Dublin - The Chaos Years


I think i fall into the “cheered on at the time cringe now” section on all that.

But - it was needed at the time. There was a very real sense that things were bad and going to get a whole lot worse in and around 2001. Pillar and Voldemort understood that the “dublin swagger” was a much needed part of the set up, and ok lads high fiivng themselves down in a boutque doesnt float me boat, but it gave a sence of important to being in the squad in the first place.

I dont agree abaout “useless leinsters” - we were getting bet by Mordor, Kildare, Laois and Westmeath. The only people not in the party was Offaly. Louth almost did us in much later, but in those days to fold in an all ireland QF or SF was a lot better than folding in Leinster. We were blessed by the backdoor, if we had been out every year in June nobody would have come back.

Sure we may not ahve had the players to win an all ireland, but we established ourselves as a QF/SF force again after some very bad days follwing 95.


Was on the hill that day a specifically remember the “warm up” if you could call it that, total loss of focus. Trying to hit mayo lads and all knocked out of sync. I recall we took a lead but missed 6-8 easy scores, we were emotionally drained coming down the home straight and when Mayo came at us we have nothing to give.

Look at the dublin team now so focussed and never get flustered when they score or when they miss.

Am actually going to get the book and have a read. Good article below.


Fairly poor fare . Didn’t realise he was a Sun journalist in which case I wouldn’t of bothered me arse .
There is a good book to be written about this era . This isn’t it .


What didnt you like about it ???


To be fair to the author it was titled “How the Dubs made a mess…” I was hoping for more “ why Dublin made a mess…” and a bit more insight .
I thought it was poorly written in places with the same quotes being used a number of times . And that it could’ve done with more contributors.


Its a short read only 238 pages .Its mostly anecdotal ,but what it clearly shows how pat Gilroy cut out the circus bullshit that surrounded the lyons and caffrey era , remember that alot of the players that won in 11 were there playing for both of them.


I’d agree with that but I did feel like I was reading Johnny Magee’s biography throughout.


It’s a strange book to do. Looking at the book at the front of Easons and you’d wonder how it got this far … I flicked through it and it’s a easy read …

But those years were unsuccessful mostly because we weren’t good enough . I’m not sure they were really that chaotic . We had only one all Ireland between 1977 and 1994 so it was par for the course up until 2011

Looking forward to any book that tells more about how the current setup works and the various auto biographies that the current players might ever do ! I’d love If DC signed up to do one , that would be some read . but can’t see it ever happening


Id imagine it would do more harm than good considering the current circumstances. I’m just glad he hasn’t reported to twitter during all this unlike Mortimar off Mayo . Keep the powder dry .


Agree. ‘Chaos Years’ is nonsense. Only has any sort of currency simply because the recent years have been so incredibly good in a way that isn’t the norm. Although it might turn out to be the new norm…


I heard there was an agreement (as much as there can be), that no one involved will do any books on this era. The Philly book is more about his life then the team.


I don’t think they were trying the right things to be honest. There were never any lessons learned from previous years defeats, it seemed more a case of keep trying the same stuff, but try harder.

The key issue for me in this period was that our playing system wasn’t good enough and we never over hauled it enough. We weren’t good enough to win without a good system, but we had enough good players to get us over the line with a proper system. The thing Gilroy did best was to learn from what he saw in front of him. I don’t think Caffrey or Lyons did.

I hated that march to the Hill shite, and Pillar’s young lad to the line with 15 minutes to go. I especially hated the sledging. But you can still win with all that. But you can’t win with midfielders who don’t work hard enough to cover gaps and defenders, who although very good, were just a smidgin slow to go toe to toe with the best, but weren’t given any cover.

I think there is too much read into attitude etc. These guys all wanted it badly enough. But they weren’t really given the tools to do it with, and they didn’t have the complete confidence in the game plan they were given that they do now.

Lyons and Caffrey weren’t bad managers at all. But a really good manager would have got us over the line, we were close enough for that to happen…


good post Wifi - think the biggest problem in those years is that 13 or 14 were nailed on starters - game after game


I knew a guy that could very accurately name the subs who would come on, and the time they would come at. If he could do it, so could the opposition I guess!


The way I feel about Pillar is that he was a tactically limited manager, who nevertheless managed to turn the ship around. Things seemed really bad at the end of the Lyons era, especially from a moral perspective. Pillar built things back up (probably too far in some respects) and got us back to winning Leinster constantly and mixing it with the top teams.

I don’t think he had the ability to win an AI, but considering the state of Dublin football when he took over and the state of Dublin football when he left, I think it would be harsh to consider his time in charge a failure.


I’ve read a few excerpts where John Bailey is given plaudits for certain achievements. That was NOT my memory of the man at the time.


That book, Sub Goalie, or whatever it was called (very readable actually) gave good insights into how things worked under Pillar. It seemed very focussed. That craic of reading out quotes from a book in pairs before they went training seemed a bit mental though, as did one or two other things. But that’s hindsight I guess.


Agree that’s not good now but at the time and even in the, Gilroy era and the start of, Gavin’s era the old mantra of “a settled team” and “knowing your best team” was still taken as gospel and for a good while after Tyrone introduced interchangeable positions and roles people still went on about players being ‘nailed on’ in positions even though it was clear they wouldn’t play there or play at all sometimes


Yes, I remember when ‘the manager doesn’t know his best team’ was considered an insult. The game has undergone a lot of paradigm shifts in recent years, it’s not so long ago when a goal keeper was thought to be almost cheating if he didn’t kick the ball to a 50/50 contest.


Ha! That’s what they said about Cluxton when Dublin started winning All Irelands