Surveying the wreckage

A few days have passed since our Championship run for 2023 came to an end with a decisive defeat to Dublin at the quarter-final stage of the All-Ireland SFC. It’s the second year in a row and only the third time since 2011 that we’ve failed to reach the final four. It’s also, however, the second season in succession that we’ve suffered a significant hammering at this stage in the Championship.

This year’s new format makes it harder than usual for counties that are already eliminated to get a handle on the Championship campaign they’ve had. That’s certainly true in our case, trying as we are to make sense out of a series of matches that saw us beat both of last year’s All-Ireland finalists yet lose to Roscommon and Cork and then fall at the last eight stage, suffering a particularly bad pounding as we did so.

How does one even begin to make sense of all that?

Over the last few days, a number of wise observers have begun to do so. Some of what they’ve had to say has been mentioned here on the blog already but I thought it might be helpful, for what it’s worth, to reference some of these. Here goes.

Colm Keys of the Irish Independent has been an excellent contributor all year on the Mayo Football Podcast. He was back on the pod this week, along with another top-class and regular guest, Colm Boyle, for the match review show – that’s available on Patreon here.

Colm Keys didn’t mince his words on the podcast, stating that he felt this defeat could set us back significantly. While he acknowledged our great ability to bounce back from defeats in the past, he questioned the degree to which we might be able to do so after this heavy blow.

Much of the ground covered by Colm on the pod was also contained in a piece he wrote for the Indo earlier in the week. The link for that piece (premium content) is here.

Over at the Irish Times, the Jim McGuinness column (subscriber only) got a fair bit of discussion going here on Tuesday. At the core of this piece, was a simple enough argument, which is that we still haven’t introduced the kind of defensive structure that all the other top counties have and that, until we do, we’re not going to be winning any All-Irelands. While it’s easy to quibble with the detail of this argument, its broad thrust is surely, at this stage, undeniable.

Edwin McGreal’s piece in this week’s Mayo News (here) took aim at the proposition that we peaked too soon this year. Ed argues that instead our problem was an ongoing inconsistency in performance during the year, one week great and the next far from great.

Ed’s argument chimes with what I was saying on the Final Whistle podcast just minutes after the match had ended at Croke Park. I argued that, as fans, we found it very difficult to trust this team, as we had no idea what level they were likely to perform at on any given day, given the fluctuating form of key players.

A fan viewpoint that has made for engaging reading all year is that of Anne-Marie Flynn. In her post-match column in this week’s Mayo News (here), Anne-Marie notes that the scale of Sunday’s defeat – our worst Championship loss since the 2006 final – comes as a “reminder to us that we have not always had it so good.”

How true that is. In the years since 2011 we’ve competed at the top level almost every season but those of us of a certain age are all too aware that this was never our natural habitat. Can we now avoid regression to the mean? Anne-Marie is surely correct in stating that the response will be what defines the current Mayo playing panel.

Lee Keegan, our outstanding performer of the past decade, provides his views on Sunday’s performance and Mayo’s year in the RTÉ website (here). Like Ed McGreal, he points to the team’s inconsistencies this season and his overall conclusion is that it was “a patchy summer” for us. It’s hard to argue with that.

That’s a quick round-up of some of the post-game opinions. There’s plenty of time ahead of us now, of course, for more soul-searching as we contemplate a Championship campaign that promised so much but hit the buffers well before we expected it might. This one, by its nature, will be difficult to come back from but come back we will, in some form at least.

Whether or not we’re capable of getting back up to the heights we last experienced in the period up to 2017, when we truly were competitive at the top level, remains to be seen. Whether or not we’re capable of going one better and winning the thing out is another matter altogether and, from this standpoint at least, that ultimate objective seems to lie further away than it has for a long time.

358 thoughts on “Surveying the wreckage

  1. I can feel the despondency in Willie joes piece and unfortunately I share it .well written sentiments on the other thread but we have all heard this before and next year will be better.i agree we all knew when we lost keegan and mullin it was game over in terms of winning the all Ireland this year.The league wins raised peoples hopes but forensic examination of those games even the big wins against Kerry and Tyrone would turn up serious issues that weren’t subsequently dealt with.we have a young team in general with an entirely new full back line and goalkeeper and experimenting with a defensive system.I haven’t heard anyone calling for Kevin mcstays head and he will get time to put his mark on things and I am sure everyone wishes him the best of luck but that doesn’t mean question’s can’t be asked.It was evident from the Louth game on that we were going nowhere and the completely nerve wracking end to the Galway game totally confirmed that .For some reason we all think that will all come right in the next game against Dublin.The constant swings from total euphoria to absolute dispare is now a huge part of all mayo people and now seems ingrained in the players. I always believe that the absolute blowing of the 1996 all Ireland final has had a long lasting affect.winning that one would have built a culture and a belief that we could win

  2. I’ve attended majority of our games this year including Killarney which was brilliant &last Sunday which left a lot to be desired,
    A few things I’ve noticed compared to the Horan era as I like to call it :
    No distinct style of play
    Defensive set up very vulnerable
    Tackling very weak – last Sunday for.instance both corner backs brushed aside for 1st goal & practically every defender brushed aside for Dublin point’s particularly in the 2nd half
    Backs constantly going forward leaving huge holes in defence with very low scoring returns from these runs -exception McBriens goal
    Kick out strategy is absolutely alarming with practically no movement from our backs & clearly no coaching done in this area -some improved movement last Sunday compared to Galway game further out field around the 50 yard mark but difficult to be accurate consistently with these kicks which can be easily intercepted
    Midfield struggling with breaking ball with no clear process in place &majority trying to catch cleanly under immense pressure
    Scoring rate is alarming averaging 10 or 11 points per game recently
    Delighted though to see a huge improvement in Aidans forward play with potential for way more scores to come from his distribution if he’s kept in front of goal & strongly supported with runners off him
    Overall a great deal for Kevin McStay & his numerous coaches to study ahead of next year – clear need for a lot of adjustments to make in our style of play & get these wonderful players playing as an effective unit

  3. First and foremost we’re not as good as Kerry or Dublin. Why? Because we’re short 4 players in the middle 8..CHB and HF and another HF. This used to be our strong point however it was the root cause of our defeat on Sunday.

    There’s an old adage that if a team is struggling it’s because of the midfield…winning primary possession.

    Management must take a lot of blame for having no proper defensive strategy e.g. no sweeper. It’s unforgivable to allow teams run through the middle of our defence. Kerry brought in Tally and now look at their defensive transformation over the past 2 years. Dublin likewise after 2008 and 2014 losses.

    What exactly have the 5-person management team been doing all season that they could not prevent the openness in our defence…a prerequisite in the modern game?

    Why have they persisted with Ruane who has played one good game in 2 years?

    We criticised Horan for his teams running the ball constantly and not kicking it enough…yet on Sunday we only kicked 2 long balls into AOS despite the fact we got 2 points out of it.

    Incredible to think not a single ball kicked long in the second half…and AOS got taken off before Ruane.

    Against Cork why didn’t we manage the last 10 minutes better..stick in sweeper, foul, slow them up etc.

    Unfortunately I do believe that players like Loftus, E McLaughlin and O’Hora are not the type of players that we can compete against Kerry and Dublin with.

    The biggest challenge now is to find 4 players for the centre of the park…the question is are they in the county?

    Final thought..Is Reape any better than Hennelly?

  4. The one week turnaround between the Galway and Dublin games proved to be fatal but it was self inflicted following the Cork loss.
    We have still got enough about us to be competitive and Brickenden and Plunkett will add to our defensive options.
    We need to find a number 6 i’m fairly sure Kieran King would have been given a chance this year but for injury. He looks to have all the tools needed to make it at county level. Let’s hope he makes it.
    Jordan back into midfield for his physicality and Diarmuid at 11 is my call.
    I think we can fix the defensive side but it is the half forward line where we need to improve most.

  5. We looked a tired team in the second half against the Dubs. A quick blitz and we were finished. We have been working on a new defensive structure this year to try to develop our own version of the blanket but it is still a work in progress. It will take time to perfect and until we get it right we are vulnerable to throwing away leads like we did against Louth and Cork.

    We will be back as we have blooded quite a few new players and the management team have learned a few hard lessons. Some experiments haven’t worked and certain players have not delivered on their potential. A long wait until hostilities commence again in 2024. I believe the Dubs will have Sam back in the capital to keep them company.

  6. Spotlight I would say that post is bang on the money .jack o Connor after winning 3 all Irelands brings a defensive coach into Kerry.does anyone know who the defensive coach is with mayo and did I dream this but did mcstay say that they hadn’t had enough time to put a good kickout strategy in place

  7. Another thing…we said all year we had a strong bench however we relied on 2 34 year olds as subs in the second fact none of our bench made any impact last Sunday.
    Remember now, no significant injury to use as an excuse either.

  8. Roscommon beat us after a hard league game. They were prepared. Cork were prepared for their match with us. We were not prepared. A rested Dublin team were well prepared for a fatigued Mayo team. Yes we got things wrong. Lack of preparation for the Cork game was our biggest mistake. I would question the preparation and not the players. Kevin needs to change the management team including McHale.

  9. Kieran King was a potential 6 about 2 years ago but did not progress with Knockmore. Maybe he was carrying an injury, maybe he was quite happy to set his sights at being a good club footballer. One things for sure, he has to reinvent himself in this year’s club championship to get the call up.
    Inconsistent performances certainly doesn’t do anything for our public image – we went from the team playing the most attractive football in the country one week to being the great pretenders the next.i was glad to hear McStay saying he has learned a lot this year. He needs to apply what he has learned next season. Too many cooks spoiled the broth…
    The return of Brickenden could free up McBrien to CHB and enable him to make more frequent raids into opposition territory, where he can hurt(v Galway). Is he a leader? He may well be.
    Tuohy and McCormack are possible midfield options. It may take time. Can Carr make the jump to being a Clifford or Con O Callaghan? We need him to. I don’t know where it went wrong for Carney? We’re the instructions to recycle to Conroy or O Donaghue and they’ll do the scoring. Hopefully he will step up to being his old self
    The reality is it may take a couple of years before we compete at the highest level.

  10. Thanks as always Willie Joe. You really have a brilliant way with words.

    I note the way you said “the heights we last experienced in 2017”. I completely agree. The Newbridge or Nowhere game in 2018 was the last time we exited the Championship in a game where we were still in contention going into injury time. But that was at an entirely lower level than 2017 and even if we got past that hurdle, we wouldn’t have won the All Ireland in 2018.

    2019: Game over after 50 mins
    2020 and 2021 All Ireland Finals: Terrible last quarters when both were there to be won.
    2022: Completely dominated All Ireland Champions elect in 3rd quarter but kicked wide after wide and bowed out meekly in the end.
    2023: So similar to 2019

    Still think we have loads of potential but we are so unbelievably inconsistent. Impossible to analyse! Disheartening to bow out so easily in the last few years.

    2012-2017 really was a golden period despite not reaching the Holy Grail.

  11. @TheNumbersGael on twitter has the Mayo 2023 scorers (top three was Ryan O’Donoghue 2-56,James Carr 4-13,Jordan Flynn 0-20

    Appearance stats Flynn,Coen,Coyne only players to play every game. 43 players saw game time

  12. We won the National League final this year.

    In 2022 we were beaten by 15 points in the National league final.

    In 2023 we played Galway 4 times.
    Unbeaten, winning 3 of those contests.

    In 2022 Galway beat us in the first round in Connacht.

    Kerry eventually put us out of our misery last year.

    After the 2022 year ended our greatest ever player said goodbye to us and our newly emerged superstar said goodbye to us.

    Do people actually think that we have sunk from some brilliantly performing team in 2022 to let’s see (winning the national League in 2023).

    We had a poor year last year with a weak enough panel.

    The panel in the meantime was further weakened by the departure of the two players I mentioned above.

    What is the manager supposed to do ? Magic up some players out of nowhere.

    Kevin Mcstay has won as much National Silverware in his single season in charge as a multitude of managers have managed to win in the previous 22 years.

    Think about that.

    Them is the facts.

  13. I take no pleasure in this but to all of Horans critics we miss him when he is gone. Kerry beat us last year but that defeat was nothing like this years . We were in the game last year but managed to kick wide after wide in the second half. He brought a poor Mayo team to the 2020 covid final in which Keegan was defiantly fouled for a penalty which was not given. This year we did not exist in the 2nd half against Dublin. We beat Dublin in the 2021 Semi Final without Oisin and Cillian who were injured and also had several more first choice players injured. I remember Kevin McStay’s Roscommon who should have beaten us in Croak Park in the first game but in the replay we had that game won in the first 20 minutes. In the Replay the Roscommon had lined up for the National Anthem and when the TV camera panned in for the close up shot there was a Roscommon player pulling the ear of a Team Mate laughing and joking.
    They were not sent out on he pitch in the correct mindset. I still hope Mc Stay can lead us in the right direction but I don’t think McHale offers anything . He was managing Belmullet last year and they were not impressed. As a supporter as far as I am concerned the League for Mayo means nothing . I accept that many on this Blog would disagree going on the comments on this Blog last March but Mayo are different to other Counties as I think we need SAM after 73 years.

  14. Revellino James Horan convinced Oisin Mullin and Lee Keegan to stay with Mayo. When Horan took over Mayo we were being beaten by Longford . Hora identified the unknown players in the County and brought all our expectations to a new level. I am fully behind McStay but he has repeated what happened under his leadership in Roscommon

    Under McStay Roscommonn peaked in the National League and then petered out. I would defiantly have him before Dempsey
    Revelino like myself I know that like myself you want to see Mayo win at the very least one SAM

  15. It never ceases to amaze me as to the Mayo mentality when it comes to post match commentry on yet another loss in a big football game.
    I remember the early winter league match in McHale park when Mayo seemed invincible in their win, making Kerry look like a third division team.

    Supporters out on the field with flags and getting autographs from the players.

    What a load of utter nonsense.
    Of course any counties supporters love their county team, but Mayo just cant handle their own hype at all.

    Why do some of the contributers to this yearly repeat debate keep referring to Mayo as being back again.

    Back where , one should ask ?

    A multi management team, tripping over each other.
    If I could take the first training session for the 2024 season, it would be over in one minute.
    All I would say is :
    “Good evening lads, 1951.

    I would then get in my car and drive home.

    There is no honesty in the commentary surrounding Mayo football, and outside pundits for some reason just wont call it as it is.

    They somehow manage to lose All Irelands when they are there for the taking.

    Mayo will never win the Sam Maguire cup until they start with the reality of where they are actually coming from, namely 1951.

    Many people in Ireland are sick of watching Mayo flop in the All Ireland series.

    Galway have won All Irelands after winning Connaught 1988 & 2001 being the most recent.

    Mayo have become accustomed to losing, and yet it is as if they were winning in their own insulated, mental outlook.

    Here is a question to consider.

    Why were Mayo favourites to win the 2023 All Ireland football championship, after beating Kerry in McHale park in a league match at the start of the year ?

    Who decided that they were favourites ?

    They have thrown away so many All Irelands now , that my sympathy for them is exhausted.

    The only good thing about this years final is that they are not in it, to lose another one.

    Am I anti Mayo ? Absolutely not , but they need to start with some honesty, and get rid of their own unfounded hype.

    Feel free to pass on to ALL the present management team, and the Mayo county board.

    I would still offer to take that first training session for 2023 free of charge.


  16. @OSullivan.

    Roscommon won the Connacht final in 2017 with Mcstay as manager.
    They hammered Galway in Salthill by 9 points.

    He won the club All Ireland with Brigid’s in 2013.

    Mcstay is the manager that’s in place right now, not Horan.

    Horan was there for 8 years, several finals, but we didn’t unfortunately get to win any of them.

    We were nailed on to win the Tyrone final a couple of years ago but unfortunately we didn’t get over the line.

    We didn’t get over the line either in 2012.

    For the 2012 final, Ger Cafferky got switched from full back out to the corner and Kevin Keane was moved in to full back.
    Bang bang. We were done and dusted after 7 minutes.

    I saw people mention the Alan Freeman substitution the other day and wondering why oh why was he taken off.

    I’ll say. Yes. Horan did some great things in his time in charge, but whatever it was, even on what should have been the winnable final days like against Donegal and Tyrone we were not set up properly to win those games.

    James Horan had 8 years and failed to win the All Ireland and your leaning towards James.

    Kevin Mcstay has had one year and some people have decided that Horan would be a better man on charge.

    What ? Better in his 9th year in charge.

    Give the new man his chance.

  17. I didn’t notice anyone calling for Horan back in the comments Revellino, saying miss him when he is gone is IMO a different turn of phrase.
    Kevin has 3 more years. Stephen Rochford and Donie will have how many years committed to the cause by the time that’s up?
    Kevin may well lead us to promised land but serious body of work to do strategy wise.

  18. I didn’t say anybody called for Horan back Gizmo.

    I said some people believe that Horan would be a better man in charge.

    There is a difference.

  19. Fair enough, my apologies you’re correct.
    Horan brought great professionalism to the set up, S&C etc. To next level, we’ve a lot to thank him for but the baton passes on.
    Mayo CB is it appears very conservative, as can be seen with the multiple reappointments over the years, safety rather than adventure in some instances. But I can’t imagine James going back again.

  20. Correct Gizmo.
    James really brought us to the business end of where we wanted to be.
    On both occasions that he finished with Mayo I felt sorry for him that he hadn’t got the AI he and all his players deserved.
    Someone mentioned the other day that he would be a good man trolling the County for the best talent to come in at U20 level. He did seem to have a knack at uncovering new talent.
    I’m not sure would he be interested in that though.

  21. Its not a binary choice, do well in the League or else do well in the Championship. Every team has to try and do well in every game League or Championship, the reasons we had a dreadful second half v Dublin has absolutely zero to do with Mayo winning the league and peaking in April, I would argue that we peaked in Killarney in late May in the Championship and its no good being revisionist saying Kerry were in heavy training or not properly prepared for Mayo. Kerry did not give up a 28 old unbeaten Championship record in Killarney easily the longest continual unbeaten record at any venue in Ireland. Kerry would have gladly hammered us not alone beaten us if they could. I believe Mayo were as fully fit as possible for Mayo to be, as fit as we were in 2016 or 2017 but not as good. Other teams may have caught up with our fitness and the 3 weeks break for Dublin, they were hammering Div 4 Sligo by over 20 points when we were playing a Cork team that ran Kerry to 2 points. So that was as good as another week off training for whatever team was going to meet them in Carbon Neutral Croke Park. We were fitter than some teams in the early part of the league alright. The Mayo management has to take responsibility for using up so much time and effort in developing a system the didnt work. The Conor Louftus position at No6 playmaking /sweeping the sweeping part completely failed . So they dropped Conor Louftus. The endless recycling as seen versus Louth was awful, awful to watch and it suckes the life out of the Mayo support, for all the positives of the last 12 years Mayo even on our best days, Mayo has been a momentum team with players playing on the front foot and the Mayo crowd raising the rafters, at times during adversity even. But this year even we did get a position for Aiden O Shea and it worked very well.I dont why he was taken off last Sunday in the 43rd minute with the bulk of our scores coming from Aiden winning ball and laying it off to either Tommy Conroy or Ryan O Donaghue in the first half, it was as stupid a move as Freeman coming off in 2013, by taking Aiden off so early you were deminishing the effectiveness of both Ryan and Tommy as well, which is pretty much the way it worked out as well .
    When Mayo went behind versus Cork, versus Roscommon, and in the second half versus Dublin who were at this stage playing deep, I dont think we managed a single point from either play or free in any of those games from their patient recycling of the ball, when we had fallen behind by a few points. The opposite happened we got overturned and conceded scores on the counter..Now I cant blame our managment for our midfield, because I dont really know what other players good enough to put in there that can compete with the likes of Brian Fenton, James McCarty, Brian Howard, or Paul Conroy and John Maher at the moment. But still its fantastic that we did win the League. We will have to give McStay and company another year. On another issue I hope RTE and TG4 are still around next year to cover the games. And if your going to a match a you see a fellow with the thump out looking for a lift to McHale Park or the Hyde theres every chance its Marty , be sure to give him a lift.

  22. Hard to know Rev, I think you’d nearly need a slightly different role perhaps to make it worth someones while, A sort of director of football for U17 to U21 or something like that.the U20 competition is a bit of a minefield, unless the structure changes this year. You’ve no where really to hide unlike in minor, where you have the likes of Kerry reaching a final after 3 championship losses a few years ago. The season can end fierce quick for U20s, it’s probably the most thankless intercounty managerial job you could get!

  23. Ah dont be thinking that RTE are goint to cover formula one.. The Licence fee will go up to 160 euro a week .

  24. Does anyone have any info on the vomiting bug that affected a number of the team? Or has anyone heard it mentioned by anyone connected to the CB or the team. I have heard rumours about it, but nothing concrete. I know food poisoning was mentioned, but that is unlikely. More likely a virus.

