Donegal Forum

Championship 2020

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Big Players didn't turn up. Simple as. When the going got tough O'Donnell, Jamie Brennan, Mogan didn't want to know about it and they are not the bigger players I'm on about. Donegal have to be complimented on the S&C instead of castigated. Absolutely nothing to do with yesterdays defeat.

MickyThePost (Donegal) - Posts: 22 - 23/11/2020 10:32:03    2313714

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Patton's starting position for the goal was very poor. He was back-peddling when the ball was in mid-air. Very hard to get good distance and direction on a punch when going backwards. He has been solid with the fist this year but his concentration let him down. People saying he should be catching these, in some cases I'd agree, but he has clearly been instructed to fist it away ever since he dropped one late on against Dublin in the league in Croker.

Overall it was a really disappointing performance. Too many lads go missing when it is put up to them - Brennan & O'Donnell in particular.

CusackStand92 (Dublin) - Posts: 13 - 23/11/2020 10:35:03    2313719

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Replying To thelowball:  "Sad ending to Donegal quest for all Ireland glory.In what was a horror show,Donegal's performance was a litany of poor handling,passing and turnovers .Donegal looked like the div 3 side, not Cavan.Starting with Patton who is up there with Cluxton, why was he punching a very catchable ball under minimal pressure,the ball ending up in the net. Still time left but now points were no good, it was the death knell.Team selection and changes were beyond bizarre or lack thereof. Mc Cole in no Thompson, what was that?To be fair to McCole with no championship experience he done his best.Jamie Brennan was good for approx 10 turnovers on his own. How he survived the 70 min is baffling or does he have some kind of clause in his county career that excludes him from being substituted. Surely McGettigan must have been worth a look. ODonnell and Langan poor, bad wides and with Murphy operating too close to the'wrong' square the firepower up front wasn't there.There is talent there, 2 Ulsters ,no All Ireland semifinal for this bunch is not acceptable. Time for change at the top table, bye, bye Bonner. As for Cavan ,unbeleivable achievement considering Donegal favoured by one to ten odds. Good luck against the Dubs!"
I think most of your points are correct. Indeed the McCole for Thompson selection was bizarre. Surely Thompson was carrying a niggle but we were led to believe it was tactical....made no sense. Plus you had Eoin McHugh playing at corner back which was again baffling. Neither done particularly I might add but in McHugh's case he is better further up. Plus I think his value is his tracking against pace on the opponents side which I don't think was absolutely necessary yesterday. You're correct regarding Jamie Brennan who had a mare yet was kept on. However I don't agree with the bye bye Bonner mentality. He has done a great job in the main and shown courage bringing in someone like Rochford. The issues that need to be addressed go beyond football ability.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 10:48:02    2313736

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "panamasam, I would agree with you. Every time Donegal get beat this old chestnut about S & C comes up. This was probably valid in 2018 when Tyrone looked physically stronger than us but in the past couple of years we have really improved our S & C. If this was a problem how did we manage to beat Tyrone on a bad day in Ballybofey? Armagh are hardly lacking in the physical stakes either. We had a system breakdown yesterday, especially up front. It was very similar to the Mayo defeat in Castlebar last year, the opposition looked hungrier for the game and in second half we malfunctioned in attack despite having a lot of chances."
Exactly that excuse was valid in 2018 when we also played Cavan in the same championship. Yesterday was to do with not handling the pressure when faced with Cavan's intensity and hunger.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 10:55:32    2313751

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Replying To CusackStand92:  "Patton's starting position for the goal was very poor. He was back-peddling when the ball was in mid-air. Very hard to get good distance and direction on a punch when going backwards. He has been solid with the fist this year but his concentration let him down. People saying he should be catching these, in some cases I'd agree, but he has clearly been instructed to fist it away ever since he dropped one late on against Dublin in the league in Croker.

Overall it was a really disappointing performance. Too many lads go missing when it is put up to them - Brennan & O'Donnell in particular."
Totally agree about O'Donnell he plays with so much confidence and kicks the lights out for eunans but to often he will pass on the same opportunity for Donegal but don't get me wrong i think he made a big improvement this year and deserves that starting position.

