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Aidan O Shea unfairly criticized ?

  • 25-04-2023 9:41am
    Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭

    Just after reading a RTE article about the criticism that Aidan o Shea has taken in his GAA career . Just to be upfront that I am a Mayo fan but in my opinion their is not a player playing currently who receives the criticism that he does. I will be first person to call out when he is playing bad but the way we have played in the past in finals has not helped him . I was at all the Mayo vs Dublin games and Philly Mcmahon/Cooper were stuck to him and broke up anything that was sent his direction ( legally or illegaly). The best teams always had a plan for him and lumping highballs on top of him just did not work. Hopefully this year we can use him in a better way.

    Criticism that has been aimed at him in papers/TV or from outside the County

    1: Never does it on a big day only against smaller teams

    An easy critique to make when a team has lost but the better question would be was he used properly and then played bad. For instance i watched Enda smith ( Fantatsic footballer) vs Galway last week and after Galway had scored the goal he was upfront alone and was completly anonymous. Would it have been better to keep him in the game than play the high ball tactic as there was still 20 mins to go? Of course it will be easier to do it against smaller teams because quality of player/tactics is not the same.

    2: Goes down easy

    This one has been labelled on him since that fermanagh game. I was at it and i still cannot say if it was a penalty or not. RTE could not get a camera angle at all and ref gave penalty but somehow since then he has been labelled a diver. How many players consistently dive in games yet do not get this label? Even in league final vs Galway he won a few frees he normally would not get as a big man and people were crying out the ref was bad. take aidan o shea out of the picture and another player gets those frees. It even made sunday game yet the week after he could not buy a free and narrative was that it was some kind of leveller for week before . No mention on sunday game ?

    In game i do not think i have seen a better temperament from a player to amount of abuse he receives. You never see him lash out or react

    3:He is a primadona/publicity attention seeker

    In my opinion the most unfair criticism aimed at him, You rarely even hear him speak outside a game interview. He has done a few ad campaigns but less so than many other Mayo players who are celebrated. Outside the few AD campaigns he has done ( who would Not for money ) do you hear many interviews or news articles about him?

    As i said there has been many times he has not played well but i am trying to figure out why he is such a target for many ?

    Post edited by ShamoBuc on



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭WesternZulu

    The most heavily criticised footballer in the country. Most of it unfair. The article from Bernard Flynn a few years ago sums a lot of it up where he had a go at O'Shea for giving kids some time after a challenge game. I don't think any other player would find themselves in the firing line for something like that.

    Just because he isn't in the same bracket of player as Michael Murphy people think he's good for nothing. He made his intercounty debut in 2009 I think - he has given an awful for for Mayo and is a very accomplished player.

    I don't think there is a county in the country who wouldn't have liked to have had the services of someone like AOS which speaks volumes.

    I don't know him but he comes across as a nice enough fella so I fail to see why he gets so much hate even on a personal level.I honestly think a lot of it boils down to that he's a good looking lad who's 6ft 5!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭Pogue eile

    It doesn't make it any easier to accept and certainly doesn't excuse the personal abuse but in a way its a back handed compliment, if he was as sh*te as some of the knockers would have you think then no one would know who he was/is. And as the previous post alluded to if he was 5ft 10' he wouldn't be getting half the abuse either.

    Class footballer who has given tremendous service and loyalty to his county, always targeted by the opposition to be nullified, avoided etc. and again teams don't do that against ordinary players.

    No connection what so ever with Mayo for clarity and transparency!

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,099 ✭✭✭✭PARlance

    I'm aware that I'm only adding to it but it's all a bit boring at this stage.

    He stands out a bit from the crowd so he gets more attention than others. The media knows this and that's why we have articles like this... Interview O'Hora to get an O'Shea article... People will lap it up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 340 ✭✭NattyO

    I'm not from Mayo, but a lot of the criticism I hear from Mayo friends seems to centre around the belief that he has undue influence on the shape of the team, and he effectively dictates that he is picked regardless of the wishes of the manager. No idea of how true or not this is.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    1: Never does it on a big day only against smaller teams

    1 point in 10 games vs Dublin, mostly finals and a few replays, for a forward is a dismal return. I know he played in midfield for some of them, but Keegan has 3-5 over that period, I think. Can't use the positioning as an excuse. Andy Moran, arguably a worse footballer in pretty much all aspects of the game than O'Shea, scored 1-10 over that period in only 7 games, 2 of which he started on the bench. Maybe saying he "NEVER" does it is a stretch, but he certainly didn't against the Dubs......i.e. in the biggest of games against the biggest team.

    I was at all the Mayo vs Dublin games and Philly Mcmahon/Cooper were stuck to him and broke up anything that was sent his direction ( legally or illegaly). The best teams always had a plan for him and lumping highballs on top of him just did not work.

    You put this forward as if it excuses his lack of showing in big games, when it does quite the opposite. If he's being marked out of the game, that's on him. If he can't use his height/strength to win a few high balls because others have him sussed out, that's also on him. If he can't score more than a single point in about 800 mins of football over a ten year period, then that's also on him.

    That is fair criticism, whichever way you slice it.

