Another Sunday, another comfortable win for the Dublin footballers and another Leinster title for the men from the capital.
Boring and predictable is what a lot of analysts and fans are saying after the Jim Gavin’s men beat Westmeath in the provincial decider for the second year in a row. In fact, the only bit of tension surrounding the game was whether the Dubs would beat the handicap of 15 points. Despite a painful six minutes of added time, they couldn’t surpass that mark, winning by 15 exactly.
But, why do people love to hate Gavin’s men so much? Should we not be enjoying the success of this amazing team? Like with Kilkenny in the hurling, surely having so many top players playing together should be good for the game, raising standards for all around them?
While it would be nice to have other teams winning in the eastern province, Dublin’s near monopoly of eleven titles in twelve years shouldn’t be reason to change the channel.
Sure didn’t half the country cheer Manchester United every step of the way to eight Premier League titles in eleven seasons. No calls for re-structuring there, even when the results were inevitable.
Instead of calling for the end of the provincial championships, or saying that Dublin’s funding is too great, their sponsorship potential too much, why not call for other teams to improve?
Kildare, for example, have a population of over 222,000 people. Yes, this is much lower than the population of Dublin, but can they really give out about their population? It’s also a big potential support base to go to when you want to raise funds.
Meath has a population of over 194,000. With such a great tradition of football in the county, surely they can put a top-class panel in place – provided there are systems there for developing young talent.
Even Wicklow, with its population of 142,000, could be more competitive.
It’s easy to hate the Dubs and question what good their dominance is doing for the game, but let’s ask the tougher questions, like why aren’t the other Leinster counties anywhere near the standard set by the men from the capital?
Joel Slattery, Pundit Arena