More stuff on Sunday’s match

No punching in the parade

Tuesday afternoon already but there’s still plenty of stuff knocking about on Sunday’s narrow win over the Sheepstealers, which is worth bringing to your attention. As well, I should point out, as letting all and sundry know that our trip to Croke Park yesterday for that Cumann na mBunscol final enabled me to savour – for the second time this year – the heady joy of seeing the team I was supporting at Croker claim the spoils. Only this time, the victorious team didn’t have beat a side from the old country and numbered amongst their squad was one of my darlings. Suffice to say, I’ve had worse outings to HQ in my time.

Anyway, back to Sunday and some matters arising.

The first, I guess, has to be Eamonn O’Molloy’s piece from yesterday in the Irish Post (here), which has been discussed a bit already in the comments. Personally, I think he’s making a fair enough point in the article, one that I’d have a good bit of sympathy for. As I pointed out to him later on in an exchange on Twitter, though, I’d have preferred if this humble joint had been kept out of it.

The comments he used in the piece were, I accept, posted on the site but so too were several dozen level-headed ones (the comment count on the match report currently stands at 105) and so the inference, which I know wasn’t at all intended, that this is some kind of loonie bin isn’t all that fair. Not that I can’t howl at the moon now and again with the best of them when the mood takes me (as can plenty of you lot too, it should be said) but you know what I mean.

That piece then got me thinking about those pre-match comments James made about social media and all the Facebook and Twitter followers/likers the county has and how they have a great laugh altogether in the dressing room at the ludicrous stuff posted online about them.

Each to his own, I suppose, but if I were in James’ shoes (which I’m patently not) I doubt if I’d go looking for anything on social media relating to the team at all and I sure wouldn’t be in any hurry to introduce this kind of material into team talks for communal guffawing purposes. And there’s no way in the world would I be making any public pronouncements on the merits or otherwise of what’s out there in the ether.

By bringing the issue up and then laughing it off, there’s a suspicion (which may not be correct but still a valid one nonetheless) that the boss is drawing too much attention to something that perhaps is being given more notice within his set-up than, let’s be honest here, it merits. Anyway, that’s just my tuppence on it.

One piece James will probably have got to already is this one from yesterday on the RTÉ website from Enda McNulty, in which the Armagh man – an All-Ireland medalist from 2002 – has high enough praise for how we dealt with the challenge laid down by the Rossies the last day. Enda reckons we showed a lot of mental toughness to come through Sunday’s test and that the experience will stand to us.

Anyone interested in the analytical side of things might want to have a look at the game stats on Sideline Eye. Even the team management, indeed, might consider these lads worthy of a follow and not just for laughs either.

The local papers are, of course, out now and I had a good rummage myself through the digital version of the Mayo News earlier on. Plenty of interesting stuff there, in particular the analysis bits from Kevin McStay, Ed McGreal and Sean Rice. Mike Finnerty’s match report and post-match reaction pieces are both online now (here and here respectively) but as ever you’d be well advised to get the complete paper.

I haven’t seen the Western yet but I’d say the same goes for that too. The Good Lord and His Holy Mother can only, however, hazard a guess at the gibberish that could be in this week Connaught Telegraph (is it still being printed, isn’t it?) if the kind of stuff that has passed for sports commentary in that venerable organ in recent times is any guide. Which goes to show, I guess, that James doesn’t need to travel as far as the outer reaches of the online Wild West to find material to give the lads a bit of a laugh.

Back to the Mayo News, which now has a match review podcast up on the site, featuring Kevin McStay, Ed McGreal and Club ’51’s own Anne-Marie Flynn (here). Dammit, I’ve even joined in the podcast fun myself and had a chat earlier on today with Conor from GAA Scores about Sunday’s match and what it all means (or not). This one is here:

#40 – Talking Mayo with by Gaascores on Mixcloud

Finally, I know you’ll join me in wishing a speedy recovery to Roscommon’s Donie Shine, who was stretchered from the field of play the last day. It was confirmed earlier on today that the big Clann na nGael man has become the latest victim of the cruciate curse, though in his case it’s the posterior ligament and not the dreaded ACL. This injury apparently doesn’t require surgery and so with rehab and a fair wind behind him it might mean he’ll be back in action in 6-8 weeks. Here’s hoping this is the case.

75 thoughts on “More stuff on Sunday’s match

  1. I was in the stand on Sunday on the 13m line as Roscommon defended in the first half. I could see Alan Freeman trying to make runs, but ball was either slow coming in, or else he had the full back all over him as the ball arrived. Some of the tackles I could see he deserved frees but the ref just waved play on. Ya know the way some players cant buy a free at times. I know he got us 1 or 2 frees but there could have been more. Or more from play from Alan if the ball was played fast to match his run.
    Regarding James Horan, I just want to put on record here that I have faith in him that he is the best man for the job. We tend to lose the run of ourselves in both positivity and negativity. I was delighted with the win. I acknowledge we were quite poor but by God we showed character. That bit at the end with Andy and Aidan was sheer relief personified.
    PS: I was sat in front of Fergal ODonnell ex Ros manager. He had a full time job stopping his daughter kicking my chair on purpose. The poor man was mortified. I just turned around and said Ah ref push in the back.
    PPS: The people next to me turned out to be Donal Vaughans mother and also his uncle and Auntie (who came up from Cork for the game). Lovely people!!. It reminded me again these players all have family at the games so easy on the abuse in the stands guys.

