Monday match reports

Aidan point penalty shout

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

It’s a beautiful spring morning out there but, as the song goes, it’s raining in my heart. And in my head – I’ve a stressful week of work ahead so little time for other stuff. Only enough time, then, for a rapid gallop through the coverage on yesterday’s match. Here’s what’s out there on it:

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner,

Others: GAA, RTÉ, The 42, Hogan Stand, Breaking News.

Photos: Mayo Mick, Sportsfile, Inpho.

That’s about it, no time for deeper analysis or anything like that. Just as well, maybe, in light of yesterday’s performance.

128 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Thanks Willie Joe as usual for this. YOUR work rate, energy, enthusiasm, inventiveness, and leadership are not lacking anyway!

    Didn’t (couldn’t) travel, and listened to RTE’s patchy commentary, so am relying in posters to get a sense of what happened.

    When you boil it all down, it looks like free taking was the key ingredient. Placed balls keep you ticking over if you’re not doing well. Look at Monaghan last week. We blitzed them really, but McManus kept them in touch, and though they wouldn’t have deserved it, they nearly nicked it. Cillian did the same (always does the same) in first half of the drawn match last year, when we were well out of it.

    Overall, even if we accept it was a bad one – so what. It’s one bad match. All the teams bar Dublin and the Rossies have had them, and Dublin had them last year. It’s hard to make sense out of a lot of the results – how do you explain Cork, who won every away game in Ulster last year and have been hockeyed at home this year?

    For now let’s forget everything except the Rossies on Easter Sunday. They are playing very well, but are they unbeatable? Shouldn’t think so, and their motivation, no matter what, won’t be as intense.

    Don’t forget we actually scored two very good goals against Monaghan and created chances for at least three more. Conor O’Shea CAN score long distance points, Doc has shooting boots, but does need to find them and maybe Aido needs the role of impact sub for the present until he regains full fitness.

  2. I saw 2nd half of Rossies game and the shooting of both sides was a joy to behold. Hardly a wide between them. Their style of play has been modeled on Corofin.. quick accurate kick passing into forwards who can get out in front.
    They did however fade and Donegal looked 50 50 to catch them until they got someone sent off. The Rossies then had enough to keep the gap the same.

  3. The most frustrating thing is that I think Kerry will have left Castlebar thinking they didn’t really have to play that well to beat us. Mayo virtually beat themselves yesterday with bad decision making, bad free taking and the concession of those two goals.

  4. Our success over the last few years has been based on intensity, high tempo, hard running, hard tackling and massive work rate. In many ways this has compensated to an extent for a shortage of top quality finishers. This approach requires a very high level of fitness that we simply do not have yet. This will come as the year progresses and hopefully Keith Higgins and Cillian O Connor will regain full fitness. Hopefully also the Castlebar lads will add a bit as well. So all is not lost.
    I reckon we will beat Ros on Sunday week …………..simply because we have to. For us this is championship stuff and this in itself will add a level of intensity and competitiveness that we will thrive on. I expect we will see a ferocious backlash from these lads who must be annoyed at themselves by now. I’d say training will be interesting in the coming days.
    The Rossies victory over Donegal was impressive but did anyone notice how flat and lethargic Donegal appeared? They were a different outfit than faced us in Ballybofey. So I wouldn’t get too carried away with Roscommon just yet.

  5. @Diehard. I did notice how flat they were which is not good news from a Mayo perspective as we need them to do us a favour and beat Monaghan.

  6. Based on form and momentum, they should beat us. However, now that they’ve secured top 4 I would’nt be at all surprised if McStay rang a few changes and sent them out more of an experimental side. They’ll go into hype overdrive if they do beat us and that won’t do them any good, McStay & Co know this. They have secured their objective. The reality is, Roscommon are a good side now with the best management set up in the province. We have to get used to the fact that they will beat us a few times over the coming years, but we’ll beat them too. Connacht will be very competitive. Galway are going to be back soon.

    An ideal scenario for me would be to stay up by virtue of beating Down and monaghan losing their two games.

    Let the Rossies have their day in the sun in the league and let’s beat them later in the year(if we beat Galway, no small task!)

  7. I didnt want to comment yesterday or indeed hadnt the stomach for it.

    The first half taking on its own merits showed what we can do well the second showed what nobody wants to see “same old Mayo ”

    I was thinking in the first half, this is going to be a nice write up, was very impressed with the Tackling, Boyler and Carolan doubling up and perfecting the Rugby style choke tackling, Parsons and Seamie very strong in tackle, we looked to be making great strides .

    Anyways that all changed and we know the result.

    I would take heart from first half and some positives but we do need a refreshing.

    I would like to see more direct running in our half forwards and ball carrying but the ability to shoot on the run for that I would have a half forward line of

    _Keegan__DOC___Higgins

    Here we have pace powerful running all with ability to win breaks but also kick scores on the run.
    It maybe the refreshing the team needs .

    I really do think we need footballers in the halforward line as last year we were very static and Mcloughlin and Jason Doh are too well know at this stage.
    Teams just abc off them and choke our main threats in AOS and Cillian by playing the % game and allowing Doh and Kevin Mc to shoot from distance .

    By releasing Leeroy and Higgins we can allow Diarmid to play CHF and dictate play rather than having to expel so much energy in tacking back all the time.
    He like his brother is very accurate so lets keep best shooters in the forwards.

    My Halfback line would be

    Durkan__Boyle__McLoughlin

    Best games Kevin Mc has play was at no.6 v the Dubs and I think he needs to be attacking the posts from deep to be of maxium use to us .
    His distribution from halfback line would also setup attacks and allow him to break the tackles and be a supporting runner from deep.
    His breaking ball winning skills cant be forgotten either but at the moment he is just suffocated and clustered in when in possession as he is getting the ball from a static position .

    With Durkan we would jhave two guys who can attack with energy and create overlaps.

    I still think our best fullforward line is

    _________Loftus/Regan
    ________Cillian__AOS

    I think we need the two big hitters inside in Cillian and AOS, and pace and a different tactic in the speedy Loftus or Regan.
    Loftus/Regan can also share free taking duty.

    Whilst its true Loftus/Regan aren’t physically conditioned monsters as yet see the influence the likes of Darren O Sullivan or Mannion of Dublin have , the small pacey conerforward still has a place in any lineup .

    The guys are very skillful and can play off breaks from AOS and Cillian who have no issues in winning their own ball.
    A Quick layoff and the lads are accurate over the bar.

    I do belive the principles of what Rochie and co are trying to get across are there we just need more from players who were very static and not anyways confident .

  8. Donegal may have gone down a notch in intensity but their shooting was still top notch and Murphy had a huge influence. Kicking points under serious pressure. Top player in Country, McManus of Monaghan can be marked and Donegal have more than Murphy. They will be serious outfit this summer.

    Our key to beating Ros is to put their shooters under more pressure than Donegal did. See the scores Ros are chalking up. Defense more important than attack next day.

  9. Oisin mcConville made a good point yesterday that sometimes it’s easier to play away from home – less pressure. So playing ros in the Hyde will put some pressure on ros. Certainly Mayo forwards were nervous and tentative, whereas Kerry had more confidence in their shooting. But that inability to score fairly simple points has been our downfall.
    The only team that can save us being relegated is monaghan, so hopefully Kerry will beat them. Either way Rochford needs 2 months away from limelight to work on defence and attack, no small task, but come June we’ll see his mark on this team!

  10. Our problem is we don’t have natural scoring forwards apart from Cillian O’Connor. No other player who can score for fun and hurt the opposition. We have a high percentage of top drawer footballers we just lack the killer instinct up front. Anyway we are where we are so try this lot Rochy for the championship! D O’Connor. Conor O’Shea. K McLoughlin. D Kirby. Barry Moran. C O’Connor

  11. Agreed. Some good tactical points there Outside of Boot! Speaking of ‘points’ pity we haven’t enough lads in the pitch who can kick’em;)

    Look we just need to get the mojo back…together with a more fluid and faster system of play. Too laboured. Not enough players coming off the shoulder and Kev McL made numerous runs in the first half into space and wasn’t picked out. Either this is a lack of vision or poor tactics, I don’t know.

