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4 Times Ireland Immediately Bounced Back After Disastrous Performances

4 Times Ireland Immediately Bounced Back After Disastrous Performances
By Michael McCarthy

Saturday was woeful. It was as bad an Irish performance as we've seen in years.

Online, people were quick to accuse us of having "collective amnesia" when it comes to Ireland matches, and that's it was always this bad. While our style of play, and lack of possession is a constant problem, it did feel that the Tbilisi performance signaled a new low, with Ireland enjoying just 30% of possession against what should have been a much inferior team.

So things are bleak. And yet, we remain hopeful.

1: We are still in contention in the group.

A win tonight will put us top again with two games remaining.

2: Serbia are officially "No Great Shakes"

We could have beaten them in Belgrade if we didn't retreat into our own box when 1-0 up and when we needed a late goal to avoid disastrous defeat, we managed it straight away. Our ability to beat Serbia comes down to mindset, and that brings us nicely to...

3. We've bounced back from shite performances before

It hasn't happened too often, but in the past Ireland have often reacted well and come out fighting just a few days after a poor performance. It's a very Irish trait to react well with our back against the wall. Spend 4 days criticising this team, and there's a fair chance they'll come out all guns blazing and taking on the world, just to stick it to those who wanted them to do that in the first place.



Here, we remember 4 times Ireland came out fighting after all hope appeared to be lost.


Ireland 1-1 Holland - World Cup 1990



Ok, it was just a draw, but it was supposed to be our most difficult test of Italia '90, and just four days before, we had seemingly thrown away our chances at coming out of the group at our first World Cup, when we put in one of our most abject performances ever against Egypt.

It was the match that made Eamon Dunphy think of men like Tommy Eglington. Great football men. Who waited their whole life to get to a World Cup. Only to go out and play that rubbish. Thceaaah.


Ireland 1-1 Czech Republic - October 2010

Another glorious 1-1 draw, that great Irish scoreline. This time, it came four days after perhaps the worst night in the history of Irish football.



You forget Ireland went ahead in that game! Our usual flaw.

The night in Nicosia was the night that the Steve Staunton experiment came horrible apart in just his second competitive fixture.


Four days later, the Czech Republic came to Lansdowne Road, and we feared the worst. Though they had just been knocked out of the World Cup by Ghana, this was still a strong Czech team featuring the likes of Cech, Rosicky, Baros and Jan Koller.

What we got instead was a true fighting performance by an Ireland team undermanned and outclassed. We even took the lead again, briefly, thanks to a Kevin Kilbane goal. Some pride was restored to Irish football, and while things didn't get any better under Stan, the lows of Nicosia were never revisited, although they almost were in San Marino!

France 1-1 Ireland (AET) - November 2009

Another 1-1 draw, I know, but feck that, we're taking this one as a win. The equaliser was in extra time, and the cheatiest goal in the history of football.


Drawing France for the World Cup playoffs had already been controversial enough as it was. FIFA belatedly seeded the draw to give France the best chance to qualify, fearful the big guns wouldn't be in South Africa. Even so, given our performances against Italy in the qualifying campaign, we thought we had a chance, but that hope was ripped from us when Nicolas Anelka scored in Croke Park.


It felt like that was that. We weren't set up to chase a game, especially away from home.


Instead we came out in Paris four days later, and went for France. This was the night that the Irish players seemingly threw out the Trap game plan and played some real football. It was one Damien Duff's great days in an Ireland jersey. Duff and Robbie Keane linked up for a brilliant Irish goals, and so many other chances to add the second away goal went by the wayside.

It was one of the great Irish performances, and it came just a few days after an abject home performance that we thought cost us our place at the World Cup.

Then came extra time, Henry, Gallas, and we know the rest.




Ireland 1-0 Italy - Euro 2016

A nice, recent example, featuring much the same team as will take on Serbia today.

On the Saturday, Belgium had torn us apart, making us look like complete minnows in their 3-0 win. After the initial positivity of Ireland's performance against Sweden, now we were back talking about Euro 2012. Being at major tournament just didn't seem like much fun anymore.


Hope wasn't lost yet though. Martin O'Neill  dropped Glenn Whelan and brought in Daryl Murphy, something we could see again today. We gave it a go, and... eventually... got our reward. Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan delivered off the bench, and Robbie Brady provided the finish, and we were through to the Last 16.


We left it late, but eventually we played football and kept our composure. It's almost as if there's a pattern there...

Let's hope some lessons are learned for tonight's game. If Ireland can both capture that back against the wall attitude, and actually play some football, there's no reason they can't beat Serbia.

SEE ALSO: Here's The Ireland Team We'd Love To See Actually Play Football Vs Serbia.. Maybe?

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