Three things we learnt last Sunday

Mayo can get to another All-Ireland final

The current Mayo team are 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, 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 that they will have too much for Kerry in three weekends 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 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.

Joe Brolly went over the top in his comments

Watching The Sunday Game back on RTE Player it was hard to believe what Brolly said to Colm O'Rourke. Or that he thought it was OK to say what he did. Killererin native Michael Lyster said to O' Rourke at the start of the show - "You were down west this week, giving them your hard earned money.”

Brolly interjected; "I'm surprised you have money left for the races, O'Rourke. Do your creditors know this? Do NAMA know this? This is what O'Rourke does; flaunts himself in front of the taxpayer of Ireland." Bringing someone's personal financial situation into the public domain on a programme such as The Sunday Game is hardly appropriate behaviour, and one can only imagine that the big Meath man was seething with Brolly. Good TV it may be, bad manners it certainly was.

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 that Galway have major issues at the back. Most, if not all, of the Galway defenders are unable for one-to-one combat with the likes of James O'Donoghue, Cillian O'Connor, Bernard Brogan, or Michael Murphy - there is no shame in that - as few defenders in the country are. However Galway need to develop a strategy that their full-back line in particular are not left exposed as they were in Croke Park five days ago, or in McHale Park for that matter. 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. Armagh, Donegal, and Kerry themselves, 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 out of 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 the same supporters want success too, and in the modern game you cannot have one without the other.


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