"I think it's planned to be honest" - Davy's outbursts all part of the plan according to Murphy and Carton
Having spent the day calling each other every name under the sun, it cracked a smile when in the background of a TG4 interview, you saw Davy Fitzgerald and Darren Gleeson shaking hands and leaving it all behind them.
It's in this warrior game you see, where all is fair in love and war. It wasn't the first time and as Fitzgerald said himself, it won't be the last time he'll charge up and down the line with a dirty mouth and an angry head but when all is said and done and he finds himself sent off and sitting in the stands, you'd wonder what effect it all has on the Wexford players.
After the game, Fitzgerald put it down to his will to win, a will that won't bend for anyone and it was on Monday's GAA Hour Show when Colm Parkinson, Paul Murphy and Michael Carton discussed whether the outbursts are pre-planned or whether Davy just can't keep the head.
Colm Parkinson believes in the latter.
"It's a great bit of drama and we do need characters like Davy in the game as far as I'm concerned. He clearly can't control his temper. I don't think it is to motivate his players, I think he just loses the plot a little bit. I mean, they were winning by five points when he lost his cool this time. You can see him, he's clearly just losing his temper," said Wooly.
But Paul Murphy and Michael Carton both agreed that Fitzgerald is either trying to rile up his players or to influence referees and officials.
All's fair in love and hurling 🤝pic.twitter.com/dG0A4TL1zV
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) June 8, 2021
"I think it's planned to be honest," says former Kilkenny hurler Murphy.
"He said in the interview after the game 'if a few decisions went our way in the first half, we could have been eight or ten up and the game was different.' I think that shows you what Davy thinks of these small decisions and how much of a difference they make. If you look at the first time he got riled up, it was a 50:50 decision over a line-ball. Antrim got the decision and after Davy's arguing, the referee thought about it and talked to the linesman. They could have got that decision. Davy looks at those things like 'if we get those decisions, maybe we could get a break and go and win the match."
"If you look at the times he's getting sent off at - I remember him getting sent off in Salthill in 2019 - he's a very emotive leader, he's shouting, he has passion, but he's also distracting from what's happening on the pitch. Antrim are coming back at Wexford at this stage, he came down to the pitch, riled the lads up, was trying to take the sting out of the Antrim attack. Got sent off, but sure he was still influencing the game, he was still in team-talks, was he really sent off? I think he knows what he's doing, it's a way he sees he can influence the game, it's worked for him before and I wouldn't hold it against him."
With the Wexford players conceding a number of frees after Fitzgerald got the line, Michael Carton wonders whether the sideshow is having a negative impact on the team's performance.
"He uses it is a tool to motivate his players. But how can you give out to one of your players for being indisciplined when you're at that? Wexford went onto lose their discipline in the second half of that game, giving away a lot of silly frees. I like when managers go at it on the line, it's funny to watch. I love his passion, but I just think he needs to learn that you can't be getting the gate the whole time because that can affect your players.
"I'd say he's saying to his players 'leave the ref to me. I'll do the roaring and shouting, you just play.' You don't often see the Wexford players at the ref or the linesman. Honestly, I don't think it works that well. But sure look, it was only a wall that was stopping him on Saturday so it made no difference."
Corrigan Park is one of those grounds that wouldn't make sense without a crowd going mad.
They had plenty to go mad about today, and that was before Davy Fitz got the road.https://t.co/0ezJECNnZ9
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) June 5, 2021
Listen to the full show here.