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

Any Mayo supporter leaving St Tiernach’s Park following Mayo’s two-point win over Monaghan wouldn’t have had to be asked twice about who performed best on the team yesterday. That player was Ryan O’Donoghue.

It wasn’t just the 1-6 tally he racked up (1-1 of it from play), though that contribution was, of course, key to his team’s success. Dependable from placed balls, the little shimmy he did before pulling the trigger for his early first half goal was a moment of magic and he was slightly unfortunate to have a second goal ruled out after the break for an infringement in the lead-up.

More than anything, Ryan was a leader for us in Clones yesterday. Always showing for the ball, so often successful in winning his own ball and then, once in possession, forever looking for the best option for what to do next. It’s no exaggeration to state that the Belmullet clubman is now one of Mayo’s most important players and he certainly was that against Monaghan yesterday.

Ryan deservedly wins the MOTM vote, heading the poll with 32% support. As the leaderboard below shows, others to feature strongly in the poll were the much-improved Diarmuid O’Connor (14%), the highly dependable Rob Hennelly (11%) and goal-getter Jason Doherty (10%). Well done to all of them.

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

  1. Is it my imagination or has Rob Hennelly stepped up his game in recent times, particularly since David Clarke’s retirement. He seems much more confident in coming for high balls now, Note in particular punching away that high ball late in the game v Monaghan with a Monaghan man coming in under him as he jumped.

  2. For sure Andy. And he was good on high ball against Donegal. That was some ball he won yesterday, with no care for his own safety. That’s what’s needed at this level and you have to admire Rob for the work he has clearly put in and all the abuse he has taken. No question he’s our number 1 and we’re the better for it. He needed to improve in one area, and he seems to have achieved that objective.

  3. I’m mentioned this on another thread but Robbie really has improved his kickouts aswell.Its a great sign when a guy is improving into his 30s.Great to see him come out and take man and ball also like Clarkie would do!
    I think he’s in the top three keepers in the country at the moment We’re lucky to have him.
    At this stage I think him and Ryan are the two players we absolutely couldn’t do without.

  4. I think Ryan would walk on to any team on the country. He’s a Rolls Royce type player. Worth his weight in Gold. Hope he has a long successful season.

  5. Actually voted for Leroy. First goal happened so quickly, I thought it was Bryan Walsh! Only realised how good it was when I saw the highlights. And his second should have been allowed.

    Speaking of Robbie reminds me of Beggan. We really did a number on him yesterday. Meanwhile, our keeper gets better and better.

  6. Just booked accommodation for the Dublin & Kerry games. Accommodation in and around Tralee seems, as usual for Mayo games, very limited already

  7. Plunkett is an interesting case, he’s been a pretty maligned player amongst Mayo fans the last few years and I’d guess most fans wouldn’t have him in their best 15 in Mayo.
    For me, he shows a lot more in attack with ball in hand. I feel like he could make a great half forward for us. I don’t think he’s in the best 7 or 8 defenders either but as an attacking 10 or 12, he could be a genuinely decent option. I thought he was excellent at times for Ballintubber at 11 in the club championship.

  8. Season Tickets: Does anyone know if we can still buy additional tickets with our season tickets?? Ticketmaster, doesn’t seem to have the facility, but i could be wrong.

  9. Still no game time for Fergal Boland. Very puzzling.
    He must be close to giving up at this stage.

  10. Mike, Billy Joe and I discuss that very point on our match review podcast, Facetheball. It’s odd alright, not least given how he was warming up for so long in the second half.

  11. Fergal Boland would be a long way ahead of Michael Plunkett in an attacking sense. He has an incomparably better scoring rate at county and club level than players getting in ahead of him. Probably doesn’t have the power to start, but certainly an impact sub.

  12. @JP

    I think there’s an interview with Tom Parsons just after he retired with I think second captains but it maybe off the ball, where tom discusses how when he came back from that horror injury and he was getting towards the end of his career, everyone was talking about him as an impact sub. But for him so much of his game was based on playing for 70 minutes that he found it impossible to adjust to this new role

    Not saying that this is necessarily the same with Fergal but it’s interesting that from a player’s perspective this might not be as black and white as it is from a supporter’s

  13. Well done Ryan. Great performance and superbly taken goal. We will need him in top form on account of Tommy’s absence. On the use of F Boland and other subs, we need to be patient. Five more league games and hopefully a decent run in the championship. Lots of lads to potentially get game time

  14. Whether starting or a sub, we don’t have the score takers to be ignoring Fergal Boland like we have been. I’m not saying he’s All Star. But he’s in the top 8 forwards in Mayo on overall contribution. In particular he’s very good at coming onto ball on the fringes and floating over 35-40 yard outside o the boot shots.

