Former Galway manager Ger Loughnane has been highly critical of Joe Canning in his column for the Irish Daily Star this week. Speaking in the wake of the Tribesmen's defeat to Kilkenny, Loughnane said:
Most knowledgeable hurling people now agree that Joe Canning has been destroyed by the media, who constantly over-emphasise his contribution to games.
The Sunday Game analyst cited the first match between Galway and Kilkenny as his case in point:
His performance in the drawn game being the first example.
Canning was very average up to the last 10 minutes of the match. So 10 minutes does not a great player make. The subsequent headlines were totally over the top. They are well on the way to making Joe Canning the Billy Beane of hurling.
Plenty of talent, but not a real player.
Loughnane went on to say that Canning fails in comparison to the likes of TJ Reid and Richie Hogan, before sinking the boot in with further condemnation:
He has none of the work-rate, heart or mental toughness of any of Kilkenny's greats. But the media are fascinated by him, constantly proclaiming his genius.
There is a big difference between performing the odd circus trick and true greatness, for which consistently high performance is one of the traits required.
Tune in next week for when Ger argues that the true sign of great player is when despite being kept quiet for 60 minutes, he'll come good when the chips are down.
hat-tip: Jackie Cahill