Mayo Football Podcast episode: Lies, damned lies and statistics

To try and make sense of the numbers behind Mayo’s season, we talk to one of the top GAA analysts in the country.

Stephen O’Meara, who has worked with both the Galway and Donegal senior teams in the recent past, is the presenter of ‘The Square D’ football analysis show.

He joins Colm Boyle and Mike to talk through some of the facts and figures from Mayo’s games against Dublin and Derry and explains how that should inform any analysis of the team’s season.

Mike and Colm also chat about the lie of the land as the All-Ireland title race enters the home straight.

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The Mayo Football Podcast has partnered with EBS — The Mortgage Masters — this season.

EBS are looking to hear from Mayo supporters who are living at home or abroad who might be looking for some mortgage advice.

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60 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast episode: Lies, damned lies and statistics

  1. Interesting listening to those stats. So basically according to that guy we are better off persisting with the patient build up play but perhaps to do it better and improve at creating space for shooters.

  2. @Mayonaze: When it’s a blanket defence (struggling to remember Stephen’s definition for that… think it’s along the lines of >20 players in the attacking zone, possibly >24), yeah. Though with the caveat that this is looking at the past results on kicking versus going through the hands against blankets rather than looking at what might happen in the future doing it differently so plenty of room for folks to poke hole in numbers if they wanted to (personally I’d fully agree with them, the risk/reward just isn’t there kicking into that many bodies).

    Different story when it’s a transition or man v man, the times there’s space to kick out in front rather than putting it to a clear contest, or even into a favourable +1 but once the defence is set it becomes a bit of a nightmare on the numbers. I’d imagine most of the complaints this year were on the numerous transition phases where we declined a kick, but hard to know at times as there’s plenty of folks that want teams hoofing it into the square from minute 1.

    Room for teams (in general, not specifically a Mayo thing) to open up more pockets in zonal defences for more training ground mark moves (Tyrone the only side we’ve seen using that to much effect this year, with the added benefit of Morgan’s high accuracy kicks) so not a case of can’t kick into a blanket, just a case of needing to work the situation to advantage and timing it well.

    Be interesting to watch the next couple of months and which of the proposed rules might make it into the rule book next year. You’d be backing the 3v3 inside the 60 to hold so whichever other rules make it that’ll be a big shift tactically for teams to adjust to. Might throw the stats book on the last few years up in the air a little, but make spotting the new data trends on risks/rewards all the more important going forward. Should be an exciting year ahead.

  3. The over the top stats nonsense is the ruination of Gaelic football and turned it into the total borefest that it has become.I didn’t hear anyone suggesting hoofing balls into the full forward line from the start but there is opportunities to do it at certain times that aren’t taken and not hoofed in but if an inter county player can’t hit an accurate thirty yard foot pass then they are playing the wrong game

  4. 1985: “I didn’t hear anyone suggesting hoofing balls into the full forward line from the start”.

    4 of our games this year there was a variation of “will ya put it in to f….” while the lads were (correctly) recycling the ball against a full 15 behind the ball inside the first 10 or 15 minutes. I wish I could avoid it, but they’re definitely out there. In worryingly large numbers at times in MacHale Park.

    Lots of opportunities for more clever balls of the right type at the right time to be put in, for sure. Losing Paddy hurt that a lot (was our most progressive kick-passer, highest % & most consistent kicker to back himself to try – by a margin ahead of Mattie) but hopefully something we can improve on for next year. Not sure that disagrees with either the numbers or what Stephen said on the pod about not often kicking into a set defence.

    Wouldn’t agree with stats being the ruination of football, at all. They’re just a means of quantifying & quickly validating what we’re already seeing happen on the pitch, whether they existed or not. Tactics of dropping back +13 is the issue there, not what folks are having to do to combat it. With very little of it down to the numbers or how they’re being used.

    Lots of folks (here on the blog & more generally at games across the country) blaming stats for a lack of shots this year when all the statisticians/stats/watching games is showing that getting higher shots off (as long as ensuring the ball is put dead – dropping short is a killer) is absolutely the way to go. Tonnes of games this year where a 50% conversion rate beat a ~75% conversion as they were willing to have a few more pops.

    Lads failing to have a pop there isn’t being driven by (competent) statisticians. That’s just lack of confidence/fear or potentially tactics not driven by the numbers, with benefits like tiring out a side by forcing them into long phases of defence wouldn’t show directly in stats unless you specifically went looking for them.