  2. Willie Joe my interpretation of that James Horan article was that they were laughing about stuff in the media, not the online commentators.

  3. I agree Trevor on your points about Freeman. A lot of people will go away thinking he had a bad day. He had a bad day because he wasnt getting good supply of ball and when he did get it he was being jumped all over. Anyhow we need to get this supply of ball to our forwards faster and more direct and have runner to lay it off . Its not rocket science . But why is it not being done this way ?

  4. Well said Trevor – the GAA community is a small one and you never know who’s within earshot. All the more reason to play the ball and not the man (you know what I mean) when criticising aspects of the game. And you’re also spot on re Freezer, I’d say it was a pretty frustrating day for him. We are not getting good delivery in there and that is one of our key problems at the minute.

    Very sorry to hear about Donie Shine’s injury, but glad it’s on the less serious side of the spectrum (though I doubt he feels like that today). I hate seeing a player having to be stretchered off and I can only imagine how worrying it is for family in the stands. (I worked in the same office as Donie for a while last year and am glad to report that while there are lots of stairs it’s well serviced with lifts!) Hope we’ll see him back sooner rather than later.

    WJ I think Eamonn made it pretty clear that (a) this site is excellent and (b) such views are in the minority. I think in the grand scheme of things it’s no harm at all that it was said, and from the volume of shares it’s had from our facebook page today it appears the fans are sitting up and listening. That doesn’t mean, as you’ve said that supporters can’t critique or discuss or point out what they see as flaws but some of the social media stuff we’ve seen over the past 48 hours is beyond comical – unless you’re Horan or a member of the team or a family member. I think it was an excellent article and they do say that no publicity is bad publicity, after all 😉

    Thanks for the mention btw – I haven’t listened to it yet myself – I’ve spent all day in the day job listening to myself on playback which is horrendous enough at the best of times so I need a break for today. Looking forward to listening to yours though. Congrats on the win in Croker – let’s hope it’s the first of many chez WJ!

  5. Forgot to say congrats on the big win in Croker WJ. A proud day I’m sure!!

  6. Just read Mulloys piece. Interesting stuff. Suppose it highlights the pressure that is on the lads and in particular the manager.May be fair to say that the mayo manager has more pressure than ant other county and probably because we have come so close on so many occasions we as fans just want it so so bad.It may also be fair to say that we as fans can be fickle at times .I try steer clear of criticizing management .As pointed out in Mulloys piece in terms of Connaught finals and games won this is the most successful team since the final.As hard as it is to be a Mayo manager it is certainly hard being a Mayo fan. It can be difficult listening to poeple from other counties talk about this fucking “curse” or how we are only bottlers or we couldnt buy an All ireland. So as a fan i can understand when fan get inpatient and look for someone to blame . Patience Patience Patience our day WILL come.

  7. Decent article in the Irish Times today with Sean Cavanagh discussing the tackle. I thought we did very well in this department on Sunday (and congrats to Tom Cuniffe on terrific MOTM performance. He continues to be brilliant for Club and County). Precise, dogged, but clean tackling will obviously be key this year, much more than any other, due to black card intro. I think this will suit us and there are positive signs there already to support this.

  8. Excellent stuff wj. Someone would want to get that sideline eye sent straight to horan but he was at the game like the rest of us and should see it in real time.

    As mentioned previously and ill throw this stat out again. 26 roscommon kickout and 22 for mayo…THATS 48 IN ALL. And out of all of those WE CAUGHT ONE KICKOUT IN THE 70 minutes. Lads that must be a first? Also more worrying is the damage (or should I say the damage he could have done) roscommon number 9 did. 1 point but if he could shoot he’d have beaten us ourselves.

    Another point is click into the pictures and look at different stats. If you compare our shot map against other teams it really demonstrates the seriousness of how far back we have gone. Most of dublin shots were in front of goal or in range and we shot from.incredily stupid angles.

    at the game on Sunday everyone said how poor the standard was…some even said it was junior b. How poor then must be the tactics, coaching? Lads im getting incredibly worried

  9. It would be nice to see some creativity in the forwards against Galway or Sligo.Andy offers us best hope and Dillon will still be a threat.Funny how people give out about negativity and then rubbish R.Feeney who is imo a very decent footballer.
    surprised others have fallen off thd radar too.Hopefully Jason and Barry will bring something new to the team at a later stage.

