Stick or twist?

Photo: Irish Sun

We’ve reached midweek and the debate about tactics from last Sunday – in particular the Aidan/Donaghy bit – continues to rumble on. It was a disaster, it was a success and all shades of opinion in between. Take your pick.

As you’ll know by now, I’m veering towards the argument that it was a ploy that on balance worked out. That was what I said on the podcast right after full-time and it’s still my opinion. It wasn’t an unbridled success, I accept, but it was far from a failure either. I’ve yet to see anyone come up with a plausible alternative strategy that might have worked better for us.

When I last checked, they ended up scoring 2-14 last Sunday and so did we. We didn’t lose a game that virtually every pundit in Ireland (outside the county) claimed beforehand we would. The draw meant we got some things right and other things wrong. So did they.

For some reason, though, the vast bulk of the post-match focus is on our tactics. Fitzmaurice appears to have been given a free pass, with the assumption that they’ll be better the next day. Nothing like a bit of forensic analysis, eh?

I’ve no idea what tactics will be deployed in the replay, either by us or by them. I’d expect a few changes, both in personnel and in how the teams set up, but I’m happy to admit that I haven’t the first idea what these might be. Such is the luxury of being the eejit on the outside looking in.

Within the two camps, though, you can be sure that all manner of plotting and planning is going on. These are, as 2014 showed and last Sunday demonstrated again, two very well matched teams. If one of them can spring a tactical surprise on the other then it could be the difference between them in the replay. For good or ill.

What we do at full-back will, of course, be one of those debates. But so too will Kerry’s plans to shut down Andy Moran and Jason Doherty, who between them caused as much damage in Kerry’s backline as Kerry’s much vaunted full-forward line did in ours. Plus a myriad other considerations all over the field.

Will we go with the same again? Will they? Or are there other rabbits to be pulled from the respective camps’ hats?  The short answer to all these questions, of course, is that we’ve no idea, nor will we have until we see Saturday’s rematch play out, minute by compelling minute.

For my own part, I’m happy to place my trust in Stephen Rochford and his colleagues. They – not us onlookers – are the ones entrusted with the decisions that need to be made and for which they’ll either be lauded or derided after the event. As supporters, our role is to get behind them and make our voices heard in the push once more for victory on Saturday.

176 thoughts on “Stick or twist?

  1. Well said Willie Joe. I’ve seen plenty folks coming out with criticism of management decision but yet when challenged can rarely if ever offer an alternative, and certainly not one that would be reasonably plausible.

    We go again on Saturday, and we need to get behind the team whatever happens, from the first throw in to the final whistle.

    Up Mayo.

  2. Pretty sure he’ll stick with Aidan at fb. If it’s a fine day Aidan will be able to get tighter to him without the risk of slipping so much. Hopefully Keegan will be at full tilt too. We just need to cut out the silly mistakes and fouls. Also, when Clarke was struggling with the kickouts in the 1st half why didn’t Aidan at least take donaghy out of that central area in front of goals? The two of blocked up the middle, which made it harder to get a short kickout away.

  3. Just tried to book tickets for Irish Rail for Saturday for my son and his mates. Train sold out. Only 1 train back to Mayo after the match on Sunday. To hell or to Connacht. Much easier to get to hell!!

  4. Given that mayo only train once this week if Rochford really believes it worked then he has to has to have strength of his convictions and stick with it.
    I don’t agree with it but he is the manager and if he sticks with it I’ll respect him for it whthere ot works or not. Of course if it’s evident it’s really not working mid game he has to change it
    Now Kerry have much bigger issues and the same limited amount of time to develop a whole new defensive plan …..I say whole new plan I should just say plan as there was no plan the last day

  5. I’ve heard lots of people giving out about OShea tactics playing in the backs.

    I’m not Stephen Rochfords biggest fan after goal keeper move last year in All Ireland Final replay but I think the move with O Shea last Sunday was brave and it did work to a large degree.
    I would have pushed Aidan further forward in the last 5-10 minutes with Donaghy tiring.

    High ball tactic largely ditched by Kerry.
    So that move worked.
    Yes Donaghy got a lot of ball on the ground but he only scored 1 point.

    The only time he did field a ball high is when Aidan was out of position – when Aidan stupidly let the ball run out over the line with the ball being kick passed to him by Keith.
    He should have made a run to it.
    We coughed up possession and high ball in Donaghy went for high ball then it went down to David Moran – rest is history.
    That was our own mistake.

    In actual fact otherwise Mayo looked more potent going forward without Aidan in Midfield as he tends to run into people and gets slowed down at times.

    Look we scored 2-14 and missed about 8/9 scores and you can count Kerry getting some scores from us missing opportunities and them running up the field and scoring points.

    We should have bet Kerry out the gate and that’s with Aidan O Shea on Donaghy

    If we have more composure on Saturday and we maintain or intensity and improve our finishing we can beat Kerry
    No question.

    I would start o Shea in the same place again.
    Would we have scored anymore with O Shea in midfield last Sunday – I don’t think we would have.
    I certainly feel if he’s moved to midfield we could pay the price with more high balls dropped in.

  6. I’m backing Rochford 100%. i backed his call on Hennelly last year, and though it didn’t work out, I still think he made the right call. Remember too his big call on Dillon in the QF last year. Couldn’t believe it when a guy told me before the game, but it was very smart.

    However, and I said this in another post, the kick outs are the real worry. Kerry will be working to do more damage on those and we’ve got to address it.

  7. It’s amazing how all the talk has been about Donaghy having a hand in 2-5 when he was being marked by a non-specialist back. There is very little talk in the problem that Fitzmaurice has to deal with when he considers that one of his specialist backs couldn’t prevent Andy from having much more of a hand in 2-8.
    One of the things I love about this year is that we are no longer predictable. As a result, we are very hard to plan against. I think that rotating Aidan in and out would cause havoc for Kerry but will Stephen do it? We won’t know until the fun starts again on Saturday.

    Can’t wait!

  8. Been a little Pedantic here WJ, but did we not both score 2-14 .
    For what its worth I think AOS will be back in his usual spot causing mayhem

  9. Absolutely perplexed at people who are suggesting Seamus O’Shea in to mark Donaghy. Can you imagine the carnage Donaghy would cause? All due respect to Seamus but full back is not for him.

    What would people’s reaction be if Aidan O’Shea lined up at full forward the next day? That would be a signal of intent. Fairly sure it would scupper any plans Fitzmaurice would have for his full back line. Pretty sure Peter Crowley would follow him in though.

    Somebody on the blog suggested this on Sunday evening and it was spot on:
    Vaughan should pick up Donaghy.
    Durcan in for Seamus O’Shea.
    Keegan to start midfield.

    Would like to see Kirby come in around the middle early in the second half. You would think our kick out tactic should be go long when they press up high on us. Hopefully we break even around the middle. We should in turn press on their kick outs more than we did in the drawn game.
    If we get half the joy from it as we did against Roscommon, we’d be laughing.

  10. I have no doubt but Ky will come out the next day and tear into Mayo from the start. We won’t have the time on the ball or the space inside as we had the last day. I hope Mayo have plan B – expecting the same tactics to work as the last day is foolish. I would start Aidan full back for first 20 mins until game settles and move him to chf after that. We have to be ready to meet fire with fire. The intensity levels will be up 2 notches from the last day. If we are not ready for it – we will be blown away.

  11. Would be tempted to start Aiden at FF the next day That would give Kerry something to think about

  12. The best suggestion I’ve seen all week is JP’s idea of keeping Aidan on Donaghy for 40/50 minutes and then unleashing him on a tired Kerry defence. Mix it up and keep Kerry guessing. Otherwise it should be Donal to keep the shackles on him. I can’t see how else we can manage Donaghy to be honest. Any other candidate for the role is either too small or not suited to full-back.

    Unfortunately the result of not giving our bench a proper run through the championship was there for all to see the last day. We badly needed fresh scorers with big-game experience on the field but once again it was the backs that saved our bacon. Whatever the outcome this year, we must give the likes of Nally, Loftus, Regan, Boland etc a lot more gametime next season. Not having the legs or composure to put away teams when the game is there to be won has been a serious problem for years now.

    We can expect a lot more protection for Kerry’s defence the next day. Will they bring Jack Barry on for Michael Geaney and have him ‘playing deep’ (not sweeping of course) around the Kerry backline? Wouldn’t bet against it.

  13. Rochford and his management team have no easy task for Saturday. Damned if they do damned if they don’t. I agree with Fourgoal McGee, we are now unpredictable and that makes us harder to plan against. One thing is sure 16th man needed more than ever Saturday. The team have shown they have the ability to beat Kerry now we need to instil the belief we can beat them.

  14. Surely the tactical move that everybody should be talking about is how on earth Shane Enright was left on Andy for 70 mins.

  15. Only a very little part of me feels bad for the would be sports journalist Eamonn Sweeney of the Independent newspaper. His credentials must be in the bin after his embarrassing piece ‘Tactically, Mayo are lions lead by….’ when Jim McGuinness one of the most respected writers and managers in the games history endorsed the plan and suggested something similar.

  16. I’d say that Kerry could take a very dirty approach to the game, based on Paul Galvin’s tweet etc. So we need to be ready for that. When the replay was played in Limerick the last time, it meant that the crowd was much more of a 50/50 split. With it taking place in Croke Park this time we really need to make sure that we will be there in big numbers again!

  17. Donal Vaughan is 6’1″ and not a specialist fb (as everyone claims is required) Kieran Donaghy is 6’4″ and one of the most dominant full forwards to ever play the game. Do people really think Donal can contain Donaghy? 10mins into the game after Donaghy has caused all sorts of hell from balls bombed into the square, 30000 Mayo people will be screaming for Aido to go back, lets hope it isn’t too late at that stage.

    I would urge Stephen to stick to his guns and go again with the same team. If Kerry pull a fast one and not Start Donaghy then a simple switch of Donal and Aido. The game plan worked on sunday, but for a couple of silly mistakes and poor shot selection we would have won comfortably and be praising Rochford on a tactical masterclass.

  18. Planning ahead for Saturday – as veterans, given our past experiences – we are mindful too that replay results have not looked favourably upon us.
    However Mayo have been improving during the years both as individuals and collectively. In addition, tactically Mayo has also evolved into a much stronger force.
    Taking the above package as a whole Mayo now possess many more aces in their arsenal than at any time heretofore.

