The morning after

It’s the morning after the defeat in Killarney, a day where, when the final whistle blew, it looked for all the world like our Championship run had ended for this year. But it hasn’t. This odd Championship structure, which we’re only now getting our heads around, sees us back in action yet again in a week’s time, this time with everything back on the line for us.

This imperative means we simply have to look forward. There’s no time to wallow in yesterday’s hiding. A Championship defeat of yesterday’s magnitude would normally be talked about for several weeks before thoughts would eventually turn to the future and what next year might hold. But that’s not the case this time, with all our focus turning immediately to taking on Meath in Croke Park at 2pm next Sunday.

Aside from anything else, yesterday’s loss relieved us of our final safety net in this year’s Championship. It really is backs-to-the-wall for us from here on, with every game we play effectively a knockout one, certainly in relation to our hopes of making further progress.

That simplifies matters and it should also help to clarify the thinking in the days ahead. Forget Donegal for now, leave aside the permutations about what happens if teams finish level on points in the group and all that. Everything now needs to be fixed on Meath and how we can get the win over them that we need to keep us alive for a further week.

It was clear for all to see yesterday that the punishing schedule of games in recent weeks has caught up with us. We were tired and flat and we need a fresh injection of energy for Croke Park. How best to do this in terms of the team we select for Sunday? I wouldn’t hazard a guess there but I’m sure this will be uppermost in the minds of James Horan and his colleagues on the line.

They and the players have a tough few days ahead of them. They need to regroup rapidly and ready themselves for another big challenge in the wide open acres of HQ next weekend. Meath lost yesterday too but the battling manner of their defeat to Meath won’t have wounded them as deeply as the loss we suffered in Killarney surely must have done to us.

They’ll come to Croke Park sniffing blood, sensing the opportunity of claiming a notable scalp, a win that will help to ready them for the rigours of top tier League football next spring. They’re a team on an upward curve and they’ll want to show this on Sunday.

So it’s a dangerous game for us, one in which we’ll need a big performance if we’re to avoid a second Super 8s loss and with it, the evaporation of any remaining hopes of making the semi-finals.

After yesterday, that’s a big ask of the lads. But, you know, they’ve a habit of coming out with all guns blazing when backed into a corner and it’d be a foolish person who’d discount them doing so once again next Sunday.

In the spirit of not looking back and, in light of the fact that I’ve the road facing me yet again shortly with work commitments to attend to once I get back to the capital, there’ll be no Monday match reports from me this morning. I will, though, gather them all up for the results archive in due course.

There’ll be a match-day episode of the podcast online later on today and, of course, the results of the MOTM poll too. Stay tuned for all that – we’re not done yet. Up Mayo.

115 thoughts on “The morning after

  1. I’m genuinely very worried about Meath now. Injuries and tiredness really came to the fore yesterday. Remember we barely both Downand Armagh so nothing to suggest Meath game is anything other than 50/50.

    I think DOC and Doherty needed to be rested now- not playing well.

    Perhaps worst of all though is realisation that they’ll be no Sam in Mayo this year.

  2. Beaten fair and square yesterday we can have no complaints. But there is no time for self pity as we need to hit the ground running on Sunday or we could see a similar defeat. Also something I know won’t go down well is our kick outs yesterday were shocking. I was situated on high behind our goal in the first half, and players we’re making runs they just weren’t being picked out. If our present keeper looks to his left or right for a kick out he never changes his direction, it’s always going to go that side. Happened several times in first half. We gave away 6 points from sloppy kick outs and it could easily have been 2-4. If another of our keepers did that there would be calls for his head. But our present one seems to get a free pass because he can save a penalty.

  3. Kerry tactics were spot on yesterday. Pressure the kickout (we lost 12 out of 17 in the first half) and make us use loads of energy working the ones we won all the way up the field while they got their sweepers in place. At times, Kerry seemed to have 20 lads on the pitch, such was their positioning. In addition, they hammered the hammer by double marking Aidan O’Shea on long kickouts and hitting him hard whenever he might come near getting possession.
    Bringing on Sheamie at the break gave us more of a foothold in the middle and we won ALL of our kickouts in the second half. Also, resting Fergal and Andy Vs Galway had them fresh for this one, so we got a bit more energy up front when they came on.
    I am concerned though that we had to fall back on the older players yet again. Coming down the finishing straight we had 6 lads on the wrong side of 32 on the pitch, 4 of whom had been on from the start.

  4. Yes, we have to look forward. Yesterday is cold wet ashes at the bottom of the field scattered out the back of the house.
    What we know about ourselves that needs fixing for the Meath game.
    1. Brendan Harrison cannot be put in against 6’4″ Mickey Newman. If we go that we are U14s naive, I’m sorry but we really are. Brendan has lost all confidence at full back, he doesn’t have that ability to do the collide in the air getting a fist in. It’s an essential part of of full back play, you come out throwing yourself through the air to get a punch on the ball and you colide your body as a consequence into the full forward. Brendan is unfortunately noticeably slower since he is back playing again. He really was a step off yesterday and I couldn’t understand how a quicker bigger player like David Drake wasn’t tried. Another alternative was James McCormack who is 6’2″ and quick off the mark. In conclusion we need a switch up at full back for the very David Clifford frame like Mickey Newman.
    2. We are tired especially in defence, it’s as simple as that. We have to be getting in some of EOD, David Drake, James McCormack and Caolan Crowe. These lads should be bouncing off the grass fit as they’ve been able to keep their fitness programs going at full tilt without having matches interfere with recovery from fitness sessions.
    3. We have to start SOS and Andy to get the game started on the right footing. Then use the likes of Fionn McDonagh and James Carr as an injection of pace.
    4. The kickpassing into our forward and who we are teeing up? Yesterday it was Donie Vaughan being continuously teed up running at the Kerry full backline. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. He wasn’t able to convert several golden opportunities, one could argue unlucky not to get a penalty. But I felt we were not teeing up our shooters centrally. The kickpassing was the worst we had all year whatever went wrong on that front.
    5. Getting out matchups right, difficult yesterday due to shortage of personal.
    Looking at Meath:
    – Mickey Newman needs a minimum 6’1″ defender marking him, if we go short in that matchup I guarantee Newman is going to lead the charge in beating us in Croker.
    – Cillian O’Sullivan is a big threat. So much so that we should even consider having a fresh sub to come on to snuff him out of the game in the final 20 mins. He does a huge amount of running and playmaking for Meath. If Cillian O’Sullivan goes quiet it is a long way towards beating Meath
    – Donal Keogan, this is one of the best athletes in Gaelic Football. He is at such a level that it is all about how much you can limit his damage. Again, he cannot be stopped by a medium pace player or medium size player. Has to be a plan for Donal Keogan.

  5. Spotlight who is the DOC that needs to be rested I agree with you Jason Doherty needs to be rested Diarmuid is already out. The whole team must be wrecked by now in fairness they have given it their all over the years and owe us nothing can’t be much left in the tank

  6. Ballagh Man our present goalkeeper delivers under pressure that’s he’s number 1.

    Who was running for him in the first half all the MF and half forward line lost their individuals battles so your claim is completely false.

    We did ok in the second half when we had SOS (who should have started) contesting the ball in the middle.

    Going forward SOS needs to start and play for as long as he can hold up and number 1 learning from yesterday is that this defence cannot operate without a sweeper this leaving defenders 1 on 1 s***e needs to stop. Either Vaughan or Coen need to be given this role as neither of them have enough pace to operate anywhere else

  7. Yesterday’s performance was why many people were relieved we did not make the 8’s Last year.

    Your correct.WJ. We were tired and flat.

    We somehow have to get ready for Meath. A tough week for the team and managment.

    We will take our loss and suck it up.

    So far we have had a good year. League champions and we made the super 8’s.

    We cannot allow all our injuries and long run of games to change this in to a bad football story. Whatever happens in the remainder of the 8’s it has been a pretty good year for us.

    WJ. I think 1 of your Meaths above should read Donegal.

  8. @centerfield, sweeper is one thing but there was very little proper defending with physical contest on the ball.
    Our forwards had people in their face on and off the ball, respect, that’s how you do it.
    David Clifford, did you notice him able to lean his hands down on his legs and ease completelt up and relax to get his breath in breaks in place (it’s a thing he does btw). Cliffiord is a huge man and not built for 800 metre running. So, it’s essential he recovers in the breaks between play. That’s when you need to be on his case, shoulder to shoulder, keeping his heartrate up, making it physical for 80 mins. Sorry but Brendan Harrison was visibily standing two yards off during play and in the breaks in play. That just says to Clifford “This is back to minors days, make the runs, collect and either shoot or setup a score, no physicality to deal with today”
    We filled Clifford with confidence yesterday.

  9. Team i would go with the next day








    Going forward a sweeper. Lee 3rd man midfielder (no more playing him in the FB line).SOS starting when fit

  10. JP i don’t believe theres anyone in the country able to mark Clifford 1 on 1.

  11. @Centerfield, I agree, when I suggest alternatives like David Drake of James McCormack I am only talking about limiting the damage. In my view Brendan didn’t have the pace, size or physicality for David Clifford yesterday.
    Clifford would have beaten both alternatives likely, just making a judgement on the level of damage.

