What a difference a few years make. If, in the build up to an All Ireland semi-final, Pillar Caffrey was asked who the best player in the country was, it's unlikely he would have picked someone from the opposition.
Jim Gavin, is a decidedly different character. The Dublin of old was one of confidence and swagger, Gavin's Dublin may well have reason to be confident but swagger is out the window and it's been replaced by a different kind of mentality, one which begins with Gavin.
In line with that, it's not really surprising to hear Gavin hype up one of the opposition's players as opposed to his own in the build up to such a big clash.
All the talk at the moment is about Aidan O’Shea and he is probably the best player in Ireland. Rightly so, he has had some big performances behind him, in particular in the game against Sligo in the Connacht final.
That was an outstanding performance. He had a big, big part to play against Donegal in how Mayo won that game.
There may well be a few Dublin players who have claims on the title of 'best player in Ireland' but Gavin is more than happy to heap that on O'Shea who few would argue has been anything other than unstoppable this year. Despite that form, Gavin is backing his defenders to be able to raise their game once more to deal with the threat posed by O'Shea.
We have always had great confidence in our full-back line and any of our defenders. Rory O'Carroll is going through a great bit of form and it is one of the key battles.
I think we need to win the majority of the individual battles out on the field of play. We’re not going to win them all, but if we can win the majority and get a good team performance and a consistent performance, we’ll put ourselves in a strong position to win the game.
O'Shea may be the talk of the country heading into the semi-final but you better believe Gavin has his Dublin side very well drilled in an effort to stop him.