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11th Jul 2021

“I’m just telling you to mind the language” – Mickey Harte clashes with Oisin McConville over his half-time analysis


Harte took exception to the way McConville described Derry’s style of football.

Derry took on Donegal in one of the games of the 2021 season, as a Paddy McBrearty point at the death won it for Declan Bonner’s side.

The BBC half-time analysis was equally as fiery, with former Tyrone boss locking horns with Armagh’s Oisin McConville, regarding comments he made to describe Derry’s style of play.

Harte: I just want to pick up on something that Oisin said at the start, he described this game as defensive, and that’s doing it a disservice.

McConville: I didn’t say it was defensive.

Harte: Oh you did, you said there’s a lot of defensive football being played here.

McConville: No, I said they were getting bodies back, that doesn’t mean defensive football…

Harte: No, I’m sorry, you used the word defensive…

McConville: No I didn’t.

Harte: You did, just check it out there (to the cameras) and that’s what’s happening around this game. People talk about being negative, they talk about being defensive, they talk about blankets and all sorts of stuff.

McConville: When I said that, I was praising Derry, I was praising them for getting bodies back.

Harte: That’s alright, I’m just telling you to mind the language, because it’s better to say that it’s quality football and the defenders are the people who are playing with real skill here today, more than the forwards.

After looking back at the footage, we can confirm that Harte was correct and that McConville’s exact words were:”Okay, it’s defensive football.”

However, the context surrounding it was that of praise, as he applauded Derry’s work rate, skill and determination.

On a technicality though, he did say “defensive”, so you would have to chalk that one up for a Harte win.

The pair then clashed again during their analysis of last year’s All-Ireland senior football semi-final.

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