Jim McGuinness believes Tyrone’s embarrassing defeat to Kerry in the Allianz League this year is largely responsible for their All-Ireland triumph.
Very few would have predicted that Tyrone would get their hands on the Sam Maguire this year before the championship kicked off, having suffered a 16-point defeat to Kerry in their last league fixture.
Tyrone responded brilliantly to that harrowing defeat, however, and exacted revenge on Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final before seeing off Mayo in the final.
Former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness was speaking on Sky Sports after Tyrone’s All-Ireland triumph and argued that the hammering at the hands of Kerry transformed the Ulster side into All-Ireland champions.
Jim McGuinness on Tyrone’s 16-point loss to Kerry.
“It’s an interesting one because that’s probably the day that they won the All-Ireland, that would be my take on that,” Jim McGuinness said.
“We (Donegal) went down to Kerry the year we won the All-Ireland (2012), we got beaten by double scores, 2-16 to 1-8. We got humiliated. And the same thing happened to Tyrone, probably even worse to Tyrone.
“And if that’s not a moment where you pause and reflect and decide ‘We’re going to go this direction, or we’re going to go that direction, or we’re going to double down here,’ it’s never going to happen.
“I would suggest that the reason they’re standing there today as All-Ireland champions is that game had a big bearing in shaping the mindset that’s required.”
All Ireland Senior Championship Final (Full Time)
Tyrone 2-14 (20)
Mayo 0-15 (15)
ALL IRELAND CHAMPIONS! ⚪️🔴
We’ve done it – Sam is coming back to Tyrone 🏆 pic.twitter.com/xocw85p5GP
— Tyrone GAA (@TyroneGAALive) September 11, 2021
Next year’s Championship looks more open than ever.
Most pundits had predicted that this year’s All-Ireland would lead to a shoot-out between Dublin and Kerry, but both Tyrone and Mayo tore up the script in reaching the decider at Croke Park.
Tyrone were deserved champions, although getting to the final was a real struggle for them, having beaten both Monaghan and Kerry by just one point on their way to winning the Sam Maguire.
Their narrow victories in this year’s championship was very unlike Dublin’s route to All-Ireland glory last year, as no side got within 10 points of them before their final clash with Mayo, which they won by five points.
With Dublin’s reign coming to an end, and this Kerry side yet to unlock the secret to All-Ireland success, next year’s championship promises to be the most difficult to predict in a long time.