  25. Picking the 30 or so players considered the best in the county and then trying to shoehorn them into a workable 15 doesn’t seem like a recipe for success to me. Can we genuinely say that out of our 50 clubs the 2 best corner backs are half-backs? Out of 50 club centre half backs the best we can do is a half forward? We will have 100 lads playing midfield for their clubs in the upcoming championship but the county have to play a half forward there along with a man who is horrendously out of form. 150 half forwards will be on display in Mayo in the coming weeks yet the county pack the half forward line with midfielders.
    I’m not saying it’s just a straightforward case of picking the Mayo club all-stars for the county team and yes some players excel in several positions but surely to God we can have a more balanced panel in future. Furthermore it’s true to say that teams like Galway, Kerry, Derry etc have better defensive structures than we do but you don’t actually have to go outside the county to see good defences in action. Knockmore and Ballintubber for instance always appear hard to break down even when they don’t have the numbers to cope with injuries.
    End of term report should read “Can and must do better”!

  26. I think the headline on this thread says it all and the facts are this is not some rookie management team that was brought in.most of them have been in with mayo before and have been in other county set ups .As I have stated before I was very much in favour of mcstay getting the job but alot of what I saw this year was completely baffling.because a lad was playing centre back for his club does not mean you stick in there for the county team and hope for the best and if they thought it was the right move fine then stick with it and don’t abandon it completely a week before our season ended.It has the appearance of a gang of lads in a pub half cut coming up half baked ideas and then suddenly realising that the people of mayo don’t like this so he has to go and we will chance our arm against Dublin with no sweeper and see how that works and shur anyways there’s always next year.And it will be always be next year.Again I see it mentioned about our midfielders being hopelessly out of form and again I say what form the lad is not a ball winner and when he isn’t contributing the odd point on the scoreboard then there is nothing else to say really.David mcbrien jack coyne Sam callinan were great additions this year and with diarmaid o Connor paddy durcan Ryan o Donahue and Tommy conroy we still have the bones of a good team but the management have to get real and stop fannying about with daft ideas about quarter backs and maybe try a defender at centre back that can tackle and hit an auld haymaker of a shoulder now and again.I would certainly be trying to get colm Boyle involved in some capacity

  27. I think what has most people concerned is the CHB situation. Surely someone in the managment set up could see it wasn’t working. It was obvious from early league that a certain player was unable to execute a tackle. So whats concerning is the length of time the experiment was persisted with. Thats what has me thinking someone in that managment team is out of their depth.

    I feel the quotes and vibes from the manager post Dublin match, seemed like someone trying to deflect heat away from themselves, rather than the players. No responsibilty taken, just oul tripe about “rookie” fb lines, and Dublin are “frightening” contrast that with Jack O’Connors interview after we bet them……chalk and cheese.

    Last point, did anyone else find it weird that the Co Board chairman was travelling on the team bus to a game, equipped with a gear bag? Doubt its common practice in other counties but could be wrong? I think it’s a bit amateurish myself, a bit too cosy.

  28. Revellino I think you make some very valid points but I don’t agree with comparing managers and saying X is better than Y etc. Our starting or base point is that we have not won an All Ireland since 1951 a simply horrible statistic so credit must first of all go to managers who have got us to finals. I hate the phrase “it was lost on the line” which is trotted out so often. Games will be won and lost inside the line by players. Of course wise managerial decisions help but matches are ultimately won by players. Take last Sunday for example and I am not attaching blame to the players involved, just merely using them as examples. No management can legislate for the error of our concession of the second goal nor for the incredible miss a few minutes later a six point swing no more than a management can legislate for the concessions of two own goals in 2016. I think our managers from the past like Maughan, Rochford and especially Horan deserve enormous credit for taking us to the brink. I have been watching Mayo since the early 1970s and the first meaningful game I saw us win in Croke Park was in 1989 and the next one was 1996. Since 2011 we have had successful visits to Croke Park on such a regular basis. So I well and truly remember the horrible days of 1981, 1993 etc. . We have been lucky enough in the last decade or so to have good teams put together by good managers so our expectations have grown. But what has also grown is our sense of disillusionment, anger and frustration when we don’t achieve our desires. The above named managers did excellent work for us but now we have a new man in charge and he needs to be given a chance. He has had a mixed first year, delivering a league title, beating Kerry and Galway but has also overseen some poor performances. He has brought in a number of players who have done well while some established players have not produced the form they are capable off. He has kept experienced heads involved in panel despite giving them limited game time. As I said earlier it’s mostly about players and he certainly does not have the quality of players that was present in the 2012 – 2017 era. He has a chance to reset now, watch the club championships and hopefully pick up a few more players along the way. Give him a chance. Allow players to develop and hopefully with this development will come the experience to be consistently competitive again. We do not have a David Clifford or James McCarthy but we have a lot of really honest lads who work very hard and will hopefully improve and at the same time we have to hope that management will continue to develop a system which facilitates our players to perform to their optimism

  29. I agree with a lot of the posters above.. Mayo are missing a few Quality players.. They looked dead on there feet in the 2nd half.. As a Kerry fan I was at the Tyrone game Saturday evening same for Tyrone lack of energy.. 3 weeks in a row tough for any team..Tally has transformed our back line always good defenders but needed coaching discipline.. A new format timing is everything.. Teams shot be more used of if for next year’s championship..

  30. I think most people are hitting the nail on the head in analysing the year we’ve had and the players mentioned that are good enough going forward. personally I would be happy enough with the full back line and full forward line, the electricity I felt on Sunday in the first half when Tommy and Ryan received the ball they lit the place up. Elsewhere apart from Diarmaid and Paddy there are big question-marks. Whilst I very much embraced the management team at the start and the way they communicated I find it very much the same old Samo in each interview. having been at the match on Sunday alarm bells are ringing that the management team unless things change drastically are not up to the job. we struggled at times to get up to her own halfway line then we met the Dublin defensive line on their 40. You had Tommy and Ryan glued to either side of the square and between them and the Dubliners defensive line you had 30/40 yards of space. I don’t believe there was any ball kicked into that space over the Dublin defensive line. disappointed and concerned mayo fan.

  31. With current events in the media, I have been sceptical of Gaa Coverage and particularly the Gaa draws for this year’s championship games, sure who wouldn’t.
    Too many coincidences where teams were drawn against each other.

  32. As the dust settles and our championship campaign has ended in a heavy defeat to our old enemies. Questions are being asked did we peak to early?,was it the three games in a row?, The question I’d like to ask is what happen after our epic display against Kerry,?? We totally lost our way after that game,,I remember the first couple of years of James Horans team 2011,it took us a few years to get to competing at top level ,so should we give these young players a chance ?,just remember they are ordinary guys that have to go to work every day
    The main point I want to make here is the” Penalty shoot out “,in deciding the outcome of Championship games after extra time ,I totally disagree with this ,for the following reasons, again we have to remember that all these players are amateurs and have to work for a living and give all their spare time to their County team and to be put out of the Championship in this way is totally unfair, this is fine for our soccer friends they are professionals ,the Penalty shootout has no place in the GAA in deciding the outcome of Championship football, and I call on the powers that be to get rid ASAP,, go back to by far the fairest system and have a replay the year is long enough, after all our players deserves it,

  33. I spoke to a senior Donegal footballer just yesterday on a golf course in said county who, perhaps wisely, mentioned the pressure load of 3 games in rapid succession being the main reason for Mayo’s capitulation in the second half. Moreover, the Dubs are in no way the force they were, so it does raise concerns in some ways. Time will tell if everyone is overreacting. I’ve a feeling Mr McStay is planning a root and branch upheaval and will be lauded for it in the near future.

  34. I have the feeling that there’s a bit of the jigsaw missing. I can understand the Galway and Dublin gzmes but I cannot explain why having comprehensively beaten Kerry in Killarney we performed so poorly against Louth who are a very poor team as evidenced by the hammering they got against Dublin and Kerry. If it was complacency you’d imagine that would not be the case against Cork. A nine point collapse is just beyond my ability to explain.
    Some explain it by saying we’re simply not good enough, yet we were good enough in Killarney. Others say the loss of Keegan and Mullen but they weren’t in Killarney!
    More blame the positioning of Conor Loftus at CHB but again he was there against Kerry.
    We were told Kerry were awful. I’m not so sure. Kerry are rarely awful playing in Killarney especially against a rival like ourselves.
    Peaking against Kerry? Sickness? Fitness? Inexperience? Mental strength? Management? Preparation?
    Whatever happened in that period after Killarney is key to explaining the rest of the season. Disappointed and confused!

  35. Last January with the Horan era over and Oisin in AFL Leeroy retired maintaining our division 1 status and a decent run in the championship would have satisfied most followers. We didn’t know where we were at with a new management team and several new players coming through but we won the league much to most people’s surprise. A mixed championship followed with losses to Roscommon ,Cork(a game we should have won) and last weeks defeat to Dublin and the 2nd half capitulation has left many folk disappointed and frustrated which is evident from many of the posts on the site. Personally I think the comments of paid analysists on the national broadcaster and print media are in my opinion OTT in all cases written to try and attract listeners/readers and justify their “salaries” The losses to Roscommon and Dublin were disappointing in their nature but in fairness it’s unfair to expect a team to recover in time after an energy burning league final and bruising encounter in Salthill to be at their best 7 days later. If GAA are serious about player welfare 2 weeks should be time between games. It was a disappointing end to a season that at one stage had us dreaming the dream but I feel we need to focus on the positives the emergence of Coyne mc Brien Callanan Mc Hugh to mention a few. We need to ditch the continuous lateral passing game and hit quality long ball to our ff line which is as good as any other in the country. Yes we have issues in some areas of the field which management need to address between now and January 2024. People seem to forget in 1993 after a 20pt drubbing iby Cork n Croker we should have won AI in 1996. Likewise after 2019 2nd half collapse v Dublin Mayo bounced back. I have no doubt the current Mayo squad will bounce back from this defeat and will be competing for ultimate honours in the time ahead. Maigheo Abù the glass is half full!!

  36. If we fast forward the clocks 12 months and there has not been an improvement on the field in relation to structure and ultimate performance then where do we go?
    I disagreed with the appointment of McStay when he got the job, more so with his tried and failed backroom team. But what really pissed me off was the comfort the CB had giving him 4 years. I know it’s all hypothetical but if we have a bad season next year will the CB have the strength to make the big call and go in a different direction? It’s a slippery slope and if Mayo aren’t careful we could fast become an irrelevant team in the next 3/4 years.

  37. I don’t know about lauded for it @Mark Dempsey, but I have a feeling that all those involved with the Mayo senior set up will now try to take over the under 20 gig too. Kills two birds with the one stone so to speak. Firstly, it would aim to please all those that want the current management team to be freshened up for 2024 by leaving vacancies and secondly it would give the appearance that they are developing a long term plan. I’m afraid the motives might not be as laudable if truth be told. Plenty of others I’m sure will express an interest in the under 20 gig and really the head of coaching in Mayo needs to be a heavy hitter like James Horan or someone of that standard that will command respect and would be able to get the best coaching teams in place. We really have been very disappointing at underage for years. All-Ireland titles have to be the bench mark and we are falling well short.

  38. To win just once.

    Not sure they would agree with you down in Kerry.
    Jack O’Connor was brought in to win the All Ireland as they felt Keane was never going to get the team to win it, so the management change was what was identified as the missing ingredient in Kerry and they got it right.

    I don’t like comparing managers either by the way, but when people waffle on about one manager’s shortcomings and another manager would have done it better, it’s important to give factual examples of what actually happened when certain manager’s had their chance.

    If it’s okay to discuss one manager’s shortcomings then it should be equally okay to discuss another’s. Of course some people would prefer if all the facts were not put on the table.

    Kerry County Under 21 final report

    Does anyone know why there is no County Under 21 championship in Mayo and when we did have it was played in Winter time.Kerry holding there championship in the middle of Summer.Under 21 level is vital in that it gives lads football after Minor level if they cant make there Senior team and stops playere dropping out.

  40. The more worrying thing for is the lack of obvious bolters or exciting attacking prospects coming through in the county.

    Unless any other posters can correct me on any big prospects I may have missed the only potential bolters I see for the senior panel next year are Morahan and Fenton Kelly, both fine prospects but more of the same in makeup, ie atletic attacking halfback types.

    Where are all the exciting midfield and forward talents.

    Truth be told, the best forward on the mayo club scene the last few years has been Evan Regan and the best midfielder in the county has comfortably been Jason Gibbons. Fair to say both of those lads won’t be getting the callup at this stage.

    We really need to see guys putting their hands up in the club championships this summer

  41. @thewestisbest, not playing devil’s advocate, but the underage Dublins etc haven’t fared too well of late either. Ger Brennan, ex Dublin footballer and strength and conditioning coach recently stated the Dubs won’t win another Sam for quite some time if their underage exploits are taken into account. Perhaps those excelling at non senior levels aren’t seeing it translate into senior success either. I’m guessing that Mr McStay has a long term plan so pardon my arrogance if it proves to be a white elephant. Kerry will always dine at the top table, I know, but there’ll be a a Mayo Sam before long, I’m sure.

  42. Mark I think the reason people have reservations of management having a long term plan is when such obvious deficiency appears in year one:
    1. No kick out strategy, lads not showing for kicks, multiple players contesting in middle so less feet in ground for breaks
    2. No real offensive plan for blankets
    3. No defensive plan bar one that showed issues from early days that was persisted with then abandoned at the death with no plan B
    4. Not knowing significance of the last free v Cork
    5. Leaving injured player on who went and lost possession after team medic said he should be off.

    You could be right, and the plan will show itself in coming 3 years, but by that stage we could likely have to factor doing it without Kevin Mc, Jason D, Cillian, and Aido who our attack was being built around.

    Hoping you are right and I am wrong. I’m not sure how much hurt can take.

  43. Supermac – Exciting midfield and forward options
    Bob Tuohy, Frank Irwin and James McCormack from the current panel
    Gavin Durcan, Nathan Moran, Jack Fallon, Evan O’Brien, Ethan Henry, Paddy Heneghan, Oisin McLaughlin, Darren Quinn, Dylan Thornton, Colm Moran, Ethan Gibbons, Conor Diskin, Diarmuid Duffy, Fergal Boland, Tom O’Flaherty

  44. I think gizmo has summed up everything up there perfectly.Year one of mcstays term is now over and before you know it all 4 years will be up .The master plan itself had to be the all star management team put in place last year and I’m not being critical for the sake of it but in all honesty what we saw this year was fairly clueless.Maybe the plan is to implement the master plan in the final year when we all have have been driven to drink or in a home for the bewildered

  45. The Donegal lad may have a point Mark.
    We win a national league and 7 days later we are playing the Rossies and we look flat, physically and mentally. We are playing for a month straight by the time we play Roscommon in Castlebar.
    We have a nice 6 week break and we beat Kerry in Kerry by 5 points and all is well with the world.
    A fortnight later we scrape past Louth. Louth!
    A week off and then Cork put smacht on us.
    Then Galway, a win but hardly convincing against a side depleted of serious fire power.
    We played 4 senior inter county championship football games in 29 days that ended with last weeks defeat to Dublin, tired and jaded.
    A lot of football.
    Timing is everything.

  46. The ironic thing about it is if you look at that team five or six years ago we were at our strongest in the middle 8. Now our two strongest lines are our full forward line and our full back line, and we are a lot weaker in the middle. I often remember Billy Joe referencing this in Season reviews over the past few years, and now this problem has flipped the other way.

  47. 1985 – I tend to agree 100%. Getting players to peak and building them into the season should be the easy part. How many teams have these men been involved in now to know that the time to peak is in the summer in Croke Park. Jack O’Connor, Dessie Farrell and even Vinny Cory didn’t get it wrong, and according to our manager, the mayo management has more experience combined than them.

    Let’s face it, nobody really cares about league titles, I don’t even think deep down mayo fans are to pushed. The 3 top teams in the league didn’t make a semi final whilst 2 division 2 teams and 2 teams from the bottom of division 1 are now in the last 4.

    There is a lot left to be proven next season for the management in my opinion. Pretty much no room for error or I feel a lot of anger will be vented this time next year if there is no improvement

  48. @Green and Red.

    Jack O’Connor managed outside of Kerry as well.

    How many AI titles did he win with other teams.


    He didn’t have the artillery to win it with another County.

    Surely you have to have a squad of players good enough to win the AI before you go out and win it.

    Do you actually think Mayo are that good at the moment ?

    Jack O’Connor along with Jim Gavin, James Horan and Mick O’Dwyer combined would not have won the AI with Mayo this year.

    Some Mayo fans seem to be deluded in to thinking we have the best squad of players in the country or equally as good as the likes of Kerry and Dublin.

    Sadly we don’t, and it looks like the fans don’t want to give time to a management team to develop a team either.


    How good do people think the current squad we have is.

    Maybe the current management team actually achieved more than they should have with the current players they have at their disposal.

  49. Revellino – I spoke about improvement. I don’t believe that we have a good enough team to win an AI but I also think we have a good enough team to beat Cork. I think we have a good enough team to beat Louth by more than a point. I think we have a good enough team to beat Roscommon. This year was the ideal year to put a structure and shape in place and we didn’t. We went back to Horanball as so many people like to call it.

    You can dismiss the comment if you want but less than 2 years ago we were in a AI final. The regression since then has been bad and everyone wants to hang their hat on it being because Keegan and Mullen leaving.

    Explain to me how a team like Derry, who aren’t as talented as the players mayo have can be more competitive and set up better then mayo. 4 years ago they were in Div 4.

    There is no excuse for top counties like mayo to have such a lack of shape in their play. Jesus if we can’t ask for improvement, I don’t know what the point of the whole thing is.

    Jim McGuinnes went into Donegal, a team that was in the wilderness. Won an AI. WHY?. Not necessarily because he had amazing players at his disposal, but because he bothered to put a system in place that made them hard to beat.

    Jack O’Connor managed kildare. The minute he got back to Kerry he got a defensive coach, because he knew structure would be needed to win. Kevin McStay told the world that AOS would be in at FF before a ball was kicked this year. He played no sweeper, and had a lad at CHB that played his entire career as a forward.

    I really don’t think it’s to much to ask for a defensive plan from the most experienced management team in the country. That’s their words and the words of the CB. Not mine.

  50. I think Kevin was using the League to develop the players and give them confidence that they can perform.
    This is the case, especially because we had at least three brand new players starting on the team and a new look team shorn of Keegan and Mullin. We also had a new role at 6. We had Carr as a more regular starter, Aidan in a new role at 13/14, Tommy back after a year’s injury and Cillian back after an absence.
    What would it look like for that team to bide its time to peak or to perform later in the Championship? I’m not convinced by criticising McStay for performing in the League.
    It’s noticeable that Monaghan, Kerry and Dublin didn’t heed about the League. They are more established teams – they had little to gain from the League in terms of creating team cohesion, performance, confidence and know-how.
    On another note, the holes and deficiencies in our team were probably there in January and are still on the list to fix.

  51. @Joet1480 – What serious firepower were Galway depleted of that didnt feature on the day ?

  52. When you sit down and really analyse it.. Mayo, unfortunately don’t have the players esp around the middle 8 to win an all ireland.. Alot of workhorses and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way because we need one or two, but there’s too many of the same ilk, athletic but with very little skill in kicking scores or passing or even using the head quick.. Even Doc, who has been one of the better players if not the best all year doesn’t chip in with a few scores, the c other Doc from kerry got 1-3 the last day… A o shea doesn’t score at all, lays off a few balls but if you’re a forward you need to be scoring, end of… So that’s a huge problem.. Mcstay obvs thought having big units around there would help, it hasn’t… Carney doesn’t score in big games, flynn has been decent and apart from paddy, our half backs definitely cant score or pass. So you can talk about this and that and what we need… We don’t have the players.

  53. @Green&Red.

    And we would have beaten Roscommon I’m sure if we hadn’t had to play them straight after beating Galway in the National League Final (Which you might remember, Galway, you know, the team that did beat Roscommon).

  54. Mayo have 2 forwards who can score consistently, rod and Tommy but if they are inside and getting no ball, what good is it?

  55. @Green&Red.

    Kerry managed to squeak by Cork, so why shouldn’t Cork be able to beat us. They weren’t a bad side at all this year. We certainly are not up there (yet anyway), with Kerry.

  56. On Dublin, I have been listening to Dublin fans all year telling me how poor Basquel is/was. Had his chances, never delivered on his underage promise and so on.

    Point here is that players can look the biz in different games. Three games in three weeks was a big ask, but after Killarney, we were in pole position. We had gone to a hard venue to play and win in, and had done the business. We managed the other two games badly. The win over Louth felt like a defeat, and the collapse against Cork left us with too much to do. Definitely a QF directly would have suited us better. But, if we are as bad as people are now saying, maybe defeat in a QF is better than a semi-final or final hiding.

