The way ahead

Photo: Allen

Habit’s a funny thing. At the end of every FBD League campaign I always find myself doing a stats piece on who we played, what we scored and all that. I do something similar at the end of the League. For the last three years (2016, 2017 and 2018) I’ve also ended up penning a piece on the qualifier road facing us once our Connacht campaign had finished prematurely. Welcome to the 2019 edition of this.

As I said yesterday, I’ve no enthusiasm at all for another bloody backdoor campaign. Three years of this nonsense has done for me and I can’t but see it as a great big hole we’ve – yet again – allowed ourselves to fall into and from which it will be all but impossible to resurrect any serious hopes of challenging at the business end of summer this year.

With that downbeat assessment out of the way, however, it’s worth looking at what potentially faces us over the coming weeks.

To start with we’ve a long break – four whole weeks – before we play again. That’ll be in Round 2 of the qualifiers, on 22nd/23rd June, where our opponents will be one of the Round 1 winners. Details of the Round 1 draw that took place this morning are here, those ties will be played the weekend after next.

The biggest beast we could potentially meet in the Round 2 is Monaghan, assuming they first get past the tricky challenge of Fermanagh. Whoever we face in Round 2, though, will come into our match off the back of a Round 1 win.

We already know – from playing Fermanagh in 2016 and Derry in 2017 – just how dangerous it can be to join the qualifiers in Round 2. After Saturday night’s all-over-the-shop display against Roscommon, the same perils will face us in Round 2 this year, regardless of who it is we’re up against.

The draw for Round 2 will be held on Monday 10th June. As is normal practice now, it’ll be done live on RTÉ Radio 1 after the 8.30am news bulletin.

Assuming we get through Round 2, the next round takes place the weekend after that (29th/30th June). The draw for Round 3 will be held on Monday 24th June and in it will be the eight teams who have survived from Round 2. Teams to avoid then are likely to include Monaghan, one of Donegal or Tyrone and our old pals Kildare.

Round 4 takes place the following weekend (6th/7th July). This pits the four winners from Round 3 against the four defeated provincial finalists, with these ties played at neutral venues. If we’re still in it and Roscommon lose the Connacht final we can’t play them again then, as repeat ties are avoided where possible in this round.

So that’s the route into the Super 8s – three matches on three successive weekends. But that’s only the start of the mountain facing us, should we manage to stay alive that long.

The four counties who make it through the qualifiers will have no downtime at all before facing into the round-robin matches in the Super 8s. It’s straight into Phase 1 a week after Round 4 of the qualifiers, with those Phase 1 games played on 13th/14th July.

The provincial champions, by contrast, have a break of at least two weeks before the Super 8s. In the case of the Connacht champions, it’s a leisurely three-week gap. See? Provincial failure really has serious consequences for us.

The Phase 1 games see the four provincial champions at home to the four qualifiers. Kerry in Killarney, anyone? Or what about Tyrone in Omagh? Not to mention the possible delights of Dublin in Croke Park. We may even get to play Galway in Salthill after all.

Phase 2 is the Croke Park round and, you’ve guessed it, it takes place the weekend after the Phase 1 matches (i.e. 20th/21st July). In this round (with the above assumption about our continuing involvement still holding) we’d be up against the other team who made it through from the qualifiers. I guess both of us would be equally frazzled at that stage.

After Phase 2, there’s finally a bit of downtime, with a two-week gap before the Phase 3 matches are then played on the weekend of 3rd/4th August. Those matches conclude the Super 8s, with the top two from each group going forward to the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Those penultimate round ties take place just a week later – on 10th/11th August – but only those at the optimistic end of the spectrum are likely to believe that we’ll still be in the hunt then. I’m usually squarely in this camp myself but, in light of the enormously punishing schedule we’d face if we’re to progress to the Super 8s I can’t, in all honesty, see us making it as far as the last four this year.

151 thoughts on “The way ahead

  1. That’s quite a downbeat assessment Willie Joe but you make good case for it.
    Here’s hoping we can make a good fist of it, but we need to be very fortunate with the draws and avoidance of injury.

  2. Thanks for outlining WJ.

    Well one thing is for sure, we will need to really use a ‘squad rotation’ policy if we are to advance and pray for luck on the injury front.

    Defensively, we have O’Donoughue, Stephen Coen, McCormack, Ger Caff, Vaughan who come in.

    Seamus O’Se will be available shortly you’d imagine, and although I believe hsi best days are well past him, he can still offer something in that middle sector, as can Vaughan.

    Who else…McDonagh, Carr, Treacy….and Reape (where is he?) and Cillian.

    If we persist with playing Aido, Diarmuid, McLoughlin, Durcan, Keegan, Higgins and Barrett for even close to 70 mind in every game then it’ll definitely catch up with us by the time we get to the 2nd round of the 8’s (IF we make it that far). We actually have a strong panel when all fit. Now is the time for Horan to use it wisely. If he does, then we can advance and at the same time give lads who need game time a chance to get up to speed (Cillian being the obvious one) and others like Plunkett, Ruane, Boland and D Coen greater championship exposure. The latter is not up to the level of fitness required just yet it seems.

    However, if we persist with the dumb, naive tactics that leave us ridiculously exposed at the back and so predictable to play against, then we can just forget about winning anything that counts. A team with a fragile defence will never win a championship. You can construct a reasonably solid defence even with average players, the sum being greater than the parts and all that. What is ‘unforgiveable’ (to use Malachy Clerkin’s word; and he is spot on) is to be making the same old mistakes year after year. It’s absolutely unforgiveable having a porous defence when we have some of the most gifted defenders in the country! Our only chance of advancing to the latter stages of the championship is to fix this most glaring problem. The solution is obvious. For those who don’t know it, please reference our set up in the AIF 2016.

  3. Thanks WJ. That’s very sobering, quite the minefield to navigate. Hopefully greater depth and returning players help the journey and prolong it.

    I’m sure the Fermanagh supporters were thrilled to draw the toughest matchup. Who know, maybe Monaghan’s already gone by the next draw.

  4. Quite pessimistic there WJ, but it’s hard to argue with it.

    Saturday’s result has knocked the stuffing out of a lot of us.
    I have no real appetite for the qualifiers either, can’t even think about it yet. But I’m sure that’ll change as time moves on.
    Just watching the Sunday Game back now, that’s not helping matters.

  5. Well Tyrone managed it from Round 1 last year and Monaghan managed it from Round 2 and went on to top their group. We can make it through and gain some momentum but we need some luck on the injury front. According to James Horan every bar Tom Parsons will be back next week so it’s in our own hands.

  6. I can see it now, 3rd game of the super 8s, we’re at home to the dubs who were surprised by Tyrone in the previous game so we have the chance to knock them out in McHale Park!
    Given our home form the dubs would be safe enough!

  7. To echo what others have said we have no option but to be wide and brave with first 15/first six subs selection from game 1 of qualifiers.
    – Everyone will need rest regardless of age or fitness
    – Some players need to be wrapped in cotton wool when possible and we need to take a risk in doing so. In this list are Brendan Harrison (our only full back) Matthew Ruane/Aidan O’Shea (Our only two midfielders), on Saturday nights evidence Darren Coen (our only really in-form from play forward).
    We have to, have to, have to use James McCormack, David Drake, Eoin O’Donoghue, Brian Reape, Ciaran Treacy, even Mikey Murray, not disrepecting Mikey Murray but we really now are in a straight up physiological problem.
    It has been well proven you cannot go week on week on week and then hit the first round of the super 8s.
    Kerry in Killarney with us having not been brave in the three preceeding games?
    Kerry 4-16 Mayo 1-11 coming down the track in that scenario. Injuries, physical and mental tiredness would take it’s toll badly.

  8. Will have to use squad rotation

    if we get easier draws put the young lads in bring in the older fellas of bench if games is in melting pot leave them off if not

  9. We need luck on the draw front too, Joe. Monaghan had to get by the might of Waterford, Leitrim and Laois to make the Super 8s last year. Point taken re topping their group but Kerry were no great shakes last year, Galway were Galway and Kildare were mediocre (if still good enough to beat us).

    Tyrone did well alright to make it all the way to the final but remember that Meath damn near beat them in Round 1 – that match in Navan went to extra-time – after which thay had Carlow, Cavan and Cork.

    The other thing that’s different about last year is that the Croke Park round in the Super 8s doesn’t happen until Phase 2 this year. Last year it was the opening round and so all four counties coming into it via the qualifiers had the chance to get a win under their belts before facing one of the provincial champions. Tyrone and Monaghan both got their wins, which gave them momentum heading into Phase 2. Monaghan then faced a Kerry side reeling after losing to Galway and after that they went on to face a Galway team that was already qualified the semi-final so the schedule worked out perfectly for them. Tyrone lost to Dublin – as expected – in Omagh in Phase 2 but then had Ulster opposition (Donegal) in their final match and Ulster opposition again (Monaghan) in the semi-final, teams Tyrone would always fancy themselves again in Championship when the chips are down.

  10. The players let themselves down on Saturday night, too many believed all the hype about them after the league final. Too many senior players were awol and cost us big time, Horan needs to re evaluate what he needs to do as a manager, he, along with the selectors were abysmal on the sideline, seems reputations hold positions regardless of performance! Took our 2 best forwards off, when playing well and both were/are free takers. Duirmuid blatantly and publicity showed no faith in his team mate Conor Loftus when he wouldn’t let him take the free and wanted Kevin Mc to take it even tho he showed no willingness to take it! Think we are in serious damage control and if we don’t get it righted, like last year it will be a very short summer!

  11. Haven’t posted here in a while. It’s fair to say that’s a pretty downbeat look ahead at things WJ, but it’s one I can understand. Four years in a row facing into the cauldron of the unknown. I thought this year would be different, but so be it. Well done to Roscommon, they deserved their win and best of luck to them in the final.

    Where to now for us, well to reference Mayonaze’s point above, we need to tighten things up at the back, we have some brilliant defenders, but no one covering out in front of them. Donald Trump’s plane could have landed in MacHale Park such was the space left in front of them at times on Saturday. We need to play to our strengths, cover the defense and then break on the counter. We have the players and power to do this. The way we set up now is too predictable, lesser teams can read this and counteract it, thus leveling out the playing field.

