Meath review – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E6

It’s now three wins from three outings for Mayo in this year’s National League campaign and so, after topping Division Two North, James Horan’s side are now set for a trip to Ennis for a promotion-deciding divisional semi-final meeting with Clare on Sunday week. 

In this episode of the Mayo News football podcast, we review Sunday’s leisurely win in the sun over Meath and take stock on how the team is shaping up as the focus starts to swing towards the Championship. Billy Joe Padden is at the helm for this episode and he’s joined by Edwin McGreal of the Mayo News and me. 

We discuss how the new faces performed against Meath, where might be the place to make the best use of Aidan O’Shea’s talents this summer and what needs to be done to tighten up a defence that has now conceded five goals in the three matches played so far this year.

Next we hear from MacHale Park on Sunday where Mike Finnerty has a post-match chat with his GAA GO co-commentator Kevin McStay. Aidan O’Shea gets a mention here too, as, in glowing terms, does Tommy Conroy while Kevin also ponders about the make-up of the crucial half-forward line.

Back in the studio, we take up the topic of Mayo’s attacking options before the attention shifts to Sligo, with a brief discussion about what they look like after an underwhelming Division Four campaign. Finally, in our Any Other Business segment the subjects to get an airing include Mayo’s new alternative jersey, the odd structure of this year’s League and the resurgent Mayo camogie team.

This episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podomatic and Spotify. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the panel on the right-hand side.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes.    

The Mayo News football podcast is sponsored by Ceramic City and Swinford Motors, two fine Mayo businesses with whom we’re proud to be associated. 

31 thoughts on “Meath review – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E6

  1. Such a shame there are no supporters back yet.

    This would have made for a cracking bank holiday weekend, in an ideal world, tip down to ennis saturday night for a clatter of pints then over to cusack park to watch mayo seal promotion and take in pit stops in doolin and lahinch on the way

    Just aint the same watching on the box

  2. Good listen as usual . Just thought there was a little over emphasis on downplaying James carr whilst playing up Bryan Walsh. 2-1 , foward has done his job ,sin e , only in mayo would ya start about his lack of backtracking on two occasions , which I also didnt notice ,maybe ed could point out what this lack of backtracking on two occasions was and what it led to ?

  3. Sean Burke. The problem is Horan wants all forwards to backtrack and the backline to push forward. This is Horan’s way.Exciting to watch if your a netural.The arm chair supporters loves it. Unfortunately we’ll never beat the big boys they’ll rip us apart.. JH has worked wonders for Mayo football. Shame he doesn’t get a defensive coach on board. He deserves to be the Mayo manager who lifts Sam.

  4. James Carr did well but we’d need to see him do similar against Div 1 opposition, not a Meath B team (they rested 6-7 of their starters). This must be factored in strongly. And even a full strength Meath side we’d expect to dispatch with little fuss, so I wouldn’t be getting too excited. Clearly the most pleasing aspect was seeing him fetch the ball, beat the defender one-on-one and finish the ball nicely into the corner. He needs to get the head up more because he won’t have that space against better opposition and he’ll need to learn how to lay it off. He’s able to do the hard part, ie win his own ball. But he needs to be more of a team player or else it simply won’t work, not at this level. He has a tendency to take pot shots too. He has ability, so I hope James H. and McDanger give him the required coaching and direction.

    The standard for forwards is Con o’callaghan now, creating opportunities out of half chances. His colleagues have perfected the art of finding space for him, laying off the ball at the right moment. We’ve a long way to go yet, but we’re doing a heck of a lot right with what we have. There’s plenty reason for hope.

  5. @Liberal Role in the tie. Don’t forget Carr did net twice against Galway in 2019. One of the goals a brilliant individual effort.

    He didn’t figure too much last year, not sure was it due to injury or whatever but I think there is no doubt there is plenty of talent there. The only flaw I had picked up on James was how he hugs the sideline, I think to spread the opposing backs across the pitch and to open up the middle for us. I did notice when he would get possession then close to the sideline the guy nearest him had no problem nudging him over the line and causing the turn over.

    I know he’s liable to go for the point from way out, some go over and some go wide, but we were years in this county and players that seemed too nervous to go for a score regardless of where they were on the pitch. I think James will have many big games for Mayo.

