Poll

We've always played nice football, but we can't take on the big teams toe-to-toe. Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?

I'll do anything it takes to win, even if it means us playing like Donegal
19 (55.9%)
I'd rather watch us lose than see a Down team play like Donegal
9 (26.5%)
I'm a hopeless optimist and we can beat anyone playing six-on-six
6 (17.6%)

Total Members Voted: 34

Author Topic: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?  (Read 7583 times)

thewobbler

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Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« on: July 25, 2011, 10:15:36 AM »
I guess this is the kind of thing the County Board and Wee James should be discussing over the winter.

snoopdog

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 10:23:17 AM »
Well we aint gonna beat the top teams defending the way we are.
I dont like that style of play but i have been thinking the same way since Saturday.
Armagh and Tyrone didnt worry about style when they were winning All Irelands.
But Down could play like Donegal and with their forwards still add a certain amount of flair to it.

PAULD123

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 11:16:16 AM »
NO - As a general approach, no I do not think we should adopt the Donegal model. I go to the games and I want to be entertained and watch good football. It's easy for bandwagon fans to say winning cups is all that counts but winning cups are the rare cherries on the cake. You have to be able to enjoy the football and enjoy the victories in themselves. But there is room for flair and room for attack in all game plans.

certainly at the weekend I am annoyed about our silly attitude and total lack of sense in approaching the game with no variation in strategy.

Our tactics were naive, almost like school-boyish. We fell 4 points behind and felt we needed to fight right back, we charged up the pitch, Cork struck into our now wide open spaces, so we charged up the pitch and Cork struck again into our wide open spaces, so we charged up the pitch....!!!

The naivety really disturbs me, talent only gets you so far (top 8, and indeed that's where we are). Shrewdness is what wins the big games. After falling behind we should have dropped back, accepted the deficit, possessed the ball, not allowed Cork to have it and most importantly prevented them from scoring at all costs. We should have battened down the hatches and held our position. Just packed the defence and closed them down.

After the momentum had been taken out of Cork, they would have started chasing us and become frustrated, they would have committed more forward in search of the ball, we then would have struck into THEIR open spaces. Four point deficit is nothing, a few well placed balls and bang-bang suddenly we have clawed it back. Sadly this Down team has never shown patience and they have no cuteness that the top teams have. If we were more astute then we would be challenging and beating top teams but with our up-and-attem approach and laissez-faire defending we will beat everyone except the top five.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 11:17:52 AM by PAULD123 »

ardtole

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 11:48:26 AM »
A bit of a contradiction there Paul D, surely battening down the hatches and packing the defence is the Donegal way. I think this topic shows a bit of snobbery about Down football. We have good forwards but certainly not the best 6 in the country, we play good football in spells, but so do a lot of other teams. While Tyrone used the blanket defence they also mixed it with quality attacking play, but it took a while for them to develop this. I think this is what McGuinness is trying to achieve eventually with Donegal and they are in the early stages of their development, they will become more attacking in due course but he is trying to get the defensive side right first and so far he has been successful. Down on the other hand seem to concentrate on the attacking side as a priority and hope the defence can hold out, which it had been relatively successful at doing until saturday. I still think James will learn a lot from Saturday, a big defeat like that highlights were things need improving. Until now McCartan has not received much criticism and our results up until Saturday justified most of his selections. But now some of his policies that were deemed strengths could be looked on as weaknesses, particullary during the national league, when virtually the same 15 started every week barring injury or suspension. Gerard McCartan was the only new player to make an impact in this years league. But if Dan McCartan and Dee Rafferty had to have been fit, would he have been given a chance to shine, I don't think he would. Which leads to the question were there any other "Gerard McCartans" on the bench or in the extended panel during the national league.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 11:54:40 AM by ardtole »

thewobbler

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 12:22:55 PM »
I make you right Ardtole.

The difference between Tyrone in 2003 and 2008 was seismic. In 2003, individually they were inexperienced, small and light. They relied extremely heavily on the genius of Canavan and Mulligan to provide their attacking flair, while the rest of them concentrated on stopping the opposition first, and even after winning possession, ensuring that the defensive screen never came down.

When experience and confidence came along, their inate defensive instincts still made them extremely hard to break down, but they began attacking as a more complete unit, with greater variation and trust in their own ability to counter attack.

Down have never really built a team from a defensive perspective first. The workrate and tackling ability of our forwards has improved beyond all recognition in recent years (until Saturday at least!), but at the same time, we've never really set up a defensive shield.

McGuinness could be onto something big in Donegal. When a squad understands what is required of the first XV in terms of defensive presence, it's up to the second XV (and any club players who want to play county football) to find ways of doing that - only better.