    I think Saturday will be another close nail-biting encounter (and I would not rule out extra-time!!) and whilst acknowledging the outcomes of such finely balanced games can often be decided by Lady Luck, referee’s decision, etc etc etc – I also think Mayo’s improved package combined with its greater “hunger” will ultimately guide them home.

    I would stick with AOS /Donaghy and look to twist with respect to a few of other positions (principally SOS, DOC & Keegan).

  19. Also, Mayomad, as effective a player as Donie is he’s never been exactly renowned for tight marking. That seems to be most people’s bugbear with Aidan the last day – not being close to enough to KD

    DV would honestly be significantly down my list of potential players to mark Donaghy. I think he brings way too much to the team going forward aswell

  20. That’s fair WJ. Aido prob needs more protection in front of him and should only be expected to deal with aerial threat as and when it comes

  21. Don’t assume that Aidan will win every ball in the air from KD. Donaghy is one of the best fielders in football and an international basketball player. He has jumped with lots of fellas in the past 15 years. He will back himself to win high Ball and so will Kerry.

    On balance I would put SOS or DV in there and play it like Dublin do.
    Aidan will give us more out the field hopefully win more kickouts from both keepers that’s the first line of defence and attack. If we tip the balance in MF that’s probably the winning of it.
    I guess the question is does AOS give us more attackwise that DV or SOS. If the answer is yes we have to go with that on the basis that KD might be a risk but he will have less supply than on Sunday and if he doesn’t have the ball he can’t score.

  22. I am backing Rochford as well and lets stop taking note of what said in the papers,I predicted this and otherwise Donaghy would have destroyed us,can we not see the one time Aiden was caught out of position what happened Has people forgot that Donaghy cost us an All IRELAND when he came on in the 2014 semi final 5 pts up with a few minutes to go because Horan hadn’t the common sence to put O’shea back crowd the goal and defend the lead, One of the biggest slips I have ever seen by any manager.Kerry never replaced players like Seamus Moynahan, the O’sheas and others in there defence,There attack has carried them this past few years especially their full forward line,we can not take any chances here.

  23. As regards kickouts.

    I believe we should be kicking into empty space.

    Break between goal and midfield into quadrants.
    Develop a signal, say clarke rubs his chin meaning he’s kicking to the empty space in quadrant a.
    Scratch his elbow and hes kicking to the empyy space in quadrant b etc.
    This way clarke isn’t kicking to marked men. All the Mayo lads know where the ball is going, the kerry lads don’t and the mayo lads can get the head start on their marker on all kickouts. Guaranteed to win 80 or 90 % of our kickouts and nullify the kerry midfield at the same time.
    Believe me it would also really screw up the kerry hard core press on our backs.

    It may sound crazy but would take all that pressure off D Clarke as well.

    They use something like this in sports such as baseball (Catcher signals the pitcher where to put the ball).
    In American football the QB uses this system to let his own team know what play is coming and also to screw with the opposition.

    Kerry will expecting Clarke to hit his men with the kickouts. They wont know where its goin, we will.

    Hit the empty spaces. Ball not too high with a bit of pace on it. Guaranteed we get their first, we know where its goin.

  24. Has David Brady come out with what he would do this week? I think after predicting/suggesting AOS in at full back all eyes will be what will he be saying for this match.

  25. Np ill take it on the chin seamie would not be suitable.

    Why was aido put on donaghy?

    The general consensus is kerry didnt kick hail marys into donaghy because AOS was marking him.

    People are saying barry moran is not an option, albeit id argue hed beat aido in the air but again thats not the reason people in here are giving ,its because BM has no game time , so wtf is he taking space up on the bench for, for the hell of it ?

    Rocford has serious bottle ye say to be making such bould moves, yet the same man keeps bringing on drake and Coen with nally and loftus far more likely to score , when we need scores.

    Aido to full back is stupid, if caff let donaghy away from him like aido did hed be slatted. Donaghy shrugged him off at one stage out the hogan side that really showed danger signs cause aido commited too quick. Laughed about when I said the weather played its part in donaghy not getting the ball he usually does wtf like of course the slippery ball and conditions are not as effective for clean catching .

    I really hope hes the bigger man and swallows his pride , puts aido back to normal role, cause we more damage to them than they will to us , we are a better team. Theyre rattled have no doubt about that , now is our time , a win is all thats acceptable.

    Options, give vaughan, conor o shea, barry moran or lee keegan, plenty of options , hes not that fookin good.give him a slap too, he never gets a slap

  26. “give him a slap too, he never gets a slap” – That’s a great idea Sean Burke. Give him a slap and we’ll be down to 14 men. You’re a genius.

  27. Stick and twist the knife !!

    But as somebody said earlier, think it was Pebbles, we should be looking at option of Barry Moran to come in for the last 15 and release Aiden upfield or last 20/25 mins if he has it in his legs. Barry has played back there in Tipp match last year with the very idea to cut off high ball into Quinliven I think it was, who must be a similar size to Donaghy.
    When I saw that Barry had been added to the subs, I kind of expected Mayo to do that the last day. Thought the game was there to be won and we should have taken Aiden To midfield and brought Barry on instead of one of the other subs. That extra week may help with Barry’s fitness.
    It’s one thing setting the team up but we need to react during a game as well. We seem to be too predictable in relation to subs and their introduction. Need more left field thinking to keep Kerry boys on their toes. Thought Nally made a strong case with two good points against the Rossies, he looks like a lad that could handle the rough and tumble with the added, v significant, ability of being able to kick a score.

  28. I agree with you Willie Joe these are well matched teams. I also agree that looking back AOS on the star didn’t work out as badly as first thought. All Mayo need to do is tweak a little and smooth out those things that cost us. We need to keep our shape, do better on kick-outs and keep running at Kerry. We also need to be cuter in possession – especially near the end when engineering a handy free could win us the game. That could so easily have happened but for a Kerry interception at the very end the last day. If Parsons had taken the ball into contact he could so easily have been fouled and we would be preparing for September. Sometimes the best surprise is to the same again only better!

  29. Stop the supply and quality of ball getting to Donaghy is another way of dealing with him. AOS in lording it on midfield is a way of doing that. It also would give some relief to the kick out issue. .Vaughan on Donaghy with Higgins in front. Keegan returns to HB line. There is talk of Kerry pulling a wild card in sean o se or even Clifford but I think Mayo should pull one with Adam Gallaget in for Diarmuid who is clearlybout of sorts….thankfully there is only one manager SR…Mhaigh Eo Abu.. .

  30. Can we not assume that in training, they have tried every option of marking e.g., AOS under high balls as a means of generating a solution for the aerial threat from Donaghy, and found no other option than the one tried last Sunday, and was it not the first time that we had a decisive strategy on something that has buried us in the past!

  31. If Sean O Sé or Clifford line out for Kerry the next day it would be huge risk for them. Neither player will have ever experienced the ferocity of tackling that Mayo bring (except perhaps in Kerry training!). They could be chewed up and that would set them back yesrs. Can’t see Fitzmaurice doing that but you can never say never seeing that rabbits and hats are very fashionable in this year’s championship!

  32. We have to play Paddy Durcan from the beginning. Leave S O’S off , put Keegan midfield and let Moran & Maher worry about Lee then. (aka Smith Ros) Where’s the logic of bringing on Loftus @ 73 minutes into a 75 minute match.
    Fitzmaurice did not take long to make a substitution. I’d like to see Kirby on as well as he can score from distance.

  33. I Agree with William JG
    There is no point brining a sub on with only 2 minutes to go in injury time.
    If you look back at the match
    Mayo were breaking up the field to set an attack in motion
    Tom Parsons was in possession running forward through midfield and hand passed in the direction of Conor Loftus.
    Loftus just stayed static waiting for the ball to come to him instead of making the run towards the ball.
    The Kerry player was making the run in front of Loftus and set up the Kerry attack which resulted in Vaughan taking down the Kerry player coming through.

    My point is Loftus was nowhere near the pitch of the game at that point and as a result did not react quick enough at a key time in the game.

  34. It’s not a criticism of Loftus by the way.
    It’s far to late to be bringing a guy on at that stage in a high stakes high tempo game.
    It may end up doing more harm than good for any team.

  35. Hi, Will add my tuppence worth. I would like to see Aidan start at fb. Donaghy may or may not be there. It would give a sense of security to the full back line. Still fear an early blitz from Kerry. Aidan at Throw In? Temporary cover.
    Depending on this, that and the other could exchange with another for a while. This is a ‘Wait and See Approach’
    It seems to me that Aidan is miissed at Throw In, Hop Balls, Goalie Outlet and general tackling around the field.
    Fitzmaurice took a ‘Flood the Middle Aproach’ ast Sunday. See what he does this time first. Don’t do his thinking for him
    A. can realy get an attack going from 20mt , he can run, kick and handpass and still be as fresh as a daisy. He can move up when not expected.
    What a Team. I think Rivellino or someone captured it yesterday ay. You are all so much more confident this time. My nerves are gone but will pray.

