The analysis continues

MacHale Park full-time

With each passing day, the volume of analysis on Saturday’s match grows. Which is good because, to be honest, I’d expected the coverage on our provincial demise to be more of the booting-us-when-we’re-down variety but instead it’s been, for the most part, fair as well as rigorous. Here’s today’s batch.

Don’t Foul always comes up with interesting data-driven insights and the analysis undertaken on Saturday’s match – which is here – is no exception. Noteworthy points emerging from this piece include how good the Galway defence actually were in keeping our shooters out of the central scoring zone and how we failed to get off a single shot at goal.

This analysis by Rob Carroll in The 42 is, I know, from Monday but it’s another detailed investigative piece highlighting key tactical issues in the game. If you haven’t come across it yet it’s certainly worth having a shifty at.

In the nationals, there’s Darragh Ó Sé in the Irish Times, who talks about Galway in the context of how cycles can operate in sport. He’s little or nothing to say about us but it’s an interesting read nonetheless.

Mike Quirke’s piece in today’s Irish Examiner is, in contrast, all about us. In it he references last year’s coup, mainly in a supportive way, before going on to exhort the players to take responsibility for what went wrong and to look to the qualifiers as an opportunity for redemption. While none of this argument is groundbreaking it is still to the point and worth digesting.

Closer to home, Billy Joe Padden sets out his thoughts in the Mayo News (here), which he then amplified on NewsTalk’s Off The Ball show last night.  An interesting point he makes in his column, one I’d largely share though I can’t claim to have thought it myself before I read it, is that Galway actually played far better against us last year than they did on Saturday night, which says a lot about our respective performances in the two games. The Off The Ball audio with Billy Joe is here:

While on the topic of audio, I’ve only just got off the line with Rob Murphy where we recorded an enjoyable piece for the Mayo News podcast. That’ll be going live before too long and I’ll link to it here once it does.

159 thoughts on “The analysis continues

  1. Big difference between preparing for all ireland in march compared to September.
    Management need to dig themselves out of this one fast. Why are we so reluctant to remove big name players if they are not going well? You cannot be in top form for every game.
    Players also need to take a look at themselves.
    BJ is right in relation to tactics – get back to basics and drop the confusing tactics.

  2. I think there will be a lot of soul searching by management and players and I think everyone wlll put down the head and do themselves justice. I’m looking forward to the qualifiers wherever they may be

  3. Well we might not be everyone’s second favourite team any more, That’s according to the Michael Quirke in the Examiner. For me Quirke is one of the best pundits on the game. But how popular or not we are deemed to be? . What matters now is the next match, Performance, performance, performance put our best 15,out to play, if our performance is good enough to win, more of the same th next match. If may give out about them, players and management but for thousands of Mayo gaelic-football,fans they truly love to Mayo and their team. Maybe we have lost many No 2,votes all-around the country. But the Mayo team will get my No1.

  4. We need to stay together & we need to stay calm & focussed now.
    Galway gave us a taste of what we gave them a few years back .. a taste of what truly wins matches … a ferocious appetite to harry & harass the opposition.
    The end result now is that we are faced with 4 matches in 5 weeks as against 2 matches in 5 weeks before. This could easily lead to increased injuries/suspensions/burnout, etc.
    However there could be a positive as well as it gives us time to road-test some problems out of our system and try new players.
    In truth we’ve been limping along listlessly throughout the past 2 League campaigns.
    A wake-up call like we got last Saturday was inevitable when you repeatedly try to sleepwalk your way through the early season.
    We are over analysing everything from kick-out strategy to the employment of a sweeper, etc, and not focussing on the the ‘blood & thunder’ that enables you to ‘out-hunger’ the hungry opposition.
    On the big day the big question is: Do I want this more than than the opposition does ?
    Am I hungry enough to do what it takes to win this ? This is the area where we have been falling down.
    The emphasis on short kick-outs & the deployment of a sweeper is a ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ strategy. You win in one area & you diminish yourself in another area. Some days it works & other days it doesn’t.
    What is the difference between 10 kickouts landing 70 metres out & then going 50/50 for possession or 10 short kickouts landing 30 metres out & then carrying it to 70 metres where you meet the blanket and have to go 50/50 for possession in the same area regardless ? It may have more to do with statistics & ‘winning own kickouts’ than any great benefit to the team. All it takes is for one short kickout to go wrong to tip the balance as we saw on Saturday .
    We also need more structure in the way the team is deployed & not have certain players deciding that they are going to play in many positions.
    We need a greater use of substitutes & at least 3 more of our U21’s need to be drafted into the panel namely O’Donoghue, Irwin and Ruane.
    We are not mobile enough in the midfield area and Ruane needs to to be getting 20/30 minutes of game time. We never get scores from our midfield area & indeed very few from our half forwards … contrast this with the critical scores from the Galway midfield.

  5. We haven’t had the pleasure of Martin Brehany Eugene McGee or Mr Brolly musings yet Willie Joe … All 3 will have the hobnails on!!

  6. Joey, don’t get ahead of yourself, and We have one match ahead of ourselves and one only! That’s the next match. Learn the lessons of last Saturday evening. Don’t count any chickens before their hatched. Then we either lick our wounds until next year, or then having won, and not until we have won, will we be thinking about another match, never mind 4 in. 5 weeks!

  7. I think Billy Joes point about Galway playing better last year a bit of a “if me auntie had balls” type argument. Every match is unique in taking on its own life and meaning. Last years match was played on a bright, sunny dry day last year where Galway let a big lead slip by doing an impression of the red sea in the second half of the second half against Mayo. How that constitutes playing better than last year I don’t know because there was no such similar impersonations this year.

    Its all as much about not just what you as a team do with the ball (1) but what the opposition as a team allow you to do (2) what you as a team allow the opposition to do (3) and what the oppositions as a team do with the ball. I think Billy Joe is looking at the game purely from the perspective of what Galway did with that ball and what Mayo did with the ball. That ignores point 2 and 3. It was the extent to which Galway stopped Mayo playing their game was for me the biggest difference between this year and last year – that is down to what galway “played” and so i don’t agree they played better last year as a whole.

  8. Whats the craic with the whole everyones Mayo is their 2nd team. I dont have a second team, its Mayo or no one. If Mayo get knocked out then I dont care who wins the All Ireland. I dont care what anyone or any pundit (particularly McGee and Breneny) thinks outside of Mayo “other peoples opinions are none of my business”

  9. I don’t recall Galway ever having a big lead in last year’s game, Cantini. They went a point ahead when Sice got that cracking goal shortly before half-time but that was the only time they led all day and we equalised shortly afterwards.

  10. Yeah I don’t agree with Billy Joe’s theory that Galway played better last year and lost. Only for Hanley’s constant last gasp fouling of AOS then Mayo could easily have been in for 3 or 4 goals last year. Mayo did not have a sniff of a goal chance this year. Galway were certainly set up much better defensively this year than last and defending is just as big a part of playing well as attacking. Ergo they played better this year than last.

  11. Yes, time to let the dust settle now and move on to route B…
    If there is one word to sum up the last day it was ‘confusion’ and I think this confusion led to a disjointed display, sapped the energy and drive you normally see with this team in the championship

    Lots of talk of leadership in the press – I have no doubt that true leaders like Andy and COC will have a big influence on how we respond to this.

    For me the next day and following games if we proceed, I would like to see a more conventional set-up and get back to our traditional running game but mixed with quick ball to Regan and COC in the corners and say freeman in Full forward when that kind of ball is on. Need COC to play a more conventional corner forward role – he has enough on his plate as free taker and captain to also have to drop deep. Play AOS in Half Forward – Midfield and have parsons play a deeper midfield role with himself and Boyle working together to cover the ‘hole’ (I’m not going to use that dirty word ‘sweeper’!). Doc and McL at 10 and 12 to ply their normal working roles, but mindful not to be caught too deep too often.

    Team I would pick (assuming fitness) would be:

    Hennelly (think he needs to start the next day at least to give himself a chance to redeem)

    Harrison, Keane, Higgins

    Keegan, Boyle, Durkan

    Parsons, B Moran

    K McLaughlin, AOS, DO’C

    Regan Freeman COC

    I assume Barrett and Caff are unavailable
    Think we need to get a new impetus at midfield – SOS seems somewhat out of sorts at the moment
    J Doc – one of the hardest workers, but again, looks a bit tired, could freshen him up coming off the bench
    Along with above, Andy, Loftus and Vaughan and Nally as our key subs.
    Think Regan will find the going tough going forward and would see him alternating with Loftus. Andy for Freeman if required – Andy is still in our top 2-3 FF options

  12. Galways intensity was up on last year and better disciplined , they were trying to act the hard man last year and made ejits of themselves mostly , result was never in doubt and tbh after watching sata game over three times now . We would of won easily only for that stupid kickout .

