Ryan O’Donoghue is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: Connaught Telegraph (Ray McManus/Sportsfile)

The overall Man of the Match from yesterday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final meeting with Dublin, Colm Basquel, has strong Mayo connections but this MOTM poll was, of course, restricted to players who lined out at Croke Park yesterday in the Green and Red. As ever on days when things don’t got right for us, the purpose of the poll is to help draw attention to those players who made the greatest impression in difficult circumstances.

As we made our exit from the Championship yesterday, this MOTM poll is the final one for 2023. It’s also the closest one ever, with just five votes separating the winner, Ryan O’Donoghue (on 20% of the votes), from runner-up Diarmuid O’Connor (19%).

I don’t usually vote myself in the MOTM poll but, if I did, my vote would have been for Diarmuid, who ran himself into the ground at HQ yesterday. Ryan’s five-point return (three from open play) was impressive, though, and his all-round performance, especially in the first half, was a high-point for us in yesterday’s game.

Others to feature strongly in the poll were Tommy Conroy (13%), Paddy Durcan (11%) and Jordan Flynn (8%). The full leaderboard is below.

Well done to all who battled hard on a tough day for us at Croke Park and in particular to Ryan O’Donoghue, our MOTM from yesterday’s game.

256 thoughts on “Ryan O’Donoghue is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. He had a mixed season by his high standards but in the first half yesterday himself and Tommy were a joy to watch. Hopefully we see more of that next year.

  2. – Congrats to Ryan, anger seemed to be the common theme among Mayo supporters as we left CP yesterday. Unlike 2021 when it was all directed at Team Mgmt, this time it was directed at Mgmt, Players, GAA in general and some fans.
    – The manner of yesterdays defeat was a repeat of what we have seen multiple times over the past decades.
    – Physically Bullied: This is the 4th game this year that we have lost the physical stakes, bullied by Roscommon, Cork, Armagh and Dublin.
    -Slow to make changes: How many times this year have we seen players who were struggling on their men taking too long to either be moved off them or taken off all together. Basquel and Murchan to name two
    -Individuals rather than a Team: Seems to be no team spirit to me, more a group of individuals going through the motions
    – Rigid plan with no pivot allowed: For e.g TC barely touched the ball in the entire second half because he was stationed on the side line in front of the Cusack about 30 metres out, obviously he was told to stay in around there instead of letting him rove to get ball
    -Group think: among the management team, you need alternative voices not friends/relations. Was ANY of the management team in the Cusack stand as there were none on that sideline yet Pat Gilory was there as Maor Uisce for the Dubs.
    -I agree with those posters that reference Limerick Hurlers as our template, we are so like where Limerick were years ago. Have we the will power and money to do likewise ?
    -Despite the ‘boo the free taker bridgade’ and the ‘cheerio brigade’ and the disgraceful ‘boo Aido in the stand brigade’ I still hope Dublin win the All-Ireland anyone but Kerry for me.

  3. In reply to olive kerrigan no matter where Tc was positioned if we not winning middle third he not gonna get a decent supply same with Rod we need up our game in middle

  4. Well done Ryan, when he is on the ball you just know it’s going to be a score or a good pass to another team mate.
    For some reason there was loads of space for the Mayo full forward line to work in during the 1st half, should Mayo have kicked the ball out much longer at times, there were guys moving way out the field but Reape chose shorter options.

  5. Excellent post as always Olive.

    I said it here after the Galway match, Tommy needs to play deep for Mayo, he really does. Anyone there that day in Salthill could see it. He’s a line-breaking speedster with skill and vision. Unstoppable. Yet, as you say, on Sunday he was perched on the sideline. Huge questions about management for certain decisions like this.

    Granted, Dublin have the Tommy Conroy type players all over the pitch, an embarrassment of riches, but when our management could see he was starved of ball they needed to react. Fast. Why didn’t they? Were they just waiting in hope? I think they were. No, I’m sorry, it’s not good enough. They’re simply not analysing the matches forensically enough.

    The common theme I found with supporters afterwards was apathy, not so much anger.

    We’d still have been beaten I’m afraid but at least play to our strengths. Especially when it’s glaringly obvious. The likes of Hession should be linking with the likes of Tommy and Ryan in the middle third. With the likes of Carney winning primary possession and laying it off to them.

    Hession needs to back himself a little more. He ‘has it’. Just needs to continue building his confidence. Take on his man more. He can do it.

  6. After losing lee and Mullen it was gonna be tough,our full back line was amazing all season,take a bow young men

  7. Ryan is a warrior and in the first half, himself and Tommy conroy were excellent. The manner of the 2nd half collapse against Cork and Dublin is the most disappointing aspect of an otherwise reasonable first year for mcstay, so its better to take an overall view; (Including FBD, league and championship)
    Played 15
    Won 9
    Drew 2
    Lost 4

  8. Good points Liberal role in the tie – the skills of 3 of our game changing players are not being utilised – ROD, Hession and Conroy. Disheartening to say the least.

  9. I agree with you liberal in the role. Thats unfortunaetly down to our management they didnt spot this and come up with a plan to remedy it. A lot of experience on that sideline but no evidence of smarts or anything learned from past matches or even past campaigns in Buckley and Rochford and McHale’s case as they have been there before in various guises.

  10. Actually thought O’Shea was our best player in first half ?… Maybe I need to watch it back.. tommy was our most dangerous player though on limited possession

    O’Connor definite player of the match though, don’t recall ROD having any impact in 2nd half

    If there was a transfer market at the moment diarmuid and tommy would definitely be our most prized assets. Very shocked at the latter’s lack of game time all year

  11. Can’t compare with Limerick, this side was built off the greatest underage side of all time (class of 96), similar to Dublin and their 1993 crop. One age group that produced absolutely generational players.

    We haven’t had any underage side like that to launchpad ourselves into all Ireland winners since the 06 under 21s. The 2013 minors were dogged but didn’t produce many individual superstars

  12. Listened back to a few podcasts yesterday. The football pod was probably the best of them, some positives to be taken from the day after the dust has settled. Mc Brien had a decent game on Con apart from being drawn out of position. O Hora was not 100% on the day and there was a clear mismatch which wasn’t remedied straight away. ROD and TC were electric at times and O Shea very decent. Have to imagine he got a knock if they called him ashore. Very unlucky with goals on both sides. Overall very decent year and i hope retirements are kept to a minimum, though it looked like Kevin Mc Loughlin was bidding adieu after match. Hopefully Monaghan and Derry final but unlikely, then again its been that sort of year so who knows. Thanks again WJ, don’t know how you put up with us at times. Maigheo go deo.

  13. Not sure anyone else noticed (and it wouldn’t have made a difference in the grand scheme of things) but I was in Cusack lower and the lead up to the second Dublin goal started from a sideline ball. It seemed clear to me though the ball seemed to go out off a Dublin player and the linesman the linesman was about to raise flag for us until Pat Gilroy pointed in Dublin’s favour and he gave it to the Dubs! ROD and TC electric in first half

  14. Felt so disappointed as we all did. But they are really a very young team and loads inside& outside the county didn’t think we would be competitive at all this year.

    Still question why goal was disallowed but we still would have lost . Looked dead flat on our feet .

    I hope the guys have a great time in an America as I’m sure they will go .

    Management I feel do have some questions answer.

    The way the semis are drawn total fix so it’ll be dub/ kerry final and dubs will win by 7/8 points I’d say just hope we don’t see another 6 in a row haha

    Thanks @willie joe for the blog !

    I’ll still be cheering the guys on as always next year haha

  15. Just in terms of Mayo not having enough goal scorers. When Jason Doherty first came on the scene he was a prolific goalscorer but it was coached out of him or whatever because I can’t remember the last time he scored a goal

  16. Great player lucky to have ROD top class player. Watching him in croker you could see how dangerous he was a great point on the turn and from long range without breaking stride just class. Tommy Conroy electric too cannot fathom why he was put in full forward wasted away in there in the second half, needs to be out further running at players. We need a different option at 11 end of.

  17. Yeah Mayo67 he was an unbelievable goal scorer at Sigerson and county underage. Moved out to 11 (strangely – as he was fairly ineffective in that role) for 2012 and only played fleetingly in the inside line after that. In fairness he became an excellent wing forward from 2014 onwards, but I’m surprised he was never considered in the inside line at all again in later years.

  18. Jim McGuinness, really good article… once again stating that Mayo will never win or will find it near impossible to in an AI playing they way we do. I’ve agreed so many times over the years within his analysis of mayo football. No defensive structure. It costs us pretty much every year and the highly frustrating thing is we have had the players. We had our best bunch last decade. We have a decent squad now and the saving grace is that there is no standout team like the great dubs team, so if we can just get our house in order and for God’s sake, try to make us an extremely hard nut to crack defensively, then we have a chance to win over the coming years. I am actually praying management shake things up and set the team up differently otherwise we will never get over the line. I said it in a post here yesterday, we do not have the talent to adopt a cavalier approach.

  19. In his article, Jim McGuinness is very damning of the approach taken my Mayo Management. It’s a hard read unfortunately.

  20. Would have been Diarmuid for me too. He covered every blade of grass, even when it was clear the game was over.

    He also found the time to throw a couple of belts, even if it was in vain. At least it showed a bit of fight.

  21. Agreed Mayonaze, it doesn’t need to go to the defensive extremes someone like McGuinness might be advocating but definitely focusing on building a secure defensive platform and keeping goals out should be a starting point. And go from there.

    For all our notions that we are a front foot swashbuckling team the tallies put up in last 4 games undermine that

    0-14 v Louth
    1-11 v Cork
    1-10 v Galway
    0-11 v Dublin

    You won’t get within a asses roar of an all Ireland posting those numbers

  22. Diarmuid tried to blast a goal in about the 15th minute of the second half even though he had the slimmest chance. That showed gumption and drive. I like this in a player – make something happen, see your chance, take it, lead. Jack Carney had that about him early in the season. Jordan Flynn has too.
    I was looking down on McBrien versus Con in the first half. McBrien was very motivated from the off and stuck to Con like glue. David is a big tall lad. Con wasn’t finding anything easy there. I want to acknowledge how good David was. It made me very pleased to see this. I didn’t notice how things worked out with him in the second half as play was up the other side of the field opposite me.

  23. Our teams under horan were built on our half back.line boyle and keegan 9 all-stars between them and a great midfield shamus o shea parsons Barry and aids we don’t have that engine now

  24. TheWestisBest not just Jim Mcguinness. We’re getting it from all sides in the media. And rightly so.

  25. ROD needs S/C ,will you please stop one of the strongest players in the country

  26. Supermac.. I Feel like Jim mc Guiness piece is a ‘come get me’. I’m not saying as mgr, but we need a defensive plan from somebody who has won an all ireland

  27. Here’s a question for ye.
    In the 2021 season Ryan O’Donoghue I thought was unmarkable at times, he had a shimmy, side step and he won a lot of frees, some of them soft to be free.

    This year he didn’t seem to be taking on players as much and I thought myself there were frees he should have but but weren’t given.

    Is it the supply, the balance in the forward line or is he just out of form, still a young man and will be central to McStays plans next year you’d imagine

  28. Moose79, not gonna happen. If we had had him last decade I’m pretty certain we’d have won at least once. He’s a fantastic motivator and made a Donegal team as good as invincible in 2012. Got them to another final 2 years later. It was an approach that was less sustainable and they petered out but they did do with medals. Give me that anyday over constant final defeats. Also, when you look back at it over that decade Mayo had better quality than Donegal but history will show which team were more successful.

    I agree we could really do with introducing a top quality defensive coach. It’s clear that who we have now have not implemented a successful defensive structure. The Loftus experiment was very left field and never showed signs of working. Getting a top teams defence right takes months and months of preparation. Yes, it’d take from our attacking but it’d be a start…look at Donegal in 2011. McGuinness didn’t do it all in one year it took 2 seasons to perfect.

    This BS about a Mayo ‘style’ is…BS. It’s won us nothing. Time to wake up and it starts at making our defence the meanest in the land. Then you introduce and work on how to maximise your attacking ability while maintaining a solid defence.

    Mayo absolutely must change tactics and system.

  29. I have left it a couple of days to post as I feel that a lot of people were very disappointed,so can I say that I have followed Mayo since the mid sixties, I have had plenty of very bad days following Mayo so can I say that in the seventies and eighties I was just as critical of players and management as people are now,but then I realised that I knew very little of what happened at training or problems that players had ,I decided to have Faith in the players and management,and now I am sure that they do their best,as for players that should be on the panel we don’t know their circumstances and I believe that the Management team will have spoken to them and will have tried to persuade any one who they believe would add to the team to commit to the almost full time commitment needed,I would imagine that K King will be added for next year but he was injured most of the year,possibly F Irwin a d M Murray can step up so I believe that the future is bright for our team and management,also I really don’t think that it is life and death anymore,and I prefer to enjoy some fun and banter ,up Mayo

  30. Sobering Supermac when see that. Lots to improve on, if we can’t score more we definitely need a defensive plan.
    Your offensive figures when compared to the whooping concession figures flagged in this morning’s pod for last 4 championship appearances in Croke park show it’s a huge step change needed in management philosophy.

  31. I don’t care if Mayo go and set up with 13 men in our half for most of the game and we end up winning games 0-9 to 0-8. Win. Win. Win. I don’t care how.

  32. I’m kinda getting fed up of Mayo teams getting out though in Croker, particularly by the Dubs.
    They always seem to have a plan to win or like on Sunday, they just can turn it on for a blistering 5 minutes and get ahead by 5 or 6 points.
    I confess that I missed that 5 minute spell as was in the queue for Tea.

    This is nothing new even in the lean years 1996 – 2010, the Dubs could take over for 20 or 30 minutes and then go missing completely, I was this when I played club Football in Dublin.

    Some of us here have seen a good bit of football in our lifetimes, you kinda know what to expect especially from the Dubs.

