Tickets, tackling and stuff

All-Ireland semi-final 2015 Hill and Nally terrace

As we know from last year, being in an All-Ireland semi-final replay doesn’t give much time to pause for breath. There’s still loads going on and being said about Sunday’s drawn match but Saturday evening’s replay is coming rapidly into view so it’s a case of picking and choosing what to focus on in these frantic days in between.

The obvious place to start is with tickets. As has already been flagged in the comments, the Bring a Friend option for season ticket holders came and went in less than half an hour this morning. In my case, the two emails (the first saying the option was open, the second saying it was sold out) arrived into my inbox at the same time but luckily The Brother had tipped me off and so I managed to get my two additional tickets before the shutters came down. Many of you won’t, I know, have been so lucky.

The whole ticket situation already has an air of chaos about it. First there was the downright unfairness of releasing tickets for sale online right after the game while our supporters were still on the road home. Then there was the issue about the site crashing repeatedly on Sunday night and again yesterday.

It wasn’t long yesterday either before the first signs of touting appeared, with tickets being sold on Done Deal and elsewhere for well above face value. And now it’s emerged that this low-life behaviour was facilitated directly by the GAA itself with the official Croke Park ticket office on Dorset Street placing no limit on the number of tickets that could be bought over the counter. Little wonder there were queues round the corner yesterday morning.

Ticket distribution via the clubs still has to happen, of course, but the best anyone can hope for on that score is the same allocation as for last Sunday, if even that. The way things stand, it looks as if getting a ticket for Sunday’s hurling final will be a far easier proposition than it will be for Saturday evening’s replay.

Dublin’s discipline (or the lack of it) is also in focus today. Colm Keys has a good piece in this morning’s Irish Independent (here) on the issue and John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner looks at the lack of discipline in the match in general, by providing a blow-by-blow (pun intended) account of what happened last Sunday and what frees were given (or not as the case may have been).

There are two issues with this. The first relates to Jim Gavin’s Janus-like hypocrisy about how his team plays. Two years ago, Gavin claimed he “would be loathe to think anyone would say Dublin are cynical” and that he’d “take a step back if that was the case”. He also said (think Jonny Cooper and Philly McMahon while you digest this one) that his players have “a duty of care” when playing in the Dublin jersey. The article containing these quotes is here.

All that pious guff from 2013 has, of course, been repeatedly shown to be pure nonsense. But perhaps what’s more worrying (and I’m moving into the health and safety area here) is that Gavin appears to be feigning disbelief at what everyone can see with their own eyes. After Sunday’s game he decried the number of frees given against his team (saying that “for them to get 1-8 from frees is a lot”) and also stated the following:

We are practicing the art of tackling very hard in our sessions. We believe we are doing it the right way but it’s just one of those things that we are going through at the moment. Hopefully we’ll come out on the right side of it.

Art, is it? There was nothing balletic about how Jonny Cooper raked his boot down Diarmuid O’Connor’s leg and I fail to see the artistic merit in much of what Philly McMahon was up to either or indeed the other half-dozen Dublin players who spent most of the day hanging out of our lads’ jerseys.Tackling? Give me a break. The plain truth is that their approach was one based on incessant fouling with at least two of their players – Cooper and McMahon – completely out of control for large stretches of the game.

This brings me to the second point, which is learning the lessons of that ugly evening down in Limerick last year. The cordite was in the air that day too and when a weak-willed incompetent ref who lost complete control of the game was added to the mix, that match became a case of anything goes. I’d have a real fear that, unless Eddie Kinsella has a firm hand on the game from the outset, Saturday’s replay could descend into the same kind of frenzied battle. Balancing self-preservation and the need to maintain discipline – something we succeeded in doing fairly well the last day – will be even more important on Saturday evening.

It won’t be just our players who’ll need to steel themselves either. The Upper Cusack last Sunday wasn’t a very pleasant place to be, especially with two kids, and I’m not expecting it to be any more convivial the next day. For any Dublin person reading this, I’d ask you to flip the image to one of having to travel to Castlebar to go to a match where you’re hugely outnumbered in a playing arena holding more than 80,000 people and where every decision that goes against the home team, most of these for obvious fouls, is met with a stream of invective and a chorus of booing and whistling.

Which brings us back to the tickets issue and all that. Last Sunday I’d say we were outnumbered 70:30 in Croke Park, not because we’re bad supporters but just because of the demographics, logistics and so forth. If anything, the balance will tip more in Dublin’s favour the next day – for anyone up here, the match is just a few hours out of the day while for our supporters it’s the whole day gone (and all the expense this entails) – and having an even louder mob baying them on won’t exactly discourage Jim Gavin and his whiter-than-white charges from showing more about what their esprit de corps truly entails. As I’ve already said, Eddie Kinsella needs to crack down hard and early the next day if we’re to have any chance of seeing anything resembling a proper football match.

There’s plenty of other stuff in the papers today, I know, but I’ll have to gallop through it as I’m out of time right now. Here’s a quick round-up.

Irish IndependentKeith Higgins on our room for improvement, Colm Keys on areas that each side might want to improve on for the replay.

Irish ExaminerJohn Fogarty on why Diarmuid Connolly’s ban should be upheld (though I’m expecting it won’t), Sylvester Hennessy on the key stats from the last day.

Irish Times (usual caution re pay-wall) –  Jim McGuinness’s column.

There’s the Mayo News too, I know, but no time for that right now.

Get behind the lads ahead of the replay: go to the Mayo GAA website (here) and click ‘Play Now’ to contribute to the cause via the Mayo GAA Players Training and Welfare Fund Lotto.

