Mattie Ruane is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

When we found ourselves in a bit of a hole at half-time in yesterday’s game, we had several people to thank for their efforts in digging us out. Off the field, of course, James Horan had a major part to play in the team’s second half transformation.

Out on the field after the break we had prominent performers all over the place. Robbie’s restarts fizzed and zinged, Swanny put in a performance that catapulted him to fans’ favourite status, Oisín oozed class and confidence, Paddy drove us onwards, Kevin Mc pulled the strings like a puppet master, Conor quietly did what he does so well, Tommy was reborn, Aidan spread panic in their backline and Ryan was trickery and bravery combined.

Primus inter pares, though, was midfield maestro Mattie Ruane. Back in 2019 when he first burst on the scene it was evident that this lad is a special talent but injury stalled his progress for a time then. Last year saw him back and growing in influence all the while but this year he’s stepped it up several notches. Cora Staunton wasn’t exaggerating at all when she declared yesterday that the Breaffy man is developing into one of the best midfielders in the game right now.

He won the Man of the Match award on RTÉ, he’s on the shortlist for the GAA’s Footballer of the Week (but so too is Shane Walsh – I know these shortlists can make no sense at times but that one just takes the biscuit) and he’s on their Team of the Week as well. And, of course, he’s also won the vote on here for MOTM, polling 31% of the vote.

All those name-checked above also attracted strong support in the vote, in particular Padraig O’Hora (19%), Oisín Mullin (15%), Ryan O’Donoghue (12%) and Kevin McLoughlin (6%). Well done to them all, as well as to all the other lads, who all played their role in yesterday’s Croke Park victory.

85 thoughts on “Mattie Ruane is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. No arguments there,but yes we had several great performances yesterday..he will give Fenton??his fill in a few weeks time too and at 24 has yet to reach his peak. Can’t wait for the next duel.

  2. Hopefully the game time will help Lee and Diurmuid after their injuries, really need them to be a lot better the next day. Any one else see Galway trying to replicate Dublin’s move from the throw in, only for the free they were through on our goal,
    Delighted for all involved with this mayo team ,back to back Connacht titles and division 1 at the first time of asking,

  3. Yeah. One of the greatest performances I have seen for a long time. What a player!
    What a team! And it is virtually a whole new collection of players.
    In fairness to James Horan, he has unearthed some squad of players in the last couple if years. And they seem to be a really committed bunch.
    Aidan O’Shea mentioned it in his speech that there are so many players training with the panel who don’t make the matchday 26. That they should not be forgotten. They play a big part in Mayo’s successes.
    For instance, looking at the subs, where are Fionn McDonagh and Fergal Boland? These two young and brilliant footballers were starting a couple of years ago. Also Mark Moran seems to have fallen down the pecking order.
    The A versus B matches must be something else.
    .

  4. Excellent performance from Mattie Ruane. As mentioned earlier, he has become a very consistent performer for Mayo. Should be paired with Diarmuid for the semi. Really don’t think we have any other option for the middle considering we will more than likely be facing Fenton and McCarthy.

  5. Well done Mattie. What a player, what a man, what a leader he’s turned out to be.

    Good point Deelrover, the 3 weeks lead-in is invaluable to the likes of Lee and Diarmuid. Neither seemed fully fit yesterday but they still played well. Clutch players when at their best. They’ll be roaring for the semi and hopefully flying fit.

    Regarding Tommy, the one aspect that pleased me was that his second half points were taken at crucial stages. Match still in balance. He made it happen for himself with both scores hard-earned. He’s quickly learning what it takes at this level. He will improve further and develop consistency for tougher challenges. He has the class in bucket loads.

    Can’t say enough about Kevin Mc. My all time favourite Mayo player from any era. Bar none. A wizard. A joy to watch. Start him, bring him on as a sub, it doesn’t matter. He’ll do the business.

    Seems to be great cohesion in our ranks right now. Great also to see Boyler encouraging and fist pumping from the sideline, equally, Cillians presence there is a real plus. As others have noted, McDanger is a huge influence (not just in terms of forward play I feel), and him and James have clearly formed an important partnership.

    Shout out to Jordan Flynn in his cameo yesterday. From our vantage point in upper Hogan I could see his value. He absorbs tackles at ease, and yesterday made the correct choices that led to a score or two. No harm having the muscle like that to bring into the middle third.

