The morning after

So it’s over.

Yesterday finished for us way worse than feared, certainly after that stirring first half performance the lads put in. At that stage it began to look as if it might become one of the truly great days for us but by the end our hopes were smashed and our Championship run was over.

It’s been a hell of a run too. Matches in each of the four provinces, games played in three different jurisdictions where supporters were handling three different currencies. Days with great weather, days where it rained all day long. All manner of highs and lows.

Nine Championship games. That’s not our highest total ever – we played the same number of 2016 and contested ten the following year – but the ludicrously constricted nature of the Championship as it’s currently structured made it feel like we’ve been playing ball without a break all summer long.

Talk of structures and reforms and putting the world to rights can, though, be postponed until some other time. One thing we can say about our own situation is that it’s only now, with the swirling dust beginning to settle, we can start to appreciate fully just how costly that loss to Roscommon back in May was.

That defeat sent us hurtling off on the mad seven-games-in-eight-weeks trajectory. While the team did hugely well to stay afloat during this crazy schedule and push onto the final four, the damage was done. For sure, it caught up with us in the second half yesterday.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing. At the start of the year, an outcome involving a League title and a run to the All-Ireland semi-final wouldn’t have been sniffed at. Certainly after Newbridge and everything that followed last year.

Of course, not reclaiming Connacht was a box not ticked. And, sure, the manner of yesterday’s defeat wasn’t something we’d have wished for. But then again few teams get what they wish for when locking horns with Dublin these days.

On the plus side James has brought through a large amount of new players this year, showing again his talent for developing young lads and getting them ready for the rigours of inter-county football.

With a changing of the guard perhaps gathering pace over the winter, the new lads are likely to assume greater roles and increased responsibilities next year. But, so soon after yesterday’s end to the season, it’s as well not be writing any obituaries just yet.

With that in mind let’s finish on an upbeat note. In the wreckage that was the second half yesterday, a truly uplifting moment occurred with the reappearance of Tom Parsons onto the field of play.

What fortitude and perseverance Tom has shown in the fifteen months he’s been recovering since that horrific knee injury he suffered. How great it was to see him galloping round Croke Park in the colours once again.

Photos: Sky Sports

Let Tom’s comeback be our metaphor now as we move on from yesterday’s loss and, in time, turn our thoughts to next year and what we might do then. Yesterday was a bad setback, for sure, but we’ll learn from it and our aim now has to be to redouble our efforts and come back even stronger next year. Which we will. Up Mayo.

131 thoughts on “The morning after

  1. You’re right as always WJ. In order to give ourselves any hope we have to at the very least be in the connaught final
    As always they did our county proud as did our supporters, yesterday was a bridge too far after the hectic schedule all summer that was evident in the second half
    “But sure lookit” (to borrow a jh phrase)
    We can always look forward to next year,
    Nobody died lads

  2. A disappointing end to another amazing season. My greatest disappointment is for our players who once again gave their absolute all for the cause but still came up short. Waking up this morning one can’t help but feel a sense of disillusionment and despair. The whole system stinks. Asking a team to play 7 times in 8 weeks is ludicrous. People will say we brought it on ourselves by losing in Connacht but that is not my point. What is the logic in condensing a season and bringing in the Super 8s at the same time. The Super 8s are a failure. Last week little over 2000 attended Cork v Ross and then we had the Coma in Omagh yet we were forced to face into the biggest game of the year in 7 days. Crazy stuff. My despair increases when after reading report s of the matches I see the absolute bile directed at our players and county by some faceless morons. Of course I don’t have to read the Comments section but this sort of stuff is a reflection of the very worst aspects of 21th century Ireland. That Dublin football team is the best I have seen. If I followed them I would celebrate their brilliance rather than spending time on abusing others when they had been beaten. Trying to finish on a positive note Fair play to you Tom Parsons. Your recovery is the sign of the bravery and dedication of our great team. And fair play to everyone on our management and panel. The amount of injuries, setbacks and difficulties we had this year and we still end up with a league title and place in AI semi final I am proud of every one of you.. Best of luck with your recovery Jason. Finally WJ thanks to you for providing such a great forum where genuine people (with the exception of the idiot yesterday)can discuss all things Mayo football, Maigh Eo Abu.

  3. As a neutral, one really could not grasp the idea that Mayo could really beat Dublin during the week by fans and pundits in media. You can’t lose to Roscommon and Kerry and then think you have a true chance of beating a team who have not lost in Just under 5 years of Champ football. Imo this Mayo team have missed the boat, I would have liked to have seen them win it but their time has gone.

  4. THE END OF AN ERA . This Mayo Team gave me some great days since 2011 & I am sad to see that a few of my favourite players like Andy, Kieth, Probably David Clarke & Colm Boyle, will now never win an All Ireland medal. The Kickouts killed off any chance of a Mayo victory especially in the first half when Mayo were well on top . James Horan is looking more like Eamonn Fitzmaurice every game . Managers who keep repeating the same mistakes usually don’t last very long . Mayo need to do 3 things for 2020 . Adopt a youth policy , find a good young Goalkeeper & most importantly ,Bring Ciaran McDonald into the Backroom Team . The Dubs look good for 5 in a Row , Depending on the result of today’s game .

  5. I know it’s soon, but there is one obvious thing. Dublin are suffering losses in the league as they are lifting heavy in the gym, particularly squats. Hence once summer comes no team can compete with their power. Unfortunately if We are to compete with Dublin gym numbers for each player are most important.
    Obviously coming through the front door is important, but one has to match Dublin physically.

  6. Thank you so much Willie Joe for the professionalism and all the hard work you put into this site, and your excellent insight and analysis which is presented here and on the podcast, for those of us who are interested in excellent insightful GAA analysis, it’s the only media worth reading. Enjoy the down time. Re Mayo, all I can say is thank you, again what a wonderful season it has been, a lot of positives to take from it, these have been detailed above, only sad part is a few lads will retire without an All Ireland medal, but all legends in mayo supporters eyes. Thank you for giving me as a Mayo supporter in my 50s, absolutely fantastic days, since 2011. Like WJ, I have to mention T Parsons, if any Mayo panel member feeling a bit low this am, they only need to think of him and what he has achieved!! I look forward to seeing him getting back to his best in 2020!!
    Finally, I don’t buy this narrative that the Dubs are so far ahead of everybody else, Dublin got a run on us yesterday, 1st goal a slip by Lee, and the 2nd individual brilliance by o Callaghan, and our weary legs couldn’t respond. I expect Kerry to win today, and then with a 3 week break, they will put it up to the Dubs. Weary legs won’t catch them.
    Roll on 2020, we go again!!

  7. Don’t care what anyone says but that was a good season. We slipped out of the “Top 4” after Newbridge, and now we’re once again a top 4 team. The schedule is crazy, but we probably wouldn’t of beaten them anyway. Thanks to all the squad for a great summer, some young players have been well blooded now. The future is bright.

    Tyrone to beat Kerry today no problem. Then brace yourself for “ah sure we’re a young team etc” I don’t buy that tripe at all, theirs 4 or 5 AI winners on that team at a given time. The kerry boys in media do a good job of keeping pressure off them with this young team. Id say their average age is alot higher than ppl think.

    Either way the winner today is fighting for second place, Dubs cud be a lot more than 10 point winners in the final.

