Joe Brolly really puts the boot into Kerry; labels the Gooch as "a choker" while he's at it
Never one to beat around the bush – apart from when he’s chasing intruders while half-naked – Joe Brolly has really put the boot into Kerry ahead of today’s qualifier clash with Tyrone.
Saying that Joe Brolly is controversial is as obvious as saying that night follows day but the sharp-tongued, kiss-blowing Derry native would appear to have outdone himself with his assessment of the current Kerry team in the run-up to today’s eagerly anticipated qualifier with Tyrone in Killarney.
After three underwhelming performances in the Championship to date, today’s match is being viewed as the last stand for this current Kerry outfit. Lose, and it will represent the end of an era; win, and there just might be one more All-Ireland left in one of the greatest teams in the history of Gaelic Football.
There is enough in there to make every Kerry supporter seethe with indignation, such as Brolly’s opinion that “at the very highest level, against serious opposition, they (Kerry) have always wilted,” but his comments about Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper, probably the greatest forward of this and possibly any generation, are likely to provoke most debate.
“Funny thing, I haven’t seen Colm scoring a delightful goal against Tyrone in Croke Park, or any sort of goal,” Brolly wrote.
“Which brings me to another subject that I have been reflecting upon anxiously over the last six months: Is Colm as great as I once thought he was? The skills are of course peerless. He is magnificent when the Kingdom are beating up on Mayo or the old Cork team. But I am beginning to have my doubts.
“I watched him closely in this year’s club semi-final against Crossmaglen. Crokes went seven points up. He had not contributed. Then, Crossmaglen - against all the odds - began their comeback. Now, I thought to myself, now Cooper will lead them home. I waited, and waited, and waited. In the face of Crossmaglen’s furious indignation, the golden boy disappeared. Jamie Morgan, an aggressive, tight marking and hugely competitive corner back with no county experience and aged just 21, utterly dominated him.
“An American tourist would never have believed it if you’d told him The Gooch was one of the greats. If however you’d told him he was a choker, he would have agreed, since that is what Colm did against Cross.”
The column has already generated plenty of furious reaction on Twitter and we doubt anyone will be blowing kisses to Joe in the south-west if he has to visit Kerry anytime in the near future.
Kerry have been written off and come back to prove everyone wrong before, but the doubters have been growing louder and louder this season and they would appear to have plenty of justification too.
If they needed any motivation, however, surely this is it and we imagine a printout of the column is being pinned to the home dressing room wall in Killarney as we speak.