  13. We will know in two weeks what our reaction is regarding team selection, anything else is speculation but here is my pick (will never happen but still)

    Hennelly
    Harrison, Keane, Higgins
    Keegan, McLoughlin, Boyle

    A O’Shea, Coen

    Loftus, Dillon, D O’Connor
    Regan, Freeman C O’Connor

    Subs to see game time, Durcan, Parsons, Reape, Hall, Carolan, Nally

    I see a real need to inject some real scoring threat into the hf line.

  14. In my time following Mayo while Davey Clarke was in goal, I really am struggling to think of a time, at any level (granted, I have not seen him too much in club football, but I have seen him sporadically), where he made a game-changing error. This is what you need between the posts for a successful team. He is the best goalkeeper in Mayo and, in my opinion, has for a long time been in the top 3 in the country.

  15. Boyles man got 3 pts from play and he was a debutant.we can not continue with him at chb . Time to be brave and shake up a few things.our injuries give us a chance to bring in new blood.

  16. And that’s fairly right Sean Burke on both accounts. That goal was a sickener and at that time crutial to Gs win. And you have to give them fair credit for the way they golluped up any intentions we had towards the end…. let’s forget it! More mature display from G than last year def. and a pos sign that their plane is coming in.
    Good stuff there KL..exactly my team and all else spot on. But I think Evan is still dying to get going but is restrained by a very poor enviroent around him…..call it service. They wouldn’t last long in my restaurant. Not a bad analogy that…The Mayo forward div is often like a self service…what u want you have to get for yourself and maybe cook it too!

  17. Mayomad – I could not agree with you more. We seem to have a bit if an obsession with what the pundits in the media or what other county’s supporters think of us. I personally could not give a shite what the rest of the country thinks of Mayo players or supporters, I am comfortable in my own r skin not to be worried about what people think.

    Oh and as a side note, it was interesting listening to Roy Keane in his press conference Monday talking about taking one for the team.. “ya foul a player, so what. get a yellow, maybe a red.. its not a crime, ya take one for the team if ya think it will help them get a result”
    I know Hennelly’s kick out was poor, but should Parson ( or someone ) not have dragged him to the ground, and take the black card. or is that just more of been concerned about what people think? Cavanagh done it 2 years ago against
    Monaghan and was vilified… but Tyrone won

  18. in the team above how could ye honestly pick Hennelly, as I stated in the previous trend, just too many game changing errors are made by him…. Dublin, Kerry and now Galway

    CLARKE HAS TO BE IN GOAL

  19. Goals win games…and are often worth more than the actual 3 points in terms of a lift it gives a team. FOr a long time now we have given away goals at vital periods while unable to score them ourselves…remember our semi final win over Dublin in 2012…we missed mad chances to kill the game until Clarke (mentioned above) saved our skin in a one v one with Brogan….we were 10 points up that day.
    Would like to see Loftus given his shot…he has an eye for goal.

  20. Your right WJ – i rememer Galway going on scoring purple patch of about 1-3 to a point by Mayo or something but mayo already had a few on the board.

    Anyway, makes no difference to the central point i was making.

  21. With the advent of John Maughan, then through Johnno and James Horan, Mayo were known to the national media as “John Maughans/O Mahonys/Horans Mayo”. A double barreled manager-ship put paid to the personification of Mayo and its manager. I have yet to hear anyone of note refer to “Rochfords Mayo”. I would assume that is the managers choice and its a good one.

    However it also reflects the disjointed look about Mayo this season because they are neither Rochfords Mayo nor the players Mayo. They are a side in search of a plan and framework. My thinking is that the manager decided to work with this group of players, try and work a more defensive streak into them. He may also have decided in conjunction with the players to aim for an August peaking. The problem with that is you hope your opponents in Connacht dont progress as well. Roscommon and Galway have seriously upped their ante, probably for this year with a Connacht title in mind, a good quarter final and whatever after that. We, for some daft reason have got wedded by the media for one, that its All Ireland win or bust. I never saw Dublin or Kerry backed into that corner.

    So Galway came at us close to peak level and we , well I’m not sure where we are in that regard. Cramping is an indication of heavy leg work. In Al Pacinos iconic piece he spoke about “inches” and getting an inch too far in one play or an inch to early in another play. Such is life. The experts on the main have been fair to us. McGuinness correctly described Cillain as a Marquee free taker but not a marquee forward scorer. He also named checked Conor Mortimor for his now forgotten hard earned scores. Look back on WJs records and you will see that Mort announced his first seasons with big returns from play. I hate to be cruel and its with a little poetic revision but at least three of the starting Mayo forwards arent fit to lace his boots.

    A narrative is rising that those lads are amateurs and have put their lives on hold for five-ten years. Get real here folks, this is a football team not a conscripted army. I for sure appreciate their efforts but I’d have given ten years off my life to get to wear that county jersey. What else would they be doing? A chance to be someone, be immortal, get in the shop window, job opportunity, fame…all the women after you…Witness how Jim Gavin dealt with Bernard Brogan. Slowly he reduced his teams dependence on Brogan, he then took Bernard off when it wasnt happening and bit by bit as Brogans profile dropped , Dublin as a team grew. They have three gold medals and are in history.

    Finally I begrudge no one making a few bob from their passion. The problem arises when Joe Bloggs, nine , ten years, ok four five years of turning up, training in the piss and wet, doing the donkey work, the hard yards, throwing the body on grenades, finds that no one wants him to sell the cornflakes box. He looks across the dressing room floor and sees other lads knee deep in fame and good luck. Now that folks it the hard one for the camp to reconcile and deal with. Dublin in particular have a base line they dont go under. Four leagues in a row and three of the last five AIs is testament to that. Really we have no excuses, the county has the players, the support. Those that load the team bullets may now have to bite a few of them. Sport is cruel…and thats what makes it a fatal attraction.

  22. The thing is Dublin use a sweeper system but they do no not let it blunt their attacking play. They always still keep 3 men in their full-forward line. We could easily replicate their system with Regan, Cillian O’Connor and Freeman or Loftus in our full-forward line. I’d like to keep an eye on Darren Coen this weekend too as he has done well with our junior team this year.

    Then I’d have Diarmuid O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea and Kevin McLoughlin on the half-forward line. Either Diarmuid or Kevin could then do what Paul Flynn does for Dublin, he covers back at times but also gets on the score sheet as well. He is their link man between defence and attack.

    Then I’d like to see Tom Parsons and Seamie O’Shea in midfield. We seem to use Tom as our defensive midfielder but I’d prefer to see Seamie used in this role as he is a big man and should be well able to block runners through the heart of our defence. Barry Moran can play this role too. Parsons’ greatest asset is his mobility and he is more reliable in front of goals too so I’d prefer to see him as our attacking midfielder. Dublin use Bastick as their defensive midfielder and Fenton as their attacking midfielder.

    I’d pick Stepehn Coen at 6 and use him as the sweeper as Dublin do with Cian O’Sullivan. Stephen has the height and mobility to play this role and the intelligence as well. It is a very difficult role to play and O’Sullivan for Dublin and Colm Cavanagh for Tyrone are the best in the business. They are very experienced players but you feel that Stephen Coen would have the mentality for this job.

    Then we would have Keegan and Boyle as our wing backs. We’d have Harrison, Keane and Keith in the full-back line. I’d prefer Clarke in goals as well. You’d still have Barrett, Durcan, Vaughan, Seamie or Barry and Andy Moran, Jason Doc, Freeman or Loftus and Dillon as options off the bench so you’d like to see those guys coming on in the second-half when legs are getting tired. Our system the last day was way too complicated. This one above would be a much more simple one, like the Dubs use.

  23. Is it too much of a dinaosaur attitude to say there is far too much talk about systems nowadays. I was very interested to hear damien duff last night say Ireland’s best performance on a football field in the last 10 years was in France the night of the Henry handball….he said we knew it was do or die so we decided to ignore trappatoni and just play football the way we knew we could – we ignored orders.

    I’m not suggesting teams ignore orders but its still the case that generally speaking the team with the best players genearlly wins….for all Dublin’s tactics they have lethal forwards that get scores from situations that lesser teams players just don’t….Paddy Andrews, Diarmad Connolly, Bernard Brogan, Ciaran Kilkenny McMenamin – there is no doubt they play a system but when it comes to popping balls over the bar or hitting the net, those moments are usually instinctive pure footballing moments that are not down to tactics. there is more off the cuff than there is off the blackboard….at the end of the day!

  24. Very good John Cuffe. Very accurate analysis about Sport whether it be amateur or professional.

    For me some things are accurate and are worth persisting with in the team. But they
    need tweaking. I think Kevin Mcloughlin for instance is the right man for the sweeper role (if you want to call it that).

    But I would have him bombing forward all the time once we have possession. he is probably one of the fittest guys on the team and should be ok to operate up and down between the 21 yard lines all the time. Also he is one of the best passers.

    Essentially he should be our Ryan McHugh and when the attack breaks down he should be haring up the field with the ball and also should be given it asap in order to let him try to pick out the immediate long passes that we know he can do.

    Cillian should be either in the FF line or no further out than the 1/2 fw one. Same with AOS. they do most of their damage in those areas so should stick to them. Others should operate off them e.g. Regan, Freeman, Andy – take your pick.

