Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

'Joe Brolly has got no right to criticise me', says Armagh manager Paul Grimley

Armagh boss Paul Grimley has offered an apology to fans
Armagh boss Paul Grimley

Armagh manager Paul Grimley today strongly rebuts criticism levelled at both himself and his players by RTE analyst Joe Brolly following the Orchard County’s Ulster Championship demise against Cavan.

As he focuses on this week-end’s All-Ireland second round qualifier against Leitrim having masterminded the 2-21 to 0-2 annihilation of Wicklow on Sunday, Grimley is still clearly perturbed by what he feels was a grossly distorted panning by former Derry All-Ireland winner Brolly.

“I don’t change my tactics because someone like Joe Brolly does not like them or feels that I should not be here,” raps Grimley.

“The thing about pundits and analysts —and I’ve said this before — is that you are only an expert analyst if you have actually worn the same shoes as the person you are criticising.

“In the case of Joe Brolly he hasn’t and it’s doubtful if he ever will. Colm O’Rourke on the other hand has and I can take criticism from people like him every day of the week but not from someone like Joe Brolly who is giving an opinion primarily as an entertainer.”

Grimley, whose tactics saw Wicklow’s challenge demolished within the first five minutes of a lop-sided Athletic Grounds clash, concedes that while Brolly, one of the highest-profile GAA pundits in the country, is entitled to his views he believes they should be more restrained.

“Brolly has every right to his opinions and I have no problem with that.

“But he has no right to mock people or make fun of members of their family which is what he did,” fumes Grimley.

And he makes it plain that Brolly’s prognosis of his team’s performance against Cavan will not be easily erased.

“As far as I am concerned a line has not been drawn under it and never will be,” he states tersely.

“I am quite prepared to take constructive criticism from any man which is what I have done in the past and will do so again but not from Brolly who jumps on a man when he stumbles and tries to make himself popular through this. As far as I am concerned this is just not on.”

But while Grimley still harbours hurt from Brolly’s analysis of Armagh’s Kingspan Breffni Park showing, he can take considerable comfort from the fact that Jamie Clarke has pledged his commitment to the Orchard County “for as long as they remain in the All-Ireland Championship.”

Clarke has moved to deny media reports that he is planning to head back to the United States where he spent portion of last year.

“It has been reported in the media that both myself and Ciaran McKeever are about to go there but that is not the case,” reveals Clarke.

 “I have had no telephone calls from America. My focus is on Armagh and for as long as they are in the championship we will be there.

“The rumour mill is in full swing and people will believe things.

“But we are fully committed to Armagh until the campaign is over, hopefully in September.”

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