"I think Tyrone are going to go down this year" - O'Sullivan unimpressed by 2021 All-Ireland champs 7 months ago

"I think Tyrone are going to go down this year" - O'Sullivan unimpressed by 2021 All-Ireland champs

Darran O'Sullivan reckons Tyrone are among the leading candidates for relegation from Division One in 2023.

The Red Hand were trounced by Derry in the McKenna Cup final a fortnight ago and while there was an improvement, they were still a long way off the mark in their National League pipe-opener against Roscommon.

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All looked to be going to plan for Tyrone when they opened up a three point lead in the second half but despite the help of a strong breeze, Roscommon kicked onto beat them by five points.

It's a long way from their 2021 All-Ireland winning form and O'Sullivan, who won four All-Irelands during his time with Kerry, sees them as a team that has lost their hunger.

"I'm going to come out with a bold one," O'Sullivan said on the first GAA Hour Show of the year.

"It's worth nothing that every time I come out with a prediction, I make a fool out of myself, but I think Tyrone are going to go down this year.

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"There's something not right there. They got into a three point lead in the second half, with the wind at their backs, and didn't take the opportunity. They kind of collapsed after that. I don't know what's going on up there, but they've just gone so far backwards since winning the All-Ireland.

"On paper it's very strong, and you can't deny the quality in the forwards," adds O'Sullivan.

"They came from nowhere, slightly, to win an All-Ireland, and sometimes when you get that medal, it's hard to get the hunger back. I thought after last year's early exit, they'd come back this year ready to go.

McCurry

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"Maybe it is an attitude thing, a lot of them have their medal, sometimes it's hard to get the hunger back.

"You're a bit more of a household name, get a few more gigs, and it's hard then to play with that edge then that they were known for. But maybe it has softened a few of them, which would be very unlike Tyrone. Maybe what's got me feeling this way is the improvement of the Armaghs and so on, but something's not right," he added.

Tyrone have lost a number of players since that All-Ireland win, with men like Paul Donaghy, Lee Brennan, Tiernan McCann, Hugh Pat McGeary and Ronan O'Neill among those who have walked away. Conor McKenna, meanwhile, has gone back to the AFL to play with the Brisbane Lions.

Former SportsJOE journalist and GAA Hour pundit Kevin McGillicuddy doesn't see them going down though.

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"I don't know what has gone wrong with Tyrone," said the Kerry man.

They came out of nowhere, they won an All-Ireland. And it looked like they could be set up for a number of years. They lost a huge amount of players last year, they got to the McKenna Cup final - a competition they usually do well in - but then they flopped in the final.

"On Sunday then, you know, Roscommon just hit them with these Tyrone-like sucker-punch goals. But Tyrone collapsed, they didn't look up for it mentally and they just seemed shell-shocked.

"It's hard to know what has gone wrong, their forward division is very good. They looked quite fit, but defensively, they fell assunder on Sunday. Once Roscommon got a sniff of blood, they were gone.

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"I would say Dooher and Logan are under a bit of pressure now too, if performances don't improve. But look, to get relegated, they have to be worse than Monaghan, Donegal or Roscommon, and they're definitely not worse than those three teams, who are surely the candidates for relegation," he added.

Listen to the full chat around 30 minutes in below.