    Had we been a bit smarter on the line and taken our chances we could have beaten Tyrone by 6 or 7 points.

    Penalty miss and two other goal chances which were squandered were down to lack of composure, we must remember Conroy is a young lad and will learn from that rushed shot.

    I still believe had we played to our potential both on the pitch and on the sideline we would have beaten Tyrone at their best even with us missing key players, for me that is positive going forward.

    One bit of advise I will give people is this, by all means have an emotional bond with the team but the day you start having an emotional bond with management is the day you are doomed to fail, be courteous, appreciative and don’t disparage but never be afraid to question or point out clear and obvious mistakes.

    Remember, it’s all about the team and I still believe that Mayo can win an All-Ireland but we need to start to be ruthless and if changes need to be made then make them.

    There are a lot of good football brains in Mayo, I think it’s now time we all pulled together and started to pool that intelligence because I think that’s the way forward because this challenge is too much for one man to make all the decisions, no other county carries the weight of the Mayo manager.

    The days of my way or the highway need to be a thing of the past and sentiment needs to be banished, we need a German ruthless efficiency mentality but that must start with the County Board.

    Would they be willing to take good advice on board if a template of success was presented to them and actually acted on it ?

    I see no issue with James Horan as manager but I think he needs more help and advisors in the background and needs to be open to take logical advice.

    What do all good managers do in any walk of life, they surround themselves with good people who will make their job easier and there’s no shortage of good people in Mayo willing to offer their expertise.

    We simply have to get this over the line at any cost.

  203. Kilkelly exile
    On Horan decisions in finals….you forget taking off Alan Freeman in 2013 after 20 mins……a remarkably quick decision for a guy who doesn’t make quick decisions.

  204. @Ann Marie: You’re kinda honing in on one of several options that I’ve suggested should the manager’s job become available. But seeing as you’ve asked nicely…

    The first thing is that there are no “soft” All-Ireland’s, especially coming from Ulster. Donegal beat all the major contenders that year bar the Dubs, who they beat in 2014. Only for an errant kickout from Papa Durcan to Donaghy, they may well have won in 2014 too and nearly forced a draw with ball coming back off the post in the last play.

    The man also has a lot of insight coming from professional sports preparation and sports psychology, which could be very useful to us in particular, given that our baggage is obviously still a factor.

    And as a previous poster said, he knows how to organize a defence, which is more than can be said for the present set-up. I get that Donegal weren’t always easy on the eye back then, but feck it, they got the job done, and the approach was tailored to the players they had. The swashbuckling Mayo style has brought nothing but disappointment to us on big days for these past three decades, and if there’s a winning alternative I’ll gladly hear it out at this point. Our predictability was a big element of our loss on Saturday, too.

    If JH is the best man inside the county (and I fully accept that he is), then to me it shows that we lack a bit of tactical nous needed to get the job done. Because as much as I respect the job JH has done overall, he has undeniably been caught out tactically on several occasions in All-Ireland finals. Saturday’s sorry display sadly convinced me that he is too stubborn to adjust on the biggest stage.

    Look, maybe McGuinness isn’t the answer, maybe some of the others listed wouldn’t work either. But I am quite honestly incredulous that anyone of us would rule out from the get-go a whole bunch of proven All-Ireland winners for the manger’s bib, in the event that we have a vacancy at some point in the near future.

  205. Ryan altering his run up in the penalty was just bad decision making too.
    When you do that you drop your chance of success considerably.Very few can pull it off.
    Look up “penalty bloopers on youtube” and alot of the entail that kind of daft stuff. Most of those are professional soccer players and they can’t do that.
    Keep it simple.
    Thought his penalty v Galway was not that convincing either but maybe I am wrong on that.

  206. The weekend after a final defeat is a bad place. It really is the hope that kills ya. Reading every article, listening to every podcast. Believing that this year was going to be different and here we are back in the same place again. Only this time it’s even worse I think because we all know it was a glorious chance and didn’t perform. The alcohol for the post mortem of the game probably doesn’t help in the days after either….And that’s just the fans view. I can’t imagine how they feel after all the months of hard work and dedication. Maybe they have a more positive mindset than the likes of me. Anyway things might be looking more positive by the weekend hopefully.

  207. I agree With Ann Marie Fergal Boland is an excellent kick passer and can take a score or two so he was wasted by not even being on the bench on Saturday. I plead with James Horan to rest the likes of Diarmuid and Aidan and Kevin Mc for the league if Kev Mc sticks around and give Carr Boland Towey Orme Darren Mc Hale Eoin O Donoghue Rory Byrne proper game time in the league it’s madness sticking with the same tried and failed formula. As for having Aidan O’Rourke in the backroom team what’s the point of he’ll end up in the stand not being listened to? I thought Horan and McDonald were close and Horan would listen to him but I’m not so sure now. Someone suggested bringing in Cora Staunton as a coach and I say why not she has 4 all Ireland medals numerous all stars and probably the best forward Mayo has ever produced. As for Caroline Currid I’d say definetly we need her or someone equally as good

  208. O’hora was right after the Dublin game when he said we have only one plan. I can’t honestly believe we didn’t do any tactical analysis of how to counter Tyrones strengths but as the game played out it seemed like we didn’t. Yes its very noble to say we will play our way but it is very naive to think your style of play won’t be countered. The best managers in the world in any sport always have a plan for the opposition. I know you can’t take into account that we would miss so many chances and have so many wides. Hard to know what happens now. We seem to get to finals in bunches. Probably back to the super 8 format next year as that still has 1 year left before new format is decided. The group stage should be Ulster/Connacht and Leinster/Munster so we could quite possibly end up playing Tyrone in the Super 8’s next year if we both win provincials. Don’t win Connacht and we could end up in a Group with Dublin and Kerry. Next year is going to be a massive ask especially after what happened. Going to take a lot of time for players to get over it. Some may never get over it.

  209. @wideball. The only reason I responded to what you posted, was that I thought it was very strange that three days after us losing to Tyrone in an AI final with a team managed by James Horan you are on here taking a swipe at and questioning Stephen Rochfords tactical ability.

    You then went on to explain your admiration for James Horans ability in consistently been able to beat Galway, a team that hasn’t reached an AI final in 20 years.

    The holy grail in football is not in beating Galway, it’s to win the AI final. While it’s always nice to beat the neighbours we cannot hold that up as some mighty achievement. That’s a ” big hat no cattle ” mentality.

    Galway in fact showed themselves that it isn’t the be all and end all to beat the neighbours, having been beaten in Connacht themselves and still going on to win the AI.

    I’m not running down anybody here and we had a great run to the final this year, but I have to say, that watching the game on Saturday, was akin to watching a leaving cert student who hadn’t looked at his history books all year, and when he sat the exam he is left there twiddling his biro and not a clue what to write down. We simply didn’t have any answers to the Tyrone conundrum.

    Listen to the most recent podcast. The guys interviewed ask some home truths.

    When plan A wasn’t working, there was no plan B.

    Putting Aidan O’Shea inside and then no high long ball sent in to him.

    For all the talent James is credited with uncovering, why didn’t we see a raft of substitutions, using some of this talent on Saturday when there was still time for the game to be won.

    James has got plenty of credit throughout the year and rightly so. Saturday though was a sobering lesson in tactical awareness. Dooher and Logan and whoever else they have there seemed to get the top performance from their lads. They got it spot on. We didn’t.

    James is our manager and when Plan A is not working he has to ensure that there are other tricks in the bag.

    Management is a tough gig and I wouldn’t like to be in that hot seat. But when you are manager, you must be able to move the pieces around the chess board when things are not going to plan.

    I hope that he is able to identify why we misfired so badly on Saturday and bring on board whatever help is needed, so that the next time he is faced with the 1000 piece jig saw there is a clear understanding on how that jig saw needs to be fitted together.

  210. Viper says. Agree 100% with what you say. Horan has worked wonders since his return. Unbelievable the amount of young talent he’s brought through. Saturday wasn’t a good day for him .My God it was obvious to anyone with a limited knowledge of the game ,what decision had to be made. In the semi final he made it. The question in Dublin on Saturday evening is why he didn’t make that call. What i heard there seemed be a disagreement among the management on the sideline. Is that correct?. Looking ahead we need Horan at the helm. I would love to see Stephen Rochford as his coach. That to me would be a dream ticket. Time for the Co Board to act.

  211. Agree on McStays column in the IT – right on the money. This is the type of loss that could/should stand to Mayo – didn’t show no excuses. but with a team with the right age profile that they have to lose one to win one may hold true (tougher route again next year mind). I still think James Horan deserves huge credit which remains banked to get that amount of player turnover through in the season in Division 2 (maybe that helped actually) and no gimme of an AI route is an overachievement. Notwithstanding that finals are for winning and we just didn’t show and I don’t see him running away from that.

    McStay’s measured calling out of brolly was also bang on and needed saying. Whatever the personal gripe he has with Aido it is now basically an incitement to hatred for the twitterati idiots. Legitimate question on whether, where and how he plays but beyond that this personal character assassination of a person (never mind sportsman or amateur sportsman who has remained committed for a decade with no Celtic cross) is just wrong and shouldn’t have a platform or an audience – I don’t read him and have muted him and he still sickens me.

  212. Excellent article by Kevin McStay and his calling out of the abuse that Derry clown piled on Aidan O’Shea is absolutely spot-on. I’d recommend that everyone who echoed that stuff on here – and you know who you are – should read McStay’s piece and reflect on what he’s said in it.

  213. It would never work having Rochy as coach under Horan. A lot of the current players had Rochy as their gaffer, so the dynamic wouldn’t work I feel. ‘There can only be one cock in the yard’, applies here.

    I wonder if James became consumed by ‘process’ and didn’t pay enough attention to the reality of the pressure on Mayo players to get over the line. Maybe James is also feeling the pressure in finals, as evidenced by a pattern of questionable decisions in most of them.

    Go back to Cyril Farrel: when he managed that All Ireland winning Galway team in the 80s, I heard he would routinely keep informal contact with all the players. He knew the finer detail about their lives, he took interest, asked them how work was going, family, etc etc. You get the picture. It’s the ‘arm around the shoulder’ type approach and even in elite sports this is needed, especially with a team like Mayo where, at this stage, a deep neurosis has set in. As Cyril said prior to this years hurling final, the key prep task for the manager is to try to get lads into a zone where they perform to their ability on the day as much as possible, free from the chains of nerves.

