GAA | 10 months ago

"I saw a lot of stuff about my personal life and stuff like that that I've had to endure but I've kept my peace."

Whatever you think of Aidan O'Shea as a footballer, what on earth has that got to do with what you don't know about him as a person?

Whether you think he took fall or not against Fermanagh, whether you think he's not playing that well this season, that's where it ends. That's where it should always end.

After what was a truly spectacular Mayo performance - one of the best - the big Breaffy man took off towards to the corner of Croke Park and started screaming in the direction of the TV boxes. You could tell it meant a lot to him. You could tell it meant a lot to Mayo.

"I haven't been playing my best - I'm okay admitting that," O'Shea spoke brilliantly on SportsJOE's GAA Hour podcast on Monday.

"I've been adequate but not at the levels I set for myself. I'm not saying the last day I had a massive game or anything but I suppose I knew the importance of the game.

"I did feel like we weren't even being talked about with regards to winning the game and that Tyrone were potential All-Ireland champions and that they were going to dethrone Dublin etc. Our record stands for itself, this will be our sixth semi-final in a row and we just felt there was a real performance within ourselves and I think that came out a bit afterwards.

"Whether we win, lose or draw, I don't think the character of this team can ever be questioned. I think Mayo are just an easy target for a lot of pundits because we haven't won an Al-Ireland in so long and I think we're an easy target that deflects attention off other teams and people just talk about Mayo."

Listen to the full interview with Colm Parkinson below (from 13:30).

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In yet another weekend full of big players being targetted an referees dishing out yellow cards galore - mostly after men were being provoked - Aidan O'Shea was one of those named that seemed to be identified by Tyrone players for some off the ball antagonising.

"I don't think anything over the weekend was anything new," he said. "I'm not really sure what can be done, I spoke before about having two referees etc. All I know is that, from our side of things, we didn't go out to target anybody. Nobody even spoke about players on the Tyrone team, or trying to line them or anything like that.

"To be honest with you, we didn't even talk about man-marking jobs because if you do that against Tyrone, they interchange so often that it would've been a silly tactic.

"I probably would've responded to it negatively a few years ago. Over the last couple years I've gotten a bit more experience and what I have learned is that, being six foot four, you're going to get spotted doing something very, very easily - if you do respond. I do see myself back on tape maybe smiling or whatever and that's maybe just my defence mechanism to keep myself in tact.

"Sometimes it can be difficult. Defenders are trying to get some of the better players in the opposition team off their game and if they can do that even a couple of percent, then that could be the difference. The one thing I would say is look at other sports, look at basketball or American Football - I was at an American Football game last year where Odell Beckham was playing and he was being targetted and tagged and they wanted to try and get him off his game."

Of course, he was also forced to go through that Fermanagh incident again but he opened up on it and stated:

"I am categorically denying that it was a dive."

Here the full take on it below with Colm Parkinson, Paul Galvin and Senan Connell. Click here to subscribe on iTunes.

Westmeath manager Tom Cribbin gives brutally honest take on how to play Dublin on The GAA Hour. Marc Ó Sé discusses who will replace Diarmuid Connolly.  Listen below or subscribe here on iTunes.


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Mayo GAA, The GAA Hour, Aidan O'Shea