The mind games have begun

It didn’t take long for the mind games to get going ahead of next Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final with Donegal. Jim McGuinness – who in fairness made his comments right after the final whistle in Carrick-on-Shannon and so more than likely before he knew they’d drawn us – got in first with his moan about how his players are being targeted but James Horan was quick to hit back with what he had to say at tonight’s press event in Breaffy.

McGuinness’s tirade from last night was fairly stunning in its brazenness and its downright hypocrisy. He tut-tutted, for example, about third man tackles (think about that for a minute – the manager of this Donegal team complaining about something his players do all day, every day) and simpered about the “duty of care” he has to his players. The downright thuggery that the likes of the McGees and Murphy get up to every time they take the field demonstrates the speciousness of McGuiness’s position: he has no problem when his lads are dishing it out but now suddenly it’s a major issue when other teams start paying them back in their own filthy coinage.

We know what he’s up to, of course, and James Horan left no doubt tonight that he knows too. Michael Gallagher of the Western People tweeted from tonight’s press event a statement that John Fogarty of the Irish Examiner later attributed to James who said that “Donegal will try anything that gives them an advantage”. That’s it in a nutshell.

It’s going to be an interesting build-up to Sunday, I reckon.

61 thoughts on “The mind games have begun

  1. Murphy….. Thuggery …. I dare u to watch any match in the last 2 years and not see the blatant assaults he puts up with match after match ….. That is if this blog is any way fair at all and not just a mouth piece

  2. Mcguinness knew exactly what he is at. In fairness I like mcguinness but to say his players r being targeted!!?? C’mon Jimmy!! A they say up north “catch yerself on!!”

    Mchugh was injured in a 50/50 clash with a Monaghan player. 3rd man tackles r old news at this stage.

    Clutching at straws…I don’t think Mayo shud give those antics a moments thought. Focus on the game, not the sideshow.

  3. I’ll give you one example from Murphy, which was in the match against Tyrone when he went in low to the belly with his arm as hard as he could and as sly as he could. Pure filth. He’s a super player but he sure ain’t no choirboy.

  4. He is right in that 3rd man tackles are occurring but he addressed it in a manner that suggests Donegal r the victims. Looking for that little edge from a ref. I don’t think they’ll fall for it this time, like they did last September when we shud da had a blatant 14 yard free..but didn’t get it and moments later the ball is in our net.

    Check that one out Brian…

    Like I said, I like dgal and mcguinness but the stuff he came out with was a little over the top, to say the least!

  5. C’mon if ur giving “one example” there isint a player you could leave out of it including my cuz who plays under 11 for the local parish!! …. Murphy is constantly targeted with cheap slaps and wrestling week in week out – ur comment was wrong. End of.

  6. Horans right, mcguinness is just trying to get in someone’s mind before the ball is even thrown in. He’s desperate, and it’s cringeworthy watching him pretend to be worried.
    Just rounded up a group of 5 for Sunday, all will have flags and be giving our all from the stands.

  7. Murphy is big enough and ugly enough to look after himself. He’s a wonderful footballer but he’s more than happy to dish it out too and from what I’ve seen isn’t slow to every chance he gets.

  8. Murphy, both McGee brothers, Lacey, Kavanagh, I could go on and on, are all guilty of bad behavious on the field of play. Consistently dragging back players, crowding around a player trying to take a quick free and going down quicker than a soccer player at the slightest little touch.

    McGuinness clearly doesn’t like it when Donegal tactics are used against them. You only have to look at what e said recently that other teams shouldn’t bother with those tactics cause they don’t have enough time. Down and Monaghan showed up Donegal and Laois could have aswell.

    To say his players are targeted is a clear attempt at trying to get the referee on Donegal’s side and I can only hope that whoever is in charge next Sunday sees that for what it is and refs a fair game unlike last years final.

    Have always been a fan of McGuinness but the stuff he is coming out with this year is Ferguson or Wengeresque. It’s making him a laughing stock among other teams supporters. Next thing hel be Sauk g that Karl Lacey was targeted when he injured himself in a club game last year!

    Methinks Jimmy is getting worried and in Horan we have a manager with the players to cause him worry. Can’t wait for Sunday!

  9. Brian the clue is in the name MayoGAAblog … you’re not going to get unbiased opinion here.

    I’m glad James said that, the whole GAA community knows Jim McGuinness is off playing trickeens again. He can’t be let come on TV preaching holier than though stuff when Donegal are as physical and cynical as any other team out there.