  10. At times I find it difficult to stand back immediately after a game and separate the passion from the reality. If this was a game of chess then the permutations would be few, one against one, but here we have team against team, and in each team two or three players will play beyond the expectations of either their manager or themselves. That is what makes team games a lottery. Yes, probability suggests one side is likely to win, but nothing is certain.
    We have amateur footballers playing at a level approaching that of professionals. We need only look at professional games such as football and rugby where we see that teams cancel each other out. What then separates winners from losers is someone that does the unexpected allied with teammates giving everything.
    This team showed last year that it stands the equal to anyone. They didn’t take the trophy, but they were unbowed. On Sunday they escaped, though should have won the game by halftime. There are five weeks. A little sharpshooting practice required.

  11. meantime in other news whats the deal with the poor band marching around the field at half time playing their hearts out and the music on the PA System drowning them out ?? love the aido and andy show at the end, if passion won games, Andy Moran would have a bag full of AI medals by now, no more to be said about the game really except that we cannot continue with missed opportunities and hope to progress, the tally of wides in the first 25 mins were just heartbreaking, we wont get out of jail like that too often,

    does anyone at all know what the story with richie, is it a case of forgotten but not gone ???

    but for now its to mchale and beyond

  12. Some interesting points being raised here. I’m a fan of Horan, but not a blind fan. Something has changed about his footballing philosophy since 2011/12. Could it be Donie buckleys influence. We are playing a totally different style of football than Horans first couple of years. Remember cork game in 2011 and Dublin 2012 anyone?? Kevin mc and Alan Dillon spraying 50 yard foot passes into our forwards who shot the lights out, especially in the Dublin match. Now it’s solo solo solo. “Breaking the tackle”, “running from deep”, “bursting through”. These are the phrases to describe the mayo gameplan right now. People here talk about personnel and individuals in the forwards, let’s make this clear, you could pick a combination of any 6 forwards from our squad, but if the defence and midfield keep carrying the ball into contact and slowing play down, it doesn’t matter who is up front. Our problems are not with the personnel being selected up front. It’s our style of football. Seamie is a great player, but he is just a head down, burst through type player. Ditto Aidan.

    Another point, we have real problems against a blanket defence. Ros just sat back and flooded the scoring zone with bodies. Any score we got was hard fought and energy draining. Someone pointed out above that we are shooting from silly positions? Exactly!! Why? Because our midfield and half backs flood the opponents half of the field (with their markers) meaning there is often 20 of the 28 outfield players between us and the goal when we have the ball 50m out from opposition goal. Against a top side, they will just dispossess you and break at pace. Anyone struck by the amount of space Ross had to attack us in 2nd half?? Because our half backs and midfield were out of position when our attacking moves broke down. There was danger every time tha ball went into our half. Only the excellence of our backs like caff and tom c saved us.

    I love what Horan had done for mayo, but I have to agree with pat Spillane when he says we have no attacking plan or structure. I would like to see an old fashioned 3 man FF line next day, and our half forwards lying deep, in midfield or even deeper, (with Kevin Mac back in the HF line) delivering 50 yard ACCURATE foot passes to forwards like freeman and Sweeney isolated 1 on 1 with space around them. I have faith in these guys to do damage if they are given quality ball in space. If we have half backs and midfield running forward laboriously with the ball, there will be no space for anyone. We’ll beat most sides but we won’t beat the top teams unless we move the ball quicker.
    That’s my opinion anyway.

  13. Excellent post Macs Left Boot, space for our lads up front is at a premium…

  14. Macsleftboot totally agree and said all that in a previous post on after game post. We all wanna go forward and we’re acting as extra defenders as we put the head down and block vital space get dispossessed in tackle and bang MASSIVE HOLE in defence.

  15. Yeah Mac’s left boot, your dead right, if we had been up against a team with more experience, we would have conceded more than one goal in the second-half. When Roscommon were running at us if they had been a bit cuter in terms of laying the ball off to players in space we would have been dead and buried. We played Russian Roulette at the week-end and we all know how that ends. Mayo are at their best when they move the ball quickly, when we are playing one-touch, high tempo football, we are the best in the country at playing this style of football. We really do need to see more of this type of football in the games ahead.

  16. Willie Joe, this is a fantastic site – the only blog with which I would ever bother. There has been a bit too much negativity (bordering on abuse) creeping in recently and if the newspaper article to which you refer has the effect of tempering this, all the better.
    I thought Mayo looked tired on Sunday but showed great character and heart. When we were winning by huge margins the likes of Brolly said we had no character. When we play poorly and eke out a dogged victory, it’s wrong too…

  17. It was interesting to see that it was Cillian O’Connor who led the Mayo team around in the pre-match parade on Sunday, and not Lee Keegan who was listed on the programme as captain and who, I had understood from earlier in the year, was going to be the vice-captain to Andy’s captaincy this year. I didn’t see who went in for the coin-toss before the game.

  18. The younger generation seem to find social media irresistible so I’m afraid James Horan has no choice but to take notice and be aware of what is being said if he is to relate to his players. This seems to apply to all, athletes – professional and amateur. Examples of professional athletes making idiots of themselves on twitter in particular abound. Also with camera/smart phones in almost everybody’s pocket nowadays any incident can be recorded and uploaded on to the internet which must put a tremendous strain on all players. As I recall, Leitrim’s year in 2013 imploded on such an issue.
    Finally, I cannot understand the obsession some Mayo people have with Joe Brolly. The man’s an eejit as he proved with his rant about Sky’s Rachel Wyse. When two Sky soccer commentators made similar disparaging remarks about a female match official the were immediately sacked by the broadcaster. If RTE had any gumption they would have done the same with Brolly, “abject apology” or not. It seems any gumption RTE had drained away with the Fr Reynolds affair.

