Paul Curran has a bone to pick with Kerry. And it’s not because he’s a Dub looking to score a few cheap points off the enemy when they’re down.
He’s angry because they’re one of a select few capable of beating Dublin but they are, he maintains, going about it entirely the wrong way. “Kerry,” he says, “really should be ashamed of themselves.”
Steady on - where did that come from? Initially, not even Curve Ball was too sure after phoning Curran, this week, for his reflections on the glut of gilt-edged forward options currently available to Jim Gavin.
But then the Herald columnist switched the point of attack to Kerry - partly because he was still flummoxed by how they had set up against Dublin a fortnight back.
“Whether they had them or not, but they all told us they had values. They’ve abandoned them completely,” he claimed.
“Now, they’re playing this football … I don’t know, it’s crazy, and they’ve no chance of winning the way they’re playing. If they come out and play football and give their young fellas a chance, and play the way they played traditionally, I think they’ve a chance.
“They’re making the mistake – and a lot of teams are making the mistake – of going defensive against Dublin. Totally defensive. Dublin will find a way past you. I think teams have got to come out and front up, orthodox, and try and get them on the back foot as often as possible.
“They’re playing into their hands, and Kerry are obsessed with Dublin at the moment. Obsessed.”
Mind you, he sees Kerry’s ‘obsession’ as part of a trend. “All teams are living and dying by their tactics – and most of them are dying,” he explained.
Curran cited the recent meeting in Tralee, where Kerry went four up early in the second half while playing with the wind.
“They had the chance to drive on,” he said. “And what did they do? No, they decided ‘We’ll keep men back, we’ll protect’ … but that just invited Dublin on, instead of going for the jugular and killing the game.
“Kerry have the talent, they’ve young fellas coming through, whether they’re ready or not. But I think they’re coming into a set-up where it’s more negative than positive, in terms of playing the game.”
Warming to his theme, he signed off: “For a decade and a half or two decades, I’ve been listening to Kerry fellas giving out about northern football and ‘puke football’ ... now, Kerry are as bad if not worse than what we’ve seen from the Tyrones and the Armaghs in the last decade. They’re bringing it to another level.”
Kerry readers, those who haven’t already abandoned us in a fit of fury, may beg to differ. Ditto, we suspect, éamonn Fitzmaurice.
But it all adds a fresh dollop of spice to whenever these arch-rivals next clash. Watch this space ...