  5. People shouting kick it in at a game are generally people who rarely go to games and lads failing to shoot is very often because they are afraid of their stats showing they kicked a wide .in my opinion alot of this needless stats is lads making out they know more than everyone else.there is now an army of people on the sideline and with all their stats they fail to see what’s under there nose on the field

  6. Rest in peace Johnno. Double all Ireland winner with Galway, miracle worker with Leitrim and way ahead of his time in Mayo in the 80’s in his first stint in charge. I dont think his heart was ever in the second stint in charge with the demands of holding down a full time job as a TD. Deepest sympathy to Geraldine Niamh and all the O Mahony family

  7. @1985 I dont know about that. The old kick it in routine always worked for Kerry against us especially when Donaghy was around

  8. In fairness donaghy was almost freakish under a high ball which they usually kicked in diagonally

  9. The problem with Mayo football is in the mental state of mind of the players and mentors, and even the supporters.

    There is a great likeness found when comparing Mayo football with Limerick hurling prior to 2018.

    They both just couldn’t handle it on the big days in Croke Park.

    They found a way to bottle it, no matter what.

    One example is Limericks loss to Offaly in the 1994 All Ireland final.
    By far the better team for 65 minutes, five points up and they lose by six.

    Mayo have well surpassed Limericks 5 All Ireland losses from 1974 up to 2007, and many in which they genuinely should have won.

    If I was in the Mayo dressing room at the very first session for the 2025 season, I would say one thing to them in the whole gathering.

    1951.

    There are no place for ego’s in a team / squad when it comes to winning the big prize.

    Limericks whole mind set has changed since 2018.
    They have won 5 All Irelands in six years, 3 National Leagues, and 6 munster titles in a row.

    Did they change the food they had been eating ?
    Did they change the air that they were breathing?

    What changed Limerick from being bottlers to winners ?

    Their whole mindset has changed.

    Mayo carry an inbuilt losers mentality.

    That has to be addressed.

    They have always had the footballers, but they have never had them properly focused.

    Year after year they win the hype All Irelands, but no medals.

    I would love to see them win.

    But they have blown it so many times, that people are sick of them.

    Brian Cody in Kilkenny had fantastic players but they had their egos held well in check.

    Mayo need to start from the bottom up.

    Cut out the hype, get down to hard graft, stop playing basketball over and back the field, and worse still playing backwards.

    Train to play football going forward, beating the opposite player with speed , strength and skill, taking the shortest route to goal, not going the coast road to no where.

    I’d be delighted to attend Mayo’s first training session of 2025, if I’m alive.

    Ye have the players, and ye have the desire, with a great numerical support, but ye are not being trained to win.

    Yere allegiance to being happy losers needs to completely change

    Please feel free to pass this on to the Mayo football management, and the county board officers.

    All the best to Mayo football.

    GN

  10. Gerry, an interesting post and lots to agree with, especially that of having far too many accepting of defeat (although I think that’s changing, albeit slowly). I think most Mayo teams losing in championship get off too easy. It’s accepted too much. I said on a previous thread that I wouldn’t mention 3 years ago but there was considerable anger after that because it was a complete bottle-job. In the last decade we had a team that in other era’s or were they around today, would be almost a shoe in for an All Ireland so while the title bottlers is labelled at us from outsiders, I think you have to look at who we lost 4 of those finals to. The greatest football team in history and we went agonisingly close. It’s soul crushing still. I agree the country is sick of Mayo but I’d think the majority of that goodwill would return if we get back to a final again…sorry, ‘when’ we get back.m, but we need to win it. We have to. I’d agree with the overall sentiment you express though that we need to be far more ruthless and ambitious. Every year the target has to be Sam and if it isn’t then there’s a problem. That’s my opinion, anyway. Sure, there’ll be years where a team will have more talented players etc but a shrewd manager should always play to win and use whatever strategy required to maximise the chances of that, depending on the players at their disposal. This is why I hate hearing Mayo people talking about being satisfied with anything less that outright victory. It’s defeatist and counterproductive. I think it’s a losers mentality. Some might call it being realistic but I’d call it lacking in creativity and ambition. And I’m fairly sure players all have the goal of winning Sam. Then you might have others who’ll say that aspiring to win the All
    Ireland every year might put unwanted pressure on management and players but again, I’d totally dismiss that notion because it’s just more defeatism and the wrong mental approach. It’s not how winners behave.