  19. I just want to play devils advocate here to the consensus above me.
    Why are we playing different to 2011-2012? I feel its because of the 2012 AI final where we put loads of 50 yard ball into our full forward line and it came straight back out again. Ball that did stick was out on the wing and led to 50/50 potshots. No goal chances were created. Even on Sunday, a number of balls went in to COC and Freezer but they ended up behind their men or a third man came in to clean up the ball. When these lads do get on the ball, they are strong and smart enough with their play to do damage. Sweeney is very good at making the runs, getting out in front of his man and getting on the ball but the weakness in his game is probably lack of strength to hold on to it when he does get it. Now, that didn’t stop him distributing the ball well on Sunday and he is an intelligent enough player to get over this but strength is the weakness in his game.
    Horan probably feels that the running game is better percentage wise, if the man running from deep breaks through the tackles or lays it off and continues his run he creates overlaps, 2-on-1 opportunities and better scoring positions in the centre of goal rather than out on the wing like in 2012. The scorelines we got in the run up to last years final backed him up. Last years final, and possibly Sunday, when our half backs and midfielders were blocked and unable to create the overlaps and 2-on-1s may cause another re-think. When it doesn’t work, it doesn’t look good, but losing 50/50 balls into the ff line doesn’t look good either, the same as any tactic doesn’t look good when it isn’t working.
    Yes, accurate 50 yard passes that stick to the man inside would be any counties dream. But, do we have the men to make those passes and do we have the men to make it stick inside? Last Sunday, we did not. If we withdraw our half forward line to clog up our half and then release long ball into our ff line, then they are isolated with their men. But what if the other team have also withdrawn their hf line and they are now stood in front of our ff line and our guys are double teamed. Now the fact that they are isolated does not look so good.
    I don’t have answers here, and I don’t completely disagree with the posters above me, I just want to show that its not quite so simple as having one tactic to rule them all.

  20. @ Deel Rovers Return , I fully agree that in the 2012 final we sent a lot of good ball early and long into the inside line but very little of these balls stuck. Andy Moran was the main reason these balls stuck and unfortunatley in that final and last year we didn’t have an Andy Moran operating at 100% , hence the developement of the running game. Also most of the goal chances we created came off our running game over the last three years , just think of Kevin Mac’s belter against Cork in 2011.

    I think the emergence of Freeman last year did make James shift his onus from the quarter final on from a total running game. Also we played three men up top in 2012 and last year which meant that it could become very conjested even against a traditional back 6 for our full forwards if the opposition put pressure on our runners thus slowing the ball down. The fact that James is giving Kevin Mac a free role and only leaving two up front shows me he is genuine in wanting to mix the long and the running game. Also Jason Gibbons is key to this with his foot passing and I doubt we will see the O’Shea brothers in 8 and 9 this summer should Jason get back to 100% fittness.

  21. Interesting information on the Mayo shooting.
    Definite shift in the second half to only shooting from the center (opposite the goal posts) rather than out wide, which is what we did in the first half.
    2 from 9 (22%) in the first half from all sorts of mad angles, 4 from 7 (57%) in the second half when the shooting was more from in front of the posts, albeit from distance.
    Was that a tactical instruction or did the game open up more in the second half so that we were allowed to be more in those central positions at that time?
    I know people say that we should have got more frees, but we got more than Roscommon which is statistically unusual when playing away, and our conversion rate of 88% was probably the difference on the day to get us over the line, Roscommons as 60%. Only two of the frees we conceded were inside our 45, 7 of the ones Roscommon gave away were inside the 45 and we converted all of those. The one missed was just inside the 45 (or was it a 45, I cant remember?). So its not just about having good free takers but also not giving away frees in scorable positions. Obv as the young wans would say.

    Interestingly if you count the free opportunities, shots taken (scored or wide) and label them as scoring chances, Roscommon had 26 and we had 24. Given that one of those 26 proved to be a major for Roscommon, as we already kinda thought we were lucky to be in a position to be able to peg it back in the last 7 or 8 minutes. They should probably have been further ahead.
    Obviously this doesn’t paint the full picture as there would have been situations where we had the ball and made a mistake or a wrong choice where if we had made the right one it might have led to a shot or score. That is not to say that a shot is the right option all the time either obviously.

  22. Really interesting to compare the comments on the site today to those on Monday, a lot more sense, balance and constructive arguments being made. Unfortunately we, like all counties, do have our lunatic fringe who are always there the day after the big games but nowhere to be seen for the rest of the year. At times it does make you wonder if they represent the view of a large section of the die-hard support who are there game after game but I think it is clear from the more recent comments that the core support remains fully behind the team and management and, while not agreeing with every decision made, will support the players from the first whistle to the last.