    Going forward, I actually think the loss might do us no harm at all. Yes, it’s poor form not getting to a Connacht final for the fourth year in a row but it’s not fatal. We can build momentum in the qualifiers by bringing back some of the injured players and bedding in some more of the newbies. The qualifiers can also be used to iron out mistakes that we have made over the past few games. In the long run, I think it’ll suit us. It may not seem like that now, but these things sometimes can take funny twists and turns.

    Keep the faith, the summer is far from over. Let the journey into the unknown begin. Up Mayo.

    Also, can this Mayo4Sam nonsense please stop! It’s old and cringeworthy and is basically used as a stick to hammer us with when things go wrong. It’s one game at a time from now on. Forget about this lad called Sam until a final spot is booked. If we get Wicklow or Monaghan in the next round, we must show them 100% respect, nothing is certain in life, not least in sport. I honestly think we showed little or no respect to Roscommon over the past week or so. Lads talking about parking problems in Salthill for the final before a ball was kicked on Saturday. Some of our media ‘pundits’ also need to take a large dose of cop on. Stop talking us up to the point where we seem unbeatable. Follow the Kerry / Dublin lead, yerra sure it’ll be tight and all that. We need to learn from our mistakes, not repeat them over and over again. This goes for players, management and fans. Rant over.

  12. Having watched the game Sat night there are numerous issues facing JH now. Goalkeeper, I believe he has to bring David back in now, The full back line was all at sea, no cover, and when left one on one they were destroyed. I fear that if Galway do this we will get the same results, so I think Galway will have a plan.
    As pointed out by Ciaran Whelan Mayos half back line were caught out badly in two minds, attack or defend.
    Midfield was ok, the captaincy of Diarmuid o Connor was lauded when announced but I had my doubts then and no even more so. His game was totally affected and decision making at the end for the free was wrong.
    Apart from Coen and Boland no forwards stood out. The qualifiers will bring a few handy wins but long term it’s another massive ask for this squad.

  13. Well said Way Out West, the Mayo for Sam crap is embarrassing. All the talk about making the Super 8’s needs to be put on hold. We’re on the ropes folks and need to take things step by step. Obviously the draw will play a big part in our progression or elimination but I’m of the opinion the jets need cooling for now, we all need to take a step back and take stock of exactly where our team’s at.

  14. Excellent article as usual from Malachy Clerkin this morning. Impossible to disagree with a single word of it. One point to make with all the well justified criticism of JH for the sideline performance on Saturday he is the man who brought Darren Coen in from the cold

  15. Another thing that is embarassing is some of our former players. Again and again they say the wrong thing looking for cheap laughs and it ends up with us being ridiculed. Last week it was McHale, Maughan and Brady. Could they just shut the fuck up

  16. If James Horan is saying Tom Parsons is back shortly then we have to take our heads out of the doldrums from sat evening.
    My God after what that guy has been through and to be coming back to play for his county again. Surely we can take some of his amazing positivety and go forward with hope at least.
    Real true effort stamina and grit
    All the no hope karma won’t get team and loyal supporters in right frame of mind going ahead.
    One game at a time, stamina and grit.
    Would love to see Declan Coyle who wrote ‘The Green Platform’ work with team and anyone who hasn’t read it try to get copy before the qualifiers begin. Maybe he’s working with Cavan footballers. He’s a former Cavan player, and has an Ulster championship medal. He has given mental strength motivational sessions to many teams both here and the US With great success.

  17. Ger Bohan – McHale, Maughan and Brady were not to blame for us losing the game.

  18. Not all of the full backline issues were about being left one on one.
    When there was the throw ball after we had a free out turned over. All of our full backline rushed in to contest the breaking ball on the ground, Andrew Glennon stayed in behind unmarked and almost had a soccer style goal.
    That’s just a basic lack of synced up marking and preparation.
    @Mairead, I don’t think it’s even 1% connected with mental strength, it’s about being prepared to do the basics really well. I don’t see the point of mental strength work if the basics of having left and right footed freetakers on the pitch, using only 3 subs in an attritional slog of a match and at times not having even one defender covering the goalscoring area in front of our goals.

  19. @No appetite for the back door what so ever. .Who knows, if we draw someone who I think we can beat and it’s not too far away I might even go?…. Someone who say’s ‘Look it, we’ll look at it’ allot….need’s to look at himself in the mirror, this morning! True for him, the ‘Wide’s’ killed us.. Team selection?….Tatics? … Inactivity on the sideline?, all killed us…. Allot was right about Saturday Evening as well! ..All the player’s gave everything, showed patience, showed resilience…. Really had to feel for our full back line, were left completely exposed time after time…A sweeper could easily have been played without Mayo loosing out in any department… Eoin O Donaghue, could have been brought on and Kieth Higgins moved up to sweeper… Kevin McLoughlin, a superb player but not having a superb night in the corner forward position, could easily have played sweeper….Ah I could go on and on…. Lesson’s have to be learned, If they are learned by the Manager, he has to be prepared to make decisions fast on the sideline …If thing’s are missfiring on the pitch, and unfortunately, things were clearly not right for all to see early on!… There are only 3 things that can be done,in the heat of a 70+ minutes battle…. You can change Tatics. .. You can juggle your Player’s around, moving a Player, or more than one player , if they are not going well in one position, from one position to another in the hope of improvement… and/or substitute Player’s . … Sometimes you have to accept that the original Masterplan, wasn’t a Masterplan at all!…

  20. One game at a time now. As a poster said above, we’re against the ropes now, but Mayo always fight best when against the ropes.

    The Mayo for sam sh**e is unavoidable. Every mayo person who climbs a flippn mountain or visits some remote monument in the world, cannot do so without holding a mayo4sam sign or flag etc, same when they meet someone famous, just to get the attention on social media… Pure cringe stuff (along with times square). What isn’t unavoidable is playing your best goalkeeper and implementing a defensive system….i.e 16 and 17 AI’s.

  21. I guess it is what it is now. Saturday night was bitterly disappointing. Not being disrespectful to Roscommon but we really were the masters of our own downfall. I was hugely confident of Mayo reaching the Super 8’s this year but I was basing that on the assumption of us reaching a connacht final and at worst having to play one qualifier. The bookies give us a 50 50 shot of reaching the Super 8s and that sounds about right. I think Willie Joe hit the nail on the head with the luck of the draw in the qualifiers being hugely important. As many posters have pointed out there must be full utilisation of the squad as playing the same guys week in week out will surely lead to burnout. It’s funny part of me feels like it may not be the worst thing in terms of giving some of the younger guys game time and part of me feels it’s too long a road for some of the older guys. Having said that I did ask the question in another post as to what the average age of the starting 15 was on Saturday night as I do feel sometimes the narative with this Mayo team is that it is the exact same team as 2011 which it obviously isn’t altho granted there are still quite a few of the old guard still there.

    One other point I would like to make is that where we have some of the best fans in the country, if when we lose some of the comments on here is a fair reflection of what people really think then we are not quite so supportive in defeat. And I don’t mean the fair criticism..I mean that’s what this blog is debate about Mayo football. However sometimes some of the absolute shite that is posted is hard to take.

    Like a lot of people it is hard to raise an appetite for the qualifiers but remember supporting a winning team is easy…supporting the team when things aren’t going to plan isn’t so easy but is just as important. Hon Mayo

  22. True Grit – I always have time for what you have to say, as you have a knack for often zoning in on uncomfortable truths, but equally I often have problems with how you say it. I can’t allow that comment you’ve just posted up on the site given all the derogatory swipes you’ve included in it, which are aimed at multiple targets. If you could dial back the digs, though, there are valid points there, which you might want to couch in a less adversarial way.

  23. JP – That was absolutely bizarre. It’s like we didn’t even consider that we may have lost that throw ball!

  24. Your assessment of the road ahead is pretty grim WJ, but I feel much the same. I’ usually take the high road and say we’ll, let’s get on with it but in this case it was clear Horan had planed to take the shortest route possible to the super 8’s and that must be demoralizing for him and the team.
    To make anything of this season, we must get some lucky draws and have a whole lot of guts to make it to the finals, for even the shitiest teams always think they can take Mayo.

  25. @Ger Bohan – agreed on your point re former Mayo players in the media.
    Always the usual blowhards too, Maughan, McHale and Brady, none of whom have ever knowingly turned away a microphone.
    Their bluster about winning by 15-20 points in the weeks leading up to the game had zero bearing on the game but again its another needless rod created for the players backs. You would wonder what exactly their intention is when they come out with that type of guff.

    The most more measured BJ Padden and your good selves on the Mayo News Podcast are all the media i need from a Mayo viewpoint

  26. The disappointment is over the top and understandable. Mayo fans are passionate and this gets expressed in many forms, something we know too well.

    Blaming individual players for the loss is disgraceful. Imagine being in the players’ shoes or family and friends and reading some of the comments here. Cut it out.

    The fact remains it was a great game of ball and there was not much in it at the end.

    This is the first year of new management with new backroom staff also. Half a dozen new young bloods in there too. It is normal to expect great things after a league win but also very premature to think this new squad is going to click into a perfect playing unit and waltz over a very committed and well drilled Roscommon outfit, hellbent on winning.

    Despite the disappointment, losing games is a tool to improve future performance.
    If we are to go far, we need to improve game after game. We need some players back from injury and they need time to get up to speed. COC being the main man in this regard. 35 min game, 60 min game full game. In one respect the qualifiers are exactly what is needed. If we had an accurate free taker in place, we would have cruised through last Saturday. Seamus O’Shea, Tom P, Fionn Mc all looking for a spot.

    Provided we get a bit of luck in the draw, our performance can be hugely improved very quickly.

    Chins up, everyone, its early days.

  27. I just want to push back a bit on this criticism of pundits who express views about how games might go. It’s clear that plenty of people have taken offence that such opinions, by the likes of David Brady and John Maughan, were given to the media. All that’s happened, though, is that they were asked what they think and they gave their views.

