Monday match reports


There’s no easy way to do this, I know, so maybe it’s best just to leap right in. Here, then, are the match reports on our latest depressing inter-county engagement.

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph, Anglo-Celt

Nationals: Irish Examiner, Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Sun, Irish News.

Others: GAA, RTÉ (match report, quotes), The 42, Hogan Stand (match report, quotes from Stephen Rochford), Breaking News.

Photos: Mayo Mick, Inpho, Sportsfile.

I guess the most relevant bit from all the above is what Stephen Rochford had to say after the game. Not a lot, would be the short version – he accepted that we didn’t do enough to stop Cavan running at us in the second half (which is undoubtedly true) and he bemoaned the soft goal we conceded just before the break (which everyone sitting in the stands and those watching on TV no doubt did too).

He had nothing to say, though, about what was yet another alarmingly flat performance from the lads and, aside from asserting that “we’ll take on the challenge and see how best we can deal with it,” he gave little cause for hope that things might be any better for us next weekend up in Omagh.

That’s your downbeat Monday morning delivery, folks. Back a bit later on with the Mayo News podcast – I’m out around lunchtime so it’ll be mid-afternoon or so before that goes up – and then I’ll post the results of the MOTM poll, in which Danny Kirby already has a few quotas in the bag, later on this evening.

77 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Our players looked like robots yesterday in the second half. Every Cavan score was the same – we attack with some nice ball movement from defence through midfield until we reached the 45m line and the blue wall. Back and over in front of the blue wall throwing risky passes before the inevitable dispossesion and swift counter attack from Cavan. Then, oceans of space in our defensive half for them to pick off scores at ease with little pressure applied. At one stage their keeper kicked an 80m pass over the entire Mayo team to a one on one where their sub won the 50-50 ball and tapped over from 35m or so. This occurred about 45m our from the Mayo goal without a single soul from either team within 25m of the two players. In that same position at the other end, on a Mayo attack, he’d be surrounded by 4 players. It became apparent ten mins into the second half that we were in trouble and our attacks weren’t functioning. Where was the onfield leadership and match intelligence to try something different. It was depressing to watch. I believe many of these players have had their individual spontanaeity and creativity coached out of them. Superb athletes but there is no longer a spark in many of them. This is what is meant by a “jaded” team, on the road too long. It’s very worrying. Talk of new forwards is just simplistic when playing in a team like that. Colm cooper at his peak could have played full forward for us yesterday and I doubt he’d score more than one or two points, given the ponderous way we attacked and Cavan defended. I’m not sure what the solution is but reverting to last years defensive game plan with McLaughlin sweeping would be a start, and at least tighten us up at the other end.

  2. Its not going to be easy in omagh tyrone will want to put down a marker to us but i dont no what to say i will go

  3. You could see what it meant to the Cavan boys when the final whistle went – sheer elation. Our boys? Their demeanour suggested they had just been engaged in a practice match. There was no spirit in the team – and the management must take most of the blame for that. We need not alone new blood in the football squad – but also in the management team. What do they do when we’re losing a game – introduce fresh players with 20 minutes to go? No, they bring on three players with 3 minutes to go. Can they not at least learn from the Dubs’ system where they introduce 3 or 4 established players with 20 minutes remaining? And where no player is so sacrosanct that he can’t be pulled ashore if he’s not giving his all.

    And are we so afraid of a mass defensive screen that all we can do is meander over and back passing to each other on the half way line instead of trying to burst through the middle or at least playing the ball out to the wings. It’s now become more than obvious that anytime a team runs straight down our middle we collapse and concede an easy goal. It’s way past time to stop experimenting and get back to the defensive system we had last season.

    And what about the lack of tactics? I could see no tactical system in our team yesterday.

    Finally, please, please could we have Cillian back at full forward? He looks like he could do with an extended break.

    I know this sounds just like a diatribe but it is just the plaint of a dispirited 78 year old who still remembers his first game in Croke Park in the 1955 semi-final and remembers how proud he was of that draw!

