The day after the day after

Final score

Photo: Mayo Mick

The good news is that the worst of the immediate aftermath to Sunday’s defeat is now behind us. The hours after the final whistle sounds are always so awful, waking up the following morning to the sinking realisation of what happened the day before is even worse. All of the day after is appalling and yesterday was no exception. But it’s over, the process of moving on has begun. We’re over the worst. And this time we have our marvellous minors and we have the Markham Cup.

Mayo minors

Photo: Mayo Mick

And it also looks like we could have James Horan at the helm for next year. In this piece in the Irish Examiner, Terry Reilly says that while James was expected to step down after Sunday’s final due to work and family commitments (this was pretty much an open secret for months from what I can gather), it now looks as if he changed his mind after the game and may now stay in charge for next year.

If this is the case, then clearly it’s great news. While we can all criticise the team’s game management on Sunday – in particular during the second half – no-one can deny that James has transformed the county’s standing in his three years in charge, taking us from the utter car crash situation he inherited back in 2010 to where we are now. It’s going to be even more difficult to come back and challenge again next year but our task would be immeasurably harder were James and his backroom team to walk away now. If they remain in post, then we’ve every chance of going full tilt for it again next summer.

In the immediate aftermath, I have to admit I was more negative about the future than I am now (which you’ll be able to see for yourselves later on when I put up the article I did for the Mayo News post-match supplement, a piece I wrote early on Monday morning when my mood was at its lowest). Assuming James does stay on and uses the time between now and next summer to blood some new players, in particular in the forwards, then we can expect to start the championship next year as one of the favourites for Sam. Paddy Power have us down as second favourites at the minute and we’re likely to remain so between now and the start of the 2014 championship.

With Kerry’s fortunes arguably on the slide (with their old lads getting older and the conveyor belt of new talent having dried up) and Cork’s fortunes largely dependent on their new manager (who has still to be appointed) being able to make better use of the talent at their disposal than Conor Counihan was, it could well be the case that neither of big two in Munster will challenge seriously next year. I’d also expect Donegal to continue their backwards slide – making McGuinness’s achievement of driving that squad to an All-Ireland win all the more astonishing in retrospect – with Tyrone most likely to re-emerge as the main threat from Ulster.

Dublin are set to remain completely unchallenged in Leinster and while both Roscommon and Galway should both improve next year, you’d have to fancy us for a fourth Connacht title on the trot. When it comes to the shake-up (and it’s Connacht v Munster, Leinster v Ulster in the semis next year) it could well happen that the 2014 final is a re-run of the one we’ve just had.

If it is, we can expect that James will spend the winter months thinking deeply about how to take this Dublin team down, just as he did last winter in relation to Donegal. And, sure, don’t we always beat last year’s champions the following year? Doing so to the Dubs in next year’s final would be sweet indeed.

You’d have to hope that Jim Gavin will have ceased talking out of his arse by then as well. His post-match comments on how the game was reffed were a complete joke, and his rationale for the bookings his players picked up late on for their cynical fouling was just pathetic. James was quite right to call Gavin out in the delicious way he did over his hypocritical stance on the issue and the Dublin boss would be well advised to learn a bit about being magnanimous in victory. Not that he’ll need such training for next year if we’ve anything to do with it.

78 thoughts on “The day after the day after

  1. My mood is lifting by the hour. By Christ I was low yesterday. Getting back to work has helped. I never thought I’d be happy to be in work. Hope all you guys are feeling a wee bit better today too.

  2. Better form from you there WJ all right. Everyone was disappointed after result. Perhaps there was over confidence on our side after what happened last year etc. and all the focus and media associated with this Dublin team but we didn’t deliver on the day.

    But I agree I don’t think now is the time for a drastic change like the entire management and backroom team leaving. The fact is that we’r not that far off and as you pointed out above more than likely we will be there or thereabout next season anyway unless there are some serious repercussions in the team.

    as a group of players they are probably fit enough and strong enough physically to beat any other team. So they don’t need to improve all this (just marination it and not fall back).

    The younger guys (Shane Mchale, Walsh, Carolan, Coen, Burke etc) – they probably do need extra work if they are going to push others and get a place on the team.

    And I would be looking for additional players. The nature of the game now has changed and we need serious athletes out there. Players who have natural pace of the likes of Higgins and Keegan who can cover that ground quickly especially in he middle third. Only man I can think of like this I have seen is Tom Parsons.

    But there must be others in the county in this mold. We need to find them.

  3. Similar feelings to yourself WJ

    It helps that the sun had been out ever since Sunday, I wasn’t too hungover on Monday and God knows there are worse things in life for everyone to live with

    Agree with you on Gavin and said it after the game

    If you are going to walk around like you saved the beautiful game and act like paragons of virtue, when you have to get dirty, you look like an arsehole trying to defend it

    “We were frustrated with the referee pulling us for frees” – tackle better then

    It doesnt even make sense
    Pathetic

    Until he couldn’t walk any further, all O’Gara did was run around trying to flatten the smaller lads

    It’s brilliant to see JH pull him on it in this morning’s paper – don’t let anything go. Brolly also said it during their lap of honour before they all started talking over each other as usual around the pundit table

    Yes we need options in the forwards in the next 12 months. Freezer has put some decent bulk on his frame since last year. Barry Moran, Jason Gibbons, etc may be options at 14 as well if Freezer is injured

    One thing JH and Donie do is make good players into very good players so I have no doubt they will try to reinvent players into other positions as well and will make a better job of it (than Jonno did with Barry)

    Andy,Alan. COC,Conroy and Doherty all had injuries this year so lets factor a fully fit front six into next years forecast as well as everything else

  4. WJ-You have made my day, im slowly starting to get over this, alot better today than yesterday. Brilliant news on Horan, it will be such a boost if he stays on. Look at Cork, lost two finals in a row and came back the third year and won it, i hope Conor Counihan gives him a ring this week!!!. People forget how bad we played but yet only lost by a point to the so called best Dublin team ever.There has to be a positive in that somewhere. The minors were fantastic, Doherty and Conroy getting alot of the plaudits and fully deserved to. But in the short term, Liam Irwin looks the player best capable of making the transition sooner rather than later, a brilliant left foot, an ice-cold free taker, and most importantly he is very well developed physically. For a lad his age, he would’nt be out of place on the senior team, very strong, big lad. If players such as him are developed correctly they could be making a big impact on the senior side in the not so distant future.

