Meath Forum

Galway Vs Meath

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Indeed he did. He stated that he wouldn't play under him. Mcentee brought him back in."
Lies, I went to school with Menton's father and know him all my life.He grew up down the road from me. I spoke to him the other day and he said he would welcome Mick O'Dowd back with open arms compared with what ye have over ye now. Bryan would be of the same thinking.

sourmilk93 (Roscommon) - Posts: 1142 - 02/02/2022 15:20:45    2397978

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Replying To latouche25:  "You are correct, they are all similar, which of them is better than Mattimo, none in my opinion. Daithi McGowan is better than most of them and is well over 6' mobile and a good free taker. That's 1lad to start with. All we need is another 2 or 3 of that type in the team to give us the height we need"
Lots of people mentioning Daithi McGowan - he is a great talent but he is still only 21 and I think he is more likely to end up in midfield long term - he is certainly worth a look in the league.
In my view his brother Ben is one of the most underated players in Meath. People forget he was missing for the semi final against Tones last year and again, in my opinion only, the loss of him and McGill for that match was massive!

But getting back on topic - here's the thing though - is there not an onus on the manager to find a way to play that suits the best players available to him! If it happens that they all happen to be under 6 foot well then adjust - don't play high balls into them etc. I guess a team does need some sort of balance but I wouldn't be for picking a lad just because he is over 6 foot - I'd want him to be able to play! Cork have done that for a while - they have lined out teams with lads well over 6 foot but it hasn't gotten them anywhere!

Royalblufill (Meath) - Posts: 471 - 02/02/2022 15:45:39    2397982

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I think sane people reading this thread must wonder are meath fans troll the internet or actually serious with some of these posts

hurlit (Meath) - Posts: 415 - 02/02/2022 16:08:29    2397987

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Not many seem to be referencing the number of players we are missing. From the game against Dublin we are missing 5 starters, 6 if you include Jordan Morris who had a knock and came on. When your missing your midfield pairing, full back and corner back what are you expecting?

I've seen some posters say we had great preparation for the game but that's the opposite of what I heard. Between lads playing college football and having covid or being a close contact it was a disaster in the weeks before Galway. When you hear that we had to bring 2 lads on in a game that haven't even been part of the panel you know the squad was thin.

A lot of people on here and facebook who weren't even at the game. Also some lads calling for one lad in particular to be on the panel and he doesn't even live in Ireland. Just shows you what you are dealing with.

I think there will be 2/3 changes max. I actually think we will give Roscommon a good game this week, I think we need to get behind this team at home. Relegation would be a disaster but I think we will pick up enough points to be mid table.

Barney12345 (Meath) - Posts: 33 - 02/02/2022 17:08:42    2398002

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I've taken my time in trying to dissect what has happened on Sunday and try and have some rational opinions about what we witnessed and have to admit there have been some really good points made by people and that most people want to see us succeed and try and bridge the gap back to the top table and for me we're sliding further and further by the day. This is as result of many things and blame needs to be shared by all of the county board, executive, management and players.

From my view point we have regressed hugely since 2019 when we got to the super 8's. Andy McEntee at that time deserved a 3 year extension to his contract and I don't argue the point that he got it at all. However that was the high point of his reign and we've slid heavily since then and I know fear by the end of this season we'll have fallen right back to where Andy picked us up as a team that's not close to fit enough for the modern game, with a very similar group of players who are decent tidy footballers but who seemingly lack the required hunger and drive to better themselves and get Meath back to where we would all like to be. I know it's very easy for me to say this having never competed at the level these players and management do and understand the things they put themselves through to get on the pitch for games, but as a fan who travels and follows them I'm entitled to have an opinion on things.

County Board and Executive
The county board have failed the county miserably since before Sean Boylan left in the mid 00's. They never invested sufficiently in underage and developing the required structures to keep the train rolling. Only know are we catching up and succeeding at minor level and hopefully we'll soon be doing likewise at U20 level and they're developing a joined up system of management. We all hope that within 5 years these successful underage teams will be back boning the Meath senior team.