  8. Willie joe. You put it well there. I think we should scrap the super 8s. Let the provincial winners go straight to semi final as before and have a plate competition for all first round losers. Reducing the number of inter county games will help the clubs . mayo looked very tired in the second half yesterday and no wonder. I was in New York this year and to honest this should not be a championship match. It should be maintained as an exhibition game Not sure about London either. I see good prospects for mayo next year with young lads like Odonoghue Ruane McDonough Carr etc I won’t suggest who should hang up their boots now. They’ll know themselves. Next goal is to retain league title Up mayo

  9. Dublin will probably achieve their drive for five but days like yesterday will ensure that WHEN a mayo man lifts Sam it will be a far greater feeling than lifting the cup again for a fifth year in row. The never give up spirit of the mayo players (and fans) which was embodied by the return of Tom Parsons yesterday should be what we celebrate today. Well done lads on another summer where you provided us with game after game of nail biting entertainment. never mind the drive for 5. Let us all start getting the kids ready for back to school and get our christmas lists done early and look forward to the RUN4ONE next year…#RUN4ONE #mayo4sam2020

  10. Well done to our lads for their efforts again this year, the schedule was gruelling and compounded by injuries, it was always going to be tough, but as ever they fought on. Very proud of them as always, am finding it hard to take this morning the fact that some of these mighty men will now never win an AI, sport can indeed be cruel. But we must look to the future, we go again (after a rest that we all need!!)

  11. I think JH has done a very good job – reads the game well & he gets the best out of players so we’re lucky to have him. We were beaten by the numbers yesterday- too many games in a short period for Mayo and too many players available for Dublin- there should be 2-3 teams in the Capital not just one, for the GAA to survive- even if they don’t win 5 in a row competition has been ruined in Leinster- nothing to compete for in other counties – time to get real /GAA president has a major vested interest in Dublin winning but the other 31 counties do not. Mayo forever!

  12. Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
    Kris Kristofferson

    Well I woke up Sunday morning
    With no way to hold my head
    That didn’t hurt
    And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t
    Bad so I had one more for dessert
    Then I fumbled through my closet
    For my clothes
    And found my cleanest dirty shirt
    And I shaved my face
    And combed my hair
    And stumbled down the stairs
    To meet the day

    I’d smoked my brain the night before
    With cigarettes and songs
    That I’ve been pickin’
    But I lit my first and watched a small kid
    Cussin’ at a can that he was kickin
    Then I crossed the empty street and
    Caught the sunday smell
    Of someone fryin chicken
    And it took me back to something
    That I’d lost somehow
    Somewhere along the way

    On the sunday morning sidewalk
    Wishing lord that I was stoned
    Cause there’s something in a sunday
    That makes a body feel alone
    And there’s nothing short of dying
    Half as lonesome as the sound
    On the sleeping city sidewalk
    Sunday morning coming down

    In the park I saw a daddy
    With a laughing little girl
    He was swingin
    And I stopped beside the Sunday school
    And listened to the song
    That they were singing
    Then I headed back for home
    And somewhere far away
    A lonely bell was ringing
    And it echoed thru the canyon like
    The disappearing dreams of yesterday

    On the sunday morning sidewalk
    Wishing lord that I was stoned
    Cause therels something in a sunday
    That makes a body feel alone
    And there’s nothing short of dying
    Half as lonesome as the sound
    On the sleeping city sidewalk
    Sunday morning coming down

  13. Well put Willie Joe.
    It was a bridge too. Mayo were excellent in the first half and showed how to play Dublin. It was inevitable we would get tried in second half.
    For me Cluxtons kickout were a major factor again and Fenton stood up when needed. Mannion and O Callaghan are special players.
    We missed Andy in first half I thought. Game was over when he came on.
    Cillian and Diarmuid were very quiet. But once again Boyler was magnificent.
    Its feels like a long time since New York and my god so many memories this year.
    I was very taken by two things yesterday at half time.
    The older generation who have been there and seen it all and the younger generation who are now part of the Mayo saga all together in hope.
    Hope can be a dangerous thing but I still have it and that will do for now.
    Hats off Tom Parsons. What a man.
    Its a great metaphor alright. Battered broken written off but keeps coming back for more.
    Love you Mayo.

  14. Fantastic 9 years by this team of absolute heroes and it’s a shocking that certain people who have won a single all Ireland can be given a platform to disrespect our players. The GAA have created one of the unfairest competitions in the world and it’s only the presence of this Mayo team that has given the contest any colour and interest in recent years. Anyone doubting that just needs to look at the 2018 borefest

    As things stand I reckon the all Ireland football championship has maybe 3/4 years left before it becomes an irrelevance…….5 in a roe……..shur why not 15…..or to heck with it……27 in a row…….who actually will care

  15. Thank You very much WJ for your, yet again, excellent and professional presentations.
    THANK YOU to our amazing Mayo team for their tireless effort and commitment in giving us many days of great football and opportunities for camaraderie and banter with our fellow Mayo fans.
    I hope we don’t see more of the negative comments and innuendo we see creeping already- let’s sit back, reflect and Thank our lucky stars we are all Mayo fans.
    MaighEo Abú!

    Adopt a youth policy , find a good young Goalkeeper & most importantly ,Bring Ciaran McDonald

  16. Disappointing end to a whirlwind summer of football. I think as Mayo supporters we let our hearts rule our heads in terms of what the result would be yesterday. It was a great first half but our legs ran out. Other counties don’t get the entertainment we get treated to every summer. Great to see Tom Parsons back in the green and red and the new players brought into the panel. The future looks good for Mayo football.

    On a separate issue what happened with the ticketing is disgraceful. Many Mayo supporters ended up with extra tickets.

    Finally thank you WJ for all the work you put into this blog. It binds us all together.

  17. Mayodunphy,
    You may be right that Tyrone beat Kerry today as I believe it’s a hard game to call but to say that Kerry aren’t a young team is stretching it. The dubs will beat Tyrone in a final as Tyrone play a particularly controlled brand of ball and the dubs will love taking that apart for the first 40/50 minutes and then going for the kill. I’m heading to Croker today and I don’t know if I’m sitting in the driving seat or the ejector seat, that’s sport and you have to put your best foot forward regardless. If we win we will give the dubs a bellyful on the 1st I can assure you that, will we win ? doubtful but you’d never know. Yesterday after the first goal mayo kicked four or five poor wides and they drained the confidence out of ye and ye became a little disorganized, that’s when the dubs just went for it and they were devastating to be fair to them.

    Ye controlled possession wonderfully in the first half and never went for silly low percentage shots or passes and this frustrated the dubs as when they don’t have the ball they can’t hurt ye. The strong wind at their backs was always going to change their plan of attack and they really closed down hennellys hickout options and there are lessons there for who ever brings their catapult to Goliaths door on the 1st. They hovered up everything and with so many players in position from the high press they ran at ye on mass and it was almost an impossible position to defend against once they secured possession.

    The high wind and promised deluge failed to appear but I still don’t think they were going to loose that game regardless, they were fresh and rested while mayo had the heart but the energy levels were dropping and it must have been hard for the old warriors out there, God knows they served their county well and there was wonderful support there yesterday for mayo and hats off to ye.

    Anyway in about five hours time I’ll know if I’m going to be searching for tickets to witness an execution or looking for a good seat in my local. I hope I’m looking for tickets and if I am I look forward to the build up to the big one. The theory’s of how to take them on and win and the scoffs at how quickly they will take us apart, post game where we won or lost and how good ol’ David Gough got them out of trouble if we do get them on the ropes,,,,, championship football !!

  18. James Carr can be every bit as good as con o Callaghan , Fionn mcdonagh can be as effective as any top half forward in the game , ruane can be a top midfielder .

    Them guys need to bulk like crazy and get more power and strength , they have the football .if James Horan is genuinely serious about winning an all Ireland he also needs to start paying attention to mistakes he makes and stop repeating them.

