BBC BLOGS - Steve Wilson
« Previous | Main | Next »

McCarthy working his magic at Wolves

Post categories:

Steve Wilson | 15:40 UK time, Wednesday, 24 August 2011

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.

Getting Jamie O'Hara from Tottenham, initially on loan last season before signing him permanently this summer, was a masterstroke, and Irishman Stephen Hunt is a real pain for defenders.

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.


  • Comment number 1.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm a big fan of MM, possibly the loudest voice on the planet. I like his honesty and no nonsense approach. After he left Sunderland people were questioning his credentials as a Premier League Manager but he has done a terrific job with Wolves on limited resources. His sides are often criticised for being over zelous but you can't argue that it's not effective. Despite working hard Wolves do also have players like Jarvis who offer flair and excitement and I would love to see them finish in the top half of the table, I think they can do it if they avoid a slump in form that saw them dragged into the relegation fight last season.

  • Comment number 3.

    I shouldn't think anyone expects Wolves to finish much higher than 17th. But they've got off to a good start and deserve to stay up. The football is decet to watch. They play with passion. And they're not a bunch of overblown prima-donnas.

    Be nice if there were more clubs like that in the PL.

  • Comment number 4.

    Mick MCCarthy for England Manager after Fabio's departure!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    MM is the right man, at the right club, at the right time. His ethos fits perfectly with that of owner Steve Morgan. The club is debt free and is progressing both on and off the pitch at a steady rather than spectacular rate. It is no place for big time charlies. It is a proper, well run football club that will not sell its soul and traditions for bucket loads of oil money.
    If McCarthy can continue to consolidate this season, Wolves coulsd be set for their best period since the early 70s era of McGarry, John Richards, the Doog, Wagstaffe etc.

  • Comment number 6.

    Mick McCarthy for England manager!!

  • Comment number 7.

    I've been a Wolves fan for over twenty years and Mic McCarthy truly feels likes a breath of fresh air, it's hard even after a bad result to be dissapointed or mad with Mic because he is such a straight up guy. You know he's feeling what you are.

    He's one of the few genuinely talented managers in the Premier League. Even i could put together a winning squad if you gave me 400 million to spend.

    The true talent in the leauge is the managers like Mic who manage to do so mucfh with so little.

    Long live Mic McCarthy!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Couldn't agree more!! Mic McCarthy for England!!

  • Comment number 9.

    It's nice to see a blog on Wolves from the BBC - I've only seen three since we got promoted in 2009!

    I've always been fond of MM, and I like the way the club is run. Being a pessimist and a Wolves fan (which goes hand in hand quite well), I'm not expecting anything other than a relegation battle this season. We've made a good start - 2 wins from 2 games - but I think our true test will come at Villa on Saturday. Blackburn were suffering from several key injuries to their back line, and Fulham had played midweek - playing a team that has virtually no injury concerns, and played midweek like us, will hopefully give us a clearer indication of where we may end up this season.

    McCarthy has my full support, and I hope he stays for a further 5 years. We've steadily progressed over his tenure, and that can only continue if we stay in the Premier League, and keep slowly improving our squad.

    But, as always, 2 down, 36 to go - I'll let you know how I feel on the evening of the 13th May!

  • Comment number 10.

    I have been a Wolves fan all my life (I am 58) and so have suffered many ups and downs in that time (probably more downs than ups!). I am too young to remember the golden eras at Wolves but I enjoyed going to watch probably the best team in my lifetime in the 70's (Parkes, Parkin, Bailey, McAlle, Munro, McCalliog, Richards, Dougan, Wagstaffe etc). I have been critical of Mick McCarthy while he's been at Wolves (on transfers, team selection, strategy etc), but I have never doubted his commitment to the cause. He's working under strict financial restraints and (a few dodgy transfers aside) has done a great job with the money he has been given. As others have said, no-one can ever doubt his players' work-rate and commitment, they only reflect the virtues of their manager. As a football fan, my only sadness is not being able to watch better, attractive, flowing football - but I'm realistic also. I know if we started to try and be Arsenal we would probably get hammered quite a few times and end up getting relegated (think West Brom here!). So I think we have to cut our cloth accordingly. However, my only downside to this eulogy of MM is that, at the end of the day, I believe that bottom half of the Premier is Mick's true postion as a manager, and if Wolves have any ambitions to progress any higher in this league, I think we may have to ultimately change the manager (as well as provide more money for players, of course!). But for now, I say good luck, Mick, and let's pray for no more last-day histrionics this season!

  • Comment number 11.

    Even if his commentary at the World Cup was awful, it doesn't take away from the great manager he has being at Wolves. For me they are two sides that match perfectly, Wolves are happy to stay out the limelight, allowing MM to just go along and get on with his work.

  • Comment number 12.

    I like McCarthy because he reminds me of the sort of honesty that is sadly lacking in the modern game. I like his bluntness in commentary. There are too many commentators (or co-commentators) that pussy foot around desperately trying to not offend anyone, largely cause there is too much of a smell of old boys network in the media part of a game. But McCarthy will simply say something is rubbish if something is rubbish.

    As for Wolves, can't say as I have any link with them at all but again, they are old fashioned in that they are well run and are doing things gradually and without any of the histrionics that seem to be associated with other more celebrated clubs.

    Good luck to him and Wolves this season.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm delighted for MM and wolves, I'm a liverpool fan, but have always had a soft spot for teams like wolves - a great job for the resources available. While the flowing football is not always there and they may never be the regular team up first on match of the day, a couple of good buys this year and the commitment and work ethic so far cannot be argued against. I think they will do pretty well this year around 10 - 14th.

    As for MM - he is hilarious, cracks me up everytime I hear him!

  • Comment number 14.

    Sorry Lads, I don’t think you’ll ever see Mick managing England.

