The morning after

Well, here we are again.

Like many of you, I’d say, I don’t have the appetite – or the heart – to go over in any kind of forensic detail about what befell us yesterday. But I know too that the crushing disappointment we all feel isn’t going to lift today or, indeed, for a good few days after that either.

Our performance yesterday at Croke Park – on the field and on the sideline – was never at the level required to win an All-Ireland. An All-Ireland that was there to be claimed but, instead of grasping it for ourselves, our countless errors handed it to a grateful Tyrone team who were the worthiest of winners on the day.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. Next year, like every other year, we once again start back down at the base of the mountain, with everything to do and everything to prove all over again. But it’s hard even to think about next year this morning.

And it’s hard too to avoid the conclusion that the accumulation of final defeats has locked us into a self-perpetuating cycle from which I’m not sure we’re ever going to escape. We should have won at least four or five of the finals we’ve contested since 1989: how can we be confident, given how many opportunities we’ve spurned, that, if we get back in to another decider, things will end up differently for us?

Losing is tough, losing the way we lost yesterday is tougher still. Losing with no end in sight to these kind of losses is the toughest of all.

Needless to say there’ll be no post-match review of the coverage on here today. To be honest, I’m pretty spent at this stage and a subject matter focused on something other than our travails would be good for the mind today.

There will, though, for those who are up to it, be a match-day episode of the podcast up later on. The MOTM poll is still open too, with Lee well out in front after his lion-hearted display yesterday, and I’ll close the book on that too later on this evening.

Take it easy, all. Back with those bits later in the day.

152 thoughts on “The morning after

  1. Cheers Willie Joe.
    I’m a good few days off a re-watch of the game. No papers or news websites today either.
    Check in here every now and again to feel the waters.
    I’m just exhausted at this stage.

  2. Looking at our 6 starting defenders and the 4 subs, 9 of the 10 are more half backs, than full backs, Harrison being the exception. Oisin is not a full back and never will be. Moving him back there was a huge mistake and the enivitable happened. Surely there must be a few full backs playing club football in Mayo that’s worth a place on the panel. We need to sort out our full back and half forward line to have any chance of winning the bloody thing.

  3. Well put. Glorious opportunity yesterday.
    Very hard to have any faith going into any final now, thinking that we truly can win.
    They don’t get easier. In fact, they get worse.
    An air of hopelessness in one sense. They’ll come back, don’t get me wrong. They always do. But it’s just so hard to believe that they’re going to ever win a final.

  4. Thanks Willie Joe for the brillant blog you run here mimd yourself today and spend time with family and friends and do something non football related. We have to move on somehow never mind if we’ll be back next year or not for now next year will take care of itself

  5. Ah look WJ it’s disappointing. We didn’t get enough players playing at a level to win a final. Simple as that. Maybe there will be retirements. But there is a good core there imo. Try to get 1 or 2 more forwards if possible with the same temperament as Tommy & ROD. Wel be back next year. Back to watching soccer now ???

  6. Desperately dispiriting. I’ve always been absolutely convinced we’ll break through but now I’m really not so sure. We never turned up yesterday, and yet Tyrone gave us so many chances to get back into the game. We just weren’t good enough on the day, although I don’t think that performance is a fair reflection of our lads either.

    Time is healing. Isn’t it?!? We’ve no choice but to stick at it. We’re going to be pilloried and slagged off. The usual stuff from the usual sources. Fuck them. We are who we are and we’ll look after our own. Up Mayo.

  7. The one hope I have from yesterday is that this makes some of the mayo supporter’s fuck off. Fuck off from McHale park, fuck off from croke park and fuck off from here. Genuine Mayo supporter’s don’t need ye . spitting bile about players, managers everything else. We were great 4 weeks ago…we are shite now according to a large cohort. Horan was a genius for taking off O Shea… Now he’s shite. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Mistakes were made on and off the pitch, it’s sickening but that’s sport. The nature of it is there is a victorious team and a defeated team. And history is written by the victors
    I for one will renew my season ticket next year, go to the league games, go to championship games and support the team. If we win I’ll be elated if we loose I’ll be devastated.. but I will never a long as I live call players losers,bottlers, or anything thing else I’ve seen here over the last few hours.
    To everyone that said ” I’m done” or ” never again” or ” we are losers” .. You won’t be missed. You are never forced to go, so stay at home.
    To those that love Mayo football and our county… I’ll see ye next spring.
    Maigh Eo Abu.

  8. Even Sean Cavanagh (backed up by Kieran Whelan) has admitted the penalty – subbed a gamee-changer by Tyrone) shouldn have been retaken as gte Tyrone goalkeeper moved “at least one metre off his line. But then, bad luck is our annual companion.

    How many times have we seen Mayo concede a goal to high balls. Agree wit blogger we need to be trying out some 3 ins full backa. Hopefully Brendan Harrison will soon be fit enough to be given plenty of chances in the league.

    How we missed the leadership of Cilian O’Connor and his point taking – not to mention that missed penalty. Is Aidan still carrying a foot injury. I’ve never seen him so ineffectual. Either that or he’s just too slow for today’s game.

    As regards James Horan picking Kevin McLoughlin (who loves to roam th field) at cornrer forward was a huge mistake. And his substitutions so late in the game – especially James Carr 3 minutes into injury time were a cardinal error, as was taking off Swanee O’Hora when he was just getting into his stride , and not bringing on Hession from the beginning. That said he’s done a wonderful job withe the youngsters.. Just can’t see why he could not bring on that wholehearted Colm Boyle for te last 15 minutes.

    I’m now 83 so I think I’m entitled to this grouch (my first game in croke Park was at the Mayo v Dublin semi-final in 1955 and, I still remember the bonfires blazing in my native Ballina in 1951. I feel flat that I have to wait anotehr year to relight a bonfire!!!!

  9. Based on what I saw against Galway and Dublin – I had more hope than confidence going into the game yesterday. I couldn’t understand where all the confidence was coming from. We beat a Dublin team that were a pale shadow of what they were a few years ago – in a very poor quality game as well.
    I would regard at least two of the players who started yesterday as good club players at best – a lot of people within the county would have the same opinion. You dont win all Ireland finals with good club players.
    I think this team has over achieved in getting to the last two finals. The real top quality players have the composure on all Ireland final day to do the right thing under pressure – we didnt have that.
    I still have great respect for the effort all the players and management have out in.

  10. Brilliant John McHale……83……Respect to you as a loyal, long time Mayo die hard and wishing you not one but many AIF victory bonfires in the future……

  11. While I’m venting….
    If there is one good thing to come out of yday debacle it is we can’t fall back on our favourite fallback excuse from the last 10 years,

    ie “we would have won a few all irelands if we didnt come up against the greatest team of all time”. Total bs, that argument has been firmly put to bed now. This is mayo, we lose finals. If it wasn’t that great Dublin team we woukd have found a way to lose against Tyrone/kerry/donegal whoever, its what we do. We never learn

  12. Calm down Wayne. Nothing wrong with a bit of constructive criticism. And it’s deserved today, poor performance yesterday from players and management..Another winnable final lost and the wait goes on to 71 years. Its a joke at this stage. What do you think the Kerry supporters were saying about their team after the defeat to Tyrone. They would have been savaged In Kerry. The supporters are ruthless. What do you want us to say today….we’ll done lads….there’s always next year….we go again. At some stage it has to be called for What it is, a failure to win an all Ireland. Kerry will come stong next year. The Dubs will regroup. We missed a golden opportunity to end the famine against a decent but far from unbeatable Tyrone side.

  13. Willie Joe, thank you very very much for your kindness, spirit and professionalism in running this blog, writing timely, interesting and informative blog posts, following the comments and producing excellent podcasts with your fellow contributors.
    We have been treated to a royal array and I want to commend you wholeheartedly. I have very much enjoyed the build up to this game on your blog and although today I feel a bit muddled and dispirited after yesterday, the excellence of the MayoGAABlog and your stewardship is a little sparkling gem that stands out and must be acknowledged. Thank you very much for the heart you have put into it.
    Fellow Mayo supporters, let us heal from this. Allow ourselves to do so. We feel like we’ve been mauled yesterday but the internal part of us is still here and we will find it.
    My good wishes to you all today. Love and light to you.

  14. Dave, there is a massive difference between constructive criticism and what some people are saying after yesterday. Yes mistakes were made, absolutely. And yes we played shit. But making it personal and targeting individuals with sweeping statements is BS. There is no middle ground with a lot of mayo fans. It’s absolutely a failure, I could not agree more, and the facts speak for themselves, but anybody who abuses players or mentors personally is completely out of line. Thats my point above.

  15. WJ, perfectly summed up.
    My over riding emotion yesterday was one of anger. Anger for believing that we could win it, and anger at watching, unfolding on the pitch before us, all the basic errors and poor decision making that would look bad at a junior club game. We kept our worst performance in 2 years for yesterday’s final and that fact is unavoidable. Nor should it pass without due fair, critical, honest analysis.
    We’re in such a downward tailspin of losing finals that I don’t ever see us getting over the line and, as much as I hate to say it, I don’t think I’d trust them going into another final, that they could win it. We’re also in danger of becoming a laughing stock…. 13 finals, 2 draws, 11 defeats!!! Other teams come out of nowhere, win it and go home.
    I have to admit, and I know it’s the morning after the night before, but after over 37 years of following this team all over the country, div 3 to div 1, barren years and great years, I am beginning to get weary and wonder what the hell am I at.
    It will be a long Winter.

