Donegal Forum

Championship 2020

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Replying To gunman:  "I would agree with Tyrion that Hugh McFadden would make a good centre half back.I think we should be thinking of a new full back to replace Neil McGee at this stage contrary to a lot of people I don't think he was very good on Sunday,he had a lot of trouble with Madden while he was on the field,making a few runs up the field glosses over that.We might have to look outside the box like Mickey Harte when he turned the late Cormac McAnallen from a brilliant midfielder into a brilliant Full back.I always would have said Murphy should be at full forward but I am not sure now,he doesn't seem to be able to get off the ground now and win any high balls but possibly if the right balls were played in front of him he still would be good there.With this stupid and horrible forward mark in operation it changes the type of balls going in and makes it difficult for inside forwards.Niall O'Donnell played at full forward for Eunans a couple of years ago and I thought he was brilliant. Wherever we play him we would need to make better use of him as he is our most skillful player beautifully balanced and equally good off both feet."
Yes gunman I know Neil's moving on alright but tbh it's the best we have atm unless Gillespie gets a free run from injury's, I was chatting to a gweedore clubman yesterday and I'm more confident on Gillespie after the conversation, my point in the original post is to make your spine/core strong and dependable, stick with it so the players themselves are confident of who's helping them in front or behind you. There's too much tinkering with the squad in my opinion and maybe that's down to the riches of choices we have atm. I believe as a whole the squad was too deep the last day which put our full back line under pressure and certainly played into cavans directive better and again if your a fullback and believe your chf is going to win most of the balls you hoof forward to him your not going to be darting up the field as much. Also I agree with you Nod is a lovely baller but he doesn't have the confidence yet in a central role at county level, that'll come as he gets older and a clean run of games in a position he's comfortable in. Keep things simple the younger lads on the wings can do the crossing over and darting about for the team.

Tyrion (Donegal) - Posts: 36 - 27/11/2020 18:19:46    2315988

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Replying To Tyrion:  "Yes gunman I know Neil's moving on alright but tbh it's the best we have atm unless Gillespie gets a free run from injury's, I was chatting to a gweedore clubman yesterday and I'm more confident on Gillespie after the conversation, my point in the original post is to make your spine/core strong and dependable, stick with it so the players themselves are confident of who's helping them in front or behind you. There's too much tinkering with the squad in my opinion and maybe that's down to the riches of choices we have atm. I believe as a whole the squad was too deep the last day which put our full back line under pressure and certainly played into cavans directive better and again if your a fullback and believe your chf is going to win most of the balls you hoof forward to him your not going to be darting up the field as much. Also I agree with you Nod is a lovely baller but he doesn't have the confidence yet in a central role at county level, that'll come as he gets older and a clean run of games in a position he's comfortable in. Keep things simple the younger lads on the wings can do the crossing over and darting about for the team."
we need to be looking beyond neil mcgee as at this stage who is being caught by father time unfortunately. Stephen McMenamin looks like the best option for fullback, I would also like to see mccole get a run either in the corner or on the week as he has a strong physical presence , might possibly be able to play in the middle but I would try him on the wings to help him cut his teeth at inter-county level. Of course we would all love to see Kieran Gillespie back fit and in a county jersey and hopefully his injury problems are behind him, he is due some luck. if fit he would be a great option at 6. Regarding MM he needs to be put in at the edge of the square now in his twilight intercounty years where he would be most effective. I think if we get a season we have a fully fit mcbrearty, Jason McGee, gillespie, Mcmenamin etc. we will then have the ability to move up a level, I emphasize the ability, because we will have to earn it first, not turn up not ready for battle ala the Athletic Grounds 2020, Castlebar 2019, Ballybofey 2018 and Markiewicz Park 2017. We can all put forward theories as to why we have suffered these collapses, but only the players and management know the reasons for this. I don't buy into the theory currently circulating that Donegal had one eye on Dublin, when we played mayo last year did we have one eye on Dublin then too, or playing tyrone in 2018 did we have one eye on monaghan?

