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Debunking The Myth Of Kerry And Dublin

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Jacko and Mullins were certainly two of the best ever, but two completely differently types of player. Not taking away from Jacko but I think he was blessed to have one of the best and most under-rated players beside him in Seanie Walsh. Walsh could take on the best and regularly "minded the house" at midfield on his own, allowing Jacko to do his stuff all over the field. Mullins may have edged it over Jacko in the 77 semi-final (although he should have been sent off) but I think Kerry had Walsh at full forward that day, which may have cost them. No disrespect to Dublin's other midfielders but I don't think Mullins ever had a player of Walsh's calibre alongside him.

midlands (Westmeath) - Posts: 192 - 06/06/2020 09:24:15    2279987

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Replying To midlands:  "Jacko and Mullins were certainly two of the best ever, but two completely differently types of player. Not taking away from Jacko but I think he was blessed to have one of the best and most under-rated players beside him in Seanie Walsh. Walsh could take on the best and regularly "minded the house" at midfield on his own, allowing Jacko to do his stuff all over the field. Mullins may have edged it over Jacko in the 77 semi-final (although he should have been sent off) but I think Kerry had Walsh at full forward that day, which may have cost them. No disrespect to Dublin's other midfielders but I don't think Mullins ever had a player of Walsh's calibre alongside him."
Brian Mullins is a nephew of Dingle and kerry footballer Bill Casey.

You can't bate good breeding.

KingdomBoy1 (Kerry) - Posts: 11200 - 06/06/2020 11:28:54    2279997

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I did not see this repeated match. But some people, in the points they are making are looking at this the wrong way. The amount of time spent on player preparation is in a different league to back in the 70's so obviously some aspects are going to improve. Fitness has improved to a different level. Some of the kicked points are very impressive now, in large part due to the amount of time spent preparing.
But the general way the game is played diminishes the spectical. Reason ?, Players giving hand passes to a free man is not a very hard skill to complete and is not exciting to watch. There is far too much of this in the modern game. This slows down the game.
The nature of Gaelic football was man v. man contests for the ball and the ball moving quickly was what the character of the game was about. There was also an element of it being a test of manliness/ character which has been lost.
The GAA attitude to the way Gaelic football has evolved to loose so many of its characteristics is amazing.
In rugby in 2017 when Italy devised a new way of playing to avoid offside being in effect at ruck time the rugby authorities at the end of the season immediately changed its rules so the game could not be played this way as it was felt it was against the spirit of the game.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 714 - 06/06/2020 11:38:09    2279998

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Replying To sligo joe:  "Mullins was certainly a ruthless physical player but there was a lot more to him than that, only came up against O'Shea twice in championship I think, in '77 when Brian was by far the stand-out mid-fielder and '78 when O'Shea dominated in a facile win. A mark of the man was his comeback after a bad accident to win a 4th celtic cross in '83, when he was central to Dublin winning the semi, replay against Cork, only to get sent off in the final. When the top mid-fielders are discussed Mullins is right up there."
Mullins was a great footballer. As well as that I always liked listening to him the seldom times I have heard him interviewed. No nonsense, no bitterness or over the top talking, just sense.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 714 - 06/06/2020 11:52:37    2279999

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The games of the past need to be taken on their own merits.

I think the over the top criticism of the 70s and 80s game is as a direct response to it being put up on a pedestal in comparison to the modern game.

There is a huge amount of over the top criticism of the modern game, it is fine to not like the way the modern game has gone but oftentimes that criticism goes too far and there are claims that the game is not skilful anymore etc. That is clearly untrue as players have never actually been more skilful.

There are as many great matches nowadays as there ever was. This is the central point that is constantly missed, the 70s/80s/90s had some great games, had some good games, had some ok games and some terrible games, this century has been the exact same.

I think the football public have been badly served by the media and pundits constantly pushing this narrative that the game is terrible. It leads to silly ideas for rule changes and then reactions against rule changes that may actually be of benefit to the game too, because so many of the proposed changes are ridiculously stupid.

The game would be better served by a more balanced debate that includes all that is wonderful about the game currently as well the things that maybe we'd like to see less in the game. Harking back to a halcyon past that never existed is the height of stupidity.

The game has changed organically, and will continue to evolve. That's not to say that we shouldn't look at tweaks to make the game as good as it can be but that should only be done in a balanced way, in recognising all that is great about the game in the modern context rather than the incorrect idea that game is awful and needs saving.

In terms of participation, attendances and TV viewing combined football is the biggest sport in Ireland, soccer right up there with it. And they're both miles and miles ahead of the competition. This in itself should not be dismissed, the game has had nearly 20 years of massive criticism from within but yet continues to thrive and leave other sports with more balanced and positive press (i.e. Hurling and rugby) in the hapenny place.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 13047 - 06/06/2020 12:49:31    2280002

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Replying To midlands:  "Jacko and Mullins were certainly two of the best ever, but two completely differently types of player. Not taking away from Jacko but I think he was blessed to have one of the best and most under-rated players beside him in Seanie Walsh. Walsh could take on the best and regularly "minded the house" at midfield on his own, allowing Jacko to do his stuff all over the field. Mullins may have edged it over Jacko in the 77 semi-final (although he should have been sent off) but I think Kerry had Walsh at full forward that day, which may have cost them. No disrespect to Dublin's other midfielders but I don't think Mullins ever had a player of Walsh's calibre alongside him."
Really? He would've lined out alongside Bernard Brogan Snr. - hardly a journeyman!