  19. Stayed away from here yesterday just to get some head space. Inisbofin has summed up a lot of my thoughts this morning better than I could. My other thoughts would would have me in McHale Park with a 220 track machine widening and lengthening the field to the same dimensions as Crime Park. The format is set up now that you simply have to win or at the very least be a runner up in connaught. Yesterday’s result will be digested in the fullness of time but #Fortress MacHale Park is immediately urgent and should now be to the forefront of our minds. If nothing else wrecking a few seats can be quite therapeutic 🙂

  20. I wouldn’t be that quick to throw Andy, Boyler, Keith or Clarke on the scrap heap they still could play a huge role in bringing younger players through if they were prepared to commit again and accept a subs role there’s still a good 30 to 40 minutes in each of them but it’s a huge commitment for them at their age so I hope they don’t make any rash decisions. I’m already looking forward to the FBD and the league I think we should try and win Connaught at all costs and give ourselves the best possible chance of progression. People are talking about the end of an era and maybe us being in decline or transition but I think we are evolving if Horan brings through another 3 or 4 good young footballers like he did last year we will be away again. I’d love to see a fully fit and committed Liam Irwin on that team and Tommy goals from the Neale involved and give Mikey Murray a few games and maybe Ryan O Donoghue given a shot in the league (probably won’t happen)people are talking about Dublin winning 7 or 8 in a row Jim Gavin might be gone next month after them winning the 5 in a row and a few of the team with him . They say it’s the hope that kills you and at half time yesterday we had loads of hope. Roll on January let’s get out and see if we can spot any new talent in the club scene over the winter and stay positive. Thanks Willie for the blog and Rob Murphy and team for the podcasts I’ll miss the weekly podcasts but we will rise again we always do. Dia is Muire Linn Maigheo Abu

  21. That was such a disappointment but also a pleasure to see Dublin in 5th gear. I knew Dublin were good but didn’t think they were that good. Never has the cliche of a game of two halves been do accurate. Well today I think Kerry will win but with their defence, I expect Dublin to do the exact same as they did to us.

  22. Wouldn’t be at all down about yesterday

    Didn’t want to post it in the build up as it sounds negative, but there was never a chance we were keeping it close with Dublin. Or that anyone else will for the foreseeable future. Want a sobering thought? We will once again be the team that gives Dublin their biggest challenge all year. As sure as night follows day they’ll win the final by 10 plus, as Kerry and Tyrone cannot match the intensity we brought in the first half

    Welcome to the new all ireland football championship. When you throw a professional team in with amateurs what do you expect? I have zero doubt they’ll do 10 in a row

    But as for Mayo, heroic first half yesterday. Died with their boots on. All one can ask. Another thoroughly enjoyable year all things said and great to win the league!

  23. Our injuries came back to haunt us. Both o connors & Keegan not at full tilt. Time to rebuild-need 2 new goalies a fullback,cornerback & CHB.
    BROLLY IS A TWIT–perhaps Tyrone have it right by not talking to RTE

  24. Good year, we won league, and got to semi , we can’t afford to lose Connaught and expect to win AI
    In 2013 we were blowing teams in province away, need to get back to that level because that’s were Dublin are at

  25. Gamechanger, I wish you and the Kerry team the best of luck today. I hope ye get the win.

  26. Mayo fielded an impressive team. I am so proud. This mayo team have all the good adjectives. Wild underdogs uncaged and unshackled. They have given the supporters a fine array of emotions on our tour of the country. My summers are made by mayo. Dublin are a juggernaut. Unstoppable. Both teams owe their counties nothing. But the gaa might? Dublin are talented, no doubt. GAA needs a competitive capital team. Of course. The gap is widening and unless something changes it will continue to do so. Now, anything is possible, absolutely, but its becoming more and more improbable that teams stay competitive with Dublin, for 70mins. If Dublin keep winning, which they have the appetite, talent and mindset for, will it create more support? No. Dublins support has peaked, we saw that in the leinster final. If there is no probable chance for the rest of the counties, support will wan. The gaa’s funding, stucture and management is very short sighted. For the forseeable future. Dublin are immortal. Its the sport that will suffer because of it.

  27. Finally took a look at pics of Tom Ps injury this morning.(avoided social media after that game and had only word of mouth on how awful it was). Was actually worse than I imagined and to see him back in a Mayo jersey yesterday is one of the few positives I can take this morning.
    The Blue wave feels more like a tsunami ..

  28. An amazing group of players who have given us a lifetime of memories. Jimmy Mcguinness once spoke of mayo and there crusade, and while I no it’s tough to take today I no the crusade will continue next year again and I’m looking forward to being part of it again. Horan is in year 1 of 4 let’s see where this journey takes us. Up Mayo

  29. While we could manage 0-3 retirements I think any more than that will make it very hard for us to be competitive at a high level. Every one of those lads are good enough to be squad player but it’s very difficult to continue the massive commitment especially for the lads living outside the county. Ideally we’ll progress with another 2 or 3 new starters with the most of the old warriors staying around.

  30. @Game changer. Best of luck today…hope Kerry do the business…at least then it may be an AI final worth watching…a Tyrone win would be the exact same as last year and that final was one hell of a borefest.

  31. I think Kerry could beat Dublin.
    We were out on our feet and injuries cost. Of course Dublin are fantastic but circumstances helped too.Kerry can get close to them they are not far off where we were in 2017.
    They believe in the high ball to FF like the Pope believes in Jesus because it won them so many all Ireland’s.
    I would give them a great chance if they can get out of today.

  32. if Kerry get through i would give them a chance if they stop goals going in. Kerry will score a lot more than 1-10. Key is to not concede goals so you can keep the Dubs under 20 pts

  33. Willie Joe and all Mayo supporters. Can I just say, as a dub, the immense respect we have for Andy Moran . A tremendous player but above all a great human being . After the disappointment of yesterday’s game , he still shook hands with every single player on the Dublin team . What’s more he went to the hill and applauded them and they he. To display such sportsmanship shows what makes Mayo team so special. Don’t mind the trolls , they live on their keyboards and try divide and insult everybody . To any Mayo player that retires , thanks for the memories .

  34. Mayo: 68 years
    Dublin: 6 in 8 years.

    They can use the horses and hearse for so called amateurish in the GAA.

  35. One thing is for sure paddy durcan will be getting my number 1 when we have poty poll on here. Outstanding again yday. Turns up in the big games

    He and boyler likely 2 allstars id say

  36. Paddys missed shot into Cluxtons hands set up Dublins second goal.Keegan made a very poor attempt to tackle for that goal.

  37. Another year gone 🙁
    Some great memories along the way
    Shame we didn’t get to savor last weekend and the long overdue win over Galway for longer

    Thanks as always Willie Joe for your Trojan work

  38. Kerry will not beat Dublin. They’re placing a lot of faith in Clifford, the boy wonder who is apparently going to change the game and Kerry’s fortunes. You can be sure the Dubs will spend the next 3 weeks preparing for every possible scenario with Clifford and once they have him figured out and nullified, Kerry lose a lot of their power. Their defence is porous and they will ship a big score against the Dubs. The Dubs will figure out a way to quieten their forward line and will score plenty themselves. Kerry don’t stand a chance. And don’t get me started on Tyrone. A mediocre team that got trounced in last years final and nothing I’ve seen this year has convinced me it won’t happen again.
    Honestly I hope Dublin walk it. Nothing will change with the GAA unless they’re shown in irrefutable fashion that they’ve created a monster.

  39. Nice post John. Andy has always conducted himself impeccably and like other legends of the game I’m sure has garnered immense respect all over the country. Nice pic of himself and Cluxton on RTÉ app today – two giants.

