Turning towards the replay

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

After the match comes the rematch. After the draw comes the replay. This might be a bit of a shock for the Kerry folk – the last time they were in this position was the Munster final of 2015 – but for us it’s almost business as usual at this stage.

Since that rematch with Kerry three years ago we’ve had two rounds with Dublin and inside the last month we had to have two runs at the Rossies. We can, perhaps, be accused of being slow learners in the replay department – losing to Kerry and twice to Dublin – but our destruction of Roscommon three weeks ago shows we have the ability to become a different and more dangerous animal second time around.

Can you smell the fear? Kerry were quick out of the traps with their whining over David Gough’s appointment as ref for the replay, given his mistake late on in last year’s semi-final. Will these mind games work? Will that error play on Gough’s mind?

Well, Maurice Deegan clearly never lost any sleep over the many dodgy calls he made against us last October and did nothing in the way of restorative justice for us last Sunday. I doubt very much if David Gough will be minded to do likewise for Kerry on Saturday.

A quick review of the nationals just now confirms the old adage that yesterday’s headlines are today’s fish and chips wrappings. The papers have moved on to the Dublin/Tyrone semi-final and – given the borderline hysteria in some of the material about us that saw the light of day yesterday – it’s no bad thing that our rematch won’t be the primary focus over the coming days.

In any event, having had so many matches this summer we know that there’s simply no time to dwell on this nonsense, nor is there time either for looking back. After the match comes the rematch – right? – so that’s where our focus needs to be from here on.

Tickets – have you sorted them yet? If not, full details are here.

Team news – none at the minute from what I can see. There’s no word of any injuries following Sunday’s game so fingers crossed that we’re looking at a full deck to choose from once more for the replay. I guess we’ll once again wait until Friday night before naming the team.

Right, to finish up let’s see what the confidence are like. The bookies have Kerry as clear 4/7 favourites but what do you reckon – will we do it on Saturday?

Will we win the replay?

  • Yes (84%, 891 Votes)
  • No (16%, 171 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,062

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169 thoughts on “Turning towards the replay

  1. True WJ, yesterdays headlines are today’s fish & chip wrappings, but that fecking headline really annoys me. I know we should be well used to it by now, should be immune to it, but boy it does madden me. I’d say we’ve sickened an awful lot of people with our resilience and dogged refusal to give up or just go away!

  2. We can win on Saturday if we go back to what we know best…Aiden back as centre half forward coming back to help out for Clarkes kickouts Lee back ti half back with the licence ti attack and Donie Vaughan back to mark Donaghy….replays are there to be won and fortune favors the brave lets go for it….If we get a lead up then we can bring either Seamie or Aiden back in Donaghy to guide us home….

  3. You’re right about one thing WJ – there’s a definite whiff of fear filtering through. They’re just not sure what to make or do with us at this stage.

    There is enormous uncertainty as to how we’ll shape up on Saturday. Now you can spin it that this is the case because we’re not entirely sure outselves, or you can make the case that were well placed to change it up again.

    I think some of the criticism of Rochford has tapered down over the last 24 hours. People are beginning to realise that the line are making a plethora of very tough calls and have shown some enormous balls in doing so. They don’t always get it right but they’re no mugs either.

  4. You’ve a lovely effortless way of writing WJ, fair play to you :-).
    There is a whiff of fear for sure!!
    This Mayo team is brave and they will win this on Sunday.

  5. Mindset is so important now..We know they have the ability to win it..Its the psychological factor in the last 10 mins when the game is in the melting pot that could swing it either way..Paddy Durcan held his nerve on Sunday when it really counted..

  6. Really think we will win the replay, be it this one or another one, basically because we will refuse to lose! Love this bunch to bits and can only admire the determination and guts they keep showing this year! They just refuse to lie down! WE WILL NOT BE BEATEN! #InThisTogether

  7. The reason Mayo didnt win wasnt down to the positioning of Aidan OShea. It was down to kicking some terrible wides and turning over silly ball which resulted in Kerry goals.

    Donal Vaughan can compete with Donaghy on the ground and probably stick with him but Donaghy has the advantage in the air and will win the 50:50 balls. What happens if Donaghy catches the first high ball in between them which results in a goal, 30000 mayo people shouting at AOS to get the hell back and fast.

    Personally I think Mayo should go again, cut out the silly mistakes, take their chances and finish them off.

  8. Just rewatched the game:

    We didn’t score in the last 17 minutes and 30 seconds of the first half

    We scored one point in the last 14 minutes of the second half (durcans equaliser)

    That’s almost an entire half of football combined- not good enough to deserve to win and we need to finish both halfs stronger on Saturday.

    Poor wides/ missed opportunities on both sides throughout (possibly more for us)

    Stephen O’Brien’s goal was not aido’s fault, it started with seamie getting turned over and Barrett and Higgins (who both had good games otherwise) didn’t work hard enough to get back. Aido was caught out of position for the second goal.

    So onwards and upwards we definitely have areas to improve upon. Can Kerry reorganise their whole defence in 6 days and integrate a sweeper and zonal marking?Time will tell

  9. Agree Rock on Rochfords calls, and Kerry just don’t know how we’ll line up. Jim mcguinness says similar in the IT today.
    I hope and do think Mayo realise this Kerry team are not Dublin, even though they try to at every opportunity to put themselves and the dubs as the big two. Mayo are a better team with better individual players. Mayo had chances to bury them in the 1st half but missed a goal and 4 or 5 pts. They need to go for it again and this time keep going for it. And expose them for what they are, an average team being talked up by their media army.

  10. All of these top 4 games for us come down to tight finishes with nobody getting inside, so to win we need shooters on the field, and I would move Nally up the order ahead of Drake, Loftus and Coen.

  11. Agree in principal rapparee- but you’re not going to replace a corner forward with nally as it’s not his position. You’re going to choose conor loftus and on merit it must be said. Equally you’re going to play coen at midfield over Nally.

    It’s horses for courses stuff and the order of substitutions isn’t best sub first. it’s where the changes need to be made tactically or due to fatigue of the onfield player which decides which sub comes on first

  12. Agree donie to mark donaghy, donie is a very smart player if he was in aidos place for obriens goal donaghy would have been fouled resulting in free but no goal.on sunday he knew what he was doing for the last free kerry got

  13. Can we win it? Absolutely, no question

    Can we go on and grab it by the balls if/when it’s there for us in the last ten? That remains the question

  14. I agree Our Time Has Come…i watched back myself and it was 7 out of 10 performance for Mayo. An 8/10 woudlk have edged it for us but I think we may need even more now on Saturday because history tells us that Kerry will improve. David Moran, Donaghy, Geaney, O’Brien and Murphy all did well for them but others have loads of scope for improvement, at the back – there isnt a hop ein hell they’ll be expolsed again. Zeri chance so Mayo need to be ready for that and be able to think through the game. I also expect Buckley to be more involved and I think James O’Donoughue is due a big performance, so mayo need to be close to our best to win and there’s no reaosn why we cannot be. I wouldnt really reference the roscommon replay, ros didnt show up and even if they did, they are million miles form where Kerry are at. Mayo need to learn now – we lost the 14 semi final replay, we lost the 15 semi final replay and lost the 16 final replay. To be frank, it’s bloody well about time this bunch of players proved they can do it when it matters. So far this year we have struggled to beat teams ranked lower than us, much lower in some cases and lost to Galway, remember that one?! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s 5 years since this Mayo team has beaten a team ranked higher than them (semi final v Dublin in 2012). Yes, we’ve had some comprehensive victories over the past 5 years but not when the opposition were favourites. Tyrone last year was 50/50 and we were lucky in that one cos we didnt score for the last 10/15 mins – it was a ‘skin of the teeth’ result.

    We are all; very proud of Mayo and of the efforts being put in but all of our frustration stems from the fact that we know we have the players capable of beating any team but by God is it time for this bunch to prove a point to themselves and the nation that they can do it.

  15. Good stuff there Willie Joe, but don’t discard McGuinness’s analysis in today’s IT to the waste basket. I thought he had gone off the boil because of his China sojourn, but I think he is superb on Sunday’s games.

    It echoes a point Ciaran Whelan made on Sunday night that Mayo are getting better with each game, and we are getting more tactically sophisticated; in addition our kick passes are developing all the time.

    But, but, echoing Our time has come, I have watched back, but only the first half. Have to say I was disappointed with our general sloppiness in the second quarter. Between fouls, silly turnovers and missed passes, we let Kerry keep in touch while playing badly. Shipping two goals is a huge blow, but by half time they were back in it.

  16. I think Mayo will win because we have more improving to do by tweaking our system. Kerry have to go back to the drawing board completely on their defence which is difficult to do in 6 days. I must say I really enjoyed Jim McGuinness’ piece in the IT today and I would very much agree with his analysis. (Compare it with Eamonn Sweeney’s ‘Donkeys article in the Indo!). Make no mistake – Kerry are spooked – they will be better the next day but so will we. This is more than just a game now for Mayo – it’s a cause!

  17. I think we will win Saturday and the biggest factor will be Kerry’s arrogance. It’s clear as day that they should play a sweeper, but this is not the Kerry way. Mayo now know they are a better team and will finish the job.
    I expect the same starting 15 and same positions. But maybe somebody sweeping in front of donaghny.

  18. WJ
    Have you thought of running a poll on whether Aidan should be at FB .
    Options of yes, no and don’t know would be interesting
    Thanks again

  19. Interesting views. As a Kerry man who has been at all bar one of Mayos championship matches this year this performance certainly didn’t come out of the blue. Flashes late on against Derry, a strong second half against Clare and 50 minutes against Cork showed that Mayo had the same attacking verve and doggedness that had ye a kick of the ball away from beating Dublin last year. The start in the first game against Roscommon let ye down, but ye whittled the lead back with ease and then finished the job early in the replay.