  57. @Green&Red.

    You’ll find out exactly how competitive Derry are next week when they play Kerry.

  58. Kick it in, I’d reluctantly agree with you now. I still think if better managed we could have contended this year though.
    While we may not have the players to win in next year or so, if you were asked start of year which squad you wanted ours or Monaghan/Derry’s man for man you’d have to go with us, even if you would like to borrow some of their midfielders etc.
    They are well managed and tutored squads, Monaghan especially for pick they have.
    I think Derry could give Kerry a full of it next week, so long as Kerry don’t come fast out of traps and get a lead.

  59. You see Green@Red you might have stumbled over an answer on the questions you have been asking.

    You said the minute Jack O’Connor got back from Kildare he got a defensive coach.

    Why didn’t he get a defensive coach in Kildare and win the AI.

    Because he didn’t have the required talent, and if you don’t have the firepower you are not going to win. Its as simple as that.

  60. Regardless of player personnel, you have to give them the best opportunity they have to go as far as they can, and see where that takes us.
    With the right plan and set up we are still a top 4/5 team.

  61. Mayo had a decent year, won National League only other National title after All Ireland and got to quarter final so not all bad and dont forget beat Galway 3 times and one draw with them, unheard of in previous years. Things went flat in the last few games and ended with a very poor performance in second half against a focused Dublin who just may go on and win Sam. Yes things have to improve for next year and I am hopeful thay they will. Well done to all players and Management for a good years entertainment.

  62. The body language of the team last Sunday spoke volumes even before the match started. Fight just wasn’t there. Also I think that since 21/22 seasons people are just fed up and that coupled with rising prices has really hit our travelling support. Every Mayo player seems to be very robotic – is the individuality just being coached out of them? I think deep down if we were honest with ourselves we knew when we left Croker in 2017 that the dream was over. We had peaked and when we got an unexpected bite of the cherry in 21 we couldnt get over the line again. We risk becoming irrilevent again. Lets make sure that next year when the national brigade of punters and personalities start the usual bullshit of Mayo being a contender (while tittering about us behind our backs) that we reach the maturity to stop buying into the bullsh**. The championship is what counts – not the League – and we blew it. Jury is out on the current management team. If no improvement next year then its time to test McStays loyalty to unproven trainers and see if he is able to get the right people in and fulfill he contract.

  63. Revellino – I don’t buy into the talk that we were tired against Roscommon. We scored 10 points and they scored 2-8. Same amount of scores. The difference. 2 goals. Why? No defensive shape from mayo. I wouldn’t mind but the warning signs were there the week previously when Reape made 3/4 massive saves against Galway.

    Goal conceded against Louth, goal against cork, 2 against Dublin and 2 against Roscommon. 2 balls cleared off the line in a scramble against Galway at the death. No defensive shape what so ever.

    If you can show me a team that has won an AI since 2010 without a defensive plan in place then I will comfortably conceded the argument. I’m on about plans and systems from management. No chaos football which is so common with Mayo.

    Finally in relation to Jack O’Connor. He went to Kildare for 4 reasons I’d say.
    1) would get a nice pay packet for managing them.
    2) Biding his time until the Kerry job popped back up. The second there was a hint of the job being available he went on Radio and told the country he’d go for the job.
    3) His son was on the Kildare panel.
    4) It was a no loss position. Float between div 1 and 2 and if by some chance he beat Dublin in Leinster he would be regarded as the greatest manager ever. Jack in private would be the first man to say he never viewed Kildare as an AI winning team. If by some miracle he came to Mayo I guarantee you he would have eyes on Sam.

    Derry will most likely lose to Kerry at the weekend. But the point I’m making is that I don’t think they will lose to Kerry the way we lost to Dublin. They will have shape to their defence. They will keep things tight. They won’t make it easy for Kerry. We made life so simple for Dublin it was embarrassing. As we did for Kerry last year, as we did for Tyrone the year before that.

  64. It is blatantly obvious we need a defensive coach com plan.
    We scored enough to win a few all Ireland’s but leaked too many goals.
    Great to see mcBrien get a goal but I would prefer our full back line at home minding the house.
    Defenders job is to defend first, not rocket science.
    Getting work rate and winning breaking ball is all in the head.
    In the club scene if your midfield is poor at fetching you break the ball and team mates are expecting it.
    No difference at county level.

  65. Some of the current Mayo defenders get a hand pass take one Solo run 10 yards and turn around and pass it backwards.
    They very seldom take off on a run carrying the ball.

  66. Mayo management should go to the semi finals, to see a defensive plan for both Dublin and Kerry
    I would like to see the Kerry v Derry game.
    I’m still not convinced that the Dubs are as good as they were let be v Mayo.

  67. Hello All,

    Just tuppence worth. I had hoped S.Rochforf would be a good influence on K.McStay. Now I wonder and in view of criticism from respected people who would not have taken Aidan O Shea off at that time in the 2nd half, who took the decision? Would Buckley be asked? It seems to have been a hasty reaction

    After hyping Aidan so much, it must have been pretty horrible to be taken off? I expect resignations from management and players.


  68. Green and red your points are very well made and explained.we can’t say for a fact that we would have beaten Roscommon if we hadn’t played the league final a week before.The same Roscommon team that came within a kick of the ball of beating us in the league after we were 8 points up.why shouldn’t cork beat us well no reason at all except we were 6 points up with 15 minutes to go.Again i repeat I hope desperately that everything works out for Kevin mcstay as he comes across as being very genuine but denying what we saw this year doesn’t help anyone.we clearly aren’t contenders for the all Ireland at the minute but that doesn’t mean we can be happy to lose by 12 points to anyone.Again I ask why after 12 games was the defensive system we had used was totally abandoned.what did the management learn in that 15 minute spell against cork that they hadn’t noticed in the other 11 games

  69. We need to implement a defensive system like every other top County. Either get someone in or implement it with who we’ve got. Being continually open down the middle has to stop.

    Hard decisions will have to be made with certain players. If Hession was in O’Hora’s position he would have went for goal, it was harder for O’Hora to not take the shot.

    I think Brickenden could be the new Richie Feeney, as in I don’t think he’s the answer to shore up the defence. One or more of Plunkett, Ruairi Keane, Morahan and a fully fit Harrison, could definetly tighten us up a bit.

  70. @1985.

    The same Cork team that came within a kick of the ball of beating Kerry this year but for an undeserved penalty.
    The same Kerry team that we easily beat in the championship.
    The same Kerry team that beat us by 15 points in the League final last year.
    The same Kerry team that hockyed us in the championship by 8 points last year.

    You see. You have to cover all angles.

  71. I know I’ve been harping on about SnC a good bit, and technically I’ve no way of proving anything. But I want to focus on tall, slim players.
    Check any photo of James Mccarthy and Cian O’Sullivan in 2011. Check Sean OShea just three years ago.
    James Mccarthy was a competitive cross country runner, so he was a slim and endurance build. He’s far far from that build now.
    Now, do you honestly think a relatively tall (6’1″) player like him would be built as well and as powerful playing with Mayo?
    I’m convinced he’d be slimmed out and powered down with the high volume running that the team most certainly does. They believe in covering x kilometers of workload and hence you will sometimes see the tram doing more endurance type runs at the end of games.
    Now, I have seen players doing those runs that had minutes in the game, doing those runs no better than half pace. There is no physical possibility to have an SnC workload that features a high volume of running and quite a lot of this running be more endurance based than speed based.
    It’s all about the legs.
    If an athlete want to be explosive over short distances and have a good ability to leap, then they cannot be exposed to slow runs or even mid pace runs.
    People will say “What about aerobic capacity and endurance!?”.
    If you have the leg strength and not carrying spare weight up top you’ll have the endurance from how much less work you’re stronger legs experience in the repeated runs.
    Now, you’ll have a pretty poor 800m time by athletics standards, but you’d take on am 800m runner pretty well in repeated sprints of 60 m with 30 second rest.
    I can’t think of a tall slim Mayo player that has noticeably improved to an explosive and strong physique.
    How many of our players could jump up and touch a basketball hoop? We look pretty stuck to the ground across the board.
    Ryan I will say has really improved his physique and Tommy Conroy.

  72. Just scanned thru the games again just concentrating on long kick outs and why we have been so poor nearly all season at winning these long kicks. You’d think with 2 midfielders and another 2 in the half forward line we should have been well able in that ares. Truth is we usually had 2or 3 jumping against 1 opponent and the result was a lot of breaking ball. Unfortunately we had 2 or 3 men airborne while our opponents were waiting in numbers for breaking ball which was duly provided. Not too big a problem to sort out you’d think.

  73. Revellino you are now arguing against yourself.what point are you trying to make

  74. @Green&Red

    “This year was the ideal year to put a structure and shape in place and we didn’t.”

    I don’t agree. I don’t think you can do that first year unless you are certain of your personnel in a number of key positions. We had two massive retirements immediately prior to the season. I don’t think anyone could have predicted McBrien would stay injury free for the entire year. Did anyone predict the emergence of colm Reape?

    And in fairness to Kevin, he did tell what the priorities were: Improve the mood around Mayo football, & give as many lads as possible a chance to impress

    And I don’t think this is something you can really start doing mid season. There just isn’t enough time between the games anymore.

    I would think that now, with some key positions nailed down, and having a year working with the lads, is the real time to start putting playing structures in place.

  75. The playing panel was still quite experienced. I didn’t understand all the messaging from Kevin that we needed a big early preseason because then it was game on game.
    Dublin and Kerry clearly threw the league in favour of training.

  76. FrostT the previous 3 winning teams were all managers in the first year of their terms I thought and out in their own systems or tweaked existing ones.
    A year is plenty, to get some semblance of a system, may not perfect if it’s brand new and completely alien to players but a full year on and 20 or so inter-county games played. Could you say what is the system/style we are trying to play is that we will see develop further next season?

  77. @1985.

    Think of the points you are trying to make and just reverse them.

    Take your time.

    Rgds Rev.

  78. Ye are on about guys having to play games and travel for games to Croker.
    One of the Dubs travelled up and down to West Donegal on Saturday last, I saw him there.

    I say forget about Mayo for the rest of this year, next year it will start all over again ( please Mayo don’t win the league)

  79. What I was commenting on was the lack of structure in the way we play which was the general conversation.refer to to headline on this thread.I have no desire to get into an argument.You obviously have huge belief in the current management and see nothing wrong with the way we were set up this year and good luck to you but not everyone agrees with you believe it or not

  80. @JP. I dont believe that Dublin or Kerry threw the league in favor of training, Kerry done their level best to beat Galway in the last normal fixture of the League no doubt with the aim of making the League final and beating us, Dublin while not impressive WON Div 2 which is as much as they could do. Kerry did not prioritise the league seen’ing that they were both League and All Ireland Champions of 2022 when they most very serious about the League, for heavens sake they beat us out the gate by 15 points in the final, and celebrated that fact as well, they had the double to celebrate well into the winter, and returning home from a team holiday just the league began. You could excuse a bit of rustiness in the early rounds.

  81. FrostTHammer, do you think that he has achieved his priority of improving the mood about Mayo football? Personally I think it’s on the floor now from listening to others that I have spoken too.

  82. Well,well,what have we being doing that we can turn our noses up at the league title the second most important trophy in the gaa,I remember how proud we were when we won it in 1970,I think a lot of people are criticising because we have been quite successful over the last few years,we must give credit to the players and management for winning the league and hopefully Sam next year,I also take great comfort from the fact that we have so many managers in waiting,we will only have to get some of them involved and we will be guaranteed Sam

  83. Conor Loftus was not a “defensive system”, we need an experienced body in the half back line, and Conor fit the profile.

    He played at 6 in certain games, on the wing in others. Man marked at times, played his position others. That’s not really what you would expect in the key cog of a defensive system.

    Diarmuid O’Connor was our defensive system most of the time. He’s the guy who most consistently played sweeper, and he was evident in that role last Sunday.

    We have not over the course of the season found a definite 6, nor have we appeared to settle on what we want from our number 6, and that’s understandable. There is so much variation between teams in how they approach the number 11 position, that there’s a very valid argument that you need to tailor your 6 to the opposition.

  84. FrostTHammer – I see what you mean but I do disagree. I’m a disagreeable person. Apologies for being a pain.

    But has the mood around mayo football improved? Ironically Colm Reape was converted into a goalkeeper by Ray Dempsey not Kevin McStay and was in the panel last year under Horan.

    If you want to introduce new players like Coyne and Callinan surely you would do so in an environment that reduces the damage of their mistakes. Ask any corner back, they will be far tighter to their man if they know there is a sweeper in place. Far more aggressive cus there is a safety blanket in place. Think of the mistake Callinan made against the dubs. That could knock him back for months. Had a sweeper been in place that pass across the goal isn’t on.

    The whole point of a system is that it is designed not to rely on one or two players being out injured. Cian Osullivan was missing so many times for the dubs but other players stepped into the sweeping role and still did great jobs.

    The top class managers will always have a level of protection in place. It started with Mickey Heart, Gilroy, McGuinness, Gavin and now Jack O’Connor is placing a big emphasis on defence.

    I want McStay to succeed. But unless he is willing to put defence first then I can’t see how that happens.

  85. @The west is best

    I think he did improve the mood. I think we all would have said he achieved this were we asked after the league final.

    What happened Sunday is hard to take, for everyone. No one is patting Kevin on the back and telling him what a great job he’s done. Least of all Kevin, any of the management or the players. The mood is not going to be good anywhere ATM but it does need to be acknowledged that same management has already shown at least some ability to improve it in their year in the job

  86. Corick I don’t think people are turning their nose up at league. It’s lovely to win it but how much do you think players really care about it, or most fans?
    It’s great to have it all right, but start of year what was managements stated priority? The direct route, and through Connacht, which sadly went sideways fast. And sideways further again via Cork result.
    National titles are always good, but sadly because of the monkey on the back that is Sam, it’s not the national title players or fans yearn for.

  87. @Green&Red

    Did any of those guys win all Ireland’s with a rookie goalkeeper and full back?

    I think you’re probably right that he’ll need to put defense first but from what we have seen from Kevin suggests he will probably tell us.

    McGuiness took two years to really build his system iirc, year one had very visible improvement, and I’d expect to see the some progress next season. What we saw last Sunday can’t be allowed to happen again.

    There’s an absolute power of work to be done but I don’t think that Kevin will shy away from that

  88. JKEL88. They’re best were on the pitch but not at their best. Comer, for one, playing injured. That’s no secret.

  89. FrostT – the point I’m trying to make is that those managers never left rookie defenders exposed. They always had cover for them. Murchan and Davy Byrne had to start somewhere in that Dublin defence.

    McGuinness had a system in place from the minute he walked in the door. Definitely tweaked it in year 2 but it was a building block.

    True Kevin has work to do and no doubt he will give it a right go.

  90. @Green Red.

    It’s probably a slow building block.

    I remember O’hora been left on David Clifford for the full league final last year. It was a cruel act really by Horan.

    At least K Mcstay took action this year and withdrew O’hora and wasn’t going to inflict the physchological damage that was metted out to him last season by leaving him on Clifford.

    For that alone I would applaud Mcstay.

  91. Revellino, and after seeing what happened to O’Hora last year, would it not have been obvious that despite his many qualities that man on man marking of Top forwards with pace in the full backline with no protection wasn’t a punishment worth repeating so that the blow hadn’t to be inflicted again?

  92. @Gizmobobs

    “Could you say what is the system/style we are trying to play is that we will see develop further next season?”

    In defense, Diarmuid sweeping. I think we can build on that, assuming that Coyne, Callinan and in particular McBrien stay fit. There’s a lot of work to be done.

    In attack, there did seem to be some progress up to and including Killarney but after that not so much. I think we once again failed to coax the best out of Aidan but in fairness when we did get Aidan firing it was quite good.

    Tbh I think the team lost confidence in Colm Reapes kick outs. Iirc there was a year where the same thing happened with David Clarke, I’ve no idea what year though. It’s colms rookie season though and he’s had some absolutely massive moments. And it’s completely understandable that he might tire as the season goes on. He will have learnt so much this year and I’ve no doubt that he’ll apply those lessons and be a big player for us again next season.

    Kevin McStay is known for his meticulousness and organization, and the second half performance on Sunday did not reflect that, and Kevin will be as well aware of that as anyone. He’ll know that this can’t happen again but right now in this period before next season starts is where Kevin can really use his strengths, and I think we can be better next season as a result

  93. @Green&Red

    But we don’t have Byrne or Murchan, we have O’Hora and MacLaughlin or Loftus

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t I guess

  94. Frost T, we won 10/11 of our own kicks in first half last week (don’t have 2nd half stats). But When multiple players contest the same high ball v one opponent like happened on multiple occasions (check Galway game) leaving multiple opponents on ground for to win breaks, when can see keeper looks up and sees no movement having to delay kick outs, when no sign of cluster and break technique when being beat up a stick in middle.
    It seems far less of a goalkeeper issue and more a training ground one.

  95. Frost T the attack with Aidan as FF has worked for years v lesser opponents and when no blankets in front of him. I think from checking at WJs excellent archive Aido had around 20 goals and 90 points before this year.
    So it worked brilliantly in earlier rounds of league and v Kerry where they hadn’t a full shawl out like they had last week.
    But when there is no space in front to kick passes into him, as will continue to be the case for coming years it’s less effective. Especially if we don’t actually kick ball in on top, which I feel we should do more. If noting but to keep defences on their toes.

  96. @Gizmobobs, surely Mayo management know this, how to win kickouts in midfield area, breaking ball etc.
    What happened the Mayo tackling when the league finished?
    I wonder what job or area did each of the management team focus on ? Ater all there must have been 5 different guys.

  97. Is Horan in for u20 job if so I hope he gets it, we can argue about his decision but to build a team he was great.
    He took the bullshit out of Mayo football and made us consistently compataive, I hope that’s going to remain

  98. Horan will not be back, nor will Keegan.
    Colm Boyle a man to get involved. And Kev McLaughlin also worth getting involved in under age.

  99. Agreed Gizmo.

    Even though Dubs had their smallest back line ever arguably last Sunday, Aido doesn’t do well with ball coming in high like that V Dubs. They’re so fast and nimble and would sweep in front of him.

    That said, it would have been good to see a few balls go in to at least test Dublin, especially given Aidos form at FF this year. I’d rather get beaten that way by trying to play positively, rather than the pricking around we were doing.

  100. @Gizmobobs

    But this what you would expect. You would expect the kickouts to be practiced in training after the Galway game, and you’d expect to see an improvement, but when the pressure really comes on it either breaks or bends, and it broke.

    Cracks started when Cork pressed us. We could have spent 6 weeks working on kickouts and it still would’ve gone sh*t playing into a gale and blinding sun in Salthill, and that’s where the damage was really done.

    Halfway through the new pod and billy Joe is talking about how impressed he was with our ability to slow things down in first half, and you’d have to think if we could’ve gotten calm hands on ball at some point in the 1-4 we could have maybe at least stayed in the game.

    I really don’t want to be singling reape out though. It’s though situation to be in and more experienced players would find it tough to get through, but he’s shown a lot of really good things this year. It’s been a tough finish to what has been a really promising for one or two of our new players, Colm and Sam in particular but I think they’re made of good stuff and they’ll bounce back.

  101. @Gizmo.

    I’ll remind you, it was David Clifford that O’Hora was on last year who many people argue may be the greatest player of all time. Personally I think it’s a bit early to call him that but he is a phenomenal talent.

    If you think that marking David Clifford one on one is equivalent to marking any other player out there then I’m happy it’s Kevin Mcstay that’s managing the mayo team and not yourself.

    Mcstay was right to give O’hora his start and he was right to take him off too, unlike James Horan last year.

  102. What could Reape have done differently FrostT?
    Sure some went awry v Galway that was an elemental day so could give some leeway there, although should have made sure to keep between the lines.
    We seemed be making same mistakes so what training was being done on the kickout plan? People weren’t showing short, we weren’t bunch in middle then breaking in a set direction (a common technique to create space when not strong in air), and the outfield players contesting same ball looks like not calling/not having designated primary/secondary fielders.
    That’s all outside the scope of the goalie.
    Even during game there seemed be no communication from the line as to what to do or change, none I could see from my seat in lower Hogan a few rows behind them.

  103. @Gizmobobs

    With regard to Aidan at full forward, McStay said that what he would do is keep Aidan inside and make him the full forward, basically build up his self belief that he can play that position.

    And it seems that this helped and we got some big performances and some big scores from Aidan but ultimately Kevin appears to have been wrong to think it would be simple.

    There is very little point to playing Aidan inside if he’s just going to play like a regular inside forward. The whole point is that he brings unique challenges that an opponent has to plan for. Quite frankly I think Cillian is a better option than Aidan in that position if we’re not going to use Aidan differently.

