Monday match reports

I didn’t want to have to do this and the rest of you – if you’ve any sense – won’t want to spend any time reading this. But, sad fool that I am, I still see it as part of the post-game ritual that has to be done or, on days such as this, endured.

Right, then, let’s get it over with: here’s the online coverage of our destruction at the hands of Dublin yesterday.

Locals: Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Irish Times (match report, live blog, overview), Irish Examiner (match report, quotes from Dessie Farrell and Kevin McStay), Irish Independent (live blog, match report, quotes from Dessie Farrell), Irish Mirror (match report, live blog), Irish News.

Others: GAA (match report, live blog), RTÉ (match report, live blog, quotes from Kevin McStay, Peter Canavan analysis), Dublin GAA, The 42, Sports Joe, FM 104, Breaking News, We Are Dublin.

Photos: Inpho, Sportsfile.

Video: GAA (highlights), GAA Fan TV (analysis).

Stats: Stephen O’Meara, GAA Sports Tracker App, Gaelic Statsman.

For those interested in audio analysis of yesterday’s defeat, our Mayo Football Podcast Final Whistle show is up on Patreon (here). This features Billy Joe Padden, John Casey and Eamon O’Hara with post-game reaction from Kevin McStay.

To lighten the mood somewhat, here’s what’s online about the women’s LGFA All-Ireland SFC group stage win over Laois yesterday. There are match reports on this one available at Ladies Gaelic, RTÉ, Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph, Midwest Radio, Irish Examiner, Leinster Express and photos from Sportsfile.

Okay, that’s your lot for now.

140 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Looking at the goals scoring rates in the last 10 matches between Mayo and Dublin from 2012 onwards in championship.
    17 goals in the matches by Dublin. 5 for Mayo.
    So Dublin averaging 1.7 goals a game and Mayo 0.5.
    Mayo had 2 clean sheets and these were the ones they won.
    In 5 of the 10 matches Dublin scored 2 goals and in 2 matches they scored 3. so 70% of the time 2+ goals.
    If you concede 2 goals against Dublin or Kerry you are a dead duck no matter what you do out the field because they will not give you more than 1 goal and they will tack on another 14 or 15 pts.
    Until we designate a defender who is good in the air and good defensively as our sweeper we are absolutely wasting our time.
    Likes of Durcan or McBrien should be given this role

  2. That article seems to have some agenda going back to the appointment process ?
    Discounting a National League title win against our local rivals ?
    The manager has had his chance after one year?
    Cillian O Connor had to start despite not being anywhere near match fit to start and no mention who would have been dropped from the FF line then ?
    It’s an article that seems laced in bitterness towards Mcstay having got the job over whomever the author wanted .

  3. Seems to be a well written piece. Author’s opinion of course. Thankfully this Blog allows people to share their opinions whether we like to agree with them or not. We do need to carry out more analysis of what has gone so badly wrong in 5 of the last 6 games.

  4. That article by Spailpin Fanach is laced with bitterness towards McStay. Clearly he didn’t want McStay getting the job when he was appointed. Winning a league and reaching a quarter-final with a team who were supposed to be on the way out is not a bad first year in charge. It needs to be built on next year before we know if it is a disappointment or the first step in going in the right direction.

    To say McStay has ” had his chance now” is absolutely bull! It’s a process and McStay wasn’t coming in to a team on the cusp of winning an All-Ireland. As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog the result yesterday flattered Dublin. They absolutely were deserving winners but McLaughlin’s shot goes in or Callinan has a bit more experience in him and just hoofs the ball out of play and it’s a completely different game. Once the 2nd goal went in Dublin turned into Louth with their 15 men behind the ball defensive set up and we played into their hands.

    It’s not McStay’s fault Mayo can’t play against a blanket defence. We havn’t been able to do it for nearly 10 years now and it is damn hard to come up with a plan in the middle of a season for how to counteract it. Fair enough they probably should have had a plan before the season began but McStay trusted his players and his tactics over reactionary ones.

    Lots needs to be done before next year, as is the case with pretty much every team who doesn’t go on to win the All-Ireland, and Mayo could be in a much much worse position than we are. But to be saying the manager has had his chance and needs to toddle off now is the kind of crazy, reactionary stuff that make us a laughing stock to fans around the country.

  5. KM79 a league title is nice, but it’s not much more than the Michael Walsh is at club level. I know we haven’t won many of them, but league’s status is diminishing year on year, Galway and Kerry were only hopping off the plane from their holibobs for it.
    It was a nice achievement but it’s a development/warm up competition now. One that will likely merge into championship in years to come. That process has started already.
    Our priority this year as set out by management was direct through Connacht. Championship is only show in town that matters.

  6. Touch of the lady whistledown in Bridgerton about An Spailipins piece. The players backroom staff and ourselves need a break today from football. We are miles off the pace things can only get better

  7. One thing that was especially disappointing to me was the quietness of the our supporters. At around 45/50 minutes, we were 7/8 points down and we were silent for the rest of the game, just when our lads could have done with a real boost. 25+ minutes to play is more than enough time to bridge a 7\8 point gap, but there was hardly a peep out of us. It is like we had given up.

    We need more vocal support. We have no chants or songs to raise the hair on the back of the neck.

    Why not?

    We could really do with some sort of plan to get the crowd going. Look what the Dubs get out of their crowd.

    God knows we have enough people supporting the team to work this out.

    I have felt for a while we are really not getting the best out of our massive support at these type of games.

    We should be letting the lads on the field know, they have 25,000 people on the sideline roaring them on. It will provide a lift when they are behind and help close out games when they are ahead, both of which are sorely missing from our game.

  8. Bitter and sour recriminations are inevitable given the collective desolation we feel today ..last evening the clogged traffic jams on the M50, the Toll etc of thousands heading dolefully West had the wounded psychic feel of a battered and bruised retreating army after a terrible and unexpected cataclysmic defeat…Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow etc…this morning we all wear the face of the horrified figure in Munch’s ‘The Scream’ …we will have dark days of the football soul for a while but from the ashes of defeat green and red hopes will rise again’s in our DNA to rise up and believe and as one of the many who have trekked from Ballybofey to Killarney and from McHale to Croker I for one will be following our great team through thick and thin again next year …and I know I won’t be alone ! Hon Mayo

  9. Agree with Km79 – McStay should be given a chance as by mistakes we learn. Sorry to bring up a foreign code but the Irish rugby team’s first game under Joe Schmidt, in 2013, was vs Australia in Dublin, where we were convincingly beaten, losing 32–15. The victorious Australian manager at the time said afterwards that almost all managers struggle in their first year – Irish rugby has had many big wins since then, apart from WCs (rugby equivalent of Sam?). Remember it’s only a game, Up Mayo!.

  10. Mentally are our players okay to hear from the same SnC coach, the same coach on tackling and one of the same football coaches.
    It’s not something to ignore that there are three voices in the mgmt backroom team that the players already have many seasons listening to.

  11. John Martin that’s true to a point. What year in their tenure were the winners of the last 3 all Ireland’s though?

  12. A big thank you to you WIllie Joe for all the hard work you do on the blog.

    You put in a huge effort and I always love coming on here to be part of this fantastic community.
    It is really fantastic work. We are lucky to have you do this.
    Thank you.

    Also, I just want to thank Denis and Liam who helped sort me out with 5 tickets for the family at short notice.
    You are both true GAA gents.
    Despite the loss, the kids had a great time taking part in the day.

  13. We all said that beating kerry in first round of the group would be a mighty start. Then it happened. We would have been better had we not beatin them. Things srarted to slip after that. Our standards dropped and we scraped past louth and cork beat us. Ya see our game plan is based on chaos. We thrive on that. When we come up against organisation we struggle. We always do. Our tactical naivity is in plain sight on the big day like yesterday. Mcbrien was given the task of marking con. What did con do? Took him for a walkabout around the field leaving us with no fullback. The first goal our fullback was out of position. Mcbrien did the job he was asked to do. But when it was clear what was goin on a change was needed. It wasnt acted on. O hora has no speed. Fullback line was dangerous spot for him to be in. Change was needed. Earlier. Im not singling out these guys they done there best but for all the knowledge were supposed to have on the line im amazed we didnt act earlier. A full back should not have a man marking job. A child would tell u whats gonna happen. Our tactical naivety on the big day appears again and again.

  14. Agree with that JP. I was happy McStay got the job. He was the most experienced option and deserved a shot.

    I was very sceptical about bringing back Rochford and Buckley however. At least when Horan came back the second time he brought in a completely new backroom team.

  15. Told my Galway buddies last night that I knew the writing was on the wall when we could only beat them by a point!!!

  16. Some understandable knee – jerk reactions to the result being expressed, however it’s fair to say Dublin had Mayo’s number today. I’m not sure forensic analysis of the manager is entirely apt in the midst of a disappointment such as yesterday’s game. Jim Gavin was heavily criticised by many both inside and outside the camp after Donegal exposed defensive frailties in 2014. Yesterday was (to borrow Pat Gilroy’s term) Mayo’s ” startled earwig” moment. Now is not the right time for a lynch mob. McStay is shrewd and will adapt just as Gavin did.

  17. That is one extremely ruthless bit of reporting that Sam has shared. I feel a lot of the frustration around McStay is of his own doing and not helped by the county board. Between the CB and McStay, they were very comfortable talking about their previous experiences and how everything was rosey in the garden. A long drawn out process that resulted in mayo “finally getting their man”.

    Truth be told I think McStays lack of knowledge of the club game has left him exposed. I saw people say that he was at every club match last year, or someone from his management team was.

    What game did he see Conor Loftus play CHB. How is it that a lad from castlebar, who only started one game for them last year was brought into the panel whilst some of Westport’s best forwards never got a look in.

    How is it that honest defenders like King at Knockmore can’t even get a trial, considering he’s probably the best club sweeper in the county. How has Paul Towey not got a look in?

