Thursday’s coverage


Photo: @Andrewforde_IRE

Okay, we survived the Junior Cert and its aftermath last night and now another day has dawned, one more closer to Sunday’s decider. I have to dash out the door soon to see an hombre about a proverbial perro so this gallop through the coverage that’s out there today has to be that bit faster than usual.

Let’s start this time with the Irish Examiner. John Fogarty looks at the tactical tricks that Stephen Rochford and his colleagues (he name-checks Tony McEntee in this respect, but not Donie Buckley – he’s a man who hasn’t gone away, you know, and will I’d reckon be central to any strategic wizardry we come up with) could deploy on Sunday. It’s an interesting list, one that he divides between gambits that might work and those that might not.

The same writer has a separate piece today (here) on the coup and poses the question about whether or not a win for us would constitute the strongest argument yet for player power. It might, it might not is, I think, the answer. Context is everything, as are results, with the whole narrative about this group of players – including the heave – dependent on what happens out on the field on Sunday.

Mike Finnerty has an interesting piece in the Examiner as well today (here) focusing on the fans from outside that county, around the world in fact, who have been converted to the cause. This echoes the discussion in yesterday’s Mayo News podcast with Pat Lam and the Sky Sports lads and it’s further proof that the Mayo story is one that so many are attracted to. Me Akamore man too and all that.

Former Dublin player Johnny Magee, speaking to Paul Keane in the Examiner, says we should basically come into Sunday’s contest with the fists flying. Hmmm, not exactly a well grounded piece of deep analytical thinking there but sure everyone entitled to their opinion.

Last one from the Examiner, Conor Mortimer talks about his pal and clubmate Stephen Cluxton. Crossing over to the Irish Independent, there’s a similar piece with Mort by Michael Verney (here).

Also in the Indo, Bomber Liston lays out quite a plausible argument as to why we have the capability to win on Sunday, finishing with the following peroration:

Their motivation levels will be through the roof after all the off-field controversy. They have every bit of ammunition needed to spur them on and the script is already written for them. They just need the biggest 70 minutes of their lives to turn it into reality.

Good man, Bomber.

In the Irish Times, meanwhile, there’s a stats piece on Aidan O’Shea and how best we should use him. That one is here.

There’s more, there’s lots more, I know, but it’s all becoming a bit of a blur at this stage. Also remember what I said about that man and that dog? I’m outta here, back with another guest post (maybe two) later on.

The last Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto draw before Sunday’s final will be held this coming Friday, where six more tickets for the decider will be up for grabs. Play the Lotto here.

80 thoughts on “Thursday’s coverage

  1. There must be some money being lobbed on Dublin this week! We have gone from 11/4 to 3/1 and now sit at 10/3… Of course I backed us at 8/1 after the Fermanagh game so happy out!! On the other hand the odds of me getting a ticket are about 1000/1 at this stage, but most of the draws I’ve entered are on tonight or tomorrow night so fingers crossed…

  2. David Brady’s team pick is fairly radical but there’s surely a strong case for picking Chris Barrett.
    That frees up Keith Higgins and I think we need a curve ball for our corner forward pick too. We have so many options there with incumbent J Doc, COS, Barry, Regan, Freeman, Loftus each offering different things. And Keith at 15 frees Aido to make forays into FF line as Keith would play further out. However 2 man FF line makes short kickouts easy for Dublin so that would need addressing.
    One article suggested the unthinkable dropping Andy on the other side but there’s merit in it because the Dubs won’t want him to have a big influence. That could happen if COS flying in training or we use Barry as a twin tower. Then Andy would be first sub in the forwards. That said ye want a form player to be on the pitch for as much of the 70 as possible and maybe a fearless youngster like Regan or Loftus can be used as the late game breaker. A big game from Diarmaid would go a huge way to a Mayo win as he’s a new leader in our team.

  3. I was just looking at the odds too. I cant believe Mayo are drifting out.

    It really is set up for a massive ambush. I mean you couldn’t script it any better!

  4. Ha Jaden. Maybe it’s time to pepper the Dubs! I’m so looking forward to this game and think it can go any way. Hoping that Mayo turn up the intensity and refuse to give Dubs their sacred time on the ball. Intensity and ferocity are essential. I’ll leave the picking of the team to Stephen and his advisors. It can be Mayo’s day. Up Mayo

  5. Andy needs to be on the pitch at the end of the game if we are to close out the game – I’m convinced of that. Without him there, our forwards formation and potency falters – as I pointed out before, he has more often than not he has not been on the field at the close of our critical games and I believe it cost us. Whether that means not starting him the next day and bring him on later in the game or starting him, taking him off at half time and then bringing him on for the last 15, he needs to be there at the game close. I believe how we use Andy is critical to our chances on Sunday

  6. Agree with you Mayo Mark, take off Andy on, 25″min, Tein Towers Big Time. until half time Ultra defensive first 10″of the second half then bring him back Andy on 45 mins.. Last 10,Barry knocking it down in FF to Cillian and Andy that should keep Cooper and the Philistine back,

  7. It’s all been written I know but just two points strike me at the moment. We must concede as few frees as possible within the 55 yard line because Dean Rock, who’s on fire this year with his unerring free taking, will convert any that we cough up. A look at the statistics shows that in our games this year we have been giving away needless frees through sloppy tackling. Yet our tackling over the last few years had been so crisp. I know Donie Buckley will have raised the ante in this respect. He’s been a tremendous asset to Mayo and in what is probably his last year with us let the players stick rigidly to his methods. No flailing arms as a Dublin player flies past us, please!

    Secondly, the Dubs once again have the advantage of their home venue, Croke Park, and also, of course, the massed choirs on Hill 16. What an advantage the Hill is as their fans sing in unison “Come on, ye boys in blue’!! We will have to combat it with massed
    choirs in the Hogan Stand and Cusack Stand singing our lusty May-o, May-o. And please plenty of colour. Forget about the skimpy things about the neck – wear the jersey with pride and wave mammoth green and red flags and banners. Above all, never become silent when things may not be going our way. Jump to your feet and urge on our boys. They deserve it for all they’ve given us over the past six years!

    Finally, I think we’re in an ideal position. We’re rank outsiders – we’ve never played well when favourites. We’re playing a top team – we never play well against a so-called inferior team. And we’ve won all our games – apart from the Tyrone engagement – while playing badly. So we’re due ONE big game. Sunday will provide it !!

    C ‘mon Mayo! Up Mayo! Mayo for Sam!

  8. Jaden, I can see your nervous smile shining through those words of yours! Don’t be worrying, sure Mayo are just going along to kick the ball out to youse before your Corinthians are Coronated.

  9. Everyone should watch rocky 4 I’m telling ye Tis mighty movie. Great music and great motivation. Classic David v goliath. Dublin are not machines. They are men. Flesh and blood.

  10. Dublin have shown to be most vulnerable between 25 and 50 minutes according to what I read and that is true. 2nd and 3rd quarter we need Andy on the pitch. He has the guile to unlock dublin and create space for others.

  11. I can’t believe the bookies odds against Mayo. Did they not see the semi-final matches last year? It was so close. Here are a few reasons for optimism compared to last year

    1. Aidan O Shea was a marked man at full forward last year after he had demolished the Galway, Sligo and Donegal full back line. Dublin double marked him and together with poor ball going into him Aidan had a very poor game. For Gods sake Philly Mc Mahon scored more that him. I don’t expect he will be so easily marked this year as his role is far more versatile. He is a huge factor in the game and expect a major performance this year.

    2. We were messing about with a sweeper system last year and let in a lot of goals before we met Dublin. This year that will not happen. We have a proper sweeper system now and goals are scarce against us this year. It was the goals which unhinged us last year.

    3. I believe Paddy Andrews cost us the match last year. He was brilliant in both matches and scored 5 points from play in the replay. He was putting them over from every angle and was named the man of the match. He has scarcely made an appearance for Dublin this year and appears to be off form.

