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Messages - Mourne Rover

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1
General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: September 19, 2018, 12:01:16 PM »
It is correct that Leeds were top after seven games last year, with five wins and two draws, but they then went on a shocking run of seven defeats in nine games, and eventually finished among the also-rans. The previous season was far more disappointing, as they looked certain for the play-offs with five games left but then completely collapsed to end up seventh. It is inevitable that the club will hit a bad run at some stage this year, but the evidence is that Bielsa has put together a squad and a system which is more resilient that anything we have seen since relegation from the Premiership in 2004. While there are a mere 38 matches to go, the prospects at this stage are more than decent.

2
General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: September 18, 2018, 11:06:48 PM »
It was an outstanding performance, although there is a long way to go and we are probably better to avoid allowing expectations to get out of control at such an early stage in the season. However, the way Bielsa has adjusted to losing both our main strikers and our most creative midfielder, and brought in young replacements without any drop in standards so far, was hugely impressive.  There may still be a doubt about the overall strength of our squad but the manager has done an amazing job to date.

3
General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: September 15, 2018, 05:09:57 PM »
A point was duly delivered through a dramatic 90th minute equaliser from Harrison, although Millwall then hit the post and had one kicked off the line in injury time. Bielsa had words with his Millwall counterpart as it all got a bit tasty along the way and it has to go down as an excellent result which keeps Leeds top of the league. We have drawn three of our last four games, which has allowed the chasing pack to narrow the gap in a very tight division, but we are still unbeaten and Bielsa's use of his subs made all the difference.

4
General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: September 14, 2018, 11:11:02 PM »
Bielsa can only be properly judged at the end of the season but the indications are strongly positive at this stage. Leeds have had a tough series of early fixtures and are definitely ahead of schedule. Millwall is going to be a huge test and a point would be a big result in the circumstances.

5
General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: September 14, 2018, 09:55:04 PM »
Christiansen certainly had an excellent start last season but it only took a few games for opposing managers to work out that Leeds had a keeper who could not deal with crosses, a midfield which was incredibly lightweight and a forward line in which Lasogga could finish but refused to run and Ekuban was exactly the opposite.

Bielsa is in a different league as a coach, and has his squad playing somewhere close to the top of their ability. Grayson was probably the only other Leeds manager in the last 15 years who really made a sustained impact, and, unless the injuries get totally out of hand, there is every prospect that Bielsa will have a serious rattle at promotion.

6
General discussion / Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: September 14, 2018, 02:22:34 PM »
Bielsa is plainly an outstanding coach who has improved a range of underachieving Leeds players beyond recognition.  Part of his philosophy for the club involves maintaining a totally committed but relatively small squad, and the present spate of injuries is going to seriously test his approach during a difficult trip to Millwall. He has been very unlucky to lose key men like Bamford, Roofe, Hernandez and Berardi in such quick succession, and his unbeaten league run will be under considerable threat. However, whatever happens tomorrow, the club is probably in its best shape since relegation from the premiership in 2004. We also know that it is never easy being a Leeds fan and more twists and turns can be expected for the rest of the season.

7
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: September 13, 2018, 12:52:24 PM »
Bredagh's Conor Francis came off the bench against Cavan in the championship, as did Johnny Flynn of Loughinisland, so there are a few gaps in Smufy's list. Both Kilcoo and Burren would also have had more representatives in the squad if they had been fit and available.

8
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: September 05, 2018, 11:15:31 PM »
Having four home games in D3, if the fixtures are confirmed, is a big advantage, and a properly prepared Down side should be capable of gaining maximum points in Newry. The three away trips are much tougher prospects, and we may need at least one win on the road to secure promotion. The visit to Carlow should be good fun.

9
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: August 24, 2018, 12:57:36 PM »
There are no guarantees at any level of management but Paddy Tally is pretty clearly the best option available to us. He has previously coached four different counties, crucially including ourselves, his Sigerson success with St Mary's was an outstanding achievement and he will have the full respect and commitment of the players before he even walks in the door.