74 thoughts on “Tickets, tackling and stuff

  1. You have captured it very well in that article WJ. I think the referee will clamp down but would not be at all surprised if Dublin try to ensure either Aidan, Cillian or Leroy get sent off at the start. Think they will be targeted for extra special treatment to try and get a reaction. Cool heads will be essential. I also think the baying mob will be bigger and more lubricated so will be a complete battle on the pitch and in the stands. I also have no doubt our lads have the character to get us through this. It is such a shame that the game can be brought down by some of the antics of these players and supporters when you look at the likes of Aidan or for that matter Bernard Brogan who get on and play football. No need for it and has to end someplace before someone gets hurt!

  2. There were bad vibes in lower cusack too from dubs, haven’t experienced that before, it was approaching confrontational. Just need to ignore them and remember every 3 Mayo supporters has to out shout/cheer/flag wave 7 dubs! The boys on the field will give it everything, we have to do similar in the stands.
    C’Mon Mayo!

  3. One thing I’ve noted the Dublin players do a lot of is “accidentally” running into a players line and then holding out the hands if they are doing nothing, forcing the opposing player into their arms or having to go around them.
    McMahon did it to Aidan before he fell to the ground feigning Injury, and Bastick basically ran to Seamie for an American Football styled block before Seamie dismissed him out of his way.

    Fogarty has it in his article as:
    Seamus O’Shea throws Bastick to ground off the ball. No action taken.

    to be fair he’s probably not watching Bastic run in for the block but Dublin went up the field and scored from that.

  4. We have to refuse to lose like we did on Sunday and create a wall of sound and roar on Mayo for all we are worth this team is very close to the holy grail so close that we will luck back in a few years and realise how close we were so now is the time to really get behind them and stick it to the Dubs I’m expecting a bruising encounter it will take guts and character to win it but this Mayo team has it in spades

  5. A lot of shite spoken by Jim Gavin alright. No surprise there.

    A new game on Saturday with a new referee. Hopefully he will be strong. A repeat performance of the antics displayed by the likes of Cooper (with his possible career ending lunge on O’Connor) and the rest of the thuggery that went on should see a few of them sent to the line. They were lucky not to finish with just 12 players on Sunday.

    Remember 1983. Ciaran Duff and the “great” Brian Mullins and one other walked, leaving the 12 apostles to somehow finish the job. History has a habit of repeating itself.

  6. Backdoor Sam, in all fairness you cant create a wall of sound when your outnumbered 4 to 1, which we will be on Saturday as the farcical ticket distribution has pretty much guaranteed.. We’ll do our best anyway

  7. On the tickets issue i would imagine clubs will and should get more tickets this time.10000 tickets sold out sun night not sure how many yesterday but surely the gaa didn’t release as many for general sale this time as the last time.clubs should be looked after ist.
    It was bad form to release tickets when a lot of people were travelling home from game and also this plays into the hands of the touts!

    I know a lot of people will give out about not being able to get tickets online but clubs and there members have to come ist.clubs are the lifeline of the gaa and membership for any club is cheap for the year around €25 to €30.

    Does anyone actually know how many tickets were released to general sale compared to the ist game?

  8. Aidan – nobody know for sure and they are refusing to say.

    Last year things improved on the ticket front for the replay in Limerick as the week went on but it wasn’t as bad as this to begin with. I don’t think the situation is going to improve much here – people who got tickets through clubs last time will do so again, but if you are relying on some other source it will be difficult.

  9. Still can’t believe Mayo came back from the dead like that, it was savage. I see Connolly will serve a one match ban, which means he’s going to be available for the O Byrne Cup in January, bad news for Wicklow or whoever.

  10. Why have mayo only 3500 season tickets while dublin seem to have much more with even some season tickets issued for upper cusack?

  11. I think Kinsella will be going into this game thinking any messing in the early minutes and I’m taking no bullshit from anybody and that means cards. If the Dubs come out for a fight maybe the best way to counter that is to play the way we finished the last game – constantly running at them – And when they start the dragging and the pulling Kinsella will reach into his pocket – what he pulls out will probably be determined by the colour jersey standing in front of him – but we cant afford to be penalised in this early period .

  12. As someone who had predicated a 4 or 5pt Dublin win last week. I find myself revising my view and think the momentum is with Mayo. I think first 15-20 mins will be vital again in setting the tone and think Mayo should adopt exactly the kick out strategy they did on sunday in the first half again – appreciate most people disagree with that view but not letting Dublin get up a head of steam will be crucial to Mayo’s chances.

    One would have to expect Dublin to improve on the discipline front – especially on concession of frees – so think 5 to 6 pts from frees is all that could be anticipated this time. Goal from play will be vital too.

    Score prediction Mayo 1-13 v Dublin 0-14.

  13. Think Vaughan going off was the losing of the game for us.pat Durkin had great game for us but the tatic of Vaughan’s timed runs and hold up the ball for support from doc kmc and Jason to get back from defensive roll was missed.cillian had to play much deeper after he went off leaving Aido isolated.maybe seamie can fill that roll the next day with Barry back mid field.

  14. We have to find a way to win this game on Saturday, im not expecting any help from a referee, just look at McEnaneys comments yesterday. We have to fucking win this ourselves probably against 17 men…im including the reff and the 70:30 ratio of fans…which is totally unfair. I had tipped Dublin last week before the game, but now im tippin us by 3-4 points. Cillians jaw clenching interview right after the game made my mind up, they are gunna lay the demons of limerick to rest next saturday, their gunna find a way to over come all obstacles. I see us getting the early goal this time, pat an noel seem to learn lessons and will not leave aido so isolated this time.

