Republic of Ireland Senior Football Team Results 1995 to 1999
For the previous ten years Jack Charlton had presided over a golden era of Irish soccer results and performances. After more than 60 years of of frustration and failure Charlton led the Republic of Ireland soccer team to three major football championship finals in less than ten years.
During that time opposing national teams found it very difficult to deal with the direct playing style of the Irish team. The Irish soccer fans did not seem to mind that playing style was not too pleasing on the eye; it was the results on the pitch that mattered. In fact the work rate of the players endeared the team to the nation.
The Rise of the TV Soccer Pundits – John Giles & Eamonn Dunphy
The Charlton era with the Irish soccer team also witnessed the rise of the cult of the Irish TV soccer pundit and the post-pundit program, Apres Match. Two soccer pundits emerged at the time and have outlasted Charlton, namely Johnny Giles and Eamonn Dunphy.
During the 1990 World Cup Finals a war of words broke out between Dunphy and Charlton over the Irish performance against Egypt. Dunphy had been hugely critical of the style of play and the approach adopted by the Irish team during the match. Pundit Eamon Dunphy decried the results of the Irish team because he hated the style of play.
On another occasion Charlton refused to accept questions from Eamonn Dunphy, an accredited journalist, at an official press conference. There was no love lost between the two men but Dunphy has subsequently built his career as a soccer pundit by being controversial and indulging in some outrageous outbursts.
The End of Jack Charlton’s Reign as Irish Football Manager
After a somewhat patchy performance in the group stages, including a disastrous 0-0 result with football minnows Liechtenstein, the Republic of Ireland reached a play-off against Holland for qualification for the Euro 1996 Finals. At Anfield Road the Irish were completely outplayed by an excellent Dutch side that won more comfortably that the 2-0 result suggests. This match signaled the end of the Jack Charlton love affair with Republic of Ireland soccer.
Mick McCarthy Appointed as Republic of Ireland Manager
One of Jack Charlton’s favourite Irish players, Mick McCarthy was appointed as his successor as manager of the Irish team in February 1996. McCarthy inherited a old and tired squad of players. He set about rebuilding a new squad by bringing in young and untried players. Players of the calibre of Damien Duff and Robbie Keane emerged.
Somewhat unexpectedly McCarthy also introduced a new style of play to the team and the old Charlton up and at ’em football style was consigned to history. To his credit Mick McCarthy took the Republic of Ireland soccer team to two successive play-offs in the qualification campaigns for the 1998 World Cup Finals and the Euro 2000 Finals.
The results were very close with Ireland losing out by the odd goal in five against Belgium and on the away goals rule against Turkey.
Republic of Ireland Match Results 1995 to 1999 (inclusive)
Scores in parentheses are half-time scores / *Match abandoned after 27 minutes due to rioting by English fans