  6. I always thought a combination of Horan’s ability to find talent with Rochford’s tactics would be ideal. Nothing has changed from Horan’s first stint in charge. He doesn’t have a defensive plan and without an allstar fullback line of Harrison, Barrett and Higgins, we’ll be in trouble against the dubs from the start, again.

  7. I think it was Conor Mortimer’s lack of appetite for ‘getting back’ that cost him his career under Horan.

    Is it not ironic though that whilst Horan loves his forwards to be the first line of defence; we give up so many goal chances?

    It’s an interesting question- what’s the cause for our defence splitting like the Red Sea so much? You’d be tempted to say the problem is at CHB – but that’s where our best player is positioned.

    Anybody worried about the performance of Fionn McDonagh- hasn’t convinced thus far this year.

  8. In terms of team selection, will be interesting to see if EOD is punished for his mistake for the first goal on Sunday. Replacing Chrissy is proving difficult as expected. I reckon EOD is worth another shot against Clare, given Meath game was his first game in so long.

  9. Think we are shaping up something like
    Robbie Hennelly- in great form so far
    2 – Eoin ODonoghue as he’s a corner back
    3 – Oisin – he’s the only candidate for the elite 14s
    4. Leeroy he goes on the bigger slower 13/15
    5. Michael Plunkett as he’s tidy but not spectacular
    6. Paddy Durcan as he’s our best player and we need him on the ball a lot central, not isolated to one wing
    7. Colm Boyle has shown more than Eoghan and bring Eoghan McLoughlin off the bench on 50 mins. Use McLoughlins pace as a late weapon to even more effect versus tiring opponents.
    8. 9 Diarmuid and Matthew. It’s working, leave it alone to gel as a partnership.
    10. Kevin McLoughlin subbed late on by Jason Doherty if Jason can be in anything like old form.
    11. Aidan OShea but he roams around.
    12. Bryan Walsh. He’s a tidy player who makes his passes and gets in for scores. Walsh is I would say by my eye test our fittest player in terms of ability to run at pace for 75 mins.
    13/14/15 Ryan Cillian Tommy. It’s working, like the midfield partnership leave it alone to gel.
    Three goalscorer close to goal. None suit the middle third. Leave them in their best positions.

  10. Liberal Role of the Tie. That was a pretty unbalanced remark regarding James Carr doing his thing against Div 1 opposition. Anytime he have watched him play well, it was against a Div 1 team until last weekend. His skill set and spacial awareness is top notch anytime I saw him play against the top teams. Remember Mayo have only played 3 games outside Div 1 in the last quarter of a century.

  11. I enjoyed the podcast. It was really nice to hear Billy Joe hosting it.

    Yes, we’re still trying to find cohesion in the team, but, when I think about it, we’re blessed that we’re blending old and new so well. In the larger picture, I think we’re coming on nicely, I think.

    I would like to see Eoin O’Donoghue at 2 or 4. I think he’s a natural for those areas. He could be terrier-like one on one, he’s strong and he can also get forward.

    I love what Ryan O’Donoghue brings also – he’s a clever player, and keeps going, working.

    You’d hope we have a plan for the defence for later in year. Boyler has been a great asset at the back for snuffing out danger. I can guarantee you Dublin will aim to strike early for goals if we get that far. It has worked for them against us for a few years now. It’s too easy and it’d be a charity to stop it.

  12. @Paddyjoejohn, If the sun is shining you won’t be able to see the screen outside in a beer garden, and if it’s not you won’t want to be outside.. What will accompany Mayo v Sligo on the Sky, will it be cloud (and possibly rain) or will it be ??

  13. What’s happened to Enda Hession? Not in the 26 for the last two games. Looked a class act agst Down.

  14. Reality is we are going no where due to our concession of such big scores.Its not new and has happened under several management teams.Horan won’t fix it because he just doesn’t believe in any other way of playing.
    Who knows if the planets line up on a given day in a mad game we might get across the line with it one day……but I doubt it

  15. Thanks Willie Joe. Had missed that somehow. Problem with injuries is that players slip down the pecking order, and it’s very hard to get back up.

