Where we go from here

Mayo team

Okay, then, it’s Monday morning and it’s all starting to sink in. Our Connacht crown is gone and with it our safety net in this year’s championship. One more slip-up, one more ghastly display like the one we gave on Saturday night, and the curtain comes down on us for this year. It really is one game at a time territory for us now.

So, from a logistical point of view, what does this mean? Well, we’re on the B side of the qualifier draw and, as a losing provincial semi-finalist, we enter the qualifiers in Round 2. The draw for the Round 2B ties takes place this day week, live on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme just after 8.30AM.

The Round 1B fixtures are on this coming weekend. They comprise Offaly v London, Antrim v Limerick, Down v Longford, Wexford v Fermanagh. The winners of these matches will then be paired with the losing provincial semi-finalists in next week’s draw. As well as ourselves, that particular cohort includes Cork, Westmeath/Kildare and Donegal/Monaghan. Those latter two provincial semi-finals are, by the way, down for decision this coming weekend as well.

In next Monday’s draw, the Round 1B winners are in one bowl and the losing provincial semi-finalists are in the other so we can’t be paired in Round 2 against, for example, Cork. Round 3, however, pairs the 2B winners against each other so if we make it through Round 2 (keeping that one game at a time dictum firmly in mind) then we could get them or maybe Monaghan or Westmeath at that stage.

The Round 2B ties are scheduled for 9th July so it’ll definitely be another Saturday game which will be fixed for the afternoon or evening that day. Precise details will be confirmed once the draw takes place next Monday.

If we get over that hurdle – and we’ll need to be a hell of a lot more switched on then than we were on Saturday night to ensure this happens – Round 3B is fixed for the following Saturday, 16th July. From a personal point of view I have to say my heart sank when I saw this as that’s also the date of the Westportif cycle. If we’re still standing after Round 2B I’m all spun out of that one (the cycle, I mean).

Venturing further forward (with increasing trepidation, given that 9th July really is the only firm diary date we now have) Round 4B is fixed for the August Bank Holiday weekend. If we’re still standing then we could be playing the Saturday, Sunday or Monday of that weekend. Which, lapsing back to my cycling (not a topic that concerns most of you, I know, but is one close to my heart), may or may not leave me free to tackle the Giro de Baile. Here’s hoping … on all fronts.

If we’re still in the mix at that stage, Round 4B pits the 3B winners against either the beaten provincial finalists in Leinster or Ulster. So, that’s a choice between a county that has just been disembowelled by the Dubs or a battle-hardened outfit that has come off second best from a fist-fight up North.

Thereafter, the Round 4B winners go forward to meet either the Leinster or Ulster champions in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. These matches are fixed for 6th August.

What happens after that – and, I know, we’re now firmly into the territory of wild speculation – depends on who draws whom at the quarter-final stage. Say we draw the Ulster champions and beat them, then we become the “Ulster” representative in the semi-final and so would play the Connacht champions (or whoever beats them in the quarters, should that happen). In that case, we play the semi-final on 21st August whereas if we get drawn against the Leinster champs (I know!) and beat them (I know! I know!) then our semi-final would be 28th August.

So that’s the obstacle-strewn path now facing us as we – as An Spailpín Fánach put it so well this morning – seek to put the Green and Red Humpty Dumpty back together again in this year’s championship. It’s a path we can only take one hurdle at a time.

149 thoughts on “Where we go from here

  1. It’s a difficult path, but, there’s no reason if Mayo still have to will to fight their way like everyone knows they can that they cannot be there at any stage from here on. The dubs are probably a little bit less uncomfortable now that they think we are goners, but the one team I would love to see us get at quarter or semi would be Dublin. I can see us winning the qualifier games without being full throttle, and maybe we got caught by Galway because of training differences? But as had been said, Mayo were being primed for August and I think we will still see Mayo going well in the coming weeks and months.

  2. We go on as planned…the future. This squad did what they had to do. The county board did what they had to. The manager has done what he has done.

    Like a liner with course set we are powerless to interfere with those three variables. Let the season run. Then we can look around and decide if it’s carnage or redemption. Either way, the common follower like myself has as much power as Ireland has with the EU.

  3. What an intriguing path and one which guarantees we’ll know a lot more about ourselves by the end of the season, whenever that might be.

    As regards the August bank holiday weekend, fingers crossed that (a) we make it that far and (b) if we do, our game doesn’t clash with the brilliant Giro de Baile and (c) the sun shines this year !

  4. My father was a bit of a ploughman and as a kid I could notice that he took great care to make sure the horses worked as a team. That involved checking the gear, the tackle and trim so that it was equal. I might often forget what happened yesterday , but the truth is I can recall little details clearly from way back then. And like Aesop`s fable I do think there was a life-lesson to be learned from it.

  5. Nicely put John Cuffe. Its the void that exists now in terms of who we play, when and where, that’s as frustrating as the loss. The last few years we had our summers planned for us by a very obliging Mayo team, not anymore. I dearly dearly hope that it was a bad day, a glitch, as they say and that normal service resumes in the next round.

  6. I sincerely hope it’s just a bad day at the office and not an indication of something terminal. I suppose we’ll find out what they’re really made of now.

  7. Evan Regan makes himself available numerous times in great positions but we completely refuse to kick quick ball into him at the right time , instead we fooking move it back , slow it down and work it in when there are at least two opposition players round him . Honestly I can’t fathom this play , what on earth is wrong , have the play makers no football brain whatsoever . Who is coaching this stuff , it just doesn’t make sense .

    They certainly bought into the hype and underestimated Galway , training camp was most likely too heavy with the date of Galway game so close to it , we as supporters need to to get behind them now in the grounds rather than shouting our mouths off on the internet where it has no impact .

  8. a long hard road for a team that has served us very well over the last 5 years.

    Legs looked heavy on Saturday and my fear is between 5 years hard running, injuries and a shortage of young fresh legs around the middle third, the road ahead might be too long.

    I hope I’m wrong of course.

  9. Looking at the positives. If we had rested up for this match to have the legs fresh and then had our tactics spot on scraped by Galway. We might be coming out of Connaught with flaws in the team.
    The only way we can make a quarter now is with a good series of regular games. When you are a squad that has had a shaky season regular games is exactly what you need.
    If we don’t make the quarter finals we mark it down as a bit of a shocker of a championship. If we do make the quarters we would surely be coming in there with our a seriously well bedded in first 15. Something we haven’t even approached all season.
    Those games are winnable and at the same time tough enough to be bringing about a settled championship side.

  10. Not dismissing Roscommon, but just comparing 2 games to a quarter compared to this qualifier route, (I counted 4 games giving 2 extra games).

  11. 5 long years on the road? and what about dublin and kerry? theyve been there as long or longer. lets not make excuses for anyone please. Mayo had a terrible 60 minutes and lost by 2 scores, after kicking infinite wides and bad passes.
    let them settle and regroup and judge them by how they fare for the rest of the summer, not by a single game against the old enemy. Higgins back to defense, aos at chf, cillian at ff and stay there, no going back to defend when they need to be up front attacking.Use the sweeper but dont allow anyone else from here on have the option of short kickout, mark every single man for the opponents kick outs, and tightly at that.
    A run of games in qualifiers will get them back on track and I fully expect quarter final to be our new target, but take each game as though it was dublin or kerry we were playing.

    for anyone thinking its over or too hard, please look to the nba in the usa, cleveland down 3-1 and come back to win in game 7, never done before

  12. Ok so potentially we could get a draw like down- cork/monaghan- tyrone/donegal- dublin – Kerry- final!!!

    Or offaly- westmeath- meath- monaghan/cavan- galway/Ross- final

    It really is completely down to the luck of the draw from here.

    Anything like the top and the season is pretty much a write off (if we somehow get through a back door we aint beating dublin) so It would be great to see some under 21s properly bedded in and some players regrettably put out to pasture

    Anything similar to the bottom however and we might just have a second wind in us yet with a very manageable bounce back route to the latter stages.

    Interesting times. Sadly given some of the teams in our side of the draw it’s extremely difficult to veer on the side of optimism.

    Still gutted

  13. Mayo are still best team in Connacht but gap is closing and not widening as Horan predicted. Mayo had an off day it happens we had one last year against Sligo and Fermanagh. The run through the back door will help Mayo I think and as has been said is now the time to blood new players, A few observations I do have though are.

    1.Aidan O’Shea needs to be played midfield and from an outsider looking in needs keep away from media he loves seen his face and name everywhere. Concentrate on football and he is one best around

    2.Cillian does not do enough from play and for someone who is most accurate free taker in country imo he is very inaccurate from play and needs up his game. Injuries haven’t helped him I presume

    3.From watching Mayo underage last few years I cant understand why Liam Irwin is not starting full forward.

    4. Keith Higgins should be the man dropping back as extra man, Any county would love have four lads like Boyle,Durcan,keegan and Higgins in around half back line each able to cover for one another and all as good going forward as defending.

    Final point I will make is about Donal Buckley correct me if I am wrong but hadn’t Buckley now been coach with 3 different management teams? Complete madness I know he is top coach but surely its time for a change or give him the management job.