  6. I think leave Ruane and Loftus in midfield as they combine well together and Loftus can spray the ball around, look at pass into Ryan O D ,perfection

  7. Loftus was much better 2nd half when he played wing forward. He played the ball into O’Shea towards the end of the first half as well. Loftus is someone that has really flipped on me. Pre-Covid I thought he just wasn’t going to make the grade at senior intercounty.

  8. Sorry folks, and this may lead me too be put in moderation for quite a long time,but Paddy D at 2% is an abomination. Watch the game back, the man drove us on, time and time again. So many scores originated from his industry. I’m not knocking Mattie’s contribution, it was heroic, but I have to make to make a stand for the Mitchell’s man.

  9. @paddyjoejohntom, I do agree with you, Paddy Durcan was excellent, like he generally is game after game, I don’t think he’s too annoyed he didn’t win the Mayo fans favourite poll this time :0; bigger days to come. As Marc O Se said on the Matt Cooper show last Friday, Durcan is the best half back in the country right now, I concur. Look at what happened us in the 2nd half of the All Irl Final last year when he had to come off with an injury, he had Kilkenny in his pocket but Kilkenny caused havoc with Durcan gone. He’s very efficient in what he does, can defend as part of a unit, man mark, kick points off left and right, field a high ball, get stuck in. Complete footballer.

  10. No danger of a spell in moderation for what you said there, Paddyjoe! The MOTM polls are just a snap-shot that show who supporters think did well and, of course, it’s players whose performances are obviously visible – especially those getting the key scores – who tend to poll heavily. The reason I’ve set it up allowing for voters to pick three players was meant to counteract this, i.e. vote for the crowd pleaser but also vote for others whose displays might not have got the headlines but were equally effective. I don’t think, however, it has really ever worked out like that.

    The players who continually get short-changed in the poll are those in defence who either do an unshowy job well and while Paddy has often polled strongly – and has won the poll a few times – often he sacrifices his own game to nullify a key opponent, something that isn’t picked up by voters in the poll.

    As has already been pointed out, I don’t think Paddy will be too worried about the results of the poll. He’ll surely have his eyes set on bigger prizes.

  11. We all have very different opinions obviously on what is required in midfield. Loftus had only 7 possessions in the first 40 minutes, the lowest of all the players on the team. I never doubt his ability, he has plenty of positive attributes, but is his overall work rate and tackling good enough for midfield. Diarmuid on the other hand is a workhorse. A box to box runner and leaves it all on the field. Well able to turn over the ball and doesn’t shy away from the physical stuff. He’s up there with Durkan and McLoughlin as our most valuable player over the past few seasons.

    Jordan’s cameo was mixed. Delighted to see him get stuck in so quickly, but his first tackle was a sloppy swinging arm tackle that could have led to a yellow card. 1 minute later his second tackle was a third man tackle which could have led to a black card.

  12. The point about Paddy Durcan is certainly well made.
    You have to sympathise with players and managers as often I think supporters are very unfair and unqualified to judge players.Myself included as no. 1 on that.
    At half time I thought AOS was finished and of course I was completely wrong just like when I thought Hennelley was to blame for the Q3 meltdown in 2019 semi.Facts didn’t bear this out on either occasion.
    The truth is there is a reason manager’s are managing …..and not contributing on the blog.In reality they know far more about players and football than any one else.

  13. Leeroy could not even take part in arm exercises in the warm up. He is some warrior to go out and play the way he did with an injury and 3 weeks will make a massive difference to him. Hope O’Hora makes it as he made a huge difference in 2nd half with top class tackles. Rob also put in a top class display getting away all his kick outs and scoring a point. Still bemused by change of approach by Galway in 2nd half but once they lost their defensive shape we opened them up at ease.

  14. Well done Mattie on another fine performance. When I was making my selection I ended up with more than half a dozen names. Mullen and Coen, Aidan and Robbie were there. The 2 Cross men, O’Hora and Kevin Mc. Changing my mind about young ROD finally. Showing ambition like a young COC. Paddy was immense, well what would you expect.
    It was fantastic day in Croke Park. Lovely to get back to the new normal. Great weather great atmosphere it was reminiscent of 2014 but this time we were treated to the chimes of the Green and Red of Mayo. Perfect days of our lives for sure.

  15. Well done Mattie. What a warrior; finish for the goal was perfect.

    Great points there about why we choose our MOTM. Managers do know more of course, but they have a lot of resources that give them stats on runs, tackles, assists, and so on.They can focus on opponents and who is doing the real damage. Our back room numbered 18 for the AIF, (Dublin’s was 30).

