Armagh fans will travel to the Athletic Grounds on Sunday in the knowledge that a win against Wicklow can reignite their team’s season and put Paul Grimley’s side back on track.
Supporters however may be feeling a little bit apprehensive as the pending All-Ireland Qualifier draws near, a lot of questions remain unanswered, The nature of the county sides line out being the main focus of attention since the defeat to Cavan in the provincial opener. It had always been taken for granted that Paul Grimley would attempt to put his own stamp on things, many of the more experienced players under his charge were tuned into a defensive system initially installed by Joe Kernan who had John McCloskey a former rugby coach at his side. Armagh’s zoned defence which had been implemented by a group of players seen at the time as some of the most physical in the game and included Enda and Justin McNulty, Francie Bellew, Kieran McGeeney, Aidan O’Rourke and Kieran Hughes was a means to an end which proved highly successful. Modernly the physicality of the current side is a lot less prominent, Paul Grimley’s attempt to bring more speed and agility into the team on the back of an all out attacking strategy backfired dramatically against Cavan which left the manager with the option of scuppering a system which had been coached for over six months on the training ground, or maintaining the status quo irrespective of the outcome.
So what can the fans expect on Sunday? In recent challenge games Armagh suffered a heavy defeat against Leitrim, they then beat Derry by five points which was followed by a seven points win over Wexford last Tuesday night.
Wicklow’s narrow defeat against Meath recently would show the Leinster side will prove a handful irrespective of their standing in Division 4 of the National League. The overall chances of Armagh challenging for All-Ireland honours is slim to say the least, but a win on Sunday can a least keep the fans on board, Armagh should be good enough to get a result, it could take a workmanlike performance to get over the line.