    I would also bring Keith Higgins back as the FB line is weak this year with Tom Cunniffe gone along with Ger Caff now. Lastly I would advocate a chance in goal. That was another serious bad blunder in my opinion the last day and it was another game changer.

  25. Ballagaman, yes I would seriously pick Robbie, if for no other reason than not adding to the Absolute disgraceful abuse and bashing that is going on here to one of our own players, A Mayo Player. It was a dreadful kickout, everyone agrees but it didnt loose us the game. Galway didnt go ahead as a result of it. One player should not be made a scapegoat for the whole teams failings of which they were many. Also I see David Clarke is now in the top three keepers in the country. He will want to stay on the bench as an All Star is on the way at this rate.

  26. Nice dig there mayomad. Less of the patronizing would be nice. I don’t think it’s anywhere near unreasonable to suggest that David Clarke is or has been in the top 3 in the country. And if you disagree, that’s fine. But at least put your case forward. If you think that me airing my opinion about Clarke is “absolute disgraceful abuse and bashing that is going on here to one of our own players”, then that’s your problem, not mine.

    Again, to underline, less of the patronizing tone would be nice.

  27. I can’t agree with you, Mayomad, that there’s “disgraceful abuse and bashing” of Robbie going on here. Plenty of criticism, yes, and some of it bordering on overly harsh, for sure, but I don’t believe it’s gone further than that. I’m slipping up if it has!

  28. Apologies, WJ & Mark didnt mean to be patronizing (comment re Clarke was meant Tongue in Cheek than malicious), but the biased against Hennelly has been going on for weeks, not just after the game and its really annoying. Clarke is a fine keeper and I have no problem with him starting. some of the comments do I find overly harsh on one of our own. Plenty of errors were made on Saturday to contribute to the result not just one.

  29. Confusion was a good word used.
    Remove that confusion we will grow massively in the qualifiers. Keep things simple.

  30. Re Hennelly, he had a bad kick out that Tom Flynn poached. But, why was Flynn allowed to waltz through without a glove on him, so much so that he couldn’t believe his luck and went for goal.

    Galway tried all they could for the whole match to pressurise Hennelly with lots of dangerous balls into the goalmouth. On a rotten evening this was a tactic well worth pursuing, but Robbie was equal to everything they threw at him.

    And the Galway ‘keeper? I feel he is dodgy; Cillian should have reefed him for a goal – it was there for the taking when he came wandering out.

  31. Bit unfair to lay all the blame on the Robbie when everyone had a bad time to move on as they say. Is it true that if Mayo get to quater s that they could play Dublin.

  32. In that passage of play , parsons tried to tackle Flynn but fell on his arse as Flynn shrugged him off fairly handy , which was unusual to see . I’m convinced some of our bucks were definitely heavy legged

  33. hennelly was 100percent correct to punch away those slick dropping balls from his goalmouth. its was like trying to catch an greasy pig on the evening and a slip would have been big trouble. Too bad we didnt try any low hard shots at galways keeper who doesnt look like a gymnast by any stretch.
    I would have hennelly all day long ahead of anyone else, he saves us a lot more than he gives away and even on saturday he got his hand onto the ball for galways goal and if his hand was 2 inches lower it would have stopped it and we would be saying how good it was to be “tested” before the connacht final.

  34. I can confirm we will play our next championship game on the 9th of July , if we lose we are out .

  35. Dave/Cait – see my earlier “Where we go now” post from a few days back that explains all the qualifier permutations, including the chance that we might end up playing Dublin in the quarters. As Sean Burke correctly notes, however, the only match that should concern us now is the one on 9th July.

  36. Tom Parsons did the same thing last year too for Gary Sice’s goal, fell on his arse, leaving the middle wide open. That’s why I’d prefer to see Seamie or Barry Moran doing that job, shoring up the middle. It was only when Barry Moran went off last year against Dublin in the replay that the middle of our defence opened up and Dublin went straight through that hole.

    In relation to Kevin McLoughlin as a sweeper, you just feel that if we have Keith and Harrison in our full-back line, they are all quite light. Donegal have the McGees in their full-back line so a small man like McHugh complements them. Barry Moran’s height and strength is probably why he worked well for us in that position last year. Someone like Stephen Coen would be kinda half-way between Moran and McLoughlin. He has played in midfield and the half-back line so that would stand to him as well.

  37. HSE – agree completely with your earlier post (at 4.35) above. That’s exactly how I’d like to see our team shape up next time out

  38. Yeah Dan, it would be a more balanced team alright. Hopefully the likes of Conor Loftus, Alan Freeman, Barry Moran etc. will be able to play with their clubs this weekend, to see how they are shaping up.

  39. I think we gotta stop panicking,i think we gotta stop pickin on our guys,all great servents who had an off day,Galway caught us off guard and we payed the price.get over it and let’s move on,5 years of winning connught and no all Ireland,maybe the back door could be perfect for us,give our young u21s on panel more game time,as for me the thought of watching twice as many games with mayo is great,give rochford more time to settle,our team needs us now more than ever so get behind them and less negativity,
    maybe the farmers almanac is right,keep the faith

  40. thanks, wj. my head is still reeling after reading the permutations. It will be a great month of football for Mayo if they can get back in the groove, westmeath, fermanagh, wexford, etc are decent teams that once they arent facing their old enemies inside their provinces they may give someone (Mayo) something to chew on. Fermanagh gave dublin a fight in 2015 and though they were never in danger of winning against dublin,they kept going, while the Mayo team allowed a relegated (and well beaten at one stage of the game )Down side back into the game a few months ago.
    One game at a time is probably good advice.

  41. Mayomad, both Hennelly and Clarke are very fine goalkeepers, but neither are likely to win an All Star this year. I wish whoever of them that gets the Mayo gig, the best of luck at getting that gong!… Personally I would favour Hennelly, I can also understand the calls for Clarke… For me at this moment in time, I’d go for Monaghans Rory Beggan, closely followed by injured Tyrone man Nial Morgan, boy did they miss him last Sunday…… Now if any ye posters know Stephen Rochford well… . Ye might tell him this, It occurred to that a thing he could do is look for a bit of a advice from a man who found himself in very similar circumstances, the parallels are amazing….. The man I refer to is John O’Mahony, The year is 2001,… John successfully negotiated the back door system to ultimate glory, and all be it with Galway, Galway having been shocked by Roscommon earlier in the Connaught campaign., The parallels don’t end there either, The Galway team of the previous year, get to the All Ireland final. They stage a remarkably come back late on to force a draw with Kerry. Kerry win the replay. Very similar to what happened to us all be it in a semi final and replay V Dublin for us…. Early in the championship season of the 2001,as well as that John O, and his Galway team get the shock of their lives against the Rossi…. Now John O, has another unwanted problem,.. Michael Donnellan wants John Donnellan to play,…. John O is rightly of the opinion that he has better players at his disposal … Does any of ye posters out there see any similarly with Mayo and Stephen Rochford position today… Now John O’Mahony last tenure was not all John O or us Mayo fans wanted, but his heart was and is always Mayo. He knows a bit about politics and football, no harm if Stephen and John O had a good chat,,!

  42. Fair enough was getting a bit too far ahead of myself but the possibility of meeting with the dubs.

  43. Right now where we stand many of us see obstacles both on and off field…obstacles like limits can be imaginary….I am hoping our management and players can bust through them. Time will tell

  44. Reading the comments about a lot of posters agree with my view too that Clarke has to be in goal going forward , especially now that cafferkey is gone

  45. The majority of that Galway panel had all Ireland medals leantimes as did Kerry in 06 and Kerry in 09. Anyway similarities mean nothing, Mayo have a strong panel but it’s not Rochfords panel. A true reflection on him will be the panel/team he builds next year along with the back room team he has. 2017 is perfect for him, pick a panel, tweak a very successful group by supplementing it with some underage talent, develop his own style of play, get a bit of a rest in 2016(maybe).

  46. Wow what a performance from Ireland…guts, determination….after a bad defeat last time out…sound familiar ?

  47. People talking about the sweeper, has it crossed anyone’s mind how the hell we have gotten to mid June without the sweeper being identified and bedded in. Best they can come up with then is to put McLoughlin there who is simply not big enough for the role.

    On the goalkeeping Robbie has had his shot now and it hasn’t worked.

    Think we have to go back to foucussing on dominating with the middle 8 with the HB line attacking and Coen sweeping to protect FB line

  48. top of the right,
    how big do you need to be ? mcloughlin is almost 6 ft tall judging by when i stood beside him, and being 5foot 6 hasnt stopped lionel messi from being big enough.
    Its more to do with will than physical size, unless youre a mini midget altogether.