    This team has savage leadership at the back with the likes of Boyle, Paddy, Barrett and Lee and with these guys at their peak, Mayo were always going be a tough proposition for any team. What we didn’t seem to be able to do over the years was provide a consistent threat up front which maybe is a lot of the reason why we struggled against teams we might otherwise have been expected to handle more easily.

    Really hope we manage to maintain that hard edge at the back. We have good options in the middle. If the likes of Carr and Fionn can push on, they are without doubt the real deal and have the physicality. They can carry with confidence and are not afraid to have a pop. There’s no reason they can’t be as good as Mannion. Doc of course is well capable of scoring from open play and has the physicality to compete with any defender. Diarmuid has some engine on him and perhaps it’s that rather than his scoring prowess that needs to be exploited. Cillian will also be a sound fixture. If we can unearth another two forwards in the Fionn/Carr mould (easy to say I know) then that would provide a great platform up front. Fergal Boland is a nice footballer and a nice option to have but could do with S&C. Maybe lots more S&C on some of the existing panel might be part of the solution.

    Glad JH is at the helm. I don’t think there’s anyone else around who would be capable of managing the inevitable transition.

    Many thanks to this group (players, management and back room team) for yet again providing so much entertainment. We can bluster on here but I think most of us have no clue about the sacrifices and commitment involved.

    Thanks WJ for providing this forum. Great social space. Speaking of sacrifice/commitment, it’s more than admirable what you do here. I can’t imagine what it’s like trying to compose posts after days like yesterday. Well done.

  40. Cheers John Like most Dublin posters on this blog you know your GAA and sportsmanship The odd idiot comes on from time to time but are well kept in check. Ye have a fantastic team to support and must now be looking forward to 5 in a row . Andy has been a super player and role model for Mayo and contributed excellently for us this year again.

  41. I believe if Kerry can get through today they will win the all Ireland . Kerry are far better than posters in here are saying , watching Clifford and Sean o Se is what I’m really looking forward to today . Not the same buzz around as yesterday here in hotel but it’s still has the sense of a great occasion and Kerry supporters have a real belief in what they think is the start of great things for them .

  42. Many thanks, Willie Joe for this wonderful forum especially on days like this. We briefly saw what it could descent into yesterday without your due diligence. Also thanks to all the players and management for a very successful year. Who would have thought way back in wet and windy March after losing to Galway and to Dublin that we would win the damn thing and contest an AI Semi final. Not me anyway. Maybe a few veterans will walk away and who would blame them. They owe us nothing for years of endeavour. I think they will have a big role to play if they stay on especially in mentoring the younger lads. Great to see Tom Parsons back and in full flow. What resilience and strength of character. Maigheo Abu!!!

  43. Dreamy..I dont for a moment think that the GAA give a monkeys about how things are panning out or how it will predictably go in the next few years..Not the powers that be anyway..
    That’s not meant to sound fatalistic but it’s hard to see it in any other light.

  44. I’d give shamrock Rovers a better chance of beating man City, than Dublin losing a final to kerry

  45. Didn’t sleep much last night, it’s depressing how far ‘the rest’ are behind Dublin right now. Dublin did to us what they do to most teams, give you a small bit of hope in the first half and then absolutely blitz you in the 3rd quarter. Cork & Meath found out this year, Galway & Tyrone found out last year. The history books will record a 10 point defeat, the first half won’t be remembered.

    Need to be more competitive in Connacht in 2020, trying to win Sam from so deep in the Qualifiers is just not possible with the age/injury profile of this team.

    Where do we stand right now? I supposed somewhere between 2 and 8. Kerry, Tyrone, Galway, Roscommon, Donegal, maybe Cork & Meath. On a given day each of these teams can beat each other.

    Would be a exciting Championship if Dublin weren’t in it ??

  46. At least whoever win’s today will have a 3 Week Break for the All Ireland Final… I prefer the Kerry style of Football- Last Week, At least Kerry had the semblance of a football match last Week versus a Meath Team already out of the Championship, But altogether it was nothing like the attritional battle Mayo had in Castlebar, it will be interesting to see does the rest accorded the Tyrone Team at the ‘Coma in Omaha’ have any positive effect on the energy levels of Tyrone, I think it just might…..Late last Night I ventured to the local Pub, still in my Mayo Gear, maybe 6 or 7 at the bar who hadn’t made the journey and despite rarely ever going to Mayo Match’s, Another season ticket holder like myself came in and that made two of one… The guy’s and Girl’s who never go, but watch in the Public House, always know far more than you have any of ye ever noticed… Anyway one particular sage ventured that it was awful to see people leaving for the exits before the final whistle’ and with the Support of the other barstool fan’s suggested that they weren’t Mayo fan’s at all…. for me the inspirational sight of Tom Parsons making his return to competitive football ensured that at I was still in Croke Park when the final whistle’ blew, (the only positive from Croke Park yesterday)…. But I was amused by the ignorance of some people… There can be absolutely no doubt but that Mayo Supporter’s are the best that ever supported any Team in the entire history of the GAA…

  47. As a rossie,I say mayo done superb but as another poster said the gaa have created this Dublin team who are making the gap even wider and other counties are losing hope and players each year they disillionment is getting greater

  48. It’s hard to settle the head after a day like yesterday. Like many Mayo supporters I’m deeply frustrated. To have a team like we have had and not win an All Ireland is painful. Someone said earlier that hope is the real killer and it is. I had very little hope before the game yesterday and then as I saw the first half emerging I began to think maybe – just maybe – we could pull it off! Suddenly one or two lapses of intensity and concentration and we were gone – blown away.
    Im of an age now where I believe that it is unlikely that I will ever see us win the big one. Dublin are likely to dominate for a very long time. We will start to lose our real warriors over the next few years and I’m not sure yet that those coming through will be of the same calibre. Yes I’m proud but in a bereaved sort of way. I can only begin to understand how the players feel. They should be very proud of themselves although I suspect that’s not how they feel today.They have represented us with courage and determination and have given their all to the cause and deserve every respect.
    A word of thanks and appreciation to Willie Joe for this blog. You have contributed in no small way to generating the amazing support that we enjoy and that goes a long way to sustaining the team especially when things go wrong.

  49. Thank you WJ for the unbelievable forum, articles, pictures, team updates, injury updates links and the hundreds of hours you have given of your time to give us all this.

    Thanks to yourself and Rob and and all the podcast team and guests for the now dozens of podcasts we have been treated to. Thanks to J Streicher for sponsoring the podcasts.

    Thanks to the guest writers who contributed some belters over the months.

    I hope you know the appreciation that is out there for all the work you have done.

    Thanks again.

  50. Agree supporters leaving with 10 minutes or before final whistle is bad always tell my lad that it’s disrespectful to do so
    Stay to the end for players sake
    I think Kerry can put it up to Dublin if they get the chance, Kerry won’t roll over either,

  51. I truly hope that Brolly fella gets a nasty welcome the next time he sets foot in Mayo. Say what you want about the team’s inability to win an All Ireland, but to call into question their character as people is bang out of order. He doesn’t know a thing about those lads and the sacrifices that have been made and yet is given free rein to publish downright scurrilous accusations and abuse in a national newspaper. And worst of all, there are still people in Mayo who think he’s a grand fella and sure he only loves Mayo and that’s why he says the things he says.

  52. Well said diehard. You’ve written about the way a lot of supporters feel today. It’s tough to take but theres nothing that can be done about it.