  15. Personally I’d see Fergal Boland in the same category now as Conor Loftus. And that is as an impact sub for later in the game when it opens up more and the guy marking him may be a little tired. I don’t think either are big enough or fast enough to start against the top teams. But both could influence a game in the last 15/20 mins like Loftus did on Sunday.

  16. Whilst I like Fergal Boland I believe that he gets better from posters point of view the less he plays,that been said I really hope that he becomes an all star

  17. Amazes me how james carr is never touted by the majority of posters . His scoring stats from games started is excellent .

  18. Larry Duff and Daveslad, I made a similar point in the match report post. I thought Plunkett got into very good attacking positions, dangerous positions, but the ball didn’t run for him – it was very greasy. OK same for everybody, but I would like to see him in that role again, to see if he can make a real impact.

  19. @Corick Bridge let’s hold up on the Richie Feeney type of logic.
    Fergal Boland has consistently delivered when he has been played. It’s not a case of his ability being exaggerated.

  20. We don’t need Boland, or indeed plunkett or Loftus to become all stars. That’s not going to happen.
    They are amongst the mid-lower ranked contributors to the overall cause in the team. I don’t mean that disrespectfully – it’s a fact of life that every team has its stars and it’s role players or support cast.
    There’s a number of ways to improve the overall output of the team as a whole. One is that the star players with the highest ceilings get even better. Ryan is probably in that bracket in 2022. Older star men like keegan and Durcan and Cillian are unlikely to improve in 2022, by contrast. You’d be very happy for those two to just keep playing as well as they did in 2020/2021. Mattie Ruane the same – I’d be thrilled if he just repeated his form in 2021. Naturally you look to the younger lads to get that organic growth in performance this year. Tommy Conroy was the perfect example. Eoghan Mc, and a few others like Orme and Mullin.
    However I think the easier and most realistic way to achieve team improvement is for a few players in the 12 to 26 ranked bracket in the squad to step up a level. Plunkett, Boland, Walsh, Flynn, Orme, loftus are all in this bracket in my view. They aren’t going to be all stars. But they could progress from marginal contributors to more solid meaningful contributors and this would have a dramatic impact on the overall team performance.

  21. 10 days ago Fergal Boland was not fit enough to play any part against Donegal.

    On the evidence available Fergal has started the only game this season, Galway, that we can be absolutely certain he was fully fit.

    He’s been desperately unlucky imo to playing in a period of time where he’s been behind Kevin mc, both Doc’s and for a lot of it Aidan, in the half forward pecking order.

    Interesting when we did win a national trophy in this period, all 5 of them started.

    It will be interesting to see what role Fergal plays against Dublin. I would think it’s either him or Bryan Walsh, unless Kevin mc is back with the panel

    Normally I’d say possession is 9/10s of the law in terms of stating, and without being spectacular Bryan has done very little wrong in a Mayo jersey, was pivotal to our 2020 Connacht final win, but with a two break, Fergal will get a few training sessions and possibly a challenge match to make his case.

    I think it’s very premature to criticizing management for leaving him out. There’s times with Mayo where I think we don’t even wait for the horse to die before we start flogging it

  22. One of the things that stuck out for me when it came to the selections / tactics (as someone without the high level of experience a lot would have on here) was James mentioning that whilst he was at Ballintubber they used a sweeper. I suppose it’s pretty obvious, but does suggest that “Horanball” is what he thinks will work best for the squad and the kick passing in Monaghan (and to an extent in FBD league once RoD was on) looked encouraging. I’d love it if Boland has a big role as seeing any player achieve potential is great (really like D Coen getting that point in the Dublin Semi) but I’m sure they’ve got a plan with what will work during championship. Hopefully another win next out and then a chance to get minutes into as many squad candidates as possible.

  23. @Larry Duff, agree with you. Getting more depth by having more available and consistent 7/10 players is huge.

  24. I’m looking forward to a Carney lording it at midfield and 2 “flying Docs” up front…has to be an omen.

  25. Let’s hope Fergie B. gets his chance. A good honest player who can score. Shame he did not start in the All Ireland final (not even in subs!) I am of the opinion that he would have performed much better that the 3 center half forwards who started the game but did not perform like the majority of our team on the day-faraoir gear! He also played well v Gaillimh in the Dome so hoping he gets a chance. Bumped into him in Castlebar a few months ago a lovely young man!

