I see that Pat “in all fairness” O’Shea has decided that, after two years in charge, he’s had enough of the Kerry hot seat. His ears would have been ringing fairly loudly since Kerry’s All-Ireland final defeat to Tyrone last month: as Colm Keys points out in this article in the Indo, Kerry supporters are a demanding lot and any manager who fails to bring home Sam isn’t regarded very highly.
It’s not for nothing that Paidi famously described the Kerry supporters in the colourful terms that he did, an assessment that in short order cost him his position as Kerry bainisteoir. The high standards the Kerry lads have was also demonstrated neatly the other day by a poster from the Kingdom on gaaboard.com commenting on the All-Star awards, who, surveying the wreckage of a year that had yielded an All-Ireland defeat and four All-Stars, expressed the opinion that “the sooner this year is over the better”. Try being a Mayo supporter sometime, pal!
Any manager that delivers a provincial title and an All-Ireland in his two years in charge (compare that, for example, to the record of our own incumbent) cannot be considered a failure but, of course, Pat’s problem was that he won both last year. This year he presided over three final losses (a three-in-a-row, if you will) and his side developed an alarming tendency to see large leads surrendered quicker than an ISEQ slump. Kerry rode their luck all the way to the All-Ireland but in that enthralling last ten minutes of the final, their luck finally ran out as they gave way to a team who on the day were even less inclined to lose than they normally are.
Given the low tolerance levels on the Kerry terraces, Pat is probably right to take his chips from the table at this point. Who’s next up for the hottest seat on the sideline? According to the Indo, the smart money could be on this year’s All-Ireland winning U21 boss, Sean Geaney, but he’s not the only one in the running for The Real Biggest Job in Gaelic Football.