  11. Mayonaze, I agree 100%.
    Like you I try not to reference back to the 2021 AIF but, for me, the very fact that Horan wasn’t told to either step down or be sacked that evening, sent the clearest signal possible that the county board were content with continual failure. That the county board had neither the balls nor the leadership to make the difficult decision, which was so obvious to make. That the county board lacked the real cold, calculated, ruthless ambition required of winners. Like Tyrone did to Mickey Harte and Kerry did to Paidi O’Se. Both far more legendary to their counties than Horan was to us.
    This isn’t a dig at Horan, it is highlighting the fact that if we had a ruthlessly driven county board at that time, sacking Horan would have sent a signal to the country and to the players that failure is no longer tolerated. The bar is All Ireland victory and nothing less. Either jump on board, or fxxk off. We all knew what the decision should have been and we all knew the county board bottled it.
    Then they wonder why Mayo support has waned in the subsequent years?

  12. Some hard-hitting truths being posted- and it’s refreshing to see in this Uber-politically correct world. I remember Roy Keane being slated for his (correct in my opinion) pronouncement that we seem to celebrate mediocrity in this country.
    I happened across a Mayo man yesterday in Manchester airport who was homeward bound who said exactly what was posted above in so many words…..Jimmy White syndrome.

  13. See harte has gone after only 1 term now that’s ruthless and league champions to..

  14. Clare, the league counts for jack sh!t. It’s a glorified series of challenge matches that far too many people here get carried away with. It should be used solely for the purpose of blooding new players, trying out tactics, strategies etc. I don’t think McStay used it at all well this year. Look at the squad depth Galway have now…primarily down to the game time and exposure PJ gave (or was forced to give) to previously peripheral players. Can we all make a concerted effort not to get excited about results in the league and instead look at performances, especially players looking to make the breakthrough or lads already well established but but not yet proven. Like Tuohy, Carney…just to make two.

    Pebbles. We are on the same page so. Another more recent example is the current U-20 management. Genuine question… how on earth are they still in the job after the season they had? I don’t think it could have gone any worse. It’s a big, big call by county board. Not only do mgnt need to have a major ‘re-assess’, but maybe some of these players aged 19/20 got a bit of a wake up call. Loads of getting talked up since minor (albeit with no medals to show….are we still counting provincials!?), ok no all Ireland medals to show. Have they got ability ? Yes plenty. Has it been fulfilled by many? No, I don’t think so. So 2025 is a big chance for these fellas, not kids anymore, to show what they’re made of. It can’t all be on managements head.

  15. The senior club championship in 2024 was incredibly average. Intermediate was ok but I watched the intermediate final between Kilmeena and Ballinrobe and while exciting, for sure, the quality and basic skill execution wasn’t good. Loads of misplaced passing and sloppy play.

    I’m hoping we’ll see an improved senior championship this year at both levels. It’s a great platform now for lads to put their hand up to both Mayo senior and u20 managements (both of whom I’d hope will be rigorously scouting the county this summer and autumn). In particular we should be looking out for lads in the 18-21 age category to see if anyone is showing ability because there are places up for grabs on the Mayo teams.

  16. @mayonaze ah yeah I know it counts fir nothing for sure sam is what matters..

    I thought we did okish in league did what we had to do survive division 1 but in fairness to galway did use the league much better then us.

    Just thought a bit harsh on harte I’m no fan of his style of play but 1 term like and got to quarters..

  17. The u20 mgmt should be heavily reviewed on how they assessed players. Requested to show the data including sports science. If they’ve nothing in their locker but player A is ahead of Player B with just anecdotal text based reasoning they should be dismissed.

  18. JP – there will probably be a “review” by some county board committee with the u20 management.
    Everyone will be happy afterwards and “lessons” will have been learnt for 2025. Then the u20 management will be reappointed again for another year. Sadly yet again the hard questions won’t be asked. Too much of a cosy cartel.