  214. Horan is a people person and his strength has been valuable. But he is not an analyst – its not something you can switch on. The only hope was that the team around him would compensate. That seems to have backfired. This question has been raised here before and may have been answered but would someone please say whether there is a credited Sports Psychologist in the set up as I assumed there was given such attention to underage teams in recent years

  215. Brolly has become ever more bitter since his ousting from RTE. I’d imagine he was pure poison to work with. I bet they’re all thrilled he was banished.

  216. James Carr wont be a starter in a horan mayo team till he knocks all that natural forward instinct out of him and makes his primary point of focus tackling , tracking back and work rate ,work rate, work rate , drop it for one play and your finished and it will be backed up by the cheerleaders in mayo news podcast . untill we get rid of that stupid basterised anti natural forward culture in mayo , its disgusting , to think that the majority on here still bloody think the likes of bryan walsh , diarmuid o connor aidan o shea offer more as a forward than James carr , my god , its shameful. whoever scores the most wins.


  217. Nothing justifies the sort of vitriol that Aidan gets. Criticize the performances by all means, and I have been critical myself. But it seems to me that because he’s a big photogenic lad who has done a few interviews and advertising spots, GAA pundits think it’s open season to insinuate all sorts of things, and that’s to say nothing of those cesspits Twitter and Facebook. McStay is correct in taking that poisoned dwarf to task.

    I’m not sure that we’ll be as competitive as everyone thinks in the years to come, though. For a start, we have been generally poor at underage in the past decade, with the exception of the two All-Ireland winning teams, from which we got Diarmuid and Stephen Coen. It’s not a good indicator that we’ve been getting regular trimmings from Galway and Roscommon in those grades.

    The other thing is that our main men are coming to the end of their careers, by and large. Cillian, Aido, Lee, Kev McLoughlin are all the wrong side of 30 and I’m not convinced we can replace them easily.

    People also seem to think that Brendan Harrison and Jason Doherty will return, but they have both been out for two years at this point.

    Oisín Mullin is our great white hope, but he may go down under.

    Think it’s time to get real folks, the All-Ireland will probably be out of reach for the next few years.

  218. For me Rochford brought us backwards and ran the team in to were we couldn’t even beat kildare or Connaught rivals.
    Does McStay not deserve a mention, although I think Horan should stay on for another year or 2

  219. Horan to stay on but to bring a sports psychologist into the set-up and also a tactician (who he will listen to). Horan needs to reflect and see that he can’t do this on his own. His tactics are flawed, leaves us way too exposed at the back

  220. Read it already WJ
    Fair play to Kevin for highlighting Brolly’s disgraceful conduct on an amateur sportsman which is based on his own personal agenda and jealousy. I have no doubt he was chomping at the bit and had his article in the Sunday Indo written well in advance of the final which we would never have seen if we had put away a couple of our early chances before Tyrone scored their first goal. It’s not a coincidence that RTE got rid of that poisonous so called journalist, hopefully the Independent will see sense soon to follow suit. Comical really to think Ryan Tubridy asked that fool on the Late Late Show a few years back was he going to run for President of Ireland. I think he got carried away with himself after that and lost the run of himself. Fair Play to Kevin again for using his access to a National Platform which most of us don’t have the liberty of.

  221. For me Kevin MC Stay seems like a decent guy, got bridgets over the line although club is different but he know he’s stuff, never understand why he’s so disliked.
    I’m a big Horan fan but I agree with our time has come that he’s tatic of all out attack hasn’t worked, not on the big days.
    We have to stop conceding goals

  222. Just a note on the full back debate –
    Oisin is a class footballer but he defends from the front. This means any low trajectory ball in, he has an advantage over his man a d attacking coming out of defence he has an advantage over his man. On the flip side however he is at a disadvantage for high ball in where he would be better stationed goal-side. In this instance Robbie (who has had a fine season all in all and should remain our number 1) should have been aware of this and been out to take man and ball for the high ball into mcshane

  223. @Wide Ball – I’d suggest you go back and watch the drawn All Ireland in 2016. Mayo were absolutely ferocious that day. We have never got in the Dublin faces quite like it before or since. Dublin didn’t have an off day, they just weren’t let play. Dublin are the only team in All Ireland history to be leading after 30 minutes without actually scoring themselves, they led 2-0 to 0-4 – now there’s a quiz question for you all!

    To those of you that would like to see Jim McGuinness come on board, I would urge some caution. Yes, he may have won an All Ireland for Donegal but his team also lost an quarter final to us by 16 points! At the end of the day, we don’t have the full forward line to play McGuinness’ brand of football and win matches.

    Finally, I agree with those saying that we need to do our all to keep Oisin Mullin. In my view, Pearce Hanley would have got us over the line a few times in the past decade and was exactly the type of player we were crying out for. We can’t make the same mistake twice.

  224. Well done Kevin McStay excellenct article credit where credit is due. Tuesday morning and it still hurts but looking forward to buying the Mayo news maybe Billy Joe et all will make some sense of it all

  225. JH has brought such professionalism to the Mayo setup and got so many things right that it’s difficult to criticise too much. If there is a criticism its this, that just organizing Mayo is not enough, to succeed you need to innovate.

    Swarm defense, Sweeper Keeper, Mobile Midfield etc – these innovations have led to success but they have all come from other counties. We have learned some lessons from these, but we are thought followers not leaders.

    I think the Joe Schmidt example is very relevent to Mayo. Joe S looked at what players he had available and devised a unique playing style that played to Ireland’s strength. It was not easy on the eye but very successful.

    Mayo supporters love open, fast football. Do we have the players, especially the forwards to execute it.? It seems we have a playing style that we follow regardless of the talent available and if they are suited to it.

  226. Mayos downfall was that stupid goal, which should never have happened, that was 2 blows in quick succession, Mayo were well in the hunt at that stage make no mistake. we didnt start playing against Dublin until late in that game, the goalie and manager have to take full blame for that goal, Viper @ 12.33. is correct, it happened first 8 years ago v Dublin a carbon copy nearly, the difference was Mullin was in front, cafferkey was goal side, we would have beaten Tyrone if that goal didnt happen, and 3 of them long range points had been stopped, after the first long range point this route should should have been closed down, it was a calm day , this was the managers fault no excuses, he was a long range point taker in his day ,as was KMC, Tyrone are no world beaters, those were the 2 things that beat Mayo on Saturday, the failure to see those mistakes, has added 500 miles to the promised land journey. This was the year of Cunning -and Stupidity, cunning won score 2-0, The yeras played a crafty game but it back fired, keep mayo waiting sure they will take it and say nothing, they were cock sure they would beat Tyrone, the parrot was squawking
    like mad , would the Tyrone v Kerry game have gone ahead if Kerry objected to the extra week ,you bet. Who are those great Kerry forwards they keep talking about, baffles me. btw there is no one around that i can see to replace Horan, unless there is some man we dont know about, Horan came out of the blue, they must come clean now and no more of this secrecy stuff ,we are the best team around if we dont concede goals the stats prove this. Make that problem a starting point and reduce the journey, regards Carr and others ,they must be given full games to bring them on. ROD at no 11.slan

  227. Yes. Excellent from Mcstay. A very honest piece I have to say.

    We seem to have a habit of putting some of our best footballers as far back into the backs as possible.

    I felt for years that Keith Higgins was too good a player to be anchored in the backs with the skill set he had.

    Lee has been phenomenal over his career but when you see the damage he can do further up the pitch, I would love to see him getting his chance further forward.

    There has been any amount of plaudits for Oisin Mullins footballing abilities and I hope his abilities are not going to be stunted by continually playing him so far back.

    When we have footballers with incredible talents they should always be positioned on the field where they can impose maximum damage on the opposition.

    Too many times our best are asked to mind the house and I feel we are losing so much further forward because of this.

  228. Well written by Kevin McStay – a very good article throughout. It’s also great to see him using his platform to call Brolly out. The Sindo’s repeated platforming of this kind of bullying is disgraceful, but it’s essentially a tabloid for people with notions about themselves, so it’s only to be expected.

    It might soften Joe’s cough a little if the real reason he has such a personal hatred of Aidan was also called out on a national platform, so people can see it for how wildly pathetic it is. Anyone here holding him up as some kind of oracle or paragon really need to take a long hard look at themselves.

  229. look both Mullin and Hennelly were poor for that goal.

    Mullin was basically ball watching didn’t know where McShane was and then didn’t know where the ball was when he turned. McShane scored that goal uncontested. Easy to say all this when i’m not the one having to defend a really top class forward.

    The real problem is how much training ground work is going on working on these scenarios.
    High ball into square has put us out of the championship multiple times.
    Is there work done with Hennelly on when to come out and when coming out to come out with real aggression when needed. Is there work done with the full backs on positioning, when to stay level with your man, when to fist the ball, when to get your body between the man and the goal etc.

    Its the same at the other end of the pitch how much shooting practice is going on. Practice builds accuracy, confidence and belief

  230. We all know Joe is a clown, but it doesn’t hide the fact that Aiden should have been replaced and subs should have been made earlier

  231. It Means Nothing to Me, I supposed I honed in on McGuinness, because I felt your comment was directed at me when I mentioned him.

    I should clarify that I meant a soft final, not a soft campaign, and a loss in a final in 2014 is a loss in a final like any of our own. We hammered them off the pitch in 2013 after they won that All-Ireland, as I recall their defence wasn’t so fantastic that day! Without being facetious though, I’d worry with the types of forwards that we have that we simply wouldn’t have the firepower to score what we needed to score within such a defensive system, and that we would simply bleed the life out of our attacking defenders. While our defense caused us problems on Saturday, I still think the real problems lie up front and our half-forward line in particular was a real disappointment. When you have a player of the calibre of Diarmuid O’Connor who is capable of brilliance on his day being referred to as a “passenger” you know there is something seriously wrong.

    I just don’t feel that resorting to those (McGuinness) types of tactics (both on the pitch and off it) is what will get this Mayo team to where it needs to be and I personally don’t feel that McGuinness is the man for us. I also think it’s a moot point, as I don’t feel he will be in the running if a vacancy does arise this year – which I don’t think it will, nor should it. However I certainly wouldn’t rule out some of the others you mentioned – I don’t think we have any basis on which to be precious about outside managers – which we have been in the past.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that our predictability was a huge factor on Saturday. The ironic thing is that Tyrone’s game was predictable too, and yet we did nothing to address it. I also firmly agree with your assertion further down the page that a title will be out of reach for a long time after this year. I know we’ve said it before, but in our current situation, I just can’t see how it would be possible.

  232. Also on psychology, I’m told by a Limerick man that the year Limerick won first all Ireland currid was on board, she was on maternity the year they lost, I’m not saying that’s the reason but when you have a team that badly need psychological help then you would think we would have one on board.

