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“Shane Walsh’s form is a worry. He isn’t the same player as last year”

Shane Stapleton, Phil Lanigan and Bernard Flynn discuss Armagh v Galway and the form of Tribe talisman Shane Walsh

Shane, Phil Lanigan and Bernard Flynn discuss Armagh v Galway and the form of Tribe talisman Shane Walsh.

Bernard Flynn believes that Galway won’t beat Mayo if their attacking trio of Damien Comer, Shane Walsh and Ian Burke aren’t firing.

Comer missed last weekend’s loss to Armagh through injury, while Walsh and Burke were subdued for large parts of the game.

The Kilmacud Crokes clubman had an extended 2022 campaign which went from an All-Ireland final with the Tribe to a club victory against Glen in February, and may not yet be at top gear.

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Padraic Joyce’s side seemed to lack composure against the Orchard on Sunday, with Walsh missing and a late free to level it, while other players hit wides via wild low-percentage shots.

“No it’s a fair point,” says Flynn. “I watched the game closely and I said that to myself as well. You look at Shane Walsh’s form, it’s a huge worry.

“They can sugarcoat it any way they like (but) he’s not the same player as last year… the club All-Ireland series (took its toll).

“I would say Mayo and Kevin McStay would probably want the draw away from home to really galvanise them and get them going.

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“There’s pressure on Galway to deliver but I thought they did a lot of silly things. No composure, as you said.

“The wild shooting, wrong shot options, some of their main players really not in the best of form. Look at Comer, a fully-fit Damien Comer makes a huge difference.

“They only have a week to get it right. Yes there’s some damn good players, but the likes of Comer and Walsh… and Ian Burke, he has been really quiet, he’s not really doing what we expect him to do at the level he has done in the past.

“That’s another worry for me upfront, and at midfield yeah you have (Cillian) McDaid and (Paul) Conroy, but defensively they were opened up a bit.

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“Particularly in the air, they struggle with a high ball on occasion, if you look at (Andrew) Murnin and players like that — outside of (Sean) Kelly, who has been incredible and one of the players of the season.

“But yes, they have it all to do, they’re capable of doing it, and they love the challenge.

“Whoever wins this game next weekend, it’s a huge victory and really sets them up for Croke Park.

“So Galway, yeah still question marks, but what a gigantic, titanic struggle next weekend between those two titans over there.

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“I think Galway’s forwards… if you look at it as the week builds, Galway have a few more issues maybe than Mayo, and the pressure is on particularly at home.

“Their three marquee forwards — Comer’s fitness, Walsh and Burke – It’s a worry, that triangle. If they don’t perform, they won’t win.”

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