    I think Rochford got all his matchups correct bar 2. Aidan was clueless at FB and it does a massive disservice to a footballer of the qualitiy of Donaghy to assume that he is only a high ball merchant. Murphy got the upper hand on Keegan as well and had a good influence on the game from a Kerry point of view. Everywhere else Rochford had it spot on. However during the game I felt Fitzmaurice had the upper hand making changes quickly in terms of personnel and substitutions. I felt Mayo were slower to change when things weren’t working which allowed Kerry to keep in touch despite being outplayed. The one thing about Aidan at full back is it speeds up your attack. Aidan is great at driving forward and winning frees, but he slows the attack down often. By taking him out of the attack altogether it helped ye scythe through at speed with Donie Vaughan and Boyle bombing on at speed and Parsons breaking through for 2 points.

    The idea that there is a whiff of fear down in Kerry is laughable though. Every Kerry fan was confident of victory, but was mindful of the stiff challenge that faced us on Sunday. Nothing has changed. Most fans are still confident but realize the performance has to be raised to another level to beat Mayo.

    I expect Fitzmaurice to get the matchups right on Saturday and that with a dry ball, Kerry’s accuracy and delivery into the forward line should be crisper. Mayo handled the wet ball far better with Andy Moran sliding out to collect several balls and laying them off to the runners at speed. Mayo’s running game will be more effective in the dry weather so i’d expect Mayo to come on as well.

    Kerry to win by 4 with another high scoring game in store.

  20. Mayo.showed great spirit as well Sunday. Remember Mayo fell behind on a few occasions but got back on terms.
    I believe kerry like to play to a particular system. They are not as adaptable as Mayo. They were very uncomfortable for large stretches of sundays game.
    I hope Rochie throws in a couple of unorthodox plans for saturday. The more unorthodox the better. It prevents kerry from hitting their groove and the more uncomfortable we can make them feel the better.
    Mayo have shown an ability to change game plans almost on a weekly basis and to good affect as well.
    Think the current Mayo team is better than at anytime over the past 6 years. We have a great chance of winning the replay.
    When all players are analysed from both sides I believe we have a better squad.
    Mayo to win saturday.

  21. I rewatched again the first half last night. I’m very concerned about SOS closing down and chase back speed. Have a look at Stephen OBriens goal and being factual on it there is a pretty bad issue in how quick SOS is able to get back if you look also at how many minutes were played to that point. Now I know you might take two or three big shoulders and those can kills you energy for a few minutes, but still it was a fair bit off the pace of what is needed.
    Hopefully he can shake it off and have more energy in his legs the next day or it was just a knock or something.
    For the replay the biggest and most critcal thing is nothing to do with any tactics. It is simply which team has that ability to pressurise the other in attack/defence with more team speed. Not just a few, there has to be a higher overall speed on average from our players. Any dip in that needs to be taken care of in selection for either starters or in subs that are brought on.
    I still believe we have a clear advantage. If you tested both panels in terms of speed and endurance I am confident it is our 15/21 who come out better.

  22. Does anyone know if Lee Keegan was still recovering from injury on Sunday? I know he had blisters on his feet for the Roscommon replay but he seemed to have an unusually quiet game given his usually high standards. It can’t all be down to the man marking job done on him by Murphy. Or can it?
    Anyway here’s hoping to normal service being resumed on Saturday.
    I’m glad to read in some quarters that the negative narrative on the tactic of playing Aidan O’Shea on Donaghy is being reassessed as the week goes on. Who is to know what further damage Donaghy and the rest of the Kerry forward line might have done if Aidan had been stationed further field?!

  23. @ I ngrá le ceann éisc
    Excellent observations I agree with all except your last line of course.
    Give credit to AOS for not shirking responsibility but I agree he is not a fb not a man for man marker and if we are to play to our strengths he plays his accustomed free role. Give Kerry more headaches.
    The question still remains how we can limit and I say limit the influence of Donaghy. No use asking Philly McMahon…

  24. OnTheDitch, with Philly it’s a case of pulling, gouging and dragging your opponent on or off the ball, and then going down like you’re shot should your opponent appear to make any contact at all. Ensure the team physio comes on with the magic sponge also.
    Seems to be the tactic that works for him and refs will rarely punish him for it during the games, so he’ll continue to do it.

    I doubt Gough would let any of our lads away with that to be fair.

  25. I ngrá le ceann éisc, I agree that the Kerry sideline made better in-game calls that Mayo. However I totally disagree that playing AOS was in anyway a disservice to Donaghy. There have been hundreds of posts/comments on here about this game and no one even mentioned as such. He is hugely respected in Mayo as a class footballer. Playing Aidan was merely to counteract the high ball.

    I agree a dry day will suit Kerry better. If Mayo can muster up the energy to go again then it’s gonna be close, but after 10 games it’s a big ask. I’m expecting a big game from JOD this time.

  26. @Seamus Thornton.
    Lee Keegan spent a few nights in hospital with Cellulitis (publicly documented elsewhere) .
    Googling the condition uncovers the following;

    1. Its extremely painful
    2.If the infection spreads it can become life threatening
    3.Requires a course of antibiotics for 10 to 21 days.

    Given that the Roscommon game was 13 days before the Kerry game there was a good chance that Lee was still recovering from this and another 6 days will assist in his recovery.

  27. After watching the game again I feel Kerry left a few scores after them. They had 2 kickable points early that went wide, and a great goal chance that was saved. Aidan wasn’t the worst choice for Donaghy but he needs to attend a crash course in defending for beginners. We could also use him in midfield for Clarke’s kick outs. I felt that when the opportunity for the short ball was gone players need to react quickly and crowd midfield or run to the space around the half back line. I think Keegan should be allowed a more orthodox role next time and leave someone else to stop Murphy.

  28. WJ, I think Mayo will win on Saturday because they know Kerry’s style yet again & will set up the matchups to outplay them where it matters most, e.g. tighter at fullback & win the Game with attacking football.

  29. If my memory serves me correctly Donaghy chalked up a fair score against McMahon, and Donaghy possibly a fitter more motivated player than ever. Anyway not suggesting we resord to McMahon tactics, it’s not the mayo way.
    Donaghy v Parsons? The pluses and minuses.
    Making changes as game progresses as been mayo managements Achilles heel down all the years so it’s welcome to the club for Rochford imo.

  30. Curiosity(And free time!)sent me back to the archives on the blog for the post match analysis of Galway game..A great (and interesting )read through the comments knowing where we are today..Did we ever think we would have the Summer we have had?? Words like gallant bandied around and yet all the gallantry was yet to come.I remember thinking there had to be more than a loss to Galway and a quick exit in the qualifiers for this team ..Didnt forsee the most dramatic Summer in Mayo’s history..Roll on the next chapter.!!

  31. I’m sticking with what I thought should happen the last day. Keegan should mark Donaghy. He’ll disrupt him in the air and stick to him on the ground. I know we lose Keegan’s attacking threat but he is seriously a marked man as we saw on Sunday. We still have Higgins, Durkan, Vaughan, Boyle, Parsons, SOS, AOS to play the running game.

  32. Kerry would probably play Donaghy close to goal bombard us with high ball and he would win aerial battle. Hopefully Keegan fully recovered now, look distinctly pale last Sunday

  33. I guarantee you if we take AOS off Donaghy the first thing Kerry will do is lamp high ball after high ball in sniffing for goals. While I agree its not our best use of Aidan, it is curtailing the possibility of a disaster at the back (ie goals galore) thus deflating the whole team & all the supporters…..

  34. Rochford gave quite an in depth interview to Parkinson after the match about
    the Mayo tactical set up. Surprising, If I was him I would not have done that.
    I doubt Fitzmaurice would have him.
    Strange I thought.

  35. No offence WJ but if there’s a sense of fear in the kingdom then we should keep quiet about it and not give them any motivation whatsoever by saying that we’ve spooked them. I don’t believe that we got one over on Kerry the other day either. There’s still a lot of work to be done on our side. As someone pointed out earlier we went almost 25 minutes of the game without registering a score on Sunday and that is very worrying.

  36. If Rochford bends under pressure and moves AOS from Donaghy then Mayo will conceed goals from High balls into the square, Vaughan or Keegan cant compete in the air, possibly disrupt but With ODonaghue and Geaney lurking that’s a dangerous tactic to employ. Parsons will definitely not play fb, he is our only midfielder with any pace. AOS totally nullified the high ball, They couldnt even attempt it. We now know for sure this avenue is closed to Kerry, it would be crazy to move Aido and cause uncertainty in the backline.

  37. Did anyone analyse what kind of possession we got from our own kickouts. Think we did better in second half but it’s another area we can improve

  38. If we don’t play AOS on Donaghy the next day we lose. It’s as simple as that. Don’t pay any heed to the mainstream bullshit that AOS at full back was a mistake. The one time AOS was not in there Kerry humped a long high ball in, it fell kindly to Kerry and ended up, fortuitously, in the back of our net. Now, the thing is, if AOS was in there they would not have even tried it. AOS on Donaghy does not completely remove Donaghy from the game. He is too good a player for that. But it does remove the first avenue of Kerry attack. You force Kerry to rethink and change tack and straight away that is a victory in one of the many little battles that make up a game.
    For me, the next day, I would leave AOS in there again. With 25 mins to go bring Barry Moran in to do the same job on Donaghy (if he is not fit for 25 mins then he should not be on the panel) as he will be capable of doing exactly the same. Move AOS to the middle third and start driving at them. I would switch Keegan on to O’Brien and start driving him back towards his own goal and put Boyle on Murphy instead.
    Kerry are not going to fix that defense in six days and the bench is not as strong as many would have you believe, certainly from a defensive point of view. They can either change personnel (not too many options there) or change shape. If they change shape and introduce a sweeper well then Mayo should continue their man to man shape and push up on their sweeper and go for it. If they play a sweeper then our kick passing in to our forwards will be cut off, but, their defensive cover in our half back line will be less so we just drive at them from deep. If they don’t play a sweeper we continue our excellent kick passing in. We now have two ways of attacking. Who knows, by Saturday afternoon we might have a third way.
    Kerry are not as good as they think they are, or as the media have you believe. Their bench is not that strong either and Maher is a spent force in the middle. If we can repeat our defensive performance and our match-ups, tighten up on our kick-outs and make sure Seamie or Stephen Coen NEVER EVER SHOOT, we can drive this one home. I fancy us to score 2 or 3 goals the next day.

