Leinster SFC Final 2016, Dublin v Westmeath, Croke Park, Sun July 17th @ 4pm


Its in the bag , I’ve no doubt at all now . This Kool Aid stuff is the business !


Only takes one…


Anyone know where I can get extra strength coolade to tie me over till the september? I’ll be mad outta me mallet on the stuff singing we’re going to win the sam to cheer up all you lone rangers with the glass half empty buzz.

In terms of personnel switches would it not be a option to bring in MickFitz into FB and push up with Philly or Move back COS in CHB with Kilkenny playing sweeper? HF role up for grabs.


Confident about winning a quarter final if it’s Donegal or Cork. After that I think we are rightly favourites but if we get through quarter final and play Kerry , James playing or not could be huge. Hopefully our back 6 are solid in quarters and confidence is high going in against Kerry.


Don’t know about coolade but you can share some of my Kool-Aid if you want it?


You are right, it is undeniable we have lost three great backs and will be a lesser team for it. But the bad stuff hasn’t happened yet, so I don’t see any point in trying to meet it half way. (small correction, and this is being a bit pedantic, but we haven’t lost the three players since the league - O Carroll was gone for all of the league and McCaffery for most of it).

My point was we have had a nicely controlled game plan for all the games to date. Will this work into the future and with players missing? I haven’t a clue to be honest. It will definitely be harder then it might have been. The odds are against any one team winning an All Ireland - if there was a bet will team A win the All Ireland or any of the other teams, the ‘any other team’ option will always be favourite. So even with a completely full team to pick from, I wouldn’t be betting the house on Dublin or anyone in a given year. Will Dublin win it one time out of the next three? Yes, I would strongly assume so.

But if I was asked which management team I would most want in charge of a very good team that is losing players but still hopes to win an All Ireland, I would most definitely pick the one we have, because of the reasons I laid out in the original post. Yes, the plan will meet serious set backs along the way, but I always assumed it would. I thought it would be more from teams coming up with counter plans, but losing players is another way we are / can be hit. Will we win the All Ireland at the end of it? Possibly, possibly not, but they will give it a decent rattle either way I think.


On what we have seen so far can somebody tell me where the serious opposition is? Genuine question.

Please do not base comments on any counties history-tradition-previous performances in other years. Base it on the same criteria as why you are shi**ing it about Dublin …


I know its stating the obvious but id rather have our team than any of the others regardless of injuries. But Kerry, Mayo are still dangerous ,I’m basing it on the fact of the close encounters we have had over the last few years. Tyrone is a bit of an unknown.
So their is nothing wrong with respecting the opposition.
There is no point trying to base where a counties standing is right now based only on this year trying to use our flawed League and championship systems as a barometer.
We won’t know until the game is in the melting pot .
(A) Our defence is a bit light and James and Rory combined were too much of a loss and we end up in a situation where we concede a couple of goals or
(B) We really are just too strong for everyone and even stronger than last year.
I’m optimistic about (B) , but can’t help worry a bit about the loss of 2 to 3 of our defenders.


In fairness to Dub09, you go back to pointing out our weaknesses, but he asked for someone to point out the strengths of the rest. So basically what you are saying is if we don’t win it will be more down to us than anything else.


I agree with your backs above, I think Fitz has been unlucky not to be getting more football, and in the absence of Jamsie I think Cooper is the next best option to provide a wing back that can break the gain line at speed (to borrow a phrase from rugby). On top of that I think Fitz would be physically stronger at full back than Cooper.
I can’t see either Flynn or Connolly being moved to midfield full time. It’s one thing to rotate one or the other into midfield for a few minutes during a game, but we would lose too much from our half forwards if it was a permanent move. Personally I would start Bastic and see how long we could get out of him, if it’s only 20 minutes then so be it, but depending on how a game is going he could easily get to half time, and if he gets that far then he could give another 5 or 10 minutes into the second half. Fenton seems to operate better beside him and MDMA’s form at the minute doesn’t seem great anyway.
I’d be more a glass half empty than half full person myself, probably comes from supporting Dublin all through the 80’s and 90’s, when we excelled in losing games that were easier to win, so I can understand the view from both sides of the Kool-aid cooler, and I can definitely understand the concerns on here, I think if we can negotiate what will be a tough quarter final then we can go on to win it, but the quarter final could well be Gavins toughest test to date.


If we meet Cork in the quarters, we beat them. If it’s Donegal I’d be confident of beating them with or without James as they’ll never do a 2014 again and we have their measure. Mayo I wouldn’t be confident of beating and certainly wouldn’t fancy meeting. They’re coming through the back door with games under their belt and players coming back from injury. They have forwards who can do damage against us and I’d see it as a straight shoot out. Could really go either way.


A lot of people seem to miss this as well plus you can imagine (hopefully) a charged up MDMA coming into the fray after 50 minutes or so just like the replayed semi final last year. Bastick sits in the hole protecting Cian & the backs very effectively whenever Fento breaks forward.


So is this the situation we are faced with now moving CK to replace Jamsey . At least he may be able to make the runs that McCarthy made but we losing the option of CK in the forward line . I’d rather have some else there in the backs than CK , surely someone else can be drafted in albeit he won’t bring what Jamsey brought ?



I think the competition is probably Kerry, Mayo and Tyrone - but I would have a full team beating all three. A weakened Dublin team is a harder call though.

