Off The Ball: Defence dominates but real challenge is to a find right balance
Published 06/05/2015 | 02:30
I hope Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane were on holidays with no TV or internet access because defensive systems won all the prizes at the weekend.
Floyd Mayweather, as usual, refused to get involved in exchanges and convincingly beat the Pac Man. The lads would call it 'puke boxing'. The boxing analysts called it a masterclass. The fans booed Mayweather. Styles make fights but no one seems to be able to counteract Mayweather's.
Waterford dominated Cork in the hurling league final with a defensive display out of the top drawer. Yes they scored 1-24 but their win was based on an outstanding defence that held Cork to three points from play in the first half and only ten in total.
Tyrone played counter-attacking football to beat Tipperary in the U-21 final at Parnell Park. When Tipperary needed a goal there was simply no way through.
We know by now, in GAA, defensive systems beat attacking ones eight or nine times out of ten. 'Boring, boring' Chelsea won the league with a 'boring' 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace. No surprises there. Eden Hazard scored with a rebound from a penalty. Despite playing some good football early in the season, when the pressure came on Chelsea in the title run-in, they got results doing what Jose Mourinho (left) does best: defending.
Finding the balance between defence and attack is the challenge for managers in sport. The debate seems to be never-ending in the GAA. It can be done - Armagh 2002, Tyrone's three titles and Waterford showed us on Sunday.
By the way, they did it without any drink bans or codes of conduct. But that's for another column.