naomh_conaill_4 (Donegal) - Posts: 364 - 23/11/2020 11:03:01    2313765

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Yesterday came down to desire or lack of. Cavan played at proper championship intensity biting in for every ball and hunting in packs. Every Donegal player in possesion was mercilessly hunted down and space was at a premium. What has become something of a pattern for us was that when the intensity was ramped up as with Mayo last year we just didn't want to know.
The amount of stupid passes, ball coughed up, poor shot selection comes down to pressure and what to do in a presuure situation. When you watched Dublin against Meath they started with a ferocity and kept it up for seventy full minutes. Their mesaage to Meath was that we will outrun you, outfight you, outfield you. The same as England against Ireland in the rugby. It was down in the trenches stuff and Ireland had no answer.
Coasting through the Armagh game was no preperation for what was coming down the tracks yesterday. Watching Cavan against Down in the second half - we should have known well what we had coming. But too many of our players are just languid. Especially yesterday, Murphy who should be our spiritual leader set the template for our performance. He was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. He set a template of walking football that too many of his team followed. We got blown out in the fielding tussles in the middle of the pitch in the second half. Just look back at the highlight spool of Galligan's display. Ferocious desire.
As has been a pattern all year in both club and county football, Patton was weak under the high ball again and weak and all as we had been playing up and until the goal we could still have salvaged the draw. After it went in - no chance. It kinda summed up our performance that goal.
Cavan just showed far more intensity and an ability to play a tough high tempo game than we did. We just never showed, simple as that. We allowed them to set their defence time and again and couldn't break it down then. We just were far too slow and weak in thought and movement.

fionmaccumhaill (Donegal) - Posts: 21 - 23/11/2020 11:07:45    2313773

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Replying To naomh_conaill_4:  "Totally agree about O'Donnell he plays with so much confidence and kicks the lights out for eunans but to often he will pass on the same opportunity for Donegal but don't get me wrong i think he made a big improvement this year and deserves that starting position."
Yeah agree - he definitely improved this year, but knowing he can perform so well to unfortunately see him go missing so often is very frustrating.

CusackStand92 (Dublin) - Posts: 13 - 23/11/2020 11:29:47    2313807

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Replying To panamasam:  "I think most of your points are correct. Indeed the McCole for Thompson selection was bizarre. Surely Thompson was carrying a niggle but we were led to believe it was tactical....made no sense. Plus you had Eoin McHugh playing at corner back which was again baffling. Neither done particularly I might add but in McHugh's case he is better further up. Plus I think his value is his tracking against pace on the opponents side which I don't think was absolutely necessary yesterday. You're correct regarding Jamie Brennan who had a mare yet was kept on. However I don't agree with the bye bye Bonner mentality. He has done a great job in the main and shown courage bringing in someone like Rochford. The issues that need to be addressed go beyond football ability."
Bonner has enjoyed an excellent level of success in Ulster in this tenure, but I think it's becoming patently clear that he cannot get us to the next level. His game management is not of the level we need to take us over the line, and maybe even perfect game management wouldn't get us there. The substitutions yesterday were inexplicable and played right into Cavan's hands, but this is something we have come to expect from Bonner's sides over the years.

When we were 2 up (and in the ascendancy) in the 45th and the game was grinding down and possession was getting scrappy, we took off Paul Brennan our only player who was capable of creating a turnover outside our 45, our most effective player in recovering breaking balls, and one of our key players in recycling possession. Instead of Brennan, we brought in McClean who is a running half back, who is strong and can score. McClean did nothing wrong, but we didn't win any breaking ball after Brennan was taken off, and we were at the 45th minute locked into a quick direct kicking game which was nullified by the Cavan full back line who did not look like they would give an inch all evening. Potentially Brennan was injured, but this led to even more bizarre and frantic substitutions, where we we took off all of our creative half forwards on the pitch and replaced them with midfielders who didn't even get a hand on the ball.

Bonner's underage sides were excellent in early stages in Ulster, but in finals and All Ireland Series they didn't show up and fell apart in the last quarter. That pattern holds true for his senior side.

I genuinely believe we've left behind a Senior All Ireland in the last two years.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 197 - 23/11/2020 11:36:50    2313814

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Very disappointing that we didn't make the 3 in a row,that would have been a great achievement.I have no doubt had we managed to stumble over the line yesterday we would have seen a totally different performance in the good conditions of Croke Park.However having watched Dublin on Sat night it would take some performance to beat them.I wouldn't compare yesterday's defeat to the losses against Tyrone and Mayo,These are teams you would always do well to defeat.No disrespect to Cavan but they are not on a par with those 2.
Despite warnings about not taking teams for granted,all the talk about how good we were among the public,press and former players was bound to seep in to the players subconsciously .If things don't go plan it can be very difficult to change during the game.We can all start blaming management for team selection and subs but the players on the pitch should have been good enough to win the game.
On the game itself the second half performance was terrible.we just couldn't find a way through and our talked up long range shooting was not in evidence.It is easy to blame the inside forwards but if the team is not functioning outside it becomes very difficult for them.I think we became a bit sidetracked by the forward mark having had some success with it against Armagh.That means that balls inside are inclined to be up on top of the players instead of in front them making it much easier for defenders.The blunder by Patton for the goal was also very important as we we probably would have got an equaliser.
Overall the team with the greater passion and desire won the day.Very important especially at this time of year.I would be reluctant to start blaming players or management too much,these things happen in knockout football which brings to anothert topic.It is very unfair to go out after one bad performance.It is notable that the 2 losing provinchial hurling finalists won their games at the weekend.It is hard to believe that it is different for football and hurling

