'Does he think he is indispensable to Kilkenny?' - Ger Loughnane on why Brian Cody should have walked away
Brian Cody was ratified for a 19th season in charge earlier this month but two-time All-Ireland winning manager Ger Loughnane believes the Kilkenny boss should have stepped down.
Writing in his column in today's Irish Daily Star, the former Clare boss claims the time was right for the 62-year-old to end the greatest managerial rein in the history of hurling.
Over the past 18 years, Cody has led the Cats to 11 All-Ireland titles, 15 Leinster crowns and has won the National League on eight occasions.
Loughnane argues that Cody should have resigned this year to give his predecessor something to build with for the future.
He also says that Cody was right to retain his backroom team but he should not have kept hold of the reins.
"Who would he get that that would be better than Mick Dempsey, Derek Lyng and James McGarry? No, he was right to retain his backroom team.
"The mistake is in staying on himself.
""Not only is he the greatest hurling manager of all time, but you could make a strong case for Cody being the greatest hurling personality of all.
"Does he now think that he's indispensable to Kilkenny, that he owns the job?"
Loughnane claims the quartet of Richie Hogan, TJ Reid, Paul Murphy and Michael Fennelly are getting on and without them, the person charged with replacing Cody would not have a chance.
"This is the mistake the other two great long-serving managers in the GAA, Mick O'Dwyer and Sean Boylan, made at the tail-end of their careers.
"By the time they left, the cupboard was so bare that many years of famine ensued.
"Cody didn't win the 2016 All-Ireland but his team were in the final, having escaped from two close shaves against Waterford in the semis.
"Had he left, he would be leaving a team with a reasonable chance of winning silverware in 2017.
"Maybe even those four key players would further blossom and be re-energised under a new manager."