Ramping up again

mayo-flags-aif-2016

The start of a new week and once more we’re in build-up mode. The journey on this long and winding road – one that’s taken the team from Ruislip, back to MacHale Park and onwards to Croke Park, for what on Saturday will be our fifth championship match there this year – is nearly done. Nearly but not quite.

It should be a memorable spectacle at Croke Park on Saturday evening, with dusk falling soon after throw-in and the match played out under the lights, just like the hurling final replays in recent years were.  Although it’ll take place at HQ, the look and feel of the replay will, in many respects, be a world away from what an All-Ireland final normally resembles.

From our perspective, that’s no bad thing. The more we focus on Saturday as just a game, the better. Sure, we all want Sam but the best way to get possession of it surely is to focus on the means rather than the end. Win the game and everything else looks after itself.

The narrative since the drawn match has remained pretty constant all week and that’s unlikely to change ahead of Saturday’s replay. The risible Dublin spin – started by Jim Gavin in the game’s immediate aftermath last Sunday and then amplified by his mouthpiece Ciaran Whelan that night on The Sunday Game, about the Dubs being lucky to be still in it and our having thrown it away – has dutifully been swallowed and regurgitated since by the national media.

This worldview has, from what I can see, become the pretty much the settled consensus of how things stand heading into the replay. That and the fact that we should be praying for rain. Or miracles. Or both.

That’s all fine and we should be happy to let that particular balloon inflate to the full ahead of Saturday. Lookit, there’s even a grain of truth interred somewhere in there.

While the charge that we left the game behind us is patent nonsense, what seems clear from my re-watching of the drawn encounter was that Dublin, despite being reined in so sharply on so many fronts, still had the winning of it. They dominated possession 55:45 and kicked a dozen wides, at least half of which should have resulted in scores.

In that regard, I think it’s beyond doubt that they really were the ones who left the win behind them (sure, didn’t they give us the ball back on 76 minutes when they were still a point up?). They could and should have beaten us at the first time of asking and so it’s reasonable for them to assume (though we wouldn’t necessarily concur) that an improved showing on their part will yield the desired result. The 8/15 odds on them to win on Saturday bear out this line of thinking.

The one bit of the narrative that should bug us – and the one that’s crying out to be redressed – is the one that has seen the team’s reputation in general and Lee Keegan’s in particular being so badly blackened. The softening up on Lee actually began some weeks back but Whelan gave it considerable legs on The Sunday Game the night of the drawn match.

It’s been repeated several times since then and I’d be worried at this stage about the drip effect. Not least given how much Maurice Deegan was so clearly influenced by a similar smear campaign waged against us ahead of the 2012 final.

Some balance over the next few days wouldn’t, then, go amiss. A bit of focus would be good, for example, on how Connolly repeatedly struck out at Lee during that second half schemozzle. Or what about the way McManamon charged into Diarmuid O’Connor after five minutes in a transparent effort to cause as much physical damage to him as possible? And what of MacAuley’s crude attempt at decapitating Cillian in the second half?

With all the finger-pointing at Lee, where Alan Brogan’s contribution has been particularly disgraceful and one-eyed (first para here and here), these incidents have largely been airbrushed out of the story of the drawn game. They shouldn’t be.

The crude vilification campaign being waged by the blue corner could well, however, redound on them. Maybe Deegan has grown a pair since 2012 and so the not-so-subtle messaging at him will fall on deaf ears. And maybe, just maybe, there’s a hint of desperation in this dirty tricks campaign.

We’re the only team left standing that’s capable of putting it up to Dublin and they know it. Hell, even Kerry were getting their excuses in about being beaten before taking the field in the semi-final. Dublin know full well that we’re up for another full-throated battle against them and they know too that we’ll be aiming to double the dose the next day.

But as we plan to do this, we’ll surely be honest enough to acknowledge that our performance the last day, while heroic, was a long, long way short of perfect. Our recognition of this fact certainly appeared evident in what Stephen Rochford and Keith Higgins had to say at the press event last week (piece from Dermot Crowe in the Sunday Independent here).

So as this longest ever championship season for us inches its way towards what we all hope will be a thrilling and victorious denouement, it’s in the knowledge that while we’re in a far better place than most would give us credit for, one further almighty push is needed on Saturday evening to get us over the line. Up in the stands and out on the field, this is a collective effort we all need to be involved in. We can do this, we will do this.

There are ten tickets for the replay (and a €10,500 jackpot prize) up for grabs in tonight’s draw for the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. Play the Lotto here.    

85 thoughts on “Ramping up again

  1. Agree 100% on the campaign against Keegan . What the hell are our media lot at though. There is not a word from any of them to defend our corner. It is gaining currency. All anyone in Dublin is talking about is Keegan being closer the line…..

