Barry O’Shea: Absolute Perfection From Kerry

Posted by

Suits Select July

Click on the above ad for more

Former Kerry star, Barry O’Shea, says Kerry gave a perfect performance on Sunday, but the players won’t be getting carried away… 

barry_oshea_1ONE moment that set the tone for the win over Cork on Sunday came early in the first half.

Anthony Maher and Bryan Sheehan took a ball off Aidan Walsh on the sideline near the dugouts, they horsed him out of it and let the ball in which led to a score. They showed a hunger and aggression that Cork just couldn’t live with all day.

Kerry did everything right. It’s very rare that 20 players are used and they all contribute to the win.

You’d always say to yourself if twelve guys play well you’ve a chance of winning, but having every player perform, plus the subs that came on?

The tactics worked a treat, it was absolute perfection, everything just fell in place on the day.

One thing you could say is the shooting in the first half was a bit wayward, but that was nearly because they were too far ahead and a little bit of complacency crept in.

James O’Donoghue mentioned in his interview that Eamonn Fitzmaurice at half time had a few words and that’s no harm either because they definitely did get complacent. But I’m nitpicking – the performance as a whole was outstanding.

They’re saying we haven’t got the talent coming through, but on Sunday we had Paul Murphy, Johnny Buckley, Paul Geaney, Stephen O’Brien and Brian Kelly, all relative newcomers to inter-county football, all putting in excellent performances.

There’s a lot of positives, but things won’t go that well everyday and we’ll have to battle and fight now for the rest of the year.

In fairness to Eamonn Fitzmaurice, he pulled out a few new things, chiefly deploying Declan O’Sullivan in a more withdrawn play-maker role where he was like a quarter-back spraying passes and controlling the game.

Teams will be expecting Kerry to do that everyday now, but you have to keep adapting and changing. It all depends on who you are playing. We won’t know who we’re playing in the quarter-final for another couple of weeks, so it’s too early too say whether he will continue with Declan in that role.

One thing we can be damn sure of is that any team we do play now will not play like Cork played against us. If we play the likes of Monaghan or Donegal down the line, they’re not going to play open football and leave you with two forwards, man to man inside in front of the goal, with ball coming in left, right and centre.

Having played in the backs myself I felt sorry for Cadogan and Shields with the afternoon they had to endure. When quality players are getting good ball, often and fast, you don’t stand a chance.

Maybe Cork read too much into the league game that they thought they could just beat us man for man. Psychologically it’s human nature; if you destroy a team the next time you play them you could get a little bit complacent and at that level of sport, if you drop your guard by a couple of percent it can make all the difference.

Kerry steamrolled Cork and they never got to grip with the tactics or the game and they didn’t look hungry. Every Kerry player looked that way, when you’re on top it gives you an extra spring in your step, every man was buzzing, every man was looking for the ball.

There’s enough experienced players in there for them not to get carried away, they’ll be  a bit of ho0-ha for a week, but then they have three weeks to get the mind focused for the quarter final on the August bank holiday weekend.

You can’t take anyone for granted, especially after a layoff. The Clare game two weeks before the Munster Final was a big help, the players got a little bit of stick and there’s nothing like a hurt Kerryman to go out their and prove a point. You could see that the players came out to lay down a marker, not that many of them have to prove anything at this stage.

There was at least a half of dozen of the team who’s form was up and down coming into the game. Anthony Maher is one player who has come under criticism.

The confidence from Sunday will bring him on leaps and bounds. He’ll go into training with a spring in his step along with a few others that had question marks hanging over their heads.

Already people are talking about Dublin, but it’s just too far down the line. Kerry have to win their next game and there is no point looking beyond that.

Comments are closed.