Crystal is a good kid
In one of the best games in modern times
Yesterday’s match was probably one of the best in the modern era and in time it will be looked upon as one of the all-time greats. Think about the two counties involved, Dublin and Kerry, cover for galaxy s3 and the history of their brilliant rivalry in the 70s and 80s — what happened yesterday lived up to anything that preceded it.

I’m not surprised that both sides went at it and didn’t let up. When it comes down to it, both of these counties want to play football. Jim Gavin has made no secret of the way his team are going to go out and play. It’s going to be open, quick, aggressive football. In Kerry, you have the most natural footballers in the country. When two teams like that meet, invariably you get what we saw.

And at the end of it all, it’s Dublin who are back in the All-Ireland final. They have turned up for every game and met every challenge head on. You can’t argue that the two best teams in the country are the two left still standing now.

It wasn’t all perfect for Dublin yesterday though, particularly in defence. They let in three goals in 20 minutes which will be a serious concern but they have three weeks now to work on that and fix it before they come up against Mayo.

Look at the early changes Jim Gavin made. Ger Brennan got an absolute roasting but it’s not the first time that Colm Cooper has done that to a man. Is there any disgrace in it? Absolutely not.

As for Kevin O’Brien, he’s young, he’s only new and he’s very, very raw. He captained the U21s but it has been a seismic jump up for him.

The important thing is that Gavin did something about it cloud computing companies. He made the changes and stemmed the bleeding; he didn’t wait in the hope that the problem was going to fix itself. That shows you the ruthlessness he has about him — he had to make those calls and he did. Now Dublin can move forward.

For the lads who didn’t start yesterday, they’ll be thinking that they’ve a chance to impress now and because of that, the training sessions in Dublin are going to be absolutely savage. You’re going to have players thundering into each other hand over fist. That’s the best preparation you can have going into an All-Ireland final and that’s exactly what Gavin will want, to have all these boys chomping at the bit.

The impressive thing about yesterday was how Dublin responded when they were four points down in that second half. To be in that position and then win by seven points, that’s an 11-point turnaround in 25 minutes. The pace they played at and the pace they move the ball at really impressed me. It’s frightening.

And then you look at lads like Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly. You’re talking about two guys who haven’t been at the height of their powers this summer wigs long hair. Brogan has struggled and then he comes in with 0-6, four from play. You can see a spark coming back into his game again. That’s a little thing but it could make a massive difference.

We knew before yesterday that Dublin have a very strong squad but the final quarter showed just how much of a trump card their bench can be. To unload those lads and get nine points, that’s absolutely phenomenal.

For some of these guys, it’s better to bring them on with 20 minutes to go when the game is slowing down and they can find a bit more space. Would you start Kevin McManamon in the next game? No you wouldn’t. You keep him in reserve until the last 15, 20 minutes and then you let him go.



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