Whelan slams 'over-reaction' to lop-sided quarter-finals
12 August 2017
Ciaran Whelan says calls for the 'Super 8s' to be scrapped before they're introduced are totally unjustified.
In his Irish Independent column, the former Dublin midfielder describes the reaction to the one-sided All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals as being "way over the top" and uses Dublin and Donegal are an example of teams who have been bounced back from quarter-final hammerings to win All-Irelands.
"If you were to buy into the narrative, last weekend was a doomsday scenario for Gaelic football. The lop-sided nature of all the games has led to a severe over-reaction," he writes.
"The ‘Super 8’ is apparently dead on its feet before it has even started. The top four are so far ahead of everyone else, sure what is the point of having extra lop-sided games? Scrap it before it is even given a chance. An Irish solution to an Irish problem!
"Well, I certainly do not concur and I think the reaction last weekend was way over the top. Yes, it was not a good weekend for Gaelic football but as Van Morrison would say “there will be days like this” and trust me they have been many days like that over the years.
"A Dublin team of ‘startled earwigs’ lost by 17 points in 2009 against Kerry. That same year Donegal imploded against Cork going down by 14 points. Two years later in 2011 Dublin were All-Ireland champions. Donegal would take the crown the following year in 2012. I could go on with examples of teams who bounced back from heavy defeats. A quick review of the quarter-final scores since 2009 will tell that every year will throw up lop-sided results. So, this is nothing new so.
"Yes, there is no doubt the championship structures need to be reviewed. That drum has been beaten for many years at this stage but the doomsday scenario painted last weekend has been a load of rubbish.
"Trust me, a lot of the commentators will be back on track once the ‘Super 8’ gets up and running next year. A home game and away game will offer a different dynamic to each of the top-eight teams and the extra games will be needed to invigorate our national games after the World Cup takes centre stage in June and July of 2018."