  233. Could easily have won this final with a bit of luck. 6 point turn around with loss of penalty. Tyrone tactics worked ours didn’t. Can’t leave our FB line exposed. We have unearthed some good talent but need to trawl further. If Mullin goes to the AFL I wish him good luck.

  234. I have now watched back the game in full. I think the “we didnt turn up” comments are unfair. We never sparked into life & we got 0 from the 4 gilt edged goal chances. Any one of those go in and it could have been a different game. That’s no excuse but we live off those big moments in games.

    We had the winning of the game, even after the goals. But awful decision making cost us dearly. Both goals were badly defended, especially the first one. And while the 2nd goal was a stunning move, we were caught out badly on the long kickout, which was a theme throughout the game & was our undoing against Tyrone in the league game last year too. But conceding goals in the finals has always been our undoing in all honesty. We never learn.

    Lee Keegan was absolutely phenomenal when he marked McKenna & McCurry. He bombed forward all day long & it may have been his greatest performance in the green and red. What a player.

    Just gutted, as the game was there to be won. Tyrone just that bit more polished than us. And they didn’t make the elementary mistakes that we did.

    Thought the line made some mistakes. Keegan moving onto McCurry was a good call. O Hora was just starting to motor when he went off, so he must have been carrying an injury or they were worried about another yellow card. Mullen on McShane I didnt agree with & the first goal was awful badly defended & Robbie was caught in no man’s land. Either come and take man and ball, or stay on the line. Oisin did fine after that, but he needs to be out the field going forward

    I’d have given Carr longer to be honest. He has pace & power, and would have surely caused a few problems

  235. Those are two entirely separate points, Ahh not again, but just because the first may be true it doesn’t give him the right to launch the kind of personal attack he did.

    As I keep saying in relation to comments posted here, there’s nothing wrong with criticism, even of the harsh kind, as long as it’s fair. It’s no coincidence that it’s those who can’t be bothered expending the required effort to ensure that the criticisms they level are fair, valid and grounded in facts are the very ones who resort to abuse, most often of the laziest variety. That’s as true of the Derry asal as it is of the many trolls on social media or, indeed, of those who end up in moderation here!

  236. I wanted to say this yesterday but now is a good time too.
    I am not calling for managers or goalkeepers to go – but I have a version of a knee-jerk reaction as well.
    It ties in with what It Means Nothing to Me and Anne-Marie refer to above – we might have to have patience and wait a few years for success with our team.
    This might seem radical as some might say we could have won on Saturday.
    But, taken in the round, Tyrone were better prepared with more aces, and had we won with our running game, how long next year before cracks might have appeared in that tactic because our game isn’t refined yet or seasoned?
    At least one – and maybe two – wise football men (owls!) said here this summer or last year that we would need to have patience and wait some years for success.
    But being impatient, somewhat romantic, defiant and yes, spoiled, I said ‘no’ to myself – ‘why can Mayo not compete for All-Ireland’s any year?’
    Well, maybe this is the answer.
    I have noticed – and maybe ye have too, because it’s in full media light – how long Kerry, with all their talent, have taken to develop a real cutting edge All-Ireland winning team. Remember 2019 when we were getting the better of them in two League games and their youngsters were full of skill but not yet getting places? That’s two years ago and this year, although excellent, they still didn’t have the skill set or tactics developed to deal with a counterattacking team.
    See Tyrone – how long they have had to wait. It’s eleven years between 2008 and 2011.
    See how long it is taking Donegal and they are having losses. I wouldn’t be surprised if they arrive and surprise us one day out of the blue.
    I find the idea of patience hard to countenance but maybe that is what the reality of the situation calls for. It’s a tough one but it might be best in the long run.

  237. Willie Joe I don’t think Kevin Mcstays article is good when he’s describing Aidens play on the field. He wins the 2 throw ins but he gives away possession terrible after the second half throw in. The goal chance that he says he thinks he’s going for a point and the wide he kicked are some of the reasons I don’t know anyone that thinks he was the top 3 players in the first half. I think he kicked 2 nice passes in first half and at best 2 nice quick hand passes.

  238. That’s fine, Lucero – I have no issue with a genuine debate of that kind. For what it’s worth, I didn’t think Aidan had much positive impact on the game either and I feel he should have been taken off in the second half but that’s a world away from launching a vicious personal assault on him. That’s where I’m 100% in alignment with Kevin McStay’s view.

  239. I disagree swallow swoops.
    We may have 1-2 year window where we still have Cillian, Diarmaid, Paddy, Lee, Harrison etc.
    we may not have a time again where we have a blend of the older and younger fellas and a dozen plus players of the required standard.

    Gotta try and keep the above lads and find a couple more that can push things on

  240. @Anne-Marie: No, the previous comment wasn’t directed at you in particular. I just can’t see why we as a collective dismiss the external manager idea so readily. We haven’t won the big canister in nigh-on 71 years at this point, and let’s be honest here, we have been undone tactically in several finals since 1989. Soft goals have been a recurring theme of those losses. Nothing that I saw from Horan in the past two finals (scratch that, any final he’s led us to) convince me that we have unlocked that particular conundrum. And as others have said, he’s the best manager in the county by a distance at the moment. So to me it seems very strange that so many would dismiss the idea out of hand, even if we only went as far as hiring an outside defensive coach (Donie Buckley could be available again…)

    As for McGuinness, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I think he’s a smart man who wouldn’t necessarily try to replicate his previous template with Donegal. As you say, we don’t have the same type of player they had. But I do think he’d fix our defensive problem, one way or the other. The others I mentioned have all done the business. No one inside Mayo other than John O’Mahony can say that at senior level.

    We did hammer them in 2013, but they won the one that mattered most. As did Tyrone on Saturday. And I’d argue that Donegal were sitting ducks that year following the Ulster final defeat shortly before, injuries etc.

    It’s a theoretical discussion to be fair, but I think it’s important that in the wake of this defeat that nothing (civil) is off-limits. Because there are several things that badly need to be fixed if we really want to win it, and I’m not sure that everything is optimized within the county for that purpose.

  241. I see what you are saying about some of our senior players, Centerfield (Three years might be a good time to work within, who knows?)
    I do respect your opinion and feel this could be a fruitful topic to consider, not to get up in arms about, mind, but to keep open gently for consideration.

  242. Yeah I don’t understand what will change in a couple of years that we might be more ready to compete for all Irelands? I roll my eyes when some managers/pundits talk about teams in transition. It’s just an excuse for poor performances.

    If we get a clearer run of injuries, no reason we won’t be there or thereabouts next year. Although I do expect Dublin and Kerry to come back stronger unfortunately.

  243. I have tortured myself by having a fairly in depth look back at the first half of the game. Mainly to see if my “in game” thoughts were correct but also to see if the perception of some players’ performances was accurate.

    There is a saying in American football that says “bad teams don’t beat themselves”. Well in that first half we beat ourselves for sure. We were 8 points to 10 behind at half time, scoring 4 from play with 3 wides (Hennellys 45 and 1 each from Loftus and AOS – both correct decisions in going for the shots I will add as they were within the scoring zone and on their right sides). In addition we also had 1 goal effort blocked, and another one butchered. So, on the face of it, on that side of the ball we were doing OK. Not great, but OK, as 13 shots against a team using an additional defender in there is not too bad for 39 mins of football. For example, Dublin would be aiming for 15 shots per half.
    The problems in that first half for us though were on the other side of the ball, our defense. Tyrone scored 10 points, 6 from play, 3 frees and a 45. They kicked 2 wides and missed a goal effort. So they had 13 shots also but the difference is the way they got their shots and chances. We had a direct hand in 5 of the Tyrone 1st half points! Plunkett and O’Hora both fouled cheaply in the scoring zone that resulted in 2 pointed frees. Hennelly fluffed a kick out that resulted in Sludden scoring from play, completely untouched! Ryan O’Donoghue and McLoughlin both lost possession that resulted in a Tyrone counter attack which saw another 2 points from play. In addition to this our backs were sitting off their players too much, e.g. Hampsie, McGeary and Sludden all scored from play without a single glove being laid on them. There wasn’t a Mayo back within 15m of them when they shot. Their goal chance started by Walsh playing a long diagonal ball inside (Conroy was in there v 2 backs and AOS was out the field so what the hell Walsh was doing playing that ball is another question) that Morgan intercepted. Morgan booted it long, McKenna beat Mullin in the air with a flick-on and McCurrys shot was saved by Hennelly. Even in this instance, the source of their attack was our poor passing.
    On top of all of this, Plunkett gave the ball away very cheaply through a bad hand pass, and Ruane lost possession on THREE occasions by over-carrying and eventually either getting smothered by Tyrone defenders, or losing the ball out over the sideline. So, we were our own worst enemy in that first half.

    As for the narrative about AOS and his poor performance? In that first half every ball that was played to him he won, and either drew a foul or passed successfully. We got a point off a foul on him, won the throw in and a hop ball, his quick hands set up O’Hora when he burst through on goal and there were at least two occasions when he was inside calling for the ball and it didn’t come in. I know his positioning changed in the second half but judging him on that 1st half alone he was very effective and extremely efficient. Both McGeary and McNamee had picked up ticks from fouling him and we can only wonder now what further damage he may have done, if we had fed him more ball.
    For the record, I am looking at his performance on a factual and unbiased basis, because there is enough heat and downright abuse directed his way as it is. The Twitterati bullshit of him not scoring in All Irelands is cheap, lazy punditry and I’d say his scoring record for Breaffy isn’t all that great either. But guess what? He is not, never was and never will be a scoring full forward. He is, in my opinion at his best, when deployed as a pivot. A target to play ball into, that will stick inside the full forward line, and his quick hands can recycle ball to in-rushing forwards and players coming off his shoulder. Anytime we did that in the 1st half on Saturday we retained possession inside and had Tyrone on the back-foot.

    I am dreading doing likewise with the second half though, because on my recollection, it was riddled with mistakes and poor decisions.

  244. I see that the GPA have endorsed the league based Championship structure for next summer. No handy warm ups against Sligo and Leitrim in that case. We’ll have to be right at it against the best teams in the country next June. Winning Sam will be a whole lot tougher.

  245. Lucero I think your missing Kevin McStay’s point. Aiden had a poor game and I am sure he, Aiden, knows that more than anyone else. There were others who also never stepped up to the mark but Brolly keeps singling him out. For a journalist to persist with this slanderous trollop to one individual amateur sports personality is nothing short of disgraceful. When both of their Football Obituaries are penned to paper Joe Brolly played in one All Ireland Final and won it and as Kevin said fair play to him. AOS played in multi All Ireland Finals so that is a huge achievement and in my opinion suggests a far more illustrious football career than the aforementioned.