    On the other hand, I still use pen and paper, using circles to signify points, and large dots for goals. I use B for bookings, SO and BL for those serious ones, and exclamation marks after particularly good (or bad), efforts. Attendances too are noted.

    All this can come in handy in the pub afterwards when glib assertions have to be dismantled. At a Kilkenny v Clare QF (before our QF v Laois, in 96), a Laois supporter turned to me and said, ‘Shefflin’s done nothing’. I checked the programme and was able to assure him that Henry was on 13 points at that stage.

  16. Willie Joe, the last time I heard the phrase “primus inter pares” I was using it myself in relation to the tenure as Taosieach of Sean Lemass, in my leaving cert history paper! I’m pretty sure I was quoting straight from the textbook, talk about a blast from the past! Well done to Mattie and all the team, I felt we’d catch fire before the game, though I expected it to be from the start rather than halftime, tbf. I’ve enjoyed the afterglow thoroughly, as satisfying a victory as I can recall, but I must add a note of caution, as we can feel the expectations reaching peak giddy already – lets put it in context, we’ve beaten one of the most inconsistent Galway teams in memory, who looked like they were putting us to the sword at one stage. We need to replicate the second half performance over 75 minutes or more to have any chance of beating the Dubs. They’re still the greatest team of all time who will have no problem finding the necessary motivation to put us back in our box, yet again. Onward!

  17. Well done to Matthew Ruane. A player who has worked so hard on his game to get to the very highest level. The game had so many heroes but Matthew is the unanimous choice
    The extra week between games will certainly help DOC and Keegan. OHora, no news is not good news.
    Harrison and Doherty may be close. But strong panel gives Horan so many options.

  18. Very difficult to know where Galway are going. At least they were trying to play without fear not like in 2020. They have some nice young players but they have a couple the wrong side of 30 that will not be replaced so easy. I expect PJ will get a couple more years. He took over just before the Pandemic and I think he might be considered an another icon of Galway football. I am not buying the S&C argument being put forward here. Their funding, resources and back room team are second only to Dublin at present. They were the fittest team in the country so far this year, up there with Kerry and Dublin.

  19. @Catcol. That might have been 2006 you were watching shefflin.

    I remember been astonished by some of the points he was scoring that day.
    He had a way of getting in to space and some of his points were taken and no opposition within 5 or 10 yards of him.

    @ The west is best.
    I think Conor Loftus is in the team more for his link play, his ability to make the killer pass and also his ability to take long range scores.

    There is a reason that Galway tried to take him out on Sunday with the sandwich tackle but more tellingly there is a reason why our management were so eager to get him back on to the pitch when he had to leave due to I think it was a blood sub.

    He finished high up on the motm poll where so many of the team played well, and if his first point had been 6 inches lower he possibly would have been up there vying for motm.

    I like the coolness he has about himself.
    I’ve seen him a few times where maybe he has been pinned along the sideline with a couple of tacklers closing in. He doesn’t put the head down and try to barge his way out. He keeps the head up, bides his time until there is a low or no risk outlet, but never panics.

    I have to say I would at one time have been asking was he tough enough for IC but I have become a big fan of what he brings to the team.

    I remember him saving our bacon against Derry in the qualifiers, the sensational pass to Andy against Kerry and he pinged a couple of great passes on Sunday. Probably our best long range point taker when the blanket is hard to penetrate.

    I can see why people love to see players been stuck in to tackles and that’s always needed but when the ball is won I think it’s important to have someone away from the mixed muddle, an outlet and someone who is capable of getting things moving towards the opponent’s goal.

  20. A few big hits stood out for me during the game
    1, D O Connor powerful shoulder on Comer or Conroy in first 10 minutes, robbed the ball also.
    2, Kevin Mcloughlin tackle/ hit on a Galway forward at start of 2nd half maybe Comer or Walsh.
    3, O Horas close in tackling in 2nd half, I was calling for this guy to play in the fullback line for many months, this frees up the other guys to attack.

    Some guys may be lovely / classy footballers but just may never be able to adjust to the physical battle.

    @Pat we are all Mayo supporters but many of us know our stuff also, can read the game and pinpoint where things can be improved, we don’t need the expert analysts to tell us what went down when the game is over.

    We know the Dubs so well now, we know Mayo cannot repeat the same errors next time out.

    Expect some dirty onfield tactics from the Dubs in the semi final.

    If Mayo can get the balance right it will be very interesting.

