I have misgivings about Davy Fitzgerald, I’m not a fan, but I don’t want to go down that road.


Eddie Brennan: Davy needs to control his manic side

I have misgivings about Davy Fitzgerald, I’m not a fan, but I don’t want to go down that road.
His impact in Wexford has been obvious, they’re all pulling with him, and he has managed to bring Jack Guiney back into the fold. All positive. 

That picture of his players doing the warm-down after beating Kilkenny well in the quarter-final highlights the great mood down there just now.
But coming onto the pitch after Noel McGrath’s first goal, to be jostling with players, that’s the negative side. When we were players, his antics on the field made you want to beat Clare all the more.

You have to contrast the level of detail and professionalism he has clearly brought to Wexford with behaviour that amounts to someone needing to be the centre of attention. 
You’ve often heard of Jose Mourinho and Fergie making their point to referees but they don’t encroach on the field. Let’s even forget about Davy for a second here, what if you heard of an under-14 match where this happened?


Surely this is why there is a role for the MaorFoirne, and managers can speak with the official on the sideline. We all talk about respect for referees and setting standards, so it’s important the GAA are decisive. 

We all heard about this new mellow Davy in 2016 and Donal Og Cusack’s influence in that but then against Waterford he had a pow-wow with Derek McGrath when the pressure came on. In 2013, he was measured — but then in 2014, the results went against him and it kicked off again.

“That’s how I am” is not a good enough excuse because we’re not talking about some 22-year-old here; he’s been around long enough. Calculated strategy to motivate his team, we're led to believe. The narrative should be the super progress of Wexford, not their manager tangling with Tipp players on the pitch. 

I recall Brian Cody and Anthony Cunningham locking horns in 2012 but that was fair game on the sideline, which is where it needs to stay.
Really, one of the experienced Wexford lads like Lee Chin or David Redmond should be having a word with the ref after a wrong decision, get him thinking. When I was playing and If I saw Brian Cody at that, I’d be like “what is he doing?”

Of course the thing is, it completely affected how Kirwan officiated the remainder of the match because Tipp couldn’t buy a free. Otherwise, the margin of victory could’ve been 15 or 16 points.
Again, this is not Davy-bashing, it’s important to ram that home. But like in the movie ‘Me, Myself and Irene’, he has to control Hank - that manic side.

It whets the appetite for June 10 when I expect the Models to make the Leinstersemi-final. Cody v Fitzgerald, I can’t wait.




The league final between Tipp and Galwaycomes first and I think the big thing is which Tribe shows up.

Joe Canning played at centre-forward against a poor Limerick team and maybe they’ve finally settled him there. He has freedom to move and I liked his link-up play with Conor Whelan and Cathal Mannion; he brought a ball out of a ruck to set up the latter for one nice score in particular.

It should present an issue for Ronan Maherwho is superb and mops up ball so well in front of James Barry. Canning’s ability to hurt you may drag Maher away from the centre, which could open it up.

Outside of Canning linking up, too often Galway play like individuals but if they gel and find the best-placed man with the ball, we know they are dangerous.

We know the class of Tipp and how they link up. The two McGraths are so intelligent and their goals, not to mention Brendan Maher’s, were so cool under pressure. It’s a rare thing.

I love watching John McGrath, his brain gets him in great positions rather than any huge pace or power. He’s so switched on amid the madness, always making clever runs and finding the right passes.

Seamus Callanan is out with a broken thumb and it’s not good for him. Sometimes players hit a plateau after four or fives years at the top, and injury kills your momentum. It’s the same for Richie Hogan.

The plus side is Mick Ryan can throw Bubbles back in and say “now you’re starting” which will focus him, all the while knowing Callanan will be back.

I think it will be hammer and tongs stuff but the intelligence in the Tipp forward line is so dangerous. Tipperary have the balance; Galway just have more ifs.

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