    4. Andy Moran came on a sub last year and was effective for a short time. This year he is back to his best and his movement at FF is a central cog in our forward play. Last year we depended too heavily on Aidan and Cillian for scores. With Andy and Diarmuid at full pitch we have a more more varied approach and will be much harder for for the Dublin backs to read.

    I am not saying that the pattern of these matches will be the same as last year and you don’t know what Dublin will pull out of the hat. However, with O’Carroll and Mc Caffrey gone and Brogan and Flynn merely shadows of what they once were, it does make a joke of the bookies odd against Mayo.

  12. Thanks WJ.

    Thought Bomber’s piece was quite good, sharp too in places. One of his key points is that our tackling has been less than perfect this year and that Rochy and co need to be really tuned in to what Conor Lane will and won’t allow. And, we hope that the video analysis will cover the Galway game; not sure if there’s much point in looking at the Mitchels’ game – even if McEnaney, and Reilly were reffing it together, they could hardly have matched what we inflicted on ourselves that day.

  13. Mayo are coming into this match at odds of 10/3 to win while Dublin are 4/11. Its fair to say Mayo are huge underdogs for this match. Bookies in fairness rarely get it wrong, but ina 2 horse race anything can happen. Over the years it is common for the underdog to come from nowhere and claim the biggest prize, just look at Leicester City and Connaght Rugby this year. Back through the years there have been plenty of David V Goliath battles where the unfancied have won out. Here are a few of my favourites.
    Ireland 19 England 13 6 nations 2004
    The world champions suffered their first defeat in years in their own backyard, against a controlled focused Irish Side that were not in awe of the opposition
    Buster Douglas V Mike Tyson 1990
    Billed as “Tyson Is Back!”, occurred in Tokyo in 1990 in which then undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson lost via knockout to the 42–1 underdog Buster Douglas. The fight is widely considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
    Goran Ivaniševi? Wimbledon Mens Singles Champion 2001
    During the summer of 2001, Ivaniševi? was ranked the World No. 125 and was awarded a wildcard for entry into the singles draw as he had been runner up previously. It was Ivaniševi?’s first singles final since 1998. In a match lasting just over three hours, Ivaniševi? defeated Patrick Rafter 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7.Two months shy of his 30th birthday, Ivaniševi? became the lowest-ranked player and the first wildcard entry to win Wimbledon. To date, he is the only male entrant to have won a Grand Slam as a wildcard.
    Offaly V Kerry 1982 All Ireland Football Final (still my favourite)
    Kerry were the defending champions and were hoping to win a record-breaking fifth successive championship title, a feat never before achieved by a county in either Football or Hurling. At the time they were deemed to be unbeatable. In the final that year they faced an Offaly team they had beaten in the same stage the previous year by 7 points. In one of the most iconic and dramatic finals seen at Croke Park ever, a late Seamus Darby goal sealed an historic victory against the unbeatable Kerry team on a final shoreline of Offaly 1-15 kerry 0-17.
    The great Golfer Arnold Palmer one stated “ Always make a total effort even when the odds are against you”, ring very through for the victories quoted here and for Mayo on Sunday. Ben Hogan went one further when you consider the current buzz word in GAA “Intensity” (you can see the D’unbeleivables using this phrase in an U14 match) by stating “If you cant outplay them, outwork them”. Outwork.Intensity. Big Shift. Focued. Hunger. Anyone fancy a flutter?

  14. The Magee piece on Hogan Stand is talking about who Mayo will target. Not surprisingly he says that St Philly of Ballymun and Blessed Dermo of Marino are the innocents that will be singled out by Stephen Rochford and subsequently provoked by the western savages.

    OK, I have paraphrased it a bit, but what he is at is trying to start the Dublin = innocent, Mayo = guilty message in a pathetic attempt to influence the ref. We need to put pressure on all we can to call him out on this nonsense before it builds up a head of steam

  15. I’m not too enamoured of the over emphasis on individuals importance and likely contributions…important they are only in terms of how they all fit into the team.I’d prefer a bit more focus on the word cooperative! No individual is goin to win it and it’s not only unfair but far wide of the mark. When we look back at this great victory on Sunday we will be lauding a team of remarkable cohesion who played for each other,played their own game and yet beat the Dubs at theirs!
    Things are getting a bit fidgety around here. I’m even imagining that the swallows are in talks on the wires…..” Will we wait till after Sunday or maybe we’ll stay for another week”!!!

