Wednesday, February 15, 2012
End Of An Era
It was the end of an era for Wolverhampton Wanderers this week as Mick McCarthy was sacked as manager.
It ended on a bad note with a dreadful 5-1 home defeat against local rivals West Bromwich Albion. In truth it probably wasn't the fact that we lost, or even the scoreline that proved to be the final straw, it was the manner of the defeat. We looked disjointed and ragged against an Albion side who completely outclassed us, kept the ball better than we did, who passed and moved the ball far better than us, looked quicker and sharper and thoroughly deserved their emphatic victory.
There has been a section of Wolves fans disenchanted with Mick McCarthy as far back as 2007 but as this season has progressed those voices have become louder and grown in number. From the moment Chairman Steve Morgan entered the Wolves dressing room to berate the players after a home defeat against Liverpool - undermining Mick's authority as manager in my opinion - it seemed to be only a question of how long Mick would be given.
To be honest I'm gutted that he's gone. Mick McCarthy is a great bloke and has been a fantastic manager for Wolves. He dragged the team up by the scruff of the neck after the whole Glen Hoddle debacle and built a young, hard working team to be proud of, often picking up bargain players from off the beaten track. Michael Kightly and Stephen Ward anyone...?
He got us promoted from the second division of English football as Champions, something that we hadn't achieved since 1977. He also kept us in the top division for what is now our third season which, again, is no small achievement. You're going back to the 1979/80 season to when this was last the case.
Mick's "putting in a shift" quote has almost become a joke, except that it isn't really because before Mick McCarthy arrived you couldn't really guarantee that all Wolves players would actually give 100% effort every week. Mick McCarthy instilled that. Also the way the club has conducted itself off the pitch in recent times has made me proud to be a Wolves supporter and once again this is due, at least in part, to Mick McCarthy.
I'm not convinced that changing managers is the right decision to take now. If the club really had no faith in Mick then the decision should have been taken prior to the transfer window closing. Whoever Wolves appoint will be working with an inherited squad. Then there are the names of potential candidates being mentioned... Steve Bruce...Neil Warnock.... Alan Curbishley....I think if you had approached any Wolves fan at the start of the season and asked if they fancied swapping Mick McCarthy for Warnock or Bruce they would have probably said "No" - but it seems that this is now a realistic possibility.
I was delighted when Wolves appointed Mick McCarthy as, to me, he was exactly the kind of manager we needed. Perhaps times have moved on and we now need a new type of manager to progress further. Maybe.
But I do worry for us now. I've seen this before when Wolves sacked Dave Jones. The board pressed the panic button and got rid of a decent manager on a bad run, only to replace him with someone who took the club no further forward and actually undid some of the good work that had gone before. I hope the board don't live to regret making the decision they have taken this week.
The next appointment the board makes is crucial and will say a lot about how they see Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. I hope they choose wisely....