The view from the basement

League table

We may have started the weekend in one of the semi-final places but as the updated Division One table above shows, we’ve ended it in one of the relegation slots with only the poor hapless Kerrymen below us. (As KOB pointed out in the comments, if only two teams are level on points, then it’s the head-to-head record and not points difference that counts, which is why Down are a place above us). Kerry and Down meet next weekend in Tralee where, poor and all as the Kingdom are at the minute, you’d have to fancy them to get off the mark in that one.

We, meanwhile, have a home match against Kildare who must be feeling a bit shellshocked tonight following the thumping that Dublin gave them earlier on today. Kildare are already guaranteed their Division One status but now that all of the other teams are starting to catch up on them in terms of fitness, it’s just as well for them that they have those six points in the bag because it looks like they’ll struggle to add to that tally.

We’ll still need to put in a much improved performance, however, if we’re going to end this enormously frustrating losing streak when we face the Lillywhites at McHale Park next Saturday night. Can we do it?  Time to vote.

How will we get on against Kildare on Saturday night?

  • Win (74%, 77 Votes)
  • Lose (24%, 25 Votes)
  • Draw (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 104

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11 thoughts on “The view from the basement

  1. I voted that Kildare will beat us. I know Kildare got hammered off the pitch today but they still managed to score goals against Dublin which we have not done in any of our recent games. And they have shown that they can close games out better than Mayo can .I still do believe this Mayo team will turn it around at some stage. The question is when?????

  2. Voted for Mayo to win next Saturday. Tweets on the mayogaa twitter site are much more encouraging than the comments on this site. The players are already looking forward to the game. Here’s hoping the goals will come this week.

    I am sorry to hear that Ger Caffrey’s nose was broken. All the players did their best and it was a hard game on a dreadful night away from home.

    James Horan was very animated in Newry last night from the very first minute and I’d be optimstic that the winter rustiness will be gone in Castlebar. Mayo by 5 point and won’t mind if it is more..

  3. I would not panic as much as people are on this site. We were not far off in the last three games.
    Donegal did not do a whole pile in the league in 2012 and look where they finished.
    Our midfield is solid. Caff was very good last night until that dreadful cowardly challenge.
    Keegan has to go to 6 and stay there. Maybe Vaughan as a half forward but really is
    not a good enough defender or for a midfield position.
    We must surely beat Kildare next weekend. They were dreadful today.
    4 pts might be enough to stay up. Keep the cool.

  4. Couldn’t agree more than with the above comments,the year is young and now is the time to get rid of the bad stuff………………… we are the only team to have pushed the super fit Dubs in this campaign and with a bit more savvy could have won that one

  5. Irony is that we played poorly enough against Kerry and won, and have played reasonably well in all the other games; should have won the Tyrone game, could have won the other two. THERE ARE NO EASY GAMES IN DIVISION ONE.

    Kildare will be as difficult as any other team and as I have noted before we are not shoring up our defence and breaking quickly with slick foot passes – very laboured stuff working it out. On the other hand I note that the forwards are developing patience in the build up and are managing to unlock defences with clever moves, and we have created goal chances in the last few games.

    Our desperation may be our best help next Saturday

  6. Your headline there WJ is sobering….after watching the match, reading your report and the overnight comments by the mayo faithful here, this evening I’m not as despondent as I was last night. Having said that, even at this stage of the year and in this competition, we are at a crossroads. We fully earned our place in the AI last September and felt really good about our chances. Hell, there was only us and Donegal left, not Dublin, nor our old nemesis Kerry, so once the ball was thrown in, there wouldn’t be any panic or “deer in the headlights” reaction, Of course within a few minutes, Donegal burst our balloon and we were again lamenting a missed opportunity, another one got away, again, early in the game. If only we’d had Cafferky on Murphy, what if we’d reacted faster to the ball off the upright? If only Andy wasn’t injured…if only, if only and so on….the gods were against us for sure.

    That was a devastating loss and yet, a few weeks after, having mourned the loss, I was feeling pretty good about the team. Despite the early goals conceded in the AIF, the future looked good. Our full back and half back line wasn’t perfect but it had been built up through the year, been tested and had played well as a unit with Keith and Ger standing up and taking the lead. Coming into the league, we could and would experiment with a few things, but generally, there wasn’t a problem that needed to be fixed.

    Moving onto center field, we had great confidence in our two big fellas, Aidan and Barry. Rightly so too, they were big, strong and not afraid to go for it. The ability was/is there, but IMO, the only thing that needed improving was the decision making..i.e. ball carrying and distribution. That however, would come with maturity, coaching and from studying tapes of other great midfielders. Youthful exuberance!

    Moving to the forwards, in the AIF, we were at a serious disadvantage and so it came to pass. When we needed maturity, leadership, someone to steady the ship, we were found wanting. However, we’d have the winter to think about it and anyway, we’d be “grand” once Andy came back. In the meantime, we had a handful of good players, we just needed to find that one or two extra special special players (ala Gooch, Murphy, Brogan, McFadden etc) and we’d be set. We needed to find a target man, a go to man, a danger man….someone the opposition would fear, cause he’d cause all kinds of trouble for them.

