Mayo Forum

Tactics

(Oldest Posts First)

Going into this years championship we heard a reoccuring theme from all the pundits. Mayo can threaten Dublin if they can get a functioning defensive system in place.

After Saturday evening's debacle Rochford and co. have a decision to make now. Does he persist with trying to find this plan or revert to the hard running, off the shoulder game that we have been used to seeing under Horan and also Noel and Pat? A system which will likely get us back to Croker but is also as likely to come up short again of the ultimate prize.

So do we play the long game here and try to get a system in place to enable us to go one step further. Which might take this season and next to perfect (Think Donegal). Or do we go back to what we are best at and when the time comes (hopefully) we try and play a sweeper when we feel that it is warranted (Dubs, Tyrone Kerry etc.). The problem with that is we will not have been able to practice and perfect it.

Interested to see what people think.

unclegerry (Mayo) - Posts: 1204 - 22/06/2016 08:31:07    1870570

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I don't see why we cant just play the game in front of us instead of getting overinvested in plans. We are a running team so we need to stick with what we are best at, but then tyrone are a running team too, it doesn't mean you cant defend well or get bodies back.

Can we not double up on a target man when faced with one, drop men back when we need to and attack with a bit of cop on. Play for fouls in the scoring zone - we have two good free takers. Can our hard running defenders not shoot and ruin all their good work, but instead pop it to a scorer on the loop? Imagine all the scores we would get if we were doing that, with all the hard runners we have. These are simple things that work for other teams - donegal and tyrone have won all Irelands off them. They would take all of two training sessions to implement. We seem to not be as organised as other teams in that regard.

TheMaster (Mayo) - Posts: 16187 - 22/06/2016 09:34:04    1870592

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Replying To unclegerry:  "Going into this years championship we heard a reoccuring theme from all the pundits. Mayo can threaten Dublin if they can get a functioning defensive system in place.

After Saturday evening's debacle Rochford and co. have a decision to make now. Does he persist with trying to find this plan or revert to the hard running, off the shoulder game that we have been used to seeing under Horan and also Noel and Pat? A system which will likely get us back to Croker but is also as likely to come up short again of the ultimate prize.

So do we play the long game here and try to get a system in place to enable us to go one step further. Which might take this season and next to perfect (Think Donegal). Or do we go back to what we are best at and when the time comes (hopefully) we try and play a sweeper when we feel that it is warranted (Dubs, Tyrone Kerry etc.). The problem with that is we will not have been able to practice and perfect it.

Interested to see what people think."
Good thread Gerry. That should get all us hurlers on the ditch out in force. What bugs me about last weekends game was the amount of changes that were made to the way we play. Our big problem over the years has been giving away goals at the wrong time. How many times have we thought in a game "if we don't give away a goal we have it won" and then oh no a goal. Or in the case of Dublin probably two goals. Think Dublin in 2013 when we were on top, sloppy goal. Kerry in 2014, when we had the game won, sloppy goal. Dublin in the replay last year, two sloppy goals. And there were many, many more. Apart from that there was nothing wrong with our game. There has been a lot of talk of a lack of scoring forwards and that might be true to an extent but we still put up good scores and having half forwards covering back to allow half backs to come forward to kick points is fine. Having Aidan O Shea at full forward last year increased our scoring threat immensely. So if it's not broken don't fix it. Sit down with Aidan and say "your best position is full forward, we know it's frustrating being marked by two or sometimes three but we will work on the right ball in and vary our play between a running game and the long ball so we don't become predictable". With two men marking AOS we can then afford a sweeper. I think Keith would be ideal for that role, as he's not a close marker and sweeping would give him the freedom to make a burst when the ball was turned over. Our transition from defence to attack was painfully slow at the weekend and they seem to be copying some defensive system without making any allowance for attacking. When we reverted to our running game in the few minutes before half time we looked impressive but the half time team talk must have knocked that on the head. We even had Cillian back at corner back at one stage ffs. If Keith were to play as sweeper he should be put into a darkened room for a week with videos of Dublin's games and look at Cian O Sullivans role over the last year. Apart from that get Seamie fit and interested, work on getting players into "scoreable" positions and lift the restrictions on the half back line attacking. There is one other area I'm not happy with but I don't want to get personal. If we do all of the above I think we might just bounce back. Now has anyone Rochford's mobile?