  5. I can’t understand neutrals saying ‘I don’t know how ye can come back from this’. Mayo will come back and no reason why not.
    Agree about Horan staying but while he’s fantastic on preparation he needs to be more aware during the games, he obviously has no one in the stands to confer with and maybe he needs this?
    But in fairness to him he can’t do much about guys not preforming on the day and we had too many again on Sunday.

    Last word goes to the backs, they went one on one all day and apart from a few silly errors (caff kick to Connolly and Hennelly for 1st goal) they were outstanding in holding the dubs to 14 scores.

  6. This one really hurt a lot or maybe i am getting old. The big crowd in McHale park was a great therapy though. Not everyone I met were happy clappy but they turned up anyway and it was great. The sun shone for the minors and they were a credit to their families and communities. By the time Andy had spoken I felt re-energised again. That guy is a born motivator. This is still a great team with a great leader. The long trip to Castlebar put my head in a better place. If you missed it, what a pity. Hope you are right about Horan staying on.He has brought us on from defeat to the likes of Longford in the Championship

  7. Glad to see this post too WJ. You summed up yesterday perfectly – it was a day of abject misery and the worst I have ever experienced after a final defeat (and that’s saying something). Not helped by the neighbours’ day-long celebration BBQ and the drunken strains of “Down by the banks of the royal canal” wafting drunkenly over the fence for a good portion of the afternoon. Nothing short of a miracle that no GBH was inflicted 😉 Mind you, if we were in their shoes, we’d be celebrating too.

    Today the gloom is lifting a little and our own future looks a bit brighter. The winter will tell a lot and Sunday sadly did show that we need some more power in the front six. A rest and a break and a new campaign with hopefully some new blood to strengthen the panel will pay dividends and as has been suggested elsewhere, some investment in forward coaching could surely only pay off for us at the very least in the long term. And let’s not forget we have a very promising team of minors – a couple of whom may be able to make that transition to the senior panel next year.

    While we may lose players along the way (I know travels plans are afoot for one or two of them) we surely have the strength within the county to push on regardless. Really delighted to hear that James is considering one more year – and surely if he and the team do stick around, this shows the immense determination he has to finish this job – let’s not forget the huge sacrifices involved for these men and their families. On the other side of the fence, Gavin, like a sizable minority of his countymen on Sunday, really demonstrated his lack of class with his remarks and it’s good to see him being cut down to size in that familiar no-nonsense fashion.

    Ultimately now that the dust has settled and the gloom is lifting I am as proud as I ever was to have followed this wonderful team for the year – indeed the years – just gone. There is no shame in losing – rather shame in not trying and I think it’s fair to hope that the year ahead is full of more promise for us and perhaps even the ultimate prize next September.

  8. Nice to see the positively on here.Im back at college and its not easy talking to people about it cause only mayo people know how im feeling.But in defending our lads but at same time telling it as it is.
    Lads we have a good team.Yes we need to bring un id say 2 forwards.Look at Dublin every team they played this year they forced their style on the opposition.So did Mayo on every game bar the final.Our half back didn’t attack like we did in other games.
    Lads from our backs to midfield were there.in the forwards we need to get sharper.Make our lads a fucking nightmare for the opposition .
    If we are to win our forwards needs to be dangerous when they have the ball and dangerous when they don’t have ball i.e. Tackling and turning lads over.It has to be relentless.The midfield and defense same.The lads need some time to get over his get their this.then build up their confidence and belief for next year.i wont fucking relax till i get my season ticket.

  9. In a year, COC will have another year’s experience and will be our marquee forward. At 21 Brogan wasn’t a patch on Cillian.

    Also, for all the talk of man for man marking, mayo simply didn’t do this in the middle third. When not in possession the 2 o’sheas were very static and this allowed Dublin used the wings to great effect. In one way they are too similar. Kerry, Dublin & Tyrone all have very mobile midfields, with superb ball carriers.

    Also, also I think Horan will need to tweak the system slightly. Dillion is a classy player who thrives in an attacking environment, but I feel his man marking duties stifled his attacking prowess.

    Looking forward we can be positive, we had 6 different starters from last years final and I would expect 4-6 again for next year. Our defence is superb and players like Caff, keegan, Higgins, cunniffe, boyle, COC, A Moran and the O’sheas at the heart of the team we are a match for anyone!!
    Maigh Eo Abu

    I’m lookin forward to the league already

  10. I really hope that JH stays on but I honestly believe he needs help on the sideline. For me he is just missing that bit of craftiness, that opinion of a tactician. I would also be relieved to hear him acknowledge his own mistakes rather than pointing to the players basic mistakes.

    No reasons fans shouldn’t be optimistic and it definitely helps to ease the pain but there is as much chance of this pain being inflicted again if the whole set up is not improved upon.

    I felt there were too many media interviews given before the game both by JH and a few of the players. Get crafty in every aspect and the chance of lifting Sam increase dramatically. Onwards and upwards.

  11. After “Will this one be different” last week, Wolfie wrote a most evocative piece about going to Mayo on Monday from his (I presume) Dublin home to celebrate the victorious homecoming. He could have been writing it for me and for thousands of others in their middle or later years who have lived away from Mayo for decades, whether in Ireland or abroad. I have promised a similar trip to my family since 1989 when the kids were in primary school. On Sunday night, even though they are now young adults, they were as gutted as me at the outcome. This time was no different. The celebratory trip west is postponed.
    Despite this, it must be said that we greatly appreciate the marvellous efforts made by this squad, both players and management, so far and particularly those wonderful victories throughout the year. Despite the possible shortcomings brought to light on Sunday, I am foolish enough to see a chink of light on the horizon. So the thoughts now turn to League trips to Donegal; to Kerry; to Mayo in the wind and rain of Spring 2014 to see if “this will be our year?” It will be eventually. We just await confirmation of the date. Thank you Wolfie. This team continues to allow us to dream…..

