Battered Tyrone need to be rebuilt, declares McGuigan
by Paul Keane
Thursday, August 25, 2011
FORMER All Star Frank McGuigan claims he foresaw Tyrone’s hammering by Dublin, insisting the once mighty Red Hands need a major overhaul.
The Tyrone great typically pulled no punches in his assessment of the current team’s fortunes, saying "Mother Nature has crept up" on them.
What’s most worrying is McGuigan’s admission that his two sons, Tyrone forwards Brian and Tommy, may retire with a host of other veterans over the winter.
He said Brian, 32 in January, is the more likely to leave and hit out at boss Mickey Harte for substituting him against Dublin.
Even if Brian had stayed on the field, however, it is likely he would have been powerless to prevent Dublin steamrolling the 2003, 05 and 08 All-Ireland champions.
"I knew that Tyrone were coming to the end of their tether," claimed McGuigan. "You can’t go on forever and that Tyrone team have been together for a long time. I noticed that the defence was slowing up a lot and I dreaded the day that they would get a hammering. It came against Dublin. It made Dublin look a lot better than they are.
"You’re always hoping against hope that the opposition won’t be good enough and maybe they’d get away with it. But the defence is a bit slow and we lost the midfield battle too."
Tyrone did run up a big score on Roscommon to set up the clash with Dublin, though McGuigan was dismissive of this.
"Roscommon — what have they done?" he asked.
"It’s just one of those things. Mother Nature has crept up on Tyrone. It’s time for a rebuilding process."
But McGuigan doesn’t see much talent coming through.
"The way I look at it, we need a lot of young players and I don’t know where they are," he continued.
"I don’t see them in Tyrone to be honest with you."
McGuigan fancies Donegal to beat an over-hyped Dublin team this weekend but argues the Ulster champions shouldn’t be in the semi-final at all. "Donegal shouldn’t be there," he maintained, referencing Tomás Connor’s quarter-final goal for Kildare which was ruled out for a heavily debated square ball infringement.
"Kildare beat them in my eyes. How these umpires and referees — I have been preaching it for years — how do they get it wrong on a day like that? These Kildare players put in a massive effort. They got a perfectly good goal and it’s disallowed — that’s not on the cards at all."
Asked if it ever happened to McGuigan as a player, he replied: "No, it didn’t. And if it did the referee or the umpire wouldn’t have been going home!"
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