    He has said he wants to go back and manage Ireland again if the opportunity arose. He may be born in Barnsley but he considers himself Irish through and through. I have seen him at Ireland matches, home and away, in the crowd and Kevin Doyle says that he never misses a game. Another good attribute about the man – makes no big deal about it, just slips in and out with the crowd.

  • Comment number 15.

    Behind the scenes Steve Morgan is managing Mick McCarthy and making a better manager of him. There's been a marked improvement in some of Mick's weaker areas ,e.g. substitutions, since Steve took over the club.

    Mick McCarthy's getting better all the time and so are Wolves.

  • Comment number 16.

    Gary Johnson on the radio the other night said of MM something along the lines of

    "He took his pro badge with me and he passed, just shows that it's not what you know but who you know!"

    Wish there were more managers who would take the pee in interviews etc.

  • Comment number 17.

    McCarthy has been a on long long and hard learning curve. He did okay as manager of Ireland but should have done better against 9 man spain, which apparently he didn't even spot they were 2 men down with 5 minutes to go. It was really a shocking error. Since then he has had his ups and downs. I like his straight forwardness. I have no time for wafflers either. But football is not a game that requires intellectual diplomacy. I would like to see him crack on now with a team and start winning things. His 'apprenticeship' if I may use that term , around the relegation places has long been served. His only real fault is that when he gets worried about losses he can't hide it and I am sure it communicates to his side. All criticism aside I think McCarthy is a decent bloke and one who has made a lot of errors publicly and at least seems to be learning from them.

  • Comment number 18.

    Good manager for his level, but limited. He had a very talented group of players with the Republic of Ireland, almost as good as Jack Charlton's group, and they never qualified for a tournament.

    I agree with some of the comments here, that he's a very straight-up honest guy, and he suits a squad of hardworking players who are committed and play in his image. I can imagine him rubbing up certain people the wrong way though. Give him a flair player to work with and he might shred the guy's confidence.

    He's a good manager for a club fighting for promotion or fighting relegation. I'd never put him in charge of a top side though. One guy said a manager like Mccarthy working in his circumstances is more talented than managers with £400m to spend. I don't necessarily agree with that. His managerial style simply suits the situation that Wolves are in, seeking to establish themselves consistently in the Premier League. If they ever have the ambition to step up even further, they'll need a manager with more sophisticated and inspired ideas about the game.

  • Comment number 19.

    *'never qualified for a tournament'- ah, yes, 2002. But they should have done better.

  • Comment number 20.

    @19.At 11:19 25th Aug 2011, Vox Populi wrote:
    Won the exact same amount of International tournaments as the Golden Generation , an indictment of England managers not knowing how to get the most out of players as opposed to the "extra" MM gets out of his .
    It is often said it would have been better if Charlton had McCarthys team and McCarthy had Charltons.
    "they'll need a manager with more sophisticated and inspired ideas about the game" like Harry Redknapp ?

  • Comment number 21.

    To be honest i've enjoyed watching Wolves over last few seasons. Sometimes poor and get hammered by manager. I prefer straight talking managers (John Hughes & Owen Coyle are in similar mould).

    Signing Johnston from Birmingham i think will prove to be a masterstroke. Really enjoyed their press conference when he was paraded. Of course harder tests lie ahead. I think there are more than 3 poorer squads in league so hopefully will stay up.

    Good luck for season

  • Comment number 22.

    #12 - he didn't appreciate it when Roy Keane was equally as blunt and honest though did he?

    To give him his due he has done well with Wolves (a lot better than he did at Sunderland)

    18.At 11:18 25th Aug 2011, Vox Populi wrote:
    Good manager for his level, but limited. He had a very talented group of players with the Republic of Ireland, almost as good as Jack Charlton's group, and they never qualified for a tournament.


    So the 2002 World Cup wasn't a tournament - best amend the fifa websites & wiki then

  • Comment number 23.

    Lovely to see a piece on Wolves that doesn't have "relegation" somewhere in the title!

    I don't think they'll be fighting for survival this season. If anything I believe the pieces are in place to be challenging the mid-table teams for (dare I say it) a top-ten finish. They demonstrated last season that they can mix it with the strongest teams in the country and got their best results against squads valued ten times their own. If they can sustain their undoubtable effort for the full 90 minutes and kill games off then the results will improve. There's no doubt that the players respect Mick and want to do well for him, and vice versa. Wolves deserve success.

    Ps, I've supported Wolves for over 20 years so I would say that wouldn't I? ;o)

  • Comment number 24.

    # 22 PetShopBoys_Forever

    #12 - he didn't appreciate it when Roy Keane was equally as blunt and honest though did he?
    Wasn't Keane just rude and offensive though?

  • Comment number 25.

    Top bloke. Still a Barnsley legend, and one of the least egotistical people you'll ever meet. Friend of mine recalls seeing Mick in his playing days queueing to get into a local nightclub when the door staff waved him and his friends to the front. They went to see what was happening and the door staff opened the doors and tried ushering them in. Mick asked why they were being given the special treatment. "Because you're Mick McCarthy and you play for Barnsley." Pointing to the queue, he replied: "Yes, I am Mick McCarthy, and these people were in front of me" before going back to take his place in the queue. Speaks volumes of the man.

  • Comment number 26.

    @24.At 12:09 25th Aug 2011, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    Yes .
    "Stick your """""""" up your """""""" """"""""""""" , you were a """" """""" player and you're a """""""" """"""""" manager . you can """"""""" .........."

  • Comment number 27.

    I think you have to realise that good football managers don't just happen, they learn there trade like everybody else. MM has made some thumping errors and pulled a few masterstrokes but the important thing to me is he gets better every year. Wolves come across to me as a real team rather than a group of players and that must be down to Micks management style and people skills.

  • Comment number 28.

    #26 murry1975


  • Comment number 29.

