Monday match reports

Photo: Mayo GAA

Lookit, I’ve done it so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s online about our huge defeat to Kerry in yesterday’s National League final at Croke Park.

Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph, Western People, Kerryman, Radio Kerry.

Nationals: Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Mirror (live blog, match report), Irish Sun.

Others: GAA, RTÉ (live blog, match report, manager quotes), BBC, Sky Sports, The 42, Breaking News.

Photos: Sportsfile, Inpho, Sportsfile, Mayo GAA.

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

Stats: GAA Statsman.

Right, I’m glad that’s done with. Aside from the Cillian photo, of course – the one bright spot for us yesterday was his return to the fray after such a long absence. We’ve missed him badly and will be all the stronger once he’s back firing properly once again, which hopefully he will be.

The MOTM poll is still open, for what it’s worth, and it will be until this evening. If you haven’t had your say there, then there’s still plenty of time to do so.

That’s your lot. Oh yeah, it’s Monday too – the fun never stops, does it?

125 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Had a look at those stats – honours even in almost all categories apart from conversion rate (in 60s % vs in 40s). Know stats don’t tell it all as the danger level of attacks reflects how easy the score. Also Kerry have one of the most accurate footballers ever, a lad who can kick without really changing stride and even with his body not pointing in the right direction. He’s shown a few times in the league he can cut in along the end line almost at will and score so only way of minimising his damage is an extra defender any time the ball goes near him. Kerry also addressed their own kickout stats for one game at least.
    Losing 2 of our fastest backs Paddy and Oisin turned out to be a big loss. Kerry have a bigger number of very pacey forwards in their panel than us. Tyrone beat them last year after an even bigger mauling mainly by getting their backs really well organised and targeting last year’s new danger man Paudie Clifford. Kerry are better this year than last so anyone who beats them will have to win overall possession battle and be structured well defensively. For forward pace we have some fairly fast but not as many with that blinding pace, Carr and to lesser extent Orme and maybe McDonagh. Kevin Mc still fairly quick but not blinding and is more a subs role now. So with that panel we’d need a more kicking game than our running style. A couple of younger backs Eoghan Mc and Enda Hession are very quick but don’t look like they would score heavily as forwards. So to have any chance of success later in 2022 we’ll need a good kicking game backed up by winning middle 3rd battles and breaks and needs having Paddy, Diarmaid (for those breakdowns) and Oisin on the pitch. Connaught looks difficult now with Rossies tails high. Galway’s chances of going a long way in 2022 depend on a fit Shane Walsh. Difficult road but beat Galway and the picture changes.

  2. Excellent measured analysis from Shuffly there and no hysteria. More of this please

  3. Yesterday was a low point to be added to many low points. While I admire what Horan brought to this county, both as a player and a coach, his shortcomings are way too frequent. More worryingly, they’re way too similar. We are so easy to figure out.
    I’m glad I didn’t write a post yesterday. It would have been very bitter and probably would have seen me banned. In the cold light of day, I can appreciate that no team can be shorn of six of their starting fifteen and perform as well as they can.
    However, the game plan remains the same regardless of opposition. It’s like watching the same action movie, over and over again. You still get a thrill every now and again but you know how it ends. Spoiler alert – we lose. This is James Horan’s 8th attempt at landing the big prize. We never looked like winning any of the finals we’ve been in during that time.
    Stephen Rochford didn’t blood as many as JH but in 16 & 17, we had an actual game plan that, with a tiny bit of luck, would have won it for us.

    I’m not going to insult players – they’re going out to do their best. If they’re not good enough, they shouldn’t be picked. And that’s on managment too. It’s quite possible we’ll reach a semi this year but that’s as far as we’re going. But hey, maybe next year, we can stick that tape into the video player and cheer as the action kicks off. And pray the inevitable ending doesn’t happen.

  4. Watched the game a second time just to be sure of what I saw. First half we were definitely in it. Any talk of us being flat was just that -talk

    There were plenty of opportunities for us to be level at half time ( instead of 6 points down )

    We gave the ball away under no pressure three times. We also lost the ball through over extending plays etc We hit the post twice. An oldie Mayo failing of not waiting for the ball to come back off the post … will we ever learn that ?

    Jordan Flynn was the most outstanding player on the field in the first 20 mins and showed continued great form for the rest of the half. He was ultimately barely eclipsed for man of the first half by Clifford. Carr was very good too.

    We had a pace problem in the back with Coen and Brickenden and O Hora in particular caught out. None of these guys are automatic starters imo ( even with Coen being Captain )Overall the backs played reasonably well in the first half despite conceding 1-11. Rory Byrne was outstanding.

    The problem wasn’t the defense per se but rather the middle 8 in totality. I have not often seen us beaten so badly there by any team other than Dublin in their hey day.There was a reduced level of aggression there compared to what we are used to. We didn’t win many 50/50 balls. Kerry were hungrier there. This was the source of their possession advantage( plus us giving away the ball)Our standing off the man gave them easy scores.

    The second half was a different story.

    Jack Barry tackle on Jordan Flynn was either a black (more likely ) or even a Red (less likely)But it was at least a textbook black card.The one thing it was not was a yellow card.
    At the time this happened Jordan was becoming increasingly influential again .His leaving the pitch on 45 minutes coincided exactly with a big deterioration in our overall competitiveness.

    We only got three points in the last 25 minutes of the game.

    Regrettably looks like Jordan might have gotten an ankle strain or less likely a tendon tear as he fell. His form is key to any ambitions we might harbor this year.

    *Just to clear this up. David Clifford also got a yellow card for his interactions with O Hora.
    (Presumably it was an angelic yellow though)
    Clifford majestic and unmarkable by “traditional methods” O Hora not to blame. Someone with a similar name ( whom I’m generally a big fan of )is to blame.

    Multiple times we had a Kerry player surrounded and let him off. Gave the ball away under no pressure at least ten times. Hit the post four times.

    In the last quarter O Hora was doing much better on Clifford. Had the upper hand definitely. The ridiculously brilliant goal by Clifford doesn’t argue against that. It argues for additional help for O Hora. I would bet that if we meet Kerry again he will be able for Clifford from the off. Clifford will still score but less so than today. Of course we need a sweeper against Kerry.

    Michael Burns also should’ve had a black card for a late hit on O Hora. Got yellow for a clear black card offense.

    Big points :

    The grotesquerie that is our current injury list cost us late game competitiveness today. Think about it. In Defence Robbie ( though Rory was great), Harrison, McBrien , Paddy Durcan , Oisin Mullin and Eoghan McLoughlin. Realistically these are 6 of the starting 7 defenders not playing. Think about that.

    Midfield were good with Jordan Flynn absolutely outstanding. Kerry always target your best player. I don’t want to read BS about O Hora from anyone – guest or otherwise.Taking out Flynn changed any chance we had in that game.

    In half forward line we were missing Fionn McDonogh and Diarmuid O Connor
    In full forward line we were missing Cillian (and Tommy)

    Kerry’s platform came from the middle eight where we were missing 5/6 starters from Half back / Half Forward lines.

    There is cause and effect here from us missing these players and Kerry maintaining a level of possession from that sector that they won’t see if we meet again.

    In total I count us missing 9 starters. And Tommy C.

    Despite this and still believing my own eyes we were almost competitive (down 6 points when we really should’ve been level if we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot)at the 44 th minute. By 50 th minute the game ran away from our young “subs team”

    I honestly think this Kerry team are there to be stopped. I think with our full team it would be a different story. People will point out that Kerry were missing people too and that is true. But it’s very unlikely they would’ve made a difference today on a par with the difference our missing players would.

    However and this is a big however there is little doubt that Horanball is not going to win big games on its own.

    If you have players like ROD and James Carr up front and they are out in front of their man we can make hay with direct ball. We are brilliant at this when we do it. Do it more. I hope we stay with Carr now. Love him.

    We need a sweeper for the big teams and he needs to be able to run and pick a sweet pass.

    I do not feel that this is the start of a new O Connor era of dominating Mayo. We do need our players back , we need to play direct ball and we absolutely need a sweeper against Kerry.

    I really can’t believe some of the comments on here.James Horan has brought Mayo football on unbelievably. We are spoiled. He does need to readjust for Kerry and Tyrone. I’ve always been a fan of Aidan playing cover for the center half back. Maybe that’s what he’s actually going to do if we meet then again. If not that then he should be subs. One thing is for sure, Kerry learned almost nothing about Mayo today and how they will play them in the championship.

    James Horan is the reason we have a conveyor belt of young talent ready to die for their county. It’s time we really supported them by copping on and not expecting our second team to beat this Kerry full strength panel. Let’s have realistic expectations and that includes taking Galway and Roscommon very seriously. Roscommon looked really good.

    Even if we are beaten in Connacht I expect us to make final four again this year. That’s not entitlement – that’s studied reality.

  5. Paul Conroy scored for fun yesterday and was very good.
    Shane Walshe only came on towards the end of that game. We all know what he can do.
    Damian Comer actually looked lively and growing in confidence yesterday.
    Galway are going to have scoring threats coming from several directions.

    Are we not in for another long day and another loss on three weeks if we are not willing to bolster up our defense.

    On yesterday’s evidence and some of the other league games, I wouldn’t be confident of downing Galway in a shootout and I’m not confident that Horan will restructure our defense to alleviate the burden on our backs.

    Our backs are good enough if set up properly to make it tough on any team. Bar none.

    If our defensive strategy does not change it might be a short year I’m afraid.