During this summer it was clear that it was time to move on from Andy McEntee. He had brought us as far as he could and needed to be put out of his misery. I don't for a second doubt his passion and commitment to the Meath cause but it's time to move on. Everything we've seen this year so far only backs up the point that he should've been removed.

The executive took 3+ months to decide not to back him for the final year of his contract and then provided this recommendation to clubs with no alternative. The clubs with no alternative to Andy were asked in November to back or remove him. That's amateur hour stuff and whilst the county board were talking about pathways for John McCarthy and Cathal O'Bric from minor to U20 and the underage sponsorship with Bective Stud our senior team was left untouched. The senior team is the undoubted flagship of your county and it was left to rot and rust in the hope some people might forget about it.

Approaching the clubs without a succession plan in place in November made the county look like a laughing stock. This came on the back of them not back the U20 manager earlier in the year and enforcing agreed upon arrangements that the U20 manager would have access to the U20 players on the senior panel. The U20 manager walked away 2 weeks before the championship and rightly so.

If we're being honest Andy should've been gone after the Dublin match. Our 2020 goal to stay in division 1 wasn't achieved and our 2021 goal of getting back to division 1 wasn't achieved and if we're brutally honest we weren't close to achieveing either stated league goal, whilst suffering multiple heavy defeats to our biggest rivals from 2019 to 2021 in the championship.

Andy McEntee and his management team
Lets be honest and admit that there's no need to go over the long list of shortcomings again in details (goalkeeping issues, kick out strategy, lack of midfielders, free takers, slow starts and giving up a huge leads - all of which were on display last Sunday again) but what improvements has he made since 2019.

Please don't tell me he's made them fitter, fitness is a minimum requirement and should be the absolute floor of what is needed to be an inter county manager. And since 2019 I would suggest our fitness has gone backwards. This was evident during 2020 and 2021 when teams played around us with barely a glove being laid on them. On Sunday it was evident how unfit these players are when Galway players were getting balls in 5-10 yards of space. Our players couldn't get to them quickly enough. and Galway picked of scores at will.

I've seen many claim he brought through Morris, Hickey, Costelo, Harkin, Walsh and a few others. That's no achievement at all. It's his job to get these players involved. If the senior manager can't bring through the best young talent in the county then what is he doing in the role. And all of these players were earmarked from minor as senior players of the future. What players has he brought in that have seriously improved under him, I'd hazrad a guess that no player is vastly better under him. Many will point to Lavin, McGill and some players from when he started but the are in the same boat as the new blood from 2020 and 21, all underage players who were earmarked for intercounty.

Since 2019, our tactics have not changed or adapted or been built upon. I saw someone mention McGeeny and Armagh at the weekend. Make the comparison they were a division 3 side under him, they've built year on year and steadily and gradually improved. They've built year on year and know there style of play and its very similar to the armagh teams of the early 00's that are athletic and kick the ball into their full forward line diagonally to give them a chance. Their inside forwards are able to win clean ball turn and score. Our plan is to play a ball into a one man inside forward who's not able to do that and that ball is turned over and straight back down the pitch. In the 2019 Leinster final i watched Banty Conlon who's barely 5'10 and 12 stone trying to win ball against 2 6'+ 14 stone Dublin defenders and we've seen similar in 20 and 21. That's not a tactic that's setting yourself up to fail.

Andy hasn't been able to adapt with the times, he's not a modern intercounty manager who's able to talk gently and encourage players to perform above themselves. His tactics of playing small nippy forwards is akin to Mick O'Dowd and like those teams we don't score enough to beat teams at an equal or better level than us. Modern teams are getting 18-25 scores a game, we're lucky to get 12-15 scores.

As an honest question what's our standout game under Andy where we've really put a team to the sword. Kildare in leinster 2020 is the one that sticks out to me and we got 14 scores that day, luckily we got 5 goals.

I said it a few weeks ago our season could be over the 6th February and nothing is going to change my mind on that and it could be even worse than i imagined.

Players
One thing i won't knock Andy for is his willingness to give players a chance and over the past 6 season's he's given many of them a chance and disregarded more than he has kept. I know many on here will say the players are within the county and I would disagree. Those deserving have been given a chance bar maybe a half dozen who are either too old or still U20 at the moment.

