Owen Mulligan: I’m very worried about Donegal, Dublin beat us in second gear

The All-Ireland winner also believes the pre-Dublin pitch shenanigans were for actually for Donegal and brands the Football Championship "boring"…


This game against Donegal is huge for Tyrone, absolutely massive.

The whispers doing the rounds in the county are that Omagh’s Healy Park pitch wasn’t narrowed for the Dubs, but to reflect the size of Ballybofey’s pitch. That will tell you how big this game is.

It’s going to be a tight one. Ballybofey isn’t an easy place to go, it’ll be hostile.

They’re the Ulster champions and Tyrone are yet to beat a Division 1 team in the Championship.

That’s a big worry for me!

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We’ve been beaten by Monaghan, we’ve been beaten by Dublin and now we have a must win game against Donegal.

We’ve had a lot of injuries too. I don’t believe Ronan McNamee is going to feature and we know Cathal McCarron’s out. They’d have been the boys to look after Michael Murphy. I don’t think we have the personnel to nullify him without them.

Donegal will mirror Dublin’s style the last day in taking out our ball winners and the big players such as Peter Harte, Mattie Donnelly and Niall Sludden.

The Dubs targeted those three lads and made it difficult for us to supply them with enough ball. Only four forwards scored from play against Dublin and that’s crazy considering the scores we were racking up before that.

You’re not going to win big games with that kind of a return.

Easy-peasy for the Boys in Blue

Tyrone hit them with everything they had in the first half. It was dog eat dog out there and it was a joy to watch after last year’s hammering when we went back home with our tail between our legs.

Connor McAliskey should’ve been taken off though, no matter how bad a game he’s having. He’s still our top scorer.

The late free we had was only 25 yards out and you had a man coming on fresh in Ronan O’Neill without kicking a ball and grabbing it straight away to take it? Someone should’ve told him to calm down and take his time.

McAliskey really should’ve been kept on, so Mickey Harte needs to take a bit of the blame for that.

But, and I hate to say this, the Dubs looked like they could go up another gear and really blow us out of the water if they needed to.

In Croke Park they’ll be a different animal entirely and we mightn’t have laid a glove on them. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who can stop them this year.

Best of the rest in the west

How are Monaghan not in the semi-final already? They just lacked self-belief and they seem happy to have drawn with Kerry. That shouldn’t be the case, they have a team to challenge the top sides.

They now have a massive game in Galway in Pearse Stadium. F*** me, that’s going to be something.

I can’t see them beating The Tribesmen though. Galway are my dark horses for the All-Ireland.

Elsewhere, Kerry are being judged on past teams and are being blown up as a result.

They beat a rubbish Cork team and struggled against the two Division 1 teams they played. I really don’t think they’re contenders.

They should be out of the Championship, they’re nowhere near the finished article. It’s far too soon for them.

Hurling heroes put football in the shade

Hurling is the best sport in the world and that was proven at the weekend. They’re just warriors, there are 30 warriors out on that field.

The ref lets everything go, there’s no diving, there’s no blanket defence and they just go hell for leather.

You talk about the World Cup and how that was the highlight of the summer….blah, blah, blah. But this is unbelievable, you’re on the edge of your seat for the whole match and the new system has done wonders for it.

You only have to look at some of the football teams going out – including my own county – dropping 14 and 15 back and it’s gotten boring. It’d break your heart!

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What do you think?