Saturday our sole focus now

The Gaelic football world is, understandably, all agog today at the brouhaha yesterday following Dublin’s evisceration of Westmeath in the kick-about formerly known as the Leinster football championship. Jim Gavin’s post-match outburst was hilarious at several levels – in particular the brazenly hypocritical one, given the filthy personal campaign that Dublin GAA proxies waged against Lee Keegan ahead of the replayed All-Ireland last year – but the Dublin manager’s unexpected departure from his usual mind-numbing blather isn’t really of any concern to us now.

Of more relevance from the weekend just gone by was the fascinating Monaghan/Down match on Saturday evening, in particular the result of that game. Monaghan would rightly be regarded as a top six team at present and they went into their Ulster semi-final clash with Down, who narrowly avoided relegation to Division Three in the spring, as strong favourites.

They should have won too, having missed a number of gilt-edged scoring chances early on and they would have surely have earned at least a draw if they had a better left-footed free-taker than Jack McCarron. But they looked a bit under-cooked, played accordingly and Down gratefully seized the opportunity presented to them.

Facing Ulster opposition ourselves the next day, that result deserves to be noted. The analogy is far from a perfect one, I know, but ourselves and Monaghan are Division One teams and while we can rightly claim to have a far, far better championship record than them, our latest reversal within Connacht proves we’re not exactly invincible either.

Down and Derry, meanwhile, aren’t a million miles apart from each other in terms of form and current standing in the game. The Mourne County had, I know, a morale-boosting win over Armagh in the Ulster quarter-final but Monaghan weren’t exactly filled with self-doubt heading to the Gaelic Grounds the other evening either, having already disposed of Fermanagh and Cavan and having thumped the same opposition twelve months previously.

I don’t want to labour the point, except to make the observation that any half-assed approach to this match on our behalf could leave us in bother next Saturday evening. If we fail to stamp our authority on proceedings right from the start and if Derry get a sniff that we’re not on our game then we could be in for a very difficult evening. That’s all I’m saying.

Which brings me nicely to that report in this week’s Connaught Telegraph (here) about a “secret” meeting the players had in the wake of the recent loss to Galway. Some secret alright, seeing as Stephen Rochford, so the report confirms, knew it was taking place. At the meeting, the paper claims, the players discussed “their recent performances and how best to regroup” following their latest loss to the neighbours.

Nothing revolutionary there and, to be honest, I’d be more concerned if the players weren’t getting their heads together to talk about how to reboot their summer campaign. Given they way they performed in Salthill, they clearly had plenty to talk about. Let’s hope we see evidence of this on Saturday evening.

More worryingly, the Connaught Telegraph, in a separate piece – here, says that Ger Cafferkey, Lee Keegan and Aidan O’Shea are all doubts for Saturday. Aidan clearly isn’t fully fit right now and it doesn’t look like this groin problem is going to go away any time soon. I’d say he’ll play some part the next evening but it’s very unlikely that he’ll line out from the start. Both Ger and Lee picked up knocks in their respective club championship games the weekend before last and it’s not clear what the story is with either of them. We’ll know more, I guess, as the week goes by.

Maurice Deegan is the ref for Saturday. I could go off on one – maybe do a Jimbo rant about rights we should enjoy in this Republic of ours – but what’s the bloody point? Deegan it is and so we must – in the psycho-babble vernacular – control the controllable there.

That was all slightly down-beat, I know, so let’s finish on a high: the latest edition of the Mayo News football podcast, previewing Saturday’s crunch qualifier clash with the Oak Leaf County, will be available around lunchtime today. Stay tuned for that.

65 thoughts on “Saturday our sole focus now

  1. The hypocrisy of Jim is unreal. Wants to enjoy all the benefits of being Dublin; huge following home advantage, monster sponsorship funding etc but doesn’t like it when the spotlight is turned on his players. And the player in particular having seen two red cards in semi finals and not missed a minute of either final. Not to mention any incidents off the field of play. But as Willie Joe says we must focus on our own now. We need a big effort fright from the start Sat. Up Mayo.