  14. I think it was telling that two of our backs suffered from cramps on Sunday. Galway forwards ran us into the ground. We were fit but not fit enough and not as hungry as Galway for the win. Qualifiers should help get our tactics right and you never know. Team is not that much different from last year.

  15. My main worry about the qualifiers is the quick turnaround between matches. On paper we should be the best team in the qualifiers and yes in theory we will be favourites against everyone but we’re not used to matches in quick succession in championship. Far too many potential away ties against northern defensive teams for my liking too which will not help at all

    Usually I say bring on whoever but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wholly wishing for some good fortune in each draw going forward

    It just feels like such a weird position to be in

  16. Game was lost when we went 4 up, one more score and the result would be different, we now have a problem, and hard road, we need more of the younger legs on, loftus, diarmuid, Nally, maybe reape, Higgins back to the backs and stay there, will big bird be available this year
    KEEP the faith no team will fancy meeting us, we are different animal to 2010.
    Kerry,Tyrone,Galway,cork all won Sam through back door,
    2010 was contested by 2 backdoor team

  17. Players need to embrace the road we are on now….we have a terrible record in the qualifiers and it need’s to change. True character is made when faced with setbacks…..time to stand up. I fully intend to be on the road and hopefully the qualifiers route will take us on a summer journey.
    Some of the stuff written about Mayo (mainly from other counties) on social media the past 48 hours would make your stomach turn….the one aspect of social media I despise.

  18. Mayo’s record to date through the qualifiers has been forgetful. But we can definitely pick up the pieces and go on from here. Lets just hope if we get to the August Bank Holiday the match is on Saturday or Monday as i also hope to do the Giro de Baile in Ballycastle

  19. The positive is that we can now wait until July 9th for our next game and we know what the schedule would look like IF we were to win on July 9th, we can change our physical training accordingly as we have 3 weeks to adjust.
    If we went out in a Connacht final then you potentially have less time to adjust.
    There are plenty of negatives but they have all been done to death already

  20. Just back from the Wesht – lack of WIFI a big drawback over the weekend.

    Hate to say I told people so, but… I did mention some issues beforehand that weren’t just an oldie fear of Galway: no 70 minute performance this year; injuries – still very worrying; the lack of road testing of a new style; worries about midfield (that one was loudly derided), and Galway being better than they were given credit for, and BTW they weren’t great on Saturday.

    There, aren’t I just great! As for the game, I did see a few positives. The defensive set up has a way to go, but I thought it worked a fair bit. 1-12 is not a terrible score to concede (Sligo racked up 2-11 against us last year), but the goal should never have happened. Tom Parson’s attempts at tackling were pretty bad and Tom Flynn probably couldn’t believe his luck. We did switch quickly to attack at times, but the score attempts and shot selection were not impressive.Taking 60% of those chances would have been enough to win it.

    Midfield is now a crisis area. Barry still out, Jason out, Seamie not fully fit. Aldo must be posted here and Stephen Coen groomed, perhaps Diarmaid also, whose injury is still a worry.

    And management? I haven’t seen anyone refer (I may well have missed it) to McEntee. He could have been listed in the MOTM competition, because he was on the field for most of the game, not just running in, but wandering around giving very detailed instructions to certain players. And at one stage of the second half there was clearly a strong difference of opinion during his, 30 seconds or so, discussion with Aido and Keith. Methinks all may not be plain sailing there.

    Also, I didn’t think their conditioning didn’t look great. This is a completely amateur observation, but at Pearse stadium last year, I was impressed by how well-conditioned they looked, whereas that wasn’t the case on Saturday.

    I don’t know whether I want a hard or easy qualifier – Down away, or say Offaly at home. The latter type would allow the game-plan to develop and bed down, but would we really be ready then for a tough opponent? If say Down away, they will fancy their chances after the league and we’ll have to scrap hard.

    Finally, is the fatigue factor kicking in? I don’t think so, certainly hope not, but there are a few warning signs there, and one element could be an inability to change or accept a changed style or gameplan. This is what will make management look to newer players, which may not work out either.

  21. Agree totally with your points Oliver Kelly ,

    O she’a is too concerned with media attention, he clearly is now fit enough to play midfield and needs to work on his fitness.

    I would 100 per cent start David Clarke in goal for going forward … No ifs, buts or maybes … By far a more consistant , safer option …

    We need to look at exactly who is suited to post the sweeper , I don’t think
    Mc Loughlin is the answer ..

    There seems to be a lot of dead wood on the panel too … Pardon the expression Willie Joe …
    But management made 3 changes too different lines of the team when we experienced full back issues

    Anyone know the exact time frame for Ger Caff?
    When will he be back

  22. I dont buy this 5 years on the road stuff either. Dublin, Kerry, Donegal and Tyrone are all on the go as long as we are. I dont hear anyone saying Dublin wont win All Ireland this year because most of the team are around since 2011. I know we have suffered hard knocks on the way. However when you see a team like Galway at the weekend winning after 8 years of defeats to Mayo you keep hearing this word Hunger. Our provential campaign is over now. We enter the All Ireland Series. Surely if the word hunger can be applied to any team then its us.

    6 day turnarounds are the hardest part of the qualifiers. We seen how Dublin dealt with the 6 days turnaround last year before they played Mayo in Semi Final replay. We need to do the same this year. The excuse that we dont have money for this kind of stuff wont wash this year. The men in charge of the purse strings have enough time to get up off their backsides are go out and fundraise to make sure funds are their for this.

  23. Did anyone happen to hear seamus banty mceneaney on rte radio immediately after the game, scathing as usual, that this group of Mayo players would never win an allireland. Good tape to have for the dressing room down the road

  24. The nasty stuff is said because the ignoramuses are jealous or just hate the thought of Mayo regrouping and knocking them out of the race. It’s not false optimism from me but I really think if Mayo go back to the brand of football they are good at there’s no reason in the world that they won’t flourish in 2016, they don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just play defenders where they should be played and have the likes of Carolan Irwin reape and loftus ready to roll if needed.
    Someone mentioned cramp, how can these players be cramping? Dehydrated? Too much salt in diet? It’s a problem and if we don’t have a sub ready to come straight in it could be fatal against top quality smart forwards that can see the advantage of an injured opponent.

  25. 1) If AOS picked midfield it needs to be for 50/55 mins with his brother or a fit Barry Moran coming in. These are big men and only Parsons has 70 minute engine and even he tired the last day probably from pre London game injury depriving him of some quality training. If AOS FF then apart from kickouts Cillian has to position in HF when opposition has the ball because Regan worth his place now and is an orthodox corner forward and defensive system only allows 2 inside until we have the ball.
    2) Sweeper either Kevin Mc or Keith but like Ryan McHugh needs to be the attacking link man. For that reason Keith is better. Option 2 is zonal with midfield dropping and AOS CHF and other half forwards covering midfield. Sweeper means 2 in FF line and no short kickouts to hurt us. Galway were happy to let KK have the ball on the wings and then set up their system. So the system needs to revert to orthodox for opposition kickouts because we are good at the pressing game and saw evidence any time we tried it Saturday.
    3) The system needs to allow our half backs to be marauders. Durkan stayed put the last day but Keegan did push up a few times.
    4) All game planes predicated on a good or fairly good performance in our 2b game to get back on the horse in winning ways. Losing a blessing in disguise because we had no chance of winning Sam by front door.
    5) A bit of luck if we get to quarters. We saw how Donegal struggled to duplicate energy of Galway game against us last year. An AOS FF role could yield goals in a tight QF. Also need a bit of luck with midfield, hopefully SOS championship sharpness comes back quickly and a speedy recovery for Barry. Otherwise makes sense to play AOS there.

  26. Most of what I’ve seen isn’t malicious in fairness, just slagging. There’s always eejits out there yes but on internet forums and social media it comes with the territory

    Id be delighted with the result if I wasn’t a mayo supporter to be honest. Good for any sport to see the big teams shaken up from a neutral POV. Up to the players now to answer the critics hopefully

  27. What on earth do ye want the likes of Banty to say about our chances of winning an all Ireland with this team . The vast majority of the gaa public bar us (mayo supporters) think our ship has sailed .

    Clarke is a safer option and safety is what the last line of defence is all about . I’ll be totally bad mannered on this topic and say if you think otherwise you are just choosing a personality you prefer as it is and has been very obvious for a long time .

    AOS needs to concentrate on his game and not worry about trying to have a say about everything , when Boyle got his point and was trying to lead by example I couldn’t believe my eyes when Aido was up to him giving instructions . When Regan was gettin his head boxed off by Galway no . 2 that’s when you should be throwing your weight about the place .

  28. Dave. why would the Dubs be uncomfortable with Mayo still in or out?dont think Jim will let his players look past Meath this wkend.Mayo in the quaters or semis would suit the Dubs just fine,

  29. Not a huge fan of playing a sweeper system even though in some games it is a necessity!
    Don’t think management will abandon it totally but we had a lack of scoring forwards on the pitch the other day and at one stage n 2nd half cillian was back in hes own full back line! Ya ain’t going score from there!
    We have being at our best last few years when we play this high tempo high press football now that does leave us open at the back.i think it time to revert to some degree to what made us a good team!
    It’s time for this group to get back and hopefully everyone pulls together.a few players look disinterested at times and need a shoe up the backside!!!