  6. Purposely avoided this blog last night and the doomsday brigade. Kerry full strength, Mayo 60%. I will judge Horan and the team on championship and only championship

  7. Agree Tommy + Joe that all players putting on the Green and Red give their all but as long as I can remember we have made the mistake of having a few players that keep getting picked no matter what. They obviously do well against weaker teams but are found wanting against better opposition. Maybe it’s the training methods. I will recall a Kilkenny hurler mentioning that Mayo and Kilkenny spent a few days in Carton House and Kilkenny were taking lumps out of each other while the Mayo training was a doddle in comparison.
    Anyway roll on Galway, clear out a few that have not performed and concentrate on kick passing and we will take them no problem.
    Teams will figure out Kerry. Tally ruined Galway and he will do the same to Kerry

  8. I thought it best not to comment last night, as the emotion is high, and calling out of individuals aggressively is not the way to analyse a game of football. I don’t think any of the comments previously looked at the game of football on it’s merits.

    With a step back this morning, I thought I’d give my two cents worth.. (probably only worth that)
    My first thought is if you took any team in the country and took out their goalkeeper, full back, best man in the half back line, best man in the half forward line, and all time top scorer against Kerry, they would struggle.

    Granted, Rory Byrne did really well, and without him, it could have been at least 5, maybe 6 goals, but Robbie’s distribution is far better.

    In the full back line, Coen on Stephen O’Brien was a bad match up. I think it’s fair to say, Stephen Coen is at his best with the game in front of him at 6. When he gets turned, given the unit of a man that he is, it takes him a few yards to get up to speed, at which point O’Brien is gone.. You can’t blame him for that, you have to ask the question, who decided to put him on one of the quickest starters in the country. It looked like a case to me that he is being shoe horned into positions that don’t suit him because he is captain. This doesn’t really benefit anybody.

    Padraig O’Hora on David Clifford. I think he is being slaughtered more because of the sledging, that because of his performance. David Clifford was unmarkable yesterday, simple as. If you could have held David Clifford to 5 points you did a good job. The goal made it look worse, particularly when it came on the back of the pushing and shoving that admittedly was daft after you’re getting skinned, the time to do it was probably earlier on, if at all.. If you look at most of the scores, O’Hora did exactly what you want your defender to do, square him up, get your feet right, arms length away, it was just a physical mis match given all of Clifford’s assets. He was very much left to the slaughter when we didn’t either put a sweeper in front of him from the start, or at least make that move when things looked like Clifford was going to have one of those days.

    Paul Geaney got 4 from play who is arguably levels below Clifford and none of the vitriol is coming Lee Keegan’s way.

    Our half back line showed their age today outside of Michael Plunkett who I thought had a very good game. Rory Brickenden and Enda Hession looked inexperienced at the level, which they are. They were marking lads with a few years senior football on them and it showed. Two factors here in my opinion. One, they are young, they will learn from it. Two, you need an experienced calm head in there at 6. Just to be talking to them, telling them where to be etc and to give that physical block. We were getting overran because we had no strength at 6, we were playing a zonal box around the D, but nobody was controlling it. When Kerry came from deep, the lads were getting bypassed by the numbers and were confused. If you are going playing Stephen Coen, I think you need to play him at 6. He’s a big wall and has huge experience. We had the ideal candidate there judging by the club championship, Eoin O’Donoghue, but that’s another story.

    Cleaned out at midfield, but those days happen. If you look at the last 5 times Matty played Kerry, 4 of them, he lorded it. In a day full of off days, he had one too. Jordan Flynn is improving game on game, hope it’s not a serious injury. I’ve said it previously, but I thought his temperament and want to get into the physical would see him drift away from the panel, but I’m delighted to say I was very wrong. He’s a good fielder, and is an excellent kick passer. Better days are to come in midfield.

    I think our half forward line is our weakest line by far. Mostly by reason of team selection. Who in their right mind would put Conor Loftus on the most explosive attacking wing back in the country bar maybe Paddy D. You were setting him up to fail. He’s not a physical work horse type player. If you want to play Conor, you have to play him at 11 as a type of quarter back playmaker, taking the ball and kick passing it inside. He was badly lost there yesterday chasing Whyte.

    Aido in Croke Park for 80 minutes? This has been proven over and over it doesn’t work. He has loads still to offer the group, either playing the full second half, or coming on as a sub. Imagine having a physical battle around the middle with Jordan Flynn or chasing DOC for 55 minutes and then you see this man mountain landing on. Teams would have to start planning for him like they did for Kevin Mc. He could really have an impact on the game, I don’t think you can say the same now over an 70+ added time minutes.

    Thought Jack Carney held his own while he was on, he wouldn’t have been the wing forward I hooked anyway.

    Inside, it’s impossible to impact a game if you don’t get the ball! I would have backed any of our inside forward line to win their individual battles yesterday only they never got the chance. James Carr should flashes of his colossal potential, great sign coming into the summer, ROD was ROD fighting for everything, Cillian breathing down his neck seemed to effect his frees a little. Jason Doc would have benefitted from getting any sort of decent ball in.

    Where we fell down:

    Zonal defending with no control. We formed a rectangle that was clearly practiced in training a lot, as it was very visible, but we had one issue, nobody was coordinating it. Zonal defending needs to be choreographed, everyone knows their job, and you know what to do when the ball came to your area. Our lads plan seemed to be, get in that shape and that was it. When Kerry ran at us in two’s and threes, we stayed in that formation and they popped the ball over the top of us. It genuinely could have been at least 6 goals, but for some heroics. You need an experienced head in the middle shouting go stay drop in etc. We badly need to close that out before championship.

    You don’t win anything with kids – the half back line. I think the lads suffered without an “old head” experienced player in the line with them. They were getting sucked in and then ran past leaving them on their heels. Thankfully, we have a lot of bodies to come back for the Galway game which will help this scenario.

    Half forward line selection – Conor Loftus was never going to be able to stick with Gavin Whyte. This more or less gave him free licence to get up the pitch. Aido is probably not a full game player anymore. The lads were selected to work. Why don’t we back ourselves like the othr big teams do and pick a few players with a score in them and put the defenders on the back foot instead of picking lads to be work horses. DOC will hopefully be back at 11, Jack Carney has probably justified his place, and I’d be pushing James Carr out to wing forward. The stride on him the couple of times he picked the ball out there and his ability to get a bit of a boomer is massive.

    Massive lack of intensity: I saw a lot of people reference a lack of pace. I don’t think this is the case. What Mayo destroy teams with is pace. IT was a complete and utter lack on intensity. I can only hope we weren’t expecting to be there and are in the middle of a big training block to taper off for Galway. Otherwise, we’re in trouble come summer if we can’t generate that.

    Horanball: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. This is not a James Horan out post, but we have to have some variation in our play. Last week against Kildare, we kicked the ball fast, our forwards won their own ball and we scored 2-20. This week, we revert to type, carrying the ball to the point we are smothering our own work. Inside line trying to get out of the way as the half backs and half forwards are running in on top of them. KICK THE BALL! Not always, but at least some of the time, so teams don’t know what we are going to do every time. If you look at the Tyrone AIF and yesterday, there were a lot of similarities, they let us carry to half way, then started to engage, engaged hard at the 45 and turned us over through bodies. There were umpteen occasions inside where forward line were making runs screaming for passes in the same space as the Kerry forwards were getting down our end, the difference? They were giving it to them, we weren’t. We need to start letting the shooters shoot. If we have, ROD, Jason Doc and Cilian inside for Galway, surely you have to back them to win their primary and get scores against any full back line. We need to mix it up. We also need to once again look at changing the plan during the game. Look at a sweeper system for the big teams, train it and drill it!

    No plan B. Enough said,

    Reasons to be optimistic:
    O’Hora, McBrien, Keegan
    Mullin Durcan Mc Laughlin
    Ruane Flynn
    Carr DOC Carney
    O’Connor Jason Doc ROD

    Aido, Kevin Mc, Coen, Hession, Harrison, Boland, McHale, Orme

    – That team looks a lot stronger than what played yesterday, and can sure up a lot of the issues we have.
    – All the issues I have listed are fixable if JH is willing to fix them
    – Kerry put 6 goals past Tyrone in the league last year.
    – Disaster days where nobody turns up happen. Just happen to us on the worst possible days!
    – Players will be hurting, will remember this hiding, the way the Galway and Rossie fans enjoyed it and cheered every point. They will be looking for payback in the province and hopefully an AI Final.
    – The younger lads will learn from it.
    – It happened in the league final, not the AI final.

  9. Great post Shuffly. Watching it on TV, Jordan was outstanding; Barry’s tackle was reckless, and deserved a red. The focus on O’Hora is completely overblown, mainly because TG4 chose to focus on their battle. I don’t know how many times their cameras missed kicks out, because they were focusing on something else. They also missed some Hawkeye if I’m not mistaken; did that umpire at the Davin end actually make any decisions all day?

    Flynn’s departure changed the game; we were in it, albeit hanging on, until then. Our competitiveness in the middle 8 was sadly lacking, and our subs made no impact. AOS has to be an impact sub.

    Last year we were complaining that all we had was pace. Let’s get our pacey players back, now.

    And finally, how about hurting? Just think if that scoreline was reversed; Kerry would would be hurting so badly, dying for another crack at us, freak result, and so on. Let’s have a bit of that please.