  2. Gavin was right imo and Rochford would do well to take a leaf out of his book where our players names are dragged through the mud.

  3. Most of us agreed a below par performance in Salthill would see Galway beat us and so it passed. The history of the qualifiers shows shocks and upsets happen and another below performance could see us in real trouble and dumped out of the championship. The AOS injury is a worry and will Aidan be right at all this year? Will some of our fringe players get their shot to impress?

  4. Why would AOS be expected to play some part on Saturday if he is not fit? In fact, why was he playing for his club and coming on against Galway if he is carrying this injury? Surely if he is injured then he shouldn’t be playing at all for club or county? Why risk further injury? There’s something? not adding up.

  5. Better Kerry sides than this Mayo one (lets be honest) were nearly ran a few times in qualifiers over the years by the likes of Westmeath and Sligo

    Monaghan to Longford last year, Tyrone to Armagh 2014, Galway Antrim 2012 etc. Qualifiers can be funny

    I’d honestly take a one-point win no problem to get back on the horse, and then on to the next game

    That said on all known form we should be winning this by 5 plus points anyway

  6. Absolutely.. we have bigger problems closer to home right now. If we are not fully focused on Derry for Saturday and cannot find the wherewithal within the panel, irrespective of who’s fit to play, to beat them then Jim Gavin verbal diahorrea at the weekend won’t matter much to us. This is the first parting shot by Dublin in setting the stage for this year’s quest for Julliet and right now they don’t see us playing a part past Act 1 Scene 2. Dublin however do see Kerry as their greatest threat and this Diarmuid and Pat Spillane conspiracy gate is extraordinary to say the least and really is just simply a follow on from last year’s, “what Lee did”. The whole thing is rotten to the core and what is Brolly’s agenda aside from stirring shit? He took sides against us before about our heavy handed tackling and now he’s moved swiftly over to the Dublin camp or was that just a consequence of not been able to pass up the chance to hang poor pateen. Anyways, it makes little odds to us right now, we have a serious dog fight coming up that we need to come out the right side. Heavy blankets and counter attacking football.. I don’t care if it’s not pretty.. a 1 ror 2 point win with no injuries will do fine.. anything else is a bonus.

  7. Just one thing at this stage occupies my mind and my one wish is…… to see forward players not deciding to do it all on their ownios time after time. I want to see fellas coming with hunger and ferocity in their eyes to take that ball on from their comrades and mezmerize the opposition….. don’t be waiting for the pass..,.go demand the fn thing……..It’s what we miss…don’t know if we have it but if we can show it, then the future is bright!

  8. Good piece there Willie Joe. There’s no doubt about it, Down’s win will give Derry a lot more zip.

    What worries me though, is not so much taking control from the start – we often do that, but then the rot sets in.

    It’s as if they take the temperature, decide this crowd aren’t up to much and move down through the gears, or even into reverse. To continue the motoring analogy, it’s like someone switching off the engine as they approach the downward slope, to conserve fuel and energy – a dangerous pastime in motoring and certainly one that Mayo have tried on and been found out. Think Cavan, Monaghan in the league, and Down in last year’s league and nearly every one of our 2016 qualifier matches. And of course, Galway in Salthill.

    Maybe the absence of Caff and Keegan could spur them on further – backs to the wall and all that.

  9. We seen the Dubs and Kerry backing their players to the hilt, no matter whether they are in the right or in the wrong. They are all singing from the same hymn sheet. While in Mayo we have seen a local journalist print a story about a secret team meeting held by the players. This tells us all we need to know in relation to our county.

    Last year Derry lost to Tipp by one point before Tipp went on to hammer Galway. Their club champions, Slaughtneil, also made it to the All-Ireland club final this year, so they do have a lot of good players. We will need to be fully revived up from the start of this one. All we can ask for as supporters is to see the same spirit shown that we displayed in Tralee, Omagh and in Castlebar against Donegal in the league games this year. Best of luck to all involved for us.