  2. I really hope Maurice keeps an eye on the amount of steps Ciaran Kilkenny takes the next day as well. It is passed a joke the way referees constantly let him away with it. It seems like there is one steps rule for Ciaran Kilkenny and another one for other players. It needs to be looked at because he is in danger of running into one of them holes Dean Rock digs to take his frees and he could injure himself.

  3. I agree with you Wj,I think Dublin left it behind them,5 points up at half time and 3pounts up at the full 70 mins and they still couldn’t finish us off,they left it behind them,I would love to see what they would of said if we gave up a 5 point lead at half time and 3 point lead at full time,we would be getting slated through out the country,I think our management is doin a great job and as someone pointed out to me Mcentee has a record as player and coach inter county and club of 21 replays and he has won 19 of them,having someone like him in the dressing room is a big plus
    If we play with same intensity and do not concede 2 or more goals I can see us winning by 5 or more
    I will unfortunately not be at the game but will be shouting the other side of the pond in the big apple
    Up mayo

  4. – I emailed a complaint to RTE on Monday last with regards to the ‘Sunday Game Highlights’ program because it was in my opinion biased and targeted an individual player. I also referred to another individual player (AIDO) being almost the total focus of the analysis on the same program after the Fermanagh game earlier in the summer.

    – Even if it only means some pen pusher has to press two buttons instead of one to move my complaint to thrash at least it’s worthwhile annoying them.

    – Below is what I received by way of acknowledgement so far…..

    “Thank you for contacting [email protected].
    If your email is a complaint in respect of a breach of RTÉ Guidelines, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland codes, or the Broadcasting Act 2009, it will be entered into the RTÉ Complaints Process approved by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and you will receive a response within twenty working days.
    If your email is feedback or comment on an RTÉ broadcast, it will be forwarded to RTÉ Feedback and noted in the weekly diary of observations from viewers and listeners which is circulated to all senior editorial and managerial executives including the Director-General.
    Thank you for taking the trouble to write to RTÉ.”

  5. Not a word said about Bastick picking the ball off the ground at 76.58 on the clock. Cillian would have that to win the game. Nothing said about Kilkenny taking all the steps. Nothing about Connolly punching Lee in the face.

    Anyway is anyone here going to meet Philip McMahon with the Sam early next week in that thing is he doing? That is the final straw for me. The fucking neck on these people. Mayo have to win now.

    Also could i appeal to any on ye going on to the Hill. If there is is a few of ye going as a group is there any chance ye could bring in a huge green and red flag into the Mayo section and get it raised, say during the parade. One fella on his own cant do it. Surely it would be a great sight for our players if they looked up to the Hill and saw a huge Mayo flag floating along the tops of heads. Lads, if there is a group of ye going together, would ye at least think about it.

  6. Time now to win the All Ireland lads and shut those media boys up

    i have never seen such negative media attention on a team and on individual players,

    Go get them lads and bring back Sam

  7. I would encourage everyone to get onto our representatives in the media. Time for them to stand up and be counted. I’ve tweeted and messaged a few myself. This is serious and could really make a difference.

  8. I’m not at all convinced that Dublin are really favourites the next day. Its true they had 55% possession but they scored only 5 times in the second half, one of which included Clarke’s kick-out that hit Connolly on the back. Its all about what you do with the possession!

    As for the ‘rainy day’ argument its complete bollox. Did Dublin have any issue with the rain when beating Kerry last year in even worse conditions? Not at all.

    Dublin were gifted 2 OGs, Connolly’s point at the end, led by 5 at HT, by 2 mid-way through 2nd half, by 3 heading into injury time, Kilkenny was through on goal two minutes from time and messed up and Connolly gave us back possession when all he had to do was play keep ball…………………..but we threw it away!

    By the way has anyone noticed that the flags in the picture are incorrect? Shud be green on the flagstick not red (think Irish v Indian tricolour).

  9. I have been coaching under age players in Scotland for 10 years. I noticed when they got to under 13 for a while when things went wrong they blamed the pitch, the weather, the ref and the dirty tackling of the opposition. That seemed to me to be like saying we can’t control everything so we can’t win.

    I’m delighted that this last week has been about everything that went against the Dubs – the pitch, the wet ball, the ref and our tackling. Just like my under 13s they seem to me to lack belief that they control enough to win. That smells of a lack of confidence.

    On the other hand every Mayo person that has commented spoke about what we could do better. That smells of fierce self belief and a will not to let anything get in the way. May that continue right to late Saturday evening. It was that switch by my young lads that turned their season around and it’s what will bring Sam west.