  23. thats it as far as i am concerned Declan , i have my opinions on the mistakes made but no way are there so many being made that warrant all the vitriol.

    we are in the connacht final , up for the 4 in a row! and then maybe we’ll get to croke park , where a lot of good things have happened for us in the last 3 years.

  24. Mayo Dub,
    Agree with you 100%. O’Shea’s article says it all and puts this match in perspective. Read it everyone.

  25. Naysayers and lunatic fringe in two consecutive posts. I can see that pleasant open discussion is the order of the day.

  26. I echo those who are recommending O’Se’s article. He is a guy who would know better than anyone about this situation. That is one thing the Kerry lads seem to have over us. They seem to be more thoughtful in approach than our more reactionary way of thinking. We have developed a bad habit in Mayo whereby if we are not 100% perfect all the time, there is something seriously wrong, and when we do fulfil those expectations, we lose the plot. We should be a bit more plucky about things. If all we do is get over the line in every game, we will end up winning the thing. It doesn’t matter how. We talk about our players now being experienced, knowing what is needed to get the job done. But surely we should now be experienced fans also? Fully aware that it is not over until it is over, fully aware that winning badly is far better than losing well and fully aware that our lads are capable of better.

    Also, we should remember that not winning it this year, still is not the end of the world. The sun will rise, the team will come again and we will get back to croke park. I think maybe we build up winning it so much, we become unreasoned in our thoughts and behaviour, and that is detrimental to our actual chances of winning it. Guys need to be comfortable to play a good game, and things like open letters to the team, overzealous exclamations from fans and all that stuff only put pressure on the team, and actually inhibits them. We need to remember it is a game now and again. I would be all for a different approach this year, where the mayo fans keep their calm and support their team.

  27. Willie Joe

    Just two points:

    Is it not abuse to describe posters who hold views as a lunatic fringe and naysayers. These are Mayo supporters and although I might not agree with all they say they surely are entitled to their views?

    I don’t think any player has had as much abuse thrown at him as Richie Feeney by those who are claiming to be positive. Defending one player by running down others is ironic when claiming to support the team.Richie is a Mayo player and a valuable one at that and a gentleman and of course part of the team.

    These purveyors of ‘positivity’ cannot have it both ways. Maybe people should address the issues and leave personal criticism of management ,players and supporters to one side.

    Moderation may be called for WJ on what is an excellent site.

  28. Darragh O Sé nailed it in his article. I’m sure our lads are of the same mindset too.
    I think we will see a big improvement against Galway (I expect them to get by Sligo ) not that it will be an easy task either. Galway will take heart from the Roscommon display. I don’t think they will employ the blanket defence but they most certainly should. They will also be hurting badly from last year and you know what they say about a wounded animal!
    Interesting times ahead.

  29. ”Suddenly word gets around that they’re horsing through 200m sprints every night at training. In May! Did ye hear that, lads? These animals are training for August. They don’t think they’re in any danger against us. Well, they’ll soon find out different. Won’t they, lads?” Darragh O Se explaining what Ros players may think of Mayo’s training approach to the Connacht semi-final.

  30. “I don’t think any player has had as much abuse thrown at him as Richie Feeney by those who are claiming to be positive. Defending one player by running down others is ironic when claiming to support the team.Richie is a Mayo player and a valuable one at that and a gentleman and of course part of the team”

    And in turn, the amount of personal abuse aimed at horan, dressed up as praise for Feeney, would make the above seem miniscule… Im sure James Horan is a gentleman also, but that hasn’t made the least bit of difference on that front either.

    For the record, I don’t see any personal abuse of feeney, I see reasoned analysis of his footballing performances in a mayo jersey up to now. For my money that, along with what he does in training, are the only criteria he can be judged on as regards what he can bring to the team, just like everyone else. Im sure there are plenty of gentlemen in the squad, some of them didn’t even get to tog out at the weekend.

  31. Everyone is, of course, entitled to put forward their views, Mayo14, but I don’t think the comments in question (from MayoDub and Declan) could in any sense be described as ‘abuse’ of others. Were this interpretation to be given on what were two very innocuous statements, then there’d be no debate on here at all. I’d agree too with The Maestro’s take on the Richie Feeney issue – from my reading of what’s been posted about Richie, everything has been okay and within the rules.

    Comment moderation is something I take seriously (almost uniquely so, I’d have to say, in this rush-to-comment world we live in – have you ever, for example, seen the muck posted in the comments in places like The Journal?) so I don’t accept that moderation on the site “may be called for ” – it’s already there (the house rules on comments are, by the way, here). And it’s far from an easy job at times, let me tell you, but a worthwhile one as I feel that the standard of debate on here is better as a result and a world away from the abusive rubbish that’s constantly posted on places like Twitter.

  32. I don’t think Kerry supporters are any more or less thoughtful than our own supporters. If you check out the Hoganstand or GAA board for Kerry fans well after they lose or play poorly many are as intolerant than some of what is described as this ‘lunatic fringe’. But it seems that just because these comments happen to appeared on this Blog it is assumed that we have more. In my opinion it’s a pretty big generalization to make.