    I have been critical about Rochford and his performance in certain games but, by sweet Jesus Christ, the man has big balls! He takes brave decisions and, despite the rumour mill saying contrary all year, players that will follow his instructions. Our improvement in kick passing has been exceptional and the quality of ball in to our forwards was inch perfect. Diagonal, bouncing up in to the chest and in front. More of our players are displaying skills off both feet and we are finally creating scoring chances in dangerous areas of the field.

    We may not be good enough to win it all but by Christ it’s going to take a better team than Kerry to put us down.

  39. Thanks WJ that’s appreciated. I did think first half was a nightmare and we improved second half but will check

  40. Pebblemaster …. excellent post.
    One thing to note, …. looking at the don’t foul blog post, maybe Mayo should give up some more short kickouts….

  41. @WJ. Carroll article very good thanks again
    Of the 10 kickouts that Clarke was forced to kick past his 45, Mayo won three.
    We did better on short kickouts all be it putting ourselves under intense pressure.
    Kerry will no doubt expect us to pursue short kickouts strategy and will be increasing the pressure there.
    Imo it’s an argument for throwing A O Sea forward and improving our figures on long kickouts
    Why can’t Parsons have as much success v Donaghy as O Sea

  42. CityWest is already fully booked out for the 17th September!!
    I’m not starting any rumours here about the Mayo Team’s logistics operations, but I’d like to think that this army is planning ahead!!! Horan was well noted for it. It has to be in the mindset, we intend to win so plan accordingly.

  43. It would appear that the narrative is changing as people rewatch the game and analyise it a bit closer. O’Shea at full back was far from a disaster and most reasoned people can see that. It had a twofold effect in that it cut out route one for Kerry and it created a load of space in front of our full forward line as the circus that follows Aiden around the field weren’t camped on the Kerry half back line. I’d be fairly sure that the loudest critics of AOS at full back would be even more vocal if Donaghy had banged in two early goals. I do think that McGuinness’s point about letting him roam a bit futher up the field, maybe even playing a sweeping role and battering through the high Kerry press before laying off a pop pass to one of the half backs coming off his shoulder, he would also be able to stop those powerful runs through the center by Moran. I think when the players do their video analysis and see the amount of space in front of the Kerry full back line we’ll see more players running into the zone and getting a ball over the top. I don’t think they’ll use a sweeper as it would be tantamount to running a white flag up the top of Mount Brandon playing against a team that they have derided for years as not having a have a marquee forward.

  44. @liam
    Couldn’t agree more that the narrative is changing. The reality certainly hasn’t – I find it extraordinary facet of modern communications and media.

  45. A lot of bull shit going on today with stupid comments about leaving AOS on the so called monty star, who only got 1 score at end of the day and it was a one of our defenders mistake that allowed him the assist for their first goal,instead our obsession with him – I can assure u Kerry management are more worryed about Doherty and Andy.I have a feeling our cute Kerry friends will adapt 2014 tactics against Donegal and restrict one on ones with our ff line which will mean long range scores may be needed to a certain extent.

  46. I’d stick with the O’Shea/Donaghy matchup again for next Saturday.Donaghys aerial threat has to be nullified AT ALL COST. This is an absolute priority and there are too many painfulreminders in the past for us to overlook that.
    Apart from Aiden – the only other realistic options are Donue and Barry (Moran). However I don’t see these alternatives as strong. Donie concedes height advantage while Barry hasn’t togged out this year and lacks match fitness.

    I admire Rochfords ability to make the hard calls. All calls ultimately are a gamble- some work and some don’t – that’s the nature of the beast.
    Nonetheless I applaud his bravery and would feel the levels of criticism directed by the media commentators and pundits in recent days is unjustified and over the top.

    I also think that Mayo’s in-game management could be sharper and as far as last Sunday was concerned I’d have introduced fresh legs earlier.
    I would have liked to have seen Loftus introduced 10/15 mins earlier and equally, I was disappointed that Nally didn’t get a run out (after his impressive 2 points salvo against the Rossies).

    Presently the weather forecast is dry for Saturday next. This pleases me as I consider dry weather more conducive to Mayo’s strongrunning game and thus expect it to favour us more than Kerry.

    At this stage – I can’t wait for Saturday and remain confident Mayo will winwhat I expect to be another close, tense, edge-of-the-seat, encounter.
    In the interim, there’s no doubt Fitzmaurice and Rochford are busily appraisingSundays events, reviewing game plans/personnel etc etc in an effort to“pull a rabbit from the hat” to outsmart each other.

    Roll on Saturday – and come c430pm – I expect confirmation that Mayo’s quest for Sam,
    and this riveting championship year, will be extended until mid-Sept at earliest.

  47. 1 on 1’s are no problem joe. That’s when you ratchet up the running game.
    Ao’s did a very good job. His specific role was to kill the aerial threat. He did it.

  48. If it’s dry on Saturday, don’t allow donaghy to be a hero, leave aos in there on him and stick a sweeper there too. That way donaghys aerial threat is cleared off the table, and his ” ground game” is reduced by the sweeper on him or his colleague nearby. Of course this gives Andy and cillian lots more to do but Keegan and co in the hb line are going to help balance out the loss of a forward. Don’t forget the fact that donaghy scored 1 single point, that’s a poor return from a fullforward that was given such freedom by his marker. Kerry were leading by a point with time almost up, they surrendered that lead and failed in their attempt to win it with the last kick, they are human and very much within Mayos capabilities.

  49. Keegan is suffering the effects of Cellulitis still for sure, 6 more days will help – Kerry wanted Murphy on Keegan and we obliged by playing keegan in the half forward line. He needs to play at number 5 on O’Brien!
    Also and it has not been highlighted that Peter Crowley should have got a red card for a sliding tackle (both knees) into the back of Lee Keegan – it was a bloody disgrace that it was not dealt with. Lee will have a sore back this week to contend with also.

    Vaughan/SOS/Moran or who ever, needs to go to WAR with Donaghy the next day. Rochford needs to show how Dublin deal with Donaghy under the high ball and they don’t have big men in the full back line.

    Clarke also need an out ball if Kerry pushes up, this should be AOS @ 11.

    Hold Barrett for BJ Keane when introduce and play Durkin from the start and go at them. We have now two options, long ball or the running games, Kerry have problems and more to solve than us.

    They are likely to start the team that finished except Donaghy instead of Sheehan

    We need to be cute, when tackled, Kerry are we are not, O’Shea’s especially

  50. If they play like they did the last day and they shut down Kieran Donahgy then there is no reason why we shouldn’t win. We need to get the ball to old reliable Andy so he can bang over scores like the last day. HON MAYO !!!

  51. I saw highlights last night of Donaghy’s fielding v Galway in around the square for the first time and based on that I would say that Aidan at FB was a success. They kicked in 2 high balls and that was it. However, we will need to do something about the low balls that he won and distributed but I am lost to figure stars involvement in 2-4 as suggested by the barrister? We gifted Kerry both goals plus they got some very soft frees to keep them in it in the first half. We also should have had a penalty and I’m lost with the 3 officials who would have been looking at that but ignored it. Throw in JODs blatent push on Barrett and the free that kerry got as a result, then we really should have been out the gate with job done. Also had 4 bad wides in first half.
    Of Kerry’s defence only Murphy stood out but not hugely either. We will need to curb D Morans influence along with that of SOB and PG.
    When I heard Pateen coming out with the line while pointing the finger “this Kerry team have not been beaten since February ” that’s when I knew we have them rattled. I think Kerry have more to put right than we do but I’m not convinced they are capable of it. If we reduce the mistakes then we’ll be ok. I hope our backroom are telling our lads that they are better than them and to just go out there and prove it.
    BTW apologies in advance to anyone near me in 703 upper cusack(also there for drawn game) if I offend them while roaring my county on. I’m fully aware that I’m making an ass of myself but I just can’t help it no matter how hard I try.

  52. Would have to agree with the changing narrative. We should all remember the chaos that particular Kerry tactic has caused us in the past. That needed to be stopped. All it does is create uncertainty and loss of confidence in the team and in the stands. AIDO’s first job was to stop the aerial bombardment – he did that. We must also remember the rest of the forwards had powerful games – in large part because they had to. They couldn’t rely on AIDO to barrel through the middle and make space for them, they had to and did it for themselves. They should all take serious confidence from that.

    In fairness to KD he did outplay AIDO in open play but it wouldn’t take much for AIDO to tighten up a bit. From my vantage point, it looked as though AIDO could be much tighter, lets face it KD is not blessed with pace so AIDO should have no issue keeping with him, if he chooses to.

    The other bit of this i found intriguing was that Eamon Fitz called Rocheys bluff by leaving KD on the pitch until the death. A man of KD age would ordinarily be subbed off, but what is more valuable to Kerry? A tired KD marked by AIDO, both out of harms way around the Mayo goal or KD sitting beside the physio in the stand and AIDO rampaging through the middle? Eamon Fitz took off KD at the latest possible opportunity to be replaced by Sheehan on the off-chance of a late free. Very clever management on his part and it nearly won them the game.

    Lastly, I don’t believe there is need for a sweeper in front of the two big lads at all. It would reduce our own threat going forward even further and actually hand the initiative to the Yerras. I think the bit of our game plan that actually needs a serious bit of tweaking is our own kickout. Kerry in fairness put serious pressure on and without AIDO out round the middle our long options were much reduced. If we can secure an increased percentage of our own kickouts, it should see us through.

    How to achieve that – well i havent a clue! Good luck with that one Rochy!

