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It wasn't all lamping the ball forward and closing down - Jack could do tactics with the best of them

Paul McGrath


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Jack Charlton talks tactics with Paul McGrath before Ireland's 1994 win over Germany in Stuttgart. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Jack Charlton talks tactics with Paul McGrath before Ireland's 1994 win over Germany in Stuttgart. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Jack Charlton talks tactics with Paul McGrath before Ireland's 1994 win over Germany in Stuttgart. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

One thing people often ask me about Jack Charlton is whether I was ever frustrated by his 'put 'em under pressure' tactics. 

After all, at that time, Ireland had players like Liam Brady, Mark Lawrenson, Ronnie Whelan, Kevin Sheedy and Ray Houghton. With lads like those, we could have played 'keep ball' against any team in the world.

Instead we hoofed the ball a lot and, while the Irish people loved us, in world football we were feared - but definitely not loved. 'Neanderthal football' was one description of what we were doing back then.