    To the Mayo based people on here, Jesus wouldn’t it be great if the Dubs were beaten.

  21. Thanks Revelino. It was 06. Thought I had typed that but hit the wrong key!
    Good points on Conor Loftus. Feel he could/should be averaging 3 points per match.

  22. O’Hora seems to be a fan favourite all right. There’s no way he had more influence on the game than Ryan, Paddy, Kevin, or Aidan!! Still think he has a lot to prove even with the two great steals and clearance of the line in the 2nd half. Comer had the better of him in the first half. Mayo have major problems at full back and are very light on corner backs when you think Plunkett and Keegan who are out-and-out wing backs were playing back there.

    Very interested to see the team for Dublin who aren’t weak in the full forward line!

  23. Hi all, I hope it is OK to share a link to an independent podcast I listened to last night with guests Michael Quinlivan (Tipp) and Mickey Quinn (Longford) about the weekend’s big football games – Mayo v Galway and Kerry v Cork. It’s on YouTube and I found it really good.
    I found what Michael Quinlivan said about Mayo fascinating. He stated that our forward tackling in particular can cause demoralisation. He discussed our high press, forward tackling and then the overwhelm of players streaming through. He has played against us doing this and he could see Galway battling with it in the second half on Sunday.

    Listening to MQ, I thought it would be to underestimate Mayo’s toolbox to simply reduce them to ‘a running team’, with this trick alone. It allowed me to see there were more factors at play than simply Galway folding in the second half. There was a lot of pressure. Can Mayo bring this complexion of pressure against the Leinster champions? That’s a question best left to simmer away for a little while until later.

    It was also fascinating to listen to the players’ analysis of what Kerry are doing. They referenced several times what ‘the top teams’ are doing and I could see how this set them apart tactics-wise.
    Kerry have evolved significantly pulling lessons from all directions (for me, personally, proof of the pudding hasn’t come yet).

    Podcast link on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gNVF5AKFkko

  24. Regards selection of Man of the Match, Aiden O’Shea, Lee Keegan and Paddy Durcan in particular have set such high standards for themselves over a long number of years that it is near impossible for them to exceed or even meet supporters expectations anymore. A few of the younger players like Oisín, Mattie and Ryan O’D are already heading in that direction too.

  25. @Revellino If the link play is so important, then who have we in reserve to play that role should Loftus needs to be replaced? Don’t see anyone that Horan is keeping in reserve to play that role if it is so important. Boland is the obvious choice, but he seems to be out of favour. I believe our 2 best forwards in this years championship thus far have been McHale and O’Donoghue by some distance. I’d say the scoring charts will be back this up, as would the possession charts. I wouldn’t take too much heed of the MOTM polls to be honest. They are almost laughable, no more than the team of the week craic at times. I’d suggest that people should have a look back at the games which is far more insightful. People’s views would change dramatically if they did.

  26. I agree GBXI – Mayo’s problems in full back have cost us dearly in the past and remain partly unresolved despite the current trio. Starting Eoghan Mc could help stem the tide for semi – how many times have we conceded (own)goals in the opening minutes, heroically fought back but run out of steam in final 10 minutes?

  27. Alot of posters here seem the leinster final is foregone conclusion. Give kildare a chance as an upset is on the cards

  28. @Revellino you nailed what Conor Loftus brings to the table he is really maturing into a key player for Mayo.

  29. I agree, Jack ó Connor won’t go down easily, have decent midfield as well.
    Dublin most likely have enough for this one, thing with Dublin is they will improve each game

  30. A tough game is exactly what we don’t want Dublin to have. The best chance of taking out Dublin or kerry is to catch them cold after a soft provincial. Let’s face it – munster and leinster are very uncompetitive. Say what you like about connacht but there are three teams that could win it if they’re up for it.
    Ulster is on a different level of competition. Don’t be overly surprised if it’s a Mayo-Monaghan final. Not expecting it but wouldn’t be overly surprised at the same time!

  31. I would be absolutely astounded if it’s a Mayo v Monaghan final. No chance.

  32. unlikely to be a Mayo v Monaghan final but cant say it definitely wont happen. Mayo are well capable of beating Dublin this year, Kerry havent been tested at all this year, Cork put up little resistance after 15mins. A hardened Monaghan/Tyrone are capable of an upset especially if Kerry have one eye on the final (like last year).

  33. Im still smiling from Sunday, in a sporting since you cannot beat Galway often enough, those of us near the border take a special satisfaction in these wins. Having said that, It was great to see no jeering or mocking of the Galway fans when leaving the stadium and the surrounding streets.we know too well what that walk feels like.