  53. The question is – are the younger players- Carr, Ruane etc prepared to put in the hard work to get into the shape and condition the Dubs are in. It’s easy to convince a Dublin or Kerry player to do this as over a 8-10 year career they are guaranteed to win at least one all- Ireland. Harder to convince players from Mayo and other counties. This is why the gap between Dublin and Kerry and the rest is going to get wider.

  54. Dublin are forensic, I think, after yesterday. They will spot a team’s weakness (both Kerry and Tyrone will have these areas) and they’re capable of laser sharp focussing on these. Then the pressure goes on and we know the result.

    Con O’Callaghan is a bigger threat this year than previously also.

    Dublin are disciplined and marshalled. They also use half time break as an advantage.

    A mature team is needed to counter them – contain them over 75 minutes and outscore them.

    This year I give Kerry a better chance than Tyrone of causing them trouble but I can’t see Kerry overcoming what I said in my first line above – this forensic quality Dublin now have. Find the weakness and exploit it. Unfortunately currently for Kerry that weaker point is still the tenacity of the defence. I would very much like to see Kerry do it, would like to be wrong on what I have written.

    Mayo are still a contestant next year, I believe,

  55. Did anyone notice the entrance music played for the dubs by croke park at start and after half time? No music for Mayo.

  56. I heard the enterance music but I think that was the least of our problems lol in fairness we quietend
    The Hill yesterday in the first half. Good luck to the Dublin supporters I hope they get their 5 in a row and enjoy it some day we will win Sam again and show the country how to celebrate. Just a Mention of Ger Caff who didn’t make the panel much this year we prob won’t see him again in a Mayo Jersey he has given sterling service to the county and can retire with his head held high. I’m disappointed with Evan Regan he dropped off the panel and never fulfilled his potential but I think Ciaran Treacy And Mikey Murray if they bulk up can make a contribution. Maybe the likes of Jack Reilly Tommy Goals And others can come in and contribute it will be a very interesting year 2020 I don’t share the view that we will be down for a few years hopefully we can keep evolving and building

  57. Looking at RTE coverage of Tyrone versus Kerry…looks like no body at all in the upper tiers, the first few rows Pitch side completely Empty, very few in the Davin End… no doubt the fact that no body is giving any one a chance of defeating Dublin a consideration in keeping the people away… GAA director of Communication’s’ Alan Milton talked about during the week the GAA’s Ticket’s system having Problems with the demand for 140K fan’s wanting to attend both of the Semifinals…Yet more Horseshit from the same man who said last year that there could be ‘Voilence in the streets of Newbridge’ between Kildare and Mayo fan’s if the ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ Game went ahead… The state of the GAA in All of Ireland would be in a lot better place if there was a clear out of the ‘Ruling Class of Manderians’ running Croke Park!

  58. Really wonder if the penny will drop at any stage that the four (only) full house games this year so far had a common denominator. These games were in New York, Killarney, Castlebar and Croke Park. The only non-Mayo full house this year will be the All Ireland.
    Maybe the GAA is not really following the money but trying not to lose the capital to other sports? The problem is that the large Leinster towns are flocking to rugby and similar sized towns in other provinces will do likewise as the All Ireland becomes irrelevant. The GAA answer? Double down on promoting Dublin! An amateurish approach that is creating a professional monster.

  59. Guys, after the initial disappointment of yesterday, I’m not too despondent at all. The only real downer for me is that if any of the Old Guard retire (which I hope won’t be the case), this setback will be their final memory in a Mayo jersey. I’d like something more positive for them than that. Everything else is upbeat, exemplified by Mid -West radio this morning. I switched it on expecting doom and gloom, and instead it was nothing but Up Mayo, thanking the team for the year we had, and next thing the Green and Red was being played again. That is just so uplifting. No recriminations, no blame. Basically, we’re on the road again as of now. That’s what makes us different. The trolls who were mentioned above just don’t understand what we’re about. It’s all about being with this team all the time, through thick and thin. It’s a Mayo thing and I’m glad to be part of it. The last thing I said to my son as I left Galway last night was that we’d be at the first FBD again in January as we were this year. We travel on together. Some day we’ll win the big one, but, for me, it’s far more about the journey now. And isn’t it mighty craic?

  60. Well said backdoorsam. Ger, Brian Reape, Evan Regan and Conor OShea were very close to me in the crowd there as supporters and a very positive bunch I have to say.
    Let’s move on from here and give it a go in 2020

  61. 35k at a semi final. The penny has dropped.

    There is nobody going to compete with that team, or their next team. The conveyor belt rolls on. We were beaten by semi pros yesterday.

    The GAA should be damn proud. The blue wave was a resounding success.

    But hey, money doesn’t score points and they just have better volunteers.

  62. The GAA Director of Communication’s’ Alan Milton will explain it all regarding today’s attendance to us later? if anyone ask’s him … Surely he wouldn’t have told us all blatent lies during the week when explaining the Ticket’s fiasco, would he?…. Again! I mean after the supposed possible ‘Voilence in the Streets of Newbridge’ comments last year…. he’s a great man to tell you about how he himself is a GAA volunteer at his local Club… but he wouldn’t tell RTE’S Brian Carty about his own renumeration for his paid job… Yes you guessed as GAA Director of Communication’s’

  63. Yeah just 33 thousand. A fucking disgrace. Evidence if it were needed that the big blue indestructible machine that has been created is sucking the life out of the game. The terminal decline has started. Well done guys. Keep feeding the big blue fucking monster.

  64. Ironic thing for the Gaa is that their money may soon dry up.
    Heres hoping.

  65. Folks, we went out with guts and glory yesterday and that’s something I’m proud of. I’m at Tyrone/Kerry semi-final at the moment and the intensity is not there. Kerry are doing their best to play but against a mass defensive system they are not getting the scoring opportunities. Stephen O’Brien and David Moran very good for them.

    We can hold our heads up high for the effort, skill, heart and application of yesterday. Dublin are leading but in my view, Mayo are still a class act.

  66. Jeff – I don’t know what newspaper you cut and pasted those player ratings from but you’re not allowed to do that here. If there’s an article you want to link to (but I’m not sure many will be interested in that) then you can do that but you can’t simply lift the entire piece in without any hint as to where you’re lifting it from.

  67. There have been a few mentions made to a certain individual and the latest piece of venomous bile he’s written about the team in a cserain paper today. Please don’t mention him here again. He’s just a sad and rather pathetic troll – just like that ass posting here yesterday – and needs to be treated as such.

  68. We weren’t beaten by semi pros yesterday……we were beaten by a professional team and any pretence of otherwise is just a joke. RTE yesterday said crokepark would welcome 140,000 supporters this weekend. Well it got about 116,000 and if it wasn’t for mayo the combined attendance would have been less than 80,000

    This goose is cooked and the only thing left to be decided now is how long it will take before the sponsors start to walk away

  69. It must be health and safety that cut today’s attendance by 50,000.
    They were right too, not to have fans squashed together.
    It cut down the chances of having a Tyrone flag stick, stuck up a kerry hole.

  70. I see the Right Honourable Asal is at it again. There really are no depths this donkey won’t sink to when writing and commenting on our team. It is also at complete variance with the recent comments of Tony McEntee and Cian O Neill in relation to the character and behaviour of the team.

  71. Was hoping for a tyrone win. 2 really poor teams tbh. Dubs will win another handy one. On form it should be a 8/9 point game

  72. Well done to the kingdom , will have to improve greatly to win sam but I believe they have the scope to gain the improvement needed .

    Be a good night down in Killarney the Monday night 2nd of sept and after having such a savage craic down there a few weekends ago I’ll be heading down for sure if they do win .

