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19th Jul 2021

“They definitely don’t seem to have the same aura” – Dublin continue to struggle for top form in championship

Lee Costello

“Dublin obviously fell way off their standards.”

It looked like business as usual when Dublin mounted an 11-point lead going into half time against Meath at Croke Park.

Everyone just expected them to kick on and completely kill the game off in another bore-fest, that only further highlights the gulf in class between the Dubs and the rest of Leinster.

However, Meath came out fighting and incredibly closed the gap to just three points before the men in blue finally decided to hit some scores in the second half.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson dared ask the question that GAA fans everywhere are thinking.

“I refused to jump on this ‘Dubs in crisis’ bandwagon after the Wexford match – it was the first round, away from home, we’ve seen it before, no big deal.

“First half against Meath – very good. Second half – if Dublin are 11 points up in Leinster, you’re looking at the handicap, you’re looking at a demolition, but you’re looking at them falling apart in the second half.

“Do we read something into this? It’s still a very strong Dublin team, but is there something going on there, that’s affecting their level of performance?”

Armagh’s Aaron Kernan was also on the show, and although he was wary of claiming the Dubs have reached their demise, he couldn’t help but note that there are clear issues they need to sort out.

“With everything that they’ve done it’s very hard to turn around and say it’s a crisis, but I seen the bench that they had, and they’ve just haemorrhaged that many top players, even impact players off the bench, like Kevin McManamon, who is going to come on with a different dynamic.

“They’re going to be so hard to replace. I don’t know whether it’s a mixture of the amount of players that they lost, or whether there is some different issue that we maybe don’t know about.

“It’s just so hard to tell because you get no feedback out of them whatsoever, but there is definitely a change with dynamic there.

“It is very hard when you do have a core group of players who are running everything and carrying the same sort of culture or ethos within the group, and you have new faces coming in.

“I get that up the middle, they still have the same sort of spine, but they definitely don’t seem to have the same aura or invincibility.

“You never see them rattled but you just knew with their body language, Jesus these boys are in a game, and for Meath to bring it back to three points – huge credit to Meath, because they could have thought ‘here we go again, another trimming from Dublin in Croke Park.’

“It’s a bit of both. Dublin obviously fell way off their standards and Meath to be fair, they really rolled up their sleeves.”

You can listen to the full discussion on the GAA Hour now!