Do you accept that all teams, be they club or county, are going to have certain rules that have to be applied equally to everybody and that if they're to effective breaking them must carry some sanction? You can't motivate 35-40 lads to train for 9 months if you treat a lad that only ever plays in A versus B games differently to a definite starter. When you opt in to a panel, you opt into the rules of that panel and should abide by them. Standard among them is that the medical professionals employed make the decisions on fitness - that's why for instance Michael Fennelly was 'passed fit' for last Saturday night as opposed to 'declaring himself fit'.
Think it's harsh to imply that all Cunningham brings is discipline. There's a definite 'tough love' approach and cutting the apron strings hasn't been to some players' liking. But I'd argue his management style and tactical approach have got more out of McMorrow and Mark Schutte than Daly's did for example.
Don't think you needed to be there. A player who was ordered to rest for two weeks played a game in that period. He was told not to come back to training for two weeks (the first one of which he was supposed to have been resting anyway). I hardly think that's a draconian punishment. He reacted by threatening to leave the panel and had to be talked back by Senior players. When he did come back I'd argue he was only there in body, he sulked the rest of the summer before opting out this year. I'd call that a definite overreaction.
Haven't heard of any spat with Kelly, you seem definite that there's been one and maybe there has for all I know. But it's a fact that all the games Kelly has missed in Cunningham's tenure have been because of his knee injury, so until he recovers from that any differences between them are pretty irrelevant. He is training with the panel which suggests whatever grievances there may be (if any at all) aren't major or irreconcilable.
As I understand it, he did show some flexibility at first. Seems he regarded the incident I refer to above as taking advantage of that freedom and adopted a much tougher stance thereafter. That led to the incident with Mikey Carton (which ultimately led to him leaving the panel) in which I felt Cunningham was the unreasonable party.
The issue of the degree of control an Intercounty manager should be able to exercise on what a player does for his club is a separate issue in my view and pretty much a nationwide one. Rightly or wrongly, it's the nature of the beast these days that the county managers get to determine when a player can and can't play for their clubs. There's a whole conversation that could be had on that topic but for me it's something that needs to be ruled upon at the top administrative level. It isn't the place of one player to start a one-man rebellion against that mid-season off his own bat. Cunningham isn't exercising any control that Cody or Gavin aren't or Daly didn't.
To be part of an Intercounty panel demands a huge commitment but in the case of Dublin at least, that's a two-way street. The players are well looked after, they enjoy a level of equipment, training facilities, accommodation, travel, food and medical care that would compare well with most professional setups anywhere in Europe. Providing that costs a whole lot of money. There are also commercial opportunities for Dublin players that players in most other counties (and indeed club players) don't get and the player in question personally benefited (quite generously I'm told) from those. Whatever about his differences with the manager, the county had done a lot for him and his profile, I felt he owed his county more than to take a strop when admonished for very obviously breaking the rules.