  12. Fair play WJ, I couldn’t face them damn match reports, had to turn the sports news off on the way into work.

    This Meath game is a massive task for us. If Horan continues this brain dead 1 on 1 defending in fb line, Micky Newman will win an All Star next Sunday. Meath are beatable, but if we play like yesterday, then its lights out for 2019.

    A lot of gloating coming from the Kingdom, I can assure any Kerry ppl looking in here, ye’ll be winning no AI this year. A Dublin v Tyrone final, with Dubs making History.

  13. When you look at our season its following the pattern of high peaks and low troughs. We peaked at the start of the league beating Roscommon, Tyrone and Cavan, them came the big dip against Dublin and Galway. Rose again to beat Kerry in Tralee and all the way to the league final. Then came the second dip, poor against New York and lost to Roscommon and then a gradual rise to from Down to Galway game. We are back down in the dip after yesteday. I dont know what managment can do in a week, and its somewhat out of our hands if Donegal beat Kerry. But in this season we have pulled ourselves out of very bad situations. At this point its weather or not they can lift themselves mentally again in the space of a week. Right now win of any description will do next week and forget about points difference.

  14. The reason is Harrison is at full back and will be again Sunday is that we don’t have an alternative. Just look at the options- caff has disappeared since his injury and isn’t up to it anyhow, Crowe is supposed to be full back cover but hasn’t started a championship match in his 4 yrs, drake has started 1 championship match in his 5yrs on the panel, while O’Donoghue has fared slightly better having starting 2 matches last year but then dropped for the last 2 matches last year. I’ve made this point before but why do we have players who are happy to be subs for years on end and why is management happy to retain them while not confident to start them? This is not a small junior club with every available player retained. If a guy can’t make it in 2 yrs, 3 yrs max then it’s time to try someone else. Now we have a situation where we’ve no viable options to come next Sunday in the fullback line.

  15. Newman needs a tight tough marker,he does not like it rough.Look at how McGee put him in his pocket when he came on in league final.Keoghan is the man.Meath have a v poor midfield.

  16. Meath is a very dangerous tie for us now, in my opinion.

    We are wounded having taken a hammering down in Killarney and having shipped many knocks over the course of the qualifiers. And while Meath do not possess the overall quality we have, they died with their boots on against Donegal and will raise their game again for Mayo.

    I lived in Meath for several years, make no mistake about it, a large percentage of their following despise Mayo from the pits of their stomachs. Much of this arises from 1996 and for those with longer memories, the Land Commission.

    I have no doubt that we will have to be focused and ready from the throw-in if we are to prevail. Give Meath a sniff of blood and they become very hard to beat.

    It would also be helpful if some of our pundits with a national media presence would tow the party line for once.

    I love Mayo and our support is in many ways the best in the land, but there has always been an element there with an unwarranted sense of entitlement and arrogance. Horan’s remarks about beating Kerry by 12 points in the league final- with all due respect, who do we think we are? We have only won three senior All-Irelands in our history for a reason, and Kerry were always going to bridle at that sort of guff.

    Keep the powder dry.

  17. @centerfield fionn mc Donagh ran to his right wing twice free and was ignored on the third occasion he was hit with a hanging ball which was picked off easily. Vaughan made 2 runs also. And Doherty was free for about 30 seconds on another occasion. So my claims aren’t false. He was under pressure yesterday and buckled. But if you want to claim that to suit the agenda that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it.

  18. Harrison was very exposed yesterday the way we set up. Very few defenders would have handled Clifford in those circumstances. He certainly won’t get room like that against the likes of Tyrone. I agree with JP that brendan looks slower than he used to though. Not convinced drake or Crowe is a good enough defender to be an alternative though. Wonder would ger Caff have done any better marking him as a spoiler instead? He is a sticky one on one defender, all elbows and a much bigger man than Harrison?
    I don’t believe Newman is anywhere near the same level as Clifford, though any forward tends to look good against Mayo the way we set up. A small positive from yesterday was SOS impact around the middle in the second half, best I’ve seen from him in a couple of years.

  19. Just to say Killarney is some spot and i like many stood amongst a huge Kerry crowd on the terraces and they are great supporters to mingle with. Also it was 25 degrees heat but felt far hotter and same for both teams and all that stuff but it was very obvious from long before the throw in what team had the most advantages coming into the game. As to the weekend ahead, 5 changes are absolutely necessary and all bring serious clout to the game, so into back comes 3 from EO’D, McCormack, Paddy D or M Plunkett – lots of pace, youth and determination there. Into the middle SO’S and into the forwards come Andy and F Boland. 5 players of that ability with Darren Coen looking to get his game back in shape, Cillian now a cooler and more clinical operator than ever…..add to that J Horan not countenancing going out in a whimper to Meath. So we will get the job done but obviously don’t underestimate them

  20. I agree with that. – – keeping powder dry and mouth poor. We wer`nt helped in the media by all the talk of

    records about to be broken etc. It throws off our focus. neither do we need former players or pundits shooting

    from the hip. Head down now please and soak up the negative. What doesnt kill you will make you stronger.

  21. @WillieJoe I know you like your stats. I make Cillian’s missed penalty yesterday the first he has ever missed in senior jersey for Mayo, maybe underage too. Any confirmation of that?

  22. It all comes down to intensity in my opinion. When mayo bring it, we bring it. It’s 100% or 0% with us and yesterday it was the latter for one reason or another. With Kerry it was 100% and that lead to a huge imbalance hence the score difference. They simply wanted it more like it or lump it, no excuses that was it.

    When i think of the most intense performance I’ve ever seen it was Tyrone v Kerry 2003 semifinal. When you bring it like that no one stands a chance and you can go toe to toe with anyone. We have shown glimpses of our ability in that regard (Galway and Donegal 2013) but if we are to survive our hunger and ferocity needs to improve significantly. Fight for every breaking ball – Doherty and Mcloughlin used to be masters at this but for one reason or another their form has dipped. Hoping this can change in a week without a safety net

  23. Ballagh Man, I would have to agree with your post there. Kerry had their homework done on Mayo and ruthlessly exposed our weak point in Mayos Restarts, it had Buckleys fingerprints all over it. It is surprising the double standards applied by most people regarding Clarke’s performance yesterday, he had a very poor game, had Hennelly put in that performance he would have been roundly criticised for it. The game was lost during a 15min spell in the first half where Kerry really pressed up on Clarke and we virtually lost all knockouts, Clarke surely has to take some of the blame for this. He kicked one identical to Robbies v Ros to a Kerry player and not a word about it. Clarke will play next week because he is the safer option (Hennellys confidence is shot, he plays like 20000 people are waiting for a mistake from him). Clarke had a poor game yesterday and should be held to the same standards as Hennelly, something that isn’t happening.
    Serious work needs to be done during the week because Meath have their game plan laid out for them, they will be pressing Mayos kick out next Sunday and Horan must figure out a way to secure possession otherwise it will be a difficult afternoon

  24. I think in trying to make sense of yesterday, we have to accept a number of salient facts before digging too deep in to the analysis.
    1. At this stage of the competition, you need your best players performing well and we were without three key players yesterday. Durcan, Ruane and Diarmuid O’Connor are hugely important players for us and having to go to battle without them yesterday contributed somewhat to the end result. Beating Down, Armagh and even Galway whilst carrying those absentees is “do-able”, yesterday was a step too far though.
    2. Three weeks in a row of “do or die” knockout football certainly sapped energy and stamina levels from those that did play. We were flat yesterday, no doubt about that. And to be fair, that is only to be expected.
    3. In addition to No.2 above, the same group of Mayo players had to compete in mid 20’s temperatures against a Kerry team that had three weeks to prepare.
    These are not excuses but they go someway to explaining the complete and utter dismantling of our attack and defense by Kerry yesterday. Kerry are good, but they are not THAT good.

    A number of factors outside our control, as listed above, contributed to the hammering but we certainly did not make it easy on ourselves by A) the tactics we employed, or B) the in-game management shown by the players.