    Can’t wait for Sunday, huge game, we’re not going to let them off this time

    C’mon Mayo

  10. Got to agree with Brian WJ, your comment re Murphy is unfair and wrong to a large extent. He definitely doesn’t get up to thuggery every time he walks onto the field.

    Blatant mind games from McGuinness, who in fairness is some manager. You have to just smile and let him at it. Anyone who knows their football, knows he’s talking shite.

  11. Hi Brian, you’re some craic! I dare you to watch any match in the last 2 years and not see the blatant assaults Donegal players put in match after match (and management if you include verbal). As you put it yourself, end of.

  12. Dermot Early is tipping Donegal… Doesn’t think we’ll be defensive enough and donegal will exploit that. Billy Morgan and ciarán Whelan gave hesitant nods to us.

    It’s gonna be tight!!!

  13. Invredible.Donegal design the template of negativity and when others adopt it run looking for protection.Gallagher.Murphy.The two Mcgees and Bradley are dishers of dirt. Fine but now they want protection.Obviously Brolly is not able to do it for them this year.
    Donegal complaining about dirt is like Al Capone complaining about crime.Brian if you dont like the threads maybe just maybe its because the truth hurts.

  14. Brian, Murphy no doubt takes abuse but watch him tackle with his closed fist every time! And consider his size and strength against a smaller player every one of his tackles is illegal. Sympathy for him stops there all good players are marked hard and fair as should be the case

  15. John Griffin…..HEAR HEAR! Well said buck.

    Hon Mayo! Let Horan and his men worry about themselves an let McGuinness and his go running for protection

  16. And I’m not saying that Donegal don’t do similar…. But please dont plead holier than thou !! Teams do what it takes to win – let’s leave the pontificating to Spillane and the like. I enjoyed many a drink and chat with mayo folk after the final last year but the bitterness that has followed in no small way stirred up by Jordan’s interviews in the weeks following the final are well below the standards that I would of always held the mayo support to.

  17. I think the only one pleading holier than thou at the minute is McGuinness and anyone who could claim that our style of play even approaches Donegal’s cynical approach hasn’t been studying us too closely.

  18. McGuinness is just making a fool of himself, i respect the man because of what he’s done but listening to his rant was cringe worthy, the most cynical team since meath of the 80’s/90’s. iv watched the donnies alot over last two years and as a poster said, murphy is constantly tackling with a closed fist..punching the man on the ball, he does it almost everytime.

    On another note, who shud start in our forward line? I would love to see dillon/coc/feeney and moran/freeman/coen if mickey c is fit then id want him startin instead of coen, anyway time will tell.

  19. McFadden is a closed fist tackler too…..His (2-handed !!) wallops against one poor Down player earlier this year come to mind…….and surprisingly let go by the ref. Plus how many ‘clotheslines’ have we seen from Donegal match after match, cynically well out the pitch where the free can’t easily be converted. Cmon, any oul eejit can throw a sly one….there’s no great skill to it, but clean tough play, shoulder to shoulder is the noble way to do things. Today, a Galwayman took a rasper of a shoulder, in possession, from a Clare man when trying to clear his lines…….got up from the ground and let fly with a long shot……that’s the way to do things on the field !!…….tough but within the rules.

  20. What interviews by Horan in the weeks following the AI is that lad talking about? I cant remember them. He talked about Brolly without mentioning him prior to the national league.

  21. What Mayo did V Dublin last year was no doubt, cynical and designed to slow Dublin momentum. But, the only thing it hurt was pride….

  22. Lads ye,re paying to much heed to this dunny brian fella, ignore him and his trollop, at the end of the day they are the all ire. champs till next sunday at 5.30 at least and its up to us to put an end to that. We all know what goes on in gaelic football and jimmy is whinging away for an advantage that brollix gave them prior to last years final when he highlighted mayos play in semi final when in fact the dunnys had a higher free count against them in their semi. Notice how big mouth brollix did,t respond to horans say on it at the start of league, if the asshole could he would have, being saying nice things bout us this year, dos,ent wash with me an he can fuc off, like spillano once a arsehole always arsehole.The media has put mcGuinness up there on a pedestal and i think his comments last night was a load of shite and cir. whelan more or less said so.Hope we get a strong and fair referee, but i would,t hold my breath on that 1, theres not 1 of them out there i,d have any gra for…..Any way onwards and upwards for game 4 of 6. Maigheo Abu……

  23. Lads I think ye’re giving far too much credence to the verbal sewerage that flowed following the game in Carrick on Saturday. The Donegal ship is beginning to waiver. They know it. And we do too. Donegal are struggling with injuries to key players and with that their intensity levels are not where they need them to be. We too are trying to deal with injuries to key players but I sense that our bench may well have a little more depth to it.