  16. Pat Reality is we re going to Div 1 Wouldn’t panic too much yet about concession of big scores I remember Sligo putting up a big score against us the day we ran riot in the Hyde while Tipp scored well and created loads against us last year Mayo tend to play and usually beat what’s in front of the. Looks like JH is a Mayo traditionalist go out and out play the opposition fair and square May not bring us the ultimate reward but I’d prefer watching it to the bad old days of Tyrone the Galway shawl etc where it was a case of keeping score down rather than trying to win. At least that accusation can’t be leveled against Mayo

  17. @Spotlight asked the question above:
    Anybody worried about the performance of Fionn McDonagh- hasn’t convinced thus far this year?

    Colm Gannon in the Mayo Advertiser on the 16th May 2021 after the Down game quoted James Horan as saying: Fionn (McDonagh ) had a bad injury and to be able to come back at such a level just shows the huge work he has done off the field on his own, so delighted with the way he is playing.

    Given time I expect Fionn to come good for us.
    Form is temporary
    Class is permanent

  18. Good on you John Mac for posting that – obviously commenting on team, tactics and the rest is all part of the fun, but these quotes really show how much more is going on behind the scenes

  19. Thanks Exile.

    We often miss these all too infrequent updates on player injuries.

    Anyone who has played the game knows it takes time to get back up to the pace of inter county football after a serious injury.

  20. Thanks for that clarification, John Mac. That was an update I’d missed as well. Hopefully Fionn will continue to progress now that he’s back in action again.

  21. No bother Willie Joe.

    You taught us well.
    ‘Only quote from published sources’.

    Good advice too, may I add.

  22. Fionn Mcdonagh and James Carr are top class, and/or potiantal top class forwards, I think they are brilliant players, as are several other player’s who if they hit top form and got consistently selected could easily be All Stars in the future.. We will have six forwards whoever they are, the only two irreplaceable forwards on merit of several years of consistent high performance are Kevin McLoughlin and Cillian, in my opinion … Take your pick of 4 player’s from this selection box, to play with Cillian and Kevin Ma,. If everyone is fit?.. Jason Doc, Fionn Mcdonagh, Fergal Boland, Ryan O’Donoghue, James Carr, Aiden O Shea, Connor Louftus, Tommy Conroy, Mark Moran, James Durcan, Bryan Walsh, Jordan Flynn, Darren Coen, Diarmuid O’Conner (Diarmuid as close as you could get to be a garunteed starter, but more likely in midfield nowadays) and a few more and a few more… As we can all see, several very good players are not going to make the Mayo panel, never mind the starting 6 forwards… I have to say that I disagree with sentiment expressed on the very enjoyable Podcast, worries about the quality of our half forward line, we never had it so good..

  23. Add to that list Paul Towey and Darren Mchale, even though we have seen very little of those in the Green and Red, they wouldn’t be there unless they were in with a chance of playing.. So to accompany Cillian and Kevin Mc, James Horan has 16 other player’s.. We have far more alternatives for our 6 forwards berths, than our 6 defenders.. For example, no doubt Oisin Mullen deserved current Young Player of the Year and All Star, Lee Keegan, arguably the best player ever to have played for Mayo, 4 All Star awards and former Player of the Year, both playing in our full back line.. If Chris Barrett and Keith Higgins were a few years younger and Brendan Harrison was fully fit, no doubt about it, Oisean Mullin and Lee Keegan would still be on the Mayo team, but they wouldn’t be in our full back line… Hopefully Brendan Harrison will return to full fitness soon… Our strength in depth for our defense not nearly as strong as our forwards.

  24. When you put it like that lean times it’s understandable opinions will vary on team selection. Personally I just see a lot of potential with an inside line of cillian with carr and conroy either side of him . Call me old fashioned but I judge forwards especially last line on their scoring tally and they are the most potent imo .

    James carr hasn’t started many championship games ,I make it three in 2019 and none last year , 2 goals v Galway, no score v kerry and two points v donegal . He started last weeks league game and got 2-1 from play . 100% believe he is a serious scoring threat but needs to be given game time from throw in . I dont understand the narrative that hes had plenty of chances and not done enough .

