Arsenal At The World Cup #4: David O’Leary v Romania 1990

Italia ’90 is revered by some as a fantastic World Cup which in part it was. For those who had the misfortune to watch any of the Group F games featuring Egypt, England, Netherlands and Republic of Ireland, well, we would argue differently. Six games, seven goals and some of the most mind-numbingly inept football that gave little indication of the drama that would propel England to the semi-finals.

For the Irish, emerging from the group was a realistic hope but probably not expected at the expense of the Dutch. Their encounter with Egypt was tedious to the extent that Barry Davies, commentating for the BBC, fell asleep for twenty minutes, waking with the words, “An unprofessional shambles by Davies” and to find Ireland had barely moved half the length of the pitch in the meantime.

The brilliant scene from ‘The Van‘ as David O’Leary strode forward and planted the ball in the opposite side of the net to Lung’s dive. Packie Bonner had saved the Romanians final penalty from Timofte, leaving the outcome hanging on O’Leary’s spot kick. The rest is history.

Italia ’90 had not been overly kind to O’Leary before that moment. A squad member, O’Leary had not made any appearances before being brought on as a substitute in the 94th minute for Steve Staunton. The penalty shootout duly arrived. David O’Leary recalled:

I had come on late in the game, so I was quite fresh and I fancied taking a penalty. Some players didn’t want the responsibility but I grasped it.

To be honest it was a relief to be taking one. Kevin Sheedy shouted ‘Don’t miss’, but I really didn’t feel nervous.

Lest anyone wonder what the pressure on a player is, O’Leary summed it up:

I shudder to think what it would it would have been like if I had missed

He didn’t.

Posted on June 3, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Soccer, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Bigbrovar you can’t keep hitting 1st place, its not fair!

  2. I think BB has some connection to YW or is is that your just that fast?

  3. Isn’t great that Zimbabwe thrashed Brazil 0-3 in a friendly.

    Oh … it was the other way round you say?

    We are just happy it wasn’t 7-0. Zimbabwe played well actually and should have gone ahead twice in the first half. But Brazil danced through us in the second, quite literally … and they’re good dancers too.

  4. @ChrisGoona am sorry 😦

  5. LimparAssist

    Earplugs, Finsbury, yes. Essential at times… but not in a field, not for me. Can save your life at a festival though… in your tent… when the brain won’t turn off. Try seeing the Iration Steppas without them and you’ll regret it!

    Minimal, eh? …I’ve not heard much Plastikman but I see he’s worked with Ricardo Villalobos who I’d love to see. Good music to watch Brazil play football to actually… or Arsenal for that matter.

  6. BB make your self useful and post this with your 1st!


    ACLF (8003629)

  7. *

  8. Limpar,

    They don’t call them the Iration Steppas for nothing!

    Think you’re right about the ‘field effect’.

  9. Limpar

    I’ve just watched the video to Hustler by Simian Mobile Disco. (slow day!)
    I was thinking of Plastikman and of AW’s ability to out-hustle the hustlers.
    But, er, maybe I shouldn’t link in that video!
    I’ll recommend it if you haven’t seen it, a vague rip-off of Chris Cunningham’s work, but still good.

  10. oleary what a gunner legend, proper centre half and was loyal to a fault until the terminator told him to go

  11. alright chaps

    Was just watching through lots of videos from the 07/08 season (the one that got away) and I notice a few things that I realy feel can change next season.

    The first is the ariel threat that an enthusiastic Adebayor gave us, and how important it was in big games. Perhaps Chamakh will give us that back.

    The second thing was the settled midfield of Rosicky, Flamini, Hleb and Fabregas. Hleb was realy what we were missing as 2 realy creative players in the middle did us good. Perhaps now with our huge strike force we can afford to play Nasri more in the middle with Cesc. We have Rosicky able to cover and Song is better than Flamini ever was.

    Would anyone like to see the return of the 4-4-2? at least in the Big games?

  12. Hmm the thought did cross my mind but I was thinking of another Bordeaux player in the midfield when I had that thought.

    Is it just me or do I envision the Arsenal squad growing about 3″ on average next season.

    As blasphemous as it may sound…the one that got away can leave if Arsenal can get the other Bordeaux player.

  13. Deano:

    The real difference in those first 26 games was that we defended well. In the first 26 games we conceded 17 goals. The first 2 goals were 2 major GK howlers from Lehmann. The last 12 games when we lost our lead we conceded 14 goals. The goal/game conceded nearly doubled in the last 12 games.

  14. i don’t think spain will win it.they will miss Senna work rate and pure brazilian steel who much better than english one and cheaper 😉
    holland like spain look great going forward but look suspect at the back.
    2 great attacking side but moaniho show how to do it against such a side
    Which team of france or Argentina will turn up. only Diego and domenech know, but i bet they have no clue too.
    Brazil look like the stronger side by mile for now.Not very nice to watch but like Jose Inter do the job

    World Champion :brazil
    Goal scorer: VAN PERSIE
    Surprise:South Korea and Danemark

    Qter Holland/Brazil
    France /England
    Final Brazil/Argentina …brazil win
    3rd France/Danemark….danemark win

  15. Limestonegunner

    I think 442 for the big games might not be such a bad idea.

    Do you think Nasri is as good as Hleb was that season? I think Flamini that season was more aggressive and quicker(?) than Song. But Song has been terrific.

  16. Just saw the Mexico vs Italy game… Vela, danced all over the Azurri. I really hope Wenger uses him next season, he was fantastic to watch..

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