  10. Where to start on yesterday personally i do not think its all doom and gloom, alot of the time here on the blog we talk ourselves up too much after a win, and go over critical after a loss. Alot of the stuff on o’hora is daft i think along with plunkett he was probably our best player yesterday. Clifford in that form is unmarkable, in any form he is going to kick 4/5 points it is too try and stop him hit 1-8, 1-9 etc. People talking about sweepers, sweeper is no good against clifford as his movement is so good, whay you need with clifford is a system where weak side defending allows you o double up on him s soon as he receives the ball, then the first man slows him up to allow the second man in and that way he should not be getting in for goals but he will still kick points, he is that good. Thisnonsense about sledging does anyone think that does not go on all over the field in every game at every level, and beleive me Clifford is no angel as he has been getting this treatment since he was about 12 i’d say so he has to give it back, its the exact same with cillian.
    Not going to get into big detail about tactics and matchups from yesterday because i don’t believe the mayo management did either whether that was the right approach or not time will tell.
    The huge positive for Mayo yesterday was Galway. I rated Galway and predicted they could beat us this year but that we may still go further than them but on the Galway performance yesterday ,not a chance they were terrible. They are shocking at the back, they cannot defend, and the midfield while scoring is great they cannot win primary ball especially from kickouts. The Rossies done Horan a huge favour yesterday….its very simple but a huge press on the Galway kickout make the keeper (who is a poor kicker) kick to midfield and we should clean them out.
    The other tactic then as shown yesterday is run,run,run,run and run again at there defence, alot of warranted talk and criticism of horan ball and no plan b to kick ball to our inside forwards but forget about that for the 24th just run at them. Look what the rossies did to them from this tactic yesterday. Kieran Molloy when he came on the scene a few years ago looked a real good attacking wingback with loads of football in him but my god yesterday!! He did nothing but grab Enda Smith by the jersey everytime he breezed past him he was shocking…for that reason i hate the thought of Aido at full forward i am its biggest critic but for this game that is where to put him. He would destroy Molloy with any ball, but i think it could be a tactic to have Aido in there but kick no ball in to him, just him being there would free up space for our runners through the middle as Galway could put someone back close to Molloy for extra protection. Another plus from this could be that they might put Sean Kelly back on Aido with the instruction to attack from there ( a tactic they used successfully before) but even if this is the case Kelly attacking from full back is better than him coming frommidfield, he is a key player for them.
    Then whatever about Galway the Rossies must be delighted not a word about them.

  11. Bad loss but not the end of the world. I think we got to a final based solely on maths rather than ability. I keep asking the same question – how are we getting so many injuries? What is going on in training etc thats leading to this? A lot being made of the Swanny/ Clifford battle. Lets accept it – Clifford is just a rare find and a magnificent player if you let him play. Lets hold the powder dry until we see the end of the championship.

  12. I think the league needs to be looked at overall and not just yesterday’s result. It really was a mixed bag and im not exactly sure where we are at in the hunt for sam. We showed glimpses of a plan b against dublin and kildare but not really in any other game.

    Tommy and Brendans injury,
    Form of some experienced players (S Coen, Kev Mc).
    Half forward line still not settled and if diarmuid is out all 3 jerseys are up for grabs.
    Lack of scoring from our forwards in general.
    No visible structure to our back line, we leave players isolated one on one with some of the best forwards in the country and they get roasted.
    Our depth isnt as good as we think but not as bad as some people were making out yesterday
    We are over reliant on mattie and ryan.


    Retain div 1 status
    Blooded plenty of new players
    The form of Robbie, Plunkett and Diarmuid
    We have a back up goalkeeper we can trust if robbie is out
    We have a midfield option for mattie
    Jack Carney has broken his way into the mayo 26
    Cillian, James Carr, Jason Doc and Darren McHale have returned from injury and are all realistic starting options for us.
    We have shown glimpses of a different game plan which i am hoping will be played against Galway.

    We have 3 weeks now to get things right, the players will be hurting this morning and its no harm we were brought back down to earth. I expect a big reaction to this v Galway and i can see us winning it by 3+ points if we have most players back fit. Galway’s confidence might be knocked more than ours and their game against us will likely be Joyces last chance to win his critics over, they will be a dangerous proposition but i think they would be more dangerous if we had won yesterday. We now have something to prove in that game so our minds will be fully focused on it for the next 3 weeks.

  13. Could not disagree with that team goinwellintrain hope everyone is fit and well for the 24

  14. Is it time James Horan brought Conor Diskin back in? We need a bigger targetman in our Full forward line with pace that is a Goal threat, Diskin seems the only option in the County and has played with Ryan O’Donoghue at Under 20 level before.
    Jason Doherty looks well off championship pace after 2 years out, and Aidan Ormes 2 shots at the goal yesterday were very disappointing,he has the skillset no doubt but seems to be forcing it too much. Alot of the scoring forwards Horan has in are small Paul Towey, Mark Moran, Fergal Boland and Aidan Orme. We hadn’t one shot on target for a goal yesterday.

  15. We were outgunned by a full strength Kerry team bar Sean O Shea.
    All the anti Horan brigade are out in full force. Not sure if a sweeper would do much given what we were facing.
    3 weeks to regroup, lots of players to potentially come back, we will be a different animal then.
    Hon Mayo!

  16. It’s only the league and basically half the first team were out injured. Byrne, Carr and Flynn did well (until he was taken out). Great to see Cillian back, and getting a score.

    Nothing else really to be positive about in the performance. On the injuries it’s getting hard to believe now that we could be so consistently misfortunate with so many important players year after year, but I don’t know enough about elite-level conditioning to be pointing fingers. Deeply frustrating regardless, for the players affected above all, and something that needs to be looked at in-depth and very seriously by management, changing training practices if necessary.

    One thing I found particularly disappointing was that with the exception of Loftus’s half-scuff-chance after the ball came back off the post, and Cillian’s Hail Mary at the end, I don’t think we took a single shot for goal the entire game. Kerry were out for goals, it was clear from the off, and they passed on points repeatedly to go for the jugular. And they’ve been impressively miserly in goal defense all league, to be fair. But we just seemed stuck in the “take the points & the goals will come” mentality. Except that they don’t, at this level. We should be going for goal in big matches every half-chance we get, even if they look longer odds than 3-1 of going in when a point is a gimme. We make enough finals that if we play the tail and take on the long shots (in the betting sense), some day we’ll hit and enough of them will go in. And the psychological boost when they do is worth more than just the 3 points on the scoreboard. For example if I were James Horan I’d simply bar players from fisting points if a goal option is physically possible. If they’re close enough to fist a point I think they should instead always look to give a handpass across the square for a fisted goal (how often did the Dubs do that to us??), and if that’s not on, then just whack the ball at the goal as hard as possible from whatever angle. So long as it’s hard and not wide there’s at least always the chance of a rebound, an own goal (or two…), or the keeper making a hames of it. And even if it doesn’t work it’s a statement of aggressive intent, that one is really going for it. We haven’t outscored an opponent in goals in an All-Ireland final since 2004; the only other times we’ve managed to do so (in the 20 All-Irelands we’ve contested) were 1989, the drawn game in 1996, and, lo and behold, 1936, 1950, and 1951. On the big days it really is all about the goals. Tom Langan was “mad” to take on the goal shot he did in the ’51 final, but it went in (greatest Mayo score and best goal on film in an AI final ever in my book, look at it on YouTube), and set us up for victory. Of course he was a footballing genius, but when last did a Mayo player even try for a goal from the 20m line? Association football players shoot from that distance all the time, and they can’t even kick it from the hands. I think we need a lot more aggression, and above all ambition, in that department.

    Anyway the league is done and dusted and we’re still in division 1 with lots of players given game time, which were the main objectives. So long as we have at least some of the injuries back I think we’ll beat Galway, and build on from there, hopefully by doubling down on the goal drills. Maigh Eo abú.

  17. Yesterday was a tough day at the office, one thing is for sure nobody learned anything about Mayo yesterday, especially Joyce and the Galway team sitting down watching it. When you look at P Durcan, O Mullin, E McLaughlin (a whole half-back line), and McBrien, sitting on the bench, and the 2 O’Connors you have to feel at least somewhat optimistic.

    Kerry defended in packs we defended man on man against one of the best if not the best full-forward line in the country a tactic even Roscommon exploited in 2019 and sent us packing through the back door. I really hope Horan is holding back as yet again his demeanor on the line was extremely subdued I even go as far as to say bizarre. Its not a crime to show some passion to rouse a response from your players.

  18. I. Wouldn’t be to concerned about yesterday and still think we are good for semi at least.
    But O’hara should not have been left so isolated, we should have had defense in behind, tactics were poor and constantly kicking to the corner when we were getting no joy was pointless

  19. Food4thought says:
    April 4, 2022 at 10:01 am…

    I love that optimism. Nothing like blind optimism though, no known cure. Take it from me, I was a long time sufferer.
    How you possibly think we should have been level at half time is beyond me. Kerry butchered 2 goal chances, had 2 very close Hawk Eye decisions go against them and 3 very poor wides from unchallenged positions. In truth, but for Byrne, Kerry should have had 2-15 on the board at half time. think about that, 17 scoring chances in 35 mins of football. 1 scoring chance every 2 mins!!
    They decimated our kick outs, Barry and O’Connor owned our middle 2 and their sheer blistering pace with the ball meant we couldn’t even run alongside them. Even the keeper pulled away from COC when he soloed up the field in the second half! It was men v boys from the 15th minute on, plain and simple.
    Barrys challenge on Flynn was dangerous play, and so a definite yellow card. It was never a black card, go check the rules.
    Your list of missing players that could make a difference was very confusing to me also. For example, Harrison, while although a loss, has not featured regularly for Mayo over the last 3 years and indeed only intermittenly this season. He cannot be considered a “loss” as he was never a staple feature of our defence in the first place. Neither can McBrien, who is a young boy learning his trade at this level. McDonogh has yet to nail down a regular starting spot either and, like Harrison, cannot be considered a huge loss as he was never consistently there in the first place. If that is your metric then Barrett and Vaughan are huge losses also. Diarmuid O’Connor has had two excellent games for us in the last 2 years. Both at number 11 this season. However, he was then shifted out of there to accomodate AOS. To that end, does anyone know what the plan was for AOS yesterday? Anyone?
    We were totally embarrassed yesterday. In every aspect of the game we were hammered by and inferior to Kerry. And, I don’t go for this “sure, we are missing 6 or 7 players” bullshit either. We were crowing from the rooftops of our great strength in depth throughout the field up to 4pm yesterday, we get our arses handed to us on a plate by Kerry and by 6pm we are crying about having half a team?
    Same old tactics, same old failings, same old results.

