Wolves ditch McCarthy: Sir Alex Ferguson and Dalglish could learn from him

Poor old Mick: this'll knock you back only £4.50 at Amazon***

Mick McCarthy, the latest Premier manager to be sacked this season following the dismissals of Steve Bruce and Neil Warnock, is a man many Sunderland supporters hold in high esteem.

Managers at one or two clubs in the news may wish to reflect that respect is often earned by appearing straight and decent. McCarthy has shortcomings, but he seems as dependable, honest and fair-minded as they come.

Football looked shabby again over the weekend as Liverpool and Manchester United supporters, having paid very good money for the promise of as appetising an encounter as the Premier serves up, spent at least part of the game glowering at one another as if the match was of no importance or interest.

Their neanderthal behaviour was replicated on the field and on the lips of both managers.

Suarez’s refusal to shake Evra’s hand was a disgrace, especially after he’d promised he would do so; to anyone who witnessed Evra’s mindlessly provocative demeanour at the final whistle, Sir Alex’s claim that Suarez might have caused a riot and should never be allowed to play for Liverpool again was not much better.

He comes in a bit dearer: £7.19***

Under, shall we say, the guiding hand of the owners, who must have feared the most lasting damage to Liverpool’s reputation, Dalglish apologised for his own blinkered defence of Suarez after the match, and Suarez said sorry for his deplorable refusal to take the opportunity to move on.

Indeed, Dalglish’s conduct throughout this miserable saga – and is there a good reason why the Liverpool supporters phoning 606 were so unable to take on board that it was the FA and not scurrilous newspapers that heard all the evidence and found Suarez guilty as charged? – has helped the process of bringing a grand club into disrepute.

Sir Alex is down to £6.38***

For his part, Sir Alex will not be rushing to apologise or to explain why Suarez, but not Eric Cantona after his attack on a loutish “supporter” at Crystal Palace, deserved to be booted out. SAF is a magnificent manager, but continues to show his boorish side from time to time. Dalglish may yet become a great manager but would do well to sharpen his social skills in the meantime.

Mick McCarthy has his moments of belligerence, but has always seemed to act with integrity.

Though our best chance of seeing him in the Premier League again may be if he leads another club to promotion, his presence at the top level has been refreshing. I am also among the Sunderland supporters who wonder how he might have done with the sort of money that was later made available to Keano and Bruce. Good luck, Mick.

See also:


** Classic McCarthy response to a crushing defeat

*** Buy that McCarthy book, at the knockdown price, at Salut! Sunderland’s Amazon link.

The book on Sir Alex is here and Kenny’s My Liverpool Home is here.

Monsieur Salut
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18 thoughts on “Wolves ditch McCarthy: Sir Alex Ferguson and Dalglish could learn from him”

  1. Sorry,

    I’ve no hard feelings towards Mick McCarthy and don’t think he got a full crack of the whip here but if he went to Leeds I’d never want him to win another game, except possibly v NUFC or Man Utd, and that’s assuming rules don’t change and it remains impossible for two teams to lose the same match

  2. I think he’d be the perfect appointment for Leeds Pete. I can’t see my developing a “soft spot” for them though, even if he does take over at Elland Road

  3. Personally – I’d love to see Wolves win their next game – an interesting fixture with 2 teams who shipped 5 goals in their last matches

  4. I’m with you on this Hilary. I’ve always had a lot of time for Mick. He’s a thoroughly good bloke and I feel that Wolves have shot themselves in the foot by sacking him, regardless of their current position.

    It won’t be long before he is back in the game. Why they would consider replacing a man like Mick with Mrs Doubtfire would be beyond me.

    I’ve always looked out for the Wolves results and hoped they did well, just because of him. They can go down for me now.

  5. Don’t want to get involved in a slanging match but in McCarthy’s favour he did sign Lawrence,Danny Collins and Whitehead on whom we made a significant profit.I never felt patronised by him as I often did with Bruce and Mick took his sacking with great dignity.I too feel that with better backing he would have had more of a fair chance .Niall Quinn made much the same point in one of his very early talk-ins at the time of Drumaville

  6. Agree about Reid. He would have just kept us up that season as well I reckon and could have went then. I remember him fondly, cue people putting me in my place 😉 he woke up the town again and limited some of the damage that them up the road had inflicting on fans’ morale here.

  7. He should have left them at the end of last season, but he failed to obey the “Five Year Rule”. Most managers have done as much as they can in five years and should have the common sense to move on and take up a new challenge. Look at Reidy; if he had left after that disappointing season when we finished just above the relegation zone,and not wasted the clubs money on the likes of Piper and Flo, he would have been remembered much more fondly.
    I would be delighted to see MON contradict the 5YR.