  49. I would like to see Donal Vaughan, given a try at full back, in the qualifiers,and as cover for Jason Gibbons , I think, Danny Kirby, would be ideal cover for mid field and any forward position.
    Ok, his club All Ireland Final,he was not great, but the whole team didn’t function on the day, including, Barry Moran.
    I like the way, he can win his own ball, hold it up, to lay it off or take his own score.He , with his size, could be a target man in the full forward line
    He is a goal poacher as well. I can’t understand, why he is not on the panel/team. To me , he is a young Barry Moran type player, that can finish.
    I would, definitely, have, David Clarke, as no one goalie, he commands the square and his defenders, always talking to them.
    I would , also have, Seamus O Shea, play the Colm Cavanagh,Tyrone,
    role( defensive mid field), for Mayo, with, Tom Parson, attacking.
    The, qualifiers, may be a blessing in disguise, for us, far better than playing challenge games,
    Looking forward to a long summers football

  50. Dave, in Gaelic football size does matter.

    Not so many little nippy fellas around any more.

    Different animal needed where 2 to 15 needs to defend and attack.

  51. Second that yew tree..Immense from Irish boys tonight…It’s never over till its over..

  52. Ah, Big Mike I have disagree with there, similarities do make a difference… We’re exactly where Galway were in 2001,… There might be a need for some political skills in dealing with the problems Stephen Rochford faces now…., John O. Mahony, faced more than the back door obstacle course in 2001,..he had some internal personal problems to face in the Galway match camp, all was not rosy in Garden some political skills might just what we need now.. Not saying Stephen Rochford doesn’t have political skills of his own. As for Galway having All Ireland medals going into the 2001 ,thats where Mayo might have a slight advantage, if hunger means anything. Anyhow you talk of 2017 and Stephen Rochford, picking his own panel. Well I’m not patent, the time to remedy things is now!… Canwh

  53. Ya, for me too Donie Vaughan has to play. A strong athletic man who’s role in forcing turnovers is underestimated. He mugs opponents regularly. A serious piece of work. Danny Kirby too. If ya want a target man inside then he’s it in at least some games…and please leave Mr. O’Shea in the middle with his older brother. Yes he flithered Sligo in the Hyde last July and codded the McGee fella a few weeks later but since that only frustration.

  54. There is a certain poster on here whose only topic is to replace Hennelly with Clarke, not just after the Galway game but long before that.Its getting boring now.

  55. Wow what a performance from Ireland it just shows what any team can do on any given day when the heart the desire and the ambition is there!!!

  56. Kirby looks like replacement for the unfortunate gibbons is it too early for either o Donoughue or seamus cunniffe if caff also ruled out for year?

  57. Good to see most posters now suggesting Keith remain corner back. Who was marking Brannigan on Sat. Three from play by a debutant is some achievement, but not good from defensive point of view. Personally I long for a return to the high tempo style of JH where our half backs bombed forward and scored huge amounts and we were so entertaining to watch. We seem obsessed with tactics and defensive formations and sweepers etc and it simply is not our natural game. Maybe we wont win an AI without some defensive strategy but we sure as hell wont win it setting up and playing like we did last saturday. Amazing how well Galway stopped us from getting near goalposts to shoot. One forward scoring from play is horrendous. Thought Regan showed well but was dispossessed very easily especially in second half. Their tackling on AOS was also very good. The match reminded me of the game two years ago v Ros, poor conditions and us under pressure. The difference was that Dillon and Andy came on that day and rescued us, but no Dillon and Andy for only 5 mins on Saturday. I know people say we shouldnt have to depend on those old stagers but I am afraid we do until someone else steps up to the plate. Possibly our two most threatening forwards, though neither played well on Saturday, are Cillian and AOS, but when I saw them inside our own 20 metre line I just cringed. Midfield was not good either. I like Parsons but defensively he is not great and its about time someone told SOS NOT to take the ball in to tackles because we all know what happens when he does. Still not sure who I would choose as goalie. Hennelly outstanding but prone to a few errors while Clarke gets better with each game he doesnt play. Seriously though Clarke is excellent and as someone said earlier I cant remember many mistakes by him. One last point, please give Freeman a run at FF He never gets a run of games and I think he has the potential to be the solution at FF. Put Regan and Cillian in the corners.

  58. Right on ! ” Lean Times” JOM”s well known difficulty with Donnellan bros, PJ et al, is now being replicated by similar forces in Mayo squad. Time for similar response by management, to assert authority, and ensure its all about team, and not individuals.

  59. I agree with you ‘to win just once’ . Clarke is getting better the longer it goes since he played last. It was not Hennellys idea to go short with the kick outs but a management instruction to kick the ball short. IMO very dangerous. Several keepers have been made mistakes with this game plan. Remember All Star keeper Durcan from Donegal in the All Ireland final against Kerry and the Cork Under 21 keeper against us in Ennis this year

  60. Some of the solutions put forward here are baffling.

    seems to be that we need 4/5 players that have not been training with the players all year so don’t have the work done in terms of strength and conditoning, in terms of playing together and no in game experience. You just cannot turn up and play at the highest level .

    We have a panel of 30 plus and it will stay at that.

  61. Three points
    1. We’re not out of it by any means. Regular competitive matches will reawaken the combatitive element which, curiously, seems to be dormant at present. Hanging around endlessly waiting for our next match has not been a path which led us to the Holy Grail so I, for one, am more than happy to try a new approach. Roll on the qualifiers. Bring it on!

    2. Martin O’Neill caused raised eyebrows with the manner in which he butchered the team, slaughtering a few sacred cows, on the way. ( Apologies for mixed metaphors) . By God, it paid off for him and for Ireland. Just saying.

    3. Only in extremely rare, safe and secure circumstances would I allow my goalkeeper to do anything other than drive the kick-out 70 yards down the field, landing it as close as possible to the best positioned 6 ft. 2in fielder and his attendant feeder on the ground.

  62. I’m glad your not the manager or part of management Ger Bohan we have 2 key players out with injuries and we have a brillant U 21 team that are all Ireland Champions I think it would be ridiculous not to call up at least 2 players to cover and indeed drop some players if necessary

  63. Now that the haze has lifted further, on a lovely fresh morning with a grand streaky rasher and a perfect poached egg, it reveals a much brighter future approaching, in a football sense. And regardless of the ageing nature of the team,the ongoing debate on goal keeping,full back line, AOS etc etc and management it’s amazing how in fact things blow over and we begin to breath again with confidence and grasp things with aplomb.
    Many posters have pointed to all the new scenery that will come into view as they travel to the extra games in the qualies.thats enough in itself for fans to look forward to.But of course this is the great oppertunity for management and panel to further examine their many issues in a situation where the pressures will be ideal for what has to be done. It’s an oppt for the fellas to find that Cbar was a bad day out,for new players to get a run, maybe kirby to be included and management to show themselves and us that they can get on the ball.
    We weren’t ready to go forward on Sat . Now we have this blessing to get things just right.Who said there was no God. He’s here now on our side and telling us that heaven is here,our chance is here and now and just around every corner.

  64. Good points Ger Bohan, but i thought we had a panel of 33. If Gibbons and Cafferkey are long term injuries (and with Cafferkey this is not certain), then we do need to bring in a couple. Kirby should be at or near the S&C requirements and what about Shane McHale, or is he injured also?

    And talking of S&C, I thought we looked leaden. Last year we looked a million dollars. So did Tyrone on Sunday. What’s the story here I wonder?

  65. People talking about ow Martin O’Neill butchered the usual team for the last game. Well that is an interesting comparison.

    Last nights soccer match was a win or bust in terms of staying in the Euros. In being so it made sense to play the strongest team.

    However you also have to look to the future. Playing Italy could have been the last game or chance many of those guys got at the top level in a major competition. And if you want to keep a level of interest in the team you have to be willing to sacrifice the older heads and look to the future.

    O’Neill saw that and as such played a much younger team starting several in a major tournament match as opposed to bringing them from the bench after 70/80 minutes.

    Probably something we should look to in our qualifiers as well. Everyone has to accept that Horan’s team wont last forever. At some stage it must become Stephen Rochford’s team.

  66. Catcol I don’t think there will be any need to add somebody except maybe in the full back line.

    We have Seamus, Tom, Barry, Aidan, Donie, Diarmuid O’C, and Stevie Coen all who can play midfield.

    Personally I think we can only progress to a certain level without Ger Cafferky. He was critical to our success this year.

    Good points too on the strength and conditioning. Word is the management and players feel they may have mistimed the training camp.

  67. Don’t forget it was a second string Italian side we played last night and they were not too bothered as already through. France game will tell a tale. Mayo had a very bad day at the office against Galway and were hit with a sucker punch. Mayo looked very tired both physically and mentally. New system needs a big tweak and we need to get our players back to their natural game. We had no players running off the shoulder and punching holes in Galway defense. Forwards isolated inside and no help arriving to support. Shooting from impossible angles and no attacks up the middle. Players are well aware how far off the pace they were on the night. Have been around long enough to know what needs to be done. If the will is there we will progress through the back door. It has to be one game at a time from here on and no talk of any team until we have to play them. Looking forward to a bit of extra travel to exotic locations. As a resident in Galway the locals are more shocked by the win than we are by the loss!
    Will be an interesting Connacht Final. Galway now a huge scalp for the Rossies.