    Freeman could be the key to all this, again, he scores with his first sniff of the ball, just like donegal game. Seems to be back to his 2013 form. Andy getting alot of credit which is deserved, but he should have passed to diarmuid or cillian instead of going for that goal, the angle was against him and was on his weaker side, he done the same against donegal but it was papered over because the game was over at the time. A small bit of composire will make the difference. Mayo by 4.

  15. Dublin have been dirty all year and won’t be able to switch it off next Saturday.

    Similar game plan required. Stay close till half time and try to push on in third quarter. This time try and avoid stupid wides and poor shot selection. I would expect oshea to have a bigger impact this time around.
    I also expect connolly will be playing.

    I think all was going to plan on Sunday up until their lucky goal. They reason they were so fresh at the end was because the didn’t contest the kick outs in first half and forced Dublin to work the ball through a very tough midfield. So, when we ran at them in the second half their legs were gone.

  16. I don’t have exact numbers but I believe Mayo have around 5,000 season ticket holders between GAA and Cairdre?

  17. We are lucky to have a great team and I couldn’t say a bad word about M.Cummins either who must be under tremendous pressure this week but the ticket situation is a bit of a joke. I have two cairde maigeo tickets bought to support the team and in the hope that my wife and I could bring our two kids to the games. I bought tickets for all games and yet could not get a bring a friend ticket either last week of for the coming Saturday. I received no email announcing tickets available last time and this time as with others on here I received both emails together this morning. The team lotto is a way of supporting the team going forward and for me that is the way to go

  18. Good post Willie Joe – as usual.

    I think both teams need to cool it. It’s a case of enlightened self-interest really.

    Why go out with ill-intent, when two weeks later one of the teams will have to face Kerry and will need all their guns big and small.

    It’s not going to be pretty of course, but overall Mayo’s discipline was very good on Sunday. It was a worry I had, because we have picked up black and red all year – league as well – and refs internalise that. Dublin hadn’t picked up many, because they didn’t have to get too physical with any team – hence perhaps the basis for MacInnane’s comments.

    And speaking of MacInnane, what about his racist comment on McMahon’s head butt?: “But as someone would say, that’s how they walk in Ballymun anyway”!

  19. I hope we push up someone else to help out Aidan out next Saturday ,I would favour Big Barry for this , as i don’t think Barry has the speed needed to play midfield against as fast Dublin team . We defiantly need some one to take the pressure of Aidan .

  20. First of all the Jim McGuinness article an last page, COC Man of the match.. It’s a must read..
    Now, I need help here and i am serious. There are some very good analysts here, so; why can Mayo not play an attacking game, like the last 10 mins, for most of the time?? At the end of each move there are only a few players involved, so, why cannot all the others who came up the field, scuttle back at speed to prevent a counter attack? Comments appreciated 🙂

  21. The more I think of it the more I admire this Mayo team, their guts, determination and absolute refusal to be beaten. Sometimes they are beaten in spite of all [Limerick last year] but they still come back for more.
    I cannot agree with those who say we adopted the best strategy for Cluxton’s kickouts. It led to us being seven points down before we threw strategy out the door and went for it playing our natural and best game. And I give the credit for that to the players, not the men on the line. To me their strategy was based on fear, although I do give them credit for courage in playing David Drake [and where were all those posters who say they never heard of him before hiding for the past two years?]. I do not however think that was the best option and I see that Jim McGuinness in the Irish Times makes the case for playing Barry Moran up front with Aiden. This was a tactic which I thought might have been used against Donegal’s blanket. We posed very little threat to the Dublin defence in the first half on Sunday apart from Aiden and we made it easy for Dublin to concentrate on him. My tactic for the replay would be Barry and Aiden up front with Cillian lurking around the D for knockdowns and offloads.
    I do not know what to expect from Kinsella on Saturday but hopefully he will not be reffing according to Paddy McInane’s guidelines of “Johnny is not that type of player”. We know now that Johnny is that type of player, that Philly McMahon is that type of player as we knew from Diarmuid Connolly’s court appearance for “unprovoked assault causing grievous bodily harm” that he is that type of player. And if, as McInane says, Philly’s head bobbing style of walking is commonplace in Ballymun it is all the more reason to be wary of coming into close contact with him and anybody else from Ballymun and for refs to keep a close eye on them.

  22. After thinking our year was over last Sunday with 10 minutes to go was delighted to get the replay. However 2 days later i am not so happy.

    Did we leave that games behind us?
    We started a man who never played a championship match before (played very little league as well), a man who was not even on the subs for the previous match and gave him a very big and important role of playing sweeper.
    Would Alan Dillon have been a better sub to bring on than Sweeney.
    Also certain players need to be spoken to about going for glory. We would be in a final for sure with 3 weeks to prepare had they not gone for glory in the last ten minutes. I hope this greed will not be the cause of us not getting to a final this year after all the hard work.

  23. Martin mchugh has an interesting piece in the star about the mayo team he’d like to see play. I think we could see 3 chances anyway (one being donal due to injury of course). I also believe we need to make changes quicker

  24. Question for Mayo Co Board: Will you challenge Croke Park’s decision to release tickets on Sunday night when most Mayo supporters did not have the opportunity to purchase being on their way home. What was the urgency? And the very limited time for season ticket holders to purchase for a friend? Why when tickets were available to be released for public sale? And having tickets on sale over the counter with no limits? This was a facility mainly of use to touts, almost all of whom are Dubs. If a ticket sold through a club is found on the black market the club has serious questions to answer. Yet the GAA Croke Park authorities facilitate touts in buying tickets.
    The issue should have been raised already by the Co Board officials and I would also expect to see Mayo public representatives raising it.

