The 1994 World Cup in America was the first for Luke Constable of the brilliantly named RGSOAS (Ruud Gullit Sitting on a Shed). His native England hadn’t qualified but thanks to his Irish grandfather, Luke was rooting for the Republic. Having missed the full game with Italy, the myth around the match had grown. Houghton’s goal and McGrath’s performance became legendary as the years went on. Luke has never seen the game in its entirety…until now.
From Carey, Cantwell, and Meagan, to Charlton and Trapattoni. Ireland’s managerial records in infographic form, via Fantasy5Live.com
Noel King returns to the Irish senior set-up as caretaker manager 23 years after his involvement as coach with Jack Charlton at Italia 90. King replaces Giovanni Trapattoni in the Irish dug-out for the final World Cup qualifiers with Germany and Kazakhstan, stepping up from his role as U21 coach.
Some would say he was at the helm of Ireland for too long, with some ageing players, a direct style of play deemed no longer suitable for international football, and, with defeat in Austria, headed for the exit door. There are many parallels between Jack Charlton’s last days as Irish boss and the apparent imminent end of the Giovanni Trapattoni era. Vienna forms the back-drop to both.
The last time Ireland defeated Austria was in Dublin in 1963 in front of almost 40,000 at Dalymount Park in a European qualifier. Having drawn 0-0 in Vienna three weeks earlier, Ireland progressed to the last eight of the European Nations Cup thanks to a 3-2 win with two goals coming from Manchester United’s Noel Cantwell.
Austrian captain Christian Fuchs leads his charges to the Aviva Stadium knowing the last time his countrymen won in Dublin, it spelt the beginning of the end for the home manager. Will a repeat result have the same outcome?
Playing in March apparently angered Jack Charlton while Steve Staunton thought it meant we performed better. The next few days could prove to be defining moments for Giovanni Trapattoni that determine if we should clear our calendars next summer.
They were the pioneers. After decades of heartache, the Republic of Ireland appeared at a major football finals for the first time in 1988. Twenty-four years on, we’re back, but many of Jack’s original Boys in Green can still be seen on our TV screens as pundits. Póg Mo Goal takes an offside look back and asks; the heroes of Euro ’88, where are they now?
GIVEN the law of averages we’re due one, aren’t we? No, I’m not talking about a smile from Mick McCarthy, or an expression from Trap that doesn’t leave the nation baffled (cats in bags – what?), but a win in a play-off. It doesn’t have to be a nine-goal thriller. Or even a thriller, for that matter. At this stage there aren’t many people who wouldn’t take a scrappy affair as long as it ends with us packing our bags (without cats please, Giovanni) for Poland and the Ukraine next Summer.
We play Scotland for the cup on Sunday