    Dublin will be a completely different animal, they’ll keep the intensity up for 75+ mins. We’ll still be massive under dogs going into this one. Great to have 3 more weeks to enjoy this win and the build up to next game. No matter the outcome, we have done well this year, out of D2 and a Connacht title against the rivals without the higest scorer of all time.

  34. West is best. Do you have a personal dislike to Conor loftus,every comment you have made is a negative one about him and as far as most of us can see they are unfounded

  35. Not at all, he has fantastic ability and great skill. Picks out a lovely pass, has great balance etc. I just question if his work rate is enough at times to match his undoubted skill. If he is there to link play then great but I would like to see him on the ball more than on 7 occassions over 40 minutes of half. I would prefer to see DOC in midfield with Ruane. We all have a different view point. Personally I would like to see a good few changes on the bench. I’d have Boland, Orme, Doherty and Harrison if fit. I’d add Colm Reape and James McCormack to that list as well.

  36. I’m not saying mayo V Monaghan is a definite but don’t be shocked if it happens!

  37. And at 40 to 1 at moment with p power, it’s surely worth a €5 punt Tommy+Joe

  38. Tyrone are a better outfit now since new management took over. I believe they will beat Monaghan, for some reason Tyrone always get the better of Monaghan in a big game in Croke Park.
    I don’t know anything about Kildare, I wonder are there many players that came from the U20 / 21 All Ireland winning team a few years ago.
    Ye see guys, some things that keep happening just don’t go away particularly in a final.
    We have seen the ball come off the upright before with no Mayo players first to pick it up.
    Remember v Donegal in 2012, the All Ireland final v the Dubs in 2017 and again last Sunday.
    The leaking of goals, the high ball being deflected into the net, the goalkeeper cannot allow this to happen.
    The big men being pulled all over Croker by the Dubs, we need the very mobile guys in the middle of the pitch, and also for the start of both halves. I would never temporarily remove my chosen midfielders when the ball is thrown up at the start of a game.

    Kerry were playing a very poor team on Sunday last, let’s see how they fare against good Ulster opposition, particularly Tyrone.

  39. I think the Ulster Final is for Tyrone to lose. They’re looking good and whatever about our record in Finals, we should never have to take any guff from anyone from Monaghan who – as far as I know- have recorded only 2 wins in Croke Park in over 90 years, their most recent coming in 2014 in a qualifier against Kildare.

  40. Hi, Just a bit of trivia from Sunday inspired by some journalist who had advice for what Mayo would have to do if they meet the Dubs. Usual stuff. Midfield etc. Mayo will have to learn to keep ball better like the Dubs. They seemed to do very well to me and did not start too early.

    James Carr I think came in for a little criticism. He had looked very composed and tried to use the wind for a point a few mins from the end. It nearly came off. I think that was when he’d the goal chance a little later he took a point.
    Then Conor O’Shea had come on and he joined the ‘Keep Ball’ after briefly considering going on a run from the corner. I was glad to see him get the 2 mins. JH sometimes gives a player a couple of mins and let’s them know they are not far off. He could be the Joker in the pack this year yet.

    Seemingly Meath were complaining about the Half time Fanfare with trumpets. Seemingly they play this at HT and not dependent on Team?

    P. S. Was seated Dead Centre (719) in Davin Stand. Row E. The Upper Tier is pretty good up to about Row G. Of course you really only have a view of 1 Goalmouth.

    Hope this comment is not too boring.

  41. @Mayo 88, .. I wouldn’t let Aiden O Shea contest the throw ins, he’s the one who always goes to field the ball and the other Mayo midfielder, does the pulling and pushing, but Aiden rarely wins the throw ins, 3 time’s Aiden contested a throw in V Galway, at the start of each half, and Lane threw it up on another occasion, all 3 Aiden lost.. in fact this year against poor opposition Aiden has definitely lost far more than he won!

  42. @leantimes. AOS was at ff for the second half throw in. We remarked watching at the time it signalled a new approach.

  43. Aidan shouldn’t contest throw ins. I’d be 100% with you on that. Doesn’t seem to work out and last year it cost us a goal in the AIF.
    What does it say for the actual midfield pairing that they’re not trusted on throw ins?