  20. I was in Croker yesterday.
    So was the Mayo team & management.
    They looked like they didn’t want to be there & had their minds elsewhere.
    What followed was a complete lack of intensity with the consequent results.
    Kerry looked like they wanted to be there, played like an ulster team in defence, were ravenous in close contact, had slickness & structure in their transfer of ball & had serious firepower up front.
    They looked like an outfit that could be around for a few years.
    Their firepower upfront was aided by our tendency to often play with as few as five players in our half of the field allowing the remaining 25 players to play in the Kerry half. This led to great congestion when we tried to score & great space when Kerry tried to score.
    We have not adapted our play to the hit & run tactics of the modern guerrilla warfare type game & instead are attempting to play a traditional game which has been found out by the top teams.
    They draw us on, turn us over while we’re trying to pass the parcel & then hit us on the counter into space.
    We have low ability to create goal chances & a high probability of conceeding goal chances.
    These teams need to be put on the backfoot from the start as then they will eventually have to come out of their own defence. If their original plan is working then they don’t need to change.
    Our style of coming from behind doesn’t work with the top teams & will sometimes lead to an endgame like yesterdays endgame.
    Some knowledgeable folk on here so no need to buy the newspapers.
    Over to management now to make the necessary adjustments.
    For Galway we need to think Comer, Walsh & Conroy.

  21. Food for though, great post. We did not get a single breaking ball. Got to league finals with no home game. Control Conroy and we beat Galway. Great that Byrne has a few games played. Kerry will not win the A. I. Dublin will bounce back and Ulster champions will pack defence.

  22. Does anyone know who is in the Mayo backroom team. We know Horan is manager and McDonald and burke are selectors with Finn S And C trainer. After that??
    Kerry have O’ Connor as manager- proven track record
    Murphy as selector – experienced selector with a handful of medals.
    Quirke is a selector – plenty of managerial experience at county and top club level.
    Paddy Tally – proven track record as defensive coach.
    Ex Clare hurler – cant think of his name – as performance coach.
    Plus a S and C and fitness coach. And that’s only the people we know that are there.
    That level of expertise, experience and men with proven pedigree looks miles ahead of what we have on the sideline. And mabye it’s starting to show. Are we out if our depth with our set up??

  23. There was no doubt yesterday was brutal but lads on here not making any allowance for the players that were missing is laughable.

  24. Anyone think Dublin would have won six in a row playing horanball, if not there lies the answer we have to change our system and tactics otherwise we might as well be looking at the palms of our hands for hair

  25. Spot on pebble
    You can see the narrative changing again in the posts. Ah sure we’d a few missing, we will bounce back. I’m all for optimism but I’m also sick of being humiliated. We are a laughing stock. Even making on to the bloody census form. How come other counties can bring in managers that win their first year. Because, they bring in lads that have won all Ireland’s and work as a team..
    The blueprint is there for the Galway game. Comer is a threat for a flicked goal, Conroy is going well, Walsh pulls the strings.. We can expose their backs a bit… But they will have learned how to attack us from Tyrone last year and Kerry yesterday… What will we do. We will play exactly like we did against them last year. It worked that day but it didn’t work against Tyrone, but there was no plan B..
    I remember when Andy was winding down I asked on here why their wasn’t an urgency to find a big tall ball winner, just to offer something different.. Still waiting…
    I see a lot losing faith, and when u are living in another county, listening to the same digs year after year its hard not to..

  26. The absence of 5 or 6 player was hugely important if those players start then the subs bench is obviously stronger and it’s easier to make a difference coming onto a strong team as sub. As posted already by others leave judgement until after championship. My biggest gripe about the day was spending hard earned money and time making the trip to Dublin and the team not invested in the task in hand. If the league matters so little to teams then it’s time to change things up. I don’t think I’ll attend a league match again in the same circumstances

  27. @southmayo – its Tony Griffin ex Clare hurler. Yes i said it on another thread the backroom team needed to be looked at and outside expertise should have been added. Like what exactly did the Review Committee do? I wonder is the person who broke covid rules x 2 times still involved in backroom team. Also how poor as a top county that we dont have our own Centre of Excellence and no dedicated training pitches like everyone else (i know re Swinford Amenity Centre contract).James Horan did highlight that so it must have been very difficult all during winter. As alwsys Pebblesmeller tells it like it is.

  28. Just a note – as one or two others said, I thought Jordan Flynn was very good yesterday.

    He had gumption – pushing forward with purpose, with an idea in his head to do something with the ball.

    I like this drive and belief. One or two others have it – ROD, Leeroy, Paddy Durcan at times, Mattie at times. The idea that if they get the ball they’re making something happen.
    That’s an ingredient that’s worth something. Jordan really has developed over this season. Please God we’ll see more developing this self-possession.
    I kept thinking that Conor Loftus could work himself in for a goal as there seemed to some space in that right hand side of goal. I think he has the gumption “to make things happen” too when the chips are down.
    All told, we need more.
    Other posters have said intensity. As well as an adequate game plan, we do need white hot intensity next time we are in a big game. Mayo can bring that. We’ve seen it but it’ll take some fling from where we are now.

  29. Positives from the league…

    Jordan Flynn – has gone from a mediocre sub to one of the best midfielders around. Mattie needs that physicality beside him too.
    Goalkeeper – Robbie looked in the form of his life. Hopefully he’s back for Galway game but I wouldn’t be too worried with Byrne in goals.
    Diarmuid’s form pre injury.
    Ryan’s form.
    Michael Plunkett’s form.
    We easily qualified for a league final despite never getting close to our first choice team on the pitch. Shows there are very few teams out there to fear playing. Galway/Roscommon are probably around the same standard as Kildare and play a similar open style. So no need for all this doomsday stuff.


    Injuries – a ridiculous run of misfortune. Tommy out for the year, possibly Harrison too and a plethora of short term ones. Probably unrealistic to expect them all to be 100% vs Galway in 3 weeks, but if we get over that it will give a bit of breathing room.
    Form – some lads have fallen off a cliff here. Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus and Kevin McLoughlin in particular.
    League final – even though we probably hadn’t planned on reaching it, the manner of the defeat has to sting. Puts a cloud over any positive results earlier in the year.

  30. The league definitely matters to teams No Doubt.. especially the final – any analysis you may come across that points to the contrary is just clutching at straws to justify an abject performance

    The reality is there was a very fine line this year between Mayo being in a league final and being relegated to Division 2. The Kildare and Dublin matches were deserved, justified wins – in every other game Mayo were second best for the majority of them. That said relegation – like with top 2 – would probably have been a bit of a false position, Mayo’s true standing was probably around the midtable mark.

    In terms of championship I expect a bit of a similar mixed bag – similar to the 2019 championship season also – with a few warrior performances combined with some very sub-par ones. Probably enough to get us to a quarter or semi but then being ultimately outclassed by one of the bigger sides

    On paper our forwards are barely top 10 in the country as a unit, so in one way Horan has to be credited hugely for really getting the most out of an unsettled team with plenty of weaknesses

  31. Pebblesmeller: Appreciate that we are not in agreement which is fair enough. My “ optimism” of ..wait for it… “reaching the final four “ is based on …em …reaching the final four almost every single year for over a decade.

    Now you can be pessimistic and say that you don’t think we will do that based on yesterdays performance. But we can all agree that regardless of the “ real” number of starters we were missing , we were missing at least six starters and three other first replacements ( at a minimum )

    Let me say it another way : all star Paddy Durcan, young player of the year two years on the trot Oisin Mullin, Hennelly who has been massive this year , Cillian O Connor, Diarmuid O Connor .etc

    Do I think Mayo have strength in depth ? Yes it’s improving but not yet at the level of Kerry minor all Ireland five in a row winning side. However , name one manager that is bringing on young lads like Horan is. I’ll wait for the answer. Even Dublin aren’t able to do that.

    Do I think Mayo have speed ? Yes. But some of the speedsters were missing yesterday.You can point to Kerry speedsters-they have three or four -and I believe Gavin White is the fastest man in GAA. Sometimes there’s not a lot you can do but I for one would have fouled him every time he got the ball. Kerry were doing a lot of upfield fouling themselves something they have done forever.

    Do I think Kerry are favorites for the All Ireland ? No.
    Kerry have flattered to deceive for several years and though they are steadily improving they can be stopped by Tyrone, Dublin or Mayo.They played a depleted team yesterday with many very young players getting an immersion. We made them look good. They will know they didn’t beat a full Mayo team. Mayo have the personnel to stop Gavin White ( Hession or Durcan ) Clifford ( O Hora with help from AOS as a sweeper)when it comes to the big games.

    All told I doubt the players will need a lot of time to get over this. I doubt there’ll be hangovers.

    Tyrone are clear favorites imo again.
    Do I think Mayo will make the final four.
    Realistically -Yes.
    Call it over optimism if you like but it’s also very realistic.

    Your most egregious error is in your call on the Kerry midfield. Jordan Flynn bossed the show for long periods before being targeted for some special Kerry treatment.
    They bossed the middle eight for reasons I already mentioned. Matthew Ruane was quieter than usual though.

  32. Re access to training pitches and the lack of a centre of excellance? It would help if the county managament team didn’t fall out with the Connaught Centre of Excellance and the use of THEIR facilities. Dictating when and for how long you use someone elses’ facilities is a good way to annoy people. Not finishing on the agreed time and showing disrespect to the people that have been there from 8am that morning and expecting them to stay until 10pm at night, is an even better way to piss those same people off.
    I wonder why the 5 year deal with the Swinford Amenity Centre was signed then? Surely the timing is just purely coincedental?

  33. Reading some of the comments gives anyone who ever had any doubt as to why Mayo will never win an All-Ireland under the current regime significant evidence as to why that is.

    If Mayo had the Kerry panel we still wouldn’t win an All-Ireland because too many in the county haven’t the basic cop on or knowledge how to properly set up structures.