  12. I cant understand why O’Shea doesn’t take the fouls when they are given to him. If he did, donaghy gets the line and we get a penalty. Not realising this means you are lacking as a player.
    Personally, Id put a rule in place for the squad – the only time you are allowed to talk in the press is after you play a good game. Im tired of hearing himself and Hennelly talking on the radio as opposed to being talked about for their football.

  13. Would be very concerned about yesterday’s performance.it hitting home now at how poor we have being at under 21 level for last 5 years because we haven’t brought through a quality forward of note in the inside line.

    Hopefully the line of regan and Loftus will come good and by God do we need a bolter to spring from the under 21s!

    Would be very concerned about the minor result to Friday night.loosing to Roscommon at underage now finally has to stop we really need to look at underage big time!
    We had 2 schools in Connacht A semi finals and one in a quarter so one would think there should be a basis of a good crop of players and that’s not taking into account schools operating at b c and d levels.

    Hope to god our u21s can do something as there is good players there.

    The performance yesterday at times was good and then let down by poor finishing and free taking!
    It’s a simple must win now in the last 2 games and that might not even be enough.

    Anyways we will just have to get on with what we have hopefully the likes of Patrick durcan and Barry Moran be back for the next day it may be to soon for Keith higgins.
    I still think come summer we will be a different animal but for the long term we have to look at underage coaching structures within the county and look at what the rossies are doing.they have less of a population than us less clubs but are more competitive at underage than us over last number of years especially at under 21.

  14. My thing is we have forwards and decent forwards but just how many of them kick or shoot on the run.
    Very Few , I remember James Gill was highlighted by Micheal o Muirtaghty as a top class player to watch having seen him play for our minors.
    James was a very talented player but had one fault his dependency on his left foot and hiss inability to kick on the run .

    Its the same issue with Jason Doh, Kevin Mc, Carolan,Vaughan,Gibbon etc they all need to turn inside or stop before shooting or kick passing .
    Its this split second that differentiates between Top Class like Cooper and co and Inter County Class.

    We have many Intercounty class ( better than the other 28 Counties) but maybe two top class in the O Conors brothers.
    Its not a skill you can teach as at 20 something years old, you either have it or you dont .
    Keegan and Higgins have proven to have that ability so in moving them forward we give ourselves a greater chance of scoring whilst playing at a high tempo.

    I think our passing needs to be more decisive as again see Aidan O Mahoney, 34 or whatever age he is. HE should have being beaten all ends up to every ball by JAson Doh but he wasnt as the old man read the game .
    HE got a hand in an elbow a head anything he could.
    In a straight sprint Jason beat him all ends up but as Jason called and went for the ball, he was a yard in front but the minute Kevin Mc or whoever was kicking the ball in hesitate it allowed O Mahoney make up the ground and he literally flung himself into the tackle.

    I actually hate him and what he stands all the altercations and that but had to applaud him yesterday, he was superb.

    In reality if we were delivering the ball confidently and at pace then Cillian and Aidans power should make them unstoppable.

    We are currently beating ourselves by removing the zip and tempo needed to allow our Intercounty footballer play in a manner that a top play plays at .

  15. Agree Sean, Outside the boot’s post is indeed an excellent post. He obviously has a lot of in-depth knowledge of players best positions on the field of play. We may be all feeling a bit pissed off after this result, but it only takes a little improvement by every player to suddenly have the team singing again. I de feel however, the side-line needs to be a bit more proactive as regards positional switches on the pitch. Games can take on a life of their own, no matter how much forward planning and preparation might have been done. Anyway onwards and up-words from here….

  16. My team for the Rossie game

    Hennelly
    Harrison, Caff, Nally/Barrett

    Keegan, Boyle, Durcan

    Moran, Parsons

    KMc, AOS, DOC

    Regan, Kirby, Dougie

    Keegan to stick to Fintan Cregg like a limpet. Has anyone else noticed how McStay has unearthed a 30+ year old player who is actually is a really good footballer who really makes their team tick. I have talked to a few Ros people and it seems he has been tearing it up at club level for years but didn’t make himself available for county until this management team was put in place.

  17. Hopefully Mayomad that Moran and Durkan will be pissed off their heads still celebrating Castlebars win….

  18. Mayomad as far as I know Fintan Cregg was part of the 2006 all Irl winning minor team which makes him 27, 28 at most.

  19. @ Mayomad

    Fintan Cregg is 28, thankfully not over 30 yet, but he has been a revelation for us this year, he was involved in the last stint when O’Donnell was manager but showed nothing like what he is showing now, he was full forward on minor team that won all Ireland in 2006. Himself and Conor Devanney (another 28 year old who did not play for last 3 years) have pretty much made the 2 wing forward positions their own, so much so that Enda Smith and Ultan Harney probably wont make first 15. So it just goes to show how players can buy into a management setup regardless of age.

  20. Speaking of age, we actually have quite a lot of well established players with a good few years left, all going well. That’s why the introduction of a few new faces from the minor winners of ’13 could really give us a boost.

    How they feature this year at u21 will tell a lot about how they’ve developed in the past 3 years.

    But it’s clear as day now that we need a better underage system. Every year there should be at least one quality player coming through into senior and it hasn’t happened.

  21. Dos any one know when cillian o,Connor will be back I think if we have the castlebar Mitchell,s boys back for the Roscommon game we will beet them I was at the Donegal game it was not that Roscommon was good Donegal was not playing good they looked very tired mayo will always be up for the Roscommon game mayo by 3 or 4 points well I hope so I think we will stay up Can not see Monahan wining there last two games

  22. My apologies to Fintan Regarding his age, I was lead to believe he was in the 30’s. Kinda hope he was now as he can play ball.

    Regarding our underage, clearly something has to be done there as we haven’t been competitive there for a couple of years. of the ’13 team DOC and Coen are the most notable to break throughs. we have been unlucky to loose Cian Hanley to the Aussies who def would be senior by now and of course Darragh RIP. I would have liked to have seen Liam Irwin and Tommy Conroy feature in squads at this stage, even in training as they are natural forwards who could take a score.

  23. Enjoyed those posts Outside of Boot – very well thought out and articulated. Made a similar point over in the other thread about players being able to shoot on the move – it’s a major weakness of ours and has been for years.

    As regards the U21s I can’t help thinking about Cian Hanley and how great it would have been to keep him around. I’d love to see Sharoize Akram making that step up to senior next year … but that might be wishful thinking too.

  24. Mayomad:both last players mentioned have been injured. Irwin is with the U-21 and is doing well. T Conroy I’m not sure of at present….returning?
    Wonderful stuff on show here this morning and what a morning!
    My biggest worry is that we won’t get that mojo back because we ve not had one properly installed.This will be the greatest challenge for the new men on the sideline in the coming times. Not only is AOS looking to give the ball to someone…they’re all the same. As it looks all our forwards seem to be left to their own devices when they get the ball as was the case in former times with the old catch and kick game.It looks as though there is some strange force in operation….and that’s not a force of attraction! Some off the ball runs are made and we rejoice when we see it esp if the connections are made.However I’m afraid this has to be intensified if we re to reap the results we want.Thats the way I like to see the game played… and it’s about timing and accuracy always.Its not easy to do and that maybe why it’s not done.I don’t know but K did it better than us….Were they a step ahead of us? Just a step most times can make all the difference.
    One other thought….it’s going to be right C’Ship conditions in Hyde or Longford on Sun week!

  25. I would be a fan of Carolans and his work ethic was top stuff, he done alot of things right when we were doing things right.