  4. Comparisons to Tyrone in 2015 are valid. We struggled once we hit the 45 and were badly punished on the counter attack. Every time Cavan went forward (which wasn’t all that frequent bar the final quarter) we looked vulnerable. It was depressing seeing us get swallowed up by the blue wave time and time again. We looked utterly clueless at times and devoid of imagination. We were sorely lacking in physicality yesterday, not enough strength to break the tackle and no shielding to stop them running through us down the middle. Cavan came with a gameplan and executed it well. They were disciplined and showed good workrate in getting back and defending en masse. They smelled blood and went for it. What was our plan? We were wide open at the back. Vaughan and Higgins were too loose on their men. The Cavan half-forward had ample time (with Andy Moran running past him?!) to put a long-ball into the box which lead to the goal. The intense tackling of yesteryear is but a disant memory now. It’s been pointed out here that Keith Higgins isn’t a full-back and expecting him to take up that role is asking a lot of him, so why not revert to the double-sweeper method which worked well against Tyrone last year. It has been blatantly obvious since the Roscommon game that our defence has been too loose yet time and time again we go man to man. Teams know we are soft down the middle and ineffective against the blanket and you can be damn sure that Tyrone and Donegal will target us in the same fashion. Despite our problems in attack yesterday I don’t think that’s what lost us the game. Fifteen points should have been enough to beat Cavan. Just the old failings that let us down again. Danny Kirby was effective but as a forward and not a midfielder. He should have been switched into the forwards early on with Jason Gibbons coming on and Conor Loftus taken off. Very disappointed in the management yesterday. It was obvious from early on who was tiring and who was having a nightmare. Unfortunately we don’t have anyone at the minute who can step up when Cillian is off form. His usual contribution to the scoreboard would have won the game yesterday.

    All very demoralising and disappointing but lets not forget that our destiny is still in our hands. The right changes will make us competitive against Tyrone. Not over ’til it’s over.

  5. People keep saying “why don’t management pull players ashore?” or “why don’t we do what Dublin do and bench established players?”

    Bottom line for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention: Mayo do not have the squad depth that Dublin have. Gavin can be ruthless because he knows for certain that any of his players can be replaced. We know for certain that some of our players can’t. That is the be all and end all of that argument. Dublin can afford to bench whoever they want whenever they want because they have almost like for like replacements in many positions. In fact, Cluxton is possibly their only unbenchable player. No other team in the country has the luxury of benching any player they like willy nilly. We can’t do it, Kerry can’t do it. We were beaten out the gate by practically a Dublin B team last time out, lest we forget. That is the quality of the pool of players Dublin have to choose from and very little is going to change on that front in the foreseeable future. We need to accept that our starting 15 towards the end of the summer are the 15 best players in the county. Might be hard to accept, but we don’t and never will have a Dublin-like squad.

  6. I’m very disappointed in our management team. I’d almost go as far as to say I’ve lost faith in them they were inept yesterday. For example we were getting cleaned in midfield and they didn’t bring on a sub Jason Gibbons until two minutes left to play I mean seriously what’s a sub going to do in 2 minutes

  7. what i saw yesterday further validates John Cuffes article posted after the Dublin effort. i don’t think it comes down to individuals just not performing on the pitch more the collective lack of effort & plans to have us performing at our optimum level and for that manager is totally accountable. I’m not really going to say any more for fear of being put on the naughty step!

  8. No need for concern on that score, Ted! Criticism, even of the harsh variety, is perfectly okay, as long as it’s well-reasoned and fair-minded. There’s been plenty of criticism voiced here since the game but the vast bulk of what’s been posted has been fine.

  9. Dublin for the last few games have started with several newcomers. Then when they are in trouble they bring on the big guns. It may be too late, now, but why not leave Higgins, Keegan, Cillian, Vaughan on the bench and bring them on with 20 minutes left to play? Their appearance would be a big boost to the team and to the crowd who would then really get behind the team.

    What a farce for Rochford to bring on three players in the last THREE minutes yesterday!

  10. Would agree with the reference above to the Gibbons substitutions. Parsons did nothing all day (bar his opening point) yet Gibbons only came on at 70 minutes – makes no sense.

    In relation to Kirby I have to say I don’t think he’s a midfielder; he’s not great at winning primary possession in the middle. However he seems a great option at full-forward so he should be tried there. We had no target man on the square yesterday which was badly needed.

    Two other things that might push some pollsters over the edge;
    (I) Who’s to say Cavan won’t beat Kerry next week? Then we need to win both our last two games (they’ll beat Roscommon) and
    (ii) Galway scored 5-15 yesterday against Derry, – they’re going to be promoted and looking stronger as the season unfolds

  11. A bit off topic but Martin Breheny really is remarkable. He really hates Mayo. First paragraph….

    “Mayo’s prospects of reaching the League final next month, and perhaps laying the big-day bogey which has afflicted them for so long to rest, are all but over after having two points snatched from what they thought was safe-keeping in MacHale Park yesterday.”

  12. Currently finding it very hard to be upbeat after this result. In fact hurting now as much as last October. I really thought there would have been a backlash from Mayo after the hammering we got from Dublin 2 weeks ago. Looking at the fixtures last night, made me feel more depressed, with Cavan having a game against Roscommon, which could send us down. Unless a drastic improvement next week, we are in serious trouble. In saying that, sometimes when our backs are against the wall we come out fighting. Maybe, took Cavan for granted??
    This is the 2nd year in a row we are perilously close to the drop. Is this part of a bigger plan in place for later in the year?? Lets hope so. Why so flat?

