Lee Keegan blames Donegal's lack of evolution for Michael Murphy's exit
"They haven't changed their style of play in years."
Lee Keegan blames Donegal's lack of evolution for Michael Murphy's retirement at inter-county level, citing that they have failed to change their style of play.
A lot of negative press has been surrounding Donegal GAA in recent weeks, and for good reason, as county legend Karl Lacey resigned from his role as Head of the Academy, stating that he and his coaches have "lost all faith in the governance of Donegal."
A column in the Irish Examiner then revealed that when it came to replacing Declan Bonner last summer, the county board had the option of appointing Rory Kavanagh, Karl Lacey, and most incredibly, Jim McGuinness.
McGuinness was obviously the man who sparked a revolution in the county back in 2011, and brought them and All-Ireland the following year, but even he was turned down for the role.
Keegan believes that this mess in the background and their failure to evolve their playing style, may be the reason that Murphy, Donegal's greatest ever player, decided to hang up his boots.
"There are stories bubbling up in the background about Karl Lacey quitting the academy set-up. We've had Jim McGuinness revealing (in the Irish Examiner) that he had been involved in a prospective coaching ticket with Lacey under Rory Kavanagh and then criticising the county board for their handling of the process", Keegan said in his RTE column.
"It's often remarked these days that Donegal are in transition. And yet they haven't changed their style of play in years.
"Transition is often about style of play, structure, set-up, as opposed to simply being about a raft of new players unseating the older generation. New players have arrived but the style hasn't changed.
"To be honest, I feel that was one of the reasons Murphy left when he did. One of the greatest forwards who ever played the game and yet they were so reliant on his influence, he was asked to play midfield, roaming around the middle third, performing donkey work.
"It wasn't sustainable for him to do that. I think if Donegal had been more ambitious in the latter part of the last decade, they would have plonked Murphy on the square and approached games with a more attacking mindset.
"They've been stuck in a rut since 2014. I know they've won a couple of Ulster titles but haven't really challenged at national level since that year's All-Ireland final defeat.
"The Jim McGuinness revolution delivered Donegal an All-Ireland title - you can never challenge that. But I don't think they've adapted to the way the game has evolved since."
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