  16. I don’t know why people think we should just accept this and say well done. What happened yesterday deserves to be called out. You’d say fair enough if they’d gone out and gave it their all and just came up short. But they didn’t even show up. Abject on the field and on the sideline. It needs to be said. Other wise how are we supposed to improve? We are too comfortable with the narrative around us.

    The only player I feel sorry for is Lee Keegan. He’s our greatest ever player and once again he showed up yesterday while everyone else might as well have stayed at home.

  17. I think Mayo need to be a lot more consistent, a trait that Cillian O’Connor brings in buckets and spades. This season especially was too much at the mercy of swings and roundabouts of momentum in games. We needed terrible weather conditions (alongside an incredible effort level, of course) to have a chance in the semi final, realistically. A more controlled and assured game in attack and defence is the way forward, in my opinion.

    That said, very proud of all the effort given by the players and management, and thankful for the great days that they have given. And I’m looking forward to cheering Mayo on again for the good days still to come – win, lose, or draw.

  18. My God. We missed an open goal in the 25th minute, concede the softest/needless goal by McShane and miss a penalty. And then the rest!
    It just wasnt to be and it’s hard to accept another loss but I’ll be back next year. Thanks Willie Joe for all your work.
    Up Mayo.

  19. Fair play to John MacHale, some man to still be still going strong at 83.

    I kinda feel that some of the defensiveness that categorizes an element of Mayo’s support is coming to the fore here, with some posters almost questioning our right to question or criticize aspects of what happened yesterday.

    While no one should ever condone personal abuse, people have a right to critique what we saw. Especially given that some of them were forking out several hundred euro for a seat yesterday.

    We have players who have never let us down and are desperately unlucky not to have a Celtic cross by now. We also have a couple of players who have never done it on the big day but who seem to be immune from deselection.

    The manager also seems to have learned little from previous September defeats, particularly on the need for a sweeper. Tyrone got 2-5 by my reckoning through long diagonal balls into their full-forward line and nothing was done to counteract that at any point. Let us not forget that the closest we ever got to winning Sam was under Rochford, who did employ sweepers against the Dubs.

    We clearly also struggled to break down Tyrone’s defensive structure, gave away too many turnovers, and got wiped out in the centre of the field.

    Very few of our players played to their potential yesterday. Maybe the four week layoff was a factor. But also we panicked going into the final stretch and made mistakes you’d hardly see junior players making. Only Mayo could miss open goals, penalties and shots from in front of the posts.

    If we continue to stick our heads in the sand about these things, we will continue to get the same result.

  20. We woke up this morning in the brand new extension to the house of pain.
    For seventy years we have failed to win the championship.
    We have regularly taken up a ‘base camp’ position just below the summit but have repeatedly rolled down the hill to start again the following year with all the other contenders.
    Yesterday we had one team to beat to plant the green & red on the summit …. today we are back at the foot of the mountain with all the other contenders.
    We have made good progress this past two years with a Connacht Final, two All Ireland Semi’s & two All Ireland Finals played in Croker in the last 10 months.
    This is vital experience for a young team.
    Yesterday we came up against a more hardened streetwise team.
    When it comes to finals there is always going to be one winner & one loser.
    We need now to dispense with the remaining older members of the noughties team & thank them for their services.
    If Lee doesn’t walk of his own accord he should be retained for another year or two.
    What a player he has been.
    We need one full back, one midfielder & the replacement of the entire half forward line.
    We need to own our own failings & tackle them ruthlessly.
    Take care everyone.

  21. Wayne/Dave – I think you’re both correct there, in different ways. Criticism is definitely warranted in the wake of that performance but abuse definitely isn’t.

    The blog’s comments bin has, however, been filling up with dozens of abusive comments of the kind you’d see on social media but which were caught before they had a chance to go up on the site so the kind of bile you come across on social media does wash up here too even if it’s only me that sees it.

    In general, though, I think the post-match commentary on here has been fine for the most part and for that I’m very grateful to you all.

  22. Sometimes us as fans become so invested in this mayo team that it becomes all consuming, I for one a week out from an all Ireland have trouble sleeping and then as it gets nearer the day I have trouble eating and then on the day if I can’t make it to the game I can’t even watch it properly on tv I am in and out of the room always expecting the worst and after yesterday’s defeat I am just wondering is this the final straw for some of these loyal mayo fans how much more pain can we take

  23. There is no final straw for a “loyal mayo fan”
    If there is a final straw for someone to stop following their county then they aren’t very loyal.
    It’s raw. It’s annoying. It’s painful. It will pass.
    And it’s infinitely worse for the players . Especially the likes of Rod who was one of our best performers but he will be running the penalty miss over in his mind for many many years . Hopefully he gets a chance to put it to bed by winning AI soon….

  24. I came out of croke park in 2017 feeling so dejected after losing an unbelievable game of football. However, I was also greatly enthused that we were on the right path to glory. I was immediately looking forward to seeing club football again and being back on the stands for fbd league games.
    Yesterday, I walked out numb. That has turned to anger and bitterness today. I’m trying to remain relatively reserved here for the blog!
    Today, I feel zero hope. I know some people will say we shouldn’t give up but I feel totally dejected. We let a very ordinary team win a final by not showing up. This was our greatest chance and we blew it. So many things went our way and we simply could not take the chances afforded to us.
    Honestly, I don’t think we’ll win one in my lifetime now. I’m not that old but I don’t see any way we’re winning one. I know that sounds bad and maybe I could be accused of being very pessimistic but it’s how I feel.
    I genuinely don’t feel like going to a Mayo game next year – I go to every game I can make and I really don’t want to now.
    I know I sound bitter right now (and I am) and maybe this is just a cathartic exercise but it’s how I feel.
    Never thought a game could leave me feeling so down. I know the players must feel terrible for not showing up. I don’t really blame them today but I blame myself for believing.
    Sorry again for the rant guys!

  25. I really believed we could win yesterday. I thought we would win.

    As the game went on and as each guilt edged goal chance went a begging, it became clear well before the 70 minutes we were not going to win.

    The draws against Dublin and the one point defeats were hard losses and heartbreaking but they were valiant efforts.

    Yesterday wasn’t even a valiant effort. Most of the team looked like they didn’t believe they could win themselves.

    We had wrong people on the end of the goal chances. I thought maybe kev Mc would have the composure to put them away if he had been the guy in the spot, but he wasn’t.

    Yesterday was demoralising. It cannot be painted as anything else. As bad and all as most of the 15 played, we still had more than enough chances to win that game.

    We could have had at least 4 goals and we kicked I’d say at least 8 very kickable points wide.

    I hate to say it but we bet ourselves yesterday.

    A good team playing average could have won this all Ireland. We were below average. Way below.

    I feel desperate for the likes of Lee, Steven Coen and Ryan O’Donoghue. Along with a few more okay performances, they were out there playing on their own with no help whatsoever from several of yesterday’s team.

    It will take a long time to get over this one.

  26. For my sins I am currently on a sober rewatch of yesterday’s game, we were actually even worse than I thought. Keegan and coen the only ones emerging with credit and ROD tried manfully 1st half, star performers right throughout the Tyrone team by comparison….

    Just as I write dooher is whipping off Tyrone legend and talisman mattie donnelly in the 40th minute because he isn’t playing well. Ruthless, unsentimental stuff. That’s why dooher wins all Irelands

  27. Thanks WJ for your site. It’s the only thing I will read for the next few days. I despise the gloating and mockery aimed in our direction from other sites. I am in agreement with Wayne Scales. I am tired of people bigging us up in the last 4 weeks, saying management and players were brilliant, saying we would win handily because we were simply better than Tyrone and then venting bile and abuse at all and sundry because we lost. Sure , a number of our players failed to perform well yesterday. We made terrible errors in defence midfield and up front. The moves and changes by management did not work. Some players should have been subbed earlier and subs were too late coming on.No sub who did come in made much of an impact. But let’s be honest we as supporters got caught up in too much euphoria after beating Dublin. Then when Tyrone beat Kerry some people thought our name was on the cup. But if we took a realistic look at things we might have had second thoughts. We beat a mediocre Galway and a Dublin team in decline. We did not play particularly well in either game, poor in both first halves but our fight back and extra time win v Dublin covered all cracks. Tyrone beat Ulster champions Cavan, a strong Donegal team, Monaghan despite Covid issues and Kerry who were favourites to win the All Ireland. Yet some people consoled themselves by saying Kerry were over rated etc . When I looked at the two teams on the programme I thought Tyrone carried the greater threat. When I looked at the subs there was no comparison. Did we have a McShane or Canavan. The day we lost Cillian was a disaster. Did we really think we could win an A I without him. Our forwards lacked composure yesterday. They snatched at chances when cool heads were required. Our team did very well up until yesterday and we have blooded lots of good players but they are nowhere near the teams we had from 2013 to 2017. Maybe they will be and lads like Hession, Oisin, Conroy and O Donaghue have great potential and will improve. It was interesting that Leeroy was once again our standout player. Today is desperately deflating but it is not a day to be hurling abuse at our players and management. Leave that to other trolls from outside the county who feast themselves on our misfortune. It is a day like many we have experienced before and each final we lose increases the baggage we carry. We will come back because thats what we do and we will compete at the highest level again. But thats for another day.