  25. This has to be the toughest match to call in many a time

    I think the Dubs have far more issues coming into it than we do though. Their player of the year in 2013 has become a shadow of himself and was a liability on Sunday, Cian O’Sullivan looked confused in his role, Philly McMahon seems incapable of not fouling, their most talented player could be banned and even if not only plays in patches nowadays, their most effective player for years in Paul Flynn suddenly looks a spent force, Rock is a one trick pony, McMenamin only seems to do damage to tiring defences, ROC and Johnny Cooper have heart in mouth moments- and the latter has become something of a loose cannon, they possibly have to face starting an inexperienced 21 year old with a 35 year old in the middle. They were too easily rattled at times on sunday and actually looked clueless for parts. Do they keep going with the uber short kickouts against possibly the best turnover team in Ireland or chance their arm at winning the middle? I honestly think they need an extra week for this match, Dublin

    I really think this is ours for the taking. We need to either ditch the sweeper or play a more effective one, no ounce of disrespect intended for Drake but he is way too inexperienced for this. I really think this is calling out for Alan Freeman though in an orthodox 13 role. He’s one of our finest defending forwards in my view and will cause them headaches on the kickout. Not only that but he’ll put himself about and kick scores- he caused them havoc in 2013. Surely the (lets be honest here) pretty abysmal return from play by our forwards on Sunday should encourage 6 rather than 5 to be selected? Durcan for Donie is surely obvious in the backs.

    Feck this, I’d go all out 15 on 15 and tear right into them from the off. They’re there for the taking and I think we possess bucket loads more desire and sheer will to win. We have far less question marks around us, a solid starting team and a wealth of experience

    That said I can’t see it being in any way straightforward in any sense. These matches can be so random there’s often about 30 turning points and momentum shifts! We really should be here lamenting another near-miss and previewing whether Connolly will make the final, will the Dubs improve for Kerry, will it be the game of the millenium etc etc

    We were dead and buried. 7 points down, it’s absolute game over. But we’re still standing. Unbelievably

    It is so hard to call but I do think we’ll do it, gun to head. We need our full intensity for the 70 though not a lot of the stuff we saw for the first 60 the last day. If we can bring a much improved performance and tear right into them, execute our own game plan, keep our shape and discipline throughout and make better decisions under pressure, we could win by a few. I’m still loathe to fully writing off Dublin though who undoubtedly still possess great quality and as we saw first hand on Sunday can kick scores from anywhere.

    Cannot wait now, another painfully slow week in store

  26. If i may comment under the “Stuff” part of the title, further developments in Roscommons search for a manager is that McStay is interested in the job and if you are to believe strong rumors within the county it is a near done deal at this stage and his backroom team is also named, McHale will be the only non Roscommon man as part of his main backroom team. If true it should add a bit of spice to encounters in 2016 (even if the outcome is a foregone conclusion!)

  27. Some strange tickets have appeared in my account. Looks like the GAA are losing the run of themselves altogether… if my ticket is to be believed, the game is tomorrow and they have decided to replay the minor as well! Something has gone wrong somewhere in the ticket department of the GAA.

  28. I think both sets of supporters need to wind in their moaning and complaining. Mayo have always set themselves up to be a hard physical team. When the opposition do something to counteract this we need to leave it to the officials. We cant complain when we took the game to new physicality levels over the last number of years. Dublin supporters cannot complain also. Their team were proven right in their tactics but they brought it a little too far and were caught by the ref. Get on with it. As much as Gavin and Fitzmaurice are hypocrites with their ‘playing their game in the right manner’ statements (obviously not) we are becoming hypocrites when we complain after opposition teams try to counteract our physical game – get on with it or go back to winning the odd Connaught championship game. One thing I really hate is the mouthing. I thought this was a black card offence. Mouthing has no place in our game. Hon Mayo!

  29. Agree 100% AndyD. As of yet I haven’d heard of any complaint from the Co Board.

    The past few weeks have been a farce for the GAA. The handling of the Tiernan McCann dive / suspension, farcical. K Keane’s red card been rescinded, farcical in fairness.

    I also had to laugh at the explanation of Philly Mc’s head butt / movement – Irish Times – ”McMahon’s head could have connected had he wanted it to and therefore proving to the CHC’s satisfaction that he had “attempted” to head-butt would have been very difficult.” The mind boggles.

    Aogán Ó Fearghail swipe at RTE and threat that it may influence the TV rights in the future was farcical. I haven’t been impressed by his tenure so far. He comes across as very dictatorial been easily riled. Most knowledgeable GAA people take a lot of what TSG boys say with a pinch of salt. They are far more entertaining than the Sky coverage (although I do like Jimmy Mc).

    There seems to be a breakdown in communication between the GAA chiefs and the grass roots supporters emphasized by the ticketing arrangements for replay.

    I don’t like having a go at the GAA but I think they need to have a look at themselves in the off season.

  30. Team I’d have is below. I’d have Barry in a similar role, maybe not as deep however, to the Donegal game and allow Parsons more freedom and allow him to push up for Dublin kickouts. I would have Jason Doherty doing his best to support Cillian and Aido in full forward line, I think Kev McL is more effective in middle third, it didn’t work with him in FF in first half on Sunday. I’d also hit more longer kickouts aimed at Barry and Seamus. I was impressed with Durkan, he did very well and has so much speed which is required against Dubs. Barry could also go in FF for periods depending on flow of the game.