GK - Sean Brennan, Dean Pluck
D - Conor Harford, Brian McGrath, Luke Moran, John Lavelle, Adam O'Neill, Niall O'Reilly, Ciaran Caulfield, Colin Hawdon
M - Oisin Reilly, Fionn Ferguson, Daithi McGowan, Rob Bourke
F - Frank O'Reilly, Oisin Martyn, Aaron Lynch, Luke Mitchell, Seamus Mattimoe

There's a bunch of lads who are as good as what's already on the panel and with a year or two of inter county training might displace some of the existing panel. You would hope that an incoming manager might take a look at some of them in addition to what's there and with an eye on the U20 and minor teams of the last couple of years coming through in 3-4 years time. Maybe work with a panel of 50 lads and have an U23 team or something and have them playing friendlies against the lesser counties and give them a taste of intercounty football. I might shut up some of those claiming Andy never gave x and y players a chance.

However i think it's time the players had a long hard look in the mirror and evaluated themselves. Too many of them have been in and on the panel since before the start of Andy's reign and haven't developed themselves into what they could've been. That could be through a combination of a lack of desire on their part or inadequate preparation on the part of management but they need to take a huge part in the accountability of where we are.

I saw someone mentioned a starting 15 and said we've maybe half a dozen IC standard players and another half dozen that it's too early to say on, with only 1 division 1 standard player who's coming to the end of his time. I think that's a very fair assessment. I mentioned last week the younger players need to take this team by the scruff of the neck and drive standards and levels within the team. It might be to early for them but they need to do it.

I think for us to move forward as a county we need to
1) get the structures in place from minor to U20 sorted and strengthen the link to senior
2) move on from Andy and his team, thank them for their passion and work and acknowledge their highs
3) get in a management team and succession plan that will guide us through some choppy waters until hopefully we can bring though the underage talent within the county.
4) get a style of play in place from U14 or whatever the lowest age groups are that players are ready to play when they are good enough.
5) get our fitness, strength and conditioning improved at all levels. Everyone from senior to minor should have access to Niall Ronan and have programmes available to them
6) Skills coaching is a basic requirement and needs huge work all round the county.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1954 - 02/02/2022 17:09:44    2398003

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Replying To Barney12345:  "Not many seem to be referencing the number of players we are missing. From the game against Dublin we are missing 5 starters, 6 if you include Jordan Morris who had a knock and came on. When your missing your midfield pairing, full back and corner back what are you expecting?

I've seen some posters say we had great preparation for the game but that's the opposite of what I heard. Between lads playing college football and having covid or being a close contact it was a disaster in the weeks before Galway. When you hear that we had to bring 2 lads on in a game that haven't even been part of the panel you know the squad was thin.

A lot of people on here and facebook who weren't even at the game. Also some lads calling for one lad in particular to be on the panel and he doesn't even live in Ireland. Just shows you what you are dealing with.

I think there will be 2/3 changes max. I actually think we will give Roscommon a good game this week, I think we need to get behind this team at home. Relegation would be a disaster but I think we will pick up enough points to be mid table."
Barney, I'd argue that point with the fact Galway were supposedly missing 4 of their first choice defenders alone. And we couldn't score until the 45 minute. It goes both ways on injuries.

Giving Roscommon a game isn't good enough and relegation might be what you're staring in the face if we're not very careful.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1954 - 02/02/2022 17:25:51    2398006

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A sad time for meath football but I am genuinely shocked to see so many surprised at how average the bunch of forwards we have at our disposal are. Ten years ago we had a forward line of stephen bray, cian ward, shane o rourke, joe sheridan and brian farrell amongst others. All these men were well over 6 foot 2, could beat their men and kick points from way out the field. Our forwards at present are good footballers in their own right but for Andy to play so many small players in a gale force wind down in salt hill really shows how bad he is tactically. Has anyone any theories on why we are not producing forwards of the required standard? Cian ward was comfortably the best club forward this year in his mid 30's while bray wasn't far behind him at 40!

