Friday 28 April 2017

'Andy Moran is their most dangerous forward but he's done... Fitzsimons murdered him' - Joe Brolly on Mayo's problems

4 March 2017; Michael Fitzsimons of Dublin in action against Andy Moran of Mayo during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 4 match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
4 March 2017; Michael Fitzsimons of Dublin in action against Andy Moran of Mayo during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 4 match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Joe Brolly is the latest pundit to join the chorus of voices questioning the Mayo football team following Saturday's disappointing showing against Dublin at Croke Park.

Hopes were high that the All-Ireland final rematch would reach the same dramatic heights of their two-match saga last autumn, but instead Jim Gavin's charges rolled over their rivals with surprising dominance, easing to a 12-point win.

The most telling statistic of the night was that Dublin's backline outscored the Mayo forwards from play by 0-4 to 0-0.

Mayo legend Andy Moran is still a regular in Stephen Rochford's side, with Joe Brolly pointing to the Connacht side's reliance on the 33-year-old as one of their main problems.

Speaking to the RTE GAA podcast, Brolly contrasted Mayo's blunt attack with Dublin's ability to break down a defence.

"You see all the time how in many ways Dublin are just improving and improving," Brolly said.

"Their movement of the ball, their ambition, their skills, their ability to break down a blanket defence, their sense of adventure. It was frightening to watch the way they dismantled Mayo.

"I think Mayo have a lot of problems. Andy Moran is their most dangerous forward from play and he is an ambitious forward but he's done. Mick Fitzsimons murdered him."

Brolly was also asked whether Tyrone, who enjoyed a strong win against Monaghan at Healy Park on Saturday night, are viable challengers to Dublin in 2017.

Brolly paid Mickey Harte's men some compliments, but added that they will struggle to win major honours because of a 'psychology of fear' which stymies their attack.

"Tyrone’s problem is very like Donegal’s," Brolly said.

"They're very hard to beat, and obviously very hard to watch. They’re not translating that into winning football by attacking, so you see for example, they were six points up against Dublin, and they sit back and defend because that’s the natural mindset. It’s a psychology of fear."

"And you saw that against Mayo in the quarter-final last year. They couldn't score in the last 15 minutes to get an equaliser."

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