    I just get the feeling that Mayo players and management were worn out coming into the Dublin game, gave it there all in 1st half and and no Plan B for 3nd half.
    The most basic of basic was to have ALL players working behind the ball for about 10 minutes at the start of the 2nd half.
    I am not sure that management actually wanted to really get to the Semis.

    I might cause controversy but I don’t think the current management team will deliver in the next year or two, winning the League is pointless to me, maybe too many strong personalities that have been there and done that.

    I knew it was game up late on in the game v Louth, no messing, I decided then that the Season was gone.

  33. @Jr, ROD doesn’t need S&C – he’s not even close to being one of Mayo’s problems!

  34. Our centrefield has been poor. MR and DOC are good fielders but not at the highest standard required. Both have great engines but if you are not having your fair share of the ball alot of fuel is used chasing the opposition. I would say there are more talented players on the club scene but can’t commit. Self employed, farmers trades people would find the commitment required very hard to give

  35. My gripe would be our failure to progress from game to game. Beating Kerry should have been a kickstart to something special. Instead we treated Louth with unbelievable casualness and failed to finish against Cork.
    Rebuilding a team has to start with a strong spine. After that, you look for leadership and coach them as leaders…
    Should be a great final and may the best team win..

  36. BateTheBlanket

    I agree a lot with what you said and I too am not 100% convinced on this management team. Tbh I would take Horan back now for next year. But where I do disagree with you is on the fact that they didn’t want to reach the semi final. They definitely did but went about it all wrong.

    On a separate note is there any clarity on an annual review between CB and management? We all know about the “great recruiting process” thats more in line with someone looking to become the CEO of a major bank then it is football related.

    Surely you’d think that with such a rigorous process to get a job, there would be annual reviews to see if objectives and targets are being met? highly doubt there is one.

  37. Surprised that ROD won it to be honest. My vote went to Diarmuid who I thought was our most consistent player throughout the entire game. Once Fitzsimons went on ROD in the second half I felt that ROD disappeared. Add in that he missed a simple free in the second half also, pulling it left of the near post! and I thought it wasn’t one of his better days. Fitzsimons was glued to him, everywhere and gave him timber on and off the ball in that half. In fact, I thought ROD went within himself as the second half wore on. Maybe that’s just my impression and I need to watch it back.
    O’Hora for me is slightly overrated. In truth he could have been subbed at 20mins because it was patently clear that he was a yard or two off his man. He lacks the real “stickability” of a tight marking corner back. He lacks real explosive pace too and was turned far too easily on Sunday. Maybe he wasn’t 100% fit, who knows, but I’ll say one thing in that Horan would not have subbed him so soon. I thought it was a smart, ruthless decision by McStay to get him off before half time. Should he have even started???
    As for McGuinness? He’s always very quick to offer his opinion and flutter his eyelashes at potential employers from the safety of a paid opinion piece in a newspaper. If he was half as keen to fix things why didn’t he fully commit to sorting the mess out in his own county? Instead, he did what he has always done since he walked from Donegal…..give an opinion, keep himself relevant and in the news, but, never commit to actually following through on anything. he’s never prepared to risk his legacy by going at it again. I’d sooner listen and learn from someone like Collins who recently stepped away from Clare, or, Harte who went into Louth and has turned them around. McGuinness is all talk but no action.
    In time I think we will look back on this season in a more positive light. Losing Keegan and Mullins was always going to be felt, and probably not until the heat was hottest and that’s in Croker v a Kerry or a Dublin. In these games, the standard is so high that the tighest of margins will swing a game. But once the game has swung away from you in Croker, the likes of Kerry and Dublin in particular will drive on through the gap and open up on you. We’re not 12 points worse than Dublin, but that’s what they do when they break away from you.
    Missing those 4 easy points in the first half, having a goal disallowed and then hitting the post in the second half, all these things needed to go our way to be with them going down the straight. Had we been within 2 or 3 points with 10 to go, then it’s an entirely different game. The Hill isn’t singing, the Mayo roar is going, the players have another gear and adrenaline drives you on to the end. In those circumstances there’s no 12 point gap. But, we all know that’s not what happened.
    So, let the hare sit a while before we cast judgement too harshly. Personally, for a new management team to come in, win the league, lose Mullins and Keegan, rebuild a full back line, integrate McHugh & Callinan and address the “elephant in the room” which was our goalkeeping position represents a satisfactory season. The challenge now is to build and progress from here.

  38. The U20 appointment process will be interesting, and whether it turns out to be another fait accompli.
    The two press releases for U20 and Minor management being so close in time may just be sheer coincidence..

  39. Pebblesmeller – the last time we played Dublin in championship Horan also subbed on Hession and switched who Keegan/O’Hora were marking in the first half. So a bit unfair to bring him into this.

  40. We need to look at a few midfielders mattie ruane is not one and neither is coen horses for courses

  41. Gizmobobs – you think it’s a done deal already? No doubt Sean Dean will go for it but are there better options in the county out there? Personally I think a senior club manager or someone who has played IC football in the past might be good shout. We need men who know exactly that it takes to play senior football and get their point across to young lads.

    Has Sean Dean ever managed a senior club team? Personally if someone like a Peter Forde, Declan Shaw or Ray Dempsey or Kevin Johnson went for it, I’d definitely be going down that route.

  42. Pebblesmeller wish had your optimism on reflecting back on this year. Player wise perhaps, but the tactical side of things have been so far off the mark all year it’s a huge worry. The quotes flagged yesterday highlighting two young defenders looking back on their mistakes and a baby goalkeeper do not sit well with me at all and seem like sheer deflection

  43. Green&red probably not, at least I hope not. I’m just feeling despondent and cynical still. The timing of posts is likely coincidence.
    Sean could be good man for job, but I think at such developmental age lads should be exposed to different voices. Having same voice for 3 or 4 years at that stage doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  44. The County Board needs to give clear focus to the u20 grade for next couple of years, there is a good group coming through and the potential for at least Connacht titles if not a run at an all Ireland…however my concern is that they continue to use the grade as a feeder for the senior panel which happened in the last 3 year years….
    Sligo proved with their back to back successes that by getting a group of lads focussed ONLY at their grade they can achieve great results…..the U20 Sligo panels since 2019 ONLY played the grade and were not involved or considered for senior football until their competition was finished… If I was taking the U20 Mayo job this would be my bottom line…its too much of a distraction for young lads to be told their are being considered for senior football and maybe included in an FBD or national league panel…and then play a bit part as the season progresses at senior level and then be expected to slot back into an U20 setup and in our case lads had not played a game or trained with the U20 group and go straight into championship….recipe for failure

  45. A dire championship. Probably the worst in years. Don’t know the thinking in taking aos off. Refusal to put the ball in after Tommy and Ryan and aos were all on top of their respective markers. Hornball was the big word on here when James was in charge. What do we call this management s football especially second half. More questions than answers after year one. Will they last another 4. Not playing possession back and over football. Carney should have gone ahead of aos. He s completely lost confidence. Ruane the same. It was a complete hiding second half. James in his final year was killed with injuries. That wasn’t the case this year.

  46. Our biggest problem remains CHB because that’s where leadership comes from..there are plenty of good young lads coming through. McCormack Orme Morahan McHugh Touhy, Dawson, just to mention a few.. roll on club championship, we need a good one

  47. Stephen Coen out on wing playing half forward in 2nd half, not picking up a man and not looking for the ball. Don’t know what his role was supposed to be but it was one of the many strange positions being taken by players who did not appear to have a plan.

  48. Good post Pebble

    An optimistic viewpoint would also be that it could well be the 11th time in 12 years it took the All Ireland winners to eventually knock us out (if Dublin do win it, and in fairness even if they don’t they’re clearly best of the rest by miles). So the Galway win was significant from that aspect

    Of course this ignores the question as to why is it two years on the trot we put ourselves in the position to play the best team in Ireland as early as the quarters? And also as Roscommon and Cork (and Galway last year) showed we can’t genuinely be fully confident we would have beaten any other quarter finalist, unlike a few years ago

  49. It would be a useful exercise to ask Kevin mcstay to do an interview reviewing the year in general.why so much time was spent on a fatally flawed defensive set up that was suddenly discarded for whatever reason only known to themselves.we started with 7 backs last Sunday yet still left ourselves wide open for first goal.I posted here sometime ago the Conor Loftus is a decent forward but wouldn’t make the starting 6 forwards but it seems he wasn’t even in the conversation as forward sub .Padraig o hora is blatantly not suited to marking a quick corner forward and it took our management a half an hour to identify this .James Horan did an interview on Midwest radio in the aftermath of the 2021 final where he was asked softball questions where we were told what we saw before our eyes didn’t happen.like many of you on here I have spent a small fortune following our county team and while there have been many great days it has now become tiresome and generally not good for the mind .The management of county teams are well looked after but a vacuum is left with supporters when we are treated like fools that wouldn’t understand the reason certain decisions are made .Kevin mcstay is very comfortable with the media and could talk us through the rationale behind some decisions without giving too much away and it might dampen down conspiracy theories that start floating about

  50. We could and we would, and we should have been looking at things very different today, if Mayo just done the simple thing and beat Cork?., When they were 6 points up going into the last quarter. If everything else had stayed the same re the draw, Kerry would have played a plemerary v Roscommon, Cork would have played Galway and we would have had a nice rest and played Tyrone on Saturday last , who would have played Donegal the previous week. Presumably we would have beaten a Tyrone team who wouldnt be as fresh as us. .Presumably Kerry would have beaten Roscommon, drawn to play Derry and again presumably beaten Derry.. Then we would be looking to beat Kerry (no we would wouldnt, repeat pairings not allowed) so presuming that Kerry had already beaten Derry , we would be facing a Dublin team in the All Ireland semifinal in Carbon Neutral Croke Park, ..After that if you can somehow imagine us overturning what in reality the 12 point difference between ourselves and Dublin, in two weeks after we would be facing a team that we had already beaten comfortably twice in league and championship in 2023, Kerry in the All Ireland Final. Bit of a stretch to see us winning it all the same.

  51. @1985
    Well McStay certainly won’t shy away from a microphone anyways, always available for comment, probably too much so imo.
    I didn’t care for the comments about his ‘rookie back, baby goalie’ etc. Smacked a bit of self preservation, even when read In context

  52. Anyone suggesting they’d take Horan back now is missing the issue completely. He would not do anything defensive enough to improve matters. He had the best crop of players at his disposal in decades and he didnt win an All Ireland; 2013 mistakes where made in the final (taking Freeman off so soon being one). 2020 and 2021 were real let downs performance wise. Disaters really. People can take a different angle and say ‘didnt we do great over the past decade’. Great is subjective. In my opinion, we failed to win an All Ireland so it was certainly not great, particularly given the players we had. Donegal and Tyrone managed to do so in this period as did an average Kerry team (’14), so we missed chances.

    Pebbles I was agreeing fully with your post until you got to McGuinness. Why should he have to take on another county or any job to prove himself. He is being paid by media to comment. He did an absolutely majestic job with Donegal as manager.He won Sam. Unlike Horan he didnt have a swathe of u20 and minor provincial champions coming through just as he took the role. Donegal, I think, reached an All Ireland u20 final in 2010 but that was all they had underage coming into the last decade. That 2012 winning side had no previous winners at underage and so McGuinness built a team and concocted a strategy to win with what he had. It worked a dream.

  53. Also on the point of the peaks and troughs in our form this season. That comes down to mental toughness. We proved this year we are short in this department. Bouncing back after defeat is admirable but common in GAA and in sport, in general. Grinding out wins continually and finding a way to win is far more impressive. That what champions do.

  54. @1985.
    It’s not Mcstays job to have to disprove conspiracy theories. Anyway. Conspiracy theories usually sprout and grow from idle minds.

    Sure why don’t you go the whole hog and instead of having him do an interview, get him up in front of an Oireachtas committee.

    He will be lambasted for trying things out when he tries them, and he will be lambasted for not trying things out when he doesn’t. It’s a no win situation.

    With the players we have right now, regardless of how we set up on Sunday we were not going to win that game. This year we simply were not good enough.

    We lost 2 of the outstanding players in the Country at the end of last year and that is going to weaken any team.

    We introduced several rookie players and that usually takes years to bed new players in properly, especially when there are several new players.

    Team building takes time.

    I would say something about changes that were not made if we were a mature established team, but we are anything but.

    If you throw a frozen pizza into the oven and take it out to eat after 3 minutes it’s not going to taste too good. Give the team and management at least a bit of time to put a team and system in place.

  55. What relevance has an oireachtas commitee to the manager of the mayo team .very silly comment and he I didn’t say he had to disprove conspiracy theories.I said they develop because of lack of information

  56. I totally agree with super mac on mc stays comments about rookie full back line I thought them.three lads were a positive but no cover in front where was mcstays quarter back it wasn’t nice viewing that interview cringe

  57. Revellino what have managed tried new bar the abandoned QB/sweeper role, which was abandoned last minute and was never really a runner?

    Agree, despite my optimism we would not likely have won v Dublin the weekend. But we seemed set up to fail.
    – no discernible kick out strategy
    – no defensive strategy or sweeper
    – players positioning all over shop
    – man on man with players picked for opponents I’ll suited to them

  58. We were not at the races last Sunday
    Centre field a problem all year and need new personnel next year.
    Need a teak tough club back to put their hand up for CHB position.
    We need a cull can’t afford football wise or financial wide to carry dead weight in our panel
    Use the league wisely while maintaining Division 2 status if possible.
    Get a defensive coach, how about Kevin Walsh

  59. I’d ask if we beat Cork, got over Tyrone and got to a semi, then lossed to Dublin.,would we be happy with the year, I think league win and Kerry game rose expatation, let’s see what next year brings.
    Agree we need a defensive plan, don’t have to play defense for whole game but phases have to be managed better, if we done that we would never have lost to Cork

  60. There’s only one man for the u20 role and that’s James Horan.

    Whatever about his in-game decision making, in my life time i’ve never seen a Mayo manager as good at developing players. He got us from Longford in 2010 to two finals in a row and from Newbridge in 2018 to two finals in a row, both times with new teams.