Our squad is plainly nowhere near the level it was when he last worked with us, but some of those who have recently dropped out for various reasons will return, this year's u20s were our most promising under-age side for a number of seasons and should provide some new recruits while Tally has a record of improving exisiting talent.

He will bring organisation, motivation and fresh thinking on a range of fronts, and like everyone else he will ultimately be judged on results. All Down supporters will wish him the best of luck from day one.

10
General discussion / Re: Death Notices
« on: July 24, 2018, 11:51:05 AM »
Leeds won the FA Cup on the Saturday and only needed a point from their final league match away to Wolves to clinch the championship and complete the double. However, the FA forced Leeds to play the league fixture 48 hours after the cup final and, exhausted, they lost 2-1. It could not have happened today and would probably have ended up in the High Court if it had even been suggested. There were many other hard luck stories associated with the Leeds team of the era, but Madeley was one of the players who simply got on with his job and turned out wherever and whenever he was needed. He was of international class in practically every position and it is difficult to remember him ever having a poor game. They simply don't make them like him any more.

11
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: July 18, 2018, 09:57:29 AM »
Teconnaught did beat Burren in 1982, which was before Burren had won any of their Ulster and All Ireland titles, but it was still arguably the biggest Down SFC shock in living memory. Burren were the defending county champions at the time and went on to win the next six in a row.  Donal Bell was some operator, and he was not only the player/manager for Teconnaught but also a deadly free taker

12
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: July 03, 2018, 11:25:27 PM »
Eamonn took on a job that no one else wanted and deserves full credit for getting us into an Ulster final against all the odds. Three years is a long time to be in charge of a squad which we know has limitations in key areas, and, after an extremely unfortunate defeat to Cavan, he has picked the right time to step down. His successor should ideally be in place from an early stage in our club championship season, and will have the chance to rebuild in D3 at a period when expectations are modest.

13
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: June 29, 2018, 12:01:01 AM »
The two Cavan players who got red cards after the final whistle in Brewster Park have been cleared on appeal, according to RTE, but there was no mention of Doherty. As things stand, he would presumably miss our first championship match next year. Perhaps something will be announced in the morning.

14
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: June 23, 2018, 11:31:31 PM »
Today was a strange game which we should have won pulling up but a defeat may curiously enough be the best result for us . If we had got through to R3, there is a fair chance we would have come up against much stronger opposition and taken a hammering. Instead, we went down fighting in every sense, put back some pride in our jersey and can regroup for D3 next year.

We realistically have a limited squad, we lost probably our five best players to either cards or injuries in the course of the match with O'Hare missing out through injury from the start but Burns produced arguably his best coaching performance for Down, got his tactics right and used his subs effectively. He may well decide it is time to move on and if so he will leave with dignity and the respect of Down supporters.

Shane Harrison was almost entirely excellent, making a  huge improvement on our kickouts, but  like all keepers will unfortunately be remembered for his sole error. The rest of our defence were decent, with O'Hagan the star man all through and fine shifts from McAleenan and until an apparent hamstring Mooney.

Turley and Donnelly competed well at midfield and it was a pity that our discipline let us down further up the field. Connaire Harrison's black card was extremely harsh on a day when the referee let many other offences go, but McKernan is experienced enough not to talk back to officials and Johnston seemed to strike out at a time when we were in almost total control.

The dust up at the end did not look good but showed that our players cared and were prepared to stand up for each other. Hopefully there will be no further repercussions and the coverage on the Sunday Game tomorrow will be brief.

We are in D3 next season because we deserve to be there. It is up to us what we do about it.

15
Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: June 21, 2018, 11:56:42 PM »
There must be a reasonable prospect of a couple of further changes. Harrison was a certainty for nets and it was predictable that McAleenan would come in at corner back with the half back line retained. Turley will only start if Burns thinks the Cavan midfield is physically strong but slow, and Ronan Millar has yet to convince. McKibbin and Flynn are in contention and throwing in someone with a point to prove like Madine or McGrady could shake things up. Cavan are entitled to be favourites, but they have conceded big scores in their last two defeats and, for all our obvious weaknesses, we are a decent price at 3/1.

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