    Keith Caff Chris

    Keegan Boyler Durkan

    SOS Parsons

    Diarmuid Jason D. Kev McL

    Barry Aido Cillian

  31. I see even Matt Cooper on the Last Word is covering the ticket fiasco. That’s how bad it is!

  32. @Juan
    I wouldn’t change a lot about Andy Moran…his flaws are part of what makes him the player he is. I think if you could cross Andy Moran’s mentality with Cillian O’ Connors ability you woudl ahve some footballer.

    The thing you really notice about Moran is something that is rare in modern day forwards….first thing on his mind EVERY time he gets the ball is how can he get a score here. In an ideal world he should have slipped the ball across to one of the OCs for a goal but as I say you are changing the mindset of the man if you force him down that road – you have to take the rough with the smooth. This is not to suggest he is greedy – its just pure forwards instinct he has and why he so often comes up trumps in big matches. His mindset does not change regardless of opposition or how a game is balanced….his approach is ‘I’m a forward, my job is to score, where is the posts’.

    So many forwards nowadays are very methodological in their approach to the game – O Connor is extremely methodological and ice cool to be sure (as Sunday proved) but sometimes I think he would benefit from playing a bit more off the cuff with the “score first” mentality…but maybe you take something from him if you pushed him down that road.

    Moran could have finished the game on Sunday with 1-4….which would have been incredible in the context of the game….but the key thing in those 1-4 of chances was that apart from the equalising point, (1-3) was entirely created by himself….his right footed point most players wouldn’t have attempted or created the space. His goal chance, robbed the ball from Cluxton….he dropped one short to cluxton but again with his back to goal shimmied one way and made the space the other with the left – always looking to score. You won’t see Moran fist the ball over the bar when he is one on one with a keeper – always one of the most depressing sights I see most players opt for nowadays.

    So while he may miss the opportunity for the killer pass sometimes – there is one thing you know when Moran takes the field and that is that the first thing on his mind is not, I must play well, I must not make mistakes….his mindset is is “to hell with playing well, to hell with mistakes….how the hell am I going to get a score here”. It is a mentality a supporter in the stand will welcome when the game is in the melting pot.

  33. Cantini – Yeah I agree good post. I also think Andy is better coming on from the bench….seems like he has something to prove.

  34. AndyD.
    There will not be a word said by the Mayo county board to Croke Park about the ticket shambles and how they went on sale on Sunday evening when Mayo people were making their way home.

    There will not be a word said either about the unlimited number of tickets sold over the counter in a store in Dublin.

    Standing up to Croke Park is a non starter. Look at the history. No indication that it will
    change anytime soon.

  35. Can’t really quibble with Andy Moran’s contribution from the bench over the past two years. Time and again he’s delivered when called upon. And he’ll be crucial again on Saturday if we’re to drive this home.

  36. Cantina I agree with a lot of what you said but on the piece about mixing Morans mentality with O Connors ability is doing a disservice to Andy. He is one of these instinctive forwards that sees nothing before he has ruled out any sniff of an opportunity to score. James O Donoghue is cut from the same cloth, I wouldn’t mix him I’d bloody clone him, he’s a fantastic forward in my opinion.

    Starting Barry inside could put the cat amongst the pigeons !! I wouldn’t like to be a sweeper between O Shea and Moran with O Connor buzzing between them,,,
    Saturday will be very interesting indeed,,

  37. A brilliant piece of skill that ye might not have noticed was Cillian losing two defenders to put the handpass in front of Boyler. Cillan could be a great fulcrum either as a shooter or if he has runners coming strongly left and right. When things are at their most chaotic Cillian is like ice. His pass for Keegans goal versus Donegal was a thread the needle.

  38. Out of curiosity folks has anybody’s Croke Park season ticket attendance been updated since Sunday? I’m still on ‘not attended’ but can only imagine with a sell out capacity to contend with the administrators could be a couple of days updating these?

  39. would drop Doherty and MCl bring in 2 Morans.

    for the initial 15 min I would play big Barry at Midfield with both the OSheas in the FF line to do a bit of sorting. Andy playing off them and Cillian at center forward.

    Then SOS Swapping with Cillian after 20 min

  40. centerfield not to do down your team. But just to point out your strategy above would reduce the speed of our middle eight by a long way. You’re removing SOS/JDoc/Kevin Mc. Dublin would walk the ball through us.
    SOS has not played in the forwards since his days as a centre forward. He can’t snap shoot and does not have creative passing in tight spaces. When you play in the middle third you don’t have to deal with claustrophobic marking quite as much, you can pop ball to the wings. Remember that in the forwards a ball popped out to the wing is a waste of time, you’ve just put our man down a blind alley with the endline acting as a 3rd defender.
    About the only obvious thing that was missed was that when ROC went off, it was time to spring Barry or spring him earler at full forward. That was no big insight by Jim Mc, several on here were calling for it. Dublin are not that tall overall. So if they are forced into dropping back tall players they lose out elsewhere. With ROC gone, Bastick one, MDMA gone, Connolly gone they finished with what must have been the shortest team in the championship. It killed them, we won kickouts, and we won ball kicked in. I dunno, at this level I thought you were meant to have subs ready to go for several game scenarios or switches ready to go for game scenarios. ROC goes off and management made no adjustment to tactics? Left Aidan isolated against the Lilliputians?