    You know what you get with him 100 % commitment , tracking back tackling and winning of secondary possession.
    A great squad player who if refined and full of confidence will at least be a great impact sub/ Sweeper/ drop deep no.12

    Great to see him back after cruciate injury.

    Its so hard to know with U-21’s Anne-marie, thanks for nice words .

  26. Agree with you on championship conditions against Roscommon , Mcstay will not hold them back for one minute. The question is, can Roscommon keep this frantic stuff going once the league ends and they have to kick back for a while? The rhythm will be broken and they are not Dublin or Kerry who switch it on and off at will. Rochford better get planning his strategy because they will relish the thought of sending us down, we may have to defend en masse and fight a low scoring battle I think.
    I see Castlebar are favourite to win during the week, they have my prayers and best wishes. Mayo need a break of this bad luck and hopefully it will happen on Thursday

  27. Outside of boot, I agree with your posts re kicking of the ball and yes this cab be learned at age 20, you getthis from having a ball in your hands at a young age kicking passing and generally messing about. This was touched upon in other threads. Own an ONeills ball and carry it with you everywhere. Go to Kerry, there are ONeills everywhere, they are like stones in a connemara field for gods sake. Go to Kilkenny And children seem to have a hurley surgically attached to their hand. Driving through Mayo and I cant for the life of me remembera child kicking a ball about in a park of garden, developing their skills.

    Kickingon the runseems to be extinct from our game. Also too many players trying to turn their man inside out before passing. If I was Rochford I would be handing out laps to way player taking 2 or 3 turns out of the ball before laying it off. This craic really slows down play and takes the impetus out of an attack.

  28. Simple thing is that we have non-forwards trying to do forwards role. As I’ve stated before, we try to fix problems in attack by putting round pegs into square holes….they just don’t fit. Might work against lesser opposition, but against the top teams and particularly nowadays where defences are even tighter and even the likes of Kerry drop men back, space is at a premium to generate scores….only natural forwards have the instinct to create this….that’s why they are forwards. Hindsight and all that, but look at the 6 forwards starters yesterday….Carlon, AOS, DOC, COS, J Doc, McLaughlin…some are top players and all that, at least 4 of them are NOT forwards! How do we really expect to win these games?

    For various reasons Evan Regan, Alan Dillon, Conor Loftus, Alan Freeman, Michael Conroy, Adam Gallagher, Darren Coen, Neil Douglas, Cillian O’Connor, Enda Varley and Mark Ronaldson were not in consideration yesterday…these are NATURAL forwards! Simple as and we for some reason have discarded them, retired them or bench them. There are a number of top freetakers in there also by the way. Yes if I wanted a bit of muscle or a 20k runners, I would probably pick a few of the starters yesterday, but I think we have lost a bit of sight of what forwards are supposed to be there for. Think we are a bit too far down the project to suddenly change course now, but it was never more evident than yesterday that natural forward instinct (Kerry) will always create more that workers and brawn. I left very frustrated yesterday after seeing our forwards selection, set-up, formation and subsequent delivery. Maybe I’m getting old and a little senile, but sometimes watching Mayo I can’t figure where individual forwards are actually meant to be playing or what is their actual roles? Like we played a debutant defender in the half forwards v Cork, played a corner back in the half forwards v Donegal and yesterday dropped Regan to be replaced by Carlon when we already have COS, McLaughlin, DOC and J Doc there for a work-man role. Do we really need to be doing this? Don’t think its panic stations yet, but I really think management really need to take a step back now and look at some basic first principals as they seemed to be missing more than ever yesterday.

  29. When we get the fool squad back I’d like to see
    Clarke
    Cuinnife caf Higgins
    Durkin Boyle Keegan
    Parsons s Oshea
    D.oc c.oc k Mc
    Kirby b Moran a Oshea.
    Clarke because he commands his goal and constantly talking to full back line.cillian at 11 great delivery to full forward line same as kmc and diarmuid.
    Other teams would have to play 2 sweepers with that full forward line.
    Strong bench for lads to come in when needed not like Dublin game last year.
    Think we will stay up.we have plenty of players to work with so I’m not to disappointed.
    Plenty off time,patience needed.
    Up MAYO.

  30. Watched ros game and improvement unreal and missing diarmuid murtagh and ultan Harney who are 2 class forwards / still think mayo are better but if they find a midfielder or 2 they will b a serious team next year and I think mcstay knew this before leaving cushy number on rte and not getting mayo job/hope I’m wrong

  31. With all due respect KL I think you need a bit of that sunshine outside if you think any more than two of that list would make up the deficit.If that’s all we have to choose from then it’s no wonder we ve been looking down the field to see who can be converted!
    You are saying that past managements failed to bring on natural forwards to the detriment of our chances! Well all I can say is ..I’m not too sure about it.They can’t have been so stupid!The truth may be pretty stark…the calibre of natural forward available may not have been in it and as a result we ve been trying to skin the pig with the only tools we ve had.
    Are Ros any different?We ll know the answer to that v soon indeed.The Dubs have what u want and Dong to a lesser degree and also K to a fair degree but outside of those you are prob looking at no great shakes!
    It sure is an interesting question and one for the academy!!! …maybe!
    BTW will someone please enlighten me as to what is meant by this academy.

  32. I’ve spent today recovering by taking a drive around this fantastic county we have, and guess what…… I’ve had a eureka moment! I was so disheartened after yesterday, and anyone who knows me personally or through social media knows what I’m like. After taking a drive this absolutely stunning day, my eureka moment is, and I’m not being sarcastic in any way shape or form! What do kerry have more than all Irelands that we want? Arrogance! We are F##king Mayo, we have taken so much shit over the years and have accepted it, why not start showing some backbone and be arrogant for once, Yes Roscommon are coming, and if that can’t pump the blood in your veins then nothing will! So let’s jump on-board again, show this team that we are in for the long haul again and be arrogant bastards in the Hyde! I’ve been hearing that they are coming for 10 yrs, eventually if an idiot shouts long enough he will be proved right once, let’s not make that this year………….

  33. Stirring words indeed. In a similar vein I think we need to get http://youtu.be/9dONChKbYKs this back in the charts. It would lift the county no end and inspire the lads to greatness in the Hyde. A stirring rendition of this classic anthem on Easter Sunday is just what’s needed.

  34. Well said fear an chomórtais mayo should be well up for this game see what this team is maid of mayo by 3 points!

  35. Good man Fear an Chomortais.That spin around was inspiring!Arrogance or cheek! It’s a kind of inbred thing. But I won’t be asking can we have it in abundance by Sunday week.

  36. Spoke to few Kerry lads today. They are reading nothing into that win.

    Says it all really.

  37. Main observations from yesterday. We have to have a replacement free taker for championship in case COC is injured. Keegan is the best scoring wing backs of his generation – why turn him into an average corner back. Our forwards need to hit AOS etc with support runs – we have no dynamism up front – simple to defend against unlike kerry. Our defence is also very flat, so when that line is broken we are wide open. Also why do we not have midfielders on goal line for opposition frees and tether hennelly to stop him making those idiotic runs into no mans land to contest no hope balls. Yesterdays match would have been won with good free taking and a half decent defensive plan

  38. Liam that has just made my day. I assume you are going to lead the chorus yeah? I have a Genfitt jersey or two lying around the house somewhere, give us a shout if you’re stuck 😀

  39. One thing that came to my mind when I seen that picture of Aidan O’Shea not getting a penalty was that we seen a group of Kerry lads who were basically saying, there is no way that a goal will be scored here or if ye do score a goal then ye’ll be really made work for it. Yet at our end we almost let teams walk right through us.

    One major problem is not having enough scorers up front but you could say that we don’t have enough natural defenders at the back either. Colm Boyle does put his life at risk lots of times at the back but I can’t remember a time when we had a load of lads camped on our line to prevent a goal like the Kerry lads were and at times it doesn’t even need to be defenders doing this job.