  13. Many contributors offerin good constructive analysis on yesterdays game, and that should not be dismissed as negativity in my book. Heres my offering. Cillian O Connor failed to score 3 from 3, 45m efforts yesterday. Two forced attempts and the third taken short but not yielding a score. So why arent we breaking in a new free taker at that distance. We have a readymade candidate in the subs bench, Irwin _ he would be as well to bring his overcoat with him for the next match , if he retains his position on the subs bench.
    Even more worrying who is insisting that Cillian takes those frees, is it Cillian himself or the management?
    Some big names should have been called ashore yesterday and instead we had Boland and O Shea replaced.

  14. I still think we’ll beat Donegal on the last day. Kerry need a win and even though cavan will be buoyed by yesterday’s victory I find it hard to see them getting a result against a kerry (who also need points) next weekend meaning a win on the final day will be enough for us to retain div 1 status.

    Galway are buzzing and without their main full forward damien comer.

  15. Relegation is staring us in the face for 2 main reasons – the general malaise of the players and management and secondly because of who we have left to play. Tyrone and Donegal both play that defensive system better that Cavan do. If Mayo fall behind in these games they’ll be faced with the same defensive wall and based on evidence from the last 5 yrs this team has no idea how to counteract it.

  16. Behindenemylines, I have no time for Breheny but actually see nothing wrong with what he said, its 100percent true. I dont feel right saying it but id have to agree with him. Two points which were safe, were given away.

  17. Ah please behindenemylines,

    I actively go out of my way to avoid whatever shyte that buck tries to write! It really is a gloomy Monday….

  18. Mayomad. I was referring more to Mayo laying their “Big-day bogey” comment.

    Hopefully we get one win from our last two games which I believe will be enough to keep us in the division. I see a lot of people saying that they want Rochford to give new players a chance I think that is one thing he has done. In this league we’ve seen Newcome, O’Donnaghue, Kirby, Boland, Plunkett, Douglas, Loftus and Irwin. I think we all agree that new players are needed but it would be crazy for him to introduce 10 -12 at once it needs to be 2 / 3 at a time.

  19. I thought we played well in terms of the scores we took from difficult opportunities.

    I think the difference between the sides was when we had an opportunity to pass to a player through on goal, we instead kicked wide. Cavan took their opportunity.

    We didn’t get many frees in comfortable scoring range. How can a team unlock a defence like that without leaving themselves open at the back?

  20. We do find it very hard to break the blanket and when a team like Cavan get in front of us it’s so hard to break them down.even v Dublin in league they had so many bodies behind the ball that we look like a rugby team going over and back the pitch that can’t break the gain line!

  21. Behindenemylines, I see what your refering too, until we win a big final that will continue to be thrown at us.

    I agree some new faces have been introduced and yes it would be crazy to introduce a raft of players at once. I really wouldnt count Douglas, Irwin and Plunket yet to players given opportunities as their minutes on the field barely come to 10 combined, they need alot more time on the field to develop. I was delighted to see Douglas come on, consistently Mayos best club forward and should have featured years before yesterday.

    Alot of people including myself are shouting for new blood on the panel. At the same time we cant expect them to hit the ground running , they need time and patience to allow them to develop into senior football, its not going to happen over night. Conor Loftus got a game and will get better but people need to show patience and not weigh him down with pressure and expectation.

  22. Yes as most have said we have a problem with management to make the right calls at the right time.
    Think Cavan noticed that before yesterday there sub’s where a boost and ours seem to come on to late.
    You can be sure harte will have noticed too.
    Still for the last few games mayo look very leggy and can’t find the extra gear,
    Has to be down to heavy training and I think that’s why coc is off form with frees.
    Just pray they can find that extra gear for next week and have a sneaky feeling they will.