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 3898 - 08/06/2020 08:48:08    2280094

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Agreed that we can sometimes overrate the games of yesteryear. I recently saw the second game in the Meath-Kildare trilogy from 1997, which has gone down as a classic, but even allowing for the high scoring and incident packed nature of the match, it seemed poor enough fayre to me. There was a lot of aimless hoofing, balls being skied out over the sideline, wides from scorable positions.

The technical level of skill that we see today is probably higher, in the sense that it's more tactical and possession is much better retained. Dublin's performance in last year's final was a masterclass in patient probing, using the full width of the pitch to create openings.

It's just that the massed defence style can be very hard to watch at times, particularly if the opposition adopts similar tactics.

Gleebo (Mayo) - Posts: 1796 - 08/06/2020 15:05:14    2280115

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Replying To Whammo86:  "100% but teams are trying to respond and know they have to respond.

I intensely dislike the spectacle of that keep ball tactic but it's the catalyst for making the opposition have to play more proactively and it's going to be good for the game in the long run.

I also don't mind watching patient build up games. I prefer them for instance to a team be able to shoot the lights out of another team.

One of the most boring games I've been to in recent years was Roscommon v Tyrone in the 2018 super 8s.

It was very open and Tyrone just pummelled them and there was no intensity on the ball at all.

Games were exciting back in the day before analysis and good decision making. We're not going back to teams being unrefined like that. There's nothing wrong with having an organised defensive system, it doesn't take away from the spectacle. It's needed for tension and intensity."
I agree that the keep ball is awful to watch and as a soccer fan I could never understand the love for Peps Barcelona who would just do 1 2s in the midfield all day like u see with some football teams now but sure if it's the best tactic to win and the other crowd play into your hand go for it.

In a tight game when the ball is going forward all day though the possession game looks amazing with fellas doing lightning quick pinpoint passing under pressure like my own county do in the hurling

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 970 - 08/06/2020 16:18:17    2280118

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Replying To Breezy:  "I agree that the keep ball is awful to watch and as a soccer fan I could never understand the love for Peps Barcelona who would just do 1 2s in the midfield all day like u see with some football teams now but sure if it's the best tactic to win and the other crowd play into your hand go for it.

In a tight game when the ball is going forward all day though the possession game looks amazing with fellas doing lightning quick pinpoint passing under pressure like my own county do in the hurling"
Yeah, the game is a better spectacle than even when 2 teams go about it the right way - see last year's finals, particularly the drawn game.

The problem is that a template was set by Donegal in 2011 to try to suffocate Dublin. Now I don't want to point the finger at Donegal as such because they immediately evolved from that style of play to become a very very good well-rounded team.

The finger should be pointed at every manager and team who copied this template and then spent the last decade stuck with a team of intercounty footballers terrified to kick pass, terrified to shoot, terrified to take on their man, and terrified to man-mark.

What has resulted (and hopefully we are slowly moving away from it) has been game after game of chess on grass. One team takes a short kickout, keeps possession - and puts more emphasis on keeping possession than on getting anywhere near the opposition goal.

It has served very few teams well over the decade, and it is easy to see when watching it how the older generation holds a far more romantic view of football in the 70s, 80s and 90s when it was more end-to-end, man-on-man, unpredictable stuff.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 3898 - 08/06/2020 16:59:27    2280120

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Replying To cavanman47:  "Yeah, the game is a better spectacle than even when 2 teams go about it the right way - see last year's finals, particularly the drawn game.

The problem is that a template was set by Donegal in 2011 to try to suffocate Dublin. Now I don't want to point the finger at Donegal as such because they immediately evolved from that style of play to become a very very good well-rounded team.

The finger should be pointed at every manager and team who copied this template and then spent the last decade stuck with a team of intercounty footballers terrified to kick pass, terrified to shoot, terrified to take on their man, and terrified to man-mark.

What has resulted (and hopefully we are slowly moving away from it) has been game after game of chess on grass. One team takes a short kickout, keeps possession - and puts more emphasis on keeping possession than on getting anywhere near the opposition goal.

It has served very few teams well over the decade, and it is easy to see when watching it how the older generation holds a far more romantic view of football in the 70s, 80s and 90s when it was more end-to-end, man-on-man, unpredictable stuff."
For the few teams that tried it and were winning ide say fair play but there were alot of teams persisting with it every year and still getting nowhere

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 970 - 09/06/2020 10:35:37    2280165

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Replying To cavanman47:  "Yeah, the game is a better spectacle than even when 2 teams go about it the right way - see last year's finals, particularly the drawn game.