I for one will be cheering on the Breffni men this weekend against the dubs but I fear for them, as I would also have feared for us had we got past Cavan. I just think that this Dublin team are maintaining a consistency of performance that doesn't drop and I expect them to gain the easiest all-Ireland of their current sequence. As for the rest of us the would be challengers, we all need to be taking a serious look at ourselves.

totalrecall (Leitrim) - Posts: 524 - 30/11/2020 13:58:09    2316928

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Replying To totalrecall:  "we need to be looking beyond neil mcgee as at this stage who is being caught by father time unfortunately. Stephen McMenamin looks like the best option for fullback, I would also like to see mccole get a run either in the corner or on the week as he has a strong physical presence , might possibly be able to play in the middle but I would try him on the wings to help him cut his teeth at inter-county level. Of course we would all love to see Kieran Gillespie back fit and in a county jersey and hopefully his injury problems are behind him, he is due some luck. if fit he would be a great option at 6. Regarding MM he needs to be put in at the edge of the square now in his twilight intercounty years where he would be most effective. I think if we get a season we have a fully fit mcbrearty, Jason McGee, gillespie, Mcmenamin etc. we will then have the ability to move up a level, I emphasize the ability, because we will have to earn it first, not turn up not ready for battle ala the Athletic Grounds 2020, Castlebar 2019, Ballybofey 2018 and Markiewicz Park 2017. We can all put forward theories as to why we have suffered these collapses, but only the players and management know the reasons for this. I don't buy into the theory currently circulating that Donegal had one eye on Dublin, when we played mayo last year did we have one eye on Dublin then too, or playing tyrone in 2018 did we have one eye on monaghan?

I for one will be cheering on the Breffni men this weekend against the dubs but I fear for them, as I would also have feared for us had we got past Cavan. I just think that this Dublin team are maintaining a consistency of performance that doesn't drop and I expect them to gain the easiest all-Ireland of their current sequence. As for the rest of us the would be challengers, we all need to be taking a serious look at ourselves."
I think you may forget about us challenging for the top honours, we might win Ulster, do ok in the super 8's or whatever they dream up next, but when the chips are down we seem to lack the killer instinct, I think that comes from management and it filters through the team, we need to develop a hard edge, we have too many nice footballers but we need fellas that will go to war.

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 1089 - 30/11/2020 18:49:20    2317096

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Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "I think you may forget about us challenging for the top honours, we might win Ulster, do ok in the super 8's or whatever they dream up next, but when the chips are down we seem to lack the killer instinct, I think that comes from management and it filters through the team, we need to develop a hard edge, we have too many nice footballers but we need fellas that will go to war."
We all know that we have a lot of nice footballers . The players who would go to war with as you say are pretty scarce I would say when you take out Mc menamin,Morrison. Mc fadden ferry , paddy Mc grath who all were not fit to play for one reason or another. Hopefully we'll find a few players apart from already mentioned of players who would fit that category. Would you have any players in mind.. I agree that we need more stronger players but probably finding them is another problem. Can't think of many players outside panel who would make a difference bar odhran Mac niallas.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 856 - 30/11/2020 19:24:00    2317110

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A big if but if Odhran came back and Gillespie etc was fit they would leave a fairly solid team. The team below is only a sample. 4 or 5 on the bench could start any particular match. Really impressed with Eoin MC Hugh and Mc Gonalge this year, Paul Brenna too!! (all 3 on the bench for impact!)

Patton
Mc Menamin
Mc Gee
Eoghan Ban

Ryan
Gillespie
Mogán

Mc Fadden
Mc Gee(sumer weather!)

Langán
Mc Nelis
Thompson


Gallán
MM
Mc Breatry

Bench.
O Baoill
Brennan x 2
Mc Gonagle
Eoin MC Hugh
Stephen Mc Breatry
Mc Grath
NOD
Mc Fadden Ferry
Morrison


Think we are lacking defender's badly. Probably why we played mogán and Ryan in the half back line. Although I like this move. Attacking.

TheRock2121 (Donegal) - Posts: 562 - 30/11/2020 23:07:18    2317189

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It seems to be the way the game had gone up to recently that old school corner backs were no longer fashionable. Fellas like Ollie Murphy of Meath described as who he hated playing against - "A real hateful, sticky hoor'', a lad that would be just up your hole the whole time.''

