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During the difficult summer, we have had this year, it has brought back nostalgic moments of the Jack Charlton Irish soccer era of the late 1980s and early to the middle of the 1990s. Ireland was going through a major recession in the 1980s and people’s morale was low. Jack Charlton lifted the country through football which hadn’t been done before.
Jack Charlton came in and got Ireland to play in a certain way which he believed was rough but would get the results because that was all that mattered. Ireland played a long ball and pressed the ball into the opposition half putting them under pressure to make mistakes which would create goals for Ireland. This worked as Ireland qualified for their first tournaments which were Euro 88, Italia 90, and USA 94.
Though it said that Jack Charlton only believed that Ireland could play a certain way and was criticised by Eamon Dunphy after the Italia 90 draw against Egypt. They said that Ireland had better players who could play better without diminishing the results instead of playing a certain style.
Jack Charlton sometimes fell out with some of the best Irish players and then left them out of the squad such as David O Leary because he missed an Iceland tournament.
Jack Charlton though picked players on their strengths and improved Irish player’s careers for example bringing in Ray Houghton of Oxford United and John Aldridge of Oxford United who then got bought for Liverpool because of their good Irish performance.
It’s very easy in hindsight to find criticisms in past sporting decisions, but the truth is that Jack Charlton pushed Ireland’s soccer team into a whole new realm of sports achievement on the world stage.