    I hope JH simply ignores this issue between now and Sunday. Let Donegal lead on this line of nonsense because it’s going nowhere fast and is likely to actually undermine them.

    They’re worried. And they damn well should be!!

  24. The most cynical tactic of all is this one mcGuinness complaining about dirty play.What an accusation against the Monaghan player who went for the ball fairly.
    McGuinness is devious as was Brolly.
    I dont think we have seen the last of it and I wonder should there be an official response before it costs us.some refs are influenced by this.all that needs to be said is we hope for a fair ref and a fair game.

  25. We haven’t a notion of getting a fair ref knowing our luck it will be Marty Duffy or My favourite Maurice Deegan ????

  26. Donegal for whom I have no love whatsoever did what they had to do to win last year. McGuinness is doing the same again. They are a tired team who are in trouble just as Kilkenny were yesterday.
    The arrogance of Donegal is unbelievable. As the ad says’ there was only ever going to be one winner that day’ My blood boils when i hear this- Well this year there is only ever going to be one winner between the teams and Brian and whoever can whinge all they like.
    Both McGuinness and Cody could take a leaf from HOrans book of dignified comments after the All Ireland.
    One other thing- cant believe we have posters running down Cafferkey- He is the best full back in country bar none. Leave off I say.
    By the way I personally do not wish to read any more of Brian’s comments. He has a right to his opinion but I have a right to ignore those opinions if I find them lacking in fact and malicious.

  27. A lot of people seem to be pinning their hopes on a tired and injury ridden Donegal team. I for one hope they get as close as possible to their full team and their legs last the full 70. If we want Sam, we need to be good enough for Sam. We need to believe this Mayo team are the best in the country and will beat all before them.

    From all the lost finals I’ve attended, my most abiding memory is the unbreakable confidence of the opposing team and their supporters. They deserved Sam and they were taking him home.
    I think this Mayo team already have that belief and the missing piece of the Jigsaw is for us to row in behind them and believe too. I want Quinns to be full of ultra confident mayo men (and ladies), I want the opposition supporters to step back and say “F£CK”, “We done today!!!”

  28. If Donegal think that they have been hit hard up to now, just wait until Sunday my boys.
    The media, in all sports, build up the favourite of the month to then take them down and that is what is happening with Donegal this year. Last year, despite their antics on the field and on the line, which were every bit as cynical, devious and cheating as their antics this year, the media chose not to highlight it. This year it is different. The media are showing and commenting on the disgraceful sideline antics of McGuinness and his management, not to mention his players, and the heat is a little hotter.
    Anyone who has read my posts knows exactly where I stand on Donegal so I am not going to repeat it all here. Suffice is to say this, McGuinness is like the auld dog at home when he can no longer chase the cat or jump the wall. The dog will start nipping and biting to disguise the fact that he no longer is the boyo he once was. With Donegal there may still be a bite and a nip in them but, come Sunday, there is a new dog in the street and he had been lying in the long grass for 10 months.
    Can’t wait for Sunday. This is what we have been waiting for and our fucking time is now. No fucking excuses. Our lads are good enough, have trained hard enough, have sacrificed everything and now all that is left to do is go and win a game of football. We have beaten the reigning All-Ireland champions in each of the last 2 years so we have no fear of anyone.

  29. I think everyone needs to cool down. It’s only Monday morning lads. We need people fired up in Croke Park on Sunday at 4 p.m., not getting vexed at 10 a.m. on a Monday!

    As for posters from other counties coming on here – well, we should know a WUM when we see one at this stage. Just ignore.

  30. couldn’t find the comments by Jame Horan WJ. can you post them?

    In regards to the comments from McGuinness. Wel they’re sickening and hypocritical. Unfortunately the thing i expect to see now as a result of this is Donegal guys diving or clutching their face the whole time next Sunday in an attempt to get soft frees, Mayo fellas booked or sent off – ala what you see in the premiership.

    That’s what I would be saying back from James Horan and I would stress the fact I don’t think Mayo would do the same. It’s not in the teams makeup. Is there any word yet on the ref ?