  26. Congrats to Andy Moran on Leitrim’s great win against Tipperary and on a Leitrim player being one of the nominees for footballer of the week

  27. Cannot agree corrickbridge in relation to fergal boland getting better with every game he does not play, don’t think thats the case. If you look at Fergal Boland i know club and county are very different but he really does stand out at club level with aughamore, every day the best forward and more often that not man marked by the oppositions best defender, be it championship or league. I have seen him play against the stronger senior clubs where they are getting well bet but he still stands out.
    If you look at his appearrances for mayo he very rarely plays bad, very good passer, can score from distance and nearly always gets a score and gets on alot of ball. If you look at the FBD game he was very good arguably our best forward before ROD came on., also seemed stronger if that game was able to ride tackles.
    Someone mentioned possession of the jersey and mentioned Bryan Walsh, now i know managers will take about lads going well in training, but training and matches are miles apart and in the 2nd half against donegal bryan walsh was very poor, including a terrible wide when a goal chance was on snapped at it with no composure (coincidentally very same lack of composure in front of goal against /tyrone in AF). Now how does that performance against donegal get rewarded with a start against Monaghan, where again in my opinion he was poor. Yet Boland is not rewarded for his last appearance which was a very good performance in the fbd.
    Of course the other issue is arguably the half forward line has been our weakest line since last year. The eleohant in the room is Diarmuid has been in terrible form for about 3 seasons yet plays every minute of every game while boland sits either on the bench or in the stand, it has to be frustrating for him. I don’t think he is getting a fair crack.Maybe its seen as his size as in he might be targeted by opposition kickouts or something.
    Nowi know i’ll probably be crucified for saying diarmuid has been poor but its true, granted he improved somewhat against Monaghan but he still gave away 2 poor turnovers and bar the point he scored took on no other shots. I keep hearing the amount of work he does, but thats ok at junior b but not an intercounty forward. Its amazing the narrative Aido is constantly criticised but other players get a free pass, alot made of scoring rates in AIFs should be looked at for other players not just one,

  28. It is a curious one regarding Boland not getting much game time .I agree with Blondie11 the club games I have seen him play in he does stand out a mile on the Aughamore team . Anything I have seen of him with Mayo I don’t recall him letting himself down .
    There must be some reason though behind it .
    Who knows we may see him against Dublin 🙂

  29. Might be harsh, but I’d say a big reason Boland sees so little game time is his lack of size. Especially considering how lightweight our midfield has been the last couple of years. Being able to compete physically with the opposition is vital.

    I think that’s also why Eoin O’Donoghue never nailed down a place.

  30. Kevin Mc will be back. He was given a planned break. That information is in the public domain (i think Horan said it).

    I’d agree the likes of Bryan walsh is possibly under pressure from the likes of Boland now. Also, Fionn Mcdonagh has yet to nail his place and could lose out. Although he was a bit better the last day. It’s still early days and it’s still only league.

  31. @Blondie11

    It was me that mentioned possession of the jersey.

    Diarmuid actually ships quite a bit of criticism here.

    I don’t recall the All Ireland miss of Walsh’s but imo it was the god awful pass he received that butchered the goal chance against Donegal. If I was to criticize him for a lack of composure there, it’d be more not recycling it.

    My argument with regard to Fergal, is simply that given he was unavailable through injury only 10 days ago, that it’s harsh to be criticizing management for not using him quite yet. Had he come on, and aggravated an already existing injury, we would be crucifying Horan. Particularly in light of Tommy and Eoghan’s recent injuries.

    A long warm up could, and I’m far from an expert, imo indicate he was feeling out an injury

  32. Impressed with Orme on Sunday, he has a very high skill set, the way he made Ryan’s goal lovely little flick up and the left hand pass, he never gives the ball away and he will take a nice kick pass If it’s on. He probably needs a bit more game time to get that confidence up to take on his man and take on shots on that left foot he has.he has the talent for Inter County just a matter of getting his confidence up. He’s a player that can solve the Number 13 position that we havnt since Conor Mortimer left in 2012.

  33. Liberal role in the tie. I’m not doubting you, but I don’t remember hearing or reading about Kevin being given a planned break. I hope it is such a thing, but for me the silence has become deafening.

  34. Frost.. Walsh missed an absolute sitter in the second half ag.ainst Tyrone to tie the game up. Hate to lose Ryan. . In the absence of Tommy it’s time for carr.boland.diarmuid.walsh.hessian all to step up. Cannot understand in the absence of matty why flynn has not stepped into cover.

  35. Walsh didnt hit the target from close range v Tyrone and again v Fermanagh last Sunday. He was fully in control of the ball on both occasions. He is an industrious player with a good engine but we cant carry forwards who dont take scoring chances. Thats the reality of it. Re Boland he is ahead of Loftus as an impact sub. He is clever and can control a game. Hopefully we will get to see him as the league progresses.

  36. Craggy – I agree there’s a starting place up for grabs there if any of them, plus McDonagh, can step up and seize. While I don’t feel Walsh has done much wrong, I definitely don’t think he’s made that position his own.

    Flynn is a little odd but might be an indication of what Horan sees as his role come summer, ie impact sub.

    Selections so far suggest we’re taking the league seriously this year, Keegan starting ahead of a younger player last weekend for example

    Selection for croker will be very interesting

  37. I’m nearly sure of it Stephen. Think he referenced how he has spent over a decade playing every season, barely missing a match, and more recently with his long club run. It was expected he wouldn’t play until a little later. Sorry I don’t have exact reference.