  30. Williejoe,

    I know this blog is very much against defamation, so I suppose this post is just testing the water or asking permission to discuss certain issues. delete or modify if needs be.

    [Deleted].

    Hopefully it was a case of us believing the hype and getting caught cold. We have three weeks now to make necessary adjustments and move on. I believe and hope we are a team that are far from finished and this serves as a wake up call! I don’t think top teams fall away that quickly! I think we need to revert to what we know attacking wise, a strong running team!..

  31. The dubs have to be thinking that mayo are washed up, beaten by a division 2 side in a game where nearly all were saying how much the landslide Mayo win would be. That’s 1 less side to challenge the dubs, and please don’t confuse the issue, Meath collapsed something shocking to Westmeath last summer from a huge lead to lose the game, Jim Gavin won’t be paying Meath 1 bit of attention apart from lip service and talking about Meath traditional power and fighting attitude, which is of course ancient history.

  32. goinwellintrain that “story” is not true. It has been doing the rounds for weeks and has grown legs and the three people involved have had no issue with management and acknowledge that the player was poor in London (which was after the rumour started)

  33. There’s lots of optimism here and I admire it, but I think your right Ciaran….it is up to the players, this is after all, what they wanted after last season. They knew better and were determined to bring about change. So they did, and despite the gnashing of teeth and bad feelings, everyone put it behind them and rowed in behind the team. The players got what they wanted, the setup they believed was the key to winning. Now they must deliver Sam…..anything less would be a failure imo.
    Will they deliver this year, who knows? After this weekend, the road ahead is more perilous and full of landmines, plus our record in the qualifiers is not something to be optimistic about.
    Nevertheless, we’re still in it and with a bit of luck, a good bit of introspection and a solid game plan, we can take one scalp at a time.

  34. Heard that rumour after the game too but put it down to silly beggars stuff after a loss which is not unusual.

  35. I’ve deleted the bit about the story, goinwellintrain. I’ve no idea if it’s true or not – though I see that a long-standing contributor has already said it isn’t – but in any event it’s not a story I really want to give legs to here.

  36. A few observations from our (Galway) perspective;

    An unspectacular (none of our 3 key forwards fired although they worked their socks off off the ball) but effective performance from Galway. We had nearly as many wides (I counted 13 to 11) as ye and the shooting in general from both teams was not great.
    The big thing for us was not conceding one goal chance. I have been following Galway football for 35 yrs and have never seen our defence as tight and composed even when we were in our pomp. KW has obviously worked on this.
    The media stuff pre match written about us (by many who know little of the internal workings of Galway GAA) was as disrespectful as anything I have ever seen even if we have not set the world alight in recent yrs. I see Ciaran Whelan went missing on the SG last night after his gaff last week. At all our league games this season the only one we got lucky was against Armagh. Should have closed out the Meath game when we turned around a 9 point deficit and had a world of wides against Fermanagh. In our 2 point defeat to Tyrone it took a last minute save from their goalie to deny Shane Walsh. I would be quiet balanced in my view in that I would not be hopping around saying we will do this that and the other but our players work as hard as anyone else with limited resourcing in some respects. Whatever happens to us against the Rossies I always believe in the Galway football brand who unfortunately are often the forgotten sporting in these parts if they are not going well. I can never understand this.

    As for Mayo it is indeed a question of time will tell. I would not be too worried about the miles on the clock as experience brings more positives than negatives when a team has to go down the qualifier route. It all depends on whether the players have the stomach for it. I don’t see why they wouldn’t as it is knock out and knock out comes to every team at some point in the Summer
    Stephen Rochford is a smart manager who knows how players tick. I would be well aware of this from my Corofin sources.

    I agree totally with the poster about the social media stuff when a team suffers an unexpected defeat. Keyboard warriors love this stuff but many of these were not at any type of match over the wend.

  37. If I was involved in the Mayo setup I would be plastering the wall with the words “Washed up” “Finished” “end of the line” “Players got what they deserved” – use it as motivation going forward…it may seem petty but anything to G a team up should be used. I remember one of the O’Se’s saying in 2006 how the Kerry team drove through the qualifiers looking to set all the doubters and nasayers wrong.

  38. Look on the bright side – we might only have to beat Down, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry and Tyrone to win the AI!
    No point doing it the easy way!

  39. Whatever about listening to criticism and heeding advice from Tomas O’Se or Colm O’Rourke but from Seamus “Banty” McEnaeney? You’re having a joke. A man that regressed the Monaghan and Meath sides he managed and left both of them in a worse off position than when he took over.
    However, they can be no hiding place for the players and management from that performance. In fact, I’d encourage them to read every article and listen to every comment. For me, there were some worrying signs from some of the more senior players and if indiscipline, disrespect or lack of obedience towards the management team is a problem, well, then the only way is out the fucking door and off the panel. End of. I don’t care who it is. If there are egos present I hope McEntee dents a few of them. Let them get their Celtic Crosses first and then they can show their egos all they like. They had their coup and everything that went with it so let them knuckle down now and dig themselves out of this situation.
    Just a note on Horan and his comments. I know he is now a pundit and is doing what he is paid for but he has a short memory. I seem to remember him being pissed off with comments from former players and managers when he was the Mayo boss on the line.
    Also, Sean Burkes comments above echo my thoughts exactly.
    Anyway, it is what it is and the only way back from this is hard work.

  40. ^^^ The first 4 potentially away also ?*

    * of course this absurd development of playing 4th qual rounds in croke park would no doubt come into play however

  41. To be fair to banty he’s giving an opinion and he like everyone is entitled to one. Which lets be honest is getting harder to discredit.

    If we do win one soon we can all tear into the naysayers but with this dublin team around and Tyrone and kerry perhaps approaching 00’s levels again you can see where he’s coming from. we might need to wait for this under 21 team to come fully through

    To think kerry have only won one AI in 7 years and tipp none since 2010 in hurling despite that being a really young team. Not easy to win them 🙁

  42. First of all, I think win or lose from now on we owe a great debt of gratitude to this group of players.
    I felt the tactics used on Saturday robbed us of our most potent attacking option. Our main strength lay in our half back line attacking at speed. In my opinion, this was rarely the case on Sat. night. We got scores from Keegan, Boyle and Coen on the rare occasions they went forward but why was it used so sparingly. Paddy Durcan, a natural attacking half back, seemed to be happy to sit back instead of forcing Sice to chase him up the field – as happened in the Connacht Club Championship thus removing one of Corofin’s main attacking threats. Were our half-backs following orders in not moving forward? A safety first approach perhaps which came up short.

    The long ball in to the Full-forward line didn’t work on Sat. as there were no support players up. This is a Crossmaglen tactic but this isn’t club football!. County defences with a man back can cope fine with this tactic. I believe if our HB players were attacking it would give better opportunities to Regan and C. O’Connor to take the ball on the loop and finish the move. I heard people give the excuse that we had 10 wides in the first half. Realistically at least half of these should not have been attempted. We had similar misses in London – hit and hope efforts. As the saying goes, prayer without good works ….

    Anyway we are still there and there is a lot of quality in the group. Trust the players and, with a win or two in the qualifiers, we can still challenge the best.

  43. as quoted above Kerry,Tyrone,Galway,cork all won through the back door.
    I was mistaken that each of these had won sam previously as cork had not , cork had lost 2 finals to kerry,

    they took a tough road to sam that year as well beating the dubs in the semi and the rossies as well as extra time with limerick as well as a narrow loss to kerry in munster.

    that might be a template for us!!!

  44. That Cork team finally falling over the line is interesting…as you say they came through the qualifiers and met a Down team in the final.

  45. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians imo..We had a gutful last oct\Nov with the coup and I hope that group of players are as single minded in their determination now as they were to give mgmt the heave ho..It’s very easy when we’re winning connacht with relative ease. .now is when the mettle will really be tested…

  46. @pebblesmeller .read your post there .think your view I loft some of senior players ties in with my chiefs comment..Had hopes that mc entee would be able to reign in the egos but I’m beginning to have my doubts..

  47. Mayo51, Is Mickey Conroy not entitled to an opinion. James Horan talked the same way last week. Was he craving attention. Maybe if he came on here like most of us anonymous posters and predicted a big win you would have no problem with him. He called a game wrong like most of us, get the firing squad.

    By the way, it would seem he was over in France enjoying himself after a 12 year intercounty career, why should he be entitled to an opinion.

  48. Why did we give Galway a free pass on their novice full-back line ? Surely we should have played a strong 3 man FF line to test out that line and let the ball in quickly and create a panic in there. Horses for courses or slavishly following systems ?

    I think we should go back to Freeman playing at FF and forget this AOS experiment. Freeman had a great season in 2013 up to the AIF when I still don’t understand the decision to sub him on that day. He is a man who can win his own ball, turn and score which is what is needed in that line.

    We might need AOS short term in midfield but he doesn’t have the legs for Croker so he’s not a long term solution. CF is his position me thinks but he needs to get his head down and start working.

    I’m not sure we know how to play a sweeper system and I definitely think Mcloughlin is needed further up the field. The danger is that Galway have shown other teams how to beat us, we looked clueless on how to beat that mass defence and our slow build up and reluctance to kick pass into space is disastrous.

    New thinking needed and something surprising other than naming a corner forward and then replacing him with a sweeper.