  31. They were reported on Twitter last night, JPM – both by Michael Gallagher of the Western and John Fogarty of the Examiner and I linked to both Twitter feeds in last night’s piece. None of the this morning’s dailies seem to have picked up on James’ quote from what I can see, maybe they’re holding off for a day or two on it. The Indo has a small piece with quotes from James on the press night that i’m doing a quick post on now.

    I’d imagine the refs will be announced today for the weekend games. Who we get could be really crucial and the last person I want to see is that idiot Maurice Deegan. I know some people might go off the deep end at this suggestion but I think we could do an awful lot worse than Marty Duffy. Sure, he’s annoying and picky but he tends to clamp down hard on the filth and cynical stuff so, on a horses for courses basis, he might as good a choice as any for it. I doubt they’ll give this one to him, though.

  32. I take your point WJ on Marty Duffy but he made 2 huge blunders already this year and I doubt the “powers that be” will give him the nod for Sunday. I expect the head of referees to come out with usual shite about the high standard of refereeing etc. etc. blah blah, whilst at the same time completely ignoring blocking runs, 3rd man tackles, closed fists into the kidneys and under the ribs and failing to move back 13m to allow for quickly taken frees.
    Look it, all we can do as supporters is turn up in as big a number as we possibly can and display greater colour and create more noise than Donegal. I felt we failed in this last September and now, like the players, we another chance to right a wrong.

  33. I don’t think we should get caught up in this almost ‘hatred of Donegal’ attitude. They did what they had to do to win an all Ireland and credit to them. We had our chance last sep to do the same and unfortunately we came up short. I suspect the team will not be focusing on any of this negative stuff. All it does is distract from the business of scoring more than Donegal next Sunday. What our lads need to do is their level best and I think that will be good enough. As for JH the best thing he could do is say nothing. Let the football do the talking! As for the heavy stuff…………we are more than capable ourselves of giving it and taking it (thankfully!)

  34. Absolutely, diehard. If people were giving out about Mayo cynicism this time next year, would we care if we were All-Ireland champions? Would we f*ck!

    Fair play to Donegal, they were worthy champions in 2012 and they got nothing easy on the way. They had to beat Kerry, Cork and Mayo to win it and really, there’s no arguing with that.

    It’s up to us to match them on Sunday. All this talk is just that – talk. When the ball’s thrown in – that’s what matters.

  35. The sin bin had to be scrapped, Eugene McGee and his panels recommendations for stopping dirty and cynical fouls had to be watered down because everyone (especially managers) complained, not wanting to see their own players sent off or suspended. Now everyone’s pointing fingers at each other for over physicality. Jesus wept!

  36. Dont want Deegan or Duffy.

    A lot of referees have inflated views on their own importance and Duffy and Deegan certainly fit this category. Donegal will be looking for handy frees and someone to let their illegal (and it mainly is) tackling go in backs.

    McQuillan and Coldrick best available in my view but I agree Mayo supporters need to roar at every unfair call,not every call, but the unfair ones.

    Roll on.

  37. I think McQuillan and Coldrick are the best refs around. I do not want Marty Duffy, you don’t know what he’ll do, does something daft every game.

  38. WJ you must be lacking a little sleep or something if you want Marty Duffy to ref a game!

    He doesn’t even know what he’ going to do next himself and he absolutely ruins games as a spectacle. Remember he was the one who reffed the Mayo Donegal league game, and what a dogs dinner he made of that.

    Coldrick or Deegan are the two best refs of a very average bunch at the moment.

  39. Yeah McQuilian could be the best of a bad lot alright.

    Strange, he’s kinda like Pat McEnaeney. Both of them fucked us over against Meath in big games in Croke Park near the start of their careers but both seemed to learn from it and come on after.

  40. I did say some might go off the deep end, Seanod, but I still think he could be okay for us in this particular game. I recall we won that league game reffed by Marty Duffy where his sending off of Anthony Thompson for persistent cynical fouling helped turn the game our way. Also after Maurice Deegan’s diabolical performances reffing us both in last year’s league final and in the All-Ireland final if we never see him again it’ll be too soon.

  41. Ya, I just cannot stand Duffy, and I usually try not to comment on refs. He loves over-reffing the game, feeling like he has to be in control. Like one of those refs that never actually played the game, he has no feel for it whatsoever.

    I forgot it was Deegan who did the league final. I think he had a decent AI final last year other than not awarding Cillian that free, which in fairness the umpires should be bringing to his attention (that’s a whole other debate though).