    I remember last year in the league game against Dublin, Denis Bastic blocked one on the line that looked like it would be a certain goal. Again yesterday it was a midfielder Kieran Donaghy who was back there for Kerry for the penalty incident. Someone like Seamie O’Shea should be well able to use his bulk in this way. Same with the free that led to the second goal, Seamie or Tom Parsons should have been covering our goal area for that free. Barry Moran actually did a lot of this kind of work last year for us.

  40. Anyone have any video they can throw up online of crossmolina and ballina winning the club finals to lift the mood and set the fine for Thursday?

  41. I think Kerry and Roscommon have inter county level Managers in schools. We have schools the ONeills is loaned by the local club. The school team may never if rarely train. The matches are unattended by the school except the teacher involved. Result is our schools game has not been competitive.
    There were two senior panellists from Roscommon revovering from injury. Someone from setup called to chat to one of their houses. His Mother said “He’s out the back”. There were both panellist kicking 20 yard passes in the garden left foot, right foot. Football is simple, play it a lot. Kicking is simple, kick a lot (with technique).

  42. Too true jp kick it alot.

    During the day I kept thinking of the 2013 season where this team probably were at their peak. A very unremarkable league campagin ended with a whimper rather than a roar. We all travelled to Pearse stadium possibly quietly confident but by no means certain of the out come. 10mins into the match after everyone had recovered from watching in awe of what was unfolding the whole country knew we where the real deal.

    Im not expecting miracles in two weeks, we may scrap a win, we may not. Things may not be very rosy come May and June but come August bank holiday. When we roll up to Croke Park (and we will be there one way or the other) I fully expect this team to be razor sharp and ready for business.

    We peaked way too early in 2013. So relax everyone August is 5 long months away. Time to play football is then.

  43. To the poster above who said that we`ll be going to Hyde Park or Longford….Heard today that Hyde Park has been playable for the past week and was being saved for the last 2 games. The fine weather of this week will ensure that we`ll be going to Hyde Park.

    Seems that Thomas Corcoran ( huge midfield prospect), Donie Shine and Donie Smith are back from injury and training.

  44. If ye get a chance listen back to James Horan on newstalk puts things into perspective big time ….

  45. The radio guys were complimentary towards Carolan in 1st half saying he was on for his covering back which he seemed to be doing well. Didn’t really hear his name mentioned in 2nd half but he was not alone in that dept.

  46. KL, we already know that most of those “natural forwards” you list will not make any appreciable difference. They have already been tried often enough to have made their point if they are capable of making it. Some of them will no doubt be in any final championship panel chosen and one or two may be in the first 15. Obviously Cillian is not included in these remarks. My next two would be Freeman and Regan, partly for their freetaking skills which we so badly missed yesterday. I think Alan Dillon may have his best days behind him but if he can prove to the contrary he would be an automatic panel member. Neil Douglas and Danny Kirby – the jury has not been started to hear the case yet. Have you forgotten Andy Moran?

  47. Realisticlly we need to get a grip Mayo were never afraid of playing Roscommon and there’s no need to be afraid of them now we need to get off to a good start hit the ground running and take our chances we have two weeks to prepare I for one think we will beat them whether it’s played in Hyde park or Timbuktu

  48. Really hope durcan, Kirby and Douglas add something when they return next week. Also believe loftus when for will give us an extra dimension

  49. James Horan was saying that its the perfect game for us now, heading to The Hyde to play Roscommon, so it should be a good one!

  50. Would’nt be panicking about Roscommon like so many others on here, Their getting way too much air time on this blog…its starting to sound like Game of Thrones “the rossies are coming”!! As mentioned above, their coming for 10yrs at this stage. Like Derry before them, they need to take a top 4/6 scalp in championship before id rate them.

    At the game yesterday, a few things struck me. 1) Tom Parsons is the best midfielder in the Country. 2) Brendan Harrison is the real deal and will battle Tom C for corner back spot. 3) I thought we were seiriously impressive defensively till O’Sullivan did his best Michael Flatley impression an carved us open for first goal. It was a real sucker punch right before half time, took the wind out off the players snd crowd!.

    Yeah the second half performance was a hape a shite, but it really is only March. I really wanted 2 points yesterday but come June this game will be long forgotten, we’ll be Connacht champs again this summer don’t worry, we’ll also be an AI final, we are Mayo.

  51. Parsons is good, but he is not the best mid fielder in the country. Kerry boys ahead of him, tyrone lad is.

  52. Surely Aidan O’Shea is up there among the best midfielders in the country.

  53. Parsons is a tremendous man to cover ground. Can we ever try Leeroy with him. It has never been tried and yet what would stop him being great there?

  54. I fear the team is going backwards.It reminds me so much of 2006 when the county board got rid of mickey moran and appointed john o mahoney. In october H&C were left with no option but to resign and some people thought rochford was the man to lead mayo to SAM.I think his reign in charge will mirror that of john o mahoney.The supporters in the stand around me were very pessimistic on sunday .it was pathetic for robert hennelly to come up 100 yards to kick the frees wide IT WAS SOUL DESTROYING FOR THE SUPPORTERS and must have been for his teammates as well.

  55. Like a lot more I made my tuppence worth of rant in earlier blog. I suppose like a lot more every one was wrong and we were right. This evening I was again looking through all the blogs on what is right and what is wrong etc,etc. It then dawned on me I met one of the best supporters Mayo ever had. Mr Durkan (Alais St. Patrick). I spoke to him before the match and he said ” They(The team) have their health”. He sitting on a wheelchair. What are we complaining about that has us all moaning and groaning. I have now realized it was a game of sport, and there has to be winners and it was not our day. Look at today the best day of 2016 so far. I have my health Thank God and in 2 weeks time it will be our day.

  56. Have been at all the games so far (even the non event in pairc ui rinn) one thing that I have noticed is we are too honest sometimes;

    Yesterday we conceded s goal in the first half when Darran O’Sullivan picked up a semi dirty ball sprinted 8 steps away from contact, pirouetted took another few steps (all without a hop or solo) offloaded to Buckley goal.

    When a player is in possession of the ball, it may be:-
    (a) carried for a maximum of four consecutive steps or held in the hand(s) for no longer than the time needed to take four steps;

    Referees are only implementing this rule when a player is surrounded by a bunch of players so not for 4 steps only for the TIME needed to take 4 steps.

    We on the other hand take a hop or solo immediately at contact we need to be smarter in this regard it was also silly to see Seamie watching the gooch from the 21 metre line mis kick a free and watch helplessly as we butchered the clearance.

    Anyway in 2012 we were lucky when the fog saved us in Castlebar a few weeks later we hammered Dublin in the refixture, that year too Donegal went to Kerry and were sent home with a heavy defeat, who contested the all Ireland final in September ?

  57. Club final literally couldn’t come at a better time..hope we see mitchels hit the ground running..and we leave a final in croke park with silverware..there might even be some positivity on the blog come Friday morning!!

  58. Good man, True Grit – that’s a decent perspective. I too saw the same man at the bottom of the stand yesterday in his wheelchair and you’re so right. Anyone who has their health has little to be moaning about. We’ll have better days following this team in 2016, yesterday just wasn’t one of them.

  59. True Grit I spotted him yesterday, great to see him back. And never a truer word written!

    Took Livenhope’s advice and listened to James Horan, the optimism is back now. Roll on Thursday.

  60. St Patrick is an inspiration to us all. If I’m still attending matches at his age i’ll be a very happy man. Here’s to his better health soon.

  61. Was wondering if St. Patrick was still attending that is great to hear. He was always a great bit of wildness, with some of his banners being very funny.

