| 12.1°C Dublin

rebuilding Dessie Farrell's Dublin are not a bad team and are still learning after Mayo defeat

If Dubs lose in Newbridge we are looking at relegation from Division One of the Allianz League.

Close

Diarmuid O’Connor of Mayo in action against Brian Howard of Dublin during the Allianz Football League Division 1 match at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Diarmuid O’Connor of Mayo in action against Brian Howard of Dublin during the Allianz Football League Division 1 match at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Diarmuid O’Connor of Mayo in action against Brian Howard of Dublin during the Allianz Football League Division 1 match at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

ANOTHER defeat for the Dublin footballers - but it only becomes really serious if we lose in Newbridge next Sunday.

If that happens, the Dubs are looking at relegation from Division One of the Allianz League.

Division One is where Dublin need to be as they rebuild from the most glorious era in the county's proud football history.

Dublin are not now a bad team because they have just lost three League matches in a row.

Remember that Dublin were just a retaken placed ball away from playing in last year's All-Ireland Final.

They haven't become a bad side in that time, Dessie Farrell is just trying to blood new talent and replace some heroes.

Before I get into any analysis let me compliment both teams on a great game of football last night in terrible conditions.

The skill levels on offer from the Dublin and Mayo players, in the first half especially, were a joy to behold considering the wet ball and the wind that swirled around Croke Park .

I left Croker with none of the negativity that you might feel after watching the Dubs lose a fourth successive match.

For I saw, in the performances of the likes of Lee Gannon and Ross McGarry, that there is something building there.

No other team with All-Ireland ambitions has 14 new players on its squad this year.

And that's even before Dessie calls in anyone, in the next week or two, from the Kilmacud Crokes team that reached the All-Ireland club final.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

But these new lads are starting to come around and produce the goods.

They are learning about inter-county football now and will be ready to play in the Championship, of that I've no doubt.

Close

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell

There's one other big issue. Dublin are trying to bring in lads who are 20, 21 or 22, the same lads who have been playing third-level college football for the last few weeks.

Mayo themselves went through that phase a few years ago, as did Kerry, in the years following all those All-Ireland minor titles. It doesn't help when you are trying to build a team.

Having talked about Dublin struggling to score last week, much of last night's problems were in defence.

It was good to see Mick Fitzsimons and Johnny Cooper back in the colours last night and James McCarthy and Eoin Murchan will return too.

And you cannot do without players of that calibre and not have the odd mistake - such as the second goal conceded last night.

The first Mayo goal was a bit of a freak, with the ball coming back off the post and hitting the head of the diving Evan Comerford and dribbling into the net.

Midfield remains an issue as finding a partner for Brian Fenton is a question not yet solved.

James McCarthy could fulfil that role, but I'd see him as a defender this summer.

As I mentioned before, Peader O'Cofaigh-Byrne is the man who was earmarked for an extended run at winning the midfield job.

But he is going to miss most of this Allianz League and that's an issue for Dublin.

For it is going to be hard for him, or anyone else, just to get up to speed for the All-Ireland, without having played much in the League.

Yet again, though, scoring was an issue for Dublin last night.

They've scored just one goal in the three League matches so far and Lorcan O'Dell's second- half chance was the only one created last night.

It's not good enough and even with lads like Con O'Callaghan and Cormac Costello out injured, we ought to be doing a bit better than creating one goal chance in a match in Croke Park.

Dublin made a few mistakes in the second period as they chased the game. The composure of old was not there. But then, in those times, Dublin were the team able to pressure the opposition into the errors.

Last night was another learning curve, but Dublin need to be ready for Kildare now.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy