Former Dublin manager Tommy Carr says there’s “not a hope” of Kerry finishing the season as All-Ireland senior football champions, writes Jackie Cahill.
Carr believes the Kingdom “don’t have the legs” to go all the way to September glory, despite their recent Munster success.
And Carr has also dismissed Westmeath’s hopes of causing a massive shock against Dublin in next Sunday’s senior decider.
Carr, a previous Westmeath minor boss, has predicted that a situation may arise where the Dubs go ten or 12 points clear and engage in “show-boating” to close the game out.
Former All-Ireland medallist Carr does believe that Ulster finalists Tyrone are a genuine threat to All-Ireland champions Dublin but he has written Kerry off as contenders.
He said: “You’d have to be looking at the likes of Tyrone because Kerry certainly won’t stop them (Dublin).
“Not at all, not a hope, they don’t have the legs, they’re still playing Kieran Donaghy in the middle of the park.
“If you watch the League final, how laboured they are became so evident as the game went on.
“Tyrone are the type of team that Dublin hate playing against. They’re the only team capable of doing it.
“But they still have to play Donegal in an Ulster final and that will tell you a lot.
When asked if Westmeath have any chance against Dublin at Croke Park, Carr replied: “No. And certainly not if they set up like last year, which is a temptation.
“Whatever chance they have of being defensive, they have no chance unless they got out and play a bit of football.
“And the one thing I can’t get my head around is how teams still allow the opposition for nothing.
“In the Galway-Roscommon game, Seanie McDermott (Roscommon) must have got ten or 12 kick-outs last Sunday, for nothing.
“And if you watch every time he got the ball, he actually got as far as midfield before anybody came to him.
“So now you’re actually allowing the kick-out to be taken from midfield, because the player is able to get there.
“It makes no sense. It’s so hard get the ball in hurling and football, and get it cleanly, and now you’re allowing them to get it without any hassle at all.”
While acknowledging that Westmeath’s Leinster final experience against Dublin last year will benefit them ahead of Sunday’s repeat encounter, he says that the provincial kingpins will have too much pace and power.
Carr added: “Westmeath have some good footballers if they go out and play but they’re going to get caught for pace and power, there’s no doubt about it.
“They may last 30, 40 minutes or 50 minutes but it’s like Mayo and Fermanagh, you just see the gaps opening up as the game went on, the tiredness came in and sloppy tackling, all those bits and pieces, the characteristics of poor play. “Dublin will have too much for Westmeath, no doubt about it.
“If you watch the first ten or 15 minutes of it (last year’s Leinster final), they were fine.
“But a lot of it is they give up on the plan 15 or 20 minutes into the game, they don’t have the discipline to maintain what they’re doing.
“Why can they do it for the first ten or 15 minutes and not do it for the next 15 minutes?
“The opposition don’t have the discipline or concentration to maintain what they’re doing.
“They don’t even have to maintain it for 70 minutes, if they can maintain it for 50 or 55 minutes, then it becomes a different game.
“Dublin may not win this game by 15 or 20 points but if they get to ten or 12 points, they’ll start messing with the ball, they’ll start showboating.
“That’s what you could see in this game – they go ten or 12 points up and it stays like that then for 40 minutes.
“‘They’ll kick one and we’ll kick one’ and we’ll just keep that cushion there.”