Brolly detected panic in Dubs' defeat

March 18, 2019

Tyrone's Kieran McGeary gets away from Cormac Costello and Brian Howard of Dublin. ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

'Panic' isn't a word you'd normally associate with the Dublin footballers, but Joe Brolly saw signs of it in the closing stages of their defeat to Tyrone on Saturday night.

The three-point loss means the Dubs won't be involved in the Allianz League final for the first time since 2012 and leads Brolly to believe that the five-in-a-row is by no means a formality.  

"Tyrone were superb. They've clearly worked on this in training. They've played a laborious handpassing game for a decade since Jim McGuinness scared Mickey Harte into abandoning traditional attacking principles," the former Derry star said on RTÉ's League Sunday.

"But last night, it was long ball immediately so the Dublin sweeper couldn't get into position. They were continually running with their backs to the play and the last time I saw that was in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final. 

"Dublin are set-up to play against blanket defensive teams which is why Mayo always trouble them. Out of Tyrone's 1-14, 1-10 came from long, early diagonal balls before Dublin were able to set themselves.

"Philly McMahon said before the game that it was nonsense that the Dublin full-back line were vulnerable under an early long ball. Well, we saw it here. If Philly was trying some propaganda, it hasn't worked. And this is the template. This is the way to play the game against them. In the last 16 minutes, we saw something I haven't seen before. A Dublin team panicking."

He added: "You're looking at the Dubs, you're looking at Tyrone, Kerry and Mayo and you're saying hey, we could have a championship this year. Because last year was a kind of a blue procession."



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