Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Adrian Logan: No Kerry joke, I'm bringing Jack to book

The mask slipped a little this week with the publication of Jack O'Connor's book on how he won and lost All Ireland titles for Kerry.

"Keys to the Kingdom" it's called -the story of the outsider who led Kerry back to glory.

Maybe I should at this stage say he also led them to defeat to Armagh and to Tyrone twice and it's obvious that it's the hurt of those defeats which has really rankled the boul' Jack.

I know Jack O'Connor and I have to say I have always enjoyed his company.

I sat beside him on the flight to Dubai last year for the All Stars and always found him an honest and decent lad. I still do but I have to take him to task over these childish remarks.

The book will make his company even more enjoyable because he's allowed me and thousands of others into the world and the mind of the average Kerryman and woman.

It's a simple enough scenario. They hate to lose but better still they simply can't take it. At least that's the case with Jack.

Jack blasts Ulster football. No, that's not strictly true. He blasts Armagh and, most of all, Tyrone.

Both of those counties have something in common. They humbled the mighty Kerry in All Ireland finals and poor old Jack just can't take it.

He says: "There's an arrogance to northern football which rubs Kerry people up the wrong way. They're flash and nouveau riche and full of it" .

What a condescending statment to make!



Does Jack want a return to 'the good old days'?



Every Ulster supporter remembers them well - you know the scene, don't you?. Croke Park on All Ireland semi-final day and yet another drubbing.

In comes the winning manager , not always from Kerry but with the same old stereotype remark.

"Tough lads. Ye did well. Keep the faith and keep the flag flying up there in the North. Better luck next year."

Jack goes on in the book to say that Ulster sides "talk too much".

"Add up the number of All Irelands the Ulster counties have won and it's less than a third of Kerry's total," he points out.

Good point Jack except you forgot to mention that along the way over all those years Kerry had to play two games to make the All Ireland semi-final.

Even this year the All Ireland champions - graceful, all-conquering, beautiful lads from God's own country - had to get focused for their defence with an away game to Waterford.

Waterford indeed! Dungannon Swifts would give them a game!

Jack also says it was hard to lose to Armagh and he singled out Tyrone by saying they were the hardest side to lose to because of their arrogance.

If he wasn't serious it would be laughable.

Good old Jack. Maybe he should consider something before he puts anything into print in future. Did he ever once consider that the lads from Armagh and Tyrone were simply better teams? Now there's a hard one.

And yet behind it all he admits in the publication that he looked North for answers as to how he could lead Kerry to more All Ireland crowns.

He got in touch with a well -known Ulster man to talk about how the likes of Armagh and Tyrone prepared. Their techniques, training etc.

You see the crux of it all is that Kerry won the All Ireland crown in 2004 but even he admits it wasn't the real thing.

They didn't cross swords with either Armagh nor Tyrone. They did win it last year by beating Armagh in the quarter-final but that too was tainted becuase they never met Tyrone.

In fact, when you consider Jack's managerial career you have to agree that against Armagh and Tyrone he bottled it.

Plain and simple. Jack the lad wasn't good enough against Joe Kernan and Mickey Harte.

Still, it's a decent book and a good read. Go out and buy it is my advice but also buy a bucket. You'll need that for all the Sour Grapes. Come on Armagh, Come on Tyrone, Come on Ulster.

Oh and by the way. Keep the faith all you Kerry lads. Keep the flag flying down there and "better luck next year".

Hughes will prove to be big hit for Lawrie

LAWRIE Sanchez has snapped up Aaron Hughes and now it looks as if his former colleague at Aston Villa Steve Davis could be on his way to Craven Cottage.

It would be a good move for the livewire midfielder.

Football is a strange old game - a year ago Davis was at the top of the tree at Villa and now he's being shown the exit door by Martin O'Neill.

I think it s a shrewd move by Sanchez. He will try to surround himself with players he knows and trusts - and where better to start than with Northern Ireland.

Chris Baird is still on the radar and don't be surprised if our scoring machine David Healy joins them all before the end of the season.

Aaron Hughes is a Premiership player and under Sanchez he will always be first choice as will be Davis and that has to be good news for everyone.

In fact it could give the confidence boost needed as we prepare for the resumption of the European championship challenge.

A challenege which I expect to go right down to the wire.

Sanchez will have his work cut out at Craven Cottage to keep the team up in the Premiership but if he can instill the same sort of team spirit which Northern Ireland had under his leadership then anything is possible.

I do hope he gets Healy, who is a Premiership striker. Make no mistake about it. He's a quality finisher and the only thing that's been stopping managers from snapping him up has been his size.



If he doesn't get Healy I actually think he could be in trouble.

Now what a turn-up for the books, wouldn't it?

Nigel Worthington perhaps on his way to the European Championships andLawrie heading for relegation. Perish the thought!

Logan's hero

MY hero of the week? Wait for it. Tim Henman. What a man. What a player. He did the decent thing this week.

How brave and how heroic. No, Tim didn't want to get everyone into a lather about Wimbledon so he decided one victory would be enough. Just to show he still has it.

Lose in the next round and he allows everyone to get back to normal. He's my hero of the week for thinking of so many others.

Not for him another roller coaster ride with the boys and girls at the Beeb and at ITN actually telling the nation he had a chance and getting them all excited.

Tim said this week he will continue in his attempt to try and win one of the big events.

I think Tim should just consign Henman Hill to the property developers and ride off into the sunset. Beaten yet again.

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