I do give him some credit, Beating Cork away is a good achievement any day. I would be concerned though how he arrived at the team selection he did. Everything seems to be in lurches, he goes gung ho in one direction, and then when that doesn’t work he goes gung ho in another direction, That is fine for year one, but not for year three.
If he wanted to run at a team and trouble them that way - surely AJ Cronin is worth a shot? Why cherry pick the minors when one of the best of last years very good U21s is still out there. Where is Cian Boland also? (Maybe both have injury issues, you would have to assume so). McBride didn’t start against Tipp but he was the Burke of his minor years, but is that bit older and stronger. When that Minor team lost to the very good Waterford team that year, McBride was the stand out player on the field (Conroy was exceptional that day too).
But I think the extreme position of starting three of last years minors in a February league game has gone unnoticed a bit. I can’t recall it ever having been done before. Very occasionally you would see a very good minor get a bit of a run come championship time (Sutcliffe came on against Limerick I think for a few minutes in a championship game near the end of his first year out of minor). That score difference against Tipp might well be the reason we end up in the relegation play off.
What I do like is he gets a team to commit to which ever way he wants them to play. Everyone playing to the one plan is vital, even if it is the wrong plan. Teams have won with the wrong plan, but they have never won when everyone is not playing to the same plan.
We just could have a superb 2018. I have never seen the depth of talent we have now. Even looking at the Fitzgibbon, there are more Dublin players on the various college teams then every before. If the old and the new could be re-united somehow, we could be in a very good place.
Although looking at the hearty congratulations Cunningham got from Shanely after the game, it seems Cunningham has played a good political game here. He seems to have de facto control of the U21s also now, as their manager is his selector, with the successful u21 management of last year out in the cold. It also seems as if the distance between executive and management might not be as wide, or the relationship as analytical, as it should be. In a business sense when this happens, it is up to the shareholders to keep everyone honest, in this case the shareholders = the clubs.