    He develops players which is all that U20 should mean for us.

  61. A major feckup by McStay early on in his tenure was the inexplicable decision to leave Fergal Boland off the panel. He has a skill set that few others on the panel posess, such as seeing and making quick accurate kick passes and accurate shooting from outside the defensive blanket. I would imagine there was a fair bit of head scratching among the players when they heard of his omission.

  62. Well said unstoppable. He brought us from nothing. Built 2 team s. Made a few blunder s yes. Next a big year for whoever is running this management setup. The Dury is out on that one. . Full back line not the problem. Half back line and midfield and a negative game plan is. From louth to cork and nothing changed. The cork match defined our destiny. Spent all year playing a man that cannot tackle in his Time under horan at centre back. Then dropped completely. Does that strike anyone that management really knows what they are at with this team.

  63. Don’t know how can mcstay say it was a fair enough year,
    Playing Loftus when every man and his dog knew it was a no no,
    Fair play to oshea and o Donohue but no point having them up front if no ball goes in there,
    Constant over and back passing ,
    You could go on , there’s a prob with management in mayo , yr after yr of bad decisions on the line , its unreal,
    Great ballers but poor management

  64. We gave Sheridan another year last year when the dog s on the street knew it was a disaster. More negative football

  65. @JoeG, totally agree on the Boland call – wing forward is such a weak spot for us and he is so good at picking up breaks – which is what we rely on without any natural fielders. If he has another strong championship with Aghamore they surely won’t be able to ignore him.

    On the topic of team selection, not that we would have won the game, but picking O’Hora over Hession was easily as bad a call as Horan decision to take Freeman off. That is not hindsight talking – I was saying it before the came as well.

    I’m not sure if this is reflective of the management team but this Mayo team are so mentally fragile – the collapse in multiple league games, the Cork match, falling over the line v Galway when you have all the pace plus the wind at your back, and the way the heads just dropped when Dublin got their second goal is the most worrying of all.

  66. Wonder is Bob tuohy injured because he hasn’t seen no championship football. And he had to be an option when ruane and carney were not going well

  67. He was on the bench all championship so doubt he was injured. Realistically I don’t think he was the answer last Sunday to curb McCarthy and Fenton.

  68. I tried to read some of the comments but didn’t get far (blessing in disguise)
    When you have a lad on here picking one player out of a 40 man panel that needs to up his S & C and that player is………Ryan O Donoghue.

    Jesus wept,you’d worry about some lads following Mayo.

  69. With the quarters done and dusted, we can now take a look at what the best way to navigate the new format is.

    On the surface it seems simple, 3 semi finalists are provincial winners and group winners.

    The stats though suggest that the correlation between winning your province and success is not as strong as on first glance.

    In fact there seems to a hangover effect from provincial success. Only Galway managed to win their opening group game. And that leads into the rather odd stat that only Monaghan have a 100% home record across the championship, and that’s won one from one.

    The lesson I guess is win your province and your home games and you will go far in this new system, but the vulnerability of provincial champions immediately after suggests that provincial success isn’t the be all and end all, and can be recovered from.

  70. The defensive collapse for the last 5mins against Louth and last 15mins against Cork cannot be blamed on one player. Can people get over this one as it’ll boil on for the rest of the year. He now seems to be getting the blame for games he didnt play in. Look at the facts of these Louth / Cork games – I quoted the stats after the Cork game on here. McStay made changes for Galway onwards, we were wide open in the first half against Galway and were lucky we were not punished more. On Sunday we had 4 defenders whom performed poorly and this was obvious in the first half. Failure to identify and correct this was part of our downfall, going man to man when a sweeping structure was needed.

    Before the Louth and Cork minutes meltdown the defence was reasonable, but afterwards it was worse and the evidence is there. So unless we had a Plunkett or Harrison available our options were limited somewhat. As I said yesterday the mgmt team need to develope a defensive structure and prove it works by not conceding a single goal in the league

  71. @FW RoD went missing particularly in the second half.
    Don’t mean to single him out as he is an obviously talented player but we lacked physicality all over the field.
    We are now a team too easy to push around and this must be addressed.

  72. I wouldn’t have said ROD was one to be pushed around. Sure the national meeja were fulminating the entire previous week about him having kicked the golden boy down in Galway.

    The ball didn’t go into him all that much in the second half IMO, particularly when we started chasing goals instead of tapping the ball over.

  73. Jr. Most of them went missing second half. But when u have Tommy rod and aos inside and refuse to put the ball in… all had a good first half… what does that tell us. Took aos off instead of posting him at the edge of the square. Rod owes mayo nothing. A fantastic lad.

  74. my $0.02…The “Good”… Won league, Beat Yerras in Killarney!, Beat Galway in Salthill, found a goalie who can shotstop, do long kickouts and kick long frees, new FB line!, tommy back, AOS as FF and kicking left-footed frees, Durcan, DOC, JF and ROD, the podcasts, boyler analysis! and most mcstay interviews
    The Mercurial … Carr, Ruane, Loftus as CHB, Carney, our attempts at beating blanket, defense and attack systems improved in league (untested yes maybe) and then we got muddled
    The “Needs Work”… Sweeper\no Sweeper – need to settle on Sweeper ( i just dunno who) and maybe play DOC as CHF?, why play AOS as FF and not kick HIGH AGRICULTURAL ball to him?! why not have Carr in beside him and let ROD play as CHF? Midfield and Kickout Collection both ours and opposition kickouts…
    The promising… Harrison, Plunkett (play in CHF line?) back next year, Touhy and Towey with 1 more S&C year into them (this applies to all this year’s newbies) , Mark Moran back on bench with Boland?, JF and Touhy as midfield in leaque, the fact the yerras and dubs wont get any better next year..
    The must do …. beat galway in every game and win Connaught (seeded draw i hope!) to make it easier to avoid a PQF next year…keep the faith and stop complaining… remember ruislip?

  75. Putting square pegs in round holes has been part of our problems.
    OHora a great warrior but corner back a specialist position.
    Callinan very promising and very unfortunate for the goal,99 times out of 100 the ball will go wide.
    Poor Loftus asked to play a position he is not used to and then hung out to dry.
    Midfield a problem all year, bringing Aido and Jordan Flynn put for the start of each half says it all.
    Ruane and DoC too similar for a partnership.
    No return from half forward line in either scores or work rate with the exception of Jordan Flynn
    Not having a settled team coming to end of league .
    Lack of physicality all round and no movement for kickouts.

  76. I was listening to a very informative podcast today from within our own county. A stat came up, in McStays last 4 championship games in CP his team has conceded 14-84. For context that’s an average concession of 31.5 points a game. Please tell me that stat isn’t accurate

  77. Still proud of oyr guys they gave me joy through out this year when were flying was great .

    We can have no complaints dubs far better end of day.

    Yes was not our day yesterday I feel bad for the guys hope they’ve a great Sumner.

    We will be back next year as always and so I will with my cheer haha

  78. Need to get used to these results I’m afraid. Once the year goes on, the cream always comes to the top and the counties with proper footballers who are schooled in the highest skills of the game from a young age will get the ultimate rewards. The players aren’t there in Mayo at this time and I’ve seen some push back on this notion today, but it is a fact. We don’t have footballers of the calibre of a Brian Fenton or McCaffrey – players who are great athletes but also possess huge skill level. Most of the squad are mediocre and some of them are outright poor at basic footballing skills and smarts. Too many players who can run all day but can’t pick out a pass and let the ball in nice and quick. A midfield that can’t catch a ball between them. More than once this year, I’ve seen players afraid to kick points from 30 yards. It’s crazy stuff. Horan and injuries were blamed for the capitulation last year. Well it’s a new year, new management and we were mostly very fortunate on injuries this year, and it’s still the same story – utterly outclassed in Croke Park when it matters. The players available right now are not good enough on a basic level when push comes to shove.

  79. Playing pool an issue alright dreamy. We need to address underage structures and these so called development panels.
    But the players we have deserve to be set up to the best of their ability to get us as far as we can, and be as competitive as we can. Can anyone hand on Heart say that was the case this year with all the evidence in the table?

  80. You could be right FrostTHammer. Let’s hope you’re right. But even that number is still far to high for a team with aims of winning an AI

  81. Thats a damming assesment Dreamy but one im very sad to say i have to agree with.

  82. Green and red I heard that on the pod as well, so checked it out. Concessions in last 4 championship games in CP were not quite that. They are from what I saw:
    2-17 v Dublin
    4-24 v Tyrone
    0-20 v Donegal
    4-24 v Dublin

    So it’s not as high as they stated at 10-85, or an average of 2.5 goals and 21.2 points a game (28.7pts a game)

  83. @Green&Red

    Oh mcstays record. I thought you meant mayo in general

    Probably but there’s three almighty hammers from Tyrone, Dublin and ourselves as Roscommon manager being counted.

    As a stat it’s a little undermined by how Roscommons next championship visit to CP went. Shipping exactly a total score of 31 to Dublin suggests that was exactly their level

  84. Frost T, that’s worth factoring alright. But when add in yesterdays 2-17, it points to a an ongoing trend in how not to set up defensively….

  85. LET EVERYBODY HOLD OFF CRITICISING KEVIN MCSTAY. He was appointed to the position and a lot of people were saying he had assembled the dream team of coaches and selectors. i was concerned at the time and said so on the blog I VOTED FOR TEAM RAY DEMPSEY. We do not learn in mayo. He brought in S.Rochford who lost 2 all-irelands. Donie buckley who lost 3 all-irelands .Liam Mchale who lost 3 all irelands. Not a winner among them. In years gone by we brought back john o mahoney, james horan and john maughaun to complete the job of winning the Sam Maguire. I hope kevin shakes up his management team and get in all-ireland winners to join team Mcstay and go and win SAM in 2024.

  86. Dreamysleepy – at the weekend we saw Davy Byrne (probably the least skillful Dublin player with all due respect) give a high ball into 5’10” Colm Basquel and Dublin got a goal from it.

    Nobody can tell me our players aren’t talented enough to do something similar several times a game, especially if Aidan O’Shea is in there. The only time we did was in the first half where Ryan miss hit a shot, O’Shea won it and offloaded to Conroy for a point.

    Obviously that’s only one aspect of the game, but I don’t accept we just shrug our shoulders and say the 2nd half on Sunday is a fair reflection of where Mayo football is at.

  87. Two things have to change for Mayo to succeed, 1 our training must change to reach our peak for later parts of
    Championship , just like Kerry and dublin and 2. this applies to all Counties all games in Championship must have at least 14 days between games.

  88. @Green&Red

    Sunday was a 10 point improvement on mcstays mean. A similar improvement in the next game would be a concession of 14 points. So trending in the correct direction. Statistically it’s about a 35% improvement which is pretty impressive

  89. Got spot Frosty, lazy on my part I just pulled the 3 group stages games. So you’d swap out the 20 points conceded to Donegal in Hyde with the 4-19 v ourselves in replay year before I think.

  90. Why wasn’t start of second half or “third quarter” red flagged by Mayo management & defence coach?
    We all knew that Dublin was going to blow Mayo away in that period, it took 5 minutes only to finish Mayo’s challenge, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was so obvious Dublin kept their players out to the wings to leave space for Mccarthy & McCaffrey to charge at Mayo goal & they did, open road in front of them, time to put the shoe down, they did & 5 minutes it was game set & match.
    The Mayo team looked sluggish at the start of second half, did anyone else notice that, no energy.

  91. Left boot – McCaffrey wasn’t on the pitch at the beginning of the 2nd half?

  92. If you look back at the Dub v Roscommon game ,where is the great Dublin team they talk about on here , Mayo are not setup as a proper team, what about the first half Mayo were the better team ,without a proper midfield. Roscommon were organised in that game and Dublin were very average , if Mayo had the team sorted they would not be humiliated x 12 points , this management are clueless i dont care what the pro mcstay people think. a good manager that knows the game would not pick that team last Sunday , I said on here last week the team he should have picked Hession to start, half backs oHora ,Durcan . Callinan ,E.mcLaughlin ,RoD AT 11 T.Conroy at 13 ,AOS in front of 3, Diarmuid in midfield with a fielder check this out from last week, if this happened we would not have lost by 12 points. It baffles the mind when they say the team will be better next year, there is not a shred of evidence to back this up.Firstly you have to settle the players you have available into a team, just look at Derry they are 8-9 points ahead of Cork at this time , there is one blogger on here who is pro-pro mcstay , a very good writer i might add, it would be something if someone could come up with a player or three who could strengthen the team .We are going backwards now, you can bet diamonds on it. The only players i have seen who are up to standard are minors or a year over that.What happened to the Kerry minors how many of them in the present Kerry team. slan anois

  93. Sorry, everyone – am a bit lost here. I thought Sunday was Kevin McStay’s first Championship game in Croke Park as Mayo manager.
    I don’t see how he has been there four times unless you go back to the League Final.
    I think the League Final was his first time in Croke Park managing a senior Mayo team.

    Whatever this Mayo podcast is, that is mentioned above, I’m afraid I don’t find the logic convincing, but maybe that’s just me.

    The first year of Horan’s last tenure (2019) we lost to Dublin by 10 points in a semi final in Croke Park. We lost to Kerry in the Super 8s in Killarney by 10 points in 2019.

    We had Reape, Coyne, McBrien, McLaughlin, Carney, O’Donoghue, Conroy, Hession in their first three seasons on the team. (I remember this current Kerry All-Ireland winning team playing Mayo in the League in 2019. They didn’t look as impressive then as now. Dreamy and others, do they not need some time to develop?)

