Ulster Senior Football Championship 2021


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I think yesterday gave us every emotion possible for an Armagh supporter in one game, despair, anger, hope, elation and then back to despair.

7 points down at half time having scored 14 points. It just doesnt make any sense. Goals win games and defence wins championships. No team is going to win any game if they have to score 30 points to do it. Yet for all we conceded, we had the better forward line and the better midfield and left a few more scores behind us. It just defies logic.

Defence and closing out games has been an achilles heal for years for Armagh and by the time we were tasked with closing the game yesterday the legs were gone. The sheer effort to get back into the game and get ahead took its toll, the legs were gone.

There is a damn good forward line there and a solid midfield, but its creeping on in age and some players maybe have 2 more seasons in them, 3 max. Grugan, Murnin etc are 30 years old, Campbell may be 30 as well. This team needs a defence, or in the absence of unearthing a few defenders, needs a proper system that they stick to to cover the defence. That is my problem with how yesterday played out. Against Tyrone, Donegal in the league and Antrim laat time out, we were defensive, kept shape, and stuck rigidly to what looked like a gameplan. Against Monaghan we opened up, then pushed up but left the wings and middle open for Beggan to kickout and then we fell back, 3 different styles of play. In 7 years we have constantly changed what way we have tried to play and as a result we dont have a definite system and have been wide open down the middle. Monaghan knew this and they ruthlessly exposed it, yes we turned the ball over stupidly for a free that led to the first goal, but it was ridiculous how easily they got it.

I think a new manager is going to be needed this time around. The same mistakes are being made and not one armagh supporter can honeslty say that they expect a team to play in a set style from one game to the next. Yesterday we tried 3 different styles before reverting to type and a lot of that come down to how poorly we were set up.

This isn't a bash mc geeney article btw, the man has bled a lot of players, and there is starting to be the makings of a good team. Though I think a more tactically astute manager could push it to full potential


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One wee thing I noticed at the end of the game. In the immediate aftermath of the final whistle, 3 Monaghan players surrounded Aidan Forker, screaming in his face and waving their fists at him. He immediately stuck his hand out to shake hands. A touch of class from a player who has developed and matured into an outstanding player in recent years.


Well-Known Member
One wee thing I noticed at the end of the game. In the immediate aftermath of the final whistle, 3 Monaghan players surrounded Aidan Forker, screaming in his face and waving their fists at him. He immediately stuck his hand out to shake hands. A touch of class from a player who has developed and matured into an outstanding player in recent years.

Didn’t see that. What was that about? And who were the players?

William Of Orange

Well-Known Member
Yesterday was a strange game for me because although we were 8 points down I never felt that we were out of the game and it was going to come down to the last 5 minutes. The same problem that we have had this year in the Donegal match resurfaced again yesterday , we don’t have a winning mentality and we have a lack of leadership when we get into the championship minutes .Donegal have McBreaty and Murphy Monaghan have McManus our young lads need to step up and show leadership on the last 5 minutes that’s where the big games are won and lost . Our guys especially the two ONeills need to get the ball , demand it , management should have all these scenarios put in place ,I don’t think we ever look confident in tight games against the stronger teams . The question to be asked is McGeeney the right man to take a talented bunch of players onto the next level. Who could succeed him?.No names are jumping out for me . Maybe we could go outside the county Kieran Donaghy has a year under him with Armagh , could he be the person who could bring us to the next level . Maybe in a normal couple of years we would have had a good run in the qualifiers but we will never know . Anyway let’s hope we get a normal year for football next year and we can really assess where this team is .


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I still feel gutted about yesterday I don't think I have been this down about being defeated in such a way in a while.

Monaghan have as many issues with their team as we do but the difference is they are rebuilding. We were getting beat well by a team who is going through transition. Perhaps the death of the young lad acted as the catalyst for Monaghan to perform. I have read the counter arguments to my past posts but I can't bring myself to watch that game again yet.

I do think we need a change in management but like others have pointed out who? McGeeney has built a great attacking unit but we seriously need to look at the defence. We probably have another two or three years with this group of players and some of them will be gone. The least they deserve is an Ulster final win.


Hard to know where to start. A few things first though .
Ulster council have a few questions to answer. The stewarding was appalling. People were not shown to their allotted sections hence the 2 to 3 thousand on the terrace side giving those and there are plenty , a big stick to beat us with . Pitch in poor shape. Only one shop . Little water available . Stand practically empty while those of those in red haired bracket were toasted. I came home like a torch at a UDR checkpoint . I could have stopped the traffic.

As for the match , once again we left it behind us. Tomas O Sé in one of his quotes said “Armagh have a Division 1 forward line and midfield but a third and fourth division defence”. Probably a bit simplistic but hard to argue with at half time although lack of tracking from a midfielder certainly cost the fourth goal. Pushing up on the kick out and crowding midfield is a risky strategy and so it proved. We couldn’t cope with the space left up front for Monaghan.

Gone are the days of one on one . Our sweeper pushed up to far and leaving huge gaps. He was caught in no mans land and hence easy scores for Monaghan not only the goals. We were at sixes and sevens and comparisons with last years route by Donegal were clearly evident. Tough on Aaron McKay , ruthlessly exposes by both dummies and lack of cover.

Where we differed from the breffni debacle last year was in the fact that we had a properly functioning and extremely efficient forward division. Even after a shocking first half you that the gut feeling that this isn’t over yet . A goal if only we could get a goal. The third quarter gave us little hope and then it all came together for the next 15 mins. I felt though that we had hit the front to early and Monaghan were bound to respond and so they did . The breaks that went with us started to go against . Poor execution of the pass and equally poor decision making cost us dear. We had just won the lotto but found we had burnt the ticket . Last years defeat was easier to take. Yesterday was gut wrenching . Did Kieran wait to long to change tact and bring on Forker . Yes I think he did . Should he remain . Yes . As someone pointed out Grugan Morgan Murnan Campbell Forker are all the same year . They still have a year or two. As Bcb says Joe took over and won an All-Ireland however it takes players a few years to progress to becoming a competent inter county player. Very few one year wonders about now. Joe inherited a team already there. We do not have that at the moment.

Having said that I can see both sides of the argument . At the moment next year seems a long long time away. The squad will differ this time next year. Some may well leave Whatever their decision I wish them the best. A disappointing end to a promising year. Since our last final in 2008 every other county in Ulster has appeared in a provincial decider . Our wait continues.

It’s not the defeat that kills you it’s the hope.