F**ker, I barely got the last bit
Normally I don’t comment on a game until I see the game again on the box but I will break my own rules as I feel some of the posters are harsh on the Dublin players/set up and performance to date. At the start of the championship I feared we could be in trouble owing to
1 Still no commanding full back under a high ball since Rory left
2 A full back line hitting 30
3 The sabbatical ( hopefully) our single greatest talent has taken.
On the evidence of the season so far I am more confident of a 4 in a row than at any stage of this season. Let me attempt to justify in reference to likely starting team.
1 Cluxton. Posters suggesting his kickouts suffered last night. TSG had some highlights of some of his kickouts late in the game-both lost.But remember they were on a narrowed pitch. O sullivan and Flynn would win them in Croker, Such small margins. Utter precision.I have no fears at all that he is not still at the top of his game.Maybe we have seen some planning for succession when the great man retires because Comerford has done well in his 2 games this season. He is an excellent shot stopper-dare I say it better than Parnells finest. Maybe he needs to bulk up?. And in an interesting piece of symmetry Can anybody imaging Comerford taking over and the goalkeeper coach being Cluxton? In the same vein as Cluxton took over from Davey Byrne who in time was Cluxtons Coach?. Inshort we are well covered with 2 keepers that both have AI medals.+
2 Jonny Cooper. Most posters fulsome in their praise for him.100% agree. Immense all year. Possible contender for POTY. Future captain? probable. fancy him to mark Clifford/Mcmanus and do a good job if it comes to pass. Some posters have said that they don’t like his theatrics and gamesmanship-implying he could be found out. Not likely. He can wind up the opposition-its all calculated. Anybody remember when he clashed with o Shea the elder and got throw to the ground-think it was 2016. On the Cusack sideline. O shea saw black. Mayo fell apart.Again it was calculated on Coopers behalf.When he wins ball and bursts out it has massive psychological benefit for team and Fans. At the Peak of his powers. On a personal note also a great bloke.I asked him to do a medal presentation in my club and he agreed.Twas due to be a friday night. It appeared he was a no show. But it was my mistake I got the dates wrong. After Dublin training on a Fri night he got my text. And he came immediately anyway.Top bloke.+
3 Philly. Some posters suggest he appears sluggish. When did he ever appear otherwise? But when has he ever been found out for pace?His foot passing is probably the best in the country for a corner back which fits into a team with great pace nicely. He is great for a long range point as evidenced last night again.Brings his trade mark physicality which is needed.Every team needs them.If a high ball is launched into our square Philly is the man I want under it.+
4 Fitzy. Did not start last night but that was not a reflection on his performances to date-more a question of squad rotation-keeping players fresh and chomping at the bit.A marvellous tackler- Witness his stripping the ball from the Donegal player last week in front of the Nally stand ( is it still called that?) And if there is a dirty ball on the ground to be won He is the best man in the country to win it.
5 James. A rolls Royce if ever there was one.Natural wing back. Finishes games in midfield.What an engine.Sometime full back if opposition wants to lamp high balls in. Good for scores both points and goals. And what a man to put in a shoulder. Inspirational. POTY last year only for sentiment.+
6 Cian. Ticks all the boxes.Great pace. Great temperament . Great footballing intelligence.Great positional awareness. There’s an old question that does the rounds-how many players have won all stars as a forward and back? (Ans) 6 Don’t think anybody has won All Irelands on 3 lines of the team as he has.+
7 Jack. Just think that we have won 2 all Ireland in recent years without him (a POTY).One year travelling another injured after a few min.We all know about his pace.Scored a long range point last night. Tasty.Breaks the gain line like nobody else.And his Da was class.Improves the team from last year.+
8 Fenton .Most commentators have him down as the best midfielder in the country so we will take that as granted.So what has he gained from last year? decision making. Game intelligence.Exudes aura of dominance.+
9 MDMA…Has played great stuff this season. lost out last year because of injury at inopportune time. Still about the best man to break a tackle and set up scores for others. May have to settle to be an impact player a la mode Maxi. Still a gain on last year. +
10 . Howard. All posters agreed on raving about him.Justifiably.Lets list some of his attributes. Fielding.Point scoring.Footwork. Upper body strength. Game intelligence. Adaptability.( where does he play?. YPOTY without a doubt. .BUT.why is he withdrawn after 50 min? stamina issues? No matter a massive addition to the cast of 2018+
11. Con .Cant help but feel irritated that posters are hard on him. Rest him say some.Playing poorly say others. His work rate is incredible.His skill set is excellent. Both feet.Ability to accelerate and change direction simultaneously is second to none. And this from a lad that plays another code half the year. I remember once that Jim G said Dublin players are encouraged to go for goals if its on at all- rather than the handy point. Con - a great team player -has sought to do this rather than the handy point. Anyway he is more involved in the game for longer periods than ever before as befits a lad in his early 20s. Therefore an addition. +
12 Scully. Superb athleticism. Probably covers more ground than anybody else.Strikes me as a player that is utterly dedicated but has to overcome some issues of self doubt- sometimes he off loads when he should score. But given the 2 goals last week it should empower him in this regard. Will also benefit from last years experience. So an upward trajectory. +
13. Mannion. Again posters are hard on him. May I ask by what criteria do you judge a player? there was a time when a forward was judged solely on scores. So by this criteria Mannion is maybe below par. But in the current game forwards have to track back .Mannion is incredible in terms of his speed . tackling. disposessions and ground covered.His scores will come.+
14 Deano. If we had a reliable place kicker in 2014 like Deano we could be on a 6 in a row.He has bulked up a bit and to date is winning possession easier than in previous seasons. all the other attributes are still as clear as previous seasons. Great temperament-he eats GPS from Mayo for breakfast.Unerring accuracy. At 27 in his prime.On a upward curve. Hence a +
15 Not sure who would get the last Jersey. So lets’ examine the candidates. ( from back to front)
15 Murchan. 2 great games in a week. Neutralized the oppositions play makers in last 2 games.A ball of energy.Has great acceleration.Excellent concentration. Maybe needs to learn the dark Arts.A massive addition.Expect him to be detailed in future on the oppositions main playmaker.+
15 Paddy Andrews. . Not seen the last 2 weeks . Nothing gets out of the Dublin camp.But if there is a shot from an acute angle I know who I want to be taking it. Hopefully he gets fit soon.