  12. Mayo have the players ,If Sunday was a semi final they have beaten the Dubs ,I think it’s the pressure of the whole occasion that the problem , They lack believe in themselves on the big day ,

  13. Agree with Tom61. We always hear about the player mistakes and failings after the game but being realistic about it the Mayo line didnt have a great day yesterday.
    Questionable tactics and switches in this final and also in last years final cost us big time in my opinion.
    I think we need to see improvements both on and off the field before we can get the end result we want.

  14. Aiden Kilcoyne should be given a call and asked to come back from London.

    Why? He is one of the most talented ‘finishers ‘ the county has produced at underage in the past decade. He was the standout forward in the u21 success of 2006. With the greatest respect to Varley the lad wasn’t in the same category to Kilcoyne and yet he started last years final and appeared the last day.

    Every dog on the street knows we need more ‘punch’ up front. Yes we have had our injuries in that sector this year but in all likelihood someone will have niggles in 2014 too! But if Kilcoyne was brought back in both and reunited with his 06 colleague, Conroy then they together with Cillian and Andy if fit and on form would amount to a strong attack. I would love to see one of Coen, the Doc, carolan really drive on and try to nail a starting position and see one of the minor attackers brought in to sample the senior set up.

    Id like to see more of Adam Gallagher.

    What is the situation regarding the academies?? I don’t know much about them if anyone could shed light on them? County board should really be looking to build on the minors success. We need to be producing far more underage titles to give us optimum chance of land senior titles.

  15. Like everyone else bitterly disappointed after Sunday but feeling a little bit more optimistic than I was yesterday. Also glad to be work – keeps the mind occupied and focused. Agree with some of the comments above and have to say new blood is required especially in the forwards.

    What about the likes of Danny Kirby and Aidan Walsh? Have these guys been considered?

    Lets hope the right things are done for the team because I really feel and I am sure everyone would agree that there is an All Ireland in them. They have the ability and are a great bunch of lads, who have shown their commitment and dedication to mayo football. Onwards and upwards and hopefully Sam will be with us sooner rather later.

  16. @Willie Joe
    What would you think of Enda Gilvarry making the step up to senior manager along with a few of the minor lads,especially a few forwards in a year or two when James calls it a day

  17. All week no more then everybody else my every waking hour was taking up with thinking about the game. . Would we . Could we , how it would pan out . etc . And all my thoughts invariable came back to what Cluxton was going to do with the kick outs . . . and how we would counter act . . But seemingly I was the only one . . But you have to hand it to the Guy . I have not seen the TV coverage but I reckon they won 90% of his kick outs and def 100% when the game was in the melting pot. . how many did he put in the air ……… zero ……. who did we bring on to try to counter . . , Barry Moran . . .
    And just to finish my rant . (this is the only bit of the tape I watched) the announcer says 4 mins added time . . 73.30 on the clock we win a free on the 21 yard line . . at 74.15 Cillian kicks it over the bar . . Figure it yourself guys.

  18. mayo as near to sam as ever lost on the side line again never going to win with unfit and injured players some of the subs used wer a laugh last year when we wer out of time we brought on gibbons and feeney changed the game for us why wer they left out yesterday what has managment got against them two of the best players for there clubs it was these players winning county titles that got horan the job

  19. Anybody else heard anything about Donie Buckley going to Laois,cannot see it myself,surely this would be a backward step for him.Im sure if James is staying on it would be with the same team around him,surely if there’s any change it would be someone coming in that could make improvements somewhere and not losing someone like Donie,eg.oneill going last year and Donie coming in.We cannot get better than Donie can we

  20. Buckley is happy in mayo from what I hear and won’t be going anywhere unless he’s told he is no longer required. And he is required! I think JH will give it another year. There is tweaking and learning to be done by everyone in the set up but we aren’t far away at all. We will be thereabouts again next year….

    The only rumour I’ve heard is of Kevin mc stay going to Kildare…… Apparently he has been approached by them recently……

  21. So many questions to answer if we are to learn from this. Why were AOS and mcloughlin left on? AOS should not get an allstar in my opinion after his tyrone and sundays performance, i feel when we needed him he never stood up and dublin midfielders played puck. What was the thinking in taking freeman a target man off and replace him with a small man? We got the goal from a long ball into andy that broke well and freeman had half a goal chance. Why would you not give Barry an all star nominee last year more game time vs donegal and tyrone? Likewise for doherty. You can’t turn a game in 10 minutes or less so bring them on earlier. Richie feeney should have been in at 10. We need to address the 11 issue, we need a playmaker there and keith is a defender and a good one at that. So we need to address that

