Former Derry football All-Star Joe Brolly has blasted the tactics used by Jim McGuinness in bringing success to Donegal.
During his tenure manager from 2010 – 2014, Donegal captured the All-Ireland title and won three Ulster senior football championships.
He stepped down following last month’s All-Ireland final defeat by Kerry.
However, according to Brolly, who won an All-Ireland title and two Ulster senior football championships with Derry in the 1990s, that success has come at a price, claiming “in bringing success to his own team, McGuinness has destroyed the game,” saying the evidence of this is currently on show in the Donegal Senior Football Championship.
Brolly was an interested spectator in the Donegal SFC clash between two of the best club sides in the county, St Michael’s and Glenswilly last weekend.
With star forwards Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden on opposite teams, it had all the ingredients of being a fantastic game.
But the game finished on a scoreline of 1-04 to 1-02 in favour of Glenswilly with neither side scoring a single point from play throughout the entire match.
According to Brolly this is the legacy McGuinness has left behind in Donegal, but states that blanket defences aren’t just immune to Donegal.
Brolly believes that the defensive system implemented by McGuinness is being replicated all over Ireland by club and county sides alike.
He says the only two counties not effected by what he describes as ‘Footebola’ are Dublin and Mayo.
In his column with the Gaelic Life, Brolly penned: ” When Jimmy McGuinness introduced Footebola into Ireland in 2011, it initially caused shock and nationwide anger, not to say panic.
“But we were powerless to stop it, since as even black lads from Senegal quickly realised, it wins matches.
“Footebola is now a pandemic, rampaging through a defenceless nation. It rendered most of the 2014 championship unwatchable, including the All-Ireland final which was the worst since the advent of the television era.
“At the weekend, Glenswilly met St Michael’s. In the old days before the plague, a game between teams spearheaded by Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden would have guaranteed excitement and pleasure.
“Not in the post Jimmy era. The bald scoreline of 1-4 to 1-2 simply does not do justice to this sad affair.
“Not a single point was scored from play (described nowadays as “a defensive triumph”). Glenswilly didn’t score for 44 minutes, after Murphy had pointed a free in the first minute.
Brolly adds that employing such systems as effective as they might be, ruin some of the crucial components of the GAA, which are creativity, imagination and freedom.
He feels the continued use of such systems will continue to have a detrimental effect on the game and damage it beyond repair.
“What is wrong with this approach? Well, it defeats the human spirit and is destroying crucial components of the game: Happiness, freedom, creativity, imagination.
“I suppose we shouldn’t complain. Gaelic football had a great run of it, for almost 130 years.
“Sooner or later a Jimmy McGuinness was bound to come along. But in bringing success to his own team, he has destroyed the game.”Tags: