“Dublin got a soft All-Ireland last year.”
The Sunday Game pundit has claimed Dublin won’t win the All Ireland this year, claiming they peaked in 2018. The former Kerry forward also claimed that the All Ireland win last year was ‘soft’.
Spillane believes that Dublin got lucky last year as Kerry were knocked out early on in Páirc Uí Chaoimh by Cork.
His comments came before Dublin’s win against Meath this afternoon. Despite the win, the All Ireland champions were pinned to their collar in a close contest by Meath. They ran out 2-16 to 1-13 winners but Meath’s second-half performance will leave a lot of questions for boss Dessie Farrell.
Impact of Dublin retirements
Dublin, going for their seventh All Ireland title in a row, have seen a number of leading lights retire over the last 18 months with question marks remaining over the influential of all, Stephen Cluxton. Something which Spillane thinks will have an impact on their performance.
“Dublin have been on the road for a long time, and there is a big change in personnel.
“They’re going for their seventh [consecutive] All-Ireland. I genuinely believed that Dublin peaked in 2018. I thought they won a soft All-Ireland last year. They were lucky that Kerry blew it here [in Páirc Uí Chaoimh]. They got a soft All-Ireland last year. They’re on the decline.
“I thought during this year’s league that the second half against Kerry in Thurles was so un-Dublin-like. They lost a seven-point lead. They only got three scores in the second half.
“What you always associated with Dublin was their composure. They hadn’t composure that day. Wexford showed a template for 20 minutes the last day, and Kerry showed it in the second half. When you go at the Dubs, you get under their skin, you annoy them and physically get at them, they can be got at. I genuinely believe that Dublin can be got at this year.
“Do I think Dublin will win the All-Ireland this year? I actually don’t think Dublin will win the All-Ireland. I said it last year – I got it wrong – but I’m saying it again this year.”
Pat Spillane has changed his tune on Ulster football. Well, sort of.
Two swallows don't make a summer, even if it is this warm.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 18, 2021
However, Spillane’s colleague Sean Cavanagh thinks it’s premature to write off Dublin.
He said: “They’ve been losing players for five or six years, To write off Dublin at this stage is lunacy. If there was a league final, chances are Dublin would have won the league.
“If Stephen Cluxton doesn’t raise his head – and it doesn’t look like he will – I would say they’re more vulnerable. We’re not going to find that out until they meet a Kerry, a Mayo or a Galway, a Tyrone.”