  23. Fair enough WJ! i accept the team can’t maintain the high standards that we have become used to over the last 6 or 7 years and that all teams performances will trend off over a period of time, but the fall off in performance levels that we have seen either side of the all Ireland finals is unacceptable. Stephen and his team got a lot of credit for their performances in both finals and it was well deserved but the overall trend in performances since he took over the team have been in the downward direction im afraid. i felt he got away lightly with blowing the chance to win another Connacht title and set a new record in the process but both I and Mayo supporters are very forgiving. This very poor performance was followed up on with below par performances v Fermanagh, Westmeath and Tipp. We beat a dreadful Kildare side and did ok against a very one dimensional TY side. overall i wasn’t comfortable with how we were going into the final but was pleasantly surprised with how we performed which was to the limit of our ability…pride restored and the slide in performance levels brought to an end or so i thought. What we have seen this year is worse than last year…the willingness to neglect the obvious problem areas and the unwillingness to make the hard calls in games ( Cillian should not have finished yesterdays game nor should have Kevin McLaughlin) is extremely annoying and sends out all the wrong messages to each and every player on the panel. We now find ourselves in a position i didn’t think was possible 24 hours ago, a relegation battle. Players were not willing to accept what they felt was a sub standard management setup under Holmes and Connelly and i applauded them for taking their stance at the time. Question i would ask is do they believe in the current setup because from what i have seen they don’t….the lack of commitment, the token tracking and the token tackling all suggest to me that something is not right but players cant say anything now can they…they had their say and got what they wanted and now just have to suck it up sadly.

  24. Damo Where have you been these last few years, perhaps you have been overseas. We are in a better position this year than we have been for a while so stop fretting. We still need 2 points and we have a chance of getting 4.

  25. I was in work this morning and a guy from another county ( Wicklow) – not a football strong hold, came over to my desk and asked what’s going on with us ?

    He believed that management should have got the road after the farcical call last October of changing keeper in an all Ireland final and do you know something I agree with him.

  26. Right now I’d settle for Mayo to collect another 2 points secure our Division 1 status beat Sligo in Castlebar lose narrowly to Galway in Salthill and exit the qualifiers in late June early July and Thank Stephen Rochford Mc Entee and Buckley for his time and effort and let him go. I just feel this team needs a break they have given us some great days out i don’t want to see them ship a beating in Croke Park. We seem to be regressing and are probably on the downward curve of out cycle. But a new Mayo team can be rebuilt over the next few years we will need fresh legs and new young faces. And new faces on the sideline who aren’t afraid to make big calls and timely substitutions. My idea doesn’t guarantee sucsess but at the moment we are on the road to nowhere

  27. Managers need to be that bit ruthless where every player can be seen as replaceable and gets picked on an “on form basis”. I live here in Dublin and havent seen Cormac Costello play for Dublin since the All Ireland replay.
    Maybe it would be no harm to spend next season in Division 2 where new players must be tried and tested. It is going to take a miracle to beat Dublin this year anyway. They will probably win the three in a row and hopefully Jim Gavin will then retire. Getting to the All Ireland semis every year since 2011 has taken its toll on some of the older players, a rest is needed by all now.

  28. I dont want to start the goalkeeper debate again but i seem to remember Hennelly scoring 2 45s in 5 of our league games last season.The ironic thing about yesterday was that only 1 of the 15 pts scored was from a free. Some of the pts scored were excellent efforts.I dont remember one effort for a goal yesterday.

  29. Willie Joe,
    Its not personal, I just have alot of experience in football and can read the game very well. I know when things are not right played the game for years and was unlucky to miss out on Mayo minor and U21 selection.
    Also have a fair idea how thus year will pan out.

  30. Mayo88 – that’s fine but you might do me a favour and apply all that experience and knowledge by showing a bit of basic cop-on about what’s reasonable to be posting here. The rules are fairly clear in that regard.

  31. Re the manager being given the heave ho after the replay – gimme a break. That match was lost in the drawn game. That was the day to put the boot on Dublin’s neck and give them a proper beating in their own back yard. And we would have done it too except for mistakes by players on the field. Management didn’t put a foot wrong that day. We had snuck into the final almost under the radar and for once we weren’t predictable to opposition, they couldn’t easily pin point what we were about or what we were going to do. We spent the year perfecting the sweeper system and Kevin McLoughlin grew into the role. Management did everything they could leading up to and on the day. The reason we didn’t win was because of players’ mistakes.

    I don’t have major regrets about October, because the time to win it was September and it’s not management’s fault they didn’t win.

  32. WJ, will you be doing a preview of the u21 game next Sat? I think it’s a hugely important fixture for Mayo and will tell an awful lot about where Akram, O’Donoughue, Duffy, Ruane, Reape and co are in terms of development from last year. We scraped the win at minor in 2014 v Galway. They beat us out the gate in 2015 and had an excellent team last year, one which were just unlucky to come up against a very good Kerry team. I know people in Galway are really hopeful of their prospects u21 this year.

    I’d love if someone could update me on how the Mayo lads are doing. Do we have a full squad or are there lads missing, injured etc?

    I think it’s really important for Mayo to win this one because the strong likelihood is that Galway will win u20 next year.

  33. A win would cement the reputation of some of these lads. Lose and there will be question marks over their ability to make a significant breakthrough at senior level.