    Also that guy Molloy is a bit of a hypocrite. He has no problem with labelling Mayo supporters and giving out about harsh judgement against James Horan. And in the next paragraph he specifically singles out Richie Feeney in his own article with claims some Mayo supporters have compared him to Maurice Fitzgerald and Trevor Giles.
    Now I for one have never seen those claims or comparisons made on this site.

    So to be honest it’s totally hypocritical of a journalist to give out about ‘lunatic’ supporters and then pick on a single individual himself to slag off.

    Plus he has no problem singling Richie out in the article even though Richie Feeney himself has said nothing at all to the press as far as I know. And this is after all the problems he has personally had, including last year’s rumours after the All Ireland, and this years All Ireland club final failure.

    In fact Richie has actually behaved with incredible restraint and dignity in saying nothing at all except apologizing after the club final to his fans.

  33. Well said JPM. It’s a credit to Richie that’s he’s still so committed and I firmly believe he will yet play an important role for us this year. From what I can see, the guy is as tough as nails, in many respects.

  34. Have to say I feel Richie is hard done by and some of the stuff written about him is shocking.Anyway I dont want to add to it so perhaps thats enough.
    I certainly think there will be a need for Jason and Barry before year is out.Also I dont think Kevin Mc belongs in the full forward line.Also wonder if D.Coen will feature .These are good players to have ,ahead maybe of some others that did start.
    wonder if that puts me in lunatic fringe.

  35. Re Richie, all the talk is of JH bringing him on at 70 mins.

    When it looked like Aidan O’Shea would have to go off early on, Richie was the one about to be sprung and would have played, but Aiden sorted out his (contact lens?) problem and so Richie didn’t feature. That’s the way it goes.

  36. I wonder when the next round of senior club championship games are due to be played? It’ll be interesting to see how the fringe players and those coming back from injuries will get on.

  37. Thanks F’Deelin for that. It’ll be interesting to see if Chris Barret, David Clarke, Tom Parsons, Barry Moran and Jason Gibbons will feature for their clubs. Also it’ll be interesting to see if some of the fringe players like Mikey Sweeney, Darren Coen and Adam Gallagher can make an impression. Competition for places will be intense in the build-up to the Connacht final.

  38. Well done WJ, you provide a great service as usual here on this site. Just want to wish Donie Shine a speedy recovery. The real test for the Rossies will come as they progress through the qualifiers. Only then will we be able to judge their true form. Best of luck to our MOTM Tom he had a great game. I voted for Ger as he was very solid. Freeman left the field a frustrated man on Sunday. He was fouled several times and got no frees. He continues to make runs inside while the defenders and midfielders struggle to deliver good early ball into the danger area. At the end of our day this is our real failing. The Doc done everything we could have expected of him. Those who doubt his effort must have been watching the TV. The drive and courage shown at the end of this game by this Mayo team will be my abiding memory of the semi final. We rarely see this from a Mayo team in our time. Great piece on the Irish Post and I will agree with the points made on it. I remember back in November 1989 I was in Mayo having a few weeks sick leave at home. I was helping out on a fund drive for the club. At that time JOM was very close to being canonised by the GAA folk of the county following our first appearance in an AI final. A lady at the function told me why Mayo had not won the AI in Sept. ” Its because JOM has not put the best players on to the Mayo team” she told me as a matter of fact. I found out later that night that her son played for a junior club and had as much a chance of playing for the county team as he had of winning the Lotto. I never forget that The Industrial Revolution bypassed places like Mayo.

  39. Daragh O’Se summed it up well, just win and move on.

    I like it when he shares some of his own thoughts or experiences on the field, particularly exchanges with ref’s, like the club games he referred to, funny shlt.

  40. Willie Joe,
    I really do not think it is helpful or indeed accurate to talk about a’ lunatic Fringe’ when writing about Mayo supporters.

    As someone who has spent over 60 years supporting Mayo and going to games from the very outreach of the county I have met nothing but good supporters who give their all for the county.

    At times we canonize the managers (including James) and at times we criticize them but we always support in our own way. Of course we want an All Ireland but we are back year after year notwithstanding the disappointment.

    We all have our own views on who should or should not play and that is healthy. But I have never met this lunatic fringe others seems to label supporters with.

    Who is in this group I wonder. People who express different opinions from management or others at times, people who think some performances are below key?
    The term lunatic is offensive and others suggesting that there are people wating in the wings within the county to attack Mayo football- well it is not my experience.

    Not everyone can go to every game.I live in the county so I make most of them though the old bones are getting creakier by the year. But others do not yet they support strongly.

    I don’t think anyone who comes on this site is a bad supporter- quite the opposite.
    And it is an excellent site- a point made in my last post. I called for people to deal with the issues raised and lay off personal attacks on management ,players (including Richie ) and supporters. (Actually I believe it contravenes rules 6,7,8,15,17 but I respect the interpretation is up to you Willie Joe) I think that is a reasonable comment..