  8. Haha there was no intention of putting anyone in their place people. We should say what we believe in, right? As you can tell I feel fairly strongly about him. No offence was intended and it brought out stuff I didn’t know I had bottled up haha. I may not have felt as strongly if I hadn’t have had witnessed first-hand his comments about grafting. Maybe I’m being harsh and he has a right to say those things in some peoples’ opinion. I just like managers to have a good relationship with fans, no matter how synthetic, and uphold a good P.R, even though they shouldn’t have to if we were to think objectively. Football at the top level is ruthless and doesn’t allow for a lot of objectivity, however, and this is one reason why it pays well 🙂

  9. I’m sorry but I just can’t share peoples’ sentiments regarding McCarthy. Nice bloke? Maybe. Would have done better with the money Keane had? Do me a favour. I will, for anyone interested, elaborate on both points. Regarding his nice bloke image, I think people mistake his working-class demeanour for being down to earth. I can’t forget the way he constantly patronised the fans, personally. I attended a talk-in where he was asked who our best players were. Following his predictable answer of Jeff Whitley, and the inevitable groan that followed, his response of “I will tell you what, he has put more graft in than any of you have ever done in your lives” was outrageous. I was on a table that included manual labourers and people of multiple trades. He also said something along the lines of Arca and Bridges being allowed to pick our pockets and we wouldn’t notice because we’re too biased towards them and questioned our knowledge of other, less eye-catching players. He also said after another pathetic performance during the pathetic performing 15 point season, invoking collective boos in the stadium, he couldn’t care less what we thought of his players’ performance and what he thought was all that matters. After initially liking him I just can’t anymore, I have read Wolves fans’ posts saying he said similar things.
    Regarding his ability, he has a Plan A that gets hard working players to follow his un-adaptable tactics and hopes for the best. He may not have had his 15 point tally with money, but he is no more equipped than Steve Bruce as a manager and the outcome would have been similar to the one at Wolves now, spending big money would have seen us no better than where we were under Steve Bruce. I appreciate at the time that would have sufficed but I even question if he was capable of that. It’s no wonder the F.A look abroad when we have this calibre of English managers (he’s English and learnt his trade here despite representing Ireland) coming through and refusing to study the game more than their ego and values allow them to and then the media and fans commend them for it. He was what we needed initially, and done great with the post Wilkinson side, don’t get me wrong, but promotion followed by struggling is his limit. When he got us promoted he spent more money than Wigan and West Ham, who both stayed up comfortably. He ditched experienced pros like Marcus Stewart and signed people like Nosworthy (he was never good either) and Andy Gray. He was unlucky in certain areas, I will concede, but I’m afraid I am often stunned by how generous people are towards him. Rant over!!

    • Interesting post, goes to show I didn’t really know the full story on Mick. Sometimes from the outside it is hard to see the true demeanor of a manager (as I know from the way middle England failed to understand why Liverpool fans didn’t take to Hodgson) and it is great to get this kind of first hand anecdotal evidence.

  10. Bruce to replace McCarthy? Out of the frying pan… Surely they have more sense than that.
    I know an awful lot of decent, dependable, honest, fair-minded people (I’m not going to invite dissent by including myself) but that doesn’t qualify any of them to manage a Premiership club.
    You can’t blame Wolves for dumping him. One win in 13 games is “been there, done that” territory for Mackems and, as we’ve seen first-hand, drastic action – preferably sooner rather than later – is the most effective remedy. Maybe this parting of the ways will be good for both the team and McCarthy.

  11. I have always liked Mick McCarthy-decent and committed. I am sorry to see him lose his job. I see Bruce is in the frame as his successor. Rather have McCarthy any day.

  12. Should have said: comments, within reason, are always welcome here, from whatever source. However, I need to moderate those coming for the first time so please bear with me if there is a delay.

  13. Liverpool fan.

    Good post.

    Always liked Mick, seems a straight shooter. Not really sure why it hasn’t worked for him at Wolves, maybe the injuries in the first half of the season prevented them getting any momentum. Doyle still hasn’t hit form. Kept expecting them to kick and become a decent mid-table side, like Stoke did.

    All his teams, including his Sunderland one (correct me if I’m wrong) seem to do well up to a point and then falter. I get the impression that he lacks any long term vision. Hard to impose one without money though.

    As for who is going down, it is a tough call. I’d have to say Wigan but they’ve been picking up points without Rodallega and you think his return would galvanise them. Moses is coming of age and James McCarthy is excellent too. Wolves just look a beaten team and I can’t see them getting a top manager in (Curbishley or Bruce seem the most likely and I wouldn’t fancy either to save them, nor would I Rafa, who has been put forward as an unlikely candidate, good as he is). Bolton just can’t get going and don’t do enough in the key games. They’ve missed Holden and a presence up front with Davies past it and Elmander gone. They’d be my three.

    Can’t argue with your critique of King Kenny. He’s handled this thing poorly from start to finish (if this is the finish…) and someone should have stepped in and took on the finer points of dealing with the media.

    Good to see an article that criticises the club, which is perfectly acceptable, without veering into the kind of vapid, hollow moralising that has accompanied this saga.

    Good luck to you for the rest of the season, I hope someone doesn’t poach O’Neill from you (though I wouldn’t mind if we poached Sessegnon!).

  14. Decent bloke, very badly treated by our board of the time.
    I had mixed feelings about the relegation zone and who I wanted to go down. Bolton, obviously, but Blackburn and Wigan are quite near and we often get points from them (and neither are ever going to be a threat in mid to upper table). Didn’t want Wolves to go down because of Mick but now it is clear.
    Bolton, QPR and Wolves (so put your money on at least 2 of them staying up).

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