Why Dublin won’t win the All-Ireland this year

pillar.jpgThere was a little cameo during yesterday’s televised match between Dublin and Monaghan which illuminated clearly why Dublin are unlikely this year to end their long(ish) wait for an All-Ireland. It occurred just after Mark Vaughan had correctly been sent off for a crude challenge on Monaghan’s Damien Freeman (the Indo’s report today captured perfectly the moment that Vaughan sealed his own fate). The incident in question happened as Vaughan trudged off, with Pillar Caffrey coming over to him and shaking his player’s hand.

Dublin were four points down at this stage and Vaughan’s stupidity had just made his team’s job all that more difficult. Caffrey would have been well within his rights to give his no. 12 a good root up the hole or a clip round the ear. He should certainly have showed his displeasure at Vaughan’s selfish moment of petulance. Instead, however, Pillar commiserated with his man and then after the match went on to moan about the ref – Bryan Cullen, already on yellow, was also sent off near the end for effecting an Aussie rules kind of tackle on one of the Monaghan lads so Dublin ended with just thirteen players on the field – instead of reflecting on what his own players had done. While he was at it, he could also have had a think about his own role in how the incident developed, as any fool could have seen that Vaughan – who had been booked and ticked in the first half – wasn’t going to stay on the field for the full seventy minutes yesterday. The fact that Vaughan (who clearly wasn’t on his game) appeared at all for the second half showed just how astute the Dublin bench is.

Now, it must be said that the Dubs played their best football yesterday after Vaughan had gone but their sideline jefe can take precious little credit for that. Key men such as Jayo, Keaney, Brogan, Ryan and Cluxton all had a part in the way that Dublin turned a five-point deficit into what was, at one stage, a four-point lead (which they quite strangely failed to hold onto at the end). It was, however, screamingly obvious that all of Dublin’s leadership and its tactical acumen were on the pitch and not on the sideline.

It is undoubtedly the case that Dublin have plenty of good players and, in their role as one of the main bulwarks against a possible Kerry three-in-a-row, I wish them well in their Championship endeavours this year, (unless we end up facing them, of course). However, their lack of basic intelligence on the sideline will surely count against them if and when it comes to the crunch. If Pillar can get it so badly wrong in Parnell Park in March, there’s no reason to expect he’ll call the shots any better in Croker later in the year when the stakes are far higher. I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to claim that the man reason why Dublin are unlikely win the All-Ireland this year is because Pillar Caffrey is still their bainisteoir.

4 thoughts on “Why Dublin won’t win the All-Ireland this year

  1. Yeah, fully agree with you on the Dubs.
    The shoulder charge that he gave John Morrison before the (magnificent and never to be forgotten!) game in 2006 showed how easily Pillar can get distracted. He has spent his time in the hot seat trying to put a tough element in the Dubs play that would be able to stand up to the Tyrones and Armaghs of this world. None of his back room staff seem to be telling him that the top 3 is now a top 1 and the same tactics no longer cut the same amount of ice. It will work against weaker teams in the Leinster championship but becomes redundent in the All-Ireland series.
    The other thing that is evident is that the men that pull them out of a hole whenever they get into trouble are Ryan and Jayo, both of whom are getting on a bit. The others that you mentioned will lend a hand, but Brogan is too keen on getting his own scores to be an effective captain, Keaney has yet to find his best position and Cluxton is inclined to search for glory at all the wrong moments (remember the daft run out the field against Kerry last year).
    I have always thought that Vaughen is overrated. He can be deadly accurate, but he has a suspect temperament and a tight marker can easily shut him down.
    As I said one time before, No 2 team in the country?…I don’t buy it!

  2. Could not agree more. Proof of this was shown as far back as 2006 in that famous semi-final; he moved Shane Ryan back to no 5…. I seem to remember John Morrison saying at the time he thought this move was so silly, it had to be a dummy move, and they were not going to fall for it by making any switches themselves. The Dublin players are delighted with him- remember A Brogan defending him to the hilt after the Kerry semi last year- This is not necessarily a good thing. Dublin have lost the run of themselves with this “team” fortress mentality thing

  3. Taking all the above into account ..people seem to forget that this above all..the league and not the championship….Last week Mayo beat Kerry (Can you see that happening in the championship?)..I would think that Dublin will be our closest challengers this year…anyone analysing last years championship could have seen that Dublin and Ironically Monaghan were the only 2 teams to give Kerry half a game….

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