    Now, you can, of course, disagree with those views but what I don’t get is the outright hostility being voiced at them personally for having the temerity to provide an opinion at all. Brady saying we’d win by 10-12 points or whatever and that sounds looks foolish after the fact but so what? Maughan said we’d win by eight and you know he would have been almost on the money had our shot conversion rate been at or near to what it should have been so he’s got less egg on his face.

    The point I’m driving at is that I think it’s okay for people to say how a match might go, providing they can articulate why they’re saying this (which both did). That way you stand or fall on your prediction. It’s a very intolerant kind of world, though, that takes umbrage at the very fact an opinion is being given at all.

  28. Kerry are playing Clare this weekend. Do you think the Kerry media people will be talking about 15 point winning margins this week. They will be talking about a potential banana skin and point out Limerick, Cavan and Ros wins – and then go up and beat Clare by 15 points. They will even talk up Clare after the match – saying there were unlucky to lose by 15 points.

  29. What can we do as supporters to help our Mayo team ?

    I think this reality check has been a few years coming .This is the one we needed. Not the near defeats in the All Ireland Final playing great football. This one could prove to be the point at which we collectively say “ enough “, “ no mas”( no more )

    It is truly time now for Horan to finally take the remaining bullshit ( arrogance )out of Mayo football. He has to play a part. We too have to play our part.

    First we need to look at our own role in what’s transpiring . To me , there is no doubt that the collective expression of the players on the field represent the rest of us supporters fairly perfectly.

    On the blog here we wax hot and cold to a ridiculous degree and my personal observation is that we have not treated other teams with the correct amount of respect since around 2016.

    For example going into games we think we will bate them by 12-15 points. Afterwards we will never watch this team again and everyone should be fired.

    I am not saying “ no respect” , I am saying “ incorrect amount of respect “.

    Some traits you need in elite level sports include the confidence that if you do the simple things better then you’ll usually win , merged with cold blooded ruthlessness.

    We have “faux “ confidence ( or as others see it “ arrogance “ )down pat when it comes to teams like Galway or Roscommon or even Kildare , Tipperary etc.

    In other words teams that shouldn’t -but-do- beat or nearly beat us , or ,in the case of Galway , routinely beat us.

    Think about that. We are arrogant about ,or not respectful enough about , teams that routinely beat or nearly beat us !

    Shall we say that’s , ahem , “ not smart”.

    Par excellence this arrogance has been the case with Roscommon since I started reading this blog years ago. To be fair we have beaten them well down the years but we have seriously ignored their massive efforts recently to become an elite team. Our league encounter with them this year was a closely run thing and showed that they were becoming a much “steelier “ unit.

    They too are an ambitious crew with buckets of talent , so at worst we should have seen our own reflection in them and realized that they are very dangerous.

    Anthony Cunningham is finally taking the bullshit out of Roscommon football. Galway ( under Walshe) is a similar case in point.

    When we don’t respect the opposition properly then any team can give us a run for our money. That’s what every team hopes for. That is rocket fuel to any “ inferior “ team.

    Look to our comrades in Dublin paying such respect to Carlow or Wicklow. Some of it has a hint of being fake but not enough to allow the players to relax. Look at how Kerry routinely talk up the opposition’s strengths. Both Dublin and Kerry always put out their best championship team. That’s proper respect .

    We’d like to think we are being more honest but I’d see it differently . We are actually being more “honest “ about how we are totally or at least subliminally disregarding the possibility of defeat in a two horse race.

    In turn our arrogance reflects how we pick our ( I’m calling it here – not our strongest )team ( something Gavin would never do ) ,how we set up ( eg no sweeper when our half backs were marauding ) , and how we leave our team with no reliable free taker on the field at the end of a very closely fought encounter where we were collectively sub par.

    Make no mistake , this was collective “arrogant “ thinking.

    James Horan should ( and does) know better. We too should ( and do ) know better. Making the same mistakes over and over again is the poorest reflection on any group or individual. We have seen these mistakes before .

    Most of all , the consistent lack of true composure is the elephantine difference between us and ,for example , Dublin. We have not yet paid composure the respect it deserves. Jim Gavin is the prototype of a manager who places composure at the very center of his players on-field character.

    How can you be a cold blooded assassin without being in utter control of yourself ? Saturday night we needed those assassins but Malachy Clerkin ( wittingly or not ) compared us to Zulus. Pause to read the history of the Zulus here. Warriors certainly. Proud certainly . Defeated ultimately.

    Composure is what gets you out of difficult and unexpected situations.

    But where does composure come from and what is it’s relationship to arrogance ? Composure comes from the relentless practice of simple ,relevant thoughts and actions . Composure is where the simple becomes routine under any set of conditions.

    Inner humility and simplicity of thought is necessary for the practice of composure. Thinking of All Irelands is counter productive when we just need to win the next ball and put it over the bar. It all comes down to winning the next ball.

    Humility comes from understanding that we all have weaknesses, relentlessly breaking down and practicing processes that strengthen those weaknesses and understanding that every experience is a learning experience. No matter how apparently routine.

    Finally , simply stated , arrogance is the lack of understanding that you have weakness and that you need to be humble and learn.Your thoughts are not lined up properly. You are ( secretly ) prepping for a game down the road, not the one you’re in.

    We all need to line up our thoughts correctly .Be properly respectful. Practice humility. Our weakness is there , laid bare, for everyone to see. Faux confidence is not going to change that.

    It’s time to take the bullshit out of Mayo football for once and for all. Stop talking about games down the road. One game at a time .Work on our weaknesses. Focus on winning the next ball. Everyone do your job. When the simple becomes routine then we will have truly moved forward as a county.

    Let’s pay the next county we play the proper amount of respect , knowing that if we put out our best team and perform the simple things well, then we have a great chance of success ( no matter who they are).

  30. I am wondering did anybody who is giving out about McHale actually listen to his interview on Off the Ball? If you did then read back through the comments leading up to the match and his prediction was the same as most on here (including myself) and echoed what Billie Joe Padden predicted.
    While I was nowhere near the same confidence of DB or John Maughan and to be honest disagreed with most of what they said they were asked by the media for an opinion which it is the right to give considering both have given so much to Mayo Gaa and much more than I have given to the cause anyway!!

  31. Out of commission until now. Drenched from head to foot on Saturday night, so my humour going to my brother’s was, shall we say, in the negative.

    I posted last week that I was very worried; Rossie tactics, our injuries, our mindset, and they pretty much came home to roost. Still, the worst aspect was our appalling game management. After all our vicissitudes, we arrived on the stroke of time with a very kickable free to level, Conor Loftus there to do that job, and it’s given to the wrong man. Rossies (and I don’t begrudge them a very good win) looked far more composed than us, even though they looked knackered. Jason’s freetaking another bummer, and taking off Evan?? These little things are the winning and losing of big matches.

    Have to disagree on our pundits WJ. Why say anything? Feeds in to a complacent mindset. Winning the league was a huge plus to my mind, but for the Ros game it was a negative; gave them added motivation, and all the acres of newsprint since would have been used by Cunningham to good effect.

    And yet, two days on, I’m a bit more optimistic. If we are any good, these games, assuming we keep winning, should bring us on. We have a better panel than in 2018, and if we use that squad rotation to effect, fatigue is something we should be able to cope with. In fact I think we could prosper from a lot of games on the trot. Keep winning and confidence builds. The break didn’t do us any good since end of March. A month to go is a bit of a drag, but if all those walking wounded are back fighting for places that will be a plus. We shouldn’t fear any team from the potential qualifiees – a trip to Brewster Park being an exception to that statement.

    Defending strategy and free-taking are critical areas to address over the next few weeks.

    And, forced to choose, I’d rather lose a s/f to Ros, than a C/F to Galway, and then have to face a team brimming with confidence from a successful qualifier campaign.

  32. Not sure if I have the appetite or money to go on the road this Summer supporting the team for what will be 3 years in a row Newbridge or nowhere sickened me last year and losing the U 20 final to Kildare after giving Jimmy Hyland the freedom of Croke Park to score at Will was the last straw I thought. But Saturday night was a disaster as Home games in Castlebar have become lately. Maybe the appetite will return.

  33. I disagree with the prognosis that luck is required in the qualifier fixtures.
    You just need to avoid some very bad luck. Its quite likely that you’ll face a maximum of one Div 1 team (even that isn’t certain) before making the S8. Same as if Mayo had won on Saturday.
    What is of course most likely is a relatively helpful succession of games against lower standard teams. Not easy of course but very likely to provide a valuable opportunity of momentum-building, as well as continuing the development of the newer players and tackling some of the flaws on show on Saturday.
    It will still be big surprise if Mayo aren’t in the S8 as you still have all the ingredients necessary to compete convincingly at that level.
    The ingredients to win Sam? Not on the evidence so far (although we’re still in May). And I do also agree on the possibility of road-weariness having an effect compounding things come late Summer.
    But how bad is that overall?
    How many other county supporters have the near-certainty of a long exciting summer to look forward to?

    One other angle, I wonder IF there was no qualifier option/2nd chance available last Saturday, do people think would Mayo have still lost that game?
    If you think the answer is “Yes” then the prognosis probably is grimmer than I think … but if you think the answer is “Maybe” or “No” then it seems very reasonable to argue that you have an enjoyable and entertaining summer ahead.

  34. As disappointed as anyone by Sat evening, but, trying to take step back and see if this can be turned around.
    1. For whatever reason our record in Casterbar is terrible, so I was always worried on this one. Theres no question at this point but that we are a better team on a bigger pitch especially CP. Packed defenses have an even bigger impact in Castlerbar than most places
    2. Roscommon outthought us and exposed our defense with the counter-attach, but, if we do get to a Super 8, hopefully lessons will be learned. We did improve in the 2nd half. Ros scored 6 points after HT and I dont believe had a real goal chance in 2nd half. Mayo defenders that dominated Kerry forwards in CP in April have not become mugs overnight
    3. Forwards will (have to) get better. Free taking was unforgivable on Sat but Cillian will steady that ship. Carr and McDonagh will improve that forward line too. FF line of CoC, Coen and Carr could click in Qualifiers.
    4. Roscommon are not mugs. They are a physical, well coached team with decent forwards. They will pose problems for any of the big teams. We weren’t beaten by Kilkenny, We were beaten by a probable Supter 8 team.