    There was one piece of good news on the injury front, Barry Moran is back training again so that’s something to be pleased about anyway.

  10. Willie joe you need some hard facts to back up your statement. I don t recall gavin saying anything specific about lee keegan last year. A few former dubs yeah but that s what happens when your in an all Ireland final. Gavin is not hypocritical at all. He is defending his player. I take it you and Connolly hang around in different parts of st Vincent’s!!

  11. Thankfully this player meeting nonsense hasn’t made to national media, but if it did happen why wasn’t management involved? I thought the whole point of clear the air meetings is that everyone has their say and that usually includes management. How can a path forward be agreed without Rochford present? It’s creates the impression of yet another divide. Anyhow it’s nonsense.
    Saturday’s game is a complete landmine, supporters need to play their part by being vocal from once the team comes out.

  12. @Ger71, you should ask Jim Gavin why he wouldn’t present the POTY award to Lee Keegan last year. We seen the Tipp manager Michael Ryan present the hurling award to the Waterford player. What does this tell us about Jim Gavin that he wouldn’t present the award to Lee Keegan.

  13. I don’t think Gavin gives a monkeys about Spillane’s comments. This is all an act to create a siege mentality. He is just looking for that extra bit of motivation for his players. Us against the world is perfect and the fact that its a Kerryman who he is taking aim at makes it all the better as the Dubs will think they are their biggest rivals.

    HSE is right. Why would a local journalist print something like that. Local stories should be 100% pro Mayo like they are in every other county.

  14. Ger71 – I never claimed Gavin said anything about Lee last year. He didn’t have to, all those others were lined up to do the job. Where Gavin is completely hypocritical is where he bemoans those robbing Diarmuid Connolly of his good name, ignoring the fact that his countymen were tripping over each other to do precisely that in relation to Lee last year. I’ve nothing against Diarmuid Connolly – to be honest, I think on this instance he’s been harshly treated but the rules are the rules – so I don’t understand your reference.

  15. Have a read of Malachy Clerkins as usual excellent piece in the IT today and lets all talk about this nonsense while we ignore the giant blue elephant in the corner of the room that is destroying our game. Let’s ignore the 10 times larger population, the 25 times larger per player funding from central council, the home advantage, the sponsorship, the biased Dublin based media, the fact that the player was seen on live TV pushing a linesman, lets ignore all that and focus on the one dissenting voice who called it what it was. Not one article in that grease trap of a rag that masquerades as a paper, the Independent, questioning a 31 point annihilation. On our front the players called a meeting themselves after the club championship last Saturday to discuss the defeat to Galway, it was about as secret as the Novena in Knock. Anyone involved with a team or club knows players meet up without management being present, its nothing new.
    Anyway rant over, roll on Saturday at 5pm

  16. Spot on behindenemylines. Why don’t all our pundits sing off the same hymn sheet. It’s so frustrating. WJ why would Jim Gavin care what’s being said about any of our players. That’s not his job. That’s Rochfords job and in that respect he is not doing good enough imo.

  17. It’s not hypocritical of Gavin at all.He personally had nothing to do with that last year.
    If he was directly involved then yes of course but he wasn’t so by definition there is nothing hypocritical about it.
    That’s an unfair comment about the man in my opinion.

  18. I’m not saying Gavin should care, Ocides1, what I’m saying is that he’s a hypocrite to make the claim he did yesterday, given the orchestrated campaign waged by Dublin against Lee last year.

  19. Pat, how do you know he wasn’t involved in that campaign? Someone orchestrated it – all those former Dub players didn’t all start singing the same tune by chance!

  20. did you see the article in the Connaught telegraph about the players meeting Willie Joe?