    @28 and 26 you guys are telling me you have never ever had a row and pent up frustration and never cursed or swore at anyone ever...not even under your breath? Glass houses and stones methinks. There is a whole sector in football that loves creating demons and while Keane was no saint, he was not monster either. Everybody needs to have Villain and it's Shame that one of the greatest ever midfield players is remembered for the media sensationalism of his words rather than his football and his medals. Besides even if he was rude as you put it, he was right at the time.

  • Comment number 30.

    #29 collie21

    I'm more interested in McCarthy than Keane, so the comment was off topic. However, the word 'respect' is one that is perhaps missing from Keane's vocabulary. Might also go some way to explain how he has got on as a manager himself as well.

  • Comment number 31.

    @29.At 12:59 25th Aug 2011, collie21 wrote:
    He was wrong at the time as proved when they didnt fade in the climate as they had done in USA'94.
    I have never swore at my MANAGER .
    I have rowed , cursed and swore but not at my MANAGER .
    Add to this he was CAPTAIN and you see how stupid and vile his actions were .
    He was no monster ? Ask Alf-Inge Haaland .
    He had many atributes but refined English and manners where not two of them .

  • Comment number 32.

    Keane has also subsequently admitted he was in the wrong, and apologised to Mick. His own far from stellar performance as a manager helped him to learn that Mick was actually doing pretty well - and that it's not as easy a job as he thought!

  • Comment number 33.

    I am resigned to Wolves survival in the premiership every year as a great achievement as in this day and age we must be realistic about our financial situation. The winds of change will be blowing hard though soon and those clubs that have sold themselves to despots, financiers and criminals should make hay while they can as the people of the nations they have robbed may not be very happy about it.

  • Comment number 34.

    Can't see what all the fuss is about really.
    As a bloke he seems like a really nice guy. Going off what posters are saying.
    Eg, queuing up instead of going in, etc.

    As a manager, he would fall under 'good'.
    Just like Martinez maybe and Allerdyce amongst others.

    However, nice to see a blog on teams/managers outside the od the 'bigger' clubs.
    To fair though, Blackburn away? Poor team at the mo.
    And Fulham at home? Worst away record since time began!

    If I was a wolves fan with the team they have Id have been looking for 6 points.

    On a different subject, SFA has ended his BBC boycott.
    More air time for all the ABUs to deal with!!

    Good luck with that!

  • Comment number 35.

    I disagree hugely. Two good games (and one against a very under-par Fulham side who had played in Europe 3 days earlier) and suddenly he's working his magic? They stayed up last year by the skin of their teeth, they lost to many of the sides around them, and stayed up by virtue of frankly, the beating of a Liverpool side in disarray.
    They are a horrible side to watch, breaking legs as they do, and MM is an advocate of that kind of football.

    I have to admit, Roger Johnson was a fantastic signing for them though. Credit where credit is due for that one.

  • Comment number 36.

    @31 He was also no hard man as proved when he ran up to kick off at an Everton player, realised it was Duncan Ferguson then stopped, turned and jogged away.

    As for the blog, a good read and good luck to Wolves this season.

  • Comment number 37.

    As a Southampton fan I am no real loyalties here but I think Wolves staying in the Premier League last season was a complete tradegy for football. That McCarthy can send out his henchmen to kick teams off the park disgusts me. You can say what you like about Joey Barton (off the field and on the field) but the way in which Karl Henry kicked him up in the air last season was a disgrace. I am not sure how that is allowed on the football pitch because if it were anywhere else it would be seen as common assault and carry criminal charges. Then McCarthy gets all high and mighty when a few journalists ask him about his sides strong arm tactics. I am a firm believer in grafting hard and playing to your strengths and have no problem with aggression on the park but there are lines and Wolves clearly crossed those last season. If that is the type of McCarthy 'magic' we have to look forward to this year then perhaps I'll skip Match of the Day!

  • Comment number 38.

    Tell you what thought If Wolves were 1:0 up going into an away game in Europe qualifying for the Champions league, McCarthy would be quick to snuff out any media nonsense of a crisis. I can't believe the rubbish written about Arsenal this week. In the end they won handsomely in a game they were not even required to score in to qualify initially.

  • Comment number 39.

    24.At 12:09 25th Aug 2011, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    # 22 PetShopBoys_Forever

    #12 - he didn't appreciate it when Roy Keane was equally as blunt and honest though did he?
    Wasn't Keane just rude and offensive though?

    not initially. It was after McCarthy had dismissed Keane's concerns over the accomodation and facilities for the players being sub-standard while FAI officials were in 5* accomodation - was afterwards though

  • Comment number 40.

    @37.At 13:43 25th Aug 2011, cambridgesaint wrote:
    As a Southampton fan from Cambridge , I dont think there is much point in you watching match of the day at all ;)

  • Comment number 41.

    I am probably the only person in Malaysia and even in this part of the world that supports Wolves. Everyone else is an Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool , Chelsea and now Man City supporter. I have supported Wolves since I was 8, and am now 51, so I have gone through those relatively "good" years of Derek Dougan and John Richards to those more lean years when we were struggling in the lower divisions.

    Where we are today , even if it is for a short and brief period, is a good feeling for us the die hards Wolves fans. Every year , I tell my kids who are Man U and Spurs fans, that I just want Wolves to survive as a Premier League Club so that I can have a good time bantering with them when Wolves play their clubs. That's all I continue to wish for even this year but being where we are today is something to just savior.
    Steve Morgan, Jez Mosley and MM have done a great job no matter what everyone else says.

  • Comment number 42.

    #36 - hqardened lifers in Barlinnie ran away when Duncan Ferguson came near them - he was a hard man - it's just Duncan was harder

  • Comment number 43.

    I would think that with no injuries this year, as they had last year, looking at the lack of quality mid table, Wolves could finish in the top 10 or just outside, not lower than 12th I reckon.

  • Comment number 44.