  246. Teach Iorras, GPA endorsement is meaningless, its what is voted in Congress that matters. I for one would be in favour of the league based championship but can’t see it passing. The most likely outcome from congress is no change, can’t see provincial councils voting for anything the diminishes their power and nothing really gets past Congress without their support.

  247. I seriously hope that Aido looks after his mental health. The abuse he gets and the pressure on him must feel suffocating. I hope Mayo GAA put proper resources into helping players in this capacity. There is a good documentary on Netflix about Mardy Fish, former No.1 Tennis player who at the top of his game, going into the biggest game of his life had a mental breakdown. Gave up tennis and ended up locked in his home for a year. It’s serious and it’s real. Everyone is upset we lost but they are amateurs and still have to go to work this week.

    I wouldn’t wipe my arse with the independent.

  248. @Ann-Marie….agree fully re Diarmuid. The guy was unreal in our u21 championship win in 2016 and Saturday was a chance for him to own a game. For Mayo to do anything over the coming years Diarmuid has to be buzzing. When is the last time he had a MOTM performance for Mayo?? That’s a genuine question.

    He looks like a lad who needs to start enjoying football and he is wasted at wing forward.

  249. It’s just so frustrating
    It was there to be won
    We refuse to learn
    The manager apparently refuses to listen
    That’s not great …..

  250. RappareeI I asked the question about the Sports Psychologist
    I didn’t get any definitive answer from anyone if there is one in the setup or not.
    As I was saying on earlier comment The Mayo news had a piece last week and listed
    backroom team and there was no mention of one which I found a bit strange in todays modern game.?
    As mentioned above sometimes the arm around the shoulder can be as important as any technical aspect.
    Tryrone Boss full of praise for his Sports Psychologist on radio last night.
    It is surely a gaping miss if we had no work done on this aspect of the game

  251. Surely when the team and management sit down and analyse what happened they’ll unearth the truth. Who knows, maybe there were other factors (aside from nerves) we’re not privy to that made them underperform.

    Surely at a basic level they can address all these things and never repeat it again. But I just can’t see the learning being put into practice. It’s the never-ending merry-go-round. We’ll find another magical way to blow it.

  252. Pebblesmellrr: very good analysis there. It’s something management should consider doing in future. Tyrone turned us over in the league last October using the same tactics. I brought this up before the final, as 12 of that team lined up for us on Saturday. We learned nothing from that game. Nothing. We had a month to prepare for the final. We should have been concentrating on defense and having out forwards practising long range shots so much that they would be dreaming of scoring points from 50 metres out.

  253. Wondering has diarmuid been asked where would he like to play in the team, one of the best that came through the system, a pale shadow today ,this guy should be winning games for Mayo ,what is wrong here . Tyrone scored points from play because they were allowed to score with no markers on them. the manager lost this game plus the goalie error . The defence has been moved around all this year ,some of them must be dizzy. The county board must make a stand against this abuse re AOS, it is a disgrace , who are those dickheads, surprised at the venom against Mayo even on Youtube, slan

  254. To believe in any merit Joe Brolly has to say you would have to read what he writes..I won’t be wasting my time doing that.

  255. @joyeo Yes, Brolly did go overboard on AOS. It’s wrong. The editor should have overruled in this day and age, or at least toned it down a fair bit. On the other hand I would question your assessment as AOS as “amateur”. He is of course amateur in that he doesn’t get paid to play by Mayo GAA and as far as I know he has a job outside football. But you just need to look at his insta and twitter to realise his income from sponsorships would be considerable. And good luck to him for that. But on the flip side of having a high profile you are going to attract a lot more criticism. Even though a few lads on the team probably had a worse game than AOS did on Saturday, his profile means he gets to take the flak.

  256. Delighted to see Kevin calling out Brolly in his as always excellent article. Its long past time when Aidan became the lightening rod for all our problems in finals. The fact that successive managers have never found the best place for him is more there failing then his.

  257. I like to look at the future pipeline of talent in situations like this to provide some hope and optimism. Was looking at some footage of the minor (u17) team of 2020.
    There’s a guy called Cian McHale from moy davitts who looks like a very decent prospect. Centre half forward and looked a very competent player. A Tuohy lad from castlebar was playing midfield and looked like a very good fielder of the ball too.
    Others here would know more about these lads – they will all be 19 next year and the stand out players should be getting towards the development squad in 2022.

  258. DOC has never been the same since he picked up that injury against Kildare in Castlebar 3-4 years ago. At that stage he was scoring 2-3 points a game and had the power and pace to go pass defenders and was getting to a stage where he was almost unmarkable.
    That’s gone now and his influence in a lot if games he plays his minimal. He looks like a player that his physically and mentally burnt out and needs to take 6 months away from football.

  259. Hi Larry – I try to do the same. Reality is we have had a very poor run of underage success over the past number of years. That being said, winning underage teams do not guarantee success at senior and while that may be true, the sensible approach is to look to produce talent. Ideally we should be looking to get 2 to 3 really quality players from every minor team coming through to senior 3 to 4 years later. The very best u20 players (those in the final year u20) should already be on the fringes of he the senior set up.

    The conveyor belt and support structure from age 17 thru to 20 is essential. This is the zone when players either m make it or don’t. So many class 17 year olds never make it to senior. It happens in every county. So this is what may needs to be doing. From 10 to 16 should be about mastering the skills, equally competent off both feet(should be pre-requisite for getting onto a Tedd Webb Team), understanding movement/positioning, shooting and tackling. The strength and conditioning can come from 17+ but not prior to this. Physically strong underage teams might win you an underage title but that levels out by the time lads get to 21+

    But winning is a good habit and you want to see some success at underage. I believe we should be in an underage final every 3 years. Take out the Stephen Coen gang (’13 & ’16) and we have had no winning underage team since 2006. Something going very wrong there for a county like Mayo.

  260. and a word of warning..if Galway can go almost 2 decades without reaching a final and hardly winning a game in Croke Park then it can happen us too, if we are not careful.

  261. Wide Ball, when I mentioned patience (and I find it hard at times), I meant having a team with the development blocks in place to be able to win an All-Ireland, not merely to compete.
    If we keep hurtling ourselves forward trying to compete without having robust aspects, like strength, precision and freshness in place we miss more falls off the cliff edge like Saturday. And is this a good thing?
    I know defeats are inevitable but allowing a team to develop can mitigate against that – a middle ground could be to aim to hit markers of success, in an internal performance sense, and externally in League along the way.
    It’s a big plus to be back in Division One next year where we can really try different things out and test ourselves.
    We love our football here but for once it’d be good to let the chatter be about other teams, while we go about our development quietly.
    I’m not saying I’m 100% right on this but there may have to be a balance between fast and slow on our way to success.
    Personally I would have been completely of the view that there didn’t need to be a transition but we must look at some aspects of reality too for the sake of our team and everyone’s mental well-being.

  262. That’s my concern too Mayomad. Conservatism usually rules the roost at congress. The fact that retaining the status quo is also an option at a special congress to debate changes to a championship that everyone agrees isn’t fit for purpose anymore says it all. A Connacht Championship with the likes of Antrim and Carlow involved just to keep the provincial councils powerbase also sounds like a dog’s dinner.

  263. Jj Kelly, I think that’s worth saying again.
    The fact that successive managers have never found the best place for him is more there failing then his.
    Let me add or coached him to play in one position, and kept him there till he perfected it.

    Pebbles, good analysis but don’t torture yourself with the 2nd half.

  264. Swallow Swoops – I don’t really understand how that is different to what we’re doing now? We go out and test ourselves against other teams and either win or lose. We’ve brought through a lot of new players in the last 2 seasons and for the most part they have proven themselves able to play at the top level.

    Say we lose to Galway in Connacht next year and Donegal knock us out in the qualifiers. That cannot be dressed up as anything but failure and regression.

    By all means try different things in the league next year, be that new players or tactics. However once championship comes around, it’s a results business.

  265. Decided to go though every Mayo minor team since 2010. Chose the side that played in the last championship game of each campaign. Interesting to see (a) how the team performed in each year, and (b) how many players from each side progressed to senior.
    2010: Lost to Tyrone in all Ireland semi final. Brendan Harrison, Cillian and Darren Coen were the main 3 from that side. Conor o Shea was a sub and Danny Kirby and micheal forde flirted with the fringes of Mayo seniors at stages.
    2011: beaten by Roscommon in Connacht semi. Evan Regan, Padraig o hora, Conor o Shea and Adam Gallagher (briefly) went on to play senior.
    2012: beaten by Meath in all Ireland semi (a game we pissed away I was there that day). Paddy Durcan and Adam Gallagher were 2 of the main guys on that side. Steven coen, Diarmuid o C and plunkett all played as u17s. Incidentally goalie Conor o Malley went on to play professional soccer with Peterborough
    2013: all Ireland champions. A great side. Diarmuid, Stephen Coen, Conor loftus, and plunkett all seniors now but can’t help feel some talent slipped away from that group too.
    2014: beaten in all Ireland semi by Kerry. Eoin o donoghue and matty Ruane the main 2 from that group, with cian Hanley and Brian reape also having spells as senior fringe players.
    2015: one of the worst Mayo minor sides in recent memory. Beaten by 17 points by galway only scoring 1-3 in total. James carr the only player to come from the group, Colm Moran was an u17 that year played a couple of league games at senior but that’s about it.
    2016: beaten in AI quarters by Kildare. Not a great side. Ryan o donoghue the standout from the group, but still time for players like Johnny Maughan. Paul Lambert was another from this group I had high hopes for but don’t know where he is now.
    2017: last year of u18. Hammered by Galway again. Tommy Conroy the clear star of this group though. Jack coyne and Paul towey are on the current extended panel and Mcnicholas the goalkeeper is highly touted too.
    2018: as it went to u 17, a years worth of players a missed out on a top age year completely at Minor. These included Oisin Mullin, Mark Moran and Eoghan mc Laughlin I think. The u17 side that year contained one interesting corner forward though – Enda Hession! He scored heavily in that campaign, Jack carney of the current extended panel also played that year.
    The 2019 u17 side was decent and reached the AI semi losing to cork. None of these lads are yet on the Mayo senior panel but would expect to see 3 or 4 of them soon enough.
    Same with 2020 obviously – all far too young though they were beaten by Sligo in last years knockout round championship.