    So in this case I agree that Kevin got it wrong with Aidan. Although I don’t feel what he did was a complete waste, it just addressed an issue rather than the issue. And again I do think that Kevin did do exactly what he said

  104. @Revellino, I know it was Clifford last year, sure he’s a Kerry player not a Dublin player. We played Dublin last week.
    But while Basquel and Clifford may not be equivalent levels in many facets, the fact remains O’Hora is not suited to fast corner forwards. Especially when management have no sweeper in front for protection. Yet he was put in that exact situation last weekend.

  105. Agree on that assessment on the FF roles FrostT, horses for courses so to speak.
    Was really surprised the way Cillian was been used as well when introduced, often out around middle with Tommy and Rod inside, didn’t seem the way to play to Cillians strengths.

  106. I have posed this question before and still await an answer. Name one football strategy that has improved under McStay and if someone can with back it up with some facts then I shall sleep a lot better tonight.

  107. @Gizmo.

    Marking Clifford one on one is not comparable to marking any other player out there.

    It was you yourself that used O’horas performance on Clifford last year to question why Mcstay played O’hora last weekend.

    He played O’hora last weekend because last weekend we played Dublin not Kerry or Clifford.

  108. Revellino – Ohora got ripped apart by Darren McCurry in the AI final against Tyrone and if I remember correct McStay called it out on the Sunday game.

    Yes Horan should have learned his mistakes but that doesn’t give McStay the right to make the same ones considering he was critical of Horan for it.

    I’m not trying to gang up on anyone but I would just love to see a bit of out of the box thinking.

  109. If McStay wants to stay on and close the gap on Dublin and Kerry , that should start as early as this week, he and his selectors should be attending as many high profile Division 1 and 2 club league and championship games around the County every weekend till the County Final takes place. Get to really know the club scene in Mayo, talk to all club managers or officers around the County, Sigerson coaches ,former Minor and Under 20 managers on who they think isnt currently in panel and has potential to represent Mayo. Then hold a serious number of trials and get these players S and C assessed and on programmes straight away for next season. He really needs to sit down and talk to players at the tail end of there careers and discuss his plans with them. Mayo are now in a 2 to 3 year Transition phase to Dublin, Kerry and Derry at present. There are also a few players in the current panel who just didn’t have the required pace and aggression to match Dublin last Sunday, big decisions will have to be made in the coming months.

  110. @revellino, yes I know, I know, we played Dublin.
    But let’s take a step back and you’re managing your club team. Let’s say we didn’t know the players involved in opposition by name but by general ability. So, in last year’s game we know player A gets badly scutched by a very quick Forward. And now this year you know player A is going to go up against a different player but from reports he’s also quick. Do you:
    A) do nothing, it be grand what could possibly go wrong.
    B) place player A on another opposing player known not to be that quick
    C) play player A in their stronger position on half back line
    D) Chance player A on the quick lad, but support him with a sweeper for protection.

  111. @Gizmobobs

    I think having Cillian and Tommy back from the off next would give us such as massive boost. Our forward unit probably hasn’t been quite right since cillians injury against Clare

    Cillian might be a good pick for captain next year

    Wts after listening to boyler on the podcast, I wonder if Cillian could do a job at 6. Excellent kick passer. Pace might be an issue but you might get away with it in McHale Park. Teak tough. Can tackle. Good long range scoring

  112. @Green&Red.

    So you can clearly see from what you are saying there that Mayo’s defensive structure from two years ago and last year was a shambles.

    Add to that, the departure of Keegan and Oisin and then ask yourself the question.

    How can people not understand that there is major surgery required on the defensive structure to try and improve on the shambles that Mcstay inherited.

    Mcstay has every right to give every player on the panel a shot and decide whether they have what it takes or not.

    Different Managers get different reactions and different performances from the same players. Because a previous manager may not get an A plus performance from a player, that does not mean that another manager cannot get a better performance from that same player.

    If that was the case why change managers at all.

  113. @ Gizmo

    We’re not talking about two quick players.

    We’re talking about a quick player and a player regarded by many as the greatest player of all time.

    Can you not see the difference ?

  114. We’re talking about strategic game management and role selection I thought @rev. So in scenario outlined above what would you do? A, b, c or D?

  115. What was better this year Revellino? There must have been some major improvements across the board considering the shambles that McStay inherited according to yourself. Had we any A plus performances against Roscommon, Louth, Cork, Galway, Dublin?

  116. @ Sam og ,I have heard so much about great white hopes,that I despear
    Hopefully we find 2 or 3.
    That was Horans great strength.

  117. Rev – I’ll tell you exactly what I’m saying.

    1) Ohora can’t man mark. A bank of evidence was there and McStay ignored it.
    2) Horan never had a defensive structure. A point we were all critical of. Hence chaos football and”Horanball”
    3) I wanted the dream management team with 60+ years experience to put a defensive structure in place. They didn’t. They played a forward at CHB and told him to do everything other than defend. This new “Quarterback” role. No other team in the country does it other than mayo. No sweeper.
    They left 2 young corner backs exposed all year with no sweeper system in place to help them out. Donegal in 2011 had men playing in division 3 that managed to keep an excellent Dublin attack to 8 points in a AI semi final.

    As you said there was next to no defensive shape to Horans team. So surely to god that’s where the new manager would start. After all, he was brilliant at pointing out these problems on the tv.

    And finally, I will make this point and I’m sure it’s going to annoy a lot. James Horan, a man who firstly bothered to manager his club team to a county title was ripped apart by media and supporters for losing an AI final. So much so that he had to come out on Mid west and defend himself. I just hope the media and supporters show the same energy to McStay IF this continues. No abuse just accountability. Already there has been no hard questions asked. Tomas Osea and Whealn singing his praise about how nice a guy Kevin is after we took our biggest defeat in the championship since 2010. Personally I thought they were laughing at him.

    I really want Kevin to succeed I’ve said it a good few times now. But I won’t look at things through rose tinted glasses.

  118. Sam Og – maybe it’s because of the current management team, only one of them has managed club teams in mayo.

  119. Mayo’s undoing was the loss to Cork, but this was brought about by the fact that a number of the players were suffering fron food poisoning. This was well known around here and Martin Carney referred to it in one of the Patreon podcasts. So that loss was certainly not self inflicted as declared by a contributor above.
    Willie Joe, I had a chat today with thre PRO of Castlebar Mitchels – all systems go for the colour blindness question to be raised at a meeting during the coming week

  120. Green&Red

    And I’ll tell you exactly what I’m saying.

    O’hora went off in the 34th minute.
    Hession came on for him.

    What was the score at that point ?

    0-8 to 1 -5

    Game tied.

    The two teams were tied when O’hora went off the pitch (for a much speedier player).

    It was after O’hora went off that we got torn apart.

    Maybe you need to start looking elsewhere for the reason we got our arses kicked last weekend because it was all square whe O’hora left the pitch.

    We were outscored 0-3 to 1-12 after O’hora left the pitch. That 1-12 had nothing to do with O’hora marking a much speedier player I think you’ll have to agree because he wasn’t on the pitch. The much speedier player came on for O’hora.

  121. Maybe if Ohora wasn’t on the pitch in the first place we would have been winning. He was responsible for at least 1-2. But I suppose over the years Ohora never showed any lack of ability to man mark. The dubs no doubt targeted him because they know what they’re doing.

    So are you suggesting that had Ohora stayed on the field we wouldn’t have got torn apart. Idk how many times we see Dubs attack the 3rd quarter. Mayo should have killed the game straight after HT. Fake injurie, the lot.

  122. @Green&Red.

    I’ll again remind you that in his single season in charge of Mayo, Mcstay has won as much National Silverware as all the managers combined have won in the previous 22 years.

    Isn’t that fantastic.

  123. @Green&Red.

    With him on the pitch it was 0-8 to 1-5.
    With him off the pitch it was 0-3 to 1-12.

    Have a good sleep tonight and in the morning have a long look at the scores with P on the pitch and P off the pitch, and I know it’s difficult to figure out but it might come to you over the weekend.

    I cannot help you much more than that.

  124. @Revellino, what would you do a,b,c or d?

    Your logic seems be jumping all over the place from what I can gather:
    9.26pm – “Mcstay was right to give O’hora his start and he was right to take him off too”
    10:58pm – “With him on the pitch it was 0-8 to 1-5.
    With him off the pitch it was 0-3 to 1-12.
    Have a good sleep tonight and in the morning have a long look at the scores with P on the pitch and P off”

    Sssooooo your saying O’Hora should have been left on…..and should have been taken off?

  125. I don’t think I have ever seen such weird logic and condescending remarks on here before

  126. When I was asking you Revellino to name one thing that had improved in Mayo’s play this year, I honestly thought that you were an ardent supporter of the management set up and would be someone that could finally answer that question for me. My apologies, it seems that you
    too have doubts, especially in relation to them taking off P in the final.

  127. Guys, no point blaming any one individual because of the defeat to Dublin.
    Simple as this, Kerry and Dubs are the Superpowers of football, I think they have 73 All Between them.
    Mayo have to reach huge heights to beat either of them in a Quarter or semi final.

    Mayo has had a problem with collective defending for years.

    In 2003 Tyrone introduced a new system, it was put the player in possession under severe pressure, blanket defending and counter attacking, it won them a title in 2003.

    What did Mayo do v Kerry in 2004and 2006 finals, it was man on man and Kerry slaughtered us.
    Tyrone come again in 2005 and 2008 and best Kerry with a tight defensive unit.

    Donegal brought the blanket to a new level, nearly worked in 2011 and did work in 2012.
    The Dubs found a way to beat the blanket defences in 2015, the Dubs also learned from the semi v Donegal in 2014, to always leave a few guys back even with no opposition players in that half of the pitch.

    Horan didn’t implement a defensive plan, it was half forwards bombing forward, and forwards were expected to tackle and win the breaks around the middle.

    Rockford did implement a Sweeper and it worked to a point, but the problem in 2016 and 2017 was that a few forwards were not fast enough.

    The Mayo team that played 8 League games were far superior to the team that played 5 Championship games this year.

    Another poster may have that they just looked as if going through the motions in some games.

    We should not be surprised by the 2nd half collapse v Dublin, even during the game v Kerry, a few goals could have been conceded in 2nd half.

    When Mayo beat the Dubs in 2021, they were know as a 2nd half team and were always behind in the first 20 or 30 minutes of each game.

    My conclusion is that the fitness and Conditioning seem to leave most of the guys since the game v Kerry.

  128. Rev – I’m going to have a great sleep tonight. I won’t bother responding to sly bulls**t digs just because I disagree with someone’s football opinions.

    If you think Mayo have a good defence and that everything is all good, that’s absolutely fine by me. But just remember, championship separates the men from the boys and that was our biggest defeat since 2010.

    Sweet dreams.

  129. @Gizmo

    Try and follow.

    Personally, yes. I think P should have been taken off. And he was.

    With P on the pitch it was 0-8 to 1-5
    With Off the pitch it was 0-3 to 1-12

    They are the facts.

    Can you show me where I said that P should have been left on the pitch.

    If you cannot then I would appreciate if you did not misquote me.

  130. I know it sounds harsh, but any football person watching Sunday could see Padraig was struggling after even 5 mins. These are the facts. Im not just saying that in hindsight. My brother said it to me after 2mins. His body language was all wrong. He didn’t look right. I think the food poisoning/bug may have played a part. But I’d have subbed him at the 15min mark. But understandable position for mgt, its a big call so early in. So can’t blame them for subbing them when they did really especially in that intense pressure.

    I personally don’t rate mccurry one bit, so evidence is Swanee is a HB line player. He’s a huge threat going forward, poaching around midfield and the HF line. I rate him highly, but he should never be exposed like that again.
    Big questions for McStay to answer.

  131. @Joe2, My post referenced that James Mccarthy was much slimmer in 2011 and intimated at how he put on muscle in the weights room.
    That 2011 version of James Mccarthy would have been too light to go up and claim a ball against Aidan O’Shea as he did at the end of the 2016 final I think it was.
    That 2011 version of James Mccarthy when hit by likes of current Paddy Durcan would be sent bachwards.
    The overarching point is that in my view when being part of a Mayo panel, tall, high stamina players with Mayo generally remain slim.
    I read an article with Munster rugby and when they want a developing player to gain muscle mass they will reduce the match workload of players. The principle was that the higher volume of running and workload from matches greatly reduces the ability to gain muscle.
    Brian Howard put on a lot of muscle after u20. Interestingly he didn’t tog for his college in Sigerson despite being on scholarship.
    Just a simple eye test, Pat Flanagan who trained Kerry used do this. Look at the legs, hips and core of a player. Do they look muscular, explosive and lean? You can just look at an athlete and usually tell if they have pace and have a good leap.
    Dublin have been the trend setters and recently Kerry and to my eye we don’t have the same build. This is with us having good access to SnC and nutrition resources.
    I’ve never seen Kerry or Dublin do those stamina runs at the end of a game and I haven’t heard that they bother much with challenge games (waste of time).
    In my view they are much more concentrated than us on being physically strong and explosive for championship.

  132. @Rev sincerest apologies, can you show where I misquoted as I thought I copy and pasted from your post? I will amend accordingly.

    On the earlier subject of defensive strategy, would you be in favour of option A, B, C or D?

  133. @The west is best.

    Sorry. I hadn’t seen where you had asked me what might have improved.

    Introduction of the new goalie.
    Introduction of the new fullback line.
    O’Shea much improved performances.
    Flynn much improved.
    Positive and upbeat manager attitude.
    Plenty of playing time for Carney which I think will pay massive dividends in years to come.
    Domination over Galway.
    Winning the National league.

    Many positive aspects to the year.

    I would have taken P off also (It wasn’t actually a final).

  134. Sam Og .
    I’d love nothing more than to see Cian Hanley back on the team and doing well. Can’t see it happening. I actually walked behind him on the way into CP last Sunday and he looked like a minor footballer. I remarked to my family about his size and said how I couldn’t believe he could play Aussie football. I had imagined he would have been bulked up big time.

  135. @Gizmo.

    Apology accepted.

    Every match I’ve ever watched, at some point I would be hoping some player or another to be substituted (usually many players in the same match).

    I might have been happy when the initial team was named but if a player wasn’t playing well of course, I would want them to be subbed.

    Maybe that might make it clearer when I said I thought Kevin mcstay was correct to start P O’hora and also correct to substitute him.

    I was happy enough with the starting lineup for the infamous Tyrone final. No problem with the starters. By the time that game was finished I would have substituted about 11 of the players if I could.

  136. There gizmo.

    “Sssooooo your saying O’Hora should have been left on…..and should have been taken”

    I don’t believe I said O’hora should have been left on.

    It’s no problem anyway. I really enjoyed the back and forth, although Green&Red got a bit annoyed.

    It’s all a bit of fun.

    Enjoy the weekend.

  137. @Grainne Uaile did the food poisoning issue only kick in on 57 minutes as up to then were doing more than ok and leading by 6 points. Of course wouldn’t score for the rest of the game total confusion over that last free and what to do.

  138. I think it matter s little who comes into this team while we are playing the rubbish negative style of football that someone in management seems to swear by. If Clifford played for mayo he would score nothing. We refuse to kick it in. In all of the championship matches we played how many high balls were kicked into the square?

  139. I just wonder was everything all that rosey in the Mayo camp in the last few weeks because from what I’ve witnessed both on the field and on the line it certainly didn’t appear to be……again just my own personal view.

  140. I love your positive attitude Revellino even if I disagree with nearly all. I’d be inclined to think that Kieran is closer to the money. We capitulated very easily in a lot of games going right back to the Armagh league game. Roscommon in the league even though we scraped by. Monaghan in the league. Roscommon in the championship. Louth in the championship, again just getting over the line. Cork in the championship and then Dublin in the championship where we finished by only scoring a paltry 3 points in the last 50 minutes of the match. Only 3 points in 50 minutes should be setting off the alarm bells even though the issues were there for months. How can one go from D1 league champions to producing performances with zero fight if all was well in the camp. It certainly doesn’t matter what players are selected if they aren’t going to play for management or fight for each other.

  141. I would imagine green and red got annoyed be because of the condescending replies of which there were a few .not because he was losing the argument because he wasn’t.P on and P off indeed

  142. Gizmo,I don’t know many currant players,but I certainly knew a good few of the 1970team who were very proud of their league title,Sam og,I believe that James Got an tried to get C Hanley and S Akram involved a couple of years ago with Mayo but because of business commitments they could not commit,so please remember not everyone can commit to our enjoyment,I really hope that the other players you mentioned can commit and perhaps a couple of more will step up, K King has been injured most of the early part of the year which held him back,I certainly believe that the future is bright for Mayo

  143. Let’s go for the annual report card and grade the overall year v some key performance indicators

    1. Finding a reliable goal Keeper
    We achieved this and have a shot stopped with a reliable kickout – 9/10

    2. Finding a full back
    We finally solved this 20yr problem -9/10

    3. Finding a tough man marking corner back
    We have a way to go here, Coyne has the skills but needs to develop a hard edge – 6/10

    4. Finding a ball playing corner back who can get forward
    Enda Hession has all the attributes to do this, but it’s just not coming together – 6/10

    5. Finding a centre back who protects the full back line
    We haven’t solved this problem and don’t have an intercounty centre back – the Conor Loftus failed because he doesn’t have the defensive instinct for it – 0/10
    I would just go with Sam Callinan and let him learn the position – he has the skills

    6. Finding a wing back who is a scoring threat -5/10
    We have Paddy Durcan trying to do two roles – I would leave him in this role

    7. Finding a wing back enforcer to lock down the key play making forwards – we rotate through Callinan/Durcan/O hora for this – 5/10 – someone just needs to embrace this role and become that guy – Hopefully McHugh could be this guy

    8. Finding a catch and kick holding midfielder who can kick good ball into the forwards and physically dominate the opposition – 0/10 – if Touhy is going to be the man then we need to bulk him up over the next 6 months

    9. Finding an attacking Midfielder who puts the opposition on the back foot – 5/10 – Ruane is the man, inconsistent this year and needs a partner to do the donkey work so.he can do what he is good at

    10. Finding a link man with a hard edge and can kick long ball into the ff line – 0/10
    – going back to Kev Mc isn’t a long term plan – there is no obvious candidate for this role. Jack Fallon?

    11. Finding a creative player with a hard edge who can turn things our way with a moment of magic. Ideally can kick long range frees -0/10 – we haven’t had one of these for 15 years – Diarmuid O Connor could do it if he wasn’t running himself into the ground, Loftus should be well able for it but lacks the hard edge.

    12. Finding an all action half forward who can take a score – 8/10 – Jordan Flynn has come on a long way at this role and should become one of the top performers in the country in this role

    13. Finding a forward with a ruthless streak who can take a goal chance 0/10 – Ryan O Donoghue or Tommy Conroy have the potential – but neither are doing it – Conroy should be given this gig and be given the full 78min to do it no matter what

    14. Finding a target man ff who ties up two players from the opposition -5/10 – A gig for Frank Irwin or James Carr but the absence of the right players at 8, 10 and 11 means the ball doesn’t come in.

    15. Finding a reliable scoring forward who’ll routinely kick 3 points from play and most frees – 9/10 – Ryan O Donoghue has developed into this guy. If he could take a goal every other game he would be in the top bracket of forwards

    Some other key items
    a. Defensive system that limits goal chances to 1-2 per match – 0/10 – we are as far from this as ever – we routinely give up 4-5 goal chances per match

    b. Reliable attacking system that creates 3-4 goal chances and converts 2-3 of them – 0/10 – when was the last time Mayo created a 3v2 and finished with a palmed goal?

    c. Reliable kick out strategy with 2-3 go to kick outs which will always work when the team is under pressure -0/10 – even Clarke on a bad day had an out ball to Keegan or Boyle in the locker

    d. Develop a bench with each of the following:

    – man marker (in case of emergency) – 0/10 – we don’t have this guy at the moment – Plunkett is the best bet if he embraced the role, maybe Harrison makes it back

    – Sweeper (to shut down a match) – 0/10 – A role for Stephen Coen/Padraig O Hora, if one of them was left at it? – likely to be a starting role v Kerry and Dublin

    – high fielder (to guarantee possession from kick outs) – 0/10 – A role for O Shea if Carr/Irwin could step up and be the man at 14
    – high energy impact players (X3) who can score 5/10 – plenty of candidates for this role about, none of which are reliable scorers though. Teach EmcL to kick a score, Get Fionn McDonagh the game time, Conor Loftus could turn a game in this role
    – Free taker (when the starting free taker is off form) – 10/10 – Cillian is this man with a lot more going on too
    – Goal scorer (to get you back into a game or put the knife into a team who are just hanging on) – 2/10 – Could Paul Towey become this guy?