The problem is that a template was set by Donegal in 2011 to try to suffocate Dublin. Now I don't want to point the finger at Donegal as such because they immediately evolved from that style of play to become a very very good well-rounded team.

The finger should be pointed at every manager and team who copied this template and then spent the last decade stuck with a team of intercounty footballers terrified to kick pass, terrified to shoot, terrified to take on their man, and terrified to man-mark.

What has resulted (and hopefully we are slowly moving away from it) has been game after game of chess on grass. One team takes a short kickout, keeps possession - and puts more emphasis on keeping possession than on getting anywhere near the opposition goal.

It has served very few teams well over the decade, and it is easy to see when watching it how the older generation holds a far more romantic view of football in the 70s, 80s and 90s when it was more end-to-end, man-on-man, unpredictable stuff."
Yeah look, I think there's a few other things at play here too.

There are a lot of non-elite teams. Teams looking to progress, where making the quarterfinals is a hugely successful season.

These sorts of teams at times maybe don't have a progressive game plan or even have training going through the same details as a Kerry/Dublin or Tyrone would have.

The league is probably a more important competition for them and it's played in less than perfect conditions where defensive set ups do better.

If they come up against a big gun they'll play defensively wanting to snatch a win. It's an easy default game plan for teams then.

When a couple of those teams go up against one another it can make for poor viewing.

I do think the structures contribute to these sorts of dull affairs.

We also see more of these games because of the nature of it being somewhat of a knockout competition. They have to show some games each week.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3035 - 09/06/2020 14:05:05    2280181

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Replying To cavanman47:  "Yeah, the game is a better spectacle than even when 2 teams go about it the right way - see last year's finals, particularly the drawn game.

The problem is that a template was set by Donegal in 2011 to try to suffocate Dublin. Now I don't want to point the finger at Donegal as such because they immediately evolved from that style of play to become a very very good well-rounded team.

The finger should be pointed at every manager and team who copied this template and then spent the last decade stuck with a team of intercounty footballers terrified to kick pass, terrified to shoot, terrified to take on their man, and terrified to man-mark.

What has resulted (and hopefully we are slowly moving away from it) has been game after game of chess on grass. One team takes a short kickout, keeps possession - and puts more emphasis on keeping possession than on getting anywhere near the opposition goal.

It has served very few teams well over the decade, and it is easy to see when watching it how the older generation holds a far more romantic view of football in the 70s, 80s and 90s when it was more end-to-end, man-on-man, unpredictable stuff."
That's a brilliant post. I agree and second every point made. And I'd also not be one to point the finger at Donegal or Tyrone etc and proclaim that they "ruined" football or anything like that. Its a much more complex issue than any team. I mean the invention and implementation of blanket defences, sweeper systems, and tracking back was an inevitability. At some point, common sense says that at some point these tactics would be used- send shockwaves through a very laidback organisation- and lead to success. It's a bit like the old saying about not "playing harder, but playing smarter". It's completely logical to adopt these tactics; however it lacks the heart and soul associated with the game pre-millenium. That's a given.

I have big respect for the Kerry's and Dublin's of the 70s and 80s, the great teams of the 90s, the big characters, the spread of final winners, the drama and the big rivalries. However the respect I have for the fabled legends of the Kerry 4 in a row team only extends as far as their own era. Stick that Kerry squad in a time machine and put them smack-bang into a championship game against any Division 2 or 3 team in 2015 and they lose the game. Put them in a game against Jim Gavin's Dublin team and they're hammered after 10 minutes. Not a sledge against this great team but more an example of the advancement of the game since they played it. Now if they had the exact same training, diet, player education and welfare as the modern player has, that's a different question entirely.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 304 - 14/06/2020 15:52:02    2280798

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The 1977 semi-final was a good game but all of the other Dublin-Kerry games from that era were nothing special and are hugely over-rated. I recently watched the 1971 all-Ireland between Offaly and Galway and was shocked at how poor the standard of football was. The first half was dreadful stuff altogether. People are always going on about the supposed great days of "catch-and-kick" but the standard of kicking in that game was brutal - just aimless clearances and loads of terrible wides by both teams.

Gaillimh_Abu (Galway) - Posts: 823 - 14/06/2020 18:08:08    2280816

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Replying To Gaillimh_Abu:  "The 1977 semi-final was a good game but all of the other Dublin-Kerry games from that era were nothing special and are hugely over-rated. I recently watched the 1971 all-Ireland between Offaly and Galway and was shocked at how poor the standard of football was. The first half was dreadful stuff altogether. People are always going on about the supposed great days of "catch-and-kick" but the standard of kicking in that game was brutal - just aimless clearances and loads of terrible wides by both teams."
The'76 final was a decent game too I was at all the finals mid 60s to 90s so ive seen a few. the age and health slowed me down but im still here.

lilypad (Kildare) - Posts: 1274 - 14/06/2020 21:10:28    2280836

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