2018 Super 8’s, Tyrone v Dublin, 21st July, Healy Park, 7pm (SKY)


We are more than 2 points better than Tyrone, good as they are. Lads are hesitant to go for it even when the break is on and the chance there to finish teams. We use to do this e.g. Mayo in 2015, now we run backwards. Johno is right, Kerry were too smart for their own good in 2011 and the fear is that it will happen to us. Is there not also a place in our tactics for putting our opponents away?


2011 you mean. No such thing as sureproof tactics and yeah one day we ll be caught if we keep on doing it. Thing is it s worked so far. Think we ll see a more adventurous Dublin in the semi finals though.Gavin likes to keep the opposition guessing.


Agree with that.

I get the impression Dublin had an extra gear whereas Tyrone (understandably) fought tooth and nail.

Mattie D was saying how embarrassed the players felt last year - so Sat was an opportunity to show they were better than that.

But I never got the impression that Dublin were on the ropes.

Dublin will be a different animal if both sides meet in the final.


If they were firing on all cylinders like most years , than yeah.But that doesn’t appear to be case .
Of course , this could all be a bluff by Jim & when we hit the semi or final he could tell them to let loose & completely flumox the opposition.


Yeah I kind of think that way too - and hope there’s something in it. Sherlock’s arrival though has certainly changed things. Not sure if they are for the better …


I agree to some extent, in so far as there is a level of cautiousnessness to our game that sees us more risk averse at stages. Would it be better if we won by 8, 10 or 15 points, yes but not if on the downside we were also conceding a lead in the last 10 mins and losing in the odd game here and there. It’s not by how much we win moreso that we win. More direct football might win you games but would it give us the consistency in winning that Dublin have now, I don’t think so.


I think it’s about finding the balance between caution and risk. At times we’ve turned down opportunities in order to retain possession, other times it’s seemed we weren’t even looking for a score - even though it was on.

Efficiency and caution seem to be key these days. Our wide ratio this past year must be at its lowest ever but is that at the cost of good scoring opportunities, scores that might put us 3/4/5 scores ahead, meaning the opposition need goals and create a more comfortable breathing space? The Monaghan/ Kerry game demonstrated that you can be comfortable all game then bang if you don’t take the scores.


I don’t think it’s people suggesting an ‘attack at any cost’ approach, as that would obviously end in tears as they say, but it appeared up in Omagh in particular that looking for the score was never an option even. A few times in the final 10 minutes we had worked the ball up to the D, or inside it on a couple of occasions, but none of our players seemed to consider the shot as the thing to do, simply recycled the ball back out the field and invited Tyrone onto us, which did result in scores for them.
It’s not as though we lack forwards that can score from 20/30 yards out, and one or two points at that stage, when we were so far up the pitch, could have closed the game out earlier.


I don’t think you need a particular plan to put the opposition away, you just need a plan to win the game.

I think players are being selected with this end too. We do have players on the line (and one in Boston) who will shoot on site, Paddy Andrews being one, Flynn being another. But these are not being selected, I assume if we needed the scores we would see more shots and more of the type of player who will take shots.

I am not mad about our forward six, if you were picking the best forwards in the country you might only have two of them at the moment. But I don’t know what they are being told to do, they might be carrying out instructions to the letter. Just because I don’t fully understand it doesn’t mean its wrong.

It has been 2014, with the exception of one or two of the Mayo games, since I have been seriously worried coming down the home stretch, so whatever they are doing it works. That doesn’t mean we cant be caught on a given day, but we have probably minimised that risk as much as we can.

We are seeing football being played now as it was never was before, with some of the most innovative stuff in decades - that is why some of the media commentators have no clue how to react to it. But I also suspect we are seeing the most well drilled team there ever was, so yes, a little bit of creativity will be lost there.