    The list goes on and on. I think it’s a bit of a joke that we have a management team that only 1 of them has managed club teams in mayo. Damian Mulligan. Mchale spent 6 months with Belmullet, a team who were in a county final in 2021, and failed to get out of the group in 2022. Make of that what you will.

    We hype up Stephen Rochford as one of the best in the country. Yet Pat Homles and Noel Connelly have won more in Connaught than him. Donie Buckley can’t seem to ever be on a winning AI team. It was interesting when the Kerry CB turned him and his management team down in 2022. But in Mayo apparently he’s the best.

    I’m not trying to be abusive but I really think we are kidding ourselves in mayo. There is no honest debate around critical talking points. If some can tell when was the last time Kerry Dublin or Tyrone rehired men who failed to win All Irelands, I’d love to know.

  18. To be quite honest, I came out of Croker yesterday more deflated than I have ever been out of any loss, including All Ireland finals, reason being I feel we are further away than ever from an All Ireland.

    We are so so poor in midfield, I’d go as far as saying we arguably have one of the weakest midfields in the whole country, why Bob Tuohy never got a minute here during championship baffles me, great fielder which is exactly what we lack and he can fairly move. We somehow need to unearth at least 2 more midfielders during club champsionship, perhaps Tuohy and Flynn could be an option down the line but need a couple of other options. Carney is not a CHF, not a knock on the lad as he tries his best but just not suited to the role. I’ve blue in the face saying ROD should be our CHF, he is our most creative player by a country mile and a superb kickpasser, Conroy, Cillian and Carr/Aido require good quick ball into them and ROD is the man to do it, none of this constant recycling bullshit with lads scared shitless to shoot.

    I just don’t see what Coen offers, thought he was brutally exposed again yesterday, bench option for me at best. Reape was extremely slow with his kickouts, had a great viewpoint from central upper Hogan yesterday and Carney/McLaughlin were both making great runs into acres of space yesterday for kick outs but he ignored them, still think he’s our best option overall and a pretty good first season for Colm.

    With regards to management, it was eerily similar to McStay’s stint with the Rossies, go all out for the league and fall flat on the face for championship, we were playing strong teams for FBD for christ sake, no need. Need to get serious gametime into Tuohy, McHugh, Coyne, Towey in particular next year. I would hope the likes of Diskin could be persuaded to give it another shot with Mayo, he was excellent for Claremorris last year effectively playing in a wing forward role, he’s direct, quick and strong as an ox. McBrien (outstanding yesterday), Coyne and Callinan the main positives this year.

    Backline I’d like to see next year would be as follows:


    Diarmaid O’Connor as sweeper


  19. I do think we were way too slow to replace O Hora with Hession . Should have happened after 10 minutes (well it should have been done beside the game !)
    Who knows what have happened then.
    No way they should have been ahead at HT

    And on reflection our legs did go a bit last quarter. That’s the price of an extra game especially against Galway !

    On to next year we go .

  20. Sam – you can’t lift an entire piece from somewhere else and drop the whole thing into the comments. Posting the link is fine but that’s all that should have been posted.

  21. One of the arguments being made by the usual doomers is we peaked too soon. That one is complete crap, the fatigue factor of 3 games on the spin was significant. Teams are all at peak S&C for amateurs. We’ve seen many times now (not just us, it happened Tyrone too) rarely does a team in that position of no rest week win and they often get hammered. When they do win it’s never against the top 2 and the other team doesn’t get a run.
    Another argument thrown out above is not enough players tried. Not true, there was a stat put out during the league and loads of them got a chance.
    Three arguments I will accept are not enough goals compared to other teams, defensive structure (Kerry have re fixed theirs after us) needs to be very very tight and not enough ball winners in midfield. The 3rd of these can be mitigated by clever kickout calls and coaching better running as the Dubs did for Cluxton when he had no options. Bringing new players undoes kickout telepathy, Dubs had veterans there. It takes patience and no goalie will likely ever reach Cluxton’s level. It can also be mitigated by using 3 or 4 players in midfield, develop Tuohy and Carney further and keep the zone fresh. The most difficult one to fix is goals for, we need more marquee forwards, unmarkable . Tommy is probably the only one we have very few can handle and in 2nd year back will be even more unmarkable. We need 2 or 3 more. Carr has heaps of ability and can be a handful but not consistent enough and about 28. More his thinking game than skill sets but missed several years due to injuries so can still improve but may never be marquee. Ryan can be marked at least if the quality of ball in drops. Complaints on the lateral stuff we’ll I’d say we had to run the ball and probe for the gap for the line break as kick and hope with the pressure the Dubs we’re putting on would likely lead to even more turnovers and kill the spirit even more. We went a bit clueless with kicks we did try which is common for most teams when the gap is big. The Dubs knew they would get great chances to pick us off from turnovers and they did. The damage was done once Dubs went 4 up and the goal then was the hammer blow. Everything beyond that fairly irrelevant as it was out of reach.
    We can win an AI as Dubs veterans will retire and their replacements while good are not as good. Kerry will be the team to beat, ok 50 50 this year but beyond. We need to mine our underage stars regardless of how far they progressed. I hope Cillian stays as he’s still at the races and proven scorer. More scores from HF line is a fair comment, Flynn does his part but compare with Galway sometimes it’s Tierney, others Cooke and McDaid, they all have a game of heavy scoring. Kerry and Dubs too, Carney and Tuohy will develop and Ruane may then be pushed in some games to HF where he’ll get more opportunities.

  22. Green&Red – I honestly don’t believe there are club players out there being overlooked. One Westport forward was called in last winter but left of his own accord from what I heard. Paul Towey has got chances, but he’s a right footed corner forward – the same as Ryan, Tommy, Cillian and James Carr.

  23. Thanks WJ for a great year, Blog and Pods have been top notch.
    Was there yesterday and was gutted to see so many fans leave early.
    Agree with John Kennedy there should be some better chants than “Mayo Mayo” which is fine but Dubs were in fine voice yesterday. Met some serious characters yesterday from near and far.
    Don’t see the point in all the negativity but was surprised we didn’t come out of the dressing room for the 2nd half.
    We’ll go again next year.

  24. While I like Kevin’s approach, I do think he was off the mark with his comments that it wasn’t a bad season . It was a very disappointing finish, it sounds like it’s ok to get beaten out the gate by Dublin, it’s really not . We beat Dublin two years ago & their team has changed little . I hope we’re not back to accepting mediocrity & the odd season with a decent championship run

  25. @green&red

    I would be inclined to agree with your broader point, that in Mayo we tend to lionise and put lads on a pedestal and thats why so many manager’s seen to have gotten 2nd and 3rd chances at it, Horan/O Mahoney/Rochford/ Maughan/ donie buckley all got a few runs at the wheel because of this romanticism.

    I don’t think the public would be as forgiving in places like Kerry/Tyrone/Dublin.

    Buckley has been rejected multiple times in the kingdom. Rochford enjoys the priveleged position of being praised for any good tactical innovative and absolved for any tactical innovation that fails (just like when he was in donegal)

    Absolutely management deserves another year or 2 at it, league win gives them credit in the bank but the honeymoon is most definitely over. I have had reservations about the ‘too many cooks’ scenario with the management team, a lot of big personalities and dare I say egos there and it would be fascinating to see who calls the shots

  26. No point in blaming management now, we were all very pleased with them when we won the National League back in April. It’s Sport you have good days and bad days and Mayo supporters have more good days than bad days than most counties albeit without reaching the Holy Grail. One thing I would suggest for next year maybe don’t start serious training etc as early as this year for those talented young amatuers. It was clear over the last month or so that when we finished all of our last 4 games, Galway game included, we seemed to be out on our feet. No point on been the fittest team in the Country in Jan/Feb if the Olympics are not on until the Summer.
    Tiocfaidh ar Lá

  27. Mike Kelly and others who claim that today is not the day for this reactionary stuff are being hypocritical. The quoted article is more nuanced and the author himself agrees that Mayo fans will remain supportive of the lads. Why would you choose to ignore the elephant in the room that is McStay inferring the backs threw it away when the defensive system his management team instigated is the root of the matter? If we want seats at the big boys table, we need accountability.

  28. Wide Ball – we can agree to disagree on this but we had one forward of the starting 6 yesterday that has a county senior medal. The likes of Carr, Carney and Conroy have played most their senior club career at junior level so far. Personally I think Conroy is good enough but would the other two lads stand out as top class attackers had they been playing senior club football. They are good lads but would they outscored someone like Peter Naughton or Cathal Slattery. Does Stephen O’Malley from Tubber deserve a chance. Those men have been doing it at a higher club level and completely overlooked in recent years. McStay had a perfect chance to bring in some new blood and in my opinion I think he could have done a bit more

  29. Well done WJ. You have courage to do what you do.
    I’m shattered and I was just watching. How are the lads?
    I was part of the silent support. I did cheer a few times but hadn’t the heart myself. The psychological tank is empty.
    I’m happy it’s over. But I don’t think we’re done yet.
    Mayo always has and always will have passionate and beautiful footballers.
    I’d like to see a bit more joy and fun in our play. We did so much back play yesterday. Partly due to the intensity of the Dubs but also not trusting ourselves to give it a go.
    Philadelphia here I come… They think it’s all over, it’s only beginning!
    Thanks to you WJ.
    Thanks to our team.
    Thanks to the management and all the backroom team. Thanks to all your families.
    Thanks to you all on the blog. It’s time to rest, hibernate.
    Maigheo i mo chroi.

  30. To paraphrase our former manager, what would the learnings from this season be? The following would be my stab at it.

    1. We concede sloppy goals at a rate way out of proportion to any of the perennial challengers for Sam. Take yesterday, the first goal came about as a result of a simple hoof into our parallelogram, some ball watching from O’Hora and bam! Three seconds later the ball is in our net. The second goal was a touch of naivete from a young footballer who I believe shows a lot of promise. Just go down on the ball and get your free, don’t leave anything to chance. Unless we reduce the number of goals that we concede, we will never win the ultimate prize.