  62. It was noticeable yesterday that the ‘Mayo’ chant when it did start spluttered to a halt v quickly. It seems that the fans are not up for it yet either.
    In contrast one of two little Kerry scaltans behind me and in front of the v loud K mouth already mentioned was heard to say…”How can these people here stay so calm” and they were hen scaltans. The Kerry’s are a race apart
    JP I think you touched on the sec school thing. You re right there and it’s a pity that such is the case.What goes on depends entirely on an interested individual teacher who might be present. Maybe the co board could/should get in there? They re into the pri schools to a degree but that’s because the teachers there are mostly women. I know of an approach made in past to a sec sch but blank!! Institutions!!

  63. Travelled to Mayo on Saturday evening, We dined in Mulryans restaurant on main St I think (it is just up the road from Mick ByrnesnGAA Pub) and I must say it was a wonderful meal, absolutely top class in every regard.

    Unfortunately for Mayo on Sunday they didn’t bring the game to Kerry. The first half if I am to be honest I thought we gave Mayo an undeserved platform with a plethora of unforced and non typical errors. The lack of scoring opportunities not being converted by Mayo up front was almost uncomfortable fron an outsiders point of view. I know ye are without two major influential players and with the Club finals this week ye are depleted, but Kerry are without O Donoghue, Paul Geaney, Maher and Moran so all things being equal there should have been more bite to the Mayo team.

    I don’t want to appear to be walking on dried bones but this performance lacked bite and determination on the part of Mayo players. I know some games take on a mantle of their own and the collective will doesn’t manifest itself on the field of play. There seemed to be a reluctance to take Kerry on on their terms, it’s not long ago when we were all in limerick either praying for the final whistle or hoping for the clock to stop. Cilian is a huge player for ye and his leadership was greatly missed and unforgivingly absent on Sunday.

    I know there are people that think that Kerry and others take the edge beyond the margins but this was a game that was winnable for Mayo. O Shea was fouled but trust me all big men in the delivery room are held, pushed impeded and fouled with impunity. Aidan is not the first visitor to Lilliput and we in Kerry have witnessed our fair share of interference with our own targetman ( for the steaming bloggers, just have a look at ANY game that he has played at full forward and look at the backs holding his waist and hands as the ball is being kicked in before ye abuse me on mass). O Shea needs to learn to win it and lay it off before he turns and tried to bulldoze his way through the defence. Yesterday I thought it was a peno and the TV confirmed that as fact afterwards bur he does tent to run straight into opposing defenders and the referee will usually be less forgiving when a player takes this approach. If he is played at FF then Rochford will have to insure that he has runners tuned into the game plan ready to feed of the initial ball win.

    I had a sneaky feeling we would win yesterday as I believe we had good people in important positions that know what is expected of them and the screaming relity that Mayo are over reliant on Cillian at this time of the year, but in saying that I expected more from Mayo up front there are players that have to ask themselves some serious questions. This is body and soul stuff as its the winter of the league, the dawn of another championship is lighting up the tops of the tall trees. Playing Keegan in an muffling role on a corner forward was naive from a management prospective in my opinion. He has serious expressive and developmental skills that were sorely needed yesterday and this flare was lacking for the others in his absence.

    Not pissing on shoes with intent, I hope ye appreciate my angle. We might have your fate in our hands yet, if we beat Monaghan ye could yet hope for a Yearra’s victory !!!
    Good luck Sunday week, I hope ye do it as this Division needs real football teams competing at the top level.

  64. Sorry meant to say best of luck to Castlebar on Thursday. I really hope they do the business.

  65. Did anyone read the piece in the Western People about some Kerry supporters taunting Alan Dillon and Cillian O’Connor, who were watching from the press box? That’s fairly shitty behaviour for fans. I have to say the Kerry supporters sitting beside me were decent. Happy to have won, but not bad winners, if ya get me. They loved Diarmuid O’Connor’s point from out on the sideline too.

    I found James Horan’s interview on Newstalk interesting. He doesn’t seem all that worried about where we’re at.

  66. Good analysis there, Gamechanger, I wouldn’t disagree with much of what you say. It’s good to get the opposition perspective, in particular on our own failings on the day, which I think you’ve identified very well.

  67. Sunday was a disappointing result no doubt. especially bearing in mind the unbelieveable optimism on the Who will win poll last week.. I was baffled by the incredibly high percentage going for a Mayo win. What was it based on. Kerry are better than us at the moment. Our forwards are not good enough nor havent been for years, their forwards are excellent and have been for years. Sunday was a great day for the non players. Clarke is getting better every day he doesnt play and Robbie apparently gets worse each day he plays. Regan emerged with more credit yesterday by not playing than he did in any of the games he played. Freeman grows in stature with each game that goes by. The Castlebar lads will solve all our problems when they return. Wake up folks. We are in trouble. We desperately need Cillian. Please God he will be ready in Summer. Clarke has been overlooked by our last 3 managers. I rate him highly but I think Robbie is also excellent not withstanding his howler sunday. I like Freeman but am waiting for years for him to truly deliver. Disappointed not to see Regan yestrday but in truth he has had a mediocre league. Really hope Castlebar do the biz on Thursday but only Durkin will probably come into Mayo team. Big Barry and Tom will be good back up but unlikely to start. Keith is yet to return but thats about it. AOS has to be brought to CHF and we have to develop a definite style. Yesterday in 2 nd half we just did not seem to know what to do. Meanwhile Ros are flying under a very bright and capable management team and are racking up unbelievable scores from a very fluent set of forwards. We are in a difficult spot Time and patience and support for these guys who certainly dont lack effort is needed. In truth not much is coming through and it looks like we will have to depend on the old reliables again this summer. They have been brilliant for 5 years but can they do it again and in all honesty are they good enough to win Sam. With a great manager and when they were at the peak of their powers they couldnt do that. I will be surprised if they can manage it this year

  68. jimbo,

    I can’t recall seeing you contribute here before but if that’s your best effort please desist. We have enough negativity already. Supporters all around the ground were delighted with Robbie’s freetaking in the first half. What happened in the second is the mystery but you can’t always have perfection. Regards 2006, I would have been happy to see anybody come in to replace Moran/Morrison who never achieved anything with the many teams they were involved with. Most Derry people would say that Moran destroyed a good All Ireland winning team. In Mayo’s case they never made any attempt to solve the weaknesses apparent in 2004/05. In fact in 2005 Mayo performed much better [3 points loss to Kerry] than they did in 2006 and even though we very well beaten in 2004 the gap was not as wide as in 2006. So quit crying for Moran/Morrison.

  69. Had meant to say that I do appreciate your comments Gamechanger10. I was particularly looking out for Brendan O’Sullivan who you mentioned last week in the run up to the game. He justified all you said about him in his cameo and I left Castlebar wondering why we cannot produce a newcomer like him. He looked every bit a seasoned championship player.

  70. Andy,
    As I said he has a real cut about him, he is a 1,600 metre runner and by all accounts has a Rolls-Royce engine in him. I have heard it said that he is a nightmare to play against in an A v B game, running, running and more running. He is probably not the polished diamond yet tho as in all of his cameos he has come in relatively late when the opposition is fading as they are still only at league levels of fitness. I think he will have a say later in the year, can you imagine 55 minutes of hard championship football played on a hot day and this bruiser makes his way on the field !!! He might cause the Dubs a problem or two with his pace and size he is 6′ 5″ in height, a big boy !!

  71. The sooner we get to Easter Sunday the more I think it will be a win for Roscommon, from reading the majority of comments here most Mayo people think they just have to show up to beat Roscommon, that mindset is probably in the team as well, looking at the last meeting between these counties Mayo won by a point in the championship in a game we didn’t have the belief we could win, i think this Roscommon side are a different animal altogether now in their own confidence and self belief in their ability that seems to be instilled by new management that allows for a game plan that is putting up huge scores. Roscommon are a completely different team to that team in the Hyde two years ago, are Mayo a completely different side?