  36. Catcol… I agree with you and disagree with you at the same time… The Alan Dillon experiment with No 3 on his back, last year worked for Mayo, in as so much it caught Mickey Harte by surprise…. But also because Mickey Harte failed to react in a highly tactical game… The tactical genius Mickey Harte reacted to the way Mayo started at half time…. Only for Mayo to withdraw Alan Dillon at half time, again leaving Tyrone with a mismatched Team…. Tactics wise Rochford won the first half, because of two reasons, No 1..he took a risk and caught Tyrone by surprise and No 2 because Tyrone had not planned for such an seneario….. He won the second half tactically as well, because he reverted to the normal team set up, and Tyrone came out with a change of personal to deal with Alan Dillon who was now withdrawn….. I heard Donaghy in an interview after the match on Sunday, that he wasn’t taking by surprise by AOS marking him, he said that he and Kerry had planned for 5 or 6 seneraios in marking himself.. My guess is that in the planning for AOS marking of Donaghy… Kerry were to push up, maximum full court press on David Clarke kickouts because of the big man being missing from the midfield….. If Barry Moran was able??? to pick up Donaghy for at least part of the match on Saturday, maybe last 20 mins AOS could give us allot around the middle…. I noticed that in the Kerry /Galway match, the Donaghy influence decreased as the game progressed, (he was withdrawn around the 50min mark)… His influence also decreased as the game went on last Sunday, but Kerry did not withdraw Donaghy, I suggest that maybe that was to Keep AOS out of the danger area where he could hurt Kerry… Donaghy is certainly fit enough to hurt Mayo up to the 70th minute, but just not as influential as game wears on, I would suggest… So for Barry to take over from AOS in marking Donaghy around the 50 minute mark….. Stephen Rochford and Co will know more about how fit all our charges are.. Replays are usually won by the favourite even more often than in the first match..
    However I believe this will change on Saturday, for a number of reasons,… We have an imaginative and brave management team, we will and have to take risks, if Mayo are not brave and imaginative we are assured of being the best team never to win an All Ireland, and listen to the appreciation of our resistance and resilience, but this will NOT be our fate… MAYO TO FIND A WAY ON SATURDAY, and as collective throng of Mayo. elated fan’s leave Croke Park elated ‘Phew, we didn’t see that coming’ as a famous son of Castlebar once said Charlie Haughey.. ‘Go and dance on someone else’s f***ing grave’

  37. Bliss should read ‘Blitz’ resulting in Kerry Bliss. Some lovely poetry recently on this site.

  38. This debate has been good so far, can we please refrain from talk of bringing ineligable players and players who aren’t even on the panel in to the team or it descends into a farce. WJ mentioned that you good get a whiff of fear in an earlier article and it’s becoming more than a whiff. Who is driving the narrative around O’Shea? Why is their no discussion about Shane Enright getting roasted alive by a 33 year old man? Anthony Maher was whipped off at half time because Tom Parsons was scutching him and replaced with Jack Barry. What happens when Tom gets the upper hand the next day on Barry, who do they bring on then? By all means let Kerry and everyone else believe that Lee Keegan was quiet because of Paul Murphy and that it had nothing to do with the serious illness that required hospitalisation 13 days previously. A few hacks in the Indo who have the credility of snake oil salesmen decree that Aiden O’Shea was a disaster at full back and it’s gospel. Yet one of the most tactically aware managers in the history of the GAA says the opposite and we ignore him. Who would you think is pointing us in the right direction and who do you think is damning us with faint praise, McGuinness or the O’Shea brothers?

  39. Good points leantimes, they may play a sweeper, in that case I would like to see doc in the half forward line and throw Barry or Kirby in as a target man, the sweeper would have to stay close to him creating space in front for our running game,Create as much panic in their full back line as we can, do to them what their trying to do to us.

  40. Leantimes you have it spot on I think. I would have Aidan move to the 45 for our own kick outs. Donaghy and Kerry have to decide if they let him go or follow him. My thinking is Donaghy will follow.
    As you say use Moran for the last 20-25 mins if he is fit enough but then land Aiden in at full forward. It will draw Kerry’s sweeper if they play one or a second defender and create more space for our half backs and half forwards to run into. If Kerry take Donaghy off after that switch move Moran into full forward and drop Aidan back to chf. One sub creating two if not three positional changes for Kerry to worry about.
    Surely Moran has 20 mins in him or else he wouldnt be involved? If so lets use him.

  41. The card analogy is good for many reasons….not least because 21 would have been a winning hand the last day.

    No predictions.
    No punts.
    No further analysis or pontificating.

    Just looking forward to a weekend of classic football. Good luck.

  42. All for debate but lets just be open more to both sides of this where does AOS play the next day ,we are missing a target for clarke, we are missing out on frees he wins in.scoring zone, kerry are swamping midfield to.halt our runner s to a degree ,aidan is capable of breaking that barrier now and.again. And the way kerry.set up the last day if he was given a period on the square , we could of killed them.altogether. ill never take Kerry lightly but looking at the game again today , they have a lot of stuff to fix in six days ,again though why do we pull up when we get a bit of a lead , if we can just tack on another couple of points if we.go four up then shore it up by all means.

  43. What terrific posts are being made. Some really shrewd punters on the sideline. Hopefully the real managers will tune in. They could learn a thing or two.
    People more insightful than I can decide on the Aiden/Kieran scenario.
    For simple me, please, simple matters……..
    1. rectify the kickouts
    2, concede fewer scorable frees
    3 introduce substitutes, especially scoring forwards, at the appropriate time.

    Yes, you and others have pointed it all out many,many times .
    Someday, they will get the message. Hopefully Sat.

    Then see what we can do.

  44. This Ref will use plenty of cards–also will give frees for off the ball incidents during kickouts. I think OShea should be on Donaghy .

  45. We’ve had more squad practice of the 6 day turnaround in Croke park. I believe its an advantage.

  46. Well lads whether we stick or twist it won’t matter. As According to all the Pundits, Mayo have left it behind them. That Kerry will never play as bad again so therefore they will go on and win the replay. Why bother turning up the next day then? BECAUSE WE ARE MAYO and we will not give up or throw in the towel. It’s very disheartening no one is giving Mayo A hope. Surely they deserve some credit to be where they are. Surely someone must think Mayo have a great chance. Yes Kerry can play as bad again. They didn’t resolve their back line after the Galway game, 3 weeks they had to prepare. So how can they resolve it after 1 week? Come on MAYO.

  47. I always get worried when I see Clarke’s kick outs floating towards Kevin McLoughlin, doesn’t usually end well for us.

  48. Watches the rerun on Sky last night. Analysis quite balanced, James smugly confident that Mayo would prevail next day and wee Pete saying that Kerry would be an entirety different animal the next day.
    I can’t see this different animal emerging from any hitherto undisclosed cage.
    The Aidan experiment was about 45% successful so we stick rather than go to something that is 100% failure.
    Our midfield is stronger than theirs so we will get more possession to our full forward line than they will and our full forwards will find winning the ball easier. Barrett and Harrison will again contain their opponents. To supply them Donaghy has to come outfield and then they have to fight for possession and they have shown that this is not their forte. They are used to receiving simple layoffs. Their game is based on midfield dominance and quick ball inside. We did, and can again nullify that.
    Then we gifted them 2-5, the goals didn’t stem from Donaghys brilliance but from two mistakes and we gave away 5 easy frees all in scoreable positions.
    We need to eliminate the clothesline tackles or we are in trouble. We have excellent tacklers in Doherty, Parsons, Harrison and Barrett. I hope the others can copy.
    In addition I expect Cillian and Keegan to be much improved.
    If we leave Santa’s sack behind we should win comfortably but when do we do that. It must be against our religion.
    Same team again but I would like Durcan for Boyle, Kirby for SOS, Nally for Diarmuid and if Loftus is to come on please let him have at least 10 minutes.

  49. You know in replays what usually happens, is that player’s that play poorly in the drawn match, if given a second chance play really well in the replay… Another thing that tends to happen, is that the match is not as sporting.. The drawn match was very tough but fair, might not be as fair for the Replay, which gives both teams a problem… David Gough has a deserved reputation for being a very good referee, but he dishes touted the card’s.. So both teams will have to start in a very disciplined manner!

  50. Revellino – great post on kickouts, not a crazy idea at all, just common sense! Also would help lessen Moran’s and Kerry’s dominance at midfield.

  51. still think mayo can beat kerry if they play really well how do you think sunday match with tyrone go.

  52. Erris man.I think A.o.s.should play as he did last Sun.Kerry are afraid very afraid…

  53. Good points thereLeantimes re the kicks out.

    On another angle, we need to consider the psychology of the replays; the cliché says it’s whoever learns most does best. On paper McStay seemed to hold all the aces for the QF replay: improving Rossies, confidence gained from a good Croker performance, luxury of making a big call on a rookie replacement. Mayo kept their heads down and worked on improving what went wrong and indeed their whole approach to the game. They went for the jugular early and blew the opposition away by 25 minutes. In mitigation the Rossies are young and lacked lots of big day experience.

    What of Saturday? We’ve been here before in 2014, so I’m trying to compare and contrast here.

    2014 v 2017

    * Venue: Limerick was a massive plus for Kerry, no question. They had near half of the crowd and they were ferocious in support. Croker a big plus for us this time.

    * Favourites: Strange as it seems, we were hot favourites for the drawn game in 2014. Remember, Kerry were rebuilding, Fitzy was a rookie manager, 2014 was a transition year and Donaghy was regarded as a has-been. When they drew with us, effectively they said, fuck them, we’re better than they are, we’ll show them the next day. I felt the aggression Kerry showed wasn’t really matched by us. This time the roles are reversed. We should be staring them down and increasing the aggression – legitimate aggression; there’s no place for going over the edge and I think in that regard we have improved as the season has progressed.

    * Ref: Cormac Reilly we know now, but going into that match I felt good about Reilly. I feel good about Gough, but we really have to be careful and to play him well. I feel other teams have played the ref better this year.

    * Working on Problems: We had plenty last Sunday. The kicks out have been mentioned, but there are more, lots more:
    * kicks out – already aired
    * running into traffic
    * sloppy passes that Kerry hammered
    * poor shooting options – Lee x 2 and Seamie into goalkeepers hand, Coen blocked down partially
    * looking for frees – this is a bad mentality, even allowing for an eejit like Deegan – refs have been instructed to clamp down on diving, and that’s what we APPEAR to do at times
    * Like Darragh O’Shea said, Kerry fellas will say I need to, I should have done better. All 15 must be saying this – even Andy

    * Afraid to Win?: a number of friends have said this to me. They sense fear of winning when we see the finishing line. Did we relax on the throttle when the second goal went in? There were at least another 2 that were possible.

  54. Posters generally leaning towards AOS v Donaghy match up again. My own feeling is that Parsons may have more to offer and less of sacrifice. One way or other I hope we have the plan B. don’t see SOS bringing anything to that table.
    As pointed out by Up Mayo there are other issues. Our kickouts, Kerry got possession from 7 out of 10 long kickouts. Our limited use of subs, 4 getting 55mins compared to 6 getting 155 mins for Kerry. And as another poster pointed out, our subs are unknown quantities except hopefully to the management. But developing a bench is an issue. Personally I would rank Nally and Loftus as leading contenders for introduction.
    We need to remember Kerry have major problems to sort too, not least their whole full back line. The game remains tactically fascinating, at this stage we just have to trust management.