PAULD123

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 02:08:49 PM »
A bit of a contradiction there Paul D, surely battening down the hatches and packing the defence is the Donegal way. I think this topic shows a bit of snobbery about Down football. We have good forwards but certainly not the best 6 in the country, we play good football in spells, but so do a lot of other teams. While Tyrone used the blanket defence they also mixed it with quality attacking play, but it took a while for them to develop this. I think this is what McGuinness is trying to achieve eventually with Donegal and they are in the early stages of their development, they will become more attacking in due course but he is trying to get the defensive side right first and so far he has been successful. Down on the other hand seem to concentrate on the attacking side as a priority and hope the defence can hold out, which it had been relatively successful at doing until saturday. I still think James will learn a lot from Saturday, a big defeat like that highlights were things need improving. Until now McCartan has not received much criticism and our results up until Saturday justified most of his selections. But now some of his policies that were deemed strengths could be looked on as weaknesses, particullary during the national league, when virtually the same 15 started every week barring injury or suspension. Gerard McCartan was the only new player to make an impact in this years league. But if Dan McCartan and Dee Rafferty had to have been fit, would he have been given a chance to shine, I don't think he would. Which leads to the question were there any other "Gerard McCartans" on the bench or in the extended panel during the national league.

No, no contradiction. I meant that I don't want to see us put out an entirely defensive system for 70 minutes. As a general approach it would be disappointing and less entertaining. My point was just that there are times when you should hold your position play a bit negatively. But this should be part of an overall strategy to open up at the appropriate time and play with all the skill and flair we desire from our team. Donegal do not open up they stay defensive the whole game and it is frustrating.

So I mean that yes, we need to know how to defend deep and limit damage during periods in the game when we need to, but I don't want to see us go down a route where that is the attitude from the outset and we try to play that way in every game and for all the game.

RadioGAAGAA

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 07:39:27 PM »
No.

It is what sets us apart from the animals.  ;) ;D
i usse an speelchekor

redandblackareback

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 07:43:39 PM »
Tyrone in 2003 were trained by Paddy Tally and they had Gavin Devlin (correct me if i am wrong) playing in a sweeper role at no 6, he never marked just sweeped in front of the full back line. Roll on 2010 and Down, trained by Paddy Tally used James Colgan in a sweeper role at no 6 until the sligo game when Mc Kernan took over and played a similiar role against Kerry in the quarter final, he never marked just sweeped in front of the full back line. We also had 2 wing half forwards dropping deep and we had the best defensive record in the whole league. I dont know what happened over the winter but this year we have abandoned all forms of a system of play and we just seem to be back to the same old, "we r Down and we ll score more than you" Those days are over, teams are embracing this win at all costs ethos and it normally starts with getting the defensive system in order. Until we do that we will always fall short. So to answer your question Wobbler.... YES.

NP 76

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 09:41:05 PM »
Have to agree with you red and black . Down set up a defensive system last year from the 1st game James took charge off . One of the main reasons this worked was alot to do with a settled defence . This was the 1st time in along time we had a settled team james was nearly to loyal to these boys and didnt try many new men because the momentum kept carrying us on . When the defence was crowded it was up to Poland Clarke and Danny to get quality ball into our forwards which worked well all year . This year we lost alot of them men who knew the system so well . Dee Rafferty and Daniel were 2 key men in this system . They are the ones that do the talking to the rest of them keeping them on their toes . We had no leaders in our defence this year bar Garvey who missed alot of it also . When danny and Maginn were injuried this robbed us of the cover of our wing forwards who could double team the player on the ball . This left it that Mark Poland had more work to do and yet was still expected to spring attacks with limited help at times. When you do this you need half backs that can kick quality ball into our forwards something which we havent got . So to say that we need to start and set up a defensive cover as if its almost alien to us is naive

NP 76

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 07:12:27 PM »
Imagine if we had of played a 1st half like that last week would we all not be embarressed . I for one would hate to pay in to watch that . Hope James and the county board dont discuss it for too long over the winter . Brutal stuff

WeePeteIsALegend

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2011, 07:29:25 PM »
Isnt in our nature. Couldn't be done and if it was we wouldn't be very good at it. Played the way Down play and were within a kick of a ball of a sixth All Ireland last year.
''Im very glad you won dat fight Matt, but Im a not imprezzed by your performance''

Leo

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 07:56:43 PM »
Donegal play a defensive game which involves 8 or 9 handpasses at close control but then ends up with the ball being surrendered to the opposition - result,, turn over score conceded.

Donw try to play an attacking game which involves 8 or 9 handpasses at close control but then ends up with the ball being surrendered to the opposition - result, turn over score conceded.


Defensive or offensive is not really the issue - it's about being able to pass the bloody ball and go forward.
Fierce tame altogether

thewobbler

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 08:55:24 AM »
Let's look at it differently now.

Jimmy McGuinness has built success on solid defensive foundations. I'd say that last year they were ahead of their timings.

Now, with a team ethic built upon defensive solidity, they're beginning to express themselves.


This is what Down need. One or two horrible years where our best players become our best defenders. Then build.

supersub

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 08:34:08 PM »
Yes because we already have the second half of what mcguiness developed - scoring forwards.

onefaircounty

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Re: Would you be happy for Down to do a Donegal?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 12:41:52 PM »
Some Down fans are delusional.

It doesn't matter if you got a Mickey Harte/Micko/Jim McGuinness combo in to sort your defence, it won't help. You can enjoy all the flair and attack you want PaulD123, etc, but you'll not see any success.

I've seen plenty of Down football, the standard of defending is laughable. I'm not saying this an Armagh v Down thing, but it's just really poor.

You do not have six good inter-county standard defenders never mind the nine needed for a squad.

A change of system to curb this attacking mentality is the only way you will genuinely challenge with the big teams.