Friday 23 February 2018

Colm O'Rourke: It's easier for managers to play a patient hand when they've already put their name on the trophy

Good tacticians know the value of allowing players time to develop, writes Colm O'Rourke

It may only be March, but the importance of league form as a pointer to the championship is already evident. The big counties have cleaned their guns and it is no surprise that the teams who look best at this stage are Dublin, Kerry, Tyrone and Mayo.

If you spin the clock forward about five months, it will be quite a shock if at least three of these are not involved in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

The move of the Allianz League to the calendar year has meant that all the big counties get ready earlier. The cream is already coming to the top. With the exception of Mayo, these counties have been consistently at the business end of things over the last decade.

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