  55. I find if you’re on a bike and go down a hill you ll be going up another…fine if you have the E bike and the battery is full! So I’m for sticking.
    I’d love to see Aiden further up but feel now too that he’s a supporting presence to those around him. And before I move on Id like to say I don’t think it took any great genius to make that call in the circumstances ….people having a fair idea of people’s capabilities!! And as I said before, well done
    AOS for taking it on…. Jay, indeed you might have found a new home for yourself!

    Funny how some were connecting our attack improvement with Aidan’s absence in the area. In my opinion we have turned ourselves inside out up front because as a team we re starting to discover the patience,off the ball running and passing both foot and hand that is a requirement of a team that wishes to be numbered among the elite of the present day. ( I love the ‘we’) Maybe it’s their fitness levels or something but they are surely in the groove. And as I said before … it is nearly totally new territory for this team … so much so that next game and the next are not just games to be played by this Mayo team but these games will see our fellas on a mission… a mission to pave a new way that will somehow compensate for the famine that’s been abroad in our county since the early nineteen fifties when even I was a baby!

  56. Most definitely stick, Aido has to stay on him, it’s the only way. Our backs need to be as clean as a whistle with Gough in charge. Remember the Connacht final? He gave 3 or 4 handy frees against the GAlway backs for having a hand on their marker of the ball. We need to play Gough as much as anything else, he’s very particular.

    Don’t know how this will pan out, the bookies and history say we’ve no chance, I think we’ve every chance. Aido to stay back, stick with same team, with maybe Durkan in for DIarmuid. Kerry will turn it into a scrap again. Need every Mayo person capable of going there on Saturday, Gooch and Galvin are rallying the troops on twitter. We need to outnumber them again and push the lads over the line.

  57. Any update on injuries because I just heard about a really bad one for us? If it’s true it’s not good.

  58. I for one, Donegal supporter, believe Mayo can win the replay. Yes Mayo scored 2 goals last Sunday, but it should have been 4. I would agree with the earlier comment your team should have pushed on when they were leading by 4 points.
    As for AOS we in Donegal would love to see Michael Murphy positioned closer to the goals.
    Start AOS on Donahy, but switch him with about 20 min to go. Wishing you every success on Saturday

  59. AMayoFan…. Brady on newstalk mon eve, suggested Keegan on Donaghy. I can’t see that, surely he,s not tall enough. Barry Moran must be on the bench for some reason ???

  60. The O’Shea move has restored my faith in Rochford. Apart from the obvious donaghy situation. Kerry were set up to defend against O’Shea in the middle 3rd. This is what left all the space in front of full forward line for us to make hay.and we saw why we have stuck with this much maligned kicking game all year. Kerry do not have the personnel to make changes in the full back line. They either hope they can play better or play a sweeper, if they play a sweeper it will have to be taken from their half forward line, if they do it’s advantage us. We have a free half back to launch attacks and it gives us a sweeper. We have then the option of donie on donaghy with Higgins/Boyle sweeeping and can move aido forward. If they don’t play a sweeper we start the same as the last day but move aido forward when donaghy tires. Also I think aido will be better at FB the next day after analysing the match.

  61. Thanks Sinead Now I’ll spend the night worrying and wondering

    Having watched the match back twice now I’m still not convinced the Aidan matchup with Donaghy worked or will be any better on Saturday. I still think we lose more by not having Aidan further up field. Having said that I don’t pretend to have the answer to the Donaghy threat and respect the choices made by Stephen. Is there a case for leaving Boyler on the bench and springing him with his high energy style for the last twenty minutes. I do think we need to make more use of our bench and give whoever comes on more than just a couple of minutes.

  62. Eriss Head, your spot on with that , keegan to midfield. durcan for sos, and Vaughan on donaghy. might I add loftus much earlier, drake is not going to get us scores

  63. Yes Sinead, Stephen Rochford will be on here at 9pm to post an injury update. In the meantime you feel free to continue posting panicked questions on the internet regarding a injury as I’m sure one of the thousands of anonymous posters here is Dr Moffatt and he’ll confirm it for you. I hope it’s not the same player who I heard had contracted Denge fever.

    P.S. I think cait is Stephen Rochford

  64. Liam, I see that asked regularly on here. I was panicked so I asked as you all generally know esp as most of you are in Mayo. I’m not taking it back though. I’m not naming who it is. I heard something and came on to see if Ye had heard or could enlighten. Simple as. I’m not naming the player. I live in hope that it won’t come to fruition.
    Sorry if I upset people.

  65. I am still afeared of Kerry.

    They have nothing to lose except pride. Kerry will be looking to avenge four successive championship loses to Dublin (2 All-Ireland finals and two semi-finals) with lots of league losses in the meantime.

    Kerry will get over the line thanks to Donaghy.

    Dublin v Kerry final. Dublin to win again…..easy enough.

  66. Sinead37 – spreading stuff like that is of no benefit to anyone. Please don’t do it again – I know you didn’t name any names but it’s completely pointless to go posting something like that here.

  67. Good man mayoabu, another well informed pro comment! Me thinks it’s not from crossmolina or anywhere close you’re from!

  68. The only gripe I have and wonder about is the coming on of Drake and Coen to the exclusion of Nally. I haven’t ever seen Nally not make a positive contribution when he’s been added, in contrast to both D and C who remind me often of an unsighted greyhound who is all go but not too sure where exactly they should be going. They may shake themselves in time but in the meantime I’d have Lof and Nally up on the line long before the two boys.

  69. their too much hype over kerry and dublin mayo have a great chance so do tyrone i wont write them off also so player s who did not play well would want to play well saturday

  70. I’m sorry WJ. I genuinely came on to see if anyone heard anything, not to spread what i haven’t actually told.

  71. Sinead – I was at the match, I have watched it 3 times in full on TV since then… I didn’t see any injuries… I asked a very good source the same question and he hadn’t heard of anything…. Every outfield player will have a few black marks and scratches after a big match like that, but it’s not really an issue!

  72. I went for Mayo to win the drawn game based on their improving form and the high probability of catching Kerry cold. Despite playing some brilliant football we did not succeed in beating them. The element of surprise for Kerry is gone now after their coasting through the earlier rounds of the championship, not to mention the general air of complacency that had been coming from their many ex-players last week. I am with those who believe that Kerry will be a different animal the next day. They have the best forwards in the country and only need to find an extra couple of percent to take us to the cleaners the next day. Can we match that or better it? The players don’t need reminding of their track record in replays against the very top teams either. Unless we can somehow curtail the upside potential of Geaney, O’Donoghue and Donaghy on Saturday this one won’t end any different. Here’s hoping they can find a way..

  73. I’ve had the same suspicions myself for a long time now Niall. I’ve volunteered to form an anti trolling crew with Mick Barrett and a few hards from Erris on numerous occasions but WJ has politely declined. I’ve a feeling that the sight of a clapped out 1989 Ford Transit bristling with antennas rocking up to your house with Mick and the boys on board would encourage you to get behind the team, regardless of your county.

  74. inbetweener. have to agree loftus and nally are far more likelier to get us scores than coen and drake, I can understand the later two been introduced if we were up a few points but at the end we were chasing the game and needed score getters

  75. Clarke







    Play like Donegal did against us in 12. No space at the back and counterattack.

    Really frustrate their attack and use AOS as the out ball when going long with kickout.

  76. Am currently watching the game for the third time. With each viewing I’m surprised that very few, if any, have made reference to Cillian (at 1 minute 38 seconds) missing ( striking post) a 20 metre free. If that happened at U 14 Club level there would be serious questions asked. But this man is the top scorer in the championship. It proved to be a costly miss as, of course, did all others.

  77. I think Aidan should stay on donaghy as the day promised fine. That will make a huge difference on the day and if all going well move him up the middle for last 15 mins.
    And I do hope and pray Paddy Durcan is onn.
    Best of luck to Stephen on the calls and our incredible team that have given us so much this summer again. Every single one of them are a credit to all and so good to see such teamwork in all the matches. Mayo forever.

  78. BM way to risky, not Rochfordsimo style to take risks and I would not blame him on that one. It’s about reading the game as it unfolds but I’m beginning to go with thinking AOS Donaghy match up for starters. If O Sea there to outfield Donaghy only and stay back otherwise, then we need someone to put KD under pressure when in position. We have a few terrier like players to do the job
    Yes Kerry forwards are good but what about their backs? The full back line? Plenty to think about for them.
    Element of surprise may be gone but it doesn’t solve Kerry’s problems.
    Part of our problem of not pulling away from teams is imo the use of our bench. Or to put it another way the dubs can pull away in the last quarter because they have the power on the bench

  79. Does anybody know when was the last time Donaghy played in a championship game and didn’t score a goal? He scored goals in both our games in 2014.When was the last time he only scored 1 pt in a game?

  80. Ah , Sinead now you have me really worried. Think I remember Kevin o Neill breaking his leg in training a few days before an AIF . I might be totally wrong. Were we training tonight.

  81. I don’t think he’s that prolific Gerry – he only scored in one game against us in 2014 although he did set up the goal in the first game. This year he has only one goal in 3 games. I don’t ever remember him scoring a goal against dublin.

  82. Sourceoftherobe do NOT agree with your comment on Cillian. He is a fantastic scorer and nails some beauts for our County. He’s a dedicated leader and physically tough. So his 20m kick hit the post. Can’t be perfect all the time for God’s sake. Give this great warrior a break please.

  83. WJ, we can pick the team every which way BUT Stephen Rochford & Co. Will pick a team that is required to do a job @ 3.00. Sat. Surely all those wise heads together will get it right this time, they know the mistakes that were made against the Dubs & Kerry in replays past, Mayo were so so close, therefore I for one knows MAYO will win the replay, lets support the players & management big time. Up Mayo

  84. Sinead37 – just to be clear, this ISN’T a place to come on asking people if they might have heard about this and that story. If it’s publicly reported elsewhere that there’s an issue with a particular player then it’s fine to mention that here, otherwise it’s not.

  85. His management style can be either though, aido on.donaghy and clarke to the bench replay last year on the flipside coming down the home stretch in a tight game he will leave scorers sitting whilst bringing on lads who are very weak shooters but physically good defensively , safety , hence all these draws .

    100% loftus needs intoducing on 55th minute minimum. Nally straight after. Unless we are 9 points to the good.

