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'It was shocking' - Ó Sé questions Kerry and has doubts over management ability to land All-Ireland

The Kerry All-Ireland winner was left frustrated by his county’s inability to get to grips with the Tyrone running game.

Updated Aug 30th 2021, 3:00 PM

paudie-clifford-and-selector-maurice-fitzgerald-dejected-after-the-game Paudie Clifford and Maurice Fitzgerald dejected after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

KERRY ALL-IRELAND winner Tomás Ó Sé highlighted his county’s inability to deal with Tyrone’s running game as a key factor in their downfall as they exited the championship on Saturday.

conor-meyler-padraig-hamspey-ronan-mcnamee-and-michael-mckernan-tackle-adrian-spillane Tyrone players tackle Kerry's Adrian Spillane.

The extra-time defeat means Kerry’s wait for Sam Maguire since 2014 goes on and the five-time All-Ireland senior winner does not believe the current management will bring the team to that national glory.

“Kerry knew they had five weeks to prepare for this and in terms of defending those runners, it was shocking,” remarked Ó Sé on The Sunday Game last night.

“They did not press up, they did not go after them, they did not block runs, they weren’t man-on-man like Tyrone were.

“Tyrone got into Kerry’s faces, man-on-man, and it was the biggest reason why Kerry didn’t get over them. They owned the ball in that first half on kick-outs, from (Niall) Morgan and their own ones, they had most of the possession, but they couldn’t score and they couldn’t defend right on the counter-attack.

“Kerry tried and great credit to them but tactically they were not ready enough for the counter-attacking and scoring… turning over the ball so many times. Kerry ran down dark alleys all day long, never changed it up.

paudie-clifford-and-selector-maurice-fitzgerald-dejected-after-the-game Paudie Clifford and Maurice Fitzgerald dejected after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I was very frustrated after the game in terms of you knew how they were going to set up. Dublin have laid the template on how to beat teams like that. You work it around, you wait.”

There is now uncertainty over manager Peter Keane’s future after his three-year term has concluded. Despite guiding Kerry to National League and Munster titles, the lack of an All-Ireland crown is the main focus when scrutinising his tenure.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful but nobody remembers National Leagues, and the way the Munster Championship is at the moment it doesn’t stand for much the way it is and the competition that’s down there,” said Ó Sé.

“In 2019 against Dublin we should have won the first day; 2020 against Cork was an absolute disaster and then Tyrone yesterday.

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“Does management matter? I think it does. Look at Tyrone, for example, this year. Different management came in with a different style of play and they tweaked a few things and reinvigorated players.

feargal-logan-shake-stands-with-peter-keane-after-the-game Feargal Logan shakes hands with Peter Keane after the game. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“Has the team come on from where they were?

“Is this team capable of winning [an All-Ireland]? Yes, I think this team is capable of winning an All-Ireland. Do I think the current management can bring them there? I don’t think so.”

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