  49. I’d like to put Saturday evenings result down to a blip more than anything else, but a bad one at that. As some posters have already stated, Galway weren’t even that good but some of our players just weren’t at the races either. While conditions certainly didn’t appear ideal it was the same ball and pitch for both teams and Galway certainly seemed to handle it better. Galway were the better team on the day and we need to identify what could have been done better, and what mistakes were made that need to be rectified. My view is that both players and management have a case to answer here. I think Mayo supporters might have some work to do also – I’ll get to that later.
    Cillian certainly had an off day by his own high standards, and Aidan just didn’t feature at all. The entire team looked lethargic and with the cramping of Keane and Harrison, as well as injuries being carried by Diarmuid, Seamie and others you’d have to wonder if the lethargy was down to some very heavy training. This isn’t a five years on the road thing, but things that are done or not done in training.
    I also think that perhaps management used this as a game to try things (Kevin Mc as sweeper for example) which in hindsight that was not the game to be trying these things out.
    Some of the substitutions I thought were quite bewildering – in my view Regan should have been left on and Aidan either moved back to midfield or taken off entirely. Why Tom Parsons had to come off is a bit of a mystery to me as I thought he was as usual one of our standout players, alongside Keegan and Boyle. I know that Doherty has come in for some awful criticism here in the past but outside of the point he scored (which showed he is quite capable) I didn’t see a whole lot of him either.
    Kevin Mc as sweeper was definitely a luxury we could not afford as Galway were kicking all their kick outs to Bradshaw who was placed in pretty much the spot that Kevin Mc would be. There was acres of space where our half forwards should have been – we practically planted a Galway flag in that area and said “that’s yours lads”. Peter Canavan highlighted this at half time so surely management would have been aware of this too. Bear in mind we went in at half time after a period of scoring 5 on the trot so at that point, there may have been a sense of false confidence in the approach being taken, but ideally both managers and players need to be better able to respond to the changing situations on the field. That did not happen on Saturday. What was also clear and pointed out by Senan Connell pointed it out after was that we had no offensive gameplan, and we need to find one badly.
    Hennelly is coming in for criticism again, perhaps justified, and it might be time to give Clarke a shot in goals – he’s not as good on the kick outs as Robbie however and I suspect that’s one of the reasons that has kept him where he is. However I did read an interesting stat that we only lost 2 of our own kickouts, but got punished on both occasions where Galway scored 1-1. On such score the game was lost.
    The above is all said with only the benefit of having watched the game once on the Telly and not having the time or inclination to look at replays. As it’s said, nothing beats being there so I’ve no doubt there are many other aspects of the game I missed or simply didn’t see.
    Anyway – I’m sure the usual scribes will be coming out of the woodwork to remind us these players have won nothing, and deserve nothing given the heave of management last year. My view on that is to ignore them, and to get behind the team now as much as we can as they’ll certainly need to hear us shouting for them before, during and after the games. From what I’ve heard, we did little of that in Castlebar on Saturday evening so the Mayo faithful will certainly need to find their voices for the rest of the season, whatever that may bring. That probably seems like an unfair criticism of those that were there from a man who wasn’t, I couldn’t be there for family reasons. Rest assured, when I am at a game, you’ll no doubt hear me before you see me as I roar like a fog horn in effort to try to get a roar going from the crowd.

    This team is still one of the best in the country despite Saturday’s result, they have time to put that right, we need to make sure we get behind them and give them the support they need to be able to do just that, while off but most certainly while they are on the pitch.

  50. Mayo 51 – that’s two players (one current, one former) you’ve just had a pop at. As someone who’s been contributing here for a long time you should know better but I guess your frequent wanderings offside in terms of what’s okay to say and what’s not show you don’t. Another stay in the sin-bin is, then, the only solution.

  51. First off, congratulations to Galway. Worthy winners, and their supporters were very gracious afterwards in the ground and in the pubs of Castlebar.
    Most of them couldn’t believe that they’d won. A feeling we’ve experienced in the past. A great feeling that makes sport what it is.

    Our performance was worrying on so many levels. Experienced players not performing, no leaders, out fought on the pitch and out thought on the sideline.
    I was actually more concerned by what the performance of our management team than the players display. There seemed to be no obvious game plan, whilst the changes I did notice simply didn’t work.

    But…we’re still there. Let’s see now what the players are made of and if they’re willing to go to the well one more time.
    If this is the end of an era, then so be it. They’ve given us plenty over the past 5 or so years and owe us nothing.
    But I do believe they will refuse to bow out of this years championship tamely. It’s just not in their nature.

    Does anyone know if there is a way of watching the Sunday Game again? I had it taped but forgot they moved it to RTE1 because of the soccer. Is it repeated at any point on RTE?
    I don’t think I can watch it online as I’m living in the UK.

  52. As someone who was there, FDBinashui, I can confirm that you’re absolutely right about the support. We completely failed to perform either. The pre-match parade was met with almost total silence and that set the tone for the evening. When the Mayo crowd gets going there are few to match us but Saturday evening can’t be chalked down as a good one for the supporters any more than it can for the players.

  53. players need to learn to listen to management, after all they have been to the top, and know what they are talking about. In particular Mcentee.
    As for banty and his fellow knockers, I say to our management “play it again ” to the players get the blood boiling, in the next game they won’t be taking the field going out the door they will be going through the wall to get out

  54. Agree 100% Pebblesmeller except it should be Rochford denting any potentially overinflated egos not McEntee.
    I’m afraid that what I saw on Sat night in Castlebar doesn’t fill me with confidence in either management or players for the rest of the year.
    Management wise we had two backs and a midfielder playing in the forwards alongside a debutant to championship football (if you discount the London game). That was not a recipe for putting up a high score. Our setup and tactics were totally inappropriate.

    Some of the energy and intensity we have come to expect was absent and some of our top players looked flat. These players have given us great days but I fear that some of them are tired of the battle. Dublin and Kerry have had success which keeps their lights lit but trying so hard and not getting there has to be wearing.
    No doubt they will bounce back to some degree but I fear the graph is downwards.
    There are two possible responses now:
    1. Face reality, learn hard lessons and have another go
    2. Repeat the patterns of the last few months

  55. I see Jason Gibbons us going to be a long term injury…best of luck to him in his recovery. Looked to be in much pain coming off.

  56. WJ, Anthony Hennigan in the western today says that Jason sustained a “dislocated shoulder and is set for a lengthy spell on the sideline”. I’d heard myself that he’d a broken collerbone. Either way, speedy recover Jason.

  57. Sorry to hear that about Jason ! Wishing him a speedy recovery does this mean SR can bring in another player outside of panel ?

  58. Kirby would seem to be an ideal replacement for Gibbons and could cover as a forward sub.Freeman has been ignored by 3 sets of management at this stage–they cannot all be wrong.

  59. A few posters, seem to having a very unfair go at Hennelly, OK his kickout went astray, it turned out to be turning point of the match. More needs to said about Mayo in the last quarter, one point, one wide . not good enough to deserve to win and nothing to do with Hennelly. Had he not been at his brilliant best up to that point, punched very well, caught some really tricky under his own bar, and kicked out fantastically well. Oh yes made two very fine saves, one in particular was as good save as I have ever seen in Mchale Park. Mayo could have been a beaten docket much earlier. I have the utmost respect for David Clark, a brilliant Goalkeeper, safe pair of hands, bravery he has it in abundance. Look you have got to be objective here, last match he played V Down a game we were lucky to win, Did we not have call on our, go to man Andy Moran in the difficulties close to the end of that to dig out of trouble again. Or it would us and not Cork going down. We conceded goals V Down (hardly world beaters). Now in that match, Clarks kickouts started very well, very fast, very accurate. But Down copped on to our kickout strategy after 20 mins or thereabouts! After that Clark went long and we broke even possessions won for Mayo. I’m just 55% to 45% in favour of Hennelly retaining the No1 jersey. I have no problem in. Clark getting the, No 1 jersey back either. There is a player that might benefit from a spell on subs bench, I think Mayo would benefit from it, That player I refer to is Aiden OShea, 10 competitive games since his wonder goal V Donegal and I don’t think he has delivered in that time. An additional factor in my thinking is that now with Jason Gibbons out injured and Barry Moran injured too, we will need cover in that area of the field should anything happen to Seamus OShea or Tom Parsons. You know Kirkby can play midfield, one or two on the bench for Mayo last Saturday, maybe we need to look at him as an alternative! Can’t see any of the above happening tough!

  60. Freeman should get a real chance now one forward scored from play. Time to start playing forwards 12 points will win f… all

  61. Jr, have to disagree with you there, Freeman is the very man I would replace AOS with. I think he’s a brilliant, 2 footed natural forward, who hasn’t got a fair shot in my opinion. As for previous management, AOS was playing allot better then plus, management doesn’t always be right. The Corifin team won the All Ireland with a different goal keeper. Kevin Walsh won the management duel hands down on Sat night. Walsh picked the Corifin sub keeper to represent Galway. Does any of ye know who was managing that Corifin team? His name just escapes me right now,!

  62. There’s a real masochistic element to this analytic self-harm following a defeat. Try spare a thought for the players and management as they’re the guys killing themselves to get over the line.