  86. Gerry Louftus,.. Donaghy did not score any goal in the drawn All Ireland semifinal versus Mayo in 2014.. He got one in the replay, he reacted quickly to boot the ball into the empty net following a brilliant Keith Higgins block down on a James O’Donoghue attempt in the replay in Limerick alright . The rest of the damage he done, he got a few free’s of Ger Cafferkey who gave him a few dirty looks.. These were bizzarely free’s in Cormac Reillys estimation. And every time any Kerry player got a dirty look he seemed to get a free the same day.

  87. Mayoabu – either one of two things appear to be the case with you, i.e. (1) you’ve no backbone at all at all or (2) you’re a Kerry troll. Either way, that’s enough defeatist shite so I’m placing you on moderation watch.

  88. Stick,I think it was a good tactic,as AOS won the first aerial battle,then Kerry had to change tactics?,but I think B.Moran should be introduced and let Aidan help with the attack,other than that I have full faith in the management and team to go on and complete the task at hand,hon Mayo

  89. Matching AOS V KD is about the safest match you could employ. And I accept that’s it’s the match up most posters would like to see again. Rochford s. Cautious approach is also reflected in his use of (or Lack of) subs. But right now he’s the man who knows best, no arguing.
    I would not evaluate Donaghy performance or any other forward for that matter on how much he scores as and individual, but more so on his overall contribution to the play. Bread and butter for Donaghy is win and lay off, bit like AOS in ways. Remember KD comes from a basketball background though he has managed to perfect his kicking enough to pick off the occasional score. One point from two attempts, the other being a garryowen, is about right.

  90. Please don’t attack me for being a dub supporter and quoting an English soccer manager.
    Brian Clough was the greatest manager never to manage England. His view on managing was simple . Play your best players in their best positions .
    Mayo simply have better players and if let play they will beat Kerry . Mayo will win and win well.
    I loaned my box to some mayo supporters last Sunday and they will be back on Sat to cheer their county to victory .
    Looking forward to Dublin Mayo final 🙂

  91. I haven’t commented for a good while, Willie Joe has me in the moderation category, so much for open / free speech / peoples views. Willie Joe, I know you don’t want people to start lambasting individual players, as really bad stuff would appear on the blog, you are right about that, but it’s not personal, a person is entitled to give a measured opinion, even if it looks negative to you, what’s the point of even having a blog if one can’t give their honest opinion.
    I believe it’s in the best interests of everybody to be upbeat and confident for the replay, time to win those Saturday replays once and for all.
    To one earlier commenter talking about Cillian O Connor, his last point from play was a thing of magic, I was in the Premium level in the Cusack, probably the best scores a Mayo man ever scored in Croker, he hadn’t an inch of space when he kicked it, was being hounded by the defender, but somehow was able to loop his right leg and put it over.

  92. Kerry have NO NO respect for Mayo and won’t until we beat them, simple as!

    On the game; Kerry kicked a highball in when AOS was marked absence and a goal resulted, which KD contested with SOS. Proof if proof were need that AOS is a deterrent to high balls going in, this in its self mean Kerry have to work harder for their scores. Now AOS must feel he can do better on the low ball, pride alone would demand it from ones self aside from an All-Ireland appearance. A second game at FB can only improve him in this role, sharpen the studs Aidan and stay on his feet.

    The decision to mark KD was made, it would be foolish to change now, the above example has provided evidence of the likely result.
    There is no other player on the Kerry team we can’t contain let’s sort out Donaghy ffs.

    Assuming Walsh is not fit, Kerry have only one finisher to bring on in BJ Keane, we need a good corner back to come on to prevent score from him. Its a huge ask to expect a player on the pitch for 60mins to contain him

  93. Talking to some Kerry people today who didn’t know I was from Mayo and they were saying is was a great results for Ky last Sunday as 1. They wont play as bad again and 2. The extra game is just what the ky team need before the final.
    I was delighted to hear it – as John o Mahony said – there is only one f***** answer to that.
    I think the above is the general perception out there- which is great news for Mayo.

  94. This is my weekly hat salute to.Aiden o’shea.

    The way that man controls his emotions during the matches is unreal. He is the most targeted footballer in the country. They all try to have a go at him to unnerve him and to get him to react.

    Aiden to his great credit keeps his cool and his mind on the game. A credit to his jersey and his county. A role model for any youngster and how they should handle the ugly side of the game.

    Fair play to you Aiden and keep up the good work.

  95. Mayo88 – I’ve no problem with people giving honest opinions, including criticisms, providing they are within the very reasonable rules I’ve set out to ensure that comments are fair and don’t go over the top. The reason you’re on moderation watch is, I’m afraid, your own doing as you couldn’t keep your comments within the rules. Making stupid statements like “so much for free speech” suggests, sadly, that things haven’t changed in that respect.

  96. We need to switch our full back or he will be taken to cleaners and we could loose the game. We got away with it once, we won’t be so lucky next time. If we switch full back, we will win. Mayo are a superior team and our players have exceptional resolve and character.

  97. A few points.
    Shane Nally – a super player I have a lot of time for. However could people please stop referencing those 2 points against Roscommon. I reckon my mother could have kicked a few scores in the last ten minutes of that game if she were on the pitch, Roscommon were already in kinnegad in all but body by that stage.
    Some Kerry people feel Bryan Sheehan deliberately missed the free to give Kerry an extra game to sharpen up before the final. See paraic Joyce’s AIB column today – I kid you not.
    Aidos absence from the forward line inadvertently lifted the performance level of every other player up there. He slows the game too much. Defensive midfield could suit him best?
    David Moran caused havoc the last day and needs to be stopped somehow.
    Boyler was excellent in attack, but his man Steven o brien had the freedom of Croker at the other end. He has to tighten up defensively.
    I initially thought Coen was poor, but apart from his shot at goal he did reasonably well.
    Donie Vaughan tackling is a bit of a liability. He’s sailing close to the wind now and must have commited 5 or 6 fouls the last day.
    Kevin mac is the most important player in our team. We need him on the ball as much as possible.
    Finally one for gamechanger – How in the name of god does mikey geaney get a start ahead of Darren o Sullivan???

  98. Think we all need Saturday to get here fast before any heads get melted..Why we give an ear to any Kerry talk is beyond me frankly..They spouted same in 2014..Have listened and read NOTHING related to the replay aside from this blog and will be carrying on on the same vein til Saturday..

  99. Larry Duff – I just read that piece by Joyce and it wasn’t said by “some Kerry people”. Joyce says that it was a Dub who said it to him:
    “I remember coming out of Croke Park last weekend and a Dub said to me that “I wouldn’t be surprised if they missed that free on purpose”. Why? says I. “Because they will get another game before they play us in the final!”” –

  100. John your comment re Brian Clough is very interesting. I believe that we should play our players in their best positions. This is playing to our strengths. Playing a reactive game is deafeatist. AOS should always be playing centre field. Not full back and not centre half forward. Keegan is the man for Donaghy. He made shite of Diarmuid Connolly. He will man mark him. You will say it is not his best position. But we have plenty of half back talent. Play Paddy Durcan and take off SOS. Too many mistakes by Seamus were brutally punished the last day. Fitzmaurice is shaking in his boots that we will play Aidan at centre field. Parsons and O’Shea will clean centre field. Clean centre field and you deny Donaghy supply . Game over.

    I reckon your all in league with each other in suggesting AOS should stay at full back. It is a conspiracy to throw Fitzmaurice into thinking the same with a view to having him flumuxed. And I thought the Kerries were cute whores. Impressed!!

  101. Larry Duff i think Durcan with his pace is the ideal candidate for OBrien.

    Agree with your point on OSullivan i hate seeing him on he always causes problems i think they see him as one of the lads that plays better of the bench.

    i would really like to see us swamp the defence and hit them on the counterattack it’s the style they really don’t like playing against

  102. Its interesting reading the various pundits views, so far ive seen both peter canavan and james horan think it was the wrong decision to play aido full back, but more are saying stick with it and like Mayo supporters are warming to it more by the hour with some suggesting it was managerial genius . Canavan suggests he wont be played there the next bar the opening mins. I hope peter is right.

  103. “Sheehan deliberately missed the free”. Thats a good one alright.

    We should have had 3-10 on the board at half time last Sunday. Not 2-5.

    Yeah, 19 pints by half time. A bit more composure in front of goal and we would be laughing.

    Keegan wasn’t himself the last day. Will 6 days fix whatever ailment is hampering him? Not sure. Some said he looked pale. We really need this man firing.

  104. My first time posting and I love this blog. I also live for the mayo news podcasts.
    After reading all the blogs & newspaper articles and listening to various gaa podcasts, I am close to insane so I hope my words make sense to someone !
    Speaking for myself, I need to realise that the management & backroom team know the players a hell of a lot better than me. I need to trust their decisions and obviously their end goal is always to lift SAM.
    Following mayo gaa has occupied and enthralled my summers for so many years and I would not swap all the days out for anything ( obviously losing all Ireland’s was crippling !) but along with the players , it has taught me what true loyalty is , what resilience is and the attitude to never say die.
    If these players and management are putting in that fight year after year for very little in return and still battling , I am with them every step of the way.
    I would not want to be from any other county in Ireland.
    So I hope for another epic battle on Saturday and no matter what happens, I know WE ( players, management & supporters) all will have done our best. That’s all you can do at the end of the day.

  105. I said it after the game i think the aido tactic did work because we didnt loose . Kerry had the lead with seconds to go then gave away an easy ball from a free ,then missed with the last kick of the game. So in my mind kerry blew it more than we did , so its advantage mayo . Rochford in my opinion is doing a top job given the circumstances he told over from . I did aido will be in center field with seamie . Hennelly to start ( the kickouts were a mess last week we need to go back to long ball) . I’d like to see nally start for DOC .

  106. Manus – in 1798…The Green (with considerable help from Les Blues) defeated the Red Coats in Killala, Ballina and Castlebar… The best midfielder of both teams on view last Sunday was hands down Tom Parsons, I wouldn’t consider changing that even if it was to allow the two O’Shea brothers play at midfield together ….. Strange that you think Aiden should partner his brother Séamus in midfield, when you think that Aiden worked well last Sunday, where he was… .. If General Humbert was in the same position as Stephen Rochford, he definitely wouldn’t do what you suggest, he was too good of a General to do that …. As for dropping Clarke…. Yes, I’m sure some of his kickouts were addressed in the team meetings during the week… And yes, we will look for improvements there.. , But, we will also be looking for improvements in every position, regardless that a number of players were actually brilliant on the day…. Like to see Nally play as well, but not for DOC… DOC keeps it wide, that helps allow the inside line have more space, and DOC work’s his socks off, Croke Park suits him…. It’s General Rochford’s call…
    Napoleon, always wanted lucky General’s….. Wishing Stephen the best of luck, and be very good as well,!….

  107. Leantimes – its the first of july 1998 🙂 My thinking is we really should change the short kickouts . I’m away from the homeland a number of years my following mayo was more midwest than watching .(Thank god Gaago was created) It’s seems the last few years short kickouts have became much more common and to me its odd, back in the day long kickouts were by far the majority .so moving a tall man to the center i think we’d have an advantage . Aiden justs seems superior in the air , the best of the two teams.I think rob hennelly has a name for long kickouts so maybe that would suit better . Clarke obviously is class so its unlikely that change will happen. I dont see aido marking donaghy again from rochford post match interview i got the impression he wasnt satisfied .also we never want to be predictable sure the landing in killala and races of castlebar the element of surprise surely helped the great gen. humbert !Out of all forwards coc , doherty, k mcl,andy, none of them should be dropped . I just think Nally should be starting . Then consider Kerry have the better subs from what i seen bj keane, sheean and osullivan looked lethal when brought on. So dare i say it maybe andy coming off the bench would be better? Wishing the men of the west good luck.

  108. Just to let people know Mayo Kerry 2014 drawn first game 30 mins highlights are on Youtube. It is interesting to look back and see any differences. To my eye you can see 3 years of physical and skill development in our lads.
    One stat I’d love to see. What % of our scores this year are with the weaker foot. Cillian, JDoc, Andy, Diarmuid, Kevin Mc, Leeroy, Boyler and Aidan have all being popping up with scores on their weaker foot.

  109. Mayo51 say
    “Eriss Head, your spot on with that , keegan to midfield. durcan for sos, and Vaughan on donaghy. might I add loftus much earlier, drake is not going to get us scores” – 100% agree with that selection,SoS hate to mention had a part directly and indirectly for the goals, also just reservation if DV was to play full back he needs to be super disciplined as Gough will take no crap off the ball – suppose that goes for all defenders

  110. I actually cant believe people are calling for hennelly to start, were bad enough with no recognised full back playing

    I watched the sunday game highlights last night

    really hope Aidan is taken off Donaghy

  111. Cant see Leeroy starting the next day, he took hell of a knock last day and was already struggling for fitness. Think it will be Paddy Durkin in from start and I echo sentiment that we need a recognised FB and sweeper.

  112. Interesting article by Eamon O’Donoghue today from a stats perspective. There are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics….I don’t think they tell quite the whole story but gives some perspective on why opinions are often divided.

  113. In my humble opinion if we put Keegan forward he’s fully fit and well on Donaghy and Aidan O Shea on Moran partnered by Tom Parsons we wlll win it. But whatever team Rochford puts out I will support until I’m hoarse and God help anyone In the Cusack stand that tells me to “stop roaring” “be quiet” “put down that flag” etc etc. They have been warned 16th man and all that.

  114. Marie H, you’re not on your own there, the sooner Sat comes the better. I will be so upset and angry if we don’t win on Sat – I pray that all the right decisions are made (whatever they might be as I haven’t a clue what the right choices are :-).), especially changes during the game.

    Have ye noticed all the Kerry ex players on twitter come out begging their 16th man to come out in support of their team – Cooper/Galvin/Quirke.

  115. There were far too many of us at the game on Sunday. Have ye nothing better to do?

    Wait until the final and flood up for a sole day out in the capital. Against the capital.

  116. Rock, I hope exactly that, even more of us to descend on Croke Park to finish the job.

  117. Just Outside Ballagh, your saying we need a recognised FB on Saturday? therefore your saying Ger Cafferky has to start as he is the only Recognised FB on the panel.

  118. Can’t read the Eamon O’Donoghue article as once you open too many times articles it’s subscription but the title is good. “Stephen Rochford is a risk taker for better or for worse”. One of Spillane’s better quotes was also about Mayo, “you need to speculate to accumulate”.

    I like that Rochford takes risks. If he played Clarke in last year’s final Dublin might have spells of dominating our kickouts and the way the game played out would have been different. Would we have won, I’ve no idea. He responded to a perceived problem many here were complaining about. Since then we have figured out that Clarke is just too good a Goalie to leave out, probably the best in the game, and though it’s an area he’s not as good as several other top goalies, figure out a kickout strategy as best we can.

  119. … And on the Aido call he’s had one game to figure out if it was the best approach combined with what he sees in training so regardless of his decision I’ll back it 100% and back the team all the way.

  120. Morning sports fans. I’ll open this morning with a quote from Martin Breheny’s article in yesterday’s Indo.
    “The verdict on Fitzmaurice was more benign. Granted, his defensive set-up was questioned but not to anything like the same degree as Rochford’s call on O’Shea. That’s assuming, of course, that the Mayo manager and his assistants, Tony McEntee, Donie Buckley and Peter Burke, were solely responsible for it.
    Could it have been a squad initiative, a meeting of minds among players that the best man to mark basketballer Donaghy was basketballer O’Shea?

    Former joint-managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly revealed last year that attempts were made by some squad members to influence team selections in 2015.
    If it happened then, presumably it could happen again, even if it didn’t work first time.

    Whatever the origin of the decision, the switch certainly generated a major talking point in Sunday’s semi-final.
    Indeed, if Mayo had lost, it would have joined the inexplicable dropping of goalkeeper David Clarke for last year’s All-Ireland final replay on an intrigue list of ‘why on earth did they do that?’

    I’ve never been from the tinfoil hat brigade, but when you add that to the scandalous tripe written by that Sweeney yoke on Monday then it’s patently clear INM has a serious agenda with Mayo football.

  121. …to give an opinion.. for the first game my opinion was use Seamie there as he has strength and height enough to disrupt Donaghy and is for a big lad pretty mobile and very combative on the ground. This time I’m not as sure as Aido has had a game to understand the role/ challenge and Seamie hasn’t.
    And before anyone says Seamie was bet for 2nd goal he wasn’t, he actually broke the ball from Donaghy but Moran was well positioned to mop.

  122. The analysis of the second goal is really annoying me. It was a complete lucky break in Moran’s favour. Seamie actually did the right thing, he was unlucky Moran was in the right place at the right time. Absolutely nobody’s fault

    There was some clown on that Marty Morrissey programme asking why Buckley was taken off as he got a goal. Give me strength. is this really the best a so-called “pundit” can come up with? It was a complete tap in he had zero part to play in anything significant besides that

    To be fair another pundit did correct him and pointed out that simply scoring a tap in from a yard out is hardly enough to keep you on for the 70 minutes if you contribute nothing else

  123. Ciaran

    I’d agree with nearly everything you said. The ball broke as it did in 30 places all over the pitch that day – so I buy neither side of the argument that it was evidence we have to keep O Shea at the back because he was missing then or that it shows how lethal Donaghy is in the air. It was a break (all breaks not deliberately palmed in someone’s direction are by definition lucky – the Moran goal was also as a result of a lucky players – good players make luck count. David Moran did it (although buckley finished), Andy Moran did it. Its the age of over analysis – as Darragh O Se said players for the most part win matches not managers….Mayo and Kerry in both instances had the players to punish the opposition when luck fell their way. When the chances fall again the next day through either the good approach play or the luck of a break – the most clinical will win the game – it will be players and not the manager.

  124. At least our most recent experience of a replay should have the lads in a positive mindset. A draw followed by a 22 point win.

    Wonder if Fitzmaurice was given 3 choices of where he would like to see aiden playing what would he decide.

    1 fullback
    2 midfield
    3 between midfield and the 45.

    His 1st choice would be where aiden would be least effective and so on.
    If we could answer what his 3Rd preference was then that’s where we should be playing aiden.

  125. The other thing about their 2nd goal is it was really made by Moran’s excellent dummy, much like Boyler made the dummy for ours but maybe even better. Moran does have a tricky side step and is mobile for a big lad. We tackled him as well as possible and will need to repeat that on a dry day when his wayward shooting should improve.
    Also Boyler was excellent on one level but Stephen O Brien was a lively forward for them so either Leroy or Durcan better suited to marking him. Savage looks like he could be good on a dry day which is expected and M Geaney will surely be dropped as both Barry John and Darren OS featured when introduced and Savage looked livelier than Geaney. Buckley will hardly be as quiet again apart from his few bits of fielding which was good. Donie is possibly the right man for him.

  126. Thinking it over during the week simply tasking Tom Parsons with a complete man marking job on David Moran from first minute to last combined with Patrick Durcan picking up Stephen OBrien might leave Kerry without an engine room. Jack Barry would really have to pickup the slack and he just doesn’t do as much damage as David Moran and Stephen OBrien. It would be worth suffering the loss of Tom from our attacking game as David Moran is absolutely key for Kerry.

  127. Had a good laugh there with that lad being put on moderation watch for being too negative. I normally get really annoyed by negativity or any form of defeatism but I see you have your limits too WJ.

  128. Keeping David Moran under tabs is key factor for Mayo as he is instrumental in setting up scoring chances. So we have KD and DM versus TP and AOS. The question is what’s the best match.
    Our approach to Donaghy has to change. Fine AOS will match him in the air but he needs to be hounded in possession.
    I don’t buy into this recognised fb business the way the game is played nowadays. We are talking about man to man marking in the case of KD and what are the required outcomes to evaluate success
    Imo if AOS is to contest in the air only and hang back otherwise, then we need a terrier like player to get stuck in other occasions.

  129. Kinda agree with JP on match ups there, certainly Durcan on O Brien. As for Moran, he’s kinda unmarkable especially as midfield is such a fluid area. Tom P was just as good the last day as Moran for them. However on a dry day some of those stray shots Moran took could go over so he needs watching. Tom was a top performer the last day especially on turnovers.

  130. Agree with Revellino on signal for long kick outs. There were acres of space from the half way line to the Kerry 45 on many occasions the last day. Thought if one of the sideline men could signal Clarke to belt it in that space Doherty would have gotten onto it or one of our half backs on a head start run. Need all of us who are in the ground the next day to shout until your voice is gone. Don’t be passive…embarrasment is no excuse. The measure of how well it works was evident when Bryan Sheehan was placing his free for the last kick of the game. I doubt he would have been made move it back to the correct position, twice, by Deegan if it were not for the disapproving roar coming from our support. Stealing an extra 5 or so metres could have made all the difference that kick.
    I would probably stick with AOS on Donaghy for the beginning, then alternate with Vaughan on him. J Doherty was excellent in providing an outlet for ball around the 45 bit link man was missing the last day. Our forwards could reap more benefits if they are fed a supply inside without having to go out, look for it and work hard to bring it into the dangerzone.

  131. I’m normally tolerant enough about that kind of stuff, Shuffly, but the days leading up to a big game isn’t the time for expressing Chicken Licken kind of viewpoints. There’s even a rule about it, though one I only invoke the odd time. We mightn’t win on Saturday – even I can see that – but surely we have to believe we can?

  132. A big problem we have is we don’t have a player or two who will kick you a score when they’re brought on. The only player the last day (and numerous days in fairness) is Paddy Durkin. With all fairness to Coen and Drake but I doubt their own mothers would back them to kick you a score in the grip of extra time. Kerry had both BJ Keane and O’Sullivan who both kicked scores. I know Loftus came on but he wasn’t on long enough to make any impact, although I believe he has the quality. Andy is going to get a world of attention Saturday so now Kerry have him to worry about as well as Cillian. Maybe someone like Loftus could slip in under the radar and make hay.

  133. @play the whisel,
    The reason there was so much space in that area was because Kerry knew exactly the range Clarke can kick the ball and could confidently push up knowing he couldn’t put the ball in to that zone. It’s the reason the switch was made last year in the final. Dublin pushed up at the end of the drawn game and got 3 points directly from our kick out. I’m not rehashing the whole debate and am fully behind David Clarke, it’s just that it highlights why management felt the need to make the call they did and why it had nothing to do with player power. When you have the likes of that slug Breheny constantly throwing sly digs it’s important that the truth doesn’t get lost in all the noise.

  134. In relation to Sourceoftherobes’s observations on COC, I can understand why some have come to COC’s defence by pointing out the magnificent scores he got later in the game and a fine overall contribution. This is accepted , no question. However, I think the point being made here is that against a team of the quality of Kerry in an AIS you simply have to take every opportunity when it comes your way. This free by any standards was one of the easier chances of a score the last day and should have been converted. Interestingly it was mentioned by SR in the post match interview as a regrettable miss. The fact that he got brilliant points from play later is irrelevant as it does not negate the earlier missed opportunity. The brilliance of the scores ( while admirable) is also irrelevant as they still constitute only one point each on the scoreboard.
    Similarly the missed goal opportunity should have been converted by either COC or AM as well. And finally the kicks at goal dropping short into the goalies arms by LK and SOS have to be eradicated also. This is the softest way of giving away possession only them to launch an attack. A wide is totally acceptable by comparison as it forces the gamble of a kick out.
    Simply put we must avail of every opportunity or it will cost us in the end. If we can take our chances Saturday I reckon we could do a number on the Kingdom. Hon to f*ck Mayo!

  135. The thing with Tom man marking closely Moran as well is Tom should be able to do it for 75 minutes as he is tracking Moran and not bothering with his own runs.
    If David Moran drops back into defence, he 3/4 paces back with him, but he is not doing those full on bursts that he would have to do if he is also trying to contribute to our attacking game. If David Moran goes up front, well he is stuck in traffic then with Tom on his shoulder. If David Moran drops back into defence, brilliant, Kerry have 14 players and Mayo have 14 players. Being realistic David Moran is a bigger loss than Tom, with all respect to Tom.
    Pirlo for Italy said his worst performance for Italy was against Malta. They tipped off and this barely professional player ran straight over to him and never left his shoulder for 90 minutes. Pirlo just trudged around inactive for the game. Malta had only 10 players and Italy had only 10 players, but which side had suffered worst?
    When I watched Euro 2012 I seen some insane number of touches for Pirlo of like 100 touches in the game where they beat England easily. Englands didn’t have any plan for the best passing midfielder in the game. They setup in orthodox manner without man marking (soccer seems averse to man marking, an egoistic/old fashioned trait of the sport in my view)
    Why are we setting up orthodox and leaving David Moran as a 40+ touches option every time we play Kerry? He had 47 touches in the replayed game in 2014.
    He is the best midfielder in the country and it is not even close to second place. His passing is top drawer. Quieten David Moran and not tempting fate but not alone do I think we win, but we win by a suprising margin. He is the engine room of this Kerry team and their iconic figure who drives them on.

  136. How many all irelands have kerry won since 2009, 8 yrs they
    won 2014 did they ,this was the worst final in living memory
    Kerry dont have the players now , just look at the Kerry team
    kd 34. b.sheehan (old) ,d osullivan had hip surgery, where are those good
    subs i cannot see them, if EF thought Barry was better than Maher why did
    he not start him, did EF think Galway were a better team than Mayo, re the
    fullback line, 4 goal chances ,same as last sunday ,true colours are shown here
    those dont grow on trees, it is all hyped up stuff , a bit like the ,the scenery ,the
    scenery is just as good all along the West coast ,A Terrier at KD, s heels it will be
    a nice steady win, the man that said about Sheehans free , he tried to gain 2 yds
    what tribe does he belong to, who are those people Spike Milligan.

  137. Hahaha Liam, with regards to INM, I see there profits took a noise dive recently (perhaps someone working in the area could clarify?) but I’d like to think its because of Mayo supporters boycotting them 🙂 Whatever did Mayo ever do on poor mr breahony I wonder? Seems to really have a serious gripe with us, I know he always sticks the boot in any chance he can get, but its getting to obsession levels now with him.

  138. It’s the managers job to assess the opposition and identify the biggest threats and come up with some plan or tactic to deal with them as best they can. Dealing with them usually means minimizing them rather than eliminating them – we all know it is not possible to eliminate a threat 100%. A lot of this is kinda stating the obvious but the match on Saturday is a bigger than usual pressure on both managers to make calls that could be the deciding factor.

    Kerry pose quite a few threats in their attack. Not so much in defending as we saw last Sunday. The threats to deal with are certain individual players such as Donaghy, Moran, O’Donoghue, Geaney and also the overall Kerry style of play where they have options to run at us or use the high ball. These are the threats Rochford and his selectors have to ponder and we can take it they did just that coming into last Sunday. They had a plan and they implemented it. They rightly identified Donaghy as the biggest a ‘double’ threat based on the fact he can cause individual damage and also gives them options in their game tactics (i.e. high ball).
    We can debate if it worked or not but no denying Mayo management identified the threat(s) and came up with a plan to counter it. It was never going to eliminate the Donaghy threat entirely but it was certainly wasn’t a case of taking a chance that it will be alright on the day. And it wasn’t just AOS on KD – it was joined up thinking on how to combine with the roles for Keith and Keegan and Boyle and McLaughlin. Credit to Rochford. Big call needed. Big call made.

    Donaghy will be there again next Saturday and the need to deal with his threat is a given. Question is will Kerry try to use him differently further out the pitch and see if his ‘marker’ can be pulled out of position. I’d be surprised if Kerry don’t have a plan A and plan B depending on who Mayo put on him. Just as we are speculating if Aidan will be on KD again then Kerry have to be pondering on exactly the same question. Cat and mouse. I know that you know that i know kind of problem.

    Meanwhile the other Kerry threats like Geaney, O’Donoghue and David Moran have to be dealt with. It’s not all about about one player. All the attention on Donaghy can give other players the chance to shine. Moran did damage last Sunday and can do it again. We have to confident that SR and his team are well aware and exercising their minds to cover all the threats not just KD.

    And finally team management and tactics is not all about dealing with the opposition but how you set out your own stall – playing to our strengths and hitting the opposition weak spots. Again credit to management and players last Sunday. 2-13 from play is the proof. And I firmly believe the management will be looking to improve on that and players have the confidence and the smarts do that again on Saturday.

    Rochford has shown he has the balls to make big calls. Might have surprised us all with the AOS/ KD matchup but it was dealing with the biggest threat or threats. So what can we expect on Saturday? Who knows. Both managers now having to second guess each other big time? If Rochford matches sticks with AOS on KD will Fitz have a plan to try to exploit that? If KD moves out the pitch will AOS follow? Or will he stay at fb? If he does follow who goes to fb? What will Fitz do if AOS plays in attack this time? How will Fitz try to counter Andy? And Rochford anticipating there will be a plan must be considering a tactic to counter. One thing for sure neither manager can afford to go into this game without alternative plans on the day.

    The sideline will have a major say in deciding Saturdays winner. Really big questions to be pondered , decisions to be made and alternative tactics up the sleeve needed on both sides The reveal on Saturday never more eagerly awaited.

  139. I live in Scotland and for various reasons can’t see the game “live”. Does anyone know if Sky re-show the game later on in the evening?

  140. David
    You can buy the game and I believe it can be watched for a few days after the original showing

  141. Our collective navel gazing at the moment is focussed almost entirely on what we do to negate the threat posed by Kerry – whether that be Donaghy or Moran.

    It’s worth bearing in mind that Kerry have all sorts of problems to address.

    One of their midfielders or half forwards is likely to drop back to sweep. That could free up a Keegan or Durkan to rampage onwards.

    We got one free in and around the D last Sunday. I reckon their full back line is spooked and will likely foul more, bringing COC into the equation.

    There are certainly issues we need to be conciliatory of, and certain aspects have to improve. But I simply don’t agree that Kerry can decide this game with a couple of tweaks and a change of attitude.

    I get the sense our lads believe they have the measure of them here. And so we have to back their belief – before the game and most decidedly at Croker.

    What’s the point limping into the Hogan conceding we’re going to struggle? So for me it’s –

    More of the same Mayo but this time we back ourselves.

  142. David Moran is a unique threat in that he is the best catcher of kickouts and the best footpassing midfielder combined with high energy powerful running.
    Across our last three championship meetings he has been overall by far their most influential player.
    If PaddyPower were able to foresee the future and amount of useful passes/posessions/shots was much lower for David Moran they would Mayo’s odds significantly on that basis.
    If he pulled a hammer and was out of the game completely I would not be suprised we shorted to 4/5 that is how important he is.

