“This could be an Alex Ferguson-type story, but that’s not what GAA is about” – Philly McMahon begs patience with Dessie Farrell


Former Dublin defender Philly McMahon has urged Dublin fans to remain patient with manager Dessie Farrell and not get caught up in the “noise” resulting from the borough’s worst losing streak since 1973.

he Ballymun Kickhams clubman, who has won seven of his eight All-Ireland tournaments under former boss Jim Gavin, warned fans are taking a “football world” approach to a managerial change.

He also compared the departure of Gavin to that of Alex Ferguson from Manchester United, with the Premier League side having gone through five managers and two caretakers since the Scot’s retirement in 2013 without winning a league title.

Speaking on The Throw-In, Independent.ie’s GAA podcast in association with Allianz, McMahon said “it resonates a bit with the fans” when asked about the media coverage following Dublin’s defeat to Kildare last weekend became.

“There are these articles and if you pull everything back you can nudge them a little to maybe stir it up or maybe add to the noise. And then the fans join in, because that’s what they hear. So that’s the conversation.

“Ultimately, we shouldn’t become very like the football world where you poach the manager when a team is struggling. This isn’t the GAA and it shouldn’t be.

“It’s a very complex subject. This isn’t just getting one person out and everything will change. You could say it was a chalice of poison, the success that stood before him. But what comes after him is very important.

“This could become an Alex Ferguson type of narrative where you know his success and after that they (Manchester United) looked for managers but that’s not what GAA is about.

“It’s a cultural thing. You have the base of players that you have, you have to work, you have to give them the optimal environment and then you see what comes out of it.

“To me it’s lazy to just say Dessie Farrell or management or the players are to blame. It’s complex, it’s a collective rethink that’s needed now.

“I think there has to be a fork in what you (the players) have received in terms of outside information affecting the pitch. So what I’m saying is, in a nutshell, players do what they think, right? You are essentially what you think you are.

“And that’s what happened, I would feel.”

Dublin faces a crucial final three games in their battle to avoid relegation and could not ask for a more difficult task than a visit to Omagh on Sunday week to take on an improving Tyrone, the team that has labeled them All-Ireland succeeded champions last September.

A tie at Croke Park against Donegal follows before a trip to Clones rounds out the campaign in a relegation four-point, with the Farney currently two points clear of the Dubs.

But McMahon, who currently works with League of Ireland side Bohemians as first-team performance coach, believes the situation his former team-mates are currently in can be turned to Sam Maguire’s advantage ahead of this year’s race.

“So the opportunity for that is like, ‘Guys, wouldn’t it be amazing if, after all this adversity, we won the All-Ireland.’ And that would prove everyone wrong. And that’s what you want to do,” he added.

“They want to say, ‘What’s the biggest challenge here? What is the greatest opportunity of this challenge?’ And let’s go after that. That would excite me.

“A lot of these guys won All-Irelands because of this team. So shouldn’t it be let’s win and All-Ireland, what’s bigger than that? Well, we’ve had trouble here.

“So in 2022 can we say we lost the first four league games, everyone was there for us, everyone was talking about getting rid of the manager, all those things. And we went ahead and won an All-Ireland.

“If I were still in the camp now, I would be happy about it. And that is the narrative that needs to be spun within the group. They may need to take a little trip together as a group just to get out of the environment.

“Because it’s poisonous. And it has a big impact on how you play and think on the pitch.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/the-throw-in/this-might-become-an-alex-ferguson-type-narrative-but-thats-not-what-gaa-is-about-mcmahon-urges-patience-with-farrell-41404642.html “This could be an Alex Ferguson-type story, but that’s not what GAA is about” – Philly McMahon begs patience with Dessie Farrell

Fry Electronics Team

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