Dangerous attitude could hamper Kerry hopes
Published 27/08/2015 | 02:30
The reaction to Kerry's win over Tyrone last weekend has been dangerous and, to me, worrying.
People are so happy to have beaten them and put that hoodoo to rest in Croke Park that there has been a lot of back-slapping and congratulations.
There's relief at having beaten Tyrone and having made another All-Ireland final, when Kerry will be going for another double-double, with the minors there again too.
There's nothing worse after a semi-final than having that satisfaction and comfort in your mind because it almost allows you to drop your guard and if you lose the final you say to yourself 'well, at least we beat Tyrone. . .'
If it was Dublin playing Kerry last weekend, they would have scored six goals - I have no doubt about that. We are wide open at the back and that's the area that I hope Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his management team spend the next four weeks working on.
They have to watch what Dublin, Donegal and Tyrone, who all have top-class defensive systems, are doing and pick out the best of those.
Last year in the All-Ireland final against Donegal, Kerry defended brilliantly. With Donegal getting so many men back, the two wing-backs were able to wait on the '50' and when the ball was turned over they picked up their men.
In the final next month, the Kingdom's half-forwards will have to work straight back once the ball is turned over, the midfielders have to get back to their own '50' and the two sweepers have to get back on the 'D' to protect the inside line.
Whoever the sweepers are supposed to be marking have to be picked up, and all of this takes weeks of training to organise.
In fairness to Eamonn and the lads, they know this and it's something they will spend significant time on.