Sport Gaelic Football

Friday 19 January 2018

'Joe's trying to get a few more columns out of me'- Jim McGuinness unmoved by Brolly's 'taking the piss' jibe

Jim McGuinness,Pictured at the launch of Sky Sports 2016 GAA season .©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Jim McGuinness,Pictured at the launch of Sky Sports 2016 GAA season .©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Tom Rooney

Much like the entire country, Jim McGuinness expects Dublin to retain their All Ireland title come September but, with the correct tactical blueprint, he believes a select group of sides are capable of dethroning them.

Adopting and then proclaiming a view in direct opposition to a firmly held consensus tends to elicit a certain brand of rage-fuelled incredulity.

In a recent column for the Irish Times, Jim McGuinness posited that Donegal were quite capable of beating Dublin this summer.

A strange thought, given that Jim Gavin’s side had ruthlessly dispatched of the The Tír Conaill Men in the League semi final by 1-20 to 0-13 a little over a month ago.

As such, in his own column, the Sunday Independent’s Joe Brolly ventured that McGuinness was ‘taking the piss.’

According to Brolly, only Mayo have any tangible chance of usurping the Dubs and, even then, it is a slim one.

When asked if he cared to revise his position on the blue machine, McGuinness stood by his words, but there was a caveat.

“I’m on the record for saying that Dublin are beatable on a given day, but I expect them to win the All Ireland. I think there are a couple of teams out there that have the potential to beat them.”

That’s fair enough, but how?

“For me, questions need to be asked of the Dublin full back line, in terms of an aerial threat because with Rory O’Carroll gone there’s a potential for a threat. But you’ll have occupy that sweeper, and pull Cian O’Sullivan out of position.

“That’s why when I say I think they’re beatable, you’re going to have to three game plans running simultaneously; the long ball inside, a number 11 that really occupies that position and, then, the runners from deep when the sweeper has been pulled out of position.

“I think there are probably two or three teams that have the capacity to make those tactical shifts and make that happen,” he said.

As for Joe Brolly’s rebuke, McGuinness said that their dynamic hasn’t much changed since his time at the helm for Donegal, in that he remains a source of fodder for the bespectacled firebrand.

“I think what’s important for me is not to start commenting on my own comments because when you write a column it’s your opinion. And you shouldn’t really have to answer questions on your own opinion.

“Listen, we all know Joe’s situation; he got four good years out of me when I was manger, and now he’s trying to get a few more columns out of me as a pundit, which is a bit ironic.”

Jim McGuinness was speaking at the  Sky Sports GAA 2016 season launch.

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