  28. Players like Lee Keegan thrive under pressure. Others collapse. And its this mental vulnerability thats constantly bringing us down. Never more evident than yesterday. A very poor performance might have been different had we hit the front in second half and had an average Tyrone side chasing the game.
    We are unlikely to get a better chance for many a year. Difficult to see the light of where we go from here. A good club championship might do something to raise the spirits..

  29. @Supermac, why in gods name would you even bother torturing yourself watching it again.

    Absolute waste of time.

  30. I think we were playing Leitrim in an all Ireland final we’d have trouble beating them. Jim mcguinness spoke of the psychological damage that losing all Ireland does to players before the 2017 final and he’s right, but I think that applies to the whole county. I hated the build up to the game, I wasn’t looking forward to it, I was nearly sick with nerves and to be honest I don’t know if I ever believed we’d win. Yesterday was the first all Ireland since 1989 I missed but seeing them lose from home leaves the same feeling. When I think of it rationally I think we’ll be better next year, cillian and Harry back, another year of experience for the like likes of Ryan, Tommy and swanny, but If we managed to make another all Ireland I wouldn’t be confident no matter who we were playing. Oisin will likely leave, those AFL contacts will look sweeter and sweeter as the abuse piles on from inside and outside the county. Dublin will be back and Kerry will have a proper manager, Tyrone will be buoyed by getting across the line this year. I can’t see us getting a better shot than yesterday.

  31. For the first 3 mins I actually thought it was going to be our day. Silly me. Then Tyrone scored the next 3 points and it was catch up from then on.

    The straight knockouts of the last 2 seasons have made it difficult to gauge where we’re at and where we’re heading.

    Hard questions need to be asked in the coming months.

  32. Tommy Joe, it’s kinda how I feel too. Nothing wrong in it, and no need to apologise.
    It’s sport, there’s always a loser, but I’m getting sick and tired of always being on the losers side. There’s no certainty of success and I’m involved in teams at club level to know that hard work, commitment and honesty of effort are the basis, not the guarantee, of success. But for fucks sake you’d think we would have fluked one of them by now! By basic mathematical probability we should have won one of them.
    Of course, it’s far worse for the players and management and their families. But today I’m being selfish, for the first time in 37 years I’m seriously wondering if we will ever get it done.

  33. Don’t think I’ll be watching the match again, haven’t done it with any of the past finals as it’s always raw, but will listening to the podcast and the Andy / Paddy one. Feels like in addition to not taking our goal chances we were beaten tactically – a lot of midfield running looked to go along the sidelines which blunted the impact of some of our big players. A detailed insight on where it went wrong without having to actually sit through it would be interesting. Hopefully anyone who’s still performing and able to contribute to the panel will stick with it and make another huge sacrifice for our benefit. There are still a lot of good young players who can learn

  34. I have never lacked confidence in our ability to match and beat anyone on the big day and I have never been as confident of us lifting the cup as yesterday. But yet again we lost an all Ireland rather than the opponent winning it. No body gifts you the Sam McGuire you have to go and take it with two hands and that is exactly what Tyrone did. The amount of space we allowed them along with the turn overs meant we were always chasing the ball and the game, The decision to start Oisin Mullin backfired big time, he spent the first half just easing himself back into the game and didn’t do a lot more in the second half, O’Shea his blocked shot apart did nothing , Conor Loftus has had a very good season so far , but his kicking yesterday was shocking either missing by a wide margin or just giving the keeper catching practise , the ability is there but he is never going to strengthen up enough to do himself justice, time after time he came storming through only to basically tip over his own feet when challenged.. And as for the two goals, when will Hennelly learn he either Needs to clear out both man and ball or stay on his line, there was a clear foul for the second goal but Hennelly stuck in no man’s land once again just made it a gift. Ps O’Donaghue scored some cracking points yesterday but was was he trying to do with the penalty, the stopping and starting was a joke, but trying to curl a ball around an imininary wall was a new one on me

  35. NiallMc1983, oh you are right there, the best chance is gone and it’s gone because we blew it, we do not deserve to ever make another final, in fact there is nothing worth this torture, it’s damaging to our mental health and why should we keep passing the baton of hurt from one generation to another.

    I hope Oisin Mullin goes, why would he waste his life with having anything to do with Mayo GAA, I spoke to a few people this morning who have just had enough of it and it’s not just morning after anger, they are getting their kids into soccer now.

    Look at the way Kerry operate, they don’t put up with this total nonsense Mayo are at.

    As supporters and a county we were made total fools of yesterday and I’m sorry but it’s just not acceptable any longer.

    There is no other county in Ireland would put up with this, a win yesterday would have lifted Mayo football for decades to come, instead we get a pathetic show that has sent us back to the dark ages.

  36. Ryan O’Donoghue can hold his head up high. He has been brilliant all year and there would have been no AI final for us without him. If we had a few more like him yesterday we would have won.

    It’s nonsense to give out about people who went in to yesterday’s game with belief we could win. If nobody believes we can do it then why should we expect the team to ever believe they could do it. If there isn’t belief that you can win then there’s no point in even been there in the first place.

    It’s only right when you get to an AI final that there is excitement and hope and belief. What’s the point in getting to a final if there isn’t fun and enjoyment attached to the build up.

    Its sickening to lose but don’t take it out on people that go in to these finals with hope in their hearts. We’re all in the doldrums today whether you believed or didn’t believe.

  37. Trudging home now – sick, sad and sorry. How were we so lethargic? The missed goals, the penalty, Tyrones two goals. Poor decisions on the sideline again (J. Horan and J. Burke looked to be having an argument at one stage).I feel this was the worst loss and its hard to take. Sending James Carr in at that late stage. Running into tackles all day and ball then lost.Half forwards poor. Great days out etc but no Sam Maguire. Aido poor – annoymous in the second half. We have to say it out – there is no point in denying that was our best chance. Lee is a class act and on the biggest days he always delivers. How much longer can he keep going?

  38. This is Donegal all over again, great chance squandered, JH first time in charge said he would take bullshit out of mayo football and he did, needs to look at it again, Joe Brolly not totally wrong today

  39. I’m as guilty as anyone else that got sucked into the hype of not having to play Kerry. Kudos to Tyrone for their performance and deserved win. As for us, well, maybe we were overconfident. Maybe the injuries finally caught up with us. Maybe we were just not quite good enough to jump that final hurdle. Whatever is was, it’s going to be a long winter as we wait to do this all over again. But we will be there or thereabouts again, as we always seem to be. Overall a good year for the lads. Special thanks to WJ for another great effort this year, we are all very appreciative.

  40. Yes we had a good chance of lifting Sam yesterday but the best team won by a country mile. We helped them in the process as we were wasteful! Like other bloggers cannot understand why we did not use 4 dubs at half time as some of our lads were not performing on the day for whatever reason! Maybe the big occassion or af ter beating the Dubs. We will never know!
    Pointless sending 2 subs on with 3min to go especially since we had at least 10 players underperforming?
    I was astonished that the Mayo team bus entered the stadium at exactly 4.35pm. Surely they should have been in for at least 1hr mar a deirtear as Gaeilge roimh readh (before hand)!
    A huge Mayo support from all over the country and remember no-one died! After all it is an amateur sport and the Boys deserve some credit for getting us there. We need to rebuild and as supporters we need to support the Co Board financially by doing the lotto etc
    We are a proud county and le cunadh De tiochfidh ar la!
    Go neiri le foireann Mhuigheo i gconai
    Mhuigheo abu!

  41. There’s nothing wrong with believing we would win. It was a very winnable game. That’s what’s so annoying about it. I’d accept it if we turned up and gave it our best. But that’s not what happened. It was a pathetic performance. Some key players might as well have stayed at home.

  42. The Bryan Walsh goal chance would have levelled the game with 20 minutes to go and we only 2 points down and had a bit of momentum with 15 minutes to go when Tyrone scored their second goal.

    We were poor alright but the frustrating thing is that any one of our goal chances goes in and its a different game. I still cant work out how the ball didn’t cross the line just prior to the penalty being given.

    We didn’t even come away with a point for any of those goal chances either. The worry always was that we could only get so far without Cillian. You would back him all day long to stick at least one of those goal chances away.

  43. “I expect the tackling of the Tyrone backs tomorrow evening will be savage and the Mayo forwards may struggle to get shots off as did Kerry. They just cant carry it into tackle like the Kerry lads but then its going to be difficult to get points I predict a real low scoring game with the final score something like 2-10 to 0-14”.

