Read it and weep

Mayo NFL 2010 FinalIt’s Monday and while this morning I felt like I was suffering a hangover without the joy of having got shitfaced last night, it’s another day with life and work and stuff to face.  And the papers.  Ho hum, let’s get this over with as quickly and painlessly as possible, then.

Colm Gannon in the Mayo Advertiser is always the best place to start as he’s always the one to get his spake in first, which he duly did last night.   The picture of the lads standing round watching the cup presentation after the game captures the post-match feeling from our perspective more or less perfectly.

The same paper has some post-match quotes from Johnno (most of which are repeated in the nationals) so it’s worth dealing with them now, I think.  Some of what Johnno says makes sense, like this:

Winning is linked to positivity, it’s not comfortable to be positive now, but we have to be we don’t have a choice. The public at large do have a choice, but we don’t have a choice. I’m long enough in the game to know that is the challenge facing everybody in the management and everybody on the team. We’re back in training Thursday night and we have to pick a championship panel in the next few days and take it from there and that’s what we do.

I think that’s a fair point.  Those of us on the sidelines, myself included, can give out like shite but we’re still expecting them to get back up on the saddle and get ready for the next hurdle facing them.  As supporters, we can decide that the lads are no longer worth following and find something more productive to fill our time but, while he’s in the job, Johnno has to keep plugging away doing what he can to bring the team on and the players who get picked for the championship panel have to do the same.

In what was, I gather, a fairly tetchy session with the Fourth Estate, Johnno answered the inevitable Croker Choker questions with this reply:

We will put our hands up and the lads will put their hands up (for the peformance in this game), but the lads won’t put their hands up for the last 40 or 50 years of performances here.

Again, that’s fair enough but only up to a point.  No true Mayo supporter really gives a shite about all those past results – once they’re gone, they’re set in stone and there’s nothing we can do about them.  Nobody is blaming Johnno and the current team for defeats such as the 1993 All-Ireland semi-final, the 1978 NFL final or whatever other Croke Park loss you want to mention.  But supporters do have genuine concerns about the fact that in August last year and again yesterday, Johnno’s own team flopped badly at HQ.  From what he says, he and the team are willing to put their hands up for this and that’s good but, after yesterday’s latest humiliation, this can’t be just empty words.  Who is included in and, more importantly, who is excluded from the starting fifteen for the Sligo match has to be part of this.  Otherwise, it’s just empty rhetoric.

If it’s empty rhetoric you want, then try this quote where Johnno gives his perspective on how the game went:

The reflection I’d have on it, is the first ten minutes we had four or five chances and didn’t score when they did they scored. We had it back to two points immediately after half time, they pulled away again and the goal effectively finished it. We’d be quite pleased with the league but we’d be desperately disappointed with today and today’s performance, that’s the reality of it.

Well, the reflection I’d have on it was that we needed to start hauling players off before half-time and that significant alterations needed to be made at the break to try to rectify the situation.  A further reflection would be that, not for the first time, though, Johnno stood twiddling his thumbs on the sideline while the match was running away from us, unwilling to or incapable of making the kind of sweeping changes that needed to be made.   A final reflection would be that we were dead and buried long before Goulding’s goal – we were seven points down before that finishing blow and had already thrown in the towel.

Maybe it’s time to get back to the papers.  Mike Finnerty has a good report in the Mayo News, which is garlanded with a photo of a very crestfallen-looking Ger Cafferkey (who, in fairness, did alright yesterday).  The nationals are all much of a muchness – here are the reports from the Irish Times, the Independent and the Examiner.  All three have plenty of quotes and so forth as well but, to be honest, nothing that’s worth linking to.  There are only so many ways to say we were shite, I guess.

For the record, here’s what RTÉ and Hogan Stand had to say about the game.  That RTÉ report comes with links to some video coverage from their godawful Sunday Sport programme, which I haven’t yet had the heart to watch.  I’ll leave the last word, though, to my blogger colleague, the ever eloquent Spailpín, who, as usual, squarely nails the essential points about yesterday’s humbling defeat.

