'It's terrible to watch and spoiling the game as a spectacle'

May 31, 2023

Roscommon's Enda Smith collides with Paul Mannion of Dublin ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Peter Canavan says the emphasis on keeping possession just for the sake of it is ruining Gaelic football.

The Tyrone legend was speaking after Roscommon retained possession for a whopping five minutes and 45 seconds during last Sunday’s drawn All-Ireland SFC clash with Dublin at Croke Park. The Rossies executed 77 passes, including 31 kick passes, while goalkeeper Conor Carroll touched the ball 19 times in the same passage of play.

"It’s not just the Dublin v Roscommon game, this has been a trend in our games these past couple of years," Canavan noted on RTÉ 2fm's 'Game On'.

"When teams elect to get a lot of bodies behind the ball, rather than go direct for your score, the traditional route, teams are becoming patient. They are trying to draw the opposition out.

"In some cases it used to be you held on to the ball for a minute, maybe two minutes, but I think we reached a record on Sunday when it was nearly six minutes.

"I get it, it’s part and parcel of the game. It’s a tactic that managers are using, but it’s terrible to watch and spoiling our game as a spectacle."

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