    We lost by 1, with a score conversion rate on 47%. It was bad, very bad, but Super 8s are very much still on the radar for this team and if we ge there its a new ball game.

  35. What will return the appetite is if we consistently eradicate the all too common flaws over the next two games and have two convincing wins with panel depth. That would set us up for a mini showdown where winner makes the super 8’s.
    Part of what is happening is the increased pace and physicality of teams like Roscommon. Check the physical change in Diarmuid Murtagh and they all had that lean but strong build.
    Where once the likes of Jason Doherty and Lee Keegan had a % advantage, that has now completely disappeared. That’s not a form thing, it’s just changed circumstances, the game has changed.
    We will need to move to the new younger bigger athletes in time. Brian OMalley, Oisin Mullins, Jordan Flynn, Fionn McDonagh will be the type of young player we will be forced by fitness to move to from next year.

  36. Management for Dummies

    Roscommons corner back Murray must be the smallest defender in inter-county football.
    Basic Management put Mayo’s tallest ball winning forward on him & bomb ball in on top of him (just as kerry did in an all ireland final). Either Carr or Reape would have a serious height advantage.
    What did our management do put Evan Regan our smallest forward on him. (i couldn’t believe it).
    We had the wind advantage in the 1st half and not 1 ball was put in on top of said CB.
    We could easily have change our team around on Friday with the weather forecast promised a strong breeze with a 75% chance of rain.
    What were our Management thinking. Roscommon dodge a bullet here. We walk straight into 1.

  37. That is 3 people now I have seen calling for Reape!
    On what basis?
    He has done nothing to warrant a championship palace above the other forwards being selected in his position.
    Horan has made may mistakes (most of them in game) but that is not one of them

    Secondly. I heard a row of “supporters” Saturday night saying they would not go to the qualifiers as the team didn’t deserve their support . Seen it said here a few times as well now. Better off without “supporters” like that. The schedule is punishing no doubt. But more so for the players who had the same expectations as us and sacrifice more than us. Get behind them or stay at home. For good. It’s easy support on AI final day

  38. ‘Success is the abality to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm’.

    Agree totally km79, supporters SUPPORT!

    Fair enough it is financially draining but those players and management will be always heros in this house… win, loose or draw, thank God we are from Mayo.
    My children have learned more life skills from this teams positivity, resilience, and the realisation life can be unfair, but keep doing your very best.
    They didnt learn much about respect from a certain commentator on Sunday night!!

    Mayo Abú every single time.

  39. All we are guaranteed at this moment is one qualifier game , how is the venue decided for this ?

  40. Taking an optimistic view for a change. We can all guess at the 8 teams that will be in the other bowl come the 10th. Which of them will be rooting to meet Mayo in round 2. We have 4 weeks to prepare for who ever it is. The Connacht Finalists have one game from now to the Super8,s. If you were attempting to look at a group of young players in Championship football before the contest finally takes off which route would you choose. I know some of you might still feel that those BallyBoys have got another one over us but I say Killinaskully still rules.

  41. @km79, Brian Reape was the main reason we beat Roscommon in a tight attritional game in the league. He is a physical tall goalscorer who would have made hay in the league final and in New York.
    He was dropped after the Dublin game and has had no opportunities since. I guarantee this, he would have ate David Murray on Saturday night.
    James Horan has never rated goalscorers or what he seems non workrate players. His belief in workrate above all else is one of his flaws in my opinion.

  42. A grim view, Willie Joe, but I tend to agree.
    I think it’s a long road and too many problems to iron out.

  43. Agree with synopsis WJ..So many obstacles to overcome to.see us still around in late July never mind early August..But I will admit I’m glad that problems reared their heads now rather than later on down the road.Team have time to regroup ,mgmt reassess and supporters recharge..We are better than we showed on Saturday night.Time to get a grip .

  44. I’d go with reape, cillian and James Carr as my ff line the next day .

  45. Some well articulated constructive criticism offered already so nothing further to add other than to say that we have to trust in the management to take a few further brave steps and get a couple more new lads in from the start and substitute in 5 or 6 of the vastly experienced players onto the field of play and win the games ahead with a team of 20 lads not 15. As to our comical media pundits, yes I too never wander past the blog on this site anymore as it is top class. I did however hear the D Brady comment on Friday night and it was pathetic. The 12 to 15 point win was simply based on the fact that that is what Dublin would do so we should be able to do the same. Where was the analysis of our narrow win over them in the league, their narrow defeats before being related and the very strong displays they put in during all of those games – as usual no analysis just bluff and bluster. Yep we are all entitled to our views but some of those views are just laughable. We are still looking at an amateur play where the trivial is often used to rally players against a trumped up slur/injustice. We probably saw it again yesterday with the Davy Fitz sideline intervention. I’d be amazed if the sound bites dished out on Friday night were not used to some effect, telling or otherwise, in Roscommon’s dressing room on Saturday.

  46. It’s certainly hard to muster up an appetite for the road again, especially when the prospect of taking back Connacht has evaporated in front of our faces but none of us get our own way all the time. We now need to build a bridge, adapt to the new situation and move on.

    None of those lads went out there to lose that game and if you’re having a bad day, you’re having a bad day; it’s just unfortunate that so many of them had a bad day together at once …

    Yes there are other factors that incite annoyance when you think about them, but the only thing we can do about them now is hope fervently that players and management learn from them.

    If the lads don’t have the stomach for the qualifiers, so be it – there’s nothing we can do about that either. But if they do, the least we can do at this point is get behind them again. And if you don’t have the stomach for it yourself, then spend your summer doing something that makes you happy instead. Simples!

  47. Some very good articles above – – Including the headline article. But to quote the hurling advertisement from

    a few years back ………… nobody said it was going to be easy. It won`t be. But it`s do-able.

    The only contribution I made to this blog before the Roscommon game was “that rossie full forward line looks

    dangerous enough”. Little did I know the full truth of it.

  48. Okay
    Minors beat Ros well. Seems a very exciting team.
    U20s beat Rossies very well. Seems a very exciting team.
    Juniors beat Leitrim in good game….keeper playing very well.
    Seniors lose by one point in a game we should have won or drawn if it went on for 5 more mins.
    We are in qualifiers so have to get on with it.
    If I was Horan I would do everything to get strongest team ready for 4 weeks time.
    So he has 16 or so training sessions. I hope A v B games get nasty and lets take out our frustration on next team.
    We will feel better next week when weather is better and all have time to reflect.
    Dont blame manager or individual players. Mistakes will happen so lets go again.
    Lets hope younger players get plenty of game time and we go from there.
    One game at a time so.

  49. WJ. in hindsight you were correct in deleting my blog, but you are wise enough to understand what I wanted to say. One person Swahli has said a lot of what I was thinking. Time now for everyone to stop and admit we will never win a AI if we don’t have a back up free taker, and not every Tom, Dick and Harry.

  50. I was very uninspired when james announced his management team last october .donie buckley is been missed badly. does anyone know who is the defensive coach? the team have 4 weeks to turn round the season and i think they can get to the super 8. AS supporters we have to stay supporting until the very end .roll on the qualifers.

  51. Thanks Swahili for your post. It’s very true and perceptive. I’d love to see our team go out to win and win as well as they can in every game. It seems to me that Mayo set their game to contain and eventually pip other teams. I’d rather see us putting faith in ourselves and going for it, time and again. Don’t let the other team dictate our game. Believe in ourselves and our talent and let them try to figure out how to beat us.
    Yep it’s a long road but could be exciting if we get full pick and a bit of angry energy. Get fed up of this pathetic “just doing enough to win” and just do it your way… the Mayo way. There are few teams that can live with us when we give it welly. Come on Mayo. Get stuck in…feck it!!

  52. What Maughan said was he would be shocked if Mayo didn’t win comfortably he totally dismissed Roscommon like he was talking about average Div 3 team like the Offaly side he his currently managing. David Brady said Mayo had to win by 12 to 15 points or can forget about winning All Irelands which lets be honest was total nonsense talk as a 1 point win v Roscommon would have done and past All Ireland winners have got narrow victories on route to winning sam against weaker sides than the rossies.

    In the terms of a poor shot conversation i think Roscommon deserve credit there for applying the pressure and forcing some of the players in shots from difficult angles. The scores got were hard earned with Coen,Durcan etc scoring some outstanding efforts. Roscommon gave a warning in the round 1 NFL when they displayed a physical edge and yet last Saturday on and off the field it was like Mayo weren’t expecting it and was left as shell shocked as Johh Maughan.

  53. Downbeat there WJ and hard to blame you. I simply do not get this arrogance from some supporters or pundits Where does it come from. It was the same in our games v Galway especially in 2016, likewise Kildare last year and Ross on Saturday. It wasnt Will we beat them but by how much.Do we never learn. We go on n about players and management repeating mistakes. Lots of supporters do likewise. Winning the league was great but it was utterly irrelevant come championship. We saw what happened to Limerick hurlers last week. We were not terribly bad on Saturday. We did a lot of good things, started well but were hit by two goals just as they did to us in Croker two years ago. We then spent the game chasing them and even when we got the lead we couldn’t push on. Our full back line looked desperately uncomfortable throughout. They need the protection of a sweeper. Half backs OK and midfield very good. Our 3 big names up front didn’t play well but the other 3 lads hit 8 from play. Not bad at all. I hate this personal criticism after we lose and also the I wouldn’t cross the road to see them again brigade. You won’t be missed. I wouldn’t be quite so negative about the qualifiers. We just need a handy first game to get back on the horse. Derry and Fermanagh almost sent us packing in previous years in our vulnerable first game. No talk of Samuel please just getting to the Super 8 would be an achievement. I thought our attitude and effort was fine on Saturday and I am sure it will be fine again. Don’t throw in the towel just yet.

  54. If we got our full backline and freetaking more spot on we would have won by 4-5 pts.
    Both are correctable.
    But we are leaping from that logic to the mgmt team being at a loss without Donie Buckley.
    None of those problems were corrected to any great degree even with the presence of Donie Buckley.
    Coaching won’t fix our attacking issues.

  55. I seem to recall that Mayo was also beaten by Roscommon a few weeks after Mayo won the league in 1970 – history repeating etc.

