Paint your wagon

James Horan painter

James Horan is back in the spotlight today but only in the context of his new role, that of Gaelic football pundit for Newstalk.

The radio station launched their summer coverage yesterday and James was asked about whether or not he might be seen prowling the sideline in charge of some other county. James was pretty clear in responding to this question:

At the moment I’m happy painting the house and that. I just couldn’t see it at the moment, no, it’s not something I’ve considered or would consider.

That’s reassuring to know, I have to admit. Although there’s no vacancy at the minute for his old job, there will be again at some time in the future and it’s good to know that James doesn’t, like some of his predecessors, have any intention of getting onto the roving county manager circuit.

James was a bit more coy when questioned about returning to management at all in the years ahead, saying that he could probably see himself doing this and remarking that “you never know what’s in the future”. Aside from knowing that we’ll never see Dublin play a championship match outside Croke Park again, that pithy observation about the unknowability of what lies ahead has got to be correct.

You get the impression that, after giving it socks for the last four years in pursuit of Sam, James is enjoying taking it easier this summer. From what I’ve heard of him on the radio, he makes a decent fist of the punditry too. I hope he’s as nifty with his brush around the architraves at home.

In other news, as was mentioned last night, Armagh’s Padraig Hughes has been appointed to ref our match against Galway next month. We’ve never had the Armagh official for a championship match before and he didn’t do any of our League games this year but we had him twice in spring of last year – up in Omagh against Tyrone and then at HQ in the League semi-final against Derry.

We lost both of those games but that wasn’t, in truth, anything to do with the ref. And, hey, look on the bright side – he’s not from Meath.

43 thoughts on “Paint your wagon

  1. Some top notch imagery there WJ ????

    In other news, he hasn’t gone away, you know … Cormac Reilly is back too – reffing Kildare v Laois on Saturday week!

  2. Isn’t that scary wouldn’t ya think “little Pat” would have put him out to stud!!!!

  3. Horan didn’t mince his words in the interview, he will manage Mayo again very soon. I wonder if he could take charge of the minors or u21 lads? It would be interesting to see what he could do with u21 team especially. It’s bound to be a lot less work than managing a senior team, so maybe he could do that for a year or 2 ? I’m sure Mrs Horan might have something to say about that, but, it would be very interesting to see him bringing young players up to speed on what’s involved at the top level.

  4. James will be back in the job before this year’s championship is played out. You heard it here first

  5. Willie Joe I think Hughes reffed the Cavan , Monaghan game at the weekend with Joe McQuillan reffing the Donegal, Tyrone game. Hughes is very fussy but consistent on pulling and dragging ( he was accused on giving Monaghan a lot of soft frees) , and he is not afraid to dish out a black card which is a good thing in my view.

  6. Horan back in the Mayo job before championship is out….that is a mad statement if ever I heard one.

  7. Thanks, Crete Boom – you’re correct on that and it was silly of me not to double-check my facts on it. I’ve amended the piece now.

  8. Ger, would you be willing to accept some form of forfeit should you be proven wrong? Maybe eating an article of your head gear or maybe getting a rossie county crest tattooed on a part of your body.
    Surely if ever a man was created for a director of coaching/academy then James Horan has to come fairly close.

  9. We’ve not fared too well with the black card. I can recall Aidan O’Shea being penalised very harshly against Kildare last year. It’s pretty much redundant during championship, refs are reluctant/unwilling to brandish them during the summer.

  10. JH was at least the equal of John Maughan and John O’Mahony, both of whom got a second crack at the Mayo job. I would be amazed if we don’t see him managing Mayo again.

    How soon though? Jack O’Connor was only away from the job for two years in Kerry before he returned to the helm. Perhaps it’ll work out the same way for James.

    Our current management are in a completely unfair position – only an All-Ireland will make their tenure a success. Personally I don’t think that they will do it in 2015, but if they can unearth the forward talent that we need and give Sam a serious crack on the way then it wouldn’t be a bad year’s work.

    It WOULD mean that it would be Sam or Bust for 2016 though. And should that go wrong, the clamour for JH to return would be considerable.

  11. Davy J IMO James was streets ahead of the the two lads ya mentioned! same game played a very different way in James term but the two Johns would ave been lost!!!!

  12. If JH were to return, I’d say it would not be for at least another 4 years…and most probably longer. The current crop of Minor AI winners would be into their mid-twenties by 2019 and coming into their prime. However, would be very much dependent on how those lads develop and whether we have a squad of players showing the potential to make the breakthrough. Hopefully we will still be a division 1 team and not completely over-shadowed by Ros and Galway by that time..

  13. Folks,

    What did JH do for us, tactically, when after a seriously dogged effort to get back in the game, our lads eventually drew level with the Dubs with 20 mins to go in the AIF that the Dubs won by a single point…….With braver player positioning and instruction from the sideline, we could have driven home from that position and won it ourselves…

  14. I think its a little disengenuous to the incumbants to be talking about the return of James….and not a ball kicked by a Mayo man in the championship yet-Jeez we can be a very fickle lot!