    And we’ve been playing three weekends on the hop against a Dublin team out to redeem themselves.

  94. Wide ball Dublin don’t leave themselves open to that sort of ball being played in especially if o Shea is in there.Kevin mcstay has 3 years left in the job and next year will be massive for him.I always found mcstay interesting to listen to as a pundit but of course James Horan is now a pundit again and now has the answers like most of us on here but of course it’s just our personal opinions.I remember the 2006 all Ireland semi final as probably the most exciting and dramatic game I ever attended and rewatching the game back with mcstay commenting that if the mayo management couldn’t see that Alan brogan had too much for Keith Higgins on the day then he didn’t know what to say but yet he or anyone else on management team couldn’t spot the mismatch last Sunday.It all seems to change when on the sideline.we went with a structure or system for 12 games covering league and championship then suddenly a 15 minute period in the cork game changed everything leading us back to a suicidal man to man approach against the dubs.we ended the game against Galway with the ball flying around our goal in total mayhem.Galway players were allowed to palm the ball across our square and we extremely lucky to get away with it .the same chaotic finishes happened against Armagh and Roscommon in the league.I am not focusing on one player but what was the actual reason for the change from the management point of view.centre backs are there primarily to defend.centre forwards should be the creators like ciaran McDonald or Brian mcguigan of Tyrone or ciaran Kilkenny when he plays there .Anyway we will all be back year for the highs and lows of this now never ending saga

  95. Swallow swoops you’re 100% correct, some of us may not have been clear enough. Above stats refer to managements last 4 inter-county championship outings in Croke park, not this Mayo teams.

    Indeed the players do deserve time to settle in and I would not be inclined to make comments pointing finger of blame towards some of these newer players like some have in the media.
    The facts above point to an inability to set up defensively for the big games historically which it appears has carried over to current set up.

  96. 1985 – but they were exposed when Ryan’s wayward shot came down between Aidan and his marker and we got a point from it.

    That was completely accidental of course, so surely there can be actual moves practiced to get ball into him? Am I mad or is that far easier to coach than endless periods of possession that usually lead to a turnover or a shot under pressure?

  97. It’s amazing when one looks back at the Replay.
    O Donohue’s 1at half display was the best forward play by a Mayo player in Croker.

    The Flynn disallowed goal looked legitimate in the replay.

    The Dubs were there for the taking in 1st half.
    Fatigue was a huge factor in 2nd half.
    Management got selection wrong on the day.

  98. Eamon Fitzmaurice commentating on Dublins first goal said, a long ball into the square leading to a goal, who knew.
    As Colm Boyle said on the podcast, why not try it now and then.

  99. Wide ball; you are right but they ran down the middle area with no Mayo player to block the gaps, it was a no brainer, they should have kept A O Shea back or someone to protect that area till the storm passed, that was my point, they probably wouldn’t have beat the Dubs but it wouldn’t have been a hammering?

  100. So the consensus from most posters on here seems to have arrived on the grand plan of………
    Leave Aidan o’shea on the edge of the square.

    After 10 odd years of seeing it doesn’t work we double down on it? Cmon we need something more sophisticated than that.
    I know the ball onto him has been largely rubbish but he’s not entirely blameless as his inside movement is non existant and we know he won’t score.

    He always works his h0le off and still has a role to play but if the solution next year is to build the attack around him then we are simply not learning lessons

  101. Based on commentary here and elsewhere, my reading of the improvements needed to mount a challenge next year:

    Full back line too slow and not enough protection in place. We require a new defensive structure. Realistically we need a new defensive coach. Hession should be a starter.

    Half-back line requires a specialist CHB. Could convert POH to the role but management would prefer a quarterback/playmaker type. Did not work out with either CL or JD.

    Midfield in disarray and requires surgery. Is there any players in the county who can step up?

    HF line contains too many athletes converted into footballers. Should be the other way around. Not enough scoring threat in HFs.

    Full forwards performed quite well this year but not enough supply of quality ball. A fully fit COC next year is still worth his weight in goal but will not work miracles for us.

    I’m tired of the whole Where To Play AOS debate. It got old years ago. Unfortunately he never got enough ball in the forwards and even if he did he had to drop back to put out fires in midfield. I’m not sure there’s a correct answer but he has been immense for us this year.

    That’s a lot to work on over the next few years. If resources are limited my preference is to concentrate on defence and stop the leaking of goals at critical moments. The Choatic Running game is not a proper tactic. We can’t outrun the likes of Dublin or Kerry. We have to be cuter and evolve our game. Forget about our ‘DNA’.

    That whole ‘McStay in Croke Park’ is interesting trivia for a podcast but is not deserving of serious discussion. The podcast it was aired on was good however. As were the two Colms on the Mayo Football podcast

  102. It might be complete wishful thinking on my part, but I’d give Derry a shout in the semi. Padraig McGrogan is a player that stands out for me. Very unassuming and low-key but he’s as good a back 6 player as you’d see. Great ball carrier and a certain leader in that team.

  103. Supermac
    It doesn’t have to be Aidan. Ryan and James Carr can win ball. As Boyler said, no Philly in there now and Davy Byrne just back from injury.

  104. @liberal, Derry have a proper chance for sure

    Just to follow on from some other most recent posts. The main take away this year is that we need to really put energy into our defence. We have the players to make us one of the meanest defences in the country. That should be the goal. We are a too short in quality to go hung ho in matches. We simply will have days where we concede too much.



    Defence. Sin é

  105. @Wide Ball

    I wouldn’t entirely say it’s “far easier”, I guess it would depend on what level you want to perform either to, but I would agree that it shouldn’t be anymore difficult.

    In defense of management, I’m not sure that it was entirely possible to do either this year. Outside of the big gap after the Roscommon game, it’s been very full on all year. I’m pretty sure two weeks is the biggest gap between games since the FBD.

    It’s an area where I expect we’ll improve next year. There will be massive learnings to take from this year. We’ve a decent template to use in the Killarney game, in essence we should be aiming to be able to prepare to that standard within two weeks

  106. My Consensus after watching the full game back.

    Mayo power seems to have withered since the league, where was the S&C coach this past 2 months.
    Some players were absent on Sunday.
    Some other guys never gave up, the trait I always look for most.
    A few guys not County standard.

    I certainly will not be throwing praise on some Dublin players as people on this blog were yesterday.
    Two Mayo players were target by McCarthy early in 2nd half.

    Monaghan will not be as generous in defending as the always too generous Mayo management.
    We don’t know how to defend.

  107. Supermac – I’m not saying Aido on the edge of the square is some secret grand plan. It can be James Carr, Carney or whoever else.

    Someone above said Mayo players don’t have the skill to kick the ball forward. Yet Davy Byrne was able to do it for Dublin when Colm Basquel was the target man.

  108. Sadly I have to agree GBXI – in my now relatively long lifetime over the past 60 years Mayo have never been able to protect a lead but this Mayo team really are serial offenders in the mental fragility stakes. As I posted before the Irish Rugby team had that problem until Joe Schmidt and now Andy Farrell took charge – a real problem of 2nd half self-belief!

  109. One incredible point to note from Sunday – and it has nothing to do with Mayo.

    Pat Gilroy.

    I have to say, I think this man is the most underrated manager/coach even WATER BOY in the country. He was the man to end the barren period for the dubs in 2011, and introduce the new culture and leave an incredible foundation for Jim Gavin to go on.

    The same man was technically a water boy on Sunday. We often hear so much stories about the lack of ego in the Dublin dressing room. That’s down to Pat 100% – built on by Jim.

    Would any past mayo manager ever be so egoless to lend support in such a minor way and never look for the spotlight? A class act and a man the represents the very best of the GAA.

    If Mayo are to ever look for an outside manager or even someone who could offer strategic direction or performance analysis, I’d have him every day of the week and twice on a sunday.

  110. I’d horse Aidan, Carney and Flynn into the full forward line from the off next year, and rain all sorts of hail Marys down on top of them. Have Ryan buzzing around them, and I reckon on a tight pitch like McHale, if we get slowed down at all bringing it out, we’ve enough pace around to put up a serious counter press.

    Would force us to find new lads in the middle

  111. BateTheBlanket is right – ROD was on fire if 1st half on limited possession and he’s never afraid to have a go. Frankly I’m worried about destroying our players’ confidence by some of the unjustified remarks- the players are suffering worse than we supporters. Maigh Eo Abú

  112. Wide ball Dublin don’t leave themselves exposed to that type of ball being played in .the kick pass in wouldn’t be on because of the way they protect their full back line .horsing a load of big men into the full forward line has been tried before.remember aido and Barry Moran in there in 2009 .If it was that simple then everyone would just plant three 6 foot 5 lads in there and hey presto

  113. Very disappointing that there was no obvious defensive Structure or plan put in the place by
    Management. I said it after last year’s defeat that
    We need put a puke blanket in place like Galway
    And Kerry had done, but alas it was not done .
    We were shockingly open on Sunday. It was
    Amazing to see our full back line so isolated with
    No cover. Have we learned nothing over the last
    10 years. Roscommon were Derided for their
    Defensive set up, but there is no way James McCarthy and Co. would have run through the heart of the
    Roscommon defence as he did at will in the
    2nd half on Sunday.
    If management did not have a defensive plan
    In place on year 1, they are not going to change tack in year 2 or 3 either unfortunately. It’s just
    Not in their nature. They have set out their
    Template, whatever it is, nobody really knows That’s the reality and ultimately Will be our downfall in year 2 and 3.

  114. I think AOS and one or two more may need to move on, for mayo football to reset.. This age old debate of where to play him is pointless and can sometimes dominate the conversation.. Truth is he’s never scored from play v Dublin has hasn’t raised one white flag in 7 all ireland finals.. Now you can make whatever excuse you like, he’s played. 14, 11 8 and 3. This is not blowing off steam or picking on anyone, it’s just time to move on and that’s where it starts..a fair bit of surgery needed overall.. Fair play on this website WJ, you’ve done an incredible job.. Love the posts and passion here.

  115. Well done to Ryan. DOC deserves huge credit as he was one of the few players that kept taking the fight to Dublin right to the end on Sunday.
    There’s been some great posts over the last couple of days and the comments have been generally well measured and that mustn’t have been easy for some considering the utter humiliation we just suffered. I left Croke Park feeling completely dejected and unfortunately it’s a feeling I’ve become far too used to over the years after big games. Those of us looking for a thorough review by the CB of what went wrong against Dublin and the hope that we might take some learnings from it will be disappointed yet again as our history tells us that it’s something we don’t do very well in Mayo.

    There are reasons why we haven’t won an All Ireland title since 1951 and many of those reasons have been laid bare again this season. We will never win it until we start taking this game more seriously and start sending teams to Croke Park properly equipped to win these big games. Our team on Sunday was badly prepared to take on Dublin and we got blown away. We didn’t seem to have a hint of a kick out strategy and it was a calamity waiting to happen every time Reape had the ball. We got bullied again all over the field and why has our physicality dropped off so badly in the space of a year? It used to be our calling card.

    Most of the players will be far from happy with their performances on Sunday but the management team must shoulder most of the blame for what happened. I was happy when Kevin McStay got the job and he should be given the benefit of the doubt as it’s his first year in charge. However, if his tenure is going to be successful he will have to be brave and make tough decisions about his management team and playing panel for next year. He should know after this weekend that he has a massive job to do but if he does it properly then the next time we get back to Croke Park we should have a far better chance of winning those big games.

  116. Kerry better get it into their heads that Derry are no Tyrone this year.

  117. 1985 – there was plenty of ball kicked into our full forward line in the first half and Dublin hadn’t much cover around. Most of it was out in front of the forwards so no goal chances were going to come off it.

    My point was the only high dropping ball we sent in was Ryan’s shot. Obviously a goal chance didn’t come from that as it dropped nowhere near the goal! If we sent a few passes in more centrally things may have worked out better.

    I agree throwing a load of big men in there is silly. Ideally they should all be natural scoring forwards, but a mixture of size/skill is necessary.

  118. Wide ball my point is was there any occasion where Dublin were in a situation like we had with jack coyne and Padraig o hora totally isolated on their men in front of goal with no covering player in position

  119. Was callinan pushed in the back before the second goal?How quick gough was to disallow flynns goal when he couldn’t possibly see it from where he was standing.Wont change the result but I think there was a push.

  120. 1985 – I haven’t watched the whole game back (don’t plan to!) but if you compare the 2 Aidan was completely isolated with Byrne. The problem is by the time Ryan’s shot went up in the air and dropped down Fenton and other defenders had got back.

    Dublin’s first goal came from a deliberate driven ball into Basquel and Costello. Diarmuid and Callinan were in the vicinity and would have gotten back had it been a high looping miss hit shot.

  121. But it wasn’t a high looping mishit.mcbrien had been deliberately taken out of that area by con o Callaghan.appeared to be something they worked on

  122. @1985, in the first 20 minutes the Dublin defenders in fullback line were man on man with no cover, then they wised up and by the 25th minute there were 1 and sometimes 2 men Sweeping in front of the fullback line.

    I’m not convinced with the Dubs win, Mayo gave away a very soft goal, if Flynn’s goal was allowed then it was change the game for 2nd half.

    But I cannot forgive management for not playing an all out defence for early in 2nd half, check my posts on Sunday prior to the game and maybe on Friday or Saturday also, I saw this coming, was there in 2019 also for it.

  123. I know that! I’m saying Dublin did leave our forwards 1v1 at times but we never tried the kind of ball Davy Byrne did.

  124. I really wonder if we had hit them with everything we had early (they seemed more open early on), would they have had a chance to recover?
    Tommy was causing all sorts of problems for them. I was delighted at that.
    If we had got the speed and madness going (and we could with Sam, Eoghan, Paddy and Tommy on the field) we could have done a mini Kerry in Killarney on it.
    And maybe Kilkenny, McCaffrey and Small might be all at sea coming on after half time too late.
    They seemed to mirror our Killarney strategy keeping three starters to come off the bench after the break to max things out and finish the game strong.
    Wouldn’t it be lovely if it hadn’t worked?
    One can dream in peace now.