  56. JP, Full back line not really the issue, more the space available in front of the fb line. IMO this can only be rectified by the hb line sitting deeper and not exposing the fb line. Free taking will be rectified by return of Cillian but if he gets injured/carded then we are back to the same problem, so management need to come up with a plan B in case Cillian is not available. One thing that always naggs at me, mayo don’t have a reliable 45m kicker, even Cillian struggles at that distance, instead of taking low percentage kicks why isn’t the ball passed and possession retained. Possession is more valuable than a wide.

  57. You’re getting there, True Grit – though I still had to excise the personal stuff from that one. If you could stick to playing the ball, not the man that would help!

  58. What’s far more worrying than than the performance of the full back line is that it’s was obvious after 5 mins we needed someone to cover back and Horan did nothing. I’d be more concerned about the performance on the line than on the field. To answer an earlier posters question the average age of the team that played Saturday was 28. Conor Loftus is more reliable free taker than Jason doc, he should be considered a starting place for this alone.

  59. And in 2001 as well, Mayo Exile! I mentioned it last week but the first time I was alerted to it was when Sean Rice, with that great historical arc he has, raised it shortly after we’d won in Croke Park.

  60. Any idea why Darren Coen was taken off so early – he was on target. Keith Higgins was always the fasest guy on team but left behind too easily for that early goal.

  61. Darren Coen was tired by that point.
    Keith Higgins is fast but Cathal Cregg cut in on the tackle and the defender can get left behind then. It’s why you often see a defender get stranded just at the point where they put in a tackle attempt. The forward makes sure to cut in across their running line slightly.

  62. Cos Brian Reape has got to get into the team some way based on one league performance in early Spring apparently
    Coen was excellent the last day and it was a shame he tired . He did a lot of tracking back he probably could have done without

  63. No big panic about playing coen the next day , the probability is we will be playing a team a step or three below our usual level. I’d leave McLaughlin and Jason doc out too . I d play fionn mcdonagh . Eoin o donghue and Drake would start along with James McCormack . Seamie would start instead of either aido or ruane , to tune match fitness with a view to replacing him with the man he replaced when tiring. I’d go with sligerman in goals .

    And as someone said above ffs stop attempting long range frees and 45s , short kick , work on set pieces for them , so much you could do rather than a pot shot wasted , I’d guess 6/10 times it’s wasted .

    Goals , put a massive emphasis on goals , get used of creating and scoring goals .

  64. Fine tune them for what ?
    It’s knockout and you want to drop one of our only 2 fit midfielders and 4 of the starting forwards ?
    And 3 of the backs
    So a minimum of 9 changes
    That’s hardly going to help build up momentum

    Sorry I just seen you also want to start Schlingerman over Clarke (and Hennelly )

    Stop will ya. It’s not the bloody FBD

  65. Indeed, Km79! I’d add to that the fact that we could pull Monaghan away from home in the Round 2 draw. If so we’d be wise not to go for sweeping changes for that one.

  66. Complacency will no longer be an issue for the remainder of our 2019 championship campaign. What will be an issue is the players ability to cope with the improving quality of opposition week in week out. If we’re lucky a few soft draws could see us make the Super 8’s but that is a destiny that is now beyond our control. Hard to see the team being able to bounce back from this morale sapping loss. Shades of summer 2018 about this one already.

  67. All,
    Ye keep making excuse after excuse, in 2013 final, we all blamed the referee, Joe McQuillan for blowing up to early when Mayo were awarded a free kick in injury time, Cillian scored to put Mayo 1 point within the Dubs, maybe he should have gone for a goal.
    In 1996 replay we blamed Pat McEnaney for sending Liam McHale to the sideline after the fight broke out, as the reason that Mayo lost the replay.
    In 2016, Mayo blamed the Dubs also the Dubs blamed Mayo for coming out of the dressing room too early, the scene that led to the ‘fight’ in the tunnel, kept the Dubs scoreless for 29 minutes of the 1st half, and the curse struck with 2 nightmare own goals, never happened in all my years involved in football.
    In 2017 we blamed the referee for sending Donal Vaughan to the sideline for his retaliation missed fist strike on John Small.
    This bunch of Mayo footballers have kept football interest at an almighty high in the County, going back to 2011, 9 seasons now, virtually the same guys bar 3 or 4 players.
    I still see the Mayo guys stumbling from sheer exhaustion in injury time in the 2017 final, the back door and the Kerry replay took a huge toll on their bodies.
    What I am trying to say is that, once again we wait and see how the back door goes, a long road to the Super 8’s.
    The management team need to be at their very best, can they fully read a scene as it unfurls before their eyes ?, Horans philosophy was fully utilising his attacking half back line, loads of space for the long kicks into the opposition full forward, the Dubs got undone by Donegal in the 2014 semi final, but has never happened to them since.

  68. We’ll support them to the end but we might as well face the hard fact that too often we don’t close out tight games. Despite the goalkeeping calamities and woeful wides on Saturday night Boland put us a point up with a minute to go. That would have been enough for the Dubs, Kerry Galway Tyrone etc to kill that game. We still remained wide open at the back. Even in the league final we went 3 up with 5 to play and gave Kerry loads of chances after that.
    God this is a great bunch of players and we’ve got to love them forever but there’s a kamikaze gene there that won’t be coached out of this group.

  69. Our style of football has to change. Against Ros when our half backs got the ball – first thought was to put head down and carry the ball forward into a crowd of Ros players. I can’t remember any half back looking up to kick the ball into space into our full forward and therefore clearing the wall of Ros players. Teams have our style of play under Horan sussed.

  70. A few obvious points on Saturday nights performance.
    We are a better team than Roscommon and we lost to them because of a series of stupid things. I’m not going to bore everyone to cataloging them all but…… By conceding two bad goals we gave them the hope / energy / momentum they needed. When you concede two goals and score none it is very hard to win and yet we could and should have won.
    You can talk about not having a free taker for that last free. That’s true but surely any half decent player would slot that one. It was an easy free – twenty ish metres and not that far left!
    Diarmuid O Connor is a very good footballer but what in Gods name is he doing so far out on the wing – with no ball going near him? A player like him should be in the thick of the action all the time, dictating the play not hugging the sideline.
    The praise during the year for Horan trying new players was justified. However, when it comes to championship you need to have a fairly settled team unless you are like the dubs who seemingly can throw in any combination of lads and yet hammer before and after them. We have injuries and that’s a problem but Horan needs to decide fairly soon who the best 15 are and get them playing together as a team. It might be that the backdoor will help us in this regard.

  71. This Mayo Team will rise again.
    Down through the years they have done most damage when least expected.
    We should feel privileged to be part of such amazing journey.
    I met most of these players in NY a few short weeks ago, what great ambassadors from our very proud county.
    I feel sorry for this great Team, the abuse they are getting from the national media, Joe Brolly etc.

    This defeat may rise this great team, they will strike when least expected.

  72. I don’t think people or players can keep getting encouragement from the line “time to dust ourselves down and give this another right shot”. That was okay the 1st year but offers less enthusiasm the 2nd time round. I don’t know how many times we’ve heard it now. There is something else required now to get the best out of this management and team. I’m not sure what it is, but I am sure its not “time to dust ourselves down and give this another right shot”.

    I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by Caroline Currid, the high performance physchologist from County Sligo, this last week.

    Caroline has been involved in the backroom teams of four All-Ireland winners – Tyrone Footballers (2008), Tipperary Hurlers (2010), Dublin Footballers (2011) and Limerick Hurlers (2018). She has worked with world-class athletes including Lions’ captain Paul O’Connell and Kenya’s 800m Olympic champion, David Rudisha.

    To listen to her, well she made you think in ways the mind are not usually challenged, and she had endless techniques on fulfilling and maximizing self confidence and performance.

    I’m sure Mayo already must have people who work with the team as regards positive thinking, but with this girls resume and achievements, I would be battering doors down to get her in for a spell to work with the team if she was available. Her analysis and her depth of research in to people she admires is astounding.

    We have competed in 1 National competition so far this year. We didn’t win all the matches. We did win the competition.

    I don’t think its 3 and 4 nights a week hard slog training that this team needs right now.
    I don’t think its a fitness issue and I certainly don’t think its any issue with talent.
    These are the tough bits to get right.

    This team is missing something much simpler.
    When the right person puts their finger on it, we could get back to see these men playing the football of their lives.

  73. So if we draw a div four side , you wouldn’t make wholesale changes , why the hell not ?

    It’s no risk , you’re giving players rest , you’re giving game time to lads that need it and btw if it was up to me I’d of pulled Doherty , diarmuid and keV McLaughlin before Evan Regan on Sat never mind the next qualifier , they were shite.

  74. Now is the time not to be losing the ‘head’ but there is certainly time to sort things out. Priorities should be:-
    -Get as many of the injured players back as quickly as possible.
    -Sort out the goalkeeper position once and for all, Horan has to make this call.
    -Sort out the freetaking / 45s etc.
    These are the priories as I see it and if we get a decent enough draw we will make the Super 8s.

  75. Over Exuberance, some could call it arrogance, others would call it Confidence, of Mayo supporter’s has nothing to do with Mayo’s defeat on Saturday….. Nor has what, DB, or JM, said in an interview…Nor has what any poster said on this Blog…PS. Many have, including myself uttered word’s of caution about the Rossies, and Indeed neither has these sober musings about the Match anything to do with the performance…All absolutely nothing to do with it..The mistake’s both on and off the pitch, selection, lack of activity by the management, inaccuracy in front of the posts.. have everything to do with it…. They can be rectified, but the shortcomings have to be recognized, including the shortcomings of the Management have to be recognized by the Management, first and foremost…. Only then, can matter’s on the field recognized and rectified…. Exuberance, Arrogance or Confidence are all in short supply today….We the best supporter’s in Ireland (Mayo , and that’s no exaggeration) are on a downer today… But our collective humour today, will not affect Mayo on the next day out either….If we can, Learn the Lesson’s, Right the Wrong’s and perform better than the opposition, we will Win…… I’ve been musing through the official programme, looking for crumb’s of comfort,… Some month’s ago something on a debate on this Blog was the capisity of MacHale Park, on page 33, It state it’s 38,000….. love to see it full some day!…On page 20, something of an error, it gives the score in the drawn quater final Match in 2017,. as Roscommon 1.12, Mayo 2.09…Im afraid that it was the other way around.. Roscommon 2.09.. Mayo 1.12!

