Mickey’s losing the plot + stats from Donegal game

This needs to be a quick one as I’m closeted in some work-related yap for pretty much the whole day.

You’ll, no doubt, have seen by now Tyrone’s typewritten protestations about being more sinned against than sinning in the area of fouls which they handed out at their press night up in Garvaghy last night. (If you haven’t, full details are here, though I like this alternative version better, which comes courtesy of @Maigheoforsam.)

There’s plenty in today’s papers about it, with the one-pager placed in the context of Tyrone’s appeal which they’ve lodged against both the Penrose and Gormley suspensions. Here are the reports in today’s Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Examiner on it.

Obviously this amateur-hour PR exercise isn’t aimed specifically at getting Penrose and Gormley off the hook for Sunday week but is instead intended to counter the truckload of opprobrium that’s been dumped on the Red Hand over the last few weeks, starting with Brolly’s hissy fit the night of the Monaghan game. Whatever it’s supposed to be, though, you’d have to think that it’s a pretty pathetic attempt at spindoctoring.

If it’s sympathy they’re looking for, then I reckon they’re barking up the wrong tree. This kind of nonsense will attract nothing but ridicule (shades of that fool Rory Gallagher all over again) because anyone who has looked at the way Tyrone have played since their 2003 emergence – and it’s all Tyrone teams, not just the senior variant – knows full well that they’ve all been using the same ugly playbook.

There always has, I know, been plenty of thuggishness in Gaelic football – and it didn’t start with this either – but it was Tyrone (and to some extent the Armagh team that came before them) who brought this kind of stuff to a different and entirely systematic level. So much of what we know and hate about the current game – blocking runners, Aussie Rules tackling, sledging, feigning injury, time-wasting when ahead etc. etc. – is core to the way Tyrone play it and putting out bullshit “facts” portraying them as a bunch of choirboys is simply an attempt to claim that black is white. And it’s not, you know. Fact.

On the subject of stats, by the way, this analysis by the excellent Don’t Foul website provides a whole load of interesting numbers from our match against Donegal. We all know that, in words, we hammered the bejaysus out of them but the Don’t Foul lads go behind these words to break down the key numbers relating to the Bank Holiday weekend massacre. It’d be nice to think that Mickey Harte and his lads will be left with similar numbers to digest when we’re finished with them on Sunday week.

Right, work and yap and all that.

39 thoughts on “Mickey’s losing the plot + stats from Donegal game

  1. Well said, it’s refreshing to read a bit of plain aul honesty , the Tyrones and armaghs of yesteryear did indeed bring the dark arts of Gaelic football to a different level and they cleverly invented blanket type defensive systems too. It’s a bit rich for them to start moaning when other counties start to catch up ten years on.

    Monaghan played a defensive system ,lived on the edge with their tackling etc,it won them an Ulster title.You do what you have to do to gain any advantage you can in the modern world of sport, there are still rules and officials to enforce them and if you’re caught out breaking the rules ,it’s tough shit ,this crybaby stuff is embarrassing .

    Does the siege mentality thing work in reality? It didn’t work for Donegal this year.It is obviously what Mickey Harte is doing and maybe it will give them an extra percentage in the determination stakes but if Mayo were to race into a 4/5 point lead at the start ,it immediately gives us the swagger and starts to make a mockery of the build up.

  2. Let them tie themselves up in knots. Lets focus on the aspects that we can control and I’m fully confident James and the lads will be doing that. Tyrone think the world is against them, fair enough. It won’t matter a jot once the ball is thrown in.

  3. WJ, I’m going to play the unpopular card here now and disagree with some of your sentiment towards Tyrone. I think you have a real bee in your bonnet towards them, and it must be historical. Why are we talking about 10 years ago? A team did everything they could to win within and outside the rules, and people have obviously never got over it. I said it about Brolly and I’ll say it again – if you have a problem with how a TEAM plays (there’ll always be some thuggish individuals on most teams), then it’s the rulemakers at club and county level you need to direct your anger at – get them to change and enforce rules which effectively stamp out as you put it “So much of what we know and hate about the current game – blocking runners, Aussie Rules tackling, sledging, feigning injury, time-wasting when ahead”.

