Only winding ya
But there’s a lot of truth in what you say, albeit in jest. This team is the best ever Dublin team, I’ve no doubts in my mind. Two championship losses in 6 years is phenomenal. I hope it’s two in 7 years come September.
Great to see the return of the Bernard-Flynn (for want of a better phrase!) partnership. They just link up with each other so well. As hungry as ever, they both are in my starting 6 forwards at the moment, albeit it has to be recognised that they’ll hardly come up against as poor a defence again this year.
The couple of games will bring Paddy Andrews on as well. Class operator that can’t be left on the bench in my view.
Bit of pressure on Kilkenny’s place for the first time in a long time with the emergence of Scully and the return of Flynn and Connolly, and Kev Mac also a possibility for centre forward. Kilkenny still well worthy of the starting place of course, but I’d like him to see do a lot less of slowing down the game and going backwards when in possession. Sometimes that is the right option, but he does too much of it.
Kk offers much more overall than Berno, and a somewhat different role than Flynner. That’s assuming either of them don’t end up at midfield. Brogan hasn’t the legs to start anymore I feel, sad to say but a fantastic option as sub. Paddy needs form, same as Mannion.
All this record talk is overstated in my view with some even suggesting its better to lose this week to get the monkey of the players back. Nobody was speaking of records a couple of months ago when we were still winning games and the application hasnt changed. Its a newspaper filler.
I wouldn’t be concerned about lack of scoring from forwards against certain teams. Its the way the game has gone. I’d even go as far to say there is little point in starting the likes of Bernard against some teams. The role of the free taker is far more important.
It wasn’t an issue til it became equalled and passed, it’s an historic thing, not in itself important but adding to the whole growing “invincibles” tag, and hence it has now become a factor. Up til now most achievements by this team gave been treated pretty low key but it gets much harder to keep it remotely low key that, in a short space of time, they have managed a combination of back-to-back All-Is first time in 40 years, breaking an 84 yo record of unbeaten games, quite likely 5th league title in a row, and shortly to embark on an attempt to win a record number of Leinster titles in a row, and go 3 Sams on the bounce first time in over 30 yrs, and for Dublin in nearly 100 yrs.
Fantastic achievements all of them but I don’t agree with the hype arguments Al. Didn’t buy into them years ago and don’t now. I’m not ruling out its not another layer of complexity as I don’t know anything about the psychology of the group but when we do lose its often used as a get out clause for other more obvious events. I find that too convenient.
Over the past few seasons in high profile games tactics caused a defeat and individual errors and a lack of a ruthless streak on the scoreboard nearly cost us too. Other great qualities rescued us. Chances are if we don’t improve on at least one of the latter it will go south in the near future and I dont think that will be due to pressure of holding a record.
I think there is a lack of emphasis now on the full forward line in particular scoring. With Dublin anyway, the ability to win the low ball in and to be generally athletic seems to be given greater priority. O Gara and Mannion in particular wouldn’t be serious points scorers, they are not bad, but they are not go to guys for shooting. Fair enough Rock is, but does he actually play in the full forward line? We seem to be mainly a two man full forward line.
Brogan is of course a go to shooting guy, and if he is playing he will probably increase the stats above. But it is interesting to consider which type of player brings the most benefit - the likes of a Mannion who may not score but will win the vast majority of 50/50 balls, or the likes of McHugh who will score 2 or 3 but might not win the same amount of ball. You would think the higher scorer should win out, but I am not sure that is the case with Dublin.
Kind of on Topic!!
I was thinking the exact same thing coming out of Croke Park on Saturday. I know the opposition was poor to say the least but it was nice to see so much forward momentum which will always benefit our inside forwards who were able to make runs off the ball knowing it would come their way. I’m not for one moment saying KK should be dropped but at the same time it can be damn frustrating to watch.
Good article that Bluewheels. Amazing amount of forwards to pick from, and I’m sure Jim will be picking horses for courses, whether its against an ultra defencive team or a team that wants to play football. I think he has the forwards for any occasion.
I can’t see Kilkenny being dropped for any game against a serious defensive team. His control the ball, take the high percentage pass style is (unfortunately) the lowest risk way of facing puke blanket defence.
Let’s face it, if you spend 20 mins recycling the ball across the 45 against Roscommon then you have serious problems.
I think the term dropped is not really accurate in these situations. Football has changed big time in recent years, being dropped implies that you are not getting a game because you are not good enough, but nowadays more and more the idea of a fixed starting 15 is gone, team line ups vary from game to game, some players are deemed more useful to start a game and others more efficient coming off the bench ,
I even think that it has got to the stage that players themselves accept the fact that most of them will not play all games and they don’t see being taken off or not starting a game as negatively as they would have done in the past and when called on they are ready, whereas before a lot would have been pissed off with the manager and not really focussed, this goes for most counties, ( Maybe not Mayo )
It goes without saying the tactics, the players, the fitness etc etc all have to be taken as read. But that “It’s the tactics, stupid” argument assumes that application of the tactics is always what it should/could be, and that coaches always keep their heads and don’t apply incorrect tactical gambles.
It’s not rocket science, for example, to maintain defensive cover against a team that can score goals, and wont give them up easily. To remain patient, and disciplined, til superior talent wins out, as it almost always does. The real question here is that when that approach breaks down, why does it happen? Why do otherwise great coaches, and great players sometimes make much more risky or even careless decisions?
Because everyone can be prone to major error, given the right set of circumstances. This is true in any walk of life. So what we are really debating is, what set of circumstances?
It goes without saying …
That’s a saying…
In soccer what Kilkenny does against those defences would be called controlling the game a bit like xavi did for Spain.
CK is a massive player for us and no surprise for me that the one year he wasn’t around in this great era was in 2014 (with his cruciate injury ) that we struggled in terms of our shape against defensive teams
Wouldn’t agree there See_Saw. We weren’t doing what we do now in '14 and CK was still a kid too. What we do now is largely because of '14 but if CK was there it would not have been different IMO …
Let’s take that up tomorrow 09 - Ck is a leader under Gavin’s trust for a long time and imo he would have been that in '14 also…
Agree about Kk since 2014 but up to then our style was more all-out attack, and Al Brogan was in the playmaker role