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Sunday 11 December 2016

The more things change, the more they stay the same

The problem isn't just the style of football, it's the standard of players, writes Colm O'Rourke

Published 12/04/2015 | 17:41

For many years I have banged on about the changes that have taken place in Gaelic football, the move away from the original skills of the game, the increasing drift towards handpassing and the burying of individualism among the slow-moving rucks of players who clinically carry out a particular role.

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The Derry-Dublin league game provoked a huge reaction after Derry decided to take defence to a new level. The team and their manager Brian McIver were roundly criticised. But these most recent converts to the inherent sickness of football should have been congratulating them rather than denouncing this extreme form of playing the game. Derry just brought the whole sorry mess to a head and if it promotes change then McIver deserves our congratulations. Just like Shakespeare's Othello, he will have done the state some service.

Since that match there have been a few good games with the defenders of the faith using these examples to declare that there is nothing wrong with the game. If Dublin or Kerry are involved in a game there is a good chance of it being more entertaining, the Derry-Dublin match being the obvious exception.

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