    Final Score – 2-14 to 0-15

    Well I was a bit out on the points total but was on the money on two goals to win Sam. I couldn’t decide which team would get them but in the end it was Tyrone who prevailed and were in control of the game in the last 10 minutes when I would have expected a bigger fight from Mayo but Tyrone were able to dictate it and stop Mayo getting up a head of steam and lads seemed to lose heart after some very poor wides.

    Tyrone just had a great system and some very talented footballers not afraid to go for points and they certainly took most opportunities presented to them which of course is needed on final day. Tommy Conroy improved again and is turning into an excellent player but he is sadly an outlier with other lads appearing fearful of long range efforts even when Tyrone backed off them. Mayo are doing great to get into all these finals something we in Galway can only dream of but the losses are becoming a massive millstone now that’s damaging for the team, manager and supporters. Galway lost 11 All-Ireland hurling finals since 1975 but have thankfully won 4. The most recent one after a 29 year gap and one which I had come to believe would not be won so I can only imagine what 70 years must feel like. Probably close to an elderly Galway hurling fan in say 1975 would have felt after losing to Kilkenny and now a 52 year gap since last Liam came west of the Shannon.

    Padraic Joyce and his panel needs to step it up in 2022 now and challenge Mayo for the Connaught title. As a Galway fan I would settle for a return to Division One and a Connaught title in 22 and let me remind you as a regular reader of this forum that’s exactly what many Mayo fans said on here after the 2020 final loss.

  44. The obsession in mayo in starting team is a constant bugbear of mine, you need to hold some aces on the bench to close the deal.

    You can be sure logan/dooher would have been under big pressure to start mcshane/canavan but they had the balls to stick to their guns and release them just at the right time with both lads having huge impacts.
    That kind of decisive thinking doesn’t happen in mayo

    Morgan was my motm on rewatch, unreal influence. Like having an extra defender/playmaker

  45. Yesterday was tainted before the ball was thrown in. I got a ticket last minute, out of pure luck. Some of the people who got into that game would make you sick. Casual fan wouldn’t come close to describing them. There was no Mayo roar because they were left outside the gates. And the worst thing about it all, is that it was done to us by our own people. We were meant to be in this together. We clearly are not.

    But they had no problem dangling tickets in front of desperate fans every single day last week. God help anyone with a gambling problem.

    I will never forgive them for this.

  46. Same, Mayo Mark. The ticketing fiasco soured the whole buildup and I don’t see much goodwill coming the way of Mayo GAA for a long long time.

  47. Supermac
    100% certain as they had a Garda escort going into the Cussack stand. Unless it was a bus with the extended panel but either Oisein or Swanny waved from the back of the bus-the cul of gruaig give away (hairstyle)! All the Mayo supporters withnessed this! I even checked my watch as did my friend!

  48. I also missed this as I couldn’t get a ticket for first time since 96, agree ticket system is hard to take but hasn’t it always been the same, just normally 82 k which makes it easier

  49. I think it’s unfair to say players didn’t show up yesterday. Our danger men were well marked and not to take from the great performances of Lee and Steven but maybe Lee in the fullback line was not a worry for them and neither was Steven who’s rarely a scoring threat. Tyrone’s setup wins that game all day long and so we failed badly on the sideline. ROD was the best of the forwards and he was a marked man but he should not have been the one taking the penalty. Where’s the coaching here, no room for being cute as he was trying to be, fair enough if it’s on target and saved. This was a big turning point in the game and we blew it. AOS a great servant but was ineffective, a marked man and should have been replaced again. Tyrone protected the goal but we had too many missed chances not clinical enough. Despite the loss and another final at that, I think James and his team have done well this year with all the retirements and I see us at the top level for the next several years. A you g team that only can get stronger.

  50. Does anyone know when are the club championship starting up again? Usually it’s a week or 2 after we exit the championship?

  51. Thank you WJ for your hard work and perseverance. Your blog has been my touchstone for all things Mayo. It’s hard to care so much. I got up this morning. My flag was wet and wrapped around the pole. I got the ladder and untangled the flag. That’s all I can do. Thanks to all the contributors on here who make this blog so vital and real and comforting. Ye are like family. We are all hurting and hurt we must. It will pass. We will go again.

  52. Only 1 thought this afternoon;
    “Never give up, Never give in
    Never give up, Never give in
    Never give up, Never give in
    Never give up, Never give in”

  53. Uncrossing the Rubicon:

    (James Horan is still the guy who should be director of football in Mayo)

    I wrote here a few weeks ago about James Horan and his evolution from being loyal to players towards being loyal to the performance. I eulogized this as a marriage of love and ruthlessness which is/was necessary to remove the final stubborn bullshit from Mayo football.

    Horan has done so much to bring on football in Mayo and our way of thinking about the game. I was enraptured by this late career transition to ruthlessness. I was convinced ( based on one example which now looks anecdotal and wrong )that he had passed the point of no return and was on his way to ultimate victory.

    The Rubicon is a River between Italy and ancient Gaul. Generals who crossed that river ( from Gaul)had burned their bridges and changed their path irrevocably. There were consequences. Big consequences.
    And there was no way back.

    Until yesterday.

    Horan undid all the good he unleashed in the second half of the Dublin game by not repeating the same strategy he showed then, yesterday. I found it strange. He was back to the place where victory is not possible.

    Victory is not possible without ruthlessness. How on earth could he have come to the wrong conclusion about what happened in the semi final ? The ruthlessness that day unleashed the youth. It was as clear as night and day. That too has a name The Ewing effect. It’s when a team plays ( inexplicably)better without their star player.

    Now I have no idea if this has been studied but a reverse crossing of the Rubicon while at the same time ignoring a blatant example of The Ewing effect both in forward and reverse is an example of blind loyalty that is self destructive.

    But I have hope.

    If somehow , some way you navigated your way back across the Rubicon , at least there is the knowledge that it’s possible to cross it(assuming that that the original crossing wasn’t an accidental detour)

    This is my hope.

    But if I’m wrong then James Horan is not being deployed properly by Mayo. He is the quintessential guy to become Director Of Football.

    But without ruthlessness he can’t win the All Ireland as a manager.
    No one can.

  54. When Cillian got injured I said to myself our year is over. Connaught would be 50/50 at best and forget All Irelands. We are not as good as we thought and we are not as bad either. Like everyone else I’m sick to death of losing but I draw the line with blaming and finding fault. In hind sight do you not think the players and management don’t know and feel what we know and feel right now. Like others I plan to do non gaa stuff for a while but come January god willing I will be back on the road following league matches again. Thanks for everything you do here Willie Joe. You are the only shinning light in the darkness right now!

  55. Totally agree with Mayo mark
    We genuine supporters were shafted by our own big time
    It’s sickening
    I traveled up Int the hope of getting a ticket and no luck..
    Saw people there with tickets and still flabbergasted how they got them

  56. Not as disappointed today as in other years. We were poor yesterday, didnt deserve to win so more annoyed then disappointed

    A lot of lads with a lot of miles done. This is taking an impact on some and I have a feeling we will have as many retirements this year as last year. Even some “younger” players like DOC have miles on the clock and after Ballintubber finish club championship I would love to see him put the boots away for a few months and maybe focus on coming back next May as chanmpionship is starting. Some lads can handle the year in/year out – Lee seems to be loving it year after year but some players just need a break and I think DOC is one of them – and there maybe others. Hpefully they get a well deserved break. I think we will see COC back next year in top form after 12 months out.

    We still have the basis of a great team – there is a lot of youth to be excited about. A rejuvenated DOC, Paddy D, Stephen Coen, Mattie all have a lot to offer. We are unearthing talent the last few years and our acamadies are in full flow so hopefully more talent continues to emerge. The volunteers who are devoting their time to these young teams must be getting a great buzz seeing some of the talent emerging over the last 2 years

    Seeing James interview after the game and he mentioned next year / didnt kick it to touch so sounds like he will go again – thats great. DOnt know where he gets the drive to keep on coming back. Tyrone exposed us for not having a traditional defender on the field yesterday – (i.e. non speed merchant). Hopefully B Harrisson gets back to where he was or Jack Coyne could fill that role. I’m annoyed but still optimistic

  57. All is not lost – just 8 months ago we had 6 players retiring from the squad, soon followed by the injury to Cillian O’Connor, our main score getter. So getting to another final was a plus in many ways, and some great young guys have come through, Tommy C and Ryan OD but the Tyrone cluster tackling and intensity levels were far higher than ours. Tyrone seem to have discovered the magic potion for COVID recovery based on those energy levels!!.

    Mayo supporters, as usual, were overconfident leading into the game (wishful thinking yet again) and this may have rubbed off on guys like O’Hora who got taken to the cleaners by McCurry and Co -also is James inclined to favour his clubmen any times – Hession should have started. A big shout out for Hollymount-Carramore clubman, Stephen Coen, who has been a real leader all through the campaign and my vote for next year’s Captain – he has the track record for it having previously lead both Mayo Minors and Mayo U-21s to All-Ireland successes as captain in 2013 and 2016. Coen also captained the UCD senior team to win the 2017/18 Sigerson Cup. Beidh la eile ann, Maigheo Abú!