  38. Liberal in the tie. Hopefully that is the case. But if we don’t see him in league, I can’t see him being in the 26 for the Galway game, it’s just too short a gap between the two to get him up to speed. Now I’ll gladly let Kevin himself prove me wrong. He’s the very man who could become the match winner that day.

  39. Good point Stephen. He could quite easily lose his place if others are doing well. Kev must be near burn out at this stage. But then again his club form was excellent so I’d expect him to come back in for Mayo, and very possibly into the starting 15.

  40. I must say that I spent many years thinking that I knew better than the management,but now I realise that management are the players every see so they have far better information than I have,I don’t believe for one minute that management would not pick a player who would improve the the team,so as I said ,whilst I said that I would love Fergal Boland to be an an all star our management team will pick the players who has the best chance of winning,that is not a snub to Fergal but he has to take his chance

  41. Some of kev mcloughlins kick passing during club championship was superb , I still think he will have a big part to play in 2022 .

  42. Is there no news at all about Eoghan and his injury…they say no news is good news.
    Fair play to Ryan…he has been superb. Would he have gotten this chance if Cillian hadn’t been out injured? I do hate these injuries but they certainly reveal some priceless jewels.
    Hope we see more improvement from Mayo v Dublin. It’d be great to see a solid midfield…
    Maigheo go deo

  43. I Would loved to see Fergus getting a chance had a lots of impressions performed great league finals against kerry in 19 got behind the kerry defence twice and ope for the points pillars to post players

  44. pretty sure he was named to start v galway in fbd game , then not even on the bench , not heard his name mentioned since albeit someone in here said he was nursing an injury.

  45. Expect massive crowd from Mayo for Dublin game. Presume they will try to sell off all the rubbish tickets first as normal.

  46. I heard Horan saying Kevin McLoughlin was given a few weeks break too. After club final involvement and always being available for Mayo for years. That he would be back after a few rounds of the League. Don’t ask me where. But I definitely heard it somewhere – maybe on Midwest interview with James Horan or on earlier podcast here.

  47. Just checked my season ticket for Dublin, section 303 and low down same old story don’t give a damn for season ticket holders

  48. Jp2, not sure you want to hear this, but ticketmaster still have some section 330 tickers left , row Z, so a nice bit back ,would be a cracking seat. But not sure you’d want to pay an extra €15 for it

  49. As per Mayo News article with Mike Finnerty on 25 January, Horan said:

    “I’ve spoken to Kevin [McLoughlin], he isn’t with us at the moment,” he added. “The club season isn’t long over, I think Kevin has had 15 seasons at this stage so he’s taking a week or two. But Kevin will be back with us in a couple weeks.”

  50. Have to come out of the blocks from the get go against the Dubs, our starting midfield is going to be vital. Could be a bit too soon for Carney to come in, but I expect him to play a huge part for Mayo this year. Mattie’s return will be badly needed, I hope to god that the Loftus in midfield experiment is done and dusted. If he’s starting, it has to be in the half forward line, end of. Is Harrison going to be out for Dublin game?

  51. I agree with many other posters on Boland (for me he’s a very good footballer who has seldom put a foot wrong for Mayo) but if he was injured as recently as 10 days ago then I don’t see the point forcing things to get him on the team for the sake of keeping other players on their toes.
    I think we’ll need a stronger midfield to beat the Dubs as they will be smarting after 2 defeats so I think Mattie has to come back in. He’ll probably be raring to go and fresh.
    On fringe players, I’ve been sceptical of Flynn to date but the pass he sent in for the goal was very good and he may be gradually improving enough to prove me and others wrong. My main concern there is around pace as like Aido he’s a big lad and such players can dominate against weaker teams but when there’s runners flying all over the place it gets harder to make an impact. Orme looks good and maybe a more natural ball player than Carr who is more of a sharp shooter. If it’s not on, Orme will make the pass instead. McDonagh was scoring a few points a game in his debut season and leaving players in his wake with his side step. Don’t think he’s quite back at that level but wouldn’t be against giving him another chance or 2. Not as convinced by Walsh despite work rate, seemed a bit off the level in AI final. That said, he’s also a recent enough addition to Mayo and can go up a level.
    Kevin Mc has nothing to prove to anyone so I wouldn’t be rushing him back into starting 15, let him come on if the game needs digging out. He’ll still probably make the starting 15 come Championship time. Doherty is a big plus at FF. In the absence of Cillian it’s great to have a player who can score goals. If Oisin comes back I’d use him wherever he’s most needed. Full back is an area we normally have corner backs but Oisin is one of the few you’d trust to consistently do a job there until we find a natural for the position. Coen is better Centre back than FB line or midfield, Diarmaid may be better midfield than WF although CHF might suit him. So with Oisin, we may need to put him where the need is greatest.