  34. I will be at the U21 match in Tuam next Saturday, goin to kill two birds with one stone, ie funeral mass on Friday and the visit to Tuam on Saturday. Will be hopeful that a certain player gets to start and prove himself.

  35. Connacht Championship SEMI-FINAL: Galway v MAYO (Saturday 25th March, Tuam Stadium, 5pm)
    Michael Daly a big player for Galway. Big game Galway will be up for it.

  36. Himself and the two Finnerty’s have been performing at a consistently high level at senior club level for the past 2 years and all have played in senior county finals.

    I’d be hopeful Mayo play a tight defence and hit Galway on the counter.

    Mayo88 who are you looking out for? I’m sure you’re allowed to say! Anyone else know of the form of other players?

  37. Mac’s left boot, totally agree with that analysis. Plenty of possession, but no risk taking, no flair. In the second half apart from the exception of Kirby, Keegan and Nally all having a go from difficult range, only one other effort of note was when Tom Parsons ran hard and broke the tackle, he was in on goal, no one on his shoulder and he fluffed his point attempt. All this time I was hoping in the stands that a speedster like Keith would take on the the packed Cavan. defence with pace and conviction, never even attempted, or that Paddy Durcan an equally good point taker from distance as Lee Keegan might have a go. Stephen Rochford will you please play one of the best half backs in the country in the half back line, ie Paddy Durcan. Ball retention was obviously worked on and coached but you have to have a go at getting a score by one means or another. Ball retention might have its uses when defending a lead, when you need a score or two, it’s pointless in both senses of the word… Just to finish with a question, in yesterday’s programme it states that the Tyrone /Mayo fixture throws in at 2pm next Sunday, but RTE, tellytext page 211 state that the match starts at 3pm..I’m not sure myself of the time !

  38. Looking forward to the Tyrone game if we get ahead by a couple of points would it not be better to sit back and try and force Tyrone from the blankett defence….Looking back on the 1st half against Cavan when we were 5 pts up we came going gung ho trying to score and then got caught on the break if we had played about with the ball with goalkepper and defenders it would have forced Cavan to come out of the blankett and then hit them long balls into forwards….

  39. I thought we started quite brightly and was quite positive about our performance early on – we showed good patience against the blanket and worked our options, we hit some nice points, and we made some good kick passes to the inside forwards. But… the lack of support runners meant that those inside passes were mostly useless. And again our decision making went downhill as the game progressed – we started trying to force pass our way through the blanket when it wasn’t on and structure seemed to gradually disappear from our setup. I was starting to get worried before the goal came, and it got worse through the second half. I can only hope that some of this was due to legginess from the training regimen, but I am very concerned at our decision making under pressure. Also getting worried about the sideline staff – it seemed obvious that more substitutions were needed earlier & Rochford’s comments after didn’t inspire, it all felt very downbeat..

  40. Meant to add, there are only two ways to beat the blanket:
    1. Long, early ball and/or fast breaking runners that are quicker than the retreating defenders can setup.
    2. Patience & organised routines/patterns either to create the space for long range points (from the right player) or to overload/pull the blanket out of shape to create scoring opportunities inside.
    Dublin are more than happy to eke out low scoring wins – extended periods playing across in front of the blanket should not be an issue. Forcing plays inside when nothing is on is…

  41. Cosa bana, maybe 1 other requirement. Should you lose it going forward every effort must be made to slow the counter attack. Commit fouls if its necessary but surely dont let them break quickly. Dublin & kerry masters at fouling early to stop counter.

  42. remember Roscommon this time last year,they were the team of the future what happened, don’t worry we know our defense is solid,so that leaves midfield and towards needing to improve, we have the OSheas, Doc,and Jason to come back,as for the guy from Wicklow they are not very good at football, the management made the right decisions,both managements have all the stats from every play before them,if ours had not reacted Dublin certainly would with even worse results than we had

  43. Another way is to play a blanket yourself!

    We have the players to do this. In fact, we arguably have the best players to do this. Naturally good defenders with fast pacy wing backs.

  44. Mayo88 All due respect but the day you go to Wicklow for footballing advice is the day you should blow the final whistle. Fine hurling team but that’s about it.

  45. I was in Tuam for the game yesterday. Maybe the Oakleafers flattered to deceive, but Galway are motoring on nicely.

    Sloppy first half to trail by three, (after missing a peno), but they really went at it in the second. Nine players on the score sheet tells a story of it’s own.

    That aside, their FB line does not like to be run at. They lack a defensive cohesiveness that could be exploited by pace and teamwork. A good free taker will be an advantage too in Salthill – alot of needless deadball scoring opportunities surrendered. Just my 0.02 Euros.