  21. Gavin was quiet about keegan so how can he be hypocritical. If Paul Clarke or vinny Murphy were defending Connolly they would be hypocrites. Interesting that Murphy said Connolly deserved the ban so he is consistent irrespective of the players county.

  22. But he had nothing to do with it so I don’t believe he is being a hypocrite at all. He is simply standing by his player rightly or wrongly. Something I believe Rochford should be doing.

  23. Re poty presentation. You ll have to enlighten me hopesprings on this. Who normally presents it ? Maybe jimbo was working who knows? If he refused to do it out of spite well that would be poor.

  24. Quite quickly after the All Ireland last year Jim Gavin flew some cargo plane down to Africa for charity. Now that is not exactly a car trip down to Wicklow. So I would imagine he was extremely busy getting prepped for that and hence the non-presentation of trophy.
    I think people should take a chiller and just focus on football. It’s overall quite a decent championship this year. There have been several competitive games.

  25. Did you see my blog piece this morning, Morag, referring to the article in the Connaught Telegraph about the players meeting? (Hint: scroll up from your comment a bit and you’ll find it).

  26. Managing a football panel should always have a level of discontent; at the very least subs should be angry they are not on. Managing that is one thing, managing a group with all ireland winning and all star subs brings a whole new challenge. It might be that Gavin is trying a Loughnane type siege mentally to overcome something else bubbling under.
    I guess he still picks teams on current form and not what players think they can do “on the day”. Hopefully Rochford does the same. If so, that should get over Derry. If not a “surprise” (Down are still Down, they have history) could be on the cards. Derry are a good footballing county and while they won’t win the all ireland, on a good day/one off performance they could stop someone else from doing it.

  27. Ocides- if Gavin is so concerned about the freedoms in our republic (ad he referred to in his rant) he didn’t seem to mind too much last year. All those Dublin players were orchestrated by the organisation that Gavin works for. It’s his sanctimonious stance that annoys people. His team just want to play football cap. He wouldn’t even hand over the player of the year award last year.

  28. On that piece in the Telegraph Aiden Henry is wrong when he says Mayo got 3 home games in the Qualifers.They got 2, the third one was played in Croke Park v Westmeath.

  29. We’re clearly not going to agree on this one. Nobody will convince me otherwise but that last year’s campaign against Lee was sanctioned at a high level within the Dublin camp. If Gavin had made his argument yesterday in any kind of half-sensible way I wouldn’t have a problem because I’d agree that on this occasion Connolly was a bit harshly treated. But when Gavin started off on that bollocksology about the Republic and all that then that’s where the rank hypocrisy comes in.

  30. Bollocksology is fair enough but again the idea of an orchestrated campaign is not a runner imo. Vinny Murphy criticised Connolly and said he has to take the blame. If Murphy is one of gavin s media men well he going to get sacked.

  31. I don’t know anything about him not giving the POTY trophy so can’t comment Dave2. Why didn’t He? I just don’t subscribe to some of the theories on this and other blogs concerning premeditated coordinated campaigns on players be it Keegan or Connolly or whoever. I like Gavin. I think he is a formidable manager & a decent man. I wish Rochford displayed the same type of loyalty to our players if I’m honest.

  32. Why are we so preoccupied with Dublin and Jim Gavin? For now concentrate on Derry and Get the flags and voices in ship shape

  33. Another cracking article alright by “Collect 12 crisp packets and become a journalist”.

    Ground breaking stuff

  34. Connolly pushed his finger into a linesman, he got the ban that was meritted for his action. Gavin pretending that dublin are victims and deserve pity is laughable. Just like this whole gaa thing is becoming laughable, 1 county that dwarves the rest is given home advantage and any other advantage going and still they bitch !
    They were given a second chance last September after the dublin defender picked a kick out clean off the ground in front of the umpires and ref and they rode lee Keegan into the stands all the following week to be sure he wouldn’t finish the game. I have zero sympathy for Gavin, and if the gaa follow the current path then, Willie Joe, you won’t have much to write about. The whole country might easily go the way Leinster have and just give up. Can you imagine the 6,8, 12,15, 18 year young lads in Westmeath even considering to play for the county in the future when they face up to what happened yesterday? No, and rugby will continue to grow in Westmeath and these places because of this.