  52. Shuffly on Jordan Flynn – his passing and distribution is generally excellent – he’s very accurate as a kick passer and has good vision for where to put the ball for the receiving player whether kick passing or hand passing. For that reason he reminds me greatly of Seamie O’Shea. I have to acknowledge that’s a fairly big pair of boots for Jordan to fill.

  53. It’s great to see the rising spirit and maybe, a nightmare All Ireland put to bed. For a little while anyway.
    We ran aground in the final, but finally the rains have come, the water has begun to rise and the mighty beams of the Mayo ship are creaking and groaning again as she lifts off the treacherous rocks.
    Two league games in, and the mood, for some, anyway is changing. Life, as short as it is, was never meant to be spent below deck.
    There’s no room for a relentless self pitying, that shadows a new season, even before it has begun.
    The ship. Aye. She’s ready to sail again. And those that want to stay on that haunted no man’s skeleton island. Well. Yea are welcome to stay. Stay and delight, in nights of moaning.
    Reliving past battles that can never be recaptured and never be won.

    But she’s lifting now and the wind begins to grow. There are lands out there that await for the brave to capture.
    Brave women, men and children. Climb aboard. All hands are needed now to raise these mighty masts.
    To sail these savage seas.
    To brave and break these mighty waves.
    Join all, and let it not be said.
    That when glory came to rest on Mayo’s shores, we were not all there together.
    We docked as one.
    Bodies breaking, creaking, willing, aching.
    Until that final victory cup is poured.
    We’ll fill the masts.
    Land glory on our shore.

  54. Two lads I’d be hopeful get a look later in this league campaign are David McBrien and Mark Moran.
    Horan name checked both the other day after the Donegal game. Would love to see both get an injury free stint to see what they can do

  55. A win against the Dubs & practically secure our D1 status would give licence to management to go a bit further into experimental mode . Would be great then for next game or two to have a good look at the likes of McBrien, Carney & Towey among others & give the likes of Paddy & Doc a rest day. Robbie in great form at the moment, but should he pick up an injury, we need an understudy getting some game time too.

  56. I’ve got to credit Jordan Flynn. He’s been developing a good impact sub role so far this year. Two games, it’s early, but greenshoots of having gone up a few %.
    I like Orme as a pacey link player.

  57. That’s mighty spirit lifting stuff Revellino.
    Dwelling in the shadows is no place to be.
    We will march out together, as we always have.
    And win, lose or draw, we will go again.

  58. A win against Dublin is important. If we beat them, it will knock them back further and take them longer to recover, but they will recover. Opportunity awaits teams that can take advantage of their temporary dip. I reckon anyone of 4 or 5 teams could win Sam this year, if they find form at the right time.

    Can we find it within ourselves to go 110% another year while the chance lasts?

    Our goal must be sam and the league is the prep for that. It doesn’t matter if we get relegated, not one bit. We need to use the league to find new players and build experience for the championship. That’s it.

    We will beat Tyrone and Kildare. Armagh looking very hard to beat but they may have peaked too early, as have Kerry potentially. OUr game against Kerry should be used to learn for our potential championship meeting entirely. But Horan is good at not showing his hand.

    Roscommon looking very steady and Galway will be gunning to beat us this year and win Connaught. It will be tricky for Horan to get the most out of the squad at the right time and balance the required performance against the risk of peaking too early.

  59. Onwards we sail onto the high seas. Thanks Revellino. And swallows will be swooping overhead.

  60. Team for Dublin
    7.McLaughlin /Coen
    13 Orme
    14 Doherty

  61. Interesting article yesterday in the times from, friend of the podcast, malachy clerkin.

    Can’t remember the exact numbers he quoted but in the last 15 years when we have gone unbeaten in our first two games of the league, we have only once failed to reach a league final, on that occasion we lost a semi final to Galway.

    This what it’s about lads, no more than needing to put ourselves in a position to win within games themselves, we need to put ourselves in a position to win competitions. We should look at this league as an opportunity to do just that.

    As much as we as supporters want Sam and to win just once, the long term goal here is make Mayo a team that consistently wins national trophies, and there’s only two of them each year.

    Manys of mayo legends retired without a league medal either don’t forget.

    We’ve put ourselves in a position to compete for a league title this year, and we need to at least push on and have a crack at it. This is what winners do, and it’s the next big step for this team

    Croker, Tralee and Omagh to come, it wont be easy but let’s at least give ourselves a chance

  62. It was an interesting piece alright, Frosty, and incidentally we have Malachy back on the podcast tomorrow in an episode that will be available on Patreon in the morning and available on all platforms later on in the day.

  63. @FrostTHammer, I know what you are saying but when it comes to winning trophies there is only one that anyone cares about, all winning the league does is tell you where you are at, nothing more.

    I’d rather scrape survival in Div 1 every year and win the odd All-Ireland than win Div 1 and get beaten in All-Ireland finals and I imagine that’s what 99.99% of anyone in Mayo football would prefer.

