Last night was hardly a memorable one for fans of both Irish international teams, with the Republic of Ireland needing a late Simon Cox goal to draw with the Czech Republic, whilst Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland lost 3-0 at home on his debut outing as new manager.
But Irish soccer fans will certainly have fond memories of the summer of 1990, when Jackie’s Army surprised many on their way to a quarter final showdown with hosts Italy in the World Cup. But many will remember the summer as much for the heated debates in the RTE studios and elsewhere instigated by Eamon Dunphy’s stinging attacks on the manager and his tactics. This youtube clip of a younger Bill O’Herlihy with John Giles and Eamon Dunphy minutes after the penalty shoot-out triumph over Romania illustrates the remarkably durable public appeal of the broadcasting trio, now approaching what must be a quarter of a century as a studio team.
Fast forward twenty two years and it would appear that one of those deja vu moments is upon us. Following the one-all draw with the Czech Republic in Dublin last night, Eamon Dunphy has launched one of his most stinging attacks to date on the current Irish international manager, Giovanni Trapatoni, labelling the veteran Italian manager as “amateurish” and the performance as”embarassing:”
Here’s Eamon in his own words:
“It was embarrassing at times the amount of possession they had. They looked like Barcelona. It was a badly set-up Irish team and a bit of a shambles.”
“If we play like that in the championships we will be humiliated and embarrassed.”
There’s nothing like a winning formula, eh?