Belfast Telegraph

Declan Bogue: Outspoken Paidi needs to kick sniping at Kerry legend O’Connor into touch

Always a man to pick his moments, the bould Páidí ÓSé was at it again at the weekend, showing his studs to Kerry manager Jack O’Connor over the issue of dropping Kieran Donaghy for the trip to Tipp on Sunday.

In his column, he stated: ‘As a former manager, I don’t like to make comments on decisions that managers make.

‘I know from my own experience that nobody knows better than the manager what is happening in the camp.’

Strange line for a man who let his byline appear above the following lines in the wake of Kerry’s shattering All-Ireland defeat last September: ‘The element of human touch is not a club that Jack O’Connor has in his bag and that was evident this year on more than one occasion

‘It was particularly obvious when it came to Kieran Donaghy. If a player like Star isn't playing well then there should be some compassion shown from the management. He should be taken aside after training and reassured that he was still a vital cog in the team

‘When Tomás ÓSé got suspended against Tipperary, he didn't hear from the Kerry management until he was back in the fold for Kerry again.

‘That was almost two months of a break without contact and it simply beggars belief that a player of Tomás's calibre and importance should be left waiting in the wings.

‘These are only simple things but so important in the grand scheme of management.’

It was widely reported that Donaghy had been late for a training session nine days before their Championship opener, and travelled to the Champions’ League final the night after, against the wishes of management.

Those incidents are cause enough for discipline, and it simply seems inconceivable that a publican in the heart of west Kerry, where football is the main topic of pubtalk, was unaware of this.

Or then again, was it just a display of wilful ignorance in order to have another chop at Jack O’Connor, who in his sixth season has led Kerry to five All-Ireland finals, winning three of them?

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