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 698 - 23/11/2020 11:39:16    2313816

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Replying To rorysboys:  "How do you mean he failed at Mayo. He took Dublin to a replay and lost the other all Ireland by a point against probably the best team that ever played Gaelic football. I guarantee you if rochford wasn't with us he would walk into any job maybe bar Dublin. We should be Dam lucky to have the management team we have. A lot of people talking rubbish about the big squad we have rubbish in my eyes. Yea we have about 4 or 5 subs who are as good as what's on the starting team but when injuries happen like they have at this stage since bonner took over this last 3 years it's then we've been found wanting. For us to have any chance of Winning an all Ireland we need a clean bill of health like we got in 2012. If we lost a few players to injuries especially important players would we have win it the answer is no. I'm not saying the management team didnt get some decisions wrong yesterday they did of course.. what management team doesn't. Another important factor this year was Murphy wasn't the same player after lockdown, thing's didn't go well for him yesterday but he kept going to the bitter end but you would expect nothing less from a true leader. Anyway thanks lads again for giving us a couple of great days during these dark times."
It's hard to disagree with any of this. Folks slagging management makes no sense to me. This management team have done a huge amount of good. Rochford has great pedigree. They really encourage the players to actually play. Compare that to what went immediately before it. The players ultimately decide the winning a losing of matches.

Eoin mchugh should probably have stayed on the field, he did a fine job on martin reilly. Jamie brennan really did not have a good day and probably should have come off but were these decisions the winning and losing of the game. I doubt it.

Agree on the squad as well, with oisin gallen injured you had no viable inside forward replacement for an attack that completely misfired. Mcgettigan hasn't any proven track record at this level and was not a realistic option in the circumstances. In saying that we do need to look to develop a deeper squad as injuries are a given at this stage and seem to be for every county . I do feel sorry for conor morrison as he had added power to himself and looked very good in club championship before he got hurt. You'd always hope kieran gillespie would make it back though he's had a terrible injury run. conor odonnell from carn should get a run. Maybe a few more from the under 20s. I'm not aware of any other players who really stood out during the club championship. And to your point on murphy maybe this is the beginning of the end. Maybe in ten years we'll be looking back saying weren't the 10s some decade and murphy was some man, even better than we realised at the time. We'll bemoan the fact we haven't won ulster in so long. The talent is there to continue to keep us competitive but there are no guarantees.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 350 - 23/11/2020 11:39:37    2313817

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Replying To naomh_conaill_4:  "Totally agree about O'Donnell he plays with so much confidence and kicks the lights out for eunans but to often he will pass on the same opportunity for Donegal but don't get me wrong i think he made a big improvement this year and deserves that starting position."
Did odonnell not have pneumonia earlier in the year and lose a load of weight. Even when club started back he was coming on as a sub initially. He was overall not as good this year for st eunans as last year. You can actually see improvement in him as the year went on.

He does get turned over in the tackle at intercounty level and imagine teams target him for this. I'd imagine he's a player that is warned about not getting turned over. He then struggles to have an impact when a team puts up a big defensive barriers because he can't go at them.

Donegal did not lose yesterday because of s&c. Odonnell is a player though who do with adding maybe a bit of power and weight and probably lost out on that this year because he was sick. If he can add this bit of extra power he will be able to break a tackle or at least not get turned over in the tackle. His skills then will come even more to the fore then, for he has plenty skill.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 350 - 23/11/2020 12:00:39    2313838

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "Bonner has enjoyed an excellent level of success in Ulster in this tenure, but I think it's becoming patently clear that he cannot get us to the next level. His game management is not of the level we need to take us over the line, and maybe even perfect game management wouldn't get us there. The substitutions yesterday were inexplicable and played right into Cavan's hands, but this is something we have come to expect from Bonner's sides over the years.