    They wouldn’t have the balls to fire the likes of Peter Keane or Mickey Harte, they’d keep plodding along whingeing about injuries and blaming everyone but themselves, they’d be too nice to be hatchet men and that’s part of Mayo’s problem, too nice.

    Well let me tell you something, nice people win f**k all.

    I’m not anti-Horan as someone said earlier, I’m pro professionalism and I see no evidence that James Horan can take this team any further.

    That doesn’t mean he’s not a nice man, it just means he’s reached his limits.

    And forget all these arguments that he’s brought players through, those are just the very basics expected, what’s the alternative, don’t bring players through !

    Maybe the drop in form of certain individuals has something to do with being sick to their hole of the same thing.

    I’d hate to play for a team like Mayo under the current regime, same old self inflicted failings.

    We’re wasting some of the finest players to have ever worn the jersey, leaving them crying on the hollowed turf so shame on all those who are anti-professionalism.

  34. Viper you male valid points.
    However players missing yesterday are a massive factor….if they were available it’s a different game.
    Horan would argue that his system created 5 goal chances in last years final….and we didn’t take them…
    Who is your alternative .
    Serious question….not a jibe

  35. Championship team:


    S. Coen

    Oisin Mullen (sweeper)

    Eoghan McLaughlin


    Diarmuid O’Connor
    Cillian or Doherty (could alternate with Carr)

    James Carr
    * 2 man ff line needs pace

    Impact Subs – Aido, Kev Mc, cillian or Doherty, Hession, brickenden/McBrien, loftus, Orme/Carney (neither were good yesterday however)

  36. If the rumours flying round today are true at least 2 of the starting team above won’t see any action this year.
    Re 1989 question above the alternative the answer is any alternative at this stage. A fresh approach, a different voice whether right or wrong is needed. Horan has been unlucky with key injuries but it’s time to hand the reins over at the end of this campaign.

  37. Our time has come – yesterday proved we need pacy athletic wing forwards to track the likes of Gavin White. Boland/Cillian/Doherty would be taken to the cleaners there.

  38. Horses for courses wide ball, i agree completely when you come up against the likes of gavin white. You do however need scoring half forwards who put the defenders on the back foot and make them hesitant to attack

  39. April 2010, after a very poor NFL final v Cork. I can still recall from my perch in the Hogan Stand John O Mahoney looking down at the sideline as Mayo appeared totally out of their depth. It was to get worse, defeats in the championship to both Sligo and Longford would make it a short and disappointing season for us. It was bye bye Johno. Mayo had actually qualified for that League final beating a second string Cork team that were already in the final the previous week, but Cork had learned what to do with Mayo, and Mayo didn’t appear to have learned anything.. Yesterday’s performance was worse than that, and that coming after a very poor performance in the All Ireland final the previous September.. From my perspective as a supporter it’s actually very hard to see anything of plan other than Horanball for either final.. Running the ball and getting turned over far too much. Mayo are brilliant at running the ball but we do it way too much, it’s too predictable, it takes too much energy, and it’s too easy to defend against.. It’s very hard on the bodies, I imagine it’s very hard on the bodies training for such a game plan as well. James Carr got some decent game time yesterday, he showed well and early for the ball when it was kicked into him, as it was especially in the first half. I don’t really know if James Carr would have been playing at all if we had our full Crew available yesterday, but he’s certainly a good option for the early kicked ball if Mayo were to try and do that, James Carr has scored 4 points from play in his only 2 starts of the league, about 50 minutes each day,. And that’s more than some of our forwards have scored despite starting and finishing several game’s in the league. We certainly need to develop a game plan to do just that, because Horanball will not work against the big team’s. .. I think the performance in 2010 league final done serious damage to the confidence of the team back then, and looking at the body language of a number Mayo player’s yesterday, they seemed very low on self confidence… If we can defeat Galway, the shambles of the league final will soon be forgotten. I am pretty sure of one thing that Galway and Padraig Joyce will know enough after yesterday to plan for Mayo to run the ball regardless, like we did with Kerry yesterday, like we did versus Tyrone. If we are playing Galway in Castlebar on a narrower pitch than Croke Park, it will be easier for Galway to defend against Horanball in comparison to Croke Park, so Mayo better develop a kicking game and do so fast. I’m certain that Mayo will be allot better in a few weeks time, hopefully a number of our first choice player’s will be available. Many posters were not too interested in Mayo qualifying for the League Final, and it looked to like it was far from a priority for Management, but surely a better performance than yesterday and a tactical plan for the League Final had to have serious merit. 24th April, Both James Horan and Padraig Joyce are probably in last chance saloon.. Galway lost a Div Two final yesterday to Connacht opponents once again, and after the second half collapse to Mayo in Croke Park last July.. Either way, You can be sure Roscommon won’t be fearing either of Galway or Mayo. James Horan and his management have serious work to do before the 24th April. They need a tactical plan, they need to get confidence and belief into those player’s.

  40. We were never going to win yesterday missing seven starters but that does not excuse us been so tactfully naïve. Unfortunately this continues to be our achilles heel under James.He is just not able to set up his teams to take account of the opposition he is facing.
    Until we get a clearer picture of who is available for the 24th it is not possible to make any firm predictions for then. At or near full strength we should win but the team sent out yesterday will not do the job.

    For what its worth I believe Kerry will win the All Ireland this year. They are clearly stronger defensively than they have for the last few years and have the forward strength to beat whoever is in front of them.

  41. Hard day at the office yesterday for all Mayo folk togged and watching from the stands and tv. It’s hard to know where to start when analysing the game, Kerry played like men possessed and they kept the ball moving with quick kick passing while Mayo were far too ponderous with their running game and allowed Kerry to set after an attack and this resulted in Mayo playing into an over crowded and structured defence.
    From a Kerry perspective I knew jack would bring an edge to this game as it’s the biggest game Kerry are likely to compete in until the quarter finals. This the kind of ball he strives to perfect and I’m afraid to say that James Horan facilitated his tactics significantly with his preferred game. Mayo are too slow in getting the ball up the field and when they carry it they advance in a basketball like formation with very little inside options and lots of side or recycling options. This tactic leaves ye very vulnerable to a turn over as Kerry had their setup well rehearsed and clearly jack had his team well drilled to bypass the committed Mayo players involved in the attack with a few crisp kick passes. This happened too many times yesterday and I felt Mayo were looking leggy as a result of the energy they were expending in the repeated efforts. Horan doesn’t seem to have any set plays in his game plan, I would have expected some repetitive manoeuvring to cause a little chaos in Kerry’s setup to create opportunities but there didn’t seem to be any, maybe there were but I couldn’t make the game and tv is a poor second compared to being there.

    Sometimes everything goes for you and sometimes everything goes against you and yesterday we saw this phenomenon on both ends of the scale. Positives for Kerry were an almost fully fit team and subs bench with David Moran working his way back to full fitness and healthy competition for places is going forwardin A v B games. Mayo’s management have their plate full with injuries to some of their top players, a three week run into a hugely important game and the need to put this performance behind them from positivity point of view. Hopefully Jordan Flynn does not have a serious injury and I wish him well, to me it should have resulted in a black card for jack Barry but I see plenty saying a yellow was the correct call as momentum was more of a factotum than cynicism in the clash. Perhaps it balanced itself out as I felt the black card for Diarmuid o Connor was a harsh call as there was minimal contact on o Shea.

    Playing one on one on Clifford with almost everyone up the field is plain lunacy on Horans part, far too many saying that O hora was poor yesterday, I think he had a good game and given the way he was hung out to dry I would have nothing but respect for him. Any decent defender has to have an edge to his game and if a few more of the Mayo backs brought this edge to their game ye would be better for it. I felt Clifford went for that goal to put O hora back in his box but to his eternal credit I saw him letting out a loud expletive and then wheeling back crossing Clifford’s path where he gave him a congratulatory pat on the side. This to me is a far more telling detail of the man’s character he is a war dog, a warrior and clearly a Man of Honour.

  42. Very fair and correct analysis Gamechanger – hopefully we’ll cross paths again in July but we’re starting a treacherous climb from base camp with many potential obstacles and pitfalls while yee are already far up the mountain

  43. must be the worst showing by a Mayo team both the players and Management for many many years. No Mayo player had the better of his opposite number.. Management tried nothing different during the game, the players on the field were not as fit as the Kerry players, most were unable to keep up with their opposite number going forward or defending. Playere that are out injured are not going to have full fitness when they come back. Cillian made no impression when he came on, so he and other injured players are not going to be on full throttle for Galway game. No matter how good Kerry are very few other Counties would conceed 3. 19 against then , they were let score at will yesterday. What puzzles me most is the amount of training and conditioning these players do and come up with a performance like that.

  44. @1989, Ah look of course you want your best team out but with the amount of chopping and changing you’d wonder does James even know his best team at this stage.

    The few lads that were missing might have turned it from a humiliation into an embarrassment, but thats all.

    You can’t hide behind injuries when so many other aspects were well below what any reasonable person would expect at this stage.

    James is lucky that Mayo people in the main are very reasonable, too reasonable.

    He can argue all he wants about chances created but with the millions of euros that has been spent on the team and management and years at the helm, I’m afraid I want a bit more of a return than chance creation.

    Even Wicklow create chances so that argument cuts zero mustard at this stage.

    The first appointment wouldn’t be a manager, that would be a huge mistake.

    I don’t want a manager coming to me telling me that the team is flat or not playing well or making basic errors.

    My reply would be simple, that’s your job to sort it out, you’re the manager and if you can’t do it then I must find someone who can.

    Nothing too complicated about it.

  45. If an almost full strength mayo team hammered an understrenth kerry team in the league final we would be reminded of those facts(understrenth) and to not get carried away and wait for the championship. I suggest we do the same now and if things are the same after the championship well then it’s open season.

