Friday 23 March 2018

'There are areas where Dublin can be exploited' - Joe Brolly on the Dubs

Joe Brolly outlined his concerns for the game on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport
Joe Brolly outlined his concerns for the game on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport

While Dublin inspired more eulogies from their admirers following their latest Leinster title, Joe Brolly reckons that watchful opponents like Tyrone and Kerry will have gained plenty of encouragement from Sunday's fare in Croke Park.

Even though Kildare managed to get within single figures of Dublin - a modest enough achievement in historical terms but in the context of the modern Leinster championship a heroic effort - most pundits said that Dublin supporters should feel serene about their team's form.

However, Brolly saw traces of Dublin circa 2014, where conventional wisdom holds that their excessively cavalier approach saw them undone by a wily opponent with an ingenious general on the sideline.

While he asserts that Dublin's attack is still far superior to Tyrone's - "against Down yesterday, Dublin would have scored seven goals" - Brolly contends that Jim Gavin's team are looking increasingly open at the back.

"They were very open at the back, surprisingly open at the back. Almost like 2014. I was chatting to Pat Gilroy afterwards and both of us were in agreement that Dublin looked very, very open.

"And had Kildare, in the first ten minutes, as I advocated, played a sweeper on the square, just to steady themselves... you might have seen a different game.

"Because Dublin were very, very open and if Kildare had been more alert to the opportunities and were playing at that high level, they could really punished them.

"Tyrone will see in those gaps real encouragement. McGuinness's Donegal took advantage of them in 2014. They created mismatches in the full back area and kicked high ball into Michael Murphy and made hay.

"If Kildare had done that more yesterday, they could have caused serious problems. One high ball kicked in. One goal."

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