  46. Mayo are in a relegation dog fight now,going to Omagh is no picnic,for any team.They are hard and relentless bucks.Then you have a Donegal team on the up probably looking to make the League Final,not good.Can they get up mentally for either game?Is the attitude that Div 1 football is diddly squat and lets wait for the championship?
    They have done it before,reorganize at the back ,play the best 15 but I have a real concern about Cillian O’Conor’s form.A player of his class and age should be exerting an inluence and leading up front and also his dead ball proficiency has gone to pot.

  47. It’s fairly simple. Cillian is being played out of position. Our forward unit should be built about him and his brother. They are the present and the future. Mayo will need the two O’Connors buzzing to win anything over the coming years.

    To date in the league we’ve unearthed no new attacker. None of the fringe players have impressed or either they haven’t had enough time to impress..and throw in freeman walking. Either way it’s been a total flop in that sense. No goal creativity, never mind goal execution! Relying on a 34 year old for scores.

  48. One thing to take note of is that in the three games that we have lost it has been one of the opposition’s midfielders that have been man of the match. Hughes for Monaghan, Fenton and MacAuley for Dublin and Gearoid McKiernan for Cavan. Our problems are starting here. When we are at our best we are usually winning midfield 60/40 , now we are losing at least 60/40. In fairness to Rochford we are missing a lot of options here and have tried Vaughan, Coen, Gibbons, Kirby, Diarmuid and Parsons to various degrees of success or lack of success would probably be a better description to use. Hopefully we will have some more options back for the midfield positions in the last two games.

    Another killer has been our lack of height at full-back. The two crucial goals that we conceded against Monaghan and Cavan came from high balls into our defence. Keith Higgins just does not have the height to compete for those kinds of balls. So this is another problem that we will need to sort out for the last two games.

    The positioning of Kevin McLoughlin is vital too, he seemed to be wasted at the moment. Either we use him as a sweeper or use him to pick up the breaks around midfield. Playing him in the final third just doesn’t seem to work for us, Horan tried to do this at well, i.e. playing him inside the opposition’s 45 and it didn’t work for him. I thought Conor Loftus did win a good bit of ball early on and he did look lively. A swap between himself and Cillian O’Connor might have paid more dividends for us against Cavan.

    We need to see the fighting spirit that we showed in the second-half against Kerry in Tralee in our final two games.

  49. Cillian isnt going well at present but neither are alot of players. His free taking hasnt gone to pot as one poster states, he didnt get any frees yesterday. He took 3 45s which have always been on the verge of his range. The only other scorable free came on the right hand side which KMc slotted. Thats a testiment to Cavans defence, they coughed up very few frees.

    Talk of benching or taking off Cillian is quiet frankly ridiculous, he is the one player Mayo can not take off simply beacuse he can pull it out of the bag when it counts. Just look at the last minute in the drawn final. Cillian needs to be on the field no matter what form he is in beacuse when the big games are in the melting pot with a few mins to go you want the ball to land to him, who else have we in those situations.

  50. Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen and some people ask what the fcuk happened. Last year despite the slow start to the league and the meanderous route through the back, I always had the sense this management team were making things happen. I came to recognise Ger Cafferkey as the great full back he was, and hopefully will be again soon, once he had proper cover. I thought all through the championship there was a plan, the Tyrone game was a tactical masterclass out foxing a cute tactical fox. Tipp had to be dealt with, and could have been a banana skin. Mayo had the beating of Dublin in the first All Ireland, and it was the two own goals that kept them in the game up to half time.
    The wheels seemed to have come off in the replay, and this team (players and management)has been either been watching things happen or have been asking what the fcuk happened ever since, apart from the second half against Kerry, no one should get carried away with the Roscommon result.
    I have noticed a few things that concern me. The much vaunted tackling which was attributed to Donie Buckley isn’t near as evident or effective as it was.
    The steel that was added by Tony McEntee to the spine of the Mayo defence last year seems to be gone, making us very porous at the back.
    The real “what the fcuk happened ” episode had to be the introduction of Jason Gibbons at 70 minutes. Where are you going introducing some one for injury time, once in a blue moon miracles happen in injury time like the Paris saint germaine game, but it s like a reckless last through of the dice when it is all over. We are led to believe this is now a squad game, involving 20 players per game. Substitutions should be to some extent tactical, in fairness injuries can make that pear shaped, but there wasn’t much tactical about yesterday’s substitutes. I don’t care how big a player thinks he is, anyone not performing should be called ashore. That will deal with complacency.
    It seems to me that this team and management has lost its mo jo, for whatever reason. What I cannot accept is that this is permanent. All cylinders are not firing at the moment, but something needs to be done to get them firing. I am sure there is no one frustrated than the team and management. However, this needs to be caught by the scruff of the neck and sorted out, because if it isn’t sorted soon, we are in for a very short championship season.

