Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Biting Back: Martin McHugh should have explained his remarks

By Declan Bogue

Published 05/08/2014

Our Gaelic Games correspondent Declan Bogue
Our Gaelic Games correspondent Declan Bogue

Fair enough, it was a fairly outlandish claim for RTE gaelic football pundit Martin McHugh to say that Colm Cooper is a "Two-trick pony." He seems to be paying a price for it on Twitter, with many inter-county players having a great old laugh at the remark.

In case you missed the context of it – and many will – McHugh said it in his praise for James O'Donoghue. But from then on, Martin was a victim of the "did you hear what yer man said?" culture on The Sunday Game evening edition.

A strong host would have asked Martin what exactly a two-trick pony was and how Colm Cooper bears comparison? Then we might have learned something, just as Kieran McGeeney once did when he asked McHugh to expound upon remarks he once made on the Armagh man's kick-passing.

Having listened carefully and absorbed the message, McGeeney became one of the better kick-passing defenders in the country.

But Des Cahill did not keep the discussion on track. Instead, he let the giggles and snorts dominate the narrative. Once again, he looked like a drowning man, in way over his head.

Elsewhere on the show, they dissected Armagh and the contribution of the Kernan brothers, and rather hilariously, the Mallon brothers. Brian and Andy Mallon are not brothers. They grew up 10 miles from each other and played for different clubs.

Inexcusable, really. There are plenty that will torch McHugh for his remarks, but if he is not requested to explain them, then my sympathies lie with the man who was cheated by the clubhouse matey-ness of the show.

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