  76. No younger player would have seen out the match on Diarmuid, JDoc, Kevin McLoughlin or Keith Higgins form.
    Evan Regan sets up Diarmuid on a plate, scores a point from play, scores a free and gets pulled.
    Not long after he had kicked a wide, recency effect and all that.
    JDoc doesn’t look quick enough anymore.
    Kevin Mc was on an off night and what would he have left on 65 mins?
    On 55mins surely Drake had more shutdown than Higgins?

  77. Km79 and Swahili talking sense here. Reape has done nothing to suggest he is good enough for this level, he got plenty chances earlier in the league and did very little, Darren Coen has made a much bigger impact in a shorter timeframe, as has James Carr.
    A question for everyone. When should you NOT bring on a young forward for a championship debut?
    Answer – when unexpectedly trailing to a ravenously hungry team when it’s pissing rain with ten minutes to go, that were written off by everyone. A period when experience and decision making were crucial. Conor Diskin comes in and does nothing but give away a stupid cheap free to give them a handy score.
    Really questionable management by Horan there.
    I’d also like to know exactly how fit is Cillian? His fitness all year has been a complete mystery to me and I’d say there’s no guarantee at all that he’ll be available in a few weeks time?

  78. Going back to our defeat to the Rossies in Tuam Stadium in 1970, a week after our League victory; do’nt forget our full forward was below in the cathedral being ordained!!!

  79. Very disappointing to hear all of the negative critisism about the Mayo team and management following the Roscommon defeat. Mayo have used the league well to blood in some good young players who will be needed for the Qualifier campaign. There is also a lot to be learned from a defeat. As a Roscommon supporter we are always capable of pulling out a performance once every 10 years and when least expected. Losing to Roscommon is more a pride issue for Mayo so you just have to overcome that and get on with it.

  80. I think that as fans and the players and management we have all become to used to boom or bust performances. It has affected us when a controlled structured performance is required, thriving in adversity is a trademark of this team but the adversity can be avoided and the great comebacks and energy needed for them can be saved. The unexpected losses in Connacht are too regular to be a coincidence and the fantastic displays when we are underdogs are so frequent nobody is sure how the switch can be flicked just like that. Changes are required for the first game for sure imo, give players a chance and keep the ones who perform in the starting 15 and mix in the lads who are returning from injury and going well in training if we win first game and so on. It is the logical approach and would mean the players will be fresher and experience and develop will continue for younger players. Lastly Conor Loftus is a very good free taker remember Ballybofey last year he kicked excellently including one over 50 metres out that even Cillian would not have nailed.

  81. @Larry Duff, that’s just a throwaway remark about Brian Reape with no research but full of confidence somehow.
    Firstly you day he got plenty chances in the league.
    He got the full Tyrone and Roscommon game in which he was decent against Tyrone winning ball and making passes to setup scores.
    He won plenty ball against Roscommon and scored the winning goal.
    He came on as a sub against Cavan and scored an excellent point.
    He was poor against Dublin and you’re now in effect using that against him.
    Conor Diskin to my recollection has yet to score or setup a score bar running forward into contact to win I think it’s two frees.
    You talk about not bringing on young players just based on Conor Diskin.
    We have Brian Reape and Ciaran Treacy and James Carr when fit who showed they can be brought on.

  82. A lot of negativity and for no real reason

    If Roscommon loose the CF to Galway and go out in the pre qualifier to the super8 their season is defined by beating Mayo this year . That is how much it meant to them . So I wouldn’t take it away from them . A team who were unlucky in narrow defeats in the league to go down .

    On the other hand we were clearly unprepared . Our warmups were lacking and void of any intensity . The focus wasn’t there the last day . I don’t know why it took us till close to 7.35 to get on the pitch . I don’t know why for the first 20 minutes there was no spare ball behind henelleys goal and he only received 2 balls from the mayo sideline after our keeper was trying to retrieve a ball in the stand . By that stage we concede 1-1 from delayed and poor kickouts .

    Apart from the performance I’d put my house on it if we were to play Roscommon next week the result would be different .
    Yes the party is over from New York just a bit of focus and perspective from our selves and of course our pockets will be lighter ( hopefully) come August .

  83. I don’t think I buy in to this story that the fans have a massive bearing on how our team plays. If it is the case, then there is something wrong somewhere.
    The game is played between the white lines. Whether there are 15,000 fans there, or 2 men and a dog, neither changes what has to be done out on the pitch.
    A players desire and hunger must come from within not without.
    Someone said that we were outnumbered at the minor match on Friday night. It had no bearing on how the game finished. They did their job on the pitch.
    Same with the Dubs at the weekend. With an nth of their support Base they went out and did their job.
    Big support is always nice to see but the match is played out on the pitch.
    A fully tuned in player should not be concerned whether there are 20 or 20000 people in the crowd. In fact a fully focused player shouldnt know how big the crowd is. If they do know, then they are not fully focused.
    If all Irelands were handed out based on a teams support we would be going for 10 in a row never mind 5.
    Someday Mayo will win another Sam. No spectator will kick a ball that day either, but we will be there to enjoy it.

  84. WJ that shows how Saturday nights result has been such a monumental disaster, had we won and beaten Galway,three whole weeks to super eights, and why o why was cilian not on the 26, why loftus was on for the frees, seeing your report, I fear a short non super 8s summer. But then again disastering decisions from the sideline is nothing new, 2012 rooky fullback on the best forward in the country, 2013 taking Alan off after 20 mins, 2016 goalkeepers fiascos .
    No appetite for another 300 mile round trip.
    As the hollies sang in the 60s The road was long with many a winding turn

  85. Just to dampen the doom and gloom a little bit, if we won Connacht this year, we’d have a full month off until the start of the Super 8s. That’s a long time without a serious championship game. You could argue that it would make you fresher ahead of the 8s, but I’d take the opposite approach. No amount of challenge games / training camps can beat championship action. Nothing can beat playing championship games to keep you match sharp. For the qualifiers, we need to use the squad wisely and rotate accordingly. (Depending on severity of draw). I have no doubt in my mind that we can have a long and fruitful summer, we have not become a bad team after one poor performance. Our squad overall is stronger this year than last year, we just need a few injuries to clear up. Keep the faith, let the tour begin! Up Mayo.

  86. Mo-direach…”I’d love to see our team go out to win and win as well as they can in every game. It seems to me that Mayo set their game to contain and eventually pip other teams. I’d rather see us putting faith in ourselves and going for it, time and again.”

    We must be watching different Mayo teams!!?!:)

    The problem as I see it and one of the reasons we lost is that we employed this tactic and werent good enough to implement it! Mayo are trying to do exactly what you ask for above. They take the game to teams and go all out attack which leaves gaps at the back and as such highly susceptible to quick counter attacks. Were you in Castlebar on Saturday? The game went for long periods where we had only 4 players inside our own 45 because our half back line were on the attack.

    If Mayo did set out the gameplan to contain or rather make it really difficult for the opposition to score I believe we would have far greater success and by adopting this more defensive structure I actually believe we would score more goals because it would draw teams onto us and allow us to hit them on a counter attack – it’s a gameplan that essentially won Donegal an All Ireland and yet we have far more suitable players than they did to implement it to an even more effective level.

    This Mayo team have been far too gung-ho for my liking and not tactically cute enough (aside from some semi final and final performances during Rochford’s management where we out-thought the opposition).

    Separately, there is too much doom and gloom. The most depressing aspect to last Saturday’s game was just the fact that we lost to Roscommon which we hate doing. The reality is these string of games (assuming we get through them and we will if we have any tactical brains!) will actually allow new-ish players get more championship game time and fellas like Cillian get back into things. We have a big enough panel to avoid burnout if utilised correctly. If Mayo just revert to this above[defensive counter attack] type of format which worked tremendously well in certain games, then we would have won comfortably the last day even taking into account the poor personal performances of some players. It would be far worse if we didn’t have the players to compete. We have a squad good enough to go far in the championship but we havent a notion of going anywhere unless these changes are made. And they are simple changes to make.

    Cheer up and get on with it!

  87. I totally agree Mayonaze. We should have played like Donegal played against Fermanagh on Sunday. We cannot go with a go hung ho approach on tight pitches which are not Croke Park. A far more conservative / defensive game is needed to navigate through the qualifiers.

  88. Left Half Back

    You’ve hit on something that was doing my head in on Saturday. For the majority of the first half Robbie had no hope of getting a quick re-start as there was no fucking spare ball behind the goal. Now this should simply never happen, but it took us what seemed like an eternity to rectify the issue. Might seem like a non-issue, but didn’t reflect well on our preparation for the game, nor our collective focus on the day.

  89. I agree with you Revelinio I’ve heard professional
    Soccer players say they don’t even notice or hear the supporters at most matches because they are so tuned in and concentrating on the task in hand that they don’t notice anything else. Even thought the players have said in the past that our support means a lot to them and we are all in it together etc the reality is we are not they train flat out and making huge sacrifices cannot eat certain food and have to avoid alcohol and nights out etc that’s why I think Management should be totally on top of their game and get the tactics right they owe it to the players I think Keith Higgins said earlier on In the year that the big crowd following and supporting them puts extra pressure on them? I’m open to correction on that but I’m almost certain it was Keith that said it. It’s unusual
    That we play our best football away from home on the road. Management need to learn fast from this defeat

  90. Larry duff correction , they did not score from the diskin foul ,that was the only one they missed

  91. Regarding the spare ball behind the goal, the Mayo Management and County Board should get four young lads / girls two behind each goal to act as ball boys / girls. Give them a bench or whatever to sit on. They should be told that as soon as the ball goes out of play, a new ball is thrown to Hennelly/ Clarke without delay. Get the ball moving quick etc. If the game needs to be slowed down, the ball boys / girls could go ‘missing’ as per instructions. It’s small details like this that can change things on the pitch, seconds are huge when playing at this level.