    If you can extract 3 decent seniors from a side, you are doing very well.

  266. Wide Ball, I find the difference just to be a subtle one. Of course, we need to move ahead, adjust, add things and improve each year, no matter what.
    It is more a feeling than anything else for me but perhaps the central question is:
    Do I want to concentrate on building a team?
    Do I want to concentrate on winning the All-Ireland?
    In focussing solely on the latter, we might neglect the former, and get caught raw.
    Our team this year looked to be fast tracked using Horanball as a main plank. It’s a good one, certainly, but we need to add many more aspects to it. This takes some time.
    Maybe we are saying the same thing, Wide Ball, I am not sure.

  267. Can anyone tell me where is the Mayo minor 2013 manager that won the All Ireland ?, is he involved with his club?

  268. I’d like to see Paul Galvin brought in to the backroom team. He talks a lot of sense tactically, he knows Mayo football and he is a proven winner. Yes, he may be controversial but maybe a few truths being told isn’t a bad thing..

  269. 147 Joe, Kieran Shannon was the Mayo sports psychologist who James Horan brought in during his first stint as manager. They have tried nearly everything at this stage and it hasn’t got them over the line.

    Before we all get too critical , we must never forget the serious psychological damage that losing finals repeatedly does regarding performance and judgment both to players and management and right now I would describe the situation as being critical and the number one reason we are not getting over the line.

    Poor judgment cost us the game, the penalty miss, Aidan not checking back when it was two on two to lay it off to the oncoming Loftus, Conroy rushing his goal chance etc. These are all classic examples of why heavy psychological damage does to players.

    Management calls are also a classic example.

    Don’t we all feel psychologically damaged at this stage ? Imagine what it’s like for the players and management.

    Add to that the online abuse by horrible dirty rotten pigs and that’s all they are, and is it any wonder the lads struggle.

    Had we played Tyrone in the semi, 100% we would have beaten them and played well so until a cure is found for the obvious and understandable psychological issues then the same thing will continue to repeat itself.

    But I wouldn’t rush out and employ the first sports psychologist I see and think it will cure all ills because this issue is deep and is going to need a global expert to help in my opinion.

    In my opinion psychological damage is the number one cause of the below par performances both on the pitch and on the sideline against Tyrone.

  270. You could sense the fear in the stands the minute plunkett gave the ball away after our bright start and Tyrone were off and running.
    As the first half went on, the fear build up and I think the players started to feel it too from the crowd.
    We needed a goal to release the nervous tension and it never came. A goal for Mayo at any point last Sunday could have triggered 7 or 8 minutes of “heavy metal football” by Mayo to pile on enough scores to get across the line in the end.
    In saying that, the lead guitarist for Mayo when they are playing heavy metal football is cillian and he wasn’t on the park.

  271. Good research Larry. Getting 2 really good players from each minor group is the minimum target. Not just half decent senior players, I’m talking proper top level.

    Just read Kevin McStays article. I’ve always been an admirer and was a strong advocate of his in 2014/15 when he was shafted. I thought he was the man to bring that group of players over the line. We’ll never know. But he is absolutely right in that structures need to change. Why do we struggle to produce a sufficient amount of top level forwards. We have bucket loads of athletic all round ballers. That doesn’t win you All Irelands. Every winning team has two or three quality finishers. Unfortunately we missed our best last weekend AND we were missing our best in 2012 too. But Mayo GAA need to get forward coaches into the academy at 13/14 year olds level. It’s so crucial. Things need to change otherwise as Kevin says, it’ll be another 70 years.

  272. Lee now has the dubious honour of being the best player ever not to have won an All-Ireland. Probably followed closely by another cohort of Mayo players such as Keith Higgins.
    For years they talked about Roscommon’s Dermot Earley being this player, but a number Mayo lads have overtaken him out in this regard.
    To use a phrase from the Ryder cup, “Lee the postman”… “he always delivers”.

  273. I agree with everything said by the Viper and ye by all means I wouldn’t go out and get the first sports psychologist we can find. But I would ask the very same question as Ahh not again here ..Why don’t we have one now.?
    Surely with our past record in finals it was obvious area that needed to be worked on and I think you will find most if not all of the teams in either hurling or Football winning All Irelands in recent year had one on their backroom team.
    Does this not tell us enough.
    I think it needs to be looked at now urgently to try and repair the psychological damage

  274. According to the programme for last year’s AI final (2020), Mayo’s performance coach was Martin MacIntyre. In an interview with Colm Gannon in April or so, James explained that Martin had stepped away – to manage Breaffy – and they were looking at a replacement. Don’t know if I ever heard who, or if.

    In that programme, Ger Cafferkey was listed as a values and behaviour coach, and Eavan Reagan as nutritionist. Three physios were listed and two stats people.

    All in all a total of 18 people were involved. Dublin by the way had 30, two of everything and everybody.

    I can list all those people and positions if anyone is interested.

  275. Evan Regan could have togged out himself on Sunday. He was a genuine forward in fairness to him. For many years I would have put himself and Darren McCurry in a similar bracket. Same age too.

  276. @Ahh not again, I don’t know do we have one now, I’m just pointing out who was there previously but clearly they have not worked in getting the team over the line and now the final losses have piled up significantly higher which makes the task even harder.

    There is no guarantee that a sports psychologist would even make any difference at this stage unless it was an internationally recognized one with a proven track record.

    But it wouldn’t come cheap and there would need to be a lot of one on ones.

    I would suggest it would be the most challenging project in world sport at this stage, but oh boy would it be rewarding for whoever cracked it.

    I must start to do a bit of research into this and put out some global feelers.

  277. You dont need to have really strong minor teams every year. If you look – 2015-17 were poor minor teams. But we got ryan o donoghue, Tommy Conroy and James carr from those sides. Conroy and ROD could potentially be generational players and I expect one of them already to have an All star by the end of the year.
    Whilst in general, a good side is more likely to produce good players, I’d nearly rather one future superstar player from a poor minor team especially in a position of need, than 4 or 5 future fringe or role playing seniors from a stronger underage team.
    When you are coming down the stretch in big games in Croke park in senior finals, it’s usually the elite players in a given team that rise to the top and go to another level.
    If Tommy Conroy scores 8 points from play in a senior all Ireland final in the next decade and drags this team across the line, no one will care that he played on one of the worst Mayo minor sides we have ever produced.

  278. think we all need a psychologist at this stage … Caroline Currid is the lady I’d love to see in the backroom team if they could manage it!!

  279. If there is one thing we can take from this year, that a slap on the back is only inches from a kick in the hole.
    Very disappointed but fair play to Tyrone that was savage pressure at times.Gutted,but think patience is needed.

  280. God almighty, this must be a record for the largest comments on one topic on this blog.

    With all the work done by Mayo Gaa this past 11 years, where do things stand now ?.
    There was a very detailed Strategic Review compiled a number of years ago. It certainly must be seen as a success from the events starting out in 2011 up to today.

    I would like to add another item to this, it’s more on the Psychological side, maybe this should be seriously considered now, has this been overlooked for the past 10 years ?

    Surely there must be something missing somewhere, nobody wants to see defeats in every single final, this cannot be just forgotten and never mentioned again.

    Management and players must look within themselves and find out exactly what went wrong on Saturday otherwise it will keep happening. How can they just move on.

    What would be the point of getting to another final in the next few years?, the longer this run continues the harder it is to break the cycle.

  281. The point of getting to another final is that it’s the only way to win and All Ireland. There was obviously a systems failure and arguably it’s been the worst perfotmance since 04 and 06 but it was still way ahead of that – going into the 4th quarter the game was still there. That will be sickening for the squad and there will have to be lessons learned for everyone in the set up, but let’s not completely lose ourselves to despair guys

  282. you’re 100% on the money there exile. You can only win it if you’re in it.
    We need to do all we can as supporters to give the team the best shot of being there next year for another shot.

    By the way some of you may have received an email about GAA Strategic Planning Survey for the next 5 years.
    I’d strongly suggest that you include comments about the GAA doing something to tackle social media abuse and abuse of players.
    Personally I reckon if someone is clearly guilty of that then they should be expelled from the organisation, and I’ve stated as much on my submission.

  283. The above mentioned psychologist in Limerick hurling gets a lot of credit from the players, which is telling.  Tomas O Shea used to say he would run a mile from one.
    But Caroline Currid is working off a good basis where most of those Limerick lads came through excellent underage structures. Their earlier multiple underage successes made them the coming team.
    Secondly Limerick play a very structured way, so it is easier to have “go to” processes. When the pressure comes on, Limerick like Dublin rely on their “process”. This reduces stress and anxiety.

    Therefore I would say there are 3 elements to it, namely
    a) (underage) talent
    b) a structure to the play, everyone knows their role.
    c) psychology to know how to prepare for pressure and how to deal with adverse situations.

    Getting a psychologist alone won’t solve it, not that anybody here is saying otherwise.
    I would say Tyrone may not have as much of a) but are strong on the other two.

    In Mayo, in the past we often had no real structure to our game. To give credit , James Horan has brought a good deal of structure (playing style) to Mayo football and we have reaped some benefit in winning CFs. But like Dublin in 2014, it needs tweaking, before we have the ultimate success.

    I see talk in the news about possible Garth Brooks in Croke Park next September and now have
    “If tomorrow never comes”
    going around in my head.

  284. This game has been analysed to death at this stage. The more analysis the more complex it becomes. Sometimes it is best to keep it simple. We butchered 4 goal chances and conceded one very soft one. That is 15 points! We also had a couple of missed point opportunities. We missed those chances because we lacked composure or skill and perhaps nerves or psychological pressure were at play. Had we converted any reasonable amount of those chances we would have won despite several lads not playing well and a lack of tactical sense.
    Not everything has to be perfect to win a game – just get one more point than the opposition. Even if we had won not everything would have been right in our team or squad or management.
    The trouble is win and everything is alright – lose and everything is wrong! The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.
    The job now is to figure out what needs to improve and try to get on with it.

  285. Mayo88, I’m probably adding to that record as I’m new to commenting here but having thought long and hard about this I would conclude that the number one reason we did not win on Saturday is totally and absolutely due to the affects of psychological trauma which resulted in poor decision making both on the pitch and on the side line.

    That is the number one issue right now and I think it hid itself well for the last few years because it was always Dublin we were playing in the finals but when you think back even to 2012 weren’t there signs of it there as well.

    It plays havoc with decision making, think back to some of the mind boggling decisions on the sideline as well, it affects everything.

    We need unity and consensus now more than ever but until we tackle the psychological issue head on we will not win a final regardless of what manager or players we have.