    J.Horan makes mistakes but so do we all. We can surely comment on them without being blamed for disliking the man. He is a gentleman and has brought Mayo football to great heights. He deserves our support but we can add our tuppence worth on selection etc.

    I don’t intend to comment on this again but I take offence to the best supporters in the world being branded as lunatics ,even if it only is meant to apply to a few.

    Debate is good ….winning an All Ireland would be better. Yes I am impatient to do that but it will happen I am sure and when it does we will all stand together.

  41. And in the next paragraph he specifically singles out Richie Feeney in his own article with claims some Mayo supporters have compared him to Maurice Fitzgerald and Trevor Giles.

    Well in fairness he didn’t do that either. He was making a point about the manner in which Feeney’s potential influence was being talked up. That isn’t singling him out, he had actually been singled out by those praising him. For instance, if I said ‘they should have brought Conor Mortimer in as he would have offered what they needed’, and you rightly pointed out reasons why that isn’t necessarily true, I cant say you are picking on Mortimer. It would have been me who brought him into the equation, wouldn’t it? Surely if disagreeing with the assertion that feeney should start is picking on him, then in the same fashion, stating that he should start is picking on the guys already in the team?

  42. I guess it’s an issue of interpretation, Mayo 14, but one thing I can assure you of is that I don’t take kindly to personal abuse aimed at specific players, management or other posters. Comment moderation isn’t my favourite pastime nor is it always easy to implement but I do try to apply the rules as fairly as I can on a consistent basis.

  43. WJ, I believe you are correct in your assertions and I would also state that I believe that Mayo14 is incorrect. I don’t buy into this idea that fans expressing any type of outlandish, unbalanced claim is just a ‘different opinion’. People should be accountable for their opinions and should be able to stand over them, just like the players have to stand over their performances. It is handy that we take it as fact that ‘horan make mistakes’, yet fans expressing questionable opinions are not actually wrong in any way, but rather of a different opinion – opinions can be wrong. In fact there are far more wrong ones that right ones.

    The term ‘lunatic’ might be a bit over the top, but all you have to do is look at the comments after the match to see that there is definitely an amount of people out there who are unbalanced in their assertions and unreasonable in their debating of them. They see what they want of the facts and fit it around their already formed opinion.

  44. Maestro I think the term “lunatic fringe” was over the top and so were some of the reactions as well.
    The Irish post combed the site to find these reactions and used them as a contrast to make certain points.
    Not great journalism imo, its easy to be against extreme viewpoints.

    mayo14 we wont stand together when the all ireland is won any more than we do now , mayo fans keep coming back and while it is to their credit, sure what else would we do ? lads from our own parishes and villages and towns take to the field to play a game we love , you’d want to be a lunatic not to support them !

  45. Use of terms such as lunatic and unbalanced when referring to the state of a persons mind is rather crude to stay the least. Use of similar anachronistic references to physical afflictions would not be tolerated by the best supporters in country.

  46. Can anybody give an accurate update on injuries and timeline of return.

    I believe Richie Feeney was suffering froma groin strain/pull earlier in year, is it possible that this is a factor in his limited playing time.

  47. I don’t think anyone is making an inferences about the state of any person’s mind, Berry. The term ‘lunatic fringe’ is a commonly used one in relation to supporters of various sports and got picked up here as it was used in that Irish Post piece. The term ‘unbalanced’ was used in the context of lacking balance.

    I have to say, though, that I’m getting more than a bit tired of this whole debate. There’s only so much a man can take of all this finding and taking insult where none is intended!

  48. Just wondering:

    What is our best team from current panel?Assuming Barry and Jason et al are fit?Big assumption I know.
    also outside of Dublin who are the threats to Mayo.Do we rate Galway at all?

  49. I won’t name a 15, form is up and down with lads so it’s difficult, Andy Moran didn’t start last Sunday and came on the be the savior. That’s kind of the way it is.
    Threat apart from Dublin?
    Take your pick, any of the following can beat Mayo on the day. Cork, Kerry, Kildare? ish!
    Tyrone, donegal, derry and even Monaghan can be trusted to rattle our cage. And of course I haven’t forgotten Galway, that’s 8 that I can see that would not be viewed as easy matches for Mayo. While Mayo did take care of them all in recent years it’s on the day really that form of 4 or 5 players on one team may slip a fraction and the nerves do the rest of the damage, even the great Dublin are beatable on the day and I believe they will fall somewhere in August or September to one of the above teams, including our own lads.
    The thing to keep in mind is this, if we win the next one we are 3 games away from bringing Sam home, so take one step at a time and show them your support.
    Winners of Sam will be one of Dublin, Kerry, cork, donegal, Derry or Mayo.

  50. Hard to disagree with that David.Dont see Derry or Kildare myself and I would put Cork in the mix.
    Think Dublin wont be beaten but I hope youre right and I am wrong on this one.
    think most counties will be with us.I do think Galway will be way better than last year but I think we will prevail.