    This is supposed to be sport, an enjoyable distraction from the more tiresome exploits of work and study. I often wonder has the enjoyment seeped out of the whole thing for everyone – players, management and supporters? Even when we win we often bemoan our lot.

    No question we’re feeling pretty low at the moment but this is an opportunity to find out a lot about ourselves in the coming weeks. The management and players are under real pressure now. And it’s now they need our support.

    We’ve been lauding ourselves as fantastic supporters for years and we need to walk the talk over the next few weeks. There’s still a lot more to come from those lads. A lot more.

  63. In America they have Area 51. It’s a secret place for the government and aerospace experiments. Rumour has it that they called it that in honour of the Mayo team of that year.

    So I suppose with Joe Biden allegedly coming to Mayo this week we had to honour his arrival with our own no go areas for the unwashed hence reserved areas 104-105-106?

  64. Leantimes, I would agree with what you have said. My sentiments exactly regarding Hennelly. About AOS, he is not a forward plain and simple, his most productive and sustained season was 2013 at midfield, this is his best position. No player should be shoehorned into a position he is not suited too.

    Regarding the forwards, we are seriously short on firepower, its plain to see. 4 scoring forwards and two workers who can chip in with a point or two. Two workers are DOC and KMc. Scoring forwards Cillian, Regan then it gets pretty thin on the ground. Loftus and Reape need to be looked at. Also I believe there should be a training camp run through out the year in preparation for next season with the likes of Douglas, Duffy, Ruthledge, D Coen, Irwin, Farrell Tommy Conroy attending. These guys should be given every opportunity, not just the token FBD game to see what they got.

  65. It says in that hogan stand article that caff, Barrett and loftus are expected back for our next game. I guess the rumours about cafferky’s injury were wrong

  66. Leantimes, I 100% agree about Freeman. He needs to start FF the next day, alongside cillian and Regan. Cillian can have licence to go out the field occasionally but the other 2 need to stay close to goal.

  67. No animals or savages supporting Mayo, we’re pussycats really. Maybe time for a bit of ‘tough love’.

  68. Interesting listening to Roy Keane today…talking about showing courage and showing balls. I would be a believer in attitude and courage…if you have those you go a long way. Our u-21 team in Sligo looked a beaten team at half time in the Connacht final…they never gave up and kicked on. I just didn’t get that feeling with the seniors in the second half…where leaders were absent…where a hard shoulder, tackle was needed…a Gakway player spoke about looking at the Mato players da Es when they got their goal and seeing that they had us cornered. Easy for us to say but that fight was not there and I want it back. Hunger should not be an issue.

  69. Steady on with the rumours on Area 51 John Cuffe they don’t like rumours on this page even from a learned man like yourself

  70. There was bucks used to say in here the more a player is left out for Mayo the better he becomes in the eyes of our supporters , seems very apt with freeman in here from time to time. He had one decent game in 13 v Tyrone , some say he did well v Galway too that year I disagree , in a game where an inside forward should score lots he didn’t , given numerous chances since and returned hardly anything to the scoreboard . We have to take a risk with loftus , he scores and that’s what we need . This airy fairy b/s that goes on with Mayo folk about what a forwards job is to compensate as an excuse for the shit return from play we are getting is pure scutter and very soft , your aim as an inside forward is to score as much as you can that’s your primary concern , the middle eight need to supply that ball quick and accurate as possible as often as possible . We can’t go on any longer with the slow ponderous play we have been at all year , it’s just a complete nonsense . It’s like we thought we could leave our “a” game for later on , well boys tis too late for that now .

    Go out and knock the shite out of all before you in the qualifiers and let’s see if it’s good enough to get us to a QF , I certainly believe they are 100% capable if they go full tilt.

  71. I agree with Rock. I think sometimes we go to extremes as supporters, we’re either the greatest ever or we’ll struggle to beat a junior B team. I was as shocked as most people on Saturday night, genuinely didn’t see it coming. However, I work with lads from all over the country and the general consensus was that we got caught on the hop. They’re not predicting end of an era stuff or other dooms day crap, they saw it for what it was, a big sporting upset and thats it.
    Management, players, supporters and pundits got it wrong, lets park it up and concentrate on Saturday the 8th of July, that’s our All Ireland now. No more talk of peaking in August or September, how to deal with Cluxtons kick out or showing our hand too early. Everyone faces adversary, it’s how we deal with it that defines us. I expect us to treat the next team we face with a ferocity and naked aggression unseen since Olaf the Red sailed up the Liffey in the 8th century. I’ll keep the iodine tablets in the press until then. The next game defines our season.

  72. Now lads and lassies. No analysis here.. just some facts. Fact 1…There was a load of problems on that field. Fact 2.. those problems have been surfacing all year !! A possible Fact 3, it will take time to solve them all. It doesn’t matter a damn where HOP, PIP, RIP, TOP, BRA, KNICKERS play; the problems are deeper, but….. completely solvable!!! 🙂
    Any disagreement on the statement, “Mayo haven’t a hope in hell winning Sam this year without a settled, trouble free and almost injury free team ???? ”
    Could we please focus, only, on the next game,, ONLY !! Jim Gavin always states that they focus on only the next game.. now , for sarcasm, ” who the hell is Jim Gavin, we are Mayo, no-one tells us what to do ??”
    Then, if we win the next game, we focus on the one after.. Isn’t that so simple? People on here are again talking about quarter finals, etc. Do we ever fucking learn ???
    Now, for the POSITIVE solution…. If we go through the qualifiers and win Sam, i will kiss every one of you, (couldn’t see too many takers but one never knows, 😉 🙂 ) The computer needs to be rebooted; the ship needs a time in dry dock, the crew need some retraining, the hull needs to be strengthened and patched up; the batteries need to be recharged, rejuvenated; new blood needs to be added…management can sort themselves out..injuries are given time to heal..
    Just picture the great Summer a lot of those lads would have with their families and friends. If they wanted to get pissed a night or two, great. All pressure gone. Then. after Christmas, Yea, we’re back, fresh and well. Players who want to perform will be there, the ones who don’t, can go; new faces, new energy and the opportunity to try out all new tactics, etc; etc. Of course, if some of you want Mayo to fail again this year, leaving a very tired and downhearted team, that’s your privilege. I know I don’t !! Any problems there people??

  73. Top marks for observation, Mayo 51, a blog is for sure what this is! But it’s also one with rules about what can and cannot be said in the comments. If you haven’t read these by now, you certainly should have – they’re here.

  74. Having read the blog, every newspaper I could get hold of, numerous other websites (not as good or as fair as this blog) and numerous Twitter accounts, I have come to the conclusion that Stephen and his management team need to take a leadership course. On that they might find out very quickly that:-
    1. Sometimes you have to accept the truth and stop wasting time on the wrong people.
    2. Letting toxic people go is not an act of cruelty. It’s an act of self-care.

  75. Going forward, you’d hope that you won’t be seeing any comments like the following been made, like were made before the Galway game:

    (Galway should be taken very lightly. Our players 1 to 15 are better than theirs. We’ll beat them out the gate. None of their players would get on our team. We’ll beat them by at least 10 points. We are the only team that can beat Dublin. etc. etc. etc.)

    Some of us on here spent days trying to say that these comments were at best stupid and at worst absolutely no help to us. It was like talking to a Brick Wall though. Even James Horan and Michael Conroy were coming out with the same sort of comments. That seemed to be the prevailing mood across the county and the players seemed to believe that too. The phrase, even if you think that you are Goliath, you should act like David, comes to mind.

    Then since the match, there again has been talk about Roscommon, Galway, Dublin, pundits giving out about us, etc. We should just forget about the other teams and the pundits for the moment. (Although Tomas O’Se did say a lot of what we had been saying, like that you wouldn’t even see teams that had won All-Ireland titles coming out with the things that people in Mayo were saying before the game). We should get our own house in order first, it’s best to fix your own leaky roof rather than talking about your neighbour’s roof. If I was on the management team I’d be studying that spell just before half-time when we actually played some good football and try to do a lot more of that in next match.

  76. Leantimes,
    Corofin manager is Kevin O Brien, was part of Rochford backroom, met some people in Galway today who were surprised that Boyler got so much praise, he was marking a novice in Brannigan, in his first championship game and he came away with 3 points from play and made GAA team of the week. They also thought it was ironic that a player made a TV appearance promoting a breakfast cereal gaa camp. Low profile may have been the way to go today.

  77. HSE , it must of been a different report of Tomas o Se s I was reading as it was the players he was having a cut at , he wrote about the cork league game an how there was a lot of messing in the warm up for example .

    Something similar was mentioned to me a while ago , I don’t know if it was even true , about a player after the loss to dublin in league this year was all smiles and joking with the cameras instead of inside of the dressing room gettin a roasting . Where as I wouldn’t fully agree with the context of his argument I could see his point to a degree.

  78. The below was in the article by Tomas O’Se:

    (Conroy and Horan are two guys who are so close to the Mayo set-up that you’d wonder is that they way the think themselves? Or if some of that attitude had seeped into their mindset? And if it is they have no business at all in looking at winning an All-Ireland.