  53. Onemoretime – no need to apologise! I was also in 703 for the drawn game and will be there again on Saturday too. I don’t intend to be quiet either.

  54. I was not always an admirer of Jason Doherty but I have to admit he is the most improved Mayo player over the last year. He appears to have worked hard in the Gym and he is now strong and fast and is probably our best ball winner in our forward line. However his kicking abilities have not had the same improvement. Great player though.
    Those of you looking back over the match could I ask you to look at minute 51 or there abouts. Crowley was bearing down on goal with Diarmuid tackling. IMO Crowley a la premiership players deliberately put out his left foot to entangle himself with Diarmuid and gets the free. What do he thinks?

  55. Revellino,Just read BJ’s piece and he mentioned that Donaghy went out to the sides , and as i recalled AOS he didn’t know to stay or go and when he did follow he was 10 yards off him – as a crap defender i still has a defensive mindset. Philly M had him controlled in 15 and his less physical than DV

  56. I posted previously that I thought Aidan was not a full back meaning that he should not play next Saturday. After reading mike quirkes piece in today’s Irish examiner I now think he should be kept there Quirke laughed out loud when he heard David Brady float a kite about the possibility of playing Aidan at FB. He thought it was a ridiculous suggestion. He thought it was and remains a ridiculous notion. He thinks Stephen rochford sent out a message to his own players and everybody watching that mayo were setting up to try and not lose the game Aidan would win every high ball sent in by Kerry. He is without doubt a better footballer than Donaghy. I say keep him there and let mr quirke take a run and jump for himself Up mayo

  57. WJ do you know what? I thought it sounded like you that was in behind me.
    Vaaldam you are 100% correct on the Crowley incident. You’d have thought that the umpires would have seen that but then I don’t think Deegan would listen to them. I get frustrated with that kind of thing. Crowley is a tramp(sorry again WJ) and not much else.
    IMHO I believe mayo are a 5 to 6 point better team than this particular Kerry team. Kerry have a long and proud tradition that has rightly earned them the respect of the country but I’ll say it again that this does not apply to this team. What have they won bar an AI that was handed to them on a plate by an inept referee and a rush of blood to Durkins head. And yes I do know that’s more than we’ve managed but those are the facts.

  58. Where was SHANE NALLY the last day?? Why are Drake and coen always ahead of him he has way more football than them.gone past a joke! One of the best foot passers we have and a leftie aswell.well able to take lon distance frees from the left!!

  59. Sorry Vaaldam
    I was thinking of the Coc incident when he was bearing down on the Kerry goal in the first half and the Kerry defender did the same thing to him. It was as cute as hell as ref was looking side on but again should have been called by umpire or are they just statues?

  60. I’m not disagreeing Joe. Not Aidens forte, tight marking. I don’t think management would be overly concerned if donaghy was to catch a couple of high ones 45 metres out.
    I think the nightmare they are trying to plan against is domaghy fetching high balls on the edge of the small box. That coupled with his quick hand offs, and 8 times out of 10 it’s a big goal chance for kerry. I stil have nightmares of 2006 and the semi final a few years back where he caught and fed odonoghue and he rifled it to the net.
    Some people are suggesting play him like dublin do (illegally). You do that and the ref decides it’s fouling you could be playing with 14 men.
    Rochford wanted to nullify the high catch within the 15 metre zone. He did that. The cost is we’re having to deal with Donaghys ground game. A smaller tighter marker on him though and your back dealing with Donaghys ariel game on the edge of the small box. I liked the move to put Aiden on him.

  61. Its a very hard one to call the O’Shea v Donaghy debate. If someone told you before the game that one full-forward line would score 1-9 from play and the other one would score 0-4 from play and that one team would get most of their scores from play and the other would score some handy close in frees. 99 out of 100 people would probably say that it would be Cillan O’Connor scoring from frees.

    Also if someone said that Geaney, JOD and Donaghy would not have a shot on goal and that in one incident (the time that Andy Moran’s shot was deflected over the bar), that we would have more shots at their goals in that one incident than they would have in the whole game, again you’d hardy believe them. Especially if you think back to the way we were opened up so easily in some of our games this year.

    I suppose the only way we will know what the right call is, is that if Vaughan starts at full-back for the first part of the game in the replay with O’Shea out the field. The only piece of evidence we have is that when Aidan was not in the middle, Kerry played a high ball in which lead to a goal for them. As I said its a very hard one to call.

  62. Voted for Mayo. Think it’s close to 50 50 and the team that adapts better and digs deeper should prevail. The combination of those 2.

  63. Discussion around Coen coming on to me is kinda redundant as usually both Boyler and SOS come off. Coen is obvious choice for either Centre Half Back or Midfield ahead of Nally or anyone else. Coen broke a good few balls after coming on but most went to Kerry because of their Swamp midfield approach.
    Both Nally and Drake come on any time Diarmaid or Jason subbed and Loftus for Andy. The only call I question is Drake and can only surmise that he’s the one who most resembles Diarmaid in training and maybe performing better than the other candidates whereas Nally has a good scoring record coming on in half forwards and Loftus offers us huge goal potential but doesn’t have the natural defensive know how of Diarmaid, Kevin or Jason and can’t win his own ball like Andy who is exceptional.

  64. O’Shea has got to be left on Donaghy. It completely removed the high ball threat and neutered the much acclaimed Kerry full forward line. I applaud Rochford for his bravery and hope he has the courage to stick with it for the replay.

    We simply cannot be beaten by Kerry in Croke park again by the high ball tactic as we were in 2004, 2006 & 2014.

    Low ball is much easier to defend and that’s the only tweaking needed for the replay.

  65. I think Aidan simply pressing shoulder to shoulder will work better the next day. He was unsure if he should follow out. Aidan I think will be instructed to be touch tight regardless of position.
    JOD hates have to run away from goal and win ball he thrives when facing goal.
    Jack Savage couldnt handle contact.
    Paul Geaney was flying and might do so again.
    The thing is Kerry score very little with their defenders. So its a fairly narrow focus on who has to be shutdown.
    Crowley, Young, Lyne, Enright, Barry and Morley dont do much scoring.
    Paul Murphy is good for scores.
    I think we can afford to ease off tracking someo their defenders and pull back one man in front of Geaney when they have the ball.

  66. Shuffly deck you obviously dont watch much Mayo club football.Nally plays both Midfield and centre half back for his club Garrymore
    And if both were marking each other in a club game Hollymount v Garrymore ,Nally to me would definetely get the better of Coen ,has alot more footballing ability.

  67. Km79… Roscommon voted NO
    … Normally Donegal vote NO… But last time out Roscommon voted NO.

  68. Last 4 Years against Dublin and Kerry

    Mayo have conceded
    2013 – 2 v Dublin
    2014 – 4 v Kerry 2 games
    2015 – 5 v Dublin 2 games
    2016 – 2 v Dublin
    2017 – 2 v Kerry

    Average 2.15 goals per game conceded

    The above stat is whats killing Mayo

    We must protect our goal properly if that means 2 sweepers so be it

    I actually don’t think this current Kerry attack will score much if they’re swamped and we can hurt them on the counter attack

    I would play them like Donegal played us in 2012

  69. Very good stuff there Pebbles.

    Just trying to think of the plusses and minuses for both teams the next day:

    * Keegan wil improve and will have a further week to shake off antibiotics etc
    * AOS should be fitter also and better equipped (sorry, even better) for FB
    * Barry Moran will be fitter (not match fit though)
    * Can improve (McGuinness and Whelan promoting that line.
    * Kicks out can improve???
    * Will 6 day turnaround affect them?

    * Donnacha Walsh back – possibly?
    * Capable of further improvement
    * Capable of fixing FB line?
    * Slight advantage in 6 day turnaround

    The thing I’m really worried about is our kicks out. Kerry hammered us on that the last day and it has to be addressed.

  70. What a match on Sunday, I’m still hoarse!! I would love to see Paddy Durian and Jason Doherty start but who would end up on the bench I really can’t decide. Doc was brilliant especially in the 1st half. And well Paddy I am convinced he would have done a lot more damage if on from start. Rochford has tough decisions to make don’t envy him. So wrong the comments made about the management. In this together as Andy said. Looking forward to the replay.

  71. I think we’re going to handle the six day turnaround better. We’ve done more of them than Kerry and our players were the ones full of running at the end of the drawn game.
    David Moran is key for Kerry and he looked shattered.

  72. Despite the general change in opinion on Aidan marking Donaghy last Sunday I’m not convinced it was successful. And that’s no blame on Aidan.
    Take the first goal: ok Seamie messed up and turned over possession. But Aidan gave Donaghy so much room and time to set up O Brien he could measure the pass to perfection. Same result as Donaghy catching a high ball and laying it off – goal.
    The second goal: Keith gave a foot pass out the wing which I thought Aidan should have got to but perhaps not. He should have followed the ball into touch and ‘accidentally’ hoofed it down the field or into the crowd to give himself time to get back. As it happened Donaghy was screaming for the high ball in which Seamie to his credit did well to break off Donaghy but it unfortunately it fell to Moran. I don’t think Aidan could have managed that high ball in much better than his brother.
    So I think it is fair to credit Donaghy with contributing significantly to those two goals. As regards the points I have not seen the game back on TV so can’t comment on them.
    So whether to place Aidan on Donaghy on Saturday I had said earlier – no way. Now I’m not as sure. If he is put at FB then he really needs to keep much closer to Donaghy throughout the game.
    What I do know is that if Aidan is out the field we will win a lot more primary possession from kick outs and that puts us on the front foot. I would put Vaughan on him and take a chance but it’s not my head on the chopping block.
    My bigger worry is that other forwards might cause us much more trouble on Saturday.

  73. I can’t believe anyone thinks AOS worked at full back. He was miles out of position most of the time. Caff would be a far better option as FB. We need a sweeper and think Mc Loughlin is the man for the job.