  68. “Clarke is getting better the longer he goes since he played”

    What utter nonsense. Clarke, in fact, has always been good. I’ll say it again – I am struggling to recall Clarke ever making a game changing mistake at any level, club or county. He is an excellent, excellent goalkeeper. His positioning, reading of the game, command of his goal, shot stopping all excellent. More than competent under a high ball. Very good, and very quick, kickouts. Mentally very strong in the biggest moments, excellent decision making (go back to Donegal last year when he stopped a shot and immediately smothered the ball to give away the free and point. This is exactly what Robbie should have done 3 weeks later in our first game against Dublin.) Exceptionally quick off his line when the need arises.

    I think Clarke should play for the simple reason that I believe he is the best goalkeeper in the county and has been for roughly 10 years.

    This isn’t to say that I don’t like Robbie, I don’t even know the lad. If he plays, I support him and want him to do well. Same as every other player who pulls on the jersey.

  69. Ger, I would agree that a raft of players will not be brought in nor will players be dropped. But there is a beed to bring in replacements for the injured thats just good management leaving himself with as many options as possible in the squad. With the potential of an intensive few weeks ahead there quiet possibly will be further injuries who would need to be replaced.

    There are lots of ideas being mentioned, most viable, some wishful thinking. Mayo over the past number of years have two major flaws, conceeding soft scores particularly in the closing stages of matches and an inability to score regularly from play in the forwards.

    What Rochford is trying to do with the defence, introducing a sweeper etc is required. It didnt work on Saturday but should be continued with as it will be a benifit in the future. Is Kevin the right man for the job, time will tell.

    The forward problem is historical, many have tried to fix it and failed. Even the much celebrated U21 team put on a horrendous show of point kicking in their final. An attacking hb line has propelled us forward on many occasions but when against the very best teams the hb line are preoccupied with opposition forwards and cant attack as much thus forwards are needed to step up more.

    In the short term a forward can not be taken off to make way for a sweeper, its reducing options in an already struggling forward unit. Scoring forwards must be in the half forward line, not defenders and midfielders. Lots of talk about Higgins,OShea being good workers, get on the ball, can pass, can win ball in the middle. What they cant do is kick the ball over the bar. We need more players capable of kicking the ball over the bar in the hf line, loftus, Dillon Caralon.

    This is the last year I would say for a lot of this team, there will be changes, particularly in attack as Rochford stamps his mark on the team. Players like Reape, Douglas, Kirby, Coen, Conroy, Irwin, Rutledge, Gallagher are waiting and will get their chance next year. Change is coming and I hope these guys go out on a high.

  70. Inbetweener, you’re in fine form this morning 😀

    Can I have some of whatever it is you’re taking, because despite Ireland’s fantastic win last night I’m still like a bear with a sore head after the weekend?

  71. The only cure Anne Marie is the thought of a new adventure and we will know our opponents in a few days time . It’s kinda exciting in a weird way .

  72. Love that post inbetweener feeling a lot more positive as the week goes on? I’m still cranky though but not as much last night helped !

  73. Well Ann Marie, I could recommend a load of stuff that would improve greatly your current condition. How about starting with the streaky rasher(smoked) the poached egg(as you like it) the toast ( for dipping) the juice and the tea. But most nb of all is a good gulp of fresh air as soon as you emerge from your dreams. And I’m pure serious!

  74. I even went out for a run this morning before work (for anyone that knows me this is almost unheard of) to no avail. I might try the poached egg and streaky rasher combo tomorrow 😀

    Sean Burke you’re right in fairness and it will definitely be an adventure. I think once the draw is made on Monday I’ll have my optimistic shoes back on. The uncertainty is a killer!

    One thing is for sure, we will have to do something to make sure our support is loud, wherever we are. Loads of comments over the past few days about how people were shouting into the void of silence on Saturday evening. The next day, could we all congregate in one place and shout together?!

  75. That’s a good idea, Anne-Marie – a wall of noise would be the thing to lift the spirits. It did the U21 lads no harm down in Ennis, that’s for sure. I took part in the Mayo News post-match podcast (which goes live shortly) and made the point there that it wasn’t just the players who failed to perform last Saturday night, all of us watching didn’t do any better with the tepid support we gave the team. Must do better, all of us.

  76. Agree Anne-Marie, serious lack of noise on Saturday, was in complacency or shock at what was unfolding. Congragate in one spot and come in force. As long as that one spot is not suddenly reserved 😉

  77. Flags, banners, all group together and shout the lads on. We need to let them know we are still with them. No shortage of colour or noise on the 9th. We can’t

  78. BTW, agree with a lot of above approaches to support, but I suggested a similar wall of sound approach here a week ago, and was roundly ridiculed; this type of thing never won matches and so on. And by God if that crowd last night wasn’t a twelfth man for Ireland I don’t know what was.

  79. We might try and pull something together in terms of a plan and an area to congregate once we know where we are headed. I’d be hoping if it’s an away game for a smaller ground – we will probably be back to similar numbers as the League (or maybe a bit more) if we are travelling.

    And let’s put our money where our mouth is on this. I know it can be a pain when you’re stuck in front of someone noisy when you’re the strong silent type and have no interest in shouting or cheering, so at least this way no-one has to feel either isolated or irritated.

    The support in Ennis for the U21 game as you reference WJ was hands down the best I have ever experienced as a Mayo supporter, seconded only by the Connacht final in Sligo a month beforehand. The only time I remember a wall of noise like that was in the Cusack in 2014 v Kerry in the drawn game – it was pure defiance and it’s more of that we need. No-one will ever persuade me that it doesn’t have an effect on the psyche of the players.

    Mayomad, we’ll have to get in early and stake a collective claim, there is strength in numbers 😉

  80. Of course the crowd makes a difference , players make reference to it all the time , it’s not a massive swing or anything but if you’re worth one point as a collective , it’s our duty to fulfil or else we are only a bunch of d ic ks.

  81. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER !!! Supporters got lazy can’t let it happen again ! We’re supposed to be the best in he country let’s start showing it!! No excuses

  82. Catcol, come join us and make yourself known! We have tried this approach at a few games in the past with limited success for various reasons.

    Usually it’s because if you try to reserve an area in the middle of the stand it doesn’t work because people don’t get there early and you can’t keep seats, therefore you can’t get a large group together. If you try to set up somewhere else, others don’t want to move out of their regular seats in the stand (I won’t mention the war on Saturday).

    If you’re doing to build a wall of noise, there’s a bit of commitment needed. A group has to lead it and go hell for leather for it to have any impact and for it to spread around the ground.

    As you say look at the game last night and the difference the crowd makes – the team even have said this themselves. GAA is a different ball game to soccer but YBIG have made a huge success of this, maybe there is something we can learn.

  83. For all the blaming of Hennelly he actually put the kickout where it was supposed to go. The problem was Flynn had read it perfectly and got out in front of Parsons but make no mistake that was where the kick was meant to go. You could say he should have seen Flynn and opted to go somewhere else with the kick alright. Also he did make a great save from Heaney in the first half.

  84. Thanks Anne Marie – will consider that. I am returning from Spain on Saturday 9th, c.5pm, so my chances on this one are slim enough, though mind you in a similar situation I did make the quarter final against Down in ’12. Is there an omen there?

  85. Mac, its his mistakes that cost us important games, Dublin last year. We cannot afford his mistakes especially now since Cafferkey is now gone. We need a solid spine from the back, we need Clarke in goals period!

  86. Crowds like the Wind, never won a match. Teams and players win matchs. I have always supported Mayo, and the criticism of Mayo vocal support is valid. I too could have done better. On a another point, where some better organised support can help us. Like the musical chairs of last Saturday night. I read the ‘Mayo News’ report on the issue, John Prunty of Connaught Gaa, formally of Mayo Gaa would have us believe that the middle sections of the Mchale stand was held for club volunteers. All several thousand of the best seats. Well I took up my seat in 106, why wouldn’t I, in accordance with the email I got from Croke Park, unreserved seating, I was there before 6pm. Now I feel for the stewards, not their fault. But I seen right in front of me, a woman due to the persuasion of a steward, and gets up and leaves her seat to accommodate, none other than TD, for Galway West /South Mayo gaa Eamon O’Cuiv. This happens at 6.55pm. Now of course at 6.55pm there’s nowhere else left but the corners of the stand. I myself was in a very similar situation in the 2011 in the Hyde, when despite having a ticket for the exact seat I was sitting on, I’m asked to do move, I. do so, only to be a moved again, to accommodate someone who has a ticket for where I am now sitting. However a group of Mayo County councillors are NOT moved despite NOT I’m certain having tickets for their well appointed seats, the reason I know this is because I started out sitting beside one of the them, and get a peek at the ticket number who happens to be be a g Fine Gael country councillor, just in case any of ye think by mentioning Eamon O’CUIV that I may be anti FF, What I am against the is elitism.. John Prunty might have you believe, the some fair criteria exists in the allocation of seats. Believe me I don’t want to be sitting anywhere near any VIPs, but on. a wet evening like last Saturday, but I wouldn’t be moving for any VIPs. When I had a problem, not successfully resolved by the way, of my Croke Park season ticket not been scanned in Mchale Park earlier this year, I emailed Croke Park, I was informed in reply that I had not done so in time and told to referr to the terms and conditions. I tell them now to refer to terms and conditions, Unreserved seating is still unreserved seating! Now if we Season Ticket holders were organised into something, a lobby group for want of a better. The powers that be in the GAA might think twice about trying to treat us so shabby, again!