  16. @Dave, of course I’m nervous, it’s the week before all Ireland Sunday!

    It does look like you have been infected with a dose of Yerraitis, possibly you’ve been in close contact with Kerry supporters recently. I suggest the remedy of a good, solid reality check. It is alas, wishful thinking to believe that the slightest inkling of complacency will be visible in Croke Park come Sunday.

    That Eamon Donoghue’s article in the IT is a solid piece of analysis. He rightly points out the ineffectiveness of AOS in FF, and the suggests a counter-to-the-sweeper role, which I think would give the best return for his efforts.

    On the other hand, I’ve read Bombers piece twice, and have yet to see a single original idea presented.

    Magee’s piece doesn’t say lot either, it’s just column filler. Anyone who doesn’t that that Dermo, Philly, Leeroy or Big Aido are not going to come in for special attention, should probably take up supporting a different sport. Although his take on a timid approach is right, it can’t be allowed.

    Timid entry, timid exit. An all Ireland is no place to be holding back anything.


  17. Jaden
    No Kerry connections or dealings of any sort. I’ll just take your word for it that the dubs won’t be complacent and won’t believe all the world telling them how great they are.

  18. W.j. . Think you need to get back to the ould sod for a while. Pesto and peppers ! A long way from pesto and peppers you were reared i’d guess.

  19. @Dave, Looks like Yerra might have gone airborne, and has been carried up by our prevailing winds. A worrying development. 🙂

    No need to take my word for anything. It’s an opinion, nothing more. I base it rightly or wrongly on what I see and hear. The label of Dublin as more than 2:1 underdogs by the poll in this (fine) site has me concerned though. It looks like you guys know something I don’t.

    Good News: The Weather forecast for Sunday has improved again, looks like we’ll get a dry day – always a key ingredient for good football. COYBIB.

  20. With Inbetweener on that the team need to perform as a collective, No player is going to win it on their own. We do need our key players in top form, but we need all others to step up also. Interesting that, a player seldom mentioned this season and indeed not sure to be a started the next day, Jason Doherty is our top scorer from play this season with 3-4 and he hasn’t started every game either. So despite all the talk of our star players, J Doc has scored more than any of them! So big performances from the like of Jason, Durkan, Harrison, subs, etc. is probably as important if not more than the stars who will be most watched by opposition.

  21. Just on reading the article in the Irish Times and the best use of Aidan O’Shea. I always wondered if my old view of the 3-3-2-3-3 is now history. Are we now in a 5-4-5 situation with two attacking midfielders and two defending midfielders with the adaptability to turn from defence into attack with four attacking mid-fielders and two attacking wing backs.

    I am not much for the finer points of tactics but in this formation it is useful to think of Aidan as an attacking mid fielder with a permit to do what he wants. Too many times he has been played in a stationery role which allows him to be smothered by the Dublin defence. A more mobile Aidan O’Shea would be harder to pin down and I would love to see him doing what he does best…….running at the Dublin defence and not waiting for high ball to come into him. If you want that option just put in Barry Moran knocking down the ball to Andy. I fancy Andy will score a goal or two for us in this scenario.

  22. Jaden, if the winds are able to carry yerra itis to the part of the world I’m living in then God help the rest of humanity. It’ll have circum navigated the planet. I’ll take your word for that too. Anyway, best of luck on Sunday. I’ll leave the last word of this to you, on Monday I’ll congratulate or commiserate with you.

  23. Sad indeed to hear of Greg Maher. Am I right in thinking Johnno made a big call by selecting him for the final against Cork in ’89 – his championship debut?