    @37 Wolves had 3 players booked for incidents with Joey Barton by an over zealous referee. All of them were for retaliation/dissent after being fouled by the aforementioned angel!! Newcastle also had 5 players booked in the same match. Wolves finished in the top half of the fair play table last season, so they can't be that dirty.

    It makes me laugh when people talk about Barton being picked on. This is a guy who is the most hated man in football, has been in trouble with the police for assault, beaten up his own teammates in training and punched opposition players in off the ball incidents and yet as soon as someone even touches him (eg a tiny slap in the Arsenal match this season) he collapses as if he was shot and then runs to tell tales to the referee. That is the type of thing that should be kicked out of football not the flowing football which Wolves played last season and have been playing so far this season.

  • Comment number 45.

    David and the Southampton fan need to stop believing everything you read in the papers.

    We played media darlings Fulham off the pitch on Sunday, but don't let that overshadow your naive belief that we're just a team of hoofball merchants.

    Steve Fletcher and Kevin Doyle is the best strike partnership outside of the top 6.

    I don't know where the comments regarding our financial restraints are coming from either. Our XI on Sunday cost 30m, and we're redeveloping our stadium It would seem that because we don't have huge debts and spend within our means that we have a tight budget. Ourselves and Albion are how football clubs should be run.

  • Comment number 46.

    Good to see a blog about another Prem team than United/City/Arsenal/Chelsea. Many more please.

    McCarthy's management style is certainly unique, and certainly less annoying than that other media favourite, the little hobbit Holloway.

    And while not a fan of Karl Henry's on pitch behaviour, I don't think MM is wholly responsible for his players' actions when the red mist sets in.

  • Comment number 47.

    @39.At 13:53 25th Aug 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    Ah yes , the facialties , that MM discussed with his captain ,tour orginiser (Ray Tracey) and FAI officals in a meeting months beforehand . The FAI officals were staying 5* the players , do you know where the players where staying? The same hotel !!! OMG they flew bussiness calls out while the players flew coach? No both bussiness class .
    MM never left anything to chance . The full training gear didnt arrive on time , which Ray Tracey himself took the blame for flying it out seperately . Steve Finnan twisted his ankle and MM ordered a change in training to prevent this , then Keane saw fit to demand more facilites , which if you remember he was at the meeting , and when MM stuck to his guns , remember HE was the MANAGER , Keane let fly .

    Now lets leave the jobseeker Keane alone .

  • Comment number 48.

    Reading these posts, it becomes clear who has and who hasn't watched Wolves play regularly. Guess which category 'Cambridgesaints' & 'David' fall into?

  • Comment number 49.

    @45.At 14:05 25th Aug 2011, NandoWolf wrote:
    Fantastic financial management by the board . The money they got by staying up last year went to improve the team . Nothing borrowed and no debt . How many other PL teams can say that ? None .

  • Comment number 50.

    #41 AzmilKhalid

    I am probably the only person in Malaysia and even in this part of the world that supports Wolves. Everyone else is an Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool , Chelsea and now Man City supporter.
    Just been reading the paper at lunch and there is a picture of some of the people in Libya who are overthrowing Gaddafi, with their guns and celebrations and so on.

    One of them is wearing a Chelsea home shirt. I imagine that is good.

  • Comment number 51.


    did he not take rep ire to the 2002 world cup? im sure they did.

  • Comment number 52.

    @37 Cambridgesaint, you really must learn not to base judgments on watching the highlights of one particular game on MOTD! Wolves are not a dirty, or even a physical side in general - we were in the top half of the Fair Play league last year, and generally had a fine disciplinary record. That game was very much an exception - when we fought fire with fire. We were fouled more times that we fouled last year - and so far this year too.

  • Comment number 53.

    Mick is a great guy, straight talking, no airs and graces, no waffle. One of a few out there.
    Wolves played some super football against Fulham - who had rotated many of their team after their Euro match, even Martin Jol said tiredness was not an issue. As a long suffering Wolves fan from Canada it was a delight to see. We won't get to see too much of it this year, Mick and his team will do what it takes to win each game when they can. Until they are mathematically safe from relegation Mick is shrewd enough to know that nothing is guaranteed and they'll play their backsides off for every point.
    The team continues to improve, the stadium is being refurbed and increased to 36,000 capacity ... and they do this in-budget without debts and loads of iffy cheque books.
    There are many teams that would like to be in that position. Long live Mick and Chairman Morgan!

  • Comment number 54.

    When Mick McCarthy he took over a poor squad of players . He has woked wonders on the players he has brought in on a small budget . Well done Mick

  • Comment number 55.

    Mick once came in my pub on a New Year's Eve night and had a Chicken Tikka. Gentlemen.

  • Comment number 56.

    yes, took Ireland into 2nd round in 2002, (drew with Germany in first round, lost on penalties to Spain in 2nd round, unbeaten in normal time in entire competion).
    He seems to get the right players into the club and to play together pretty well since the second season at the club - spends well and every year the squad seems to be a little better. If he can keep doing this Wolves could be a regular fixture, but if relegated, he'll probably have to start again, which would be a really pity. Thankfully there are some ex-academy players doing OK on loan, like Danny Batth, or in the Carling Cup, like Jamie Reckord

  • Comment number 57.

    @35...They are a horrible side to watch, breaking legs as they do, and MM is an advocate of that kind of football.

    Please be quiet. Wolves do not play horrible football, we have constantly got better. And as for breaking legs, are you Danny Murphy in disguise? We all know what an idiot Murphy is, and he has since apologised for his comments as they were painfully wrong. Yes Zamora had his leg broken, but what in actual fact, was a fair challenge, or did you just forget that? Other than that, who else's leg has been broken?

    Oh, and could you please take in to account, that a Wolves player had his leg broken against Aston Villa last season, but not one person linked to Wolves all of a sudden said they were a dirty team. Football is a contact sport, and on occasions, these things happen.

    Now go back home to Danny.

