Super 8s: How Super Were They?

Which is why no-one does it.

I don’t think for one minute that Tyrone or Monaghan are punching above their weight. They intelligently use what they have. Tyrone completely dismantled Donegal the last day out, by playing smarter.

I, for one, didn’t see that coming.

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You’ve got to maximise your resources and although people are moaning at how Galway are playing…at least their fans are going to an AI semi final.

But it is was a purer form of football and not the olympic levels of training required counties like Armagh would have all the good club lads that can’t/won’t commit to playing.

I understand why Monaghan/Tyrone play the handpassing running game and why it helps them to success but these systems and pattern of play type games cant be an excuse for dragging the game down to the floor where its impossible for any neutral to watch an intercounty game.

Look back to the 70’s when Kerry used to basketball throw it into the net, rules were changed and more kicking of the ball to the net happen.In the 1990’s the sideline and free from the hands stopped the stop start nature of game and benefited good teams. Ulster dominated 1991 - 1994 (bar a free out in 95 it could had been five). I think logically limiting the handpass is the only rule change that can be brought in to inter county and to club level.

Back to the Super 8’s Dublin are currently dominating and whatever format straight knockout or round robin they would succeed at. If they Super 8’s were highly competitive and all four teams had something to play for it would be great excitement on the last day keeping and eye on the scores which your team was playing. When Galway were a no show it took the life out of the Kerry/Kildare game, they Donegal/Tyrone game was an old skool knockout championship match which were really only going to see in the semi finals/ finals now,

If the AI is going to be decided by counties picking their best 15 players based on their ability to kick a ball…Dublin will win year on year.

Hand-passing allows smaller counties to be more competitive as it gives them some control of possession.

I don’t buy the Aryan notion that somehow purity in football has been diluted. It’s like Trump’s MAGA.

Watch some of those games from the 70s and they’re shite. Fellas in their 20s look like your da and they running like slugs. Players in soccer run twice as much they did 30 yeas ago. That’s progress.

Tyrone average 20+pts a game this season. That’s a score every 3 mins. Hardly dragging the game to the floor. Wonder if you were from Louth would you be calling for the hand pass to end?

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  1. Take all the matches out of Croke Park* (apart from Dublin home game. Ahem)
  2. Start the matches with games in neutral grounds. There should be no advantage for winning Leinster or Munster
  3. If teams are tied on points the team with the highest score goes through as opposed to head to head or points difference.

*If possible. There may be a contractual obligation with Corporate box holders to play 1/4 finals in HQ

There is a medium between a shoot out and just defending in mass with 15 behind the ball. Before it was ok with a few doing it but when they all do it it becomes a problem. Defending is as important as scoring but modern games are more about suppression than expression imo.

I suppose this is all about whether there is a large percentage of people within and following the game who believe there is an issue. If there isn’t then it’s the status quo. The alternative is a meaningful structural change imo.

FWIW I think the hand pass is important, you can’t really put a high moratorium on it as in many situations kicking isn’t possible.

I think 13 a side or keeping a certain number of players in a half is the only way. The latter being more difficult to implement. I think that way you can still set up defensively but there is space too.

If the Kerry Lads hear you say that they burn you at the stake. Tyrone certainly had players to kick the ball in the early 2000’s. Would Canavan or Stephen O’Neill get a game under the current gameplan.

Agree with you and the 1970’s quality of football is over hyped. If your asking what was the best football played it was the 1990’s Cork, Down, Donegal, Derry, Dublin Meath, Kerry and Galway won All Irelands and throw in Tyrone, Kildare and Mayo contesting finals. It was knock out football, highly competitive and not the run away wins there are now. There was hand passing but not to the extent there is currently.

Its Gaelic Football not Gaelic handball the inability to execute the skills of the game shouldn’t be an excuse play this way. If I had to endure what Donegal served up in 2011 and their unwillingness to come out and play in the last 10 minutes in the super 8’s this year I dont think i’d watch many more games. I’d give Tyrone great praise for changing the way they play, but last year the mentality of defensive counter attack football was cruelly exposed. Tyrone have much better footballers and can play much better than the running game you have now. Only for a refereeing decision against Meath Tyrone would be out. I’d honestly love Tyrone to go at Dublin like they did at the end of the game in Omagh

If I were from Louth I’d be in a state of depression nothing to do with football, but weaker counties have a massive turn over of players in intercounty teams. They cant compete, their best players dont like the way the game is played and the insane levels of fitness and commitment required. The way football is played and the pointlessness of the competition structure makes it unlikely we will ever see as many teams winning and contesting finals again. As Rufus pointed out its a terrible thing for a county not to want to get into the Super 8’s but in reality a battering at this stage could turn the young team emerging there to call it quits.

Super 8’s is just the start of changes that need to be made structure but to me if they dont tackle hand passing the game as a spectacle for a neutral is dying.

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I agree with this. Would open the game wide open. I would actually love to see this as trial or even couple of exhibition matches.

No real skill required to hand pass a ball to fella standing a few feet away. Would be a skill to kick the ball to a teammate before being smothered, there would be a lot more turnovers and no more possession/wasting the clock keep ball games.

At club level 13 a side especially in summer months would be great, keep kids playing but 13 a side at intercounty would see the end of all corner forwards or skill based players. Would have 12 “runners” moving up and down the pitch like rugby league. Put it this way Stephen O’Neill, Stevie McDonnell, Colm Cooper and Bernard Brogan would never have played inter county football.

That’s more of a guess rather than based on anything tangible. The point, as made above by another poster, would be that any structural change would require trials to see if they work.

Anyhow, this thread was supposed to be about the super 8’s and ive played as big a part as anyone in going off topic.

Apparently Dick Clerkin coined the phrase Super 8s.

Should’ve trade marked it…

Just thinking if they could trial a lower tier…say Super 16s…that would run in parallel.

It would give the likes of Armagh a chance to get more games…and even the Fermanagh players.

Not sure how it would work out. But it would extend the season for the likes of Armagh and Kildare who are almost there but not quite.

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It’s hard to have Super 8s when you have only one Super team. That’s the reality.

In hurling you could have Kilkenny, Cork, Waterford and Galway in one group

and Tipperary, Clare, Limerick and Dublin or Wexford in the other.

I thought they were super. Not super duper but still.

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Ah now. Kerry only ever won by jumping 20 feet into the air and kicking mighty points over their shoulders from 80 yards.

You can’t make a silk purse out of sows ear.

Take ourselves out of the championship and the super 8s and all Ireland series there after would be exciting and engaging.

As it happens we are just better than everyone at the moment.

Will be nice for Monaghan or Tyrone to get to a final, but ultimately I feel anyway we’re just too good for everyone.

Super 8s missed Mayo big time

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I could see a problem with 13-a-side potentially increasing the gap between us and everyone else.

More open space would lead to less of the tight defensive systems that we see today and less tactical stuff and sideways handpassing.
Thus leading to more “shoot-outs”…Sounds great, says he!!..
Therein lies the rub, who would you back to win a shoot-out against the greatest football team of all time? No-one…
We win even more…and by bigger margins…now the O’Rourke bandwagon is really gathering steam (oh btw Sean Cavanagh dropped it in on Sunday night)…sure they’d field two teams…fuel, meet fire!!!

It is indeed, with all the whining about standards and the grieving over Mayo and Kerry. Not to mention the greatest field sport in the world having so much coverage, I certainly feel that way.