Northsidegaels (Meath) - Posts: 237 - 02/02/2022 18:04:09    2398015

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Replying To brian:  "I've taken my time in trying to dissect what has happened on Sunday and try and have some rational opinions about what we witnessed and have to admit there have been some really good points made by people and that most people want to see us succeed and try and bridge the gap back to the top table and for me we're sliding further and further by the day. This is as result of many things and blame needs to be shared by all of the county board, executive, management and players.

From my view point we have regressed hugely since 2019 when we got to the super 8's. Andy McEntee at that time deserved a 3 year extension to his contract and I don't argue the point that he got it at all. However that was the high point of his reign and we've slid heavily since then and I know fear by the end of this season we'll have fallen right back to where Andy picked us up as a team that's not close to fit enough for the modern game, with a very similar group of players who are decent tidy footballers but who seemingly lack the required hunger and drive to better themselves and get Meath back to where we would all like to be. I know it's very easy for me to say this having never competed at the level these players and management do and understand the things they put themselves through to get on the pitch for games, but as a fan who travels and follows them I'm entitled to have an opinion on things.

County Board and Executive
The county board have failed the county miserably since before Sean Boylan left in the mid 00's. They never invested sufficiently in underage and developing the required structures to keep the train rolling. Only know are we catching up and succeeding at minor level and hopefully we'll soon be doing likewise at U20 level and they're developing a joined up system of management. We all hope that within 5 years these successful underage teams will be back boning the Meath senior team.

During this summer it was clear that it was time to move on from Andy McEntee. He had brought us as far as he could and needed to be put out of his misery. I don't for a second doubt his passion and commitment to the Meath cause but it's time to move on. Everything we've seen this year so far only backs up the point that he should've been removed.

The executive took 3+ months to decide not to back him for the final year of his contract and then provided this recommendation to clubs with no alternative. The clubs with no alternative to Andy were asked in November to back or remove him. That's amateur hour stuff and whilst the county board were talking about pathways for John McCarthy and Cathal O'Bric from minor to U20 and the underage sponsorship with Bective Stud our senior team was left untouched. The senior team is the undoubted flagship of your county and it was left to rot and rust in the hope some people might forget about it.

Approaching the clubs without a succession plan in place in November made the county look like a laughing stock. This came on the back of them not back the U20 manager earlier in the year and enforcing agreed upon arrangements that the U20 manager would have access to the U20 players on the senior panel. The U20 manager walked away 2 weeks before the championship and rightly so.

If we're being honest Andy should've been gone after the Dublin match. Our 2020 goal to stay in division 1 wasn't achieved and our 2021 goal of getting back to division 1 wasn't achieved and if we're brutally honest we weren't close to achieveing either stated league goal, whilst suffering multiple heavy defeats to our biggest rivals from 2019 to 2021 in the championship.

Andy McEntee and his management team
Lets be honest and admit that there's no need to go over the long list of shortcomings again in details (goalkeeping issues, kick out strategy, lack of midfielders, free takers, slow starts and giving up a huge leads - all of which were on display last Sunday again) but what improvements has he made since 2019.

Please don't tell me he's made them fitter, fitness is a minimum requirement and should be the absolute floor of what is needed to be an inter county manager. And since 2019 I would suggest our fitness has gone backwards. This was evident during 2020 and 2021 when teams played around us with barely a glove being laid on them. On Sunday it was evident how unfit these players are when Galway players were getting balls in 5-10 yards of space. Our players couldn't get to them quickly enough. and Galway picked of scores at will.

I've seen many claim he brought through Morris, Hickey, Costelo, Harkin, Walsh and a few others. That's no achievement at all. It's his job to get these players involved. If the senior manager can't bring through the best young talent in the county then what is he doing in the role. And all of these players were earmarked from minor as senior players of the future. What players has he brought in that have seriously improved under him, I'd hazrad a guess that no player is vastly better under him. Many will point to Lavin, McGill and some players from when he started but the are in the same boat as the new blood from 2020 and 21, all underage players who were earmarked for intercounty.

