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Thread: Jack Charlton

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    Jack Charlton

    I was watching Green is the Colour yesterday and it highlighted something that's bothered me for a very long time.

    When people are looking back at Charlton's era, there seems to be a lot of disrespect shown to him and what he achieved with Ireland.

    I hear a lot of people say that he had a great team. Did he though? I heard Mark Lawrenson say that he only picked playing for Ireland because he didn't think he was good enough for England. I'd imagine it was the same with a lot of the players. I remember 1988 and 1990 and no-one was looking at Ireland and saying "They have a great team". Very few Irish players would have been picked by England for example. In fact, after the 1-1 draw with England, I recall Emlyn Hughes disrespectfully saying "We drew with Ireland. It's only Ireland" when having a pop at Bobby Robson.

    Yes Jack had a good side, better than most Irish sides. But he achieved much more than any other Irish manager before or since. It wasn't pretty but, taking the 1990 World Cup as an example, football wasn't pretty at the time but we were very, very effective.

    When I hear people saying he should have done better, it boils my blood. He got us to the Euros (and within 8 minutes of getting to the semis), got us to the quarters of the 1990 World Cup, got us unbeaten through the next campaign and got us to the last 16 of USA 1994. The last campaign was poor but we still got into a play-off. This is a country who had qualified for nothing before he arrived.

    I find it really annoying to hear people who have achieved nothing (or nothing in relative terms) have a pop at the man who put us on the footballing map at international level.

    Rant over...

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    Do people say 'he should have done better'? I havent watched the series yet but generally I thought (think) the irish footballing public hold Jack in high regard and would be of an opinion similar to yours. Are people saying we underachieved, if they are surely its a minority?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junior View Post
    Do people say 'he should have done better'? I havent watched the series yet but generally I thought (think) the irish footballing public hold Jack in high regard and would be of an opinion similar to yours. Are people saying we underachieved, if they are surely its a minority?
    On Green is the Colour, there was a bit of "the style of football was crap for the players we had". Eoin Hand was then saying that Jack's predecessors also deserved a lot of credit for what they did and Jack gets too much credit for our success (I'm paraphrasing but that was the general gist of it). Quite a bit of "He did nothing for the LOI" too. While he didn't, I don't think that was his job.

    The programme itself gave Jack credit too to be fair but I do hear a lot of revisionist crap generally about the Charlton era.

    Incidentally, if you haven't seen Green is the Colour, get it. Got it at Christmas and only got around to watching it yesterday. Really, really good programme.

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    Don't think I've ever heard anyone saying that 'We should have done better'.

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    I dont think people believe we underachieved. More so that different/ better tactics, given the team was pretty good, had a realistic chance of actually achieving more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by barney View Post
    I heard Mark Lawrenson say that he only picked playing for Ireland because he didn't think he was good enough for England. I'd imagine it was the same with a lot of the players.
    I simply can't imagine why people would search for reasons to be disrespectful to that era of players.

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    There does seem to be a revisionist view of the Charlton era that he had a host of amazing players to choose from. As far as I know it's only developed in the past couple of years - before that, people were rightly proud of the fact our players punched above their weight and got unexpected results against really good teams with world class players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barney View Post
    I heard Mark Lawrenson say that he only picked playing for Ireland because he didn't think he was good enough for England. I'd imagine it was the same with a lot of the players.
    If you listen carefully to what Lawrenson said in that clip he says that he was 19 and playing for Preston. "I never imagined I would be good enough to play for England" so he jumped at the chance to play International football.

    If you ask Lawrenson today he would tell you that he has no regrets over that decision (even though he turned out at Liverpool to be a fantastic centre-half who probably would have played for England).

    For many of our players born in England or Scotland (excluding Kilbane, Sheedy, Breen, Phelan etc), Ireland probably wasn't their first choice for International Football, but, with only a very few exceptions, almost every one of them gave total commitment to the Irish team once they did make that choice. Invariably, when they are asked today about that decision, they will tell you that they developed a huge connection with the team and with the country that they would never have experienced otherwise.

    The football under Jack Charlton was very rudimentary stuff but, apart from the last two years (Jack should have quit after USA 94), that team was phenomenally passionate, committed and probably the best group of players we have ever (or will ever) have. Even the critics (most notably Dunphy) would never question the commitment or patriotism of the players in that era. The criticisms were always about the tactics and the style of football rather than the players.
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    I wouldn't pay any heed to Hand, he has been spouting that since long time now as they say in the carribbean. He is very bitter. He was unlucky but he is bitter, a bit like a present day kerr. Its funny some of the LOI (background) managers who went on to manage Ireland represent some of their LOI fans quite well, a chip on their shoulders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTerracer View Post
    If you listen carefully to what Lawrenson said in that clip he says that he was 19 and playing for Preston. "I never imagined I would be good enough to play for England" so he jumped at the chance to play International football.

    If you ask Lawrenson today he would tell you that he has no regrets over that decision (even though he turned out at Liverpool to be a fantastic centre-half who probably would have played for England).

    For many of our players born in England or Scotland (excluding Kilbane, Sheedy, Breen, Phelan etc), Ireland probably wasn't their first choice for International Football, but, with only a very few exceptions, almost every one of them gave total commitment to the Irish team once they did make that choice. Invariably, when they are asked today about that decision, they will tell you that they developed a huge connection with the team and with the country that they would never have experienced otherwise.

    The football under Jack Charlton was very rudimentary stuff but, apart from the last two years (Jack should have quit after USA 94), that team was phenomenally passionate, committed and probably the best group of players we have ever (or will ever) have. Even the critics (most notably Dunphy) would never question the commitment or patriotism of the players in that era. The criticisms were always about the tactics and the style of football rather than the players.
    Absolutely spot on, that's what Lawrenson said and ironically, he probably would have gotten capped for England at some point.