Llaw_Gyffes (Mayo) - Posts: 1112 - 22/06/2016 12:07:57    1870688

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Not sure why we have 3 threads all discussing the same thing?

If Caff's gone for the summer, that's a problem. People have different views, but for me he's a top class fullback, who had a bit of a dip in form but who seemed recently to have bounced back. We don't have an obvious replacement and KK, who's an able footballer, won't do against all opponents IMO.

Heard BJ Padden talking about AOS, and suggesting he needs to be brought back out to midfield. I don't agree, the likes of Tyrone have targeted his channel with runners in the past, and this is what you do to nullify a big man. He needs to give up the Jack O'Shea aspirations and become a new Tom Langan instead.

With being in the B draw, if we get to August we'll be facing either the Dubs or the Ulster champions. We won't get there at all if some clear direction isn't taken to defend effectively and move the ball quickly. I think the Barry Moran sweeper experiment from last year was fairly effective, especially compared to anything tried since. Mickey Harte for one picked up on it and their version is being mentioned already as a potential player of the year. Early days for that, but why should Tyrone benefit from something we should be perfecting at this point? Could it be because it was a Pat and Noel idea? We can't afford to be that stupid.

Pericles (Mayo) - Posts: 2261 - 22/06/2016 13:13:26    1870720

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If the last few championship games have told us anything, it is that he is not a natural full forward. He wont win ball out in front, it isn't his strength. He doesn't move the ball quickly enough to operate effectively in there, nor does he have the scoring instincts required. He was actually well marshalled in the donegal game too until durkin flattened mcgee.
If tyrone are running guys up his channel at midfield then simply have their men waiting there alongside oshea and smash them back into next week. That would counter it without needing to change our team to do it. Don't donegal operate with the even less mobile neil Gallagher in there and they can do it in a way where he doesnt get caught. Tyrone never actually beat us in the championship on those occasions so it couldn't have been that effective anyway.

His position is chf or midfield. The game passes him by at 14. We are effectively taking him out of the game for the opponents by placing him there and also losing out in the middle. That doesn't mean he cant drift in there the odd time, but at the minute it is all too predictable and he isn't making use of the ball he is getting.

TheMaster (Mayo) - Posts: 16187 - 22/06/2016 14:50:11    1870779

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I know he's far from the finished article at FF. I think we've only faced Tyrone once in championship since AOS came on the scene, but what they did was there for other teams to see and it caused a rethink of how to use him. The Dubs too handled Aidan as an outfield player, and Donegal have been hampered by Gallagher's lack of mobility after 2012, and we've even exploited that. Big lads offer very few advantages at midfield under the current rules and tactics. We didn't even use our own fielders the last day, because the Galway setup dictated how Hennelly kicked the ball out.

Maybe a role for AOS would be to mark the opposition sweeper. He could tie up the FB and sweeper that way, make space for runners and keep defences ill at ease. But I can't see the usefulness of having him go back to the role of carrying possession into tackles and getting turned over, or penalised for charging. Maybe it's time to consider using him off the bench if his talents can't be accommodated to the betterment of the team and it's tactics? Even a big man is not bigger than the team.

Pericles (Mayo) - Posts: 2261 - 22/06/2016 17:21:40    1870844

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Replying To Pericles:  "I know he's far from the finished article at FF. I think we've only faced Tyrone once in championship since AOS came on the scene, but what they did was there for other teams to see and it caused a rethink of how to use him. The Dubs too handled Aidan as an outfield player, and Donegal have been hampered by Gallagher's lack of mobility after 2012, and we've even exploited that. Big lads offer very few advantages at midfield under the current rules and tactics. We didn't even use our own fielders the last day, because the Galway setup dictated how Hennelly kicked the ball out.