  35. The weekend of the Galway / Mayo game the Dublin panel were on a training weekend at Trump Doonbeg. If Gavin is so exercised by the Republic why is he supporting a right-wing American politician?

  36. Think you need to lie down finbar. Gavin stated that Connolly accepts the ban and both agree touching an official is an offence. He objected to the sun game interference in the issue. I think he s wrong cause pundits give opinion s after all plus the ban makes him look petty so he just should move on and forget it.

  37. Hey posters, we have a huge qualifier coming up, and lots of problems potential and otherwise.

    Why are we giving such airplay to another county, whose championship trajectory, at the moment, is miles away from ours?

  38. @Ger71, he was there that night at the awards ceremony, its normally the manager of the All-Ireland winning team that presents the award. He didn’t and Dessie Farrell presented it instead. The story was that Jim Gavin refused to do the presentation.

    I actually noticed that the ex-Dublin players, managers were all on script again in relation to the Diarmuid Connolly incident with the linesman. Vinnie Murphy, Pillar Caffrey and Alan Brogan all said similar things, i.e. that Diarmuid was a silly boy. So again were they all coached to sing off the same hymn sheet. The mantra seemed to be, don’t condone this in public but still claim to be in the right as the case wouldn’t stand up in court, as Jim Gavin said.

    The gas thing was that our two boys, Conor Mortimer and David Brady were coming out defending Connolly. They do live in Dublin so maybe that had something to do with it. They might have ended up in the dog house if they didn’t!

  39. You’re right, Backdoorsam, why are we so preoccupied with Gavin and Dublin? My bad – as the young people put it – for bringing the topic up in the first place. Time for a bit of levity on the issue, I reckon. An Spailpin has composed a bit of verse about it – here.

  40. Your quite correct Willie Joe, there was a coherent Anti Lee Keegan campaign, by Dublin friendly, explayers and media in the lead up to the All Ireland final last year.. Last Sunday on the Marty Squad, (Marty Morressy) on RTE radio after the Cork /Waterford hurling match.. Someone rang up the from some Dublin Gaa fanblog or other. He was given considerable latitude, with his sence of injustice as regards Diarmuid Connolly and continued to reference Keith Higgins red card v Galway incident several times as if it had any revelance at all to the Diarmuid Connolly affair. Not once was he challenged on the relevance of the Keith Higgins incident! And not once was the Evan Commerford incident referred to, which is the exact same offence as the Connolly incident and the same suspension being served without any outcry..perhaps because Marty had primarily expected a discussion about hurling? Or the other big football game of that weekend, Fono/Tyrone… Only a little earlier today Ex Dublin captain, Colly Moran was on TV 3 agreeing with Jim Gavin and his stand as regards the media interview’s. Colly went on to say that it was so difficult for Diarmuid Connolly to get a fair hearing because of the amount adverse publicity the affair had received so Diarmuid had regrettably accept his suspension, Colly had neglected to tell why Evan Commerford received the same punishment for the same crime without the same publicity? … It is something goes on regrettably, Dublin and Kerry are absolute masters at it.. Their talons sharpened by year’s of experience trying to get the slightest edge on each other in the biggest match’s for decades now… Brian Coady for Killkenny trys to dominate and nominate the narrative before big match’s (and sometimes afterwards, remember Coady putting Marty Morressy in his little box, when Marty asked Coady for his opinion on a possible penalty, not given to Tipperary in All Ireland hurling final,.. Some ex Galway players/pundits were singing off the same hyme sheet in almost perfect harmony the lead up to the recent match in Salthill suggesting that Mayo got most of their scores by looking for an getting soft frees, I’m sure it’s pure coincidence that Mayo definitely didn’t get any soft frees the same day and that Galway got a few despite, some very hard shoulders into Mayo men’s backs that some how were resulted in Galway frees… It’s not something that Mayo have been good at, if you are to influence the match officials, you need all your duck’s in a row, all media active explayers, punters have to stick to one or two topics, maybe put question mark’s over one player temperament or sportsmanship and stick to the narrow agenda.. That’s how it works!.. Kerry are just as good or bad, depending on how you look at it, as Dublin.. I remember in the lead up to the 1997 All Ireland final and somehow the big thing was that Maurice Fitzgerald was not getting any protection from the Refs, I can remember specifically Kerry Great Mick O’Connell, writing this in some newspaper article, by God, I don’t want to take away from Maurice Fitzgerald great performance in that particular All Ireland final, but he certainly had no reason to complain about protection from Refs afterwards.. How much influence does this have?.. Difficult to say, but in a tight match it can be the difference between winning and losing… Anyway seeing as Mayo are not particularly good at being bad in (damaging your reputation department).. We have to be content with winning on merit,