    A) It seemed strange that we used Boyle as a sweeper against Galway to great effect, and a tactic that went a long way in helping us gain huge possession in that game, but then failed to use a sweeper against Kerry. The world and his dog knew that if Clifford got good ball in to him, he would turn and score freely. That’s exactly what he did, despite the best efforts of Harrison. Having someone in front of Clifford would have cut off the ball in to the scoring zone, this in turn would have forced Kerry to the flanks or at the very least, slowed up the ball coming in. Instead, we went man-on-man and got scorched. It meant our backs were always chasing and always on the back-foot, so they never got a breather and that was badly needed in that heat. We knew well that they were going to wire in to us right from the start, you could see that from the throw in, and we knew they wanted to play a very high tempo game, going straight for the jugular. Therefore, we should have looked to use the sweeper to limit ball to Clifford and then slowed the tempo of the game way down, draw their sting so to speak.
    We were being cleaned out in midfield yet still went long on Clarkes kick outs in the first half, way too often. Such was Morans dominance in that first half that we were in effect giving ball straight back to Kerry and keeping ourselves hemmed in.
    B) The in-game management by the players was very poor. Too often we looked to match their tempo and play the game at their pace. This was always going to be disastrous for us as we would never be able to keep it up in that heat considering the thee games we had played leading in to this one. Also, we forced the kicking game a little too much when it was clear that it wasn’t working. Never once did we decide to take it down a gear, go through a sequence of 10 or 15 passes to give ourselves a clear head, a breather, and re-set. I counted on two occasions where we won frees in promising positions but rushed the free and kicked the ball straight back to a Kerry player.
    Despite all this, considering all of the above and the fact that we missed a peno and hit the crossbar, I don’t think we are as bad as we showed yesterday. Meath won’t be the “gimme” that I initially thought a few weeks ago but it is well within us to bounce back from this defeat and go to Croker and beat them. Then a two week break before another must win tie at home. We are down, but not out.
    Hon Mayo.

  25. The cracks are beginning to appear. If you looked at the papers yesterday they all tipped Kerry. They don’t care about league titles this is the business end for them…they have 35 more all Ireland’s then us to start and know their football. So fans saying we’ll beat a team who haven’t lost in the Championship for 24 years in killarney need a kick up the arse.

    We were slow from the start and it was like men vs boys. Stephen coen was roasted and Kevin mcloughlin anonymous. Should have been subbed by 20 mins both of them. The matches in mf were all wrong…David Moran should have been picked up by AOS. Didn’t happen for carr or mcdonagh either and we were poor everywhere. Kick outs were shocking and our 1st sub was a man who was injured all year. The ball being kicked in was awful. Our oldest player was probably our best so I’d be very worried about Meath. When more of our players retire we will be lucky to win a connacht for a few years.
    We are so far off Sam it’s unbelievable. As a mayo fan it is getting embarrassing to see this mayo for Sam shit every year and green and red of mayo sing songs. We have a great fanbase but some do us no favours with their comments at matches and on social media.

  26. Too Much focus on midfield. Half forward line were completely wiped and half back line only marginally better. To be harsh about it, game was over at half time. 15 points conceded in a half, they only needed to keep ticking over. Hiw the hell does a team employing a sweeper concede 15 points in a half or what exactly was Boyles role yesterday. Finally I would not get too excited by Boland, Moran, game was over at half time and I say. Team should not change too much, outdone by Kerry at home, no shame in it. Let them put it right the next day, they are well able to do that.

  27. Puck out.
    That’s hugely disrespectful to those lads on the panel. Happy to be subs for years you say. That’s total bollox and you should retract those comments. The lads that you mention and others that you haven’t have put in huge amounts of time and effort for the common good of this team. They don’t pick the team, they also don’t throw their toys out of the pram if not picked. What would you be saying if lads started walking off the panel because they weren’t getting a game. Today isn’t a day for cheap shots. Everyone, and I mean everyone on the panel deserves respect for the efforts they put in.

  28. Ah Now – my comments are based on facts, and maybe it’s time some did stand up and not accept their lot. Fact is we have no one on here calling for a change in the full back line because we have no options.

  29. good forwards like Clifford, Newman, McBrearty and J Brennan have to be marked very close and tight , no point standing off them and letting them get the ball and then trying to defend . Answer is don’t let them get good ball be in their face at all times Same thing will happen next two weeks if we don’t close down good forwards

  30. Facts, what facts?
    Show us the verified quotes where these players said they were happy to be subs for years on end.

  31. Hi Folks out there does anyone know when will the tickets come on sale for the Mayo v Meath game next Sunday please?

  32. We are walking The Tight Rope and have being for some time .I hate talking negatively but I despise getting a hammering . I think for me the next two games are to just enjoy them .Enjoy the young lads doing their stuff and maybe next year maybe another 1 or 2 additions in defense and hopefully be welcoming back Tom P and Ruane and Duirmuid .The future is bright but it might be next year before we aee it .

  33. Well that’s us back down to earth with bang. Lots of things to cover
    1 – Injuries were very telling. Having to start without Diarmuid, Paddy and Matty who would be 1st choice starters would always make things an uphill battle.
    2 – operating with a makeshift midfielder against Kerry’s Midfield and then kicking the ball out to them continually was always going to be a problem. I’m not going to bury Donal Vaughan with criticism – he’s not a fielder of the ball and to be placed in that position against that midfield was setting the man up for failure.
    3 – We miss a fully fit Seamie more than we appreciate. Our second half showing should prove that to anyone. David Moran was outstanding in midfield but when Seamie came on he stopped the rot that was happening there.
    4 – We can’t be continually blaming the outfield players for our kickouts lads. There’s a distinct narrative to this and losing 12 of 17 kickouts in the first half was Criminal. Several times I could see McDonagh, Coen and Vaughan were free, it took too long to spot that and take the kick and even when the ball was kicked to them it took an age to reach them. I really don’t understand why people are so quick to crucify Hennelly but make no mention of this as a major flaw in Clarke’s game.
    5 – We were second to every ball and our kick passes into the forward line were continually intercepted. Kerry had clearly worked on their defense and with Aidan playing as deep in defense in the first half it kept him out of kickpassing into the forwards. Again credit to Kerry for nailing this too.
    6 – Kerry forwards were quite clinical, put on an exhibition in the first half.
    7 – we were better in the second half but the damage was done at that stage and we were still second best. I do think if we had Seamie available to start or any of Diarmuid or Paddy too then we might still have lost but it would have been a damn sight closer.
    8 – number of consecutive games on consecutive weekends definitely had a bearing. That’s our own fault for not beating Roscommon.
    9 – For the first time in a long time I’m struggling to pick 3 players that started who played well yesterday. Andy, Fergal and Seamie all did well when they came on, but it really was damage limitation at that point.

    Bad day all around, but that’s yesterdays news and we need to regroup for the game against Meath. To be fair, with our awful run of bad luck with injuries I felt earlier this year that getting to the super 8’s and getting the younger lads a decent run out was the best we could expect. I’m hopeful that we’ll bounce back against Meath but I’m not expecting us to beat Donegal, not on the form they are showing and the fact that they have Stephen Rochford coaching them. You really never know with this Mayo team and they’ve been written off too many times at this point to lend any credence the current obituaries being written, but certainly any faint hopes of an All Ireland this year are very unrealistic.

  34. Stop this fb line argument. The problem yesterday was their was no sweeper installed again. Boyle was too far up the pitch, it seemed Horan was going for a “lets cut off the supply going in” as opposed to double teaming which ever Kerry forward the ball was aimed at. Last time we done this was the Roscommon game…..surprise surprise, we lost that game too. Barrett looks fresh, and Harrison is a good defender when a system is implemented, not left on his own against a top class forward like DC. I’ve great time for Horan, (and no matter what happens in next 2 games, this year has been progressive imo) but he needs to stick with a sweeper, every other team does it, this man on man stuff is lunacy, few of us on here have been saying it for weeks. We proved against Down (2nd half) Armagh and Galway that we can shore up defence with a sweeper, the mind boggles as to why it was abandoned yesterday.

  35. Unfortunately we looked a tired side yesterday, given the injuries we have sustained throughout the campaign we need the same guys to line out week on week and in the heat yesterday it was just too much to ask. Added to that was a first half performance from Kerry which was exceptional, Clifford is as good a player to have come along in years and would clean any defender 1:1, never mind one that has played so many games recently. Comparing Kerry and Mayo yesterday is unfair on the Mayo players because you consider the number of games to get there (completely their own doing from losing to a soft Roscommon side of course). I think a lot of the performance can be attributed to fatigue, however the tactical set particularity at kick out time is a concern. They seem to always have this issue and I think it’s not simply it’s because Clarke is a poor kicker of the ball, that’s too simplistic. The movement prior to Clarke placing the tee is poor from the Mayo team, the half forwards drop so deep that leaves no space on either side of the midfield that our half backs or midfield can make a late run into and collect the kick. Clarke was left looking up at Mayo players not moving in the first half and had little option than to go long. People rave about Cluxtons kicking (and he is a very good kicker) but the movement on front of him when he’s placing the tee is exceptional, nobody is static and that makes his life so much easier, it’s about creating space to run into and something our Mayo camp need to work on. Hopefully we can get past Meath and have a break then, it’s badly needed.

