Wednesday 18 September 2019

'Everything will have to go right' - Tomás Ó Sé says Kerry must fix 'glaring issue' to beat Dublin

Kerry are out to halt Dublin's bid for five-in-a-row
Kerry are out to halt Dublin's bid for five-in-a-row
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Tomás Ó Sé says that Kerry have the forwards to trouble Dublin in the All-Ireland final - but problems in their defence will make it very difficult to stop Jim Gavin's men from completing five in-a-row.

Dublin swept into the decider last Saturday after a powerful second half blitz of Mayo, while the Kingdom joined them with an impressive showing of their own after the break against Tyrone.

Peter Keane's young side is now all that stands between Dublin and footballing immortality, as they bid to become the first side to win five straight titles.

Dublin are already strong favourites, opening at 1/5 while Kerry can be backed at a big price of 9/2.

Kerry aren't used to entering All-Ireland finals as heavy underdogs, but Ó Sé says that their 'glaring issue' is in defence, and he thinks they will struggle to contain Dublin sharpshooters such as Con O'Callaghan and Paul Mannion.

"Kerry are in an All-Ireland final and there is one glaring issue jumping out and I think that's what will catch them in the end, but you are going to have to give them a chance," Tomás Ó Sé said.

"I think of any forward unit in the country, this is a forward unit that can possibly hurt the Dubs. Everything will have to go right for Kerry to win it."

"The elephant in the room is the defence," he added.

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"There are still issues in every single game. You can pick them out. I would say there are two or three weak links that you can't have against Dublin. They have a way better forward unit than Tyrone. I don't think it will be a blitz, but it will be hard to slow them down."

While Kerry regrouped after a poor first half that saw them trail Tyrone by four points at half, Ó Sé picked out Paul Murphy's role as part of their overall defensive problems.

"[Paul] Murphy in that first half - Tyrone ran through the middle and had an overlap every time because Murphy was letting his man up the field," Ó Sé said.

"Murphy played outside the 45. Colm Cavanagh or Cian O'Sullivan would be inside the D. All they had to do was it kick in over his head. Cathal McShane got three points from play in the first half and Jason Foley was in trouble. I felt sorry for Murphy because he is a very good footballer. The ball was coming in over his head and he was having no impact on the runners coming through. It was basically taking a man out of the Kerry team and putting him there as a spectator."

As for the game as a whole, Ó Sé thinks that the meagre crowd of just over 33,000 contributed to Kerry's poor opening.

"I thought Kerry had lost it in the first half," Ó Sé said.

"There was a lack of intensity. The Dublin game was a full house with a cracking atmosphere and it was the opposite for the Kerry game and it does make a difference. It is hard to get that bite in it. I thought it was two poor enough performances from Kerry and Tyrone. Tyrone will look back and say they had chances."

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The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

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