  42. ”that whole other debate” needs debating though, umpires are the most incompetent aspect to officialdom .

  43. seanod87,
    Referees are being instructed by HQ to referee games by the book and to the letter of the law. I know this because every Monday morning myself and a work mate, who is an up-and-coming ref., disect the various refereeing performances from the weekend games. I argue over certain incidents and he then tells me why I am wrong and is able to quote line and verse the relevant rule. The GAA do not want former players reffing games as how they should be played, from a players point of view. They want games reffed by the book.

  44. pebblesmeller, I wouldn’t even mind the whole ‘by the book’ reffing if they actually did it properly. But I have been told similar stories myself all right, ones like ‘you better start liking Marty Duffy because he’ll be getting a lot more big games’.

    Anyway, I don’t think you can be as strict in reffing Gaelic football as say, soccer or basketball, because the rules just aren’t defined enough. Like, imagine if the ref blew up every time a player took more than four steps. Or technical speaking, the way the best teams tackle is very much illegal but you couldn’t be giving frees for this stuff or no one would watch the sport.

  45. Its started.. jimmy’s getting exactly what he’s hoping for.. he knows his team is in trouble and he’s trying to find another way to shift the balance.. throw in a bit of controversy, have us all talking about the ref.. he’s afraid mayo are going to steam roll them in the first 20 minutes and he’s trying to take the heat out of it.. instead, Donegal will hit us with everything and try and get a head start.. I have to agree with jpm about Donegal tactics too – in Carrick on Shannon one of the Laois lads swung back trying to break from the tackle (as yet agan they were being held up by cynical fouling).. i don’t think he made contact at all but the Donegal man went down faster than gravity and rolled around so much that even bale would have been embarrassed.. they will try and target our best players (AOS, COC, etc.,)to get them sent off because thats the only chance they have of beating us (meath tactics)..They Mayo players, Management and support ers are far too long on the road to fall for this crap.

  46. Interesting comments from James Horan about Donegal and their physicality from last night’s press briefing in this report by Colm Gannon in the Mayo Advertiserhere.

  47. Diehard…have to agree with you…this whinging about Jimmy, Donegal, Murphy, cynical fouling has got to stop. roll on Sunday.

  48. “From our position, we don’t whine or whinge about it, our two goalies were gone within two days of each other, you just dust yourself down and get on with it, and that’s one of the features of Gaelic football and top level sport.” (James Horan speaking last night at the press event)

    Lads, we should all take James’s advise.

  49. From some of the comments an alternative view not welcome here so ill be on my way , as a parting shot Ill have 2 pairs of complimentary tickets going for the game – cant make it myself as will be abroad – takers for one set??

  50. To paraphrase our favourite messiah:
    I am not happy when the Donegal sideline try to intimidate every linesman by screaming in his face every match
    I am not happy when Full back McGee only gets booked after his 5th foul
    I am not happy when Donegal players run across the free taker just as they run up
    I am not happy with the constant sledging
    I am not happy when Murphy and McFadden constantly whine to the referee
    I am not happy when Murphy gets tripped , falls over and lies there like a fat lad at a disco to get McMahon sent off
    I am not happy when Donegal players try to put their fingers in your eye. And I have a real fear that we will see a detached retina
    That’s what we are talking about Brian
    If you are going to mix a working system with great fitness and physicality and a fair share of cynicism, don’t bitch about the physicality and cynicism when you suffer injuries as a result. It’s the hypocrisy that makes you laugh not the fact that you want to see players injured

  51. Alomg the same lines, anyone read the Donaghy interview in the Indo? I thoughthe following from Donaghy was funny…”Like, I’d a scenario there (in this year’s championship) where I said to an umpire ‘watch the holding’ – there was a lot of holding going on inside, bear-tackling basically, and I turned to the umpire and he says to me ‘ah go away back out Donaghy and play the game’.”

    I think Sean might have eluded to it in an earlier post, that the umpires role is not entirely clear. Sometimes they get involved, other times they dont (unless tapped by the ref) and act like stooges, at great cost to all involved.

  52. The Messiah’s statement is his ‘get out clause’ when the chickens come home to roost on Sunday. I have the feeling that he fears been beaten out the gate by Mayo………..I’d go as far as to say he knows it and is clutching at straws, all he’s trying to do is to back out gracefully but has instead has made a laughing stock of himself.

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