  15. Undermining the 2 lads before a championship ball kicked is a joke. If we have a good year the league will be irrelevant, a stage for trying out things. How many times have we said we’re going nowhere this year before then ending up on a great run. I put my faith in them, that’s what loyal supporters do. And don’t expect perfection first time out, any kind of victory with some experiments working and I’ll be happy for one. All about progression. Getting to August by any means front or back door and then anything can happen.

  16. I think Holmes & Connelly deserve fair crack of whip.I honestly see Mayo winning Connacht and I still think they will be hard to beat after that.Dont forget so much can happen..injuries,bad decisions,favourable decisions ,weather etc.Once youre in last 4 you always have a chance.
    Think 2015 has to be year though…2016 will be a rebuild season in my view with Galway Rosc one year on and better.

  17. A few points. 1] The current management deserve our support and having people predicting their replacement before the championship is completed does absolutely nothing for Mayo football or our prospects. Ger Bohan, you sound like a particularly twisted opponent of Mayo.
    2] Comparing John O’Mahony or John Maughan with James Horan is a silly and vacuous exercise. John O’Mahony took over a Mayo team in the 1980’s which was coming to the end of its natural life. At that I believe that John Maughan”s injury problems robbed us of our only natural centreback in that team and could well have been the difference in the ’89 final. Then the Co Board made an absolute mess in not giving him a free hand in choosing his selectors. Is there any county in the country today who elect selectors in a board meeting and impose them on heir manager? The next three years in Mayo were an absolute shambles and John Maughan’s achievement’s in lifting us out of the doldrums were massive, equal in every way to James Horan’s achivements. Both of these men had massive achievements in management which will be long remembered but unfortunately their best work was not done with Mayo. Unfortunately in O’Mahony’s case that was largely Mayo’s own doing.
    3] Picking the next Mayo management team is a pretty silly exercise at this time. It seems unlikely that, regardless of what Mayo do in this years championship, the County Board which accepted and tolerated the shambles which was the selecting of the current management team will take drastic action in the event of failure. That was not the doing of the current management team and it would be unfair to saddle them with it regardless of results this summer.
    4] Returns rarely work out if the first effort has not been successful. I cannot recall a case where a manager was successful for the first time in his second coming. In Jack O’Connor’s case he had success and credibility already. It has eluded Jimmy Barry Murphy so far in Cork and he is probably on his last chance this year in his second coming.

  18. ‘Comparing John O’Mahony or John Maughan with James Horan is a silly and vacuous exercise’.

    In the same paragraph: ‘John Maughan’s achievements…were massive, equal in every way to James Horan’s achievements’!

    Oh, and I think you’ll find that 1992 was not Brian McEniff’s first crack at the Donegal job. Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

  19. Andrew Duffy I agree with the points you make, indeed all good Mayo supporters will give the current management every chance. A little bit of fishing at play by some foreign bloggers maybe. The Pat and Noel are in for the long haul. and I like many others will support their efforts all the way. I don’t have any high expectations this year, but I will always consider a quarter final game as a successful year irrespective if it is back door or front door

  20. I would think it’s fairly certain that JH will return to the Mayo management job particularly if Sam continues to elude us. He came so close to winning it that the lure of having another shot at getting the final tweet right would be to much a temptation for any man. That said there are other contenders with pedigree for the job such as SR of Corofin fame. I know very little about football compared to most people on this site so I will nievely suggest that the legend ciaran McD with his tactical genius and winning mentality might make a great manager somedsy. As for the current management we have to give them the benefit of the doubt two seasons at least. A fifth CC in a row with a de ent show in QF afterwards I think would be commendable for this year. More will be revealed in 2 weeks….

  21. Jesus the 14th won’t come quick enough. Not a ball kicked in anger yet management replaced. Only in Mayo only in Mayo

  22. Alot of average ball kicked in league though.

    Not undermining the two lads just making a prediction for our year. Some people have ignored what they hear and see

  23. Who vice captain this season seems to be aos with the amount of media attention he gets

  24. I cant believe some people are already pining for Horans return,he in my opinion is a good coach not a great manager,how many all Ireland finals has he now lost as a manager & player 4.He had the best squad of players in our history & made plenty of big mistakes in big games,leaving ger cafferkey on donaghy when injured in the drawn game
    & then leaving him on him again for nearly the whole of the replay was the losing of the game.I belive Horan should have gone a year earlier & we would have probably won last years all Ireland given the fact that these bunch of players are that good.

    best of luck to Noel & Pat & the Mayo team for the summer ahead not long to wait now

  25. Ger : 2012, hammered by cork in league final.
    2013 well beat by Dublin in league semi final.
    2014 embarrassed by Derry in semi final.