  24. @Jaden, unfortunately weather Forecast has turned sour again, (not enough wind, to blow weather front through) see 5 day weather forecast on

    Go to – Forecasts – 5 day Forecast and check the rainfall tab

  25. I have read many opinions on who Mayo should target! If anybody is to be hit early or put off their game it should be Rock. I read he has a 93% success rate from free’s and averages 9 points a game. For my own averages I have been reading the sport section of 8 papers a day(left in my work place reception) and visiting many many sites every day to gorge on the All-Ireland build up, one commonality sticks out from fans and neutrals. Everyone expects Dublin to perform but most feel, not expect Mayo to perform. I was confident we would beat Tyrone I don’t have a clue about this one, but I suppose because I am a Mayo man I have this gut feeling like I always do that we will be fantastic and give the team performance of a life time and Win.

  26. According to Yr.No (here) it’s Sunday morning that’s set to be wetter, with less rain from 1pm onwards. It’s still too soon, though, to be in any way certain about this.

  27. Orjolo, hopefully we can win a game of football with hurting any player. Rock is a great free taker and the best way to stop him, no freedom as few as possible unless it’s to stop a goal.

  28. The overalls are binned. The suit is down and ready. We’re gonna dance!
    Expect a thunderous performance from players, management and supporters.

    Mayo by 3. End of.

  29. pebbles

    I think if we win this game, we may not know afterwards how we won the game, because it will take everyone playing to a level & a system that is simply efficient, but not extraordinary. The media will say the dubs had an off day and mayo scraped through.

    The reality will be, that each mayo player beat their counterpart and the Dublin “process” never got processing. Something along the lines of “The computer says no!!”, followed by BUT, “the computer says no!!!”.

  30. As for Rock? No need for any sledging or belting or risking any cards early in the game. If someone was to, purely by accident of course, land heavily and awkwardly down on his left ankle/Achilles area it might be a good outcome for Mayo. Say, oh I don’t know, a rake of a studded boot down the back of his left ankle. Just enough to make him aware that his standing foot for frees is no longer so solid. That’s all I’m saying.
    It would be a cleaner move than the cowardly act his father perpetrated in ’85 when his free-taking foot was introduced to John Finns jaw, as John was on the ground and un-sighted. Thereby breaking his jaw and removing him from the game.

  31. Dave..I agree with you I would want to see Mayo win this game by fair means, based on footballing skill and intelligence. The reality is every team targets the opposition’s most dangerous players. Leroy did it to Connolly and admitted to it “Dark Arts”. Philly McMahon did it to O’Shea, Cooper and the Star. Although in McMahon’s case it’s more like assault and I reckon it cost him player of the year last year. I am totally against purposely trying to injure a player. But hitting them a good few fair sholders to let them know your around and being in their face all day can syc out or disrupt out many a player.

  32. Update weather – Severe weather warning forecasted for Sunday, mainly effecting the D9 area initially at 3.30pm spreading across the city by 5.30. The aftermath effects are expected to be long term physiological damage on Dublin residents.
    All Dublin residents are advise to stay indoor and switch off all electrical appliances to minimise damage during the hours of 3.30pm-5.00pm on Sunday.

  33. I thinks it’s the hotheads in the dub team that will be doing to punching, we know who they are are how they operate. We pull the pin and wait for it.

  34. @Logic – I hope it’s not floods of tears from Mayo fans. That whole area is a flood plain, if that comes to pass they may as well rename Fagan’s the “Atlantis Inn”.

    Joking aside, We are looking at undeniably the two most physical teams in the game. It’s not witchcraft to predict that there will be big hits going in. Getting an early feel for what the Ref is letting go/pulling up on will be important for both teams.

    Mainly because both teams have the capacity to punish indiscipline in the opposing back lines.

    On that, while Rock has a 93% accuracy record this year, and Cillian is not at the heady peaks he was a season or two ago, it is worth looking at the respective dead ball games.

    I won’t burden you with the endless stats (Our good friend DontFoul is a master of analysis), but while Rock has a higher percentage of success, Cillian seems to be more capable on the lower percentage shots.

    It’s a quality Vs Quantity comparison, and it will be interesting to see if the Sidelines have picked up on this.

    I could swear the clock just started going backwards, time is dragging. COYBIB.

  35. @Jaden says; Yes your are correct it will be compounded with floods of tears from Mayo fans – Tears of JOY!!!!!

