Former Dublin star Vinnie Murphy claims Mayo fans have created a culture where 'it's alright to be a loser'
Former Dublin footballer Vinnie Murphy believes the unconditional love Mayo fans seem to have for their players is weakening them.
The resilience of the Mayo team and supporters has been roundly praised during their nine-game journey to the All-Ireland final and another shot at ending their 66-year wait to lift Sam Maguire.
Writing in his column in today's Irish Daily Star, Murphy claimed that Mayo vociferous support was a negative for Stephen Rochford's charges.
"The Mayo players are put on a pedestal by their supporters," he said.
"They really appreciate what they've done for the county over the past seven years.
"That's great. That's fantastic but... there is a but.
"What if Aidan O'Shea, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Cillian O'Connor etc were from Dublin or Kerry and trying to make the breakthrough?
"Anyone really think they'd get such an easy ride from supporters after losing so many All-Ireland finals?
"I think that seeps into your psyche. You're living in a culture where it's alright to be a loser. You're still a hero. That makes no sense to me.
"The Mayo supporters cushion the blow for the players, and I don't think that's a good thing.
"Remember the fuss after the late Paudí Ó Sé, when managing Kerry, likened the county's supporter's to the 'roughest f**king animals' you could deal with?
"I think that the tough love from their fans has helped Kerry over the years.
"Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his players would have got plenty of grief from them since losing to Mayo this summer.
"That's no bad thing. That toughens Kerry players up. That has often helped them get that ruthless edge."
Murphy has feels that a number of the senior players in the Mayo squad are wielding an unhealthy influence.
"Go back to the decision to drop David Clarke for the All-Ireland replay last year.
"There's reason to believe that some players had a part to play in that.
"Imagine a Dublin player going to Jim Gavin to make a case for a certain teammate starting. It would be a short conversation.
"The Dublin players' job is to pedal the bike as fast as they can. It's not for them to look up to steer the bike, Jim Does that."