When we were 2 up (and in the ascendancy) in the 45th and the game was grinding down and possession was getting scrappy, we took off Paul Brennan our only player who was capable of creating a turnover outside our 45, our most effective player in recovering breaking balls, and one of our key players in recycling possession. Instead of Brennan, we brought in McClean who is a running half back, who is strong and can score. McClean did nothing wrong, but we didn't win any breaking ball after Brennan was taken off, and we were at the 45th minute locked into a quick direct kicking game which was nullified by the Cavan full back line who did not look like they would give an inch all evening. Potentially Brennan was injured, but this led to even more bizarre and frantic substitutions, where we we took off all of our creative half forwards on the pitch and replaced them with midfielders who didn't even get a hand on the ball.

Bonner's underage sides were excellent in early stages in Ulster, but in finals and All Ireland Series they didn't show up and fell apart in the last quarter. That pattern holds true for his senior side.

I genuinely believe we've left behind a Senior All Ireland in the last two years."
Donegal have to one all ireland minor final ever. Declan bonner managed them to the final. I don't agree with this blame the manager culture. Declan bonner did not lose the match yesterday.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 350 - 23/11/2020 12:10:50    2313847

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Replying To fionmaccumhaill:  "Yesterday came down to desire or lack of. Cavan played at proper championship intensity biting in for every ball and hunting in packs. Every Donegal player in possesion was mercilessly hunted down and space was at a premium. What has become something of a pattern for us was that when the intensity was ramped up as with Mayo last year we just didn't want to know.
The amount of stupid passes, ball coughed up, poor shot selection comes down to pressure and what to do in a presuure situation. When you watched Dublin against Meath they started with a ferocity and kept it up for seventy full minutes. Their mesaage to Meath was that we will outrun you, outfight you, outfield you. The same as England against Ireland in the rugby. It was down in the trenches stuff and Ireland had no answer.
Coasting through the Armagh game was no preperation for what was coming down the tracks yesterday. Watching Cavan against Down in the second half - we should have known well what we had coming. But too many of our players are just languid. Especially yesterday, Murphy who should be our spiritual leader set the template for our performance. He was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. He set a template of walking football that too many of his team followed. We got blown out in the fielding tussles in the middle of the pitch in the second half. Just look back at the highlight spool of Galligan's display. Ferocious desire.
As has been a pattern all year in both club and county football, Patton was weak under the high ball again and weak and all as we had been playing up and until the goal we could still have salvaged the draw. After it went in - no chance. It kinda summed up our performance that goal.
Cavan just showed far more intensity and an ability to play a tough high tempo game than we did. We just never showed, simple as that. We allowed them to set their defence time and again and couldn't break it down then. We just were far too slow and weak in thought and movement."
That sums it up pretty well. We really struggled to perform the basic skills when faced with that intensity and it was the same against Mayo last year. Same as the decision making. Another stat I saw was that 65% of our possessions were carried over Cavan's 45' as opposed to passed compared to 40% against Armagh. We were much too slow in attack and the support play wasn't incisive enough to break them down.

This is a really hard one to take because we should have been more than good enough to win this game, no disrespect to Cavan who fully deserved the win in the end.

benjyyy (Donegal) - Posts: 1421 - 23/11/2020 12:11:04    2313848

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Replying To thelowball:  "Sad ending to Donegal quest for all Ireland glory.In what was a horror show,Donegal's performance was a litany of poor handling,passing and turnovers .Donegal looked like the div 3 side, not Cavan.Starting with Patton who is up there with Cluxton, why was he punching a very catchable ball under minimal pressure,the ball ending up in the net. Still time left but now points were no good, it was the death knell.Team selection and changes were beyond bizarre or lack thereof. Mc Cole in no Thompson, what was that?To be fair to McCole with no championship experience he done his best.Jamie Brennan was good for approx 10 turnovers on his own. How he survived the 70 min is baffling or does he have some kind of clause in his county career that excludes him from being substituted. Surely McGettigan must have been worth a look. ODonnell and Langan poor, bad wides and with Murphy operating too close to the'wrong' square the firepower up front wasn't there.There is talent there, 2 Ulsters ,no All Ireland semifinal for this bunch is not acceptable. Time for change at the top table, bye, bye Bonner. As for Cavan ,unbeleivable achievement considering Donegal favoured by one to ten odds. Good luck against the Dubs!"
Welcome back by the way they say you should never change a management team till you have a better team to come in. You have being crying out for the present management team to be gone this last few years. Do you know of any managers who fit the bill it'll be interesting to hear.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 880 - 23/11/2020 12:18:13    2313856

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Aside from all the chat about where we went wrong yesterday let's not forget Cavan's fantastic performance. They beat us in every department and but for a questionable first black card they should have beaten us by more. They were physically better prepared and started at a lightening quick pace. Got out of the blocks must faster than ourselves (scratch that, they actually got out of the blocks). Given how we felt in 2011 after a drought I'm sure the Cavan boys will savour this and rightly so. I wish them all the best against the Dubs. Playing as we did yesterday its probably a blessing in disguise that we are not facing the Dubs, they could have given us an I merciful hammering. Regardless what we think, we are still a long way off them. Particularly in the backroom set up. Something that needs to be addressed.

