Posted by Shane Stapleton
Wednesday 13 June 2012
For those who think Kerry are on the way down, here are a few points to consider...
Because class is permanent
Kieran Donaghy and Paul Galvin (both pictured above) found themselves as bench buddies before the final whistle at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday but how many times has that actually happened? Not often.
Both have been Footballer of the Year so of course the talent is there, it’s merely returning to form. Galvin looked particularly out of sorts down on Leeside and it was most evident in how he dropped a few simple balls, indeed he lashed one lost possession away in frustration during the second half. It’s too often we now see Galvin giving away fouls inside his own ’45, which partly feeds into Donaghy’s problem: his isolation up front.
There is plenty of time for both players to get back to where we expect them to be. Not to mention Declan O’Sullivan and Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper will almost inevitably light up the summer at some stage.
Kerry didn’t score a goal on Sunday but they most certainly should have. Any of the Gooch, Donaghy, Declan or Darran O’Sullivan and now too James O’Donoghue — who impressed when he came on against Cork — can work those situations. It’s not every day Kerry will leave those chances behind them.
They have the qualifiers to rebuild
There are plenty of examples of teams recovering from provincial losses to win All-Irelands. Staying at the same Cork ground, Tipperary hurlers were beaten up and down the field by Cork in May 2010 but won the All-Ireland in scintillating fashion — as the Rebels did themselves in football after losing to the Kingdom in Munster. Take note Kerry, who have done it themselves in 2009 too, so perhaps it could again be their turn.
Indeed that year, Longford’s wides tally cost them a chance of an upset against Kerry in the qualifiers, David Kelly’s penalty miss kept the Kingdom alive the next day while Antrim also posed a few problems. From these depths, the Kingdom regained form as they eviscerated Dublin, beat Meath well and looked assured in the All-Ireland final against Cork.
How quickly a team of class players can turn it around.
It’s clichéd to say it but Kerry have that Croke Park edge over Cork. It’s a factor until the Rebels prove it otherwise. And as we saw with Kerry last year, they can be fairly prolific on the big pitch at HQ as they put away 3-51 (60 points) in just three games. Cork did not even manage that (they got 53) in the three games which amounted to an All-Ireland the year before.
Because teams fear Kerry
And that’s always worth a few scores. Yes, Down and Dublin may have beaten the Kingdom in the last couple of years but, other than Tyrone, no one else has beaten Kerry outside Munster since 2002 when Armagh beat them to Sam Maguire.
Chat to Shane Stapleton on Twitter @shanesaint
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