    That isn’t the respect Galway deserve. All-Ireland winners don’t operate like that. Mayo have dominated Connacht to their credit. Five in a row is good going and they have been very close to winning an All-Ireland. But Christ even a team who had won an All-Ireland wouldn’t be talking like that.)

  79. GAAloopy, your 100% correct there, but I knew that. The manager I was talking about was none other than our own Stephen Rochford, who didn’t pick up Corifin sub Goalkeeper, Bernard Power,,, , Kevin Walsh did pick him for Galway! I was responding to Jr, who said 3, management teams can’t be wrong! ‘Doctor’s differ and patient’s die’…. Imagine the motivation for Bernard Power, to prove Rochy wrong. He certainly went some way to prove his crediantails on Saturday evening! Now credit where credit is due, you can’t argue with Corifin achievement under Stephen Rochford. Surprised someone else didn’t pick up my mischievous sentence, in my last post!

  80. Again it’s the players he’s talking about or men close to the panel , nowt to do with supporters . I’m sure support base will be giving it far less of the bravado on social media etc now we have been brought down a peg . And while we are on the subject I’d love to know who these absolute thicks are anyway as they obviously don’t show their vocal side at games as Mchale park was like a feckin libary on sat evening .

  81. GAAloopy, I was if the same opinion on Boyle and Keegan and made it in another thread. Keane was the standout defender, held his man very well. Boyle got turned inside out by a guy making his debut at the very start, hit comer late for the chance off the crossbar and was caught upfield 2 or 3 times in second half. I think long term for Mayo, Keane at FB and Coen at CB would be the way to go.

  82. Does anyone have a recording of the game on Saturday night. I would love to watch it again.

  83. I do not listen to expert analysts on TV be it football or hurling. Nothing beats being there as they say. I watched the highlights on TV last night., a couple of guys were taking about the game afterwards and my God were they poor. Wonder if anyone else heard what they were saying. That might be harsh as I do not know if they even attended the game in person, but sounded like edited, second hand, jimmerish. I know they say what the director wants but its anything but expert analysis. They could have been talking about any of the games that were played over the weekend really poor stuff.

  84. Where to go from this indeed…It is a hard one to diagnose, why well so much changed. Positions , men, tactics, weather and it being a derby game.

    Interestingly our subs bench was one of the finest subs benches in the country so far for this years championship, its just a pity what was on the pitch could not beat Galway. Who we would have expected to have.

    How are we with the rough and tumble? the scurrying on a wet and slippy surface against strong dogged intense opponents, it left us second best more times than not out there. The additions or SOS and DV worked that seemed pretty apparent. The game was closing out when the latter made his permanent entry.

    Their might not have been a obvious breeze on down at the side lines in the game but the flags club house end were fluttering strong, neither them could argue for their shooting to be considered close to their average.

    Mayo were not lackluster out there more so lacking, limping and frustrated, the team could not find its rhythm and credit to Galway for making that the case.The tackles were strong and hard and Galway had a structure, Mayo were not so sure.

    A noted ref is one having a bad day as they say and he initially appeared to be eager to aid the flow of the game but ended up taking the shine from a fine Galway victory with what he let go, it was simply amazing, just because AOS is a big, strong potent player a foul is still a foul. Still AOS must wonder if he might have been supported a little better and will leave the pitch with the knowledge that big lads at the back are less porous for busting through.

    Higgins moving forward was a pretty potent site, with team mates shown how to utilize those with positioning that could be something to work on, thats if we did not need him so badly in our Cafferky’less defense. I think it really is something that could produce, if a little more regard was given to Vaughan. I don’t think we had the right man in the sweeper role.

    There were a few lads on the pitch who just didn’t preform, they were way off and it would be noted well out of their comfort zone! I know some of my post contradicts and that is because there are so many uncertainties. The question of where do we go rests firmly with a few…..
    Do we have a manager who is strong enough to brand this team with his style and winning ethos or do we go back to what is safe? Are the tactics ridiculous or are they very good concepts that need fine tuning on the training ground and against weaker teams. It really is a hard call however, moving with the times is always second to moving ahead of them.

    I would note that its a great pity to hear that hard work of hard working players who strive to do as well as they can for this county being ridiculed by our own fans, it must be very disheartening for them to have to hear that and might dishearten the next line of players coming through, such internal abuse must be considered an asset to our rivals undermining our players publicly like that. Your mouthing off is being counter productive.

  85. Ciaran, I recall the conundrum well! Morrison and Moran settled on Clarke in the end. I remember them pair well (Moran & Morrison) , great craic they were too, the Mayo team were training in Ballyvary them days. Open training sessions, a member of the public was more liable to be lambasted than a Mayo players . It was all for the benefit of Mayo football. They didn’t have seem to be too much time for the county board, I remember John Prunty getting a mouth full from Morrison, now to be fair, they weren’t treated very well come the end of 2006,.. I’ve still great time for the pair of them,!

  86. Mayo people were very confident last week as someone else had alluded to here earlier and that is true. Personally I was expecting a close encounter with Mayo coming out on the right side. When I passed through Galway last week I was berated by Galway GAA people for even suggesting that Galway might make a game of it. I was reminded about 50 players who refused to play, for Galway, the 10 players selected from intermediate teams, and that famous article of Jim Carney’s in the Tuam Herald a few weeks ago. Truth be told we were allowed to be optimistic by all the negativity that surrounded this Galway team. Had me wondering at one stage if they might not bother turning up at all. Talk about lying in the long grass, well that’s how it is done. Turns out the 50 players saga was the number of players tried out that did not have the pace or stamina for the tough training regime that was implemented after the Donegal game and the outing in Salthill last year. Galway were extremely fit, and I noticed in the second half that they had run the legs off our lads even before the goal. They lacked the confidence to win the game until the goal was conceded. Even with Mayo barely in second gear through out. After the goal there fitness was still impressive especially since it is only June. It is still a long way until September when this series reaches its climax. I wonder where will they be then. I had a Galway GAA man trying to tell me how cocky I was last week and I thought how wonderful that was. I do not own a knife, but if I did I would not turn it on the Mayo team or Management that I am so happy to fully support. Time then perhaps for all who call themselves Mayo Supporters to take a leaf of my book.

  87. Just seen a tweet by mayo news that two of mayo panel will miss remainder of season.i presume gibbons is one any idea who the other?

  88. Somebody mentioned the elephant in the room.
    Pat and Noel stuck with the Horan template apart from a few little changes. An acceptable level of success ensued (though not to the players liking).
    Most of the regular posters on here couldn’t contain themselves when Rochford came on board.
    The team is regressing at an alarming rate.
    Put two and two together folks.

  89. When i weight it all up there was fuck all between galway and mayo during league campaigns. Mayo nearly went down and galway nearly came up. Our form was similar so not alot between them i think on form. We have had the management heave. Now its time for player heave. It was plain obvious on saturday some of our big name players had no desire or heart.

  90. toughnut, if you live by the sword you can also die by the sword! I’d make a distinction between players who didn’t play great and a player who didn’t play at all when our need was greatest, I think subs bench, if it were to happen again Adiox, amigo!

  91. The subs bench would do Aidan no harm at all and not just Aidan any other forward that didn’t score against Galway either we have nothing to lose the next day by trying Kirby, Loftus and maybe Irwin freshen things up a little see if they can inject a bit of urgency and hunger into our play. This team has been brillant for the last 5 years and have given us some really great days out its understandible that it’s hard to keep that going every year and still have the hunger for it it’s easier for Dublin and Kerry they are winning titles along the way so I hope Rochford freshen things up and isn’t afraid to drop some big names and give others a chance

  92. Alot of people saying Higgins looked well in hf and should remain there. I did not see that at all. Bar a couple of solo runs I thought the game passed him by and he looked like he didnt know what his function in the team is. Higgins offers no scoring threat, he played there in 2013, played fairly well but wasnt a scoring threat. Everyone knows we lack scoring forwards so playing a defender with little scoring threat at hf is baffling. If the plan is to inject pace into the forwards then Loftus/ Caralon should be picked. The management needs to stop putting square pegs in round holes. Higgins is a corner back, AOS is a midfielder, KMC is not a sweeper. play people in their correct roles and automatically the team will look more balanced, will have better shape.

  93. I’m inclined to agree with Mayomad in relation to the stationing of Higgins.

    He’s far better coming into the ball or taking a pass on the shoulder. He looked unsure at times whether to track back, hold his position or make a run forward.

    He’s an all-star defender. If we are going to tinker with his placement, stick him out in the half backs or play him as the sweeper.

  94. ok

    Enough recriminations.

    We’ve been hit with an upper cut and knocked flat on our arses.
    the auld Jaw is sore, but it’s now time to dust ourselves down and get going again.

    We are mayo and we are proud. Let’s trust that rochford will have the team ready for 3 weeks time and whatever about performance, we go out and win.

    Winning games is all that matters now and we only get the right to play into the summer, by winning the next game. Then please god the game after, but first, lets go out and get a result on the 9th July.

  95. You’re right Tonyk.

    We could have received this kick in the nads in August in the quarters. We’ve got our card marked but have been given the opportunity to learn from it.

    Do or die now. I’m looking forward to seeing how we react because there’s more to come from these lads.