  • Comment number 58.

    Think it's very clear from some of these comments who watches the wolves and MM team regularly and who watches poorly done highlight packages. I think before you share your opinion with the world you should find out if it's accurate.

  • Comment number 59.

    18.At 11:18 25th Aug 2011, Vox Populi wrote:
    Good manager for his level, but limited. He had a very talented group of players with the Republic of Ireland, almost as good as Jack Charlton's group, and they never qualified for a tournament.


    So the 2002 World Cup wasn't a tournament - best amend the fifa websites & wiki then

    At 14:43 25th Aug 2011, Meido wrote:


    did he not take rep ire to the 2002 world cup? im sure they did.

    Look, it doesn't take much to look down and see my next post at 19- a whole one minute later, does it? The BBC has no edit function on blog posts, so unfortunately you get your chance to try and be clever. One tournament qualification in six years and one that I had to look up to remember if it was him or Kerr in charge at the time, yeah great job by McCarthy.

  • Comment number 60.

    @59 I get your sarcasm, and actually it's quite merited. I think McCarthy must be one of the few managers who has publicly failed so many times, and still be in a job. He was great a getting promotion but the debacle of that Sunderland season was just shocking. I don't know how he kept getting other jobs. I am pretty sure if managers like Stuanton or Ince or others were given the chance to fail and fail again that they would eventually become half decent.

  • Comment number 61.

    @59.At 15:58 25th Aug 2011, Vox Populi wrote:
    Kerr and Staunton were both give 2 years , MM left during qaulification for Euro'04 , ironically Kerr has the best stats as manager . The thing that let MM down was his inability to kill games off , he seems to overcome that hurdle now.

  • Comment number 62.

    @60.At 16:05 25th Aug 2011, collie21 wrote:
    McCarthy had a track record of getting teams premoted , just the keeping them up bit WAS missing .
    FYI Ince has managed 4 teams on 5 occassions (Moved Keenly Dons twice) , McCarthy 4 teams on 4 occassions , so who's been given the chances? As for Staunton , well he might come good someday but absolutely a joke to replace Kerr wth him .

  • Comment number 63.

    @45 - Steve Fletcher and Kevin Doyle is the best strike partnership outside of the top 6.

    Just an oversight I'm sure, but we are not outside the of the top 6!!!! ;)

  • Comment number 64.

    59. At 15:58 25th Aug 2011, Vox Populi wrote:
    "...Look, it doesn't take much to look down and see my next post at 19- a whole one minute later, does it?

    Look why don't you take that minute and use it to check your facts before you hit submit, instead of posting, posting a correction, and then posting a third time, trying to make others look bad, when you are the one who was too lazy to check their facts in the first place!

  • Comment number 65.

    @64 - A rebuttal even McCarthy himself would be proud of!

  • Comment number 66.

    As sign of a great manager is that he gets the most out of his players and Mick does all the time. Imagine if he was the manager of Arsenal, they would have won almost everything last year. He's passionate, hard working, players love him and what I like about him was in the last game of the season when they staved off relegation, he cheered and thanked the fans. The Wolves are lucky to have him. A mid place finish would be great for them. These are season victories with some wonderful goaltending are giving them momentum.

  • Comment number 67.

    Wolves are quite possibly the only sustainably run club in the relegation battle this year - several of the others fighting for survival (certainly Blackburn) would literally have their existence threatened by relegation, but not Wolves.

    For that reason and that reason alone I would love them to stay up. And when the teams above them start to drown in debt, they will pick them off if they're run and managed like this.

  • Comment number 68.

    Credit where credit is due: MM has been a Godsend for us and although he may not have the flair and elegance of other said managers he is, in essence, what Wolves are about: Good, honest, proper football that is steadily getting better and better.

    There was a time, not so long ago, that we were languishing in the lower bowels of the leagues below the PL and it was forever said by others that Wolves are a sleeping giant and deserved to be in the top flight. David Jones, who was under-valued by many at the club, managed to get us back into the best league in the world but we still played the infamous "hoof-it" football we invented 50 years ago and we were never going to stay up.

    With the current side, management and board we have, things are different and we have adapted to the skillful play required to sustain PL status, and that's down to the board leaving MM in charge, without any rash sackings, something we've been guilty of in the past.

    I've always been a proud supporter of my club, even during the times when following a team in a semi-pro league would have been more rewarding and less painful, so I'm even prouder that my team is managed by MM and his McCarthyisms.........

    It's nice to see so many fans of other clubs in support of Wolves, and to those of you who think we play rough - you should've seen us when we had Alex Rae in defence - you'd think us primadonnas now!!

  • Comment number 69.

    To #64

    Why aren't you attacking the people that replied to Vox Populi's post for not checking their facts?
    It was very clear when reading the posts that he (apologies if the assumption is wrog) had made an error and corrected himself immediately afterwards. He has every right to defend himself if people are going to come along 3 hours later and try to score points correcting him.

  • Comment number 70.

    why are wolves a less finical team? if no one has realise, we are currently having our staduim redevloped which is costing around 50m, our starting eleven for the last two games cost 40m, so how an earth are wolves a team with not a lot of money? wolves is the only team in the premier league without debt, we are one of the few teams actually being run properly, and to the person who commented about wolves breaking legs, karl henry broke bobby zamora's leg, yes that is a fact, but the tackle was completley fair, everyone knows that, and who else's leg has been broken by a wolves player lately? yes, excatly, no-one. wolves are not an over physical team, we were shown in the wrong light by this tackle, which was completely unfair, and to say wolves do not play good, free flowing football, is another unfair comment, i would love to sit by you when watching a wolves game and to see your face when you actually realise, yes, wolves do play good football, because they do. and i know its early days but why are we already fighting relegation, we have six points out of six, one of only three teams who have achived this, so to say this is just not fair, wolves i going to finish high up this season, which is where they deserve, mick is also the best manager we've had, wwfc.