    And I don’t want to win Sam just once, I want to win it every year, for me those are the standards and expectations that should be set and ingrained in the mindset, I often wonder if Mayo won Sam last year how long would it take to win the next one, maybe it would take 70 plus years again, who knows.

    As I said before the Monaghan game if Mayo put in a full shift from the throw in to the final whistle in every game then we should not be concerned about league survival.

    And even if we lose the odd game by doing just that, so be it, at least they have given it their all and that’s all that can be asked of anyone in any walk of life.

    I wouldn’t quite agree with you that we are in a position to win a league title after a win and a draw, I’d be happy enough to survive in the Division and wrap the key men in cotton wool for the only show in town.

    But your point is taken and well made but with very little turnaround this year and therefore a higher risk of picking up injuries in my opinion the best strategy would be to gain Division 1 survival asap and use the remaining games to rest key men for the Championship and at the same time blood a few more players, I could be wrong of course, but that’s what I’d do.

  64. Three whys – can anyone answer.

    1 Why cant Mayo play at full throttle for a full game.
    2.why cant Mayo build a good lead in a game and keep it till the end.
    3 Why is it Mayo nearly always have a goal mouth scare at the end of most games before they win it.

  65. I’d be tending to side with FrosTHammer on that side of the debate . I do get the argument about resting key players and that but for me success breeds success.

  66. @mayomaningalway, well success may seem to breed success in hindsight but perhaps that’s because you just have a bloody good team to begin with.

    I honestly don’t believe that if Mayo won Div 1 this year that it would have any bearing whatsoever on how they would perform in the All-Ireland final if they were to reach it later this year.

    Finals are all about the day and seizing the moment, nothing more and nothing less.

  67. Folks, there is one positive I see already this year. Over the past decade, we’d have without doubt lost those first two recent league matches of 2022. Think about it… those games for instance against Galway where we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Im sure you can all think of plenty instances where we probably deserved to win but didn’t. In League and indeed Championship.

    I’m a firm believer that winning breeds winning, and no more so than in Mayo. Lads working Dubln was always an impediment for us in the league and management have cited this before in terms of distance from training etc so in fairness this needs to be factored in.

    I think we should push to win this year’s league. So far I like the look of our play. But its early doors yet so the jury is still out.

  68. Well we all know what will happen if our most essential player get’s injured chasing a league title who hardly anyone will remember, the question will be asked, why was he playing when our Div 1 status was secure and Galway coming up.

    Why not go out and try and use the panel to win Div 1 once safety is secured.

  69. @viper

    It’s not really about us, the supporters, it’s about the players

    Andy Moran spoke after retiring about how he never thought winning a league title would matter to him, how all he wanted was Sam but then when they won it in 2019, he was bowled over by how much it meant

    As players their careers are short, there’s only a short window of time for them to achieve things, and it can be even shorter in team sports where there’s only so much you as an individual can do.

    For a management team, their purpose to help players maximize their potential and achieve.

    Obviously, there’s a bit of common sense, nobody at all is suggesting we rush Cillian back to chase a league title for example

    The other side of Malachys stats is that this only the 4th time in 15 years that we have been unbeaten after two games. Even this very limited foundation we’ve built doesn’t come around more than 2 or 3 times in a player’s career. Would be an awful shame not to have a go at doing a decent job on the walls because we’re thinking about the roof

    All this might be completely moot if we lose against Dublin but in all fairness I don’t think we need the carrot of a league final to get one over on them.

  70. @FrostTHammer, Of course I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to win it, what I’m saying is that survival is the number 1 priority, we have a big panel of players, it doesn’t mean that because you rest some key men that you are setting out not to win it, of course the men who come in could still do it.

    When I mentioned our most essential player I was referring to ROD because right now he is our most essential player, that may change when Cillian is back of course but he’s not back yet.

    I want to win everything but the only way to measure the value of something is by comparing it to something else and no Kilmeena player would swap their medals in exchange for winning a league medal with Mayo, would they swap it for winning an All-Ireland with Mayo, absolutely.

  71. Interesting exchange on the GAA show with paddy andrews and James OD this week.
    They described how they used to really hone in on David Clarkes kick out when playing Mayo. It was clear from the conversation that very significant time on the training ground was invested by Dublin in particular, training how to attack Clarkes weak loopy kick out. “Hours and hours” was what Andrews described them spending on it.
    ODonoghue said that in 2019 down in Killarney they focused on completely targeting Clarkes kick out and it worked – they destroyed us that day.
    It shines a new light on Rochfords call to go with Hennelly in 2016 replay actually.