  125. Bate the blanket and wide ball I am not disagreeing with either of ye but the position of the markers is relevant.look at the position o hora got himself into in front and then lost the flight of the ball.the Dublin backs were goal side and would be in a position to hold up the play while help arrives and in any case it seems the opposition know we won’t play that sort of ball in .To be honest I am totally baffled with alot of the things we do

  126. Monaghan will literally do a park the bus job on Dublin. It’ll be seriously tight. I expect Kerry/Derry to be a similar cagey affair.

  127. The way modern football is, much to my dismay as I’m a purist is based on defence.. Quick transition and having 2 or 3 heavy scorers like Clifford and o shea.. Mayo don’t have that unfortunately.. Or a no 11 to pick out a pass.. Look at what kerry have done since jack came back… With paddy Tally of course.. Drop morely in as sweeper.. Never isolate the full back line like mayo did on 2 very fast corner forwards in costello, who is a great baller and been a pain I’m mayos neck for yrs… And Basquel obv.. We had a player with no pace and very young inexperienced lad in the other corner… Disaster, esp in croker. Id love to see rule changes to stop this blanket defending of course but it’s the way it is.

  128. 1985.
    Maybe my thinking is too simplistic, but if Con goes out, why should McBrien follow him. Should he not stay at fullback and let someone else follow him. No matter how you rotate players, we both have 15 on the pitch.

  129. Probably under instruction to follow him and in any case this can all happen very quickly.con can make the run .mcbrein doesn’t necessarily know it’s a dummy run and of course it might not be

  130. Nephin I fully agree. Colm Boyle said as much on the podcast. Kick in a long diagonal ball every now and again and keep them guessing. When done correctly it’s a hard move to defend against. Make them work. Did we not get a good goal out of it when Aidan O’Shea passed into James Carr earlier in the league. Dublin aren’t perfect, we show them too much respect at times. It’s not feasible to run the ball up all the time. The lateral stuff is necessary sometimes but dammit it saps the energy

  131. Still lots of blame being put on management here. As I said previously the only major mistake I saw was taking off Aido off too soon and not enough kicking a few long balls in around the Dublin house. O Hora was in trouble and was hooked off in first half. Pretty much all of the players were in bother in the second half so not much management can do there. The second goal can hardly be laid at feet of management, it was a bad defensive mistake. E Mac missing a sitter is no one’s fault except his own. Tommy and Ryan, so good in the first half just simply could not get on the ball after half time We couldn’t win anything at midfield despite Diarmaid and Jordan (who polled well in man of match award) being there. Cillian came on but didn’t influence much. Coen got injured so we were even more open at the back. The much maligned Conor Loftus who was a scapegoat for so many earlier in the campaign didn’t get on. I think we have to be honest enough to say our team is not good enough at the moment. On our day we can be very effective but we are too inconsistent to win the big one. Lots of the new players have done well and will as McStay said learn from this. We can blame only having a week and losing to Cork etc but the fact is we are not good enough. I am sure we will improve and the biggest task for management is to set up a defensive system where we don’t concede soft goals. We conceded none against Galway x2 and none against Kerry either and guess what. we won both games.

  132. To win just once, what about having Padraig in a two man full back line on a pacy forward with no coverage in front?
    Lot of stuff on the day can’t be attributed to management but going a full year with no set defensive plan, no kick out strategy and a laborious attacking plan is not on the players.

  133. Was in Croke Park on Sunday and only got to watch the whole game again this evening. In adversity and with a good goal disallowed (PS, Eamon Fitzmaurice is by a country mile the best on Co Commentary noticed the ball had not touched the ground) Jordan Flynn was for by far our best player on the day on second viewing. Our first half was better than I thought when in the Lower Cusack, but our second half was worse than I thought at the time. Now on McStay’s general strategy this year , allot was good we developed a kicking game, we found a position for Aiden O Shea where he contributed allot even if not scoring from play, Mc Brien looks like a serious full back, and Colm Reape looks a serious goal keeper with one the best kickout in Ireland. ..We won the league, the importance of the League is being talked down this week, however I will say this , If Mayo had done what they should have done when 6 points to the good v Cork, and if Shane Walsh had kicked a free over that he should have versus a very conservative Armagh and the draw was the same, a rested Mayo would have played a Tyrone that was out the previous week v Donegal, and a rested Galway would have played Monaghan and have another free week for both Sean Kelly and Damien Comer to get back to full fitness , I believe in those circumstances both Mayo and Galway would be in the All Ireland semifinals and the same pundits who are this week dismissing the league would be telling us of its importance. We both Mayo and Galway shot ourselves in the foot big time. NOW on the negative side, we are seriously lacking in being able to win contested ball in the middle of the field as Galway proved in Salthill, Cork proved in Limerick, Louth proved in Castlebar the few times they actually contested the ball very late on, and Dublin in the second half proved in Croke Park. At times our recycling was well over done, I feel we have coached the spontaneity out of ourselves on I believe management instructions. Against Louth it was ridiculous, with James Carr, Ryan O Donaghue and Aiden O Shea in the full forward line, and when we go a few points down like we did v Cork, or Dublin even with good possession we continually start recycling the ball, I dont know how we expect to get a score. I feel that both Conor Louftus and James Carr both played themselves off the starting 15 by strictly adhering to the management instructions. Neither were doing anything wrong or playing badly, but the instructions were wrong or at least overdone in my opinion. On the 3 occasions Mayo went behind in this years Championship (other than Galway in Salthill was an exception because of the very strong wind) we failed to break down our opposition and get the necessary scores despite good possession and we got turned over during a phase of recycling for easy counter attacks against us., and instead of scoring ourselves we conceded scores. On Sunday last Aiden O Shea should have been left on longer and instead of recycling we should have gambled on going long into O Shea or at least ran hard at Dublin. Overall on the 2023 season Id probably give the management a C.

  134. Not disputing that Gizmebobs and fully agree we need to work on a negative defensive structure, but as I said O Hora was removed in first half. Building a proper defensive structure takes a long time. Management w ent for Loftus at CHB for most of the year. It worked to a point but when he believed it wasn’t working he changed it (as most here were calling for). Having 3 to 4 young and inexperienced lads was a big ask v dubs which is why I presume he started O Hora. It didn’t work so he changed it. Hession is a good player but through injury or whatever he has not really played well since the Tyrone league game. McBrien has had a good year, Coyne quite good also, Callinan did well barring his error Sunday. Should be no blame there as it’s down to inexperience. McHugh solid year as well. In fairness for an inexperienced defence which lost Oisin and Leeroy they did quite well throughout the year but the top teams punish even small mistakes and Mayo’s mistakes were more than small

  135. At 5am I finally plucked up the courage to watch the whole game again and while you usually spot lots of things on tv that you missed live at the game but this time it was pretty much as I thought at the time. In all my time playing and coaching the absolute must-do for picking teams was the spine. Mayo on Sunday.
    Keeper. Mostly OK. Kickout problems have to be shared with outfield players.
    Fullback. Fine.
    CHB. A big problem.
    Midfield. Mostly nonexistent despite Diarmuid’s efforts.
    CHF. I think we only have one player (ROD) for chf and he wasn’t positioned there.
    FF. Tommy wore 14 but wasn’t ff. AOS was but was starved of ball.
    If your spine is weak your whole structure is weak and will not function for a whole game against a strong opponent.

  136. Of the top of my head I could rhyme off all the all Ireland winners and Connacht champions for the last 40 years but aside from mayo’s 3 wins I couldn’t say who won the league in those years.Your season is defined by your final game which for us was simply appalling.I really wanted mcstay to get the job but to hear him say we had a good year is unbelievable.we lost 3 championship games out of 6 .The incident last Sunday where carney refused to come off and then proceeded to lose the next ball played to him is very telling.who in gods name is in charge

  137. 1985 .Are u sure he refused to be taken off. I saw that and thought he was going to run injury off and I did see him lose the next ball. I did not see any sub ready to come on in his place. If the player refused to come off it is mind boggling. I don’t think jack would refuse to come off if he was asked to come off.

  138. Well he appeared to refuse.the medic looked to be shaking his head to indicate he was done and apparently he had an arm in a sling after the Galway game.It wasn’t as if he was having any impact on the game anyway.maybe I a wrong but it didn’t look good to me

  139. Credit to the team doctor he gave the manage take him of signal. But Carney was adamant he wanted to stay on, which is admirable and shows determination and fight on players part.
    But it should not be the players calling the shots.

  140. Another week of recovery and that’s a different game but maybe not a different result. Our lads gassed and dull by the last 1/4 means we simply couldn’t respond effectively to Dublins energy. Still we dont seem to be coherent enough in our overall play, it’s been sloppy and disjointed for a good while now, even the closing stages of the league. Which we won, yes but isn’t that down to a few spectacular saves by Colm Reape rather than a well executed management strategy?

  141. Good post Leantimes. I too watched it back last night (something I rarely do) and found it wasn’t as bad as I thought on Sunday.

    The first half was pretty good, and Jordan’s goal should have been allowed, but he did poorly for shots at a point. The disaster occurred so early in the second half, that it was game over after five minutes or so. McCarthy kneed Flynn at the throw in, but we should have been alert to a rampaging run, and that point and the other two that followed for Dublin were sickeners. Confidence was shot, and errors crept in all over the field.

    Even at that we had a spell where three points and a goal were missed; Ryan’s free and Eoghan’s goal attempt were bad, no question.

    I agree Leantimes, that over- cycling ,for want of a better word, has contributed to our problems. We are too light in some areas, can’t break the line, can’t get ball and can’t hold on to it when we do.. A good example occurred after Reape’s point; we ‘won’ Dublin’s kick out, except we didn’t because we spilled it, got it back, and ended up with Paddy being dispossessed, and Dublin on the front foot.once again.

    Management assessment? They didn’t cover themselves in glory on Sunday, that’s for sure. O’Hora should have been subbed much earlier. I also couldn’t see the value of the Eoghan Mac substitution even allowing for his yellow card. Kevin Mac woul have been one to come on and shore up a lead. And, even though he is light and needs bulking up, surely Bob Tuohy should have got some championship game time – he is able to catch a few balls. Overall, I have faith in them.

  142. I was delighted Kevin McStay got the job. I thought he was doing well during the league, bringing on new players and playing good football.
    The Killarney performance was very encouraging and I genuinely thought we were in a good position. I was baffled by our performance against Louth and I couldn’t believe how we gave up a 6 point lead to Cork. There is still no obvious answer to those issues – how you can beat the AI champions convincingly in their home pitch and then practically fade away against lesser teams.
    I winced a bit listening to Kevin McStay after the Dublin match trying to put a positive spin on the season after an annihilation. Maybe it was just the timing. Yes there were positive aspects to the season but overall it was disappointing and the most disappointing part was that we seemed to collapse when we really needed to dig in. Lack of leadership? Toughness? Experience? Cuteness? Will to win? Quality?
    I don’t know. But I hope Kevin and Co can figure it out.

  143. Finally braved my rewatch last night.

    A huge positive in that first 20 minutes RoD and Conroy was absolutely electric. I have no fears about those 2 leading the line in the years to come. I like how RoD was dropping it straight on the boot as soon as he got it, no waiting to recycle or looking around for others. I want my scorers looking for the responsibility like that, conor mcmanus style.

    McBrien was a positive also, yes he got dragged out of position by con bit it’s up to management to plug the gaps there, he done his job in restricting Con and overall is up there with Flynn and Diarmuid for our poty. A huge plus

    Poor Swanee really did have a shocker, as james o Donohoe said basquels first point was the easiest point ever kicked in a qf, he just trotted out for an easy ball and tiptoed past him. Same for the goal. O’hora is many things but a man marker in croker he ain’t as we have seen many times before. That one is entirely on management

    Midfield completely destroyed, we were under huge pressure on our kickouts but I put that more on the Midfield 8 then on reape, they were showing him nothing.

    Another long period without scoring, there have been long 20+ minute periods in all our games when we haven’t scored. Not sustainable

    James McCarthy really was a collosus. One of the all time greats, like a man possessed with no medals. He is the complete footballer, athletic strong, skilful, versatile,scores, defends, mean, nasty, ruthless, quick. What a footballer

  144. What does it say about or to our midfielders when we bring 2 different players to the middle for the throw ins
    Not exactly a vote of confidence
    If I was them I would stand my ground and tell the other pair to F off and return to their own positions.

  145. Oh lord it’s highly unlikely that O Shea and Flynn decide of their own accord to head to midfield for the the throw and evict the other two

  146. @1985 I agree but it has to knock the confidence out of our midfielders.
    They should have it out with management, no chance of a quick ball into Aido if he is in the middle of the field.

  147. Supermac, isn’t it interesting that we are all praising James McCarthy and Colm Basquel, two players that probably felt scarred, disappointed and hurt from their performance in that watershed loss in 2021?
    I’ve watched the end of that Dublin v Mayo 2021 match back enough times to believe those two players, in particular, were hurting.
    And they and the Dublin team and management must have been focussed on their redemption and setting the score right since then.
    Maybe we’ll have our own times like that too. I believe we will. Mayo will come back whether in the short or longer term.

  148. Read the Jim Mc Guinness article there and not far from the mark. Nothing too harsh in it really but just pointed out Mayo need to adopt a Sweeper or new defensive setup if they want to win AI. The general consensus on here seems to agree. I remember the criticism of Horan on here very well and can see a similar reaction to Mc Stay. I say give him his shot over 3 years. For me there have been huge positives in the way we are playing albeit mostly in the league, but the games against Tyrone and Kerry were very sweet,
    Don’t really believe we are 12 points off Dublin, take into account the 4 goal swing on the day and Mayo’s lethargy in the second half due to illness / 3 week in a row games. A good mate of mine referenced he had heard that Dublin may win Sam this year but will fall off the cliff after that as like ourselves a lot of the Big Dogs of their team are getting on. Hopefully we are ready to strike. Roll on the Dubs in the league.