  96. I d say caff will be available but does it matter that much?What happens from here in depends on the mind set of the players.When it’s been sound they were a delight …a bit short at the line but there was a future always. Now there are those big question marks hovering….management?…still no sign of cop up front in terms of a proper scoring system….and what’s in certain players heads. It’s hard for us to know about these things. We can only go on what we see and what we re seeing is pretty ominous!
    However the uncertainty strangely enough adds a bit of spice to the project as we prepare for the battles ahead.
    Nil desperandum Joxer!

  97. McGuinness captures exactly where we are in the IT –

    “The big quest is still there for Mayo but they are on a different road now. So how will they respond to what has been a serious jolt to their collective conviction and ambition?”

  98. Toughnup and Leantimes – agree with you both. Maybe now its time for the player heave !! One to two need off the match day 26 to begin with and off the panel if the attitude does not change. Maybe this will put a halt on some of the TV shows, TV adds, tweets etc. Rochford has been lenient in this regard to date but enough is enough. Ironically this small core group have never won an All Ireland medal at any grade for their county but clearly see themselves as superstars, which would be fine if they possessed a Boyler-like passion in every game they played bit this has not been the case all year – a lot more self awareness and emotional intelligence needed here from these young and immature men.

  99. So Rochford wants to set us up defensively with a view to stopping Kerry and Dublin later i presume. Fair enough, but this team cant adapt to this new style it seems. Only when Boyle and Keegan reverted to there old style did we look dangerous but when he got them in at half time and re-issued instructions they reverted back to his new setup.

    Interesting times ahead because they have yet to put in a performance this year and can they do it now? I would say so but only if they revert to the old running game.

  100. Not sure we can afford to start ditching players off the panel or benching egos.

    The attitude has to be right, there’s no question about that. But we [and very few do] have the luxury of dismissing guys from the panel on the premise that if they buck up they’ll be allowed back in.

    It’s not as if there are ready made replacements either. We might look to some of the younger lads to freshen things up but ultimately we’re stand or fall this season as a collective.

  101. I think there are are far too many questions unanswered.

    For instance Rochford when asked about the players going down with cramp stated it was something they would have to look at !! Which was his answer to a lot of questions. Well I’m afraid looking at things is a little late now.

    An Spailpín said this whole thing looks like a Humpty Dumpty setup at the moment. Not far off I think. Unfortunately those of you that know the nursery rhyme also should also remember the final line of it.

    To me after all the stuff going on about the manager circus and player power it looks very much like the tail is wagging the dog at the moment. Players dictating to management instead of vice versa.

    If this is the case well it will be a short Summer for Mayo Senior Intercounty GAA.

  102. The biggest question mark by far going into the next game is the management.
    They need to get away from this appalling defensive set up from the last day and play with at least 5 scoring forwards and backs as backs and forwards as forwards. How did they get is so wrong ? Who did they think was going to get all the scores ?

    If they deliver with a proper attacking game plan, then the players will deliver.

    If they don’t ….

  103. It didnt take Aido long to get in a few words to the media. His summary of how the game panned out was a bit worrying. Only for a couple of mistakes that lead to 1-1 we were in control. I disagree. Galway could have been 6 or 7 points up mid way through the first half only for poor shooting. Mayo’s attitude and intensity was non-existent. Rochford and co need to rally the troops this week and tell some harsh home truths if we are to have any chance of progressing in the qualifiers.

  104. I’m a big fan of an Spailpin he’s right about putting Humpty Dumpty back together again but that task failed all the Kings horses and all the Kings men will Stephen Rochford go one better or will it be a case of the Pied Piper leading us astray and we all know who is the pied piper in this case and it ain’t Rochford

  105. I have to say some people are being very hard on the Mayo players. Do we expect these lads to turn down the opportunity to make a few €s off the back of all the service they have given to us? I mean realistically we are talking about young men who put their life & careers on hold for the last 5 years to represent us on the national stage. Give them a break!

  106. I think all these different injury’s have big part in our game plan.training couldn’t be great with so many missing.cover for full back line is a big problem cunniffe gone caff out and hopefully Barrett back when is the question.
    Dont think dropping people off the panel is the answer sure there’s two gone threw injury already.think management and players need to sit down and trash out what’s happening and find a solution.
    I’m going to put it down to bad communication between both but deep down something tells me alls not right.
    Listen we’re not out of this yet plenty of hard work and team spirit and of course shot selection should go along way.
    One game at time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking from you.

  107. Who are the 2 lads gone for year due to injury according to Mayo news? Based in dublin so can’t buy paper yet. Gibbons is one, I assume

  108. “There’s a lot of good people down in Mayo involved in football and the word is that the players are running the show down there.” Bernard Flynn last night on game on on rte. I don’t usually post up here but surely this is inaccurate . I find it hard to believe. That said there seemed to be a lot of players on a free reign last Saturday. Why was that? In my opinion every bit of fuel that could be given to galway was given and they lapped it all up and turned it into pure aggression on the field. However I am looking forward to something different . And I am looking forward to seeing a different mayo team in 3 weeks time which a different attitude. It’s about attitude and for once our attitude was way off on Saturday .

  109. Cod, Jason Gibbons is one, Ger Cafferkey is the other. Gutted for Ger and this is seriously bad news for us as a team.

    However – and it’s been mentioned a couple of times here over the last couple of days but with all the focus on Boyler, may have been overlooked a bit – I think Kevin Keane put in an excellent day’s work against Comer – who can be lethal – on Saturday. So all is not lost, but I’d be worried what we would do if anything happened to Kevin.

    On another, note, I see Alan Freeman scored eight points for Aghamore on Sunday …

  110. The final line of Humpty Dumpty has not even yet been writ.
    It won’t be done,we all know, till we get through all the shit.
    It’s like a haze across the fields where all sorts fair do dwell,
    But like the sun when it reappears,we ll be better able to tell.

  111. From the Mayo News: “The Ballina Stephenites defender, who didn’t feature against London or Galway, is understood to have torn his hamstring during a Mayo squad trial match on Saturday week last.” Out of action for at least three months apparently.

    I’m just so sickened and so disappointed for Ger, after a couple of tough years things were just turning back around for him and I felt he was one of our very best performers in the league.

  112. That’s very disappointing to hear about Ger Caff, best wishes to him and Jason Gibbons on a speedy recovery.

    With a round of championship games on this week-end, I reckon the Mayo Management team should almost use it a trial for the qualifier game ahead. Whoever within the panel is going the best should be in contention for a starting place the next day. You’d wonder will a couple of new players be called into the squad in the absence of Ger and Jason, again the performances of players this weekend should be taken into consideration when making this decision.

  113. Thanks Anne Marie, absolutely gutted. He was flying this year.

    I read yesterday that he would be back for qualifier but it was obviously rubbish.

  114. I don’t think this new injury had come to light Cod – I wasn’t aware of it anyway. It’s all a bit grim this week isn’t it?

    One thing hasn’t changed over the past few years though. No-one turns on their own quite like Mayo does when the going gets tough.

  115. After the dust has settled what I feel we need to get back on track:

    Intensity – has been down since the league campaign

    Support play – how many times did we see a man running into traffic no options, going to ground with 4-5 galway players in for the kill – this is what we used to do well, when pat spillane called us pigs it was a compliment.

    Understanding – forward line need to start working as a unit, each player in that unit knowing what his job is and what each others players role is too so we can start working together, seems like a severe lack of cohesion and fluidity here too much left to chance, too ponderous which lets defences stack up against us, end result is poor decision making and 9/10 a shot to nothing

    Correct players in correct positions, Kevin Mc Louglin is best moving foward, picking up loose ball from midfield and connecting it to the forward line, ie a forwards sweeper like Paul Flynn does for Dublin, similarly Keith is best around the back line hoovering up breaks, reading the defensive game and swiftly turning that into attack

    Aidan can’t play an isolated FF role he needs players feeding off him, his main role should be to win primary possession in there and lay it off, if there backs break the ball our wing forwards need to be there to secure it, if he continues to try and plough a solo furrow it will slow play, be predictable, frustrate him and tire him out.

    well there be me thoughts, what thinks the rest of you??

  116. Injuries are part and parcel of football. That’s why you have a 30 man panel, to cater for injuries! Any management team worth their salt allow for this in squad selection. Looking at the starting 15 from Saturday evening there are only two players that did not start that would normally be considered “first 15 players”, Seamus O’Shea and Diarmuid O’Connor. So please stop using injuries as an excuse for the loss.
    To me, sadly, it’s becoming quite clear that we are now seeing the true fallout from the management heave last Autumn. Whatever differences there were, between management and players, could not be resolved and it’s apparent that the players were not even open to negotiations or an attempted resolution. It was “our way or the highway”. This fact allied to the performance on Saturday and the “player power” allegations from last Autumn prove that the players have, and are, overstepping the mark.
    I believe there are some who assume that they “own” the jersey just because they have played well for the last 6 or 7 years and have a few Connaught titles and the odd All-Star. There is almost a sense of entitlement to the jersey, irrespective of form. Some of them need reminding that they are only borrowing the jersey from the great players that went before them, and, the great ones that will come after them.
    So what if they have been trying hard for 6 or 7 years! Big deal. There are inter-county players in other counties in Ireland that train just as hard, in worse conditions, going without mileage expenses for months, buying their own training gear and boots, feeding themselves, paying their own medical bills etc. And they do it without ever getting close to playing in Croke Park, without ever getting the love and acclaim and unswerving support from their fellow county men and women, without ever feeling appreciated by their county board, without ever having a TV camera or microphone or journalist ever asking them a question, without ever having a trip abroad.
    The players started all this mess (rightly or wrongly) last Autumn when they started digging the hole, during the league there were worrying signs that they were slipping down in to the hole but the scrambled away from the edge by narrowly beating the worst team in the division, at home. However, on Saturday they jumped all the way in to it. It’s up to them now to start climbing up out of it. We’ll see what they are made of.

