Tomás Ó Sé believes Diarmuid Connolly's Dublin absence may be down to a lack of hunger
Kerry legend Tomás Ó Sé suspects that a lack of motivation is behind Diarmuid Connolly’s continued omission from the Dublin squad.
The forward was once again absent for his county’s shock 2-12 to 0-17 defeat to Monaghan at Croke Park on Sunday.
Dublin boss Jim Gavin has now left the 30-year-old out of his last three squads, leading to increased speculation about the player’s future with the All-Ireland champions.
On the subject of Diarmuid Connolly’s ongoing absence from the match-day squad, Gavin reiterated his previous explanation that “there’s a number of players that we’re resting”.
Speaking to Independent.ie's GAA podcast The Throw In in association with Allianz, Ó Sé said that the increased scrutiny players are under in the social media age may have led to the forward falling out of love with the game.
"It does worry me as a fan what is going on with Diarmuid Connolly. I marked him as a player, he's exciting , he gives the Dubs' fans a huge lift. He's one of the most talented footballers I've seen in a long time," he said.
"You can say that you're resting him and he's playing club football or whatever, maybe it's an issue with Diarmuid Connolly himself.
“In the modern game you could understand if Diarmuid Connolly wasn’t enjoying football as much anymore.
“The way they come in for criticism on social media, it’s a different game and you’re not just looking at newspapers anymore, any old sham can cause you bother and no fella can say that they’re tough enough that that doesn’t bother them.
"I actually don't know why he isn't playing. In my mind, Diarmuid Connolly at the top of his game is in the top three footballers in this country and why then wouldn't you being allowing him the time to get his dander up to get himself right for Championship.
“Maybe he doesn’t have the hunger anymore because there has to be something going on that he’s not getting more game time in the last year and a half.”
Ó Sé believes that Dublin’s ability to absorb the absence of one of their most talented players is a testament to the panel’s strength in depth.
“They can ship heavy losses like that, they can ship not fielding a team and still put down the league that they’ve put down," he added.
"They are like a machine at the moment.
“Yesterday was a blip but you can be guaranteed that behind the scenes Jim Gavin is half happy that they did get a blip so it’ll tune them in.
"It will be interesting to see what team they choose next week.”
Despite the defeat to Monaghan and concerns about Connolly’s future, Ó Sé maintains that the Dubs are in a strong position ahead of the All-Ireland Championship and says that Gavin’s decision to give the players time off from county duty will prove effective.
“They do take their downtime. It’s not just a case of ‘Ah lads, go off there and we’ll see you Monday.’ I think it’s managed and they’re told exactly what to do to completely recharge the batteries.
“It’s a great way to have it. You go as hard as you can for the league, then you take a complete downtime and then you go at it again for the championship. It’s really two blocks of the year where you are going hard.”
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