  22. I think it is the wrong time for a large turnover of management/selectors/coaches and anyone calling for heads to roll may live to regret it. I believe that the current set-up and players are good enough to win the All Ireland. I have believed that since Kerry beat us in the semi-final in ’11. We just have to work harder to gain those last few inches to get us over the line. Those last inches are always the hardest to get. So, we have 2 choices. Do we want to say fuck it, it’s not worth all the sacrifice, heartache, money, pain and work and sure it’s never going to happen anyway because we are cursed or just not good enough. We will slip back into the chasing pack, settle for a few more Connaught championships and 1 run out in Croke Park a year. Sure, that’ll do. Or do we say fuck it, we are not stopping until we win it. Harder. Faster. Stronger. Whatever it takes.
    Firstly, we have to fully appreciate what we have in terms of the players and management at our disposal.
    Secondly, we then have to identify where we went wrong on Sunday. This is the difficult and painfull part. What went wrong?, who was wrong?, where it went wrong?, who failed in their job on the pitch AND on the sideline?, what was our gameplan and where did it go wrong? This is the hard part because you have to be prepared to take responsibility for your performance, take the praise when it goes well and also take the bollickings when it goes wrong. If everyone (players & management) is honest in this and sees where it all went wrong then the rest is easy.
    Thirdly, you decide who/what you need to fix all of the wrongs. And you go and do it. It’s simple as long as everyone is honest, willing to work at it and determined. I have no doubt that the lads are all of these.
    Now, they need a break and a rest from football. recharge the batteries, live a “normal” life for a while and then go hell for leather again.
    Although the pain and frustration is still eating at me, it is begining to subside a little. I, like most that have commented on here, can begin to lift the head a little today and see the future being somewhat brighter than the desolate expanse of nothingness it appeared to be yesterday.

  23. Christ lads, some great positivity on here just 48 hours after our darkest hour. We only brought our B game to a final and drew with Dublin. I’m taking away a Dublin pint for Cluxtons 45 that wasn’t a 45 (leaving them on 2-11) If hawkeye could understand the laws of gravity and realize that a ball which clips the inside of a post would end up actually landing inside the scoring area then we win the game 1-15 to 2-11. Then to hear Gavin saying they had to play against 16 men and going on about the referee. That is the icing on the cake. No class Jim. Not enough class to tie James Horans boots.
    Then as mentioned on here by MartyK i think. A strange interview between Michael Lyster and an odd looking president of the GAA on Sunday night. Lyster asked him if he thought late in the game it might end up in a draw like the hurling to which he replied “NO” (then a slight pause) “I SPOKE TO PARAIC DUFFY AT HALF TIME AND HE SAID PLEASE GOD NO, WE HAVE HAD A 10 WEEK SEASON ALREADY AND WE ARE RUSHED OFF OUR FEET”. What and odd answer by a strange looking creature obviously not fit for the office he holds. I presume Paraic Duffy is a head groundsman at Croke Park or something like that? Anyway lads we didn’t bring our A game with us and when you are playing only at your B game level in a final you are relying on luck (eg hawkeye, Cluxtons 45 etc) and tight decisions to go your way. We know from experience that wont happen. Our own fault that we left our A game behind.
    Feck it anyway.

  24. Re Cluxtons kickouts. He nailed us. The wing backs were looping their runs to the opposite wings with the ball coming over their shoulder into space instead of being static waiting for the ball to arrive.
    It was a masterstroke. They knew we would have tried to push up ala Kerry. The lads in midfield simply didn’t have the legs to close down the space on the wings, like the league semi final.

  25. Some good positivity there WJ and others.

    I was sick to the stomach Sunday night and all day yesterday. Today isn’t much better, but sure I know the routine by now.

    If Horan does stay, then I do honestly think we can have another serious rattle at this next year.
    Dublin can hopefully suffer the usual problems of trying to retain an AI title, Cork and Kerry don’t look as strong as previous years, while we have nothing to fear from Donegal or Tyrone.
    Horan staying (hopefully) also indicates to me that the players are prepared to put in the work for another crack at this. I can’t believe that he would stay otherwise.
    For him and the players to not give up on this should encourage us all to do likewise. I’m not fecking giving up anyway. We’ll come back, we always do.

    I actually arrived back in London yesterday thinking Horan had resigned.
    I was told by a few different people in Dublin airport that he had resigned in the morning.
    This, along with rumours of players heading off to Australia for a year, just added to the misery and my lowest feeling yet following Mayo.

    James Horan staying would be a massive boost for all of us for the coming year, but like the players, he must learn from the mistakes he made on the sideline.

  26. Fair play to the minors on Sunday, they danced with disaster at times but won pulling up in the end. some excellent displays in defense and especially attack! tempting though it is, I’d be wary though of expecting those young men to fill gaps which appeared very glaring later in the same Sunday. As we all know, very few Minors have successful senior careers. From a great bunch of which Aidoshea was part only himself and Hennelly were there on Sundays Parade, then we got Cillian from 2010? who else is looking to make the grade ;
    D Kirby A Gallagher Coen Ev Regan COShea ..Cathal freeman was another young man who had bad injury but may yet come through.
    Some of the seniors who had nightmares on Sunday will repair and come again, Faster fitter stronger, others may move over. There are others in the wings who may buck up Jason Gibbons maybe? So steady the ship for now we are not in terminal health by any means.

  27. Mistakes decided the match in my view and fitness levels helped dublin make less. Bernard Dunne did a great job as Dublin’s fitness was a shade better when it counted. I think brolly had it correct saying that I forwards don’t have enough go or killer instinct I think Andy’s leadership role is over estimated as he didn’t take his team with him. He is a big time player but a real leader brings the team with him.

    I think the hype surrounding certain players via player profiles in national newspapers did not help and we could learn from Dublin who just profiled the impact players.

    When Dublin lost last year they culled all the players who didn’t perform on the big stage and if we are serious about winning we have to do something similar. There is no room for sentiment anymore if you didn’t play well you can’t be trusted to do the business next year unless you can prove a significant change in attitude and effort.

    I think some players deserved a shot in the final were not given one for some reason.

    On the whole I think we stick with the same management as there is only 4 teams with the necessary athleticism or skill to survive the introduction of the black card. I think the management is improving all the time although we probably need a outsider who challenge Horan more about in game tactics.