  10. Folks if anyone wants to get a point across in national media you can register on The Independent website and make your comments there. It probably won’t make much of a difference but I think it’s worth doing anything that gives even a millimetre!.
    I think a few on this site are already on there …..we could do with a few more!!

  11. We have had a `plan`for every game this year and I do think we will need a new one

    for the replay. It seems to me that as the game has evolved, old style midfielders are

    being made redundant.

    I also think we will need more mobility and speed around the middle. Someone like

    Chris Barret who has enough puff to run from box to box. I just ….. would like a bit of

    variation to the plan. Last year in the replay we just did more of the same and it cost

    us.

  12. Picking up Fenton has to be a priority. He destroyed us the last day and if Dublin took their goal chances, we were in serious difficulty. At the other end, we have to take our chances when they come. 9 times out of 10, Andy would have scored that goal at the end of a brilliant move. That leaves the key question, where do we play Aidan O’Shea. I think we need him out in the middle controlling the gsme.

  13. Niallmc1983, good on you. I urge others to contact ex players etc to stand up for keegan and the lads. I wouldn’t be good enough on tactics to contact. Also hate saying it but be taken more seriously from a man!!!!!!!! (I’ll be killed now!!!) Ger cafferkey is a good bet. Not expecting him to put himself in the media but I’m sure he would contact others who might or would. I think it’s a disgrace what is happening and I don’t understand how they can get away with it. I’m particularly sick of Alan Brogan and Whelan. My main worry for Saturday is that we lose a man very quickly like Lee, Cillian or Colm. Another reason why our supporters need to be even more vocal than the last day to pressurise the ref to be fair. I just don’t understand why the Brady’s, Horan, Carney, O’Mahony, Maughan etc are saying nothing. Maybe they think it’s best not to draw attention by protesting too much but surely they could highlight a few of Dublin’s misdemeanours. I wish I had access to the media and was savvy enough to play with them. Maybe above are ‘yeller’ and afraid of saying too much in case we lose – the old famous fear.

  14. The smear campaign against Lee Keegan has been incredibly transparant. They’re desperate to have him put off the field and I hope Deegan takes no heed of it. Alan Brogan in particular has made sure to mention Keegan’s name in almost every article he’s written about the match and Jim Gavin has been very careful over the summer to make Diarmuid Connolly out to be a victim, all done with a view to influencing referees in the latter stages of the competition. I’m astonished they’re getting away with it. Aside from how biased it all is and how it completely whitewashes Diarmuid Connolly’s extremely problematic temperment, are these man on man battles not a big part of what we like about the game? Football would be a lot less interesting if it didn’t have the kind of bite that comes with watching the likes of Connolly and Keegan go up against each other. Dublin’s media figures are using the media to get in a referee’s ear, influence the outcome of matches and ruin one of the better battles on the pitch. And I too would like to know why some of Mayo’s media representatives aren’t bringing this up and fighting our corner.

  15. Actually I would ask loads of you to contact Cafferkey. He replied to me when I was in the throes of my chant campaign. So please bombard him with the same theme of your posts from here. He will check on his spam fb messages at some stage in the next day or two. He is on Twitter too as Ye all know. Maybe I’m not allowed to encourage this!!! If not don’t put this up WJ!

  16. With respect, please do not bombard Ger Caff with anything

    He is not a journalist and he shouldn’t be bombarded with anything on his personal accounts

  17. Agree about flag on Hill 16 Would be nice touch As regards Lee I think we can show our dissatisfaction if he is booked.Fed up of referees screwing us dodgy panels and filthy play
    Dublin won this way in 83 with a player kicked in the head
    Agree ref has to be fair.
    I am however far more concerned Aido doesn’t get fair play sometimes even from Mayo supporters.
    Let’s have fair play and we will win

  18. I’d agree with Mark, Sinead, that bombarding Ger isn’t the way to go. This is one for the media and pundits, not current members of the senior panel.

  19. Well ….maybe our media representatives are behaving true to form. It might be too much to ask of them as theyre coming from where they’re coming from!
    But agreed, it’s strange that they should be so unsighted in their offerings!

  20. Reminds me in a way of the first match v kerry in 2014 with the two sides of the argument as to who left it behind them.

    I think we should have won the first day based on performance but Dublin actually “blew it” more than we did if that makes any sort of sense!

    Both teams can be equally agrieved and relieved, depending on how you look at it.

  21. As the saying goes, if you want to do something, do it yourself. A good idea would be to text in questions, like the ones below, to the Dublin, Mayo, etc. pundits when they are on Off The Ball, The Last Word in Sport etc. etc.