  87. I think that’s a fair point Mac. Seeing it back I don’t think the kick was a mistake, however it was high risk. I think Clarke needs to be reinstated. Up until Saturday, I felt Robbie was the better choice because of his kickouts. However, he has now made a number of crucial decisions under pressure that have cost us.
    There was one thing we noticed on Saturday during the warm-up drills for Robbie and Clarkie: Surprisingly, Clarke was the more nimble of the two and had better desterity and snap getting off the ground. It’s the small margins, but could be the difference for a ball rebounding, double-saves etc etc…

  88. Just listening to the Mayo News Podcast now WJ. You’re fully right. The support let the team down on Saturday night. We cannot let it happen again.

  89. Regarding Mayo going into the qualifiers i’m so glad we have gotten over this craic of we don’t do the qualifiers. We need to treat this as a 2nd bite of the cherry and grab it with both hands. Reading Aidan OShea, the players are aware of this too. Great to see. Time for positivity. Onwards & upwards.

  90. Mayo don’t do qualifiers? Then why bother training ? Conor mort said it one time and I thought it was a terrible attitude, he should have been tearing to get out there.
    I have no doubt that the leaders in this group, and there’s plenty of them in it despite what some people say, will take the steps necessary to make an impact this coming few months. Boyler, Keegan, cillian etc never shirk responsibility and there’s other too that will push on and embrace the qualifiers, plenty of games coming up for them in quick succession if they get moving. This is what they love doing,it sure as hell would be better than training and waiting for a game every 3 weeks.
    Great podcast from Mayonews, well done WJ

  91. Supporters have never let Mayo down, give me a break next you’ll blame playing on a Saturday. We were told 2 years ago to address our keeper situation yet to be done?? Only 3 real forwards on the pitch Rockford had a nightmare but can bounce back.

  92. My attitude towards the goalie question is a bit convoluted. I’ve always had top regard for David Clarke going back for years. A silent sound gentle type in personality off the pitch but togged and between the posts always and forever a commander in chief. Has had his injuries and always I felt he’d made his mark so well that when fit again he d be back in.And he was but got hurt again and Robbie took over…! Not the whole story but the main bones of it.Corrections/additions?
    So Robbie is installed, does great, great kick,scoring with the best of them…in the absence of prolific forwards. Makes an odd mistake…v crutial in retro and gradually comes under the microscope.
    The thing is though, might David have had his odd crutial bloomer if he had been in charge of the space? Won’t be known.
    Still and all though,I think David Clarke should be reinstated on the grounds that he’s never bloomered and is unlikely to let the side down and hes not going to be around forever. Simply too much to ask him to sit on his arse for the rest of his time.And probably Robbie would see that it’s a kinda share and share alike set up! I think that’s it all.

  93. Read Leantime’s piece on Season ticket holders/unreserved seating with interest. It is clear from sales and travelling to matches that Mayo supporters are the most fervent in the country. What happened on Saturday evening was a shambles and was an insult to those who are genuine supporters and pay their €200 up front per year. What is more of an insult is this directive that tickets shouldn’t be transferred. Sometimes it may be beyond someone’s control to attend a match. Surely they should have the right to lend their ticket to another supporter who may not be in a position to purchase a season ticket uet attends most matches. What is the differr between that and somebody giving their ticket to another supporter at a turnstile. Time powers that be started treating season ticket holders properly. May not always be as easy to sell season tickets.

  94. I wonder how many of Kerry’s AIs and National Leagues were down to their supporters.

  95. I agree with one of the posters above about playing Seamus o she’a in a colm kavanagh type role

    With kmac doing it the last day we had no shape in the half forward line with doc injured .

    If we get our heads right , this year is not over , on paper we have an excellent squad

    WJ , is it the same scenario coming through the qualifiers if we get that far , do we play an Ulster team in a quarter final ?

  96. And the ticket debacle continues, first we can’t get a ticket to ruslip and now this, it’s not really worth it.

    We need to stop sacrificing our forward line for a sweeper system that doesn’t work. What we if we play AOS at half forward, parsons and another at midfield and Boyle at centre half back, when we have the ball we have 6 forwards and half backs attacking, when the other team has the ball AOS drops into midfield and parsons drops back into the hole to cover along with Boyle. Obviously it’s not perfect but think we just need to simplify things a bit. The only time I’ve seen us use a sweeper system with some degree of success was with Barry Moran in the Donegal game and nally in the Dublin league game this year.

  97. A worry for the next game would be if Kevin Keane gets injured or black carded early in the game then that would be a big blow. Having to move Lee Keegan to full-back was a disaster at the end of the Galway game. We don’t really have any other option for full-back apart from Keane, now that Caff is injured so it will be interesting to see what will happen. Hopefully Chris Barrett will be back in the frame for the next match as an option in the full-back line. You would like to see another specialist full-back called into the panel as well but who is there out there you’d wonder.

    It might be no harm to have another midfield option as well after losing Jason Gibbons. Remember last year we thought that we had enough options but we ended up with a midfield of Alan Freeman and Stephen Coen at the end of the Dublin replay. We started Barry Moran in that game and once he went off and Seamie was black carded, we were in trouble. That was compounded then when Tom Parsons had to go off as well. We had similar problems in our full-back line against Galway when Keane and Harrison had to go off and along with having injuries to Caff and Barrett, which meant they were both unavailable, it was a big problem for us. We could do with another scoring forward as well. Lots to ponder on before we get going again.

  98. Time to leave the goalie alone as this is taking the focus away from another certain high profile player further up the field whose influence on the pitch at least has been deminishing by the game since the Donegal game last year. Maybe it’s time the Mayo management grew a pair and bit the bullet on this issue. As I said before ,it is impossible to be on top of your game all the time but in mayo we love our stars to the point that they’re untouchable. This mistake has been repeated over and over through the generations. Disagree with Mcguinness about COC who along with ER was expected to perform a loaves and fishes type miracle on Saturday – only difference is they are not quite Jesus yet but the potential is there. As for Mort,well he got his chances in AI’S and he didn’t show. He would not have got anywhere near the team of the last 5 years. Is he the fella that threw the Mayo jersey at his manager when subbed?

  99. @Berry@Joe Irwin
    I am with you on this one, I remember a comment made by JH following the Dublin V Mayo AI final defeat that the fans had gone deadly quiet. Would you seriously ever hear any thing as ludicrous in any other county? Since when did they fans become responsible for winning games? Did not see too may Galway fans egging on the team on Saturday and it did not make any difference to their result.

  100. Good point Toto.I was at last Saturdays game and I can tell you there wasnt much to cheer about.

  101. I see turbo tom cuniffe is back with the mitchels for this weekends championship game…surely his fitness levels wud be decent enough having played n trained up to the club all ireland…surely he is a strong option to call back in to cover caff. Also matty ruane shud be called in to cover gibbons..if nothing else it wud aid his development n offer competition in a v b games…plus maybe give him a run for a few mins where allowable in qualifier games..

  102. Well I don’t know lads but have ye ever played in front of thousands of supporters ? I haven’t myself and only go by quotes by players and managers who have and in different sports also as well as inter county gaa , the hill can be worth a point to the dubs , stretford end a goal to United etc . It’s not only organised chanting , it’s the genuine roar of belief . Goddamit if I could only find that piece Tomas O Se wrote about the Kerry support giving them an almighty roar of “we still believe” in the first qualifier game . Then you’d know what I’m talking about .

    Better still just give them a fucking roar sat week , tis the least ye could do really .

  103. I don’t know. The players, the manager, the warm up, the coaches…they set the tempo. The crowd then do their bit. But it’s those in the green grass that conduct the orchestra not the crowd who pay in to the theatre. I watched Castlebar warm up this year before the club final. Body language spoke volumes to the extent that I said to my daughter that these boys were stiff with tension.

    The crowd tried but two or three dire attempts at scoring started to drain the Castlebar followers and the Boden goal killed the crowd. Dublin ”13, Cork League finals ’10/12, Kerry ’97/04/06, Cork ’93. Makes no difference if you have amps like AC/DC, if the guys on the pitch are not starting fires please don’t expect or insult the followers if they get drained by watching the same fucking mistakes being made year in, year out. We all start out virginal believers but time hardens the arterys and stiffens the soul. What gets me in my feet? Mayo men going hell for leather. What gets me to lose hours never regained? Mayo pass the parcel or usual stack of awful wides. I’m there to support Mayo but they must do their part to unleash that.

  104. Borderboy, Your spot on there. There were days that if Alan Freeman looked around him, he would have to make his way to the bench,. Now some player can be ineffective for 10 competitive games in a row,.. You’d imagine a player like that shouldn’t be started in the first place… Still you might get lucky and the ref might give him a black card. Robbie Hennelly might just come up and win you the match with two long range points in the same game. But you just can’t depend on the refs.