Maybe a role for AOS would be to mark the opposition sweeper. He could tie up the FB and sweeper that way, make space for runners and keep defences ill at ease. But I can't see the usefulness of having him go back to the role of carrying possession into tackles and getting turned over, or penalised for charging. Maybe it's time to consider using him off the bench if his talents can't be accommodated to the betterment of the team and it's tactics? Even a big man is not bigger than the team."
But he is being handled even more emphatically as a full forward, hence people wanting him back out the field, where he has put on several virtuosos in his time - far moreso than at ff... You seem blinded to his failings at ff, yet concentrate on his lesser failings out the field.

As for marking the opposing sweeper, well the sweeper is more often than not, a very mobile player. So as far as I can see you are creating the same mismatch that you are taking him out of the middle to avoid, in fact Id say you are creating a bigger mismatch... Plus, the sweeper is generally doubling up on him when the ball comes in to ff anyway, so him 'marking' the sweeper, who is in turn marking AOS back (with the aid of the FB), will not change very much.


Id play him at chf and let the midfielders split to either wing for kickouts, then boom them out to aos to attack, and use his height advantage over the no 6. If they double up on him then hit the free midfielder on the wing. Parsons and sos are very mobile so they suit this type of plan also.

The type of ball we put into the ff position for aos would actually suit barry moran more, as he is better in the air. Plus he might not hang onto it so much.

TheMaster (Mayo) - Posts: 16187 - 23/06/2016 09:35:05    1871031

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Replying To TheMaster:  "But he is being handled even more emphatically as a full forward, hence people wanting him back out the field, where he has put on several virtuosos in his time - far moreso than at ff... You seem blinded to his failings at ff, yet concentrate on his lesser failings out the field.

As for marking the opposing sweeper, well the sweeper is more often than not, a very mobile player. So as far as I can see you are creating the same mismatch that you are taking him out of the middle to avoid, in fact Id say you are creating a bigger mismatch... Plus, the sweeper is generally doubling up on him when the ball comes in to ff anyway, so him 'marking' the sweeper, who is in turn marking AOS back (with the aid of the FB), will not change very much.


Id play him at chf and let the midfielders split to either wing for kickouts, then boom them out to aos to attack, and use his height advantage over the no 6. If they double up on him then hit the free midfielder on the wing. Parsons and sos are very mobile so they suit this type of plan also.

The type of ball we put into the ff position for aos would actually suit barry moran more, as he is better in the air. Plus he might not hang onto it so much."
At the start of the year Mayo had four specialist midfielders without AOS and they have since added young Coen to the mix. With the injury to Jason Gibbons and the lack of form or fitness of SOS there may be a case for putting AOS back at midfield. In my opinion AOS is not a centre forward as he hasn't the necessary accuracy or distribution and he is too inclined to carry the ball into tackles. We can argue the pros and cons of siting AOS in different positions but we are only whistling past the graveyard as they are only our own opinions. In any case I think it's immaterial where you position Aido as, if the weekend is anything to go by, Aido plays where Aido wants. At this stage of the season everyone should have a defined role and each player should know their own role and every other players role as well. Rochford came in to a very difficult situation when he took over but if he ever needed a reason to stamp his authority on proceedings then Saturday evening was the perfect storm. If Tuesdays meeting was not "interesting" to say the least then we are in for a short summer of football. One thing that defined Horan's era was the unity of purpose of the squad. That unity is to put it mildly under pressure. A lot of soul searching needs to be done if we are to move on. I'm not too confident at the moment.

Llaw_Gyffes (Mayo) - Posts: 1112 - 23/06/2016 12:30:19    1871136

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Based on his attitude and effort last week, Aidan needs a spell on the bench.
I honestly believe, the team is better off without him unless he changes his mindset.
Potential and ability only bring you so far. If you start to think you're above the team then you need to be shown the road.