  51. Ease off on Rob Hennelly, guys – I’ve had to delete two comments that strayed beyond the bounds of acceptability in referring to him. Mayoman and Centerfield – I’m looking at you on this one: if you want to make on point on the goalkeeping issue you’ll need to do it without taking disparaging swipes at Robbie.

  52. Apologies, mayomad – it was mayoman I was referring to there.

    I had to take out that personal reference, Samuel – there was no need for it and it added nothing to the comment.

  53. Whatever about trying to stay up in Division one & getting to six points which in most seasons is enough to retain division 1 status it’s the team performance more than anything that’s the most worrying trend so far this season.
    I’ve been to Monaghan Game, Dublin game and Cavan game yesterday.

    A couple of General points that stands out.
    Quite a few of the more senior players have gone over the hill. They have lost their mojo.
    you can just see it. It’s only March but go back a few years ago in Dublin – Croke park league match & the pace was unreal & we were well up for it. Sharp/fighting for each ball/ferocious tackling/intensity/purpose/
    Ended in a draw – a game we should have won.
    Two weeks ago we were second all over the pitch. No energy no drive & no plan.

    It’s time to give young lads a chance & it maybe a couple of years again before we start to get momentum rolling.

    for many senior Lads the opportunity has come and gone.
    For management – crossroads time.

  54. I was at the game and i thought the supporters were very poor throughout .we were complacent, we thought MAYO were defnitely going to win. We went 0.9-0.4 points up and still the cheering and noise levels were too low. the cavan goal changed everything and the team had no answer to cavan’s blanket defence.WE, as supporters need to up our game as well and get our shouting voice back for next sunday against tyrone.

  55. Jimbo – supporters react to what they are seeing. The effort, hard work rate and never day die attitude is missing and therefore so is the Mayo roar. No team lasts forever and while I am not writing them off yet, I believe no All Ireland this year and it’s good. Ignite Irene…..based on what I see so far, no all Ireland this year.
    But sure we will regroup and come back in a few years again.

  56. For what it’s worth, I thought Mayo started promisingly. Everything Boland and Kirby touched turned to gold. Cavan sussed they had the legs of Mayo in the middle third. Parsons, for all his positive qualities, got badly exposed for pace and mobility. Therefore, I think Stephen R. and selectors, quickly need to come up with a ‘team’ for this vital area that offers sufficient mobility/pace. I have always felt Diarmuid could perform a Ml. Donnellan role here, if fit. Jason Docherty looks like a player who could also settle into this area, as he has natural stamina. I don’t think Lee would be suitable, given that his style is individualistic, and is ideally suited to wing back – period. Then you have the 2 O’Sheas to integrate into that area. Ryan McHugh and cousin Eoghan, although both slight in stature, are they type of players Mayo now need to unearth. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but I think Mayo owe it to themselves to drag themselves up off the canvas and come out roaring ‘I’m still a contender!’

  57. I agree Jimbo. I was shouting on my own yest.
    Alto constructive analysis has gone onn here in last 24 hrs, someone posted not to dismiss it as negativity. My God what would you call it. Words like clueless, and embarrassing,and senior lads past sell by date,relegation,(all matches not played yet),management call, and onn & onn it goes.
    Well is it any wonder to anyone here that these lads feel weights on their shoulders for county and for us as supporters. The negativity after the Dub game would be enough to help them give up. Maybe yest was a gesture for us too from the team to lay off on that pressure, and allow them to lose games and learn.
    We are all great experts as spectators.
    What if we go to Div 2. Not the end of the world,or our team.
    Let us think of the Derry city footballer Ryan and his family tonite. May he rest in peace.

  58. Yew Tree, we’ll only come back if the supply line is of a certain calibre. Last year was our first decent u21 side in 5/6 years. It was long over due and was the reason why James Horan was u able to add new blood to the team. It simply wasn’t there.

    The current management now have last years 21’s, but so far only Boland has shown any real impact. I’m not even counting Diarmuid. This has been a bit of a disappointment. I think had we asked Mayo supporters last April how many of the 21’s would be pressing hard for a starting place on the 2017 senior team we’d have been disappointed with it being just 1 or 2, injuries or no injuries.

    I’ve said it lots of times before. If a player fails to solidify a position on a senior team by the time he is 22/23 latest then it’s unlikely that player will prove to be of the standard required to compete for an All Ireland. We can talk names til the cows come home but if they aren’t forcing their way onto the team then they ain’t good enough. Look at all the really top intercounty players. The vast majority of them are well established at senior level by 22/23.