  72. I heard Paddy Andrews talking about that last year with Andy, and Andy said the same about decoding Cluxton which you could only do to a certain point but he would always find a way in the end which is what made him brilliant!!
    Interesting if they were asked about Robbie cause they destroyed his kickouts in 2016 and 2019, and Kerry fairly destroyed his kickouts in 2014 especially down in Limerick!! Makes me think maybe we shouldn’t be putting all the blame on the keepers or how their kickouts looked and look at the movement and workrate of the middle third for kickouts?
    Personally I would only hold my keeper to account for what he can totally control, e.g dominating the square, cutting down the angles in one on one situations, no goals scored at the near post and making penalties as hard to score as possible!! All of the above Clarke was the best at (hence two All Star awards) and anyone notice how brilliant Robbie has been at all of the above in the two games so far?? There are a good few weaknesses we still have to iron out this league campaign but so far other teams targeting our goalkeeper is not one as long as Robbie is fit!!!

  73. It is important for some players and management to bury the memory of their last appearance and their underperformance in croke park. Essential that they bring their A game now.
    We can be sure of leadership from certain players but no hiding place for anyone.
    We should see better retention of kickouts, boosted by the return of Ruane. Big game for Orme, McDonagh and Walsh if selected. Dublin struggling, Mayo on roll, no excuses….

  74. Very interesting Larry duff I much listen to that otb podcast and as you said it does put into light why Hennelly started the replay it unfortunately backfired but the reason behind it was definitely called for , apologies I can’t remember the interview but I vaguely remember after the 16 final it coming out in an interview that indeed the move to start Henelly was a tactical one and Dublin had sussed out clarkes kick out strategy from the drawn game and a change had to be made and that it wasn’t some stupid conspiracy of iner player take over that demanded Hennelly started which was going round at the time as another reason we had lost and a lot of people believed unfortunately

  75. @Crete Boom, I don’t like to be blowing my own trumpet and all that but a lot of people on here know that I did say that the quickest solution to our goalkeeping “situation” was better coaching.

    Most players have bad habits no matter how good they are, they may only be little things but they all matter and there’s always room for improvement, so it’s up to the coaches to work work and work on eradicating these bad habits and bad habits from a goalkeeper should technically be the easiest to solve and possibly pay the most dividends when you do.

    As for making penalties as hard to score as possible, well luckily there seems to be an awful lot of poor penalty takers on the Inter County scene, we saw Clifford last weekend, Murphy missed a game changer v Tyrone last year, there’s just something strange the way they strike the ball, but again that’s all about game preparation, the coaches knowing who the opposition penalty takers are and what’s their common side and height, and stick to that plan, that’s all you can do.

  76. There is no hiding place for a goalkeeper and its a tough old gig for them. For all the talk about our own kickouts being destroyed even the very best aren’t immune.

    A couple of times we have blown Cluxtons kick outs apart to the point you could see in his eyes he hadn’t a clue what to do with the next one.

  77. Didn’t see that Paddy Andrews and James O’Donoghue interview, but it’s a bit much to be still talking about Clarke’s kickouts. There were plenty of times Cluxton got rattled and lost several kickouts in a row. I remember the Kerry goalkeeper booting the ball wide direct from a kickout when we played them, simply because he was under so much pressure.

  78. Best of luck now to Kilcoo in All Ireland Senior Club Final on Saturday.. It will a tough assignment versus an excellent Kilmacud Crokes side who will have benifited from playing in Croke Park several times recently.. Of course Paul Mannion will be missing due to the dreaded cruciate injury, and it will be difficult for even a Club as big as Kilmacud to replace a player as good as Paul, . It would great to see ex,Mayo manager Mickey Moran achieve Club glory with Kilcoo, who have been knocking on the door for a while now!

  79. @Larry Duff, I can’t recall exactly, maybe I assumed that his knee injury was cruciate, and maybe I was wrong in assuming that.. I know that he has a knee injury that required surgery and will keep him out of the game.. I should have double checked before I posted!

  80. Ontheditch
    I wouldn’t describe Mayo as on a roll at all.We got a result in 2 tight games after being left in it by the opposition on both occasions.
    Hennelley might well have not scored that late kick against Donegal and we could have conceded a late goal easily on Sunday and we would be on 0 along with Dublin, Horan would he under massive pressure etc etc.
    Now lucky enough we cane good and got rewarded for some very good play etc….but this is a case of very fine lines.
    I am excited by more emerging and improving g players though so overall it is positive for sure.

  81. Malachy Clerkin calling out a few home truths on the latest podcast, That it’s a huge year for Conor Loftus after a horrofic All Ireland Final last year, Lee Keegan has to be be playing in the half back line and that Aidan O’Shea is not a forward but has to be found a role in the team as he is too good of a player to have on the bench. One of the best neutral insights I have heard on this Mayo team.

  82. Conor Loftus isn’t a midfielder that’s down to the manager. Loftus gives you the vision to pick a pass and send a player through on goal, he’s a natural half-forward that’s his home. there are a few others that had a horrific final and haven’t been playing well for Mayo for a few seasons but still are nailed on starters especially one or two in the half-forward line in last year’s All Ireland Final. Malachy Clerkin isn’t telling us something we don’t already know. The Manager has to step up this year.