  36. Didn’t think we would win but didn’t think we would get beat out the gate either. Game was over after 30mins.

    Fatigue, injures and miles are catching up. It’s vital to win your provincial championship. Meath will be no push over…

  37. I think for next Sunday we need to freshen things up in terms of the personnel that start. If that means taking a risk then so be it but we must trust the players in the squad and test them at this level.
    Barrett, Boyle and Higgins have played a hell of a lot of football this year and have had four very testing games over the last four weekends. I think we need to bring O’Donoghue in to one of the corner back slots, preferably the right corner back, and also bring McCormack in to the half back line. Hopefully Durcan might have recovered in time for the Meath game and he could return also, so that would make three fresh players in to our back six.
    Seamie must start at center-field so that means either Vaughan or Aidan to drop out, Aidan might benefit from the rest but I think given that we will have two weeks after this weekend, I would try and squeeze one more game out of the big lad for now.
    Our full forward line suffered terribly yesterday for two reasons. 1) the ball that was played up to them was terrible and they were in the wrong positions and always under pressure when receiving the ball, and 2) our half forward line was sucked so far back in to midfield on defensive work, that when we did get the ball there was a 30 m gap between the ball and our full forward line. Our attack was all too stretched. To fix this I would play Boland and/or Loftus in the half forward line, as they are both very accurate kick passers, with Doherty at no.11 making supporting runs towards our full forward line. For me, I’d go with the following…..
    Keegan (on Newman)
    O’Sheas x 2

  38. All this talk of the Mayo players being tired is a bit silly, getting boring, these are young men ( bar 3 or 4) should be rearing to go.
    Their fitness levels has been built up to a high level for the past few years.
    As regards yesterday I think the attitude just wasn’t there for some reason, if the head ain’t right then the body won’t work.
    James the tickets for Sunday are on sale on, increased to 30 euros for this double header, 25 euros for the Dubs v Cork last Saturday.
    Some magic is needed in training this week, would it be worth the risk to rest some of those tired players v Meath, plenty of time to rest when we are out of the Super 8’s.
    Mayo are 100% a confidence team, when things go well everything falls into place.
    Very hard for a goal and defenders with your team is being destroyed in the middle third area of the pitch.

  39. @ Pebblesmeller are Loftus and Boland strong enough to win their own ball if and when the ball is kicked into them .My worry would be that they are a bit light .But I agree lads need to be given a chance .

  40. Mayo88…….eight or nine players yesterday were over thirty another two or three heading in that direction .in fact eight players played against Longford in 2010, this has to be the oldest team Mayo has ever fielded in modern times ,fatigue must be a factor at this stage.

  41. Simple fact a number of Mayo’s starting 15 yesterday just do not have the pace to go man to man, the Dubs even play at a faster pace than Kerry for the full game and can do this into injury time also.
    Simple, Mayo need to do the following to compete,
    1.The ball must be kicked wide or over the bar at the end of an attack, ie, kicked dead, not given away to the opposition defender via a bad pass or kicked into the goalies hands, Mayo need as many breaks in the play as possible.

    2. The kickouts need to be driven as long as possible, not looping high into the clouds and falling direct over the catchers.

    1 week for Horan to put a plan together, Kerry set out a statement yesterday, hammer Mayo and and inflict doubt in their minds for their remaining 2 games.

  42. Mayo88, the physicality of the game alone makes recovery all the harder. Lads pick up loads of bumps and bruises and expecting lads of any age to be !00% week in week out and raring to go the 4th weekend on the trot is a bit much.
    It wasnt the reason we lost yesterday but it certainly was a factor. People talk a lot about “miles on the clock” despite there being no mileometer on a human body. However 4 games in 4 weeks at that level is where things will take their toll.
    It makes a mockery of player welfare, truth be told.

  43. I knew we were going to lose in the first 15 mins, some calls by the ref were very partisan. Later AOS was taken out from behind in front of ref and not even given a free… That said Kerry were far better team all round, they were always going to beat us and totally deserved their win.

    We now need to Focus on Meath.

    Before the Kerry match Meath has us viewed as their “easy game”. Now they are even more confident.
    We have done well to make the S8’s this year, if we manage to beat Meath it will be a bonus. I don’t see us achieving anything more than that.

  44. Hard to know how Mayo will react next week – history shows that a bad defeat can negatively impact the next performance. Horan really needs to shuffle the pack and hope it’s enough to beat a game but limited Meath team (they are about Down’s level). No team has ever reached a semi-final having lost 2 championship games but we can do that if Donegal fail to beat Kerry. The key to beating Meath is keeping Brian Menton and Mickey Newman quiet.

  45. Yes the tired talk fails to understand recovery. After a high intensity game, players take 3 or 4 days to work the lactic acid out of their muscles. Amateur players are unlikely to recover 100% but next weekend that playing field will be more or less levelled. Two weeks later the players of all games will be 100% fresh bar injured players playing catch up. I think we was an 80% recovered Mayo team against a fresh Kerry team. The gap wouldn’t be 10 if we hadn’t kicked so many passes away needlessly from about 10th to 25th mins. Yes some turnovers were good Kerry pressure which we reciprocated sometimes at the other end but several were aimless kicking for space.

  46. I’ll look back in a moment but first I want to look forward.
    We need to focus solely on Meath now & try to get a victory of some description there whilst keeping our eyes wide open with regard to the margin of victory … a few goals in this one wouldn’t go amiss.
    I was in Killarney yesterday and as another poster has already mentioned it was all about intensity …. Kerry had it (understandably) and we didn’t (understandably also).
    Kerry simply took our possession away with their work rate and heavy press. It had Donie Buckley’s fingerprints all over it and will have been watched by all our future opponents who will try to mirror it.
    The Roscommon match was identifiable from an early stage as our most important match of the season but we fluffed our lines there ….. with the present scheduling of fixtures you simply have to make your provincial final at a minimum … could we please remember for future years ?
    We in Mayo tend to over-react both in victory and defeat and this needs to stop.
    In the near term concentrate on beating Meath, pray that Kerry take a point or two off Donegal, take a well earned two week break, get a few players back & then be ready for the mother of all battles against Donegal on our home patch. We need some defenders who will contest possession rather than yield it first and then try to defend … you can’t do that at the top level. Give a start to Seamie in midfield the next day.
    We can still do ok this year …. fix the fixable …. much too soon for all the doom & gloom.

  47. On kickouts, I was returning from hols and saw it on TV and most of the time there was no out ball for the Goalie despite what some posters are saying. I saw once where a right corner back was free but Clarke was facing left. The only way to disguise that kick would be use his weaker foot which is risky. Robbie might have found one or 2 more free men I really don’t think Robbie would’ve got much more joy than that. Kerry also played zonal and had 7 v 6 willing to get caught out. The Donegal keeper probably will catch them out a couple of times because his range is so long. One tactic should have been not to kick near Moran who is an excellent high fielder. That would have increased our chances by at least 30%. Moran is a big addition to Kerry. He was brilliant in 2014, as good as Fenton is now and his presence there back fit is a big help to them.

  48. Positives first…
    – Well, the main positive is we arent finished yet, it was always likely to be the case that it would come down to a last day winner takes all showdown against Donegal and that is still the case.
    – Secondly, the performances could only be an improvement on yesterday, you really couldnt give anyone more than a 6/10, apart from maybe Cillian who kept going throughout
    – result apart, it was a superb setting and venue for a game. Great weekend had up until the ball was thrown in. Fantastic part of the world

    Less positive…
    – Whatever happens from here JH needs to spend the winter seeking out a 3rd option for goalkeeper, the very fact people are still debating ‘Clarke v Hennelly’ 6 years later speaks volumes. Both men have well known strengths and deficiences, need a modern ball playing goalie similar to Patton/Cluxton/Beggan/Morgan as a priority
    – On this page i have seen calls to start Caff, SOS and Andy from now on, why are so many people determined to keep reverting to the 2011/2012 whenever there is a setback? We have enough experience on the field, what is needed is pace, pace and more pace
    – Half forward line is in need of major surgery for next game, its not functioning at all. I had forgotten Doherty was playing when he got blackcarded in the 72nd minute, might have to move a keegan/durcan/higgins into that line to give it a bit more oomph
    – AOS is struggling badly now the last 4 games, there was one stage in 1st half when gavin white tore past him and he just gave up the ghost, not like him. Wonder if he is carrying a knock

  49. Ya know just thinking, loftus would have been an ideal type of player yesterday to have on the field. Kerry gave us space to kick ball in – that you wouldn’t get against the likes of Galway or Tyrone. He is a bit light but I wouldn’t mind seeing him line out against Meath, able to take a score at least. A bit left field – is there any of this years u20 players worth throwing in to freshen it up? Oisin Mullen maybe? You’d like to think at least one u20 in Mayo could hold his own at this level.. any word on Ryan O Donoghue or Diskin at all lately?

  50. @mayo88 that’s a fairly ignorant, ill informed comment. It’s not just the physical exertion that takes its toll, it’s the hits, punches, kicks, shoulders and whacks off the ground that take their collective toll. Donie Buckley’s influence on yesterday was huge. Kerry’s tackling has already improved hugely and he added some new pressure to the kickout press. Did anyone notice the Kerry Maor Uisce dressed in shorts and blue top, no high vis like regulations, running on to the pitch for everyone of our kickouts? He ran into the space and proceeded to wave his arms wildly, jumping up and down pretending to give directions to the players. Now when Clarke looked out all he saw was a sea of players waving their arms and no space anywhere, he couldn’t distinguish anyone. He wouldn’t have been allowed to do it in Croker but that’s a home advantage and while it didn’t win them the game it was very rich coming from a county that calls us cynical.
    While I can never be 100% sure I think it vindicates Rochfords goalie switch in 2016 as I always felt that Dublin would have pinned us in just like Kerry did yesterday.

