Wednesday 25 April 2018

'He changed but he had no choice' - Joe Brolly still unsure of Kieran McGeeney's managerial credentials

Joe Brolly is still not convinced about Kieran McGeeney as a manager
Joe Brolly is still not convinced about Kieran McGeeney as a manager

Conor Neville

Armagh's revival in the qualifiers has prompted a new wave of revisionism about Kieran McGeeney's managerial career.

While he always had his defenders, most notably among ex-Kildare players, the abject championship performances of Armagh in 2015 and 2016 led some to dismiss him as a manager.

Joe Brolly was his most visible critic and gave him a ferocious televised pummeling both during and after their miserable loss to Cavan in the first round of the Ulster championship.

But now, after the lows of last summer, his stock as a manager is scaling new highs. People are inclined to look kindly once more on his Kildare reign with the 'five quarter-finals in a row' stat being widely circulated online.

Speaking to the Throw In,'s GAA podcast, Joe Brolly credits McGeeney for changing his approach but, in truth, he believes that the Armagh manager was staring into the abyss and thus had no choice.

And Brolly stands by the view that McGeeney, despite the above stat, was ultimately a failure in Kildare.

"They (Kildare) never beat anybody. In truth, they never beat anybody. And with the resources he had at his disposal and with the entirely professional setup, the final piece of the jigsaw there was whether this guy (McGeeney) had the ingenuity, the tactical ability.

"He didn't show it in Kildare, he didn't show it in Armagh where they had an abysmal first two years where they played this woeful defensive hand-passing football.

"I suppose the other way to look at it is that he's learning and he's been prepared to change tack but I think really he had no choice because they were going nowhere.

"So he had to change tack but it's been brilliant."


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