  105. Yeah ultimately its what happens on the pitch that leads the crowd not the other way around. Why was McHale Park quiet…because it was our worst Championship performance since 2010. Seriously where was their a big hit or moment in the first 20 minutes that we could get behind?

    In the 2006 Semi Final when we were 7 points down, there was barely audible cheering when the first couple of scores went over but it grew, it was the same last year in the Semi-Final.

    Like the Kerry game was an easy on for the crowd to be loud in…it was a great game very tight.

    Saturday well we were useless and bar a 10 minute spell did nothing to ignite the crowd. The team leads the crowd, not the other way round

  106. HSE

    i posted here the other day that i think nally might be option at full back. he is strong ball winner with good distribution. Darren machugh from hollymount is also playing very well.

  107. Any word on how Shane McHale has been doing with Knockmore of late ? – hit with injury earlier in the year and didn’t get much opportunity during the league. Not the fastest sprinter but a very solid replacement for KK if ever required?

  108. Shane mchale would definetly be a good alternative for full back , how’s he doing with his injury ?
    Is he back playing with knockmore ?

  109. I have never played in front of thousands of supporters. I would never claim to have influenced a game from the stands. If I did then maybe I should be included in man of the match polls.

    Players or managers are hardly going to say the fans are superfluous to the result.

    When Man U or indeed Liverpool were ruling the roost teams were beaten before going on to the pitch. The reason was that they were playing a team that seemed invincible at that time. Real awesome winners. Anfield and Old Trafford are still packed, but the results are not quite as consistent these days.

  110. Just a quick update for some of you who appear to have not left the blog since Saturday evening.

    Ireland beat Italy to qualify for the last 16 in the Euros
    Joe Biden has been travelling around Mayo the last few days.
    Britain just left the EU

    Back to the analysis for ye…

  111. Cant believe people think we should try untested players in pivotal positions.Who would you drop.It is not the players in my view…its the system, lack of hunger til now and management ned to recover from terrible start just as Martin O Neill recovered from Belgium result.
    I see this result as positive and something Mayo needed.In fact many do.Sometimes you just need to refocus .It makes no difference how you get in once you do.
    It is time now for Mayo to remember the struggles, the joys and the sadness.From Morley to Webb , from Henry Dixon to Ciaran Mc, from Joe langan to Willie McGee …time to put pride back in the equation.The football is there…and the heart will follow.
    Lets turn this around.

  112. I go to games to enjoy the football.I watch a film for the same reason .Concerts ,plays ,exhibition events all play a part in keeping this one life in reasonable fettle.
    I have walked out of concerts, not often but it’s happened. I have been turned off at plays and have appropriately vacated my seat. An unrehearsed or badly rehearsed play is just not for me. I still look out for worthy intertainmemts but have become more discerning as the days pass on.
    Same applies to football and prob with your very own the intensity of interest is greater.The let down is likewise deeply felt and I ve known staunchly football people in my time to completely abandon ship. And they have that right.
    IMO performance builds support.

  113. On the support issue, it’s got to be a two-way thing. Sure, it’s up to the players to get those watching on revved up but supporters have to live up to their name and support. I wouldn’t accept the analogy with the theatre – most supporters don’t turn up in a passive manner expecting to be entertained, it’s a much more partisan involvement than this. Unless you’re a neutral, I guess.

    What struck me so forcefully about the last night was how flat the atmosphere was from start to finish. The pre-match parade was eerily quiet, it was like the minute’s silence was happening then. The only time our support got going during the game was when we got the flurry of scores late in the first half but once Galway got the goal the only people shouting were the Galway fans. The contrast between our lack of support (and I include all of us in this, myself included) on Saturday night and the backing from the stands given to the U21s down in Ennis couldn’t have been more stark.

    Does good or bad support matter? I don’t know the answer to that (for all their huge support in numbers terms, the Dublin team are pretty much on their own in Croke Park until they get on top – the singing will start then alright but not before and if Dublin run into trouble the support tends to dry up on them completely) but I doubt it’d harm our chances if we were all a bit more vociferous in the support we provide the next time we play.

  114. I think the crowd does play a part in a teams performance but the team performance also influences the crowd…it work’s both ways. I think we lost our way a bit lately….not getting excited until August weekend and excepting to walk our way through Connacht….the team perhaps thought that too…you become lazy.

    No net to catch us now.

  115. On the support issue,if it’s ok WJ to mention it,I feel most of the points I made in the Colm Boyle MOTM article are reasonably relevant.

  116. WJ… One can never be a neutral at a game of football. Your focus is the game no matter who is playing….can be totally divorced from the participants.
    A play without an audience is a rehearsal. An audience without a play can be a meeting of some sort but there is no theatre in either case. Theatre happens when audience and players come together at same time in one place.A good play is a sacred thing that sits in a script until some one decides to bring it to life on stage. It’s so well written that it is called a work of art before it goes anywhere.
    The quality of the staging can range from zero to heavenly depending on how close the performance gets to the sense/ meaning /purpose of the play. The intertainmemt value is in the first place surely and entirely dependant on the skills of the director,actors,designers etc working closely together on this work and if that’s not up to scratch then there will be little support forthcoming Audience,there will always be but its level of support will depend on what happens or doesn’t happen in the staging.The play is the thing…the game is the thing….don’t mess around with either!

  117. Thanks for that Liam , good to know this stuff , you’re a super kewl guy, forever keeping it real for us off the wall type mayo supporters .

  118. For those of us interested in the ‘Lore and Folklore’ of Mayo Gaelic-football, that’s Me, Tonight at 8pm, TnaG4, ‘Mayo God help us’ the the story of the supposed ‘Curse’ of Mayo football, and those who believe in it. That’s definitely ‘Not Me’….’ still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest ‘that’s a line from the’ Simon & Garfunkle”song ‘The Boxer,’ and that’s me too… . So you guessed it., I expect to be disregarding some of what I expect to hear and see on the TV show.. Although, believe it or not, was talking to a man early this morning, who believes in it, he also longs for Ireland to return to the values of DeValeras Ireland , he thinks it’s beginning to happen, with Brexit just the beginning. ‘Mayo God help us’

  119. A curse can only be harmful if one believe in it….can get into the head if things are going wrong. I hope none of our players believe it. There was a curse on the Red Sox too and they had to wait 86 years (curse of the bambino) to win the World Series…I hop we don’t have to wait that long.

  120. That’s good Leantimes. I’ve just invented an old folk back cure… a black cow with a dropped horn , age 7, 17 or 27. Where she’s laid for the night…put her up and lay the sore back down on the heated ground. The pain will depart in accordance with the age of the cow….v quick for the 27 yr old etc.

  121. Interesting point WJ about support in Ennis and Castlebar. Reminds me of soccer supporters in England, The fans that travel are always louder as they tend to be more passionate and hardcore and they have made the extra effort to travel. Home fans turn up but often wait to be entertained and react to whats going on on the pitch before they get behind their team. That used to be the case with Man Utd anyway and Roy Keane made reference to the home support as the prawn sandwich brigade. Thoe who travelled to Ennis were very committed and gave great vocal backing to team.In fairness the team in Ennis gave them plenty to shout about. This is not a criticism of the crowd in Caslebar and 22,000 was a great crowd and there have been big crowds at league games there also. I just felt that we were waiting for something to happen and when it didnt we went very quiet. Having never had the privelege to play in front of thousands I have no idea whether it helps players or not, but I would think it has to be positive

  122. Inbetweener, The day will come, and sooner than many might think. The politicians will be out of business, who will need to go County Councillors, TDs ect, for a medical card when there’s cures like that! The must be a cure for not winning Sam in such a long time, I’ve tried soothsayer,s, seventh sons and daughters, four leaf clovers, and wishing on a Star. Depends on the quality of Stars, I can almost hear you say!

  123. The curse is a load bollox, as proven by the “flying doctor” when interviewed by aido on thee toughest trade. On that supposedly fateful night the team didnt travel back together as in those days everyone made their own way home by train, car. Some didnt come home, went directly to wherever they lived. Its just a load of horse shite spread by people instead of admitting that Mayo simply didnt have a team good enough to win it since then. When we are good enough we will win it, but not until then.

  124. I’m compleatly with you there Mayomad!
    And Leantimes,my calling doesn’t cover affaires involving round balls unfortunately!

  125. Mayomad, what do you mean, ‘some didn’t come home, they went directly to where they lived’ ‘ sure that’s what you call ‘ home:. Only saying! Did you Aiden make it back from that sojourn, only wondering?

  126. I’m watching the TG4 ‘Mayo God Help Us’. Yet again I have a huge sense of frustration to think we have been on the verge so often and not got over it. No curse – thats just shyte! But we need to get thick and win the fcuking thing- soon! Starting with the next game.

  127. Haha leantimes, Mayo is always home but alas a great deal of us are forced to live elsewhere for. Im sure we are all only too aware of the reasons why. It doesnt seem like Aido made it all the way back, yet!