    "Oh but he was used incorrectly, played out of position, our style didn't suit him etc".........Big players impose themselves on big games. If he was good enough, the gameplan would have been built around him. The fact that it wasn't and he was missing for most of those games, speaks volumes.

    2: Goes down easy

    I'd change this to "Goes down easy.....for a big man". That Fermanagh game looked like a dive to everyone but the most blinkered Mayo supporters, even with the crap camera angles. No way a man of his size was fouled that easily............if he'd wanted to, he could have stayed on his feet. That is the dictionary definition of going down too easily.

    Others will say he was right to go down, but if he could have stayed up (and didn't) then he went down too easily. And that is just one example out of many. There are plenty of times where he's been cute enough to "win" frees in decent positions by going down at the slightest touch. For someone of his size and stature, he shouldn't be bowled over so easily.

    Fans of his will say he's right to go down at times, that he wouldn't have gotten the frees if he hadn't highlighted the foul by over-exaggerating.........again, this point scuppers their own argument. If he goes down when he didn't have to, then he's going down too easy by definition.

    3:He is a primadona/publicity attention seeker

    Not something I've ever heard levelled against him, and certainly not something I'd ever accuse him of, so no comment on this one.

    tl;dr - There's no smoke without fire. There's a reason why he's accused of these negative traits, and the blame lies squarely on his own shoulders (for the most part).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,595 ✭✭✭Blackjack

    The Fermanagh game was a tangle of feet, and still a penalty. Even the most blinkered of the anti-Aido fans should really take a good look and wonder why this wasn't highlighted when the pile on happened. RTE had a crap camera angle and used it as part of the pile on. You'd wonder at times.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭WesternZulu

    Saying Andy Moran was poorer at all facets of the game and still scored more than AOS against Dublin is disengenous.

    Moran was a superb footballer and better at nearly aspect of scoring and forward play than AOS. That's why he spent most of his career at midfield. That's not a dig at O'Shea, they're just different players.

    As for going down easily. Completely the opposite. I'd say he is one of the most fouled players in the country. Just because he's 6ft 5 referees don't give him half the frees he'd get if he was 5ft 10.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,595 ✭✭✭Blackjack

    As for AOS scoring in Finals or against the Dubs, worth having a look at how many scores Ciaran Kilkenny got against Mayo in finals prior Paddy Durcan's injury in the 2020 final. The reason players aren't as prolific in finals is because they're usually up against the very best defenders.

    I find the obsession with knocking AOS from those outside of Mayo to be very curious indeed. Malachy Clerkin rightly put a few of these clowns in their box on twitter after the Connacht Final in Croke Park in 2021. A number of those he engaged with deleted their tweets in embarrassment afterwards.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,163 ✭✭✭SqueakyKneecap

    Every single top attacker is going to have opposition players try to stop them however they can without getting blown for a foul. That's the nature of contact sport. O'Shea is well able to handle himself physically. When you can field long balls as well as O'Shea he'll always be targeted as he can be extremely selfless putting other fellas through on goal with a quick handpass. For all the whinging about how O'Shea was thrown about the place by the Rossies a few weeks back he was still well about to floor Enda Smith (and there's nothing wrong with giving back receipts like O'Shea did but it dispels the notion that he's a 100% innocent victim).

    The publicity point is utter nonsense. Nobody forces lads like Aidan O'Shea to do a photoshoot on a beach just before an All-Ireland final. Players like Joe Canning deservedly got criticism for doing press before big finals and unintentionally giving added motivation to the opposition. Even if these lads deserve what little money they get for appearances etc you need to have a bit of cop-on with optics. Even a serial winner like Bernard Brogan talked about how much his PR stuff annoyed his team-mates while they were winning All-Irelands.

    On the All-Ireland final showings I'd honestly say Cillian O'Connor gets significantly more unfair criticism for his high-pressure wide in front of the Hill than O'Shea does for not scoring in a Final. O'Shea's role changed a good bit over the years too where he was further outfield so it's not even really as applicable. Cillian will probably be remembered for free that for the remainder of his life similar to how Anthony Finnerty is for his miss against Cork, unless he can get that Celtic Cross.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,595 ✭✭✭Blackjack

    that publicity shoot was done after the Connacht final against Galway in Croke park in 2021, well before the Semi Final or Final.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭Pat201

    A perfect example of wrong information being used against him . That ad before final had been shot months in advance. No control on when it was released. He hardly dipped out of training to head to the beach that day .

    I think you can see even in this thread that minds have been made up about a player. From my memory the only high profile incident he has had is the fermanagh game and he has won feck all soft frees since. I am sure i could find multiple dives from other high profile players that are not even remembered.

    Those who watched the All irelands vs Dublin will know that dublin never had less than 2 men on him when a ball went in , He did not play well but it was also a fault of our game plan that we did not use our attack better. Dublin hardly put 2 on him out of disrespect to his abilities. I have no excuses for Tyrone , that was just a shambles for entire Mayo team .

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,220 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    O'Shea got 3 all stars and didn't deserve any of them, he got them due to his profile rather than actual performance and thats why people take potshots at him. Nobody likes seeing a guy receive awards and get put on a pedestal when it isn't really deserved.

