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Joe Brolly criticises James Horan for making ‘political’ choices in Mayo team

Joe Brolly James Horan

Joe Brolly has criticised Mayo manager James Horan for making team selections based on “political considerations” after the loss to Tyrone in the All-Ireland final.

Mayo were the bookies’ favourites to finally end 70 years of hurt by beating Tyrone in the All-Ireland final, but the Connacht champions were ultimately outplayed by a superior outfit.

Horan’s men had plenty of opportunities to score goals, but they were unable to convert pressure into points time and time again, while Tyrone were clinical in front of goal.

Former Derry footballer Joe Brolly was writing in his column for the Irish Independent and criticised both Horan and Mayo captain Aidan O’Shea in their wake of the sixth All-Ireland final loss in 10 years.

Joe Brolly on James Horan and Aidan O’Shea.

“Time wasters. A lot of other counties would give their right arms to be here. The people of Mayo put their heart and soul into their team. And this is what they get?” Brolly wrote.

“A manager on the sideline making choices based on political considerations. A protected captain who does not lead and never will.”

Brolly, also criticised the decision to substitute Pádraig O’Hora, who was one of Mayo’s better players, and argued that the Connacht side had lost the game before a ball was even kicked at Croke Park.

“Two expertly-taken goals will be the headline, but the difference is Tyrone’s merit based, high performance culture,” Brolly tweeted.

“There were any number of moments where we turned to each other and said, ‘Well that’s the end of that’ but the truth is that this contest was over before it began.”

Mayo set to go back to the well once again.

Mayo have shown incredible heart in managing to challenge for the Sam Maguire year on year after numerous heartbreaking defeats, although this one may sting more than most.

The Westerners have lost four of their past six All-Ireland finals against a high-fancied Dublin side who would go on to win six-in-a-row, but Mayo were expected to have too much for Tyrone yesterday.

Horan’s men started brilliantly, but after two early points Tyrone slowly started to seize control of the match and made better use of their opportunities than their opponents.

Mayo supporters can look back fondly on their stunning win against Dublin in the semi-final, but in the end, it will be mostly remembered as another year of regrets for possibly the unluckiest team in world sport.

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