Galway need to adapt to the blanket defence

After conceding 3-14 to Mayo, 4-12 to Tipperary, and 1-20 to Kerry in three consecutive championship games, there can be no denying Galway have major issues at the back.

Most, if not all, of the Galway defenders are unable for one-to-one combat with players such as James O' Donoghue, Cillian O'Connor, Bernard Brogan or Michael Murphy. There is no shame in that - few defenders in the country are.

However Galway need to develop a strategy that their full-back line in particular is not left exposed as it was in Croke Park four days ago, or in McHale Park either.

O'Donoghue waltzed through for his goal last weekend after only 12 minutes and the Kingdom led by 1-3 to no-score. Galway were already in a fire-fighting situation.

The likes of Armagh, Donegal and Kerry get lots of men behind the ball and close down the spaces to stop corner backs, in particular, being left one-on-one with their opponents. Then they break at speed when they turn the ball over. Watch Donegal and Armagh this weekend to view the strategy first hand.

Unless Galway are prepared to adopt such a strategy it is difficult to see any major progress being made, such as promotion from division two or a genuine attempt at a Connacht title.

Successful teams are built on the foundation stone of a solid defence - of not conceding big scores.

Galway need to adopt that approach for next season and it will take time to implement.

Some supporters may not like such a defensive strategy, but those same supporters also want success, and in the modern game, you can't have one without the other.

Mayo can get to another All-Ireland final

The current Mayo team is a serious bunch of footballers.

And while "deserve" has nothing to do with ultimate glory in any sport, nobody should begrudge Alan Dillon, Andy Moran and Keith Higgins an All-Ireland medal.

Their commitment and dedication has been magnificent over the past decade and to see Dillon kicking four points from play some 10 years after an All-Ireland final defeat in 2004, and three more defeats since then, is a testament to his self-belief and will to win.

Seamus and Aidan O'Shea were fantastic too and I think they will have too much for Kerry in three weeks’ time.

Mayo have serious power and strength all over the field and their ability to dispossess Cork players in possession was amazing.

The tenacity of the Mayo forwards in stopping the Cork defenders coming out was a real difference between the sides and something to admire.

Whether they would be good enough to beat Dublin or Donegal in full flight remains to be seen.


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