  36. Hope the weather does not spoil it as a spectacle….the rain would ruin the quality of football I feel. Dublin trounced Kerry physically last year in the rain in terms of possession and physicality…I just think that Dublin have too much quality overall to be beaten……they have less pressure on.them than Mayo. Will be a tight game but Dublin to win by 5 or 6 points I feel.

  37. Maybe we should dedicate this final to John Finn. A mysterious object circulating around Croke Park 1985 SF v Dublin mysteriously broke Johns jaw. Legend has it that the pope considered it as secretive as the Fatima ones.

  38. Absolutely shocked at the passing of Greg.We simply had too many midfielders in 1989 with Sean Maher, Greg, TJKilgallon and Willie Joe of course all used to playing there so they swapped them around.Damn near beat Cork too…ask Anthony Larry.
    Greg R.I.P and I hope you use whatever influence you can for us on Sunday.We should remember though football is not everything and Greg will be remembered by many.Condolences to his family.

  39. I see keenly sliced well prepped peppers, the whole is still, clear and visible. Regarding your risible “cut to shreds” analogy, well your going to have to wait just a little while longer to see that happen Jaden, my man/woman. It’s hard to know for sure these days. We’re comming in from the West, hail, rain or shine. It will make no difference. This is our time . The wait is nearly over. Mayo abu.

  40. Sad to hear about Greg Maher, great memories as a young buck getting up every Saturday morning watching a taped version of that ’89 final, over and over again, idolising Greg and the rest a that team. Puts it all in perspective really, end of the day Sunday is just a game of football. R.I.P to a Mayo great.

  41. If Mayo do win, I would be quite positive for Gaelic football but I just can’t see it. Diarmuid Connolly will be on form this time unlike last year in semi replay (decision to let him play only given at 3am of match addition the Dublin bench is much stronger than the Mayo one and they all have two or three all-Ireland winners medals…..

  42. Recorded madforsam from kitimagh and watched it back last night..not normally into these type programmes but I had tears in my eyes watching an interview with paddy prendergast talking about the win in 1951..started describing it to the work crew this morning and one of the women started crying too!!.tis very bad lads..emotional wrecks already..

  43. Indeed, Regina! Gaa Magic – you’re more than welcome to comment here but you’d need to be bringing a bit more to the debate aside from drip-feeding downers about our chances for that welcome to remain in place.

  44. GaaMajic, If Lee Keegan is on his game, its irrelevant how Diarmuid Connolly plays, Keegan is the superior player, simple as..

  45. Sad to hear about Greg Maher. A fine footballer RIP.
    There’s nothing wrong with AOS at FF and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t venture in on occasions. Shhhh…..! He ll be having a few co workers in close attendance this time….v close! Havoc…! The Dubs will be d e v a s t a y e d d d !!

  46. The Dublin forwards find it so much easier to score than Mayo….just a fact. Connolly is streets ahead of Keegan and I am being totally objective here. Mayo struggled hugely against Tipperary in the semi-final and suddenly you feel like they are going to be able to match Dublin for pace, sharpness and athleticism for 70 minutes or possibly 75 minutes?? Where does such optimism come from? Cannot see anything but a blue hand on the cup again on Sunday…just my opinion but supported by sporting evidence. Anyway good luck to both teams. RIP to Greg Maher.

  47. Haha, Connolly streets ahead of Keegan, very funny. If he was so far ahead why did he resort to throwing fists to get the better of Leeroy. Connolly is a talented player no question but he is also a [deleted], Keegan knows he has the better of him and its a good bet that Connolly doesnt make half time. Dublin are better than Mayo in a number of areas but not where Lee Keegan happens to be standing.

  48. Right, gaamagic – you’re starting to veer towards wind-up territory here. This isn’t a place for that posting stuff with the clear aim of provoking a reaction so consider this your first and last warning.

  49. A lot of what u say GAAMagic is true and logic points to a Dublin victory… What is it? Something like 27 games unbeaten in league and championship? The bookies have them raging hot fav’s.