  51. I see that Tomas O Se is writing about Mayo in his article in the Indo tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. The headline is: Mayo have what it takes but they need to be more selfish.

  52. WJ – was reading through a load of posts there would you ever think of putting up the like / dislike button thing after every comment (like – could upset the lunatic fringe though

  53. Tomas O’Se very positive about Mayo. Close to joining our ranks actually!

    He commments on the importance of balancing attack and defence around the half back line, something he knows a fair bit about. I think we’re making inroads here already by moving Boyler into the centre but it may need further attention – Seamie or Aidan dropping back when Vaughan or Keegan bomb forward.

    He also rubbishes this needing a marquee forward nonsense.

  54. Yes a very good piece by Tomas O Se in the indo . I agree with his comments about Aidan O Shea needing to be more aggressive and boss the midfield more for such a powerful man.Also he has a pop at our fans expectations and the pressure it puts on the Mayo team .

  55. Aidan can definitely be more consistent. Got all the plaudits last year but it was Seamie running the engine room after the Donegal game. To be fair though, I was impressed with his work rate on Sunday. He worked back twice in the second half to make to vital dispossessions.

  56. Agree fully with willie joe regarding the journal and the score. If this site becomes anything like that then I’m off. Some of the stuff that passes as debates on those sites is truly awful.

  57. Down by three >
    Mayo supporters came alive MAYO MAYO MAYO.The present Mayo team are an exceptional group of players with an outstanding it right on Sunday against Roscommon,I am sure his team came of age and took control of a game which was going away from them,Finaly the players drove for home took responsibility afterJ.H.made correct substitutions,D,OC and C.OS worked very hard and made telling contributions,they both missed narowly for points but lets not forget atrocius conditions .Delighted to see players reacting to a dire situation.Last sunday we saw leaders all over the pitch. Its not a question if Mayo win sam its WHEN.

  58. I’m wondering what’s getting into Thomas O’Se this weather, looks like he’s trying to have a romance with Mayo or something?. Nothing against the guy, but what’s he really saying that we don’t already know ourselves. For sure Thomas was part of some great Kerry teams who enjoyed much success over the years but in trying to tell us supporters who have been starved of success over the years to be patient is a bit Irish. Says the team should all lift their performance a notch or two, our attacking half backs should be more aware of minding the house and sure Aidan needs to put himself about a bit more. And from a team who could boost should forwards as Mickey Sheehy the O’Sullivan’s, Donaghy plucking balls out of the air to feed the best forward to have ever played the game, sure what team needs a marquee forward. Well I have to say, had we had the services of Colm Cooper in 2012/13 we’d have those two All Irelands in the bag. Anyway any takers on Thomas as the next Mayo Manager ? 🙂

  59. Its already been asked but does anyone know the latest on Jason Gibbons and Tom Parsons. Gibbons in particular if he can come back like he was is a huge player for us I reckon

  60. Mayo McHale , Hopefully James Horan stays with us a long time , but if we were looking for a Kerryman to manage us , after last Sunday we might be tempted to look very close to home !

  61. Re T. O’Sé’s article in today’s Indo – I particularly enjoyed this bit:

    “Their forwards need to stop thinking they have to shoot the lights out and just play a little bit cuter. I think as a group, maybe they could be more comfortable with themselves. They need to realise that you don’t have to play as if you’re parked outside on a double yellow line”

    The full article is at:

  62. Hard to know about John Evans. He played a very negative game against us. If we had scored some of those early opportunities it could have been a totally different match forcing Roscomon to abandon their defensive plan much earlier. Also their whole game was based around this defensive game I think.

    They also played an ultra defensive game against Letirim as well surrendering possession and defending only from the opposition 45 metre line. Looked like they were practicing for us. Maybe that is the way Evans is ultimately leading Roscommon i.e. into being another Donegal and very difficult to beat.

    It will be interesting to see how they do in the qualifiers.

  63. Mayo McHale. I do not agree with your interpretation of what Thomas said. Having watched the recording I would have to agree with most of the points he made regarding Mayo and Roscommon teams. He implied a continuous improvement approach to our game as has happened in the Kingdom for decades. I believe it is what JH has brought to the Mayo scene even though we have our detractors to his approach.The Kerry manager wrote a book called the keys to the kingdom a few years. There a few gems in it which shows the lengths he was prepared to go to get the extra inches in a AI. Its not all about marquee forwards and the usual rubbish that is peddled by the TV analysts. I believe we have a couple of Gooch’s on our own panel if we only had the ability to deliver the quality ball the Gooch feeds off

  64. posted this Q a few days ago

    Can anybody give an accurate update on injuries and timeline of return.

    I believe Richie Feeney was suffering froma groin strain/pull earlier in year, is it possible that this is a factor in his limited playing time.

  65. On Roscommon, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them end up in a last 8 game. A good side, and if the draw is kind to them with home advantage, they will give any team a torrid time in Hyde Park

  66. @ joemamas I think the Mayo News have a summary on injuries in today’s paper. Andy Moran now officially sidelined with a hamstring injury too – no timeline on when we can expect him back just yet.

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