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Jim McGuinness Has "Nagging" Feeling That Mayo Will Beat Dublin

Jim McGuinness Has "Nagging" Feeling That Mayo Will Beat Dublin
By Arthur James O'Dea

Despite the 'cold logic' that would suggest Dublin will win their third successive All-Ireland on Sunday, Jim McGuinness has a "nagging" feeling that Mayo are set to defy reason.

Writing in his Irish Times column today, McGuinness predicts a high quality encountry, but as to how he thinks Mayo may carry out the unenviable task of beating Dublin, the answer may lie in their fearlessness and willingness to embrace change.

In what will be Mayo's fifth appearance in Croke Park this summer, the Glenties man believes Mayo 'are at home' there; the big day will not phase them. And, while they do not possess the experience of actually winning an All-Ireland there, "it's abundantly clear they have the requisite hunger and ambition to atone for that."

On the subject of change and challenging orthodoxy, Stephen Rochford is more willing than most to entertain the seemingly absurd; Aidan O'Shea and Rob Hennelly are testament to this.

For McGuinness, this unpredictable trait will be vital if they wish to overcome the multi-dimensional Dubs:

It means that Dublin can't be fully sure of what Mayo they will face.

Understandably aware that the nature of Dublin's array of talents leaves them capable of determining how Sunday's final may begin, should they seek to recreate the 'death by a thousand cuts' approach inflicted on Tyrone, Mayo must actively lure Dublin into a false sense of security.


Limiting the space available to Dublin's forwards to such an extent that they must shoot quickly for fear of losing the ball, McGuinness - although he doesn't doubt their ability - recognises that some of Dublin's young attacking talent haven't had 'their capacity to kick points under extreme pressure' tested yet.

Reducing Dublin's ability to recycle possession should a suitable shooting opportunity fail to appear, the tactical innovator who is now working in the world of professional football in China, clearly believes that if Mayo can make every Dublin attack appear crucial, cracks may appear.

It's a long shot, but McGuinness may be onto something here.


You can read McGuinness' entire, always incisive column in today's Irish Times.


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