Tuesday 20 February 2018

Colm O'Rourke: Only an All-Ireland can prove McGuinness right

Donegal's hard graft has worked so far but it doesn't make them the finished article, says Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

If Donegal are an acquired taste for many in the GAA world then people had better get used to it. This is the new football. A more defined or refined version of what Tyrone first introduced a decade ago which can work just as well with players of various abilities.

Donegal have nothing like the individual talent of Tyrone at their best but few teams ever had. What this system shows is that it can work with every group of players.

The natural progression is that club teams all over the country will start mirroring this type of game. In point of fact it probably is happening to a greater or lesser extent anyway -- and before Donegal arrived on the scene -- so blaming a new defensive game on Donegal is wrong. If anything, Dublin can be even more conservative; their half-backs seem to shun attack altogether although Kevin Nolan did break out last week to score a great point when Dublin needed it. James McCarthy also moves up occasionally but the emphasis is on keeping the door bolted, while Karl Lacey, the Donegal centre-back, seems to be freed up from a tight-marking role to attack at will from the Donegal half-back line.

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