Since 2019, our tactics have not changed or adapted or been built upon. I saw someone mention McGeeny and Armagh at the weekend. Make the comparison they were a division 3 side under him, they've built year on year and steadily and gradually improved. They've built year on year and know there style of play and its very similar to the armagh teams of the early 00's that are athletic and kick the ball into their full forward line diagonally to give them a chance. Their inside forwards are able to win clean ball turn and score. Our plan is to play a ball into a one man inside forward who's not able to do that and that ball is turned over and straight back down the pitch. In the 2019 Leinster final i watched Banty Conlon who's barely 5'10 and 12 stone trying to win ball against 2 6'+ 14 stone Dublin defenders and we've seen similar in 20 and 21. That's not a tactic that's setting yourself up to fail.

Andy hasn't been able to adapt with the times, he's not a modern intercounty manager who's able to talk gently and encourage players to perform above themselves. His tactics of playing small nippy forwards is akin to Mick O'Dowd and like those teams we don't score enough to beat teams at an equal or better level than us. Modern teams are getting 18-25 scores a game, we're lucky to get 12-15 scores.

As an honest question what's our standout game under Andy where we've really put a team to the sword. Kildare in leinster 2020 is the one that sticks out to me and we got 14 scores that day, luckily we got 5 goals.

I said it a few weeks ago our season could be over the 6th February and nothing is going to change my mind on that and it could be even worse than i imagined.

Players
One thing i won't knock Andy for is his willingness to give players a chance and over the past 6 season's he's given many of them a chance and disregarded more than he has kept. I know many on here will say the players are within the county and I would disagree. Those deserving have been given a chance bar maybe a half dozen who are either too old or still U20 at the moment.

GK - Sean Brennan, Dean Pluck
D - Conor Harford, Brian McGrath, Luke Moran, John Lavelle, Adam O'Neill, Niall O'Reilly, Ciaran Caulfield, Colin Hawdon
M - Oisin Reilly, Fionn Ferguson, Daithi McGowan, Rob Bourke
F - Frank O'Reilly, Oisin Martyn, Aaron Lynch, Luke Mitchell, Seamus Mattimoe

There's a bunch of lads who are as good as what's already on the panel and with a year or two of inter county training might displace some of the existing panel. You would hope that an incoming manager might take a look at some of them in addition to what's there and with an eye on the U20 and minor teams of the last couple of years coming through in 3-4 years time. Maybe work with a panel of 50 lads and have an U23 team or something and have them playing friendlies against the lesser counties and give them a taste of intercounty football. I might shut up some of those claiming Andy never gave x and y players a chance.

However i think it's time the players had a long hard look in the mirror and evaluated themselves. Too many of them have been in and on the panel since before the start of Andy's reign and haven't developed themselves into what they could've been. That could be through a combination of a lack of desire on their part or inadequate preparation on the part of management but they need to take a huge part in the accountability of where we are.

I saw someone mentioned a starting 15 and said we've maybe half a dozen IC standard players and another half dozen that it's too early to say on, with only 1 division 1 standard player who's coming to the end of his time. I think that's a very fair assessment. I mentioned last week the younger players need to take this team by the scruff of the neck and drive standards and levels within the team. It might be to early for them but they need to do it.

I think for us to move forward as a county we need to
1) get the structures in place from minor to U20 sorted and strengthen the link to senior
2) move on from Andy and his team, thank them for their passion and work and acknowledge their highs
3) get in a management team and succession plan that will guide us through some choppy waters until hopefully we can bring though the underage talent within the county.
4) get a style of play in place from U14 or whatever the lowest age groups are that players are ready to play when they are good enough.
5) get our fitness, strength and conditioning improved at all levels. Everyone from senior to minor should have access to Niall Ronan and have programmes available to them
6) Skills coaching is a basic requirement and needs huge work all round the county."
Absolutetly Agree. !! Well said !

nobull456 (Meath) - Posts: 1200 - 02/02/2022 18:47:37    2398022

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Just a small observation Brian. You want Fionn Ferguson on the Meath panel even though he can't start for the Kells team?

Barney12345 (Meath) - Posts: 33 - 03/02/2022 13:10:40    2398111

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Replying To Barney12345:  "Just a small observation Brian. You want Fionn Ferguson on the Meath panel even though he can't start for the Kells team?"
Sorry Barney Liam Ferguson, apologies.