  51. I see some people saying cillian missed his first penalty in senior jersey for mayo, but technically he actually scored from the penalty and was not a miss, a point is still a score!! That’s one positive anyway

  52. All of the obituaries this morn is depressing.
    These warriors owe us nothing, and we owe them so much for what they have done for football in our county.
    IF there ever was a time they needed us it’s this week and especially next Sunday.
    I hope we all turn up in our thousands and give this team that we love so much the LIFT they so richly deserve.
    As WJ heading says we down BUT NOT OUT.
    No break between qualifiers and super8’s is crazy mental stuff anyway.

  53. @Ballaghman
    Vaughan had his worst game ever in Mayo jersey and you say Clarke should have kicked more to him

  54. Shuffly Deck, I would agree that at times there were very few options available for kickout and Clarke was under serious pressure. But in those situations the kick goes long and gives Mayo at least 50/50 percent chance of winning it. Too many times (particularly in the first half) the kick and straight down the throat of Moran who was bossing it in the middle, I can’t think of a player who got 4 marks in 35mins of football, Clarke surely bares some of the criticism for the kickout failure. I said it earlier that I would start Clarke again v Meath as he is the safer all round option but I can’t understand how he seems immune to criticism whereas if it was Hennelly there would have been outrage, double standards.

  55. Can someone explain what the craic is with referees using The Advantage rule .You have Gough or Lane who allowed a free to be taken from where the ball landed and Hurson from where the foul was committed .How can there not be consistency on this rule ffs???

  56. @Liam, I certainly did notice the Kerry Maor Uisce ,,… and I taught that that we should be seeing some intervention by our own Maor Uisce giving some instructions to especially our restarts!.. I need a chance to see the whole Match again on TV, I taught that I noticed a Punch to the side of AOS jaw a the first Throw In, by David Moran, straight in front of the Ref …..@Half & Half, a novel way of looking at a Penalty!…. not that it really matters, Fair Play to Cillian, some achievement….He twice hit the cross bar yesterday when going for Goal…Might have brought us a bit nearer, but we still would not have won…..Are our wounded warriors able to get us over the line V Meath next Sunday?….If they can, they have a massive luxery of a Two Week Break before taking on Donegal in Castlebar….If Kerry can beat Donegal and Mayo can beat Meath?…Big ‘If’s’ I know! Castlebar will be another Sold Out Championship Match…. Would some of our Wounded Warriors be returning to full fitness by then?….We really missed them- If they were, I’d back us V Donegal!….All still to Play For!


  57. Regarding the break or lack of between the qualifiers and the super 8s, the advantage is to the Provincial champions as it should be. Mayo had the chance to go through the front door but didn’t take it so can’t complain about fixture times.
    Some are calling for fringe players and even U20s to be brought into the team, IMO this is a non runner, if these players were good enough to play an All Ireland Quarter final the they would already be in the panel or would have started a league game or two (FBD games do not count).

  58. @Liam, there are many tactics now employed by opposition management, I can tell you for sure what actually happened in Croker on Saturday evening last.
    In the 2nd half at the Canal end goal there was one guy there to collect any loose ball for the kickout, he was not an umpire, but there was another guy with a stewards vest on him that threw a second ball onto the pitch on a few occasions to slow down Corks kickout, he was standing at the advertising hoarding on the Cusack side of the Canal end, this guy deserved a thump.

  59. As Joey and others say above, all that matters now is a win against Meath. If Kerry beat Donegal we are right back in this. It’s very much a 50/50 game though
    – There will be changes to freshen things up and as someone mentioned, MF and HF lines look like the places to start. Bossing MF is more important than ever now, SoS, Murray, McCormack – possibly 2 of those 3 could start covering CHF/MF/CHB to support AoS
    – Meath are a very decent team but I think we can score goals against them based on what we have seeen
    – Had the right ball gone in to Cillian and Coen they really could have done some amage yesterday, so that’s a huge plus for us that they are bang on form. While we were well beaten, there were at least 3 good goals chances for us – Cillian had 2, one the penalty save and the other hit the bar.
    – All we are in control of now is the Meath match and a one point win if more than enough.

  60. Well yesterday was a rude awakening, I’ll’ be honest though and didn’t think we’d get within an asses roar of them, particularly once Durkan’s injury was announced.I’ve been slated on here before for stating the middle area is all about pace and mobility these days and boy we were brutally exposed here yesterday, David Moran had us by the balls, and not for the first time, the man was everywhere. Clifford I think has to be the best player I’ve ever seen in the flesh, the man is a genius.

    We looked knackered and games/injuries have really caught up with us. As mentioned above, our lack of pace was brutally exposed, particularly in the backs and midfield yesterday. Kick passing was atrocious and way too slow compared to Kerry, we seemed to take an extra hop or solo everytime before releasing the ball which let Kerry get their sweepers in place, very frustrating. I think we really need to change it up the next day because if we stay with the same backline we are going to be eaten alive by the likes of Donegal/Dubs/Kerry. Fresh legs desparetly needed all over the pitch and just pray Kerry do us a favour and that Durcan is fit for Meath and likewise Ruane and O’Connor back for Donegal if we have something to play for. After witnessing yesterday, it’s quite clear teams will target our kickout constantly from now on. Playing long to the two O’Shea’s is an option with Durcan/Keegan/Boland/McDonagh scrapping for breaking ball. Keegan and McCormack to hug the sidelines for kickouts and provide mobility, give teams something to think about. Pointless going with the same old, we have nothing to lose at this rate.

    Carr-Coen-C O’Connor

    Subs-Hennelly, Drake, Barrett, Boyle, Higgins, Vaughan, Coen, McLoughlin, Moran, Doherty, Treacy.

  61. Pebblesmeller summed up well our deficiencies yesterday. Our middle 8 was weakened by the injuries of our 3 paciest players and Aido has been struggling for a few games now. Posters on here, myself included, suggested that SOS should have started to give Clarkie options and cut out the threat of Moran. SOS came on, made a difference but the game was over at that stage. We should have flooded the middle 3rd from the start with COC back on the 40 and dictate the play from there. . Also 4 of our backs are over 30 and have played 3 full games on the spin. Yesterday was the day for rotation. Surely EOD should have started, if only to give Barrett, who also is struggling, a break. In fact he could have replaced any one of the 3 full backs. If he isn’t up for it, then take him off. To put him on for the last 5 minutes was frankly insulting.I think that JH deserves the chance to rebuild this team and it will take the best part of 2 to 3 years to do it. But some of the sideline decisions were baffling to say the least.

  62. @centerfield not what I said at all. I mentioned examples of players that were free but as usual you just picked the bit that suited the agenda

  63. @mayo88 you can be rest assured that the kind of shenanigans won’t be happening in McHale Park. Chief steward Peter G is one of the finest in the business and neary a streaker or child has gotten within an asses roar of the pitch in years. His one slip up was allowing the drunken jackeen with the flag onto the hallowed turf a few years back in the league but in his defence he was tied up with a particularly obstreperous ice cream seller that night.

  64. @Ballagh Man and @Mayomad – I’m in complete agreement with you both on Clark and Hennelly. It appears Clarke is immune to criticism. Had Hennelly been in goal yesterday, and had he produce the same performance, I’m in no doubt he would have been made scapegoat to the defeat.

    What is a little destructive for the Mayo team at the moment is support is split between two camps ‘Team Clarke’ and ‘Team Hennelly’. At the end of the day who gets picked for goalkeeper DOES not matter as long as it for the ’cause’ and the right choice.

    Remember back when O’Shea was brought into full-back to mark Donnagh. Before the start of the game, Caffery was the last sub to leave the pitch as he was giving last minute advice to O’Shea on playing at full-back. It didn’t matter to Caffery that he wasn’t picked .. what mattered was O’Shea was prep for the role he had to play (Team).

    Clarke should have been substituted yesterday and Hennelly should have been supported if put on. He brings something different to our game and imo we desperately needed it.

    Personally, I like to see Mayo set up different ways depending on our goalkeeper. Work to both Hennelly and Clarke strengths. Of all teams in the Country, we’re the only team who have two goalkeepers which bring different aspects and can equally be picked. We should use that option to change our tactics as a games develops.

  65. Another positive – only one goal conceded. Limiting or preventing goals always has to be a main plank when playing Kerry. And our backs and keeper achieved that. Call me naive but in the circumstances of depleted player options and energy outfield and so many attacks from Kerry I’m proud of that and our backs. I really am. It’s easy to leak goals if you’re not at the races but we didn’t. I feel the lads at the back knew they wouldn’t be able to prevent all Kerry point attempts. But they tried to cut off the space here too. I thought they played well in demanding circumstances.

    And Andy was a safe pair of hands when he came on. I could see him near where I was in the stands. The Kerry players had to work to contain him with his movement. Seamie definitely helped steady things when he came on.