  41. Howayajoe

    Take a close look at your attendance. You may be looking at the replay! The replay will be on the account as Not Attended until after Saturday 🙂

  42. Howayajoe.. my season tckt has been updated but after the Donegal game is was not and after a week I sent an email to asking them to sort it out which in fairness they did. I’d leave it another day at least as it sometimes can take them a day r two to update all.. but don’t leave it too long

  43. MayoMark…….now I feel silly! Fair play to ya that would have taken me an age to spot. I’ll put that down to a lingering hangover since Sunday! 🙂

  44. Happens to the best of us Joe 😀 I’m still a bit of a wreck from yesterday!

    One thing I think the boys can take from last year is the experience of a quick 6-day turnaround. Recovery is so important. And with an excellent S&C coach you would have to be confident we will gain marginally in that department.

  45. My season ticket attendance was updated this morning sat match was up showing non attendance obviously. Got the two emails about 2 minutes apart didn’t have time to purchase any tickets was being limited to a total of 2 but when you choose a section there was no tickets available try different section same story then down to the club’s now to see what they get they should get more than Dublin seeing as they were giving them to the dub supporters yesterday as many as they wanted.

  46. hontheross,

    Surely if the Roscommon job is worth having there has to be more than one candidate for it? Surely a Roscommon man would want to have it? Especially with an outsider having had it for a number of years. I hope for Kevin McStay’s sake that he is not seeking it on the rebound having been, most unfairly, ruled out for the Mayo job.

  47. p. s. Barry Moran is a lovely sight when you see a high ball coming. Really you can’t expect him to gather low ball. The call for Jim Mc reminds me of the hope we had when getting a previous manager. Let’s leave everything to the current management and players.
    What do the bloggers think Dublin should do to counter the Mayo threats?
    Blinkered Ciaran 2.

  48. Season ticket attendance is updated as soon as your ticket is scanned in Croke Park.
    Check your season ticket account when you enter Croke Park Saturday evening.

  49. Cantini

    May I also be associated with the praise your post about Andy has attracted.

    His cameo role on Sunday was by no means perfect but as, I’ve posted elsewhere in this parish, the climate changed on his arrival.

    True, on having dispossessed Cluxton, he could have looked out the field towards players on his left but that is one small aspect that is not part of Andy’s artillery. Andy’s game is all about going for the jugular and exacting maximum advantage from field position. This is not a weakness. It’s what has made him one of the greatest players we are fortunate to call our own.

    I’m aware of miles on the clock but, in my opinion, Andy would be most profitably introduced, not at the start as I’ve previously suggested, but twenty minutes in…when stuff has settled down. I expect that the full compliment of players will not be on the field at 5.20 next Saturday.

    Andy’s arrival and contribution would, again in my opinion, quiten the hill and give great impetus to our cause.

  50. We will win this game if the management learn from their mistakes of the last day.Contest their kick outs ,push up on Cluxton, give Aiden a bit of assistance ,start Barry Moran at 13,bring in Alan Freeman and Andy earlier or indeed start one of them,give the sweeper job to Kevin Mcl.he is not contributing to the scoreline and for God’s sake bring in your subs earlier and not bringing in someone for the last few minutes.We need to start this game at the same rate that we finished. This team deserves to win Sam but haven’t a hope if we set up the same way as the last day, and lastly no retaliation as I feel someone is going to see red early in the game to settle things down.

  51. I think we should seriously consider starting Freeman. As already mentioned, he is effective at challenging the short kick out and can force turnovers. He is accurate and can play very good defensive football in that forward position. To my eye, he looked very fit and lean on Sunday and he would be a much more mobile option than Barry in the forward line. Surely he would relish the opportunity to right the wrong of that baffling decision to sub him in ’13. I really would worry about Barry starting the game due to Dublin’s mobility. Perhaps he’d work well alongside Aido in FF line, however, I’d question whether he has the vision or agility to lay off quick ball, or turn and score, against nippy Dublin defenders. I have to yet to see those skills from him in the full forward line, and he would be far less effective than Freeman at guarding against short kick outs.

  52. Cat col is right. Both teams have to cool it. Saturday will be an incredibly fast attacking game relatively clean, unless both sets of players are halfwits. Mayo fans need to forget about whinging now, as this filters thru to the team and if mayo go into Saturday with a chip on their shoulder, feeling sorry for themselves, they are doomed. They have to go in buoyant, hungry and upbeat, without any grudges. They got a right kick in the hole for 60 mins and we’re poxed lucky to get out of it with a draw. If they kill themselves for 75 mins on Saturday they will win. Hardly anybody seems to acknowledge how absolutely pisspoor our fwds were on Sunday. I’m sure they just cannot be as bad again. When mayo played well on Sunday for 10 mins, they showe’d how they could burst effortlessly past the dubs. Their acceleration was incredible – and at the end of game, bear in mind. They just need to get on with it now. Also Lee keegan really needs to be careful. A wonderful player but he really is on the edge. Can anyone tell me freeman and moran are always sprung so late in the game?….up mayo

  53. Philor, you absolutely hit the nail on the head. In a nutshell. Running out of clichés here ?

  54. Andy D

    Not many in the county would have faith with an internal appointment at this moment because there are not many managers that have a decent CV except O’Donnell who is rumoured to be part of McStays team. Having lead the under 21s to two all ireland finals Dineen would probably be the next best but there is not much appetite for him.

