Jim McGuinness believes that very little separates Dublin and Kerry in the race for this year's All-Ireland Football Championship. However, the former Donegal manager's "gut" tells him that Dublin will regain the title they relinquished last year
"I saw Kerry against Cork, and I just thought there was a defensive structure put down [by Cork]," McGuinness told Tomás Ó Sé's Comhrá le Tomás podcast.
"Cork had their homework done, they had the sweeper in front of Clifford, they had the other sweeper Ian Maguire dropping into the central position. They were stopping the attacks down the middle. Cork turned the ball over, and when they did, they took it into contact which let them down.
"The kickout really, really went against them. Defensively, Cork were able to get at them. The double-up situation on David Clifford, that's only going to increase as the championship goes on because he's such a high profile player. And the Kerry kickout wasn't tested. There are couple of small question marks around Kerry."
McGuinness said he watched Dublin beat Wexford in the Leinster quarter-finals a fortnight ago, and thought they looked like the team of "two or three years ago".
'Dublin seem to very humbled by relegation'
"All the pieces were running really, really smoothly," he said.
"A couple of new bits as well. They had the three boys inside: Con, Dean Rock, and Cormac Costello. They played them on the small parallelogram, on the line of that, and pulled everyone else outside the 45. They kept the ball moving, waiting for the moment. Then, whenever they got them sucked out a wee bit, they shot left, shot right, and centre. They ball was popped in, and they had the runner off it.
"They are working on stuff, and also bringing all the other bits and pieces that they had previously. They seem to very humbled by relegation. There's nothing to beat the fire in the belly. I don't Kerry are coming from that point. Kerry are coming at this championship with the weight of expectation, 'We must get over the line'. That's a different thing to being humbled, and the fire that creates.
"They've got the best midfielder in the country (Brian Fenton), maybe the best midfielder that has ever played, potentially. They have Ciaran Kilkenny, the best 11 in the country. Con O'Callaghan came back the last day, and between him, Michael Murphy, and David Clifford, that's the top three inside forwards in the country at the minute. That's the spine of the team before you start looking at the Smalls of this world, and McCarthy.
"If there was a club team that had the best midfielder in the county, the best centre-forward in the county, and one of the top three full-forwards in the county, you'd expect to win the championship. You can make the other bits work.
"There's very little between the two teams but my gut - and it's nothing more than that - is telling me Dublin could do something."