Ciaran Whelan makes very honest assessment about Dublin Allianz League Sunday show
"You can't use the excuse that 'we have players to come back'.
Former Dublin midfielder Ciaran Whelan was on The League on Sunday show last night analysing the penultimate weekend of the Allianz National League.
The big talking point was of course, Dublin being relegated to Division Two for the first time in 27 years, an absolutely extraordinary outcome given their unprecedented dominance over this past decade.
Monaghan achieved the Great Escape when they nicked a last minute winner against the Dubs - thanks to Jack McCarron - and now the capital have officially been demoted.
Throughout their disappointing league campaign, the one caveat thrown in was the fact that they were missing so many key players.
Cormac Costello, James McCarthy, Eoin Murchan, Johnny Cooper and several others were all missing throughout the opening games, but when they did make a return, results started to go their way.
They got a big win against Tyrone, followed by an impressive victory against Donegal, and things looked rosy in the garden again as all they had to do was beat the Farney men, and they would make it through this league unscathed.
However, they fell short and Whelan was very honest in his assessment of this current crop. He doesn't see any more excuses that they can fall back on.
"I think we have got to be very honest - apart from Con O'Callaghan, that's Dublin's strongest team.
"Apart from Con O'Callaghan that's Dublin's strongest team."
Ciaran Whelan says Dublin have work to do between now and the championship to get their structures right - and that they could be back playing league games at Parnell Park next year! #RTEGAA pic.twitter.com/Atbm9UoEK3
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) March 27, 2022
"That's where we're at going into the championship, so you can't use the excuse that 'we have players to come back', nearly everybody is back apart from Con O'Callaghan.
"I think they have a bit of work to do between now and championship to get that structure right, it was better in the last couple of weeks, but they still need to work on it.
"They're in Division Two next year, and we will probably have league games back in Parnell Park next year."
The fact that Kildare were also relegated means that no Leinster team will be competing at the top table next season - a real blow to the province that has lost so much attraction already in recent years.