Irish Times - GAA Articles


I don’t think either arguement is right or wrong.
Pat Gilroy done a fantastic job with Dublin.
But while lately JmcG articles are becoming nauseating and full of self worth, Donegal were in a far worse predicament than Dublin . Pressure would have been greater on Gilroy, but Donegal were no hopers. It can’t be dismissed what JmcG achieved.


It’s certainly not dismissed, nobody said that, everybody aknowledges he achieved pretty incredible things. But because it was Donegal he also has got a massive amount of free passes, all things considered. And has managed to make himself a major guru out of that


Why did he get a free pass because it was Donegal.


Same reason Mayo get a free pass alot of the time, most people dont want to hear or see them being portrayed as the bad guys. After the hoo-ha over blanket defence died down people just seemed to say ‘ah sure its only Donegal and sure they didn’t win any more All-Is’. Also I suppose it’s charisma, he has something about him that people seem to really want to believe and follow.

And if JMG had gone on to be an agreeable person in media I’d say the same but IMO he hasn’t, he is rubbing it in and milking it, and getting a free pass. Mickey Harte, despite his personal tragedies, and despite being basically a humble man throughout his long time in the spotlight, still didn’t/hasnt get/got the free reign McG is given to enthrall the masses with his teachings.

Maybe that’s because Jim and his followers are right and I’m wrong.



That’s the exact point I was trying to make, we dislike him because of his style of play and now his writings in the Times should not take away what he achieved with that Donegal team.


I didn’t dislike him fir his tactics and style of play that didn’t bother me, wasn’t pretty though, it’s the constant dining out on his win against us. Makes himself out to be some sort of genius yet he couldn’t let go of his tactics when he was getting beaten by Kerry in their final and needed a plan b. His annual pontification on how to beat Dublin is tiresome


i think that is actually the ken of it. i think it all stems from that.


That game will haunt me forever. We had beaten his system from the get go. Flynn and Connolly both scored some fantastic long range points to nullify the blanket defence. Around the half hour mark Connolly had a goal chance he should have scored to put us 7 points up I think. If he scored that Donegal were gone, to come back from being 7 points down they would’ve had to abandon the blanket defence and played football.

Such fine margins but nothing will convince me otherwise that McGuinness got very lucky that day.


Don’t begrudge them that win (I did mayo with a vengeance in 2012) but that’s life. I suspect mcguinness has more regrets about his time with Donegal than we will over him beaten us in 1 match.


For me, 1991, 1993, 1994 and then 2006 (Mayo), 2008 (Tyrone - when i basically gave up that we’d win all irelands) were way worse than 2014.

As pissed off i was in 2014 i had perspective after seen our team win two All Irelands at that point


We were good enough to win in 1991, 1993 & 1994 though the 3-game saga may have taken its toll in the way it eventually caught up with Meath - don’t forget, that was a preliminary round tie, Meath only got into the Leinster QF by beating Dublin.
1996 was a lost year too. The 1995 team was good enough and relatively young enough to have been competitive for the next 3-4 years.
I don’t think we were good enough in 2006 and 2008. 2010 was a lost year, for me.


On McGuinness, I think there is a very strong argument that he did a very good job with that team. Every team is different and it is impossible to compare what one manager did with one team against what another manager did with a separate team. But by any measure McGuinness did something with Donegal that no one saw remotely coming. He had a lot of unique team set ups and they took a team that couldn’t win an All Ireland in a raffle to one win and one final loss. The guy is different and the fact that he is now making a go of it in a separate sport shows he has talent. I think his articles generally make the point that if teams are playing against the big two or three, they need total focus and they need to do something different. All of that is fair enough - he did it, so I think he is entitled to call it.

Although I am still amazed at the Dublin managements lack of response in 2014 during that game. I was in line with the Dublin half forward line in the first half and we had six half forwards in a line across it. MDMA was back playing full back, Rory O Carroll was midfield and Jonny Cooper was marking a guy who was least six inches bigger then him in one of the central areas. We were five points up and I was never more afraid of losing a game. I didn’t know how we would lose it, but I thought it all looked horribly wrong. I think (hope) that was the day they realised that you have to consider the opposition, you can’t just focus on your own strengths.


He did a remarkable job with that team, and on us that day. Yes, it could have gone pear-shaped for them if we took our goal chances but we didn’t and they rode us.

Credit where it’s due. (I am aware that’s a motto he swears by.)


They had a serious squad waiting to be picked . Socially they drank jimmy five bellies under the table . All mc Guinness did was bring in the seageant major approach backed by thousands of Euro in training expenses . Got them well organised and tactically yes he deserves credit for that . Ground breaking ? Not in my view


Never said ground breaking, but to suit the narrative you are painting a picture of an elite group of players just waiting for someone to tell them to stop drinking. Which I think is far fetched in the extreme.
Donegal hadn’t won an Ulster title since 1992 . They had no underage success. They had lost 3 first round qualifiers in a row ( open to correction) , he delivered 3 ulster titles, an All Ireland and made another final.
Again I’ll repeat at the moment listening to him constantly refer back to 2014 is nauseating.
It should be pointed out to him that EF beat him at his own game after 2 to 3 weeks of preparation.
But he still achieved great things for Donegal.


Aido’s the main man… graceful like. POTY elect.


Yea agree with this, they always had some good footballers but they were a mess - he deserves a lot of credit for the job he did. The seemingly ligindary status he has gained as a tactical guru based on his win over dublin does grate a small bit.


I’m not sure if it can be said that Donegal were in a much worse state than Dublin when JmcG came in. Absolutely their discipline and attitude was very poor, but the players were there, although I agree that McG did some job to get them to the level he did.
Gilroy on the other hand had to make big changes after the ‘startled earwigs’ game in 09. Of the team that played the 11 final, 6 made their championship debuts in 2010, but apart from the changes in personnel that were made, Gilroy had to change the mind-set of the players too, and doing that was perhaps the most important achievement in Dublin football and the catalyst for our current success.


I think Donegal were in a much worse state , They hadn’t won a provincial for 20years. We had reached quite a few AllIreland semifinals.
I do agree Gilroy had a massive challenge when he took over and Dublin football had a lot to thank Pat for. But let’s not forget after 2010 Leinster final , most wanted him gone. Thankfully that never happened and he instilled a brilliant work ethic , cut out the bullsh…t of Caffrey and we ended that barren run.
I’m not putting McGuinness on a pedestal far from it, but he does deserve recognition for the results he got.
I think even with Dermo miss we would of still beaten probably any other team in Ireland in 2014.
His game plan won it, albeit we still should of won the game, fact remains his tactics won the second half.
I talked to a Dublin player a while after that game and he just said tactically we got it wrong.