  149. Back in 2017 Conor Loftus came off the bench to score a stunning goal to rescue Mayo in their qualifier game against Derry at MacHale Park. He later contributed a point to rescue Mayo; at that time he was a go-to guy for long range scores. James Carr has scored some great goals too, as we all know, but seems to operate on confidence that’s often fragile.

    In latter stages of the Cork game Loftus got himself into a position to take a badly needed shot – what did he do? – turned back and recycled it again! Further proof that we have coached the spontaneity out of them, as Leantimes states. Management did believe in AOS and restored his confidence – why not now develop Loftus’ and Carr’s talents in the same way?

  150. Feels like the mood is starting to move on and people are starting to look towards next year.

    Anyone listen to Davy Burke on Off The Ball last week? I thought it was very interesting to hear him talk about the end of their Cork game, and how Roscommon were working a score 80% of the time from the position they were in when they fouled the ball.

    From a Mayo POV I think we should be seeing this as a challenge. Both our neighbors are in different ways driving tactical innovation. There’s lessons there for us to take. If Roscommon can play possession ball, and Galway a shawl there’s no reason that we can’t.

    Year one goal would be to have the best defense in Connacht. Year two to have a right crack at the all Ireland

  151. By far the biggest worry after Sunday was the management.
    – Poor team selection especially one of the corner backs. Obviously did not watch the league final from last year
    or 2021 AI final. The world and his mother knew what aas going to happen but not the management, Way too late by the time the change was made.
    – Lack of any defensive plan or structure which is unforgivable in modern football. Every other county has one.
    – The Substitution of AOS after 10 minutes was astonishing and totally baffling. He caused the Dubs all sorts
    of problems in the 1st half and was involved in 4/5 scores. Got no service for the 1st 10 minutes of the 2nd half
    and then inexplicably taken off. Shocking decision. Getting cleaned at midfield, but we’ll take the corner forward off to remedy the situation !!!

    Worrying times

  152. Reading and listening to the various pods and pieces since Sunday . The more I read and listen the more convinced I become there are a whole pile of bluffers out there , I’m not going to name them but it’s very interesting how a lot of these guys completely do a 360 on their narrative about certain teams . Shur Dublin were a spent force only a few weeks ago , desperate Dessie bringing back OAPS for one last hurrah was never going to work they said and etc etc . Now it’s dublins Sam to lose because of them very reasons some of the same fellas are saying .

    In truth there’s a lesson in all of this depending on journos for an insight and it’s to be taken with a pinch of salt .

    If mayo can shore up our defence and find one solid fetching midfielder we will be in the mix again next year .

    I’m convinced we ran out of steam , when you look back on a number of games out stamina was coming into question since Roscommon league game . I don’t really care about sounding amateur but I’d question our s&c programme , something not right about it this year .

  153. I often thought kev mcloughlin be a good number 6 yrs ago.. Great kick passer and a wily cute footballer.. Didn’t need massive strength as he’s a good tacker and with the blanket he’d be on the ball alot more, but if it became open, what a guy to pick a pass inside.. But I think that ship has sailed unfortunately. I don’t think we have a decent kick passer at all around middle eight.. Flynn, doc, ruane, coen e. mcloughlin,.. Not great kick passers are they in fairness.

  154. It’s a fickle world the media alright they change their tune from week to week. I’m still not convinced by the Dubs, there’s rarely hammerings handed out in All Ireland finals, so I’m expecting a 2 or 3 point kerry win. But for me Kerry are different league to the Dubs, who are too reliant on what’s left of the old guard. We were so bad we made them look like the 6 in a row team, the warning signs as to what was going to happen were there for us though, after our Louth, Cork, Roscommon performances, scraping a 1 point win against a Galway missing their best players. At least Mayo teams of old used to put up a fight when the going got tough, not just roll over.

  155. Watch a clip of armagh from 02..alot has changed, but mcgeeney used to kick am awful lot of diagonal ball into the ff line from 6. Lacey did it too v mayo which led to Murphy goal in 2012..running up the middle a waste of time v structured defences. I know we don’t have a Murphy or a mcdonnell in his heyday, but unfortunately we’ve no one around the middle to kick good ball in.. Poor Tommy needs early ball and Rod.. No good these fellas getting ball on the 40 and having to go side to side, over and back probing lil gaps.. Need them as close to goal as possible.

  156. @Sean Burke
    I think we can shore the defence up. Mcbrien, Callinan and Coyne look as though they could be the back line for a good while. They will have learnt a lot this year. Add Paddy and Enda in the half back line and that’s it nearly covered.
    For me the problem is midfield and the half forward line. We have been outmuscled in midfield and apart from Jordan have been poor enough in the half forward line.
    For me Jordan is needed in midfield and Mattie has played his better football alongside Jordan.
    What to do with the half forward line? Play Diarmuid at 11 and move one of Tommy or Ryan out to half forward with the other one staying inside with Aido, Cillian or James Carr? That’s not to say Ryan or Tommy should stay at half forward indefinitely. The formation needs to be fluid within games.

    We need to do something fairly radical because we are not scoring enough when it matters. Tommy and Ryan were anonymous in the second half on Sunday because the game was lost further up the field. I think of Tommy’s points against the Dubs in 2021 when he was able to run from deep at pace. That’s the sort of thing we need. A bit of trickery and pace in each line for starters.

  157. It’s not as much fun being out the championship. If we do go a bit more defensive next year maybe the below could work? Not sure exactly whether plunkett is better on HB line and if Brickenden can live up to promise of the league.

    Coyne, McBrien, [Plunkett – if back?]
    Paddy, [Calinan?] Enda
    DoC as Sweeper
    Flynn / Mattie
    RoD Conroy
    AoS Carr

  158. I’ll have to watch it again but the one thing that doesn’t change about football is you have to get supply into a forward line before we start about scoring

  159. We all knew we were flying fit for the FBD, never mind the League itself. It caught up with us, as it does all other teams. I’ve continually questioned this approach. Its a McStay mantra, as evident in his stint with Roscommon. Both his teams took merciful hammerings in AIQF’s. If people are happy with a league title, best of luck to them. I certainly am not. Ask any Rossie, and they will tell you the McStay regime left them years behind in the S+C dept. More focus was put on “ball” time than the gym work. This is a known fact. I fear the same is going to happen with us.

    Im disgusted with some of the post match interviews from the Manager. Fawning over Dublin, instead of being fuming at a 12 point hammering. Thats what stings the most, this apparent, ara sure it was a good year. It was a catastrophe. Played 6 championship games. Won 3 lost 3. Wide open down the middle all year, slow corner backs left exposed to fast attackers. The standard 2 goals conceded in a big game. Kerry will wipe that Dublin team. Mark my words.

  160. I would agree with Sean Burke that shoring up our defence and finding one high fetching midfielder would put us back in the mix next year but where do we find the midfielder.After years of having an abundance of high fielders from Willie joe to TJ and Liam McHale and Sean Maher ,David Brady pat fallon the O sheas Barry Moran and Tom parsons and now not one in sight except possibly young bob tuohy .we just don’t seem to produce those type of players anymore.cluxtons kickout strategies have changed the game forever.he has a lot to answer for

  161. Yes we have a defensive problem but also clearly offensive. Take carney for example. He will not take on the shot. . They must be told to retain retain retain by management. Ok we make a few substitution s and thats it… try carney at full forward for twenty. He can field. No. Cannot see whar Buckley. Mchale Mulligan are supposed to be doing. It’s not evident. Face it we were blessed to get to the quarter s .

  162. Sean Burke your on the ball you have to win the middle third and the goalie has to have fielders to aim at when kicking out , like everyone on about cluxtons kickouts in the past look at the mobility of the midfield diamond were dead in the middle

  163. Mayo manager felt the pressure in the past two or three games, it was clear to see before throw ins.
    Confidence has dropped from the unit since the Cork game, even since the Louth game.
    Fitness and power has also dropped as the games went on.
    There can be only one conclusion, the hard training was done before the league when other teams were lagging behind.
    If I’m honest I would like to see a bit of a shake up in the management team at the start of next year.
    I would prefer a middling league campaign where more new guys are tried out rather than finishing at the top of it.

    Horan may get the U20 or minor job, great choice in my opinion.

  164. Kerry will wipe the floor with Dublin? They both have to win semi finals first and Derry will make it especially difficult for kerry, they’ll have the blanket well warmed up for them. And on what basis will kerry beat dub easy margie? They were damn lucky to beat them last year, took an outrageous o shea kick.. Another 5 mins Dub would have won.. With Mccarthy Fenton kilkenny mannion con costello and Basquel..as we found out will be a match for anyone. I know Clifford is the best around and kerry were impressive, but how good were tyrone? Or mayo?.. Both games over after 10 mins of 2 half.. So don’t rule the dubs out just yet.

  165. I think having a good league next year is equally important, we got to the league final last year 2022 more by default than actually planning it, but had a dreadful league final defeat v Kerry backed that up with a poor Championship defeat to Galway in Castlebar , (I suppose because the pitch is too narrow) and backed up that form by a terrible quarter final versus the same opposition who had already hammered us in the league final Kerry again.Actually we did’nt look like we wanted to be in the league final in the first place. . Of course Mayo should try and peak for late June and July next year, but we should go out and try to win every league game. Some people were saying last year that a trouncing in the League Final might actually be a good thing. Some people argue that the pitch in McHale is too narrow and brings out the worst in us, while not noticing that it apparently brings out the best in our opponents at times . We played a good first half and a dreadful second half on a pitch that remained the same width the whole day last Sunday. The reason neither ourselves or Galway the two league finalists are not in the All Ireland semifinal’s has more to do with both of us absolutely blowing it against Armagh and Cork in the round robin than either of us having a good league and peaking too soon, … Thinking that we can manage the league nice and easy, mid table finish , everyone in Div One will want a mid table finish in Div One , don’t go down and don’t win it this is rubbish. Look at Armagh and Donegal, they might not be in the mix for Sam Maguire next year. Its simply not an option , we had a bad Championship bar the win in Killarney (after a 5 week break) but at least we had a very good league, despite the narrow confines of McHale Park we played two magnificent games when we did’nt recycle under the lights versus the All Ireland Champions of the two preceding years, Kerry and Tyrone and we went on to win the league final v Galway in Croke Park. Padraig Joyce would loved to have won it. And we unlike Armagh or Donegal are guaranteed to be in race for Sam next year. .. I am now pretty sure that both Armagh and Donegal wished they took the league a bit more seriously this year.

  166. I hear alot of people saying fatigue was a factor in mayo losing… BALONEY!! I think tyrone won an all ireland playing 10 championship matches one year, and they were out on consecutive weeks..not a mention of fatigue, isn’t that why there’s a panel of 25 or 30 players. I’m sure they play high intensity a v b games at training weekly and enjoy it.

  167. This will seem outlandish to most but there is a general line of thought we don’t have star forwards , put Tommy conroy on that Kerry , Galway , Dublin team and he’s a superstar , give him the right type of ball and he’ll work something , serious pace and skill set . Ryan O donoghue not far behind him either , I can’t back it up but I also think James Carr has an abundance of talent that hasn’t quite shone through yet . We will probably have to bring Ryan out on the 40 full time imho .

    If we have ambitions on winning an all Ireland with this crop of 2016 under 21s and the younger mix along with them type team we will have to get bigger balls , a cutting edge to our defensive structure, a bit of teeth around it , our central channel is closed , out the fooking wings with them cause you’re not getting through here has to become the mantra . Protection of the full back . line. If Donnie buckley can’t do it , give colm Boyle an interview.

    Everyone has their own spin on why we haven’t won an all Ireland since 51 , we’re we ever good enough blah blah .

    We have 54 all stars since Johnny Carey in 1971 and not one Sam maguire to show for it . It’s a thundering disgrace is all it is , never mind all the feel sorry for me jargon and patting on the backs . Go and win a fucking all Ireland , it’s gone on far too long . There’s enough been invested in this project .

  168. Leantimes, I really don’t think it matters about the league in all honesty when it comes to mayo.. I don’t mean to sound flippant, you make some interesting points.. But I’d be far more concerned in finding a defensive structure and unearthing a seriously creative half forward and a no 6 who can play.. Get the foundation right in matches and training, and by all means go out to win every match, but winning the league is not essential, it’s being ready for championship.. Thats where its at.. I don’t like modern football as I said, rule changes are needed to make it more attractive and entertaining.. But for now, well just look at what jacko has done in kerry defensively first and foremost.

  169. Don’t think fatigue is a valid excuse actually
    Especially as Dublin did most of the damage at the start of the second half and not the end of the game…

  170. I got the impression that Tomas o sheas comments about mcstay after the game was very much tongue in cheek referring to his honesty in interviews .I have to say I do also wonder what all these backroom members are doing.who is the defensive coach.I know it’s probably naive to ask but with Kevin mcstay being so honest and open to interviews wouldn’t it be interesting for him to agree to an interview even possibly the podcast here to talk through the year and maybe even questions could be submitted like for instance where the idea came from for the defensive structure up to the Galway game and why was it then completely abandoned .Was Matt ruane injured or ill for the Galway game or was he dropped and if so what changed for him to start against Dublin.wishful thinking I know but my view is that mcstay put himself under pressure straight away by claiming that there was transition needed because that already had been done by James Horan.I have to say I know it’s only his first year but I am not very encouraged by what I have seen so far

  171. Amen @ Sean Burke. I don’t know what it is but this defeat is proving very hard to take. The nature of it along with the promise shown earlier in the league and in brief glimpses during championship and the subsequent unravelling in various other games have all compounded the mood. It’s like living with someone you don’t really fully know. Anyway, until death us do part, I guess…… 🙂

  172. Margie, “ask any Rossie” and “it’s a known fact” don’t convince me in any way to fire arrows at Kevin McStay and his management over Mayo S and C.
    For the life of me, I cannot understand this condemning McStay in his first season in charge of a Mayo team by offering details of his time with a totally different team in different circumstances as evidence. It kind of makes my blood boil, but as Clare says, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
    There’s plenty of stupidity to condemn them for, in hindsight, now that we lost.
    I’d say the midfield issue, a policy that doesn’t seem to include long range shooting, and also excessive caution and recycling.
    Please God, we advance next year.