pdempsey (Mayo) - Posts: 1313 - 23/06/2016 13:09:42    1871162

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Replying To Llaw_Gyffes:  "At the start of the year Mayo had four specialist midfielders without AOS and they have since added young Coen to the mix. With the injury to Jason Gibbons and the lack of form or fitness of SOS there may be a case for putting AOS back at midfield. In my opinion AOS is not a centre forward as he hasn't the necessary accuracy or distribution and he is too inclined to carry the ball into tackles. We can argue the pros and cons of siting AOS in different positions but we are only whistling past the graveyard as they are only our own opinions. In any case I think it's immaterial where you position Aido as, if the weekend is anything to go by, Aido plays where Aido wants. At this stage of the season everyone should have a defined role and each player should know their own role and every other players role as well. Rochford came in to a very difficult situation when he took over but if he ever needed a reason to stamp his authority on proceedings then Saturday evening was the perfect storm. If Tuesdays meeting was not "interesting" to say the least then we are in for a short summer of football. One thing that defined Horan's era was the unity of purpose of the squad. That unity is to put it mildly under pressure. A lot of soul searching needs to be done if we are to move on. I'm not too confident at the moment."
True these are mere opinions, but it's good to have a genuine football debate in our own pages. No more than with the panel itself, the level of interest in here had diminished in general, with debate replaced by an August bank holiday "real championship" attitude.

What both yourself and the master have to say in relation to AOS just hardens my view that we might be better springing him from the bench like Kerry have been doing with Donaghy. I too have long suspected (and could be wrong) that Aidan plays whatever way he feels like, and maybe he's been told he can do this, but it hasn't been working. There's no game where he's devoted himself to the FF role, so it's hard to really judge his ability, only his impact, and this has varied from unmarkable to frustrating. The quality of ball he gets is generally poor and not early enough, so I'm not blinkered to laying the blame at his door. As you point out the master, we have a number of good mobile midfielders who do what's needed in the modern game better than Aidan can. As a No 11 he isn't a man with the deftness to be a playmaker for the inside lads, and so he plays as a third midfielder, often well behind the play. This gives us only one effective attacking option, which is to run with the ball. This is all grand if a team has a poor defensive system, but we need variation and the occasional use of 2 long kick passes to catch counterattacking teams out.

As regards sweeper options, I'd still like to see Barry tried there again, especially now that Caff is likely to be gone. I think Shane McHale needs to be brought back in, and Donal Vaughan maybe looked at as our FB.

We need more leaders than just Boyler to take a game by the scruff when the going gets tough. Apart from him we've only really seen this from Andy Moran, Chris Barrett, Keith and SO'S.

I genuinely believe that this qualifying campaign will be the making not the breaking of this team. A Donegal 2012 attitude is what they need and lapping Connacht wasn't building that mentality.

Pericles (Mayo) - Posts: 2261 - 23/06/2016 13:40:28    1871176

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The message to be taken from this discussion is that we don't really know where to play him, and that has been a problem for a while.

Personally, I agree with pdempsey. I think his attitude is all wrong and it needs to be addressed. He has given more interviews and done more media in the last 2 seasons alone than the gooch has, with all his all Irelands, over his entire career. In that time he has continued to make the same mistake over and over again, of carrying the ball into the tackle and losing it. It would appear he puts more effort into improving his media skills than his football skills these days.

The question needs to be asked, does he consider himself a pundit or a footballer, because he cant do both. Time to concentrate on one.

TheMaster (Mayo) - Posts: 16187 - 23/06/2016 14:52:29    1871232

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Replying To TheMaster:  "The message to be taken from this discussion is that we don't really know where to play him, and that has been a problem for a while.

Personally, I agree with pdempsey. I think his attitude is all wrong and it needs to be addressed. He has given more interviews and done more media in the last 2 seasons alone than the gooch has, with all his all Irelands, over his entire career. In that time he has continued to make the same mistake over and over again, of carrying the ball into the tackle and losing it. It would appear he puts more effort into improving his media skills than his football skills these days.

The question needs to be asked, does he consider himself a pundit or a footballer, because he cant do both. Time to concentrate on one."
I can't disagree with that summary and I don't think we'd be so critical if we were looking at an ordinary talent. That said there's a team and a prize to be won which is absolutely within the capabilities of this group of players if they're single-minded and play for eachother.

Some clear thinking around tactics and the game plan is fundamental to our chances.

Pericles (Mayo) - Posts: 2261 - 23/06/2016 18:34:57    1871305

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