    1. Do they think that MDM was lucky not to be sent off for his high challenge on Cillian?
    2. Were Dublin lucky not to not have given away a free when Bastick picked the ball off the ground?
    3. Does Kilkenny get away a lot with taking too many steps?
    4. Why is the material of the Dublin jerseys so bad, considering all of the money that they have? Connolly tried to rip Lee’s jersey but he couldn’t. Then when Lee pulled Connolly’s jersey, it ripped to shreds.
    5. How come Cooper wasn’t sanctioned for kicking out at Cillian after the final whistle?

    etc. etc.

  22. True, I understand what you are all saying but it goes in a spam box anyway so if he does not check it he is not bombarded. And if he is worried about being bombarded he won’t check it in the first place. I had a message sitting there for a year from someone once. Because he cannot currently play is the reason why he might check it on occasion. What harm would 4/5 messages or less do because realistically that is about all at max it would amount to. He does not have to do anything. No gun to his head but maybe he might think so and so could write something or so and so is doing a media event Thursday maybe he could mention Kilkenny etc. No gun to anyone’s head to contact him either. ‘Bombard’ might have been the wrong word!! Just an idea. And I understand why you would say leave him alone. He is prob too close to the ground. On another note I’m sure if Rochford wanted anything doing or said he would probably come out and say it himself.

  23. Whelan and brogan. There comments are really saying ” were in trouble here”. If they figured they were good enough they would not be binding over back ways to sway a ref. The dubs are not as hot as other years and that’s true to form of a team with the success they have had. Don’t get me wrong we still have it all to do. But we’re not scared and confidence must be high. It might just come down to 1 less mistake and 1 more score. Fine margins. In 2013 final there is picture of connolly holding dillon and keegan at 1 time. Stop them running at all costs. No word of that though. Just because we’re no longer the soft touches from the west we are portrait as dirty. It really is laughable.

    We can win this game. But we must go out and win it. Score more than dublin and we will win. And I mean score at other end lol

  24. Sinead I think you need to take a step back and chill (and I mean that with the greatest respect) the Mayo management team and backroom staff have got this. Our job is to secure as many tickets as we can and turn up Saturday in our Thousands kitted out in as much green and red as we can and waving our flags and roaring on the team. In the meantime life goes on and in my opinion we should not contact Ger Caff or anyone connected to the team or the panel. Give them space and let them do their thing

  25. I agree Backdoor Sam! This blog and Mayo gets my blood pressure up at times. Going to go to the cinema and forget about Mayo. I won’t be messaging anyone as I said. Just a suggestion. I just want Saturday to come. Longer week so far than the 4 wks we put in before last match.

  26. Dublin have too much in reserve I feel. I am afeared for Mayo…Dublin are odds on favourites to win and it will be a mostly dry or completely dry day…..

  27. It will come Sinead pace yourself this week and enjoy the build up and the celebrations to come at the weekend please God

  28. It’s a good thing to get the Mayo point of. view across, just in case, Maurice Deggan or his linesmen and umpires is listening to or. reading the Media. But if I were Maurice Deggan and Co. , I wouldn’t be doing that. Everyone playing next. Saturday will start with a clean sheet. Every player will and should be judged by what the Ref sees and what is brought to his attention by linesmen, umpires. Now with 7 men will be officiating on the pitch, with linesmen, and umpires. However linesmen and umpires are unlikely to get involved unless it is a very serious issue. A possible Red, or maybe a Yellow. Never seen a linesman give advice to a Referee on a possible Black Card yet. However at half time, I imagine some of the less serious fouls might be discussed.. Bet your bottom dollar that, these guys officiating will have viewed the drawn match a few times. They to will want to leave Croke Park with their reputation intact . So a few players from both Mayo and Dublin will have to be careful. I wish the official’s all the very best, next Saturday, it’s a tough job to ref an All Ireland final,
    It won’t be up to the Referee who wins this game, it’s up to Mayo to go that ‘ONE’ step further, and up to us fans to go that ‘ONE’ step further is supporting Mayo!

  29. Lets let the lads do their talking on the pitch and we can give our support from the stands where it counts. There’s a match to played and won and our men are good enough to do it without indulging in smear campaigns.

    Maigh eo Abu!

  30. The weather will not decide who will win the match either, absolutely irrelevant! Some journalist, explayers have contacts with National Papers, Local Papers, RTE, SKY, etc. They have to say something, to fill colum inches, and because they are saying it, dosent make it true!

  31. Cait, we have such a bad record against the Dubs when it counts…I can see them upping their game 50%…if that happens we could be in a lot of trouble on the score board….

  32. Ballina we have best record against dubs than any other team in recent years. Sure dublin will improve but so will we. Their not at the heights they have been. Still hard to best yes but we’re up for the job. Lots of evidence that we can do it. 50 50 game again same as last time

  33. Ballina Is it time we broke that record against the dubs d o Connor played bad cillian has to improve a o Shea has to up his game I feel we have to improve more then the dubs and up their game.

