I like McGuinness articles generally, but I think some of this just doesn’t work. The idea that you reduce your defence on the opposition going forward to stop them going backwards sounds like something that would play totally into Dublin’s hands. That would be the ultimate success of the tactic really.
But some of what he says Mayo will do naturally. They won’t have a wall of a defence, they will be more or less man to man, so guys won’t have time to linger on the sideline. Also being man to man does mean you are tighter on the opposition so limit their ability to play in any direction. So sort of inherent in their style is the ability to stop Dublin going backwards, but this is more a result rather then a design. But I just don’t agree with McGuinness’s assertion that you can squeeze the play on one sideline and leave the other one open. It might win you 70% of the ball that goes to the wing (it won’t, but it might), but you will be totally exposed for the balls you don’t get. Scully or Connelly can have the ball across the field in an instant.
But if Mayo do squeeze the play all round the field, they will leave gaps somewhere. As Darcy, I think, said during the week, they can only have 15 players on the field at one time, and there is a limit to how much squeezing 15 players can do.
My worry for Dublin is O Callaghan, I am not sure he has the physicality for this yet, especially at full forward. It is in him to score 1-4, but it could also happen that he is quiet. That man to man stuff does not suit him in every instance. He has got the headlines this year from his scoring exploits, but his core advantage skill is winning hard ball, and that is hard for a young lad of his age in an AI final against a team with the weight of history on their shoulders.
Scully likewise is light, but he is out the field where there is more space, and he is unbelievably good at wriggling out of small spaces. I have seen every game he has played this year, including the OBC games, and I don’t think he has turned over the ball once. So he might just be the man to the squeeze on the wings that McGuinness is calling for. But likewise, with young guys, it could all pass him by. As i said before here, in the last final we went into with a lot of young guys, 2013, we ended up taking off the three of them.