  286. Niamh Fitzpatrick was with Mayo as a sports psychologist in 2016 and 2017, the psychological issue is definitely there but mayo have brought in people to address it in the past. It was my understanding that this year Horan was fulfilling that function himself.

  287. When all is said and done we didn’t do the homework properly.

    Whatever the reasons, it was evident that we hadn’t learned from our mistakes and failures in prior All Ireland’s. This is the biggest indictment of any and all individuals involved in preparing a team.To keep making the same mistakes is worse than foolish.

    In order not to keep making the same mistakes then a forensic examination of them when they happen,is necessary. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn and improve.

    Of course , in addition to player mistakes there are sideline mistakes. Who are the sideline answerable to ? Where or how is the manager going to get “opportunities to learn”?
    Who does he listen to ?

    And I say all this in the full knowledge that other managers are directly targeting our “ historic psyche “ in All Ireland finals. They,the other managers, are learning from our mistakes and then “checking our homework “to see if we learned from them.

    Witness McShanes goal- a replica of Brogan’s 2013. Witness McGuinness targeting the big full forward Murphy( something that was a replica of 1996-Donaghy)
    Witness Gavin always targeting the first few minutes of the game knowing we would be shakier because of our history. Witness Morgan and other goalies driving the long kickout past midfield something the dogs in the street knew would happen.

    When inevitably they do check our homework they are delighted with themselves to have found us out. Because they know it is extremely effective in terms of demoralizing your opponent. We are being set up !

    The other managers are treating us like children who haven’t done our homework – AGAIN!!!

    The other fans are looking over at our fans and feeling pity for us.

    This, this is why our morale collapsed on Saturday. On the field and in the stands. It is mortifying. We are exposed for all to see.

    Meanwhile, we are throwing away the opportunity to learn from other managers mistakes when there is plenty of clarity and plenty of time to do that. Like the Kerry v Tyrone game.

    But maybe the worst of all is that we didn’t learn the lesson of this years All Ireland Semi Final when an unexpected bout of ruthlessness ( now I’m questioning if it was accidental )showed what our team could do when their collective energy is freed up.

    A repeat of that ruthlessness last Saturday was absolutely called for and would have , IMO , led to better energy in the closing twenty minutes of the game.

    We need a collective brain trust on the sidelines and additional voices that should always be able to be heard. It is obvious that James Horan needs more help.

    I saw some on this blog say they would never , ever follow Mayo again. They said Enough is enough. They wouldn’t continue to expose their kids to this.

    Being pitied for not learning the painful lessons that others are all too willing to learn and use against us is just that. Pitiful. And unacceptable. And I wouldn’t blame anyone for saying what they said.

    That’s not me though. I love James Horan and this team and I’m so grateful for everything he and they have done for Mayo football. I’m in this until I die.

    But he needs to face reality and own up to his mistakes ,learn from them, and listen, and bring strong competent psychological leadership to this team. He needs to understand that what appeared as ruthlessness in the semi final is necessary in all aspects of his job and if he follows that path then he’ll certainly improve.

    I believe if he does that that he will finally end this bullshit. Something he said he is committed to.

  288. Caroline Currid has been involved in the background team of four different all Ireland winning GAA teams:

    Tyrone football 2008
    Tipp hurling 2010
    Dublin football 2011
    Limerick hurling 2018 to present

    She’s a Sligo native and has also been involved in the sport psychology management of Paul O’Connell on an ongoing basis and David Rudisha – Kenyan 800m 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and world record holder

  289. @Larry Duff – have to agree with you on the goal that didn’t come. But I didn’t feel the fear you speak of bubbling around me in the ground. It was only around 68th minute that the crowd around me finally started to quiet and felt it was just not going to happen on the day.

    Agree with you on the goal though, it felt like the roof would have come off the stadium if we got a green flag and I really think it would have drove the lads on. In a game like that, a goal is worth so much more than three points.

  290. I think ye are overplaying the psychological card, guys, way too much.
    Other issues were more at play in our loss on Saturday, in my view.
    I think if ye look back over the posts ye will find them.
    If any, our psychological issue is being in an absolute hurry to win an All-Ireland before the necessary team building is complete, including tactical ability.
    I also think the management underperformed due to gambling on Horanball and not preparing forensically for the opposition. That’s not psychological weakness, maybe it is naivety and a big desire to win.
    Those saying we had four weeks to prepare overlook that we only had two weeks to prepare for what Tyrone would bring. We defeated Dublin, we might have made a better job of running Kerry close but Tyrone were a different proposition and played the game on their terms.
    In addition, Paddy Andrews on OTB Off the Ball makes the point that we needed better skill execution, that it was not at all up to standard, e.g for making long targeted kick passes in a tight spot when necessary. **We might also say better skill execution could have allowed us to score the goal chances we had.** I think this is an extremely strong point on top of issues already discussed.

    Andy also calls strongly for taking this game as a single game, not comparing it to games of the past because different teams were involved.

  291. @viper I’m inclined to agree with you about the psychological factors. The core psychological factor is confidence and in our case on Saturday that confidence was gradually eroded by the chances we squandered. Each lost opportunity damaged our confidence which in turn led to more mistakes, more bad decisions, more fear.panic and eventual defeat. The missed penalty was like a puncture. You could feel the life drain out of us.
    Maybe our long history of underachievement was at play but I think it was more to do with in-game factors.

  292. @Swallow Swoops, you have a point. But maybe Mayo just could not deal with the close, in your face tackling from Tyrone, that why so many bad wides were evident. Maybe management has too much control over some players and little or none over others. Were Mayo physically ready for Tyrone ?
    We’re a few selection errors made, I believe one in midfield, one corner back to start with.

    I still wonder how fit was Oisin Mullin going into the game?, he was a long way off his usual self.
    Some guys wondering why Kevin Mcloughlin was picked at corner forward, i think maybe to avoid the very physical stuff out around the middle.
    Maybe Mayo just found Tyrone to hard all around the pitch, Ruane looked gassed at times.

  293. There are 2 games being played.
    With and without the ball.
    Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue pressed high and tacked without the ball, Cillian O’Connor does it brilliantly. Morgan kicked over the press, Tyrone at other times worked it to the player facing the 31 and 33 year olds. Fair enough and probably under instruction. The second half display and the wides/shorts were by fatigued players including O’Shea. Very difficult to maintain that press and James Horan has said it himself when working on Sky

  294. Food4Thought that’s some post! Some very interesting stuff also. I think you may be overthinking some things re homework element of opposing managers though. Those instances of goals you outline are more down individual errors on the day than managements ‘undone homework’ in my opinion. Take the Brogan & McShane goals for example JH can’t do anything about Hennellys hesitation in those moments, I’m sure dozens of other 50/50 balls like these were played into the square over the course of the last decade & RH dealt with it & we thought nothing of it. As much I think the decision making of the management needs to be examined on Saturday there is little they can about individual errors like these or Con skinning Boyle in 17.

  295. In modern Gaelic football, the palmed goal is KING.
    We should know that better than any team. The Dubs exploited this more than any other team in recent memory.
    The reason it’s king is that it’s the highest percentage play. Tommy Conroy’s goal chance the last day was really difficult to execute. The precision required was of the highest degree of difficulty, beating the keeper at his near post with mere cm of error available either way. He was a fraction off and pulled it wide. Taking another solo or hop, then flicking a pass across the goal to the inrushing Mayo player gives a much greater chance of it being scored.
    Decisions like that are crucial. Andy and Cillian generally made the right decision in those split second moments. Think of Andy’s goal v Kerry in 2017 replay, the one two with Cillian and palm to an empty net. Tommy is young and will improve in time, but it was an error for me.
    In fact the AOS chance was also like that. Turn back inside with the dummy solo – straighten up and draw Morgan before a simple pass across to loftus to palm into an empty net.
    You have to assume this kind of situation is simulated at training and coached?

  296. delighted to see kevin mcstay calling out Brolly for what he is.
    I think a lot of our own counties supporters need to heed what he is saying about O Shea. We should be rallying around him. An amateur playing being subject to vile online abuse . Not adding to it .

    That article has energized me again . I’m ready for road now again !

  297. Can’t wait for the club scene to kick off again. Despite Saturday’s defeat, I’m very bullish about this Mayo side on a long term basis. Half the squad have only ever known Mayo dining out at the very top table of Gaelic football, since they were 10 years old. After another few years that becomes culturally engrained on a permanent basis.
    Every year Mayo will be in the top 5 list of favourites for the all Ireland. That was not the case pre 2000, and it’s important to acknowledge the effort to get us to that standing in the game. The next step is to keep developing high quality players and start winning all Ireland titles. Scoring forwards are an Achilles heel but let’s acknowledge that we have discovered two top class forward in Conroy and ROD that will be with us for the next decade. Find another 2 over the next 2 or 3 years and we are suddenly a much more dangerous side up front. Not to mention Cillian still having 4 or 5 years left in him.
    Can’t wait to see who puts up their hand at club level in the coming weeks. Horan name checked Jack carney and mark Moran after the match on Sat so will be watching them closely.

  298. @Swallow Swoops, I don’t think the psychological card is being overplayed at all, in fact I think it has been overlooked for way too long.

    When you say:

    “I also think the management underperformed due to gambling on Horanball and not preparing forensically for the opposition. That’s not psychological weakness, maybe it is naivety and a big desire to win”.

    The above is a classic example of what psychological trauma does to you, it affects your decision making and it will only manifest itself in finals, don’t forget last week James Horan was being talked about as being the best manager in the country and now all of a sudden you suggest he might be naive.

    He’s not naive at all, he just needs help working away in the background to leave absolutely no stone unturned.

    Tell me this, who are the Mayo selectors and more importantly who does the tactical analysis of the opposition ?

  299. I also think some people are making too much of the psychological failings. Games ultimately come down to a handful of big moments that turn momentum. Think back to the Connacht final when we were 5 down vs Galway. Losing a Croke Park final to Galway would have been a massive blow to us. There was huge pressure on us coming out for the 2nd half. We get a penalty in the first minute, convert it and the game is flipped on its head.

    Something similar could well have happened last Saturday if Ryan or Tommy hit the net after half time. Also, I only noticed when watching back the highlights Tyrone ended up getting 2 points from the 2 goal chances Rob saved. One 45 and McCurry fisting over the rebound. We got nothing from the 4 goal chances.

  300. It’s a disgrace that any player should be personally targeted in any way. No Mayo player went out on Saturday to have a bad game but it happens.
    The facts are that some of our players over the years have not been able to perform to the best of their ability in All Ireland Finals for us.
    Reading some of the posts on here and conclude that the sand is going to get very hot at some stage.