    As for Rochford, I though at the time when he took over that he needed to lay down a marker as manager. One that said, right from the off, I’M THE FUCKING BOSS AROUND HERE NOW. I believe he should have sent a signal to the squad that it all starts fresh from here, right or wrong, it’s my way now. If you don’t like it, fuck off out the door. If you don’t like my tactics or my decisions well tough, there’s the door. He needed to shake things up and have a clear distance between himself and the squad and remove this comfy buddy buddy feel to it all. Kick a few holes, drop a few from match day squads, etc. Players going around calling him “Rochie” in interviews doesn’t look great. Do you think the great Meath players of the 80’s and 90’s were going around calling Boylan “Boyler” or the Kerry players calling O’Dwyer “Micko”? And these men had the medals to show for it!

  117. Tough in Caff, he is a class act and was playing well. Will be missed big time. Cover needs to be brought in for Keane, the only candidate I can think of would be U21s Cafferkey. I dont like the idea of converting an existing panel member to play fb, acking for trouble.

    Injuries are a big problem. If there are other players with injuries that will prevent them fromplaying then serious thought will have to be given replacing them. They are of no use on the physios table.

  118. Well at least that a further clarification. It’s just one player or two and it ought not have earth shattering consequences. Very unfortunate and sad for the boys after so much but such is life. Often adversity reveals great things and that’s no surprise.Hopefully the team can emerge from this set back with renewed vigour and belief!

  119. Sometimes when reading this Blog, you don’t know if you should laugh or cry. The very people who were going on that we were the only team that could beat Dublin, would beat Dublin by 4 points in the final etc. etc. etc. are now sticking the boot in full force. They now say the signs were there in the League etc. etc. etc. So a few days ago we were the only team that could beat Dublin, now we going nowhere! You couldn’t make it up.

  120. HopeSpringsEternal, I assume you are referring to me! I stand by everything I said and I still believe that we are the only team that can take Dublin. Furthermore, if you can point out where I said “now we going nowhere” I will remove myself from this blog.
    We have the physicality and experience to take Dublin, we have the players to take Dublin, the only thing we have to get right after Saturday is the heads. Look back at my posts and you will see where I believe time and games will sort the stamina and physicality side of things as well as helping to bed in any new systems of play that management are looking to use. However, it’s now up to the players to get their heads right. The most important inches in the game at this level of senior inter-county football are the top 6 inches! The head. If that’s not focused, which it wasn’t last Saturday (I used the example of Keegan not attempting to block Walsh) then you will be caught out eventually.
    We’re lucky we’re getting another chance and I have not written off our chances at all. However, if the heads aren’t sorted, and you must admit that all stories (gone past the point of rumours now) are pointing to a lack of focus/hunger whatever you want to call it.
    As I stated earlier, it’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up that counts.

  121. I watched this match along with about 200 other exiles in a pub in Bordeaux on Saturday evening after our pummelling from the Belgians. I have to say as a neutral i largely agree with Aidan O’Sheas comments that Mayo were in control. At half time i thought they would win by 7 or 8pts. 18 or 19 minutes into the second half I thought the same and I suspect in the running betting would have reflected this too. Its a cliche that goals change games and Galways one had a seismic shift on proceedings. From Mayo’s perspective they will be very disappointed to how poorly they responded to it – in fact made me wonder how well this team has responded in the past to similar hammer blows at that stage of the match.

    Anyway, the achillies heel undoubtedly remains an inability to take scores from play. O’Connor who is the “marquee” forward of the Mayo team came up with nothing on the board from play over the 70 mins. He spends far too much time at the wrong end of the pitch. I might be a broken record but its what i was saying all last year. If he is your main scoring threat what is he doing in his own half. When do you see Bernard Brogan or Connor McManus in their own half of the pitch….very, very little. Whether he is going hunting of his own volition or according to instructions – i have no idea.

    Its hard to be hard on young reagan given its his debut year and it is some step up to this level from the London game – he needed help from the senior lads around him – he looked a bit headless to me at times, i’m sure somewhat confused as to why lads weren’t falling for dummies or why he couldn’t dodge around 2 or 3 defenders instead of getting swallowed up. He will learn a lot from it i’m sure but as i said the senior lads seemed to let him down.

    Personally i feel this Mayo team has seen its best days – but fair play if ye can prove everyone wrong through the backdoor, there should be no shortage of motiviation. I think ex-players and managers making loose comments as O’Shea said didn’t do any favours either – again as an outsider I’d have to question the motivation for that.

  122. Pebbles – I agree with you a lot on this blog and do again re: Keegan’s lack of challenge on Walsh but I disagree that ‘the players started this mess’. IMO it was the county board executive who made a complete bollox of the management situation. An absolute farce and McStay was treated abominably. I agree that the new management needed to be strong and capable of bringing this bunch further…I believe we missed a trick not getting McStay.

    I fully support Rochford and co but I for one was not getting overly excited about his appointment. Managing corofin to the all Irl that year, well it was a soft enough all Ireland in my opinion, getting to play a tired Dublin team in a semi and an unheard of northern team in the final. St Brigids who had dominated Connacht too had gone swiftly downhill. I’ve been playing senior club football in Galway for a good few years and corofin are a machine…whereas the rest of us are mediocre at best. Corofin have been playing a certain brand for years and have dominated underage football… long before Rochford came on board.

    I hope like us all that he goes on to win an All Ireland for Mayo but I believe we missed a trick two years ago. The man with an edge and perhaps an ego to come in and dictate matters in a dressing room of all stars and and all Ireland runners up is now in camp primrose and blue.

  123. Poor old Caff. Terrible for him. We still have a very strong panel. Time for Keane now to make no.3 his own. I would also like to see freeman given another shot along with more exposure now to u21 players, like Irwin, Loftus, Reape…Plunkett looks a clever ball player too. Eoin O’D is another at corner back.

    As supporters we really need to get behind the group. Get out to the next game and give it another big push!

  124. Good posts Mayonaze. Yup the great men of the county board have a lot to answer for. James Horan was an exceptional manager for us and they wanted us gone and then they go and appoint men that were not jumping up and down for the job, and insult great servants. Que sera. It’s our Saipan and whether or not McStay was the answer I think the mismangement of the situation will haunt us for years and years.

    But as you say as supporters we really need to get behind the lads. They have given us so much. We win together and we lose together. Anybody that wants to snipe and wait in the long grass is of no benefit. The players are the ones that deliver our dreams and even if they fail it is not for want of effort. We know their limitations. One game in six years they failed to give of their best. They know and will rectify it.

  125. @ pebblesmeller,

    The point I was making was that a while ago your mantra was that we were the only team that can beat Dublin and that we would beat them in the All-Ireland final by 4 points. Now your mantra is that during the league there were worrying signs that they were slipping down into the hole but they scrambled away from the edge by narrowly beating the worst team in the division, at home. Those two views are mutually exclusive. Either you thought that we were the only team that could beat Dublin or that there were worrying signs in the league. The league finished up a few months ago. That’s all I am saying really.

    Look we are where we are. There are club championship games on this weekend so we’ll see how they go. We can check out which players are in form and keep our fingers crossed that no one else gets injured. Then the draw is made next Monday and we can take it from there. As you said yourself pebblesmeller, it’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up that counts.

  126. well only time shall tell .I believe that that we can be there on the hogan in September the rest of ye should to. the dream will never die.

  127. 8 points for Freeman in a club match should put him in pole position for the full back berth.

    Horan took a pasting for highlighting the gap between the teams but he was right, nobody expected what we got.

    Galway prepared well and stuck in for the seventy minutes and gave themselves a chance.

    Mayo have a few injuries so that closes the gap a bit, Mayo still better man for man.

    Mayo have a bad start which gives Galway a bit of confidence and we are in a game.

    I believe that if all the posters on here were to pick the team against Galway there might be a sweeper but Higgins would not be in the forwards.
    Higgins is one of the best in turning defence into attack and creating 2v1 situations. He is at his best when running from deep in his own half. He is not the most physical defender but his recovery speed is terrific. I wouldn’t have said shooting was a particular strength of his either.

    Don’t blame the goalkeeper if he has nothing to kick to, very little happening in front of him all through the game.

    The goal was a hammer blow but every switch and change after seemed to weaken the team, there was no platform in midfield and no attacking threat.

    AOS needs to play on the 40, possibly not mobile enough for a full 70 at mid field.

    Don’t undermine the players, there is a lot of pride and talent there but they need a chance to play to their strengths.

    Small changes Stevie, forget the clever stuff.

  128. Rd IB winners in one hat v semi final losers in other hat . How do they determine who’s at home or is there a rule set for that ?

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