  173. Leantimes 8.17
    You said in your post we’re guaranteed to be playing for Sam next year. I’m probably missing something but will next year’s league finishing position not have a bearing on who’s in or out.

  174. Like a lot of people I’m much wiser after the event than before! Thinking back to the Dublin match again I think there were a few obvious issues.
    1. The experiment with Conor Loftus didn’t work out as anticipated and we rightly changed our CHB but it was at short notice with little preparation
    2. Our full back was pulled out of position (costing us dearly) leaving Padraic O Hora and Jack Coyne 1/1 and vulnerable
    3. Mattie Ruane didn’t really get into the game
    4. Jack Carney is only a young fella and didn’t impose himself at CHF
    That’s the spine of the team! Now that seemed ok – ish while we were on the front foot in the first half but when the Dubs got going we were ripped apart.
    There was of course the 3 games in a row which didn’t help either. And a bit of naive defending by a young lad.
    I hope Kevin and his management team are humble enough to take the learnings from this season and get the basics right for 2024
    (A) A solid defence
    (B) A midfield that can win a decent amount of possession- high or low
    (C) A more varied attacking strategy that gets the best out of our scoring forwards.

  175. – Sean Burke. Couldn’t agree more. As I posted yesterday it’s time to get serious about winning an All Ireland and start sending teams to Croke Park probably equipped to do the job.

  176. Sorry Leantimes. I should have finished with what I was thinking. Say we finished in the bottom two of the league, then first and second in Div 2 would overtake us and we would need to get to the provincial final to qualify for Sam.

  177. If you go back to the Galway game, huge breaks in between scores even in the league final. If Galway had taken their goal chances in Salthill it could have been the same as Dublin. We just can not keep the scoreboard ticking over for a full 70 minutes and against the big teams that is fatal as they will keep the score moving every couple of attacks.

  178. @Nephin I will put your mind at ease . If we win no game in the league and are relegated and lose in first round of Connacht Championship MAYO will still play for the Sam Maguire cup in 2024.

  179. If James Mc Cormack is fit and next year I’d like to see him getting the league at no.6.
    For me it’s either him or else we have to move Diarmuid back to shore the area up and meet runners head on,not side on. We had to sacrifice T.J. from midfield back in the 80’s for similar reasons. As we saw with David Mc B this year when given a run of games he blossomed there. I think the same would happen with Mc Cormack if he got game time. We would have a strong aggressive defensive spine. Mc Cormack also has a sweet left foot and can pick out a pass.
    But I agree we need to work on a defensive system more so than the individual players.

  180. @Neiphin, starting in Div 1 its not impossible, but its virtually impossible. The top 6 of Div 1 and the winner of Div 2 are considered the Top 7 automatically in the Sam Maguire competition at worst when we start next year in Div 1 would could be ranked No 9 if we finished bottom of Div one but even then it would require less than 2 of the 8 ranked above us not to reaching a provincial final.. Almost impossible I would say. eg Dublin have won 13 Leinsters in a row and actually 18 out the last 19. Whats the chances of Kerry not making a provincial final? ..and whats the chances of either Galway or Roscommon not making a provincial final in the event that Mayo dont? And whats the chances of one of Derry, Monaghan or Tyrone not making an Ulster final?. Its not happening..however if we were already in DIv 2 like Meath were last year, thats exactly what could happen.

  181. @1985.

    As far as I know Lee Keegan and Oisin were still with Mayo when Kevin McStay said that the team was not in transition. They informed the management at a later stage in the year that they would not be playing with Mayo this year.
    Losing those 2 players would push any County in to transition.

  182. I think we should do more experimenting with players next year. My personal choice would be for McBrien at CHB but no problem with McCormack either, it’s a pivotal leadership position
    Another key position is at 11. Carney was busy but lacked incisiveness maybe he was playing to instruction.
    I wouldn’t mind sacrificing league to get team and tactics right. Derry and Dublin came from div 2. I don’t think it’s a big deal but that’s my opinion. Hopefully we will not see a stubborn ess in the management. Converting players to pivotal back positions does not work, why persevere with it

  183. I have had an idea for about 3 months at this stage, ya let it be seen here first. It is,

    Lee Keegan to be coaxed back out of retirement next year, ideal Centre half back player in a holding capacity.
    Has anybody ever thought of that?

  184. @ Mayo Sam , Galway had the opportunity to beat us twice and failed
    Word is the knifes are out for Joyce
    Nothing can beat local rivalry.

  185. Yea revellino the loss of keegan and mullin was a massive blow and I could be mistaken but I am fairly sure mcstay repeated that line after the two lads had made their decision.As for jack carney I don’t see him as a centre forward at all .we need a creative player in that role .carney is either midfield where I am not sure he is big enough for or full forward where I thought he did quite well at times last year

  186. @ontheditch… I’d be slow to move McB. I don’t think we’ve a better no.3 in the county at the moment. We have more options to solve the no.6 issue in my opinion but by all means experiment more next time round but management need to see what’s working and what’s not a lot quicker.

    Also I hope Hennelly stays involved with us… I’d hate to see him becoming an understudy to a cetain 41/2 year old.

  187. JR.
    Wouldn’t it be ironic if our collapse in the second half last Sunday, hastened Joyce’s exit. Seeing as Galway couldn’t beat us in 4 attempts this year. I know one of the Galway selectors and know how much that sticks in his craw.

  188. I wont be taking any delight in Padraig Joyce leaving Galway if it happens?. But for me, he made a few mistakes alright, playing a clearly injured Sean Kelly (one of the best players in Ireland when fully fit) ..Damien Comer the same and he should have dropped Shane Walsh (another of the very best when on song) on recent form. But way off it recently…Mayo could have still beat them if Kelly and Comer were on the bench.. And then the knives would be out for Joyce even more so for not playing them.

  189. A lot of talk about James McCormack who is a player I like but I think getting Harrison and Brickendon fit and ready for next season should be a priority.

  190. Seán Burke fair play for calling a spade a spade. Mickey Harte is the man for the job!

  191. If we had Pep Guardiola I still feel that we’d find a way to lose the final.

  192. Mcbrien has had a very good year, leave at full back, but finding someone either side is a prob. It’s a pity Barrett and Higgins are gone, a fast tight man marker who can also get up the pitch.. Ie, Tom o sullivan in kerry..i think he’s got 11 points in the champo. I see Hession as a half back, fast and skillful.. Its 6, midfield, and half forward also needs work. There just has to be better half backs around Mayo apart from Paddy who started v Dublin. When you look at the defeats the last two seasons, the players in certain positions, lack of defence, scorers,.. I hate to say it, even in mcstays first Yr mayo have gone backwards

  193. A good Mayo footballer once told when you have solved a problem don’t create two,we have solved our problem at full back,leave him there,period K King gets back to full fitness and stays fit he will solve our number six problem,we can hopefully look forward to M Murray challenging for a midfield spot,S Morhan,F Irwin will progress,I believe that the future is bright

  194. McBrien had a very good season and has to be our number 3 going forward. He held Con well & the damage was done when he was pulled out of position. Clever by the Dubs, but not very clever by us. Con can’t hurt you as much out the field, but we’ll learn from it.

    Centre half back – massive issue. I would commend McStay & co for trying something different, as what we were doing never got us over the line. But to just abandon it entirely was odd. We need a 6 who can command the position & above all else, defend.

    Midfield is a huge concern. Diarmuid, Ruane, Flynn & Carney are all quite similar & none of them are the best at fielding. Tuohy needs to be given games.

    Half forward line are pretty much no threat apart from Flynn now and again. I would like to see ROD at 11. He’s very good on the ball and has the ability to play good ball inside. Tommy Conroy I think would be better in the half forward line too but then we probably need him inside at times.

    We simply didn’t score anywhere near enough this year (bar Killarney). McStay used to talk about the 40/30/20 aim when he was a pundit (40 attacks, 30 shots, 20 scores), but I would be highly surprised if we hit that target in any game this year. Our scoring return has been abysmal & the performances overall have been very poor, bar Killarney, patches against Galway & first half on Sunday. We didn’t concede much in most games, but the floodgates opened on Sunday.

    So I don’t know where we are at in all honesty. Well off the standard required if I’m being honest. Maybe they’ll surprise us next year but I have a feeling there are way too many cooks in the kitchen.

  195. Mayo focus well said.. I agree with your take there. You’d wonder what on earth Rochford if he’s no 2 is doing, along with mulligan Mchale and Buckley, absolutely no need for 5 or 6 of them there. A trainer yes.. But one manager and 2 selectors is plenty making final say and positional tactics. Middle eight is as I’ve said a huge concern.. Rod at 11 yes, but he’s so dangerous close to goal as is Tommy c, if both are in at half forward who on earth can get scores inside… Carr too inconsistent, aos doesn’t score at all and after that.. Big trouble, why didn’t towey get a run youd wonder?

  196. just a few thoughts
    – There are always calls for new players we need to bring in to the panel but none of the them are game changers. I am a big fan of Boland for example, but dont think he or anyone else improves Mayo drastically.
    -There seems to be consensus that Mayo need to be more defensive to ever win AI. – 1) This Mgmt group have no track record in that ultra densive approach that I can see to it’s highly unlikely they adopt it 2) Would Mayo supporters even tolerate it? We are steeped in this perception that gaelic football should be played fast and loose, I think any Mayo Mgmt team playing football like Derry or Donegal (c 2012) would face serious flack in Mayo
    – The ‘Mayo way’ really does have a bias for highly athletic players vs ‘natural’ footballers. The type of game Mayo plays under McStay does explain the players he picks. I wont name players but there are 5-6 examples of player on Mayo team/panel that are not very good foot passers of the ball. Would they be in the Dublin/Kerry teams, I dont think so.
    -In terms of AI chances in next 2-3 years. It seem pretty remote. If we keep the current approach we will come up short against teams like Dublin and Kerry as they have better fowards and more forward options. Definetely the talent is there to keep us in top 5/6 but that’s about it.

  197. Lets face it we are rebuilding we couldnt win Sam with better teams than this im thinking 96 97 and the lads from 2012 to 2021 so we might not be contenders in the short to medium term but thats ok long as McStay lays the foundations for the next manager because it will take time to find a new midfield half forward line and chb capable of competing with Dublin and Kerry. I think the next Mayo manager in 3-4 years will have a good competitive team

  198. I’m surprised, no takers for the idea of Lee Keegan returning next year ? When he is sitting in the RTE studio for a Mayo match I feel he would like to be still involved.

    Big issue for Mayo is that no School has won the Hogan Cup for many years.
    Clubs don’t win too many All Ireland, was it Ballina that won last back in 2005.

    The talent may not be there to find those midfielders, CHB and half forwards, just got to work with what you have.

  199. @BateTheBlanket: I would have Lee Keegan back in a heartbeat, even at 34. Last year he was still our best player and his mentality would be a massive plus for the set up. Thing is, I haven’t seen any credible suggestion that a return would be on the cards. There’s also the danger of going back and all that…

    I would also echo your concerns about underage football in the county, we have been poor for around a decade, a couple of teams aside (and even then, the All-Ireland winning sides were probably carried along by a few exceptional talents). That said, I would expect the Mayo U20s to give it a right go next year, provided that the right management is put in place.

    We desperately need to stop leaking goals, whether this means parking the bus or merely having a few more natural defenders in key positions.

  200. I find it amazing mayo haven’t had a playmaker since the days of mcdonald at 11.. And to a lesser extent Dillon who was a very good kick passer.. I agree with the above posts that we don’t have the the players now to compete. The 2012 to 2017 team was very athletic and physically strong which was primarily built on a strong defence esp half back. Mayo got away with it but I still feel 11 is a position mayo are really struggling at for years now. I often wonder withhold mcdonald relish the modern day football? He’d have certainly time on the ball, and no btr man to kick points from 45 yrs outside of the boot.. Oh mama, remember those days.. But would the space be there inside anymore, probably not. He’d be dogged and man marked no doubt these days.

  201. Batetgeblanket, personally I wouldn’t be to worried about schools, while a high standard most lads view it as a means to get out of class and generally prioritise Clubs.

    Underage I see now everyone wins it seems. Finish 7th or 8th in league and you end up a a shield championship plate final or something like that. While for small kids I’d agree with limiting the competitiveness and focus on skills. U12 up know well if they being beat out the gate.

    Our academy systems I’d have serious reservations about. From experience some lads don’t want to go as do not find it beneficial (having seen some trials I can see why), others at times seem have a large bias in contingents from Managements own club/area.
    Others who get in at U14 seem to be there the whole way through, nearly harder to get out than in. Maybe they are the best, but can you really pull lads from that age when they not fully developed? Often you see it’s bigger athletic lads as opposed to skilful players.
    Touch focus on social media of the development panels, adds pressure to kids that’s not needed.

  202. I’m not convinced we are as far away as people make out and neither are the like of Galway tbh . Both Dublin and Kerry were very fortunate the way it panned out for them this year . Playing three weeks on the trot was detrimental to us , a knockout game in salthil in front of a full house and then to be expected to play another knockout game seven days after v Dublin in croker . Ahh come on , Mayo players are not full time athletes, Dublin were by far the better side as the score suggests but like I say I’m not convinced we are a 12 point defeat team to Dublin in the grand scheme of things .