  73. Kerry won’t get within an asses roar of Dublin. They simply don’t have the defense to cope with the Dublin attack.

    The GAA will hype the snot out of their dream final but I give their traditional foe little or no chance.

  74. Fearblog, I too will be at 1st FBD game in January and keep the journey going with God’s help. We still have the class team and will always get our support.
    We knew yesterday was going to be tough to win but it didn’t stop us turning up in numbers that puts today’s attendance to shame.
    Mayo forever. To hell with trolls.

  75. Well done to Kerry.
    Congrats gamechanger 10. Enjoy the evening and build up to the final.

  76. Don’t ever write off any Kerry team in a final. They will talk up Dublin in the media to the point where they shouldn’t bother even turning up for final. This is the game Kerry were waiting for all year. They have the forwards to score goals.

  77. I thought kerry got 3 very soft frees at the start of the 2nd to keep them in it. They will give plenty of it to the Dubs tho. O Brien would be a massive loss but I’m sure they will sort that. I’d be starting Tommy Walsh if I was them. He can’t score but he brings the fight and the ball sticks.. Interesting to see how they cope with Dublin attack.. Tyrone only really had one target man today. It’ll be different the nxt day.

  78. South Mayo Exile..Their defense is weaker than Dublin’s tho..Cant see them.sticking with the Dubs past the 55th/60th minute..

  79. South Mayo exile at last someone who knows the basics of inter county football , rule number one , never dismiss Kerry’s chances in a final . Of course everything points to a Dublin win but it’s Kerry , ya never know . I liked the cut of tommy Walsh when he came in , I don’t believe Kerry showed their hand yet either .

  80. What a heavy heart this morning but reading the posts here gives me hope again. I was so proud of our men yesterday and throughout the year. Really you are ambassadors for all that is good and positive. I was thrilled to see Tom P stride out onto Croke Park and I wish him and the whole squad a good rest and look forward to seeing Mayo strut their stuff again wherever they go.
    Hard luck to the minors and congrats to the women who are brilliant.
    I love Mayo. I don’t care who wins the final but fair play to Kerry for getting there. Dublin are inexorable and they will reign for too long. Fair play to them too. They make their advantages pay and they’re getting their rewards. A brilliant team I have no doubt.
    Thank you Willie Joe for all you do for us hungry, neigh ravenous Mayo fans. We owe so much to you. Thank you to all our wonderful posters from within Mayo, around Ireland and throughout the world. Tíocfaidh ár blian. I am and always will be proud to be green and red, from Mayo and a daughter who wears Mayo in her heart too though born in Dublin and living in Carlow. We love Mayo. Keep the heart and enjoy the rest. Thank you. A

  81. Congrats to Gamechanger and the Kerry team. I would fear for Kerry in the final though if they have a similar first half defensive showing as today. Clifford is something else for such a young lad. No doubt JG has plans for him. Would be disastrous if O Brien misses out over a needless black card. As if the task won’t be difficult enough.

  82. I certainly wouldn’t write Kerry off. I think they have a great chance.
    They are going into this injury free and with fantastic scoring forwards.
    Yesterday flattered Dublin we were out on pur feet and played guys just back from injury.
    I wish them well. I hope they do it

  83. I think Kerry have a chance in the final they have top quality forward and an excellent fielder in David Moran and they have tradition and they aren’t afraid of anyone plus they don’t have a load of injuries and have a 3 week break till the final. All the talk now will be of Dublin and Kerry the dream final for the Gaa we can go away and lick our wounds and rest. I wonder will the chief mumbler on the Sunday game tonight is that the end of Mickey Harte and Tyrone or is it only Mayo that are expected to be finished every year

  84. Sourceoftherobe
    Sorry now but how does respect shown among the fans for TP prove we are not All Ireland contenders??.
    This man suffered a horrific and extremely painful injury on the pitch in Castlebar while representing the people of Mayo and showed a unique level of determination and focus over 15 months to get himself back in a Mayo jersey.
    Why would that not warrant a love in and a standing ovation.
    By direct comparison Dublin have had a “love in” with Diarmuid Connolly which was in evidence yesterday and has been ongoing for months now. I would suggest they are All Ireland contenders. I think both players are entitled to a welcome back but more so in the case of Tom Parsons who has had a unique challenge that i dont think would have been overcome by very many individuals.

  85. Congrats to Kerry. I have to say I think MD is an absolutely atrocious ref. Fell for 2 con jobs by Kerry forwards that got them straight back in the game after half time. Total non-frees that swung the momentum. Then he went yellow x 2 in the Kerry half when everyone could see that the Kerry lad had an arm and a leg wrapped round the Tyrone man. Missed a foul on McShane late on that could have changed the game back. Not having a go at Kerry, we did plenty fouling yesterday as do all teams, but that’s why the officials are there and I believe that many of them are not doing their job properly. Having said all that Tyrone have had 2 shots at Dublin in consecutive years and have been an embarrassment. Hoping Kerry will bring it and give us a game worth watching.

  86. When Dublin get on top they crucify you. When Tyrone get up a head of steam they retreat back and try to protect their marginal gain. Harte’s ingrained conservatism means that his sides are now destined to plateau once they reach the business end of the competition.

    He threatened to change his approach earlier this year but then reverted to type. If he can’t change with the times then I wonder where Tyrone go from here?

    We’ve had their number for years. They were once a bogey team for Kerry but that’s been dispelled too. Dublin have absolutely no problem with their defensive systems now. Many of their better attacking players like Lee Brennan are opting to stay away as their tired of their style of play.

  87. Having watched the game today I can now try and fathom where everything went wrong in 2nd half, I always look over the full game usually on the night after I come from Croker.
    In the 1st half Mayo were content in holding the ball, the Dubs sat back and let Mayo own the ball, we didn’t build up enough of a 1st half lead.
    I often wonder what the teams do at halftime, it looks to me that the Dubs were doing some type of staying warm drills and Mayo were resting.
    I 100 % don’t believe that fatigue comes into play after 35 minutes, those guys are professional athletes.
    Did management get the starting team and a few match ups wrong, I think so.
    Ruane, Diarmuid and Vaughan didn’t work, too fresh back from being injured.
    Would Clarke have been more stable in goal, I believe so, all easy to see now when the game is over.
    I would never place Lee Keegan as a man marker in the full back position, I read the signs during the Donegal game, Lee is best at winning breaking ball and driving forward out in the middle of the pitch.
    Should Andy have started, probably.
    Kickouts in 2nd half not good, to close to the sidelines where a few Dubs outnumbered the Mayo players.
    I hate to see a midfielder trying to win a kickout jumping from a standing position, too easy for the opposition to make the run and knock the ball away.
    Mayo concentration and confidence levels dropped after the 1st goal went in
    Durcan brilliant yesterday, and all the defence in the first half.
    Wayward shooting by Mayo in 2nd half.
    Mayo were outnumbered in the Nally terrace area right behind the goals and the Hill also.
    The Dubs won’t hammer Kerry in the final.
    Disappointing end for a few Mayo players, time to rebuild again.

  88. What do you mean Sourceoftherobe? If we only knew what Tom went through to get back to even walking never mind running on a football field again. A hell of a year I’m guessing.
    You seem to infer that to win an All Ireland the people of the county cant be decent?! Come on.

    Absolutely thrilled for Tom. It’s would be a remarkable feat in any of worlds sports, especially in such a short timeframe. And he looked mobile as ever. Its unconscionable to say that it shouldn’t be applauded to the last. Determination like that is far above any onfield sporting feat in my view.