    2. We do not create enough goal chances in general, and when they come, we usually miss them anyway. Eoghan McLoughlin’s miss yesterday is just not on at this level. Jordan Flynn’s was a bit more on the unlucky side, as he lost his footing as he was going through.

    3. Midfield was very quiet again, and utterly overpowered once the Dubs got going in the third quarter. We don’t seem to be able to win clean ball in the air, Aido aside, and you’re probably robbing Peter to pay Paul by bringing him out the field as often as we do. This is probably a significant part of the kickout problem alluded to by other posters.

    4. It’s all very fine and well being comfortable on the ball, but you need stoppers in the key positions in the centre of defence. Loftus tried, but he wasn’t up to it. I think that the league win masked this issue a bit, especially given the losses of Keegan and Mullin, which showed more and more as the year went on. These were generational players for us, who cannot be replaced overnight. On the bright side, David McBrien generally did pretty well, so that should be one position sorted.

    5. We need to put in place a defensive structure that allows us to compete later in the season, in order to address problem 1. Uniquely amongst the stronger counties, we persist in allowing teams acres of space in front of our full back line. This is probably because we tend to rely more on our half-backs to provide scores than other counties.

    6. IMO we need to quit trying to convert athletes from other sports into footballers. Kerry are the aristocrats of the game and never do this (I anticipate some people mentioning Kieran Donaghy here, but he played football all the way up the grades, even if he showed more promise as a basketballer). IMO it’s almost impossible to achieve the high level of skill required if you’ve missed out on those formative years.

    7. We need to lay off any talk of Mayo for Sam. The result yesterday showed that we are a million miles away, and we can blame fatigue if we wish, but we put ourselves in that position by losing to Cork.

  31. For those lamenting the fixtures schedule as an excuse, that was in our hands too, after beating kerry in killarney not topping that group was a killer, whoever came out of the Mayo/Galway game was a dead man walking.

    The cork defeat still irks me more than the Dublin defeat, thats the kind of lax sloppy defeat against a 2nd tier team that the serious teams never get caught on.
    Cork are a good side but Derry dispatched them yesterday without breaking sweat, the way it should be

  32. I should have added one more:

    8. McStay seems to have repeated a pattern seen with Roscommon, where he did well often in the league but the team tapered off come championship. I hope that maybe he makes some adjustments next year in view of this, because the change in the structure of the championship means more games and less importance on the provincial championships. A lot of our better players seem to have faded as the year went on.

  33. I was in the lower cusack stand and tried my best to shout and roar on the team but it was futile. We were out shouted,out roared and out chanted by the dubs supporters .When the dubs supporters get into full voice we did not have a hope competing with them in the stands. I was awful disappointed to see mayo people streaming out of Croke Park with 20 mins left in the match. Wearing my green and red hat i thought at half time that Mayo would win it. The players could not hear any mayo chants in the second half and that deflated the team, Also taking off Aidan was a bad decision my the mayo management. I hope everyone learns from this distressing experience and vow to come back stronger and better next year. I was disappointed with the number of mayo supporters there yesterday which is probably a consequence of too many matches. ROLL ON THE CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP and hopefully we discover gems

  34. The doom and gloom is a massive over reaction.
    The feeling I have about Galway is the same feeling I have about Mayo. McBrien, Carney and Callinan have been excellent. That’s the future, you build a team around them. You don’t hang on to guys who have consistently not got over the line.
    Galway will have to do the same, it’s over for some of the older guys, Cian Hernon and Johnny McGrath are 21, they were 2 of our best defenders last Sunday. Big decisions needed. The best managers make the big decisions. I havnt seen either PJ or McStay make a big decision. Drop Shane Walsh for a few games, drop Hennelly from the panel. Ciaran Kilkenny was dropped yesterday, that’s a statement.

  35. Im sure the team feel as down as we the supporters do this morning. Thank you sincerely for your dedication, you carry Mayo on your shoulders.
    We wish you well, go have a private life away from the pressure. Thank you as always.

  36. McStay understandably tried to follow Kerry’s script from last year in winning the league. With the new format this year there was never any great certainty as to what the best tactic would be regarding pacing and timing your run for summer.

    We always seem to be looking back, striving to level the playing field with the best, Kerry, Dublin. We’re always playing catch-up. But as I said here a couple of days ago, for now our moment has passed. It passed really on that September day in 2017. Lee Keegan’s face said it all.

    Again, I’m not spewing doom and gloom for the sake of it, I’m really not. The simple fact at the moment is we’re not good enough. For me that’s ok to take. I still love watching and supporting Mayo and enjoyed the day yesterday. As many fellow Mayo supporters we bumped into yesterday said “sure we’re well used to it now”. Which we are. And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. We’re taking it in our stride for the most part.

    I hope the management pick themselves up and go again which I’ve no doubt they will, but my biggest worry for them is the way the CHB debacle played out. They were too slow to change, as if they were living more in hope than anything based on evidence that it would all suddenly click. The County Board need to sit them down and an honest review needs to happen, interrogating all these decisions, and who was calling the shots. No doubt there has been a decade of similar reviews at this stage. Hope the process is rigorous and brutal. I believe Kevin is enough of a leader to thrash it out and to facilitate the necessary forum with his backroom team for such a review, with or without the help of the Board.

    Perhaps there’ll be changes to the backroom team, perhaps not. It’s a huge commitment to all involved and some might want to step away and do their own thing with a different team. Time will tell.

  37. As always I try to wait until the following day to comment as it is less raw. However it’s still a hard championship to suffer this year. Pathetic performances. I think like RTE Mayo GAA needs a complete change from board level to management. We are a laughing stock. The pitch was a shambles this year and you have board members etc. on team buses. Completely unacceptable.

    Management too has disappointed. Like in his tenure in Roscommon, we started well in the league and went out like a candle in championship. Who really gives a shit about the league. Stay up and put in a good championship. We had one good performance and 4 poor performances. Not good enough. I think like RTE there needs to be transparency. How much is the management team costing? It needs to be cut also. Rochford and Buckley have been there before and I don’t know what more they will bring so I dont know why we should continue to entertain them. Buckley the so called defensive and tackling king clearly didnt work his magic this year. One performance and one swallow doesn’t make a summer. And we never have a plan b and can’t beat a defensive set up.

    On the pitch, midfield and the half back line were poor again. We lacked leaders and someone to take the game by scruff of neck. 11 points in nearly 80 minutes is pathetic. Not been scoring enough from play. AOS unfortunately cannot seem to perform in Croke Park. Poor all over pitch from 1 to 15. A complete rethink and reset needed. Underage structures key if we are to win an all ireland. Should be focusing on next 5 or 10 years.

  38. 2023 and 2019 seasons have lot`s of similarities.

    New Management
    Win Div 1 league
    Lose to Roscommon in first round of Connaught
    Big win in the “back door” to reignite our belief (Donegal 2019 & Kerry 2023)
    Competitive with Dublin for a half in knockout game and then comprehensively beaten by a stronger outfit in the second half.

    Overall it has been a poor season but Management were appointed on a 4 year term and deserve their chance to build their own squad and not be ousted by the keyboard warriors after 1 season.

  39. The basic defending has left some Mayo players, players over Coached, I have a good view up high in Cusack stand yesterday, near Davin.
    Mayo defender too busy watching Basquel and did not even thinking of attacking the ball, simple stuff get to the ball first. Worse was the ball was caught at stomach height not even over his head.
    I could not believe the following yesterday and warned about it in 1st half.
    3 Mayo defender man on man with no cover for most of 1st half, D O Connor was out back there late in 1st half.

    No Mayo all out defence for first 5 or 10 minutes of 2nd half, sure Mayo only 1 point down, should have kept it water tigh and brought 13men behind the ball.
    I blame management 100% for this. I saw this coming, why did Mayo not prepare for it, 2019 is not that long ago.

    I am not as convinced about the Dubs as some people here. Mayo made them look great when some players appeared to give up late on.
    I will watch the game back in full this week.

  40. Still, we got great wins in the League, great day v Kerry, great last week v Galway but too many games in a short time.
    I will remember the good games.

    No doubt we will come again next year with renewed hope, and hope a few new guys will come into the panel.

    I’m going again the grain and think Monaghan will make it difficult for the Dubs with their all out blanket.

  41. Season ends much like last year.

    Plenty to be positive about for next year.

    We never seemed to recover from the victory in Killarney.

    I’d expect us take some massive learnings from this season.

    For next season, I’d like to prioritize building a 15 to be competitive in McHale Park. While ultimately Croke Park is where you win the trophies, if this system is to remain, then Castlebar cannot be a venue that completely destroys our momentum. We have a large and deep squad, we can use it better.

  42. We are not as bad as people would portray us after yesterday’s performance. It was a forgone conclusion that we would find it hard to progress with three matches to play in a fortnight. But there are lessons for management. The first is to assess the backroom team. Rocheford and Buckley should go. They are too much the old guard and we need new blood here. Secondly we unfortunately have to play possession football when necessary. We learned this against Roscommon but more importantly against Dublin. It was rope a dope day. If we conserved energy in the first half rather than going toe to toe with Dublin we would have finished stronger. Not saying we would have won but given our depleted energy levels we may have had a better chance. Kevin deserves to stay on but I wonder about Buckley and Rocheford. We need fresh eyes and fresh strategy. Also would like to look at the backroom team as a whole. Every element of the game is so important including diet physiology and psychology. But this is what good managers do. They manage all elements and must have good people around them.
    A one strategy game is leaving us vulnerable. But this is a young team with a new manager. Just feel Kevin needs to be more ruthless in relation to the advisors around him.

  43. The similarities between 2019 and 2023 are easy to see.

    The big difference between the two for me, is that iirc we didn’t transition to a new fullback in 2019. I think it was 2020 when we did that, and were relegated as a result (before the world ended, and we went to the Christmas final).

  44. agree Batetheblanket leaving lads one on one against the Dubs in Croke Park is absolute madness.
    Like how many times do we have to see that movie.

