Cork vs Monaghan – National Football League (27/2/’11)

vs

Date/Time: 27/2/’11 – 2:30 p.m.

Venue:

Cork:

  • 1. K. O’Halloran
  • 2. R. Carey
  • 3. E. Cadogan
  • 4. M. Shields
  • 5. C. O’Driscoll
  • 6. P. Kissane
  • 7. D. O’Sullivan
  • 8. A. O’Connor
  • 9. A. Walsh
  • 10. P. O’Neill
  • 11. P. Kelly
  • 12. F. Goold
  • 13. D. Goulding
  • 14. C. Sheehan
  • 15. D. O’Connor

Not a massive amount to say about this Cork team, with only two changes from the team that lost to Dublin. Both changes though will improve the Cork team considerably, particularly the return of Eoin Cadogan.  Throughout the Dublin game the Cork full-back line looked nervy, making poor decisions and at times following the ball in large groups resulting in a number of easily preventable scores. Cadogan is a superior footballer then he is hurler, his natural athleticism, asssurance and aggression perfectly suited to any position in defence. Moreover, the most obvious criticism of Jamie O’Sullivan as full-back is a lack of physicality, something Cadogan has in abundance. The second change is also an improvement – although Colm O’Neill seems fitter then in past seasons at this time of the year, he showed little in the Kerry and Dublin matches.In reality, if Cork are to reclaim the All-Ireland Sheehan will play an enormous part, a physical target man that is direct on the ball and more then capable of getting scores. Getting Sheehan up to match fitness as quickly as possible can ony be a good thing.

If the selection is problematic in anyway, its that it may be too conservative and inconsistent. Jamie O’Sullivan and Colm O’Neill are dropped for poor form – Carey, Goold and Alan O’Connor aren’t. The management is of course hoping these players will play themselves into some kind of form, but one can’t help but think Eoin Cotter deserves at least a start in one of the easier league games particularly with Carey struggling. Similarly, its disapointing that Mark Collins doesn’t seem to be favoured by the current management – even if he is somewhat inconsistent, his skill, scoring and distribution abilities are very high and would give Cork a further option at center-forward, pushing Kelly to wing forward temporarily and allowing Pearse O’Neill to partner Aidan Walsh in a very strong midfield.

Regarding Monaghan, they have probably played the two weakest teams in the league in Galway (who they beat) and Armagh (who they should have beaten) so although their results are decent its hard to tell where they are at considering Cork have had superior opposition. Moreover, star forwards Freeman and Lennon are not yet up to full match fitness for Monaghan, and one would think the way Monaghan tend to play football in recent years – as many bodies behind the ball as possible – would completely starve possession for a Monaghan team up against an opposition with strong midfield and a plan based around keeping the ball. To compete Monaghan need to run at a half-back line that against Dublin struggled badly to close down space and stop players running at its full-back line. Regardless of Monaghan’s attitude and the minor gripes about team selection, this has to be a Cork win, the margin depending on how Monaghan decide to play. Lets say Cork by 6.

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