Dublin’s high tempo pays dividends
Although Kildare didn’t help themselves with how they were set up
There’s constant movement and good diagonal balls. It makes huge demands on energy because it’s relentless and Gavin can introduce players, who can maintain that tempo and quality off the bench.I was also impressed with all of the players’ contribution. The team used to have a major overreliance on Bernard Brogan and to an extent Diarmuid Connolly but they’re now part of a far more collective effort.
The emphasis is now on the player making the run and quick, snappy passing and I hadn’t seen such intensity in the tackle before from Dublin’s forwards – not pulling and dragging but nicking the ball away which was great to see. But Kildare’s resistance was poor. Maybe tactically McGeeney could have deployed a familiar tactic from his playing days when Armagh protected the centre by playing a supplementary defender. Instead, Kildare were overrun.
The level of expectation will be through the roof and the challenge is going to be to keep players’ feet on the ground but Gavin knows so many of them from the successful under-21 campaigns that he’ll be confident of managing the sort of hype that has in the past negatively affected Dublin teams.
Comparing the two Leinster semi-finals there was an obvious difference in tempo and that will most likely be Meath’s downfall.
They went about their business clinically after a poor first half and showed patience before taking over the match. They have quality footballers in the likes of Stephen Bray, Graham Reilly and Donal Keoghan but they’re not sharp or quick enough in the middle to stay with the pace Dublin showed today.
Wexford were instrumental in their own downfall and didn’t look fit enough for the full 70 minutes. When you run out of steam, you run out of discipline, and in doing that they gave up the frees that ultimately killed them.
A quick word on Saturday’s Ulster semi-final. I think Cavan will be disappointed that they got so close to reaching the final. But it will be a good learning experience for them. In the end the old heads of Monaghan proved a bit smarter but Cavan could go well with the right draw in the qualifiers.
Their attacking game is at times a little gung-ho and a better team than Monaghan might exploit that space.