Former Galway defender Greg Kennedy says he can’t stand the fist-pumping done by the current crop of players.
In the wake of criticism from pundits Anthony Daly and Michael Duignan following Sunday’s Leinster final defeat to Kilkenny, the Loughrea man in the main defended them.
However, he was aghast at some of their behaviour when winning frees and scoring points. “This fist-pumping after scoring or winning a free, it drives me bananas. The only time you should be encouraging yourself or celebrating like that is when you’ve the game won or when you win a ball, clear it and shout over to the next fella ‘we have to keep doing more of that’. There’s no need for the dramatics. It doesn’t look right and it’s not something you see Kilkenny doing often. Win your own ball, find a team-mate, move on. Find the posts, anticipate the puck-out, move on.”
Kennedy wants to see Micheál Donoghue instil fear in the camp as they prepare for an All-Ireland quarter-final. But he thinks the flak aimed at the players since Sunday for compelling Anthony Cunningham to leave is slightly misdirected.
“The players put themselves on the chopping block and I applaud them in one way for doing that but they need to walk the walk. It’s alright for lads on the outside commenting on the inside but the players made a stance and did it not for their own good or personal reasons against Anthony Cunningham but for what they felt was the good of Galway.
“I think the players need to fear the manager. They do in Kilkenny and that’s why they perform for Brian Cody. Ger Loughnane had it to a point in Galway but we still didn’t win anything. I just believe the psyche needs to change.
“The coaching aspect worries me too. I was watching two Kilkenny subs warming up in Croke Park and the way they were hitting the ball to one another you’d swear they were going to start. At the other end, I looked at the Galway subs and they were lackadaisical.”
Kennedy would love to see Joe Canning at centre-back when Galway line out in their All-Ireland quarter-final.
“I’d love to see Joe Canning at centre-back. From there, he could really captain the ship. He would be on the ball a lot more and control things.”
Kennedy knows Galway can be at least a last-four team providing they work on a couple of areas – moving the ball out of defence and creating better scoring scenarios. “If you look back on the game, Daithi Burke cleared a ball off his back foot and straight to Richie Hogan for a point. Fergal Moore cleared a ball going towards the sideline off his backfoot and another Kilkenny point followed. Too many bad clearances.
“Galway didn’t threaten a goal. When Galway beat Kilkenny in 2012, the team had a system capable of beating Kilkenny but they’re not applying it. Cyril Donnellan was shooting for his own scores again from impossible angles. He wouldn’t have done that in 2012.”
Here's a little extra sport. Watch the latest BallTalk for the best sports chat and analysis: Euro 2016 - Can Wales win Euro 2016?
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved