NFL 2017 Round 2: Dublin V Tyrone, Croke Park, Saturday Feb 11th, 7pm - Live eir Sport

Right, let’s get it going…

Tyrone have been training for about two months and have a lot of football played. They’ll see this like a
final. We’re a good bit behind their preparation for this game.

Always good to get the excuses out of the way first :grinning:

Mattie Donnelly could be missing for Tyrone, picked up a concussion at the weekend

Facing Dublin in February is a hell of a lot different than playing them in Summer…but still a good opportunity for players to test themselves.

Tyrone look fit…apparently some players were in Gervaghy the morning after the McKenna Cup final.

Mattie Donnelly is super important. He’s like a young MDMA who links play and chips in a with a few scores. He was taken off with concussion so not sure if he’ll be fit.

But the big issue is finding a free-taker and 2 forwards. And the forward line are all small (Bradley is 5’6 or 5’7) so they need ball played into feet and close to goal.

Against Derry, Peter Harte pushed up in the first half to free up space for Ronan O’Neill and Bradley. But he can’t do that against the dubs.

If Dublin can prevent the precise play that Tyrone need for their forwards to function, they’ll stifle them. That’s why MD is so important in bursting forward and carrying the ball.

D McClure, P McNulty and Colm Cavanagh - 3 big men - don’t have those explosive runs.

As I say, always good to play the Dubs in CP and the clan is heading down. But I wouldn’t read too much into the result whichever way it goes.

I read that Dublin under Jim G has never beaten tyrone by more than a point - strange that. So I’m going for another tight game.

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Not open and free scoring Daller???

I hope so!!

And because it’s early season - lower fitness levels and less intensity - you’d expect a more open game.

I just think MH lacks options up front, and so a lot of the play relies on neat passing to the forward line. Apart from M Donnelly or Peter Harte, I can’t think off-hand of any player who can score from distance and mix things up. They can be predictable.

But what annoyed me last year was Tyrone’s negativity in CP against Mayo - I remember they recycled the ball at the end of first half while the fans were screaming them to shoot. Mayo were fit to soak that up all day long.

So with nothing to lose but a few pts, I really hope MH is more positive. This is his last year of contract - so he needs to deliver.

Derry and Tyrone games of a couple of seasons ago at this time were pretty abysmal and turgid affairs so I wouldn’t hold my breath. But having smoked for 30+ years I rarely hold me breath anyway … and not for very long when I do.

It’ll be a good test for us for sure.

Yeah, have to agree.

The worst game I remember was in 2009 when it was literally a foul a minute and Derry made sure the neighbours didn’t get ahead of themselves being AI champs.

But it’s good to see Dublin, Mayo, Kerry in the one league - along with the Ulster contingent. Tyrone fans have missed Div 1.

Ulster might be the most competitive, but the pick of them is still behind those 3 above imo.

But Tyrone will be up for this. Tyrone and MH have a lot to prove…the dubs don’t.

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I don’t expect this to be any classic, far from it. As ever, Tyrone will be well drilled and hard to beat. We were lucky to get a draw two years ago in the league. O’Gara saved our blushes with a lay off for a goal. I remember it as a dour game, with Dublin trying to break down a massed Tyrone defence, not very successfully either. I hope I’m wrong, but I expect more of the same.

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I expect another 2 points but Tyrone are one of the better teams in the division. Will he rotate the panel and give more fringe players a go. Surely McCaffrey and Scully will start. Costello and O’ Gara will be pushing for a spot.

I thought Mannion was poor and expect him to be dropped

Gavin obviously sees a lot in Mannion and there is no doubting his ability. He has delivered some big moments but is finding a consistency is key. What I think would benefit him is working more on his weaker side and keeping his opponent guessing. He can be too predictable on occasion.

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He is also very strong, and a very good ball winner. He could just be a lot better if he tidied up a bit of his skill set.

In the second half last day I thought he did well at winning ball that was put in to him, it was just what he did with the ball when he had it that was the problem.

Mannion didn’t score but fielded a great ball in the second half and had a chance to beat his man and go for goal but inexplicably took it on immediately and put it wide.

Yep, that is a case in point. He won a great ball, but put it wide because his fist passing skill level isn’t great. He uses a straight arm to propel the ball, which is a bit strange.

But… he is a great player, and I would pick him more times then I wouldn’t, it is just he could be a Paul Geaney type (who is a fabulous player imo), if he just changed a couple of his techniques.

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He was poor. Great ability. The good thing for us is Gavin has options. He might try and look at other players but I would give him another start and see how it goes.

Will Cathal McCarron be playing?

Well he played at the weekend so he probably will be playing.