Former Kerry manager and pundit on The Sunday Game Eamonn Fitzmaurice has labelled the current Dublin bench as their biggest weakness following their Leinster Senior Football Championship win over Kildare.
The All-Ireland winning manager cited the lack of impact the Dublin bench had on the game – Ryan Basquel was the only point scorer off the bench.
He compared the Dublin benches from previous Delaney Cup successes over Kildare and Laois in 2017 and 2018 with the one at the county’s disposal on Sunday.
The past benches featured the likes of Jack McCaffrey, Kevin McManamon and Paul Flynn.
Their bench in the 2017 final against Kildare was worth seven points to Dublin on the day, six greater than the bench on Sunday amassed.
Fitzmaurice noted that the bench is “possibly one area that [Dublin] aren’t as strong as they were”.
The bench has been a huge asset to Dublin’s football team in recent years with their replacements having been able to enter the match after 50 minutes and play to the same level and intensity the starters had.
McManamon was the most recognisable figure that Dublin would look to when they needed a change and the St Judes forward is the catalyst for several important moments throughout the team’s recent history.
He is still part of the Dublin panel but is currently in Tokyo as the sports psychologist is part of Team Ireland’s boxing camp.
Fitzmaurice praised Dublin’s high work rate under Dessie Farrell and used examples from Sunday’s game to showcase that.
The Sunday Game pundit analysed their performance and labelled the intensity they showed as the county’s “cornerstone”.
Dublin, although troubled in attack for periods of the final, put up a dogged display, retaining the ball all over the pitch throughout the game.
Fitzmaurice applauded the Dublin forwards for tracking back and helping out their defence whenever Kildare had possession.
Their inability to roll over for their opposition is something that Fitzmaurice believes is proof that the side is still among the top teams in the country.
“I think their work rate and the way they are tackling shows they’re not ready to give it up just yet.”