    Amazing stat above that we won all our own kick outs in second half. Worth seeing how/why.

    It seemed we had two goal chances when the basic foundations improved in the second half. Is that when we created those goal chances?

  66. Let’s be objective here or as objective as possible. The game was over at half time because we lost 10 or 11 kick outs in that time. Clarke cannot deal with a press because his mid to long range kicks are with inside of his boot therefore are high, slow and they float. That is a fact. A skilled kicker, Clux, Beggan and Hennelly, can flight one at pace over a press which has the effect of taking opposition men out of the game. This turns a press to our possible advantage.

    Buckley et al didn’t discover the press two weeks ago, but they knew it wouldn’t likely work against Hennelly in the league. It will work every time against Clarke, we saw it in the AI Final prior to Hennelly being brought in where we were leading, Dub pressed and Clarke had a meltdown, that’s why he was dropped.

    Hennelly was dropped because of a poor KO early that cost us a goal, but went on to win all but three kick outs for the rest of the game and we went into half time 5 points up. Clarke compounded error after error and his kick to Geaney was an absolute shocker and we’re lucky Geaney decided for some reason to take a shot on from 20 yards as he had space and two men over. He kicked one over the line around same time and his floaters gave Moran and Co time to outnumber AOS or DV.

    His kick outs in second half were still poor but as Kerry were ten points up they didn’t press as much, game was over.

    Re shot stopping Hennelly was phenomenal against Dublin and Kerry. He should not have been dropped and Horan made a big mistake dropping him and has a big decision to make now. All I know is McEntee, Bonner, Rochford and Gavin are all hoping he sticks with Clarke and that my friends is a fact.

  67. @Liam
    Now that you mention it, I do remember that lad. He was just in front of us, kept running on closing down the open space we had on the stand side. A bit like the Galway Maor Uisce that caught the quick free in the middle of the game, without actually touching the ball.
    I wasn’t aware of the high-viz requirement though – I think ours are red.
    He slowed us down by making it appear that the space to kick into didn’t exist.

    I also thought the ref was quite one-sided. Not enough to turn the game, but he gave them a few awful soft close in frees, while never giving us any when the same sort of pulling was done by the Kerry defenders.
    There was one in particular, a high ball in, Clarke called, our defender stepped out of the way, Clarke claimed it way above the Kerry attacker, yet he somehow gave a free in.
    It wasn’t the difference on the day, but if it comes to score difference between 3 sides, it could well cost us a semi-final spot.

  68. Instead of endlessly debating Clarke or Hennelly we should start debating Flanagan or McNicolas or some other alternative.

  69. Young Jamie McNicholas with Kiltimagh I seen him last year. For a young player I thought he was/is quite a mature goalkeeper. He was keeping Michael Schlingermann off the Kiltimagh team, as far as I know he still is?

  70. Albanyend, just because there is a debate over one or the other, it doesn’t mean both aren’t better than the alternatives. No disrespect to Flanagan etc but if they were viable alternatives they would be given a run in the FBD or league. Your point might be valid next winter but it has no value in our current predicament

  71. The reason we had no sweeper yesterday was that Kerry kept their 6 forwards up, in the previous games we had a sweeper by default as the other teams were playing with 4 or 5 forwards thus allowing 1 of our defenders to act as a sweeper.

  72. I don’t think it mattered much what we tried yesterday Kerry were going to win. If our kick out were better and we didn’t kick so much possession away or if we converted a couple of goal chances the margin would be more respectable. But the underlying truth is that we were mentally and physically tired and Kerry were fighting for their lives. Think about it from their perspective. Had Kerry lost yesterday that team would have been seen as a disgrace to the Kerry jersey. Some motivation for sure!

  73. Quest for Glory how many all stars has Hennelly got if you want an objective measure of the 2 keepers.

    I’m not debating this further. Clarke is a far better keeper. if it’s not Clarke then Schlingernan or someone outside the panel should come in.

    Hennelly latest clanger was a large contributory factor in us ending up in rd 2 2 of the qualifiers the fruit of which we are now reaping

  74. We will raise our game for Meath and win to set up a showdown with Donegal. Last year without McBrearty they fell short. We have lost much more to injury this year. That’s not an excuse its a reason. Beating Galway and getting to Super 8s was an achievement in the circumstances. I will not be upset if we do not make semi as this team have given their all.

  75. Centrefield, what an odd metric to use! Sure if all stars were what you used to pick the team we’d have no Carr or Mattie Ruane. Sure why don’t we bring Gabriel Irwin back so, stick Mort in the corner, Willie Joe might cover in midfield for us would be? Good man centrefield

  76. Kerry definitely deserved to win yesterday and started the game in a whirlwind. Having said that, I thought that the ref gave 3 or 4 soft unfair frees to Kerry thereafter and this deflated the Mayo lads. Kerry streaked away on the back of them. Granted he gave us a few soft ones in the second half but the damage was done then.
    Thought that Clarke did alright, nothing free for most kickouts with no Mayo man able to win his own ball, He has to disguise his kick outs but most of his team mates not alert enough. We can rectify some of this for the next day.

  77. Sos hasn’t played a competitive game all year so how can people think he has to start. The man won a free and kicked the ball away straight away in 2nd half and is headless at crucial times. It is time to focus on younger lads as when we get the retirements were in serious bother.

    Kerry played this one very well. Let the hype be about Cillian being top scorer, mayo beating them twice this year and we hadn’t the cautiousness or realisation we were walking into a massacre in killarney. Unlike us their home record is impeccable

  78. Everhopeful, does Clarke not shoulder part of the blame for the failure of the kickouts, he is the one kicking the ball. I would agree he had few options and he was under sever pressure but at the very least he should have kept the ball away from Moran and give mayo a 50/50 chance of winning possession. instead he continued with the predetermined kickout strategy which obviously wasn’t working. IMO Clarke did not have a good game, he panicked at times under the pressure as shown by kicking one short kick directly to Geaney and another over the sideline in quick succession. I would play Clarke next weekend as he is the safer option in goal but Horan much come up with a viable strategy for winning primary possession because Meath will definitely be pressing up on our kickouts

  79. PK I wouldnt be so dismissive of Seamie starting or his overall contribution, unless you want to write off the next 2 games entirely and just throw the younger lads out to see what might happen.
    While I don’t believe Sheamie has a full game in him, when he came on in the second half, he really stopped the rot in midfield. It can’t be a coincidence that we won all our kickouts in the second half – he’s a better fielder of the ball and has the brawn to out-muscle his opposite number on most occasions.
    If started he would almost certainly need to be subbed off as I don’t believe he would have a full game in him, particularly given how recent his return to the game is from injury.
    What we will never know is how things would have gone if he started yesterday – my own view is that we would still likely have lost but we wouldn’t have been looking at the scoreboard at half time and wondering if Kerry were going to put up another 9 points on us in the second half, but we’ll never really know.

    Ruane would definitely be ahead of him but Ruane is not available, he’s injured. Diarmuid is injured. Tom Parsons is Injured. Mikey Murray is not ready and there is no point in throwing him in now and setting him up for a hammering. While I understand the sentiment of focus on the younger, if we have a decent older player available, we should be using them. We we can’t be looking to do throw on the younger lads for experience in the winnable games and not playing an arguably better option from the panel is older and might retire in a year or 2.

  80. Centrefield, Hennelly is not the reason we are in the qualifiers. He’s a convenient scapegoat but it simply isn’t true. We had opportunities to win the Roscommon game even with the goal from the bad kickout and were even a point up at one stage and didn’t kick on. Our horrific shooting cost us that day.
    Henelly, however, was instrumental in our league final win over yesterday’s opposition.

  81. Uuugh this ‘Clarke v Hennelly’ discussion in interminable, this debate has been dragging on for years.
    The fact is both men fall short of the required standard of the modern keeper, how much evidence do we need. It was incredibly negligent of JH not to trial 3rd and 4th choice goalkeeping options in the fbd or the league

    Was listening to the gaahour podcast the other week, they told an interesting one about Declan bonner not being happy with the donegal keepers when he came in so he went out and headhunted Patton, a soccer goalkeeping. Decisive action on a weakness, and they are reaping the benefits now. Patton is on course for an allstar

  82. When you say PK ‘we hadn’t the cautiousness or realisation we were heading for a masacre’ who is the we? Do you mean the players, the management, the fans, the media… who exactly?

  83. Mayomad it was still Charkie in the second half when we started to look like we had a midfield giving the kick outs, we were bet all over that field,
    Including the kick outs yesterday, half forward line completely anonymous Jayo been off the pace most of the year, no point in going too long, no one there to take the ball, David Moran was magnificent yesterday’ especially in the first half and was really something to see, reminded me of Ronan McGarrity in flight, 8 balls into our forward line in the first half alone that went straight into the hands of Kerry defenders, I couldn’t find a mayo player doing well in that first half including D Clarke but as to who is our no1 keeper, there is no contest David Clark is there or abouts the best in the country still

  84. Such nonsense Supermac, Hennelly was near man of the match in League Final, pulling off a save from Clifford that was exceptional by any standard, our first bit of silverware in nearly 2 decades in Croker, and put in an incredible performance against the Dubs in Croker, as good as any keeper. Clarke is a high class keeper himself. It’s such a lazy take to say they both aren’t good enough, both have brought us to All Ireland’s and given us great days.