  74. It s amazing how the narrative in the media has changed regarding the AOS / Donaghy match up. I think it is telling that Fitzmaurice described it as robbing Peter to pay Paul. Fitzmaurice doesn’t do off the cuff remArks, you can be sure there was reverse psychology in there somewhere. The Yerras are as cute as pet foxes.

    It is really intriguing to study this, when more detailed analysis is emerging. It was noticeable how Fitzmaurice had 4 subs used by time the second half started, and their subs all made a positive impact.

    I think if Kerry do some version of parking the bus in front of the full back line, Nally will have to come on to take long range shots, that is clearly his strength.
    I think in so far as possible forwards should be subed by forwards, or at the very least backs who can score. we need lads who can take points if the game is in the melting pot with 60 to 65 minutes. I have said it before, but when you have a sniper like Conor Loftus on the bench, he needs more than injury time to poach a goal. An injection of new pace in the last 15 minutes might well open the sluice gates if the Kerry defence has been labouring up until then. Who comes off is whoever is whoever is spent and left it all out on the field .

    If Sheehan managed to gain those few metres, they could have robbed us. That would have been a master stroke, by Fitzmaurice, but thankfully it did not come to pass.
    Jack O Connor did a lot of crying about the hurt the Kerry fellas feel when they are not winning All Ireland s every second year. You couldn’t listen to their arrogance, and sense of entitlement and patronising us. We have multiple generations of pent up hurt and frustration. Our time is now to end the famine, come on Mayo.

  75. Chris Kelly, you’re correct I haven’t seen much club football living outside the county but I did see Nally a few years back in a County semi final and was very impressed. However he hasn’t played midfield to date with Mayo and his defensive games were on wing not centre. People here have admired his football intelligence for some time but prior to this year were worried about him coping with the pace of championship football, certainly as a defender. Nally is a great option if Diarmaid tires. Coen might be just a few percent stronger which makes a difference in the engine room though he hasn’t generally lifted it like midfielder subs for other counties. Drake must be the best of them in training but it’s not translating to games.

  76. On the kickouts I think on a drier day several more of them would have stuck as they were curving off towards the sideline. With better grip Tom and others would have caught more of them.

  77. I hope for SR sake he isn’t reading this blog. His genius status has already been reinstated it would appear more as an act of solidarity to the critics than based on what we witnessed on Sunday. I hope he is not reading it for fear he thinks that overall the AOS strategy was a success of some kind. I give the man more credit than to make the same mistake twice i.e. Totally sacrificing one of his best if not best player for an ultimately a negative return on donaghy…what in gods name were people thinking donaghy would do if his performance on Sunday was not a resounding success…? Like if he was curtailed on Sunday what are people saying he can do?

    AOS won one high ball off him and propel equate that to winning the aerial battle. Were Kerry ever planning to go high on a regular basis in those conditions? Donaghy was the safety valve for all the forwards under pressure during recycling phases. His second half was less eye catching but he had loads of time and space to bring control to the attack when he got it. he spent most of his possession facing the Mayo goal rather than with his back to it. Plenty of time to turn always – he orchestrated the forwards the AOS usually does the opposite end. If the view is Mayo forwards were better off that he wasn’t up that end….sounds like his job was done dragging the side through the back waters. He might as well watch rest of championship in the stands …if cafferky had been marking donaghy on Sunday and KD performed exactly the same he would be lambasted here.

    Then what about the kick outs when Clarke was at see at various times surely adding AOS to seamie and parsons is a formidable midfield taking on so called 50/50 balls….better there than 0/100 balls kicked over the sideline!

    Ah would u stop….rant over. Please don’t make same mistake again…as Einstein said ….definition of madness…

  78. However Kerry did Swamp the area really well. Many times we broke the ball and a Kerryman was in the right place. Not even sure it was all about the numbers. I think they have it we’ll practiced and Buckley mopped and caught a few good ones. Even the shortish Murphy caught one or 2.

  79. Cantini, I’m of the belief that if management put AOS in full back again we should stand by that decision. They are best placed to make the call having seen what happens in training. I believe it’s as much about the psychological thing of stopping Donaghy in the air and he’s in his best form for a long time. I also feel Aido could do considerably better if asked to do the job again but not guaranteed. There may be other options but I’ve no doubt they’ll weigh up the risks and benefits.
    And if Aido plays up front then I would hope he’ll do more damage than Donaghy the other end. Kerry are even less equipped to deal with Aido than we are with Donaghy. I also spotted Diarmaid posed an aerial threat inside knocking ball down to Andy.

  80. @shuffly
    Ur last paragraph I agree with …but it is at odds with what precedes it. There is no question u have to go with management that’s the way it will always be and rightly so….
    But do we even know he would win the aerial battle? No – that can’t be answered by one ball. Do we know he is not a man marker? Yes. Do we know he can’t be a threat at the other end if he is FB? Yes. None of that adds up to me as a case to stick with it. I am certain SR won’t either…or I’ll eat my hat

  81. All the debate is whether Aidan at fb worked or didn’t. Man for man maybe it did or maybe it didn’t. But maybe the move had a less obvious impact worth considering. J
    ust as Mayo were working out how to deal with Donaghy threat it’s reasonable to assume Kerry were trying to work out how to deal with Aidan’s robust midfield and attacking style and had defensive setup and tactic plan to deal with that. So far so good. That was their plan A.

    But deploying AOS at full back must have thrown the plan. And didn’t look like they had a plan B judging by the way their defenders were at sixes and sevens so often. Ended up with Andy and Doc and Cillian and Kevin Mc punching holes in them time after time. The Mayo attack they faced wasn’t the one they were mentally and physically expecting
    Nearly all the expert analysts (who we all agree are pis poor as analysts most of the time) were pointing out the poor Kerry defensive setup but without much questioning why it was so bad. Could be a large part that the defenders were caught off guard with Aidans move and theyy didn’t know how to deal with it.

    They same analysts lauded Donaghy who scored 1 point and were keen to point the massive contibution he made and that AOS is not a tight defender. Kind of stating the obvious. Didn’t hear any of them picking so clearly on any Kerry defender in a similar fashion when Andy danced around them for 1-5.

  82. Missed some of the comments as I was watching the crows of tralee.

    Somebody said that Ger Cafferky should be brought in to mark Donaghy. Think that’s my good night’s sleep frigged.

    Donaghy winning high ball = goals for kerry and probably = win for kerry no matter how well AIden o’shea plays out the field.

  83. Don’t know if we’ll see Donncha Walsh back catcol, it was a hamstring injury so with a six-day turnaround he would be a big risk.

    There’s been an interesting shift from the initial negative reaction to AOS at FB to the now almost universal agreement (among Mayo people anyway) that he should be left there. I know I’ve changed my tune from what I was thinking walking down Clonliffe Road at 7pm on Sunday to how I feel about it now, which is somewhere in the middle. Now I’m afraid that if we move Aidan off him Kerry will score five goals off the back of it! Who’d be a manager?

    It”s striking that this match-up still seems to be central to the entire debate when there are 28 other players on the field. We still did concede two soft goals to Kerry regardless of whether or not they originated in the air. Will Kerry be more likely to throw in 50/50 high balls on Saturday when it’s not raining? It’s an interesting observation above that Aidan in FB freed up the attack to move with speed. I’m not sure that the loss of his ball-winning prowess in midfield makes up for that. I would hope though that Seamie has a better day on Saturday.

    I think Keegan will find his feet the next day, and we’ll see a couple of other players shine for us in a big way. Mayo by one.

    Also, let it be placed on the record that we are not the only county to whinge about referees!! http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/ref-gough-not-most-popular-in-kerry-says-osullivan-457499.html

  84. @ Cantini,
    i think you should have a good read of karl o’kane’s piece that WJ posted the link to above before going on a “rant”.
    twice above you have stated that winning 1 ball in the air does not prove that AoS won the aerial battle. But the fact that an aerial battle did not ensue was a win for Mayo………. see the below:

    2017 – see quarter final against galway
    2017 – the only time AOS was not marking him, he breaks a High Ball to David Moran resulting in a goal
    2014 – in first game against Mayo he breaks a High Ball down to Donoghue to score the equalising score
    2014 – in replay in Limerick the relentless tactic of kicking a High Ball into Donaghy resulted in practically all of their scores.

    The trend of kicking a High Ball into Donaghy and goals coming from that was something that had to be stopped!

  85. I see colm Cooper and Paul galvin posted tweets tonight calling on Kerry fans to make the trip to cp , hmmm am I reading too much into it or are Kerry nervous

  86. Hope you’re right Anne-Marie on Walsh.

    I’m monitoring Fitzmaurice’s uttering closely on this. Still think they’ll get some game time from him. He’s a big loss to Kerry, , bastard though he is, and we definitely benefitted on Sunday.

  87. Excellent post, heimat. Very observant.

    Our kickout strategy needs to be worked on , alongwith the concession of unnecessary frees.
    They both caused us a lot of unnecessary grief the last day.

    Of course we’ll win next Sat.
    We are going to win the All Ireland.

  88. Deirdre Dee – No offence, but you’re only fooling yourself and being lulled into a false sense of security by thinking Kerry are nervous. That is not the attitude to have when facing Kerry. They are a serious outfit and they will come at us in a big way come Saturday. I just hope we’re ready for them and if we have a similar lead to the one we had early in the first half on Sunday our lads need to be totally ruthless. I was so pissed off when we missed that 3rd goal chance at around the 25th minute mark, I knew Kerry would come back. I think Loftus should have been brought on then in an effort to punish them even more after all the hammerings they’ve given us in the past.

  89. Yeah, Clarkes kickouts were shocking the last day and a disaster waiting to happen. This really needs to be looked at during the week. A couple went straight out over the line too, gifting them possession.

    I wonder is Willie Joe having a night in Bowes in Fleet Street on Friday night for the pilgrims on here.