15John Small. Great to see him back last night. A former man of the match in an all Ireland final.Loves the physicality of the game- perhaps too much so. But as he gets older he will curb his exuberance. So he will have learnt from last year -and this. Hence a +
15 Cormac Costello. The greatest impact sub since Davis Fairclough. Mobile. Fit. Both feet.Keen to score when others recycling.What an asset against tiring teams.Has been hampered with injuries but now fit.Again an addition to last season. +
15 Eric Lowndes. Unlucky not to play in last 2 games. Great athleticism and foot passing.
15. Kevin Mac. Scored the most important score in Dublin Gaa in 33 years. And probably more.Great to run at tiring defences. Still a man to take us over the line+
15 Paul Flynn. Has struggled because of injury to regain the form that had him as a contender of top 5 players of the decade, But is approaching that now. Not likely to start but can likely win a game in a close contest -be it winning a kickout- spraying a pass- or taking a point.Almost like a new player. +
Just realised that in considering candidates for the last jersey I forgot the fulcrum of the team. Kilkenny. Playmaker, Scorer. Ball winner…Conduit of the Gavin values into the team/ pitch.Intelligence personified. Growing into the role as a leader.+
Management. Posters have been so critical on performances to date.So unfair. Managers job is to win. simple as. Massive Kudos to Gavin for learning. We should have won in 2014, We did’nt .But Gavin has adjusted the whole philosophy from being gung ho to the percentages games. with evident results. You can ask no more. But some posters do.
In conclusion -and apologies for being so long winded to date about the 2018 championship- I see more reason for optimism than the opposite. Players are playing well.We have more strength in depth than ever. we have a management team who are experienced and are aware of the vagaries of the game. We have excellent players coming through.
Last thoughts. Fields sports are about winning.Not- from the managers point of view-entertainment. So let us
applaud the the current Dublin players and management so the success hitherto and not on anything else.
He would have been better off saying he did it and it was his prerogative to do so. The pitch was Regulation size and as home team they are with in their rights to do it.
Great post - love a bit of unbridled positivity of a Monday morning. The only quibble I have is that James Mc is more of a muscle car than a Rolls - Fenton is clearly the Roller of the team.
Yes…I literally just read that online.
MH said it in front of the camera (Mark Sidebottom from the BBC interviewed him post-match).
And he said it with a straight face and matter-of-factly.
Why came out with a whopper that was so easy to discount - when a quick phone call to Sky would confirm it.
As Hopper said…if it’s a cock and bull story…just say its’ their prerogative and move on.
I imagine St Enda’s will have to come out with something now…as they’re the ones that apparently asked MH.
Ah stop. MH said Sky wanted it - they clearly didn’t - as anyone with a bit of a brain would’ve known - end of. I reckon MH was being mischievous and couldn’t actually give a sh1t about being ‘caught out’.
Exactly, I’m certain that sky’s denial will be dismissed by true geals for the tissue of lies that it is.
Them English trying to turn us against ourselves again.
Can see another mickey media ban now.
there should be one of them on Conor McGregor
Spot on, MH has always had that mischievous, and rebellious sense of humour, and fair fooks to him for it and for doing whatever he can to gain an edge and wind up the oppo and/or the media. It’s a nothig issue, who cares. Whatever faults MH may have, rock on, he is a great man.
Great post, @mrpogue. One of the best I’ve read here in a long, long time. Fair dues to all the locals offering help.
This just in:
“On behalf of Sky we would like to back up everything MH said. In no way was he being mischievous.
If that’s not proof I don’t know what is.
Did Sky quote it as fake news?
That paragraph that the next round decides who is first or second is incorrect isn’t it?
Only one of Donegal or Tyrone can finish level on points with us and we have beaten both so we win on head to head surely?
No it’s points difference not head to head. So conceivably we can still finish second
No it’s point differnce only when there is 3 teams involved. Here there would be only two teams involved and so because Donegal/ Tyrone are already beaten they will finish second