    Mayo are no angels ourselves. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and all that. Or like the kid in the playground fighting, and one says “he hit me first, so I hit him back”. The kid who hit him back is just as guilty. Most if not all teams engage in cynical play to a greater or lesser degree and I think it’s a copout to smear a whole county because they may do it more. If we were perfect and never did the sort then sure. But we’re not, so I don’t think it’s justified. If Mayo win the All-Ireland by a last minute cynical foul, we won’t give a hoot.

    On another point, obviously the fact sheet was slightly farcical and Penrose and Gormley probably deserve their suspensions. But you can’t deny that Tyrone have been unfairly singled out in the media for their crimes, similiar to us last year. The difference being this has been ongoing to a decade. The same level of attention was never payed to Donegal last year for example, or Dublin teams of recent years. We were all crying foul over the media last year, we wanted balance. Until coverage is balanced, any team is justified in railing against the media, including Tyrone.

    In fact, I would have to commend Tyrone GAA for having the backbone to stand up to the media over the years. They haven’t taken any of RTÉ’s shite and have ignored and boycotted them. If we ALL did that, it would force change, but we haven’t.

  4. Agreed digits. First it was Donegal bashing now we are onto Tyrone. We had a go at the media and the Refs as well over the last few weeks.
    Can we just leave everyone else alone and just concentrate on our own camp, which has been very impressive this year.
    We don’t want to be seen as a county of whingers. We are plenty well able to dish it out ourselves(thankfully).

  5. Agreed Digits. Lets just get on with our own game. Mayo are well able to dish it out when we have to – thank god. As the hurling commentators (proper commentators!!) say if you want to play tennis play tennis. Variations on the rules and how to cope with them have always been part of any teams preparation. As the Galway manager said after the Mayo game – define the tackle. That is up to each management team. It is up to the opposition and the officials on the day to counteract this. Kerry and Kilkenny have mastered hard play since as long as I can remember and fair play to them. Remember you can always go play golf if this is what you like.

  6. Wow wow,stall the digger there lads. Where have Mayo complained about anything t his year? The Mayo camp have been 100% dignified this season, no way am I letting that go.”Donegal bashing and now Tyrone” too right on the grass of Croke park though.

  7. I agree with digits, if need be we have fellas to do the needful. I remember conor Mortimer being flung into the goal netting and none of his team said or done anything. Macmenemin of Tyrone was the aggressor in that instance I think, would mike convoy, Collin o Connor, Alan freeman or co of 2013 vintage?
    We all know the answer to that question without saying a word.
    Galways defenders were not expecting to meet another set of defenders in their game against Mayo, the fact is that Mayos forwards are defenders as well as forwards, they hit hard and are very well versed in living on the edge in tackles. That’s the way it has to be to win anything. Hard and just legal.
    If a mayo player punched someone and got a red card I would be fine with it, disappointed, but fine at the same time. Hopefully they can remain cool against Tyrone and not rise to the bait, at half time in the Tyrone Monaghan game there was a lot of mouthing and nonsense between the teams and some were smiling while giving the verbal exchanges, not nice at all and the best way to deal with is to move away and win the game.

  8. Sean, we are not on about the “Mayo Camp”, we are on about us, the supporters.
    Horan and the Mayo camp have been very dignified and that is the way we should be as well.
    We should focus on Mayo and no one else as the team are doing.

  9. This craic of issuing press fact sheets is simply ludicrous. If I was Horan I’d be delighted to see that Harte feels this is necessary. It’s nothing but a sideshow and we’re now well used to dealing with this kind of nonsense.

    Let’s look after ourselves and let Tyrone squabble with the GAA hierarchy and the media.

  10. It’s only my opinion, lads, so there’s no “we” involved in what I had to say. I stand over my own opinion (and that’s all it is) that the current blight of cynical play can be laid first and foremost at Tyrone’s door and I don’t think they’re being unfairly targeted by the authorities given the kind of stuff their players have got up to under Mickey Harte (though, as I’ve said, I disagree with the proposed ban that’s been meted out to Conor Gormley). Also their stance on RTE has nothing to do with this – this relates to that awful, insensitive skit about Mickey Harte on The John Murray Show that they, quite rightly, took exception to.

  11. Happy days when the opposition are talking and writing crap like that. Sounds like they are about to implode. Give them boys plenty of rope and let them get on with hanging themselves. Make sure they have plenty of shovels to keep digging that hole they are creating for themselves. We ourselves just keep our heads down and keep the focus on the job. Focus, attitude and discipline will surely see us through.

