DARRAGH Ó SÉ has likened Michael Murphy’s role with Donegal as “a fella who is being asked to cook the steaks and wash the dishes at the same time.”
In his column in The Irish Times today, the former Kerry footballer – who won nine Munster SFC titles and six All-Irelands – has encouraged Donegal manager Rory Gallagher to place his captain close to goal.
Dublin are without last year’s All-Ireland winning full-back Rory O’Carroll, who is taking a year out, and therefore Murphy’s value at full-forward can be vital to Donegal’s hopes of an upset in Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final.
“It’s not out of the question that Dublin can be got at,” Ó Sé said. “If they can give Murphy a break and keep him near goal, he won’t have Rory O’Carroll to deal with. Of all the Dublin defenders, O’Carroll was always the one you never saw looking for a piece of the action up at the other end of the pitch.
“Philly McMahon and Jonny Cooper like to remind people they can play a bit of ball every once in a while – O’Carroll never bothered with any of that. He stayed at home and minded the house, a pure defender. Murphy could do serious damage without him there.[adrotate group=”37″]
“Without the depth of squad to win the ball around the middle, there is always the danger that Murphy could go and stand on the edge of the square and find himself going 10 or 15 minutes without seeing the ball. That’s not going to get the job done.”
Ó Sé believes Donegal have every right to go to Croke Park thinking they can beat Dublin, particularly since Jim McGuinness’s side upset Jim Gavin’s 3-14 to 0-17 in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final. However, Ó Sé is not tipping a repeat of two years’ ago.[adrotate group=”46″]
“Donegal will go out there knowing that they beat them two years ago and came damn close to beating them in 2011,” Ó Sé added.
“And Donegal are good when they have homework to do. They take delight in bursting other teams’ bubbles. That’s a great attitude to be taking out onto this kind of stage with you.
“I still think though that Donegal are a few bodies short. I go back to them having to put Anthony Thompson back on after taking him off in the Ulster final. He’s a good solid player but it’s not like he’s Peter Canavan, a player you need to have on the pitch at the end.[adrotate group=”43″]
“I don’t think they can do it. It looks different to 2014 in that Neil Gallagher isn’t lording things in midfield and Frank McGlynn is a step or two slower than he was. Michael Murphy is like a fella who is being asked to cook the steaks and wash the dishes at the same time.”