Mayo football legend Andy Moran has advised Aidan O’Shea to “readdress” how he plays after another disappointing end to the All-Ireland for the westerners.
O’Shea captained Mayo to their sixth All-Ireland football final in 10 years, but their championship inevitably ended in disappointment yet again as their 70-year wait for the Sam Maguire was extended.
The Mayo captain failed to have much of an impact in both the final against Tyrone and their semi-final triumph against Dublin, which led to more critique of possibly the most heavily-criticised player in Gaelic football.
Moran was speaking to The Irish Times about O’Shea and advised his former team mate to adapt his style of play while praising the Breaffy club man’s attitude and footballing ability.
Andy Moran on Aidan O’Shea.
“He has a lot of Gaelic football played. He probably needs to reset and readdress his game and probably come up with a new strategy of how to play. You can’t just be the wrecking ball for sixteen or seventeen years,” Moran said.
“He probably has to reinvent himself slightly but I think he has the hunger to do it. The media attention never frightened him. It goes against him when he has a bad game. But he can shrug his shoulders and just say: let’s go.
“Like he will be training in January and he will keep showing up, I feel. I am not here to defend Aidan O Shea. But in my time I have never met a player who could go in fullback, centre back, midfield, centre forward and full forward and do a job for you.
“If he is inside with Cillian and me, then I’m marked by the third best defender, probably. He gave me that level of protection. What he did on Donaghy at fullback was amazing. Yes he had some tough days there, too. He is a different character. He thinks differently and is his own man but for our key he is absolutely key.”
— Andy Moran (@andypmoran) October 20, 2021
Plenty of time left for the Mayo captain.
O’Shea has been a stalwart of the Mayo footballers for a long time now, having made his senior debut back in 2009, but at the age of 31 he could still have plenty of years of inter-county football left in him.
While he has had plenty of great days in a Mayo jersey he has also suffered perhaps the most heartbreak of any Gaelic footballer, alongside long time team mates such as Lee Keegan.
However, Mayo and O’Shea have proven that they can come back to compete for All-Ireland glory time and time again, with only Dublin having reached more championship deciders than them in the last 10 years.
Many feel as though 2021 was Mayo’s best chance to finally end their wait for the Sam Maguire, after Dublin and Kerry were ejected, but there are reasons to be positive next year thanks to the county’s impressive young stars coming through.