Those kick out stats (thanks for posting all that nappertandy) are actually poor enough. We lost 40% of our own ones that went beyond the 45 and won 30% of theirs that went beyond the 45. We only won 46% of the kick outs overall. It was going to be skewed because they had more kickouts, so an advantage on more of them - but at best that is a break even on what is considered our strong point. Even in the 2011 final, when Kerry are supposed to have ‘cracked’ our kickouts we won more then we lost, but here we lost more then we won. The problem isn’t our kickouts, we got a decent amount and we got them generally in a position where we had a big advantage on the next play. But our performance on their kickouts was poor.
We probably won’t meet as many teams with as good a midfield in the future, but it is a cause for concern. Fenton isn’t strong enough to compete under a ball that is coming out of the air, when there is a crowd. He is fine one to one because he can use his mobility to get around the guy. But when strength also becomes part of the equation, he is in a bit of trouble. Flynn cleaned him out in the air the last day, and continued to do it throughout the match. Fenton should have stopped competing for the catch and started to drive into the ball to break it. You have to know when the guy has the better of you. McCarthy isn’t really a midfielder at all, he is not a stand out at club level here, so he is not going to be at county. He brings lots of other things and maybe one out weighs the other, but I’m not sure.
We get gains here in mobility around the pitch, but looking back on that game I think it was a very very poor midfield performance. They were allowed to run unchecked through the middle and they won their kickouts with relative ease. If Bastic is up to it fitness wise, he should have been put on to sort out some of the issues (if he isn’t up to it, I assume he wouldn’t be in the 26). If Flynn comes back, I would put him to midfield, or even Connolly - but we will not beat Kerry with that midfield pairing.