  301. @Wide Ball, you cant compare the pressure of winning a Connacht final to that of winning an All-Ireland, chalk and cheese.

    I’m not bothered if other people take it seriously or not but if they don’t then you can expect the same result every time an All-Ireland is lost that should have been won.

    The easiest analysis anyone can do is say he should have done this or that, or if this happened that would have happened, I’m more interested in finding the answers as to why those mistakes were made and to try and prevent them from reoccurring.

    What I’m trying to say here is that if Ryan was as mentally prepared as he could possibly be for that high pressure penalty that he would have scored it 9 out of 10 times and there wouldn’t have been the hesitant shimmy so it just proves that was there even before the penalty was missed, it didn’t start when it hit the post, it was etched on his face before he took it.

  302. @Food4thought – that;s and Interesting post on learning from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. Burt you also have to accept that James Horan has been involved now in 4 AI final losses as a Manager not to mention the ones as a player. At what stage do you call a spade a spade and accept that some people just cannot deviate or change?

  303. Why do you think he would score 9 times out of 10? I don’t think we’ve seen enough of Ryan to make that claim.The shimmy doesn’t prove anything to be honest. Paul Geaney missed a penalty in the 2019 final, was that down to psychological baggage? Not everyone is as reliable from penalties as Cillian.

  304. Caroline currid has been metioned as a major force in getting Limerick over the line, and they had there fair share of losing days.
    I agree with Viper, alot of this is in the head, the weight of history weigh heavily on people, we know we have the players so what’s left

  305. Difficult few days for Mayo football folk, but by the time the FBD comes around we’ll all be looking forward to the next installment of the greatest GAA story ever told; Mayo’s Quest for Sam 1952 -…. ?
    One point I’d like to make is that the personal attacks on players is regrettable, winning or losing is often down to fine margins, if Ryan and Aidan repeated what they did against Dublin and Sligo(twice), we’d more than likely be having a very different conversation here and they’d be hailed as heroes.
    James Horan has almost single handedly transformed Mayo from a laughing stock into a county capable of challenging for top honours every year, but we will not win the AI with the current way we play the game. It is too hit and miss, against Galway in the second half it worked, but it rarely works against a team like Tyrone (and Dublin 2013-2020), who play a highly structured, process based game. Limerick hurlers also play to a highly defined system. If we change to this kind of system, it will not only improve our chances of winning, but it will also remove to a great degree the emotional, baggage-laden millstone which is affecting our performances whenever we get to a final. Contrast Dublin’s clinical, controlled teamwork-based build up play which has achieved so much, to our frenzied, individual-based game which hasn’t led us to our ultimate goal in so many attempts.
    Wishing everybody who loves Mayo football the best of luck in the coming year.
    Willie Joe, you’ve been thanked many times but you can’t be thanked enough for providing us with this wonderful forum. It make our victories so much more enjoyable and our losses so much more bearable. Go raibh míle maith agat agus bail ó Dhia ort.

  306. @Wide Ball, Ryan didn’t shimmy v Galway did he ?

    It showed he wasn’t mentally prepared to trust his ability and waited for Morgan to move.

    Paul Geaney didn’t score because Cluxton saved it, no comparison.

  307. I think Ryan’s penalty was almost perfect. It was inches from going in and hit the upright. It was almost the perfect strike. Not like it was a poor penalty at all.

    A soccer goal width is 3 feet wider than a gaelic goal width and I’ve seen the greatest soccer players in the world miss. Ronaldo, Messi, Baggio, they’ve all missed them.

  308. This is an extract from the wikipage of Caroline Currid mentioned by a poster earlier referencing the teams she has worked with in GAA having played herself (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Currid)

    “The Tyrone team overcame a Kerry team that was favourite to achieve a three-in-a-row, the Tipperary hurling team had not won a senior All-Ireland for nine years, the Dublin football team had not won a senior All-Ireland for sixteen years, while the Limerick hurling team had not won a senior All-Ireland for forty-five years. The Tipperary and Dublin All-Ireland victories came in the second year of her involvement with the teams”

    Who needs her worse than Mayo!!!!!!!!!!!!

  309. Viper – maybe Ryan knew Morgan would have watched his penalty vs Galway and decided to change his routine slightly. It didn’t work out, but was very close. You seem to think that shows mental weakness, maybe it’s just looking to make improvements?

    Paul Geaney hit that penalty almost straight down the middle at a perfect height for Cluxton. He played it completely safe probably due to nerves.

    Jorginho was hailed as the best penalty taker in the world after the semi final of the euros. Yet 4 days later he was very nearly the villain after missing in the final.

  310. @Revellino, actually where Ryan tried to place it in the top corner is the hardest to execute and on top of that it was the wrong side for a right footed kicker, I know he scored v Galway on the same side but kept it low.

    All-Ireland final isn’t the day you start trying a shimmy.

    Ronaldo, Messi, and Baggio aren’t waiting 70 years to win an All-Ireland ! They have nothing to worry about.

  311. Viper, moving away from psychology for a second, do you think the team of 2017 might have done anything differently in the game on Saturday?

    I’m just asking you this random question to consider it, not inviting you to say they were better or worse than our team on Saturday. The teams are different.

    I wish to suggest just ONE big reason why our team might not have performed on Saturday – a young, inexperienced team were relying on a type of football they have only just learned, and it proved to be too one-dimensional when used as a main recourse on Saturday. The team of 2017 had more strings to their bow, just as an example, and might have been more composed.

    Horan has not had time to develop additional styles with this team, I think. In fact, people earlier this summer were saying he didn’t even know his best 15 and that we didn’t know who he was going to play in the half forward line.

    The same manager might have been naive on Saturday while being successful in the SF – we were playing different oppositions in those two games. One does not exclude the other. I believe Horan was somewhat naive in relying on one brand of football to defeat Tyrone (fast, intense, runners off shoulder) without employing tactics to counter Tyrone’s specific gameplan and overturn how they might try to nullify our strengths.
    Maybe his hands were tied and he felt the team had no better option given a two-week lead-in to the Tyrone game. But given what we knew of Tyrone’s game and astute management from the Kerry game, I personally feel we left ourselves somewhat exposed (what I call a gamble). I’m not completely blaming the manager for this, if it is true. To feel it would definitely bring a win was naive in hindsight, but maybe he felt he had no better option when it came to the best use of prep time for the final. This is not a team 3 or 4 years down the road, and Tyrone are a challenging opposition, maybe more than traditionally organised teams like Dublin or Kerry.
    There is an argument to say we over-achieved this year.
    (Of our starting 15, Pádraig O’Hora, Michael Plunkett, Oisín Mullin, Mattie Ruane, Bryan Walsh, Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue are very inexperienced at this level – that is 7 out of 15 players. The other players were either being marked out of it, or in Aidan’s case, weren’t getting support. That’s a lot to overcome and it’s not all psychology).
    A question could be – are Tyrone a young team like us that came out of nowhere or are they further down the road development-wise? I don’t know the answer to that. They seem very slick, focussed and disciplined for a team that is just emerging onto the scene.

  312. @Wide Ball, Geaney went to left and Cluxton dived the right way, so it was a 50/50. Low and hard no more than 2 feet in from the post and it’s virtually impossible to save.

    75.5% of penalties are scored, 17.5% are saved, 4% missed and only 3% hit the woodwork.

  313. Geaney’s was a poor penalty although it was on target at least. Why did you say previously that Ryan would score it 9 times out of 10 if those are the stats?

  314. @Swallow Swoops – one thing that would have been different if the 2017 was playing would have been Morgan’s kickouts. There is no way he would have gone long against that Mayo team, and if he did, the Tyrone midfield would have really struggled.

    This Mayo team just don’t have the fielding ability that was offered by that team and also don’t have the half forward line to clean up the breaks like that team had.

  315. Thanks for the comment, Unstoppable – those are good points.
    I didn’t really mean to compare one team to the other apart from showing that one was more robust or developed than the other, and that this can have an impact on games. Our team is still finding their feet somewhat and Tyrone were a tricky opposition too.

  316. Last Sunday I felt like I got a punch in the stomach thinking about the Game, the players, the manager, the physio, the Doctor & everyone involved with the Mayo team + the Supporters, it was the worst feeling I’ve ever had after a big game but I decided not to blame anyone because I know everyone involved with the Team done their best & will learn alot from that defeat, they have to get over the defeat quickly now & learn from their mistakes, don’t listen or read the SH**E & Prove to every other County that Mayo people are not afraid of anyone or anything, The Mayo team will succeed I’ve no doubt, be ready.

  317. Agreed @Swallow Swoop. What’s frustrating for me is that I think if we played Tyrone next week with a fully fit (and games under their belt) Cillian O’Connor, Jason Doherty and Brendan Harrison, we’d have solutions a lot of the issues we had on Saturday.

  318. Does anyone have or can post the McStay piece, didn’t get a chance to buy it and would like to see what he had to say

  319. @ Viper: These lads you say might not have anything to worry about but in the 1994 World Cup Final, which went to penalties Italy missed 3 of their 5 penalties. Baresi, Massaro and Baggio missed their penalties for Italy. Brazil missed 1 of 4 and went on to lift the cup.

    I think in this years u20 Connacht semi final (I think it was) against Galway, there was a brilliant display of penalties from the Mayo lads. They buried everyone of them.

    A player who has the balls to step forward and take a penalty is not someone you should be calling out if the penalty is missed. There was enough of that carry on in the Euros when the young lads from England failed to score theirs. They were lambasted for it.

    Ryan has been sensational this year, and querying his reasoning for how or why he took a penalty a certain way will ensure that the next time he steps up to take one he confidence will be lower than what it should be.

    What corner do you reckon you’d put it in yourself on All Ireland Final day in front of 41,000 people with another couple of million looking in on TV.

  320. @Swallow Swoops, I think we were making inroads when we were getting quick ball in but we seemed to stop that in the second half, for such a defensively sound team Tyrone did offer us up some great chances, what Tyrone thrive on is slow play and slowing the game down, they do not like powerful runners coming at speed at them, it’s easy get a turnover when the pace is slowed.

    I don’t think we needed to make wholesale changes to our system, I would have abandoned our short kick-out strategy thought and gone long to left or right to pull Tyrone out of shape, they love the opposition going short to give them the whole length of the pitch to turn you over.

    The same would go for the 2017 team, we must remember Tyrone are not an orthodox team and they will work on identifying the opposition strengths and stifle them so tweaks are necessary, subtle curveballs to make them rethink once the game has started but if you turn up and play the with no surprises then they have you where they want you.