  19. The u20 mgmt should always be a ticket that starts from the basis of knowing all our underage talent.

  20. In terms of the narrative that Mayo would have won All Irelands had it not been for the Dublin team being around at the same time is something I think more and more about and particularly after 2021, I don’t know if I agree with anymore

    The 2017 final is the one for me I always think about as the day so much went right. McCaffrey goes off early, multiple Mayo forwards scoring multiple points from play, late momentum in the game with Keegans goal yet still somehow the result didn’t come. I know the superior Dublin. bench is used as the ultimate difference but that game was there for Mayo that day and it still didn’t happen. Armagh 2002 is one I think about in terms of a team beating a favourite in an All Ireland final and just getting it done and the 2017 final should have been this for Mayo

    I think the prize of winning Sam is so monumental to a Mayo person, how can it not come into a players psyche with 10 mins to go in an All Ireland when the prize is there to be won? These players have grown up in Mayo, have probably dreamt of being in that position

  21. Maybe Roco88, but I’d be looking for us to turn that desire and hunger into a positive force and not some heavy chain holding us back when the game is in the melting pot. It should be a ferocious almost manic hunger, not a fear. What an opportunity it can be to be on that Mayo team to end the famine! This is why I cannot understand lads like Hanley and Mullin leaving when they had such a great lifetime opportunity… what was the phrase John O’Mahony used…

    “Take the opportunity of a lifetime, in the lifetime of the opportunity”

    …maybe some people see playing ‘footie’ for an Australian club more of a lifetime opportunity than (potentially) winning an All Ireland for Mayo? I guess they do. Mayo’s loss in the end.

  22. South Mayo Exile and JP, I agree with your sentiments on u20. Definitely a sense of things a bit cosy. I bought into the hype around that management ticket but when you sit back and assess, like what have they ever won? I don’t see any impressive track record. Horan had a relatively positive spell with Mayo but failed on final day 4 times and he had a huge conveyor belt of talent when he took over in 2011…provincial u21 winning teams from 03, 04 (should have beaten Armagh in final at Breffni) 06 (AI winners) 07, 08, 09…. It’s arguable that any half decent manager is going to have moderate success.

    Our u20 track record over the past decade is awfully depressing in comparison.

  23. @Mayonaze with reference to a having a ferocious manic hunger, this is how I would describe Donegal in 2012. Nothing was going to get in their way from winning Sam was my sense at that time. They outran, out muscled teams and I would love to see this mindset drilled into the Mayo group and all groups.

    The other thing I’d like to see tapped more into is what Gerry Nugent is pondering above. What did Limerick do to change their mindset to start winning trophies? Do Mayo have an inbuilt loser’s mentality? These are perhaps harsh questions/comments but I think some harsh assessments are needed.

    Offaly U20s are one I’d use as a recent example. Lost minor final in 22, like Mayo. A number of those lads have driven on, determined to write that wrong and won u20 this year. Whether they go on to impact senior is another question but there was an insatiable appetite within Offaly to get that All Ireland this year, even a year ahead of schedule. Why didn’t we see this from Mayo u20s after the hurt a lot of those players suffered in 2022.

    I’m so desperate for Mayo to do well and win all Irelands at all grades and just continuing to do what’s always been done it feels like nothing will change

  24. @Pebble I presume you think McStay & co should be sacked this year? In fairness to Horan, his record as our manager was brilliant. He built 2 teams – we were at such a low ebb after 2010. He came back in 2019 & had to build a new team again, as his predecessor hardly blooded anyone while in charge. In his 8 years, we made 4 All Ireland finals, & made semi finals in 3 tears. Our worst year was a quarter final defeat.

    Our mindset does need to change. We need to aim & expect better than what we are currently seeing. But we would be sacking managers every year if this current trend continues

  25. @Mayo Focus, you presume wrong so.
    I do not think Mcstay should be sacked at all but he does need to change his backroom team. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians in there I am afraid. At this stage what is Rochford and Buckley offering that is new and fresh and innovative to give us that “edge”? In fact I think McStay has been a positive move considering he lost Keegan and Mullin at the start of his helm.

    As for Horan, yes he took us from a low ebb of 2010 but the 2021 AIF was the FOURTH All Ireland final he lost as a manager (not the mention the 2 as a player). Conceeding a total of 8-51 in those 4 finals alone, each defeat being a Carbon copy of the previous defeat. Not to mention his hanging out of Ger Cafferkey below in Limerick when he failed to get help in around him as Kerry bombarded us! Lessons learned?? I don’t think so.