  92. I agree completely “Way Out West”. Some good points there. We simply have too many young lads on the panel with little or no Championship experience. EOD, Boland, Ruane, Plunket Coen, McCormack, Reape, McDonagh, Diskin, Carr, to mention a few. Some of them made a start last Saturday night. Others had a little experience a good while back while others have not make any start. Some of those lads have no work done so far. This competition starts around the middle of July whether we know that or not. The serious sides in this competition are targeting this period. Not some weekend in the month of May. Forget about Connaught the GAA have introduced the Super 8’s. That is the only show in town from now on. Do you want us to get to the Super 8’s with a squad full of rookies. I would not under any circumstances. Those people who fear the backdoor run, will probably fear what tomorrow brings anyway. That’s a different problem. The gang of mad people who follow this team around know we are a great team on the road. Roll on the backdoor and let the guy in the opposite bowl worry about facing this Mayo team that just got a kick up the backside.

  93. @Way Out West,
    There were some rules brought in about no assistance for retrieving the ball to the goalkeeper. My understanding is the goalie can have some spare balls behind the goal, but there cannot be a ball boy/girl type arrangement.
    What you see is the ball ending back over to the umpire and they place it to the side of the goals. I dunno, I guess if a few balls end up in the crowd or stuck under a hoarding one can end up as Robbie did with no spare ball available.

  94. Management need to learn quickly is the words used by Mayo supporters…. How right they are. But they must remember this is the same manager who failed to change one thing in the replay in limerick. Anyone who seen the last 10 min of the semi in Croker knew what the problem was going to be. But not Horan. As Maggie Thatcher once said ” The Lady not for turning” in Horan’s case “The manager” Any Mayo supporter who thinks were going to win Sam without a defensive system is in cloud cuckoo land. If Roscommon forwards beat our man to man system. My God I fear for Mayo if they meet Dublin and Kerry along the way.

  95. Didn’t realise there was a rule for that. Does that apply in Croke Park too I wonder? Pretty sure they have ball boys there. Either way, Robbie or David should not have to run and get the ball, it’s wasting valuable time.

  96. Exactly my point, Norris. Surely the players themselves recognise this?? Let us crowd out the opposition attack…lure them in and pounce on them when we win the ball back.

  97. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of spare balls at the goal. Robbie definitely had at least two spare at the start of the game, I noticed him kick a couple towards the goal as he was making his way there. As JP said most likely balls were slow coming back out of the Albany end. Still u don’t see this as an issue that would have much baring on the final outcome.

    Going forward, obviously Mayo are going to improve, the return of Cillian, McDonagh, Carr, Vaughan will give a boost to the panel and barring a very unlucky draw (Monaghan away) we should be well fit to navigate the first couple of qualifier games. However after that if management have not rectified the problems of Saturday night then we will get caught out and will be beaten. We simply must defend better, HB line must sit back and do their primary job of defending, protect the fb line, occupy the space in front of the fb. We must play more counter attacking football with fast ‘ll into the forwards BEFORE defensive wall is set up. We have the players to make this happen and we have the time, but the work must start now. Horan has not shown much appetite for this style of football but it’s what has to be do to progress.

  98. Have to agree with Sean Burke, JP and others about freshening things up.
    Its quite likely we will be playing a div 4 or bad div 3 team in the 1st round so we need to again back the new blood and try some more rotation, or are we just going to keep playing the same lads forever more as they are great servants.

    On saturday, as with the entire league campaign our best players were the newcomers ie Ruane, D Coen and Boland,
    Obviously you dont throw baby out with the bathwater so you need to retain a core of 7-8 well established seniors but definitely where possible new blood, promising youngsters need to be backed and trusted in champo action against div 3/4 opposition.

    We are looking at potentially 8 games in 8 weeks all going well, if we do make it to super 8s we are going to need everybody
    Horan seemed to just have plan A on saturday, 3 subs is not the best use of resources in a game like that, especially when some of the subs seemed to be pre-planned

  99. Its that Rob Hennelly that takes his time kicking the ball out as he is supposed to be able to find space and he has the “correct” trajectory for a kick out according to the experts. If you notice david clarke is always much quicker getting the ball out as he does not have the “correct” trajectory but finds a mayo man more often than not.

  100. @Just a thought.

    Thanks for correcting. I was just going from a comment a couple of days ago. Somebody had said it was sad to see more opposition support than ourselves. I thought it was the minor match they were referring to.

  101. There is a lot of deflated opinion on here which is not the norm I must say. To be fair I know Mayo played very poorly on Saturday night and in all probability they did get a little distracted with the increased hype that mushroomed after the league final win. I’m not saying that they didn’t respect Roscommon but managing a total championship focus is difficult as regardless what people say a team is likely to be stained by the confidence of those who surround them. The backs were lethargic Saturday which is soooo un Mayolike, normally they are well organized and they would strip the bark off a tree if it tried to pass them. This is something that makes ye such a difficult team to beat and needs to be rectified immediately as its there in the arsenal but it does need polishing.

    On a positive I saw that mayo only managed a 44% conversion rare and still managed a tally of 17 points which would win you most games. If ye were playing Galway last Saturday night I believe they would have had a much higher scoring average because of their attitude, nobody would be saying we’ll beat them by 10 or 12 points. That kinda talk from past players will suggest an insulting level of apathy and disrespect for the opposition and I guarantee you the Ross boys had clenched jaws and flailing nostrils when the pep talk was nearing its end. If Brady was an ex Kerry player some fella would box him in the mouth but I suppose it could be dangerous as you could easily fall in.

    Mayo are now entering knockout championship and the team will be strengthened with the return of several major players any of whom would got ye over the line on Saturday night. They will fear nobody and all who are pulled out of the bowl to play them will feel they got the worst draw of the day. Horan could have made a few changes a little earlier on Saturday but none of the managment team kicked those wide or dropped balls. Andy getting sent off deprived him of his on-field free taker and he could do little about it.

    Ross have a few lovely kicking forwards and some of their long range points were a thing of beauty to watch but the two goals were soft ones to give away and will haunt all involved. Horan has never got a kick in the arse like this before and I’m pretty sure he got a fine tan from all the positive rays of praise from all the good people of Mayo since some guy (who probably never heard it before) pressed the play button for The Green and Red of Mayo. They know that they let a huge opportunity slip here and I’d say they will have a long hard look at themselves in training tonight and going forward they will be a very different animal.

    Look at what these guys have done in the past, they simply won’t roll over and I think ye will be digging deep into the pockets up to the Super 8’s and probably beyond

  102. Even money to make the super 8 with Paddy p . We are number 8 in the pecking order .

  103. The gloom is lifting slightly as the week goes on.
    It’s seems like a long time to wait for our next game, but I’m sure we’ll all be ready for road by that point.
    The kick in the knackers we just received might not feel as painful by that point.

    I think an away draw may be best for that qualifier game, there’s almost a sense of dread anytime we play in MacHale these days.

    Good piece from Colm Keys in the Indo, might help to lift some people slightly –

  104. No doubt Galway are over the moon at the prospect of avoiding us in the Connacht Final.

  105. Observer2, I’d say Galway would have been counting on Mayo in the final, having beaten us 5 times in a row, they have no fear of playing Mayo. The days of Galway fearing Mayo are long gone.

  106. Mayo approached game with the Rossies like a Junior Club league game, warm up by Mayo was just that while the Roscommon warm up was full blooded. Soft goals again by backs not fully tuned in to what was happening , then full panic on the field with players shooting wild and wrong options with plenty of time left and then worst of all nothing happening on the line and when they act all they did was leave the team with no free taker on the field which cost the game in the end , very amateur all round for a team thats costing over a million to run each year Just not good enough

  107. I wouldn’t be too disheartened by the Roscommon result. We’ve had plenty of Championship performances like that over the years which we have come of the right side of and gone on to produce far better later in the season. I don’t think we should let this one define our Summer.

    I think this year more so than the last 3 years it might be a blessing in disguise to go the qualifier route. We have some players(COC, McDonagh, SOS) coming back from injury that could do with game time to get their match fitness/sharpness up to speed and we have a lot of inexperience in the squad that this could give vital game time to prior to tougher challenges ahead. I reckon if McLoughlin had put over the free at the end we would have gone on to beat Roscommon by 4 or 5 points in extra time. Then you’re looking at 1 more game before the Super 8’s(going by the route many people are disappointed we’re not taking). COC would likely only have got minutes from the bench in a Connaught Final. Some of the younger members of the squad may not have been risked in such a crucial game. Then you’d be facing into a probable group with Dublin, a beaten Ulster finalist and one other. That doesn’t sound like an ideal scenario.

    Now this is all dependent on the draw being kind(especially Round 2), but the qualifier route gives us a bit of breathing space and allows us to build that sharpness that is crucial to the way Horan likes to play. Outside of 1 or 2 of the Ulster teams, I wouldn’t fear anyone in the draw/draws ahead.

    I’m still banking on a long Summer. Roll on June 22nd.

  108. Nice to see a little more lightheartedness creeping into the posts above. I’m feeling a bit better now too about the qualifiers.
    Gamechanger, your comments about our backs made me burst out laughing. They can be gnarly when they want – let’s hope we see some of that back soon.
    On the road again…Hurray!

  109. I’m guessing our games will be on Saturday’s (provided we keep winning of course). A disaster for people like me who have to work Saturdays. I’m guessing it’s the TV companies dictate as to when games will be played, well a lot of the time anyway

  110. As much and all as I find Brolly annoying everything he said made perfect sense. People go on as if commentators are our enemies rather than asking ourselves why are where we are. Always excuses rather than trying to fix the problems and my God there are many and sadly not all on the field.

  111. How does venue get sorted , is there rules like lower div team gets home advantage or is it just a draw for venue ? I can’t remember these things , think I have signs of whatever that disease is where ya can’t remember stuff , I can’t think of the name of that either , good jeez .

  112. Division 3 and 4 teams automatically get home advantage. Brolly is a complete bluffer, there’s is absolutely no consistency to anything he says because the aim of his guff is to annoy people hence garnering more attention for himself. Unfortunately it seems to work as he’s talked about enough on this blog. For the record I think he’s an odious toad of a man and I turn off the tv when he’s on.

