There is a very interesting discussion to be had around all of this. Unfortunately one poster can’t debate without insulting people, so I will ignore that and stick with what I think are the interesting points. By no means am I claiming to be sole owner to the only legitimate point of view on this - like everyone, I can be heavily influenced by the latest results etc.
On the O Dwyer interview - I have always thought he interviewed poorly. That stuff about playing with his ‘heart on my sleeve’ that he comes out with when he is sent off again wrecks my head. I would prefer if he played with the rules of the game in his head, rather then his heart on his sleeve. I think he was indulged by Daly in this also, who should have been taking him off more times when he got his first yellow. His sending off in the relegation play off (drawn match) a few years ago was the cause of us not surviving that play off. Also, for him to be the one to complain about people leaving panels is illogical as he left the Tipp panel.
Having a go at people who did leave is just not sensible though, firstly the only people who actually are not on the panel and complained about Cunningham were dropped from the panel, they didn’t leave (or in Keaney’s case, retired). The one person who it is assumed he is talking about, Sutcliffe, just left the panel, which is entirely his pegorative. He hasn’t complained about anyone, he just left and did his own thing. But O Dwyer even talking about it, is silly as it just makes it harder for anyone to come back in the future.
I am sure O Dwyer is a lovely lad, and I do value the bravery he plays with and I admire the great games he has played (league final win, 3 goals against Limerick, first half of AI semi against Cork etc.), But… he needs to think before he talks, and sometimes think when he plays…
The case for Cunningham staying or going seems to hinge on one thing really. Are we doing as well as we can with the hurlers we have? I think Dublin manager get a free pass on things like this because of the innate inferiority complex of the Dublin hurling supporter. If the team isn’t doing well it is always because of the players in Dublin, but it is not necessarily so.
To see our innate inferiority complex, just look at the U21 thread. The best U21 team we have ever had get knocked out after extra time in the AI semi and the whole debate is centered around our failure to develop hurlers. I know one or two people start the topic off like that and others join that discussion with very valid points, and the topic ends up going off on a tangent- but a bit of perspective is in order sometimes. Kilkenny didn’t win even the Leinster at minor or U21 (like we did) and I doubt they are being as negative.
For me, Cunningham took big chances (and I said at the time, fair play to him if they work out), but if you are doing this, it needs to work out, and it didn’t. Would the 2014 team have beaten Cork - my view is that they would, quiet easily. So in effect Cunningham’s changes have taken us backward. Sure some new guys were worth a shot - but putting in the likes of Bennett was just a Hail Mary shot, if he thought he was good enough he should have been trying him out in league games etc. Maybe it is backwards with a view to moving forwards? There is logic behind that, but Cunningham only has one more year left so next year had better be a fairly significant leap.
Along the way, Cunningham has had a hand in damaging inter county careers. That is the way of it sometimes sure enough, I am sure Gavin has told many a lad that they weren’t up to it. But Cunningham has been responsible (or partly responsible) for lads not playing inter county who have showen in the past that they were very able for it and he hasn’t fully replaced them with guys who have improved things. Every case is different here, and I am applying an overall scenario to a sort of a numanced point and it is a bit clumsy, but still I think the general point holds overall.
In any man management scenario, where a manager is failing to influence the group as a whole, it is very common for them to work on a sub set and get them to defend his position for him. Sometimes, the situation is actually correct, you can have one or two guys acting out and they need to be jettisoned and it needs to be re-enforced by team members. But it is also very common for managers to lose the group, realise they have done this and then cosy up to a sub-set and get their support. The huge problem with this is that the split deepens and remains long after the manager is gone. So the manager ends up doing long term damage that can’t be undone.
Personally I have an issue with how Keaney who more then anyone is responsible for our hurling revival, I would say more responsible then Daly and infinitely more responsible then Cunningham is now painted by some as this sort of disgruntled guy that won’t let go… Keaney is one of the best and most important GAA players this county has ever had.
As I said at the outset, I don’t claim to be a font of all knowledge on this. There are very sound, logical views, with an opposing mind-set - URoy I think it was (among others) made very valid arguments contrary to the above before. But speaking personally, any poster who just insults rather then debates will be ignored by me - but it would be a shame if a hugely interesting topic stops because of it.