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Whelan & Fitzmaurice Still Have One Big Question Mark About This Dublin Team

Whelan & Fitzmaurice Still Have One Big Question Mark About This Dublin Team
By Gary Connaughton

While they may not have yet returned to the level that saw them win six All-Ireland titles on the spin, there have been signs that Dublin are slowly figuring things out in 2022.

Having started the year in disastrous fashion and ultimately suffering relegation from Division 1 of the league, Dessie Farrell's side have steadily improved in recent months. That culminated with the hammering of Kildare in the Leinster final, where they displayed the type of killer edge that had been lacking for much of the last 18 months or so.

Many now see the Dubs as favourites to lift the Sam Maguire later this summer, although some still have a few concerns about his they will cope when the pressure comes on in the latter stages of the championship.

Whelan and Fitzmaurice question Dublin's strength in depth

Their bench is certainly one area that must be considered. Whereas Dublin could once call upon all-star calibre players to come on and change a game, the number of retirements they have experienced in recent years means they are now left with mostly unproven names in reserve.

Speaking on the RTÉ GAA podcast, both Ciaran Whelan and Eamon Fitzmaurice said that this could be an issue moving forward.

Whelan pointed out their defence as one area that certainly raises a few questions.

They are probably lacking a bit of depth defensively. Eoghan O’Donnell was brought in for a particular reason because they have a few injuries

This is in no way building Kerry up, but you look at the bench, and the depth Kerry now have compared to Dublin.

If Dublin are asked that question with 10, 15 minutes to go, and momentum goes against them in that last quarter, maybe concede a goal like they did in 2019 with Killian Spillane, have they the guys that can come in and hold the composure within the team and close out the game?

That’s the big question we won’t know until they are in that position.

An interesting take.

Dublin previously had a reputation for changing games by introducing energetic high quality players in the second half as the opposition tired, something that won them many tight contests in the past. Former Kerry boss Fitzmaurice is unsure if that quality is still available within the panel.

I think the (Dublin) bench now is built to see out a match that they are ahead going into the final quarter, see the game out, rather than have the likes of Kevin McManamon and Michael Darragh Macauley and these fellas that could go chase games for you.

We used have to plan for the likes of Kevin McManamon and the others coming off the bench.

When they would come in, we would have to react with possibly a sub to pick those up. You were reacting to them rather than being proactive.

Dublin will be hoping that they won't be relying on their bench to get them past Cork on Saturday afternoon, but it is likely that they will require a high level of play from more than 15 players if they were to face Kerry in an All-Ireland semi-final.

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It should make for a very interesting summer.

SEE ALSO: Darragh Ó Sé Insists Dublin Are All-Ireland Favourites Ahead Of Kerry

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