  72. The reason that Mayo won two years ago is because Roscommon didn’t believe they could be beat Mayo. Roscommon could well win on Easter Sunday, but I can guarantee you, having talked to a few of the Mayo players, they are more fired up for this game than any league game in history.
    The canopy is gone in Roscommon, the flags are up in March and talk of All Irelands abound, if any team think they’ve just to turn up its certainly not us. A wounded Mayo team, fighting for their survival in Division 1, facing the prospect of being sent down by the Rossies is a dangerous animal.

  73. I cant make out the support on here at all. Half the comments are I would say overly negative and are writing off Mayo on the back of a very disappointing second half against Kerry.

    The other half of the comments are that they will beat Roscommon and Down and an All Ireland final appearance is on the cards. Where is the happy medium guys. I agree with my county man up above that this is not the same team of Rossies that lost to Mayo 2 years ago in the Hyde. We didnt have the belief back then. Most of this team however are used to beating Mayo teams at U21 over the last 5 to 6 years so the players now are probably less fearful of Mayo and you cant buy that kind of mental attitude.

    Easter Sunday should be a good game. It depends what Fergal and Kevin do with the team. The Rossies are now safe and will probably get a semi final spot even losing the last 2. Will they rest a few players. Will they try a few different things. Will McStay want to give 2 fingers to Mayo county board and win or will he wait and hope he gets his chance in a Connacht final. Of course ourselves and Mayo both have to get there. It has to be good for Connacht football that we are improving and Galway are getting hard to beat.

    Also do u notice the way that if a club gets to an All Ireland final then the county is always at a disadvantage that year. Roscommon did nothing in the league when Bridgits were going great guns. I think Galway would have got promoted last year only for they were missing the Corofin crowd and Mayo struggling this year with the Mitchells boys out. So great for the club and parish but not so much for the county. Thats my tuppence worth.

  74. Good Club run is good for player confidence and I disagree only Durkan will be in come championship. I think Barry is a better team player than SOS and will be first choice midfielder after Parsons. I also think the AOS experiment at FF may well be dropped and Kirby will well play at 15 with Cillian at 14.
    Tom Cunniffe may be edged out by Harrison or Keane and Douglas may be just a few percent short of inter county starter as Loftus probably has more pace and is also a goal poacher.

    As for the debate on Parsons being best midfielder, right now he #1 but 2 previous players of the year David Moran and McCauley could dispute that later in year and Maher was very good for Kerry last year. Though Tom definitely should have gotten All Star ahead of Fenton who is also a great prospect for Dubs and toss up whether he or Maher was the best in Country.

  75. Shuffly Deck

    I agree mostly with you regarding Castlebar lads. For me Durcan is a definite with Vaughan making way, Harrison looks to have moved ahead of Tom C. Moran to start as he is a lot better passer of the ball than people think and usually chips in with a couple of pts per game, he is not as mobile as SOS but having Parsons beside him helps there. Kirby at ff, I think he is a more natural player there who is able to bring players in.

    I think Regan is going to hold down a starting position particularly as he can slot the frees from the left leg. I will hold judgement on Dougie until he gets a run in the team, he too has an eye for goal and can take frees which can be vital.

  76. Rossie Shane and hontheross, have ye forgot about last year? How do ye explain that one, Sligo beating Roscommon and then Mayo beating Sligo by 26 points.

  77. HSE

    I was at the game in Sligo last year and after 5 minutes I knew we were in trouble. The Roscommon support around me knew it also. It was one of the strangest matches I have been too. Roscommom never started to play at all and 1 or 2 didnt look fit. Of course what we now know is that those 1 or 2 werent fit and were still started and that caused a major problem that day. As we all know that without team harmony you will win nothing.

    The likes of that will not happy with Fergal and Kevin and when u have Fintan Cregg and Conor Devaney coming back to play then something has changed. They know and trust Fergal O Donnell and McStay would be hugely respected in Roscommon due to club achievements. The loss to Fermanagh last year was completely different to Sligo. We played well enough that day but we had so many injuries that we had nothing to bring on towards the end when we needed it. I thought I might even get a run that day with the injury list.

  78. HSE,

    I personally put last years defeats in these games down to a number of factors:

    (1) Jekyll and Hyde performances were the norm in the Evans era, so far this does not seem to be the issue with this management group, so far there has been consistency, albeit in the league only so far. Very unlucky to not win against Monaghan on opening day.

    (2) Previous management flogging players that were injured and not fit, this had a massive lot to do with losing to Sligo. Hype that was doing the rounds did not seem to be controlled correctly within the group itself and may have got out of hand.

    (3) Regarding loss to Fermanagh, for anyone that wasn’t at that game Roscommon were mugged, management were very poor that day but the player ultimately were the ones on the pitch that let it happen, i can’t foresee this management team allowing players to let that happen again.

    (4) We have a way stronger panel now, we have 4 players back that were cast aside during Evans era, 4 of these are big players for us now, 2 of them are massive. We have some of the most talented young players in the country a year stronger and experienced in Enda Smith, Diarmuid Murtagh and Cathal Compton. Regarding point 3 both Smith and Murtagh were injured or not fully fit for most of last summers championship.There is another batch of potentially as good players coming through as these in Tom Corcoran, Sean Mullolly and Ronan Daly who are involved with senior panel which is making competition for players fierce which is having a positive knock on affect to senior players who know they no longer just have to show up to get a game.

    (5) I think the tipping point that lead to our misfortunes last year started with playing Galway in the league with only one eye on it and got caught out, we subsequently beat a poor Westmeath team which was enough to get promoted. This game against Mayo could be seen as meaningful for us again and could start a similar rot to set in as last year, we may well lose the game but i cannot see management allowing a repeat performance of last year that would point to a quick tame demise.

    BUT BUT BUT its only the 15th March, lets see how things are going 15th July and we can reassess again to see has anything changed when championship kicks off. That is what the great unknown with us is where ye know for the last few years ye are competitive into the later stages of the championship, we don’t have a clue……yet!!.

  79. Yeah Shane and hontheross, what I thought last year was that ye had a lot of players who were playing colleges, U21 and league football all at once, then by the time the championship came around, these lads seemed to be burned out or some were out injured.

    I remember reading an article in the Indo with Diarmuid Murtagh and he said that in something like aprox. 60 days, Jan and Feb, he had been involved in some kind of football on 54 of those days. I take it that most of the current league team would now have finished colleges and U21 football which would be a big help to Roscommon this year.

    For us we have seen that Diarmuid O’Connor has been our best player so far this year but he looked a bit tired against Kerry. He’ll be involved in U21 football this year as well so we probably need to be careful with him and not over use him. We don’t want him to be injured or burned out by the time the championship comes around.

    We’ll see how it goes anyway, it’s a long year yet!

  80. Gamechanger was Brendan OSullivan a competitive runner at 1600m in his younger days? Wasnt sure if serious on that point. Did seem to have that ability to cover ground at ease.

  81. Good post there Gamechanger10 – with a nice opposition perspective.

    You’re probably right on Keegan, but we are stretched at the back at the moment. While it is true that Kerry were missing some, our full back line has probably had its third choice in action for all of the league.

    And yet, it may have been worth it to try him there and know that he can operate in that position. If there is an area where we have an oversupply, its in the half back line. Think Keegan, Donie, Boyler, or Durcan, Coen, Nally, or Barrett, Higgins, Drake, or even any combination of those.

    And on free takers, where the hell is Freezer? Was he on the bench last Sunday?

  82. Alan Freeman played full game for Aghamore last weekend. He lined out at Midfield. He scored a penalty and maybe 6/7 frees.

    Missed a couple of long range frees but also kicked a few beauties. Didn’t seem like he was pushing too hard but might be the level of competition he was playing at,

  83. @hontheross. .where in the name of fortune are you reading that we only have to turn up to beat ye? Ours is certainly not the in form team at the moment..

  84. Thanks REDCOL – interesting news on Freeman.

    Thanks also OutsidedOB for update on Carolan’s performance. I think he is a scoring forward if given the opportunity.

  85. JP,
    I am not sure if he is compedative at the grade but any fella who trains for that distance is going to have a fairly serious set of bellows in him.

    Catcol,
    I know ye are in fairness weakened at the back but Kerry would probably have been a little more on the back foot with Keegan going forward and would in all probability have suffered a little more in defence and as a result would have spent less time going forward. Keegan has pace and he has a very dangerous habit of popping up in the last place you expect him, he is also smart with the ball so he offers more in that position I think. He will be starting there in the championship and I think he should be there the next day against Roscommon. That should be some belter of a game with so much at stake on so many levels !!! I would love to see it so I hope it’s on TV

  86. Gamechanger,

    What do you reckon will be Fitzmaurice’s approach to the Monaghan game? Will he look to experiment in this game or will he play his strongest team?

  87. Roscommon are flying it’s only the league. it could end badly for them if their not careful.

  88. Regina, from speaking to my in laws in Ros last night, a few things came to light.
    Just like we`ve been saying on here, it`s only March and only the league. The thing is that the Rossies accept this. A lot of the hype around them at the moment is being fuelled by the national media who seem to have a new found interest in the Rossies.

    Most Rossies expect a very hard game against Mayo, but the word seems to have gone out in Ros that Mayo supporters are dismissing them with even talk about Mayo players extra fired up for this.
    Don`t know where this is coming from.Maybe this forum is being observed by more people than we realise..I have a feeling the Rossies won`t lack motivation on Easter Sunday.

    I reckon it has the makings of a hell of a game…

  89. HSE,
    He will play a very strong team for sure as we need those two points to be in the semi final and EF. is targetting two battles with two of the top four as a springboard before the championship. Conor McManus is the obvious and standout player with the capabilities to inflict serious damage. Not sure who will play on him, maybe an unusual choice of a player like Paul Murphy could be chosen to chaperone him as he is very pacey, sticky and could have the solution to the problem he presents, murphy is a man willing to sarcrafice his game to play his part. There will definitely be another back with a little more size to reduce the invariable influence he will bring to the game. Problem with perceived one trick pony attacking units is when you neutralise the threat the other forwards sometimes drive a coach and four through the posts.

    I think we will beat Monaghan but it will not be easy as they have lost to Cork now and are in danger themselves having lost to ye last week and have Donegal after that. They gave us a bit of a lesson last year in Austin Stack Park and the Kerry lads will want to close that particular cell door on Sunday week. We have Cork after that and if I am to be honest if we are safe this will be the game where he will give every player on the panel a good run out as he will not want to give Cork a taste of the a la carte menu just yet, but he will have plenty of experience out as he will want to beat them, old enemy and all that.

    Roscommon are home and hosed and despite the fact that there is history simmering between ye if McStay is smart he too will not want to show his hand before the generals plot he real battle plans. Cillian and keith are a massive loss in a critical game like this but if Mayo have designs on September other forwards will simply have to play with a little abandon and have a go. I hope ye do it,

  90. I don’t like to say good things about Ross but you can’t hide from the truth . They are a class side whom I think are about to embark on a sensational journey, they could possibly land the big prize in the near future . For a relatively small county they also have financial backing to match and better some of the big hitters . I’d fear for the result Easter Sunday , they are scoring for fun and there is nothing to suggest we can score near enough to beat them . Changing times but we still might not be that far off them come the summer for this year maybe

  91. I still think Roscommon are a bit like Leicester in that bigger teams are not treating them like a big team. With no research but a hunch I bet you a lower than usual amount of yellow cards were picked up by their opponents so far.
    If we fill our middle eight with pace and size I think we will win. If we have our pace and size at full back and full forward they will work the ball through us and win. They pass short a lot so you need speed to maximise pressure. You need size to dominate your own kickout and to wear them down and force turnovers. You need pace in the middle eight to match up to this Roscommon team. You also need to man mark Cathal Cregg who has been their game winner this year.

  92. Is it Roscommon appreciation week here. Credit were credit is due they are playing well, prib the team of the league and they are obviously doing things right at under age. But enough with the love in at his stage.

    I would say Ros need to win Connacht way more than Mayo this year and the way they are playing they are obviously set up to peak for July. Mayo are set up to peak for September, Donie Buckley has this down to an art, he knows when the hard work is due for an assult on Sam. Mayo will be alot better in July, might even take Connacht, I think they will. but the pressure in on Ros to finally live up to the hype, they have been coming for years (that bus must be fierce slow). Win or loose in Connacht the Mayo players know for sure that they are all ireland contenders and will be in Croke Park in August where the championship really begins.

  93. Sean Burke

    Well I nearly fell off my chair reading your last comment. Are u sure no one has taken charge of your account. You said more complimentary things about us in 1 post than the last year. Your cover on other forums will be blown if you start been nice to us and word goes back that your going soft. I dont feel comfortable about it. Keep this up and I might have to buy u a pint on Easter Sunday.

    I do think Mayo will win on the day simply because ye need to but Monaghan might get no more points so a win over Down on the final day will be enough? Also I think someone said about the Mayo supporters dismissing Roscommon. There is an element of that on here but the main cause of that would be over on the Banter page. That is is widely read by people all over the country and they do ye no favours at times with some of their comments about certain counties and players. Thank God WJ keeps everyone in line here and doesnt lets real supporters comment. I would have lost the plot already keeping all in check. Great work WJ and I wud be delighted if we had a blog like this via Club Rossie but until then ye will have to put up with me on here.

  94. Thanks for that Gamechanger, it would be great alright if other teams did us a favour. I suppose we have to start showing some improvements ourselves as well, as the Down match will be our last serious one before the championship. It’s all to play for anyway. Roll on the games!

  95. Observer 2

    If you think the Rossies or anyone else needs to read this blog to figure out that that the players will be fired up for this game then your not giving people much credit. They’re looking at relegation and going against their neighbours who are the form team of the league and who would love nothing better than to send us packing.
    @Shane
    As regards the banter page and the shite that’s posted on it, they’re the equivalent of the Rossie supporters with the signs in in Ballinlough after the replay last year goading the Mayo team. All counties have their idiot supporters.

  96. Watching the toughest trade. Think we can discount the AOS not fit theory. He looks fairly sharp out there.

  97. Ros going well but things will even out when defences get tighter.
    Not world beaters and will find it tough in Connacht.Seem to remember Mayo going well in league few years ago before being trounced by Cork 2010…..league is illusory often.

  98. Agreed mayomad aiden looks very fit.
    Read today he said he doesn’t need any protection from refs.
    Jaysus Mayo players are just too nice.
    He clearly needs to be given a fair crack of the whip regards being constantly fouled.
    If he dismisses it nothing will change. He should be shouting give me a free when it’s
    a fooking free ref. Don’t let my size go against me.

    A win for castlebar on Thursday could be a big moment in Mayo’s season.
    Hope they can do it. Lift the doom and gloom that has gotten completely out of
    hand in the last few days ..

  99. Alan T. Totally agree that the refs should pull up the constant fouling on AOS surely they watch the footage after matches so must be fully aware of whats going on.

    If Mayo continue AOS at ff and personally I dont think they will once Kirby, COC, Douglas etc come available, but if he is still at ff then a couple of things must happen. There must be support players on AOS shoulder when the ball is pumped in. To many times when he gets the ball he is isolated with 3+ defenders around him, he has no choice but to try and muscle his way through. Support players must be there to either take the lay off or keep other defenders busy thus creating room for AOS.

    Secondly AOS needs to grow up and develop a a nasty streak. He knows he is being fouled, he needs to exagerate, fall, whatever to draw the free. If refs see him upright and moving forward then no free.

  100. Rossie Shane – I wouldn’t go basing the comments on those GAA banter Facebook pages on the views of a county. some of those pages are downright thuggish and you only have to look at some of the Dublin pages to see some of the stuff being said about Mayo.

    Facebook while a great tool also sadly bring out the worst in society and gives every horrible creature a voice.

  101. IF AOS continues at FF, two thing needs to happen. He needs to stop running into the tackle and learn when is the best time to distribute the ball

  102. That’s it Mayomad! It applies to A but also to BCDAnd E whenever they gather a ball.It seems a feature of our game to leave fellas to their own devices and heavy close tackling by the opposition resulting in lost ball or not so smart shooting. Is this due to lack of natural forwards or lack of fitness in what we have or what? It’s indeed no joke to make yourself available at all times.It takes an awful lot of off the ball running and running and running to get that ball eventually to the scorer in optimum position.Have to say that when you see this you have to stand and admire! Head in hands when you don’t.
    Anyway,the squandermania of McHale Park will hopefully be purged by the time we finish up in the Hyde and Ros will realize that there’s life in the old dog yet!

  103. Imbetweener. I think its a combination of fitness and training. It does take a high fitness level to develop support play, but we will have this come summer. Training on the other hand comes fron the training field. Donaghy in his pomp always had gooch buzzing a few yards from him as he caught the ball, thats all about training and positional sense. Even last year AOS would catch the ball with no support near him so result is unsally a turn over as he was surrounded be opposing defenders. If you play the big guy at ff then the support players must be there or else its a waste of time.

  104. Kevin. Yes AOS needs to distribute, but as of yet the support players are not there in the box to distribute to. They need to be within 5 yards of him as he catches so they can collect layoff or break down. Way too easy for defenders at present.

  105. Support is obviously key but also the kind of ball going into needs to be better. At the minute it seems to be mainly of the garryowen variety booted high up into the air that takes forever to land and Aidan (or indeed anyone else that’s in there) is often standing waiting for it to drop, giving defenders ample time to ready themselves. The last day most of this ball wasn’t caught and more often than not was cleared back out. We did the same in the semi-final last year, expecting Aidan – crowded out by three Dublin backs – to win high dropping ball from a standing position with nobody offering support.

    Aidan obviously needs to distribute more and more quickly as well. Donaghy’s speed of thought and movement is obviously the template here – great hands and incredibly quick to offload, always to the right player. Too often Aidan plays with the head down, takes too much out of the ball and ends up getting swarmed out of it.

  106. I wonder what the view is regarding Aiden outside of Mayo? There are many knowledgeable men (and women) from elsewhere who read the blog. Where would Eamon Fitz play A O’Shea do you think Gamechanger? I honestly don’t think we are getting near enough out of him. Joe McKiernan gave us a glimpse what he could achieve, albeit with Brogan and McManus playing off him, in the Aussie Rules.

  107. WJ agree with your post regarding type of delivery. In connacht final it was quality diagonal balls with pace going in where Aidan could run onto. Donegal to some degree and Dublin more so closed down the space out wide or put pressure on the kicker to disrupt delivery. Result was Hail Marys going in from a central position, Aidan from a static position, easy to defend.

    I would also add in a variety of play is needed. Right now plans A Band C seem to be kick it long to Aido. Kerry let it go long maybe 3 to 4times in a match when the time is right and from the correct position. Mayo need to vary their attack and get more movement on the ff line. At present its way too static and predictable.

  108. I think the problem is not just AOS but the gameplay as a whole. When we win the cll back inside our own 45, players seem to stop, solo or bounce on the hop….the man running at the oppositions defence hits a glass wall at their 45 and then proceeds to stop think, pass across or back and the recycle period begins again.

    Maybe they are thinking too much…just play, fast, let it in. One of the coaches in the toughest trade said it last night,,,,don’t even think about it, just do it.

  109. You often get the feeling with Mayo that we have never fully mastered the concept of team play. Kerry displayed two good examples of this last Sunday. The first was when the Kerry players surrounded Aidan O’Shea like a pack of wolves devouring a sheep, when Aidan looked destined to score a goal. The second example was for Kerry’s second goal, Donaghy didn’t even attempt to catch the free that dropped short but just diverted it towards his teammate, Walsh who found the back of our net. All over the field we really need to see a major improvement in our general team play.

  110. Yes we are too static and one dimensional the present. I think this is down to a combination of issues. A number of forward players have not been present throught the league for various reasons particularly COC, Roachford hasnt had enough time to work with the forwards, I think most of the work done to date has been with the defence, fitness as we started late to training which is begining to improve and finally not wanting to show our hand too early. Rochford is on record as saying the way we play in the league will be different to championship. I believe come summer there will be a vast improvement in our play. As I said in previous posts, Mayo are gearing towards All Ireland and that begins in August bank holiday weekend. We wont truly know what this team are about until they hit Croke Park and believe me they will be there one way or the other

  111. That’s a great day outside and I think there is general agreement as to our deficiencies in attack.So,you need to be so comfortable with that ball in hand that you can forget about it!…..and there’s nothing else for it then but to go and do it. And he who does it best will come out on top.
    That kind of thought was around last night while watching ‘ Tough trade’….with all those little elements being refined and sharpened so precisely. T’would give you an appetite to turn the years back or maybe I have a touch of early sun stroke!

  112. Yew tree is making sense there our forward play is far too waiting for the perfect play and then get turned over , it’s slow methodical and too damn deliberate . All this modern Gaelic football tactical stuff is overstated , they harp on about playing the percentage all the time well fook me I’d love to sit down with them and go through the the % difference of 1) slowing it down to a lateral passing movement when approaching the opposition 45 . 2) when you just look for a quick balk inside .

    I’m not suggesting you kick aimless ball in all the time hoping for the best but I am suggesting we mix it up a bit , for the life of me I can never understand when Keegan is bombing through the 45 where the friggin hell our corner forwards are ,options are so minimal it’s ridiculous

  113. I think the role of Maurice Horan is important in figuring out what tactics yield the best results and with some such analysis also on the various teams. Donegal seem good on the counter, Dublin on maximising possession, Kerry on cuteness though that’s not very quantifiable but still, what are the teams ratio on scoring and conceding from turnovers, how many kickouts won result in scores, what is % return from the D and outside it. Tyrone maybe have template for tight defense and come summer we are usually the best at forcing turnovers.

  114. Also players need to know their ratios from various positions on the pitch e.g. Keegan very good shooting on the run but drops a % short to Goalie and Parsons has dropped a few short too. Both excellent players but need to know that ratio is and what the level of deterioration is after running your legs off for 55 or 60 mins. A point you’ll score in 1st half can drop short from same position in 2nd.

  115. My own personal opinion on aiden is that either 13 or 15 would suit his game better, more space either side of the goal, at ff the way we play is way to clustered, if he is isolated with just his defender he would wreck havoc. At 11 would cause problems too, but I don’t think he has the playmaker skills we need at chf!

  116. I’m not a great one for statistics. Statistical analysis often focuses solely on those things that are easily measured and reported on. As such they can ignore the more awkward elements of the game of football that do not easily lend themselves to measurement……..like courage, leadership, commitment, skills (subtle and otherwise) and many intangible elements that are crucial to winning.
    However, there is one statistic I would like to see measured for each player. That is how long each player is in posession of the ball before he plays it and what exactly he did with that ball during that period. This would be very informative in AOS case in particular. I have a belief that fast intelligent movement of the ball is the key to unlocking packed defences. The best players frequently have the ball for no more that a second or two before quickly and accurately laying it off to a team mate in a better position. It’s about speed and accuracy. Slow ball is a gift for defenders.

  117. Anyone know anywhere in London showing the Mitchels game? Extended lunchbreak required

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