  45. Batetheblanket, I am not convinced either about the Dubs based on that performance yesterday. They got their tactics right and dominated the game from there.
    We did that in Killarney against Kerry. It’s the follow up that counts.
    The Dubs have some great individual players – yes.
    Let’s see how they play when the pressure comes on at a higher level later.

  46. Muckle, we did conserve energy in the first half, playing lots of possession football. If we struck hard and early, as we could have done, but tactically chose not too, we could have racked up a score that’d turn Dublin heads, and that they mightn’t recover from.
    They, like us, bet on the second half.

  47. Green & Red
    Strange argument regarding forwards needing a Senior County Medal before they merit selection. In fairness you allowed an exception for Tommy Conroy who you said made the grade. I am baffled here trying to see which year ROD won a Senior County Medal yet you never included him. Yet in the first half yesterday watching ROD & Conroy destroy the Dublin defence was a joy to watch. Granted neither scored in the 2nd half but as previously mentioned I think our lads were burnt out going down the stretch again and the extra game did them no favours. I think we should be positive going forward knowing that we have two classy forwards at our disposal for the next few years. Only shame for them is that we didn’t get a draw against Cork and go down a different route afterwards guaranteeing both of them an All Star if we reached the semis

  48. We love to call ourselves great supporters. No doubt some sure but lots of others just sing when we are winning and reasoned and logical comments are thrown out the window when things don’t turn out the way we want. Think back just two years. Many fell over themselves in glory and praise of team and JH when we beat a declining Dublin. Four weeks later he and the team were vilified when we didn’t beat Tyrone and the criticism continued for the next year until he retired and became a great man. Enter our new management. Some never wanted K McStay and were simply waiting for defeats to stick the knife in. The majority saw a big strong management and supported it. Winning the league was a good start. Most of us pleased about it but for the anti brigade it was “only the league” and as always “McStays teams peak too early” Justification arrived a week later v Ross. Then we turned in one of our best performances in years to beat Kerry. The anti brigade fell silent. The rest of us got over excited. Poorish performances v Cork and Louth (teams some looked down their noses at ) followed and the knives were out again only for a battling victory v Galway to lift our spirits and convince some we would defeat this Div 2 team who had no test all year. Well we saw what happened with that so the knives were really being sharpened. I am no expert but a passionate supporter of Mayo. I am thrilled when they win and desperately disappointed when they lose. But I don’t feel the need to vent my anger and disappointment at every one when we lose. I look at our team. It is filled with lots of inexperienced lads who will have good and bad days because that’s what inexperienced lads do. It also contains more battle hardened guys some whose form has deserted them a bit. McStay is always honest in his post match interviews just as he was yesterday. He did not blame anyone. We all know certain individuals made errors for the goals and other things and that is a fact. Scoring 3 points in 55 minutes is a fact as well once Dublin got to grips with Ryan and Tommy. The young players will of course learn from it. Reape, Coyne, McBrien, Callinan, McHugh etc have all had good seasons and yesterday doesn’t change that. We go on about our strength in depth, while Dublin bring on Kilkenny McCaffrey and Small. We are well behind the top teams whether we like it or not. Is management to blame. Not in my opinion. Can they improve on what they do. Definitely in my opinion. Develop a defensive system which lessens the possibility of giving bad goals away. Try to find a midfield partnership that can do better and of course our biggest Achilles heel do something about a non scoring half forward line. Plenty for them to do in the closed season. Us , we should go out and support our clubs, realise we have a lot of good young players that need a bit of time and treat all the guys who represent our county with the respect they deserve.

  49. The management team will learn some serious lessons from yesterday and other defeats.. let’s not “retire” any player.. that will happen naturally… look at McCarthy at 35.. we have blooded a new team, but we have serious work todo in middle eight.. let’s get on with it

  50. Regarding our support, there was a big Mayo crowd in Croke Park yesterday and to be fair they were vocal in the first half. Being honest though, when you concede as much as we did in the 1st 10 minutes of the second half and then miss a glorious goal chance to get back into the game, that’d suck the life out of even the most optimistic supporter.
    The Mayo support is badly mentally scarred after the 2021 Final loss. (Add in previous years for extra pain, but 2021 is the one that really stings for a number of reasons). Many have walked away, (can’t blame them, they put everything into supporting Mayo for years), some just don’t have the same heart supporting the team like they used to. Years and years of near losses has that affect on a person. The Mayo support will come again, much like the team, but it’ll take a couple of years for the scars to heal.

  51. Surprisingly, I wasn’t particularly disheartened after yesterdays game. Once the Dub’s 2nd goal went in you could see the physical weariness hitting the team. I think that impacted mentally as well as we just seemed to lose any remaining focus.

    I think this was reflected in the support as well, but that is not in any way a slight on the supporters from me. Each to their own, especially considering the time and money spent.

    I read a post late last night here with someone commenting on how we seem to have too many similar players on the pitch and I would tend to agree. Also, imo a couple of players should not have started yesterday in a match of such importance. Midfield for me is a serious problem going forward. I wouldn’t be shouting for the managements heads though.

    Highlight for me yesterday was my young lad – in his first trip to Croke Park – being absorbed in the first half. I’ve never been as happy to be distracted by questions throughout a half of football. Start of 2nd half, he had lost interest but he is only young.

    Thank you Willie Joe for an amazing source of all things Mayo GAA.

  52. Liberal – I agree. People can go on all they like about tactics and management and this and that. The team isn’t good enough. We don’t have the footballers. There are a lot of passengers on that team. Lads who can’t kick a point from 30 yards. Midfielders who can’t even compete for a high ball. It is what it is.

  53. The first mayo game I attended was a challenge match against Dublin in 1979 in swinford.yesterday now seems like a watershed moment where the same mistakes by different managements keep happening over and over again.I believed after the Roscommon and cork defeats that we couldn’t be considered as contenders.I watched alot of our games back in detail and the two goals conceded in the league against Roscommon were very telling as to the position of certain players.there were other mad goals conceded like the one in the Galway league game wher orme ends up In the full back position marking tierney surely the management had to have seen these incidents but we persisted with this lunacy with the explanation was that it was about developing a quarter back and any debate on the subject was just noise.The plan was finally ditched in desperation and we were left a week out from playing the dubs going back to the drawing board when every other side had their structures in place.In what planet do you leave to average sized corner backs one on one with their men directly in front of goal and we couldn’t recognise that con o Callaghan was deliberately taking mcbrien out of that area.once that goal went in I knew our goose was cooked.we never seem to second guess what the opposition might do like we appeared to be totally shocked when mcshane arrived into full forward at the same point he did in every game that year.I was delighted when mcstay got the job and thought he deserved his chance and he has 3 more years to make his mark but I gather through the grapevine that he says very little and generally takes a backseat in the day to day running of operations

  54. Someone please put this crap to bed about peaking early. McStay set out to1) ensure safe and 2) try and kick on now they were safe 3) win the thing when they got in a good position. People who know nothing about S&C. There’s no choice for Mayo but to be ready early as too many players travel to train.
    Kerry started late , it’s a risk they had to take and we nearly hammered them in the league, 10 up at one point, Dubs can afford to peak late because they all live in Dublin near training, have food delivered etc. Had we won our group Kerry could’ve been beaten yesterday by whoever they drew regardless of their talent. We, losing to Cork have them the chance to shine. However we didn’t show Cork enough respect believing ourselves superior when in fact they’re closer than they’ve been in a log while to having a decent team.
    Regarding Buckley, when he was gone we’d stopped doing near side tackling and you can see young players especially Callinan executing the tackle really well. He’s a clever coach and perhaps himself and Jack OC just don’t get on? In any event he’s well up there as a coach.
    Rochford there’s a case for having too cooks many but Dooher and Lohan won an AI. So long as they can work in that 1-2 setup leave it be. Only they know how it’s working out, we’ve no idea. If dropping Roch, who’s no 2? do we promote McHale or find another high profile candidate. Maybe we don’t need a strong no 2, the managers get all the focus in Dublin and Kerry. However a strong back room team is vital, can’t all be on the manager.

  55. JoeyO – fair enough. I’m not saying you need a county medal to be selected on a mayo team. I’m trying to put things into context. Naughton lad from Knockmore has been the top scorer in 2 of the last 3 seasons at senior club level and has never got a chance. Stephen O’Malley has shown to be a consistent forward for Tubber. Westport are littered with exciting forward players. Those players alone have a far bigger challenge to score every week they go out for a club game because the of the quality they are marking. Care and Carney are always going to look good because the challenge at junior level is not nearly the same as Senior level. Anyway I’m sure our management team will be at plenty of games this summer to spot some fresh new talent

  56. The Gaa powers will always favour the Dubs and Kerry.
    Hill16 was completely full with Dub supporters yesterday.
    Tickets went on sale at 4pm on Ticketmaster last week but Derry, Cork and Dubs could only Purchase that at 5pm Mayo were added.

    No need to be hard on players or management, Mayo couldn’t win it in 13, 14, 16 or 17 when at our peak.
    Keep it going, bring in a few new players, move a few current guys to new positions and see whats in store next year.

  57. Just to add my own Thank you to everyolne elses’ for Willie Joe’s tireless work – as someone who has to meet regular deadlines it’s really amazing how much info and entertainment we all get on a daily basis from this Mayo GAA Blog. Muigh Eo go deo!

  58. Poor year by our high standards.

    Mayo management need to get the “learnings” together for next year. I agree with the AnSpalpin article.

    We had no plan B’ or C, a bit like McGeeny’s Armagh (those Armagh lads must be feeling sicker than us today).

    As some folk pointed out the positives are the young and upcoming young lads, the negatives is there aren’t enough of them so the search for players is needed. We need a ball winning forward akin to Andy Moran, none of our lads show enough for the ball so how can we expect to implement this McStay kicking game? That plan disappeared at some stage during the year, why?