  128. That’s the curse discussed , Someone start talking about “the boys of the county mayo ” and it’s meaning and Liam will have a field day when he gets back on here during the week for a flying visit.

  129. Now don’t get me started about the ‘”boys’ again. I was once working in Berlin, I went into Quinn’s pub, that’s Peter Quinn the one time president of the GAA (the dearest pub in Berlin) to see Mayo play Galway in Tuam. A guy comes in, I’ll change his name to protect the innocent, I’ll call him Liverpool Tom, now Tom is convinced he’s actually from Mayo because his parents are from Mayo with German girlfriend Dagmar. Tom sees all the Mayo and Galway jerseys watching the match. Not alone is Tom not from Mayo, he knows nothing about Gaelic-football. But he is keen to show off his German girlfriend to his Mayo friends and impress her with his intimate knowledge of Gaelic-football. Tom is much more accustomed to the rivallery of Man UTD and Liverpool FC, and he knows that this match is a big championship match and knockout for the looser, as it was then. So he figures out that Mayo are at a big disadvantage playing away from home. So Tom makes his bold prediction before the. Match starts. ‘I see we’re playing in Tuam, we normally don’t do so well in Tuam we’ll play for a draw and win the Replay!

  130. Just saw the TG4 programme. I hate talk of “the curse” and think that it is disrespectful to all Mayo people. I believe that there was a curse, but it was an economic one. Failure of successive governments to provide investment in the county led to mass emigration. I love TG4 and hope that they can find funds to make a programme reflecting the problems keeping a football team going when your young men are gone.

  131. I am sick to my ***** of people talking about the curse as if it’s even potentially a thing

    When Peter Quinn died recently, some of the comment on social media was absolutely vile, reprehensible nonsense.

    Grrrrr I hate people sometimes!!

    In football talk, I am excited about the possibility of 2 championship games in 7 days against 2 different sides! That should be fun!

  132. Mayo Mark, I haven’t said anything vile insulting or otherwise about Peter Quinn actually didn’t know he died. Irish pubs tend to be expensive and this pub was most expensive pub I ever visited in Berlin. You can hate all you want. It says more about you than the other people you hate, if only sometimes. Everything I said is 100%” factual. Except for that I changed the name of the construction worker, at the moment in time. Every construction virtually at the time in Berlin had a handle / name that wasn’t their Christian name. I was known as that ‘thick effing c**”the from Mayo,’ I was misnamed, I want to assure you that there is nothing thick about me. After my last post where I mention the name of a pub owned by an ex president of the GAA, Peter Quinn. You come up with ‘vile reprehensible nonsense’ are you having a go at me? Seems like that to me,! You have revealed way too much about yourself there,,!

  133. Mayo, Mark.. I always considered myself fairly well up on matters GAA, jus checked something out. If you want to be taken seriously and you shouldn’t really say people died when they are actually alive.

  134. Take it handy there, Leantimes – there’s a ‘Man not Ball’ policy in force in relation to posting comments that refer to what others have said and I don’t think Mark was referring directly to you. Also I’d recheck that ‘something’ again if I were you.

  135. Ya could always to rely on our merry neighbours out in An Gaeltacht to put on a rerun of that programme in the week that’s in it. Last airings were the week of the AI final in 2013 (before and after the match !)

  136. Lads if it is of any help in clarifying matters, there are 2 Peter Quinns.The former GAA president whom I believe may have had the pub in Berlin and is a brother of Sean Quinn, and the late Rev. Peter Quinn who was on the All-Ireland winning team in ’51.

  137. Fair Play to you GARLAND SUNDAY. That hast straightened that very important point out especially for the P Q who is alive

  138. We can not start with Boyle at CHB–he is too loose for this pivotal position.it is not rocket science to ask some back to play there and keep the front door closed.what are we paying all our coaches for.for my money Keane was our stand out back last week-he kept their most dangerous forward scoreless.

  139. @ toughnup

    Yeah Shane Nally did well in some of the league games playing in the sweeper position, he seems like he is a clever player with a sweet left boot. Darren McHugh was involved with the Mayo Juniors this year so it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on these two players this weekend in the Club Championship along with all of the other players coming back from injuries and those in the panel looking for some much needed game time.

    The qualifier games are on at two today so by this evening we should know what the possible options are for us in our next game. We’ll see how it goes.

  140. Sean,
    In the words of Gerry Adams, I haven’t gone away you know. I just find that despite some of the most knowledgeable football people I’ve come across posting on this site, that after a defeat it becomes suffocating on here at times. People really go over board and I’ve images of posters standing on street corners wearing sandwich boards proclaiming the End is Nigh.
    Much like Godwins Law and Hitler, there are a few certainties that occur after we lose.
    1. The “blog effect” where by your stature grows the longer your out will rear its head, in this case David Clarke is the new messiah. I’ve nothing against David and think he’s a cracking keeper, however, 3 different management teams have chosen Hennelly, so they must have some faith in him.
    2. The support let us down. Agreed the crowd, myself included was very quiet, I think we give ourselves too much credit at times.
    3. The curse, the ref, the location. I find that we can be very quick to try and find an external source of blame when the truth is usually closer to home. Mayo bought into the hype and came 98% prepared. You can talk about individual performances all day, but our general aggression and drive from 1-15 was below standard and that ultimately cost us the game.
    Personally I think that it’s better to have your off day on a damp Saturday evening in June rather than a bright Sunday in August or September.
    Anyway that’s my two cents.

  141. 1…….And three different managements
    failed!
    2……..V True.

    3……..Sunday,Sat,Good Friday Wet ,
    Timbuctoo,Bohola,
    Dry,Winter,Summer,all the same.
    Not Good Enough!! Enough….!
    But fair winds are forecast for the oncoming excursions,however expect choppier seas later on.

  142. Leantimes, I don’t regard this blog as social media, I wouldn’t degrade it! I wasn’t referring to you in the slightest. I was referring to people who were making a joke about the fact that we were now closer to an All Ireland hours after it was announced this man had died.

    So aye, not you!

  143. LeanTimes, I’ve just realised also that you were talking about a Peter Quinn, so that’s where our wires crossed! I didn’t take in your post fully but did read it! And my post was in no way related to yours at all, I was referring to our own late Peter Quinn 🙂

  144. Liam, with respect, Horan went with Robbie because he had no choice. He was chosen after Clarke and O’Malley were injured. O’Malley, who I think should not have been dropped from the squad last year.

    Clarke is not the messiah. Clarke is just a better goalkeeper who makes fewer mistakes. I don’t think that’s unreasonable considering the evidence

  145. I am not advocating for either keeper, but you have to wonder why 3 successive management teams have chosen Hennelly and despite last weeks blunder, I think it’s because of his kick outs. It’s 2013 since Clarke was a first team starter so I’m baffled as to what form people are basing their choice on. Much like Richie Feeney in 2014, Clarkes stock is rising the longer he’s out. I’d have absolutely no problem with him starting the next game, but I don’t have the access or insight that management or some posters here appear to have into players form in training and therefore have to trust their choice.

  146. Incorrect Liam. Clarke was first choice last year until he got injured v Donegal. The Robbie replaced him.

  147. No bother there Mayo Mark, but I did point out the pub in Berlin was owed by an ex president of the GAA.

  148. Robbie is a good goalkeeper alright, so is Clarke. And as previously stated Clarke went off injured in the Donegal game last year and Robbie has held the NO. 1 Shirt since. However we were hearing from people in the know at the time that a certain “superstar” and club mate of Robbie’s would not play the Dublin game unless Robbie was in goal. Now we are hearing the same thing him about this year.

  149. That part of the story didn’t even register with me lean times, and I certainly never assumed you were talking about our man! I’m certain there are no priests who own pubs in Berlin!

    Genuinely I was referring to social media cretins laughing and joking about being closer to an all Ireland. And the sad thing was it was more than one or two people.

  150. Mayo Mark, if we draw Fermanagh, we might just be sitting beside a certain very much alive ExPresident of the GAA! , Ah no we won’t, we’ll never get into them good seats! , if last Saturday evening seat fiasco is to be repeated. We could draw Fermanagh tough , they have themselves in serious physical condition, a friend of mine from Castlebar, tells they have been in Breaffy House a few times this year, ice bathsbaths, rigorous workouts, the works , no stone left unturned in their efforts to be at their best. They drew away to Galway in Pearce Stadium in the league. The sooner we draw some team the better! Fermanagh are probably the highest rated team we can draw.

  151. I know that now Mayo Mark, my first reaction was OTT, anyhow.! But your right there aren’t too many pubs owned by priests in Berlin. You’d do well to come across a priest. Further to the south, Baveria or West Germany for Priests!

  152. Don’t think anyone as problem with some of the lads doing media work and this is all fine when winning, but when things aren’t going well everything is called into question!! You cant compare to the Dublin or Kerry players as those lads have the medals and very few of them are seen in the media anyways. But if its affecting their football it should be cit out by management. None of this stuff would happen in Donegal under jim mcguinness

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