  34. Ballina I don’t think they have 50%. Maybe we do who knows. Our record is excellent against them when in counts. 2006/ 2012 wins
    2013/ 2015 narrow losses. Our record is based on ability not weather or whether they decide to turn up. We are improving and have improved. Stephen has made the dressingroom his own. That’s a big factor as naturally it wasn’t way back at the start of the league. The players will know that they have a serious addition in the tactics department. The game on Saturday will bear no resemblance to the one last week. Who can bring the most innovation …..I think Stephen Rochford . I just think we will do it

  35. So far we have achieved nothing but in truth I believe we have stripped the invincible armour off Dublin (leeroy and doc, actually did!) and now everyone can see (and the Dublin players themselves) that they are no longer safe.

    We are now entering into phase 2: the bare knuckle fight to the death and let’s be honest with 2/3 medals at home they just won’t have the stomach for the fight.

    Our band of warriors will be ready for war but the hard work may already be done

  36. Jason Doc was the only starting forward to score from play in the first-half of the drawn game for either side, so it just shows that there is plenty of room for improvement in both teams.

    You’d love to see one of our players do what the no. 14 for the Cork ladies team did yesterday, she scored 3 crucial points coming down the stretch to get her team into a winning position. That’s what we want to see one of our players do too when the match is in the melting pot. Roll on the game!

  37. Ah lads, don’t feed the troll. We have more important things to be thinking about this week.

    Looking forward to Saturday and fully expect a win.
    Weather will have no effect on us. It could be snowing and we’ll just kick snowballs over the bar along with the ball. Nothing will stop us.

  38. Dublin had a few hard games Donegal Kerry and mayo there legs must be feeling it by now we need to hit them hard put it up to them and we will win by 2 believe believe believe

  39. It is an insult to our players to say they cannot win on a dry day,in fact I think they will be much better on a dry day,up Mayo

  40. A good person to tweet in media would be Matt cooper with a few questions to ask and a few points to make!
    He will have someone on Friday evening pre viewing the match.
    Don’t know do match officials take heed to media the week of final im sure croke park have them well briefed in what to watch for!
    Also deegan was linesman the last day and I’m sure he may have a different view on certain aspects of the game than Conor lane did.

  41. I just want to know if fans are finding it harder to get a ticket for the replay than the first day. I thought it might be easier than this so starting to sweat a bit now. I think we will have every bit as good a chance of winnIng it again as we had the first day.
    I think both teams will play better but hoping we come out on top. We have to stay with Dublins runners especially McCarthy. Hon Mayo

  42. They say that Dublin have a superior forward line yet it had 4 scores less than us in the wet conditions. How come the superior forward cannot supposedly handle the wetter conditions and the inferior forward line can? There’s an inverse logic to that argument. Do the Mayo footballers have webbed feet?

  43. Hi WJ. Your fingers must be worn to stumps at this stage of the season. Yet again, great credit and thanks is due to you for your tireless efforts.
    Are you, by any chance, doing a round up of club raffles/draws for replay tickets?

  44. There is nobody in Leinster these days. The likes of Meath and Kildare have given up even trying. Weakest of the 4 provinces. It took them all their time to get by Donegal. Kerry had them but let them slip. We gave them 6 pints and they could not get the better of us. They are vastly over-rated and on the way down. There is a discipline issue with some of their players. Their goalkeeper cannot handle pressure and can go to pieces at the drop of a hat. We will take them out easily enough on Saturday. Indeed if we keep our foot on the throat it could get messy for them and could turn into a procession for us.

  45. Ha Ha Jim Flag….”…..foot on the throat…”…….Now wouldn’t that be nice !!!!…….Cmon Mayo

  46. I see the “get Keegan sent off commitee” have had their media night and are in The Independent this morning . Where the hell are our media contingent

  47. Yeah Pat I see that alright:

    Clarke calls on Keegan to play fair in Connolly duel
    Ref needs help to combat ‘cynical off-the-ball stuff’, says ex-Dubs star

    Former Dublin hero Paul Clarke has called on Maurice Deegan’s officials to offer the Laois referee more support in Saturday’s All-Ireland final in an attempt to curb what he branded as “cynical stuff” from the drawn decider.

  48. Another day another Keegan article..Christ but they’re gone into overdrive..No wonder ex Dub player Clarke hates the match up between Keegan and Connolly..He knows there won’t be a mention of Connolly for the game…

  49. I think the Mayo panel have just decided that they are gonna win this think by hook or by crook and it doesn’t matter what comes out of Dublin, it doesn’t matter what their media machine say and (to an extent) it doesn’t matter what the ref does.

