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'Deep Down, He Thinks That Basically His Players Are Shit'

'Deep Down, He Thinks That Basically His Players Are Shit'
By PJ Browne Updated

There was a strange pause on Newstalk's Off The Ball this afternoon.

It seemed like Joe Brolly had taken a second to lament the death of Kieran McGeeney's inter-county management career - which was curious, because Brolly was the one holding the shovel.

Brolly, along with the Irish Independent's Vincent Hogan, was on Off The Ball's Sunday paper review. Most prominent of the pieces spoken about was one by Brolly about Kieran McGeeney.

Brolly doesn't rate McGeeney as a manager. With Kildare, he 'never beat a top team'. With Armagh, a similar pattern to that which failed to alleviate the Lillywhite ills has developed.

McGeeney took over as Armagh manager last season having previously been part of Paul Grimley's backroom team. The 2015 Championship was a disappointment. Elimination from Ulster came in their opening game against Donegal. They were out of the qualifiers at the hands of Galway swiftly after. So far this season, matters have not improved. In fact, they have got worse. After finishing second from bottom of Division Two, the third tier of the National League will be Armagh's station in 2017.

So far this season, matters have not improved. In fact, they have got worse. After finishing second from bottom of Division Two, the third tier of the National League will be Armagh's station in 2017.

In today's Sunday Indo column, Brolly compared McGeeney to Roy Keane, in that, in their eyes, none of their charges can live up to the standard they set as players.

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I think, like Keane, Kieran can't see why things aren't working out. His solution is to demand more. Like Keane, it is clear that he thinks his players are not giving anywhere near enough. They disappoint him. Which is why he recently said that "county footballers are not elite athletes at all." He doesn't seem to have reflected on the impact of this statement on players who have devoted their lives to the Armagh cause.

Kieran isn't stupid. He knows pheasant doesn't begin with an F. But deep down, he thinks that basically his players are shit. Which is why they prove him right.

Brolly's reference to McGeeney's spelling ability alludes to an anecdote about Peter Shilton which he relates earlier in the column.

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Picture credit: Sportsfile

Read: Michael Lyster Says Joe Brolly Is A Loose Canon - But He Is One 'Worth Having'

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