  • Comment number 71.

    Anyway on the the blog itself - I have to admit I don't think he is up there with the greatest managers, but he seems to have done a decent job with what he has had available
    Those saying he has had lots of chances despite some big failures lets review what he has done in the 4 permanent positions he has held
    Millwall - started as player manager. Got them to playoff in his 2nd season. Left for Ireland job in February 96 with the team 14 points (according to Wikipedia) above the drop zone. They somehow got relegated on goal difference. Unless the teams below him had a lot of games in hand, I don't see how this can be laid at his door as a failure as a manager (could be blamed on him for leaving the team in the lurch, but that would indicate his skills as a manager were what made the team perform)
    Ireland - came close to 98 world cup (lost 3-2 to belgium in playoff) and 2000 european lost in play-off again to turkey (away goals). Qualified for 2002 worldcup. Had the blow up with Keane
    Sunderland - took over Howard Wilkinson's side in March 03 and couldn't prevent relegation (almost certain at time of takeover).Spent 2 years in 2nd tier with them (playoffs followed by automatic promotion as champions). No money available to spend on transfers and they end up relegated from premier league at end of the first season (McCarthy fired in March 2006 16points adrift)

    Wolves record - 1st season (06/07) playoffs, 2nd season finished 7th, 3rd season promoted as champions (were top for 42 of 46 games). Premier league finishes of 15th and 17th over the last 2 seasons.

    According to Wikipedia his career win % is 40.5% and he has just managed his 100th win at Wolves

  • Comment number 72.

    To all the so called big club supporters; Do you really trust the Glazers, Roman Abramovic, the Sheikhs ? Do you have this nagging worry about playthings being discarded? How many football clubs are run sensibly ,within their means, with realistic expectations of being the best they can be and solvent for the next 10 years? Well there are a few dotted around but Wolves are certainly one of them. This is down to Steve Morgan,Jez Moxey(improving on first impressions) and Mick.
    Wolves fans see a united front at management level and a collection of players who will bust a gut for the shirt(just like we would do given the chance) . We actually trust them to do their best for us. The players were young and hungry in the Championship and are developing into Premier league players,any new signings have to buy into the deal, Mick keeps everyone on an even keel including the fans.
    As a supporter for 40 years, this has never been the case in any previous era. It's a good time to be a Wolves fan and the football is better than many people give us credit for. Thanks Mick, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 73.

    Fantastic manager, often criticised but more loved. Missed a trick with your blog though, should have written instead about the sound management of the club, its organic growth, and British working-class ethos if you wanted to see why the club is starting to see some success. Mick is just a third of the holy trinity known as the 3Ms!


  • Comment number 74.

    #72 "As a supporter for 40 years, this has never been the case in any previous era. It's a good time to be a Wolves fan and the football is better than many people give us credit for. Thanks Mick, keep up the good work."

    A great comment, and as a fellow Wolves fan it's important that we remember that this is a golden age for us - not so long ago it was miserable being a Wolves fan

  • Comment number 75.

    Trying to call him a failure for his time with Ireland and Sunderland is absurd. He managed to get Ireland to a tournament and got some decent results, more than some managers have done for much bigger nations eg England under Mclaren. With Sunderland he got them promoted and had no money to spend, they were a Championship side playing in the Prem. No chance. With Wolves where he finally has the backing of the owner he has created a competitive side who complement hard work and know-how eg Hunt and O'hara with guile and skill eg Jarvis and Doyle. I think O'hara will prove to be just as good a signing as Johnson, he works well but also has great passing and shooting. Wolves could be well expected to finish mid table this season and should be proud of doing so. They can hopefully add to this next year, good luck lads from a Liverpool fan.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm a Barnsley fan, and every time we look for a new manager I always hope Mick will come back to manage his old club. I was cheering for Wolves to stay up last season, and I genuinely hope they do again this year. Eventually though I'd love to see Mick at Oakwell. He could do great things for us.

  • Comment number 77.

    Theyre a smashing Club with some really good supporters. Always enjoy an away day at Molineux. MM is funny and a good hard old school boss. Very respectful too. How nice to see him where is after enduring his integrity and persona besmirched by that oaf Keane so long ago. Wheres the great 'Keano' now? Well done MM. Hope the Wolves really consolidate this year. Good spine to their team and very hard working.

  • Comment number 78.

    I find it amazing that some of these people can have a go at Wolves and MM.

    I am a Wolves fan. Yes, I understand we are not the best side in the world and our current position is more than certainly false at the moment. Yes, I am not the biggest fan of Karl Henry for his Kung-Fu style strategies in certain matches. Yes, Mick McCarthy will never probably get this club any further than a top 10 finish in the Premier League mainly because we don't have the funds to get close to Europe.

    However, let me just say that the achievements Mick has made since joining the club is very much true credit to him. Honestly, Wolves are a small club with a massive history and I would certainly be proud for us to have a solid season this season and the next and survive going down to the championship, slowly making progress over the next few years. All Wolves supporters (like me) see Wolves as a big club but doesn't every fan of their club? I am among all our supporters who want to see the club progressing well and doing our best to get close to that top 10 finish. I also believe that most of Wolves fans are honest as well though, and would recognise us as a club that is going to be in a scrap for survival at times, almost like a Stoke or Sunderland in those early years before they became established clubs in the premier league.

    The fact is that we are only two games into a season of 38 games and i take a MM mantra with this and just want us to get 40 points as quickly as possible before aiming for higher ranks in the league. Aston Villa on Saturday is going to be the big test to see just how far this club has progressed over the summer. The signings of Johnson, O'Hara and Hunt in recent times have certainly helped us, but i still get the feeling we need another left back, centre back and striker before we can really call ourselves an established club. If we win on Saturday, it proves that we have excelled further than we expected and we can look forward to a healthy season (fingers crossed, although you never get them with Wolves!)