  143. Typo, meant to write, I would not be suprised we shortened to 5/4, … we would still be outsiders but at much shorter odds than currently.

  144. is it nearly saturday- i have myself demented,cant think about anything other than the replay
    its been a long week, although there has been plenty of reading,that keeps the appetites whet and raring to go,
    the only laugh i got on reflection on this game was someone suggesting brian sheehan missed that free on purpose , pure nonsense ,
    loads been debated here about aido been left on donaghy,initially i had cast my opinion stating no ,but as the days are moving on i am totally undecided,i think for me anyway i am just going to trust Rochford and co are best placed to make all decisions,and i will fully support what ever they maybe,its a crazy week with no time to catch the breath,from morning to night analysis of the last game and the next one,its brilliant,
    we had not left jones road last week and we had plans afoot for saturday. it is truly exhilarating,to be apart of this magic, its all go,and i love it,i think the back door was the best medicine for us this year,we really have found our form at the right time, two more sleeps and its lets face her for leinster,
    hope we can bring the same support as the last day- holy shit it was unreal,the noise of mayo mayo mayo,who wouldn’t want to be part of that,
    we are up there dining at the top table and more than capable of taking the next step.
    lets do this- noise and colour needed- mayo by 2
    Cmon Mayo

  145. Jasus, I see one poster advocating for a goalie switch. After last year. Speechless!

  146. I happened to bump into Joe Kernan, ex Armagh AI winning Manager on Tues in Dundalk, who was very positive about Mayo’s chances on Sat. Not alone did he think we’d beat Kerry but that we’d win the All Ireland by beating Tyrone. He thinks Tyrone will take Dublin and we have a good record and no fears of Tyrone. I was pleasantly surprised by his confidence.

    He doesn’t rate this Kerry team.

  147. Did anyone else notice that Geaney punched AOS full in the face at the last play of the game. This wasn’t mentioned by anyone. Surely he should be taken to task for this. I don’t know why our guys in the media never comment on this.
    Similar stuff in last year’s final with McMahons headbutt on TP

  148. @WJ excellent article but I do not see the mayo management having the bravery to go for those changes. I expect the mayo team to be picked after the kerry announcement and the emphasis on defending perceived dangers rather than setting out our stall offensively. That said strong argument to have Keegan at midfield and I also like the idea of Jason Doherty at half forward. I do think I would prefer to start with DOC and introduce Loftus but not leave it as late as 72 minute. The aughamore posters seem to favour Nally over Coen, and that’s good enough for me,
    Divilly’s most important comment “We must be willing to change and change quickly during the match”, there lies the greatest challenge for management. We have to place our trust in them.

  149. Pat, also a Kerry sub punched Dirarmuid right in the chest, #21 Savage I think. Let’s hope Gough and team are more alert to these incidences.

  150. Who will mark the Mayo supporters? 🙂 We’ve been noticed !! Ex Kerry players & journalists doing their best to get their fans travelling!! This is one battle they won’t win I’m afraid !! #inthistogether

  151. The thing about it is that both teams have only 6 days between games. Recovery will be their highest priority. I assume they will only have one full session of training. It’s difficult and risky to make significant tactical changes in that short a period and expect them to be executed perfectly on Saturday. So I expect “more of the same but better” from both sides. I do expect Jack Barry to start for Kerry as well as Savage. I don’t think SR will make any change. Seamie has often had a bad game followed the next day by a stormer so I think he will give him the chance to redeem some of the mistakes he made the last day. Similarly with Diarmuid O Connor who played much better than many people claim. His work rate was very high. It would be hard not to start Boyle especially after him scoring a class goal but Paddy Durkan has also staked a strong claim and has to be on the field at an early stage.
    As regards Aidan on Donaghy I think we will see the same again simply because it is too much to change at this stage. I’m not too comfortable with it because it assumes too much. It assumes:
    1. That Aidan will outplay him in the air – he mightn’t. Just because he succeeded with one the last day doesn’t guarantee future performance. Donaghy would love nothing better than to outsmart our fella in this aspect of the game and he is capable of doing it.
    2. It assumes Aidan can improve his ground game and get tighter on the big fella and that Donaghy will play in a similar way to last Sunday. Neither assumption is safe. For instance Donaghy could well vacate the ff position and go to the corner or sideline and if Aidan follows him there is a huge space in front of goals for o Donoghue and Gainey and o brien to exploit unless we use a sweeper.
    As I said I think Aidan will be on Donaghy. If I was advising him I would be telling him to give Donaghy some problems to solve also by attacking up the middle himself and creating openings for others. This would bring Donaghy out of his comfort zone and away from the big square because he simply couldn’t allow Aidan to take off unopposed. I would also tell him to really get into his personal space when Kerry start attacking. Make a war of it!
    The biggest factor the next day for me is whether we get a lot more scorable frees and Kerry get less. Conceding just one point from frees was remarkable discipline from Kerry. We will need our usual quota of four or five on Saturday to win.

  152. Had read Divilly’s piece earlier and meant to post on it. He’s been quite shrewd in his analysis; before last Sunday’s game he speculated that Andy could play the full 70 minutes!

    He also made a valid point in that piece that, apart from Loftus, Mayo had no impact (scoring) sub. This was before the demotion of Regan and Boland from the match day panel. You could say Danny Kirby, but he hasn’t really had enough game time and hasn’t scored.

    That is a worry.

  153. This is where Alan Freeman is badly missed, everyone seems to have forgotten about him. Would be a great option to come on and kick a score, we’ve never really replaced him on the panel. Regans had umpteen chances and failed each time. Boland too slight in stature imo.

  154. The poor creatures down in Kerry seemingly doesn’t know what to do to get us to take O’shea out of full back,we disrupted their game plan and exposed the fact that this full forward has carried them for quiet some time.Tomas O’shea on Monday outlined how daft it was when he talked to Brady on the way in to the match,and ask for the bullshet by Eoin LISTON in todays INDO,O Aiden will never play at fullback again,Vaughan is the man for the job known full well that he would not be able for him physically, inside 15 minutes he would be blackcarded and Fitzmaurice is now a magichan, he will have the full back line sorted by Saturday. Having watched the game a few times things are becoming clearer, while we were good at times, it was only at times, and our overall display was no more than average,Here are things that should not happen at this level in my view; kicked the ball 3 times into goalies hands,Andy kicked across the goal directly to a Kerry man, Cillian missing a simple free early on,the wrong option in going directly from the free on the 13 meter line out on sideline,virtually impossible angle, continued to foul in the scorning zone, yes ok some were marginal calls,but some were blatent, careless,Kerry scored 6 from frees, we scored 1,they were cute, they didn’t foul in scoring positions,No point blaming Clarke for the kick out other than if theirs no option then he should kick long out of the danger zone,we failed to create options for his kick out therefore living dangerously going short and out to the wings in more hope than anything else,3 times over the sideline and the amount of possession they had at times was unreal,other than the fouling our defence was brilliant if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be still standing.Now we cant blame Rochford for any of the above, some of the players will not be happy when they see the video, im sure their will be a much improved performance on Saturday,To win on Saturday, we have to stop giving away soft frees, give Clarke an option on the kick out,be tuned in on their kick out and press up, we didn’t do it nearly enough the last day.Kerry will do one of two things the next, they will either play a sweeper OR they will pull back the half back line nearer the full back line so that their wont be as much space for our full forward line to run out to the ball,in that case we may have to play a target man to get the past this wall that will be just inside the 45 meter line.So what about the Ref, well he must have very poor eyesight,he didn’t see Griffin handling the ball on the ground in the square,and what about the umpires, of course they seen it, O I forgot of couse the GAAwant a Kerry Dublin final if at all possible,Umpires that ignore blatant fouls like this should be held to account,SOS hand was held when he tried to pass to Parsons resulting in losing the ball and a Kerry goal,Deegan didn’t see that,Crowleys foul on Keegan,A kerry man 8 meters away from Cillian when he was taking the 45, Diarmuid being hauled to the ground,Odonoghue above on Aidens back, no free, and quiet a number of marginal calls that didn’t go our way,All N ALL a fully qualified Boll…..ks of a REF.Iwas wrong first time watching about the performances OF Keegan who took Murphy out of the game,Diarmuid was better than I thought, SOS needs to improve.The one call I thought Rochford got wrong was Boyle on Obrien,Durcan for him,too much is being asked of Boyle,Id like to see him coming in on 20 minutes,swap around between himself and Diarmuid and have the two of them on at the finish.some people are saying Kerry played bad,Not true,they played as good as they were let,simple as,if any body left the game behind it was them not us.Probably the same team will start, maybe 1 change,Whatever I fully support Rochford and the team to come on top, with an explosive start like they did against Roscommon.

  155. Gerry Loftus – Don’t forget the trip on CO’C just before HT too when he was through for a possible goal. (Go to 38:50 in the 1st half of the game)

  156. Gerry loftus your spot on about Boyle bring him on after twenty to finish game although I think the fact that he ran to sideline suggest s still gas in tank? Divilly right too why not play offensive game with aido and fuck this trying to defend defend

  157. We need to double team Donaghy on Saturday and AOS should be one of his markers. I believe Fitz will play a sweeper or two the next day. I am amazed at how some people still cannot see the folly of using the tactic of having defenders do the majority of our scoring al la Limerick 2014. It cost us 2 AI titles IMO. What we can expect from Rochford and Mayo is the same as we have seen up to now, something which invariably works on the day. The media were quick to attack our tactics but I have not seen them find fault with Fitz at all. Yet this same media had Kerry and Fitz installed as favorites the week before the game. Hope it stays that way. Those posters who hang on every word from RTE are Mayo biggest critics. It is hard to understand but very entertaining to observe. We all have a huge part to play on Saturday, make no mistake about it. Grab a flag and a ticket and take it by force. I think the Referee is a good choice and he is my favorite as he always displays a good knowledge of the rules. I thought that the Neilan man we saw earlier this year was a decent standard also.

  158. Why are we so obsessed with stopping Donagh. We should impose our A game on Kerry and let them worry about stopping us. Play to win, not to avoid defeat.

  159. The first step in Play to Win is to have an effective gameplan to stop the other guy first. Kerry will setup defensive and that is beyond your control. Put it another way the closer the ball is to the kerry goal the harder it will be to move it forward. Now play to win

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