I hear what you are saying but I never felt we were in REAL danger and my reassurance came when Tyrone came within two points and Dublin just went up the other end to make it three between them at ease. They were playing to a very specific plan and that plan is part of changing from the traditional playing of the Leinster games, quaters, Semi’s and Final to fitting our game and panel to suit the Super 8’s.


Behind all the tactics…there’s bound to be the human factor of tiredness & repetitiveness.

Dublin players know they don’t need to shoot the lights out.

They’ve the experience and leaders to manage the end game - such as CK did in Omagh.

On a side note…was thinking that Tyrone players probably learned a lot from Sat night. They came away knowing they had to think quicker, tackle better and basically be more like Dublin.

Sooner or later teams will narrow the gap with Dublin…so maybe playing within themselves isn’t a bad strategy.


Watching from the stands I would agree that recycling the ball back and over across the field seems to be wrong at times and I often think why not take the shot on or why clear the opposition square for them instead of crowding it and sending the ball in, or why not a quick direct ball, it seems to work for other counties most of the time. I obviously like others think sometimes our system is over laboured for a score and at times we have the momentum in attack only to slow up and work the ball back allowing opposition to gather their defence. What makes me less critical than others is that the system the team plays, gets us wins. Yes it could be argued their is undoubtably a downside that it restricts or is over cautious or over laboured etc. but I also believe that it’s a managed tactic based on stats and strategy.


Clearly there’s lots of different stuff been borrowed from other sports & incorporated here . The lateral hand passing last year was pivitol in breaking the blanket . What we saw though against Donegal was like a soccer team playing it into the corner in injury time but with 10 minutes to go ! Its not easy on the eye but it is effective .What disappointed me was that i was waiting for them to create a score out of it & it just never materialised . Again, it must be all part of the plan .I’ve no doubt this is a segway to something else in the semi .Teams will think we are going to do this again and then , bam , flick the switch & go at them ( im more in hope of this than it actually happening ).
Its fairly obvious now we have no direct replacement for DCs creativity . So that’s why i think things are a bit drab ATM . If Howard wasn’t doing his little shimmys these wins would be fairly non discript. Hes the only player really doing anything of note to catch the eye .
Id definitely give CC , Flynner & Kev a start the next day .No harm in giving Con an extra week off . He must be running on fumes atm .


i think it really comes down to a percentage game. i’m guessing of course but there’s a chance the instruction when playing donegal/tyrone type teams (very defensive but good enough to beat us if we play into their hands) might be “recycle unless the shot is really, really on.” that way most times we pull the trigger we get a score and absolutely knacker them with all the recycling and mentally frustrate them too. there is no fear of another team playing us at our own game cos no other team has a panel that can 1) kickpass with our accuracy and 2) stay as composed on the ball as us. the added bonus of this strategy is that the odd time we do get turned over, we have twice as much gas in the tank to get back and defend as they do going forward after running around after us for the previous 5 mins. this inevitably results in us being 5 points up after 60 mins and then we have to make a choice between going for it (risk getting caught on the break) or just trying to maintain a lead by keping the scoreboard ticking over. so far it has been the latter.


I see Micky Harte has said that he will be without Cathal McCarron for the rest of the season after the player posted a cryptic message on social media.

Any of you know what that is about?


And therin lies the real reason behind this tactic, being in possession of the ball and chasing the ball are two different Worlds, I know which one I’d like to live in. Possession is key.


I think we’ve been pretty consistent in winning over the previous three seasons, even with a less cautious approach


Seems to be a knee injury looking at the replies.


Teams can’t overtake us at the end, because we have run them ragged trying to get the ball back off us. Tyrone are as fit as any other team, and they were gassed at the end.


Slightly off topic I know but related to the Super 8’s and the issue of “HOME” games.

I see that in the 1980 All Ireland Championship that Louth and Kildare had two games in Croke Park, Offaly had three games in Croke Park and Dublin had ONE.

Another note: Kerry won the All Ireland by winning only THREE games!!

And Finally… Dublin didn’t play any Championship games in Croke Park in 1981.