    Final 2 points:

    1) Karl Henry is agressive. Karl Henry uses this to his advantage in his gameplay. I can say there were a number of fans who were glad to see Henry lose the captaincy this season and Roger Johnson get in his place. However, there are a number of teams who have a very similar player in their squad who take this mantra of going in full for a tackle. (Barton for Newcastle being the obvious one) That is not recklesness, that is passion for the club and the game. Yes, the odd tackle can be more reckless, and what happened at Fulham with Bobby Zamora and Wigan with Jordi Gomez was honestly awful and i cannot condone that. But i think a player like that defines a club and shows that players aren't afraid to make a tackle. Karl Henry is not a dangerous player, he can be influential at times, and most people base their thoughts on Henry on two incidents (Barton and Zamora) and label him a dirty, nasty, aggressive cheat and someone who should be nowhere near a football pitch. I suggest you watch him more often and watch the many good sides to his game. I agree he is not a great player (and to be honest we have better players than him for central midfield) but he does a job and i respect him for that.

    2) MM career as a manager is widely accredited and he can be proud of what he has achieved. I may be one of few, but i thought he did very well for ROI at the 2002 World Cup. A draw against Germany, possibly the best side in that tournament at the time, and a penalty defeat to Spain showed how far he had taken that side. If anything, if i was being a little harsh, the second round of a World Cup could be the best that ROI could expect from a major international tournament. They haven't made an international tournament since (though they may yet prove me wrong for EURO 2012) so to get a side like ROI to the World Cup is an achievement itself. I would love to see ROI or even NI get to international tournaments regularly, because they are good sides. Mick should get credit for his international management and his work at Wolves. I remember those calling for his head last season, but you get nowhere changing a successful manager (in relation). O'Neill went from Villa and they aren't the side they used to be (obviously, we are only two games in though to a new season so this is a bit hasty). Moyes at Everton is one of the finest managers in the league and if Everton were to lose him, the club would be in a lot more trouble than they already are. Moyes is the key to their success. Fergie has obviously the trophy room to show success over the past 20 years at United, Wenger has achieved more at Arsenal than most other managers. The history speaks for itself.

  • Comment number 79.

    I really have to say as an Irishman, well an IrishAmerican ,that I was delighted to see Wolves stay up last year. It was terrific to see the interviews with Mick over the few remaining games, never giving in and at one stage with about four to go, and they had gotten out of the bottom three he answered the question about staying up because of the win with a simple "if we're there at the end of the season I'll take it". I believe he was without his best striker,Doyle I think his name is.

    Wolves are great to watch. Didn't they beat Man Utd at Molineaux (sic) and Liverpool at Anfield.

    Wolves may not have the talent that Utd, City, Liverpool or Arsenal have , but they do have heart. Mick McCarthy gets the most out of his men and they all seem to have a lot of respect for him.

    The comment made above about him not getting Ireland anywhere and I see it was corrected, but not in it's entirety.The Republic of Ireland were almost in the quarterfinal stage and Spain had to win on penalties.
    Roy Keane, one of my all time favorites let his country down by whining like a spoiled brat. If he had an issue surely he could have waited until after the tournament. He was even more ticked off when Niall Quinn backed Mick as well as a number of other players.
    I would love to see Mick managing Ireland again. He is a class act and the incident pointed out by another poster about the night club deal was great to see.

  • Comment number 80.

    62. At 16:15 25th Aug 2011, murry1975 wrote:
    @60.At 16:05 25th Aug 2011, collie21 wrote:
    McCarthy had a track record of getting teams premoted , just the keeping them up bit WAS missing .
    FYI Ince has managed 4 teams on 5 occassions (Moved Keenly Dons twice) , McCarthy 4 teams on 4 occassions , so who's been given the chances? As for Staunton , well he might come good someday but absolutely a joke to replace Kerr wth him .
    Just wondering if you understood what I actually wrote or you just felt like restating the same thing slightly differently?

  • Comment number 81.

    I don't think anyone's mentioned the fact that in both of our Premier League games so far, all 11 of Wolves' starting players were British/Irish. Compare that to number of expensive foreign signings made by the so-called 'big' clubs (Man City and Chelsea in particular), although it's good to see Man Utd and Liverpool under Dalglish at last looking to British players for the spines of their teams.

  • Comment number 82.

    @80.At 08:53 26th Aug 2011, collie21 wrote:
    62. At 16:15 25th Aug 2011, murry1975 wrote:
    @60.At 16:05 25th Aug 2011, collie21 wrote
    I think McCarthy must be one of the few managers who has publicly failed so many times, and still be in a job. He was great a getting promotion but the debacle of that Sunderland season was just shocking. I don't know how he kept getting other jobs. I am pretty sure if managers like Stuanton or Ince or others were given the chance to fail and fail again that they would eventually become half decent.
    How he kept getting other jobs ? He has had 4 , Millwall doing ok when he left , as another poster pointed out 14pts clear of relegation , got relegated not his fault . Done well with a below par international side , got them through to WC'02 second round , where were France at that stage ? Got promotion with Sunderland no money to spend got sacked bottom of the PL . Wolves built a protion sqaud , got into PL has been given finances and is still there .
    My point bieng Ince has had six and done what , a promotion out of the bottom league. yet he still gets "other jobs" . Staunton , no.
    MM was not a failure at {other than the circumstances at Sunderland , which no-one would have kept them up due to lack of investment} any club .

  • Comment number 83.

    I always love his comments especially, "If our team win, I am god; but if we lose I am a dog..." Brilliant.

  • Comment number 84.