  58. The team entered the pitch at 4:28 (exactly as be the Clar). I was in the stadium about 3:20 and both Tyrone and Mayo squads walked the pitch about 15 minutes later so they were both in the ground by 3:30 at latest, stayed out for 10 mins and then Ciaran Mac hung on and setup the cones etc for the warmup drills

  59. Only reporting what I saw. Maybe it was the extended panel! Corduff coach with a garda escort! Not trying to misinform the blog

  60. Mayo Mark, I agree. The county board ripped us off big time. Touting tickets for almost €1000 a piece and putting it down as a “training fundraiser”! Clubs then raffling tickets off to cream it in, instead of offering them to members.
    Of all the years ever to show some soliditarity this was it, instead, the usual wags, ex pats and “sponsors” get the tickets. For someone who spends over €500 a year on season tickets, travels the length and breath of the country and further afield I’ll be rethinking things come the new year.

  61. Hard to comment on that game without crossing the lines on the blog. As said above I think the ticket fiasco surely did not help as you had a lot of well known supporters frozen out in week before. I was lucky to get a ticket night before. Did anyone here of anyone getting fake tickets? I thought this year above most it would be easy to do for underhanded people.

    On the game I was ashamed for first time in so many years. We just did not show up. If we played at all we win that game . Hope this does not cross the line WJ but Mayo have far too many players playing in unnatural positions. Loftus will never be a midfielder. Walsh , doc , o Shea , k mcloughlin all playing in our half forwards and none are natural scorers. We carry too many players like this . Could any of the 4 named be guaranteed 2 points in a game . If answer is no they should not be starting or we need to look at more natural half forwards. You can probably carry one non scoring forwards in hf not 3.

    On sideline I found the subs used and times very strange . Tyrone had a set plan for subs . We all knew it.

  62. Very disappointed today. No need to say more.
    Did anyone else see Tyrone flags being handed out free to supporters at the entrance to Hill16. Maybe something our CB could think about.

  63. It is very simplistic to say people did not show up. Whatever was wrong yesterday was systemic – nobody – not even Keegan, O’Donoghue, Kevin Mc, were moving right after the first water break.
    Did they get the 4 weeks wrong – over-trained, or stewed for 4 weeks in nervous anticipation, etc., because everything was being overcooked and stressed e.g., misses, turnovers, and the guys looked stressed in the prelims compared to Tyrone

    We had no strategy to deal with incoming high ball – suicide

    2 guys who should never have started based on Dublin form and Aido in outfield role cost us their first 3 points.
    The team who won the Dublin game were humming and should have been just tasked with winning the Final – this is simple “responsibility” management in any team building – when they have it do not mess with it
    We were missing 5 starters from 4 lines and needed everything right to compensate and it was far from right

  64. I wish people would just stop mentioning Cillian.

    The facts are very simple, Mayo would have won that game yesterday had they all turned up and played their A game, management included.

    70 years of hurt could have been banished in 70 minutes.

    It’s as if they were terrified to win it.

    They prove one thing, sports physiology is a load of nonsense.

    We need to share some blame as well for doing too much pandering and mollycoddling.

    Nice guys win nothing and until we all get ruthless, we will win nothing.

    We criticize people like Brolly for telling a few home truths.

  65. Not sure what you were seeing Oileán+Acla as the team bus passed me by at Marino Mart at around 3:30 as I was on the way to the stadium. The empty bus passed me then on Jones Road as I was on my way in to go into the stadium, that was around 4pm.
    I also took a photo of the players coming on to the field (including O’Hora) at 4:28, so there was no way that was a bus with Mayo players on it at 4:35pm, they were doing drills at that point already.

  66. I was not there yesterday but do find you can get an idea of how things might go from the warm ups. Do they look particularly nervous or any other signs that they are not in the right frame of mind. Can any of those who were there say if they got that impression from watching the teams as they did there warm ups. .

  67. Oileán+Acla I have a photo of Oisin and the lads on the pitch at 3.56pm so your post is incorrect

  68. All – I think we can dispense with that story now about the timing of the arrival of the team bus, which fairly clearly didn’t happen at 4.35pm.

  69. Did Cian Hanley leave the squad or was he dropped.
    Just wondering why somebody of his talent is not in the squad

  70. What needs to change going forward:
    – root and branch review of Why did we not perform
    – Sports psychologist brought on board immediately
    – Someone like Aidan O’Rourke brought into the backroom team – excellent tactically
    – Ensure players understand their roles – I don’t believe DOC does and defensively we were a shambles. We have sacrificed a serious scorer in DOC to be a workhorse instead
    – Decide what we want tactically – Horan ball or not as Aidan does not fit with the Horan ball gameplan and never will
    – find a midfielder in place of loftus who is a natural 11
    – consider Jordan Flynn for full back. He has the pace and strength and size for that role

  71. @ JJ Kelly Was only a few yards away from the warm up, goalkeepers usual on the ground shot stopping drills, in the air catches from different angles & kickouts/restarts.

    Rest of the players general athletic warm up (joint mobilization & physical muscle warm ups with lateral and forward/reverse movements of varying lenghts.

    Then usual small sided possession games and a 3 man weave scoring drill. These were broken up by brief times for re-hydration. Intensity seemed decent, was especially taking note of how Oisin was moving throughout. Only thing I would have changed was doing the scoring drill which encouraged shooting from longer distances and or different angles.

  72. Yes it was an opportunity missed. In fairness to Tyrone they looked far above ‘bang-average’ or ‘limited’ as some commentators have made them out to be. They have contested an All-Ireland Final in 2018 and have been in the top-four teams in the country for a number of years now. Take out Dublin and Kerry and that leaves you with Mayo and Tyrone at the top of the pile. Had we any right to think we were better or more deserving? It’s galling to think that we have lost six finals in the past ten years while Tyrone just saunter up to Croke Park and steal the trophy from under us but that’s not what it is. They more than deserved their victory yesterday. They had a plan for every sector of the field and nullified our main threats. They looked better-coached and hungrier than us. We knew in advance they would profit from any turnovers and yet our turnover concession must have been the highest of the season. They managed to pull our attack right out of position. Tommy Conroy spent far too much time following his marker back to our own defence. The scoring stats are sobering with three forwards scoring four points from play. We needed more from our forwards and more meanness in our defence. When you struggle as Mayo do against hard defences like Tyrone you must keep the concession of goals to a minimum. It was over after the second goal. I couldn’t see a way back. The Mayo crowd were quiet yesterday. I always think that the teams and supporters feed off each other. Mayo carry a lot of baggage into finals and that is no doubt felt by the supporters also. It’s difficult for supporters to lift a flat team.

    I wonder if all this talk beforehand of Mayo being the fittest and strongest-running team in the championship had somehow gone to our heads. We seemed to constantly try and run the ball through Tyrone. No matter how well-conditioned you are that is energy-sapping and eventually it will wear you down, especially when your best runner, Eoghan McLaughlin, is not part of the match-day 26. Tyrone put two long-balls in and goaled each time. We seemed one-dimensional in our attack, almost as if we were afraid to put the ball in long. I don’t mean we should be kicking them on top of Aidan O’Shea either. Stephen Rochford’s teams were better at this but we seemed to lack the inventiveness to mix it up when the situation called for it. Whether that’s down to coaching or pressure in a final I don’t know. We needed top-drawer performances from our big players yesterday. I don’t mean to criticise players that have busted their balls for Mayo over what have been many long campaigns but we just didn’t perform at the level that will win an All-Ireland. The players will know this and are no doubt devastated today, as all us supporters are. Maybe if only one of the goals had went in it would have given us the shot-in-the-arm we so badly needed. Another winter of ‘if onlys’.

    Many here are questioning if all this heartbreak is worth it. I’m not of the same vintage as a lot of the posters here but I have been going to Mayo matches for decades. We have had some incredible highs and soul-destroying lows. We are unique in Irish sport in our terrible record in finals. We are a national joke at this stage and an easy target for trolls. I am in no way qualified to assess whether the 32 years worth of final losses have become a generational sickness but it’s only natural to wonder if there is something in it. But deep down I do not believe that we are fated to be the grandest of losers. It is definitely in our hands. We will be back.

  73. So much over emotion on the comments section of the blog yesterday and today, it’s embarrassing to read! Some poster said he’s telling his kids to play soccer instead – haha! Other people saying it’ll take them days/weeks to get over the loss, talk about melodramatic. Unless it’s some of the players posting here, you’re entitled to nothing as a supporter. It’s part of the reason that so many get annoyed at Mayo fans, this sense of entitlement.

    On the match, Tyrone were better but having watched it back it was poor enough. Like 2012 in a way, but this Tyrone team are not as good as that Donegal team were. Mayo’s bench was very poor. Mayo are hugely reliant on Tommy, Ryan, Paddy and Mattie for scores. Also, we haven’t one natural fullback/cornerback in the team. Mullen needs to be much further forward on the pitch. Why not Stephen Coen at no. 3? O’Hora is this cult hero amongst Mayo fans and he made two good runs up the field but his one to one defending is not of the Higgins, Barrett, Harrison, Keegan standard.