    I wouldn't question any of the players' loyalty at all. They were all very committed and always seemed to give their all.

    My gripe is that people think that we had this amazing selection of players. We didn't really. Chris Morris, Andy Townsend, Tony Cascarino, John Aldridge, Mick McCarthy were all decent players who did well for Ireland but weren't great players by any stretch of the imagination and would never have been capped regularly, if at all, for England (although some may disagree on Aldo). You could say the same for Bonner, Moran, Galvin, Sheedy, Quinn and so on. Decent players but not world beaters.

    Two of the most gifted players in that era were Brady and Stapleton and they were into their twilight years by the time 1988 came around.

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    Slightly off-topic, but Lawro was introduced as being an Irishman on Football Focus on Saturday morning ( the presenter was saying it was a cosmopolitan line-up as there was a Welshman (Savage) and an Irishman on the couch, or some such thing).

    I know a lot of people give him stick for referring to England as "we" when he's commentating on their matches etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yard of Pace View Post
    Slightly off-topic, but Lawro was introduced as being an Irishman on Football Focus on Saturday morning ( the presenter was saying it was a cosmopolitan line-up as there was a Welshman (Savage) and an Irishman on the couch, or some such thing).

    I know a lot of people give him stick for referring to England as "we" when he's commentating on their matches etc.
    A lot of that is urban myth though. I've heard him say "we" about England a couple of times but more often that not, he says "we" for Ireland and says England for them. Andy Townsend is actually a far worse offender in this regard when commentating on England games (but to be honest, it doesn't bother me that much anyway). Lawro is admittedly bit annoying as a pundit but I think the begrudgery about him is way overdone considering what a good (and committed) player he was for us.

    He captained Ireland in his last appearance for us (5-0 against Israel in Dalymount Park in 1987) on the day before Gary Mackay sent us to the Euros. Unfortunately the achilles injury forced him to retire shortly afterwards and, like Brady, he didn't get the chance to play in a major tournament for us.
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    Charlton did very well but personally I think Trap has done a much better job considering the crap selection of players he has available to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colbert Report View Post
    Charlton did very well but personally I think Trap has done a much better job considering the crap selection of players he has available to him.
    I'd be a defender of Trap but can't agree with this albeit I understand why you would say it.

    Jack made us competitive against the best teams in the world and remarkably consistent. Trap hasn't done the former and arguably the latter.

    Jack was also the first. I know Trap can't compete on that front but for that alone Jack deserves massive credit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colbert Report View Post
    Charlton did very well but personally I think Trap has done a much better job considering the crap selection of players he has available to him.
    Not a chance. Not even the remotest chance of a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redobit View Post
    I dont think people believe we underachieved. More so that different/ better tactics, given the team was pretty good, had a realistic chance of actually achieving more.
    That is a case of having your fish & eating it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTerracer View Post
    If you listen carefully to what Lawrenson said in that clip he says that he was 19 and playing for Preston. "I never imagined I would be good enough to play for England" so he jumped at the chance to play International football.

    If you ask Lawrenson today he would tell you that he has no regrets over that decision (even though he turned out at Liverpool to be a fantastic centre-half who probably would have played for England).

    For many of our players born in England or Scotland (excluding Kilbane, Sheedy, Breen, Phelan etc), Ireland probably wasn't their first choice for International Football, but, with only a very few exceptions, almost every one of them gave total commitment to the Irish team once they did make that choice. Invariably, when they are asked today about that decision, they will tell you that they developed a huge connection with the team and with the country that they would never have experienced otherwise.

    The football under Jack Charlton was very rudimentary stuff but, apart from the last two years (Jack should have quit after USA 94), that team was phenomenally passionate, committed and probably the best group of players we have ever (or will ever) have. Even the critics (most notably Dunphy) would never question the commitment or patriotism of the players in that era. The criticisms were always about the tactics and the style of football rather than the players.
    "Football was very rudimentary"

    That doesn't tell the whole story. The srory of Jack Charlton began, for me, in 1977, if I remember rightly. Ireland had been drawn in an upcoming group with England and Jack was commenting on England's prospects. At the time we were the lowest of the low in international football, but Jack said good things about us. He didn't have to but he did and I'll always remember him for that. One other thing that he said, regarding football in general, was that defenders don't have to be good players - they only have to be good at stopping others play. How true that is and still is.

    Ultimately Jack Charlton put his ideas into motion for Ireland. He stopped other teams from playing to their potential. He was brilliant at it. And if you look at the forwards we had (remember Man City wouldn't release Niall Quinn for USA) he did an absolutely remarkable job. We had Tommy Coyne starting against Italy. If we had've had a Stoichkov or a Shearer we would have gone quite a bit further at USA.

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    Charlton was our best manager ever and was helped by having good players who suited his gameplan. While we were lucky to qualify for Euro 88, this was the beginning of people actually believing in Irish football and having expectations. Trap now has to deal with expectations that Charlton really didn't have to. We went along for the ride, loved the experience, loved the man, the team and generally had a party. I think real expectations of Irish teams really didn't materialise until USA 94. Having spent years watching Ireland nearly qualify, the Charlton years bring back great memories and probably for many of my generation nothing since can compare to this.
    Last edited by gastric; 20/03/2013 at 11:13 PM.

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    when i saw this was a new thread i feared the worst.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTerracer View Post
    A lot of that is urban myth though. I've heard him say "we" about England a couple of times but more often that not, he says "we" for Ireland and says England for them. Andy Townsend is actually a far worse offender in this regard when commentating on England games (but to be honest, it doesn't bother me that much anyway).
    David O'Leary referring to England as 'we' was always the worst offender. Headwrecking!
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