  41. Watch out the next stage is, protection for Brian Fenton. I have heard a few of them on about this already, Ciaran Whelan for one anyway, as this year they could be a bit short on midfielders. So its the protection for Brian Fenton spiel, that will be the next show in town!

  42. Agree fully with you on WJ.

    I had to just switch off the radio this morning listening to this bull relating to Gavin. It’s a pathetic attempt to circle the wagons. Pantomime stuff!

    I bought into the fair play ethos spouted by Gavin for a few years, but I shouldn’t have been so naive! He’s full of s, h, eye, t! I can fully understand a manager backing his players to the hilt (and on that I do think that the powers that be in Mayo fell short last sept when not enough was done to defend Keegan) but, in this instance Gavin is defending the indefensible. Connolly is his own worst enemy. His track record on the pitch is far from exemplary and his off the pitch conduct has hardly been flawless….and anyone who defends him saying he does great work with the club, c’mon, most inter county players give a lot of time to their clubs and thankfully, most haven’t had a day out in court on assault charges!!!

    Gavin’s blinkered approach with regard to Connolly makes him come across as a fool. Only those wearing blue tinted glasses will buy into it or indeed lap it up. Gavin blabs on about an orchestrated effort to damage the ‘good name’ of a player; but was more than happy to benefit from last Septembers ridiculously biased smear campaign against Keegan which without question influenced the decision making of the referee, which in turn had more than a significant impact on the outcome of the Al Ireland Final replay.

    The hypocrisy emanating from Dublin GAA is stomach churning. Connolly laid hands on an official and regardless of how minimal the contact was, it was done in a threatening fashion. In comparison to rugby and many other field games, the GAA have a dismal record when it comes to ‘respect for officials’. Kids all over the country would have watched what Connolly did and the post-match media gaze and focus on the incident only served to highlight it even further. Connolly and other top GAA players are role models. What kind of an example does it set for children and what kind of precedent would it set for all GAA players in the ‘Republic’, if no ban ensued. Surely Mr Gavin would agree that the ethos of the games and the manner in which they are conducted are paramount and should supersede the supposed impact any media speculation, debate and opinion might have on one particular player, especially when that player clearly broke the rules?!? Gavin’s portrayal of Connolly as being the innocent victim is pathetic.

    Whether 12 weeks is fair is an entirely different issue. The GAA set out the rules. The punishment was clearly outlined. The GAA can amend the rules/sanctions etc if deemed necessary but for Connolly, it was clear and cut. Defending him and moaning about the decision to ban him is really pathetic and doesn’t reflect well whatsoever on Gavin. He is doing his utmost to angle an opportunity for himself and his team out of this, but it’s a sad attempt. His aim, clearly, is to create a siege mentality but he has undermined his reputation in doing so.