But I think that's the kind of aggression we're missing. McMenamin has it in spades. McFadden-Ferry and Morrison too. But getting them all on the pitch at the same time has been the problem. I think we've been a bit of guilty of playing too many "nice footballers" at times, when situations dictated that it was dogs of war type players that we needed more e.g. Mayo last year and this year's Ulster final.

I don't think Eoghan Ban is a corner back. He needs to play in the half back line IMO. I'd forget about playing "nice footballers" in the full back line. Take your pick from McGee, McMenamin, McGrath, Morrison, McCole and McFadden-Ferry.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7080 - 01/12/2020 09:46:28    2317233

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We would need to be very careful not to have a kneejerk reaction to last week.Remember that before the game we were being regarded as the only team that could put it up to Dublin.Straight knockout will always provide shocks from time to time and you don't always get the best team winning the competition eg everyone knows Kerry are better than Cork.The FA cup always had shocks but nobody would say that Wigan were better than Man City.League positions after a long campaign always determines the best team in the land.It probably will never be possible to have that in the GAA with the crossover between Club and County.You would need to have club and county completely separate and that would probably suggest professionalism and open a whole new can of worms.
On the other topic of "nice footballers" ,being a good footballer doesn't mean you can't be tough as well.You definitely need good defenders but the nature of the game now means that very often it is the backs that find themselves in the best shooting positions.Fot all their strong points the likes of McGrath.McMenamin and McGee couldn't get a point to save their lives.What we need is that balance between defending and being good in forward positions.
We have a good panel and sometimes a few positional can make a huge difference but massive changes would be a very bad idea.

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 686 - 01/12/2020 11:39:17    2317270

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Yeah I think there is a bit of revisionism in terms of what we are missing, I don't think being a "nice" footballer equals to being soft and not up for it in those tough matches. I think NOD is a very good example of this, I see him as a supremely talented lad and more of a "nice" footballer, but he was one of the few that did himself any justice in Castlebar and I thought he did ok in the Ulster final, certainly there were worse performers than he. Yet he would fall foul of this idea of a "nice" footballer, I think that's unfair. What matters in those games is someone who wants the ball and making the right decision when you have it.

He is only one example but I think it's too easy to fall into a trap of "we don't have any nasty defenders" when in reality we have suffered badly with injuries for both the Castlebar game and the Ulster final.

Now there is no doubt that injuries or not we should have enough to beat Cavan with the team we put out, there was something else missing beyond just who wasn't available and that is worrying. But I don't think it's as simple as parachuting McMenamin and McFadden-Ferry into the backs and suddenly we beat Cavan. Our attack was very lethargic, poor movement and slow play. That isn't being short of defenders or not being up for a battle from 2-7 in my view.

There's no doubt we have more talents in the attacking area of the pitch but I think it's too easy to say we're lacking defenders when in reality if we have everyone fit and firing I think we have good options, better than we've had probably since Eamon McGee, Lacey, Thompson and McGlynn were in their pomp. McMenamin and McFadden-Ferry are two excellent man on man defenders, we all have high hopes for Gillespie if he can stay injury free, Morrison has potential. Eoghan Bán is brilliant, Paul Brennan has kicked on this year in my view. O'Baoill and Ward are both very good players but for whatever reason they were not in good form this winter. McCole has potential as well. That's not mentioning Paddy McGrath or Neil if he will give us another year. Options are there.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1129 - 01/12/2020 13:00:26    2317298

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I can appreciate the points made in the last couple of responses to my last post. I just feel that there is still a need for out and out defenders. I wasn't laying the blame solely on our defence for the Ulster final defeat.
I think it's one of those intangible things that we're missing in certain games. It might only take one win in those types of matches to bring this Donegal team to the next level. A good example would be Jimmy McGuinness pinpointing the Ulster semi final against Tyrone in 2011. Once that group finally beat Tyrone in a tight Championship match they truly believed and ultimately went on to win all that they did.

Now, over the years since there's been victory and defeat against various Tyrone teams. It's a fantastic rivalry but I would not say there is the same sense of fear or trepidation facing them that there might have been in the 00's. So, if this current Donegal team can eventually topple the likes of a Mayo, or a Kerry in a do or die Championship match, it could have an unquantifiable effect in terms of morale & self confidence, and who knows where it might take them. Until that happens though.....