28 thoughts on “Read it and weep

  1. Look, we’re not prawn sandwich munchers, those of us who get off our arses, travel across the country and go to Croker to see our team in action, dont expect to be entertained. We dont even really expect or demand that we win. What we do expect, and even demand at this stage is a bit of effort, a bit of heart and a bit of looking like the players filling the jersies actually give a shit. And d’you know what, that is not too much to ask.
    Instead we got the same rubbish we got against Meath. Cork are a much better team than Meath but we still didnt lay a glove on them, when the fat was in the fire (although it never really was yesterday), we showed no real hunger or desire. We got it back to 2 and then instead of driving on, we waited for Cork’s response. And they werent going to be asked twice. If you are not going to at least try, then feck it, give up. Stop codding yourselves and stop codding the whole county. At least the hurlers give everything they’ve got on the field, even if they havent got the skills, talent or resources as some they come up against. Maybe its time to start following them.
    And the shameful thing for me, is that getting into the car to head South with the two young bucks who barely batted an eye when Cork won (even though they told me all the way up we were going to get a trimming) – because they’ve allready seen their county win 2 Liam Macs in their young lives, I said to them “lads ye’re lucky ye were born in Cork” and for the first time ever I actually meant it.
    Yes its only the league, as I said, its not the result, its not the competition, its that once again for the umpteenth time we laid down and were walked over when it mattered – when there was silverware on offer in Croke Park.

  2. I live in Dublin and it’s easy enough to get to Croker but have done the cross country hurdle too in the past, and to be presented with a performance like yesterday is just so bloody annoying. I think all this crap about the size of the pitch and a hoodoo is bollocks, that type of thing should spur lads on, to be known as the ones who didn’t fall for that shite. There is just a lack of will, a lack of heart, a lack of desire, but most of all a lack of leadership, both on and off the pitch, and I would say off the pitch moreso, because there is more experience there to teach lads how to deliver.
    I have no faith in the current management and am not looking forward to the rest of this footballing year, because it will end up as bad as last year because it’s obvious that not one lesson was learned from Meath last year, nothing has really changed and the players are still being played out of position, the wrong players are being given multiple chances and it’s time for radical change.
    I have no name to put forward as a future manager, but look at the likes of Kevin Walsh and the heart that is in the Sligo team. Even if you lost having given your all, nobody would criticise, but to capitulate time and again is pathetic.
    Let the winds of change blow I say.

  3. “We will put our hands up and the lads will put their hands up (for the peformance in this game), but the lads won’t put their hands up for the last 40 or 50 years of performances here”.What utter spin and buck passing by O Mahony with the above statement. The team of 50 years ago(1960s) had Eugene Rooney, Ray Prendergast, John Morley, Joe Langan, Joe Corcoran and Willie McGee as a spine. Todays outfit lack that basic requirement when measured agin the above.
    Between 1966-78, twelve years, Mayo contrived to WIN 3 Minor titles and 2 U21s. Now if O Mahony wants to look for a year to start this appaling disasterous run of final defeats , lets start with 21 years ago, 1989. That year we lost gallantly to Cork in an All-Ireland final. That and 1996 were as good as it got. Since then apart from a single U21 win we have lost a staggering amount.
    Does O Mahony actually expect us to believe that from yesterdays team of McGarrity, Conor, Trevor, Dillon and Andy Moran werent around for the slashings of 2004/06 plus the league final of 2007? Throw in Gardiner, Keith Higgins, Barry Moran, Howley, Harte and Liam O Malley. These boys are amongst the most decorated losers ever to wear a Mayo shirt.
    They in fact were amongst the players in some of the worst performances ever by Mayo teams in the last 50 years in Croke Park and in particular in the last 6 years.
    Kevin Walsh and Conor Counihan are in year two of their managerial careers. Paddy O Rourke and Wee James are six months into their respective counties. No rebuilding or bullshit future building for those guys. They deal in real time…like now.
    I can accept a beating, I can accept a thrashing but I wont accept trying to spin me a yarn that we are in the midst of some gigantic birth process that will return Mayo to 1951 status. In the week that the legendary Johhny Forde and Mick Ruane passed away its sad that we couldnt even work up a head of steam in their honour. Those two did it for us…many times.

  4. Its about confidence and its about small things that make a big difference and its about leadership.
    A 1/2 inch of timber prevented us getting an early goal. A couple of silly options deprived us of easy points. A small bit more pressure on the Cork kickers could have turned 3 or 4 of their points into wides………..and suddenly hey presto you are competitive and in with a chance! Confidence levels improve and the overall performance improves in tandem.
    Allow these things to go wrong and you start to slip down the slope and the other crowd gain confidence and no matter what you try it goes wrong.
    When this starts to happen then LEADERSHIP is what is needed then and we seem to be woefully short on that front.
    Where are the angry young men who will not lie down but take the fight to the opposition on all fronts – and I mean all fronts – both physically and psychologically! Sadly I dont see them in Mayo jersies right now. I understand how much these lads give to Mayo and I do not blame them too much but for Jazus sake isnt it time some of them showed their passion for the cause in ways that would have an impact on those around them.