  44. As I stated on another post I’m coming late to the Conor Loftus fanclub. I think he does a lot of selfless work and can score from distance and also play a few different positions. I expect Tyrone to win against monaghan and would fancy them v kerry. They have lots of talented players so it’s a matter of them gelling together and getting the best out of the team

  45. @no doubt, Kerry scored 6 goals against Tyrone 5 weeks ago. Why would you fancy them against Kerry. Tyrone have’t beaten them in champo since 2008.

  46. I’d be very surprised if Monaghan ended up in the AISF let alone the final! think Tyrone are bubbling along nicely under the radar. I wouldn’t take any notice of the league hammering from Kerry – that will only serve to motivate them. They play a nice direct brand of football and took care of Donegal last time out with little fuss. The hype surrounding Kerry is ridiculous and won’t do them any favours. It could easily be a Mayo v Tyrone final yet!

  47. I give Monaghan a great chance against Tyrone. They seem to have found a few new forwards with real pace that should be suited to Croke Park.
    I know Tyrone have new management now but they are mainly the same players that have been there for the last few years that haven’t been good enough when the chips were down. Will be interesting game.

  48. Can’t see Kerry beaten by either Northern team. It’s not impossible though. Remember 4 or 5 years ago Dublin routinely battered us in the League but come the latter end of the championship there was always only the kick of a ball in it. In fact, in 2016 we were the better team.

    That said, Tyrone and Monaghan would want to be showing serious improvements in the UF to stand a chance against Kerry.

  49. Tyrone only got by Donegal as Michael Murphy was sent off after missing a penalty. Kerry deserve the hype – no room for yerra cuteness out of them this year

  50. Revellino: I 100 % agree with your comments about Loftus. One thing I’d remark on is that he may be the best striker of a ball from the hand to the foot in the game. His striking of the ball should be recommend viewing for all young players. I have a strange thought that were he to really bulk up (his legs especially )that he would be impossible to dislodge off the ball from either the midfield or centre half forward positions. His pin point passing of the ball and direct play is a joy.
    I was disappointed that he didn’t keep the ball down when in on goal on Sunday. Like someone above noted about Sheflin, Loftus too is poetry in motion and seems to almost “ slow down time” when he’s on the ball.

  51. I would be in the camp that would have Conor Loftus on the half forward line,once Diarmid is back fully fit. As of yet he’s probably our next best option there. James Horan has faith in him and that’s all that matters.
    It’s not so long ago that many Mayo supporters used to say J.Doherty was lucky to be making the team. James stuck with him & he became vital to the team. Loftus can become that player too although for different reasons.

  52. @kickhams man. The Tyrone v kerry league game won’t count for much if they meet in the semifinal maybe other than payback for Tyrone. Remember mayo v galway in league last year and only for Eoghan mcloughlan late intervention they may have beaten us in the championship

  53. Willie Joe, any idea why the pod is soooo late in the week ? The game is nearly forgotten about by the time it comes out. I personally used to love that Monday fix especially after a big win like a Connacht Final.

  54. Noel – it’s largely to do with other commitments Rob and I have this year, combined with our not being at matches until recently. We just couldn’t do the Monday podcasts this year and, with Rob stepping back from being so involved this year, we decided to fix on a Tuesday record/Wednesday release schedule which is working well, as is the increased involvement by Mike, Billy Joe and Ed. Ger Duffy’s work on editing and production has also been invaluable for us this year.

  55. Not a chance Monaghan will beat Tyrone in Croke Park. As said above, they won 2 games in 90 years or something. Their a dangerous team in a smaller/narrower pitch, but not Croker. Too many players the wrong side of 30.

    Can’t see Tyrone beating Kerry either, its not impossible but they would need an awful lot to go right for them on the day. The Kerry backline can be vulnerable, but they just make up for it the other end of the field.

    I think people are going to be shocked with Dublin on Sunday, I think Kildare are in for 17+ point hammering. Fans and some pundits are so desperate for Dublin to be bet that their reading way too much into the Wexford and Meath performances. Its pretty clear that Dublin have tailored their training to explode in late July/August. They never got out of 2nd gear against Roscommon in the league and were blowing at the first water break, yet still sleep walked their way through that game and Galway. Dessie Farrell must be loving this, not an ounce of pressure on them and they going for an 8th AI in a row, even Paddy Power have but Kerry favourites. I’d be loving this if I was a Dub, dreading it if I was Kerry.