    The depressing thing is though, that the GAA have proven so weak minded in recent years when it comes to implementing rules/making decisions, overturning them etc. On top of this, the GAA officials have shown that they too can be ‘got at’ quite easily and so Gavin’s tactical whinge in June may in fact work in his favour come September if he requires any on or off the pitch leniency in any matter concerning one of his players.

    Could the title be clearer. Nothing else matters. Time to bin this thread and open a new one I think WJ.

  44. Not having a go at you at all Willie Joe on the contrary 100 thousand thanks to you for this excellent blog to allow us voice our opinions and often our frustrations

  45. – Great summary WJ with regards to our match with Derry, with the current injury list and Higgins suspension plus at least one more injury that I have heard off ( I will not name out of respect to house rules) this could be way tighter than many expect.
    – No more so called tactical masterstrokes please SR, no more starting of injured players, continue your habit of naming a dummy team but silence the mole so the changes are not leaked like they were in advance of the Galway game.
    – Derry have absolutely NOTHING to lose on Saturday night whereas us, if beaten are catapulted back in time with all of the upheaval that entails.
    – With regards to the muppet show, Gavin is right to stop 1/1 interviews with RTE/SKY because the questions posed are invariably stupid and the answers bland
    – He is also right to call out the Sunday Game lynch mob mentality, AOS was a victim of it last year after the Fermanagh game while we know all about Independent News and media hounding of Leeroy last year.
    He rightly said Connolly was wrong and deserved his punishment BUT he mentioned a senior council so that was a warning shot to the CCCCCCCCCCCC for future cases.
    – Mayo have much more pressing matters starting Saturday evening, everything else is now a side show.

  46. Willie Joe, I don’t agree that D. Connolly as treated harshly. He was dealt with according to rule and no one can ask for more or less. In last years All-Ireland, when Lee fouled Connolly, the ref indicated a “pull back” offence but, when intimidated by Connolly, gave a black card for a “pull down”. The “we are victims” strategy is alive and well and my blood pressure almost went off the richter scale when I heard the Sunday game pundits comments backing Connolly and Gavin — can there be a more bland manager in the country. Surely Brolly needs to be “given the door” for the sanity of the GAA public.
    Mayo must have friends in the media and perhaps it’s time we used them when we need them in sticky situations.
    Roll on Saturday to get the show back on the road.

  47. No doubt Gavin was a lot more ratty than we have ever seen him before. They engaged senior counsel to advise them. Gavin can spout all he likes about rights of citizens, but if he wants to go there, both he and his players have a responsibility to behave honourably and take their punishment like men rather than look for technicalities to get off on. Whether it is proportionate or not, the rules are clear. As for Brolly he has gone beyond a parody of himself, touting for defense briefs among GAA players .

    The reality is this circus won’t get scores on the board in McHale park, so perhaps energy would be better focused on that

  48. There will always be off the ball distractive sideshows in any sport, ask Ferguson or Mourinho, but why are we getting carried away from our main attraction which is next saturday at McHale.
    I think it gives Kirby a very good opportunity to make a statement. He has lots of experience at highest club level and has potential to be a good go to player, in the mould of Harrisson for Down ?
    Any other views on who should replace AOS and how we should approach this game

  49. Approach to this game. Everything should be geared towards a high tempo high scoring game. Quick restarts and quick movement.
    We’ve a much lower chance in a low scoring grindfest. Attack in waves they wont be able to handle that.

  50. I tell you that the stay at home Mayo fans can’t complain about the amount of TV coverage Mayo get. But there will be one or two of them that will find something to complain about regardless. Still I suppose it’s understandable after having to listen to Martin Carney or Tommy Carr for 80 mins.

  51. I agree a fully fit Kirby is definitely better than a half fit AOS. The lad looks a really good footballer and a natural scorer. This is the game to give him a chance. I’d say name him FF and let him operate mostly at 11 where his passing and shooting combination would be of most benefit. That would mean Kevin Mc operating in HF and Boland starting on the bench unless Diarmaid is dropped which I guess most people would be against.