    Based on the above we still have along way to go

  144. Management should be grilled by county board on style of play, tactics, ability to make timely and useful substitutions, ability to change tactics if not working, role of backroom, costs,….I personally think he has one more year regardless of what he does. Most annoying thing is his interviews. He comes across like he wants to be liked. Total opposite to Cody and Gavin who appeared not to care.

  145. Was not good on Sunday, but losing to Cork, was the wreckage. Won that game, probably be in semi final. Would have good chance at getting to final. But still would have lost final, I suspect

  146. Lads and lassies look at the size and strength of the Clifford’s , Seanie o se , con o Callaghan etc etc and yer goin on about cian Hanley and Paul towey . For goodness sake please see the obvious. Shoulders , hips , legs , arse , strength and explosiveness. It’s as vital as football skills , you’ll carry 2/3 lightweights if you have 12/13 of the other but not 6/7 lightweights .

    If David Clifford didn’t have the power and strength he has we wouldn’t even know half his fooball skills . Please stop putting hope into light boned lads who have been tried several times and made no impact . We have to put our hopes into developing the likes of tuohy , carney for two examples who look like they could develop propper strength.

  147. Can ye not see that winning the league has been the worst thing for Mayo this past few years or even getting to the final as in 2022.

    The league carries no weight as a competition for me. It’s not the same as championship battle.

    What we have seen this year is very similar to McStay ms time as Roscommon manager.

  148. I know for a fact that at least two of the Management teams have managed Mayo club teams,but why should that be a drawback ?,because a lot of posters want an outside manager,all the Management team will have a good relationship with people within the club scene in Mayo,believe me if there is any player showing promise at club level the Management team will k know about it by teatime

  149. Corick – Mulligan defo managed teams, and of the whole management team, he’s the one I like the most. Hard edge and did a good job with Belmullet. Idk if you would class McHales 6 months in Belmullet as managing a club team. He wasn’t there even a full year and took a team that was in a county final the year previous to 3rd in their group the next year.

    My point being that knowledge is power as the saying goes. A few good club games here or there isn’t enough evidence for the mayo management team. I’ll give an example. Mikey Murray was in the panel last year. His injury record is shocking, been injured for the last 4 seasons. In the panel this year, injured again. And I can’t remember him playing much at all. Why would he be in the panel? Based on what? An impact sub in a county semi final last year? The best I can come up with is that it’s because he plays for Ballina. Touhy is a talent but Barry Moran and co only started him in one championship game last year.
    Oisin Mcloughin has been putting in solid performances throughout for Westport over the last 3/4 seasons. Why isn’t he given some proper time to develop in the setup? Can play wing forward or wing back. Quick clever footballer. Stephen O’Malley stepped up brilliantly for Tubber the last few years when Cillian was injured. Kieran King completely blotted ROD and AOS out of back to back county finals with excellent sweeping performances. Based on their consistent performances surely they deserve a look?

    And there are plenty more lads out there who have been consistently performing at high levels for their clubs over the last few years. McStay and co, (excluding Damian) in my opinion haven’t had as close an eye on the mayo club scene over the last 4 or so years. No point making decisions based off one or two performances. That’s the concern I have.

    If you sat Kevin in a room with Kevin Johnson, Declan Shaw, Ray Dempsey and Peter Forde, who do you think would have the best knowledge of the club game? It’s a huge asset to have.

  150. @sean Burke agree totally . We need guys who are bulked up when I looked back over the match the match ups were wrong could hardly expect them to be able to keep up with the likes of con maybe they will bulk up now over the summer haha Ryan o d can stand his ground as he’s one of the bulkier guys we have and like Jack cearney to .

    Don’t think it’s all doom and gloom I’m sure the guys will have learnt a lot from this year I do think the Dubs are going go all the way now though . Least the guys can have longer time in America over the summer now ha.

  151. Lads and Lassies of County Mayo, and you can only be from one place no matter where you currently live, we must stick together and support our warrior pack over the long winter and into another year.
    As always, stand proud to be from Mayo and always stand behind the men and women who wear the green and red. The song says it all:
    So boys pull together in all kinds of weather
    Don’t show the white feather wherever you go
    Be like a brother and love one another
    Like stout hearted men from the County Mayo!

  152. @Clare, you think the management guys will have learned a lot this year ?
    Sure they are not Rookies, they have been in management a long time, McStay, Rockford, Buckley and McHale ( assistant with McStay for years).

    They let a rot set in and have no plan B
    Wait until you see the two semi finals next weekend, it could tell alot about where Mayo are really at

  153. Lets just all agree that Mayo are finished for this year. Post mortems are for the dead. And we can all now get behind the ladies and our clubs. No point torturing ourselves lets enjoy the break from the county rollercoaster and come back fresh. Nothing we write on here will change Rochford and McStay’s style of management.

  154. You must not be very knowledgeable about the club scene of you don’t realise that K King has been injured most of the year,we need a fielder in midfield so I presume that is why M Murray is involved,now you claim that six months is not enough to get to know the club scene in Mayo,how long do you suggest,I noticed that you didn’t comment on the fact that the Management team will have a good relationship with people within the clubs who will be delighted to inform them of any potential players of county standards,you mention players that might improve the setup,what have they achieved to bolster your confidence,we all know great club footballers who could never have at county level,I could name many players who shone for their club but never broke through for the county,please leave the Management to the experts and enjoy the game

  155. @Fair Analysis, excellent post. I agree with everything you say there, especially about the interviews! Surely we’re not the only people cringing at his interviews?!?!?.

    I think the lack of conditioning is a bit exaggerated. The following are imo at the correct level of condition for they’re body types.


    Callinan is the best of the kids so to speak. Another few months and he’ll be right up there. McHugh and Tuohy have a lot of work to put in over the winter. This can be done, as proved by Tommys transformation between ‘20 and ‘21. Coyne can’t make himself any taller, and to be fair to him he can’t go much wider in bulk as he will lose his dynamism, Hession is a wirey buckeen, a lot tougher than he looks, a bit more upper body stregth might suit but only if it doesnt impact his speed and dynamism.

    Carney has a lot to do bulking wise, but i feel it will only make him slower. He hasn’t great pace as it is.

    One thing I’ve wondered about O’Hora for a while is he able to handle the big days out? I looked at the big screen during the Amthem and he was there with his eyes closed, he appeared too emotional for me, he was at the same oul craic against Tyrone, both games he got royally roasted. I think he’ll find it very hard to start another big game for Mayo after last week.

  156. Corick – king got injured in the Connaught club final. Was out for 6 months. Was back for club championship. Not only that, I saw him play against my own club only a few weeks back in a league match. I’m not sure where people are saying he’s been out injured because every time I’ve seen Knockmore play in recent memory he’s been on the field. It’s a great narrative to spin. It’s fine having great relationships with people in clubs but how many club men will turn around and say their own club men aren’t good enough? Where is the evidence that Mikey Murray is a great fielder? If it’s a fielder we want then it has to be Jason Gibbons. But the excuse there will be he’s too old. Where is the evidence that Conor Mcstay is a better player than Stephen O’Malley. I’ve seen Omalley kick vital scores to win county titles. All I’m doing is offering an opinion that’s all. I believe Oisin McLaughlin was MOTM in the county final last year. But if we don’t look at players that have been consistent in club football I don’t know why we would bother to expect different results then the one last week. Btw you also dogged my question about the men who should have the best knowledge of the club game too.

  157. Fair analysis. Your post is very valid. So many failures. Probably the worst championship since 2010. We are looking for Sam .. not a national league title that Jack o Connor publicly said in castlebar…. we are not interested in the league. Management is judged on championship. Division 2 teams had us up the creek. Alot of talk about micky Murray. Yet to see him dominant in a club match. But we definitely need a change in personnel. Another championship like this and it won’t just be players.

  158. I hope we dont go back to the 07 to 10 era when we use to be hoping for to avoid the top teams in the qualifier draw.County board delegates must ask hard questions at next board meeting.we cant afford to slip any further.Next years National League will be tough with Derry and Dublin in it.All we we want is survival and to blood as many of the next crop of talent to challenge for Sam in the years ahead.
    I would love to see a full forward line of Tommy Conroy Conor Diskin and Cillian O’Connor with Ryan O’Donoghue coming out to Centre half forward as a playmaker There is no better ball winning Full Forward in Mayo than Conor Diskin.

  159. We definitely need to change it up , our prototype is too predictable kinda thing , it’s ran it’s course now .They were good days , the chaos, the exciting games and all that . Project Mayo is far from dead though , it’s just time for a more cautious defensive structure, that’s the era we are living in .

    Management will have to adapt if they’re sticking around , there is a big team of them , maybe they should lighten the load I dunno but I’d have reservations over buckley . We have always been led to believe he oversees the defensive side of things and an emphasis on tackling , that’s been poor . I’d also like to see Barry solan having some input on s&c , by crikey we had some level of that stuff when he was involved .

    Underage appointments are important now .

    Maybe it’s old age but next year’s championship doesn’t be long coming , only about 40 weeks away . Serious work to be done but we will need serious people with a seriously determined attitude.

  160. Quote mcstay. We want players that represent mayo with the right values. You won’t win anything with a bunch of choirboys. Diskin is exactly the type of player we need. Big strong lad. Able to put himself about. Unfortunately the poor lad had a bad year . I worry when manager s get in on who s on their ticket.

  161. Agree 100% Sean Burke. Barry Solan would be a huge asset to Mayo but would be very difficult to pull from Arsenal. I do believe Mike Solan said that Barry would be able to offer support and oversight on the S&C side when he applied. Could stand to be corrected.

  162. Surveying the wreckage. The headline tells no lies. Horan s only fault was that whatever he started with as in game plan. He would never change it. But he done so much good. Finding keegan. Never played underage and went on to be the greatest ever in my opinion. Big loss. Did say that he would stay on but changed his mind. The mind boggles. No difference this year. Put carney into full and keep hitting him and aos in the second half. Not a hope of us trying something like that. Going for it. No way will we do that. Instead play cautious around the fringes. Management point blankly refused to instruct players to let it in. Let’s face it our lads were killing them in their in the first half. Dublin on the other hand seen the weakness in our defence and went for it.

  163. The management team made an unforgivable decision in starting O’Hora instead of Hession. It was madness. He is way too slow for inter county football at this level. Hession is so quick. This is why I worry about them – as well as going man-to-man instead of defensive earlier in the game.

  164. All – there’s a bit too much sniping at each other going on so please cut it out. In fact, there’s too much agenda-laden sniping in general going on right now but that’s another issue. I accept that in the wake of a bad Championship exist that’s to some degree to be expected but I’m keeping a close eye in case it spills over into outright invective, which, in the most part, thankfully it hasn’t as yet.

    Sam og – that’s a disgraceful term (you know – the word starting with ‘L’) to use to describe a player representing his county. You’re a regular contributor here so I’ll let you go with a stern look on this occasion but anything else like that from you and I can assure you that you’ll be looking at a prolonged spell in moderation.

  165. Cloud9 – I know, for some reason your comments are ending up in moderation all the time. I don’t know why this is happening – it’s not something I’ve done and it certainly isn’t anything you’ve done. This happened several other people some time back and a fix that worked was to switch to a different email address (which is always hidden from public view in any event). Maybe try that and see if it works? Your first comment will automatically be routed to moderation but after that you should be in the clear.

  166. Margie Padraig oHora was sick last week and it was probably unwise to have started him. He was poor in the final against Tyrone but so were the whole team with 2 or 3 exceptions. He got motm against Dublin in the semi final that year.

  167. Galway are going well so far versus Limerick so far in the All Ireland hurling semifinal. As ye all know I always shout for the Connacht team regardless. Of course Galway hurlers are now in Leinster …Ah to hell with it, Im going to shout for Galway anyhow.

  168. Third Quarter will b big again this week, Lean Times, Limerick going strong at end of half, Galway need to up it again in 3rd Quarter. The quantity and quality of scores putting hurling far ahead of football for entertainment value

  169. I won’t add to the player or management criticism but will criticise the fixture makers. I know mayo had a great chance of avoiding the 3 games in 2 weeks situation but it would have meant another team had to face it. This shows a terrible lack of respect towards players and I can’t believe they couldn’t find another couple of weeks to give more time. Someone needs to be held accountable does anyone know who the fixtures makers are?it was gaa people who made the decision and hide in plain sight. while setting the fixtures it had to be obvious regarding the pressure teams would be under and for me it’s nothing short of disgraceful.

  170. I have cooled down after last Sunday, some bad decisions made on sideline but great ones against Galway
    9/10 times Callinans ball would have gone over the line.
    Clarke would have been the danger and called on him to kick it over.

  171. JR, don’t think Clarke would have mad a difference there. It was a simple mistake by defender. He knew man was there as was trying shield him from it.
    He will learn from it.

  172. There is plenty of time to reflect now so I’m just thinking when K McStay & all look back at second half last Sunday, there will be alot of soul searching from all involved bar a few player’s who played their hearts out.
    McStay hopefully now needs to work on S & C big time with a lot of players because they were not near the level required for tough championship football against top teams, also get the right game plans for the future games starting 2024 but they have to set defence/midfield & forwards into their roles for every game, a strong panel is essential, defence has to be coached on hard, tough, marking & making use of the ball quickly & accurately, I’d say McStay & crew will come up with a panel of quality footballers come the late Autumn, hopefully. He’s honeymoon is over now, it’s time to start sorting it out through the next few months & see what talent is there, please get it right, I’m supporting Mayo for 55 years, it’s a lonnnng time waiting for glory, I live & hope, Up Mayo.

  173. I think the upcoming Mayo Championship is the most important for the Cou ty setup in ages. I know it’s absolutely vital to the clubs and I love club football when there are no distractions. However this year’s competition will be like an audition for many hopefuls. Be interesting to see if any of those that felt they should have been included during this campaign have gone away and improved their s&c to give themselves an edge.

  174. I hope the quality of football and style of play in the Mayo club championship is better than what we saw last year. It was very similar to a lot of the Mayo football this year with players handpasding the ball and holding on to it going nowhere. There was very little evidence of sn attacking plan or good forward play by most teams last year. Hoping to see better this year.

  175. Sorry I apologise just Willie Joe, but if you compare last weeks physicality to the 2016 and 2017 teams , I think bar the O’Connors , Flynn, Aido, McBrien and ROD are we too nice.Was there one hard belt or shoulder thrown in that game.I am remember both Philly McMahon and Paddy Andrews saying the games with Mayo in the tens, you would be black and blue after it.I doubt James McCarthy was last week.

  176. Just reviewing the comments on here and came across the post from Gerry Nugent where he talked about the evening Mayo were invincible when we beat Kerry out the gate in a league game – and we had supporters out on the field so he said ‘with flags waving and getting autographs from the players’. I have to agree when he says it’s nonsense.

    Last Sunday, I heard the same story outside Croke Parke from a random GAA follower who turned out to be from Kerry. Person was in Dublin for both Saturday and Sunday matches. Explained to me Mayo were just too ‘cocky’ to win anything giving the way they were carrying on in Castlebar earlier in the year behaving as if they had just won the all-Ireland!!

    So I thing we can conclude this sort of craze behaviour just not go unnoticed. What the hell were supporters doing out on the field ‘waving flags’. And given Kerry had been beaten so comprehensively what the hell were players doing out there ‘rubbing in it’ and giving autographs. What did management allow it? It’s embarrassing now the season has ended the way it has ended. The question can be asked where we think we are at mentally – what do we really believe we can achieve?. If it’s winning all-Irelands, It doesn’t sit comfortably running around waving flags and players doing autographs in the circumstances described.

    PS: This is my 1st post since posting just before the Cork game. Couldn’t get myself up it. For that pending game, I was expecting Mayo to control the ebb and flow of the game, not over exert but do enough to put manners on Cork and not given then any ideas that they had any chance in beating us. I was of the view our management had the team primed to climb and climb to their eventual peak as the championship progressed. All I can now say is ‘Let the lord save us’ – as some poster has already posted!

  177. I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed with the narrative of people I respect and I find that kind of worrisome .

  178. As a Rossie living in carrick!! I decided to watch a Junior b game and I genuinely got more satisfaction watching this game than the crap I have watched all season at county level.Yes the game was native and lads had beer belly’s but not that’s my point. Maybe it’s time to go back to roots and just enjoy Gaelic games for what it is!!!

  179. Green and red I did not dodge anything,,the fact that K King has been injured,he will add to Mayo next year

  180. @Sam Og, you are on the ball
    Even back in 2013 Mayo had fierce physicality, many Dublin players were battered and bruised in that final.
    You mentioned James McCarthy, I was told he had stud marks on his back from contesting the high ball from kickouts during the 2016 final.

  181. I wonder if the equivalent of Mayo GAA blog in Galway is surveying the wreckage now and over the next few days. Their performance was a lot like ours. Excellent for first 25 minutes then blown away by a really serious team. Is it the fault of Henry Shefflin or in truth is it that the Galway players are not as good as what Limerick (minus two outstanding defenders )have. Sometimes you just have to admit that one team is just not simply as good as the other. That is a lesson that we should learn in Mayo. Every time we lose there is just this major post Mortem and analysis of why we lost with the usual blame apportioned to the management. In reality football and hurling are fairly straightforward. Usually the best team comprising of the better players win the game. Surprise results are possible now and again but usually the better teams win .Kerry were better than Tyrone, Limerick were better than Galway and unfortunately for us Dublin were better than Mayo. Dessie F Jack o Connor and John Kiely are no doubt very good managers but they are in charge of seriously good players. When O Connor was in charge of Kildare he didn’t achieve a lot.

  182. Sam og – I’m not interested in what you have to say after the ‘but’ as that’s not relevant to how you overstepped the mark by using such a derogatory term in your earlier comment. It would have been better simply to apologise for what you’d posted and left it at that.

  183. Best teams generally win alright to win just once, but some teams like Monaghan are better at setting themselves up to succeed (getting as far as possible) than others with lighter resources than big spenders with greater picks like ourselves, Kerry and Dublin..
    We may not have the personnel to win Sam currently but we have ones that should be able to compete better v Cork, Louth etc. In championship. No disrespect meant to those counties.

  184. Pissed off like everyone else here after last Sunday. Management deserve to be criticised and will I’m sure will accept a lot of the blame for last Sunday and our overall championship performances. The bottom line for me is that we are a serious work in progress, with a lot of younger and less experienced players having tasted their first serious championship season. Lads like Reape, Coyne, McBrien, McHugh, Callinan, Carney, E McLaughlin and even Carr getting a good run of games and proving that they aren’t far off the standard required. I would like to see these boys stick with it along with a few more of the younger lads that didnt get their chance and ramp it up another notch next year. The biggest thing for me this year was our lack of aggression in nearly all our championship games, which is kinda understandable with lot of young lads in their 1st year at this level. A lot of the lads that came within a whisker of winning last decade took at least 3 or 4 years to reach the levels of fitness and aggression needed. Aido, Keith, Chris, Donie, Boyler, Tom P, Andy, Kevin Mac, to name a few. I didn’t cry into my cornflakes last Monday morning thinking that we are fucking useless, the management team are hopeless and we will never compete again at the levels we witnessed 6 or 7 years ago. The facts are, whether you like it or not that Kevin and his team have another 3 years left to push this on. James Horan shipped a 9 point beating from Kerry in his 1st year in Croke Park in 2011 along with a massive scare in London. I think it’s fair to say that a certain cohort of posters on here have made their point over the last week about Kevin and his management style and lack thereof, family ties, friendships, media interactions, lack of mayo club football knowledge and his players falling asleep during the national anthem. Time to move on to year 2. Next year we need to build on winning the league, beating Galway in Croke Park and Salthill, beating Kerry in Killarney. Losing to the Dubs in a full on, hostile Croke Park who hadnt played a hard game in 5 weeks is not the end of the world, this team or Kevin Macs 4 year term. Let’s see what happens next week, maybe Derry or Monaghan might give us something to think about. Stranger things have happened.

  185. 2022
    Kerry beat Mayo in League (Twice).

    Mayo beat Kerry in league


    Kerry beat Mayo in championship

    Mayo beat Kerry in championship


    Galway beat Mayo in championship

    Mayo beat Galway in Fbd
    Mayo beat Galway in League final
    Mayo beat Galway in championship.


    Mayo beaten in League final by 15 points.

    Mayo win League final.


    Played 2 knockout games in 2023.

    Beat last year’s All Ireland finalists Galway before losing to Dublin.


    Alot of positives and improvements this year, and a big step up on 2022.

    We cannot argue with the facts.

  186. @Gizmo.

    I wasn’t behind closed doors at any of the training sessions this year, so I would be only bullshitting of I said I knew what systems managers put in place, but it’s obvious from my previous post that whatever systems they did use brought about big improvements this year.

    Isn’t it great to be beating teams in both league and championship that we couldn’t beat last year.