Adh Mhor on the 5th Cabhain, we'll be cheering for you.

peiledoir20 (Donegal) - Posts: 43 - 23/11/2020 12:21:33    2313860

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Rochford never won a Connaught Title with Mayo, never beat Galway, struggled in qualifiers with lucky wins against Cork, Derry etc, granted ran Dublin close, but Dublin don't play well in Finals and only win them at most by a point or two, but beat Mayo evert time.

jacktheboy (Donegal) - Posts: 62 - 23/11/2020 12:31:50    2313867

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Replying To benjyyy:  "That sums it up pretty well. We really struggled to perform the basic skills when faced with that intensity and it was the same against Mayo last year. Same as the decision making. Another stat I saw was that 65% of our possessions were carried over Cavan's 45' as opposed to passed compared to 40% against Armagh. We were much too slow in attack and the support play wasn't incisive enough to break them down.

This is a really hard one to take because we should have been more than good enough to win this game, no disrespect to Cavan who fully deserved the win in the end."
I would imagine the carrying stat vs the ball being played in is based on how the opposition sets up. I think the same chap who posted this has a graph on kickouts. Donegal won nearly all their own kickouts and plenty of the cavan kick outs. The graph for the donegal kick outs show most going short so cavan were conceding them. I suppose that ultimately means that cavan were set up defensively and kicking the ball in was much less of an option.

We did really struggle to break them down and a good part of this is down to cavan. They worked their socks off. I also thought a little bit that donegal were too often waiting for the perfect shot and getting ultimately turned over before taking a shot. It was a match that they just should have had a few more 50/50 shots. They might not have all come off but I'd much rather get turned over from a getting a shot off than getting turned over with no shot taken.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 350 - 23/11/2020 12:37:42    2313871

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Replying To peiledoir20:  "Aside from all the chat about where we went wrong yesterday let's not forget Cavan's fantastic performance. They beat us in every department and but for a questionable first black card they should have beaten us by more. They were physically better prepared and started at a lightening quick pace. Got out of the blocks must faster than ourselves (scratch that, they actually got out of the blocks). Given how we felt in 2011 after a drought I'm sure the Cavan boys will savour this and rightly so. I wish them all the best against the Dubs. Playing as we did yesterday its probably a blessing in disguise that we are not facing the Dubs, they could have given us an I merciful hammering. Regardless what we think, we are still a long way off them. Particularly in the backroom set up. Something that needs to be addressed.

Adh Mhor on the 5th Cabhain, we'll be cheering for you."
Completely agree regarding the sentiments towards Cavan.......good luck to them and I hope the buzz they got from yesterday.

However like I think gunman alluded to I think we would have seen a much improved performance against Dublin if we unreservedly got out with a win yesterday much like 2014 and playing Armagh before the Dubs. I also think we are certainly not far off Dublin in terms of the backroom team. Yes there were some questionable calls around selections and substitutions but Declan Bonner himself wouldn't have had some of those poor misses we had yesterday.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 12:41:56    2313879

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Very good points on here about Donegal's demise yesterday and actually it appears that u posters have a better handle on Donegal players and playing strategy than was exhibited by management in Armagh yesterday. In all sporting codes, soccer, rugby,Premiership etc the outcome is result driven.If you are not 'winning' you are gone. Familiar to everyone was the the great Jim McGuinness when he came to to the US to manage wasn't getting it done and in less than a year was abruptly told to have a nice day, you're out. Same should apply in Donegal GAA circles.

thelowball (USA) - Posts: 280 - 23/11/2020 12:42:04    2313880

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "Rochford never won a Connaught Title with Mayo, never beat Galway, struggled in qualifiers with lucky wins against Cork, Derry etc, granted ran Dublin close, but Dublin don't play well in Finals and only win them at most by a point or two, but beat Mayo evert time."
Ah stop embarrassing yourself again. First it was the S & C now its Rochford. Rochford has been an excellent addition and done better than anyone against the Dubs one questionable call around the keeper apart. It is actually a testament to him that they got to the latter stages despite the scares along the way. Teams will always be inconsistent which is what makes this Dublin team so incredible that they are so consistent. The drive and culture is in sporting terms akin to the All Blacks. For a team that don't play well in finals they have won 7 of the last 9 all Ireland finals.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 12:52:46    2313893

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