    I wouldn’t be harsh on our defense as we were lost in Midfield and this dates back to the Armagh league game… the “learnings” weren’t “learnt” early enough in the year.

  59. Midfield next year needs to be sorted. Touhy was slotted in for the league. He and we were doing well v Armagh back in Feb and then he was subbed and we had the 10 minute collapse that has happened all year. Can’t see how management let this Midfield failing slip for the championship.

  60. Don’t think McStay should have friends and relations on backroom team. Need people there to be willing to walk if not listened to. Who’s idea was Loftus for centre back and why was it persisted with when it clearly wasn’t working? He knows he has one more year left to prove he wasn’t a mistake.

  61. Tuohy looks a great prospect but has he even turned 20 yet? Whatever about other positions, you don’t see young lads like that playing midfield for the top counties. Next year may even be too soon, although maybe he could start off as a wing forward.

  62. BateTheBlanket – I think the Mayo CB were ones who decided not to have the early ticket slots for club members like other counties did.

  63. @Fair Analysis – too many cooks spoil the broth. Rochford seems to have a lot to say on the sideline

  64. I haven’t gotten around to watching the whole match again, it wont be easy when I do, but it will be easier than if I had to watch risk adverse Armagh again. My heart will say Monaghan when they take on the mighty Dubs in Carbon Neutral Croke Park in two weeks time, if the Farney can do it I might start believing in miracles ..I will definitely start believing in miracles if the continual gifting of a Home Venue to one and only one particular team ever gets spoken about in a meaningful way on RTEs Sunday Game. Still you can say this about the (National?) Public Service Broadcaster, the talented ‘Talent’ that have been asking the questions or NOT?, there are glaring holes, just as big as their financial holes in one particular subject, the real (Neutral) status of Croke Park re Dublin, its never discussed.

  65. Time to look critically at our panel.
    Some great servants will have to go.
    Club championship should give 7 or 8 players a chance to put their hand up.
    Some of our injured defenders may be back
    Need to find a CHB or convert a teak tough footballer to that position.
    Afraid Loftus was just not strong or tough enough,not his fault,a square peg in a round hole.
    Horan was an expert at unearthing new players, a word in his ear could do no harm.
    We must look at all divisions, remember Carney was junior just a few years ago.

  66. Mayo would break your heart. Feeling a bit deflated this morning but onwards and upwards!
    Really looking forward to the club championship this year. Lots of talent and gives a chance to the lads on the panel that didn’t get a look in, to show the true talent they have.
    I’ve always loved club games. The passion and desire seems to be more prominent in some players when they play for their club. I suppose that’s the way it is.

  67. Fair Analysis about Loftus but how come McStay and co thought he was good enough for CB for most of the year and yet he wasn’t good enough to come on as a sub yesterday. Surely he hasn’t got that bad in a few weeks.

  68. We really got an awful trimming yesterday. Shocking stuff. Really sinking in this afternoon.

  69. Unfortunately I think the Dublin result goes back to the loss against Cork. The resulting Salthill game was a tough encounter (remember against a much favoured Galway team) and I suspect the Mayo tank was too low facing the Dub’s one week later, especially when the up’d the tempo at the start of the 2nd half. This was very reminiscent to the turnaround and result against the Rossies after the League Final. This also seemed to be the case for Tyrone facing Kerry and less for the Cork against Derry on Sunday. If the GAA really want the Quarter Finals to be competitive next year they need to allow at least 2 weeks lead in time for each team involved.

  70. Strange game in some ways. First half we could have went in at 4-5 up at HT. There were obvious holes in that first half and I thought we had at least 4 players not at it or didnt get into the game mostly in defence. Maybe this was down to going man to man which can sometimes make players anonymous. For me there were enough signs in that first half that we had to tighten up big time.

    To be fair to McStay he tried to develop a defensive system (albeit pro’s and cons to it) and then changed for the Galway game and IMO it didnt work and yesterday he goes man to man (more like Horanball as some call it here). You could say it worked for the first half but boy did Dublin figure us out and adjusted accordingly. The 2nd goal knocked the stuffing out of us and it was game over. Dublin made the necessary adjustments and we didnt.

    So our big failure was the defensive system – we needed a sweeper or a double sweeper at times. The closer you stay with Dublin the better the chance you have of beating them IMO. We need to work out a new structure and start it from the first league game – the objective should be to go through the league without conceding a goal. We need to perfect this part of our game – we need an ultra defensive component to it. We’ll be forever conceding soft goals until we sort this out. Once Dublin went 6pts up they defended brilliantly – packed it with players and clogged the space. We had no chance at that stage.

    I also feel Mgmt (and i was in this camp also) may have under estimated Dublin and that ultimately contributed to our downfall. Going man to man was a bit nuts – easy say that in hindsight I suppose when a lot of us thought they were on the wane. Lessons to be learned and hopefully not back here next year talking about said same lessons !.

  71. Agree going man to man for whole game was nuts, even Dublin dropped off at times.
    On management, Horan first year, nearly lost to London but then got to semi, McStay won the league got some new players and if it wasn’t for the shambles in Limerick against Cork I think we would have got to a Semi,
    He deserves his shot so we shouldn’t Judge him on his first year.
    O Shea was good impact sub during the league, I think that’s were his future lies for next season if he decides to stay on

  72. Reading a bit about the poor disappointed Mayo fans etc. Of course we are disappointed but what about the players, the team etc. They are the ones going out training on those cold miserable nights and juggling work life balance. We get a day out and some fun in the lead up even if the result doesn’t work, so thanks Mayo Team for those great moments!

  73. I am not offering excuses just a touch of realism. Like Tyrone, we suffered from two many hard games over the past few weeks and the legs were gone in the second half. They are only amateurs and cannot be expected to turn in high energy performances, which is what they did on Salthill, week in week out. Yesterdays game was lost in Limerick against Cork. Cork proved that day that if you push up on Mayos kick outs and force them to go long, they cannot retain possession. Dublin copied Corks tactics in the second half and of course it worked. Mayo just dont have enough ball winning players around the middle. On the positive side, if someone told me that we would win the league, beat Kerry in Killarney and knock Galway out of the championship at the start of the year after losing Keegan and Mullin, I would have been happy. The management have to be given a chance. They have blooded a lot of new players and Dublin are a seasoned and experienced outfit.

  74. Would agree with the suggestion that we have too many of the same player. Our middle 8 (other than Durcan) are basically all the same type of player – tall, athletic, can cover ground but no explosive pace.

    We are seriously lacking in midfield though and I think we also really need a Paul Galvin type ball winner who can contribute on the score board. I think we actually have great full forward line options but we aren’t great in the half forwards. There’s a lack of dog in our team at the moment, Galway, Cork and now Dublin beat us in the middle, not just winning high balls but hoovering up the breaks too.

    For anyone who wants to see how far we have fallen in this regard, watch the first half of the 2017 final. We absolutely lorded it on kick outs and we had Keegan, Boyle, Doherty and Vaughan winning all the breaking ball. We don’t have these players anymore.

  75. Objectively it was a year for building, flagged by many on here. We could have made a semi with that team had we closed out the Cork game. We won’t know how much that food poisoning event was a factor there or if it was afterwards it happened but I’d say we aren’t much better than Cork at present, or similar standard. Derry would likely beat us at present but not convinced either Armagh or Monaghan would. If we avoided Dubs or Kerry in semi, could even have made the final but would take a lot of gained momentum with our low scores in 23 championship to win it out. I truly don’t think there’s a 12 point gap, the 2nd goal was bad luck for a rookie to make that mistake and we had a disallowed goal which could have lead to a 2-4 point margin in our favour in 1st half when we were probably the better team. With that lead, Dubs would likely have won alright but taking a lot longer to dismantle our composure would more likely be in the 6 point range or maybe less. I reckon the 1 week turnaround amounts to about a 5 point swing if we looked at similar match ups involving other teams in recent years and the bookies even underestimated that factor. All that said, deficiencies have been highlighted. Tuohy who’s a great find is likely far to raw for championship midfield yet, he’ll likely get a lot more game time next year but come championship time it will be in the HF line as he won’t get all the required S&C needed in 1 year. May be used as an alternate for Ruane or play 3 midfielders.

  76. For me next year is a project year targeting 2025 onwards. We’re too many players short and too disorganized defensively.
    We’ve too many tall, rangey players with zero explosive pace.
    We’ve too many players who are not and will never be the football level to compete with Dublin and Kerry in Croke Park.
    It’s better to start out with a panel with lots of 19-22 year olds added and this targets 2025-2026 seasons.
    The very best 19 and 20 year olds are pretty obvious.

  77. Based on our last 3 championship outings i no longer think we can call ourselves a “croke park” team.

    Tyrone 2021 – 5 point loss
    Kerry 2022 – 8 point loss
    Dublin 2023 – 12 point loss

  78. I respect your opinion Swallow Swoops. But I thought it was end to end stuff in the first half. The RTE commentary team seemed to think so and were surprised when we went in at half time a point down. The significant thing for me is that the press from Dublin started in the last few minutes of the first half when they scored that last point. That frightened me. We might differ in opinion but maybe it is a moot point. I believe we were doomed to fail when we lost to Cork. Headquarters should not expect teams to play three very competitive games in two weeks. But when did headquarters give a shit about players welfare or indeed the supporters. They have the coffers full and will look forward to filling them further. Look at all the players that came off with cramp and injuries over the weekend.When players are tired the potential for injury goes thru the roof. But what do I know or any of the great Mayo supporters for that matter.

