Online media (Balls, Sports Joe, The 42 etc)


Not sure if I watched the same champo as you Alan, but I have a recollection of some spectacular fielding by Fenton, Howard and a few others, Id imagine to field the ball someone had to kick it, so to say you would at least like to see some kicking and catching would suggest you missed out on a few games.


Every time I raise this issue people start talking about Dublin. I’m not talking about Dublin. I’m talking about inter county football in general. Of course there was some good stuff at times. But mostly it’s become a very boring game to watch with little or no excitement. Just my opinion.


Sorry but actually apparently it’s worse, as opposed to havok. There were three offensive marks in Donegals recent match.


I think this decade there has been some cracking games between Dublin ,Kerry, Mayo.
Dublin V Mayo 2017 final was at seriously high standard. 2013 and 2016 semifinals also stand out. Kerry v Mayo 2014 and 2017 semifinals were very good also.
But in truth last year had some very poor games where keeping possession at all costs made some games hard to watch for long periods at intercounty and at club level.
This isnt Dublins fault we are fortunate to have the greatest players of our generation at the moment , a brilliant group who are very humble and never take themselves too seriously , a group who are going for 5 All Irelands in a row and are still having to justify ourselves in certain quarters of the media. We can play teams anyway they want and win .
Because of this Teams are scared of Dublin and a the game started to evolve last year year ,where the blueprint was to retreat and keep possesion for long periods. when two teams done this it was a stalemate and for long periods terrible to watch.
On a selfish note all i care about next year is winning Sam, , but looking at the bigger picture we cant allow the game get any more possession based or it will be horrible to watch .
we more games next year where teams just go for it.


Don’t agree. I like the variety of attack and defend and tactical chess at times. This though is still a taboo concept for Gaelic games, because “ah shure feckit we’re Irish and we’re meant to be all mad feckers and pure mule and mad passion and up and under and lay into dem and give it a lash Jack and a shemozzle and shure aren’t we wild altogether and don’t forget Hecthor, for Jaysus sake!”


I agree, but it is frustrating when the losing side make little or no effort to win the ball back. Some teams seem to have a game plan and stick to it no matter how the game is going.




But there is no great tactical thinking. Poor teams defend en masses and better ones attack. The poor teams have learnt there was a loophole to be exposed in that once they got a player into a crowd they could take the ball off him anyway they want, because the refs don’t enforce the tackle rule. Good teams learned not to take the ball into a crowd. There is nothing particularly intriguing about it.

It is the same issue most sports faced (from all countries) and they all countered by introducing new rules, soccer, basketball, lacrosse,
Aussie rules all have rules specifically to limit
the effectiveness of massed defenses or they force the attacking team to attack.

I don’t think these are the right rule changes, but I think something had to be done as the game had just evolved into one of those chess games that has reached the stage where the outcome is known and both players make the few predictable moves required until
check mate is reached.


I was referring to the fact that although we had to compromise, our footballers have shown that you can play great football and win more than almost any other team ever. If that’s not proof and encouragement of how the game can be played then what else do people want? But instead of that being the case the constant cacophany of whining, begrudgery, defeatism, misinformtion, twisted propoganda, and negativity means that other teams, counties, other levels of the game are not being encouraged and pushed to step up to the plate and play the game the right way. That was really my point. The media and the bitter agenda are spoiling the game for many whilst at the very same time claiming to be trying to ‘save it’. It’s a terrible warped reality.
They are deflecting from the real issues by using finances and funding and Dublin’s dominance as an excuse to do nothing really. That’s the sad reality it seems.


Monaghan are a symbol of this. Any big game they lost under Malachy O’Rourke over the years they stuck to their defensive structure when losing. Donegal never made any effort to push up on Dublin in championship when they played keep ball yet it was Dublin fault. I enjoyed Tyrone blanket defence but they were able to play ball too in the noughties. Now Gaelic football is been poisoned by negative coaches who have little ambition of playing attacking football.


I enjoyed Tyrone’s blanket defence…now Gaelic football is being poisoned by people who won’t attack…Read that again Stato😉


Donegal got nearest to perfecting the blanket/counter game in 2014 but a lot of that was down to Dublin naivety. Their play in 2011 was pure puke. But the 2014 Donegal tactic was impossible to sustain in the long term and actually put paid to some players.


I reckon 2011 was the nearest Jim Mc came to beating us tactics wise, in 2014 I think our loss was more down to us than the Guru, firstly because we could have been completely out of sight had we taken our chances and even the Guru could not have planned for that and secondly our line failed to react when things went wrong, again Jim mc could have expected rhe lack of reaction.
Tactically Donegal gave us a lot to think about in 2011 and IMO it was Gilroys greatest moment, he held his nerve and stuck to a game plan and got over the line.


Can’t agree with that. Lack of flexible/varied defensive tactics allowed Donegal counter-attacks and period of pushing up on us allowed Donegal get back in the game and then to get easy goals. Inability of tactic of trying to score points from distance to bridge the resulting deficit to be sustainable over the whole game meant no way back for us when going so far behind. Inability of our tactics to create enough goal chances against their tactics compounded the previous.

You only have to look at the tactical changes since that very game to see how tactically we got stuffed that day. And in effect, Gavin aknowledged that ultimately something closer to Giller’s tactical plan of 2010-2012 was more sustainable, once the required intensity of effort and quality of play throughout the team/squad could be consistently achieved.

Also if you look at the 2013 semi-final the fact that COS was assigned to stay in place/man-mark “Ireland’s finest ever forward” after the first twenty minutes made a huge difference in itself.


For the negativity of Tyrone in the noughties them lads could play ball. Now days teams are putting 14/15 behind the ball with no attacking plans.


Donegal and Tyrone started it.


My point is exactly that, it was more down to us not reacting than anything special the Guru did, we missed a few handy goal chances, they got a break with a goal, Mc Guinness could not have banked on that, IMO that day we started kicking some awesome scores and lost the run of ourselves, thinking they were going to over all day and then they stopped going over and when they got back into it, we felt we had to go for goals and ourline did nothing to change that.
Whereas in 2011, Mc Guinness came with a plan that really made us have to think, keep discipline and work our arses off, it clearly was not a great game of football, but IMO it was one of the most fascinating games I have ever seen, I was physically and mentally wrecked just watching it.


Armagh and Tyrone started it in early noughties. Donegal only started using blanket defence when McGuinness took over in 2011.


Two GAA documentaries on RTE over the chrimbo well worth a look.


Dont think thats the case . Most educated Gaa fans want a good game and a good tactical battle.
nobody wants a return to a kick and rush game of 80s or 90s .
Problem is its possession at all costs . Tyrone of the noughties now look like a free flowing team compared to some of the games we have to endure now .
Some of the club games this year have been terrible to watch ,
This isnt our fault , we have adapted to blanket defences but to say everything is rosy at the moment is head in the sand stuff.