  85. Dreamy, I agree with you about Rob and about the Roscommon game. Other factors were pertinent in that game – a lack of focus across the board and Ros being up for the game. I cannot understand why people go to town on him. He saved our bacon against Dublin in this year’s League with a fabulous display and he helped us win the League this year. He is a talented keeper.
    I acknowledge the greatness of David Clarke but at the same time we must show flexibility in the face of different circumstances – can we acknowledge the strengths of both?

    I think the game was lost in the first 20 minutes yesterday *purely* in Kerry’s retention of our kick outs (though their terrier-like nature yesterday added to it). Our tiredness and injuries were behind all of it. I was just behind Clarke’s goal in that first half and he was under fierce pressure. It was awful really to see. I could plainly see Kerry players everywhere sticking onto their men and also ready to break out into space to grab Clarke’s kick-out. They left a tiny bit of space at times up front but you could be sure they’d pounce on a ball that come out to a defender that close to goal.

    The Mayo half forwards and midfield players *were* making runs for it. But as well as marking their men Kerry seemed to cleverly clog all the space. That’s how it looked to me as I looked straight down the field.

    What I couldn’t understand is why we couldn’t make a better contest of it at midfield, why there weren’t more Mayo men to move in beside Aidan and show some dominance.

    How Aidan could not dominate over Moran. Or how we could not win *their* kick outs.

    That was more pertinent for me.

    Surely there is a way to outsmart that strategy by positioning or by bunching/breaking out. It’s not good enough to have a keeper under that much pressure that he kicks into a Kerry player or out over the sideline. The Kerry players seemed to be having great fun with the ball they were winning. Anyway … another lesson we’ve learned. I think wits is the only way to approach next week – use wits to plan. Have strategies. And use fresh players as much as possible.

  86. I’ve no problem with this revived debate on the goalkeeper issue taking place – it’s both necessary and informative. The problems I do have with it are (a) over-the-top or unfair criticisms of one or other of the ‘keepers and (b) intolerance of opinions expressed by others on the topic. Please bear in mind and, where possible, keep me out of it from a moderation perspective. A few contributors are sailing too close to the wind in this regard so a calmer tenor to the debate would be good.

  87. Sarahmac, I agree with some of your points, very few played well yesterday and we did improve in midfield in the second half but the damage was done during a 20min spell in the first half where we virtually lost all of our kickouts. I didn’t blame Clarke for the loss as a lot went wrong on the day but Clarke does shoulder some of the blame when it comes to the failure of the kickouts, he definetly panicked when the pressure was on. I don’t see how Clarke is immune to criticism, why does he get a pass when Hennelly gets hammered for every mistake, there are obvious double standards being implemented here. And I have also stated that I think Clarke should start next weekend as he is the best option we have at the moment.

  88. The next day Hennelly must be a real option to play. We need everyone to get behind him. If he is not working out on goals and has malfunction like Clarke did yesterday than substitute him. Vica versa if Clarke is picked. What wr cannot do is persist with broken restarts when we have other options on the bench.

  89. I read folks giving allot of weigh to second half stats on our kickouts. The fact is Kerry stopped full court press. Most of kickouts when to free men. I’m not sure SOS was as influential (but I’m hope I’m wrong)

  90. This Clarke/Hennelly debate is to some extent turning into a ‘My Opinion versus Your Opinion’ debate… I was in Killarney yesterday, and in area of the game I would be critical of a number of Clarke kickouts, between about the 10th and 25th minute, He kicked out far too many of his long restarts in the direction David Moran and Donal Vaughan, where Moran was lording it….It was very costly for Mayo, but far from the winning and losing of the Match… Apart from that one aspect of the game for a time, I taught that David Clarke was excellent .. mostly because his options were so limited..I would actually be more critical of the Managnent on the sideline, who seen what was happening and very slow to make sure that there was a change in restarts Tatics , especially in comparison to the Kerry managnent who had their runner ‘Maor Uisce’ constantly changing and redirecting the Kerry Team, as well as being a neaunce to David Clarke when he was trying to get a quick restart…. Neither of our Goal Keeper’s are in the Cluxton, Morgan, Beggan, and especially Donegal’s, Patton ball park in terms of restarts, but Clarke is definitely the best shot stopper in Ireland, and probably the best Goalkeeper to challenge in the Air as well. . Hennelly has the better restarts no question about it, but it’s a question of how much better than Clarke?…. Who’s the best in the Air and by how much?… Who’s the safest pair of Hands, and by how much? … Who’s the best shot stopper consistently?… And who makes the least mistakes?

  91. As regards keepers, there have been several instances this year of keepers who have gotten caught out with short kick outs, not just Hennelly. Think it happend Saturday evening with the Cork keeper which led to a goal.

    Clarke’s hanging kick outs were in the air for either team to fetch at midfield. We just didn’t field them.

    My only suprise is when Moran had easily fielded a couple of our kickouts I don’t understand why we continued to kick to that area of the field where he was lurking.

    Many moons ago when WJ was lording midfield against Kerry an all Ireland semi final Mick O’Dwyer told his players at half time “quit trying to catch the ball against him and just go up and punch the ball and make sure he does not catch any more kick outs”. It worked back then and I don’t think we scored in the 2nd half.

  92. For me, our midfield is getting off easy here. Both our midfielders had terrible matches yet all the focus is on Clarke.
    I’d be far more annoyed that David Moran yet again was able to dominate the skys against us.
    When he started laying into Aidan at the start he should have been flattened. The ref was there, he knew what was happening. We had every right to start a riot on the pitch. Surely Mayo knew that much was coming with all the noise in the media about Kerry being bullied. We didn’t even make Kerry work for it. We are supposed to be the more physical side, so what happened our fielding and winning of breaks? Why was Stephen o’Brien who’s 5 foot nothing allowed to catch clean ball? We might still have lost but for the love of God make Kerry earn it. Kerry above all teams. Extremely disappointing.
    In light of everything I though our full back line faught manfully and did the best they could. They will and should start the match the next day as its the best we have right now.

  93. Leantimes, what other types of debates are there but ones of opinion? We can’t do a scientific experiment but we’ll try….

    The main contribution a keeper makes is restarts, that is the key metric, could have 30 in a game. Cluxton isn’t the greatest because of his shot stopping or his fielding or his safest pair of hands whatever that means, he is because of his restarts, that is simple and true. How much better is Hennelly? He faced the same team in the League final and not one issue arose from his kicking, not one. Clarke had many. Mistakes, what are mistakes? Kicking it to the opposition? We know who makes more of those mistakes, that’s indisputable.

    Regarding high balls and fielding, Clarke was solid in that regard, but more so Hennelly had five or six high fields in the final, if you don’t remember them you weren’t there, and he was solid under them all, bar maybe the first.

    Shot stopping, again for fairness, comparing the last two Kerry games, Clarke made a super save yesterday, but it wasn’t as good as the Clifford one. And Hennelly made others in the Final. Back to the key metrics, a keeper makes very few saves in a game, it is not in near the same category as KOs.

    There are the same red herrings thrown out all the time, Clarke can’t kick but he can save, Hennelly can kick but can’t save. It simply does not stand up to scrutiny. Hennelly was dropped for kicking a ball away after ten mins v Ros, Clarke had done that majorly on two or three occasions in the first 20 mins yday, and we near lost 10 KOs in a row.

    If Hennelly was in goal yesterday, the game wouldn’t have been over at half time, he would not have kicked 10 in a row away. We may not have won, but we wouldn’t have been 10 points down.

  94. Liberal, Stephen O’Brien had time to run backwards and catch the kick out, it had zero pace on it. Moran looked great because he had time to move and challenge nearly every kick out because the flight of the ball was too high and too slow.

  95. I am puzzled by the fact that David Clarke is getting a free pass on his kickouts by a lot of posters,but the middle third are getting criticism for their poor kick passing,the fact is David Clark’s kickouts are a disaster when the full press is on,so he must take some blame for yesterday,the same as Rob has to accept some blame for Roscommon defeat,neither of them deserve to get all the criticism they get

  96. I’m not getting into the wholesale changes or swapping the keepers (again) debate(s).

    Poor performance yesterday but no need to panic either. We’ve got another opportunity to right ourselves and I’m confident that we’ll do so. Whether it’s enough to push us further into this championship is not worth thinking about right now. Steady the ship and look to play our game. That’s the one and only focus for Sunday.

  97. Quest for Glory.

    Cluxton is / isn’t the best ? He’s very good. Don’t get me wrong.

    Would Cluxton be rated as the best keeper in the country if he was a Sligo player or an Offaly player or a Cork player ?

    No he would not in my opinion.