  55. McStay is also as near to an internal appointment as possible, he has lived in Roscommon town for over 20 years and knows the club scene inside out

  56. Ciaran 2 asked what Dublin could do to right their wrongs,
    Start Bastic and move Cian O Sullivan up to midfield. Then they chance more long kickouts.
    Bring Small into sweeper / half backline area and drop MDMA. When sub needed they might go for Fenton or Brady.
    They could try Cormac Costello if Connolly gets the ban. Alan Brogan may be a bit concussed, looked like it so their medics mightn’t let him play. Otherwise start McMenamon and Brin Peader Andrews out to HF line.
    Not sure what other new tactics they can bring to the table. AOS didn’t goal so they might be happy with their 1st half defensive structure aside from O Sullivan move.

  57. Its probably all but certain Vaughan will not be fit for the replay so I would expect Durkan to start and 1 other change should be Freedman for Drake.

    I would hope Dillon gets a run at some stage Saturday as I have no doubt had he come on instead of Sweeney we would now be talking about playing in the final.
    Like Andy,a great player to have coming off the bench that both raises the crowd and their team mates and both will get scores.

  58. I’m not sure what curve ball options Dublin have.. Might be safer to line out very similar and just try harder if that’s possible.
    As for us I think we should try to minimise Flynn’s long diagonal balls in keep intensity high so Fenton who us good kick passer doesn’t do the same, drop back more than normal any time McCaffrey gets the ball, man mark KK who has a lot of class. Fan of Barry and 50 50 whether to start him (Dubs have to start Bastic IMO) or another tackling back tracking forward. Not sure if Freeman fits that bill. With Andy if started he needs to go into FF line with Aido and maybe Cillian comes out as playmaker. Of the 3 options my preferred would be Barry wearing 13 in midfield and Seamie with Parsons doing sweeper. That means one of them can drift into FF line when we have the ball. Another option is Aido at 11 and try to get quality ball to Cillian inside. I suggested replacing Doherty earlier in the season but have backed off the idea as he works so hard for the team. Disagree with anyone suggesting replacing Kevin Mc, he was targeted last day so with a stronger ref (big if) or better Mayo forward tactics he should feature more this time. Drop him and we lose too much workrate.

  59. On targeting, our lads should be warned not to retaliate, by no means hold back but let football do the talking. They might target Diarmaid and Leroy for cards out of spite so be wise to it and don’t take the bait.
    Management need to stress importance of discipline, if Dubs want to lose theirs let them.

  60. Regarding McStay, I’d certainly hope he’s not accepting the Ross job on the rebound from the Mayo situation. Of course he has every reason to feel aggrieved, however, as a proud Mayo man, I would certainly hope his modus operandi is not simply to spite Mayo.

    The Jim McGuinness example comes to mind here: It appears the Donegal county board tried to move Heaven and earth to prevent him getting that job, but Jim was relentless. He desperately wanted more than anything to manage his county and win an All Ireland with them, and was not deterred regardless of the fact that he was overlooked several times. All he cared about was his county and restoring pride back to Donegal and making them a force again. There was no ego involved, not one that was visible anyway, and he put aside any ill-feelings he may have had for the County Board.
    It makes sense in many ways for McStay to accept the Rossie job, and I wish him well with it. He may never manage Mayo, and that is perfectly fine, but I’d hope that some day he will again put his hat in for the job and strive for the greatness achieved by McGuinness. That’s the true spirit of the GAA and attitude of a warrior and leader that is needed and is a trait that deserves the ultimate respect.

  61. I just watched the game again and when coc was placing the ball to take the 45 the linesman and Paul Flynn were standing beside him,pf bent over to coc and started” talking”in his ear the linesman laughed and moved him this not as good an example of sledding there is and in front of an I mistaken?

  62. Agree with hindsight the final replacement should have been Alan who’s a great decision taker tailor made for the late on stuff. But guessing Sweeney choice was because of pace and in fairness it was a great block. Let’s hope lesson learned.

    Forgot about likely forced replacement for Donie, yes like most I think Durkan has played his way in ahead of Turbo and KK. Man in possession of the jersey hard to dislodge and he played well over the 60 he was on but few mistakes too so hopefully will learn from those. It’s pace we need vs Dublin. KK may be needed in final if we win. Good to have Turbo, KK and Drake who also did well as options.

    Final curve ball would be Keith as sweeper.

  63. Gavin must have had C McGregor working with them on the ‘tackling’ had to laugh at his comments.

  64. I do think that we should stop the moaning about the shit that we can’t control and just focus on our own game. Let Dublin implode if that’s what they want to do. We should remain calm and focussed despite the fact that we will no doubt be subject to more Dub thuggery. It is a sad reflection on the overlords of the GAA that our lads will be subjected to more thuggish attacks and the attackers will face no consequences for their actions.

    If Connelly gets off it just turns the whole rules into a proper fucking joke. Essentially what that will mean is that you can attempt to break a man’s leg, headbutt an opponent, or if that doesn’t suit, you may as a third option drive your fist into your opponents head, if your opponent is lying on the ground with his hands wrapped around his skull in an attempt to protect his brain. Be warned that if you continue to protect your brain using your hands this can in some cases be viewed as defiance and can cause the assailent further emotional injury and may result in leaving your assailent with no other option than to make sure that he finishes you off if he encounters you again.

    It is recommended best practice that if a thug has to go to the bother off trying to drive your brain from your skull cavity that the least you would be expected to do is to leave your skull open and defenceless so as to offer the thug the satisfaction of inflicting the maxium damage to your brain. If you chose not to than you have no one else to blame but yourself.

    On a serious note I do believe that Connelly will target Lee again and lee will receive no protection whatsoever and if Lee reacts he will get a straight red. I can see this happening.

