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Jack Charlton's Pressure rankings

Jack Charlton changed how a generation of Irish men and women viewed themselves on the grandest o...


Jack Charlton's Pressure rankings

Jack Charlton changed how a generation of Irish men and women viewed themselves on the grandest of stages.  

The former Ireland boss encapsulated the word "pressure" and it will forever be associated with that era of Irish football immortalised by the World Cup theme tune "Put 'em under pressure"recorded prior to the World Cup in 1990.

In that spirit, Ger Gilroy and Eoin Sheahan discussed their Jack Charlton-inspired pressure rankings on Monday morning's OTB AM.

 1. England and the FA

Since Jack's passing last Friday, plenty of discussion has focused on the English Football Association's response to his application for the national team's top job.

Having been part of the England side that won the World Cup in 1966, it is incredible that Charlton did not receive a reply from the FA.

While we can only speculate whether "Big Jack" took that slight to heart, there can be no denying that he made his home nation pay following his appointment as Ireland football manager.

Two years after losing out in the 1986 World Cup to Diego Maradona's genius (and his daring cunning) England would be on the losing side against Charlton's Ireland in the European Championships in 1988.

They would go on to finish rock bottom of the group that summer having lost every game, while Ireland would narrowly miss out on the knock-out stages in West Germany.

Jack followed this magical result up with another draw against England this time at the World Cup in 1990, and he would continue to be a thorn in England's side.

It may have gone some ways to help Charlton gloss over the disrespect shown to him by the English FA.

 2. Arrigo Sacchi

There are not many things that the former AC Milan manager hadn't won by the time he had taken the Italian job in 1991. He led Milan to back-to-back European Cup wins- a feat that was not achieved again for another 27 years by Real Madrid.

The Italian preceded over a national side that contained the likes of Roberto Baggio, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini and yet Charlton's Ireland managed to defeat the superstar cast by a single goal, courtesy of Ray Houghton.

The result lit a fire over the uber-cool Sacchi, whose Italy team scraped through to the knockout stages where they would go on to lose in that tournaments final on penalties to Brazil.

It was one of the defining moments of Charlton's Ireland tenure and will live long in the memory of Irish footballer supporters for a long-time to come.

3. Eamon Dunphy

Dunphy and Charlton had an acrimonious relationship throughout his time as boss. Charlton took exception to Dunphy's criticism of the style of play that the former had incorporated with the team during that era.

The criticism took on more significant meaning when viewed through the wider lens of societal change that the country was slowly beginning to experience at that juncture.

Nuala O'Faolain, writer and journalist described the World Cup in 1990 as "the most liberating she had ever experienced in Ireland."

For this reason, the criticism of the football team at that time felt like a more personal attack on the blossoming of Irish culture as a whole.

While it has been argued that allowing such criticism in the new Ireland was a sign that change was forthcoming, Charlton did not appreciate Dunphy's candour and made him perfectly aware of that fact.

For that reason, Dunphy was included in this edition of the pressure rankings.

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Euro 88 FAI Ireland Jack Charlton Ray Houghton World Cup 1990 World Cup 1994