    Morgan was absolutely outsanding for Tyrone. Man of the match for me. His kickouts, sweeping, and scoretaking were superb.

  74. It’s interesting from a final losses viewpoint we have never had the best set of 6 forwards on paper in any of the 11 matches compared to the opposition

  75. Absolute BS about all genuine supporters leftoutside, yes am sure ,there was many , who did not get tickets, and I seen quite a few inside who did not seem genuine supporters, but to blame the GAA or more specifically Mayo CB is pathetic , people abuse systems not the GAA. Any I wonder is mayo supporters who lift the team or is it the team the lift the mayo supporters, ?

  76. Until I have the stomach to rewatch the game I wont give my overall assessment. I watched in disbelief with some of the stuff we did or didn’t do from the upper Cusack and without replays it’s hard to be even handed. In all the years of watching the good and not so good performances I’ve always found that a bit of time tempers my opinion and even at the worst none of us should denigrate someone that gives up so much to the cause. As bad as we feel the players and management feel far worse. Very cliched but nevertheless very true. I feel hollow and tired but I will watch the club championship and yeah I’ll be ready to go again when the league starts.

  77. I have followed this blog for a number of years and this is my first time posting a comment. I do so having followed Mayo for 50 years even while working overseas, always making my way home for games. I have experienced all the emotions associated with all the final defeats. Yesterday my overriding emotion was one of anger.
    In particular my anger is directed at management. We’re they actually watching the same game as me. I met up with some Tyrone friends prior to the game and they were all of the opinion that if McCurry was not marked he would destroy us. I foolishly re assured them that this would not be allowed to happen. Mc Curry was gifted a few easy scores and his confidence was sky high from there on.
    There was a lot of talk about the strength in depth of Mayo squad but the management either did not trust them to contribute or were totally paralysed by the fear of making a mistake. I am no expert but I could see from 15 min in that changes needed to be made. I have been a huge fan of Aidan but I honestly though that he was kept on the pitch so that he would go back and pick up Mc Shane when he was introduced. If he had been Mc Shane’s goal could have been averted. Likewise, I appreciate and respect the contribution James Horan has made to Mayo football. However, in my opinion he has never performed well on the sideline in finals. For too long yesterday he had his arms folded looking at the ground as if he had given up. What message was that sending to players. In contrast the Tyrone management were a bundle of energy always geeing up their players. If I was James Carr I would have told Horan to fuck off with himself when asked to come on with 73 mins on clock.
    In my opinion this defeat has done untold psychological damage regarding Mayo’s bid to reach the promised land. I hope Mayo eventually win Sam but I will not be there to witness it. After yesterday I have made the decision to physically stop following Mayo. Enough is enough and after witnessing the despair around Croke Park and talking to supporters I have gone to Mayo games with over the years I am not alone in feeling this way.
    Thanks Willie Joe for your brilliant blog and I wish Mayo all the best in the future.

  78. I have to agree with Mayo Mark regarding people who got into the game yesterday did they pay 90 euros to get in and will we see them when Mayo are playing in the League

  79. There are different perspectives for this match. The fans perspective is one of disappointment and heartbreak at losing yet another All Ireland. However from a team perspective for most of them this is really only the second year of a young team. They have reached two finals and disposed of the best team ever seen in GAA history in the process. So heads up lads. Give this team your support. They deserve it and please God will deliver us an all ireland soon.

  80. I seen a lady wearing a half and half galway mayo jersey in the cusack stand . Good friend of mine watching the match in the Gresham as he couldn’t get a ticket . Sickening

  81. Like many others, I don’t know when I will watch the match, too raw at the moment.
    Mayo were far too flat all day, you got the feeling that it was not going to be our day with the goal misses in 1st half and the penalty in 2nd half. Surely panic did set in.
    It was like the Galway game, the penalty would have given Mayo that confidence and fight if it went in.
    What happened yesterday, reminds me so much of 97.
    So many guys didn’t perform, if Mullin was not fully fit he shouldn’t have started.
    O Hora would be better match for McShane, why was ye taken off ? he was getting into the game then.
    At least 5 guys could have been substituted in around 50 minutes.
    Why were the players not ready ?, surely this is a big part of the management’s task.
    Best thing now is to take stock, plan ahead.
    They give us the best of days out, the Dublin game will live long in my memory.
    Management is a cruel business, takes bravery to step up to the job.

  82. That was a really disappointing performance from Mayo. Mayo played a lot better 9 months ago against Dublin.

    The passing and shot selection was really poor . O Donoghue had a good game but kicked away 2 or 3 balls in the first half,. Tyrone had better shape and more awareness. Mayo hussle and bussle approach will get you so far.

    Alas the winter will be another time to ponder. There is players absent like O Connor and McLaughlin, but 3 or 4 players need to be found in the Club Championship

  83. In 2017 we left a final knowing that we couldn’t have done anymore to win the game, the analysis was over in a minute. Yesterday makes me angry because we defeated ourselves, we out mayoed ourselves, conceding 2 soft goals, missing so many scores ourselves and failing tactically to deal with what we knew to expect from Tyrone. James Horan has done amazing things for Mayo football but he has failed miserably in the ultimate test again and there is no getting away from that. Yesterday was brutal in many ways but sport at the top level is exactly that. Since 2011 I have followed Mayo countrywide and had many great moments along the way. Yesterday however the journey ended for me and I suspect for many others. The tank is finally empty.

  84. Great article from Malachy Clerkin. Exactly as you would expect from him. A fair and objective journalist. If only there were more of them. Thanks for the link FDBinashui.

  85. I’m not going to read any newspaper or other article re the game.
    It’s never easy to say but thanks to the older Mayo players and management over the past 10 years.
    Time now for somebody new to come along and give it a go, fresh setup with some fresh players.
    It’s just the way it is.

  86. If we don’t win it by trying….we sure won’t win it by giving up.
    It’s a missed opportunity for sure but it’s early days enough for this particular team and we have a couple of more years with guys like Lee and McLoughlin and OShea too.
    Cillian will be back who knows about JDoc after injuries and Harrison then there is the new contingent of players who will be better next year.
    Awful days just now but you can’t say we could have won that game and then just give up even though that’s what we all feel like now.
    Can we cut the bullshit out of Mayo football ie soft goals, giving away soft possession and ponderous sideline decisions……I just don’t know but we have to believe we can .
    Remember Dublin smashed by Kerry in 2009 we all know what happened next.
    Remember Limerick flopping in 2013… happens on the development road and I know its hard when you see others showing up and winning but that’s just not been our path.
    Just get into the club championship now and then the far side of Christmas and we will be back in the resurfaced McHale Park giving it another go.
    Nothing else could fill the void if we stopped.

  87. Did make an exception for the Clerkin article and glad I did – very well put together. On a day like today really impressive that the podcast has been put together so quickly, will listen later on

  88. Well well where do we start. Management paralysed by fear again.. a player out on his feet after 40 minutes and left on. .oisin mullen a running footballer small in stature out back in full back..the full back who has fight in him taken off enough of the social media nonense from one or two on squad you are not a premiership player of nba star .. we need s gk a midfielder a full back and a forward

    BTW a lot of people got in with 100 euro gift in cash to the turnstile operator I know at least 10 such…. a shambles by gaa

  89. It’s very simple lads, James Horan is not going to win an all Ireland with Mayo. He once again has done a great job but we need to start looking for a replacement, and a good one. Not saying it has to be for next season but he should not have more than another year.

  90. Thank god for the mayo gaa blog for reasoned discussion after a disappointing game. Good to hear the views of reasoned Mayo supporters. The over riding emotion seems to be disappointment. But its good to hear the views of true fans. You will not find reasoned analysts on any social media sites, that’s one thing for sure

  91. For those of us who have an unconditional love for Mayo and the team please read the excellent and common sense (a lost commodity these days) by Wayne scales – nothing further to add – always winners & losers. Maigh Eo Abu.

  92. That Clerkin article is as bad as the Brolly one.
    One is the ridiculously harsh and the other one ridiculously weak.
    Joe not a Mayo fan and Malachy not a Tyrone fan me thinks.

  93. WJ admits to correcting some spelling mistakes ,
    but this one from above is funny and the poster may have stumbled on the answer to our problems :).

    “cannot understand why we did not use 4 dubs at half time as some of our lads were not performing on the day for whatever reason! ”

    That would have done it alright.