  46. Re the supposed unwillingness or inability to ever play anything other than Horanball, I’m not sure it’s entirely true. I was at the Dublin league game and the most striking thing about it for me was the number of times after turning them over we launched fast, accurate kick-passing counterattacks out of defense. It was exhilarating to watch, and indeed I wish we’d do it more often. Granted the Dubs were very poor that day, and coughed the ball up a lot with loads of space left behind, so made it easy enough to hit them with fast kick-passing breaks; but we did it repeatedly that day, and it worked.

  47. @No doubt.. If a full strength Mayo team met an understrength Kerry in a league final.. I suspect Jack O Connor would play with a sweeper or even two, like he did yesterday even when it was Kerry that was near full strength and Mayo at understrength.. No doubt about it!

  48. Excellent post, Gamechanger.
    I also agree with your analysis of O’Hora yesterday.

  49. @No doubt, well they aren’t facts because that didn’t happen did it.

    We need to forget about the what-iffery and roleplaying what some people might say about an imaginary event or set of circumstances that did not occur.

  50. Two things….
    1) Horan always goes on about “taking the leanings” from games and moving on. Well they must be the slowest learners I’ve ever come across because anyone with a pair of eyes can see the “learnings” they should be taking and yet the same failings resurface when the fat is in the fire.
    2) I’ll repeat something I said in the wake of last years AIF humiliation…..what other county with our multi-million € budget for the senior team, fan patience with regards to support, numbers, and acceptance of our club fixtures being parked (all for the good of the senior intercounty team) would accept the same failings from the same manager who has already lost 4 AIl Ireland Finals? Mickey Harte got ran out of Tyrone after 3 AIF wins. Peter Keane wasn’t given the time of day once the Kingdom knew O’Connor wanted to come back. Keane was ran out the door very unceremioniously depsite his 3 minor All Ireland titles.
    I’m not anti-Horan at all but it’s time we woke up and stopped viewing all things Mayo through red and green tinited glasses. Nice guys win nothing and we’re winning nothing using this style of football.

  51. Gamechanger, excellent post.
    I too thought O’Hora had a decent enough game on Clifford. Clifford is going to score 4 or 5 points on a bad day, he’s that good. The goal was a thing of beauty but his point off his left, inside the 20m out on the left hand side of the pitch under the Hogan stand was unreal. He must have had only the width of two balls to get it between the posts.
    I have to admit, I begrudingly applauded that one myself.

  52. @willieJoe was yesterday the largest margin of defeat under James Horan as Mayo manager?

  53. Our injury list this year must be a world record. Inconceivable. And ever growing. It’s not an excuse but dammit it’s horrid luck.

  54. Pebblesmeller, Mayo have been ruthless in disposing of managers in the past: Mickey Moran, Holmes and Connelly , and Rochy to name but four. Moran brought us to an AIF, H&C to a semi-final replay; and Rochy to two AIFs including a replay.

  55. @Pebblesmeller you don’t leave Clifford one on one. O’Hora was thrown to the wolves in that regard. I watched the recent Sigerson cup final and Clifford was totally marked out of the game by being double and tripled marked. 2012 to 2017 Mayo had a team/panel good enough to win the AI even got Dublin in off days and found ways to lose however now I’m not sure if Mayo are good enough to win it now regardless of who is manager, the field isn’t as strong as some other years so another AI final is possible this year and another defeat in it.

  56. The harsh reality is it will be 2023/24 before this team peaks . 2022 is a write off with the injury list and the state we are in , after yesterday you start to think the all Ireland defeat has had an awful impact .

    Cb , i hope have a plan who is going to be at the helm for the next period.

  57. We could have done with Caolan Crowe, David Drake and Eoin O’Donoghue yesterday, 3 of the best full back players in the County but they weren’t good enough for James he would rather play 3 half backs one on one against the best full forward line in the country. Clueless!!

  58. Suppose we won yesterday would we be in a better place for Galway. Absolutely not as management would think they are better than they are. We know that a few of the starters are not playing well enough and that includes the Captain. It’s now up to management to learn. We played lovely football against Kildare when Horan was at home. Surely that tells us something. Horan obviously has done great work with the team and is a good man manager but he should leave the style of play to someone else
    The bottom line is we have 5 or 6 to come back so it’s not all doom and gloom.

  59. @catcol, In Mayo they’d get rid of someone like Jack O’Connor and reappoint Peter Keane and think it was ruthless, when in fact it was dumb.

    With the way some good men were treated, then how could Mayo have luck, karma.

  60. Almost certainly so, MO2022. I can’t think of any other 15-point thumpings under his watch. The Donegal game up there in 2012 is often referenced as a low point for him but that defeat was just seven points!

  61. Moving on to the Galway game, because that all we can do. Much will depend firstly on what players are available. Paddy D, Oisín M and Eoghain McLaughlin, hopefully will be fit.
    We need Jordan F available at midfield.
    Up front, is hugely worrying. Kerry set the standard with Seanie at 11, given leadership and direction, and Clifford as the clinical finisher. We are miles away from having a set of forwards.
    Hopefully DOC will return to lead at 11. (Daly will have a field day if Loftus is it at 11). I still have faith in Doherty offering something extra at 14, and if not AOS. We just have to have a ball winner/distributor in ff.
    Galway will take positives from their defeat. A half fit Comer was able to get 4 points from play. He’ll l be much sharper next time.
    Maybe the narrower pitch will play in our favour and our slow players may be less exposed. Huge concerns in that respect with Coen, completly at sea from the start yesterday.
    Unfotunately we are ripe for the taking, Galway will know that, and if their season is going anywhere, they will have to be capable of giving us a sound trashing

  62. Dublin hit us for 4:15 in 2011. We got 3:13, but if I’m not mistaken two of those goals came late on and put some sort of a gloss on it. We were trounced really

  63. @Our time has come…
    That’s an excellent stab at it, I think you are very close to it with your lineup. I would probably have plunkett doing that sweeping role though, think he sniffs out danger better than mullin, though we are both dreaming tbf as horan refuses to play a sweeper.
    S Coen will just about scrape in for me but he is surely under pressure after a poor campaign

    Half forward line is still a huge source of concern with nobody really putting their hand up,like everyone else carney had a day to forget yday but I would just about give him the nod.
    Will need to play one of our halfback dynamos in the hf line, durcan for me to reprise the role that won him an allstar in 2019 at wing forward. I think cillian has to start even at 70%, needs must now

    For galway then…


    O hora


    S coen
    E McLaughlin



    ROD (dropping out between hf and ff lines)


  64. Below were two very tough days at the office under Horan but they were 10 point defeats, not 15 point ones.

    Ten point scorching:
    Dublin v Mayo AI Semi Final 2019
    Dublin 3 14
    Mayo 1 10

    Ten point defeat in Killarney
    Mayo v Kerry (Super 8s, 2019)
    Kerry 1 22
    Mayo 0 15

  65. @supermac. Will they let us start 16? We may very well need them. Hennelly a definite non starter.

  66. Obviously the margin was nothing like yesterday and the performance not nearly as bad, but the Roscommon defeat in 2019 was probably relatively our most disappointing result under Horan given the stature of the game and our form coming into it

    That defeat – in an extraordinarily winnable game – basically killed our All Ireland chances stone dead there and then

  67. @supermac it would be nice if we could play 16 against Galway but i cant see us getting away with it.

    Cillian looked well off the pace yesterday as expected , the Kerry keeper burnt him at one stage so he is probably the player i would leave on the bench out if your team above and swap eoghan mc and paddy’s positions.

  68. Supermac – I like your team. Only problem you have 16 lads starting. Dont think we will get away with that!!
    One of the issues with so many players injured – these lads cannot be 100% fit in three weeks time. Most of the heavy training for the Galway game will be done by the end of this week. If lads are missing training this week- they won’t be 100% fit for Galway.
    Do we still start some of these lads??

  69. Dublin beat us by 12 points in the 2017 league. That could have been worse too as David Clarke was man of the match making a double save from a penalty. It was an almost full strength Mayo team as well. That year turned out alright for us in the end.

  70. If we are going to go with Horanball then we need to weigh stronger pace in terms of who starts. Also tackling strength and having a lack of turnovers against you.

  71. Haha ye caught me lads, I’ll hardly get that one past officials….can’t say I’m not an innovator
    Same lineup then but with carney dropping out

  72. Is there something to be said for getting few of the lads on the comeback trail playing couple of rounds of club games, can’t hurt. All the training in the world won’t beat gametime for getting sharpness up.

    Of course theres a risk of injury but thats always there,could get injured in training game

  73. do you plan to sneek on the 16th player you named. @viper a bit of what_iffery in your Peter keane replacing Jack ó Connor statement

  74. Barry Cahill was very good on Game On. He said Mayo not really interested in the League and our defensive system gave the Kerry forwards too much space and we never put pressure on out the field.
    The Dubs aren’t too worried about Kerry. This will only galvanise them. We are still 3rd favs with the bookies behind Kerry and Dubs which surprised me.

  75. @supermac. I’d play Mullin at 6. In a commanding position and give us backbone. Mullin needs a dominant role now.
    Doesnt matter who you name in fb line, that will be all about matchups.
    Taking out Carney leaves us with two in hf line. Galway strong at half back will put us in our pockets.
    Darren McHale may have something to offer. I agree with other poster, Cillian not quite ready to start

  76. Good to see some more measured posts here today (great post Gamechanger,Shuffle,food4thought)
    Some people really embarrassed themselves online last night,I try to stay away from these things for a few days but didn’t manage that yesterday.Youd have to wonder about some people and the stuff they put on Facebook.The hysteria is way over the top and these are the same people who are telling everybody what a great supporter they are when scrounging around for all ireland tickets,crazy stuff.
    Of the course the September gang (small number of prolific negative posters who popped up the day after the final,you know who I’m talking about)were busy on here last night aswell as they always are when we lose,not so much when we win.