    82. At 09:11 26th Aug 2011, murry1975 wrote:
    @80.At 08:53 26th Aug 2011, collie21 wrote:
    62. At 16:15 25th Aug 2011, murry1975 wrote:
    @60.At 16:05 25th Aug 2011, collie21 wrote

    Hold your horses, I never said he was a failure, I said he was a guy who has learned in the public eye. His first tenure at Sunderland in the premier league , if my memory serves me correct, was the worst record any team ever had at that point. He was not a success with a half decent Irish team, qualifying for only one tournament but getting knocked out at the play offs I think about 3 times. He proved his man management skills at that world cup (NOT) and as I already pointed out, failed to see Spain were down to 9 players on the field with 5 minutes to go and an used sub too ( I think). He failed with Sunderland in the premier ship twice. ( that's a fact). Lost playoffs in the league before promotion to premiership as well. He has in short failed a lot publicly and succeeded enough publicly. Coincidentally when Keane replaced him at Sunderland he got promotion straight away and kept them up there, which McCarthy didn't manage to do. But McCarthy seems to be viewed as a better manager.

  • Comment number 85.

    "who has publicly failed so many " your words not mine .
    Ok some FACTS for you .
    Yes the worst record , a Championship team in the PL plain and simple (BTW who do you think could have realistically done that task?)
    Ireland lost 2 playoffs under MM , not three , one on away goals .
    Failed to see spain had 9 men , yes probably thinking about the missed penatly during the game (which would have put them through)and WHO would take them in a shoot-out .
    Used sub? what are you on about ? Sure make it up as you go along .
    Keane didnt replace MM at Sunderland , what are you like? Kevin Ball stepped in as caretaker followed by Niall Quinn as manager THEN Keane ( your a little Keane obessed me thinks).
    And lastly MM IS a better manager than Keane , except for the fact right now Keane ISNT a manager .

    Start giving MM credit for what he has achieved , not what he hasnt achieved .
    Now if you dont mind , c'ya L8r

  • Comment number 86.

    Can we please stop with the Mick for England shouts.

    I have been a Wolves fan for the best part of 30 years and Mick is the best manager we have had in that time. The only one to come close was Graham Turner. We are a joy to watch at the moment.

    Mick is great for Wolves and Wolves are great for Mick - a perfect match...long may it continue.

  • Comment number 87.

    I wonder how Roy Keane feels when he sees the success that Mick is having. Management is a tough game and Keane has proven that he could not cut it in the long run. The best revenge is to live well - Mick's doing well.

  • Comment number 88.

    MM's tenure at Wolves is a testament to the philosophy that stability brings success. (Relative success, I grant you.)

    Credit to Moxey and Morgan for keeping the faith during the crucial last two seasons, when so many other teams ditched their managers.

    McCarthy for England? No thanks. Wolves fans want to hold onto a great manager.

  • Comment number 89.

    I just love the way he cuts out all the drivel. I've even seen him stand there and say, "Its my fault" After a diet of foreign accented high talking but low achieving so called super managers, Mick is a breath of fresh air. Wolves have little or no money, Mick doesn't buy his team, or buy his way out of trouble like Mourinho, Wenger and the like, he uses leadership and management. Anyone can "Buy" a team (Ever played fantasy football?) Mick is a throwback to the days when the whole staff of a football club, from the groundsman upwards was a team, and their stars were deployed on a saturday afternoon. Its not like that now, in the big clubs even the players are individuals (Look at Modric, and all the other prima donnas, they know nothing of team loyalty.) who try and work together for 90 minutes. Football is a team game, the sooner that mentality return to the game, the better. Mick McCarthy is a refreshing island in a very poisonous sea. Best of luck to him and I hope he doesn't change

  • Comment number 90.

    Love all the people on here having a go at Mick. Thgese are the same guys who go to their club, such as Arsenal every week and watch eleven foreigners, under foreign ownership and a foreign manager. These teams, with their highly paid foreigners usually beat Wolves Then they go home and the next England match they watch they are up in arms because England (Under a foreign manager) lose, to a foreign team, most of whose players were groomed in the English Premier League! Anyone spot the problem? Funnily enough, the cure is in there as well. Go figure it out.

  • Comment number 91.

    Reply to #35 David and Southampton Fan Cambridge

    WARNING! This is what happens when you let Kelvin McKenzie of the Sun and other London based tabliods do your thinking for you! Wolves actually play football, if you actually watched them you would see this. Southampton Fan, I would not dream of slagging off Southampton, I do not watch them, If I wanted to comment on them I would watch them and make my own mind up. Mind you, (sorry for the pun) you guys cannot use what you have not got can you!.
    Wolves played Fullham of the park on Sunday, I was there, poor poor Fullham eh David? having to play 2 games in 3 days, poor overpaid professional athletes, must be hard for them, didums! To be fair Martin Jol did not blame tiredness he actually said Wolves where the better team.
    However, I will use a language you and southampton man understand, Baa! Baa! afterall you are both SHEEP. You just keep believing what the sun tells you too. The rest of us will think for ourselves.

  • Comment number 92.


    Yes, and I believe that we are the only club since 1975 to ever win a title (Champions of the CC League) with only British players........

  • Comment number 93.

    @92.At 00:07 27th Aug 2011, Nadaliator wrote:

    Yes, and I believe that we are the only club since 1975 to ever win a title (Champions of the CC League) with only British players.....and Irish , Nigerian , Cameroonian and a guy from T&T .

  • Comment number 94.

    I have to say as a life long Wolves fan. I was hardly impressed by the signing of Mick Mccarthy. However with severely depleted resources after Hoddle's departure he did very well indeed in his first season in charge. For quite a few seasons after that I wanted rid of him and was not even won over when we gained promotion. His transfers appeared very mixed and the squad looked weak. However he has hung on to his beliefs and squad and kept us up but more importantly. He has started at last to get a squad of players together that compliment each other and actually do look as if they are a decent Premiership side. For me the defining factor has been the signing of Roger Johnson and sticking with, working on and developing a young squad of players. I would say generally he has needed time but can certainly assure everybody he appears to be maturing into a quality manager.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.