  89. @Sourceoftherobe…what a stupid fucking comment…there is a job waiting for you in the indo if you want it

  90. – Dublin kept it so simple for the first 10 minutes of the second half with Fenton lording it at midfield and direct long kicks into Mannion and King Con both of whom were sublime in their finishing.
    – The end result was one at least 80% of Mayo supporters expected, simply too big of a step up.
    – If ever the hierarchy of an Organization deserved to reap what they sow, it’s the GAA and they got that with the poor attendance of 33k today. Condence the calendar, add more matches and increase ticket prices while one team dominates and what do you expect
    – Its like a rewind to the early 80’s when Kerry were the runaway train. Big decisions and big changes will have to be made.
    – Meanwhile year one of the rebuild has gone well, year 2 will be vital starting with winning Nestor.
    – As for the final I would prefer to see Dublin win their 5 in a row than to see Kerry win another all Ireland as that would only camoflage the problem for another year.
    – Gavin will have a lot if whispering into his almost hidden microphone in 3 weeks time as one of my sisters said it reminds her of the KGB
    -Enjoy the rest players and management, you have earned it.

  91. Still think Kerry were always going to be the one team capable of taking down the Dubs.. They have the best forwards outside of Dublin.. Dublin supporters around us were full of bile and bitterness and really rubbed it in when the got on top .. Do yees want the tissues ?? Bury the C###s ..and that’s just a few thrown at our gang and kids that were with us . Bad losers is common .Bad winners is why most of the country hopes that someone beats them .. Its the arrogance and pure spiteful shite they have that drives me cuckoo..
    Hope Kerry bring them down to earth with a bang !!

  92. Okay, Sean Burke and Sourceoftherobe, that’s a deleted comment and a last-chance saloon warning for the pair of you if you want to avoid a winter in moderation. Sean Burke it was for a gratuitously insulting comment aimed at a named individual, a trait I’m aiming to weed out here. Sourceoftherobe, the most charitable thing I can say about your effort is that it was a remark of bone-headed stupidity. Cop on, the pair of you.

  93. Personally I’m delighted Kerry won, the natural skills from Clifford and co are best to grace any final day.. Delighted also for our minor lads to stop Kerry’s chance of 6 in a row..

  94. Still shellshocked after that 15 minute spell after half time. Dublin were simply awesome and perhaps the finest spell of football I have seen. The match ups worked so well in first half but we should have been further ahead.

    But the inevitable blue wave came after half time and we were blitzed. Con and Mannion are simply magic and coupled with their dominance at midfield our goose was cooked. In hindsight, I thought Lee on Con was the wrong match up but it all worked so well in the first half so I don’t want to go and blame management.

    Paddy Durcan tho again was brilliant. He kept Jack Mc quiet which is no mean feat and on another day could have helped himself to at least 6 points.

    As for Kerry, I think they have the forwards to really trouble Dublin. But I don’t think their backs will be able to contain the Dublin forwards for 70 mins plus. But there is no doubt about it in my mind, the two best teams are in the final.

    Best of luck to both teams and I hope it’s a cracker.

  95. By the way, congrats to the Galway minors today. They outplayed Kerry and it was good to see them celebrate their win.

    I felt bad this morning about our loss yesterday. I guess that’s what a pummelling will do to you. I felt that way especially for our players. I didn’t see want to see them go through that after all they have done. But now, I feel a good deal better. Life goes on. We’ll continue to focus on standards and building. With that approach we’ll have a good team, that’s adaptable, that can mix styles of play, that is resilient and I hope skilful. Kerry are going that way – I could see that today. And it’s good to see. Tyrone are having problems as they’re still stuck in a system.

    Let’s place our faith in playing good football, developing that and moving forward. That means an awful lot – it’s fit for purpose in the long run.

    (Maybe the blue wave will eventually stop because of the boredom of their players : ) ) It’s not all about Dublin.

  96. Sourceoftherobe, must be very sad to have a heart and mind like you have.
    Would like to see you make a comeback with only a quarter of the injury that Tom had.
    To make a comeback in just 15 mths after such an horrific injury speaks volumes of the kind of man he is and the love to play for his county.
    That’s a real man with heart and determination.
    The county are so so proud of him and indeed of all the lads making their way back from other awful injuries. They are all real men unlike certain asal’s

  97. I watched the game back again today and I have to say I wudnt be to down about it as I was yesterday ,lot of positives to take from it, you only learn how to beat Dublin by playing them in big games, especially the new players like Fionn McDonagh,Eoin O’Donoghue, Matty Ruane and James Carr.
    The main thing we have to start developing is young forwards that can take a score whens it on.
    James Carr has been a huge plus, but we need another 2 or 3 more forwards.Why have the likes Brian Reape and Conor Diskin not made the breakthrough into starting 15 or 26??? I just understand it, James started them in the first game of the year V Roscommon in the League.
    Is there players around the County that could add the to the panel on the scoreboard??
    Some players who deserves chances are James Shaughnessy Claremorris, Darren McHale and Aidan Orme of Knockmore,Jacko Reilly Charlestown ,Kuba Callaghan Ballagh, Ryan O’Donoghue Belmullet, Tommy Conroy The Neale and Liam Irwin Breaffy.In my opinion alot of these forwards are better then some of the forwards that made the Mayo panel this year from a scoring point of view.

  98. Fair play Chris Kelly – you have a strong stomach if you watched it back today.

    Disappointed, very. But, not down and out. It’s been a good year, and the run of injuries meant that we didn’t exert control when we should. Disappointed that the blitz wiped us so easily. Paddy’s ball dropping short set up the first goal, but that needn’t have been curtains. We didn’t retain composure.

    Can’t understand James Carr being replaced. He won every ball that came his way in the first half, scored a great point. However, he didn’t get the support needed to really punish Dublin when we were on top. This was critical. You have to put your foot on their throat, when you get the chance, and a two point lead was poor reward for our great first half play.

  99. well that’s it for 2019 and this decade.A remarkable and thrilling decade for mayo football has ended.we were consistently the second best team over the decade.I think if ANDY had not done his cruciate against DOWN and OUR CONOR did not have his wobbly moment of madness in 2012 we would have won that all-ireland against donegal . I would like to thank every player who always gave their all for the cause.I THINK this mayo team of the tens will be never be forgotton there is definetly a book and probably a film that will be made about it.they filled our summers with hope and we travelled the country with the mayo team and various management teams i salute ye,THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.

  100. willie joe .i saw u in the flesh for the first time yesterday doing the podcast with rob murphy and BJ PADDEN at back of hogan stand .u were busy so i did not say hello.i was talking to the boy with red and green coloured hair beside you who told me ye were doing a hindsight i should have waited to thank you for all the trojan work you do keeping us informed about all things mayo gaa. thank you W.J.

  101. Thinking back on yesterday the problem with playing Dublin is if you lose concentration or intensity even for 5 mins the game could be over. I think that’s what happened after halftime. They got the first goal and a goal always gives the Dubs a huge boost and then they go at you like demons. It’s almost like a feeding frenzy that sharks engage in when they smell blood and it freaks out the opposition and they panic to make things even worse. Any team hoping to beat the Dubs need to plan for that situation ( and there are dark arts just for that).
    I tend to think that Kerry will give them a better challenge than many are predicting. No doubt Dublin are a class act but they mightn’t be quite as awesome as they looked in that second half. We collapsed for a period after halftime, which we seem to have done on several occasions during the year. The only problem is when you do it against the Dubs…….well we know what happens.