    Needless to say and a couple of games played in Division one, we haven’t found that player, yet! Assuming we’d win a few games and stay safe in Div one, we’d have plenty of time to experiment here. Well, that’s no longer the case. If the league is that important, and I believe it is (just look at the intensity this year) then its time to step it up, cause time is running out. There’s no point in wishing Andy, Cillian or Dillon were back…they’re not. And even when they do come back, who’s to say they will be match fit and as sharp as they were? Andy’s injury is a career defining injury for many professional athletes, never mind for amateurs and many never regain the form or skill they had prior to the injury. Carolan showed some guts and character yesterday, so there’s promise there, but he’s no Cooper or Brogan.

    Considering where we were and where we are now, the next game is a “MUST WIN”. If I’m the manager, I’m telling this team, “I’m looking for fellas to stand up and be counted, looking for leaders, when the going is tough, suck it up and make a difference, for I don’t give a bollix who they are, or where they’re from….NO team will come to OUR house in Castlebar and relegate us to the bottom of the table”.

    Some closing thoughts, just watched the Kildare Dublin match. Dublin looked very good again and were at times, scoring points for fun. Some of the scores were really excellent. Winning ball in center field, played quickly into the forwards, left Kildare chasing their tails at times. Having said that, Kildare didn’t show up in the second half, honestly I think they ran out of gas as Dublin had them running all the time. Must note as well, Dublin’s foot passing is excellent. Looking ahead, if we cant beat that Kildare team…we don’t deserve to be in Division one.
    Finally, it was “amusing” to hear the Dubs supporters jeer Seanie Johnston every time he got the ball.

  7. Things are not as bad as they seem.
    The common fault we have so far this season is that we are playing in spurts. We seem to go through 10, 15 and even 20 minute spells without scoring and inbetween those spells we take control of games, rattle over 5, 6 or 7 points on the bounce, only to switch off again.
    Against Tyrone in the second half we went 15 minutes without scoring whilst getting sucked into hand passing our way through a massed and blanket defence (Tyrone only had a full forward and a centre forward in our half of the pitch for much of that second half!). We started slowly in Croker and let Dublin pull away from us and then had two 15 minute scoreless spells. We repeated this on Saturday night when we had a 23 minute spell without scoring.
    However, in all of these matches there also have been spells when we totally dominating proceedings and kicked points, and created goal chances, for fun. The last 10 mins of the Tyrone game when we eventually clicked we were very good and had done enough to win the game only for the last minute penalty. We gave Dublin their hardest game of the season and had O’Shea offlaoded to Doc inside him in the second half we may have rattled the net and ran them closer still. We also scored 6 unanswered points either side of half time in Croker and had them on the run (I know the Jackeens around me in the lower Hogan were panicking anyway!). In Newry if we had taken either of the goal chances we created I believe it would have been enough to rattle Downs confidence and we would have gone on to win.
    My argument is, Dublin aside, there are very good grounds to see where we could have come away with wins in the other games. It’s not as simple as that, I know, but we are playing some good stuff at times and I believe as we get fitter and sharper we will be capable of extending those good spells. Bear in mind we only conceeded 6 points from play against a Down attack that tore through a Cork defence.
    We are a bit like the Ireland rugby team in that we are by no means the finished article, but, we are getting there. Things are not as bad as they seem, it’s only March and to be honest I would sooner see us scrape survival in division one and come in under the radar for later in the summer.
    Heads up for Saturday and let’s back our lads. Lord knows there are enough out there only too willing to knock them.

  8. Well said ‘pebblesmeller’. However, we are very predictable in attack at present. We do need Andy Moran back and in good shape. I hope he can regain his form. I also think we should try Barry Moran on the edge of the square for a while. I got a glimpse of what he can do on Sat night when he outfielded a Down back, stepped inside and fired over a point a la Donaghy. I know several posters here will disagree but in reality we do need to pose a variety of threats for opposing defences not just the quick ball into the corner which other teams are copping onto fairly well by now.
    I would also like to see AOS relieved of most of his defensive duties (which he is not too good at anyway) and being used as a runner coming at pace through the middle. If he is given quick ball while running straight at a defence he is very hard to stop. I would use Richie Feeney to cover for AOS as an extra defender.

  9. I voted for losses in the last two, because I couldn’t see us beating them. Down was a winnable game but just had a feeling we’d cough it up. However i do think we will win this one, face it, we have to and while they will be trying to get their hammering from Dublin out of their systems we HAVE to win this game, so should have more desire. yes, they will want to get into the league semis, but if we cannot raise it enough to win a must win game at home against Kildare then we really do have issues.
    I cant see us beating Cork away, although we have had a good record against them in Cork in recent years, so that would leave us having to beat Donegal AND kildare to secure top flight football for next year, which lets face it is vital if a team wants to be competitive in the championship.

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