After their All-Ireland triumph last year, it's fair to say that Kerry have started 2023 off in a fairly pedestrian fashion.
Having lost their opening league game against Donegal, they suffered their second defeat of the campaign at the hands of Mayo in MacHale Park on Saturday night. They were never really in the game, with the home side dominant right from the first whistle.
Mayo would ultimately win on a scoreline of 2-14 to 1-10, although the seven-point margin of victory doesn't quite sum up how dominant they were.
Jack O'Connor unlikely to be happy with Kerry performance
While there will be no panic stations ringing in The Kingdom just yet, Jack O'Connor is sure to be unhappy with the performance of his team over the weekend. They were well off the pace set by their opponents, even accounting for the fact that they were not starting their strongest team.
Speaking on Allianz League Sunday, both Ciaran Whelan and Peter Canavan said that the Kerry manager will be very disappointed with the way his side approached the game.
‘Jack O’Connor will be disgusted by the manner of the performance in the first half’ – Kerry’s below-par performance in Castlebar is picked apart by Peter Canavan and @whelo35 pic.twitter.com/pBOOlO7uDU
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) February 19, 2023
Whelan: It's probably thew kick up the backside that they really needed. Jack O'Connor will be disgusted with their performance in the first half.
He had to bring on Sean O'Shea and David Clifford at halftime, I doubt he wanted to do that. They were so far off. That's the kick in the backside they needed...
Canavan: There was so many aspects of their game that Jack O'Connor will be disappointed with. Even going forward int eh first half, they had opportunities to score. They had 13 opportunities to score and they only scored three times.
He will be disappointed with that and various other aspects. Maybe he's not overly concerned with the league, knowing they will make the round-robin and a provincial final. I would expect with the standards he has that he would expect a better performance.
Whelan: It's a simple game. The intensity and work rate that Mayo brought to last night, Kerry simply didn't match that. They were miles off it.
While they have had a difficult start to 2023, it would be a huge surprise if Kerry did not improve their form drastically as the season went on.
After winning all before them last year, it is perhaps fair to expect a slight dip in standards to kick ff the new campaign. That being said, Jack O'Connor won't want to see it drag on for too long.