  12. Tyrone and northern teams started all this negative nonsense.
    Spillanes puke football not so out of order now.Tyrone are digging their own grave but Kerry and Dublin must be laughing.
    Agree with Willie joe that they brought it on themselves Tyrone…dont agree about Gormley …should be suspended.
    Feel sorry for Harte….that man has been through too much.

  13. I respect your opinion WJ even though as I have said I disagree with some of it. Their cynical play has been RIGHTLY targeted by the media and by lawmakers – however surely you agree that the level of attention by the media and the GAA disciplinary people is not meted out the same to all counties? Some counties are targeted more than others while others have often got away scot free. Whatever about the laughable fact sheet, this is actually the core issue here, along with the rules not being tight and defined and efficient enough.

  14. I’d agree completely that there are major shortcomings in relation to the application of disciplinary procedures – rugby has a formal, well-defined citing procedure for incidents not picked up during a game, we have ‘The Sunday Game’. Some incidents (i.e. the majority) aren’t dealt with at all and the application of this kind of ‘justice’ is highly selective. I’ve no sympathy for Tyrone, though – you live by the sword, you die by the sword and all that.

  15. Tyrone will look after their own affairs. Mayo needs to ensure that players, team management and US the supporters take responsibility for our actions. This means No blaming the referee. No blaming the media. No hard luck stories. No more self pity. No more mention of that stupid ‘curse’. No blaming supporters hype and No more blaming the rules or lack there off. It is time for Mayo to take responsibility for both success and failure. We need a ruthless, confident and composed team performance in the semi. What odds a draw in one of the semi`s?.

  16. I’m not going to get into the merits or demerits of Tyrone ‘s “fact sheet” but I often wonder why no attention is given to the lack of action by linesmen in particular in dealing with cynical fouls, blocking players running off the ball, holding away from the play etc. There guys are all intercounty referees. It’s several years since the ref’s buddies were deemed not to be up to the job but nothing much seems to have changed. Striking offences are sometimes reported but never the off the ball fouling which often provokes the striking. Regards sledging I do not think anybody can do anything effective as a ref or linesman will not hear it but I wonder when will a player expecting a sledging from a opponent go on the field wearing a mini recorder and publish the results over Facebook, You Tube or other media. Perhaps it would be considered unmanly but I’m sure the guilty party would be the more embarrassed.

  17. Olive,
    I absolutely agree.Excuses no good this year.

    I also agree with Andy D. It seems to be a pre-requisite for Linesmen and umpires that they must be lacking in complete vision and too meek to say anything. No wonders Specsavers are great sponsors in the G.A.A. None of this applies to Marty Duffy of course who is only too happy to get involved in everything when doing the line. Its always too little or too much.
    Its all getting silly now- think Mayo just need to focus and put heads down and like Olive says no excuses.

  18. In one way I am happy that gormley has been cleared to play. Should focus the minds even more plus Tyrone will have no excuse come 5 o clock on the 25th.

  19. As many others have stated, we don;t want to beat a depleted side, we want to beat them at their best………………………………..Digits, don’t agree with you on the schoolboy thing……………..If hit , hit back but twice as hard and more if required, it works.

    We don’t want excuses and we don’t want other sides having excuses either………….Let’s beat all in front of us (we’re more than capable with this side) until there’s no one left ………….climb the steps pick IT up and take it home………………………..We go on a mega celebration and so too will the football purists, as their beloved game has been restored to how it should be played by the greatest exponents of the sport in living memory………………………………….the next goal then is to defend it……….and (if above is achieved) then we could be looking at a Kilkenny like football team…………………Thats how I see it………….they are that good.

  20. Any chance we can discuss our own team …too much talk now of sideshows. Lets just talk about the game itself.. Our performance v Donegal was excellent for 50 mins. It was very similar to how we played in Salthill…but then we came out and played 20 mins of very average football v Roscommon. Proceeded to blitz them for 20 mins and then once they had thrown in the towel the game descended into terrible stuff…wides upon wides.

    Can we put two really good conisistent performances back to back? Or will we have a lethargic start like we did in the Connacht semi final? The latter will find us in trouble.

    Is there any word on Conroy?? Is Kenny or Clarkey pushing Hennelly? What about Barry Moran?? Will Barrett hold his spot? Are Cunniffee snd Caff fully fit?

