Joe Brolly was in typically controversial and confrontational humour on RTÉ’s League Sunday last night.
As the panel’s discussion veered from Kerry’s dramatic one point win over Dublin in the Allianz National Football League final in Croke Park yesterday to the big news that broke in the Kingdom earlier in the week, Colm Cooper’s retirement, debate was rife.
Tomás O’ Sé and Ciarán Whelan weren’t exactly holding back either in their defence of Kerry’s all time top scorer as their Derry counterpart proceeded to slate the Gooch’s ability to stand up and be counted when it mattered most.
Brolly was critical of Cooper’s mentality in his Irish Independent column. He implied that when his team were in a battle, facing adversity down through the years, Gooch went hiding. Claiming that the respects and tributes paid to the Dr. Crokes forward since his announcement last week have been over the top, comparing the reaction to the retirement to the nation mourning a death, the outspoken pundit was prepared to take on all those willing to dispute with him.
O’ Sé and Whelan led the arguments against the barrister, with presenter Michael Lyster appearing to not so subtly side in the pro-Gooch camp also. While conceding that the Gooch was an exceptional talent and a wonderful footballer, this is a case that dates back a number of years for Brolly, having previously made the point on the Sunday Game in 2012, labelling Gooch a “choker” when his team needed him.
Last night the point resurfaced, with the 47-year-old sticking to his guns, stating his belief that Cooper never produced with his back against the wall. Brolly is of the opinion that the media have “over eulogised” Gooch’s retirement. In his Irish Independent article, he argues that the 33-year-old Killarney wizard was a “sublime finisher but didn’t have answers when asked tough questions.”
What followed was a heated debate, culminating with Whelan’s probe, “Shut up for a minute, will ya?”
Joe Brolly was an admirer of Colm Cooper but he did add: "He doesn't have that warrior personality who thrived in adversity." pic.twitter.com/iLvDFtMKLx
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) April 9, 2017