    “I ride my bicycle all the time. There’s one thing about my bicycle. I’m riding, I’m riding, I’m riding. And no matter how tired I start to get, it’s never about this pedal I’m pedaling, it’s about the next pedal, and if you can get to that next one, your bike will keep moving.” Ray Lewis

  28. Why the feck would Donie Buckley be heading to Laois, hope thats BS as it makes no sense, for him, for us, or maybe even for Laois.
    Juan, yes Cork won it after losing twice before but that was:
    a) back in the good old days when they only played one match in Munster to win that and then a semi
    b) harsh as it is, they were playing us in a final. Unfortunately we cant play ourselves in a final.
    Lads, I’m not one for kicking ourselves or the team when we are down, and yes, you are all right, there is no other option but to go on, but there is something seriously lacking that we cant get over the line. John Cuffe’s stats were frightening, we have something like a 5% success rate over 23 national finals.
    That game was there and we just didnt seem to have the raw ragged unquenchable want to get it. Dublin fought harder than us for the dirty ball. Some of the body language was as if we had won it last year, and hadnt just swallowed the pain of yet another loss 12 months previously. I really dont know how to explain it, but after years of watching gaelic games you can tell when a fella is busting for the ball and when hes just go 80%. Fact is, the body language of some of our lads Sunday looked like too many of them were at 80% when at least 10 of them HAD to be at 100%.
    Can someone please explain to me what was going on with Aidan O’Shea?
    Call me old fashioned but I was a bit concerned with him popping up all over the place doing interviews in the weeks before. That always makes me nervous, even though it shouldnt. Hes a very talented young man who I’m sure has every journalist beating down his door, but talk when the celtic cross is in your arse pocket. Every thing said before that is irrelevant. He just looked completely flat during the game, I can’t explain it.
    Ok, if JH stays on, fair play to him for the commitment. He owes Mayo nothing. But wheres the succession planning, who is next? I dont want to be even more negative but I cant see how he can win it for us now.
    The players believe in the teams leadership when they are progressing year over year. I still maintain that if Donegal had lost to Cork that would have been them done, all that work and sacrifice and no progression.
    Similarly with us, we felt last year that we had progressed, and could do so again, and arguably we have, but not enough, and especially not on the line from a tactical perspective when up against the best minds.
    How can James bring this team on further? I dont think he can, but if theres no other viable option then he’s a damn sight better than what other options there are.
    I think the only thing that might get some of the players chomping at the bit again when Christmas rolls around, the pain has lessened a little and they start thinking of taking up the reins again, is a new voice. Maybe that comes from a new coach, but seeing as they all loved Donie Buckley it would want to be someone very very special to be able to replace him, and I cant see that. But I just cannot see how they will be able to go back in again and expect to take it forward once more………
    The only thing that matters is winning the all ireland, we need a multi year plan to get us there involving every single component of Mayo football, otherwise most of us will go to our graves not having seen it in our lifetimes.

  29. Maybe only David Brady knows if Buckley is going to Laois. Hope he leaves the walkie talkies at us at least.

  30. Hard to disagree with eastcorkexile. Sometimes it takes a new face with fresh thinking. JH has brought us a long way but carrying serious baggage now and you would wonder how much confidene
    the players will stall have in him after the performance on the line on Sunday. Can he get much more from this bunch of players.?

  31. i think mayo could come back next year also should cillian have go for goal if he did mayo could have won the match what do you think

  32. In fairness to James Horan the mistakes been made by players in the first half weren’t his fault. I don’t know was it nerves or what, not that it matters one bit now. I have more questions as time goes by. Maybe its just not in the DNA, I don’t know any more.

    But I would like JH to explain a few things to the loyal followers.

  33. Yep, I’m starting to reflect in a more reasoned fashion now. Had a great night in city centre last night, boys of the county Mayo, Molly Malone the whole lot was sung. Fantastic people from both counties, it really helped me through a very depressing mood.

    I agree with Horan staying on but would love a new wing man to be put alongside him , Horan has stuck with the same players as rule almost , we should be looking to bring the likes of Adam Gallagher through and I’m inclined to go against the norm and would live to see the likes of Conroy from the minor team a run out in the league, I also would like to see Evan Regan back in the fold and also givin a better chance in the league , not just half games .

  34. I think the lads went away from the game plan.You have believe that Horan would have said lads we need to pressure Cluxtons kick out we also need to get the pressure on the Dubs back line and if not over turn them at least slow down the attack.To win the game both O Sheas needed a massive game ,our forwards needed to be on top form and our defenders needed to be as well.m Seamie played really well Ado wasn’t in the game at all.Our forwards had a very very poor showing.Our defenders were unbelievable especially in the second half.they managed to break down the majority of the Dublin performance it was an incredible amount of work rate they put in.Thats why Kevin mcmanaman or rock didn’t get their way.Gavin i thought brought mc on at the rite time from his perspective.I was thinking things were beginning to slip away and here us this fecker.Unfortunately our half back didn’t attack with purpose like in other games they were more defensive.The way the Dubs plays its incredibly hard to keep the score low so l think Buckley will be happy.I would question a couple of decisions horan made.We had the top league scorer sitting on the fucking bench and only gave him a few mins which was a waste of time.But i do think Horan and his team should get one more year.If they get back for a third successive final that would be some feat.Anyone reckon that the Dubs not celebrating this final as much as in 2011? That would worry me slightly cause i think there hungry for more.

  35. One thing that’s seriously annoying me. Lads saying, “ah this is the worst yet”. Feck sake, there is no easy way to go down, each loss has been equally heartbreaking for me anyway.
    Time to man up, stand up, dust ourselves down and try and try again.

  36. I was just thinking today, now that the AIF is over for another year, we can all sit back and relax for a few months and allow those involved to return to their normal lives and ourselves time to mull over in our own way, what might have been, but how wrong I was. For after reading the above posts, far from sitting on our Laurels, following what was for the most part, a very good year, it looks like we’re wasting no time in planning for another raid for Sam. Was it Pebblesmeller who said yesterday, just 364 sleeps to go – love it.

    Regarding the match itself, sure, some decisions from the sideline seemed a bit strange at the time but we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, a lot of our players did not perform to their usual standard and at times looked a bit bewildered as to how to deal with the Dublin’s style of play. I also thought they looked a bit flat and I’m wondering were they over trained.