  21. JJ would you ever come down from cloud cuckoo land or whatever cloud you’re on – winning Sam if we could in 2013 would be for me and I’m sure for all Mayo people, one of the most celebrated sporting events in our life time. Talk of defending something we haven’t won yet is madness in the extreme……

  22. Mayo mchale, no cuckoo land. …………they have over the past 3 years played the best football i’ve seen in 45 yrs and the great thing about it ,it gets better the tougher the opposition, admittedly not for a full 70mins but I wouldn’t put that beyond them in the future.
    We need to get rid of the old ways of hand wringing and worrying and start believing.

  23. mayo mchale, I couldnt agree with you more about jj comments.He sounds deluded to me too. Lets just enjoy each game as they come and shout and roar for the lads, they’ve done us mighty proud so far.,

  24. All – less of the sniping at other commenters please! Everyone is entitled to give their opinion and others are entitled to challenge these opinions but not in a derogatory way so please steer clear of the personal stuff when putting across contrary views.

  25. SamC : Delusion def.. ( false belief: a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of a psychiatric condition)…………..
    The bookies must have all gone ‘cuckoo as well ‘ for all this false belief………………and as for myself, then it must be time to call the men in white coats………………………………But SamC ,I suppose i will have to endure personal insults for the sake of ‘free speech’ and to give my own opinion…………………………….Suppose I should know more than to challenge the beliefs of my betters.

  26. Sorry wj, reading my comments back they do look derogatory and your right but i didnt mean that he was deluded personally just that i thought some of his comments were airy fairy, sorry if anyone was offended. Think the excitement of upcoming games is getting to me.

  27. I think, JJ, whilst you have a right to free speech etc., people are trying to keep the hype down – your post was the total opposite of that and is jumping many bridges. Many people, like myself, have seen hype destroy Mayo teams and we would hate to see the same happen again. That is why your post is garnering such negative reviews!!
    I see Terry Reilly tweeted that there is GOOD injury news for Mayo int tomorrow’s Examiner. I would hope this would mean that Cuniffe, Barry Moran and Conroy are all back and flying in training. That would be great if it was the case. Gormley back for Tyrone isn’t all that big of a deal – he is not the player he was and has been poor enough for them this year. The distraction this has been for Tyrone can only be good for Mayo, allied with that ridiculous sheet they handed the press the other night. There hasn’t been a sound out of the Mayo camp this week. It’s been a good week for Mayo.

  28. Horan, Brig. I accept what you say but but if we are to be accused of creating ‘hype’ in giving an opinion, then where is the entitlement to free speech…………I did not write my post to influence anyone or create anything, I was merely giving my own views and I hope I haven’t breached any of the site rules in doing so.
    To be personally put down is a different matter altogether and if being positive stirs such a hornets nest, I cannot do anything about that.

  29. SamC .That your reply was one to the site and an apology to WJ ranks with me as a cold affront…………….so be it,each to our own snobbery.

  30. jj, my post was written,after wjs and before yours. I dont know why you are so upset with me and not giving the same grief to another person who said similar things. I hope its not because i’m a woman and an easy target. I apologise if i offended you and i hope thats the end of it. i truly feel that your picking on me now. All i was saying is that you were talking airy fairy about defending the cup when we havnt even won it yet. Am i not entitled to my opinion also. If it came out wrong i’m sorry.

  31. Fair point! Not condoning you being put down, just explaining why your free speech is riling so many!
    Anyway, isn’t it great to have such positivity surrounding this Mayo team. When I think of three years ago, watching Mayo ship defeats against Cork, Sligo and Longford, it’s amazing to have come so far in such a short space of time. Long may it last!

  32. Apologies JJ that my comments offended you, I’m not one for hurdling abuse at any one but maybe it’s the open and easygoing manner in which Willie Joe runs this Blog, that makes us all feel so much at ease, like we’re sitting on a few high stools discussing Mayo football. It’s in this context that I felt free to take a little swipe across the floor.

    Not that I wouldn’t disagree with most of what you said, buy when you suggested that if we managed to win this one, you could see us suddenly dominating football in a Kilkenny like manner, is what caught my eye. You see JJ after all those barren years, to win just once for now would be an answer to my and I’m sure many Mayo prayers, that for now will do just fine.

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