  25. I agree Sean Burke, but no matter what James Horan does, he’s going to cut some very good forwards from the panel. He will have no alternative.. Of the 16 possible forwards I mentioned, Personally I think 3 aren’t good enough yet, and I think we have seen enough of them for me to make that judgement in my opinion..I won’t mention anyone by name, and I would be delighted if they were to prove me wrong.. (But that’s just my opinion, and very unlikely to be James Horan opinion).. even so James Horan and Ciaran McDonald have loads of alternatives….. I wonder willJames Horan play Horan Ball regardless, or will he tweek the system by playing the sweeper..I believe AOS could play sweeper minding the D, but I don’t think Aiden has the pace to play CHB.. And we know a fully fit Aiden is 90% likely to make the starting 15 for Mayo..Fergal Boland played in the half back v Meath, I wonder if James is looking for some solutions for our defense in our surplus of very good forwards.. Kevin McLoughlin undoubtedly one of Mayo’s best ever players like another of our very best forwards Andy Moran, started life in the half back line for Mayo..I think we seen it last December All Ireland final, our lack of options in our defense when Cillian ended up in the second half playing in the Mayo half of the field, when you need close to our opposition goals…I think that James Horan should take a leaf from the Stephen Rochford book of mixing the sweeper and man on man defense.. Again the single player Mayo need the most to return to full fitness for me is Brendan Harrison, it would solve a whole load of potiantal problem for Mayo..We all know that most teams won’t be able to exploit Mayo’s problems in defense, but Galway or the Rossies would be on a good day for them, so would the mighty Dubs, and all of these, Armagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Monaghan and Kerry..We won’t be playing all of those team’s in 2021 but hopefully we will be playing some of them and hopefully we will have gone along to solving out our problems in defense but the time we do.

  26. The fact that there are so many forwards going for a few positions – is it a case of having a lot of players at a similar level – but these players been a bit short of what is needed at the very top level to win an all Ireland.
    How many of these players mentioned would get in the Dublin or Kerry forward lines. Outside of Cillian – not too many.

  27. That’s a very fair point Southmayo Exile Cillian has delivered year on year as has Kevin Mc while Aiden has been a stalwart for us also Tommy Conroy was excellent last year and really looks the part After that its hard to know who is deserving of a starting spot. Ironically having so many potential starters may be a hindrance as it’s difficult for any of those lads to get a consistent run of games to make the required level Having said that it’s good to have that many good lads battling to make the starting 15 There May be no Clifford or O Callaghan among them but they are committed and talented young men

  28. Isn’t it great to have the craic and the banter back too. Now we will be really spoiled when the games start coming thick and fast. Good luck to all, our gallant lads and lasses and our fabulous keyboard warriors who add so much to all our efforts. And above all, to Willie Joe who makes so much possible. Thank you all, and may our hopes be realised soon.
    Up Mayo.

  29. I think Aido will be picked in forwards most likely CHF and used in a role where he can track back and do turnovers but also drift into FF line like recent years. We have countless options in half back but for full back line only EOD and O’Hora likely to cover the 3rd spot as both Leroy and Oisin are 100% needed back there in absence of a fit Harrison. Forget Hession until next year, he’s too light yet. Could risk Colm Boyle in there but would be surprised if he could cope with the Country’s paciest forwards at 35 or 36. Could also try Coen there as he reads the game very well and rarely over commits despite no blinding pace. He’s also fairly tall. We have no idea what Harrison’s form will be when deemed fit enough to start. Aside from that only other option would be the ultra versatile Kevin Mc but it’s many years since he played even half back for Mayo let alone corner. Another who could do it is Diarmaid but his biggest asset is huge work rate which is probably contributing more than we know to the team’s win ratio. In half backs I’m not sure if Plunkett should get the nod, Coen is more experienced and a slow burner approaching peak. I like Eoghan Mac on the other wing as his pace causes a lot of problems for the opposition. Slight confidence dip this year but confident he’ll come very good with more game time which I hope he gets. Would have him ahead of Brickenden for pace. Boland worked well as half back in limited minutes but we have so many options that choice was probably made just to give him game time.

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