Mickey Harte: A manager above all the rest? 5 years ago

Mickey Harte: A manager above all the rest?

Whatever you think of Mickey Harte, the man is a legend.

No-one else in the entire footballing world has been able to reinvent themselves like Mickey Harte has. Christ, it must be the toughest thing for a manager to do, to continuously come back year after year and keep people listening to not just your ideas, but your bloody voice.


Humans get tired of familiarity very quickly but Harte and his changing backroom teams have kept Tyrone constantly refreshed and, more than that, consistently competing at the top.

For 15 seasons now, the Red Hand county have been a force to be reckoned with as the boss built, won with, and then waved goodbye to two different teams. Now, he's at the head of a third unit still bound by Sean Cavanagh and that same side conquered the province and they're outsiders for Sam.

Tyrone's form in the league stuttered though towards the end of this campaign and that caused people to question whether Mickey Harte's defensive system is too predictable.

On the latest GAA Hour, the debate raged about the Ulster kingpins.


Colm Parkinson: "I think Tyrone's game plan is so predictable..."

Steven McDonnell: "Maybe there's a realisation for Mickey Harte, knowing that he ultimately doesn't have the attacking flair to go and press Dublin hard. If it was a Stephen O'Neill or an Owen Mulligan inside, their approach could be slightly different."

But they did have two defenders with Cian Ward saying Harte was probably ahead of all other managers.

Conán Doherty: "Maybe Harte thinks that this setup helps them in an attacking set-up though - not just defensively. He's probably looked at it and thought we have a team of half backs, let's just run at teams from deep."

Cian Ward: "This conversation is making me very wary. The one thing Mickey Harte does is that, every single year, you can guarantee that - whatever game they're knocked out in - his team are only going to lose by less than three points.

"To be overly critical of how he sets up his teams or the approach he's taking is probably not a comfortable place to be sitting because he's so good and you'd have him ahead of all the other managers in terms of his approach to the game and his intelligence and how he sets up his teams. How long has he been doing this? And every single year, no matter how good his team is, they're always so hard to beat."

(Listen to the full debate on Tyrone's system from 30:15)


Harte was not, however, picked to be manager of the year by any of the GAA Hour panelists.

Wooly: Jim Gavin (Dublin)

Cian Ward: Éamonn Fitzmaurice (Kerry)


Steven McDonnell: Éamonn Fitzmaurice (Kerry)

Conán Doherty: Malachy O'Rourke (Monaghan)