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Martin McHugh: James O'Donoghue is better than Colm Cooper

Updated: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 12:43 | Comments

James O'Donoghue has starred for Kerry this summer
James O'Donoghue has starred for Kerry this summer

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RTÉ analyst Martin McHugh thinks James O’Donoghue is already a better player than Kerry legend Colm Cooper, calling the 24-year-old “one of the greatest I’ve ever seen”.

The former Donegal All-Ireland winner, speaking on The Sunday Game, also called eight-time  All Star Cooper a “two-trick pony” while raving about the performance of Legion clubman O’Donoghue, who kicked 1-5 in Kerry’s quarter-final win over Galway and scored 10 points in the Munster final against Cork.

“He’s a better player than Cooper, in my opinion,” said McHugh. “He’s one of the greatest I’ve ever seen.

“Cooper is a two-trick pony but that lad is a six or seven-trick pony.

“He can use the ball differently, he’s got pace, he’s got two feet.

“He’s the most exciting player I’ve seen in Gaelic football for a long long time

“Kerry were average today, other than O’Donoghue. He’s making the difference.

“He’s a quality player and they’re totally dependent on him at the minute.

O'Donoghue v Cooper


Fellow panellists Dermot Earley and Kevin McStay were not quite in agreement with the Donegal man, with Earley saying O’Donoghue “has the potential to be as good as the Gooch but he has a long road to go.”

“Gooch would say 'It’s All-Ireland winning time' and then he goes out and wins them. I couldn’t possibly agree [with McHugh],” smiled McStay.

McHugh’s controversial assertion brought a predictable reaction on reaction on social media, with players and fans alike lining up to disagree.

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