    Ya can’t beat the mayo fans though, immediately after a loss it’s widespread anger, day 2 is sadness, day 3 is acceptance and reasoned analysis, day 4 turns more positive and by day 5 its Mayo4sam again!!!

  113. In reply to SB. If we draw a team that played in Division 3 or 4 in the national league then we will be away – regardless of whether our name came out first or second. If we draw a team that played in Division 1 or 2 and our name comes out first- we are at home.
    Looking at the teams – there is a strong possability we will be away.

  114. From memory, I think the team drawn out first are at home, unless they’re Div 1 or Div 2 and they’re drawn against a Div 3 or Div 4 team.
    If that happens, the order is reversed and the Div 3/4 team will have home advantage.

  115. Prefer to be away from home tbh and if I had my way I’d bring a machine into McHale park with a decent pecker on it , demolish several rows of concrete seats and widen the pitch, it’s a fookin disaster of a spot.

  116. I agree re McHale Park. Our record there has been woeful of late and we would probably be better off away from home at this stage.

  117. What did Brolly say that wasn’t true. Firstly there was widespread panic after the goals. What major blunders did Clarke make to be dropped. Where were our leaders last Saturday and those such as coen were substituted. Why does in come back to blaming everybody else. Did Brolly cause the goalkeeper fiasco of 2016 or the two goals in 2017 or the heave of 2015 or the loss in Limerick in 2014. Did David Brady or John Maughan cause such panic in the Mayo team to cause a loss to a team with 12 starts from last year. It’s time to forget about mayo for Sam and starting building a new team. Tbh I didn’t think there was a possibility of loosing on Saturday when I walked into Machale park on Saturday that’s what make it so disappointing but what I saw with the panic and the free at the end and management performance it opened my eyes to a reality I would prefer to avoid.

  118. Well said Sean Burke, control what we can, if the wide pitch suits our play the least we should have is one at home venue.

  119. Whatever about the player it looks like the management could do with the ‘few extra games’ too!

    By the way is there two Mayomads on her?

  120. Looking forward, this particular writer friend has built no trust for himself in his comments over time about Mayo and other teams that lose games. His opinions about a team change from game to game depending on if they win or lose. I’m not a fan of this wayward writing or analysis – surely you weigh up a team’s pros and cons and write with balance. A win makes a team a great example, a loss opens the door for a stream of negative ungracious comments and, a hallmark of his, personal criticism that can border on cruelty and is often directed repeatedly in a showy way at certain persons on a team. He doesn’t mind making a show of a sportsperson and I’ve seen him pick an obvious target when that person can least defend themselves.
    What is wrong with this you might ask? I started off talking about trust – with such rudderless criticism alternating with praise for wins you don’t feel you trust the writer. You don’t feel he has a grip on the team. You find yourself thinking that this writing is worth very little because you have seen it change and change and take easy cheap shots at players who make mistakes. It’s too swashbuckling, too often destructive, while fawning over certain teams’ success as if success itself is the end goal in sport not recognising the small skills, effort, vagaries that go into making up the story.
    You might still disagree with me, Looking Forwar, but this is my take on creditable sports writing in general. For what it’s worth I don’t really want to give any more space to this particular commentator as attention is his aim, in my humble opinion, and it is wholly unmerited.

  121. I agree with you Looking Forward your points are well made. I believe that because Brolly seeks to bring an element of theatre to his punditry he rubs people up the wrong way. What angered people was the over zealous venom in his comments but you are dead right – he didn’t kick a ball for Mayo on Saturday night or concede two daft goals. By Brolly’s own admission in the past some of his more aggressive attacks are born out of a frustration because he actually wants us to do well – but as you say so eloquently Looking Forward – it’s time to rebuild and forget about the divisive opinions of Joe Brolly et al.

  122. The sad fact is. It’s not just Joe Brolly that staring the facts read Bernard Flynn in the Irish Mirror and he ststes in a different way what Brolly is saying. I’ve don’t like Brolly and usually dismiss what he has to say but it’s time to face the facts ourselves and start to rebuild sadly it’s over more or less for the old Mayo but look at the future with Ruane, Carr and Coen and the new talent mixed with Paddy Durcan so forget it and start to rebuild like Dublin and Kerry and look to the future. It’s doesnt matter who says it and what way he say it if it’s true it’s true and sadly it’s true so to the future

  123. Talk of rebuilding the team and we haven’t even had the draw for the next round..(face palm).

  124. Rebuilding can take many forms Regina – in fact Mayo are one of the best at it and proved it 2 years ago through the qualifiers. Rejuvenation is actually a better word. I don’t mean turfing out half the panel and drafting in new faces for the sake of it – I’m talking of rebuilding our resilience – working on improvements in key areas such as shot selection and decision making, free taking, tactics etc and through hard graft bringing those into the next game. James Horan made a name for this in his last stint in charge. It takes time to build these things after a set-back like we got on Saturday as it’s a gradual process. Michael Donoghue did it spectacularly with the Galway hurlers but in his first year he gave some longserving lads a last chance to prove themselves which cost Galway games that first year. The following year they were league, Leinster and All-Ireland champions. As I said – we forget about Brolly and co and focus on rebuilding (rejuvenating!) ourselves.

  125. I’m away out of the country at the minute and didn’t get to see the game. While the loss isn’t great or ideal I think the reaction on here resembles the loss in the league against Galway., i.e way OTT. We should have beaten Galway then and we should have beaten Ross now but somehow contrived to loose both. This dosnt make us a bad team or management. This talk of wholesale changes for sake of it irks me. The in form players are chosen to play simple as that. We will see how they get on in the qualifers.. no more than the league they are well capable of putting a run together. If people can’t bring themselves to see if that run materializes or not well then that’s your choice.. it won’t stop me from following this because of one bad day at the office!

  126. I cant say I read the article but using the opinions of Bernard Flynn and Joe Brolly as any sort of basis of anything to do with Mayo football is…well…unwise…other words came to mind…but pretty sure comment would be hitting the bin If used!

  127. To to hand. Agree the in form players are the ones who should be picked but if on game day their are not performing then replace them irrespective of what status.

  128. On the road again is it Regina with Sam 19 in sight. After last Saturday night with a team that was unable to taken down Roscommon with 12 new starts. Cunningham is not bonded to the old he’s focus is on the new with energy and determination. We seemed at times just going through the routine without any serious intent on winning. One point up against 14 man novice Roscommon. Time to take your head out of the clouds where everything is rosy and beautiful. Mayo fans deserved better than what was served up last Saturday and we sure have the young players to do it and sure if Roscommon can do it sure and certain Mayo can

  129. On the bright side.

    We had 2 great wins from our u17’s and u20’s. Great to see we have more footballers on the way.

    We got bet by 1 point by what were a Division 1 team earlier in the year on a night when we couldn’t seem to put a foot right. With the exception of a couple of storming displays from O’shea and Coen we were way off the boil and things couldn’t have played out any worse than they did.

    Even with effort, we couldn’t be this poor again for the remainder of the year. Even with this lack lustre below par performance we nearly beat a top 8 team and they playing to the top of their potential.

    All the Dubs have to look forward too is the same auld boring 100% excellence, that everyone in the Country, bar themselves is sick in the hole looking at.

    By Jesus, not us. We’ll bring the surprises. Going to a Mayo game is like opening a lucky bag. Hard to know what will pop out at yea. No boring the hole off yea shite at our games.

    Goodman Horse Sweeney. Warm up the Carr.

  130. What was the story on Colm Boyle on Sat. Was he injured? He’d have softened some Rossie coughs. Surely good for the last 20 mins at least???

  131. Re Colm Boyle..Well if he was injured, Why was he on the 26? … Everyone can’t be injured, can they?

  132. Boyle definitely wasn’t injured. Himself and Loftus did an extensive warm up along the sideline for most of the 2nd half. They looked fit and ready.

  133. Looking forward..I’m under no illusions as to the issues facing the team..But cheers for the reality check.

  134. I’ve been observing for some time now that the home team in Croker (wearing blue jersies) always have a couple of ball boys behind each set of posts?;

  135. Just love this Revellino !!

    “By Jesus, not us. We’ll bring the surprises. Going to a Mayo game is like opening a lucky bag. Hard to know what will pop out at yea. No boring the hole off yea shite at our games.”

    We got a kick up the arse Saturday night no doubt about it ! there needs to be MUST be a reaction by team & management on 22nd June I fully expect there will be … we go again we’ve no choice …

  136. Far too much blowing your own trumpet , I’m all for confidence even aragonce but there comes a time when ya have to pipe down after bad results and failures .

    The dream of sam Maguire is over . That’s the harsh reality of the situation . We are well back now . It really is one game at a time for now . Quietly go about your business and see how it pans out .

  137. I would take 100% excellence and Sam any day of the week Revelino. If I want surprises I’d take myself off to the circus! On Boyle….why didn’t he play? If he was named on the the panel then surely he wasn’t injured? Makes little sense.

  138. Our favourite Galway-based pundit has copied and pasted from his previous few articles in the Indo and has produced a mish-mash containing references to ‘you know who’ and ‘you know what’, updated for summer 2019! Mayo are just the gift that keeps on giving!

  139. A 90 year old man gave me a statistic today..I hadn’t the heart to tell him that half the country already knows of it.
    He told me, that after Mayo won their 3 NFL titles in 1970, 2001 and 2019, they then lost to Roscommon in that year’s Connacht Championship..
    But then he told me of another one. When Mayo won their fabled All Ireland titles in 1950 and 51, they were tipped to make it 3 in a row in 1952…No back door in those days.
    And yes, you guessed it, Mayo we’re knocked out of the 1952 Connacht Championship by Roscommon !!!

  140. I know we should ignore the so called experts but what annoys me about them is their inconsistency. Brolly lambasted Mayo for ages but when we got knocked out last year he bemoaned the fact there was no one left to give dubs a game.Flynn was salivating from the mouth when we won the league. One defeat later and we are the worst team ever. Did you ever hear such inconsistent bullshit.At the moment brolly is enjoying a love in with the dubs but other than that he has nothing to offer. He looked a right eejit on the Sunday Game. For once appearances were not deceptive

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