    Let them talk, we will be the better team on Saturday and the better team will win.

  50. Jim flag,

    Dublin on the way down?? I would like to believe it but I don’t…

    I think Dublin will be livid with their last performance. They had us bet without playing anywhere near their potential….Dublin to beat us by 6 or 7 points unfortunately on Saturday…

  51. We need some Mayo pundits in the media to speak up but then again they always have been shy to do so.

  52. Ballina, I think you are right they will be livid so we have to be prepared for backlash but you forget that they only had us bet because we gave them 6 points.

    They only scored something like 6 points from play. Even if they do better and score 10 points from play we still win if we don’t concede goals.

    1-15 will win this game for Mayo.

  53. Maybe you’re right SoftandCraggy. It’s hard not to feel angry though at the agenda that’s being peddled here and the fact that so few of our own appear to be willing to call it out for what it is. That’s particularly disappointing given the situation we are in and all the more incredible given that this has cost us before.

    It’s hard to blame the Dubs – they are doing what it takes to attempt to gain fine margins. We should be doing the same – have we learned nothing?

    The stench of fear from the Pale is palbable, though, which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

  54. It’s actual a real scourge in sports journalism that people will abuse their positions to defame someone’s character to gain, what I see it as, an unfair advantage.

    Pathetic carry on

  55. Softandcraggy…

    I know but they had a hatful of goal chances..combined with a dry day and forwards who wont malfunction again…….a Dublin win. Muigheo go deo afach……

  56. Our media pundits God help us if we’re waiting for Martin Carney to speak up for us the man that was on Matt Cooper saying Jim Mc Guinness was helping out the Mayo team. I’m suprised Brady is keeping quiet about this obviously the Dubs want to get Keegan sent off let’s hope it doesn’t happen and we can keep 15 on the pitch at all times. I said before Aidan O Shea deserves a gold medal for his temperament and discipline in the face of all the abuse he gets

  57. There are no Mayo pundits in the media backing up Mayo as they are not asked their views by the national media. Its all about circulation, the population are in Dublin, The independent will always favour Dublin and get past Dublin players to comment as Dublin has the potential to sell more papers. Im sure the western people and Mayo news are backing mayo to the hilt but Past Mayo players can hardly bang on the doors of national papers and demand a column. Billy Joe and Brady are the only Mayo pundits who have national exposure (Martin Carney has spent too much time beside rte commentators at this stage) and for their part do tell it like it is but thats their job and livelyhood so they have to be impartial to some degree.

  58. Sure how can we expect the mayo “pundits” to back us up. Maughan and Carney were both very very critical of the players last Autumn. the likes of McHale and Brady are most of the shock jock variety. James Horan is the only man that talks sense that we have on our side.

  59. No-one gave away six points. They were the result of being caught napping multiple times, and moments of sheer unadulterated panic.

    The Mayo defense, while ferocious in the tackle, and excellent at harassing the ball carrier, were repeatedly sucked out of position and left badly exposed as a result. If not for the notable shot-stopping abilities of Clarke, the game could very well have been over by half time.

    You cannot doubt the Mayo defense’s work rate of commitment, but I think serious questions have to be asked about their combined tactical awareness, and the ability to remain composed in the heat of battle.

    There’s a highlights video on youtube that gives an alternate view of the first goal from a vantage point in the Davin, and it shows the the ball going maybe 2 meters wide before the foot is stuck out to guide it in. It’s the stuff of Nightmares.

    As for the second one, taking your eye off the ball when one of the best kick passers in Ireland is holding it, is a cardinal sin. Lashing out aimlessly at the ball while facing your own goal is madness.

    Thirteen days to instill calm and focus before heading back into the cauldron is a big ask. Not impossible by any means, but a repeat of those levels of composure won’t be conducive to a happy walk up the steps of the Hogan.

  60. Anne-Marie, the stench of fear from the pale, I like it. Must be strong to get it from Mayo.

    This Media campaign could totally backfire on Dublin. A ref could just as easily see all this and think WTF are these idiots on about, I will ref it as I see fit and wont be told what to do by a shower of has beens. Give the ref some credit for having a brain and being able to make his own decisions.

  61. When the ball is thrown in on Saturday evening none of these articles will count for anything. Papers need to fill columns and they know where their readership live.
    Saturday will hinge on the same ingredients that were present last Sunday week – skill, fitness, work rate, attitude, tactics and on key players upping their game. Some of their key players under performed or were made to underperform. The same was true for some of our lads. We must assume the likes of Brogan, Flynn, Rock & co will be better. Therefore we need a small bit more from Aidan, Seamus, Diarmuid, Cillian, Keith and perhaps a stormer from a couple of more. (And that is no criticism of the lads I mention.)
    Before the drawn game I was fairly pessimistic about our chances because we had shown very little consistent form up to that point. But that game convinced me that this team of ours is good enough to win. Character and guts counts for a lot and we showed we have plenty of it. Dublin will know they face an even more ferocious battle on Saturday and I’m not sure they are relishing it whereas our lads love this stuff. And that’s what the anti keegan articles are saying to me.

