After the Laois game I was disappointed. And confused.
I couldn't figure how such a good outfit could play so badly.
I also couldn't understand how one or two simple changes that the dogs in the street could see, weren't made.
For the first 20 minutes, Roscommon players looked so..... listless, tired, whatever. I wondered had they had some heavy training too close to the match - in other words, were they were overlooking Laois? At least 5 times in that period a Roscommon player in possession was either pinged for overcarrying or dispossessed by multiple Laois players. This was simply because there was not a single Roscommon player helping them out. Nobody was looking for the ball, except Donie who was isolated with at least 2 markers.
They improved for the last 10 minutes or so, led by Brian Stack, who should simply never, ever be wasted at full-back. He's far too valuable to the team farther out the field. He's a dynamic player, not a man-marker. Yet, in spite of all the trouble he was having, when Conor Daly came on.... they played him at wing back????
Gary Patterson was eaten alive and stayed on for the whole match. Why? He's not good enough. Sorry for being so blunt, but it's the truth.
And I cannot let Noel Gately away with his incredibly greedy decision to NOT pass the ball to an unmarked Cian McKeown straight in front of a near-empty net, for what would have been a 99% certainty of a goal and a match sealer. If a 12 year old did that, you'd be taking him aside after the match to hammer home the importance of the TEAM!!! Personal glory is irrelevant. It's all about the TEAM Noel!! Unfortunately, like so many star players from small clubs, where they don't have much quality around them and feel they have to do it themselves, he took the stupid option. And he has a long history of doing the same, which is why I don't buy the excuse some have made for him of being inexperienced.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, but once I thought more about it, this could be a blessing in disguise, because if Roscommon had won that game by 5 or 6 points having played poorly, it would have papered over a lot of cracks and mistakes. Maybe this can act as a kick up the arse and make everyone realise that you cannot take any team for granted. If they have realised that, I believe they should beat Fermanagh on Sunday.