  83. Relative to Dublin, we are on a roll, yes it might be a slight exageration but grafting out results is always good.
    We seemm to play to a patern wherby our best work comes in second half. Nothing wrong with that, it wins matches.
    @Sam og, i would agree releasing Keegan maybe for that second half and similarly, oisin mullen, if we cage him in to full back then let him roar for part of the game at least. These guys are our leaders, our matvh winners.
    Loftus got it all wrong in all ireland, may have a role as an impact sub, Boland offers more imo. Good man to come in and protect a lead.
    The burning question is AOS. If only he could take a few scores when they fall his way, lets see how he does the weekend

  84. @willie joe
    I was excited when you said Malachy would be on the podcast

    I was even more excited when I saw it on Patreon and realized who else would be on it, I don’t want to spoil it on anyone

    When I went to listen and realized that they were on together, well I guess I was heaven

    That was box office

  85. On the ditch
    He played half forward in the All Ireland last year he shot 4 wides as Malachy said he didn’t even get his feet right before he shot, I remember he got gobbled up twice by Tyrone defenders by soloing the ball too long. As Malachy he’s been there since 2017 now it’s time to start delivering or let someone else take his place.
    For me I would like to see Hession and Jason Doherty as our half forwards when Cillian returns.

  86. Will be interesting to see who starts in midfield against Dublin. Given the way they’re playing, you’d imagine that if we can limit Fenton’s influence, it’d go a long way towards giving us a chance to win.

    If we assume Mattie is straight back in, normally he doesn’t pick up Fenton.

    Is this the reason we’ve been trying Conor O’Shea?

    Would love to see Carney given a run, but keeping tabs on Fenton would be a big ask of someone so young

    Do we start Aidan and give him that job

    Personally I’d like to see Flynn come in with maybe 20 mins left and really put pressure on Fenton when he’s tiring

    Conor loftus probably has the most experience of picking up Fenton, and has done reasonably well on him in the past. Was fantastic in the 2020 final for example.

  87. Sam Óg, im sure the lad himself is wondering how he still gets selected to start.
    I do think Doherty is good option for full forward. Its only my opinion but he offers more than AOS because he can take scoring chances. But he is a creative player and would be effective at half forward too.
    Well learn more this weekend for sure. Big game in lots of ways. Hession is a class player, we will have strength in depth once these guys return. Goalkeeping a worry because we need backup for Hennelly and nothing ive seen from Byrne convinces me he is the answer. Goalkeepers have become significant players nowadays…

  88. The new podcast episode with Malachy Clerkin and Martin Carney is now available on all podcast channels, including on SoundCloud here on the blog.

    Over on Patreon we’ve another new episode as well, with Mike in conversation with Lisa Cafferky ahead of the start of the LGFA League campaign.

  89. I still think Loftus is being judged harshly.He us not a midfielder and had a bad final was good on Fenton in 2020….
    He has alot to offer yet I think
    Maybe the score on Sunday will get him moving.I am sure if he in in half forward line he will be more at home and get scores.

  90. I think with harsh judgement comment. For Loftus is on the fringe of starting but would probably like to see more of Boland for comparison. More of an impact sub if the full panels was available. AI final criticisms should also be put in context of our team not properly clicking. Some players forced it a bit on the day. As for the Dubs game, I’d like to see Diarmaid marking Fenton. Has done so in the past and restricted him quite a bit. All the talk of not having enough midfielders and we have Diarmaid available and plenty of other vying for forwards roles. Conor Loftus has also restricted Fenton a few times but it’s a difficult ask to keep him quiet. I’d be more confident in Diarmaid because of his height. Both our lads track similarly but I think Diarmaid puts a bit more pressure on opposition runners than most. I don’t see AOS starting come championship apart from FF because if we have a tricky fast mobile player at CHF it can do more damage on the front foot than Aido’s power. There are loads of lads competing for FF line as well like Towey and Orme and Jason is added to the mix there. In half forwards Kevin Mc will always be in the mix and Fionn McDonagh might push him for a wing spot but both can also play CHF as can ROD, Cillian, Diarmaid and several others. We need pace in the wing forward positions. Mark Moran would be good but would he be up to the defensive side of inter county,
    In the backs, I think McBrien could do with a run. I don’t think Carney should be parachuted in to midfield, the gap from Junior especially the pace of the game is too big a jump. As good as he was the last day, I could see him struggle to keep up with some runners albeit on a heavy February pitch.. so super fast intercounty players would really test him. People talking about Hession but wasn’t it a hip operation that some posters spoke about, surely that’s a longer road back. I agree he could solve a problem in either backs or forwards and was the find of 2021. If it’s not a long injury he would surely be a great edition.

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