Monaghan match approaching

Full time in Iniskeen

The week is pushing on and we’re getting ever closer to Sunday’s National Football League Division One meeting with Monaghan at MacHale Park (throw-in 2pm). There’s no word as yet about teams for Sunday – it’ll be tomorrow or Friday, I guess, before we’ve full details there – and without that I suppose we’re all at a bit of a loose end. Here, then, are a few bits and pieces to keep you going in the meantime.

Keith Higgins has been on media duty of late, with resultant pieces featuring him in the Irish Independent and Irish Examiner today, as well as on the GAA website. Sean Rice in this week’s Mayo News considers the proposition recently put forward by Aidan O’Shea – that our fast-as-hell skipper ranks as the greatest Mayo player of all time – and, as ever, what Sean has to say makes for interesting reading. That piece, by the way, also contains his views on the Monaghan game.

The Mayo News also has a piece by Daniel Carey on the abandoned League match against Monaghan up in Scotstown in October 1995, a feature that contains a great team photo of the side that subsequently went on to come within the bounce of a ball of an All-Ireland title less than a year later. My, how young we all once were.

Will we have a poll to round all this off? Sure, why not – here you go.

How will we do against Monaghan?

  • Win (67%, 137 Votes)
  • Lose (26%, 53 Votes)
  • Draw (6%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 203

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32 thoughts on “Monaghan match approaching

  1. Taking my green and red tinted glasses off here for a minute, Monaghan at 7/4 look a super bet to me.

    I honestly think they’re possibly the most underrated team in Ireland for me. Ulster Champs in 2013 and but for some cynical play and poor refereeing would have made a semi, and that was even as a result of a perfectly understandable Ulster title ‘hangover’.

    Last year beat Donegal to win division 2, beat Tyrone deservedly and shook off a very tough Armagh outfit in Championship, who could well have been semi-finallists themselves.

    In fairness Monaghan didn’t really turn up v Donegal or Dublin but you could just as easily say had Connolly stitched that early goal v Donegal, they could have given Donegal a similar hiding. There’s fine margins in GAA. I still don’t believe anyone can live with Dublin at their best

    Anyhow, I expect them to come to Castlebar with a disciplined and precise gameplan, and I see them being very tough to break down. They have forwards who can kick scores too. They’re a better side than Tyrone in my view.

    We struggled to break down Cork & Roscommon last year, hardly vintage blanket defence sides. As well as Tyrone 3 weeks ago of course. Yeah, unfortunately I’d have to side with the Northerners in this one, when I look at it objectively. Hoping I’m wrong of course, though I’d nearly say I’d rather we learned a few things while losing, than winning learning nothing in the league. As long as we stay up, though division 2 didn’t really hurt Donegal last year or playing in a relegation final didn’t hurt Clare and Cork in hurling 2013

  2. The words of our captain Keith Higgins in the Indo, on the Tyrone game :

    (Win the game and you’re probably thinking, ‘Great, things are flying here’, but when you lose like that you have to look back and see what you did wrong and how you can improve.)

    And maybe that’s the key. If you still believe there’s room to get a little bit better, then why wouldn’t you keep on chasing your dream?

    We are blessed to have a player like this in our team. Roll on the Monaghan game!

  3. Lots of debate here since the Tyrone game, much of it interesting and constructive, about ways to beat the blanket. But I’m still adamant that as bad as Mayo were that day, we still should have got something from the game. We made enough chances, but some of our wides were appalling.

    Some say they were from tight angles – ah, they weren’t that tight that inter-county class forwards couldn’t score more of them. Fortunately, big wide counts don’t happen as often with us as they used to, so no real need for worry there (not yet, anyway).

    What I expect – and what needs – to change on Sunday is the attitude. Mayo were miserably slow out of the blocks the last day and were very sloppy executing the basics. Much greater sharpness of mind is required. If Mayo are tuned in and at it from the beginning on Sunday, we will win the game. If not, then I sincerely hope that at least the tactics are a bit smarter – i.e. kicking the ball long and at speed, and keeping it moving – no walking it into traffic. Should we resort to slow carrying up the field, we can expect those 7/4 odds on Monaghan to look even better come 4 p.m. Sunday.

  4. sean rice isn’t convinced about Higgins being mayos greatest, I cant name another player in my lifetime as good as him at so many facets of play. If I was to name a particular passage of play that epitomizes him it would be against Roscommon in championship where he jinked and weaved at speed through 6 -8 rossies and scored with the left foot at full speed. Like Ciaran macdonald, he is one in million and we should have our kids watching him and what he does because when hes gone he wont be replaced. There never to my mind, has been a Mayo player that can defend and attack like this fella, if im not mistaken it was himself that jumped onto the poorly given Donegal handpass at midfield and ended up fistpassing it 20 meters or so into open space for donie vaughans goal that day in 2013.
    On sunday it would be interesting to see danny Kirby at ff for a while or someone like him, barry moran? , early in the game, and Mayo to try for goals that would mean Monaghan would need to play football instead of this defending game. High accurate ball into the square from the start, and big lads in there to win it or break it near the goal to the likes of doc or whoever is in there waiting for it.