  56. I 100% agree Mayodunphy.
    I think this Kerry are now favourites(who exactly have they beaten), trouble in the camp, on the decline stuff is manna from heaven for Dessie Farrell. They haven’t been beaten in the championship in years now whatever way you want to judge the performances

  57. People complaining about the podcast being “late”! That’s gratitude for you…

    Take as long as ye need to, Willie Joe. It’s a hugely enjoyable listen and shortens many a walk. Some of us appreciate the time and effort that goes into it and it’s an integral part of the annual Mayo football odyssey.

  58. Dublin struggled to get the better of meath in the 2nd half. Only scored 2pts before injury time in the 2nd half while meath were coming at them strongly. Make no mistake they were under pressure and if they don’t up their performance there will be no 7 in a row. Having said all of that they are the only team capable of going from struggling to phenomenal like the flick of a switch and more than likely will blow kildare away (or maybe they won’t) and be back favourites again.

  59. Also agree with mayodunphy.
    Can’t understand some on here, not just giving kildare a chance but expecting an upset. If kildare keep their beating to less than 12 points, they’ll have played well. Dublin have had their mini wobble. It’ll be back to business as usual at the weekend. Agree big Mike, dessie will be loving it.
    Tyrone like Mayo to make this a real 4 horse race come the weekend. It’ll be interesting to see the betting on Monday.

  60. Thanks DavyJ – in fairness it was a valid question. Our plans to develop the podcast next year are continuing but this year we just needed to maintain a holding pattern and this was the way that worked beat for us to do so.

    Galway review show will, by the way, be online later on today. Billy Joe is in the chair, Ed and I contribute on it and Mike chats with Martin Carney post-game too.

  61. @williejoe. How about a siren like an alarm at a chemical factory to all our phones when the podcast is ready ?

  62. Davy J I wasn’t actually complaining. I asked a simple question from williejoe who I knew would know the answer. It’s a great podcasts which I would have no problem paying for. Thanks to all involved. Its a credit to ye.

  63. For sure, Noel – I should have said you weren’t complaining. As I said it was a fair question, as the schedule for the podcast is different this year compared to before.

  64. Kevin mcstay likened oisin mullin to seamus Moynihan in last weeks podcast. It’s some comparison giving that Moynihan was an all time great. Mullin is oozing class. Hardly ever loses possession and has a serious engine. Chb is his position flanked by paddy and stephen Coen or eoghain.

  65. Good to hear Willie Joe, I always look forward to the Podcast!
    I’d agree with some on leaving Aido away from the midfield throw ins. He is just a target for the opposition when he is in there, and to he honest we never seem to try any set moves off the throw in. Legs in there is a better solution for me.
    On that subject, we used to use a very simple but effective tactic for the throw in underage which was devised by a legend of the club. The man at the front peeled away to the defensive side, leaving a gap for the man at the back to get a running jump for a tap down to the free man. Didnt always work but at least you always had a free man on the defensive side of throw in, in the event the throw in was lost

  66. Mayo Focus, I agree with that. The point is surely, if you don’t win a throw in, you don’t lay a motorway to goal, for a BMW (O’Callaghan) to race through.

  67. I was very impressed with the accuracy of the long kick passing in the 2nd half. Definitely a new element which is great as it negates the defensive set up… I reckon we know who is working on that with the team…
    What is Brickerdon’s natural position? . Looks like a really good player in the making.

  68. @Willie Joe, 20 year’s ago or more, I was once in a holding pattern over Frankfurt for about 40 minutes,, but supposedly heading for Innsbruck.. due to an bad electrical storm, The German Captain spoke in German first, I paraphrase, ‘Don’t be alarmed, we will decend to a lower Altitude’.. but he was overconfident in his ability at English, he repeated in English, ‘Dont be alarmed, we are losing Altidude’.. Deep intake of breath and several people blessing themselves.. I think it’s the opposite with the Podcast Willie Joe, ye are gaining Altitude all the time.. Vorsprung durch Willie Joe, und das Podcast Manneschaft…. Joe Canning announced his retirement from the game of hurling, an absolute legend of the game.. the highest scorer in the history of the hurling championship.. I wish him well on his retirement, and congratulate him on a fantastic career.

  69. Thanks, Leantimes – I’ll leave you all to decide if this latest episode sees us gaining or losing altitude. Mayday! Mayday! Galway review episode online now.

  70. For the record I believe that Monaghan have a great chance on Saturday and Kildare will be beat. If it helps some bloggers then I will add that it might be in single figure beating, but a beating none the less.