    Back to the rules. if an opponent is pulling the shite out of you jersy and if you are not in possesion of the ball. Do not under any circumstance attempt to break free from your opponents grasp. The proper course of action to take is to stop and ask your opponent to pretty please, if it’s not to much bother and if he wouldn’t mind to much to please remove his fist from your jersy as ya just ironed her and further plead (in the nicest possible way) that the aul crinkles caused are difficult to iron out. Most times this gets the best results as politeness costs nothing and this course of action always garners the best results that is favourable to both parties involved. In the event that this does not work, don’t fret we have good quality steam irons available in the changing rooms that can be hired out for 5 Euros per each 10 minute usage.

    We endeavour to think of everything because we do realise that crinkled jersys can let the image of the organisation down and serves only to provide a disservice to same. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and can after careful review result in severe penalties to the offending party. It is down to you and is solely your responsibilty to ensure that the jersy does not receive excess crinkling. We hope that this is clear.

    I hear that Gavin is thinking about starting Conor Mcgregor as a sweeper. I think that the thinking is that their fully covered in the leg breaking, head butting and driving brains out of skulls aspects of the game and the deployment of Mcgregor as sweeper will put a proper stranglehold on the match. Have to wait and see.

    Mayo to finish them off by 5 at 5.

  65. Thanks Shuffly Deck for your response and Joe Ruane for his humour.
    I do hope that DOC is not targeted. How much can a young man stand?

  66. A knowledgable Dub fan was making an interesting point today on the ‘edge’ that the Dublin team play to. His case is that the competition for places is so intense that it has created a mindset in the players that they have to go that extra yard in effort and commitment just to get or hold a spot on the team. Even squad training is probably an intense affair.
    This competition for places is put across as a positive thing to have in a squad but when the expectation that it demands is pushed too far it can make some players go the extra yard and then a bit. And over time going that extra bit pushes the boundaries beyond the edge. And eventually it becomes a part of the mindset in the squad without anyone actually ever coaching or condoning it. A bit of subliminal nastiness creeps in so to speak.

    Maybe a view that is overthought but an interesting point none the less. Might not explain the antics of some players who are good enough but overall our Dub friend could be raising a bit of debate

  67. 2winjustonce I would imagine the county board are keeping their heads down on this so as to keep the peace and as much focus as possible on the game, and that’s understandable; as long as clubs are sorted they will be happy. They didn’t create a fuss about Limerick last year for similar reasons and I believe that too was the correct approach. Fans have plenty of avenues now to convert their own outrage and they are not shy about doing so. The last thing we need at a time like this is another circus, but of course HQ just can’t help themselves, can they?

    Dave: comment of the week. I salute you, sir.

    Remember how hard we went at it versus Kerry in Limerick last year? That’s what awaits us on Saturday evening. Expect no holds barred physicality, however I can’t see us running at them for the entire game. I think we will mix it up defensively and in attack without building up a huge lead – how we finish will again be key.

    Saturday has the potential to be a grudge match, but on what grounds? Ultimately (albeit by the grace of god or whoever reigns over Croke Park) none of our lads were injured on account of a Dublin player, so we need to focus on the football. I firmly believe our lads have the temperament and resistance to withstand whatever Dublin throw at us, be that sly digs or good football. We saw them crumble on Sunday when the going got tough. They bottled it, pure and simple. Sunday will also be a huge test of their character too. Everything is in our favour; the nature of our comeback, the loss of Connolly, the fact that their indiscipline has been so widely highlighted. They have been backed into a corner – expect them to come out fighting.

    I just hope we don’t lose anyone to injury with two weeks to go to a final ?

  68. So much good analysis here these days…many professional analysts dismiss Cillians “marquee” forward status because many of his scores are from frees. That’s lazy analysis though. If you look closely though, this kid is amazing, rarely makes a mistake and does pretty much everything you could ask and more from a player. JP highlighted the final hand pass to Boyler as an example…a worthy example of his smarts, he held it up just enough, drew players in and then off loaded to Boyler. So calm and his steely interview after the game tells me he’s not done yet.
    Finally, with all this talk about tickets and the shortage of them, thank god for season tickets. Takes the anxiety out of times like this and allows one to look forward to the match!

  69. I watched the game again last night expecting a right awful spectacle. It wasn’t that bad and it wasn’t that dirty. Bar Johnny Cooper no player was too out of the ordinary. There were long passages of play without incident.
    A few other things I noticed, I was using the pause button to check it.
    1. Many Times no one was pulling to the edge of the D as a shooter option. The space was unmarked, Dublin had fanned out in a blue wall. The ball only had to be recycled back to clip a 30 yard point.
    2. Parsons was very good, but he needs a very easy target options up front so that he’s more comfortable kicking the ball. Was a bit hesitant to kick it forward.
    3. There were a significant amount of turnovers we won throughout the game. I agree that Freeman would be a great addition either starting or much earlier. He is mobile and he has long arms. Aidan was really catching some defenders by suprise with his speed. Fill the forward line with speed and strength.
    4. Flynn/MDMA have actually dropped significantly in pace These two used to trouble us. We were the ones bringing the pace to this game. It looks like they cannot contain Durcan, Keegan, Parsons, Higgins. There was no turnover or stopping of an attack of any of those four.
    5. Mayo all day looked the fitter more powerful team. In contact Mayo fared out better than Dublin. In trying to burst around tacklers with speed Mayo fared better than Dublin. All indicators of better speed, power and fitness.

  70. @Joe

    I think Keegan is well able to look after himself 🙂 ….I think you might have a bit of a one sided view on who is targetting who. I’m pretty sure connolly would be happy not to see Keegan for the full 70 minutes (which may well happen for a different reason) – not so sure his priority is to target Lee.

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