  102. Funny you should mention that Jimbo – I met WJ and Rob for the first time yesterday as well! Thanks very much again for all your efforts lads, these podcasts have been a staple of the summer

  103. Coming out of my shell here .

    My only note was that the Dublin defensive transition is completely different to other teams . The ability to immediately double up on attackers inside the 45 . Dispossess or third man interfere is completely the opposite of what mayo did .
    Mayo tried to man mark in the 10 minutes after half time and were destroyed . A tired team would always get skinned .
    The ability of Dublin to slow up attack and intelligently foul was impressive if not annoying .

    Mayo should take a defensive leaf from Dublin .
    Use your sweeper to point blank stop the attackSlow up play( doubling up) , dispossess and recycle . . Then uses midfields to transition from sweeper/ transition to attack
    On a mayo front at least 5 of our players were gassed after 25 minutes. Telling of the fatigue that existed in the team . Unfortunately some stayed on till the 65th minute .
    My only criticism of James in that respect was the going for broke with the team selection and playing players just not match fit .

    We will be back . We always do .

  104. We must have been in the thick of the discussion then, Jimbo! That was my young lad you spoke with – he had the hair done for the game alright. Say hello next time. Good to meet you yesterday, Exile.

  105. It was a great annual rollercoaster of a journey and everyone has everything well over analysed at this stage.
    Just some updated stats;
    Mayo scored 8-124 & conceded 10-115 in 9 games…an average score of 18 to 16
    Dublin have so far got 17-138 & conceded 2-79 in 7 games…an average of 27 to 9 per game!

    I’ve nothing else to add…Only these deep rap lyrics;
    “now that that don’t kill me
    Can only make me stronger
    I need you to hurry up now
    ‘Cause I can’t wait much longer
    I know I got to be right now
    ‘Cause I can’t get much wronger
    Man I’ve been waiting all night now
    That’s how long I been on ya
    I need you (?) right now”

  106. Great year overall and still totally proud of our squad.

    I would not necessarily have started Vaughan and DoC with both coming back from injury, but anyway. Overall great team defensive effort in fairness in first half.

    My only comment about first half is about not backing ourselves enough.

    The amount of times we had one of the O’Connors or Carr 1-1 in front of goal (and a few times ghosting in behind) and Dublin not playing sweeper, and no one hit the ball in long was criminal.

    It would have really tested Dublin and if it came off it could have put us further ahead (or forced Dublin to play a sweeper). Next year I’d love us to be much more positive and direct – we have good inside forwards if we play them and play ball to them a bit more!!

  107. Thanks Wj and your team , always a great read here the day after a match . I love the analysis here straight To the point . Another year of this team draws to an end but still a good year in many ways . I always be positive and I always keep looking to the future . For me these lads owe me nothing but I owe them my thanks and gratitude for doing their best every time they put on our county jersey . Every match for me has been a great family day out with my my son and daughter and our friends we meet along the way . Life would be pretty boring without Mayo Gaa so keep supporting and encouraging all who wear our County colours . God bless ye all.????

  108. Why give the paper the time of the day when it’s just the reporter [name deleted] who is spitting out the bile and needs addressing

  109. So, Jeff, let me see if I have this right. That piece you tried to cut and paste onto the site earlier on without saying who wrote it or where it came from is now something that you appear to think is bile and needs addressing – am I missing anything? If not, then would you care to enlighten me as to why the hell you tried to post it here?

  110. The positives from 2019 far outweigh the negatives. We won the league. Raised serious sum of money in NYC, appointment of Tom Reilly as commercial officer, and the emergence of 4/5 great young players. From a personal standpoint I had the weekend of a lifetime in New York. Celebrated a milestone birthday of a family member while there, met up with people I hadn’t met for 30 years from my hometown, and even had distant cousins join us from both Manchester and London. The highlight though, was my 5 and 7 year English born nephews attending their first Mayo game in McHale Park while home on vacation. The 7 year old is the proud owner of the blue, red/black and traditional red/green shirts

  111. Willie Joe, Ta for a great year on the ‘blog’ but there’s something I must pull you on; your referrring to stupid trollers on here as being akin to donkeys is an insult to all asses that I’ve ever had contact with. Name the movie that ever had a donkey drop dead from a cowboy riding him too hard…..yes an often maltreated creature but a very clever one indeed.
    Hon Mayo and roll on January (a foolish wish for someone of my years)

  112. I’ll respectfully post in the coming weeks in relation to the walk to the guillotine and thanks for the good wishes going forward. I feel like Indiana Jones without his fathers Grail diary going into the tombs !

    Now it’s a final and Kerry will be ripping for a crack at the title, dubs are awesome but it’s a final

  113. That Kerry defence will be ripped apart by O’Callaghan,Mannion,Fenton etc. They will score probably at least 4-20 so the margin of victory for Dublin will be decided by how much Dublin concede.

  114. A lot has been lost in the narrative since the game.

    Mayo has 3 shots less than Dublin and the same amount of possession.

    The difference is they converted 60 odd percent and Mayo converted 46%.

    That has been the problem all year and, truth be told, every year bar the 2017 final (we kicked 66% that day but Dublin hit 75%).

    The team is all heart but no seriously dangerous forwards. Every all Ireland team has two really dangerous goal scoring forwards. We have none.

    Add in the fact that we have been left behind in our kick out strategy over the past 10 years and you see exactly where it keeps going wrong.

    Watching Tyrone v Kerry it struck me how absolutely average Tyrone were but two things kept them in the game. Morgan can land a kick out on a 5 pence and McShane is a strong target man.

    Kerry have Geaney and Clifford inside but their kickouts aren’t great so they won’t win v Dublin.

    Dublin have mannion and O Callaghan but their keepers ability guarantees possession. They don’t have to fight for their own kickout so have the energy to fight for the opposition’s ones.

    Mayo need to invest in a kicking coach for Slingerman and put a full time coach with a few of our young forwards (Tommy Conroy and Ryan O Donoghue maybe) to bring them to the standard needed.

    Sort that much out and we don’t have to travel in hope.

  115. Good evening Willie Joe

    I actually put it up for the same reason you dont want to hear about a certain person reporting for the paper to show it’s bias.

    Firstly i did print the reporters name on the “cut and paste job” maybe bile was a bit strong but his running down of the team was pathetic , secondly you dont seem to have a problem condemning another reporter on the same paper for his opinions which were way off the mark even by his standards .

    But giving over half the team a 5 rating might sell papers but bears no resemblance to they’re actual performnce even against “THE GREATEST EVER GAA TEAM ” as they’re biased reporting keep printing . PS see you next year

  116. I’m still not sure I follow your line of reasoning, Jeff. If you didn’t like what the reporter was saying then why not simply say that? The Indo wants people to read, share and click on this type of material so the best thing to do in response is do none of those things. By pasting the whole thing in you’re just adding legs to the piece. I don’t tend to reference anything from that paper – unless written by serious people like Colm Keys or Donnchadh Boyle – and would encourage others to do likewise.

  117. I would agree with Johni, our shot to score ratio is far two high. We had a 50% ratio against New York (43 shots at the target and 23 scores) same with Roscommon (34 shots at the target and scored 17 points). This means that our intensity and ability to win or turn over opposition position is high but we return the ball to the opposition with 50% of that position without reward. We need to solve this problem before we can progress to the next level. Dublin have an 80% shot to score ratio and that is the one difference between the two sides on the field of play. Off the field of play the money spent of player welfare, coaching and long term development strategies is phenomenal. The Mayo County Board have to repay the debt on McHale Park while the Dublin County Board do not have to even pay for mowing the grass in Croke Park. But in the short term we can only solve the on pitch issues, how we do it is another days work. I firmly believe that we are there or there about as regards heart and overall ability but that ability needs to appear on the score board where it belongs.

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