  62. Demand for tickets is unreal from Mayo – everyone now believes we can do it! Let’s hope we get the hop of the ball on the day as can’t see much between us in this 2nd half.

  63. We have got sucked into a media war that we have already lost. Tuesday is too late to turn the media tide re Keegan/Connolly. This isn’t the same Connolly that was sent off for almost choking Lee last year, this isn’t the same Dublin team that had Philly come as near to head butting Aido, the same Philly who’s finger accidentally got caught in Donaghys eye in the finsl?

    All that has been lost in this blizzard. Why? Dublin kept out of the media but used their media contacts to do their work. Brolly, hate or love him was right after the draw. Go home he said and speak to no one. So what do we do? Be in no doubt that the Dublin team next Saturday will be the most focused ever. We have to pull a rabbit then. Confuse them, force them to think, force them to change. If we line like we did the last day then they will be ready.

    If we were to out someone else on Connolly, if we freed Keegan and Boyle to attack, if we put Aido to 9, if we put COC to 11, if we liberated Disrmuid back to early season form, if we varied our kick outs, if we got Higgins as sweeper if if if if. You see the same as two weeks ago don’t suffice. We did that, it worked. They will be different. We have to be different. We stand in the brink. Real men needed to finish the job real men started. We go again. Good luck muintear Maigheo.

  64. Jaden I agree with you, the own goals were our own fault and we have to blame ourselves. Them being ‘given’ points was the wrong way to describe how I feel….(I’ll try again)….

    If memory serves they had 3 goal chances, they got 2 goals. Will they convert 66% of goal chances again? I doubt it.

    We were severely punished for errors (esp Boyle) even if the errors happen again we could hope to only conceded one goal.

    Obviously we want to cut the errors though.

    Looks like I’m having a glass half full day and your having a glass half empty day.

  65. Anne-Marie, it certainly is hard not to feel angry. I’ve had to stop reading stuff now.

    But these Mayo players will go into the final with no ‘psychological crutch’ they won’t be waiting for any favours from the ref or worried about what the crowd think.

    Dublin will be looking round waiting for someone else to save the day.
    ‘Oh the forwards will play better today’ ‘the ref will be watching Keegan’ ‘it’s not raining today’

    Let them talk talk and talk. It will make it sweeter on Saturday

  66. Nobody focuses on Philly McMahons thugish behaviour – eyegouging, sledging etc. Not a word from anyone in the media. The only Mayo person to speak out about misbehaviour was John Casey and that put Mayo (incorrectly) in a bad light. We need more Lee keegans on our team – someone who will stand up to noted bullies like Connolly.

  67. Any truth in the rumour the Dubs ordered easy tear jerseys, so that if they get a pull at all they tear. It was bizarre how Connolly s jersey just disintegrated and they had another jersey ready so quick. Would you put it past them to get Keegan sent off?

  68. @SoftandCraggy, au contraire, Mayo conceding goals is solidly in Glass half full territory for me. 🙂 Nothing would please me more than seeing the Red and Green sent packing back Westwards with their tails planted firmly between their legs.

    For me though, analysis is meaningless if it’s done with any kind of bias.

    Saying that the goals were gifted, or that Dublin’s forwards had an off day, is

    a) Deflecting from that really happened, and
    b) Prevents a corrective plan of action from being drawn up.

    The Mayo defense lost composure when put under pressure tactically. Ability is evident, workrate unquestionable, discipline was solid, but focus was missing at times. Dublin will punish you all day long for this.

    Likewise, The Dublin forwards did not have an off-day by accident – they weren’t let play. Almost every shot was taken under pressure from a defender. The game plan to contain Dublin by closing them down was executed almost flawlessly. Only the wildcard of McCarthy’s carding and the introduction of Andrews threw them slightly – it took about 20 minutes to get a handle on him. After that, it was business of usual.

    Now that we see clearly (no red/green or blue tinted glasses on), we see how both teams may try to remedy this.

    With Mayo, they need someone to Marshal the back line – to call the shots as it were. I didn’t see anyone doing this last time out. As the sweeper, McLoughlin should have been, or even Clarke. Mayo need someone to step up here – the sideline can’t do it for you.