    As regards suggesting players that should be included in the panel for next year, well I would respectfully suggest we wait and see how the Club Championship pans out, as I’m sure some new talent will emerge that will merit inclusion in their own right. And as regards the possibility of James Horan staying on for another year, I think this a must, as continuity is vital at this time.

    And I will finish by adding, that maybe, just maybe, some of us underestimated the quality of the Dublin team…….

  37. I think if horan went it would be a disaster, some people are forgetting we lost this game by a point. This was’nt ’04 or ’06, no major over-hauling is needed, we’re one or two forwards short of getting over the line, we may have them in or around the squad already, they just need to be coached further and given time in the fbd and allianz. Wer still gunna be in and around a semi final next year.

  38. @Jim Flag, you can have no complaints, the best team in Ireland won regardless of what game Mayo brought to the table in my opinion. As for your words on Duffy and Croke Park not wanting it to go to a reply, COC was the catalyst of your own downfall wasting valuable time in added time wondering what to do with his frees.

  39. Just to add, hard luck fellas, still no doubt in my mind there is an All Ireland in this Mayo team. Need Horan and Buckley to stay on.

  40. Agree with cat there, scoring 8 points in an All-Ireland final regardless of the result is no mean feat.

  41. When you add the 4 mins of injury time Mayo failed to score a point from play in last 49 mins and TBH you won’t win many games doing that.

  42. mayomagic, that’s why so many people are so disappointed and in some cases angry. If a team has trained so hard for the last few years then why oh why can they not score when it matters most.

    We all know what they didn’t do but when are we going to get our “proper” answers as opposed to sound bites.

    Mayo fans deserve to know.

  43. Kevin Mc had his confidence sapped when the two wides in the 1st half. Had a great opportunity to shoot for a score in the 2nd half but went to pass instead that went to a Dublin player.
    That was the moment for me, confidence drained from us and Dublin smelled blood from there on, think they got a score directly from it.
    One thing I will say, Kevin Mc never hid where many less of a man would have.Great courage and he’ll be back better than ever next year.

  44. two days of media blackout for me……….. now ready to buy season ticket…………

    THIS IS NOT OVER

  45. I just seen a pic of the lads that someone took at the homecoming.you can tell they were wanting to get it over asap.
    Boyler and McLoughlin look like they want to damage someone:)
    Mark my words these lads will be back when they get over the disappointment and anger they will be back hungry as fuck again.

  46. Feck it anyway!

    was freeman ill or is JH just too loyal to Andy Moran and COC? It made sense to bring conroy on with his speed but surely it is Andy who should have gone off.

    Any word of COC going for the shoulder operation?

  47. Time to quickly get over the disappointment.. one of ye mentioned here that what is needed is all facets of Mayo football working together… it’s spot on.

    It is required from literally 5th and 6th class up…. the cumann na buncoil…to tedd webb…then connacht colleges in the likes of geralds, davitt, muirdeach’s, colemans, etc…onto minor….and then into the u21/senior system.

    We literally need it to be conveyor belt.

    AIDEN KILCOYNE needs to give it another lash. Our current team is made up of that u21 winning side…so the most prominent forward of that side should be chomping at the bit to get back into the Mayo fold. Players mature and develop at different times, there is no reason whatsoever why Killer cannot be given a crack at things next season. Get him back from London!

  48. Heard Andy Moran on Newstalk earlier, he was very frank and honest and made no excuses. He said at least 15 of the lads were on already to the fitness coach. He watched the match himself today and said he will be getting back into it in the next week or two to improve his fitness. I hope Horan, Buckley etc stay on, I do feel some of the subs and the timing of the subs were wrong but they deserve another crack at it. He needs someone in the stands to get a proper view and Feeney should have been brought on. We will be back in with a shout next year, our only competition will be Dublin again. In fairness all the work and effort ha to be appreciated, they did us proud all Summer.

  49. Andy and Cillian together scored 1-10 out of our 1-14 total so I don’t see how taking either of them off early would have helped our cause. The Conroy for Freeman switch still has to be explained properly – it made no sense at the time and clearly didn’t work in practice.

  50. This side and management have not become a bad side because they lost a game. Yes, I know it’s the one game that we all want to win but we have to be very proud and grateful for the magnificent performances put in in this year’s championship including a third Connacht in a row.
    They still are the best Mayo side I’ve seen in my lifetime and I’ve been following Mayo since the late sixties.
    There are and will be many theories as to what went wrong on Sunday last but at thge end of the day we ‘lost a match’…………and as has been alluded to earlier we lost by the minimum after performing badly, so that in itself says that there is no need for drastic changes.
    Those fella’s are hurting badly and it is a great credit to them that they still made themselves available to the fans after such a disappointment, they are truly great ambassadors for their sport and county……………They are still ‘The Mighty Men of Mayo’ and they will I’m sure dust themselves down, grit their teeth and kick ass once again in the pursuit of the elusive Sam, they are good enough.
    I too hope JH stays and that changes to personnel is kept to a minimum, so we need to stick with it and keep the faith.
    As for the minors, what a great bunch of lads, fantastic achievement and boy were they happy on Monday night……………..and deservedly so, it was infectious.
    A huge thank you to the seniors and JH for the signings and for been available on Monday aswell, they didn’t have to do it but as I said fantastic ambassadors.
    So thanks to all for a fabulous year of fantastic football and to WJ for this site.

  51. I think the problem is in the 1/2 forward line. We need physical pacey players who can match the Dubs for their pace. When Higgins was moved back we lost the battle in the 1/2 forward line.
    The inside line had no one coming through to lay it off to and make space. Mickey Conroy for instance had loads of ball but there was no support breaking through. We had this in the first half and it was one of the the main reasons we had them on the back foot then.