As I said though many of those I suggest might be passed it for the start of next season under a new manager, but most are as good as what's there on the panel already.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1954 - 03/02/2022 14:15:19    2398132

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Replying To Barney12345:  "Just a small observation Brian. You want Fionn Ferguson on the Meath panel even though he can't start for the Kells team?"
Surley meansa Fionn Reilly?

Meath32245 (Meath) - Posts: 75 - 03/02/2022 14:20:04    2398134

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Replying To Meath32245:  "Surley meansa Fionn Reilly?"
Nope meant Liam Ferguson and got it mixed up, according to all reports Fionn Reilly is back in Italy playing soccer and good luck to the lad. A choice between professional sports or amateur sports and bursting your backside in the cold and rain for no reward is no competition. Look at Oisin McCloskey, hasn't he gone to the Leinster Rugby academy and good luck to him too. See how he gets on for a couple of years and Rugby opens as many doors as GAA does so fair play to him.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1954 - 03/02/2022 14:40:40    2398143

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Replying To Barney12345:  "Not many seem to be referencing the number of players we are missing. From the game against Dublin we are missing 5 starters, 6 if you include Jordan Morris who had a knock and came on. When your missing your midfield pairing, full back and corner back what are you expecting?

I've seen some posters say we had great preparation for the game but that's the opposite of what I heard. Between lads playing college football and having covid or being a close contact it was a disaster in the weeks before Galway. When you hear that we had to bring 2 lads on in a game that haven't even been part of the panel you know the squad was thin.

A lot of people on here and facebook who weren't even at the game. Also some lads calling for one lad in particular to be on the panel and he doesn't even live in Ireland. Just shows you what you are dealing with.

I think there will be 2/3 changes max. I actually think we will give Roscommon a good game this week, I think we need to get behind this team at home. Relegation would be a disaster but I think we will pick up enough points to be mid table."
With all due respects every team are dealing with the same issues of covid, College and injury so that's not really a big issue. Galway were down half a dozen as well. It issue here is the lack of game plan and total lack of effort for a better word. The manager left the field before the end of the game, wasn't there to talk to them or console them, What signal doe's that send out. I have no doubt he was bitterly disappointed but don't walk away. On another point who is the player that is out of the country.

latouche25 (Meath) - Posts: 520 - 03/02/2022 14:50:24    2398147

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Replying To Royalblufill:  "Lots of people mentioning Daithi McGowan - he is a great talent but he is still only 21 and I think he is more likely to end up in midfield long term - he is certainly worth a look in the league.
In my view his brother Ben is one of the most underated players in Meath. People forget he was missing for the semi final against Tones last year and again, in my opinion only, the loss of him and McGill for that match was massive!

But getting back on topic - here's the thing though - is there not an onus on the manager to find a way to play that suits the best players available to him! If it happens that they all happen to be under 6 foot well then adjust - don't play high balls into them etc. I guess a team does need some sort of balance but I wouldn't be for picking a lad just because he is over 6 foot - I'd want him to be able to play! Cork have done that for a while - they have lined out teams with lads well over 6 foot but it hasn't gotten them anywhere!"
Balance is the word, We have a team of very small forwards Cork had a team of very tall forwards. You need a mix of both. our problem is the majority of the forwards are not able to win their own ball, Morris the exception and Sullivan to a lesser extent even Walsh struggles to win primary possession.

latouche25 (Meath) - Posts: 520 - 03/02/2022 14:55:16    2398149

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Replying To latouche25:  "With all due respects every team are dealing with the same issues of covid, College and injury so that's not really a big issue. Galway were down half a dozen as well. It issue here is the lack of game plan and total lack of effort for a better word. The manager left the field before the end of the game, wasn't there to talk to them or console them, What signal doe's that send out. I have no doubt he was bitterly disappointed but don't walk away. On another point who is the player that is out of the country."
I'd hazard a guess that the player out of the country is Fionn Reilly but i may be wrong

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1954 - 03/02/2022 15:30:11    2398156