    We had a couple of weeks to work on a few tweaks.

    I honestly believe we could have beaten them had no stone been left unturned, that’s the disappointing part of all this. Even the incident which lead up to the penalty there was a split second there for the laces to be rammed through the ball and into the net, take man and all if you have to, be ruthless.

  321. The game was lost on the side line no doubt about it ,
    Taking the ball to within 20 yards from goal to shoot was what cost Mayo the game,Tyrone had way to much time to organise there defence,Proper coaching is the fast ball into the forwards & taking scores from distance,Mayo game plan was clearly not working but they had no plan B, Hard to watch ,

  322. @Revellino, I wouldn’t be trying a shimmy for the first time anyway or aiming for the part of the goal with the lowest percentage.

    You cant compare a penalty shootout in a World Cup to an in game penalty, completely different pressure.

  323. @Revellino, querying how he took it is not a criticism, it’s to try and help the lad not make the same mistake again, play the percentages, isn’t that the name of the game.

  324. A lot are saying that the running game didn’t work against Tyrone or that it wasn’t the right tactic. Clearly it didn’t work but not because it was a poor tactic but because it wasn’t executed properly. An effective running game all depends on runners off the shoulder. Paddy Durcan or Oisin Mullin and others weren’t making the kind of support runs we’ve become accustomed to for some reason. This led to single runners with no-one to pop the ball to and getting swallowed up. Now why this happened I’m not 100% sure. Maybe Myler was a big concern for Paddy, maybe Oisin wasn’t up to it following his injury. But I think it was a factor in us not clicking.

  325. Viper and Sean68, we may have been able to win the game (it’s funny that Kerry, Donegal and Monaghan will probably be thinking they could have won their games too – LOL), and yes, mistakes were probably made on the sideline.

    1) But I wonder: are we perhaps not giving Tyrone enough credit for how good they were tactics-wise, how they tailored their game for each opposition, and the good players they have?
    2) I do think it’s important to just bear in mind that our team is at an early stage of development and Horan has got us very far in 2 years.
    3) we only had *2 weeks* to work on tweaks for Tyrone.
    4) I also think we could have beaten them had no stone been left unturned but see point 3, and point 2. Did Horan decide the best chance was to go with what he knew the team were good at?
    5) Speaking of the inexperience of many of our players at Championship level, many didn’t even have Division 1 experience this year. This is not a slight against their ability at all, just to point out they’re still developing.

  326. @ Viper. Who exactly told you that this was as you call it” a shimmy for the first time ” or is this your own embellishment ?

  327. Don’t know why so much focus on the pen miss. Loftus had a tap in to a 3/4 open goal that he missed.

  328. Diehard, I believe Tyrone were doing strong man marking all over the pitch, and specifically targeting our runners.
    Paddy and Mattie in particular appeared to be heavily marked. They were shackled.
    Tyrone tried to stop our running game, I think.
    This is perhaps why for running game appeared not to work.
    Tyrone management prepared in a targeted astute way for the Mayo game just as they had prepared in a targeted way for the Kerry game.

  329. @Centerfield. Exactly. He had the guts to take responsibility and walk up to take it, and that’s the type of player we need more of. Players with guts and courage.

  330. The running game if fine but not if running into a brick wall ,Players must have ability to take your scores from distance ,

  331. @Revellino, did you see him doing it before ?

    It’s disappointing that some people on here find references to the penalty miss amusing but yet still want to maintain it was a turning point.

    Would it surprise people that other counties prepare for penalties and coach their nominated taker where to aim for ?

    These are the minute details which can win or lose you All-Irelands, but for some here they are a bit of a laugh.

    It’s all part of what’s called preparation which seems to be alien to some and there is no coach who will advise you to shimmy or go for the top corner, so perhaps the lad wasn’t coached or prepared properly.

  332. @ Viper. I’m not the one who claimed that this was the first time he shimmied while taking a penalty. You are.

  333. @Swallow Swoops, Tyrone won because they had their homework done and we had no curve ball, two weeks is ample time for any county to make a few subtle tweaks and it’s not as if they didn’t offer us up plenty chances.

    In fairness to Tyrone they played a good clean game, the ref was good so the only thing weighing our lads down was the psychological aspect both on the pitch and on the sideline.

    I’m trying to point out what “no stone unturned” actually means but I can sense already that philosophy doesn’t sit well with everyone, so is there any point in even trying to put a winning template together at all.

  334. @Revellino, yes I am because I have no evidence of him doing it before so unless you can contradict that which you are welcome to do then it’s reasonable to assume it was his first time.

    It’s a style you either do all the time or you don’t, he never done it against Galway but my guess is the lad was never coached because if he was he wouldn’t have done it, so I’m not blaming him at all.

    It’s just another file for the “unprepared” drawer.

  335. Really felt that crushing defeats in finals like the one on Saturday was behind us. Like a lot of posters I’m finding this one really difficult to take. What upsets me most of all is what seems to be our inability to learn from our past mistakes in finals, constantly repeating those mistakes in finals and hoping the result might change. Saturday was a classic example of this.

    Other posters have touched on the same topic. Unless we learn from these mistakes, conceding soft goals being one of the more obvious ones, we are unlikely to win an All Ireland final. Would anyone be confident of winning the final next year if we got there again? No doubt there will be a review of the final with the county board but it must be thorough and it must be honest. There should be clear learnings from the review and these taken on board by everyone concerned with the management of the senior team. Maybe we can make progress but at the moment I’m not feeling very confident that we will.

  336. Personally I think the missed penalty was mainly down to goalkeepers antics which put him off & if the rules were followed it should have been retaken

  337. Viper – I’m sure Ryan practiced that dozens of times in training. Really you haven’t a clue what he was coached. Good forwards like Horan and Kieran Mc would have given him pointers, along with Cillian. Ryan also spent time at Sligo Rovers and the Irish school boy soccer team. Yet maybe you know more than all of them.

    Why do so many professional footballers take a penalty like that? I suppose if you were coaching the Italian football team you would tell Pirlo not to try a panenka on Joe Hart?

    I think we’ve exhausted all avenues on this by now. The penalty should probably have been retaken anyway due to Morgan.

  338. Some thoughts on the game

    Our support was very subdued and has to take some share of the blame
    Tyrone sat back in first half and invited us on to them and when they turned over the ball they let it quick to create one on ones. Our backs stood off them because we had no sweeper for protection.easy points for Tyrone. So while we used more energy in the first half, they lead by 2 at half time
    Enda Hession should have started instead of michael plunkett and we didn’t need to commit so many players to the attack.

    Second half, we did up the intensity in the third quarter and if one of our goal chances went in, the game would been turned on it’s head in our favour.
    At worst we needed to keep the score board ticking over.
    Aidan should have been subbed off early in the second half, a straight swop for James Carr at full forward.
    When McShane came on, Harrison should have come on to mark him with Brian Walsh off and mullin pushing into a more forward role

    I think the two subs would have given us a more coherent team.
    We could then assess what further subs were required to see out a win

  339. @Wide Ball, so you reckon he was coached to change to a shimmy because that’s what you’re saying here, he takes a successful penalty against Galway but then Horan and Ciaran Mc would have suggested to to try something different ?

    I don’t think so.

    Why would I tell Pirlo to change the technique that worked for him when I am saying that changing style was not successful for Ryan.

    The point is you do not change what works for you and Ryan’s penalty technique worked without a shimmy v Galway.

    These are the fine details games are won or lost on and seeing that so many here believe it was a turning point then I think it’s important to try and eradicate anything which may reduce your chances of success.

    Maybe my minute details are a bit OTT for some people but minute details can swing a game as we should know very well at this stage.

  340. “penalty should’ve been retaken”. Let’s be honest here, it should never have been a penalty anyway because it was a Diarmiud square ball. Can’t enter the square when the ball comes from a free so should’ve been a free out.

    Talk about Cillian is silly also because Cillian would’ve nailed the 30 yard free in the first place. We need to move on from the penalty talk

  341. Swallow have to disagree about experience. Practically all bar Hession had AI final experience last year, and Div 1 also. Coming through the Dublin cauldron was a further entry in the log book. And the whole set up must be one of the most experienced of all counties.

    In fact all of the ‘little’ things favoured us in the build up: aforementioned experience- players and management; the four week gap that got Mullin fit, and enabled us forget the Dublin game. We were favourites, but should be able to take this in our stride.

  342. Agree with you there @We have only one plan, I still have to watch the game back, but I feel a little bit of composure on the sideline like that could have got things rolling in the right way.

    By god we have a long winter ahead of us?

  343. Some year again for Mayo men’s senior footballers and us slightly crazy fans.

    Pity we lost but hey, such is life.

    I’d hope that Fionn McD rediscovers the form had 2 seasons ago, he was an excellent wing forward, pace, power, fielding, points, goals etc…

    I’d play him at midfield with Matthew.

    As others have mentioned, Eoghan, Cillian, Brendan and Jason back too plus other members who step up….

    I’ve re-watched the full match, I won’t go into it, Aidan O’Shea tried so hard, others didn’t, Tyrone were so so cynical, ref did ok. Could have won, didn’t!

    On to club and then Mayo next year.


  344. Darragh Ó Sé has his spake on us in today’s Irish Times, which makes for interesting reading.


    I wouldn’t rule out the hiring of a sports psychologist as others have mentioned, purely because so many of our players underperformed on Saturday, making inexplicable mistakes for footballers of their level.

    I also see a lot of posters saying that we’ll get Cillian, Jason Doherty and Brendan Harrison back next year. Maybe they know something I don’t, but Brendan and Jason have been out with long-term injuries for the past two years, while there’s no guarantee Cillian will be back at full tilt when he returns.

  345. Seán 68 sums it up no plan B, and considering we saw what they did to Kerry this is poor management
    Anyone have mc stay article from yesterday

  346. Catcol, I suppose what I mean re. experience is that seven of the starting fifteen have played very few games of senior Championship football for Mayo.
    It’s something that is meaningful for me, anyway.
    I’m not saying they’re poor footballers for that – it’s the opposite, really – simply that they don’t have substantial experience in the Championship. Would those seven have played ten Championship games each, for example?

    If they had Division One experience this year, that would have added to it, but they didn’t. And this is OK. They’re back next year in Division One, bound to be a big plus.

    The above could maybe have had an effect regarding composure in pressurised moments – I don’t know.

  347. Can people please stop asking for Kevin McStay’s IT article to be copied and pasted onto the blog? That’s a breach of copyright and so isn’t allowed.

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