"He was a liability there" - Joe Brolly says Michael Murphy's role is not good enough
There might be a point in there somewhere but it'll get lost in the overzealous description.
Michael Murphy is a lot of things but he certainly isn't a liability.
It's been a curse on Rory Gallagher and Declan Bonner, having a Michael Murphy without Neil Gallagher and Rory Kavanagh there as well. Jim McGuinness had that and could operate without Murphy in the Donegal engine room but since the county's two legendary midfielders started to descend the hill, the Glenswilly man has been asked to play at 8, to play at 11, and to play at 14.
In truth, they could do with him in each of those positions and that's what they've tried but it's been to the detriment of one of the most feared footballers in Ireland.
Joe Brolly watched Dublin keep the Ulster champions at arm's length throughout the All-Ireland quarter-final group 1 game and he grew increasingly frustrated at the impact Murphy was having. At half time, he highlighted the fact that this man was supposed to be - and he is a lot of times - the best footballer in Ireland and he bemoaned that he wasn't running Dublin ragged.
At full time? He went over the top but his points were still valid that Donegal would've been better without him around the middle.
"Michael Murphy was anonymous around the middle of the field. He was a liability there," he said.
"Sooner or later, somebody's going to have to say this is not good enough for a player of his calibre."
He wasn't a liability, he never is, and he wasn't anonymous either but he wasn't in a position to really draw blood from the champions and no-one could cut anyone as much as Michael Murphy could. Bonner would argue that they need him around the middle, especially when they're being dominated on kickouts and more especially because of the running power of Dublin but, in truth, 0-16 is never going to be enough to beat Dublin.
And without McBrearty, they needed inspiration from somewhere else.
"Put him on the edge of the square, Jamie Brennan playing off him," Brolly said.
"Jamie Brennan was all on his own and left to soldier alone.
"What did they have to lose in the second half? They're sitting and allowing Dublin to hand pass around for four or five minutes. They were like dogs chasing airplanes. Pointless football."
'That was an opportunity squandered by Donegal to go out and really go for it. Michael Murphy was anonymous around the middle of the field, he was a liability there.' pic.twitter.com/lbVKr2WKH2
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 14, 2018