When Wolves made 10 changes for their Premier League encounter with Manchester United yesterday, many people were left wondering why? After back-to-back wins against Bolton and Tottenham, McCarthy effectively threw in the towel before the match at Old Trafford and held the white flag aloft. Now many Wolves fans are demanding their money back in a similar vein to the money given to Wigan supporters after their 9-1 drubbing against Spurs at White Hart Lane. And with the FA on his back as well, will McCarthy stick to his guns and is he right to do so?
Mick McCarthy started his managerial career with Millwall in 1992 after a 15 year playing career, which the defender spent mostly at Barnsley and Manchester City. The Englishman then took over from Jack Charlton as Ireland boss, the country he represented as a player, and took the Irish national team to the 2002 World Cup. However, that was overshadowed by his spat with Roy Keane, who left without playing a match and I’m pretty sure they don’t see eye to eye. McCarthy’s next job took him to Sunderland, whom he managed to get promoted to the Premiership before ironically being replaced by Keane. He took his current job with Wolves in 2006 and he will be seen to be successful if he can keep them in the Premier League.
Like many of the clubs near the bottom of the Premier League, McCarthy hasn’t had a massive transfer budget at Wolves, but he has managed to do much with the little money he has had. Michael Kightly is a great example of how McCarthy has plucked a player from nowhere, as the tricky winger was picked up from non-league Grays Athletic. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake has been one of his most successful signings, as the striker’s goals helped Wolves earn promotion from the Championship, while the £6.5 million spent on Kevin Doyle is one of McCarthy’s biggest outlays.
Mick McCarthy can often rub people up the wrong way, as illustrated by his falling out with Roy Keane. He has been known to lose his temper on occasion, famously throwing a match programme to the ground in disgust at the Stadium of Light. McCarthy also sticks to his guns more often than not and stands by his principles. When speaking to BBC Sport after the United game he said “I’m not bothered about the reaction from anybody else… I make decisions for what I think is the good of my players and the good of the club.” Here he is taking stick from United fans on his broad shoulders:
The Premier League have written to Wolves to and have “requested their observations” on the match at Old Trafford. McCarthy is also getting it in the neck from his own fans, with Wolves supporter chief Arthur Williams calling the decision to keep only goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann in the team as “grossly disrespectful.” It was obviously a gamble to rest so many of Wolves’ first team stars, but all will be forgotten if they record another Premiership victory against Burnley at Molineux on Sunday. I can fully understand why he rested players, but ultimately was McCarthy right to effectively forfeit the Man Utd encounter and concentrate on future ‘winnable’ fixtures?
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