  5. But some of them were in Mayo jersies when they played in the 2006 All Ireland Final against some of the same Cork players. I dont want to keep harping on about that win but its a good yardstick. On the balance they shouldnt have won that day but they displayed all the things you mentioned to win it. Its the same players, why are they different now? (not all I know but the ones that were there)

  6. You’re talking here diehard about the likes of the O’Sheas from Kerry, Dooher, Kavanagh, Gooch, Brogans etc (and Cork have them as well. O’Leary, Mischella, Kerrigan, P O’Neill, Lynch and Canty).

    We don’t have those calibre of playeres because our lads cannot “mix it” with bigger physical teams. The only forward we have who can mix it is AOS – the rest are too small.

    None of our 1/2 forward line are physical enough to get involved in a nitty gritty battle and win those hard balls. We need a P. Galvin.

    We don’t have a Tomas O’Shea or Mike McCarthy to fill in for CHB or take the fight back to the other team.

    At MF Parsons should be able to – he’s big enough. But he hasn’t (doesn’t seem to want to put himself about in fact). SOS should be as well but give him time. McGarrity is not the man – he hasn’t got the bulk for this.

    Think back to the teams of 96/97 – that team was twice as big as this current crop.
    i read someone saying that P. Canavan was not big (whch he wasn’t) but let’s facce it we don’t have a P Canavan type of player or not anywhere near his ability.

    Right now we have to look to other alternatives for these types of players. As you say confidence plays a big part but if you can’t win your 1 to 1 battles then you can’t go on to inspre the rest of them.

  7. EastCorkexile I admire your tenacity. However just because we beat Cork in a single U21 final doesnt mean we got the sign on them. They won last years U21 final, they regularily win the damn thing. Difference is we dont. Westmeath have won a recent enough U21 so too have Limerick. It helps but in the overall context it doesnt make a blind bit of difference. The only glimmer of hope we have is that we are quick healers. The disgrace’s of 1992/93/94/95 were quickly banished under a new regime that every body bought into in 1996. This regime has gone stale and needs a total clearout right across the board.

  8. Lads, we’ve just lost a league final (after finishing top in the league stage), we haven’t been hammered by Sligo in the first round of the Championship – not yet anyway…
    Now I know yesterday was a real kick in the bollocks, but it was a league ‘play-off’. We seem to be taking this harder because it was in Croke Park and all the media bullshit that comes with us losing there. We have won there as well you know.
    If we would of lost this game in say Ennis, would the recriminations be as bad?

    We were shite, played terribly. But there were encouraging signs throughout the league, which is the bigger picture I’m trying to look at.
    I’m keeping my powder dry until the Championship. Failure in Connacht or failure to progress in the All-Ireland series and I’ll be the first to call for O’Mahony’s head.

    Bad as yesterday was, I’m not judging our whole year (before the Championship has even begun!) on this one game.
    The problems are there for all to see, none of us are idiots, but I’m giving players and management one more chance in this years Championship to redeem themselves.

    Let’s see what they’re made of.

  9. This is my team for the first round with Sligo:
    Barrett Howley O’Malley
    Gardiner Harte Higgins
    McGarity S O’Shea
    Vaughan Dillon McLoughlan
    Ronaldson A O’Shea Varley

    Because our defense is so loose Vaughan and McLoughlan would have to cover up at the back and then they attack away to their hearts content when we have posession. I tought Cafferky gave his man way to much space for the matches I saw in the league so he has to lose out. I like Howley as a defender so I would move him back to the full back line.
    Trevor Mortimer and Moran just don’t bring enough to the team any more so I would drop them too. Harte might add a bit of height and strength to our centre half back line even tough i don’t know how good a marker he is. Conor Mortimer and his brother can be used as impact subs then.
    Also I think Liam O’Malley should get a haircut if he wants to pass the test as a hard man corner back.

  10. to be honest with ye all it was”nt trevor howley who was the only one who had a bad day!!
    when you think of it Kevin and Donal all ways leaves the half back line so then trevor has to defend the whole half back line so thats 3 vs 1.??
    another thing Kevin and Donal are not a forward there are a back and a back defends not trys to score thats up 2 the forwards, they are trying to go for glory!!
    i know trevor had a bad day but trevor is not a center half back hes a winger he does not have the height for center but does have every thing els

  11. David, well if thats the best team in mayo then forget about… howley at full back?the two corner backs? harte a centre back?vaughan, mc loughlin wing forwards, varley and ronaldson ahead of conor mortimer and killer, was 6 points yesterday not enough for you? Your making johnno look good now.