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7080 - 01/12/2020 13:33:17    2317304

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I can appreciate the points made in the last couple of responses to my last post. I just feel that there is still a need for out and out defenders. I wasn't laying the blame solely on our defence for the Ulster final defeat.
I think it's one of those intangible things that we're missing in certain games. It might only take one win in those types of matches to bring this Donegal team to the next level. A good example would be Jimmy McGuinness pinpointing the Ulster semi final against Tyrone in 2011. Once that group finally beat Tyrone in a tight Championship match they truly believed and ultimately went on to win all that they did.

Now, over the years since there's been victory and defeat against various Tyrone teams. It's a fantastic rivalry but I would not say there is the same sense of fear or trepidation facing them that there might have been in the 00's. So, if this current Donegal team can eventually topple the likes of a Mayo, or a Kerry in a do or die Championship match, it could have an unquantifiable effect in terms of morale & self confidence, and who knows where it might take them. Until that happens though....."
Good point.

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 686 - 01/12/2020 19:19:41    2317430

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Problem with Donegal against Cavan may have been over trained and players gone stale. I understand they trained all over the lock down period , not knowing when or if there was going to be any football played. Players cant train 24, 7 , 365 and be sharp and mad for a game of football. They would be far better if they took a break during the lock down period and came back hungry for the game. Players cant peak over along period and they should now take a complete break from training and come back in the Spring with a hunger for the game again.

jacktheboy (Donegal) - Posts: 42 - 02/12/2020 10:29:02    2317594

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "Problem with Donegal against Cavan may have been over trained and players gone stale. I understand they trained all over the lock down period , not knowing when or if there was going to be any football played. Players cant train 24, 7 , 365 and be sharp and mad for a game of football. They would be far better if they took a break during the lock down period and came back hungry for the game. Players cant peak over along period and they should now take a complete break from training and come back in the Spring with a hunger for the game again."
That point just doesnt hold when 7 days earlier the team gave a performance that was generally regarded as top notch and one of the finest 70min Championship displays Donegal have given since the Dublin game in 2014.

A week later we crumbed.

ManusFromHeaven (Donegal) - Posts: 321 - 02/12/2020 11:39:08    2317619

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "Problem with Donegal against Cavan may have been over trained and players gone stale. I understand they trained all over the lock down period , not knowing when or if there was going to be any football played. Players cant train 24, 7 , 365 and be sharp and mad for a game of football. They would be far better if they took a break during the lock down period and came back hungry for the game. Players cant peak over along period and they should now take a complete break from training and come back in the Spring with a hunger for the game again."
This Must be a windup.
There was no training during lockdown and when we finally came out of lockdown we went straight into club so there would have been no training for the county team then either.

I think we are overkilling this game on here at this stage the simple fact is Cavan were hungrier and wanted every possession more than any of our guys which meant they caused turnovers and caused mistakes and got into our heads.

The lads them selves will know they left an ulster behind them this year for sure, that in itself should be enough of a kick to drive them on next year.

naomh_conaill_4 (Donegal) - Posts: 363 - 02/12/2020 12:10:41    2317628

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Lads,
I have to say two points jumped out to me after this years championship and reading this forum page since our defeat to Cavan .

First point, i think we have as much talent as Kerry and probably more to be honest .

Second point - In terms of mentality of we are miles behind Kerry ! Kerry lost by a last minute goal to Cork and since then the Kerry supporters have been looking for blood and there mgte team will be lucky to survive .

Yet we were well and truly beaten by a poor Cavan team ( no disrespect to them) and all we talk about on this forum is to give Bonnar and the lads more time . How many times does a team have to flop before we say " that is not acceptable " . We went to Castlebar last year and got bullied , all i took from that day is we wont win anything with the Mchughs etc.. in the back line etc.. and yet 12 months on in similar conditions we lined out with an even smaller team .

We talk about not having tough tight defenders anymore , that is rubbish . Ban Gallagher and the rest of them needs a kick in the hole when it comes to defending , otter rubbish that he cant do better etc.. because he a nice player.

Bonnar should have walked or been sacked we havent made the semi finals in years , despite having one of the most talented squads in the country .

ballyshannon (Donegal) - Posts: 135 - 03/12/2020 13:56:48    2317942

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