  94. Well said there Mayo 64 you have it spot on, in the same boat following Mayo for 60 yrs , this one is hard to take , 4 finals lost all four, there is nowhere to hide now the joke is over, the signs were there with the subs brought on v Dublin if one watched closely, you can see clearer from a distance whats happening . The first goal should never have happened ,i have said it for the last 2 yrs Aos should be between 3-6 in front of his own goal ,he was always a back imo , but the present manager thinks no 11 is his best position, if Aos was at the back yesterday Mayo would have won this one. Tyrone got 4 points from distance with no mayo player in sight, those points kept them in the game, if anybody thinks Mayo are going to win a All Ireland with no backs, they are sadly mistaken, i have a great respect for Horan , but yesterday after that first goal the game is up as far as i am concerned a question what team would beat mayo without goals. answer –none, look back to 2012=2goals -13 =2 goals 14 =1goal and 5 points up at the time, 15 back from 7 down = draw 15 replay how many goals. 16 Dublin could not score so we scored 2 for them . Too painful to mention the replay . 17 goal in first minutes surely we would have won some of those games by not giving away soft goals. We are a laughing stock, it will only get worse if something is not done about it ,what is the point of bringing players through , when there is nothing at the end of it, just the same result every time beaten by soft goals year after year. bad day today. slan

  95. I can’t remember what you said after the dublin game but I like what you say today! It’s what I need to read.

  96. Is it the case there is no sports psychologist in the backroom team.? If so surely a big oversight at this stage as I think over the years decision making at crucial times and lack of belief has always cost us.
    You can do all the training in the world but if heads are not right the win will never come

  97. Some else had said above we needed a 3 inch fullback and then corrected it to a 6 foot 3 inch fullback.

  98. Would Malachy O Rouke be worth a punt if Horan ?. I think Horan should get another year but if he was to leave Mayo maybe need to look outside the County and be ruthless.

    Jim McGuinness wants to get a career in soccer coaching so that wouldn’t happen. Neither would Jim Gavin

  99. @Big Mike, it that not one of the issues, we think we are above criticism.

    I’d rather a critical article than taps on the back and hard luck lads.

  100. @Alan, from watching the game on TV, the stands appeared to be nearly full.
    Why little or no Mayo fans in the Hill yesterday?
    It’s a type of a “shock and awe” defeat, as if never happened.
    A fresh approach needed now, maybe a manager from South Mayo this time or an outsider?
    Not too many men from South Mayo were managers of the Mayo setup.
    We will keep coming in the hope that one day that win will somehow come.
    How many decent shoulders in yesterday’s game ?

  101. Normally a very positive poster but so disappointed today like everyone else.
    We are a joke and an embarrassment with this horrendous final record, do we care what other people care, no. But it shouldn’t be like that. We haven’t learned from all those losses, both supporters, players and various management teams.
    I feel most for players and management as they have invested the most here. Their commitment and will to win cannot be questioned.
    Where to from here I don’t know, I will be back on the road for the league like most here but we’re on the floor today. It’s not nice and we all deserve better. I liked someone else line that basically the solution to the problem is in our hands. It really is but we have to be open to getting whatever help is necessary from outside whether it be co managers, selectors, motivational coaches, stats personnel. We have to accept something has to change otherwise we will never get out of this horrible place.

  102. Mayo88 – i think South MAyo might be claiming Stephen Rochford by the residence rules:-).But on serious note I never thought about it and you are right. Noel Connolly had a year as joint manager. Trying to think who before that and going back to the 1970’s cant think of anyone. Fr Newell trained in 70’s, Billy Fitz in 80’s. Have had selectors. Declan Ronaldson and JP Kean have managed minor teams and Ronaldson and Noel Connolly had U21 stints. Billy Fitz managed junior teams but cant think of a senior manager. Probably missing someone obvious!

  103. This is going to be a long winter.. galway and roscommon have serious players coming through only thing holding them back is poor senior management teams if we go back to super 8, we are goosed…

    Horan I like him I played against him but he dies not do pressure well I watched him yesterday all alone…Tyrone had a team there we are individuals…

    There needs to be honest or we are going nowhere

  104. It doesnt matter what 6 forwards we have, if the mental belief isnt there, we can forget it. To be honest, it was written all over their faces, excluding McLoughlin.. AOS at his best, when he caught ball he would have powered through his marker towards goal, what we got was a tame blockdown, maybe to O Sea’s relief. Other forwards all guilty of the killer instinct..
    Nothing to learn by watching again imo…

  105. @Mayo88, the Hill was segregated for the most part yesterday, Mayo supporters had tickets for Section A (Near Cusack) and Tyrone for Section B. (behind goal) Plenty of Mayo fans up there, possibly more than Tyrone just harder to see on the TV as we were in the corner ( whats new?) I was on the Hill and we were making plenty of noise, however with each missed chance, the noise levels dropped and the collective confidence drained.

  106. In my opinion it’s time for a change, a number of serious questions have to be asked and honestly answered.. Was that Mayo’s best version of themselves yesterday?.. answer no it wasn’t.. When Cathal McShane came on in the second half.. What was the management plan for him?,.. A 7 year old told me today that he knew McShane was going to come on, him and the rest of Ireland knew that he was going to come on.. Why didn’t the best version of Mayo turn up again?

  107. I’m also afraid but it’s time for AOS to move on..lovely guy but he is not mobile..start of 2nd half won the throw was fouled then kicked the ball up in the air and tyrone got possession…. we need a psychologist we also need smart people .. definition if insanity is doing same thing over and over and expecting result to be won’t be..there could with luck be one year left In this team.. the nonense of this is a new team is a moot point..lee is beat end kev mc is near end..aiden oshea career looks over.. paddy Duncan high mileage.. these are big boots to fill we do not have the players to replace. We do not have two top class midfielders

  108. Lads on here now praising Joe Brollyfor telling fee home truths…Think I’ve had enough..Wake me up when the FBD starts.

  109. Alan – I think you’re overplaying that. I don’t think we’ll ever win a final but there is now way that is the end of this team.
    Almost all of them have many years left. P Durcan is 26 and has at least 5 good years left. Lee Keegan has at least another season left in him.

  110. Leantimes – I take your point about McShane. However they did have a plan. As soon as he came on, I saw them shouting at Oisín to mark him. It was clear that it was discussed and they knew what to do.

    Personally I thought it was the right call and was happy to see it. I hate seeing Oisín full back but it was clear that he wasn’t fully fit and wasn’t going to do much damage from half back line. I also don’t think we had anyone else capable of marking him. Maybe Coen could have but Mc shane is faster than him and that’s a danger if they’re isolated and we are chasing the game.

    I don’t think management had their best day yesterday but I think the criticism is way over the top

  111. On Pats comment ‘Remember Dublin we’re smashed by Kerry in 2009 we all know what happened next.’

    Yes in 2010 Gilroy completely overhauled the squad, changed the style of play, sorted the defence out & picked hard working hard nosed men, got the Brogans to start playing for the team rather than themselves, dropped his clubmate Connolly so he’d cop on. Because he knew continuing as they were wasn’t going to get them to the promised land ever. In short he created a proper ‘Team’. Gavin was the real beneficiary of that work actually. I believe a similar approach is needed in Mayo personally but the near misses, hard luck stories and acceptance of continued underperformance when it matters won’t allow something like to happen.

  112. Largely agree Casual observer… Horan the guy to do that I just don’t know…..he seems to have only one way to play as well.I thought that came across listening to Chris Barrett and Seamie on the podcast….very one dimensional approach

  113. That’s the thing Pat, it’s hard to know re Horan on that front. I would have my doubts at this stage & that’s not to belittle the effort & good traits he has. But he hasn’t changed his style or beliefs dramatically since 2012 to my eye anyway. You know what they say about doing the same thing over & over again and expecting a different result.

  114. Hard to believe the over reaction and hysteria on here.
    Change the manager, change the players blah, blah, blah. Ffs we just finished a season where we were missing Brendan Harrison missing Jason Docherty. Had the all time leading championship scorer out injured for the championship. Then we lost our flying wing back Eoghan for the final. Despite all that we won promotion, won the Connacht championship, beat the 6 in a row champions and got to the All Ireland final.
    With a lifetime of involvement in sport and latterly as a spectator I can guarantee that football is a fecking easy game when you’re sat on your arse in the stand or on a stool in the pub. Then it’s easy to see things go wrong and say what should have been done…..fecking hindsight is a great tool for keyboard warriors.
    Why weren’t all the team solutions put up here before the final? Why weren’t some of you calling for James Horan’s head in the runup?
    James Horan and his staff along with the players have once again done us proud. They owe us sweet feck all. Without them the last two years would have been hard to endure. Maigheo abu.

  115. Get your head out of the sand Joe. Kerry showed the world what not to do against Tyrone. It gave us two weeks to prepare and alter our style. Did we? No. So don’t give me that guff, Horan had plenty of warning. If you’re willing to take the praise when things go well, you have to be able to take the blame when they didn’t. The players aren’t blameless but management showed real lack of tactical awareness yesterday. It was as if they felt “let Tyrone react to our style”, we are so one dimensional it’s a joke. I’m not calling for horans head but he needs some changes to freshen the backroom team – sports psychologist to start with and someone who can challenge him tactically. He must realise his approach is not the only way and he too needs to change and grow

  116. @Joe, “They owe us sweet feck all”, while that may be true in one sense I think people who follow them through thick and thin and at a significant financial and emotional cost and who support their clubs in various ways are entitled to feel they are at least owed the best possible performance they can get both on the pitch and on the sideline and that is a significantly lower bar than Kerry for example who feel the team owes them All-Irelands, but more importantly they owe themselves for the significant sacrifices they make and if they give it their best shot and it’s not enough then so be it.