  5. In my opinion Keiith Higgins has performed at a higher level than any other Mayo player since I started to watch them in the late 1960’s! His display against JO’D inLimerick was flawless and breath taking!! ‘Simply the Best’

  6. I recall a in house challenge against Monaghan in 2013 that was mentioned a lot on here at that time Monaghan apparently won giving Mayo a very physical encounter.

  7. They did give a very physical challenge,and as we know from past, forewarned is forearmed. Mayo will be ready for them.

  8. Without a shadow of a doubt Keith Higgins best corner back Mayo ever footballer we ever had Ciaran McDonald imagine if we had him at 11 now if he was in hes prime.we genuinly have been blessed with so many great players down through the years.

  9. The problem for us Aidan, we never had them all together. As for the match on Sunday, I don’t think Monaghan will adapt the blanket defence at all. They have a fine team with some very good forwards, and will fancy their chances against us, playing open and attacking football.

    How we react to that last defeat, will tell us a lot about our mind-set and more importantly how Pat and Noel approach the game. I think the Managers will find themselves under a lot of pressure to win this one, and their tactics and reactions from the side line will I imagine, be carefully monitored by the footballing experts.

  10. I think it will be a great game. We are physical enough for them. Hope for a win. Higgins is a super footballer and athlete. McDonald gave ya goosebumps. He was that good.

  11. Wasn’t Around for Mayos AL winning teams, but Higgins is for sure the finest player iv seen grace a Mayo Jersey…

    As for team I’d like to see for Sunday.. Assuming all fit
    Cunnife Kk Higgins
    Lee Boyler Durcan
    SOS Donnie
    DOC AOS Douglas
    COC Freeman Sweeney

    Quick counter attacks from turnovers Along with quality ball to Freezer… Also Half backs Holding better and not gettin caught out of position like against Tyrone.

    Sounds Easy on paper. Doesn’t it.?

  12. Couple of quick points……

    1. No offence Mayo McHale but I think Monaghan will most definitely adopt the blanket defence on Sunday. reason being they know it works against us.

    2. Higgins is not just one of the best players to wear the Green and Red but one of the best in the country to have played GAA in the last century.

    3. Hope I’m wrong but has anyone else picked up on Keiths language and thought that it leaned towards a lack of faith in the current management and leaned towards players having to rise to the occasion? As I say hope I’m looking at it wrong

  13. Would echo that Keith Higgins is the best overall footballer Mayo have produced. About his only weakness would be the hook shot shooting for points. He often favours a low bullet like kick pass which is great as it doesn’t give time for the opposition defence to regroup. His left handed handpass against Donegal was mentioned. Thats the benefit of being comfortable with left hand handpass. He also had to lift the ball up high to give it height to get over the first tackler n he’d seen Vaughans run with a quick glance.
    Himself n Bernard Brogan are extremely tidy soloers of the ball with the ball staying centred, at same height n spinning perfectly back to them. His useage of the bounce solo to change direction and not telegraphing his intention of left or right. About his only weakness is the hookshot for points. He’s actually better kicking straight through the ball on the run.

  14. Still a lot of talk about a blanket, the reason we got beat by Tyrone was fitness, they were fitter and probably a month or 2 ahead in serious training! To beat a blanket you’ve to be on top in the fitness cards, and on top in the accuracy of passing and scoring, simply put! It’s not something I’m overly concerned about at this stage, and if monaghan adopt a blanket, well fair play to them! They might, but it won’t be near as defensive a. Tyrone, monaghan play good football for the most part, so I’m hoping they will have a go on Sunday, as we should be a little sharper then the last game. Looking forward to 3rd game in last year we were still 0pts so we’re better off this year, hopefully Sunday will add more points on the board!

  15. I correctly predicted Tyrone to beat us the last day, but im 100% convinced we’ll win on sunday. 3 weeks hard training was done and managment will be treating this game as a championship encounter, they know this a must win game, we can get to 4 points by 4pm sunday, leaving us with just 2 points needed for survival. Im expecting Cillian to start on Sunday with dillon on the 40 to unlock the blanket with laser passing. Big game from Aidan coming, aswell as lee roy who will have benefited massively from 3 weeks training. Mayo by 3. Feel sorry for the players cut, one of them took my place in the South Mayo u-16’s a long long time ago so i know how hes feeling lol!!. Seiriously though, well done to them all for there service, hoping Coen can make a come back. As iv said for the last 2 yrs, i dont think A Gallagher can offer much to summer football, i was hoping to be proved wrong but it seems noel an pat think the same, hope the lad keeps trying hes still young. Mayo and Ireland double on sunday 🙂

  16. I think we will win…..the manner of the Tyrone defeat plus the 3 weeks hard training as Juan said will make us a leaner looking team this time around.