  12. We need a new CHB but it is difficult to change with no league games.
    Harte must come in to bolster our midfield. Barry moran is an option in the forwards–a big man allways gives more options then a small man.
    Perhaps we should put Sos at CHB & Barry Moran at center forward.
    We played 4 midfielders in 89 to good effect.
    Howley worth his place in the corner.

  13. The most worrying aspect of yesterdays defeat was all the unforced errors ie kicking the ball straight to Cork men,kicking it out over the sideline,picking it off the ground,shooting for goals after 10 minutes,backs not marking their men,stuff that if you were coaching u14s you`d be reading them the riot act.It was a pathetic display.
    The round trip for me and the young ones cost close to 200 diesel, two sittings for food and drinks, tolls, ice creams etc you`d have a couple of nights in a hotel for that!I wouldn`t have batted an eyelid if we had got a performance but this was cat.
    It has been said many times that these are the best footballers in the county but maybe some of the lesser players should be given a chance for a change if nothing else, they couldn`t do much worse than what we saw yesterday.

  14. Dan, dont try the “its not that bad” approach, with all due respect. The only thing that will really make us satisifed is winning Sam. Thats only likely to happen when we put in a good performance in Croker on a big day, the last time we did that was against Tyrone in 2004 and perhaps Dublin in 2006. Here we had a “big day” where we didnt perform, ergo, no matter what we do in the championship up to the quarter final stage we are going to be assuming another collapse is just around the corner. Think about it, lets say we storm through Connacht, no matter who we play in the quarters is anyone going to be anything even approaching confident? It used to be we thought we only collapsed in All Ireland finals! Now its any time it really matters in Croke Park. I always thought Johnno was our missing ingredient, now I seriously have to question when did his Mayo team perform in a big championship game?? Galway last year was the only time I remember and we did our best to blow that one.
    Anyway, its another Monday and we’re the laughing stock again, anyone listen to Off the Ball tonight? Laughing at us again. So yes, it is that bad.

  15. Lack of Height was not Howley’s problem on Sunday. O’Connor was not catching the ball over his head. He was ten yards ahead of him every time. He was all at sea.
    Pat Harte is the not the answer either for any position on the pitch. He shows no urgency wahtsoever.
    My team against Sligo
    Cunniffe Cafferkey Barret
    Vaughan Higgins McLaughlin
    SOS B Moran
    Dillon A O’Shea A Moran
    C Mort Kilcoyne Varley

    A Moran lucky to start and also Caff as we don’t have an alternative.

  16. Calm down folks…. we are all sons and daughters of mayo and certainly cant jump ship now, and anyone that does we better off without. We could criticise and give out till the cows come home but it wont change what happened yday. I try to put positive comments up here, today its not easy. Sligo for me can have their league title and indeed so can cork but our focus is now june 5. So swallow this one sons and daughters we have no other choice. We will all be in sligo for the championship- sure where else would we be….

  17. Clarke

    Barrett Cafferkey Higgins

    Vaughan Cunniffe McLoughlin

    McGarrity O’Shea

    Harte Dillon Kilcoyne

    Barry Moran A O’Shea Varley

  18. fair enough Hungry but the point is that BWPadden is correct. It doesn’t matter anymore if we win Connacht. The fact is we seem to collapse constantly at Croke Park.
    And it’s the manner of these collapes thats so dis-heartening. After last years collapse against a poor Meath team we thought it would be sorted out so this years collapse after a phenomenal League is hard to understand
    Worse its hard to stomach being as it is in front of a national audience and the fact that it was in another final.

    Only good thing from above lads is naming your own team as its a bit of craic and takes the mind off the crap yesterday
    Here’s my thought after the League…..

    Howley, Cafferkey, Higgins
    Vaughan, Gardiner, Barrett
    McGarrity, SOS
    A Moran, A Dillon. T Parsons
    C Mort, AOS, Killer

  19. Settle Settle lads. Fierce disappointed as we all are i still think we will be there or there abouts in August. Sligo is now the the test. Lets get behind the boys. They have lives outside football too.
    Big test for JOHNO. Go for it now.

  20. Lads… I’m not one for getting involved in these debates but Does anyone believe that them 15 lads went out there yesterday to lose? 3 nights a week training, a match and weights every other night after a day at work. I couldn’t do it! It’s a full-time job in itself. Give me a break…. And give the lads one. The abuse has to stop. We get a lot more days in head quarters than a most of counties.