  90. After watching the second half again I’m now feeling more down than I was earlier in the week and thinking will we ever get as good a chance again to beat Kerry. In those last 10 to 12 minutes, we squandered away at least five scoring chances by poor shooting or poor passing. If we could only have been a bit more patient when on the ball in that period we would now be in the final. Of course, we must make allowances for the weather and all that but unlike Kerry, at the other end, we couldn’t even draw a fecking free that would have given Killian a chance to slot over a point or two at that crucial stage in the match. And unlike a lot of you guys up the page, I’m not feeling as confident about the outcome of the replay either. I only hope they can prove me wrong because these players are true warriors in every sense of the word.

  91. I am confident that our football warriors can and will beat Kerry on Saturday. They are the best, so what if they missed a few that would have made them winners. All they need is a point or two and they can do that!

  92. I saw the ‘rallying cry’ from Kerry on Twitter too Deirdre – I’m sure it’s some sort of Yerra reverse psychology trickery!!
    I wouldn’t be of it the mind to pay heed to any of the rubbish out there anyway – head down and let’s keep moving towards Sat doing our own thing.

  93. I probably going to cause a stir with suggesting the following!

    I’m a big fan of Clarke but with extra cover from high balls that AOS provides would it make sense to put Hennelly in and get faster ball out from restarts? Also having him on for long range frees would be helpful.

  94. Like we did in last years Final, id rather see O Shea in full back again that that, cant go with that sorry Amayofan

  95. @mayofan
    Ur idea is not mad. It was a real Achilles heel for Mayo especially in first half Sunday – the kick out. But SR would either have to have balls of steel or be mad to start henelly due to backlash if goes half wrong. I doubt poor hennelly would benefit from the revisionist stuff I’m reading AOS.

    I think Mayo have a better than 50/50 chance on Saturday …but if they set up the same way and stick with it I’d put that more like 40/60 against and would be calling 4/5pt loss. I haven’t seen any acknowledgment that Kerry’s plan if AOS was at FB (he admitted they talked about it) was to back KD on the low ball. If they did he won the tactical battle hands down. It doesn’t matter a shite if he is getting possession in the sky or bouncing into his chest – it’s still 3pts for a goal how ever it came about.

  96. Amayofan..we have now played 600 mins of championship football and of that Hennelly has played 0..You were in Ireland on Oct 1st last year when we tried that before???!

  97. Watched the match again and forgive me but I am feeling less confident. Our scoring average at the end of each half was very worrying. Is it tiredness. fear, conservatism or coincidence. Other than that we did a huge amount really well. Our FF line was outstanding from play and our kick passing in to them was brilliant. Rochford got most of match ups spot on as he usually does. His 2 most controversial were AOS on Donaghy and Lee on Murphy and while these were not unqualified successes they were far from disastrous. People are praising Fitz for his in game management but some of the Kerry fellas were getting such a runaround he couldnt but make changes and dont forget Kerry have strong bench. Most of our backs were very good individually, but collectively they were caught out for the goals and conceded too many frees. Our kick outs were and have been a problem which is very difficult to solve. Going short is high risk and each error is magnified. Going long and we lost a lot. Clarke is a brilliant goalie but he is not a Cluxton on kickouts. Kerry will be much smarter the next day. Fitz is pragmatic and will leave the beautiful game at home, play a sweeper and stop our FF line from repeating their heroics. Evenso could Andy ever play as well again. 1 5 from play was astonishing. The Donaghy problem is still there for us. Have we a new plan for that. Difficult to do in 6 days. Kerry were mediocre sunday. I expect they will be better. Favourites almost always win replays. The day to beat them is the first day. Look at us v Dubs in 2015 and 2016 and Kerry in 2014. Despite my concerns and fears there is no doubt but I will be in Croker on Saturdayday to support this wonderful team who have given me and thousands like me the greatest and most thrilling sporting days of our lives. If they never win Sam it will not diminish them one bit in my eyes, but there has never been a group of men so deserving of the ultimate prize. I will be more than delighted to be wrong on Saturday evening as regards my prediction. Up Mayo.

  98. Yep like that, however, with a different outcome 🙂 Isn’t it the high ball where Hennelly is vulnerable? In actual fact, with him in goals, it would be so tempting for Kerry to keep trying launching scuds. This would play right into our hands and with AOS or SOS or who ever winning aerial assault.

    Hennelly kicks out are better than Clarke and I think this gives more opportunity for players to run onto them and launch the quick ball forward.

  99. Perhaps Kerry’s confidence is a little shaken, hence the tweets of Galvin and Cooper recently.
    Colm Rourke and Whelan called Kerry out for not being that hectic of a team on live/highlight shows. That would have stung big time.
    Kerry would have backed themselves seriously last weekend to beat us.
    They might be feeling a little more twitchy than us this week….here’s hoping anyway!

  100. @Regina – I sure was and had a real good view on what unfolded. You know there is very little between two goal keepers both have different attributes. Hennelly is vulnerable under high ball, so he needs cover. Clarke kicks out hang in the air giving time for opposition time to cover.

    Tactically and with both playing at top of their game I think Hennelly is a real option (if high ball cover is in place). He can take 45 (has anyone else noticed that Cillian is opting not to go for long range frees?) and /or long frees.

    That all said – point taken by game time he has this year. He would need to be on top of his game.

  101. MaigheoGalinGaillimh were u on the sauce last night, Clarkes was trying quick kick outs even do some were heart in month moments,he also made brilliant save at one stage. WJ could you create a poll to get a rough idea of who’s want AOS back or not

  102. I think Darragh O Se’s article is spot on today – it is best review of the match i’ve seen from anyone in terms of assessing performances of the AOS v Donaghy match up. I particularly agree with his view on overstatement of tactics – “players have to play”…..he has also backed Kerry to win replay so can’t be accused of towing the party line!

  103. Eh, No Joe, I wasn’t on the sauce last night – what makes you think that?

  104. Joe – it’s best not make personal comments (even tongue-in-cheek ones) at others. On the poll suggestion, that would be a no – I’m happy to leave tactical decisions to management and don’t think it would serve any useful purpose to have a public vote on that particular decision.

  105. I just ran into a kerry fella at work here. I asked him what he thought – “we were poor”….I said ” but how do you know ye are any better than that?”….he replied “ah jaysus we have to be better than that”….

    …Paidi O Se got a lot of stick for his take on Kerry supporters a few years back. The “effing animal” rant….not so sure he wasn’t on the mark though.

  106. Yea, a good assessment by OShea….our fellas have to play the game better than the other fellas…put simply! And that’s exactly what will determine the outcome on Sat.If it’s to be our day by 1 or 6 we have to do what we know we can do….ruthless and cut throat! But we still haven’t that belief ….we re in frontier territory….Davy Crokett land, where anything is possible but you have to put you self in the way of it. Kerry have been here before so many times….big advantage.
    Mayo have shown they have what it takes . They now will go and do it!

  107. Don’t agree that Henley kick outs are better than Clarkes, they may be longer but they hang in the air and that doesn’t help possession count, we will have to get kickouts right and win middle third if we are to win this.

  108. Apologies MaigheoGalinGaillimh for personal comment – we might not be talking about this game only for his save against Barry. Just read O Se’s read piece, I agree we need to utilise his strength which is his when his on the ball and barging through lads.The lift it would bring to the team/supporters if he was playing in midfield or half forward,instead of having to listen to constant guff from Donaghy, also AOS discipline was brilliant with Donaghy,Crowley and Geaney were in his ear at different stages

  109. No bother Joe, comment didn’t really bother me, but you have me confused I think – You seem to be referring to suggestion to replace Clarke with Hennelly – I didnt make that suggestion – there is no way I’d be brave enough to drag that particular topic for discussion LOL!!

    I will admit though I can see how it would cross someone’s mind – if Rochford did this now he really would have liathroidí of steel! I think though that this change would be a step too far even for S Rochford!

    I know everyone feels the same but I have an ache for the team to win this game Sat, I think I will be more disappointed than some of the AIF’s if they don’t.

    Also Rochford said in Colm Parkinson’s interview that he wasn’t going to comment on Aidan’s role until he had time to properly analyse it – how right he seems to have been there – if a few of the other media folk took the time to properly analyse the game, maybe we wouldn’t be seeing such an apparent shift in media opinion on it now. Rochford was quick to point out our actual short fallings and mistakes in the interview too.

  110. I think we are people are supporting the decision to put AOS in FB as it is seen as politically correct and supporting the Management Team. It was bad call, simple at that. While we may console ourselves that it stopped the aerial threat of Donaghy, it left him with loads of space on the ground as AOS is not a back. Take the goal for instance, he backed off Donaghy, leaving a 3 against 1 scenario. No fault of AOS, he is not a back and does not know how to stay tight to his man or tackle as a back. If we go down this route again on Saturday, Donaghy will move out to the wings and leave us in all sorts of bother. Kerry did this exact same this against Cork some years ago where Donaghy and Cooper switched positions, taking out the FB, worked a treat for them. If believe that the Management have got this right, then why not bring back Hennelly to sort out the problem with the kick outs. He is still a super keeper and on the panel for this reason.

  111. Maybe it’s simply a case of what people think, Just Outside Ballagh? We didn’t lose a game every pundit said we would, Donaghy only scored a point and the aerial was sorted. I’ve yet to see anyone come up with an alternative plan that might have worked better but I’ve seen plenty that most likely would have resulted in disaster and defeat. The Hennelly example you put forward is a complete red herring. We definitely have an issue with restarts but bringing Rob in cold next Saturday – as we did for the replay last year – is just asking for trouble.

  112. Forgive me this slight tangent but I’m going to delve into the Donald Rumsfeld world of logic here for a minute. We have the “known knowns”, the “known unknowns” and the “unknown unknowns” i.e. we have the things we know we know, the things we know we don’t know and the things we don’t know we don’t know.
    1. We know Kieran Donaghy is a serious threat to any full back line in the country and has scutched us on numerous previous occassions. We know we need a plan to deal with him and that he still caused damage despite Aiden being assigned the role.
    2. We know we lost out on Aiden’s abilities up the field but we don’t know how much we lost out.
    3. We don’t know how much this tactical move upset Kerry’s plans and therefore had a knock on effect further up the field, mainly with the amount of free space infront of the Andy and Jason Doc.
    I doubt old Donald ever thought his rambling justification for the war in Iraq would ever be used to explain a decision of a Mayo football manager but that’s one of the joys of supporting this fine county, you never know where it will take you.