  79. I hope McStay & co perform an honest, accurate assessment of where Mayo are now.
    Defence needs big improvement, you have to start at the back, that part of the house was in chaos this year.
    In midfield, Diarmuid doesn’t have the physical presence needed, he’s a class half forward but now a converted midfielder, filling the holes left after Seamie, Aido and Tom Parsons. Mattie has lost his 2021 form. And our forwards have that eternal Mayo issue – not clinical enough.
    The stats for our scoring rate was posted here yesterday, it’s a damning indictment that we still lack bite and ruthlessness in attack. F*ck it lads, that weakness was identified over 30 years ago and it’s still on the to do list. We’re still a team that labours very hard to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
    So lots of work for McStay, I just hope that there’s a good assessment of what’s needed and if the talent is there right now that we should see new faces on the panel next year.
    If talent not there now then McStay should focus on a long term development plan for recent U20s or minors & have them coming through in a few years.
    I think yesterday was confirmation that we’ve fallen back from where we were 7 to 10 years ago. That was a special group of talent.
    Now, we need a cold assessment of how we progress, I just hope that all the time & investment in recent underage development squads have given us talent for the future. If not, then our underage structures need big review.

  80. Thanks WJ for compiling this and all the work you do for us! The stats links are interesting … we scored so well off our long kickouts ( forced to do so) in 1st half but when Dublin sat deeper we just ran into them and got turned over and punished in 2nd half… same issues breaking down defences all year… we never copped that we are much better when playing direct even if we lose the ball 50% time!

  81. Thats an interesting piece WJ, I consider Clerkin to be a well balanced non biased judge of football writing. I suppose mayo will forgive alot but surrending so meekly maybe a step to far.. I think 2021 and loss to tyrone put the tin hat on it for alot of supporters.. The form has gone back since big time. Ruane a pale shadow, carney very poor last few games.. Relying alot on Doc to do some firefighting.. So apart from Rod and Tommy, where do ya get 4 or 5 points from or a goal if needed… Half forward line not doing it.. And midfield certainly aren’t. I just don’t know if the talent is there as much as I’d like to think it is.

  82. @Maumtrasna …good post. I agree it starts with defence. I’ve said it for 10 years here or more, you have to have a solid defence to win an All Ireland or extremely talent ballers in mid/front. We have good players in the latter sections but not to the point that we can adopt a more relaxed approach at the back. Even in the 2012-17 period, we still failed to have a proper structure at the back, relying instead on having excellent individual players in this area. I think had we adopted a Jim McGuinness style during those years we would have won once, at least. Anyway it’s neither here nor there now but the point is teams with better defensive structures have won All Irelands with defenders of less or similar quality that what Mayo produce. I really hope it’s an area we focus on and then look at a quick transition into attack. When we went direct in 1st half yesterday we were very good. When we went zig zag and backwards (which we did most of the time) we looked clueless and of zero threat to Dublin; who were far better, more clinical and direct in possession. They were also prepared to take risk ; ie their 1st goal whereas did we even once target AOS at 14? Not enough. Ah it’s depressing looking at how we set up and I was a big advocate of McStay getting the job. I hope he has learned alot and sets us up differently for 2024 because if it’s similar to 2023 then we have no chance whatsoever.

    You mentioned the time and investment put into underage development squads?? Has there been? Do you mean specific to development for the seniors or simply that more time or resources have been put into minor and u20 grades? I’d love to know more about this because the strength of our senior team was built upon the 4 in row provincial u21s 2006-09 and the minor teams around the which had AOS and later, Cillian. Comparatively, the last decade was a torrid period for our underage teams and while our minors last year looked promising we have failed terribly at 20’s. I’m always a believer that a county like Mayo should always strive to win the All Ireland at senior and I hate reading about 2 or 3 year plans. Of course you have plans but you should also aim to win every year. Look at Tyrone in 21, they had u21’s from 2015 but for the most part it wasn’t exactly a stellar team but with good management/tactics and fire in the bellies they went and won an All
    Ireland. The remainder of this decade is wide open compared to years gone by. Yes, build for future and CB really need to put much greater priority on underage (u17 and 20 managerial appointments are massive) but the seniors should set out every year with the one goal. Win the All Ireland.

  83. Look it’s very disappointing , too many big name players haven’t hit the heights that we would expect. Somebody made the comment here earlier that it’s not mMcstays fault that we don’t know how to play against a blanket , correct that’s been a problem for about 10 years now but it’s Mcstays job to sort it out. That’s not an excuse. Half forward line bar Jordan Flynn very poor return once again. Callinan showed inexperience for the goal but he is the real deal. O hora was a mile behind his man from the start yesterday and should never have started. Eoin McLaughlin just shows time and time again that although full of energy and gets on so much ball he doesn’t do the basics well at intercounty level. I actually thought it was very strange taking o Shea off once we were chasing the game, Mcstay still has lots to work with but we need to look at basics now, breaking ball has been a huge problem for Mayo and couldn’t understand why we didn’t play half back in the half forward line.

  84. Agree on midfield, there are times you can’t find your man and you need to go long, you have to have ball winners when that happens and we don’t at the moment.
    Would like to see Reape getting his kickouts off the tee abit quicker, it was something Hennely had improved on

  85. Agree with a lot of that Noel but we won most of the breaks in the first half if I remember rightly. But yes, poor around breaking ball for a lot of the year.

  86. Just one question for the management, why wasn’t it all out defence for the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half ?

    Hession for example could have been used on the Counter attack instead of being mam on man in fullback line.
    I have my own take on the gaming Croker v Dubs or Kerry.
    I just had that feeling all week.

    I mentioned this a few times all week and on Sunday morning.
    One point down at halftime, it wasn’t a mountain to climb.

    Wait and see how Monaghan and Derry will approach their games.

  87. Fairly balanced by Clerkin. I still think the overall narative is harsh given what some of us pointed from a long way back that winning the group was absolutely imperative with huge Jeopardy . Fair chance Kerry would be out if we won that group and we’d likely be still in it albeit we wouldn’t have gone all the way. The exact same thing happened Tyrone who aren’t a bad Team and looked much improved vs Donegal who were poor this year but also improving. The nature of recovery at amateur level despite their S&C is it’s worth several points (probably about 5) to the rested team, the stats will bear that out. When a game is lost, mistakes accumulate trying to force things. As far as I’m concerned, no one stopped running or trying. Both pundits and fans see that. If you ask each Mayo player did they give up running, they’ll say no, they may have been suffering inside and it lead to some mistakes but they kept running. When a team losing that badly gets turned over, the pitch is wide open and that made Dublin look good, not for the 1st time. I think Kerry are actually marginally better because of Clifford and the lauding of past greats today will end in the final when they could be on the back foot more than yesterday. How would they cope with a 4 or 5 point defecit against a team that has no fear of them? that’s a better test.

  88. I wish people would stop naming players that are playing well for their club and not getting a chance at inter County, there could be several reasons for this and one of them is that they are not willing to give the full commitment, I know several players over the last few years that just were not able to give it and that’s understandable.

  89. Very good article by Malachy clerkin as usual.the management anticipated before the game yesterday that o hora would pick up ciaran Kilkenny and didn’t react until it was too late and basquel had done the damage.O hora was also placed on Darren mccurry in the 21 final.Again the wrong match was obvious from the first ball played in that O hora didn’t have the required pace .baffling how with all the brains we allegedly have on the sideline that it wasn’t we have eyes in the stand .Jim gavin in his time spent a lot of time in contact with someone.that first goal was crucial in giving Dublin and the hill oxygen.we had to find some way to take the sting out of the game when Dublin went 4 up in second half but instead handed them a goal on a plate .Sam callinan is an excellent footballer and had a good year but it doesn’t take experience to deal with that ball .common sense should tell you to get the ball out of play in any way you Kevin mcstay merely the facilitator in all this because to abandon a system that was in place all year to go with absolutely no sweeper or this daft plus one term that has become fashionable is extremely strange especially when facing forwards of Dublins year is now huge for mcstay and the entire management set up .Liam McHales was conspicuous by his absence from the sideline this year

  90. The booing of Aido was very sad. Combine it with the brawl in Hill16 day before it’s a very negative trend creeping into the game.
    We’re no saints ourselves on that one mind, booing kickers etc. Becoming increasingly common. Hard to see anyway around it or to regulate it.

  91. Extract from this old interview with Brogan. Mentioning how Gilroy changed things after 17pt loss to Kerry in 2009.
    Something similar should have and needs to happen with Mayo

    “Pat was changing things and after Kerry in 2009, Pat [Gilroy] drew a line in the sand and said that we were going to get our defensive structure right first.

    “For six months, Pat wasn’t even worried about what went on up the other end of the field.

    “I was just speaking to Pat this morning about Mayo and that they haven’t managed to sort out their defence in the last number of years, and we spoke about how we spent six months just concentrating on the defence. Six backs weren’t allowed past the halfway line, one midfielder always stayed back – we got that part of our house in order first.

  92. If McStay does not adopt a defensive structure going forward next year, I can promise everyone right now we won’t win an AI. We will most likely be worse than this year. Move ROD to centre forward and Conroy/O’Shea inside. Everyone else behind the ball with a focus on blocking the D. Quick turnovers into ROD and let him go high or low into the two lads. ROD has great vision and awareness and despite a lack of real speed is very quick upstairs. That’s how I’d try and approach things next year. But I’ll be the first to hold my hand up, I’m no manager.

  93. McStays interview kind of somes up the 70s and 80s generation of Mayo teams.Just too much respect for Dublin and Kerry and he just cant help it.We are only a minnow in Connacht , sure how we possibly we think of going up to Croker to beat the Dubs or Kerry if they hit form.Always found that generation very negative and just hoping for lucky breaks, expecting to lose and preparing to fail.I hope I am wrong but go through that championship it was disastorous.The League nobody wanted to win it and 2 of the beat teams in the country were in Divisiin 2.
    3 championship losses and the biggest loss since 2006.If I was the County Board Chairman I would give him firm warning that more change must be made to panel, proper trials held and I would give a warning if margin against Kerry or Dublin in championship is 3 plus next year your gone.

  94. Thanks Willie Joe for the link to Dick Clerkins piece.
    Unfortunately it only has raised my blood pressure.
    10 months in the job and Kevin and the good lads he has around him are still trying to work out the kickouts. What a complicated game it has become.
    How long will it take to sort out a process as Jim Gavin called it. We could be waiting based on how long it takes to sort out one component. As Roy Keane says give me a break.

