Monday 26 September 2016

Comment: Attention-seeking Joe Brolly wide of mark about Gooch

Colm Parkinson

Published 30/09/2015 | 02:30

Dublin defender Philly McMahon and Kerry corner-forward Colm Cooper in conversation after the final whistle in the All-Ireland football final
Dublin defender Philly McMahon and Kerry corner-forward Colm Cooper in conversation after the final whistle in the All-Ireland football final

I was disappointed to see Joe Brolly have a needless pop at Gooch again in the Sunday Independent.

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There is no doubt that, despite his intelligence, Joe has fallen into the trap of headline addiction. Or else he has an acute case of pundit attention deficit disorder (PADD). Joe is off our television screens now and in need of attention.

He points to games Colm Cooper didn't play well in, sometimes conveniently narrowing it down to second halves, because Gooch happened to be excellent in the first. He leaves out big games Gooch played well in and points to his performances in games his team lost.

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Joe should know better than anyone that a corner-forward is very dependent on the supply of ball he receives. If your team goes out of a game, it is difficult to perform let alone be a leader from corner-forward.

20 September 2015; Colm Cooper, Kerry, is caught with a late challenge from Diarmuid Connelly, Dublin, which resulted in a yellow card for the Dublin player. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
20 September 2015; Colm Cooper, Kerry, is caught with a late challenge from Diarmuid Connelly, Dublin, which resulted in a yellow card for the Dublin player. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Amazingly, and this is hard to believe, in his 'Gaelic Life' column last week he wrote this about his two favourite players: "Say nowadays there is a truly great player on a team. Like Michael Murphy or Aidan O'Shea. He will immediately (unless you're playing Mayo), be double- and treble-marked. Therefore, his statistics will suffer."

So Murphy and O'Shea get a pass because they were double- and treble-marked but Gooch is slated. Gooch is double-marked, with a sweeper standing in front of him, in most games he plays, especially in the games against Tyrone that Joe mentioned. He happened to play well - in the second half would you believe - against Tyrone this year but Joe left that one off his list.

If I wanted to do a hatchet job on Michael Murphy, I'd point to last year's All-Ireland final, Ulster finals against Monaghan or the Tyrone game this year and say he doesn't do it on the big occasion when closely marked. But that's obviously nonsense and I don't have PADD.

Gooch was poor in the All Ireland final for the following reasons - Philly McMahon is a great player, attacking corner-backs are a bloody nightmare to mark, Cian O'Sullivan is a great player and sweeper, it was a horrible day for a forward and Dublin dominated the game.

Because Gooch's movement is conservative it can appear like he's not trying when his team is behind. It is all about patience and economy of movement for him in order to get on the end of a move close to goal.

When I played in the full-forward line I didn't have the patience for that style, nor was my finishing good enough. I needed to show out in front of my man and get on the ball outside scoring range. It's just a different style.

Joe, of course, should understand all of this. Maybe he does, or maybe his PADD is worse than we thought.

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