  52. It’s blatantly obvious we need better players up front, we can keep airbrushing this problem if we want to keep falling at the last hurdle , not enough pace in ff line for a start. I haven’t watched it on tv yet but things that stand out for me are , our forward play ran into the same cul de sac a lot esp Conroy, we were reluctant to take a shot, we had some terrible wides, and why in the gods name can’t an inter county player execute a simple skill like soloing the ball, into the fookin Chest from your toe lads , not up in the air to your head height resulting in a fumble which results in momentum lost at best or turnover at worst.

    Really need Horan to be less conservative with panel additions, it really needs freshening up .

  53. Our backs to a man were outstanding on Sunday. I am afraid our star midfielder did not play at all.
    I was bitterly disappointed with that. After his interview with The Time last Saturday week I thought
    he would play a blinder but instead was anonymous. Not sure what was going on in his head. He was stuck to the ground.
    His bro should get the ALL Star IMO.
    I know Kevin Mc did not have one of his better games but by God he got on some amount of ball throughout the match.
    He never stopped trying even though the final ball did not work for him. He is some man to win ball and his maker(Dublin’s young sprint
    hero) was substituted at half time.
    What the f#ck do we have to do to win the damn thing?

  54. I watched the game tonight on Setanta.
    I was in Croke park on Sunday.
    Delighted for the Mayo Minors.
    A major achievement. Well done.
    1st time seeing a Mayo Team win an All-Ireland title in Croke Park.

    It will not be the last.

    In the senior game, what can I say.
    We were not totally at our best.
    Our backs were fantastic. Dealt with fierce Dublin attacks as best they could. Cafferkey & Keegan immense.
    Seamus o Shea very good game in midfield. Colm Boyle immense.
    Chris Barrett never gave up & played well. Andy Moran probably his best game since coming back. Next season he will be back to normal provided he stays injury free. COC steady as a rock. He gets unfairly criticised in some quarters by some people.
    Aidan O Shea completely out of it for some reason. Mickey Conroy not up to it at this level I’m afraid as is Enda Varley. Rob Hennelly top class outstanding goal keeping.
    Alan Dillon tired out as the game went on.
    Kevin Macloughlin never gave up. There are much better day’s ahead for him next year.

    We are not a Million miles away. Heard Andy Moran on News Talk this evening.
    An inspiration to all this man is.
    They can come back with James Horan & co for one more shot next year.
    No doubt about that.
    They cannot be written off after Sunday.
    They need a break now & restart training in January fresh & raring to go.
    Mayo will be back in 2014 !
    I can’t wait.
    They have given us a brilliant summer.
    Thanks Lads.

  55. Another thing I am still puzzled about, why was feeney not given a run out? Surely he would of been a positive addition to combat cluxtons kick outs been won out the pitch to the Dublin runner into space .

  56. I think that stands out to me as well that when we did work the ball into their 50 yard line inwards the lads were either on their own with no support,carrying into tackles and getting turned over or taking the ball into the cornors.FUCKING FRUSTRATION watching it and they were doing that all championship.We made a couple of early mistakes we may have made us a bit edgy the dubs sensed it and piled on the pressure.I think it was the 20th or 25th min i felt this is slipping away.And in fearness to a few lads they tried to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and stamp our authority on the game but to no avail.Lads anyone feel that the pace and with the heat got to us a little?

  57. Yep the pace got us badly, legs seemed very heavy on some of our lads at times.

    Aidan o Shea has big issues as regards his lack of pace for the middle third , I really think we have to look at moulding him into an edge of the square man with two speedy corner men either side of him.

  58. Sean Burke, where are we going to get these better players you mention? Every county is saying the same thing. I thought my anger would have gone by now but its actually getting worse the more I think of this self inflicted calamity.

    I am angry at the players who just didn’t turn up on the day, the complete lack of urgency especially towards the latter stages and at the bizarre calls by the manager.

    If Mayo played anywhere near their potential on on Sunday then we would now be Minor and Senior All Ireland champions, that’s the reality of it.

    We didn’t need better players on Sunday we needed players and manager to give it their all, 70 minutes out of 62 years wasn’t much to ask was it.

  59. Michael Joyce. I am not complaining. Just stating a few facts of what was said and done on Sunday and i did finish by saying it was our own fault for leaving our A game behind us. Both teams played well below par. If either had turned up with their A game it would have been one sided. Dublin performing like that were there for the taking by a good clear margin and we were not good enough. Young Cillian had to go for the goal at the end or at least somebody make a run or something. A pint at that stage was about as much use to us as a full piss-pot. I think he glanced over to the bench for guidance but it seems none was forthcoming. If that is the case, that is shocking. I and everybody round me couldn’t believe it when he tapped it over the bar. However i wouldn’t criticize the lad. Ah feck it anyway.

  60. There are a lot of recriminations flying around because there was only 1 point in it. This is bound to happen because there will always be any number of individual incidents that can be pointed to that would have closed the 1 point gap.

    Still haven’t watched it back, but it was a funny game, no more than the hurling final. Neither team got going or played to their potential. The heat was a factor, I think, but when it came down to it, we missed a few chances in the first half and we lost it there. Had we gone in 3 or 4 up we had a good chance of winning.

    Saying the players weren’t hungry or up for it is bullshit. No one goes out to play badly on the day, and every one of those lads wanted to win the game. It just didn’t happen. Horan did make a few funny subs, and I do agree that Feeney should have came on sooner. The Cunniffe injury robbing us of Higgins in the forward line was also a major blow, but could Keane or McHale not have been chanced?

    I know that the players will want to go again, but will they be able? Will Horan be able? With the huge commitment that is needed nowadays to reach the final, it is difficult to see us there next year, with the best will in the world. Only two teams have won an All Ireland having lost the two previous finals. Cork and Wexford back in the 1910s. Although when they did win, Wexford did the 4 in a row!

  61. The bottom line is that we did not score enough on the day. The best opportunities fell in the first half. Mayo should have had a 4/5 point cushion at half time.

    A forward’s primary objective is to put the ball over the bar or in the net. A number of our forwards (conroy, varley, mcloughlin, dillon) on Sunday lacked the confidence or courage to execute this skill.