    2015 mediocre league campaign , horrible defeat to the dubs in castlebar but bar an injury time goal down in Cork would of made semi at least again.

    League campaign is all about survival and game time to lads knockin on the door, trying things out like AOS on the square now and again. At the end of the day if we get the win in salthill and I expect us to do just that and in style too , we are nicely set up to have a right lash at it again .

    Positive energy now lads and encourage everyone you know to make the trip to salthill ,this team has never let us down and either should we let them down . Any arrangements made with club 51? Mayo supporters should gather at one end behind the goals , flag display and noise . Maigheo Abu .

  26. Sean, A call to all supporters to get behind the team and Club 51 that is the way to go. Our contribution can and should be positive. If Galway are a better side then fair enough, but no reason left for all supporters not to get behind the lads.

  27. We played out a draw with Cork yesterday in Limerick. I’m told Tom Cunniffe was excellent.

  28. Not that it matters but anyone suspicious of thes ” draws” in the behind closed doors challenge games . Like I said before we drew with Clare but we could of won by 23 points for all we know.

  29. I’m surprised there would be any interest in the outcome of any challenge match these days, not even sure why the better teams even bother with them? What can a Manager ever learn of any players form, when even the opposition are of the same mind set. A fifty-fifty ball will always go the way of the guy fighting for his place, as established players wont want to risk injury. But in the heat of battle when it matters, the outcome of that contest will be entirely different. Performing under pressure is the real test, but pressure doesn’t exist in these type of matches.

  30. It’s so long since I saw Mayo play I almost forget what’s it’s like to see them play………..who’s who and who plays where! It’s almost like a whole new season and it’s difficult to tune back in properly again after the long break since the league.
    I am old, I readily admit and a traditionalist in most things but Jazus this system of championship football is a complete joke…..a fossil of times gone by. It belongs to a time when travel to matches was by bicycle, lorry or 6 lads packed tight into an auld Anglia or Ford Prefect! It’s no longer fit for purpose and needs to change.
    Yeah I’m looking forward like mad to going to Galway and enjoying the day win lose or draw. And there’s nothing like a mayo v Galway championship match. But surely to Christ there is a better way to organise the championship in order to maximize our enjoyment of top class football.

  31. Galway beat Meath easily in Trim today. Sligo beat Westmeath by 11 points in Carrick On Shannon. Galway playing Cork on Friday night.

    Details on our game limited, team stayed Saturday night in Limerick and match played yesterday.

  32. Pity poor longford, battered to a pulp as expected and Kildare or whoever is next will get the same treatment. Too bad the dubs are given home field for every game, what kind of nonsense is it? It’s amateur sport I know, but , please change it do it’s not loaded towards the dubs every damn summer.
    Anyway, it won’t happen , the dubs are the pets and will get the saucer of milk every time.
    I’ll be praying for Tipp to knock Kerry out in Munster, if only to see the look on the Kerry faces. That and it’s nice to see a county like Tipp finally shaking things up.

  33. Tip p don’t have a hope against Kerry o riodan is injured would love to see Kerry taken down thought

  34. Cait, maybe you’re correct but I doubt tipp will think that way. They have real forwards that can and will do damage to anyone that gives them any room at all, including Kerry. We shall see but I think itll be a game tipp can win.

  35. Dave, you really feel, after what happened to Longford on Sunday against Dublin, that the future of the provincial championship rests in the hands of the likes of Tipperary putting in a good showing against Kerry in Munster. Likewise Clare doing well against Cork. You’d have to feel that Galway and Roscommon will put it up to Mayo a lot more this year. The attendances in Ulster are up with a few sold out matches already, so that just leaves Leinster. The game really needs the likes of Laois, Meath of Kildare to come good to try to at least give the Dubs a bit of a game!

  36. There was no need to have that game in Croker. OK there was 30,000+ at it but it was a double header with the Hurlers of Galway as well. anyway it would be far more appealing for the football. if games that Dublin are playing in were to be held at smaller venues. E.g. in Longford they would have a much tougher time of it on a smaller pitch.
    Probably would still win reasonably comfortably.

    On an aside another point to note was the sheer physical nature of the Dublin beast. Longford are actually one of the better teams in Leinster. What would the score have been if Dublin were playing Carlow say? But Longford put on or had playing a couple of 18 year olds. Was it one of them that got seriously injured?

    The point is that there is a good chance of a serious injury for some of the players from minor counties when they encounter a team as professional and physical as Dublin and the hits that younger fellas will be receiving off the likes of Flynn etc. Who will look after them then?

    Hopefully Sundays game was really a tipping point in a lot of GAA senior peoples mind as to the requirement for change of some sort in the setup. Whether this change comes or not is another thing as the provincial setup in Leinster is decided to my knowledge by the Leinster Council and no one else.

  37. The Leinster council actually vote to keep the Dubs in Croker every year for every championship match. Laois were the only county that voted them on the road somewhere to Longford I believe.

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