  52. Jim Gavin is a hypocrite, pure and simple, going on about taking from Connolly’s good name, he had not problem last year when former Dublin players were taking LK’s good name through the ‘mud’…Noticed he had a smirk on his face when Lee was getting the POTY last year at the awards.

  53. Jim Gavin has double standards, pure and simple, going on about taking from Connolly’s good name, he had not problem last year when former Dublin players were taking LK’s good name through the ‘mud’…Noticed he had a smirk on his face when Lee was getting the POTY last year at the awards.

  54. Diarmuid Connolly never had a good name to begin with so

  55. I agree with Jp we need high tempo certainly at times. Slow build ups will suit Derry who are well able to blanket defend. And again high scoring game better than dour low scoring. Not so sure kirby should be hanging around cf rather than moving in ff line. Harrison for down did so well with movement in ff line and did not resort to falling back to cf. The temptation there is to drift further back. Good accurate long foot passing should open up Derry and also give Boland a chance to show his skills in that department.

  56. Complacency can bring its own problems, maybe the Dubs have become too complacent. It’s like a person being in a job too long, they may assume that they are the boss.
    I remember clearly the remarks from the Dublin supporters when they the Dubs played Donegal in the 2011 All Ireland semi final, loads of giving out and cursing about the Donegal style of blanket defence, as their forwards were not allowed to score at will.
    The blanket defence is now a huge part of the Dubs game plan.
    Each / most Gaa clubs in Dublin have one or two GPOs ( games promotion officers ), I live in Dublin and know this is the case, how many such officers in Meath, Wicklow, Mayo or even Kerry ?.
    I watched yesterday’s game and would love to know the following, maybe I or somebody should do a statistical analysis on the following items.
    1, When the ref awarded a free to a Westmeath man in position, the closest Dublin player would usually hit him / try and rip the ball from his hand or in Eoghan O Gara’s case actually lunge at him and grab him by the jersey and knock him over. Maybe a yellow card would stop this. Fouling afer a foul was committed.
    2, The Dubs style of tackling, they appear to leave their hand in ALL the time, ( holding the guy in possession ) the U 21’s also did this in the final v Galway.
    Maybe the Connolly thing is being used as a weapon to set a precedent for the remainder of the year, ie, this is the only punishment that will be allowed / accepted by the Dubs for the remainder of the championship.
    Theysurely possess an advantage in terms of coaching, media platform, Croke Park, funding, training grounds, etc, but it is still up to the other Counties to take the challenge to the Dubs.

  57. Wouldn’t it be greet if ref had video evidence to consult on these borderline debatable issues…. Twould leave a lot of minds at peace and a lot of words saved for greater purposes and would very often add immencely to the game. Twould also reduce the amount of bad thoughts circulating in the community.
    I m wondering how our boys are getting along with their one twos and one again and away you go? It ll stand to them big time when they get it off. And when anyone comes from the back would ye make sure something comes of it….a score please but a wide better than a turnover ….usually a two pointer against!
    C’mon Mayo…..Up and away tku.

  58. Gavin’s a cute fox as we’ve known for years. Let him off on his rant but it will eventually backfire on him and I for one will be praying for that.
    All the sh…t.. that’s been said about our team in media and sunday game over the years and a lot of it personal attacks on some of our footballers and did we ever stand up publicly to defend. We too should have circled the wagon.
    On a lighter note before we all roar onn our team on sat even take a look back at the umpire at Down/Monaghan game at w’end where Down had disallowed goal. He’s stooping low to see the ball and position. It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen at a game in a long time. Need a laugh.
    Hope and pray we make a huge statement Sat evening. Up Mayo.

  59. Can everyone forget about Jim gavin we have a game Saturday evening it will be hard at times but we will come out the other side with a win we are given to much time to Dublin and Jim gavin get behind our mayo boys

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