“If Dublin were to lose Dean Rock, they have Cormac Costello coming in. While he is not at Rock’s level, he would make any other county’s starting team. Mayo do not have such a luxury to replace like-with-like.”
Former Tyrone Gaelic footballer Peter Canavan feels that the Achilles tendon injury that Mayo star Cillian O’Connor picked up against Clare is a massive blow to his county’s All-Ireland hopes.
O’Connor is the all-time Gaelic football championship top scorer and Mayo have not won an All-Ireland title since 1951.
Writing in his Sky Sports column, the two-time All-Ireland winner explained what O’Connor’s absence will mean for Mayo.
Peter Canavan is working as a Gaelic football pundit for Sky Sports.
“Cillian O’Connor’s injury may not derail Mayo’s defence of the Connacht title, but I think it severely dents their chances of winning the All-Ireland. Not that anybody in the Mayo camp would admit that,” Canavan wrote.
“The Ballintubber forward has a massive influence on this Mayo attack, not only in terms of scoring.
“Against Clare, we saw numerous examples of him chasing back, dispossessing players. He sets the tone and the standard in the westerners’ forward line. He is never found wanting. His injury is a massive setback.”
Peter Canavan and Cillian O’Connor are two of the greatest forwards ever to play the sport.
Canavan remarked how Dublin would be better able to replace a player of O’Connor’s quality, whilst Mayo probably don’t have that strength in depth.
“If Dublin were to lose Dean Rock, they have Cormac Costello coming in. While he is not at Rock’s level, he would make any other county’s starting team,” he wrote.
“Mayo do not have such a luxury to replace like-with-like.”
Canavan and O’Connor are both legendary Gaelic footballers and have won a total of 11 provincial titles between them.
Mayo face Sligo on Saturday at 4:30 pm in the Connacht championship, live on Sky Sports.