    RE the U20s this year? I was in the MacHale Park stand for the Sligo game and looking at the two sidelines there was a marked difference. Henry was the undoubted boss of his sideline, he was in control of his bench, his use and timing of subs, his instructions into his players and the energy and passion he brought to the Sligo performance fed into the pitch. Looking at our sideline it was hard to see who actually was the manager. There were 3 or 4 of them standing around with arms folded, whispering to each other, then Ger Cafferkey would come down from the subs area, jump over the hoarding and whisper in something, then jump back up into the subs area. No one was in control. No one was taking the lead and shouting instructions into the pitch.
    Granted, that Sligo team were an older team as Mayo (for whatever reason, which has still remained a secret) had decided to ditch many of the older lads in their final year at that age level and instead go with a younger side. I assume the reasoning behind all that will come out in the review?

  26. I have to agree with the lack of “hunger” being talked about in some posts. Kerry, even with all of the success, have a hunger for All Irelands. With us, I always feel it is more of a “wouldn’t it be great if we won it” when it should be a “we need to win this”.

    Even in 2021 against Tyrone, I’m not sure I felt that hunger. There was giddyness alright but I’m not sure there was a craving to win the match.

  27. A few dubious Ref decisions in the Connaught final and a bit of luck against Dublin and Derry and we are in a different place.
    We should have pulled and dragged the Dubs in the end as they did to us in 17.
    The same against Derry and Galway.
    That is the mentality we need.

  28. @Pebble my apologies. I would agree with you on McStay. There simply has to be changes in the backroom team. A lot of the coaches have been involved for the best part of a decade. They are all admirable lads & have done great things, but it’s time to move on. If McStay wants to keep everything the same, then the board need to question this massively. There is a window here at the minute. There is no big bad wolf (Dublin) miles ahead of the pack. We are no great shakes ourselves, but we aren’t a million miles off. Hoping McStay stays on, but massively shakes up the backroom team. And hopefully, add a proven all ireland winner somewhere in the mix.

  29. Of course McStay will make backroom changes. It’s the modern way when things don’t pan out. Hopefully Andy Moran is added to the ticket.

  30. Paul Kinnerk from Limerick should surely be getting a call from McStay during the off season!

  31. Fishing for rumours yet again, Deel River! You should know by now that this isn’t the place to be doing that. Time for you to take the hint in that regard.

  32. Surely its up to the Club delegates at County Board Meeting to ask the right questions from County Chariman and McStay about his backroom team for next year and indeed plenty more questions need honest answers.
    .

  33. New pod up, in which Mike is joined by Edwin McGreal, Martin Carney, Andy Moran and Stephen Drake to remember the life and legacy of the late John O’Mahony. It’s on Patreon now.

  34. I note that most recent posts and an earlier podcast show disquiet and unease about our management team and ask about a shake-up of the backroom.
    They show dissatisfaction with the way we play and, latterly in posts, that we never get the results that matter (Sam) and indicate that we need to be more ruthless.
    In other words, people are talking about a lot of dissatisfaction.
    I’m wondering what role other teams’ blanket defences play in our slow progress – or inability to progress much faster – since 2022.
    I note that we fell foul to blanket defences at minor and in the Ladies’ game this year, just as Galway and Derry stuck it to us and frustrated us with blankets and counter attacking style in 2024 (Cork, Louth and Roscommon did it to us last year).
    Blankets and counterattacking play seem to be everywhere now, or certainly everywhere Mayo goes.
    The big fish in the last decade (Dublin and Kerry), those that dominated the championship, did not use blankets. Mayo played an open style and our attributes of front foot football and pace were openly and proudly on display to the world.
    We are not a mass defending or counter attacking team and frankly I don’t want us to be.
    Galway was praised for playing positive football in the second half two weeks ago but it is a counterattacking style based on a stranglehold in defence. Dublin didn’t do any better than Mayo against it when they tried to score in the second half. They only got three scores, a carbon copy of so many Mayo v Galway games in Connacht when we crossed our fingers that our robust style would somehow prevail by a point or two.
    I guess I’m asking what role the ubiquity of the blanket defence plays in management’s slow achievements to date. Let us play open football and we’re a match for anyone. We’re still learning how to be big boys when the game is a blanket.
    Would outside management teams, proven winners, Jack O’Connor or Jimmy have us breaking through blankets better?
    Or might Jimmy institute a style of play that would move us away from the Mayo style indefinitely? And when he or others would move on, what state would our team, our style and our culture be left in? I don’t think Jimmy is a man for staying four or five or six years with a team.