    The excuses made here about his performances are really hollow, as if no other top forward ever got double marked or got special attention in a big game. As if nobody else ever had to grind away when the team wasn't built around him.

    Lee Keegan lost all those finals as well and nobody takes shots at him, because he actually stepped up and performed on the day. O'Shea never did, so he never deserved the high profile that the media gave him. And he still doesn't. All this "big man on the edge of the square" stuff we are hearing recently, Donaghy was doing that years ago and I am pretty damn sure O'Shea won't do in any finals what Donaghy managed to do for his team.

    To add, like some others I know people who deal with O'Shea in the real world, and they most certainly are not complimentary about the man.

    I don't hate O'Shea, don't much care about him, but I would quite like the media to stop telling me he is a great player, because I'm not stupid and I can see that he isn't.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,163 ✭✭✭SqueakyKneecap

    So he did a photoshoot with no idea when it was going out or that it'd be used at the optimum moment to reach the widest audience possible? That's careless so, even if it wasn't done the morning of an All-Ireland final. Definitely still warrants the criticism (or the pisstaking) he got over it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭Pogue eile

    Jaysus I'd hate to see you provide a critique of someone you do hate buckety!

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,918 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Here is O’Shea hitting the deck against Fermanagh in what looked like an audition for swan lake…

    certainly contact,it’s a contact sport but if that’s a penalty there should have been hundreds more frees in games…. He was ‘nudged’ at best and then off to do his best Irina Kolesnikova impression….

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭Pogue eile

    So we have established that Dublin lads and Galway lads don't like him, sounds like he has done his job so!

    Can we do one of these threads for Comer and Connolly, I have loads of videos and photos I can post 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭Pat201

    I think you are making my Point , you have been shown earlier in thread that contact made , You say contact made , yet you cannot but lambast him for falling . If it was conor mcmanus who fell would you ? We all revert to this same clip that was years ago to make a point so shows how common it happens with him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭Pat201

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,918 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Done his job ? Fair play to him , he has lifted Sam how many times as part of that job ? 🤷‍♂️ probably a mindset thing, Dubs, Kerry, Tyrone lads, score, win and achieve….lift Sam..

    O’Shea….33 in a few weeks I’m seeing . In fairness, he’ll probably go down as one of the best Mayo players never to win Sam… we can say that much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,918 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    It’s a contact sport. Contact does not equal a foul 😉

    he didn’t fall. He threw himself on the deck. Swan lake style.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭WesternZulu

    When a player is accused of going down easy and the only point of reference posters have from a 14 year career is an incident from 7 years ago I think it's safe to say that it doesn't hold water.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭Pogue eile

    There you have it lads, CIARAN WHELAN was shi*e, he never won an AI medal.

    Dermot Earley, Colin Corkery, Declan Browne, Paul Barden, Michael Meehan, Matty Forde, Conor McManus, Lee Keegan ....all rubbish according to Strumms criteria

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,595 ✭✭✭Blackjack

    Nothing like using a clip already debunked in the same thread to make your case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,918 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Never said O’Shea was shîte so you are making stuff now :) What I ‘actually’ said….

    ” one of the best players to never win a Sam “… sorry about that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭Pogue eile

    You are even misquoting yourself now! You said one of the best Mayo lads, in what was clearly a dig about them failing to get over the line despite being at the top end for the last decade.

  • Registered Users Posts: 121 ✭✭TagoMago

    He probably didn't deserve one in 2015 or 2017, but 2013 he did, even if his performances quietened a bit as the Championship got to the final stages. (Could be argued Seamie deserved one more as he was better against Dublin and Tyrone in the final stages).

    Think his lack of mobility very much counted against him for much of his career, particularly in the latter stages of the Championship against Dublin and (less so) Kerry. This became more apparent as his career progressed and the Dubs had his number every time they played. Ironically enough, had he not performed so well in games against Galway, Roscommon, Tyrone, Donegal, etc. he wouldn't have gotten anywhere near as much criticism for "not showing up" against the Dubs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭BENDYBINN

    It’s what mayo are good at though….the o Connor bros are masters at it

    it only gets them so far…..never the end line

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Can't include Keegan in that group, IMO. The sorest of sore losers, to the point where he tried to cheat to prevent another team winning. I hope he goes to his grave without Mayo ever getting another AI, would be justice at least.

    I still maintain, If any Dublin player had done what Keegan tried to do in 2017(?), they'd have been hauled across the coals and been banned from the game. Any of them. Lord forbid if it was anyone with a name for being a bit of a hothead.

    It’s probably an unfortunate thing that it happened. You know, I always say, If you were in my shoes, what would people have done?

    Unrepentant to the last, fcuk him. Cue hordes of Mayo players trying to justify his actions because he always gives it bollocks, if Diarmuid Connolly did it to Cillian O'Connor taking a last minute free to win it for Mayo, they'd be burning effigies of him in Castlebar.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭WesternZulu

    Well Dublin cheated their way to all those All-Ireland's so it's a bit much to blame Keegan for cheating on a micro scale in comparison 😜

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

This discussion has been closed.