    I’m aware of the house rules but two of those guys are not up the demands of white heat championship football. End off. Conroy and Varley are busy players. Yes they win primary possession but their conversion rate is very poor. Conroy tried to execute a hopeless shot from the sideline again. Surely he has been warned against this at training. Very disappointing.

    Horan should stay – I really hope he does. The panel has an All Ireland in them.

    A few changes in personnel in the forwards is all that’s needed. I liked the cut of Coen earlier this year. Why? He had the balls to shoot. His first instinct was always ‘ where are the posts?’ Ok he missed a few but he has natural instincts. Ditto Jason Doherty.

  62. From what I seen on Sunday why not aidan o shea at full forward, with barry moran in midfield, he would have caused Dublin a lot more problems on the edge of the square than he did in midfield and with the likes of andy moran and o connor there for breaking ball, Dublins first goal was a simple high ball where brogan got a flick on it and the rest is history, a go to man in the full forward line that can catch a ball from the sky and make a simple pass to our smaller faster forwards. He would certainly be our marquee forward and the big man would always have defences on edge especially on big days like all Ireland finals where one flick or defensive error could be the difference between winning and losing as we all to well know. We need that serious threat on the edge of the box , Michael murphy has done it for Donegal.

  63. Bruce, I can’t agree with you about all the players being up for it on the day, if they were we would have won the game. You also say “Feeney should have came on sooner”, sure he didn’t come on at all!

  64. Lads I have no doubt horan has done great things with this team but the book has to rest with him. Why wasnt he giving subs more game time to increase competition and have a plan b. Some of his decisions were a joke. Was he not watching the last two dublin games and the trouble the high ball was causing so why take freeman out and if so put someone like barry moran in. The dubs cannot handle a big man in the full back line. The fact of the matter is gavin got it right. He didnt give a shit about his big names like mccaffrey and kilkenny and pulled them off yet horan gave aos and mcloughlin 70 mins when they needed to be taken off! He had his 15 there and his inability to make changes throughout the year put lads in their comfort zone. You go on form and not on names. It may just take a new man to get glory out of us. Gavin took over from gilroy last year and has an all ireland in his first year…pat oshea did the same with kerry so if horan does walk the right man has great potential to work with and can bring sam.

  65. pk, while I agree with some of what you have to say, its hardly fair to compare Horans lot to that of Gavins or any Kerry manager. If Mayo had the unbelievable resources that Dublin have then we would have won plenty of All Irelands.

  66. Gavin inherited an extremely good team from Gilroy, the work that Dublin had invested into their kickouts, the deployment of four ‘midfielders’ who could quickly launch counter-attacks into Brogan, he inherited all of that. I actually think Gilroy’s team were better than Gavin’s, tougher to beat. Donegal 2012 would have demolished them.

    Horan’s had more rebuilding work to do. There’s very little wrong with the team. I’ll say it again, Moran and Freeman inside – potentially devestating. O’Connor thrives in free role.
    It’s the midfield that needs work. Too dependant on the half-backs’ running game, no quality ball kicked inside. Feeney could make a difference, give Dillon more freedom to pull the strings? Surely there’s a way to incorporate Moran and the O’Sheas in the one mifield? Eager to see what James will do in the league.

  67. I agree fully Willy Joe, the Conroy for Freeman substitution was a disaster and together with pulling Higgins back into defence cost us the All-Ireland. We removed the spine of our forward line and Dublin must have been delighted to see both of those lads depart the forward line to be replaced by Conroy and Carolan who posed no threat and certainly were never going to get you a goal as I believe Freeman is always capable of doing.

    Freeman has been one of our best operators all season, he’s strong and direct and poses a real threat on front of goal. If there was a legitimate reason to take him off I’d like to hear it. Did he signal to come off as some have suggested ? I was sitting quite close to the sideline when he made his exit and the glaring look he gave Horan suggested he was none too happy to be leaving the field and I have to say that I was astounded at the time.

    What’s the point in having corner backs in the panel if we can’t trust them to come in as subs ? Why not put McHale on for Cunniffe ? Taking Higgins back to corner back was
    like a less disastrous though similar version of the Dermot Flanagan substitution in 1997 where we rearranged the team to substitute a corner back. We took one of our best operators in the first half and tied him up on man marking duties for the second half ?

    Two disastrous sideline calls which I think cost us the title.

  68. Well horan inherited a good core…he had the u21 winning team as a core with the likes of andy, dillon, Clarke being there too and there was underage talent coming through. I believe this year is the same. That u21 team should have beaten galway and they went on to win the all ireland. This year we’ll need a few more younger lads in and maybe someone like kilcoyne in too. Why can’t we improve our kickouts…they were hanging in air on sunday allowing dublin lads to break. The dubs hit space and ran onto them. We got it wrong there. On your point of 3 midfielders I agree. But we need to stop building up aidan o shea. The media blew his donegal performance out of all proportion when we had nothing won and then against tyrone and dublin he was not effective in my opinion.

  69. Thank you to team and management was in croke park disappointed but they put in hours and effort hope they stay together and try next year. It is very hard for players and manager good luck

  70. Mayo lost because ithe team didnt score more than Dublin. Alternatively it lost because the team conceded more scores. As we dont appear to be producing consistent score-taker when it counts perhaps a McGuinnesque strategy is more likely to deliver. Because of the overwhelming group-think indulged in over the summer we failed to see that too many of the goals scored were the result of opposition failings rather than brilliantly conceived and executed moves from Mayo’s part.To underline that point the Galway/ Ros/ London /Tyrone and Dublin matches, (at various times throughout) exposed that lack of creativity and scoretaking so instinctive in quality forward play. Mayo senior footballers have achieved SILVER medal status for the past two years – many an olympian would cherish such an accomplishment. To the panel of players and mngt I say to you all – that podium place for which you are striving is eminently attainable – when the going gets tough etc etc.

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