Kerry - A full Dublin team will beat a Kerry one. They have tried to replace the older lads with newer lads, but to my mind it hasn’t worked out so far. The young lad O’Beaglaigh they are playing now in the backs fascinates me - I have never seen a player so off the fitness level as he was in the league game against Dublin. He went on a solo run up the field in the first half and nearly had to stop for a rest. But he must be decent or he wouldn’t be there - and Kerry are never too far away.

Mayo - Have been just awful to-date. The Fermanagh performance was awful. But they can only have gone back so far if their management has given them a system that doesn’t work. They have the same players as before and they have a good age profile. Maybe they are the team I would worry about the most.

Tyrone - In one way I can’t see why they are talked up so much, they haven’t actually done a lot except win an Ulster in a poor year. But you do have the Mickey Harte factor and the one game that Dublin played last year that really worried me was the drawn league game with Tyrone where they struggled to cope with the mass attack at speed.

But I would have Dublin minus the two backs to beat all three. Dublin minus the two and McCarthy is a more worrying thing, but still well possible. But there are no sure things.

If McCarthy is missing we may well see the Kilkenny thing tried again. We have probably 8 forwards or more who are among the best in the country, minus the lads we don’t have that in the backs - so to get the best 15 players on the field it may make sense to switch forwards to backs, especially against a team who are not playing with 6 forwards.


I think the gap between Dublin and Tyrone is pretty small with us minus the players we are. If the three lads were available then it’s a different ball game. But they aren’t. We aren’t as solid at midfield as we used to be either.

In my view we’re beatable this year and I haven’t seen any performances from the bench especially in the backs and midfield that make me feel anymore comfortable. I think it’s 50/50 whether we will retain it without Mc Carthy


As said before, it is true we have lost players and that makes it more difficult, I know it is hard, but let’s say your were a neutral and having seen the champo so far and knowing the players in the different counties set ups, who would you see as favs? IMO it is hard to see beyond us, we have had a good league, we did what has been expected of us in Leinster and now it is a question of getting a real test.
Of the rest of the favs, well you could only really say the same about Kerry. Mayo had a poor league, and have been dodgy so far in the champo. Tyrone had a good league but were pushed all the way by Cavan and Donegal in the champo.


First of all, why keep going with the ‘black-and-white’ assumption? Just because someone says “everything isn’t so rosey” doesn’t mean they are saying “everything is awful”.

Secondly, most or all of what people are saying in response to people being all-out positive is just providing an alternative view. So if someone says, “I can see no serious opposition and I’m very confident we will win” (words to that effect), then someone else will inevitably say, “but what about the players we’ve lost”?, and/or, “you can’t just write off this or that team”.

This does not mean, as the black-and-white view seems to suggest, that they are saying “the opposition are better than us, they have the players and the tactics in place to beat us”. It means, “consider the possibility that this or that may happen, and that we are no longer the squad we were, so we can’t base predictions on last year’s All-I” (for example).

Then as regards your favourite question, “who’s the serious oppo”? - This is answered in the context of the above, in other words, that how good we are/potentially could be, compared to how good other teams are/potentially could be, is a relative thing.

To pose a scenario in practice, Mayo took Dublin 2015 to a replay, that was Dublin with almost a full pick of the best players available. And also a very hungry Dublin squad who badly wanted to put right the loss in 2014. And who hadn’t been celebrating an All-I since 2013.

Mayo play Dublin in 2016, for the purposes of the mathematical equation, let’s assume Mayo are the same as last year. Same players, same experience, same hunger etc. Let’s call the changes in the Dublin situation X. And Galway are the ‘x-factor’ team. And there’s twelve teams left in the competition. Gooch is back to full fitness etc, and most people agree Tyrone are the new favourites. And Connolly is likely to get sent off.
This year the equation looks like:

D - X - DC / M - A(i.D_0) + G / 37 + MH / 1 = KA* / 26 x 1 / 12



I can’t see Kilkenny being moved to wing back TBH. It’s not his natural position and this would be exposed by the better teams. It worked last Sunday because Westmeath were playing with so many of their forwards withdrawn that it was simply a way of getting KK on the ball with acres of room in front of him. Our half forward line is probably the best in the country, even allowing for Flynns somewhat patchy form of late, and to disrupt it to try to resolve problems elsewhere on the field may not be the wisest approach. I think we still have options in defence, although admittedly not of the calibre of McCarthy when it comes to getting forward at pace, but as I said earlier the likes of Cooper at wing back would possess a similar attacking threat, or if we just required a solid defensive option then Daly has never let us down and plays with a physicality that some of our defenders don’t have.


i agree with this, not even due to the injuries, but the fact that as successive league winners and that we get to the business end of the championship must be draining.

that said, it still only brings us down to 50/50 - someone on the radio said that the managm,ent is playing clever in relation to training. This is something we tlaked about before - i think that the vast majority of intercounty teams are just being trained wrong. part of this is the stupid training/games ratio - this becomes apparent when you see some teams who have been “training” three times a week and more suddenly collapse after having to play three weeks in a row in the summer. Dublin have borrowed from Soccer and Rugby and are more interested in getting the team match fit by tempering their training and even giving them holidays from it.

Given the nature of the leinster fixture list it makes sense, and perhaps they will be ramping things up a bit now for august. I think Mayo are doign this, but they got caught on the hop and the qualifiers are doign the job for them. I’d imagine Kerry are doing likewise.