The build-up to Sunday’s showdown with the Dubs is now well and truly underway and this is reflected in the pre-match coverage that’s starting to appear. Before moving onto that, though, there are two bits relating to last Sunday’s action that are worth dealing with first.
First of these is Emmet Ryan’s tactical take over at Action81.com on our minor semi-final defeat to Meath which is here. Emmet will be guesting here on the site once again later in the week when he’ll be providing some thoughts on next Sunday’s match.
The second is Eugene McGee’s unintentionally hilarious column in yesterday’s Indo, where he had this to say about Cork’s defeat on Sunday:
When favourites lose a big game in Croke Park the winners often do not get the credit they deserve — as those who have tipped the favourites tend to blame the losers more than praising the winners.
Mayo/Cork 2011, anyone?
Uncle Eugene then goes on to say that “only a fool who would back either Dublin or Mayo to beat this Donegal team in the All-Ireland final”. The bookies would certainly agree with this assessment but I’m sure Jimmy McGuinness and his backroom team will be more than a little alarmed to see themselves being anointed as champions almost a full month before the final is played. It’ll be hard, I’d say, to keep the lid on things in the hills over the next few weeks.
Right – onto today’s papers where there’s plenty of reading about Sunday’s match to entertain you.
We had our press night (our one and only one – there’ll be no more hobnobbing with the Fourth Estate from our side ahead of Sunday now) last week and the journos obviously cornered Seamus O’Shea at it because there are interviews with him in the Indo, the Examiner and on GAA.ie.
The Indo has plenty of other stuff, including the confirmation from Dublin that key man Alan Brogan should be fit to start for them. The Indo also has a separate piece with Pat Gilroy who is obviously happy with all the media fawning that’s going on with Donegal and the way that it has taken the focus off his lads. He says: “if they are still not talking about us and we win the next two matches I’ll be happy. It’s not about being talked about, it’s about the result.” Sentiments that I’m sure our man would concur with. The same paper has an interview with Michael Darragh Macauley who looks back to the trimming we gave the Dubs down in McHale Park at the end of March and swears bitter vengeance for that result.
The Examiner – when you beat your way through a thicket of stuff about Donegal and more stuff about Cork and then more stuff about Kerry’s new manager – have an interview with Pat Gilroy where he talks about their prep and their hunger for the battle that lies ahead. He also has a bit to say on the topic of refereeing and I’d agree with him when he says that the level of officiating has been “very consistent” this summer. Consistently shite but consistent nonetheless.
The Times also has an interview with Dublin’s manager (it was their press night last night, just in case anyone thinks the coverage is a bit canted in the metropolitans’ direction this morning) where much of the same ground is covered. In this one, Pat says that he can “barely remember” the 2006 semi-final and he understandably places far more emphasis on our meeting back in March. Still, if it’s reminding about 2006 that he needs, then this should do the trick:
7 thoughts on “The Tuesday papers”
Christ, that news report didn’t give that game the credit it deserved. You’d swear he was reading out the death and funeral notices.
It’s priceless seeing the thick head of Caffrey after he shoulders Zmorrison.
They reckon Dublin are warmin up already in front of the hill afraid of a repeat of ’06!
I posted this up over on Gaa Board earlier but I though it’s probably better suited to here. Anyway enjoy:
, A lot of my fellow county men appear to be getting revved up about the perceived slight on us from referees and the media in the run up to Sunday and from a Mayo perspective it does seem justified if a little futile. Maybe it’s a way to release nerves but the most furious debate is between ourselves and it’s framed by the ref/media is against us Vs stop whinging and get on with it brigades with very little in between!
The Ref debate reared it’s ugly head due to the incompetence of the ref in the minor match at the weekend but in my personal opinion it was just Meath and Mayo’s bad luck to have such a poor ref and doubly Mayo’s bad luck to be on the end of such bad calls at the worst time in match. Then again in my experience bad ref’s generally make bad calls at the worst time in a match , it’s essential to what makes them a bad ref and Meath could easily have been the receiving team of these calls on another day! So I think we can put the Ref is against debate down to current unfortunate events.
With regard to the media I don’t think it’s a straightforward. Some people referenced the reaction to the possibility of a Mayo win on the Sunday game as proof of a slight against us ,but I would dismiss this outright for the following reasons;
1) The Sunday game dismisses most counties and offers very little insight into to anything let alone Mayo gaa.
2) On the panel last night Ciaran Whelan is the only one who ever offers any insight or analysis on what actually happens/might happen in games which references to current tactics/playing personal of the teams, ( while the rest fire out a couple of random stats and fire off the old cliche’s about counties that you’d hear from manys a barstool late at night all over the country ) and he’s hardly going to back anyone but he’s own county (fair play to him for his honesty).
