Tipperary hurling is in a difficult place. One of the proudest hurling counties, Tipperary has lost its first two Munster round robin fixtures and morale amongst Premier supporters is as low as its been since Babs Keating's last spell in charge.
There's been some interesting comment about the state of Tipp hurling in the media since the Clare defeat.
In the last 24 hours, William Maher and Liam Sheedy have questioned the direction Tipperary are going after a difficult start to the season.
It has been a difficult start for Colm Bonner since he replaced Liam Sheedy in August. A difficult league campaign saw them finish fourth in Division 1.
Because of the injury to Seamie Callanan and the retirements of Paudie and Brendan Maher, Bonner has been trying to revitalise Tipp without some of the Premier's established leaders.
But their Munster Championship has also gotten off to a difficult start, with two defeats in their opening two games.
Despite some encouraging signs in their opening game to Waterford, they conceded three first half goals to Clare in a game they never looked like winning.
Speaking to Tipp FM last night, former minor and under-21 manager Willie Maher captured the low morale around Semple Stadium on Saturday.
“There was a lot of hope after Tipp’s performance in Waterford but I suppose on reflection, we look at Waterford under pressure having won the league (game) by ten points.
"We could have won the match last week but I think that they were the green shoots that we all hoped to see and they didn’t materialise in any shape or form. I think Clare were very well organised, they looked like they knew what they were doing.
"I’ve never been as sad coming out of Semple Stadium."
"I had that frustration in the Old Stand, I’ve never felt it. I hear about ’84 and what happened as regards Tipperary supporters, I was only five at the time, but at the same time, I imagine it was something similar"
Maher was strongly linked to the Tipp manager role last year, only to lose out to Bonner. The former Cuala manager believes that part of Tipperary’s struggles are down to their style of play, which leaves them struggling against sides that play with pace.
"The game has moved, we have to move with it.
"We have really good players and if we were set up properly and coached like that to play a modern game, I think there’d maybe be less despair and things like Sunday wouldn’t happen.”
Writing in today's Examiner, former manager Liam Sheedy has called for fans to put the challenges Tipperary face into perspective, claiming the players who are absent have left a huge void to fill. He also called for a review of the Tipperary's development structures.
When the dust settles in the coming weeks it might be an opportune time to visit the overall development structures within Tipperary to ensure we have the template to enable us to have a strong flow of talent coming through our player pathway.
Things don't get any easier for Tipp, with a date with All-Ireland champions Limerick looming in less than two weeks.
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