"Derry were playing complete and utter blanket defence" 1 year ago

"Derry were playing complete and utter blanket defence"

"Even Pat Spillane was bouncing about, I thought someone had put a shot into him."

Derry and Donegal no doubt ignited the spark of the championship last weekend with a tight thriller that you couldn't keep your eyes off.


All the talk among pundits is how football has changed - it's more attacking, they kick more, and we get these great high scoring games.

However, former Donegal forward, Brendan Devenney didn't see anything out of the ordinary when he saw Derry's set-up against Donegal last Sunday.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, he breaks down exactly what he saw, and why Donegal made it difficult for themselves.

"I couldn't believe at the weekend there, I couldn't believe about some of the comments saying the two teams were playing similar, from the analysis from RTE and that.

"The two teams weren't playing similar, Derry were playing complete and utter blanket defence, 15 inside the 45, rigid defence and hitting Donegal on the counter.


"For some reason, and I thought this would get sorted in the water break, but the only way to play that is to mirror it. We have seen it time and time again, and it would make a disaster of the game.

"It was funny how excited people got about the game, football has moved into a different zone, even Pat Spillane was bouncing about, I thought someone had put a shot into him, he was going nuts, and I was like - this is blanket defence!

"Fair enough there was some brilliant points taken, but blanket defence has forced that. It was still very horrible 'keep ball' and don't get me wrong, tension, excitement, all of that, it had it, but still out and out blanket defence.

"The difference with Donegal is, they were engaging Derry at different stages around the pitch, and they didn't drop into the 45 which they needed to.


"So as they approached the Derry attack, say about the 60 or that, if Derry got one man beyond that, next thing the 45 has opened up, and how many times do you see a simple hand-pass inside into good forwards?

"Our defenders were struggling one on one, time and time again. Donegal get the ball and Derry drop completely right inside the 45 - come ahead, what are you going to do?

"For someone to say that McBrearty was useless, but when Donegal did this to teams, forwards didn't get the ball.


"So your full forward's job there - and while being marked by Chrissy McKaigue who is a top class defender - is to kick his frees and then he hit this absolute wonder point.

"That's blanket defence. You're not going to get many opportunities."

You can listen to the full discussion on the GAA Hour now.