    He is getting extra exposure because he is part of a very successful Dublin team and Captain. Yes his kick outs are excellent, but he is also kicking to great players who can win the ball.


    Dublin have the kick out strategy down to a fine art and many of their kick outs are received by their players who don’t have anyone marking them.

    Many of the Dublin kick outs are timed. Cluxton often kicks to an area where there is no player at the time of the kick out. The outfield player knows where the kick out is intended to arrive and head to that area as Cluxton kicks out thereby taking their marker out of the game.

    Why don’t Mayo work on a system of kicking to empty space ?

    Now don’t get me wrong. I think Cluxton is a very good goal keeper.

    However, he is part of a very good team.

    Cluxton was playing 10 years for Dublin before he actually appeared in an AI final.

    He had to wait until a great team came along.

  98. Revellino – Clarke doesn’t have the array of kickouts that Cluxton has so he can’t drill the ball into space at the same speed. Clarke has worked a lot on his short kickouts over the years and is now very good at clipping it to a corner back or wing back. The problem is that Kerry were pressing so aggressively that short and mid range kickouts were not an option. It was not a case of no movement.

    The only option in that scenario is a 70m kick over the press. That would put manners on the opposition. If they get caught out once that would be it. Clarke just doesn’t have the long kick in his locker. I’m not sure if Hennelly is the answer either btw.

  99. Mind you the Cork midfied did get heir paws on a good few of Cluxtons kick outs on Saturday evening in the 2nd half. They were unable to make it count on the scoreboard though.

  100. I honestly believe Hennelly is the answer :p If we persist we Clarke (who is outstanding goalkeeper) than we need a completely new strategy to facilitate his kick outs and keep possession.

    I know what I’m said above is at odds with a lot of folks opinions. One thing is for sure – we knew we would miss Donnie Buckley and boy, oh boy has it come back to haunt us (fair play to him). Now we must show our own acumen which we have in spades!

  101. @Quest for Glory…In my Opinion…. Neither of our Keeper’s restarts are in the same League as , Beggan, Cluxton, (Morgan, sometimes when he’s hot, he’s hot and when he’s not he’s not) and the current best Patton of Donegal ..If Hennelly kicks from a placed ball were anything like any of those Elite kicker’s of a dead Ball, his ratio of score’s from his free taking would be much much better ..In the last two Match’s that he played that I was at (I wasn’t in New York) he missed 3 from 3 V Roscommon, including a 35 meter effort, and missed 4 from 4 in the league Final….It may well be that it is the right thing to do and Play Hennelly versus Meath…. It’s a risk, then again no matter what we do it’s a risk… It’s a risk playing Clarke versus Meath also, they might try the full court press on us and turn us over on our restarts. . However I don’t think that Meath have a David Moran or are anything like as good as Kerry, and a full court press versus Mayo would be very foolish thing for them to do!… However Hennelly and his better restarts might just give us better go forward ball and we could really punish Meath… I am only asking the question… One thing that I am sure of,. is this that expecting Hennelly”s restarts to be in the same League as Clucko, Beggan, Morgan or Patton is very far off the mark!

  102. Suspect we’ll see Hennelly start next weekend – Horan has tended to penalise any player who has had a poor game by dropping them for the next game….could make the same argument for so many other players but would imagine he’ll make no more than 3-4 changes starting out the next day.

  103. It was obvious from the start yesterday that it was not going to be our day.

    We were dragging and fouling kerry players from the 1st minutes in a half hearted effort to slow them down. All frees rightly awarded against us. Cynical stuff that could fit in to the black card territory.

    I don’t believe no matter who we had in goal yesterday we would have been much nearer Kerry. We might have done a bit better re kick outs but it wouldn’t have swung the game.

    If we come out as flat and lethargic next Sunday against Meath then we are going to be in some bother.

    James has to somehow rejuvenate the team in the space of a week.

    I think he needs to drop the hammer and make several changes to the starting line up. I don’t care how little they have played up till now. We need energy on the pitch more than anything else. No matter how good a player has been over the years I’m afraid if the legs are heavy it’s not going to end well against Meath.

    If some of our lads got a 3 week break before the Donegal game and we could beat Meath with 5 or 6 new recruits on the pitch then I think we might be fresh enough to take on Donegal in 3 weeks times.

    We have a big squad and I believe this is the week to use them.

  104. Clarke has been given a free pass on his poor kick outs since the All Ireland final replay in 2016 when Hennelly dropped a ball conceded a penalty and was black carded. He has never been forgiven for it. But if anyone watches the last ten minutes of the drawn game they will see Clarke go into full meltdown and hand 3 points to Dublin you can see why Hennelly started the replay. He received a bit of reprieve after the Dublin league game as he stopped us from being disgraced that evening. And he was also and rightly lauded after the league final. I’d say he had 1 or 2 bad kicks v Roscommon 1 which obviously we conceded the goal from but the blame doesn’t lie solely as his door for that defeat. But the David Clarke fan club started baying for blood and they got it. Also any time Clarke kicks short and receives a return pass he looks as if he can’t get rid of it quick enough. Hennelly is far more comfortable on the ball.

  105. We need to go easy on excessive criticism of individual player. I think Hennelly is a very good keeper though he has dropped a few clangers on high balls. I also thing Clarke is a very good keeper and a brilliant shot stopper. Both have weaknesses but then so do most goal keepers. Even Cluxton who is the best I have seen has his odd meltdown now and again. Kerry targeted our kickouts yesterday but there would have been no Mayo v Kerry yesterday only for some exceptional goal keeping from Clarke in previous rounds. Likewise Hennelly had some very good games in the league especially v Dublin and the Kerry in final.Whenba lad makes an error or has an off day there are immediately calls for him to be dropped. If that’s the case about 13 starters yesterday should be dropped. But sport doesn’t work like that. Kerry had us sussed out yesterday and punished us accordingly. No point over reacting, just regroup and try to get a big performance on Sunday. It won’t be easy but these guys have dug themselves out of holes in the past and hopefully they will do so again

  106. You make a good point about the tackling Revellino.

    Doherty and McLoughlin in particular had a really poor start to the game and really the ref should have punished them for what were a couple of atrocious attempts at tackling.

    It was either lazy, poor technique or cynical. A couple of them were all three.

  107. For the Meath game we need a bunch of fresh legs that can run all day in Croke Park with experienced back up on the sideline and Andy in from the start. His presence alone will really distract the Meath backline.

  108. Shaking my head here at fellas touting Hennelly as the answer, given that clangers he has dropped have arguably cost us three All-Ireland titles. The lad evidently has problems handling pressure in big-game situations.

    Granted, D. Clarke had a bad first half with his restarts, which were picked off by Kerry for scores. He also saved three one-on-ones (something I seldom remember RH doing) and once SOS came on and someone started showing for the ball in the centre, the kickout situation improved immeasurably.

    If it weren’t for his saves against Armagh and Galway in the qualifiers, there would be no discussion at all here this evening.

    As for Hennelly’s kickouts, they can’t be that good if he keeps getting picked off for goals off them in big games. The latest one was only a month ago, yet we have fellas eulogising them here.

    That’s one bad game in what, nearly two decades donning the Mayo jersey for Clarke? I honestly wonder sometimes if some fellas here know whether a football is pumped or stuffed.

  109. The game was won at mid field in the first 5 minutes. David Moran hoovered up and fed the kerry forwards and was barely challenged. The first half was all he needed. Vaughan has given Mayo great service but he simply was not fit or able for this one. We knew Kerry would close out the short kick outs so what exactly was the plan B? Horan should have and could have acted quicker at midfield. Look at all of the changes Keane made on that Kerry team to resolve their issues. Horan can do the same. We are not out. We just need to make sure players are in the right position and if they are not then have a plan b and plan c. People always go back to the same old “this team are old” blah blah blah “5 of them over thirty” blah blah blah . Boyle, Higgins and co have been batthered black and blue for three games three weekends in a row, of course they were gonna feel it. Our Captain was injured , Our Vice Captain was injured and it just so happens that we lost the game at midfield where we are missing Mattie Ruane and Diarmuid O Connor. Another thing that won it was the likes of Tomás ó Sé writing articles to really get into the heads of these Kerry players. Who is currently doing that for Mayo?! Our own fans believing all of the ráiméis from Brolly and the like. This is a great Team , We are still in, albeit injuries are hurting us. I just hope Horan can think outside the box for the next few games and also that we have some fiery talk and belief from Mayo people that we can definitely get some results in the next few games. Maigheo abú!

  110. @it means nothing to me. Please inform us of these 3 all irelands RH has cost us? He stopped Dublin scoring 5 or 6 goals in 2013 with his saves. Perhaps the only one he could have cost us was 2016 replay however Clarke vo u I’d have cost us the drawn game. But anyway fill us in on the rest

  111. The stunt that Kerry pulled in the first 20 minutes having a runner without a high viz on the field when it was our kick out caused mayhem to Clarke’s kick outs
    How come our sideline did not bring this to the attention of the officials or have we a sideline who can spot this disgraceful gamesmanship ????

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