    Funny if we had beaten Tyrone, I think we would be setting ourselves up for the fall with everyone on a high.

  17. Looking forward to seeing the approach our management make to Sunday.Will they go all out with strongest team to get the 2 points that we need in a home game?Will they continue to try out a few things in the hope it works?How long will they leave things unchanged if they are not working?Personally I would like to see an all out effort to win this game and try out things when/if our league status is secure.

  18. Juan
    What ever young Gallagher did to you in a previous life, hope you get over it soon! Forever jump at the chance to put him down, its incredible and indeed sad! One of our top forward prospects in a long time, after little more than 3 competitive games for Mayo, scoring something like 13-14 points and at the age of 19-20, you have him written off already! He has been released to U21’s as captain as they prepare for the Connaught championship to be run over a few weeks. You haven’t seen the last of him this year sorry to let you know!

    general note, great to see underage talent of last few years really starting to come through and show they can make a real difference, this wasn’t the case over the last few years as we didnt seem to be bring them through like the Dublins, Kerrys, Donegals, etc. Could be the difference

  19. KL I would like to see our U21 make their mark at senior level. The month of March will answer that question for us on the field of play where it counts. The results in the Connacht Championship next month is the acid test. Not what these guys done as teenagers on the big days out in croker, or what some writes on the blog about them.

  20. That is good news about Regan. He snapped over the first point in Killarney with minimum fuss and I was looking forward to seeing more of that. Here’s hoping he’ll be back in the thick of it soon.

  21. Best of luck to Evan regan, hopefully he ll get a game or two in the league. Really looking forward to this game, I’m thinking early scores from our boys will mean a more open attacking game that the Tyrone’s shambles of a game. Do we start a big fella at ff and go route one from the get go?, or will we see a new tactic from Mayo where we defend like Tyrone did? Or both?

  22. Great to hear about Evan Regan, get well soon.

    According to Hoganstand the following: Seamus O’Shea, Tom Cunniffe, Alan Dillon, Tom Parsons and Diarmuid O’Connor are all in contention to feature at the week-end as well.

    It’ll be very interesting to see what the first 15 will be!

  23. Team:

    Hennelly, Cunniffe, Keane, Higgins, Keegan, Coen, Durcan, Vaughan, SOShea, McLoughlin, AOShea, D.OConnor, Ronaldson, COConnor, Doherty

  24. [Deleted].

    In other news, they’ve been pretty persistent with Vaughan in midfield after his spell minding the edge of the square. Interesting. Pity Barrett’s injured, it’d be a wonderful opportunity for him to nail down a half back place

  25. Ciaran – why apologise when making a comment about a player? Possibly because you knew you were overstepping the mark, which you undoubtedly were. The player in question has, don’t forget, an All-Ireland minor medal as well as last week’s Sigerson medal. That’s deserving of a bit of respect.

  26. For those that doubt the talent and ability of Adam Gallagher and Diarmuid O’Connor I look forward to the next 10 years of watching those two young lads prove the doubters completely wrong.
    Adam Gallagher, in time, will be the most natural ball playing forward we have produced in a long time. As for Diarmuid, I’m on record as saying that I believe he will be a more rounded footballer than his older brother.
    Oh ye of little faith.

  27. You have high expectations for Diarmuid O Connor so pebble. Cillian stood out as 17 year old he took to senior football like a fish to water his younger brother has found the senior setup tough but if he’s allowed to developed in his own time instead of been pushed too soon he should improve. Adam Gallagher unlucky he wasn’t a year younger because it seems the 2013 minors are been given more of chance with the seniors than the 2012 minors.

  28. KL,

    First off, i dont know Adam Gallagher at all, he’s probably a top chap and i absolutely have no axe to grind with the lad. You called me “sad” for “putting him down all the time”, thats your opinion which of course your entitled to. But, i feel now i have to defend my opinion on the lad. First off, hes really bulked up from last year, was very noticeable in killarney, fair play to him. Secondly, lots of people were singing his praises after 2-3 league games last year, yet he did not feature in the summer for whatever reason? I agree he did well for a lad his age and i honestly hope to God he fulfills the potential that many on here beileve he has in abundance, hes got the size to make a seirious impact as an intercounty player. But, in MY opinion, i dont beileve he has the pace to make the impact thats expected by your good self, and others on here, a lad at his age of 19-20 are basically at there quickest, pace wise, yes fitness and stamina can peak later in years, but if you have’nt the speed at 18-21 its not going to appear in your mid twenties. I just dont beileve he has the pace to compete for a starting place in this Current Mayo team and i beileve he is over-rated by many on this blog. Again, just my opinion, im no expert and certainly have no ill will towards the lad. Sorry if im offending you KL.

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