    We have to put things in perspective ,that game was lost during the week when we learned of the injuries,another main man and starter in Oisin dropping out and a sub who would be coming on in Eoghan sealed our fate.No team in ireland could lose that many key players and compete with a full strength kerry who are ravenous and in form,that’s just a simple fact.

    I think some criticism is of course warranted,it was absolute lunacy to leave O Hora in acres of space every time with Clifford, I thought o hora did as good as anyone would in that situation.Dissappointed with Horan on that.There wasn’t a lot of positives to take from yesterday.
    It’s also clear we have a issue with getting scores.Hopefully Cillian can start against Galway with Ryan and Carr either side DOC the drop back to wing forward.
    I’d mentioned in other posts that I was worried we’d take a tanking and so it came to pass, if we can beat Galway this will all be forgotten about quickly but I’m worried with the injuries,the team put out yesterday wouldnt beat a fired up fully fit Galway in my opinion.

  77. Agree with game changer , O Hara didn’t do slot wrong yesterday, totally hung out to dry, it was evident after 10 minutes that we were going to struggle, even at half time we could have shored up the backs but didn’t, I coach underage but I wouldn’t allow that to happen I’d try to fix it, big Horan fan, but I think we could be at the end of the road.
    Let’s see how championship goes, still will have to much for most teams but do we want to get to another final and lose it, have to be able to change to circumstances as they happen

  78. @FW, So you reckon we’d have won if we hadn’t any injuries.

    Kerry could afford the leave the best number 11 in the country on the bench and still leather Mayo and could have leathered them by more had they upped it.

    Galway are nothing compared to Kerry, absolutely nothing.

    Mayo weren’t beaten because of injuries, in fact they weren’t beaten at all, they were annihilated and those of us who understand the game very well and who could tell you clearly where a combination of a one trick pony system, a failure to innovate and a clear and obvious lack of any tactical and technical nuance leads to.

    It leads to losing All-Ireland final that you aught to have won and it leads to annihilations like yesterday.

    I pity the next Mayo manager because he’ll have to start all over again and actually show the lads how the game should be played and get this yahoo ball out of their system.

    The chickens have come home to roost with “Horanball”, great for running the legs off teams who couldn’t afford the millions that Mayo spent but as a one trick pony to win an All-Ireland, forget about it, absolute waste of time.

    Kerry would still have beaten a full strength Mayo team, no question about that and it’s only dreamers who believe that Horan will win an All-Ireland with Mayo, he wont.

    And I wish he would, but he only has himself to blame and the buck stops at his door.

    It must be the best gig in the country the Mayo job, sure why would anyone walk away from such a cushy number where you’re loved by blinded loyalists whether you win or lose.

  79. I think it’s a big assumption that Cillian is going to save the day this year. We won’t even start v Galway in my opinion. He looks way off the pace and that’s understandable considering the amount of ball he has missed but it’s going to take time and patience.

    I think most of us can accept a defeat if the team is setup correctly and gives it their all. Yesterday was a sh1t show and while it’s only the league I look at individual performances and battles and we were beaten up a stick.

    You would have been looking for younger/new players there to put their hand up for a starting place v Galway but they didn’t show anything.

    Again it’s not the defeat that bothers me but the man or of it. I’m looking at our sideline and wondering are they learning and have lessons been learnt since last September? Answer is a big no so far.

  80. Missing so many key players I didn’t expect to win but I didn’t think we would be totally wiped out either. 15 points was the margin but it could have been 20+. Given our weakened team you’d think we’d have set up a tight defensive structure (blanket etc) and try to hit them on the counter. To me it seems an obvious strategy but what do I know!
    I fear this has done psychological damage to us which is exactly what Jack O Connor wanted.
    As regards Padraic O Hora I like him but his attempt to psyche out Clifford had the opposite effect. It just made him more determined and ruthless. I reckon it might also ensure referees will be out to nail Padraic from now on.

  81. My nightmares still come from.the 2006 AI final which we lost by 13 points.

    Amazingly we were trailing by 6 at half time eventhough I think we had bagged 3 goals at that stage.

    13 points and it felt like we actually got off light on the day. It could have been 30.

    It seemed like an off day for most of our lads, but not them all mind yea.

    What would Clifford have scored yesterday if he had been the Mayo No. 14 ?

  82. Viper, I hate to say it but I think I agree 100 percent and I wouldn’t have before.
    I more hope you are wrong now

  83. Mayo will definitely win the Connacht championship. James and the players were just going through the motions yesterday. they did not want to be there. Its Sam Maguire that they want and we all want and that is the sole objective for this year. Up Mayo and roll on the championship. p.s. I cannot blame the supporters for being not as loud cheering the team yesterday but we will get that right for the Galway game in three weeks time.

  84. “that game was lost during the week when we learned of the injuries”

    That’s what you wrote @FW, pretty clear where you think it was lost, unless you wish to change your view.

  85. Viper
    No Mayo Manager has won SAM for the last 70 years. Horan has ben the most successful Mayo manager in that period. It was Horan who created that Team that Rochford inherited. He is now rebuilding. I and a few others said three weeks ago that Mayo reaching a League Final was not in our interest. Lets hope Jordan Flynn will be fit for Galway. We are in training for the Galway Game in 3 weeks. We have a massive injury list. Kerry will not meet any division one team until the 1/4 final but if we are to win Connaught we will have to beat two Division one Teams. What happened yesterday will not matter in three months time as Tyrone showed last year. In 2019 we won the League Final and Roscommon beat us in the championship

  86. Every man and his dog knew what the Kerry game plan would be yet Horan choose to go for a man to man marking game, which we would have struggled to cope with, with a full team never mind another experimental team. Tyrone played their normal game to defeat Kerry. In last years semi yet we tried to take them both on at their own game, we have to adapt to the team we are playing not play them at their own game

  87. In baseball they place huge stock in a players batting average.
    It would be interesting to see all of our forwards shooting % scored from total shot attempts.
    From what I know your team needs to hit 50% conversion minimum.
    We for sure have sone forwards hitting no better than low 30%s.

  88. @O SULLIVAN, No Mayo manager has lost as many finals as Horan in 70 years either.

    According to Lee Keegan ‘This is the strongest squad we’ve ever had” and he should know a thing or two.

  89. I think there are posters on here that are so knowledgeable that not alone could they win an AI with half a team missing but they could probably do back to back.

  90. Well said O’Sullivan. The whole Horan/anti-Horan chat is reaching Develara/Collins proportions of division.

    Fact is Horan sets the bar high, if there is someone better bring them on in the next few years but there’s a lot of fakers out there so it’s a gamble. Horan ain’t one. I’d have Rochford again in future if he’d want it. Maurice Fitz and Solan don’t seem at the level, no disrespect intended. Andy maybe in time but who knows

  91. Viper – I think, to be fair, you’re twisting FW’s words on him there. He clearly didn’t say we’d have won without any injuries and it’s disingenuous to to claim he did. It’s also out of order to go picking scraps with others so please confine yourself to making your points which, Lord knows, you hardly stopped doing since the final whistle sounded yesterday.

  92. Championship team
    1. Hennelly
    2. O’Hora 3. McBrien 4. Callinan
    5. Keegen 6. Durcan 7. McLaughlin
    8. Mullin 9. Ruane
    10. Flynn 11. Diarmuid. 12. Plunkett
    13. Carr 14. Cillian 15. ROD

    Subs: Byrne, AOS, McLoughlin, Coen, Doherty, Boland, Carney, McHugh, Hession, Brickenden, Loftus

  93. See post just gone up on that, Sean – TG4 streaming it on YouTube so you won’t even have to stray from the blog to see it live!

  94. @WillieJoe, verbatim, nothing added.

    It’s actually impossible to argue that those words “that game was lost during the week when we learned of the injuries” do not mean that the game was lost because of injuries, but anyway.

    Nobody is picking scraps with anyone nor should they either but I do understand people are salty after such a humiliation, who wouldn’t be.

  95. That’s not true either, Viper.

    This is what you posted: “@FW, So you reckon we’d have won if we hadn’t any injuries.”

    And this is what you posted as evidence that FW had said this: “that game was lost during the week when we learned of the injuries”

    Any fair-minded person can see the two statements do not mean the same thing and claiming they do is, as I said, twisting someone’s words to give the impression that they do.

    I know how much you like an online scrap, Viper, but I’m not going to indulge you further on this. I also think you’d be well advised to leave things rest here for a while and stop trying to dominate the debate at every turn.

  96. @viper
    If you have to resort to those sort of tactics in a debate then you’ve already lost.

  97. @Revellino.. Yes it had a similar feeling as 2006 alright.. Going into that All Ireland final Tomas O Shea was the reigning Player of the year.. About 20 min gone Tomas made one bad hand pass that Mayo intercepted, and Jack O Connor whipped him off within a minute, .. One of our goals came from the ball coming back off the post and Kevin O’Neil bagged his second goal from it.. We were no way awake to the ball off the post yesterday at all… Jack O Connor is absolutely ruthless and we in Mayo know all his ruthlessness in Croke Park Finals.. Both Lee Keegan and Padraig O Hora were left isolated one on one all day one of the best forwards, and the BEST forward in Ireland all day.. I think we need to learn a lesson from Tyrone, what would they have done… They wouldn’t have the acre’s of space they got yesterday… Both Gavin White and Taoigh Morley got the freedom of Croke Park to counter attack at pace and at will. Jack O Connor will be genuinely hoping to meet us again in a final.