  95. Mondays after a loss are tough sobering days but things will pick up in a few days.

    McStay looked to follow Jack OConnors blue print last year by going all out in the FBD and then the league.

    Hoping momentum would carry you through.
    He also needed to build confidence in the squad and build their confidence in him.

    Look lads I said we’d win the league.. now do you trust me…

    Unfortunately for Kevin the structure is so radically different that this was too much and other teams just went through the motions in the league.

    The questions you’d be asking is of the S&C guys and their input.
    Mayo and Tyrone were very leggy on the weekend, 3 weeks playing will do that.

    The one thing I do feel management have to address is this belief you can go toe to tow with opposing forwards.
    Kerry had no problem bring in Tally to address this for us and for us to eventually deploy a sweeper.

    Mayo need to be more pragmatic in their approach.

    The building blocks are their but one other question is how many voices are they listening too.

  96. Green&Red

    You say you can promise everyone ” if we don’t adopt a defensive structure we won’t win an AI “.

    Not to be smart with you, but you could be safe enough in making that statement you made, seeing as we haven’t won an AI in the past 72 years.

    There was a sharpness to the Dublin team that we hadn’t seen so far this year.
    The ball they were giving in to their forwards was pin point perfect for their forwards to run on to. They didn’t have to stand around and wait for the ball to get there, the ball in was leading them.

    Even if we had the extra week rest I think the result would have been the same. We have a bit of catching up to do to get to Dublin’s level. I think it will be a Dub v Kerry final and they will beat Kerry going by how well they played yesterday. I could be wrong though.

  97. It won’t change though West Kerry. Remember we conceded 2-4 in the first 10 min of an AI final 17 years ago and still today we think we can go man to man in the FB line in croke park

  98. Just for the people saying McStay had us peaking for the league…

    How come we only scraped a draw vs Galway in the first league game, but beat them twice later on in the year? How come we lost a big lead to Armagh during the league? How come we appeared in peak physical condition against Kerry in the middle of championship?

    We’ve been inconsistent all year TBH.

    Personally I think a lot of our problems are fixable. We have lots of talented defenders. Look at some of Sam’s 1v1 defending on mannion in the first half yesterday and throughout the season. McBrien on Con as well. No reason we can’t have the most miserly defensive record in the country next year.

    We don’t have a David Moran figure in midfield right now, but so what? Tyrone won 3 All Irelands with no high fielder. We just have to become better at winning breaks to make up any deficit there. Reape also needs to work on varying his kick outs, but he had a fairly good debut season overall.

    The first half showed how dangerous Ryan and Tommy can be too. I feel Tommy could do with some coaching on forward movement. I don’t think he touched the ball for 15 minutes yesterday, then in the space of 10 minutes he’d scored 2 and won 2 tap over frees. Went out of the game again after that.

  99. James Horan said on Irish Examiner podcast after the Donegal game in the middle of the League that Mayo looked at championship fitness

  100. Centrefield,

    If Kerry can accept a sweeper and a counter attacking style then anyone can because our fans would slaughter the team if it didn’t work.

    I’d imagine Mayo fans wouldn’t give a hoot how they played if it meant getting over the line.

    Look at walshes influence on Cork,
    They are turning corner now all because they are better structured.

  101. Mayo is a massive Gaa county with passionate supporters and it’s understandable that there’s so much disappointment after the result. From the outside I would say that there was a host of retirements over the last couple of years and new management had to go hard in the league to get things going. In the end fatigue and inexperience were factors. I feel that most counties would love to have the management team in place and I would recommend keeping the faith and see what happens over the next few years. It won’t be lack of effort I expect and mayo people should stick together and back the team and mgmt. Clare hurling, Andy Farrell with ireland rugby, Paudi in Westmeath even Alex Ferguson were all positions challenged by the supporters and in each case they turned out to be very successful. Keep the faith and if we can’t beat you we will back you afterwards.

  102. @Sam og .i totally agree with you. ALSO we need to have proper trials in october to discover new players. Mayo have the footballers always had and always will have. We just need to find the winning formula. 2023 is over lets all look forward to 2024 and our quest for SAM again. I just had a thought there which i will air. would Rob Finnerty or Cathal Sweeney like to don the green and red and help us win SAM. they both have strong mayo gaa connections. willie joe . maybe i am out of order.i apologise if I am but i would do anything to help mayo win SAM.

  103. Wide ball, when see way we had multiple jumpers contesting same ball in games we hadn’t much hope of winning breaks, Galway game I think may have good examples of it. They had men on ground with one man in air where we had couple in air so chances of winning on ground greatly reduced.
    It really looks like hadn’t planned or practiced them as players were either not calling balls or no primary/secondary jumper designated.
    Reape needs to be given options on the kick outs, again that’s a training ground fixable. When we don’t have aerial winners how come we don’t do cluster and break style kick out strategy? Or just boot it long over top every time to hell if not going to have another plan. At least if breaks to 50/50 let it be around their 45. The point from Aidos great catch a good example.
    We still won 10/11 of our kick outs in first half that said. Same as Dublin.

  104. Jimbo a better bet be to open a sports shop for Michael Murphy in Ballina.
    Let him in on edge the square even after his hiatus he’d be some man 🙂

  105. West Kerry a sweeper system is accepted and there was an attempt to implement this but the wrong personal was being asked to fill the role .my issue would be that when that didn’t work we abandoned any proper defensive structure and reverted to type also the issue with Matt ruanes perceived loss of form.what form he was never a ball winning midfielder and isn’t going to become one now .His best year was in 2019 when Aidan o Shea was doing the fetching and ruane the running.we don’t seem to have any alternative in that area at the minute though

  106. Sam Og – but we also looked in great nick playing Kerry in Killarney. I remember Mattie Ruane breezing by 2 or 3 Kerry defenders in injury time to kick a point. Even in salthill we saw Diarmuid winning a turnover at one end and being fouled the other end of the pitch seconds later. Tommy Conroy’s fisted point too where he started his run in our full backline.

    Just don’t get this idea that we were burnt out in championship compared to league? I’m sure playing the prelim quarter final didn’t help things yesterday, but that’s a separate issue.

  107. The piece wasn’t by Dick Clerkin, Sticks for the Reek, it was by Malachy Clerkin. (No relation as far as I know but they’re both Monaghan men alright).

  108. West Kerry i’m just saying that our management teams have consistently not been smart enough to implement a proper sweeper with a proper defender in the role for an entire campaign for nearly 20 years now. its not that our fans wouldnt accept it.
    Cian O Sullivans role for Dublin is the template.

  109. Wide Ball,

    Walking out of Fitzgerald Stadium as the rain began to fall if you told me that Kerry would be in a semi final and Mayo wouldn’t I’d have laughed at you.

    I was fairly despondent that night and the Mayo fans were so optimistic and you couldn’t blame them.

    Sport is so unpredictable at times but in retrospect Kerry were truly awful that day but Mayo were majestic, kicking beautiful passes and diagonal runs and if it wasn’t for Shane Ryan it would have been 5 goals.

  110. Burnt out me arse!

    These lads are flying fit. There has been plenty of rotations with lads not featuring in every match. We were beaten because the team failed to show up for the first 7 minutes after HT. It allowed Dublin then to sit back and pick us off randomly on counter attacks.

    We just weren’t mentally tuned in. We weren’t against Cork. We weren’t against Louth. We weren’t against Roscommon and we weren’t after HT yesterday. We have lacked clever leadership all year. The match in Armagh being another example albeit it was only the league but still when 5 points up with little time remaining you have to learn how to close it out. We didn’t learn that lesson, as evidenced by what happened in Limerick.

    Cillian was a big loss for us, again this year. I hope he has a good injury free run of it between now and next year. We need him for at least another year or two. For leadership and on-field cuteness alone. No one tried to slow the game down yesterday when Dublin were clearly on top after the break. I also hope Plunkett and Harry come back into the mix.

    We have a lot to work on; on and off the field.

  111. Thanks Willie Joe for the clarification. I’m a bit confused after yesterday but the more I think about it
    and considering ours and Tyrone’s blow out in the second half the one week break seems to have been a major factor not that either Mayo or Tyrone might have won with an extra week but they surely would have done better. Beforehand I didn’t think it would make a big difference as big rugby matches are played on consecutive weeks but now I’m not sure.
    As always we will rise again.

  112. A very high level question, which I think is fair.
    How could anyone in the Mayo mgmt backroom team possibly know what is involved in preparing a team to win the All Ireland?
    Would it not be logical to have one backroom team member who has actually been involved in winning a recent All Ireland?
    How can we even know if we’re not totally misguided on major aspects of what is necessary?

  113. Fair point JP. It could be useful and I understand McEntee was highly regarded in 16/17. You look at Galway with Joyce and O’Neill.

    But teams have won All Irelands with no one on board…I think Tyrone and Harte (although they had multiple underage ones together). Armagh/Kernan?

  114. Worth pointing out that our three biggest wins of the season, League final, Killarney and Salthill, were all immediately preceded by defeats. That does show a bit of resilience.

    I don’t at all believe that it was a mistake to go for the league. We had good momentum and we were 100% correct to try and capitalize on it with a trophy. We’ll be traveling to Kerry, Galway, Tyrone and Monaghan, and entertaining Derry, Dublin and Roscommon. That looks a daunting enough fixture list right now.

  115. JP – very fair comment indeed. However if I remember correctly Dempsey had 2 men in his back from team who had won AI’s and Solan had 1. And those men were deemed not good enough by the CB.