    Dublin need to take the shots when presented, too often Kilkenny in particular took the recycle option, rather than the shooting option. They have become slightly too focused on retaining the ball, instead of attacking when the opportunity presents itself. As they say, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. For all the berating Connolly gets, no-one ever said he was afraid to take on the shot. Dublin need more of this attitude.

    Tá mé gorm agus tá mé bródúil.

  69. Jaden, agree with most of what you say. It’s all about honest. Taking responsibility for mistakes and working to rectify them.

    Don’t write them off to luck, don’t find excuses etc.

    I just hope the silence from Mayo means that they are busy looking in the mirror because that is the only way to win this thing.

    May the best team win

  70. I agree with Jaden on several good points. Clarke did keep us in it and we were opened for goal chances so yeah that is a concern. Still you don’t play a team like Dublin and not cough up chances. I do think we will win this I hope I am right.

  71. ballina do you honestly think your posts are working are you hoping to get into the minds of the Mayo supporters and cast doubts??? If anything you are doing the opposite you are making us more positive. Mayo people are well used to being put down and that only works one way it makes us stronger. So thanks ballina I’ll make sure to think about your comments on Saturday and I’m sure it will make me shout even louder.

  72. It appears our new friend “ballina” is not getting adequate stimulation from his reservoir dubs colleagues. Possibly a couple of others also. Liam pointed an obvious one out recently.There’s a hint of last minute desperation when they feel it necessary to visit our blog for the purpose of windup.

  73. Good man John Cuffe, that’s more like it. I knew all that positivity and hope would pass through you like a dose of salts.

  74. Jaysus lads going through this the catharsis of a result, good or bad is sorely needed on Saturday. the ever decreasing circles nature of the discussion in relation to the what is going on in the media or the likelihood of agents of chaos infiltrating the site is bordering on paranoia. Thankfully none of it makes a blind it of difference what will transpire on the pitch – all the matters on Saturday is who wins the All Ireland. Mayo win as a consequence of 2 dubious penalty decisions in the last 5 mins to win by a point, no man woman or monkey in Mayo will (or should) give a damn how they won it. If Dublin win by getting Aidan O’Shea sent off and putting Cillian O’Connors shoulder out of joint, history will show no sympathy for the complaints – righteous or not.

    All that matters is the result and that is down to two managers and 20 odd players from both sides.

    Personally, i give Mayo a better chance than i did before the drawn game – they will likely have put some doubts in minds of Dublin players as to their infallability….but I still think Dublin will edge it by 3 or 4 points. Dublin 2-14 v Mayo 1-13.

  75. I have been interested in how to disrupt this Dublin “process” since after the Kerry game. I think SR and company did a fair job on that front.
    There is one thing I noticed about Dublins attacking play that we really need to focus on. Typically a player in possesion might attempt to break the tackle and get free inside (and Dublin do this too). The risk here is of losing the ball or being turned into defensive traffic. But Dublin do an interesting and very effective thing as well. They draw defenders out the field and suddenly turn and burst past them towards goal. The ball is then played into their path free of their marker and heading for goals. In other words they break the ‘tackle’ WITHOUT the ball and then receive it. It’s very clever because how do you stop a player going forward without the ball at not risk a black card?
    I’m sure other posters here will tell me that other teams do exactly the same but what is interesting is how adept the Dubs are at executing it. This is how they set up a lot of their goal chances as far as I can see without going back over the videos.
    I reckon if we are able to disrupt this part of the ‘process’ we have decommissioned a very big gun in their arsenal.

  76. I think alot of people focusing on what needs changing for the next game, which is very little IMO. Dublin have just as much problems to address.

    1. Connolly, how do Dublin get him into the game. Answer, they cant. Leeroy has his number. leeroy is too experienced at this stage to let Connolly get to him or get sent off. Leeroy plays on the edge but then flashes that cheeky smile to the ref and all is forgiven, yellow at most.

    2. Brogan, kept scoreless and I would expect the same on saturday. Harrison has developed into the best corner back this year (unbelievably quietly under the radar) the all star is his. Dublin have to start with the “king of the hill” beacuse dropping him and still loosing would to embarrassing.

    3. Rock, relies to heavily on frees, Mayo were really disciplined the last day and conceeded few scorable frees. Rock is an average player in open play, Dublin have better footballers on the bench but frees have Rock starting. Keeping the frees conceeded down again will take Rock out of it. Dublin may start with OGara and play more direct trying to force more frees.

    Mayo did so much right the last day an I expect these areas to improve. A little more composure in attack and a tweat in formation to pick up the running of Fenton and Mayo will win the All Ireland. I fully expect those to happen. Mayo are going to win.

    PS. What are the odds for Jason Doherty to goal, it will definitely be worth a bet.

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