  35. For me the “Stats” are more than anything else a justification of “Stats men ” in the backroom team’s..So much variations..bad wet day, v windy day, v hot summer weather, v a mixed day four seasons in one hour. Very good pitch like Dr Hyde Park v a poor pitch ie Healy Park, How can the same stats be applied to just the different weather and different surfaces. Jim Gavin is the man the GAA have entrusted with improving the entertainment standards of Gaelic Football.. Jim would make England’s Gareth Southgate almost seem interesting..Jim’s record with Dublin is outstanding 6 All Ireland wins, however it must be remembered that was with the greatest team of all time (we are constantly reminded) but also the most unfairly advantaged team of all time, from money, virtual home refs, and a so called Neutral Croke Park for virtually every important fixture for the Dubs. (we are seldom reminded) . I would remind the GAA and Jim Gavin that they definitely would not have had as much success if Dublin did not have one the best spontaneous player’s of all time, Diarmuid Connelly in their fold. The fact that Diarmuid Connelly on the ball was great to watch must have troubled the ultimate “Stats Man”

  36. Not the management fault that we did not close out games ,that is down to the players on the field not being ruthless enough at the end, look at the way Clare took down the Kilkenny man at the end.
    As a Mayo man living in Meath for over 40 years I am not easy to rule but I thought I was hearing things when Jarlath Burns said Mayo found a new way to loose, it demeans his office.

  37. @pebblesmeller in fairness in past two seasons management have left fullback line players completely exposed like Cafferkey was on several occasions: O’Hora v Clifford, Callinan a few times this year e.g. cavanagh, even after the evidence 3 or 4 days previous in Sigerson to show wasn’t a runner.

  38. @JR you are right. It’s the players who should be finishing it off. But to my eye, the players don’t seem to have any interest in actually driving it home when the momentum is with us. We had Derry almost broken with 20 mins to go & we only scored 1 point. We didn’t even try to kill them off. We had the upper hand for large portions of Galway game, & didn’t drive it home.

    Looks like the players are coached to adopt a very methodical risk averse approach & it’s backfiring late in games. I don’t believe it’s fully a quality issue, as we had the quality in the 3 games to put ourselves in winning positions. That approach has to change next year. If you have a team on the rack, finish them off!

    It was something which was very prevalent in Rochy’s first stint (as manager). We had some seriously lucky escapes, when we were a far better team than we are now.
    The truth lies somewhere in the middle. But we’ll win nothing if we don’t start going for it more often.

  39. Have to agree with much of what’s been said re mindset. Often heard a Limerick man pre-2018 say that if the Limerick hurlers won Liam, they’d find a way to lose it on the drive home. Feel that speaks to Mayo too. Something very wrong with the mindset for years now and truly the 2021 final did more damage to the psyche than any of the Dublin losses, to my mind.

  40. @Seallow, it’s exactly that tight defensive counter attacking style we should have been implementing for years. It’d mean a much faster transition. It would have brought us much more success. It’s bonkers trying to go all hung-ho against teams when we havent the players to do so.

  41. @Mayo focus great posts completely agree with you!

    We do defindtly do need a shake up in the background team. They are great guys but we need someone fresh mcstay hopefully will stay again next year.

    Great to hear Aido has been out training and sounds like he’s not going anywhere next year and staying with us still why would he retire after him having one of his best years in a while.

    Also expect cillian O Connor to stay on to!

    @swallow swoops Galway was praised for playing positive football in the second half two weeks ago but it is a counterattacking style based on a stranglehold in defence. Dublin didn’t do any better than Mayo against it when they tried to score in the second half. (Totally agree with this.)

    Onto the weekend still think Donegal and Mcguiness will take out Galway. Armagh /kerry is a hard one to call you could say that Armagh drew with galway and galway beat dubs so there’s no reason why Armagh can’t beat kerry very close to call… Must be hard for mayo ones living in Galway this week!..

  42. Why are ye so intent on shaking up the backroom team?. I’ve great time for Kevin, crossed paths when he was at Brigids. Kevin will openly acknowledge this, he is a delegator type manager. Very hands off on the training ground, delegates direct player communication through backroom staff (probably common pratice now at Inter County). While our manager, rarely gave team talks.

    Its clearly evident watching yer games who’s making the calls. You can’t blame backroom when you lose and praise the manager when ye win. To me the chain of command for a Mayo player is muddled. One might be impressing a coach but not the manager. and it leads to all sort of problems. Kevin seems to be a more (to rob a soccer plrase) “Director of Football” as opposed to Báinsteóir.

    My point is, you can be a delegator no problem, but can’t have it both ways.