3) Tony Davis , God love him great player , sound man but couldn’t analyse his way out of a wet brown paper bag 🙂 (Just watch any of his analysis on RTE player to back up my statement)
So for these reasons I think we can drop the Sunday game from the argument.
I could go through a load of print journalists like Liam Hayes,Martin Breheny, Eugene Mcgee etc… but again they’ve had a go at manys a county one day and idolised them forever more when they win Sam. Well except maybe Hayes but I’m not sure if he likes any county, remember his attacks on Kerry a couple of years back 😮
So another section of the media struck off the list of the enemies of Mayo but before you think it’s all peace and love it gets interesting when we get to (in my mind) the more credible Gaa media.
I’m a big fan of the coverage on Off the Ball on Newstalk. Last night they had Anthony Moyles and Conor Deegan analysing the Cork Donegal match. What was interesting was what they said when the question of can Donegal be beaten in the final? Moyles started to talk about how Dublin would counteract them and immediately corrected himself by saying in his opinion Dublin would win the semi hence why he was using them in his analysis( Fair play to him). In fairness he did tip Dublin since the draw was made so I’d no argument there if being initially annoyed at his mistake. Then Connor Deegan admitted that he thought Dublin would win as well and proceeded to talk about how Dublin would react to Donegal in the final. Now what puzzled me was how had Mayo fallen so far behind Dublin and Donegal in the race for Sam? . How are Mayo rank outsiders in Sunday’s match in the minds of two analysts who normally are very balanced in their predictions. In no way did they sound condescending or arrogant in the Spillane/Brolly mode.
I tried to think back to recent results to figure this one out but in our last league meeting with hammered the Dubs and our last championship meeting we were victorious as well so it’s not a legacy thing as with say Mayo v Kerry. Also I took this years championship results and while we didn’t have gruelling route to the semi we seemed to perform competently and the Dubs have had much the same route as ourselves , wining the games as expected but not shooting the lights out.Also Mayo had a good if up and down league, reaching the league final and beating Kerry in Croker along the way. Now I know the Dubs are reigning All Ireland champs but we did knock out Cork last year and only Kerry have retained the title since Cork did in 1990. So personally while the Dubs may be favourites it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we could win on Sunday.
The crux of it I think is two things. Firstly it’s the legacy of our Final losses. 89 and 96 aside we weren’t at the races in the other three. We were dominated in 1997 start to finish and 04/06 we were wiped out. Secondly we have constantly come back year after year since 96 in the search for Sam. I think the legacy of our final flops and the familiarity of us being around the business end of the championship has built up a strange tolerance of us as in it’s no suprise to see us in a semi final but sure they don’t even come close to winning finals so let’s see someone different for a change. This is where we differ from the Donegal story. Both teams have made huge strides under determined, young ,tactically aware and native managers since 2010 but Donegal haven’t been in a final since they won it 1992. This gives the impression they have come from nowhere as opposed to us sliding into one place from our usual inevitable failure. This is why I think we have been subconsciously banished from the mind of pundits. Also I think we can now see where the source of frustration for Mayo supporters comes from in that we are handicapped from being able to show our immense pride in our county teams of the last 23 years because of the inevitable derision it attracts.
Does this mean we should be favourites for the Dublin match? No , but I think some of the above might go some way to explaining the debate and accusations that’s been happening on Mayo related threads/blogs over the last couple of days.
The solution, unfortunately the only one is to go on and win the All Ireland and probably put in back to back titles to wipe out our own unusual legacy of near immortality reduced to laughing stock in the blink of an All Ireland final. But sure I’m a Mayo man I wouldn’t have any it other way if I’m honest. Life is boring stuck at the top or stuck at the bottom it’s the journey in between that’s the most craic. 8)
Spot on Crete Boom!
Whaf a piece Crete Boom. Fair play to you…
great piece crete boom…am i the only one who thinks pat gilroy is bluffing in saying brogan is fit and flying in training matches,something tells me he wont even be a sub
Thanks for the kind responses lads. On Alan Brogan Ed I think it would big and uncharacteristic error of judgement if Gilroy is bluffing about his fitness. If there was any doubt at all why not just say you’re waiting till closer to the match so you could hold him back if he’s not fully right. It’d be no good naming him to start and then having to pull him before kick off or worse him breaking down 10 or 15 mins into the game. Also why go so far to say he’s flying in training if that’s not the case, I think it’s admitting that you can’t do without him. Personally I suspect he’ll to be fine for Sunday from the start because I don’t think Gilroy would bluff about this.
great piece crete boom and agree on your brogan analysis , the trick would be saying he wont make it and then producing him , the other way round doesnt really work