No team till Sunday again

johnno-looking-grumpy_Johnno has told the Mayo News that our team to face the Dubs on Sunday won’t be announced until that day itself.  It says in the report that the team for this crunch NFL Division 1 clash won’t be announced “until hours” before throw-in at James Stephens Park.  That’s an improvement, then, given that it was just minutes before throw-in  before we got wind of the line-up for last Sunday’s match against Kerry.

That Mayo News report makes fairly depressing reading, with Johnno continuing his poor-poor-pitiful-me routine about fixture pile-ups, injuries and what-not.  I have some sympathy with what he has to say about the stupidity of squashing the Sigerson, the U21s and an intense NFL campaign all together and it’s certainly the case that it makes all that cant about burn-out ring fairly hollow.  The problem I have is that he seems to think that we’re somehow more disadvantaged than other counties are and, by coming out with this stuff after a defeat, it just sounds like a load of pissing and moaning.  Which, of course, is exactly what it is.

It would have been far better if he’d raised holy hell over the scheduling when it was first published: had he done so, last Sunday’s outburst could then be portrayed as an exercise in “I told you so”.  Which would have been a hell of a lot better than pissing and moaning. The audio (can’t find a link to it that works, I’m afraid) is even worse than the printed version, by the way: Johnno just doesn’t sound like someone that’s at all happy in the role and it does raise all sorts of questions about whether or not his heart is truly in the job.   There’s no point going down that road now, I know: Johnno has the bib for the remainder of this year at least and those of us on the sideline will, of course, continue to support him and the team while he’s in the job.  I just wish he’d stop the moaning.

In terms of the match itself, Johnno says he expects “a big backlash” from the Dubs after the whipping Derry gave them at Parnell Park on Saturday night last.  I think we can expect the visitors to come at us hard alright on Sunday but if we stand up to them in the first half, there’s no reason we can’t secure the points against them.  The vast majority of those happy souls who’ve responded to the poll on the site think so, at any rate: at the minute, a whopping 91% of you think we’ll win this one.  So does Paddy Power, by the way.

There’s little point either in speculating too much about the team for Sunday at this point.  Barry Moran is still out with his hamstring problem and, realistically, I wouldn’t expect us to see him back until the Tyrone game.  Barry Kelly, Seamus O’Shea and U21 Kevin McLoughlin all have groin problems, with the first two picking up the injury in training (coincidence or what?) while the latter got injured early in the U21 win over Galway but then played on for the remainder of the game, putting in a MOTM performance in the process.  He’s now a doubt for the U21 semi against the Sheepstealers and would be a huge loss were he not to be fit for that one.  There’s no chance he’ll be on the card for Sunday.  As regards others, Billy Joe still has a dead leg (how long does a dead leg stay dead for?) and Ger Cafferkey and Alan Dillon are both operating at less than 100%.

One of those Mayo News reports (the first one I linked to, I think) confirms that the match on Sunday definitely won’t be all-ticket.  The weather forecast for Sunday is, however, very good and, as we all know,  Good Weather = Big Crowds at the Footie so anyone who’s dawdling into town with the clock approaching 2.30 pm (as PJ is wont to do) and expects to get either a parking space near the ground or quick entry at the gate will only have himself to blame.  See: it pays to plan ahead to account for known issues.

Finally, just to round up what’s in the Mayo News: here’s the match report from last Sunday, the U21 match report and some after-match comments (note the lack of moaning in same) from Noel Connelly.  And that’s your lot for now, amigos.

9 thoughts on “No team till Sunday again

  1. the Mahony tenure couldnt have gone any worse really now could it. Having said that I would love him to deliver this year. When I say deliver I mean winning a connacht title in Salthill!!! I truly believe many Mayo Gaels will only ever accept him back with open arms when this happens. Moving to Galway and being successful with them hurt a lot of Mayo Gaels and we have a long bitter memory. This has made his current job more difficult for sure and i think when you see comments like the one he came out with last Sun you can detect he is leaning towards getting out asap. There is the political pressures too of course…loose any game and half the county is ready to stick a knife in his back. I witnessed this first hand after loosing to tyrone last summer. Bottom line I honestly believe that if he could he would give up winning 2 all irelands with Galway to win one with Mayo and we should probably remember that before we run him like we did many others. Of course this time we have an excellent Plan B lined up in the form of Noel/Pat and maybe that has added to our impatience. Im going to hold fire until/if we get to salthill. If we do get there and win he will be carried shoulder high and officially reclaimed as one of mayos finest sons!!! Heres hoping!!

  2. Ted, interesting analysis. One thing frightens me, and that is our obscession with Galway and all things maroon.In 2004 a delegate said at the re-appointment of Maughan that beating Galway was the bottom line!. That was the year we met them in the Connacht semi-final, so if we lost to Roscommon in that final, then everything was o.k?
    Galway dont have the same obscession with us and I think we should look beyond them. Winning an All-Ireland is their goal, not just beating Mayo. For a big county, myself included, we are often short on confidence in the world of football.
    What O’Mahony achieved in Galway has no bearing whatsoever in my world, different players, different expectations, different beliefs. Its what he will achieve here in Mayo that will define us all.

  3. I’m reminded of an article written in the Irish Times in the aftermath of that ’96 affair
    6 points …minutes to go etc. In the article written by Sean Moran he equated the mayo psyche in football to that of a good card player at a game of 25 one of the ethics being to keep the game in as long as possible. The lack of a killer instinct has cost us recently at minor 08 final u 21 semi down in tipp to name just two we keep letting teams off the hook i doubt if JOM can fix it

  4. ontheroad, i am probably obsessed with beating Galway but for me beating them would represent a huge step forward. They are the yardstick! Beating them would open up all sorts of possibilities.

  5. Thanks for those links, WC.

    The bottom line with Galway is that, unless Kevin Walsh works wonders for Sligo against his native county, we have to beat the Herrin Chokers to win Connacht and, given our back door record, it’s only really by doing this that we can even begin to compete at All-Ireland level. Maybe, as I said the other day, it’s the case that our aim is too low but, then again, we’re not exactly suffering from inspirational leadership at the minute, are we?

  6. hard to believe thay are spending 16m on an upgrade and you will still have poles blocking your view and you will be still sitting on concrete if you are not in the stand

  7. I’m not sure if anyone should pay any heed to what Johnno says one way or the other. He was never Mr Jolly and was always the dog for the poor mouth. I remember him nearly in tears on the telly once when he was in charge of Galway, bigging up Leitrim for all he was worth. Pay him no heed.

    Johnno’s biggest concern is where scores are going to come from. I know you’re a big fan of Conor’s Willie but it is a fact that he needs good ball to thrive. And how is that ball going to get to him?

    Barry Moran was super against Derry in Ballina when they kicked it into him and, even though it’s not the most subtle football in the world, it works. Why they stopped kicking it in to Barry Moran in the second half of that game is a bigger issue than Johnno having his fun with the press.

    Oh, and the McDonald thing hasn’t gone away either you know. Is he still the 31st best footballer in the County Mayo?

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