  43. I have posted here before that apparently Kevin mcstay says very little behind the scenes.I am fascinated why somebody who has coveted this job for so long would then allegedly basically delegate that on to others considering he describes himself as a coach.did or does the county board ask at interview what style of play will be implemented.clearly Liam McHale was surprised with what transpired as it obviously had not been his or Kevin’s vision of the game previously and what exactly is Kevin’s role on match days.Is it to appear to be the manager.it seemed fairly obvious last year that jack carney didn’t think he was in charge.Kevin has two years left in the job which realistically will be one if we have a repeat of this year so maybe for his own sake just take ownership of the situation and prove himself as a coach .in all fairness it couldn’t go much worse than this year and people might even start to enjoy watching mayo and football again

  44. 1985 – That has always been his way with us, I think Kevin makes no bones about his management style. Liam McHale was the main coach after Fergal left. Kevins interaction with the players was limited in regards to tactics and what we perceive a manager to do. You can be sure Mayo Co Board were informed of this from the outset. It seems to me that Steven Rochford looks after the tactics or style of play, once Kevin is in agreement. I base this from my observations in the two games against us in the Hyde. From the outside looking in, it seems Kevin is there for the media side which he is very good at, and maybe the overall co-ordinator, but Steven Rochford is calling the tactical shots. It may seem like double jobbing, but if its the case it would have been agreed at the outset by all parties.

  45. Thanks Clare.

    @Western Gael I can only speak for myself, but my reasons would be:
    We play awful football.
    Our players won’t shoot for fear of a telling off by the stats team.
    We can’t close out games.
    We have a bloated backroom team – and most of them have been there before in some capacity for a decade.
    We have nobody in the backroom team who has been involved in a team that has a won an All Ireland at Inter County level (to my knowledge).
    And our “chief” doesn’t appear to be calling the shots. And I like McStay, so I’d like to see him in charge.

    If we persist with it again the way it is, we’re just pissing agaisnt the wind.

  46. At, Mayo focus, hard to disagree.
    Look at the CV of the Currid girl from Sligo.
    Involved with Derry in 2008, Dublin in 2011 and Limerick for the four in a row.
    Not involved this year!!¡

  47. @JR would love to see Caroline Curtis involved with mayo she’s amazing I don’t know why mayo county have board haven’t giving everything to get her one board is beyond me..

  48. *Currid.

    @msuo focus again agree with you it’s like our guys are afraid to shoot for goal or that cause don’t want to loose possession we were never that type of team before we were always entertaining and can be still to.

    But something nerds to change go for goal etc take that chance.

    This year is definetly worse then last in my view anyways sorry for double post.

  49. I dont think Caroline Curid coming in will make any difference to our forward play, breaking down a blanket defence or having no left footed free taker.

  50. some shite talk about Mayo this year , we didnt do ourselves justice simple as that , pure rubbish whats been said all year , we are as good as any of them there this weekend , its enough to make ya fuckin sick . Mayo supporters were rubbish this year also , we are afraid of our own shadow . we were quick to slate joyce and co celebrating the big nestor cup win as if we are serial winners , myself included . That lot are marching to dublin now in their thousands enjoying the ride .

    high time all the so called mayo supporters took a hard look at themselves , stop wallowing in self pity . if We did your job in salthil , hyde or mchale park we might just of drove them over the line in one of them games and we would be in croker this weekend . Whilst all the insightful posts in here and elsewhere are great to read , they do not make an ounce of difference , like i say , we only have one job and we failed this year miserably . will it win you a match , no . does it have a positive impact on occasion in a tight game , YES FOOKING YES IT DOES . Ask any player whos experienced it

  51. Well said Sean. It is true for you. We are just as good as any of the 4 semi-finalists and we should be in croke park this weekend. It is another opportunity lost. I am still depressed about our failures and I do not know how the players are feeling. Some thing will have to be done in 2025 to get our vocal supporters back supporting loudly again.

  52. Well what would help the supporters off the field is if they didn’t have to watch a half of football like the first half against Derry. How do you get behind that. It wouldn’t surprise me if the players had to wear cycling helmets while on exercise bikes in the gym. There’s cautious football and then there’s that mind numbing stuff.

  53. Point is proved , if armagh support were the same as mayo theyd of lost . People can draw comparisons till the cows come home about games of the past , this is a new generation who love the adrenaline of noise and glory . Get with the programme

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