'Winning All-Ireland in 2013 was the greatest fluke of all time' - Ger Loughnane slams 'limited' Clare
Ger Loughnane believes the deficiencies in Clare hurling have worsened despite the fact that the Banner men are in their first Munster final in nine years.
Clare overcame Limerick by 3-17 to 2-16 in Thurles yesterday but the two-time All-Ireland winning manager says the encounter showed the weaknesses in both sides.
He described John Kiely's men as the 'least talented' Limerick team he had ever seen and said the Clare team contained 'so few real men'.
For Loughnane, the issues with puck-outs, free-taking and ball-winning that have dogged the Banner men in recent years have not been alleviated but have grown further.
Writing in his column in today's Irish Daily Star, he said: "Only the most deluded of supporters would have enjoyed yesterday," he said.
"It wasn't a question of Clare being a better team than Limerick. Rather, it was a question of which team was the least bad on the day.
"This was just awful stuff from both teams.
"It was so disappointing because there had been an air of anticipation in Clare beforehand. There were all these rumours going around about the squad flying in training.
"But, if anything, Clare look to have gone back from where they were before.
"Clare were atrocious is so many of the basics of the game.
"Their puck-outs were brutal, their free-taking was a mess, their ball-winning ability was non-existent.
"People in Clare have to face the reality that, as a group, this is a limited bunch.
"When they won the 2013 All-Ireland, it was the greatest fluke of all time.
"They didn't beat either Tipperary or Kilkenny - the Litmus test in this era.
"Until they show consistency and beat a big team in a big game, you'd have to say that this Clare team are over-rated.
"You can't be making excuses for them all the time."
Clare will face either Cork or Waterford in the Munster final on on July 9.
Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly Championship podcast, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every Monday, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé, Brendan Cummins and John Mullane.