  116. This result has been difficult to process. A few issues have puzzled me since yesterday and some the since the Kerry game.
    1. Midfield has been a shambles all season. It s all good and well talking about presses and the rest of it, but you need a midfield to win at least half, (ideally more than 75%) of our own kick outs, that hasnt been happening for a while. It seemed to me neither do we won much of the dirty breaking ball. Traditionally, we were renowned in that space, with the iconic Willie Joe, TJ Kilgallon, and several more. It is a key battleground that we are not winning.
    2. It seemed to me, that we gave away alot of cheap ball yesterday, by poor ball handling. There is no excuse for that at this level. i thought we had the coach for that.
    3. The experiment of a centre half forward playing centre half back was put to bed yesterday, but it was a bit late. i think that particular brain wave was the result of overthinking.
    4. We got a score at one stage yesterday from a direct ball from the goalkeeper to scorer, three people touched the ball. most of the game, our play was indirect to put it mildly. it just showed what can happen when you go direct. I know that wont happen all the time, but i can only think of one time it was tried yesterday.
    5. You cant play slow backs man on man when you have faster forwards on the opposition. it took a while for that penny to drop.

    i think Malachy Clerkin is right in his article. Only the most optimistic expected a straightforward win over Dublin yesterday. I think it is fair to say we were expecting a closer encounter and our lads to die with their boots on. While Sam has eluded us, we have been consistently competitive since 2010, i think this is the first capitulation in a championship game since then. this is a trend i dont want to see continuing. it probably had its origins in the fact we have had three tough games in three weeks, while Dublin, really havent had a competitive games in a month. However, the seeds of that set of circumstances were sown in the aftermath of the Kerry game. We were lucky to beat Louth, when they should have been hockeyed, and Cork should have been defeated. instead we let Louth back into the game and let Cork beat us.
    While we have to just suck this up, Mayo fans patience is finite

  117. Plenty of people saying that any team serious about winning the AI don’t pay any attention to the National League.

    From 2013 – Dublin have won 5 leagues and shared another with Kerry (Won the AI in 4 of these League winning years).

    Kerry won 3 leagues since 2017 and shared another with Dublin (Winning both League and AI in 2022).

    We have won 2 leagues since 2019.

    That doesn’t add up to the serious title contenders not going for the league.

    Only 3 different counties have won the league in the past 11 years so we are in very good company.

  118. Yes Revellino but Dublin and Kerry won those
    Leagues going at 60-70% max ability where as
    we won going full tilt particularly this year when we were by far and away the best team In the country up to March. Unfortunately Sam isn’t given out until July.

    I Don’t think anyone is suggesting not trying to win the league when in a final but rather not trying to peak to win it. They’re different things. Heavy training needs to commence later next season so we are primed to peak in late June/July

  119. Lads, the Dubs were in Div 2 all year. Go figure. They’ve just got better players.

    Paralysis by analysis. We were right to go win the League.

    Kerry sluggish this year because of last year’s All Ireland hangover.

    This pacing yourself stuff is a little overrated. Having the extra week would have helped us a little, but we’d still have lost on Sunday. We’ve a young team so going hard early season shouldn’t have affected them much in terms of fitness. We just need to improve our tactics and individual players need to grow and improve their skills.

  120. @Our Time Has Come.

    Would our Best League Form have beaten Dublin Yesterday ? – That’s the Question that needs to be asked.

    I seriously doubt it.

    Whose to say what % fitness kerry were at in the League in 2022 but Jack O’Connor seemed to think that having his team performing in the league at a high level was a priority. I will agree that he let them have a lie in this year after winning the AI last year but I wouldn’t agree that they played the 2022 league at 60 -70%. They played it to lay down a marker for the championship ahead and O’Connor made no secret of that.

  121. The new league/group format of championship introduced this year, completely changed the dynamics. It degraded the league in regards it’s purpose of building towards championship.
    You had a mini league within the championship that too teams could use to gear up for the knock outs.
    Prior to this the actual league was only spot for this.

  122. A poster referred to this above and I am wondering it too – why didn’t we come out on high alert for the first ten minutes of the second half?
    I said to my friends beside me before the resumption – Dublin often target the start of the third quarter to hit a team hard. I was thinking 2019 and 2020 and old habits die hard. I was also aware Kilkenny and McCaffrey were due to start and that in itself was a signal of their intent for the third quarter.
    Maybe it’s simplistic to ask the above but I really think it’s something we needed to have been focussed on. That’s a management call, not something to put on the players.
    The fact that they were a point ahead didn’t bode well either.
    It’s sickening to look at these things in hindsight. Dublin won’t let go of the start of third quarter blitz in a hurry – they’ll try it again. And I can’t help but think they really were pleased to stamp down on Mayo and keep them down yesterday by winning by so much. Maybe it was a ‘keep them in their place’ idea.
    We mustn’t satisfy them on this – we must keep the faith and believe in ourselves. They were afraid of Tommy and I believe wary of Aidan. They were apprehensive of our runners.

  123. @Gizmo.

    Sure it was as hard to get knocked out of the Super 8’s as the current format.

  124. Super 8s were top 2 of 4 went through, 3 out of 4 going through greatly reduces jeopardy level.

  125. @Gizmo.

    If you want to talk about jeopardy then keep talking about taking your foot off during the league and conserving yourself.

    Before you know it your relegated.

    Keep experimenting the following year, treating the league as an inconvenience and before you know it you are in the tailtean cup and out of the running for Sam Maguire before the championship even begins.

    People say we maxed out in the league.

    Really ?

    Were we even spectacular during the league ?

    I wouldn’t say so.

    We had a couple of draws and a loss during the league nothing spectacular, but I think our best performance was definitely in the championship against Kerry.

    Kerry are getting praised for timing their performances well. Their group top place finish was completely out of their hands until we fucked up against Cork.

    The only drawback from going out and winning the league this year was the silly timing of our clash against Roscommon the following week.

  126. @Revellino I never said anything about taking foot off during league. Super 8s is not same as current format. You said it was as hard to get knocked out in super 8s as current format. 2/4 and 3/4 are very different things.

    I agree with trying damnedest to stay in division 1, winning the league is nice. But it’s not priority. It wasn’t our managements priority either. Their target was Connacht title, and rightly so.

    I wouldn’t agree we maxed out in league either actually, but I do feel other teams were behind in their programmes which allowed us far more freedom. They got fitter and tightened up on their deficiencies. E.g. Kerry, we were practically creating 4 on 3 overlaps in Killarney, that sort of space in their defence is well gone now.
    You do need to try some things in league and in the FBD or O’Byrne cup. Some teams tried more than others.

  127. @ Gizmo. There wouldn’t be a whole lot of difference. In the 8’s you could lose in the Province but still qualify for the 8’s by beating the provincial losers. I cannot remember rightly how that was set up but provincial losers had to play a qualifier to get in to the 8’s. I think Provincial winners went in directly.

    You could lose again in the group after losing in the province and still progress. You could actually lose twice in the group stage and still qualify for the AI semi finals.

    In the Super 8’s you could get bet 3 times and still win the All Ireland. That’s what I meant when I said it was as hard to get knocked out of the 8’s as the current format. In the current format you could also lose 3 and go on to lift Sam.

  128. Hard to argue with the Jim McGuinness column, we need to find a new approach to games, we can’t keep giving up soft goals in big games.

  129. If one team in super 8 group won 3/3 it’s possible all other teams could beat each other and 2nd place could get through with one win on GD.. So you could in theory lose 3 in that period and still win the All Ireland, similar to now

    This year was eerily similar to 2019 in so many ways

  130. I also enjoyed the McGuinness column. Although clearly he has a definite bias towards a particular brand of football, his points on our defensive shape were hard to argue with.

    You’d think that the sweeper role will re-emerge next season, with a different player in the role. Diarmuid would be a good option, but is probably needed in midfield. O’Hora seemed to make his mark in a similar role for Ballina last season.

    More broadly, the loss of leadership in the 2010’s cohort was really felt in the second half yesterday. Keegan was probably the best example of that, even in defeat in 2021 and 2022 he refused to lie down. I think Mullin was also an inspiration in that regard.

  131. Are we starting to look a little lightweight ? It’s possibly going to take a couple of more seasons of conditioning with a few of them . Championship game v ros I started to notice it a biteen , we were getting bossed a fair bit in the physical stakes .

    General assessment for me is we are not as far back as we think but we are a bit further back than was first thought .

    Thanks to players and management for their efforts . See ye next year , Mayo till our last breath .

  132. You know Sean, you’ve lasered in there. Physically Dublin ate us up. We seemed to match Galway, but if you go back to those midfield skirmishes, why didn’t we win breaking ball? Galway won most of it because that was a physical contest.

    On Sunday, we seemed slow compared to Dubs. The one-week turnaround was a killer.

  133. I think its the emergence of Coyne and McBrien that makes the loss of Keegan and Mullin so disappointing. What a half back line we would have if we could let Mullin off the leash.

    I do think the players were tired on Sunday. I’m not saying we peaked in the league but it can’t be underestimated what playing 3 weeks in a row would do to them. Worse still was that these were three away games, so likely three Saturday nights in new hotels, getting home late Sunday night, work Monday. I know these lads are top athletes but that’s an exhausting schedule.

    The Galway win would have taken a lot out of us. Its the exact same as the high after beating Donegal in 2019, its hard to come down from that for a top top match 7 days later and it showed in both second halves.

    The travel is killer when the games come thick and fast, this is why I think the new Championship format is so suited to Dublin. This isn’t to take away from their win Sunday, I thought they were exceptional.

  134. The dubs have competition for places we have guys that will play midfield half back fullforward line full back line but they will play game in game out destroyed again half back.line and midfield what would we do without paddy or Diarmuid beggars belief two warriors

  135. Agree Seán, compared to Horans first tenure we are off it in phisacality stakes, we have to address it as when pressed you have to go long with confidence you are getting a decent return

  136. @sean Burke agree I was like you need to bulk up in gaa not be afraid of anyone ha but our young guns will get there for years we’ve been known as to nice no more haha..

    Really young team even tho we lost still have my faith we come back next year …

    I mean a team like cluxton 40+ :p beat 23 average mayo team we be back next year ha

    I really do hopes the Dubs win it tho dubs 7/8 over kerry ha

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