  71. Mayo focus a great tactic how many county titles have yei jest. Tactics all important for frees etc

  72. Joe canning a legend surely but I didn’t like his comments early in the year about the mayo retirees. Lads not as lucky as himself to win the all Ireland but gave everything for mayo.

  73. I think Craggy – they were comments Joe had made a good while ago and were brought up again at the time the Mayo lads were announcing their retirements.
    The comments weren’t made at the time or specifically hinting at the Mayo players.
    Joe was a class act

  74. Jr we didnt win many county titles, but James McCarthy or Eoin Murchan never had a free run at our goal from a throw inn. It’s just one of those things that bugs me. Not switched on for shots off the post is another bug bearer. Both defensively (Sunday) & offensively (Cillians free off post in 2017 final). Didnt matter on Sunday, but it’s the little things that the Dubs are so good at. They don’t make those silly mistakes

  75. A gifted hurler and a joy to watch southmayo. .mayo focus you have just nailed it. Balls of the post offensive and defensive. How many times have been caught asleep.

  76. Craggy boglands and Mayo Focus:Here is a short list of things like you mention we could focus on. Diarmuid O Connor is a gem at watching free kicks / penalties.

    A short – and definitely not comprehensive -checklist of points that every footballer at every level should always be aware of.

    1. Always be in the correct position – offensively or defensively when a free kick or penalty is being taken. Always assume that the ball will hit the crossbar or the post or will drop short or be punched out. Three forwards or four defenders should always be on watch .
    2. When taking a free try to never have it go wide at the near post.
    3. When taking a free against any counter attacking team make sure the ball goes dead.
    4. But if it is going wide at the near post refer to number 1. Someone should be in position in case it’s low enough to retrieve or punch into play.
    5. When bearing down on goal ( if you know you’re going to have to kick the goal chance )kick it from two to three yards further out than you think. Hit it low and hard . Never,ever take the glory scorcher shot while the match is still a contest.
    6. Warm up is for warming up physically to the correct level to be ready for the start of the contest. Mild sweating level. There’s no point winning the warm up.
    7. Mental warm up involves repeating basic “ things” in your head. Specifically,for a big game,coaches should refrain from “goading “ players right before kick off. This is counter productive at elite level. The players should be mentally relaxing,meditating,and not taking in new information right before kick off. They need to relax mentally to BE ABLE TO watch for what is actually happening ( big picture )when the game begins.
    8. Energy management. See warm up. But also the high press is too intense physically to do it for all the game.This is especially true where you need to have something in the tank for the 78 th minute.
    9. Forwards need to peel away from their markers right before the incoming ball is being released.See Kerry.Playing the direct kicking game like this helps with energy management. Do more of it if your forwards can break from their markers and you have the accurate foot passing to make it effective.
    10. The high press is only truly effective if married to high scoring and low goal chances conceded at the other end. And,or,if it truly rattles the opposition out of their rhythm. If it results in conceding goals then it’s self defeating.
    11. If you’re going to do the high press in the first half , do it irregularly. As in,not predictably.
    12. Never ever ever question a referee issuing a free. It only leads to a certain score. No matter your righteousness – DON’T DO IT. Shake your head ( with your back to the ref)if you must.
    13. Goalkeeper:Stay standing or dive to your left for penalties.
    14. Practice long accurate passes ad nauseam in all weather conditions. In all kinds of extreme situations.
    15. When kicking for scores do not drop the ball into the keeper’s hands. Ever.
    16. Goalkeeper , if you’re going to try to stop a point- don’t concede a goal in the process. Pick your moment when there aren’t opposition forwards nearby.
    17. Do not turn over the ball. Ever.
    18. Practice composure at training in all kinds of simulated pressure situations.
    19. Practice composure in your life. Use relaxation / mindfulness aids to practice deep breathing.
    20. Alongside this , if composure is still an issue,practice better sleep and avoid all stimulants. Talk to the team psychologist about relaxation techniques.
    21. The bigger the game the bigger the intensity and the bigger the need to be cool on the inside.
    22. Practice fisting the ball over the bar with either hand – relentlessly.

  77. Willie Joe, something different.
    A lot of people were wondering how Pauric O Hora acquired the name Swannwy or Swannee.
    Pauric is a nephew of Brendan O Hora who sometimes fills in on MWS sports during club championship time.
    Brendans father the late Gerald a former F.G. Councillor and Ballina Stephenite stalwart was known to give a rendition of Swanney River on special occasions in the clubhouse, thus passing the name down to Brendan and now down to his grandson Pauric.

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