    But can you honestly say that is what happened against Tyrone, no you cant, so it’s actually good that people are angry, it’s a normal reaction.

    It doesn’t matter about the players who were missing, the point is Mayo could have beaten Tyrone without them.

    There are plenty people well clued up about football and tactics don’t worry about that, you wouldn’t need to be a rocket scientist to see what was going wrong on Saturday and how to fix it.

    It has nothing to do with hindsight and more to do with foresight, the dogs in the street knew how Tyrone would set up, I assume you saw them against Kerry.

    You ask “Why weren’t all the team solutions put up here before the final?”, I think that’s the role of management.

    We all know about promotion and all that but that has nothing to do with missing a golden opportunity of winning an All-Ireland and it was golden, people don’t remember you for getting promoted, they remember you for winning All-Irelands.

    It’s also a normal reaction to turn the spotlight on management if they didn’t perform on the biggest day as well.

    There are no jobs for life in inter county management, look at Tyrone, out with Harte and an All-Ireland the following year all because of a slightly different style and aided greatly by ourselves of course.

    The same thing could happen next year with Kerry.

    We all want the same thing and when people look at changing the manager or whatever all they are actually doing is searching for ways to try and improve our chances of reaching that goal, it doesn’t mean they are right but it doesn’t mean they are wrong either.

  117. I have already posted a long rant about the game, yesterday. It’s over, so now we need to look ahead and, on yesterday’s evidence, even making allowances for our injury absences, we simply have not got a strong enough team/squad to win an All-Ireland. We are lacking in a number of positions and we need to use the upcoming league campaign to try to address these deficiencies, by the introduction of new blood, both from present and recent underage teams and also scouring rthe clubs for players with the potential to fulfill some of the roles required. By my reckoning, we need a tall physical full-back, who is a solid defender, a tall, physical high fielder, for midfield and two or three scoring forwards, a few of whom, ideally, should be tall aggressive players. Overall I feel that the balance is not right in that we have plenty of small fast nippy players, but do not have enough big physical aggressive players. I am not naive enough to expect that we can find everything we need in one year, but it may be possible over a number of years, but we need to start the process. Hopefully we will not see many retirements and we must do everything we can to keep Oisin.

  118. @Cod, Well Stephen Coen like he has always done in All Ireland finals was playing well in his position.. What about another big fella, marking McShane, but of course McShane would be faster than him as well, so would everyone else be faster than him. .. What is beyond doubt is that it needed to be a big fella marking McShane… From my vantage point high in the Hogan Stand, where everyone looks small, I seen a small fellow from Tyrone marking a Big Fellow from Mayo,, the small fellow from Tyrone didn’t look out of place and the Big Fellow from Mayo didn’t cause him any problems all day . I’d take the Big Fellow off, if I had anything to do with it.. sometimes it not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog.. A big Ego took off the dog with the big fight, and left on the Big Dog with no fight!

  119. I’m going to throw out a simple question here. Following the Tyrone v Kerry game if James Horan had invited Jim Gavin, Jim McGuinness, John Maughan, Kevin McStay and Martin Carney to a meeting in Castlebar and asked them for their opinion and input on how best to set up against Tyrone would any of them have said to do the same thing as Kerry and run into the tackle and get turned over ?

    Because at the end of the day this is what it came down to, a tactical meltdown.

    I suggest that if such a meeting had taken place, we would have had a different outcome on Saturday.

  120. I’d say only Kevin McStay and Martin Carney would have been the only 2 that would have turned up to that one Viper.

  121. @FDBinashui, ok lets keep it in house and assume McStay, Maughan and Carney met up and had a chat with Horan, do you believe we would have had a better tactical approach to negate the strengths of Tyrone and pick our best 15 that could carry out the plan.

    Personally I think we would because I just cannot see how the consensus would have been to make the same mistakes Kerry and expect a different outcome.

    This isn’t meant to be a slight on anyone by the way, it’s simply pointing out that you should never ever leave any stone unturned when it comes to winning because if you do then you have not given your team every chance of success.

    Had our tactics been different we would have reduced the amount of chances Tyrone would have had and increased our own and would have won the game by 5 or 6 points, I have absolutely no doubt about that.

    A lot of our players looked off it because they were playing in a system without a plan to negate Tyrone, playing into their hands.

    The bottom line is we are shooting ourselves in the foot by not focusing on the big game smarts in finals and until we address that we will keep falling short.

    Tyrone are no world beaters but when it comes to smarts they are top class.

  122. No idea viper. Not sure what Martin Carney would bring to that discussion – he’s had fairly limited management experience and hasn’t brought any teams to glory as far as I know.
    Maughan a good man to lift the fitness levels of teams but I don’t recall him winning any all Irelands at any level.
    McStay may have something to offer, he won a Club all Ireland. Did well with Roscommon to be fair to him.

    The fact is – that meeting never took place, and would never take place, so it’s all a bit pie in the sky.

  123. Ah most of it FDBinashui is pure common sense, there’s not one pundit or anyone out there who would think that making the same mistakes Kerry made was going to work.

    There’s not a hope in hell Martin Carney would not have been able to highlight that it would be suicide to expect to succeed where Kerry failed.

    Ultimately the manager makes the final call but in any walk of life you should always take qualified opinions on board.

    Can you give me one reason why anyone would think we were going succeed by making the same mistakes Kerry made ?

    Common sense would have won the day.

  124. I can’t imagine the managerial direction was “lets go out and try to do what Kerry tried” and “Oh while you’re at it, don’t bother converting any more than 35% of the shots from play”.
    I think Tyrone got all their match ups right in terms of who to concentrate on, how to do that and how to negate our play. They defended the D like their lives depended on it, preventing our forwards from getting any way near a shot in front of the posts. They also concentrated on blocking runners to counteract any quick passing off the shoulder. That, and they excelled in their kickouts, getting more joy from their kickouts this time around than the did against Kerry.
    Other than that – we created 20 opportunities from play, which we shot, and scored 7 of them. That was the bigger issue. Tyrone had 18 from play and scored 10.

  125. FDBinashui, let’s be honest here, we were all over the place, I had expected us to play with width and mix up our play a lot more, not much point in having Aidan in at full forward and not getting diagonal ball into him and him screaming for it.

    You either leave Aidan in there or you don’t play him at all, I feel sorry for him because he’s been giving to many roles but it was ludicrous having him in there and not getting good ball into him, instead we were playing into Tyrone’s hands.

    Age is not on Aidan’s side to be playing at midfield any longer but he could still have an important role and create more goal scoring opportunities for our runners through the middle but if he’s not getting good ball from wide positions then it’s a waste of time.

    Bread and butter stuff really for any half decent tactician.

  126. This is my last comment before signing off for a while! James Horan seems to be getting a lot of stick here for his tactics, or lack thereof.

    The way I see it we created plenty of chances despite running into traffic at times. 3 good goal chances and a missed penalty, we really should have converted 2 of those along with a couple of poor point efforts. To state the obvious, McShane’s goal was a killer as we were on top before that.

    The one question I’d have for management is how flat we were compared to the 2nd halves vs Galway and Dublin? No big tackles/turnovers from us throughout the whole game. Did they do something wrong in the 4 week break?

  127. I don’t disagree viper but it was as much Tyrone knowing about that threat and preventing the ball into Aido as much as us not getting good ball into him.

  128. We know that Wide Ball, but the more chances you create the more you score.

    We know we don’t have the best forwards in the country and are missing Cillian and that makes tactics even more important, Kerry have good forwards but they still didn’t beat Tyrone because Tyrone had a clear plan to negate Kerry’s strengths and it’s well recognized what one of the key strengths of Tyrone is but we appeared not to have a plan to negate it.

    Our conversion rate would have improved had we been on the front foot and playing with our tails up.

    You may think the tactics were spot on to maximize our potential and negate Tyrone, I don’t think so and plenty others don’t see it that way either.

    There’s nothing derogatory in pointing out where things went wrong and I don’t believe we got our tactics right on the day.

    Of course missing the penalty was big but that has nothing to do with tactics or overall game management at all.

  129. FDBinashui, very hard to get good ball into him when you allow yourself get bottled up in the centre, we didn’t use the width to get good diagonal ball in which is extremely hard to defend against, maybe it didn’t happen because it wasn’t worked on.

  130. The issues we have with conceding goals from high ball is very strange as who marks Aidan O’Shea in A v B games in training. Also someone like James McCormack who is a big guy could have been on the panel all year if only to cover if high ball was a problem. Colm Reape from Knockmore should be brought into the panel for next season as he is a big physical goalkeeper and he has a booming kick like Morgan and if he comes off his line he will take man and ball which would prevent soft fisted goals that are so easy to avoid. Also we have converted attackers into defenders over the years how about doing it the other way around, if the likes of Eoin Ó Donoghue isn’t required for corner bk why not half forward he is a good footballer and in his few games with Mayo I remember himhaving a real eye for a score and our half forwards do not score enough.

  131. @wideball. We needed to hit the front and have momentum and crowd with us.
    Im convinced Tyrone would not have handled chasing the game very well….

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