  98. Against the top 3 teams below is the formation I would play incl. double sweeper. I would play 5 deep lying players that protect the central channel and primary job is to stop goals. Allow the other lads out the field to attack at will (Keegan, EMcl, Durcan,Ruane, Diarmaid, Mullin)when we have the ball


    O’Hora Coen Hession
    Mcloughlin (sweeper)OShea (sweeper)
    Keegan Durcan E McLaughlin

    Mullin Ruane, Keegan

    Carr ROD

  99. Similar to Leantimes, coming out of Croke Park I had thoughts of 2010. A decent league campaign marred by an abject performance in the final. It came to define 2010 in the worst possible sense. And the eight-point defeat was just over half the deficit we shipped yesterday. The only positive I can take from yesterday’s match was that Mayo got a serious reality-check. We were beaten up and down the field. Not even at the races. I don’t buy all this talk about injuries, not taking the league seriously, heavy training, Tyrone conceding six goals down in Killarney etc. Finals are there to be won. Not taking a chance at a piece of national silverware is a loser’s mentality. Our style of play will produce a win against one of the other ‘big four’ teams every now and again but we don’t have a defensive structure that can keep the concession of scores down to a manageable level. Our forwards have to out-perform themselves to be in with a chance of winning. God help us if we come up against a fitter team. We have problems with ball-winning up front. Hardly any of the passes sent into the forwards stuck. Far too open at the back with acres of space for O’Brien and Geaney to pick up ball. Clifford doesn’t even need the space. Too many of our players just not in the game. Midfield for the most part were dominated. Half-backs and half-forwards not functioning. A nightmare for our middle-eight. Yes, we had key players missing but you have to cut your cloth to measure. We’re not cute enough tactically.

    I still think we can beat Galway, maybe claim the Connacht title but after that who knows. 3 weeks seems an awful short time to get players back to fitness and implement new systems. I thought the old nightmares of being walloped out the door in Croker were long banished. The team owes us nothing of course but it’s not easy as a supporter to travel across the country to witness that kind of performance.

  100. @WillieJoe, well if someone believes injuries were the reason we lost then I think it’s fair to assume that the same writer would believe that had we not had the injuries that we wouldn’t have lost.

    That’s common sense, maybe the game would have ended in a draw, how about that for a compromise.

    I actually hate online scraps @WillieJoe, I wouldn’t even look at shite on twitter or Facebook for that very reason and cant understand those who do either, but I’ll never call for back up, I don’t need it.

    Good debate yes, but hard to find I’m afraid, it must be my introverted personality or something.

    Anyway, that’s fine.

  101. Interesting team @centrefield, i had similar thoughts…we think we can win shootouts, but we don’t have the fire power.. if we did, our games may be dour, but no one would complain if we beat Galway by 1-11 to 12…. We are predictable, defensively open and can’t score… apart from that and half the team injured.. we are grand… hon mayo 🙂

  102. When you see Ryan O’Donoghue diving full stretch across his own goal line to try and prevent a palmed ball from hitting the back of our net, I suppose it’s fair to say that our team didn’t hold its positioning.

  103. Some good reasoned posts on here and of course some of the other variety too. Like a number of others I hoped we would not qualify for League final. I referenced the 2010 league final v Cork and what subsequently happened. At least we were not missing half a team that day. I gave us no chance yesterday and when I actually saw the team named I reckoned if we kept it to 10, it would be an achievement. I did not expect so many of our players would play so poorly though. Our young inexperienced players were exactly that. These lads can be blended in ok when theres lots of experienced guys around them on top of their game. But yesterday a number of our experienced players were poor and in truth have not been playing well all year. Kick it into the forwards I hear, but how many of our forwards can actually win their own ball even if the kick pass is fairly accurate. The alternative is to run from deep or Horanball as Jaames’ detractors like to call it. This style served us well in Horan’s first era with Vaughan, Boyler, Leeroy and Keith in full flight as they thrilled us with their attacking style. In later years, Paddy, Oisin and Eoghan picked up the mantle, but guess what all three were missing yesterday so we were snookered. Interestingly none of that trio was fully fit in AIF last year either. Now whether we like it or not Kerry produce better and purer footballers than we do and their kick passing and ball handling was top notch yesterday, albeit they weren’t under much pressure. So the easy option is to blame the manager and accuse him of not learning from the past. Maybe its a fair judgement, but I for one am prepared to cut a bit of slack for the man who has managed to take us to AISF each year he has been in charge not to mention winning a hatful of Connacht titles and a League title for good measure. But he did not win an All Ireland I hear you say. True, nor did any manager in my lifetime. I am inclined to agree with a poster who said that 2022 may be a write off, because if those injuries don’t clear up rapidly we will not beat Galway and the backdoor will be populated with bigger fish than usual. James may go, some people will get their wish and we will all live happily ever after enjoying the odd provincial win and a nice day out in Croker every now and again.

  104. WJ. Please don’t think that I’m having a go at Mayo because I am not. As a Kerryman I am wondering, are Mayo training hard for the Championship ? Rory Byrne, Padraig O Hora, Lee Keegan, Aidan O Shea, & James Carr & Jordan Flynn ayed their hearts out yesterday. However Mayo weren’t playing well & the game was over when Gavin White found the Net. Kerry were almost at full strength only for Seán O Shea. Mayo were missing 5 or 6 of the Starting 15 . I personally didn’t like the nasty challenge on Jordan Flynn and I hope that the young man is ok . The worst was the disgraceful cowardly late attack on Padraig O Hora by the Kerry Sub . But as Tommy Doyle said after the 1986 semi Final ” a Mickey Mouse League Game in February is the place to sort that out “. I don’t like to see Kerry players involved in that kind of thing (.Small Man Syndrome, I Suppose “.I wouldn’t read too much into Yesterday’s game . Kerry looked to be at a different level yesterday BUT the SAM MAGUIRE was never won in April.

  105. Your okay Eamon and you’re welcome aboard.
    To be honest with yea, Mayo haven’t started training yet.
    We won’t be doing any training until after the Galway game.
    We didn’t think it would be right to start training this year until the grass was up in McHale Park.

    Of course, football is a religion down there in Kerry.
    Not up here in Mayo though.
    Up here, religion is religion.
    The only training our lads have done so far is a few laps of the basilica in Knock as they were reciting the rosary.
    While we’re up here praying for the rest of the country, yea lads are down in Kerry, biting in to toast and goin, ” I can’t believe it’s not butter “.

    Yea were well lathered in butter yesterday. It was hard to get a hold of yea at all.
    I hope yea have saved a bit of energy for the championship.

    Croagh Patrick is another holy site here in Mayo.
    It was named after a legendary Mayo footballer called Pat Spillanker, or shitehead as he was better known.
    He had 123 all Ireland medals and 427 all stars.
    Now if yea had a player like our Pat Spillanker, or shitehead as he is sometimes known, yea would probably have him regularly on the Sunday game and even give him a Sunday column so he could blow hot lava out his arse.

    Well I’m sure we’ll see yea sometime later in the Summer Eamon. Probably covered in butter.

    Yea might have six and a half thousand all Ireland medals there in Kerry but have yea any holy medals ?

  106. Jack Barry put the nail in the coffin. But I still hope for a miracle and Mayo somehow rises from the dead after Easter. No wonder O’Hora was livid.

  107. Avoided this blog yesterday to as not to read the inevitable condescending posts from a couple of dominant “experts” who seem to have all the answers all the time.
    A quick scan of the comments on this thread shows it was a very good decision.

  108. I have already given my observations on the game yesterday, so just a few comments on the debate on here. I just don’t understand how some people can completely dismiss our number of absentees, including definite starters, Paddy, Oisin, D O’C, Cillian, Robbie and, probably, Eoghan as being of almost no consequence against a virtually full strength Kerry, completely baffles me-of course it was a major factor in the game. And before anyone jumps on this comment, I am not suggesting that we would have won, but we would have made more of a game of it. Kerry also were much more up for it and we seemed to treat it as a game that we really didn’t need. I also cannot believe all the negative comments about Horan, by many who seem to believe that all we have to do is get a new manager, from the long impressive queue available, an we will be rolling in All-Irelands. We have a team and squad in transition, with lots of young players being integrated over the last two years and we still have weaknesses in certain positions, notably FB and scoring forwards and any new manager will face exactly the same situation. I feel that it will be 2023 before we see the best of this team, with, hopefully, some more good young additions. I think that we will do well to win Connacht and it will not be easy, especially if we are not near full strength. Anything else will be a bonus.

  109. In fairness Larry Duff, Willie Joe does a fairly good job keeping the house tidy. But you’re right, some on here love to blow harder than others!

  110. @greenandred. There are certain posters on here that have no interest in any sort of balanced debate. I try to avoid a lot of it. There were many elements lacking from Sunday’s performance which was as bad as I’ve seen in a long long time. Failings on the sideline as well as on the pitch. However to completely dismiss the lads which weren’t available is just nonsensical stuff altogether.

  111. The injuries are never ending lads. I live in perpetual hope of Galway fielding our best 15 but there is always a crucial injury, Bergin, Meehan, Comer, Conroy and this time its the fullback Mulkerrins. I doubt ye can get all the lads missing back in 3 weeks and doubt they would all start anyway if fully fit. I think yer two critical losses are Cillian O Connor who is not going to be fully fit and Tommy Conroy whom like us in defence ye cant be missing a top level attacker given the paucity of yer options. There are a number of passengers up front for Mayo if I was Horan I would continue with the young lads as some lads there years are afraid to take a shot now. Listen Galway scored 22 points and still lost so its obvious where the problem is. Mayo cant win an AI as they just dont have the forwards and have even less now than a few years ago. Prediction Mayo and Galway horse each other out of it in 3 weeks, one of us wins narrowly and gets more injuries and Roscommon pick up the pieces. Mayo should look at Roscommons forward play they rarely leave a score behind.

  112. Paul Flynn (former Dublin star) talking about David Clifford’s performance last Sunday, on Second Captain podcast – “It was criminal to have just one player marking him”.

  113. With the passage of time… Horan clearly threw that game, he showed none of his hand and took lot of hype away from us. Copying Tyrone 2021! Feeling much better about our chances v Galway especially if we get most of our injured back. Kerry look better than last year but jaysus, we made them look like best team ever.

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