Peter Canavan says GAA need to correct issue that's 'spoiling our game'
"It’s not good enough."
Peter Canavan has said that the GAA need to correct the latest craze in Gaelic football, which is long passages of possession without any attacks.
Roscommon held onto the ball against Dublin for a record six minutes last weekend at Croke Park, and although it was an effective tactic that frustrated the opposition, it's painfully boring to watch.
Westmeath did something similar against Armagh, when they held onto possession for nearly four minutes, killing the atmosphere, crowd and taking the sting out of any attacks.
Speaking on RTÉ 2fm’s Game On, the Tyrone legend explained why these bouts of possession were happening, and why they need to change.
"It’s not just the Dublin v Roscommon game, this has been a trend in our games these past couple of years," the two-time All-Ireland winner said.
"When teams elect to get a lot of bodies behind the ball, rather than go direct for your score, the traditional route, teams are becoming patient. They are trying to draw the opposition out.
"In some cases it used to be you held on to the ball for a minute, maybe two minutes, but I think we reached a record on Sunday when it was nearly six minutes.
"I get it, it’s part and parcel of the game. It’s a tactic that managers are using, but it’s terrible to watch and spoiling our game as a spectacle."
There has been suggestions for rule changes that involve a certain number of players staying up past the 45, or a shot-clock being introduced like they do in basketball.
Like a lot of things in Gaelic football, this has came as a response to opposition tactics, and it can often work itself out, like how teams adjusted to dealing with the blanket defence.
However, Canavan thinks we will see a lot more of it in the coming games, and that change is needed.
"I’ve no doubt we’ll see more of it," Canavan said. "It’s inevitable that that style of game will continue.
"In so many of the games this year already, it’s been a game of chess for the first 50/60 minutes, and then the last 10 minutes break out into a game of football.
"For those that are paying a lot to see it and those who are watching it, it’s not good enough."
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