  187. It is hard to argue with facts alright Rev. But different facts can be pulled from same data sets to portray very different stories. You’d often see this in politics.

    Example above posts a positive enough story of year, but if write it as Mayo knocked out of 2023 championship after beating one division 2 team by a point and losing two other championship games to division 2 opponents by an average of 7.5 points it looks less positive 🙂

    We have the players to compete in the top 4, hopefully we can get back there next season.

  188. I wasn’t at any behind closed doors sessions either Rev, a lot took place in wide open Bekan so if you went up there you’d see plenty.

  189. Gizmo, did you not think the brand of football we played in the league, the 1st half against Dublin and the whole game against Kerry was more direct and a change from the constant running up and down the field we witnessed over the last 4 years. Do you know what it’s like to play a team that are physically dominating you all over the field? You are trying to arrest the momentum back lads are visibly wilting and hiding and your best and more experienced players usually revert to type and muscle memory which unfortunately is the running game in our case. We are not up to speed yet. It might take another year or 2 to get there but we aren’t far off. This year has been a massive learning experience for 7 or 8 of our younger players. We all know our defensive game needs to improve tactically and organisationally which I would hope will click into place when our younger lads get more experience, build their fitness and body mass. Even our older lads are learning how to adapt to the new set up. Enjoy the club championship, ye will be there at the business end.

  190. Not so much first half v Dublin Maroon, that reminded me of the high octane games under Horan.

    In league and V Kerry yes, definitely we kicked ball and moved it much quicker. But come business end which is where we want to be the blankets were out and the kicking game wasn’t an option. It will be same again next year unfortunately, that’s way game has gone.
    The Kerry game was a joy to watch but if we were playing them last week in knockout game as opposed to round one of group would they have allowed us 3 on 4 overlaps and the open space to kick in behind?

    This is the scenario we need be able to best to get to promised land.

  191. For me the most puzzling thing this year was how we collapsed in the second half against Louth, Cork and Dublin having played fairly well in the first half. There was evidence of it in other games too. Strange and worrying! I don’t fully understand it.

  192. If Evan Regan has been shooting the lights off for Ballina this year then why can he not produce it at county level. McStay is a Ballina man. Regans been given plenty chances the past few years. Jason Gibbons another guy who had his chances and never really did it at county level. Fact of the matter is these guys were not up to the task required at county level. How would this change now with these fellas probably past prime at this point. Form at club championship level sometime just doesn’t transfer over at county level. What we need right now is to do the best we can with what we have and see if we can develop some new talent to strengthen the existing panel in the coming years. I hope I’m wrong but I really don’t see us legitimately challenging for Sam in the next few years. So in the meantime, we really need to invest heavily at underage, create a ten year development plan to bring good young club players along and quickly. While Tyrone where hammered by Kerry last week Peter Canavans sons look like they have their Dads scoring boots and look to be heading in the right direction. What is with Mayo that we can only produce one great scoring forward every ten years. COC and McDonald. We never seem to have the type of clutch scoring forwards necessary when the game is in the melting pot of an AIF. We produce good honest hard working players, great as a collective unit, but the majority seem to lack in individual brilliance required to get the job done. Unless you are scoring 18-20 pts a game it’s hard to win at the business end of the season. Maybe this seems harsh and maybe it’s mental but the poof is there to see. As a county, clubs need to focus more to create attack minded forwards, and I’m not talking about fitness, I’m talking about kicking Technique with both feet and ball winning skills, side stepping your man and keeping up a high scoring percentage. Why can Kerry a county with similar population produce new forwards year after year and play champagne football. Finally we are not far off and I genuinely think had we a two week break after Galway we wouldn’t have wilted like we did last week against Dublin. Still not convinced by Dublin this year we exposed them badly in the first half and with a bit of luck could have been a few points up at half time and we may be looking at a different game. Looked liked the legs went in the last 5 mins of that first half however. COC needed to start that second half before the rot started. Also we went negative and lost or edge instead of remaining positive we went back to this lateral back handpassing garbage that they’ve been playing this year. It has to stop. Maybe 3 years in purgatory is what is needed to build a new team. Maybe it won’t be so long. But I do know we will be back.

  193. Evan had his chance at County level, but was far too inconsistent. Conor Diskin was mentioned earlier, and he was always a player I liked. A no nonsense tough cookie, but as already stated, the year that poor lad has had its surprising to see him play club never mind commit to the draconian life style of inter county.

    Nathan Moran of Hollymount is a player I feel needs a chance, he played fbd under Rochford and was released by Horan before the league last year. He seems to have bulked up considerably since, and at 6’4 he deserves another shot if he plays well in club championship. He’s the same age as Mullin and Tommy and was their captain in Ballinrobe.

    But the biggest addition to Mayo over the winter has to be a defensive coach. Someone to put structure on us and lock down the defence as much as possible, im sure Ray Dempsey would be too sore to get involved, but he would be the ideal local candidate.

    The doom is starting to lift a week on, and if you look to the horizion, next year could be the real “open” championship. Kerry will win it this year, and that should signal the end of a few dubs like McCarthy, Byrne, Fitzimmons, Rock and probably Cluxton. I feel Monaghan could actually beat Dublin because they have a defensive system and the one or two sharp shooters to win a tight game. If Kerry play Dublin in the final, they’ll beat them well and only highlight further how poor we were in the quarter final.

  194. Cringe worthy Brollys headline in the Indo today. Thankfully not a subscriber so can’t read the rest of the love in. Don’t remember him writing a similar article two weeks earlier, when Cork hit us for 1-6 without reply

  195. A hypothetical two part question.
    If we had a modern sweeper system with maybe Diarmuid as sweeper and we had Bryan Fenton and James Mccarthy at midfield, give me a ballpark on how last weekend would have gone?
    In my view we’d be right up there competitive to win the game.
    Realy we’re going nowhere without the modern sweeper system or a really strong midfield.

  196. @JP, if you cannot win high ball than try and break or remember the Tyrone tactics, wait until the high fielder from the opposition team goes up and catches the ball, then 2 or 3 men completely surround him on the way down, bottle him up.
    This is where a goalkeepers mighty long kick out is needed, to kick over the midfielders.

    If the ball must be played short and long then your players need to be very powerful to move the ball out of defense.

    Best would be to try and mix it.

    A O Shea probably should have started at midfield v the Dubs.
    Or put directly there for the 2nd half.

  197. But @JP they don’t do it very often, the mark is better used for a scoring chance nearer to the goals.

  198. @ Oilean acla. A sad story of resilient people of Achill. When visiting Achill, I often look at old derelict houses and think of the unwritten histories of hardship attached to them. Credit to Oldham Council.
    I read recently that scanning codes will be added to gravestones and relatives will be able to write up the story of the people buried in the plot for all the world to read.
    Helps to but football hardship into perspective.
    Gur a maith agat.

  199. Winning the league is probably the worst thing that can happen Mayo teams or even getting to a league final.
    Look at the record for yourselves.

  200. Watching the Minor final, two things crossed my mind. Firstly, the Derry minors are so well set up defensively. If the Derry minor management team can do it with 17 and 18 year old lads, surely Mayo’s really experienced managment team should have been able to do the same with Adult players. This narrative that we have rookie defenders, rookie goalkeepers etc. is all bull. These lads are playing for years and should be able to blend in to a system, if they were trained properly into that system. It really does beggar belief that they hadn’t a defensive set up in place. The second point of concern is that this Monaghan minor team that were really well beaten today, actually bet our minors out the gate by 10 points. Are our minors that poor? It really is worrying going forward.

  201. A lot of posters are agreeing that we need a defensive system.
    Is there a system out there at the minute that ye would like Mayo to use?
    Derry or Louth blanket?
    Galway double sweeper?
    Kerry blend?

    I don’t think I’d be up for attending Mayo matches if they adopt the Derry or Louth blanket. This defensive stuff has only come back in so dominantly since the Dublin decline from the heights they were at. Dublin knew how to render that system null and void.

  202. Dublin’s All-Ireland wins have all been built on defense. Every single one of them. Sure look at how few goals we have scored against them over the years. Now 2023 was our worst showing, but that cannot all be attributed to Dublin’s great defense, even if they did keep us to 3 points for the last 50 minutes of the game. We were a wreckage as much as they were good.

  203. @Swallow Swoops

    I’d like to see a Galway double sweeper, mixed with the Roscommon possession based football.

    I think that the two systems compliment each other and would work well in the tight confines of McHale Park.

    Couple this with an improvement in our pressing. Normally a trade mark for our teams but I don’t think we were at the expected level in championship this year.

    A few set piece moves when in possession and we’d be tough beat imo

    I don’t think it’d be enough to win an all Ireland, certainly not in a year one, I just don’t think it’ll cut it in Croke Park, but given the current system you only need to beat one tired team there to make a semi final so that’d probably be the extent of my ambitions year one.

  204. On the positives and negatives
    1) we’ve found at least 5 new players Coyne McBrien(free of injury), Callinan, Reape and Tuohy.
    2) our S&C is way up there. There’s loads of shite above on this thread on this topic. We dismantled Kerry in Killarney using superior athleticism on the day. I was on the pitch after the Galway game and saw the new lads in the flesh. Only one lacks upper body strength (McHugh) and he has a lot of pace and height (he’s 6’3” or more) to compensate. Callinan not as big or tall as he looks on TV but hasn’t been overpowered by anyone. Hession wiry but you can see in his arms the S&C has accumulated. Our drop off vs Dubs was the 3 games on the trot, no GAA team (amateurs) are capable of performing in that scenario. With a gap week Dubs maybe win as they were very driven but not nearly as easily. We’ve seen it many times and Monaghan are one of the very rare exceptions of teams in this situation winning. I haven’t seen Tuohy up close but reckon no game time was because championship midfield is too tough and Carney is further ahead in development for a HF position. In 2024 he’s a serious opinion for HF and utility player.
    3) We have a lot of FF line options and TC was great for 1st year back from that type of injury. Will cause even more havoc next year.

    Negatives mostly similar to what others have said
    1) not closing the house like other teams. Kerry vs Tyrone we’re extremely impressive and we’ve more than enough similar standard players to do this job.
    2) Kickout/ midfield strategy. With DOC all over the field and the likes of Ruane & Carney trying to win it clean, the sweepers aren’t there (enough) when it breaks. In the past Kevin Mc and Jason were the ones doing it but they’re near career end . Kerry had Galvin but at present we’re not doing it. Also our inexperience means not enough runners like Cluxton has to pick out. He’d be looking around almost in vain and all of a sudden a runner appears. That said, Ruane provided an easy out ball vs Galway and nearly went mad when Reape couldn’t spot him so work needed with Reape too.
    3) Talent. Sean OS was earmarked as a star from day 1 at CHF whereas Carney is good but less consistent in the championship. Still only season 2 whereas OS is probably had a decade ahead on experience and battle hardness. Tuohy May prove better . At RHF McDonagh is a worker without many championship scores, no other new leftie bar Tuohy, Darren McHale better bursting through the middle for scores than off his good wing, maybe not quite pacy enough. Could we successfully move Carr out on the other wing if Jordan goes to midfield?

    On veterans, I really hope we can hold onto Cillian who’s still class and Aido definitely has another season in him playing well this year. Be nice to see Harry back at full tilt but wouldn’t count on it. Others have given great service but will struggle to get game time or make the 26.
    On Brickenden, I don’t think he’s currently physically abrasive enough for FB compared to McBrien and expect McHugh to race past him for other defensive positions. The best playmaker sweeper option is probably Plunkett but we need 3/4 players capable. Others include O Hora, Coen, Callinan who is the fastest of these.

  205. This was a slow car crash in the waiting , we learned nothing from.the Roscommon game kerry had their minds on the funeral of the Clifford’s mum rip, louth with their so called blanket then cork scoring 1 -6 in the run in , galway beat themselves we are in a lot worse position than this time last year forget about quarter backs midfielders that can’t field , management and there’s enough of it have to start getting honest with the players and managing not talking

  206. @swallow – I’m d be tempted to initially start off with a Derry, Louth style – the only reason being it will get the whole team and panel used to having to play a bit deeper. But definitely after a year I’d be moving more towards a Kerry style defence. Protect the D, push up on the opposition and have a sweeper in place to cut out the ball into the FF. always be goal side.

    I agree I think the Derry Louth system is a hard watch but if it stops us leaking goals and getting comfortable defending from the outset I’d be all for it. With the aim of it evolving

  207. Neither hurling semi near a sell out
    They need to look at the whole thing again .
    Neither sport should have a late sat evening throw in for semi finals .
    It’s only suits one county

  208. I like the way Derry set up defensively. The acid test will be v Kerry, but if they are given time to set up (zonal), it’s hard to break down. Of course Kerry will mix it up using long kick passing from time to time.
    For us, whatever system we go for it’s essential we have a strong spine. Our spine for 2023 McBrien Loftus DOC Ruane Carney and Carr. Only McBrien performed consistently.
    Tactically, we had a hair brained defensive system. Frightenly, we never went to a plan B. Did we have plan B (Doherty?)
    Up front, what happened to Carney, was he playing to instruction). Out of his game went taking on and beating defenders, taking on the posts from the 40. His game became basic keep possession, get ball to our scorers.
    At midfield, the strain of playing a second role of covering CHB took it’s toll.
    We have good young players coming through. Management have to step up and get the best out of them, something they failed miserably to do this season. We have to be patient, it’s not going to happen overnight, that we become a tough hard seasoned team.
    Brickenden is tall fast progressive, he’s a possible full back imo, releasing McB to 6. We might get leadership in that position.
    Right now we need a good club championship….

  209. @ On the ditch spot on about Brickeden the swop would benefit both players and the team.

  210. The difference in physicality excitement atmosphere and sheer quality between football and hurling is enormous.Watching most football games now would bore you to death with the endless safety first possession game .surely the powers that be can come up with something better than the absolutely ridiculous forward mark as a way of improving the game.I never used to watch all that much hurling but there is no comparison now in the entertainment value

  211. Hurling is good but definetly over rated. Where are the fans if the game is so good, as the hurliazi proclaim online?. Theirs alot of snobbery in hurling towards football, yet you can buy AI hurling final tickets online!. Croker is never full for hurling and the reason is the interest isn’t there from neutrals. Its also easier to do something with your hands as opposed to your feet. More skill in football imo.

  212. Maybe but very little is being done with their feet .it’s endless handpassing that slows the game down to walking pace

  213. Love hurling, my biggest issue with it is the tackling. It seems lack any clear definition. You seem to be able to get away with most things, and are unlucky enough to get pulled on occasion.
    Commentators then on about how not much in that when lad polaxed into the chest with a shoulder

  214. Yes @Gizmobobs, Kilkenny seem to be playing under different rules than say Clare, Kilkenny and Limerick seem to get away with challenges that are deemed fouls in the rulebook.

    I don’t want to cause a stir but I have thought that Mayo Gaa should invest more in Coaching Hurling as the football title seem to be out of out of our reach of many years of failure.

    Hurling is a great game, the speed, scores, hand skills etc.

  215. Yea some of the tackling looks insane but everything happens so quickly compared to the way football is now being played

  216. For all the critical posters on here,when was the last time that Mayo win two major trophies the same year?

  217. Still too much doom IMO. While there are deficiencies and problems to solve, we’re not far off without all the ingredients. The 12 point defeat would be far less with a 2 week break. Dubs goals had some element of luck especially the 2nd and we missed our best goal chance. Also had a likely valid goal disallowed. If we played them fresh it’s probably a 4 point game. We’d be capable of winning 1st half with a bit to spare, in fact we were on top for 10 mins after their 1st goal. Not convinced Dubs will win AI, Kerry looked more solid in defence vs Tyrone from start to finish.
    On solutions, I don’t see why Brickenden is on such a high pedestal. We all knew McBrien was going to be good when injuries cleared whereas Bric doesn’t seem to have the same physical attributes yet at least. No doubt he’s there about for the panel but not convinced he’d start any championship games had he been fit. We have no divine right to be top 4 or top 8 but we’re still division 1 next year which should be of good benefit to team development. We could do with 3 or 4 star players either new or developing from their current standard. Kerry mentioned SOS coming good that he was off teaching for the summer so that’s an advantage. With amateurs their work life is a consideration too. Students, teachers and bank officials all have an advantage although students also have exam stress to contend with.

  218. @Corick bridge, good question. I’d say:
    2021: Connacht champions and Div 2 league titles
    2019: Div 1 league and Connacht Minor titles
    2016: U21 Connacht and All Ireland, Connacht junior champions

  219. Thanks Frost, Green&Red and Ontheditch for those thoughts on defensive systems we might adopt. I also liked the nuance in your posts.

  220. Gizmo,I was asking about the senior team,the senior team this year has won two major trophies,and please don’t annoy all the people who claim that the league title is not worth winning,when you are happy with a division two title,also I feel that public opinion has got off very lightly after so many people claiming that it was public opinion that picked the team for our Galway game

  221. Sorry Corick, you hadn’t specified.

    What two did we win this year?? I thought winning league was good, far from priority, priority for management was Connacht, then all Ireland with league coming third. I’d agree with that.

  222. Was going stick with Div.1/senior titles when answering but after the ass paddling we got handed this year by two division two teams and lucky escape v a third I included div.2 title.

  223. Also, before people start to think I’m the next Jimmy Magee, I was looking at the major honours list off the Mayo GAA website 🙂
    Link here for reference, this year’s league title not added yet, but all the other wins are there, including junior county teams ones, which nice to see:

  224. Oh right, League definitely but Mayo GAA don’t even bother listing FBD wins in their honours list.
    Players not involved or training with county panel were called up just to fulfill those fixtures. It’s a nice win and good way to knock rust off after the Christmas but wouldn’t be seen as a Major trophy.

  225. There seems to be a fascination with comparing the current management with previous management teams .last year isn’t comparable because we were riddled with injuries from the latter stages of the league on .I would have no agenda against kevin mcstay James Horan or Stephen rochford.James had 8 seasons at it and did alot of good things but made tactical mistakes.likewise Stephen rochford and the current management despite winning the league have also made mistakes but Kevin mcstay has time to work on it .The league and championship although now linked are still separate competitions and our championship form cannot be considered good on any level.I get people will defend their clubmen but Kevin mcstay would be fully aware that being questioned on his decisions is part of the job .if you put everything on a particular method of play for 90% of the season and then suddenly change it there will be questions asked..If public opinion as suggested had anything to do with it then maybe there is cause for concern.The doom and gloom will lift it always does but personalising the issue as to what manager won two major trophies and what manager won none won’t get us anywhere besides I have never heard of the fbd league being called a major trophy

  226. Change is Good – if you want to continue posting comments here you’ll need to learn the difference between constructive criticism and pointless insults.

  227. @Gizmo.

    I think you need to check the starting lineups for the Fbd final.
    Not a line up you would put out if you didn’t give a hoot about the outcome.
    Team and subs probably as strong as we could have fielded.
    The management had prioritised the Fbd and wanted to get the year off to a good start.

    Roscommon also put out a very strong team. Evidently they wanted to win it as well.

  228. Final perhaps, but the other round games Rev? Were all those players part of squad and training with the squad or were some called up to to make up numbers?
    A bit like the Sligo challenge game which featured most of the team that lost to Dublin (Paddy and Padraig injured and Aido on holidays at time) management had the core of their championship team in their heads early in year and ran with that as much as possible, as they are well entitled to.

  229. I definetly have seen it all now, the FBD referred to as a “major” trophy! (I think i just vommed in my mouth).

    Corick Bridge, I’ve been sensing for a while that your on the wind up in here,…. I know your going to say you were around when we won the league in 1970, but please tell me your taking the mick about FBD being a major trophy?

  230. And I never said they didn’t give a hoot about it, it’s great way to get early games. But when the CB don’t even list it in honours list it can’t be considered a major trophy.
    But it’s a great competition to get games instead of just training in bleak winter nights.

  231. @Gizmo.

    I’m laughing now.

    The Fbd might not be the only thing the CB have not listed over the years.

    Of course I cannot offer proof as the list isn’t available.

  232. Convenient Rev, but it’s there for all to see. Featuring v Roscommon we had:
    Bryan Flaherty
    Alfie Morrison
    Ciaran Boland
    Joe Tuohy
    Aaron McDonnell
    Connell Dempsey
    Gavin Durcan
    Ronan Carolan

  233. @ Gizmo.

    FBD Team.

    Colm Reape.
    Jack Coyne.
    Rory Brickenden.
    Enda Hession.
    Stephen Coen.
    Conor Loftus.
    Donnacha McHugh.
    Jordan Flynn.
    Diarmuid O’Connor
    Fionn Mcdonagh
    Bob Tuohy.
    Bryan Walshe.
    Aiden Orme.
    Conor Mcstay.
    Ryan O’ Donoghue.

    Included in the subs.

