The difference in class was so evident on Saturday night that with fifteen minutes to go we were totally beaten in all areas of the field. The Kildare domination was so complete that it was embarrassing.
It took Kildare a while to get going, but when they did they played some lovely, open football that must have been a joy to watch for the large Kildare support that made the short drive down the road.
They showed Laois how football was to be played, getting the ball into the forwards quickly, passing it off and having a shot at goal. They did hit a number of wides but came away 19 scores, which isn’t a bad return.
As for Laois, we had no method to our play and looked like a team that were looking for a miracle to happen, because we could not come to terms with the fast pace of the championship.
We can use any amount of excuses, like this being the management’s first year, but the simple fact that was evident to me is that maybe we are simply not up to it at this level, and that a lot of players are not as good as they may think they are.
Our play is too laboured, we are very predictable and have a desire to hand pass the ball in the forwards, which in turn gives teams the opportunity to close us down and snuff out any chance we may have of scoring.
We never once forced the Kildare keeper to make a save. We gave Donie Kingston no supply of good ball, and when he did win it he was too far from goal to do any harm.
Both players and management will have to take a serious look at where we are going. We will be playing in Division 1 next year and on Saturday night’s display it could be a very painful experience. If you look at other results around the country over the weekend, and especially those involving Leinster teams, they all did very well.
They can take positives and build on them for next year, whereas we have to strip everything to the bone and realise that unless we start trying to play a style of football that at least resembles football, then we are going nowhere.
You can’t be happy with what has gone on in the championship. We have played four games in this year’s championship and except for the Tipperary game, we have been woeful.
The couple of times that I have been in Croke Park this year have been embarrassing. Talking to other journalists, all they can say is how poor Laois are as a footballing side.
We have to take a serious look at where we are going, both senior sides in hurling and football this year have been an embarrassment. We can have all the forums that you like but if you don’t have players who can do the basics then what is the point in pumping large amounts of resources into something which is obviously broken.
Management will also have to take a lot of the blame. It is obvious to everybody that this defensive game no longer works and does not suit Laois teams. It is also terrible to watch. What we have witnessed since the new setup has come in would not fill you with confidence.
I have been at nearly all games this year and I don’t think I enjoyed watching any of them. Playing thirteen players behind the ball is not really a system, but more of an excuse for the fact that you really don’t think the panel of players are capable of playing any sort of football.