  203. I’m not really sure what a modern center half forward looks like.

    Who is the best in the country in this position ATM?

  204. I’d say Sean o shea on his day frostthammer.. Someone who can score and pick a pass. @sean burke mayo have lost last 3 championship matches by let’s see.. Lost in 2021 final by 5, 2022 by 8 and this Yr by 12.. So it’s shows its not great doesn’t it.

  205. Numbers on your back means little really in todays world , seanie o se , paudie Clifford players like that are useful half forwards . Ciaran Mac was an incredible 11 though , some of his kick passing you could make love to it .

  206. Haha, you’d leave the Barry White album out ya would sean and stick on highlights of McD. ?

  207. Rewatched the mayo game last night. A lot of people say why didn’t Hession start? On second viewing I can see why. He offered no physical strength. He’s quick but not powerful. Unless he bulks up I don’t see him being anything more then a fringe player for Mayo in the future. If anyone wants evidence of it, just look at the fisted point Fenton got in the second half. Simply pushed Hession off him.

    In fairness it’s not just Hession. Physically we were a million miles off it last weekend

  208. And yet, Green and Red a lot of that team, indeed a weakened team beat Dublin in 21 and gave them quite a head start. We had no Mullen, Eoghan Mac carried off, no Cillian, Aido subbed. Conor O’Shea came in and did a job, Darren Coen kicked a vital point. We ended up running them ragged. And beat them in the league subsequently. Yes, they were in decline, but no one was saying that at half time in ’21

    Definitely the three weeks in a row was an issue. Three teams out of four lost, and Monaghan hung in.

    All that said, our physicality is an issue. Bulking up required and a few big ‘uns coming in would be no harm. Oh and more pace please. I went to Croker on Sunday looking forward to the ‘Croke Park team’ expressing themselves. Instead, Dublin made us look slow and lumbering – even in the first half. We really need pace from 2 to 15, and this will have to be a priority.

    Bob Tuohy is a great prospect, but we can’t pin too many hopes on him for next year. Plus Aido and Cillian will be a year older – how long can they keep going?

  209. I agree Catol, prob not fair on me picking out one player but I guess people see different things when they watch things back.

    I agree with the physicality side of things. Who is our new S&C coach under Kevin? Another thing I’d note is that I don’t think we are as dogged as the team under Horans first term.

    Men like Boyle, Keegan, Vaughan, Seamus O’Shea, Christ Barrett, they loved getting stuck in. I’m not quite as sure that the players they are being replaced with have that real dogged fight in them. Pace is important too but I’d personally look for strength and structure first next year through the spine and then get a bit more pace around them

  210. Our 2 corner backs cost us 2.3.
    It is a specialist position,Keegan was played there several times in the league as the man he would manmark could be moved into the FF line.

  211. And another thing – we’re talking up Dublin as if they had won the AI. They won a QF, so plenty to do yet to land the big one. We need to wait and see what the winning team has in the locker.

    Still, I hope management don’t end up accentuating the positive. We need to be ruthless to do what is required. Jack O’Connor wasn’t accentuating the positive after Killarney.

  212. On the physicality issue around the middle management obviously identified that we would be found wanting there after losing 3 or 4 big men to retirement so he posted 3 good club midfielders on the h.f. line to fetch and mop up I’d imagine. I thought at the time it was a good move and still can’t quite figure how we didn’t get a lot more of a return from them especially on our own kickouts. We seemed to get a lot more of the breaking ball from Kevin Mc and some of the lighter lads back in the day .
    So maybe a pair of dancing feet and speed of thought trumps physicality some times.

  213. Great article by Lee Keegan today. Calling it like it is, still don’t buy his Dubs are back to their glory days best opinion though, sure didn’t Cork hit us for 1-6 without reply too.

  214. @Batetheblanket think we would all love to see keegan returning but there’s no chance of that happening he left as he couldn’t commit due to very young family so he won’t be returning . We need to concentrate on the players we do have ..

    I watched the match back finnally got the courage to do it ha goal should have been allowed flynn by far the best player we had . Think the experience from the much older dubs team played big part in the match .

    Our guys looked a bit nervous even and just flat on our feet . They will grow and develop and come back stronger next year I’ve no doubt . we’ve some great talents.

    Kerry def won’t hammer dubs in final they have to get there yet sure and if it is dubs/Kerry final dubs will win by 7/8 points think it’ll be dubs year ha

    Weve a really young team lots of time to develop they will learn a lot from this year and come back next year and I’ll be cheering them on as always haha

  215. @Batetheblanket, thought crossed my mind several times regarding Leeroy. From memory the last year or so he was exiled to the Full back line to do man marking jobs. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see him don the Green and Red for another year but have to respect his decision. A lot of players will know when its time to go and not be lingering on the bench like Boyler was in his last season. Go out on top. In regard to the general mood I can see lots of green shoots for the year ahead. Get Harrision back and Brickenden and find the right positions for the serious talent we have and we are not far away. Reape looks very decent and has the 45’s down, Rory Byrne had a decent early season. Keep Cillian and Aido for at least another year and whoever wants to commit from the Old guard.
    Someone kidnap Mullin back from Auz and we are sucking diesel this time next year. Agree Dubs could be turned over by Kerry in Final as I don’t think Monaghan or Derry have enough to stop them. Would be happily proven wrong. Think the U20/ U17 positions are key and proper academy in place to keep the talent coming through.
    Get Mc Hale up to best possible level and make it a proper fortress for us.

  216. Catcol,K King from Knockmore he was close before he got injured,a very good defender

  217. Why would lee keegan return now ,yes he has a young family and I’m sure Rte dangled a big carrot in front to get him on board and absolutely fair play and good luck to the lad.He owes mayo absolutely nothing and if we had another few like him we would certainly have won and an all Ireland.The lads that came back for Dublin stepped away ,they never said they had retired.

  218. Someone posted here about would mayo fans stand for playing that woeful defensive stuff and I say no.. I think it was last year in either the ulster final or a previous round up there, one of the worst games of football I ever saw.. A record number of handpasses and as soon as one team lost the ball it was 14 behind the 45…it was truly chronic stuff. It would break your heart watching it. So if Mayo never win an All ireland I don’t care but resorting to that type of football to do it.. Not on your nelly. Kerry and Dublin have defensive structures but also have forwards who stay up the pitch.. And playing against those teams it’ll be fairly open football and you’ll get chances. But the Derrys and Donegals, jesus no.

  219. @1985

    He’ll probably have to return that carrot to Renault

    Maybe Elverys can sort him out with an exercise bike

  220. I didn’t imply anything like that about lee keegan but obviously he would be paid for his services and he well deserves it as one of the best pundits rte have at the minute

  221. Kick it in, I’d take a 1 nil win at this stage. Open free flowing football isn’t always possible unless build a lead on teams in modern era sadly, as McStay found out to our cost. TheMcStayWay became Horanball 2.0 fairly sharpish when opposition caught up fitness wise and rolled out the blankies.
    We have to be Machiavellian about it now, anything to get monkey off the back. To that and we can go full samba mode 🙂

  222. Ya Gizmobos, I’d agree… Its just the way it is but isn’t it awful at times in terms of entertainment.. Unless rule changes are implemented.. Only 2 forwards allowed back behind 45, limit amount of handpasses and a shot clock.. Be hard to officiate but unless something changes you’ll have fuck all at matches in the future. I think that Mayo louth game was up there with worst game of the year so far.. Cork and Derry was abysmal last weekend too.

  223. Lee Keegan is our G.O.A.T. since 1951 he made the correct decision to bow out at the top of his game. Bob Tuohy and Sean Morahan need a few more years to develop and bulk up

  224. @1985

    I didn’t think you implied anything of sort, neither was it my intention to suggest you did.

    Was intended as a light hearted joke at the expense of our national broadcaster

  225. Yea I know FrostTHammer but didn’t want to get in trouble with the house rules

  226. The main problem to solve is why Mayo collapse in the second half of most games and why they fail to score for long periods in most games. Is it fitness, is it poor Management over the years including the present or is it the players are just not good enough. Answers on a postcard please.

  227. Well my answer would be the lack of any proper structure to the way we play.it’s constantly said that mayo bring chaos and we thrive in that situation but chaos isn’t a tactic nor is it a structure.There are periods in games where you can’t go flat out and need to slow down a game .Were Dublin sizeing us up in first half last Sunday to then pounce in the third quarter and then dropping off and picking us off for the remainder of the game.The whole game was uncannily similar to 2019

  228. I think Bob touhy as others said to is a great prospect for future very young but with more game time and guidance he will come flying, and with Tommy c fully fit back next year ( thought he was flying the last 2 games he started bit off sometimes no surprise his awful injury ) but next year be hard stopping him. Ryan o D is a class act as always .

    I can’t imagine many of the Dubs still sticking around next year if they win Sam again? Maybe wishful thinking on my part ha

    Felt bad for aido being taken off to be honest ..

    I was there in Paris cursing away and the French didn’t know why haha

  229. @Glorydays that I probably should have done haha I was there going mad and a load of VERY confused French ones going what’s wrong with your one haha

  230. Contrast the last couple of days on the blog with the comments a week ago. Whatever about our team repeating the same mistakes over and over again our supporters definitely do. We win a fairly big game and suddenly we are good enough to challenge for Sam. We lose and the blood letting starts. It’s always the same. The players who didn’t play would have made all the difference. The players who did aren’t good enough. It was the management’s fault. It was lost on the, line etc etc. Dublin were mediocre last week. They’re great now. Ditto when we beat Kerry. I do not think this group of players is good enough at the moment. They are not as good as the 2013 – 2017 team and even that team couldn’t win the big one. There are lots of good players on the Mayo team and they will continue to improve. Lots of inexperienced lads in back 7 and that is a fact as was referenced by McStay after the game. It was not an excuse or deflecting responsibility, it was the truth. Our midfield has been in trouble most of the year. Our half forward line has not contributed much (though Jordan has done well). Our full forward line were good in the first half but anonymous in the second. If all or a large majority of our players play well on a given day then we can be a match for the top boys on that given day, but that rarely occurs. Calling for a management change after one year makes no sense to me. They had a reasonable year. A criticism of Maughan and Horan was that they were individuals who would listen to nobody. The opposite is now being levelled at McStay that there are too many with influence on the line. Give this management a chance. They have to find a defensive system which covers up individual limitations. We have not won an all Ireland for over 70 years and anyone who thought we could win one this year after losing Mullin and Keegan in defence was living in cloud cuckoo land. It reminds me a bit of when Horan took over. Improved in 2011 but well beaten by Kerry. Better in 2012 and got to final. Better again in 2013 before losing to Dublin. It takes time to build a team. This time last year we were not talking about Reape, Coyne, McBrien, Callinan, McHugh etc. They came in and did well. Hopefully more will follow. We are not bad but are a bit off the really top teams who do it when it’s on the line, like Dublin and Kerry. Look at the quality of the Dublin subs. We can only dream of having options like that. Patience with team and management. Let them breathe. Give them a chance. Of course there will be disappointments and mistakes along the way but in my opinion they are moving in the right direction despite the limitations we have

  231. To win just once, I agree with a Lot of what you have to say but have concerns over if we are moving in the right direction.
    Last three all Ireland’s is it that were won by managers in their first year?
    We are now a full year in with no discernible defensive, offensive or kickout strategy. A defensive system was tried in fairness but it was a precarious one that was abandoned, with no plan B.
    Not knowing what the last free v Cork meant another one.
    All year I’ve said it’s Dublin, Kerry, Mayo and Galways title to lose. While some players only have a couple years Inter-county development under their belts, others have a lot more.

  232. @to win just once you read my mind totally agree we will get there one day!

    I was literally on the way back from versailles following the match via twitter haha and of course i cursed quite few times my bro was laughing my mate ( a dub) goes How’s the match my bro goes best not ask clare Atm haha

    We will cross the line one day we’ve a really young team who will do us proud again yes was so dissapointing but they are really young hope they have a great happy summer we back next year with a bang! ( I hope haha )

  233. I admit Coyne and McHugh probably weren’t talked of much last year so credit to management for developing them more from their time with Horan.
    But Reape after the two in a row was talked of, and McBrien to was a name on many lips, as was Callinan, despite his young years.
    I thought we were great odds at 14/1 Ew. Sadly I won’t be collecting…this year at least. But if early next season it looks like we are developing above systems we will still be in too handful. No disrespect to Monaghan but if you go through the squads you’d have to say we would have better players. But they have a system and leaders on the pitch and line. If we can get the same going we will be on the go at business end of year.

  234. Dublin was the team I believe said would win out this year, and that may welk come to fruition.
    Kerrys midfield caught be by surprise the last few games, I felt their loss of Moran trumped ours of Lee and Oisin. But fair Play they have stepped up greatly, Diarmuid O’Connor in particular. Derry will give them their full of it mind, again systems, systems, systems.. while I think Kerry will win, a Derry win would not shock me.
    On other side I feel Dublin will have the legs for Monaghan.
    A Kerry Dublin final would be close, Dublin v Derry final I think Dublin would win by 4 or so.

  235. @To win just once.

    Very good post and well reasoned points.
    You are of course correct too about Mcstay been up front and truthful, but there are some fans who as Jack Nicholson might say ” Can’t handle the truth “.

    Anyway. Very well reasoned post. Maith an fear.

  236. Revellino, hard beat a good quote 🙂

    In relation to management team sizes @to win just once, I wouldn’t think the number involved is an issue, sometimes it’s good for lads to hear different voices and ideas, regardless of how many involved in the management team as Steve Staunton would say:
    “I’m the boss. I’m the gaffer and, at the end of the day, what I say, goes….”

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