    Jack Carney
    Eoghan Mcgloughlin
    Cillian O’Connor
    Aidan O’Shea
    Paul Towey.

  234. Think that’s the Final team Rev, what about the players above that were up against Roscommon in Semifinal Rev? Were they all in training with the team as regular panel members or parachuted in?

  235. Can add Kuba Callaghan and Conor Dunleavy to the squad for Roscommon game as well actually.

  236. @Gizmo.

    Sure haven’t yea been giving out about Mcstay all week, about him not trying different players, so your last post must be a misprint.

    Or are you saying now that he has in fact been trying out lots of different players ?

  237. Is the league a major trophy – yes.

    Is it the trophy that moves the needle for mayo football – no.

    In Kerry you are judged by Celtic crosses not league titles. The same is true in Dublin. Nice to win but not worth a shite when champions comes around.

    If Kerry or Dublin were waiting 73 years for Sam I can guarantee they wouldn’t tolerate people jumping up and down over a league win. It’s a good achievement but not relevant to the bigger picture.

    The equivalent of the Carbo cup for PL team.

    As for the FBD, well I’m not even going to comment on that.

  238. @Green&Red.

    Jack O’Connor gloated and the Kerry players celebrated when they beat us in the national League last year.

    It was very relevant to them.

    Can you not remember that ?

  239. We obviously forgot to light the bonfires around the county the night of the Fbd final .lord almighty like the o Byrne cup theese are warm up competitions .yea you get a trophy as a token gesture but to be calling it a major achievement is totally ridiculous.The national league was great mainly because who we beat in the final but none of those competitions are what we are desperately trying to win

  240. Revellino, that’s not what I asked. Were these players part of the Mayo squad and training with them or called up during week to play game and sent on their way again??

    Bringing lads in for a game and trotting them out then sending them packing isn’t trying them and it’s not what you do if you are targeting winning a “Major trophy” which you say they were doing.

  241. I know some supporters are very happy with Mayo’s lot this year. FBD and National League wins at the start of the year. Great for them I say if that keeps them happy. Others are more pessimistic and downbeat after what they view as disastrous campaigns at Minor, Under 20 and Senior level in 2023.

  242. @1985.

    And yet people have spent the week giving out about the management, and almost supporting a heave against them, almost as if we should have won Sam this year.

    Tipperary have won more Sam’s than us.

    I would like someone to put up a list of all the managers that have won Sam with Mayo since 1951.

  243. Senior Championship exit
    Mayo 0-11 Dublin 2-17
    Under 20 Championship exit
    Mayo 1-09 Sligo 0-17
    Minor Champuonship exit
    Mayo 1-08 Monaghan 1-16

    Are these results not really worrying?

  244. Green and Red we are not Kerry or Dublin. We might have a belief that we are as good as them but we are not. Tip and Wexford have won Sam more often than we have. We couldn’t even manage a Connacht title in the 1970s We all want Sam but he hasn’t come near us for over 70 years. Teams much better than our present team have failed to get over the line. Turning up our noses at winning the league is a bit like the disrespect we showed to Louth and Cork. Why do we have such a high opinion of ourselves. It pains me to say this that although we have won Connacht about the same amount of times as Galway they have about 3 times more All Irelands than us, Kerry almost 13 times more and the dubs are in the 30s as well. Yet every time we lose a match of some significance there’s this major search for a scapegoat. I think progress was made this year as outlined by Revellinos fact sheet earlier. It’s going to be difficult to get back to the top table late alone win the big one, but surely a new management deserves a fair crack. JH did really well for us but it took a few years for him to get the best out of his team. Rochford got the best out of his team in his second year. The best out of our group might not see us win Sam, but surely a management team deserve a few years to get the optimum from their squad. Don’t compare our situation with that of J O Connor winning in his first year in Kerry. Look at the players he had. I don’t remember him being quite so impressive with Kildare.

  245. Rev stop please – Jack then went on to hammer us in a AI quarter final and win the AI. He celebrated Munster too.

    Jack O’Connor has more AIs than mayo have in their history. Kerry didn’t rehire him to win a league. The man can say what he likes as far as I’m concerned. He has nothing to prove to anyone.

    Like this is pointless now. I said a league title was good to win. The amazing thing you seem to ignore is that every other team that wins leagues also goes on to win AI. Except mayo.

  246. West is best, far to late at night for them sort of facts 🙁

    To win, I agree with alot of your sentiments, but facts I laid out are just as pertinent.
    Management have 3 more years, and in that time they may not win Sam, and they may very well win it. I think the basic house keeping faux Pas’ this season is what disappointed me. The CB went for experience, so these are the sort of things you would not expect to see. At this stage we just have to wait and see what next season brings. Dublin if win this year will likely see several players depart.

    One of the reasons I think we have expectations some may see as above our station is the professionalism Horan and Rochford brought in, in past decade, we’ve gotten used to being in the mix.
    Another reason, and one I feel negates the comparison to Wexford football now, our team of the 70s etc. Is sadly financial based. We are one of the big hitters now, we won’t be car pooling or taking trains like some teams have had to as can’t afford over nights. While amateur in many ways we are very professional in others and it gives us a stepping stone that should keep us ahead of the less resourced teams, IMO.

  247. To win – I’m aware we are not as good as Kerry and Dublin – that was proven clearly last week. That’s why if you read my previous posts I was hoping that the new management team would have put in place a strong defensive system to stop the stronger attacking teams. But then we have people saying our best game of the year is beating Kerry in Killarney. Which is it? Can we compete with them or not? Dublin went the guts of 20 years without winning an AI until 2011. But they put structure in place.

    Tyrone had 0 AI before 2003. They went over 100 years without Sam. Do you think Mickey Heart decided once he got to Croke Park and played the great Kerry team that he hadn’t a chance? They have 4 now. What do mayo people want? Do we want to strive to be competitive or just be happy with FBD?

    And I never turned my nose up at the league. But anyone that thinks it’s Mayos priority is lying to themselves. Dublin and Derry were in Div 2 this year. Monaghan just about stayed up in Div 1 and now they are in a semi final.

    Congrats to Kevin and the team for winning the FBD and league. But if at the end of his 4 years if he doesn’t have Sam (which I hope is not the case) then what? Kevin didn’t take on the Mayo job not to win Sam.

  248. Just to be slightly Pedantic about it folks.. The amount of Senior All Ireland Football Titles is not the same as the amount of ‘Sam Maguire Cups’ won.. The Sam Maguire Cup was first presented in 1928, the GAA was founded in 1884, all of 44 years earlier. similarly the ‘Jules Reme’ is not the same as the World Cup. Brazil have won the Jules Reme outright back in the 1970s. Question for ye , what county football team has a 100% record winning record in finals?.. Clue ..its not Mayo.

  249. Fair point Leantimes and I think the answer to your question might be Limerick.

  250. 1985- I’ve deleted that comment of yours from last night. You can’t attack another contributor, i.e play the ball not the person.

    Revellino – please stop needling others. It’s creating the wrong atmosphere and is just provoking a response, like the one I’ve deleted.

  251. Fair enough Willie joe although I did mention the constant condescending comments before and it was allowed to continue

  252. The FBD is mickey mouse. And a league title is all well and good. But the year has ended in catastrophic circumstances and a league title means very little when we didn’t back it up.
    In the games that really mattered:
    Lost to Roscommon – terrible performance
    Beat Kerry – excellent but an outlier
    Beat Louth in a horrible game
    Lost to Cork having pissed away a 6pt lead
    Beat Galway – patchy performance
    Hammered by Dublin – great first half but diabolical second half.

    Our championship campaign was awful. Year 1 for this management team was always going to be a stretch to win Sam. But we need to be seeing improvements in year 2 and 3

  253. Not a Mayo person but really enjoy the insight and erudition on the blog. For what it’s worth I believe Mayo require something different, perhaps an ‘outside looking in’ view and input to get over the line. Some brilliant footballing men from the county have knocked on the door this last 34 years but not quite kicked it down. Kerry brought in an Ulster cohort to the management cadre following disappointing seasons from 2019-21, I honestly felt guys like Foley, Morley and Savage were not at the requisite level following the 21 semi final, however with a clear defensive structure and plan they’ve been transformed into AI winners (of course the innate winning culture combined with generational talents like Clifford and O’Se have also been crucial). Only 2 AI’s have landed in Connacht in the last 57 years and ironically it was a Mayo man masterminded both albeit with an exceptionally talented set of Galway players. It touches on that point of outside input though and if I was in Kevin McStay’s shoes I’d be looking to bring in an entirely objective,/dispassionate voice from outside, ideally someone who has been involved in an AI winning set up. It might rankle with some but the likes of Jim McGuinness could be ideal for this role.

  254. Can I offer some good advice, forget about Mayo for 2023, done and dusted, it is what it is with Mayo, dare I say it but ……. it probably won’t change.
    Hopefully fully two keenly semi finals coming up next weekend, I got to get to the Kerry v Derry game.

  255. We certainly have a great sense of our own importance,we have no right to write off any trophy that our team wins,certainly we have not got a track record of consistently winning trophies,and thank you very much Gizmo for pointing our how much out management team know about the club scene,seeing as you provided a list of players that they have trialled over the the first few months,you have showed the doubters how wrong they were thank you again,Margie I have followed Mayo since the early sixties so I have a idea of our achievement,also I must point out that we won two of the major trophies a available to us,I am confident that we would have a third of we had not to play a major game one week after the league final,good day to you all and just read the facts that Gizmo has posted about the number of players that have got playing time under this management,my sincere thanks to all the players who have given their time and energy to play and entertain us

  256. Corick your selective reading is excellent lads lobbed into a preseason training competition without being training with the team and let off again after fixture fulfilled is NOT trialling lads. It’s either fulfilling a fixture for sake of fulfilling it or giving false illusion that lads are been looked at.

  257. Lack of consistency was our downfall.winning is a habit and it was a mistake to put out a weaker team against Monaghan.
    I don’t buy into the one week rest after the league final causing our defeat against Roscommon.
    They had beaten us twice before after league finals with long breaks, we were looking ahead to Galway,our heads were not in the right place not our bodies.
    Hopefully the club championship will unearth some talent as inevitably some of the older guys will retire or be let go.
    Defence, Defence, Defence has been our problem since the 96 defeat to Meath.

  258. “Northern Gael – exactly. I’m saying it years – we have had no real defensive structure. I think while Horan brought Mayo forward in many ways, his lack of a strong defensive plan cost us. in other words, had he adopted a McGuinness appraoch I firmly believe we would have won an All Ireland. We had the players.

    We still have good players and several have made the point, that we cant expect to win an AI in the coming years with such an open strategy. It’s so obvious, it shouldnt need to be said, but unfortunately it does, because this year was not good at all for Mayo in championship. The overall performances and form of players was very disappointing.

    @Green&Red, I agree fully with your post and again it’s something I’ve said for years here, that the mentality of some people in Mayo is very defeatist. They may not think it is but it is and you can see glimpses of it with talk or suggestion that we might be back to the 70’s and sure, prior to the noughties we weren’t very good and an insinuation that we shouldn’t expect to be at the top table. Utter or suggest such thoughts in Tyrone and you’d be run out of the place. Mayo need to expect the best and strive to be the best, every year. Right now, when you look at the squad of players we have, you have to ask yourself (as manager) what strategy best positions us for a crack at Sam. As things stand, you have to say that we need to implement a structure that makes out defence incredibly watertight. We are far from it. That’s what McStay & Co need to focus firmly on over the next 6-8 months.

    And just a quick point on the 70’s. Mayo won enough underage titles at minor and u21 around this period to have produced successful senior teams. All Ireland minor winners in 1966 and 1971, runners up in 74. U21 All Ireland finalist in 73 and winners in 74. A total mismanagement of the senior team. We were clearly producing talent. Mayo always produces talent, of course we have spells where there has been more success than others (the late noughties being a very successful underage period. The last decade has been concerning underage. Very barren spell and the CB need to rectify this. Smartly.

    Mayo should always be in the conversation for All Irelands. That’s what we need to expect and push for. Anything less is a loser’s mentality. Tyrone are the perfect example.

  259. Of course you need to be realistic. There are some years where you’ll have naturally better talented squads of players but as a manager you tailor your tactics to maximise your strengths – but always with a view of winning the All Ireland. I can never understand comments from people who say they’ll be happy with staying up in Div 1 in the league and getting to an All Ireland Semi Final or stuff along those lines – what on earth kind of loser mentality is that? Every year we fail to become champions is a stinging disappointment.

    Someone rightly said, McStay took the job to win an All Ireland. Anything less is failure. A certain year may be deemed ‘progressive’ based on the previous years results but the ultimate goal is Sam. It’s all that matters and Mayo should be targeting it every year.

  260. I know I’ve referenced McGuinness but what he did with Donegal was genius management. He brought a side that was in Div 2 in 2010 and 2011 and made champions of Ireland in 2012 with little or no underage success the previous decade. Magician stuff. He looked at the players at his disposal and came up with a strategy to maximise success and it worked brilliantly. He is a legend. Mayo had a far deeper talent pool at the same time, with a string of successful underage teams and we won nothing because the wrong tactics were employed (particularly in the 2012-2014 period).

    End line is: if we can make our defence really hard to break down and come up a fast counter attaching style we can be successful. If we set up like we have done in years gone by then we haven’t much of a hope.

  261. In case anyone is saying that I am happy with our lot can I assure you that I have never crossed Corick bridge without being confident of success,we never made the promised land but I certainly have had many great days supporting Mayo ,and hopefully will have on the future,I think that we have some exciting times in the future,I am indebted to Gizmo for providing the list of players that we have tried over the past few months,I am sure that they will give us something to shout about over the next few years

  262. Agree Mayonaze with all you have said there, we in Mayo should always aim to be the best, you won’t always get to the top every year, however, if you aim high and you keep your ambitions high, there is no reason why success should not follow. Look at Tyrone, they are the perfect example of setting your standards and targets high, look at their list of honours won since 1991, they are the market leaders when it comes to maximising their available talent. They got the right people in charge who had a clear vision of what Tyrone GAA should be achieving. Mayo GAA should always aim high, there is no reason why we should not be aiming for an All Ireland every year. We are one of the big GAA counties, our County Board must ensure that we stay there, two QF exits in a row is not good enough.

    At the moment, we have a young and inexperienced, (for the most part), squad. It’ll take, in my view, two years for us to get back to being realistic contenders for an All Ireland. In that time we need to develop a solid defensive structure. Horanball 2011-2021 has had it’s day, opposition teams / management can read us like a book, it’s so easy to defend against. Let’s flip the table, let’s develop a strategy where we are difficult to break down. Get the opposition scratching their heads. Mayo teams should go out onto the field with a defensive ambition of not conceding goals. So many times over the years soft goals have killed us, I still get flash backs of Bernard Brogan’s two palmed goals in 2013, so preventable.

    You often read about successful teams, they all have one thing in common, a solid defence. We have the raw material to develop a system where we defend in numbers and then break at speed. We won’t have to do this all the time, however when playing the top teams, a system like this will have to be deployed, if not, we’re pissing into the wind yet again hoping that our fortunes might change. Build the wall.

  263. Gizmo I am very sorry if you think that I am condescending,it is not intention at all I was giving thanks to you for your information about all the players trialled many I am sure will become important players in the future,they all have to start somewhere and will give us enjoyment for years to come ,I don’t want to debate with you,because you have far more experience

  264. Can posters answer this question:

    Supposing the roles were reversed and Dublin were coming in playing three games in a row, meanwhile we had a tw week rest – would that have made a difference?

  265. Possibly Catcol

    But judging by the way we set up, I still feel we would have lost the game. Probably by 6/7 points. And one thing is for sure, the dubs wouldn’t have coughed up the soft scores we gave them.

    Yes the extra game had a bit to do with things but it’s about 15% of the reason as to why we struggled against Dublin.

  266. Gizmobobs – comment deleted for breaching the play the ball not the person rule.

    All – I’m getting seriously hacked off with all this back-biting at this stage and will have to start making an example out of a few of you if it continues. I don’t want to have to do this but neither am I going to let a minority poison the well.

  267. Yes Catcol,it would have made a big difference,if you compare it to driving while tired your trace are slightly slower the same with players ,it in my opinion explains our fall off in the second half,even a millisecond makes a difference

  268. It will be very interesting to see if there are changes in the backroom team. I’m not calling for heads but I’m just wondering who in the current set up has the defensive mind set needed to change things.
    Kerry, Galway, Cork.. Saw issues and brought in specific people to deal with them. We have a glaring issue in defence. A new face would show a new strategy is in the making…. We have very good footballers back there but I remember reading how in Dublin a decision was made, defenders defend, that’s it, we hold the line for now. Get that sorted. I think that is needed with us but the big thing for me is, it’s somebody who has won all Ireland’s that’s needed.

  269. As I said before management is judged on championship. Not two competition s where most top teams are not really trying… just preparing for championship. I think our dream management team got lost got lost there and obviously went on to have our worst championship in years. There is no hiding from that fact. We could blame the loss of mullin and keegan. We could blame the one week break which was all of our own doing. Reality is that this mayo team has the players to deliver sam I believe But our playing style is beyond dire at times. Negative possession football. Take for instance carr at full forward. Any ball in his hand s was possession out in the half forward line and a short pass to keep possession. We hit nothing in to him. A drastic change in mindset needed or the dream team won’t see out there time.

  270. Hi Corick Bridge, is that the Musical Bridge you talk of crossing ?( Ballycorrick Bridge )

  271. I’ll say it again. The fixture makers should be called to answer questions. Was there any thought given to the players when setting the fixtures? The players are the engine of the gaa and showing such a lack of respect is criminal. Yes I know mayo could have avoided the situation but another set of players would then be in that position..

  272. To me, having watched Limerick demolish Galway on Saturday, I concluded that it was a mirror image of our defeat to Dublin. Both Mayo and Galway holding their own in first half and then the tsunami – both Limerick and Dublin had a few weeks rest – don’t count the Sligo runout- and both are in incredible physical condition.
    Their conditioning is because of the amount of financial backing at their disposal – in Mayo and Galway with our much smaller budgets we will be unable to match the professional set up of the Dubs and Limerick . A depressing thought. We’ do fine up to a point but when the business end of the championship happens are gonners.
    No fault of management.

  273. @ Mayoforever the same thought crossed my mind watching it. Third Qtr in both instances was game over and both Dublin and Limerick had another 3 gears to go up.

  274. @ No Doubt I understand the GPA consulted widely with the players and there was overwhelming support for the new format.

  275. @Catcol, it likely would have made some difference and narrowed the margin at least, maybe not enough to swing result our way given how poor our defensive set up was and the lack of a kick out strategy, as well as our willingness to leave on a player medics deemed unfit for play.
    But Psychologically as much as anything it would be fatiguing.
    Similarly having to travel to Galway even though its relatively close and a game we won, rather than having a home game because the significance of the last free v Cork was not understood adds a small bit more fatigue to situation.
    In a game of inches all these things add up.

  276. The one thing I’d change about the current AIreland set up is min 2 week break between games at knockout stages.
    A lot of personal bickering going on at times here, I wish at times you could private message each other and get off the open stage.
    Great teams have great leaders. Right now we are lacking in that department. Bound to be the case when you start rebuilding.
    Clifford is both great individual player and leader. He is constantly talking and influencing play around him. Watch him when there’s a break in play. It’s what makes him the complete player. For Dublin Kilkenny limerick it’s the same, leaders who step up to the plate when needed.
    We are going through a spell where it’s hard to see where the leadership will come from. We have to be patient.
    No excuses on the management side of things. They are to lead us into the next great era of Mayo football..,

  277. Agree Gizmo. In effect the system penalised prelim QF winners. Sure group winners should go through directly to QF, and second and third can’t complain about an extra game, even playing the following week (though what if Donegal had to travel to Cork; wasn’t easy on the Rossies either). But winning the prelim then means you are in the QF on merit, you’re not some second class citizen. An extra week is essential here. OK it moves the final to the first week in August. So what.

  278. @Gizmobobs & catcol

    There was the situation where half the teams only had a week between their first and second group games. That imo should be extended to 2 weeks as well

    I’ll need to check the numbers again but iirc very few games in the championship, including the provincials, were won by the team with the shorter rest.

    I need to crunch the numbers again but my initial thought was that with only one year of data to take, the numbers shouldn’t be as one sided, and that would suggest to me, that there’s a structural issue.

  279. Bonnie Boyler,it is indeed the the musical bridge,unfortunately I never mastered the musical side of it,but I have heard many people knocking a decent tune out of it

  280. Mayo need to put a motion to next Congress that there be at least 14 days between all Championship games, it should pass with ease.

  281. Someone mentioned the Galway fans, and I have them to be quite bitter ATM

    They really don’t believe that they’re our inferior, are absolutely sickened that their season was defined by two defeats to us, and really want to twist the knife around the Dublin defeat.