  21. yes all very dissapointed yesterday at our teams effort and performance in the last game of the league.overall its been a ups and down performances played well in some games and poorly others, inconsistent you might say. the league is used in most counties to try out new lads and positions of your panel,if your lucky to find afew players to carry through to the summer months and avoid the drop it a plus.if your fortunate to be in the last game youd do your best for silverware. unfortunately for us yesterday we had yet another poor day. you can sum it up anyway you want point the finger of blame at players and management it will be forgotten by most as quick as our last national league finals in 07 and 01. except of course the media who will only remember 07 and 10. there.s no tough drive home than the drive back to the kingdom where sam awaits you along with 20 text messages of the same old story, and then theres monday,the day you meet them and they tell you what went wrong. ah tis only d league. c ye all in sligo

  22. Remembe51, well said, the playersw did not go out to give a shite performance, this team got goals at vital times during the league which made our run better than it seemed. Dublin were lucky not to be in the final yesterday. Vaughan and McLoughlin need to play in the half back line, SOS and McGarritycould make a good MF combination, we need half forwards who can take their points, what about Parsons at CF, he has the ability, C Mort played well yesterday AOS needs to learn that this is a team game, , nothing went right yesterday and we we looked worse that we are, I still think that we can take Sligo and Galway, Lads, we need to win a QF and that will be a successful year, whatever about JOM, we can make progress, not many teams will stop Cork , apart from Kerry….

  23. of course the players give their all from january on, and i feel for them, all they can do is show up and do their best.the facts remain when the chips were down yesterday very few were seen steping up.personally i feel managment is at fault ,here we are after the league and because we used so few players [what county puts out an unchanged team 3 times in a row for the all important league we want to win ha]i believe now were left with little options thats what annoys me .were too small all over the field our development programs in the county dont seem to be looking for the right players ,start at 6 feet tall go back and look at the teams of 1989 and 96 big strong physical teams with football we have loads of football ability but were not strong enough or mean enough,we will stay one of the top 8 teams in the country but will continue to fail when the real pressure comes on

  24. oyam64 that’s all we want is their best, that’s whats pissed everyone off, they were not even trying

  25. I’m not buying into this “they weren’t trying” craic. Players don’t go out to lose or not try their best. Some times they’re just beaten by a better team.
    A lot of players had a bad day and didn’t play to their potential. Cork were much better, they beat us. That’s it.

    We’re going over this game as though it has just spelt the end of our season. The stuff on here is more defeatist than after the Meath game last year. I understood the pain and disappointment then as it meant the end of our involvement in the Championship. But the Championship hasn’t even started yet!
    Is this the way we’re going to be now for the rest of the the year? Slagging the players, expecting the worst and not backing the team??
    Well carry on, that’s not for me though.
    I’m proud of the county I’m from and I’ll back them every time they need it.
    Sure they’ll let me down some times (well, a lot), but support is support after all.

  26. Lads, I dont think anyone here is slagging the players. This isnt Hogan Stand you know 😉
    However, i was at the match and some of them, and they know who they are, were not trying or working hard enough. I saw it with my own eyes. We had ball over near the sideline a few times near the Cork goals, and no-one was running. Half backs and midfielders were carrying the ball up and no runs were being made, no options were available. And it wasnt just some players in the forward line, one of our midfielders and three of our backs decided they couldnt be arsed either. What else explains the number of times Cork men were strolling around the field with the ball?
    Fact is, irrespective of the 3 times a week training, weights, sacrifices etc. Some players on Sunday did not try as hard as they could, Mayo as a whole did not work hard enough. Surely to God if you put in that sacrifice the very least you can do is not let yourself down when you are in the place that you’ve trained for? Whats the fecken point of all the hard work and the sacrifice if your not going to come off the pitch practically needing oxygen?
    I know the players didnt go out there deciding to lose and not wanting to win. But some of them made a choice to not work hard enough and thats practically the same thing as deciding to lose. Ability, tactics, luck everything else come behind one thing, effort and hard work on the pitch. You have to have that before anything else can happen.
    I dont know why that happened, only they can answer that. We as fans arent entitled to anything, but we do deserve at the very least that the team representing us gives 100% all the time. That, is the most disapointing thing for me about Sunday. Anyway, enough is enough I suppose on this,

  27. we are all sister and brotheers!!
    but we shud make a good team not a bad 1 if we want to win and we wont win because we are to nice another thing croke park is not the place we won the u21 all ireland because it was nt in croker
    its just the luck and i agree this is the team

    Howley, Cafferkey, Higgins
    Vaughan, Gardiner, Barrett
    McGarrity, SOS
    A Moran, A Dillon. T Parsons
    C Mort, barry m, Killer

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