    Logic doesn’t always work in sport and if Mayo don’t believe they can win then they won’t. Mayo supporters too must believe. That’s why the overwhelming majority of comments here on this site are positive about Mayo’s chances and bullish at times.

    We all know that most of the country think Dublin are borderline unbeatable. Stats would prove as much but all you need is a chance and Mayo have that. Who knows what might happen!

  50. mayomad – don’t be lowering yourself to social media level by calling someone a thug. No place for it in the GAA.

  51. You beat me to it, Yew Tree! Mayomad – I’ve deleted that bit of your comment. No need to be levelling that kind of abuse at any player lining out on Sunday, regardless of which jersey he wears.

  52. Slightly off topic I feel embarrassed and that’s as a season ticket holder that goes to every match that I have a ticket for Sunday and Cora Staunton and a lie of the ladies team have not. I hope someone sorts them out with tickets the ladies team have given us some great days out too over the years and have put their heart and soul into representing Mayo. As for that gowel of a senator cribbing that she has no ticket well maybe she doesn’t deserve one and certainly doesn’t deserve one over Cora and the Gilroy lady and indeed the entire ladies panel that came so close to getting to the final as well

  53. I suppose that at this stage millions of words have been written about this match. And I’m sure the truth is buried in among them somewhere but who has got it right? I’m damned if I know. Only time will tell. And afterwards it will all seem very sensible and straightforward. Personally, I’m getting kind of weary at this stage and I don’t know what to think anymore. I’m just living on the edge of hope.
    In my time I’ve come to learn that football is a funny game and anything can happen. At its most basic, it’s 15 v 15, it’s on-the-day stuff and it’s as much about courage, heart and desire as it is about skill, fitness and tactics. I hope our lads can see their way to giving it everything they can possibly muster for that 75 minutes. And maybe that might be enough. Maybe this time……you’d never know!

  54. RIP Greg Maher. Started AI Final in 1989. Strong man like his brother Sean. Mayo odds drifting. No surprise there as all logic points to Dublin win.In fairness gaamagic made some valid points, but undermined his argument by saying Connolly was way better than Keegan. Connolly is a class act but so too is Leeroy. I am a small bit worried about our potential indiscipline. Keegan will be a marked man after past indiscretions so must do nothing silly which might give the ref a reason to send him off. SOS must not repeat his silly black card offence on Cooper and our backs cant afford to foul like they have been doing. Though I am a massive fan of Andy I can see the logic of not starting him. Cooper is very fast and sticky and if he gets the better of Andy from the start then it would be a huge blow to us. In contrast just imagine the great lift Andy would give us coming on early in 2nd half. Mayo must keep dubs guessing throughout. Be unorthodox, do what they least expect and keep them on the back foot. Despite the odds and despite all known logic, I feel this is a game we can win, but we will have to be really clever throughout. Enjoyed Mad for Sam on Tuesday and thought Donaghy was great. His humour and sincerity were enjoyable and he went up a lot in my opinion. Up Mayo.

  55. GaaMajic, fact is that when Keegan marks Connolly, Connolly does not pick up an All Star, have you noticed that…

  56. Looking forward to the game on Sunday. I obviously hope Mayo do it but if they do, it will not be easy. Dublin have the current crop of outstanding players but there are a couple of teams that can turn them over on a given day, we came very close but close doesn’t cut the mustard.

    The weather on Sunday could have a particular effect as Mayo are rediculously under valued given the permetuations of the tactics and players involved regarding their experience.

    At the Kerry Dublin game I despaired at the amount of possession we turned over. We coughed up more opportunities to our rival than Hilary Clinton did in her pneumonic spell did to Trump and I kid you not. There were a few occasions when we had the ball and were in really strong positions when players took very naive options that turned potential decisive moments into moments of despair.

    Point I am making is that we could well have won that game and on Sunday ye can guard that opportunity to ensure success. Dublin have an absolute law of keep possession and they used that law of keep ball to detrimental effect. One of the contagens of the modern game is our instinctive reaction to try to protect against the northern system of the running game which has blighted the sport for the past decade or more.

