Tyrone's strategy exposed – Brolly
Kieran McGeeney said before last Sunday’s Division Two final that Tyrone were the Barcelona of Gaelic football. Long before the final whistle sounded in Croke Park, the thought struck me that they looked more like Ballyclare.
If the Barcelona analogy implied a similar sort of attacking creativity, this was sorely absent. Before Sunday, the possibility was that Tyrone – having taken a year out in 2011 – were back in business. There had been a bit of healing time after the awful tragedy in Mauritius and the five retirements of veteran stars had allowed a number of young men, who up until now had been bit players, to become regular starters.
Twelve consecutive victories in the McKenna Cup and division two cemented the notion in the media that Mickey and his group were off on another adventure that might lead to Sam.
By 3.30pm on Sunday, that notion had evaporated as Tyrone toiled laboriously, hand-passing and solo-running their way into the massed Kildare defence. The most disappointing feature of their play was the utter lack of invention. It has become apparent that their game plan is far too one dimensional.
Peter Harte has become the foundation stone of their only slightly revised method. Deployed at centre half back, he doesn’t really play there at all. Rather he uses it as a disguise to attack through the middle. He takes off and Ronan McNabb drops back from wing half forward to cover him.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published Thursday May 3. Buy your copy now, in your local newsagent or online, by clicking the subscribe button on this page