  113. All my Kerry friends saying the reaction down there has been one of ‘we didn’t play and can only get better’ ‘Mayo missed their chance and we’ll take them by 5/6 on Saturday’. I’m not surprised by this but compare it to the reaction in Mayo which for the most part, in Mayo papers and on MWR had been one of pride and satisfaction and how ‘great’ and resilient this team is etc. The same stuff we’ve been hearing for years now. I just doesn’t sit well with me. If you haven’t won an All Ireland then you aren’t ‘great’. I came away from Croke park pissed off cos we only played in patches and went without scoring for long enough periods, made numerous and costly errors, like the two goals conceded and the silly frees we gave away in the first half. None of that was ‘great’! Cmon people of Mayo, strive for more than 2nd best!!! I made a point here yesterday that this Mayo team hasn’t beaten a team in ages where we’ve been underdogs. It’s about bloody time to set that record straight. I’m sick to the teeth of hearing/reading of how great we are and how resilient we are etc, but no cup to show for it.

  114. Fair enough Willie Joe, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Mine is that AOS did not deal with Donaghy. It was the amount of scores he set up as to scored that were the issue. Sure he is hard to mark but the Dubs do it very effectively without sacrificing Fenton as an example to mark him. It may have been a tactic not to lose last day, but we need to go out on Saturday to win. AOS as FB will backfire on us if we try it again and lets hope the Management Team have a plan B as we will need it for this one. Lets go out and play to win, we are good enough and need to start believing this on the line as well!

  115. Maybe aiden was told not to follow donkey out towards the wings cos if I remember rightly kerry used his running to the wings in 2014 final to pull Magee out of position in order to let geaney in to claim the high ball and goal.

  116. Just Outside Ballagh – exactly, we need to play to win and believe!! And settle for nothing less. If we come away from Saturday without victory then this year goes down as a failure. It’s as simple as that.

  117. Neutral observer coming in peace…just a few comments from somebody without any skin in the game

    – first of all, congrats on this website. Very impressive forum and personal abuse it generally kept within reason from what i can tell
    – from having attended the game I would be a lot more confident now of Mayo winning then i would have been last sunday morning. The main reason for this is that Kerry back line is over the place, Aidan O’Mahony a massive loss,every member of their fullback line got eaten alive, it helped that the ball going in seemed a lot quicker than usual. The upside to not having AOS in the forward line is he does take an awful lot out of it and those runs Andy Moran makes during a game usually dont get spotted early enough
    – on the AOS experiment, as the week goes on there seems to be a lot of revisionism and commentary that the move to fullback was a success, it really really wasnt. Donaghy had the freedom of the park, look at his point and the first goal again, KD had 20 yards of space goalside of him on each occasion. Almost everything went through him, Mayo got away with it this time
    – in terms of personnel changes, i would bring in Durcan to start with SOS dropping out and AOS moving to midfield alongside Parsons
    – a mention of one of the lesser lights on the Mayo team – Brendan Harrison was phenomenal i thought, really agressive and strong in the tackle throughout, he seems to be improving all the time and has his allstar in the bag
    – Higgins will also be adding to his allstar collection, in all honesty i seen him in the NFL a few times and thought he looked finished, a different beast when he gets to Croker. His tackle on Paul Geaney in the last minute to stop a 2 point lead was the moment of the match imo, you would have fancied Geaney from taht position 10 times out of 10
    – a word on Clarke, his kickouts are a massive worry. They arent good enough or quick enough and put his team under lots of pressure
    – and finally, Mayo can win this if they focus on playing to their own strengths, Kerry seem a bit spooked so just play to your own strengths, running hard at them in numbers. No need for any madcap brainwaves or thinking outside the box.

    Best of luck saturday -should be another belter

  118. A question for Mayonaze and justoutsideballagh..How would ye deal with Donaghy??Would ye put Vaughan on him??Always think if you dont agree with a decision an alternative is handy..

  119. As a matter of interest, Just Outside Ballagh – who would you have put on Donaghy and why? (Echoing Regina, I’ve just noticed – beat me to it!)

  120. Mayonaze – I listened to Terrace Talk on Radio Kerry on Monday night and they are confident of a Kerry victory. They think Mayo played better and Kerry will only get better. One comment irked me “Aren’t Mayo great though even if they don’t win an All Ireland”

    I am bullish about the replay. I think commentators are ignoring key Mayo players like Keegan, Seamus O Se and Cillian who did not have the influence on the first game. We can play so much better. Sure we had the winning of it and had three bad wides towards the end…but we are well able to beat this Kerry team.

    Just go and f’in do it.

  121. BTW – If another person comes up to me and laughs saying “We had our chance and missed the boat” I am going to punch them in the face. The amount of “armchair” experts who didn’t even go to the game that said that Sunday night would drive you insane. Mistakes were made on both sides….lets see who learns the most. Hindsight is a great thing though isnt it….

  122. Regina, I never said I disagreed with AOS on KD. It’s hard to call. On the one side him being there negates the threat of the high ball but in wet conditions that was almost taken away in itself so as the game wore on last Sunday someone else tall could have dropped back in. If Saturday is dry then it becomes more of an issue.

    I’ve said before that when Mayo win against tough opposition, AOS invariably plays a leading role in the thick of the action. We managed to scrape a draw the last day with Aidan (and Keegan) not featuring prominently.

    It really is a hard one to call. Kerry are cute though and will have plans for 1.AOS being at FB and 2.him not being there. Donaghy got the better of Aidan the last day. No doubting that and priced how good and clever ball player he is. I would be inclined to have a tall player back in there and a sweeper in front to really shut down KD. But Kerry have Geaney, JOD (who is due a big game) and the pacy O’Brien. Mayo’s strength lies in our defence. I would be going down the Donegal 2012 route of shutting down the opposition attack, make it really crowded and difficult in that sector and then counter attack football. A lower scoring game but that’s how I’d go about it to start with.

  123. The most popular alternative to AOS at fb is Vaughan with a sweeper in front, most likely KMc. This is primarily to release Aido forward but what about the negative effects this move will have,

    – Donie is tough but Donaghy would win any aerial battle, this would open up the long ball to Kerry which had destroyed us in the past, This also brings ODonaghue in from the wing sniffing around for the knockdown. We have the aerial threat stamped out, giving that back to Kerry is a massive gamble, is it worth the contribution AOS may have at the other end, imo it is not.
    – Donie covered a lot of ground and put in some hard graft tracking Kerry runners. Donie is also worth a point or two in most games. He is one of our main ball carriers. Putting him at fb would take away this part of his game.
    – KMc to sweeper would be a massive loss to the forwards. He was vital last Sunday as a link man and mopping up ball around the middle. Moving him back would be a huge mistake and take away from what was by and large an impressive forward display. For me playing a sweeper would be a huge mistake, it would be going on the defensive and handing the initiative to Kerry.
    – Playing a sweeper takes away a forward option. Good news to a shaky Kerry defence.
    -Eamonn Fitz is an experienced operator, He isn’t going to sit back and allow Aido have free reign. He will have a strategy (clean of foul) to kerb Aidos influence.

    Weighing the pros and cons of moving Aido I believe the safer option, the option which would most benefit the team as a whole would be for him to remain at fb. There are to many unknowns and negatives in moving him. Everyone wants to see Aido catch high balls, drive at defences and cause havoc but this may not in the greater scheme of things be the best for the team if we are leaking heavy scores (particularly goals) at the back.

  124. Just two comments about the drawn game:

    1. The second goal that we conceded. If you compare the way the Kerry lads got back on the line to prevent Andy Moran’s effort for a goal in the first-half to our attempts at keeping out Buckley’s effort, our lads were very slow to get back on the line. We should probably have done better there in getting a block in.

    2. Something that has being happening all year. I can’t understand how we don’t put a big man at the edge of the square when we are taking long range frees. Again the last day a Cillian O’Connor free dropped short and David Moran actually caught the ball into his chest. We really should have SOS or Aidan, if he is out the field, or Tom Parsons right on the edge of the square as a lot of long range frees from Cillian have dropped short this year.

  125. Have mayo got any fast backs to bring on as subs, the man that got
    the equaliser for Kerry went straight to the weakest point when he came
    on as a sub. the management are on the right lines with AOS , bringing on a
    player on 73m.15 sec is not a good idea . No mistakes Saturday please
    no soft frees, 3 frees in same position first half 2 players take note. Watch right
    corner , this can be fixed with a man tight on donaghy -(AOS @3). without
    mistakes Mayo x6…Slan anois

  126. While I’d agree with you, Mayonaze, about Aidan playing “a leading role in the thick of the action” when we win, it isn’t always in the forwards. Tyrone in the quarters last year and Donegal in the quarters the year before would be two examples but when he plays in the forwards against Kerry and Dublin he doesn’t always do well. And we’ve so far beaten neither of them. If you go back to 2012 when we last beat the Dubs he was a deep-lying midfielder.

    I think having Aidan out of the attack last Sunday worked for us in two ways. First, the ball in was way quicker, with Andy and Jason profiting from this and destroying the Kerry full-back line in the process. Second, when has Deegan ever given Aidan a free when he’s attacking with ball in hand? We saw several examples the last day where our players were fouled in possession close to goal but got nothing for it and I’ve no doubt it would have been the same if Aidan were there. We did the logical thing and cut to the chase by taking him out of the zone, negating Donaghy’s aerial threat in the process. Sure, we lost something in doing so – Rochy admitted as much in the GAA Hour podcast interview with Colm Parkinson – but we gained plenty as well.