    Having lived through, is it 11 all Ireland final defeats at this point, I’m not really sure why they expect us to be devastated by a quarter final exit.

    We’re definitely living rent free in their heads ATM
    Could be a surprisingly testy FBD meeting come January

  282. Don’t forget it was the players that wanted this new format warts and all, it will be there next year but hopefully no league finals, ie if the GAA are prepared to forfeit the gate receipts.

  283. I don’t buy in to the excuse that we needed an extra week and all would have been fine debate. Sure the performances against Armagh, Monaghan, Roscommon by 2, Louth, Cork, Galway by 2 and Dublin ranged from very poor to average. We had two good performances this year imo and both of those were against Kerry. Sure how could you possibly read it any other way when we really struggled to score in pretty much every game bar the Kerry ones. What are the excuses for all of the other poor performances of which there were many? Look at the scoring returns from the FBD Final onwards, it’s not pleasant reading unfortunately. I really think we need a complete overhaul of all our development structures. It’s certainly not working and the County Board need to appoint someone that has the capability and the necessary drive to fix it. I find it heartbreaking listening to people who think it’s fine. It’s not, and it’s not even close to being fine.

  284. Time to move on from this thread as it’s become pretty tedious.
    Some tasty looking club league games this coming weekend just a pity a couple of them couldn’t have been played on Friday evening. Attending a few club games is the best antidote for the all Ireland agony.

  285. No one said all would be fine. But a two week break would be a fairer outcome. Players are entitled to fair play. To be quite honest, if Dublin needed more goals against us, they could have got them, the second half was a boys v men affair.
    What worries me about the McStay set up was his persistence with a hair brained defensive system….
    I think new players were well integrated into the panel. There appeared to be a good atmosphere in the camp…

  286. We have been criticising managers since I started following Mayo in the sixties with players equally as good as any team we have had since,we were not quite good enough then,we have not been quite good enough since,the year we are good enough we will win,hopefully next year

  287. @Culmore, I think your just a touch optimistic that Mayo might actually bring a motion to Congress. Donegal brought a motion to Congress re bringing Dublin out of Croke Park for their (so called neutral) Super Eight fixtures, the Mayo County Board was mandated to back the Donegal motion by the delegates . The Mayo County Board didnt turn up to vote at all. Thats just a few years ago, I think the Mayo County board has improved since then but I still cant really see them rocking the Central Council boat..We are all still good little boys and girls in Mayo and we like to please our masters just a little too much.

  288. I’m not up to date with the club scene.
    This is a question I have, out of the Mayo team and panel for 2023, how many players have left for or are heading away for the Summer to play ball in the USA ?

  289. @JoeG, I agree with you it’s time everyone moved on from the failures of Mayo in 2023, ( lots of positive in early Season), go and see the club games or go and see the semi finals next weekend.

    The Hurling this past weekend was fantastic, more to life than Gaelic football, the Women s Soccer World Cup is starting soon also.

  290. Batetheblanket, not sure if many, if any travelled as they were likely past the closing date to be eligible

  291. Connel Dempsey,Knockmore and Jack Fallon Mayo Gaels
    I see Sean Kelly , Galway has gone.

  292. I hear a lot of talk about Jimmy Mc Guinness. Did Horan not beat him and his Donegal defensive team in 2013 by 16 points in the Semi Final. Okay he got it spot on in 2012 but it was the mismatch between Murphy and Keane that was the problem. Horan got it perfect in 2013. .Maybe a sweeper in front of the big full forward. Rochford placed O Shea on Donaghy and it worked . We beat Kerry but still did not win SAM. Mc Guinness also lost the Final in 2014 Kerry came out on top. Also Micky Harte a top manager who had won 3 Sam’s then went ultra defensive and ruined a Tyrone Team who went on to win Sam immediately when Micky retired. I agree we need a defensive plan maybe something like Kerry played against Tyrone this year in the 1/4 final. There has to be balance between Defense and Attack . Kevin Walsh tried the defensive set up while he was in charge of Galway and had no success outside of Connaught.

  293. I’m not in the know but is it simply possible the likes of Limerick and Dublin have their fringe players on a higher class of development?
    Colm Basquel is having a great season. Limerick always seem to be adding new players that are a prototype of the established players.
    With us if a player is not established by 22/23 they don’t tend to push on. They plateau at an okay level.

  294. @ Corick Bridge, sorry but I just don’t buy the when we are good enough we will win it stuff. Ok, it depends on how you interpret it, but teams with less talent (or certainly no better) than Mayo have won All Irelands because they got their strategy right/tactics etc. Again, Donegal are the obvious ones in ‘12 and Tyrone in ‘21.

    Winning All Irelands isn’t just about having the most talent. It’s about management maximising the talent. In my opinion, Mayo failed to maximise the talent available in the last decade especially. Horan did a lot of good things but he could have done better. Our performances in all four finals with him in charge underwhelmed. We underperformed.

    O’Sullivan…fat lot of good beating Donegal in 13 did for us. Pretty sure the hangover of winning Sam played a considerable factor. Fact is McGuinness win Sam with Donegal despite having less resources. Mayo’s management failed and primarily down to tactics. I’d give 16 and17 a hall pass cos we played really well in those finals but unfortunately came up against an equally good team. Refereeing decisions, and individual player meltdowns impacted hugely. Vaughan and to an even greater extent Hennelly’s total mess up in 16 replay.

  295. I agree with nearly everything you say Mayonaze and I know exactly what you mean about attitude in Mayo . I just don’t know how we will ever change it . I love my county and it’s people like everyone else , I even love the nonsense that goes with it some of the time but I like you am tired of it now . As a project we have to get serious about winning an all Ireland , if it takes 1or 3 or 8 years I don’t care at this stage but we have to aim to seriously win an all Ireland and that means changing our traditional style of the modern era , if the people that are in charge of Mayo football don’t act on it I fear we will never win an all Ireland in the foreseeable.

    The players have always been there ffs , I’ve had very knowledgeable people from all over Ireland say that to me down the years. 80s / 90s / 00s /10s and 20s , absolutely nobody would of ever said “mayo didn’t deserve that “ if we won one in each of them decades.

  296. I never thought that we would cross the line this year tbh with new management new faces and retirements etc . Though we should always aim to be in contention as we are still one of the top teams .

    Yes was a bad knock out to the Dubs . I think dubs will win it this year . Will those 6 in a row guys be there next year ? I highly doubt it will the young guys that dessie shoved aside for them come running back? I’d question that to so do my dub mates but I hope they go all the way this year one last hurrah for that era ha .

    We had some bounce to us this year that just was not there last year yes cork louth dubs etc bad but Tommy c will be back to full strength next year be hard stopping him cillian had bad luck injury wise to this year.

    Some iffy calls from management v dubs for sure I’m just hoping that they are rewatching the games over and over and develop and come with a plan for blanket defence and work on our defence. I still think reape is a top class goalie and we are lucky to have him.

  297. It is getting weary keeping it going.just one all Ireland over those years would have done and would keep the interest up .i know I find it difficult now to see us winning one

  298. @1985 I totally get you it really is even I the optimistic one found that one hard but sure loads wrote us off even before the start of this season as not being competitive at all without keegan or mullin and even paddy Andrews admitted he wrote us off altogether bd proved him wrong we’ve a very young team they will get better with time likes of Bob touhy vry exciting to but management need to sort a few things out.

  299. @ jp. I don’t think there are fringe players. There are impact subs who are brought on to up the tempo and win games… Whether it’s hurling or football just look at the contribution of these subs. I think we held onto Conroy, Hession and Paddy Durcan as impact players. It’s very much part of Dublins strategy. Players know they are going to be substituted and give everything while they are still on the pitch

  300. I would like to change the subject been discussed here at the moment with a question
    Why didn’t the GAA build a stadium in Athlone.- the centre of Ireland which could have All Ireland Quarter Finals or Semi Finals in both Hurling and football..It would be great for the local economy

  301. Mayo naze,don’t be sorry I have the experience of following Mayo since the sixties so I just don’t think that we can blame management all the time,as I said I believe that mis sixties to early seventies team would equal any team that we have produced,so it is not management it is just because we were not quite good enough,hopefully we will have the necessary players next year but we just have not had enough up to now,believe me I will travel hopefully next year the same as every year,but I will enjoy the experience,and have a few pints along the way

  302. Sean and Mayonaze… good posts. It got me thinking about the teams that have lifted Sam since we last did it. The roll of honour since 1951 is as follows:

    Kerry – 22
    Dublin – 15
    Meath – 6
    Galway – 6
    Down – 5
    Tyrone – 4
    Cork – 4
    Offaly – 3
    Donegal – 2
    Louth – 1
    Derry – 1
    Cavan – 1
    Armagh – 1

    Don’t tell me that Mayo shouldn’t at least be a mid-table ranking, not after contesting and losing 11 of the damned finals. Mediocre teams don’t get anywhere near finals. They are there to be won. Off the top of my head I can think of least four finals we should have won but for various reasons that have been debated for decades we managed to find a way to lose. I would argue that most were lost in defence as a result of leaking crucial goals at the wrong time (12, 13, 20, 21 come to mind) and lacking enough scoring forwards to push on when games were there to be won.

    No arguments about this year. Undoubtedly we were outclassed and swept aside by a reawoken giant. I think we are at the stage where we need a mix of fresh tactics and an injection of new talent that can compete at the highest level, as well as an uplift from the existing panel. I still believe the league is worth pursuing and wonder if the same people who cried about the sky falling in when we suffered league hammerings during the first Rochford era are the same ones who now claim it isn’t worth anything. This year’s excellent league campaign can’t be blamed for our poor showing against Louth and capitulation against Cork, which ultimately led to our quarter-final draw against Dublin

  303. Wow @Ultair… that’s a stark statistic when you see it in black & white.
    It would test your faith big time.

  304. Well said mayonnaise. Our players are as good as any. The defensive and more obvious our offensive system is miles off. What have they got against hitting long high ball in. Prefer to over play it or carry into the tackle around the middle allowing the opposition a quick break down the field. Very obvious against louth and cork. Will they change?

  305. We’ll know a lot more about McStay’s ability next year. In fairness, didn’t he say himself at the beginning of his tenure that if he didn’t see positive results by year 2 then he’d step down thereafter, ie he’d see no point fulfilling the full-term. Or did I imagine that. I’m nearly sure he said words along those lines.

  306. We back the manager. I was all for McStay getting a crack. I thought he should have been appointed in Sept ‘14 as I think he would have been ideal then. Who knows. But I’ll be very keen to see what he does for next season in terms of personnel but mostly in terms of strategy and set up.

    We do not yet have the same depth of talent that we had 2011 to 2019 particularly in the engine room (middle of the field). You could argue we have a better attack even if our scoring this year was poor. I’d put that down to not dominating as much in the middle and just not attacking right. So, McStay is trying to bring young lads through and so he should. But as I said before, the target every year has to be winning the All Ireland. He simply has to set us up with a much more solid defence and even if our average score total doesn’t improve in 2024, we may still win more games provided we concede less. It may not be as exciting to watch as the more cavalier approach under Horan but if we adopt that style with the squad we have we have no chance whatsoever.

  307. Interesting to look at Donegals league results from the Spring of 2012. Average. Finished mid table. Took a few good beatings. McGuiness was targeting Ulster. They were like an unstoppable juggernaut that summer. Even their supporters out shouted us in Croker that day. It was a bit embarrassing.

  308. As an unconditional Mayo supporter I must agree with what many poster such as Green&Red are saying – some of our 2nd half performances have been abysmal and embarassing indeed. Granted we had too many games but I have to say, reluctantly, that we “showed the white feather” on occasions – hope we can improve.

  309. @ James+Fleming. Everything is centalised in Dublin and East Coast. A great opportunity was missed not moving out of Dublin.. Not brave enough and near Athlone would have been perfect. Now we have the Dublin monster, the only county in Leinster

  310. Maybe before we dive on into blanket defence world we should purposely lead a campaign to end 15 a side football.
    Dublin and Kerry are the only teams regularly beating these blanket teams, this is primarily due to their outstanding depth and talent.
    The vast majority of games and even long passages in what are good games are patterned, conservative and dull.
    Six simple rule changes.
    1. 13 players a side.
    2. No pass to the goalkeeper ever.
    3. If you go into contact with a defender you are not getting extra steps. Play the ball or be pulled for steps or barging. This is already the rule.
    4. A deliberate slowing down of a free is a kick from the 45m if downfieid or brought up 13m if within 57m.
    5. Feining injury is a yellow card offence, same as dive. Rule, but apply it.
    6. Only the captain can speak to the ref at a break in play, and should draw attention to query something, which is not a free licence to roar abuse at Refs.
    There is no positive evolution left in the game. We’re done. We’ve had this patterned muck since 2015. Even very positive Dublin and Kerry have to play this patterned keep ball play for passages.
    Mainly, 13 a side and ruling out negative play like goalkeepers being extra defenders is needed.
    Tweaks won’t work.

  311. Gotta say that makes a lot of sense JR – radical surgery needed indeed. Would13 a side help to get rid of the curse of recycling laterally and esp backwards?

  312. @jp. You’re frightening me as to what club football is going to be like this autumn. I agree with changes needed, don’t know if it will happen. GAA very happy to have Kerry Dub at top of ladder.
    I suppose goalkeeping is a boring job. In the modern game, goalkeepers have to be footballers. It just doesn’t look right. 13 a side would be a good start

  313. Back in the day when myself,Barney & Fred were playing minor,the minor league was 13 a side. I can’t remember if this was done as a trial or due to numbers buti remember we used always be frigged after a game due to the amount of extra space and area to be covered but way more scoring and way more enjoyable was the general consensus. No full back or full forward. Football was a more simple game then of course.
    Come championship it reverted back to 15.
    Doubt if h.q.would consider this but I too would love to see it trialled.

  314. 13 a side is a far better game and does not have near as much blanket boredom.
    The patterned play will also reduce if you stop goalkeepers being part of play and make players play the ball in contact. Turnovers are nearly more important for excitement than scores.
    Managers want an ultra safe, coachable game with more randomness.
    We want an entertaining game with more randomness.
    If Lionel Messi was a Gaelic football genius he couldn’t play our game as he’d be too weak an athlete. That’s where we are at.
    Yet it used be GAA and Soccer shared the same athletic profiles.

  315. I’d really question if 13 aside is a better game. The whole idea of a blanket defense is to manage the space. With less players and more space you’d imagine the blanket defense would be even more prevalent.

    What is the highest level that 13 aside has been trialled at? Normally you only see it used when teams are struggling to field enough for 15 aside, which would generally not indicate a high standard

  316. 13 a side was played at club u21 B, that’s the highest I know of.
    The blanket is simply not as effective in 13 a side. The key person is the shooter (takes a shot) or potential shooter (might take or be an option to receive a pass to take a shot).
    The pitch remains the same size but you have two less players to close down space.
    In my rules above you also can’t protect the ball so easily using passes to the goalkeeper.
    U21B club was much higher scoring than U21A in Mayo club football.

  317. Multiple factors to consider but to encourage attacking play and improve the overall spectacle would like to see something like this trialled initially:

    – 15 a side but the named full forward and full back lines must stay within the defending team’s 65 and the end line, that way there can never be more than 11 outfielders in a blanket
    – Once a team take or play the ball past the opposition’s 45 they cannot play it back over their own 45, this would introduce some jeopardy, reduce endless recycling and encourage defending team to push up and out
    – Keeper not allowed to receive a pass back directly from their kick out and not allowed out past their own 21/D this includes free/45 taking, an outfielder can hit these
    – No fisted points or palmed goals, thereby encouraging attackers to shoot for goal and keepers to actually ‘goal keep’ as opposed to act as a 15th outfielder
    – No forward mark, only mark allowed is from kick outs that go beyond the 45
    To facilitate these rule changes
    – Remove both linesmen and instead have 2 refs in either half, one less official in totality but one more official with real impact, would also alleviate the singular focus on the man in the middle
    – Standardise the range of variation permissible in the parameters of a playing field, appreciate this will be challenging for some clubs but target should be variation cannot be 10% of recommended dimensions, for all county grounds at minimum

  318. There will be little change and Mayo will still not win Sam until we change our mindset.
    Brolly is right we are too accepting of defeat
    Too many nice footballers, we need a handful of hard men on the field.

  319. The thirteen a side game would certainly help smaller and skilful players,just remember how Paul Towey prospered in America last year

  320. 13 a side was used in Mayo club championship under 21 back in the late 1980’s, I think there was no A or B levels, just one grade.
    The minor league or maybe champion was 11 a side, ( that’s correct I’m nearly sure it was 11 a side in late 1980’s )

  321. @JR I agree in a way with you to ( as much as I hate to agree with brolly ha)

    We’ve been for years known as to ‘nice’ a team. We need more Ryan o ds , cillian o Connor, keegans who will stand their ground and say no more to being shoved around ha as others said kerry/ dubs always have a good few guys like that..gaa is a rough game you need guys who can take it but also give it back too not to such an extent that’s its a card but you know what I mean.

  322. @ 2 Hops, been a fair number of years now but I can remember playing in the minor league in late 1980s being 11 a side on a full pitch no doubt.
    It may have been 4 defenders and 4 forwards.
    Interesting if someone one verify this from the same era.

    U21 Championship was 13 a side, there was one grade only.

  323. Some under-age games are played 13-a-side (in which case the full-back and full-forward positions are removed) or 11-a-side (in which case the full-back, centre back, centre forward and full-forward positions are removed).

  324. European GAA is 11 a side on a soccer, field typically.
    I see minor A last night Castlebar and Westport only 2-14 in total sum of both teams scores.

  325. We need a handful of leaders on the field. Dublin have them Kerry have them. Players who will stand up and win a game for you and inspire those around them.
    As we lose experienced players and bring on newcomers, it takes time to get leadership.
    CHB is a key position from which you get leadership. We fu#ked that up rightly this year. No 11 also key. Not pointing fingers at players, the management need to up their game big time next year. They have talented players at their disposal.

  326. It’s taken me a while to post a comment after the game, but reading all the comments on this thread has been very interesting to say the least.

    My opinion on the year is very mixed. If you told me at the start of the year that we would beat Kerry and Galway in the championship, I would have probably said that we would probably go very close to winning the All Ireland. As it was, we just about made it to the quarter finals!

    A lot of people here have said that we aren’t good enough to win the All Ireland. I disagree. We went down to Killarney and bet the current All Ireland champions out the gate. We also bet last years runners up on their own patch. You don’t do that unless you’re a damn good team.

    I truly believe we are good enough. We are just so incredibly inconsistent and I believe there is an element of arrogance to us too! After we bet Kerry, we all got a bit arrogant, and I believe this seeped into players and management too, and therefore the following two performances were patchy at best. We have absolutely no reason to be arrogant in Mayo! We haven’t one Sam in 74 years! But this has been a problem for years, one good result and the hype machine gets going, and you can’t tell me this doesn’t affect the players. We know it shouldn’t, but it does. The only time we should be arrogant is when our captain is walking up the steps of the Hogan to collect the Sam Maguire!

    As a player and management group, they need to go into every game 100% focused on that game, and not take any opponent for granted. This is what happened against Louth and Cork. We had the game won against Cork and then collapsed. This is not because we aren’t good enough. It is because we thought we had the game won and completely lost concentration, and weren’t able to wrestle back the momentum. If even we had nicked a draw in that game, I have no doubt we would be getting ready for a semi final this weekend.

    We all know that this current panel is not as good as the panel in 2016/2017, but there is also no stand out team in the country. If anything happens to Clifford Kerry are goosed. There will be a number of retirements in Dublin after this year, and there is very little between the rest of the teams in the country. If we get our house in order, we have a right good chance in the next couple of years.

    But it’s up to McStay, the management team, and the players to make sure we have our house in order. I agree with posters that we need a proper defensive structure to be put in place, and I hope the current management have the wherewithal to do this. But if they don’t McStay needs bring in someone who knows how to do this. IT’s time to do everything that needs to be done to win this All Ireland. We have a very good panel of players. It’s there for us if we want it!

  327. Sean Rice has a good column in the mayo news this week. Well worth a read and he makes some very good points re: our expectations of the current panel, our overall inexperience and less well cemented structures, our fade-out flaw in a lot of our games and the impact of fatigue in the Roscommon and Dublin games this year. I think it is a fairly level headed and reasonable synopsis of where we are at.

  328. Some good posts above.Ted Webb was the last really good centre forward we had and James Nallen our last stand out centre back.
    Sort out those positions without putting square pegs into round holes.
    We should have played Durkan or Coen in the full back line this year to add experience.

  329. Kieran McDonald I give you as a centre forward.
    Agree with you on James Nallen being our last really good centre back. Chris Barret was quite good there in 2017.
    Think Stephen Coen is too slow to play corner back.

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