    Thing is that the dubs are a running team but quintessentially they are a real football team with all the necessary skills to skin any team on the day. They rely on the code of possession and when we played them we suffered the modern curse of cover the attack lines and thus afforded then the ability of playing hold the ball until they developed an opportunity inside which came on too mane occasions for our somewhat alien defensive system to snuff out.

    Our kick outs cost us a heavy toll and I hope Rochford learnt a thing or two from our shortcomings on this aspect of our play. Kerry were not lucky against the dubs for their goals as they came from well positioned players applying intelligent pressure on vulnerable positions and if Mayo can unsettle Cluxton his head will melt as it always does but the secret to this is to do it either late in the first half followed by another anomaly early in the second half. He is a total chocolate head and if ye raise the temperature his head will melt, God all you have to do is look at him when things go any way awray on his expected controlled chess game,,

    The reality is if ye play as ye can ye can beat them with a few points to spare but if ye play as ye have been playing thus far in the Championship then this will be an absolute train wreck and that’s all there is too it. I love the footballers of both Mayo and Dublin as they are in truth the keepers of the flame but on Sunday if there is and sign of ball shrinkage well !!

    Deserve has nothing to do with winning but I would love to see Andy, Keith, Boyler and a few more of the weathered warriors finally driving a Celtic Cross into the heart of their shield so that the generations that follow can place their hand on its bludgeoned face and rub their thumb on the chiseled cold cold that says “this day I was the best in Ireland”

    Good luck from me and all hold my flag.

  57. That should have said chiseled Gold !,, aah well I hope that is not a Freudian slip,, Good Luck To The Great Mayo Team on Sunday

  58. Lads and lassies stop naming out opposition players for special attention; let’s get some army ranger logic in here…SHOOT AND BAYONET EVERY BLUE JERSEY IN SIGHT!!

  59. Best I have seen Gamechanger,you are correct,Kerry gave up a lot of possession very easily in my opinion,both from kick outs and out the field,and still nearly beat Dublin,I don’t believe that we will give up easy possession,also while we have played well,apart from Galway we have done enough so that is fine by me,as for this strong Dublin panel,Mayo has a serious panel as well,not trying to guess our lineup but if we say we can call players in like C Barrett,S Coen,S Nally,B Moran, C O S, C Loftus, A Freeman, A Dillon,and E Regan to name but some of our panel I believe we have a stronger panel than Dublin,I am sure that there will be some new ideas for the start of the match as well.i also believe that our management team is superior also ,Stephen has changed things as needed,and he was not afraid to bring in somebody as strong as himself in his back room is up to the players to perform on Sunday I have full faith in them,can you see one player taking a step backwords for the game,I cant,what has gone before will have no influence on Sunday,we will win,and will win by at least six,up Mayo

  60. @Gamechanger – A very good post.

    You are bang on the money. The Dubs play a possession game. They function optimally when the secure their own, and when they turnover the opposition.

    Whatever about Dublin’s kickouts, Kerry’s kickout form wasn’t great, Fenton had a field day stealing possession, and Kerry coughed up 3-4 points from turned over kickouts. The Mayo backroom team will be wide to this, I can see the short kickout being the default for both teams.

    Again, and I hate to harp on about it, AOS in midfield for kickouts is a no-brainer. His fielding is often sublime, but what he needs is support once he has the ball – something that has been missing at times in the past . Also, the role required needs legs, and I wonder if he has them. He’s easily going to need to cover 12-14Km on Sunday, it’s a big ask to drag that size of a frame over that distance.

    Guessing the starting 15 for either side is an exercise in futility. Even when named, I would place no need that that will be how it pans out. Kev McMen wasn’t named last day out, and yet there he was.

    At a wild guess, I reckon O’Gara will start, and Andy won’t. They need him on the pitch at the end, when it counts. Even with his fitness resurgence this season, it’s a gamble to have him play the full 75+. O’Gara is the tactical hand grenade. I’ve always though his unpredictability on the ball is mainly due to the fact that even he doesn’t even know what he’s going to do half the time.

    In contrast to earlier games, I reckon Dublin will go for the Jugular from the start, if Mayo weather that storm, it’s game on. COYBIB.

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