Kerry Legend Tomás Ó Sé addresses the negative media coverage and the potential dangers for Kerry
We’re less than two weeks away from the biggest game of the year on the GAA football calendar. And it’s pitted two rivals against each other. The phrase “What is it about Dublin and Kerry” has resurrected the romanticism of the famous clash. Fans of both sides will reminisce of past encounters.
But talk of referees and players walking away from panels has span the media into a frenzy, ignoring the fact that there’s a football game on Sunday week. Dublin could be leaving Croke with a fifth consecutive All Ireland title. History will have been made. Or Kerry may end up being in the books as the team that stopped the ‘Drive For Five’. Whatever happens the two best teams in the country will go toe to toe for Sam Maguire.
Former Kerry ace and TV pundit Tomás Ó Sé has addressed the various stories circling the headlines of late and has given his opinion of what he refers to as ‘the sideshow’. In his column in the Independent, Ó Sé admits “The coverage has been dominated by talk and, being honest, a lot of it is bulls**t.”
“It’s no surprise the sideshow has been crazier than ever, but both teams will pay zero attention – it’s pointless to give it any thought.”
The final and the sum of it’s parts
Both Jim Gavin and Peter Keane will, and are as well to ignore the hype. They’ll both set out their stalls on Sunday week, and let their players doe the talking. And Ó Sé is adamant that Kerry can upset things in Croke Park.
“With David Clifford, Stephen O’Brien, Seánie O’Shea and Paul Geaney, it’s far more dangerous than anything Dublin faced this year.”
“Kerry didn’t play in the first half last week but the changes showed what’s possible when they start to fire.”
The problem is Kerry will need to play for the entire game to stand any chance of toppling Dublin. Case in point Dublin’s dismantling of Mayo in the opening exchanges of the Semi Final second half. And Ó Sé admits Kerry are going to need a Plan B.
“Dublin’s key strength is at half-time: they come up with an answer to what is thrown at them in the first half. They’re amazing at it.”
“It showed in what they did to Cork and Mayo: armed with their stats, they discuss what happened, come out and blow you away.”
The Four Areas Dublin will Target
Strategically the Kerry star points to four key parts of his county’s game that Dublin will target.
- Shane Ryan in the Kerry goal.
Dublin will pressure Ryan into kicking long. Simply because their strength will be with Brian Fenton and whoever partners him in midfield. the damage that can be done byt the Raheny man and the players off his shoulder has been evident right through the competition.
- Kerry’s Defence
Tomás openly admits that the Kerry defence is clearly vulnerable. “I was disgusted at Paul Murphy’s first-half role last weekend. He’s a very good footballer but was caught between two stools – he wasn’t the sweeper at the edge of the square and he wasn’t pushing up to stop what was coming through the middle.”
- David Moran In Midfield
Moran will be under a lot of pressure, particularly facing up to Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh Macauley, or whoever Gavin chooses in the middle of the park.
- Dublin will look to break down Kerry’s Forward line
“So much rests on the young shoulders of Clifford who, to me, is on a different level to any other forward with the exception of Con O’Callaghan and Paul Mannion.”
“Dublin will be getting their forward unit to work back as quickly as they can to slow down the ball. They’re masters at that.”