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Brolly: Defensive football 'muck'
31 Mar 2015 14:02
RTÉ analyst Joe Brolly has slammed the trend towards the "myxomatosis" of defensive tactics in Gaelic football, saying the game at the moment is "muck" to watch.
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Brolly was speaking on 2Fm's Game On in the wake of attending Dublin's turgid victory over Derry on Saturday, which ended 0-08 to 0-04 after a dour tactical battle.
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The first half featured only five points as Dublin were unable to break down Derry's blanket defence and repeatedly hit long-range efforts wide.
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"I was there," Brolly said. "Everybody started booing after about 15 minutes. After the match, my son, who's eight, said "that was a pile of sh**e daddy, wasn't it?"
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"There were seven or eight of the underage St Vincent's coaches that I know who had left at half-time.
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"I was at a charity event today and there were six or seven current county footballers who played yesterday and all are disconsolate about the way they're being trained to play now.
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"It's a race to the bottom. It's dispiriting to the individual and it's destroying the ethos of the game."
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Brolly was scathing in his dismissal of the theory that results justify whatever tactics teams choose to use or that limiting the scale of a defeat can be more important than trying to win.
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"It's better to go out on your shield," he said, "The reality is that it's muck.
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"There is an obligation owed to the game and to the Gaels of Ireland. I think, increasingly, people are starting to see that and county footballers are starting to see that as well.
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"Mickey Harte said 'we're not in the business of entertainment'. Well then f**k off and play behind closed doors if you're not in the business of entertainment. Have you ever heard such a perverse thing?
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"Brian McIver, the Derry manager, after the game on Saturday night, he was apologising, he said 'well we don't want to play this way, I know it's awful to watch'. Well then don't play that way!
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"Really the thing has become abysmal now. It's a race to the bottom and there's no end in sight.
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"The six or seven [players] I met were sheepish. They hate to play this way. These guys are skilled footballers, who can really play when they have an opportunity, but the reality is now that the game is becoming increasingly about negativity and it's becoming extremely difficult to watch and wearing for spectators."
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