“Nobody ever defended anything succ
essfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more” ― George S. Patton Jr.
The above quote, from the legendary American war General, should form the basis of Andy McEntee’s team talk in Croke Park tomorrow night.
That’s the considered opinion of the Dubliner who knows Meath football better than most.
Wayne McCarthy was a Dubs regular when playing with Erins Isle, and later signed and starred for Simonstown, and while he believesthe Dubs will prevail tomorrow, possibly by a dozen or so points, he is absolutely adamant that if Meath adopt a defensive attitude they will lose.
He told Meath Live,’ Meath’s best chance and maybe their only chance is to have a go from the start that has to be their approach.
‘Their are some very good young players on the side, Jordan Morris, Shane Walsh and young Costello for example, lads that will have no fear of playing the Dubs unless that fear is instilled in them by management.
‘If they have it drilled into them that they must attack and rip into the Dubs from the throw in who knows how the dice will roll.
‘If they sit back Dublin will go four or five points ahead force them out of their shell then BANG a goal and it’s game over.
‘However if Andy sends them out to tear into Dublin at 100mph put them on the back foot they could shake them up.
‘I’ve been in dressing rooms with teams who have been on long unbeaten runs and I don’t care what anyone tells you a little bit of complacency sets in, if Meath go for it and get a few points up the Dubs will be thinking, ‘Hang on this is not meant to happen’, and who knows how they will react.
‘Don’t forget Dublin can be got at in terms of creating goal chances, look at how many times in recent big games Cluxton has baled them out with saves, and Meath, if they have nothing else going for them, can certainly score goals.
‘The mindset the side is sent out with is crucial, nine out of ten teams in Leinster go out agaonst Dublin with the management telling them they can win but neither them or the players actually believing they can.
‘I am convinced managers think it will look good on their CV if they can say they were in charge of a team that ran Dublin to five or six points, wouldn’t it look far better if their CV said they managed a side that beat the Dubs.’
McCarthy does identify a flaw that the Dubs can exploit, as he feels Meath have a goalkeeping problem.
‘Markie Brennan is a good goalkeeper, a very good one, but what age is he now, thirty six is it, his best days are behind him and Andy Colgan doesn’t convince me either, going forward it’s an issue needs to be addressed.
‘Meath have improved enormously over the last year in three key areas, they have blooded a lot of good youngsters, and there’s more coming through, they have got physically stronger and finally they are physically fitter.
‘That said they are still further down the curve in all three of those areas than the Dubs,and I would back them to get promoted straight back up from division two.
‘Tomorrow though might be a bit soon in their development to actually beat Dublin, they are still a bit off them, listen Leinster football needs a competitive Meath side, there’s an argument to be made that Dublin need Meath to be competing with them, but I feel next year could be the year that happens.
‘For me Meath have to go out tomorrow throw caution to the wind and try and rock Dublin back on their heels, sitting back and defending only delays the inevitable.’