Owen Mulligan: Sean Cavanagh embarrassed himself with Harte comments

Mickey deserves better than that!


Kerry fully merited their win on Sunday. Peter Keane spotted their problems and fixed them at half-time.

He even sent Kerry back onto the field early, he was that confident in his switches. The solutions were there for everyone to see. But, how long did it take the Tyrone management to work out that Gavin White and Jack Sherwood had been introduced?

Did word get back into the changing room before Tyrone appeared back out? It looks like it didn’t.

Sherwood, White and later Tommy Walsh provided the much-needed supply to David Clifford, Paul Geaney and Stephen O’Brien, and from there, the game was over.

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Tyrone hadn’t the same resources at the other end of the field. Mattie Donnelly remained removed from the action after far too long inside the forward line.

Peter Harte was constantly fouled throughout and should have been moved in closer to the umpires to give them an opportunity to view what the referee and linesmen had turned a blind eye to.

Niall Sludden was replaced for a reason unknown to any Tyrone supporter present.

Sludden is the most creative forward Tyrone have, but he appears to be the default option when it comes to someone being subbed. All in all, Peter Keane got the formula right in the second half.

Give the All-Star to McShane now

Cathal McShane proved once again that he is the most outstanding full-forward in the country this season.

It was through no fault of his own that the players out the field failed to supply him with enough ball in the second half. Jason Foley will have no interest in seeing McShane again, as the Owen Roe’s man demonstrated his power and finishing ability when given the chance.

When Tyrone were moving well in the first half, McShane was unmarkable.

He constantly found space and powering away from green and gold defenders time and time again.

McShane is the top scorer in the Championship so far, and he’s unlikely to be caught now with just one game to go. Enjoy the awards night out in Dublin Cathal!

Embarrassing Sean Cavanagh

I watched the Sunday Game with interest as Sean Cavanagh gave his thoughts on the future of Mickey Harte.

Sean always has lots of notes in front of him during those broadcasts, but he must have lost the page on what Harte has brought to Tyrone.

Incredibly, he summed Mickey Harte with just six words. “An amazing servant for the county”.

That was before he introduced the word “but”, and go on to cover it up with positive comments about previous management teams.

Really, is that it Sean? Jesus! I know men that have served committees that are amazing servants for the county.

But, Harte has no equal in Tyrone management or coaching circles.

He’s delivered 37 trophies in 28 years. 23 of those trophies with the Tyrone Senior team.

Mickey revolutionised the fortunes of county football in Tyrone, and all Sean can offer is six words on him before he went on to humiliate poor Malachy O’Rourke.

Yes, Malachy and others inside the county might well be interested in the job, but they aren’t going to declare that when Harte still has another year to run on his current arrangement with the county board.

Harte will be sore, not because of Sean Cavanagh’s embarrassing comments, but because Tyrone let the semi-final slip away from them when it was there for the taking. Tactically, Peter Keane got one over on him.

From the outside looking in, Mickey seems to have lost his sharpness.

When we played under him, we emptied the tank on almost every run. Not because we had to, but because we were s**ting ourselves in case he spotted it and called us to the line.

There are just too many things going unnoticed by Harte at the minute.

Lads jogging about, marking space instead of close man-marking, substituting players that are playing well and leaving others on that have lost form. These things never happened before.

Five All-Ireland semi-final defeats in the last six attempts would spell the end for a Kerry, Dublin or Mayo manager.

We don’t act with the same haste in Tyrone. That’s down to the man that we have in place.

Mickey Harte deserves to see out the next 12 months.

This time next year he will either have turned it around or have decided to call time on his incredible management career.

But, those who know him will take a few more than six words to sum him up when the time comes, that’s for sure.

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