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Replying To latouche25:  "Balance is the word, We have a team of very small forwards Cork had a team of very tall forwards. You need a mix of both. our problem is the majority of the forwards are not able to win their own ball, Morris the exception and Sullivan to a lesser extent even Walsh struggles to win primary possession."
Very accurate. I don't think the size of our forwards is the issue it's more their ball winning ability. Jordan Morris is the only one I've seen on the panel consistently cleanly win his own own ball at county level when it's kicked in. Even big guys like Thomas O'Reilly and Shane Walsh seem more effective with ball in hand running at the goal. That's the biggest issue for me because that means we can't play with a kicking game and instead have to rely on off the shoulder running. From what I've seen Lynch despite not being the biggest does have great hands and seems to be able to win a ball clean with a defender stuck to him. We definitely need to unearth 1 or 2 more of these guys because if you can kick it into them then you can have Menton, Walsh, Cillian O'S, O'Reilly, Hickey and come championship Jones and Menton to come off those players with a head of steam rather than having to carry it from deep and then facing a defense which has already set up and got extra men back

LeitrimRoyal99 (Meath) - Posts: 1447 - 03/02/2022 16:47:52    2398179

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Replying To LeitrimRoyal99:  "Very accurate. I don't think the size of our forwards is the issue it's more their ball winning ability. Jordan Morris is the only one I've seen on the panel consistently cleanly win his own own ball at county level when it's kicked in. Even big guys like Thomas O'Reilly and Shane Walsh seem more effective with ball in hand running at the goal. That's the biggest issue for me because that means we can't play with a kicking game and instead have to rely on off the shoulder running. From what I've seen Lynch despite not being the biggest does have great hands and seems to be able to win a ball clean with a defender stuck to him. We definitely need to unearth 1 or 2 more of these guys because if you can kick it into them then you can have Menton, Walsh, Cillian O'S, O'Reilly, Hickey and come championship Jones and Menton to come off those players with a head of steam rather than having to carry it from deep and then facing a defense which has already set up and got extra men back"
Regardless of the size of them, the likes of Joey Wallace, Eamonn Wallace, James Conlan, and even Brian McMahon don't cut it at this level. Not good enough. Only Morris, Walsh and maybe O'Sullivan at a push are anyway close to modern day country standard level. Meath's style under McEntee has been that fast running game so it's no wonder players like Walsh and O'Reilly are more effective at running as you've said. But we don't have any ace forwards to take the chances when they come. Every other team seems to have a couple of killer forwards, even teams around our level - Kildare have Flynn & Hyland, Monaghan have McManus etc.. Apart from Morris, Meath don't have a single prolific forward in front of goal. Back 7/10 years ago when we weren't doing well, we always had a couple of classy forwards, Stephen Bray, Cian Ward etc.. There's no point Cillian O'Sullivan cutting through a defence if nobody is going to covert it to a score. Where are these players?

There's been a consistent habit with this team throughout the McEntee tenure, and it's this falling into 9/10 point deficits before they start playing football. It was ever present last year, the promotion playoff against Kildare, same against Dublin in the championship, they were at it again in the O'Byrne Cup against Laois, and now the same thing against Galway. There's a serious problem somewhere. And I know we're missing a few players here and there, but people gone as if we've Brian Fenton and David Clifford to come back. We have Brian Mention and Ronan Jones to come in, they're not exactly world beaters. Menton has been a very very good player for Meath over the last couple of years, but he's what 30/31 now?

Under the right management and with the right coaching, there is a good pool of decent players to work with, but it's not going to happen under Andy McEntee. He's had what, 6 years to get it right? It hasn't worked, some of his decisions have been questionable. A new management team will come in next season and start again, we've a lot of good talent coming through and we have to get it right.

hyperache (Meath) - Posts: 188 - 03/02/2022 20:00:18    2398222

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Just listening to some people saying we have the players because we have done well at minor in recent years. There is a huge transition from minor to senior, more so nowadays that minor is u17. A large amount of top minors don't develop into top senior players even if they stick with it and a lot of players develop physically a lot after u17 and overtake players who had been previously better than them. U20's grade is a much better gauge as to how good players will turn out as adult players.
Our record at u20's is bad, no u20/21 Leinster title in over 20 years. If people were pointing at good u20 teams rather than good u17 teams I'd be more inclined to think we may be producing good players for the senior team (hopefully that will start to happen in coming years).

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 1327 - 05/02/2022 10:08:15    2398374

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