McCarthy working his magic at Wolves
Two games into the season and very few people will be surprised to see Manchester City and Manchester United sitting at the top of the Premier League table, but who would have predicted Wolves to be the only other side with a 100% start?
Not that manager Mick McCarthy is one to get over-excited. Wins over Blackburn and Fulham would have been greeted by the Yorkshireman with quiet satisfaction and a reminder that it's where Wolves are on the evening of the final day of season, 13 May, that matters.
There are some fairly stringent financial limits at Molineux, but in his five years in charge McCarthy has worked within them but still managed to significantly improve the squad.
I was a bit sceptical as to whether Scottish striker Steven Fletcher was worth £6m when he joined from Burnley in June 2010, but his 12 goals last season proved crucial, particularly towards the end of the season when Kevin Doyle was injured.
McCarthy was jubilant as his side narrowly escaped relegation last season. Photo: Getty images
McCarthy will always have room for an honest grafter with a smattering of talent, rather than a genius with attitude and a dislike for running. He'll forgive a lack of technique, but never a lack of effort and his squad seem to be united behind his belief in the rewards of hard work.
The 52-year-old is always good for a quote, and he's never anything but brutally honest. In his first press conference when he was unveiled as manager back in 2006, he was asked if he thought he could get Wolves promoted to the top flight in his first season.
Quick as a flash he replied: "You know my initials? Well they stand for Mick McCarthy, not Merlin the Magician." The room echoed with laughter, even the sceptical press men had been won over.
I've been lucky to work a fair bit with McCarthy as my co-commentator on World Cups and European Championships for the BBC, and the conversation is always the same.
Whether chatting over breakfast at the crack of dawn, by a pool on an afternoon off or over a drink late at night, he just loves talking about football.
He is always passionate and usually funny with it, but I still wouldn't want to ask him a stupid question after a Wolves defeat. I doubt very much whether I would escape one of his typically blunt replies.
When I was a very green reporter for Capital Radio in the early 1990s, I was sent to interview McCarthy, who was then manager at Millwall.
Even now when I'm interviewing someone for Match of the Day I have to remind myself not to waffle, but in those days I had a real tendency to ask long, rambling questions which didn't always make a lot of sense.
Tucked away in his office at the training ground I started on one such meandering train of thought, and after what could have been a very long time, I moved the microphone towards him for a reply.
He paused, looked at the microphone and said: "Have you finished? Well, the answer to the first bit was a no, to the second bit it was a yes, then to be honest I lost interest in whatever it was you were saying. I'm going out to take training, if you want a cup of tea there's a kettle in the corner."
Spoken like a true pro. I hope he's handing out lessons in football management interviewing technique for a long time to come.