    So for me, we need lads like Loftus, Irwin, Plunkett, being 1st team players within 18 months. And Ruane, Reape, O’Donoghue, Akram or any of this years u21 crop pushing for starts by 2019. That’s how I see it.

  59. I always look back at the Galway team that won Sam in 1998. A third of that starting team v Kildare were u21 that year!! Two more were u21 the year before!!!

  60. Could yet be a big irony in league as a Ros win over Cavan could keep us up. That is not an impossible situation. The way we are going at the moment would suggest we are well capable of losing to Tyrone and donegal. Expect kerry to beat cavan so it could all come down to Ros v cavan which i think is in the Hyde. Ros would be desperate to win one game in Div 1 and lets be honest, despite their deserved win yesterday cavan are no great shakes. They were woeful in the first half but the goal before half time gave them renewed hope and our ineptitude in the second half played into their hands. So come on the rossies

  61. Mayonaze – true on the supply line but I don’t see young players getting a run. Andy Moran was not an established player at 22/23…I believe her came in against Dublin in that 2006 semi with great effect.

    As for Galway 98…great great team but Gaelic Football has changed completely since then so we can’t be looking back to how many u-21 players they fielded.

  62. fair enough Willie Joe probably went a bit
    far with that comment.

    Narrative that Clarkes kick outs are bad pushed by some posters is starting to get annoying.

  63. true about Ryan. .puts things into perspective…A real tragedy..However for many a vent on the blog is no bad thing..Relegation is a prospect so that has to be mentioned..and clueless,well I used the same after the Dublin game so I can see where that one is coming from..It may not be easy reading but neither is watching Mayo at present..

  64. I’d hold the reigns if I were ye,
    Mayo have not won an an All Ireland playing the football of yesteryear and in that Rochford has a problem. If he was managing Kerry we as supporters would be saying in loud voice “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, WE KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO BE SECOND BEST”

    Rochford has a problem, he knows what it takes to get a championship team to push for honours but to get this group of players over the line he knows they have to change the little things that matter. Being warriors in defence is something that will instinctively return when the ground hardens but creating a scoring option is absolutely necessary if Mayo are to reach the hallowed ground that has repeatedly dripped through your bloodied fingers immediately before your parched lips seek the wasted reward.

    Every year each top team wonders have we breathed out last at this level, the secret is evolution and Rochford is trying to develop an attacking forward unit. Do Mayo want to be respected in their efforts to maintain their second tier ranking or do they experiment in a structure that will benefit them in July, August and September. OMG last years final,,, I walked around the sofa so many times because ye messed up opportunities to bury the Dubs and this rot has to be tackled.

    Moving Cillian out should encourage and develop the instincts of other forwards but this failure to go for the jugular in so many Mayo forwards is mind boggling, Andy could empty his pockets of this vital gift but he is now an elder statesman and should in truth be an impact player living off space created by younger legs.

    I find it hard to blame Rochford as he is doing his best to develop instincts and a structure in a forward unit and the league is the time to develop these skills and confidence. In a few weeks the O Shea’s and other broad sword merchants will return and in truth Mayo are the yardstick in championship defence, your problem is ye have repeatedly and frankly struggled to strike for that all important kill.

    If I were in charge of Mayo I would also be doing my utmost to develop and Instil confidence in at least one other forward that can make a difference when it really matters, Mayo will more than likely survive the trapdoor this spring but do ye really want to be jumping for the brides bouquet in 2017.

    I am concerned with Cillian’s apparent dip in form but I have seen the best falter only to be sparked into live in a single moment or game, form is temporary etc etc..
    Rochford will return to a type of set up that served him well in 2016 but he is very much aware that flowers can be grown in manure and silverware I’d developed in an entirely different envoitnment. In that environment he has to be bold and willing to do what others deem foolish, he has eyes on the training ground,,,

    If it was easy,, well he would be posting his opinion on this blog !

  65. As always very well stated Game changer,we will be much better when we get our big game players back,and what we are seeing now is only Shadow boxing, if we could send out a second fifteen as good as our first we would but we have perhaps twenty players so with a couple or so injured we are in trouble, also as you say management see these guys training if they were good enough they would play,no manager is going to field a weak team if he has better players on the sideline

  66. Agree with centerfield, Clarke has been our best player in the league this year, I think for going forward we need to flood midfield with our big men for his kick outs
    aos ,Parson ,sos, DOC and mcloughlin and boland in hovering up breaks

  67. Thank you Gamechanger once again your post makes so much sense great to have an outside view !

  68. On a joyous note I see Cormac Reilly is back refereeing in Division 1. He’ll probably show up in Castlebar for our make-or-break battle with Donegal 😉

  69. The problem with that Corick Bridge is so will Kerry & Dublin once they have their big names back too.

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