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"Ireland Invented The Pressing Game" - Brilliant Jack Charlton Interview From 1996

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Picture Credit: David Maher/SPORTSFILE.

Brilliant interview here with Jack Charlton from the longstanding BBC show (institution you could say) Desert Island Discs back in 1996 (not 1995 as he video says). In addition to all the music, Sue Lawley appeared to have consumed the entire works of Eamon Dunphy and quizzed Charlton on "kick and rush football" and accusations that he promoted a "crude" game in Ireland.

Big Jack refuted this strongly. In his defence, he said that by the early 1990s, teams like Milan, were doing exactly the same thing Ireland had been at since the mid '80s. Ireland were ahead of the curve on pressing football. If he was asked to discuss Barcelona, he could argue they do the same when they don't have the ball.

"It amazes me that teams like Milan and many of the European teams... now there's a terminology called 'pressing'. We were doing that in 1986, but now it considered a good thing in the game of football. The Irish were pressing teams in '86. We invented the game."

The most famous examples of pressing football from Ireland during the Charlton era at Wembley in 1991. I think this is what was meant by putting them under pressure.

[Watch Video]


Jack Charlton is a fan of Frank Sinatra, The Furey's, Jimmy Nail (he is Newcastle to the core) and The Dubliners. He's also a fan, and a personal friend no less, of Chris De Burgh, though he condeded that he often calls him Christy Burgh (not Burke) unthinkingly. Best of all, he likes Lee Marvin's song 'Wandering Star', an iconic number sang with the most deadpan voice imaginable.

Hat-tip to Eoghan Carroll


Jack's picks


Frank Sinatra - 'September'

Jimmy Nail - Crocodile Shoes

The Dubliners - Dirty Old Town


Roger Miller - King of the Road

The Fureys  - Red Rose Cafe

Christy Moore - Delerium Tremens


Chris De Burgh - Don't pay the Ferryman

Lee Marvin - Wanderin' Star


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