  127. I’d be on for leaving Aido in FB for the first half IF Donaghy starts. Early in 2nd half when Donaghy starts to tire move Aido out and assign someone else to Donaghy. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t start at all! 6 day turnaround might mean that he will not be good for 70+ minutes on Sat and I could see him coming off the bench instead… Either way we should have a portion of the game when we will have Aido free to play outfield…

  128. If any of you dare ( I know I very much struggled) go back and watch the 2014 replay

    To put it this way, I was far happier with how Donaghy was handled last Sunday than that day, that’s for sure.

    So from that perspective AOS on him certainly worked to an extent

    Would Andy have gotten 1-5 from play with Aido being also used as an outlet up front?

    Anyhow it’ll all be completely forgotten about Saturday, when we win

  129. I’d say the main danger with Donie Vaughan marking Donaghy would be that he could pick up two yellow cards etc. very easily, so that would be a right disaster to go down to 14 players.

  130. Willie Joe have answered this earlier, Caff with a sweeper in front. He is a natural FB and will stick tight to Donaghy. Much aligned of course but still our best natural FB.

  131. Justoutsideballagh – if Rochford did that and Donaghy roasted him there would be only too many people here calling for Rochfords head for bringing Ger back in to the starting 15.
    And while he’s our best natural FB, Ger’s a long way off the pace he was at in 2014 and look what happened then.

  132. Its a matter of giving cover to your FB like Dublin do. Of course if you leave him one on one with Donaghy with free runners coming through, he gets destroyed no matter who you put on him.

  133. We’re over analysing one particular match-up.
    If Aido is at FB on Saturday Mr Donaghy will move his bag of tricks further out & towards the sideline leaving Aido to ponder ‘should I stay or should I go’. They will attempt to open up the middle of our defence & have the likes of Geaney,O’Donoghue & O Brien haring around in there.
    We need to look at other areas where we are below the standard required.
    1. Conceding soft frees is one & conceding preventable goals is another. For the first goal there was no tight pressure on Donaghy and despite having several defenders back none of them had the wit or pace to go with O’Brien when or before the transfer was made. For the second goal David Moran was allowed to go past a central Mayo defender & get a shot on goal. Clarke saved the shot well but the ball didn’t end up at the corner flag but instead we left ‘afters’ in the form of a bouncing ball in front of our sticks. These are the small margins that we need to get right. In this game a point is a pin-prick but a goal is a dagger.
    2. There is now massive pressure on our kickouts & no great targets around the middle for them either …. very hard to suggest improvements here …. spells at midfield for Barry Moran, Conor O Shea, Seamie, Aido ?
    I do think we need to rotate more here in order to better support Tom Parsons for 80 minutes.
    3.I have no problems with Rochfords’ initial selections at all . Even the curved ball of Aido at FB as this had the effect of throwing the Kerry game plan into disarray. I would be more concerned with the ‘in game’ management side of things and the personnel and timing of his calls. Kerry for example made I believe 2 substitutions before half time and another one at half time.
    Does any of us think Mayo would even contemplate such a thing. No … we would be too polite, too forgiving, lacking the Kerry ruthlessness. And towards the end they put Sheehan on to gobble up any low percentage long range frees. At the risk of crashing Willie Joe’s server would it outrageous to suggest that if we have a spare sub towards the end that we give Rob Hennelly the last 10 minutes for precisely the same reason.
    This 2017 season could yet be decided on very small margins indeed.

  134. Here are a few supplementaries for you, Just Outside Ballagh. Who do you drop to recall Ger? (Bear in mind Donie’s storming performance the last day plus Paddy Durcan’s strong claims to start as well). Who plays sweeper? What effect would your choice of sweeper have on us elsewhere in the field? Are you confident that your preferred team would be any better equipped to, as you yourself put it, “play to win”?

  135. This would be the Ger Cafferkey who in the prime of his career got torn apart by Donaghy three years ago? I’ve seen /read it all now

    I’m not having a go at Cafferkey. Styles make match ups. He just matches up very badly with Donaghy but he has more than held his own in battles with “marquee” forwards over the years

    Not only does he not match up well with Donaghy in general but he’s been way off the pace this year overall, sadly

  136. We move to the same defensive structure we employed against Dublin last year with McLoughlin at sweeper. He has proved himself in this role and AOS is a far better option closer to their goals. We are not playing to win if we leave AOS as FB and Kerry will pull him out with Donaghy playing further out!

  137. So, Just Outside Ballagh, would that be the defensive structure that didn’t include Ger Caff or one altered to include him? If so, at the exclusion of whom? And how do we compensate for the loss of Kevin Mc in attack (where he’s been a real handful over the last few games)? And what happens if Aidan continues not to get frees when taking the ball into contact up the field? In addition, your proposal – which, by the way, still hasn’t dealt with the question of who drops out for Ger – doesn’t pass the “play to win” test either: you don’t need me to remind that we didn’t win the All-Ireland last year.

  138. WJ – while I think the AOS initiative backfired – I called it a brave decision from the off and SR is a good manager in my book. I did question why he did not do something about it at HT but I have since softened to the notion that because (being a good manager SR recognised) the Mayo full forward line was enjoying more success than he could ever have anticipated and that it was better to retain the midfield/front structure as a result and leave Aidan and hope for better but either way take the net benefit.

    The point is though – as good a manager as SR is – I don’t believe his moving of AOS to full-back was to generate the by-product we came to see in the Mayo full forward line. I think that was purely incidental and AOS was put on Donaghy to nullify Donaghy – and on that point I can’t for the life of me see how anyone sees that match up (on its own merits…not on the byproducts) was anything other than a clear victory for Donaghy.

    Now coming to the next day – I think SR will know the Donaghy match up did not work and he cannot rely on the assumption that byproduct factor will simply reoccur (as though fitzmaurice were clown). As such and I am not going to get into the business of telling SR what he should do – what I am saying is that he has seen what did not work and as a good manager will either come with no AOS at FB or AOS at FB with back-up….I see no scenario in which he just rolls the dice on the match up as it was the last day thinking this time AOS will come out on top this time. If he does then I would have to revise my analysis of him as being a good manager. He would be a gambler….but gamblers can win as well as lose of course.

  139. Thanks WJ – very interesting. Can’t believe he gave that much access and he goes up in my estimation for having done so – its almost like a double bluff in some respects – there is too much ducking and diving with managers and players in interviews anymore. He believes in himself this guy and he clearly sees whats going on on the pitch. He’s also smart enough to know that a few soundbites isn’t going to have a profound impact on EF strategy. However, I’m not so sure AOS at FB was part of a devious strategy upfront based on what I listened to – although sounds like Lee Keegan ploy was definitely connected to outcome in Full forward line.

    But having listening to him there – I’m very convinced he won’t simply settle for AOS v KD match up like the last day – if he goes with it it will come with bells and whistles…..

  140. Me neither, Cantini – you get the feeling there’s another plan of some sort being hatched for Saturday. I’d agree with you too that it’s almost like double bluff. Rochy definitely wasn’t opening the whole playbook (a la Liam McHale on Off The Ball after last year’s drawn Connacht final) but showed enough to get the other lads thinking, which I’d say is what he wanted. Or not … Who knows what the hell is going on at this stage?

  141. Im kind of of leading towards putting Aiden back for this one as well, we moved the ball a lot quicker up the field when we used running game, I know he has an influence upfront but when was the last time he got more than a couple of scores.
    I don’t see why he cant do what Jim Mc Guinness said and move forward when we have possession.

  142. Dublin and Tyrone are better teams than Kerry. Dublin are Kerry’s bete noire. If they meet in.the final the Dubs will win again as Kerry cannot live with them especially in the last 10 mins. The Dubs, with many key players missing and not being too bothered, smothered Kerry in the last 5 minutes of the league final. Could and should have won but now win all the time against Kerry when it matters. Tyrone would beat Kerry too. Mayo are unpredictable. We could beat both on a good day but if we cannot beat Kerry then we that says it all. A team with no defense??? C’mon!!!

  143. I’m not totally sure Tyrone are better than Kerry

    I guess we don’t really know how good Tyrone are yet, but we gave them a very rude awakening last year after they were over-hyped to the 9s. It wouldn’t amaze me if Dublin beat them comfortably enough

    I think Dublin are the only truly consistently great team in the country. Kerry are very consistent and efficient but I think our own ceiling is higher in terms of performance. We’re not as efficient and clinical as them though.

  144. Willie Joe, we did not win last year due to complete bad luck of two own goals. Let’s not even get into why we did not win the 2nd day. We need a solid defence and AOS attacking. We have not got defensive structure right this year. Would drop Vaughan and keep him in reserve for 2nd half when SOS comes off.

  145. The second of our own goals last year would have gone in anyway…a couple of Dublin forwards were waiting to stick it in the net…Cormac Costello finished us off in the end in any case. We don’t have forwards of that quality. We need impact subs.

  146. On that basis, Justoutsideballagh, I’m even more glad that it’s Rochy who is picking the team. Dropping Donie for Ger would make absolutely no sense at all and would, I fear weaken us considerably. The why and the wherefores of last year aren’t really relevant – the point I was making was that if you claim to be picking a team to win, there’s little point pointing to the set-up for last year.

  147. That does not make sense WILLIE, last year’s team was a winning team, just bad luck on first day cost us the game. Our defence was in far better shape. This year we have dropped our FB and now trying to patch that up with a Midfielder. It might work once against Kerry but will not be pretty if we make the same mistake again. Donie will not last 70 mins with Gough as ref.

  148. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, Justoutsideballagh! If you’re happy in the view that last year’s team was a winning one that’s fine – that’s your view. I’d agree we were desperately unlucky last year but ultimately we didn’t get over the line and there’s no point pretending we did. I’m happy that management are doing what they can to gain those vital few inches to make us the team that does actually win it out. Maybe they’ll succeed, maybe they won’t. We’ll know soon enough.

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