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Why Wolves Should Not Have Sacked Mick McCarthy

Having watched the gutless performance exhibited by the Wolverhampton Wanderers players yesterday, I was expecting a response but certainly not this. First off, Wolves is still in with a great chance of avoiding relegation and to get rid of the manager at this stage of the season defies logic. Mick McCarthy has throughout his tenure at the club done what was best for the club as a whole.

If McCarthy had felt he wasn’t up to the job of saving their Premier League status, he would have been the first to admit it, and walk. Clearly, McCarthy believed he could bring about a change in the club’s fortunes that would ensure Premier League football at Molineux for a fourth successive season. So to sack him now, in my opinion, was the wrong decision.

What gives Steve Morgan the right to sack a man who has done wonders for the club, without having the courtesy to speak to him face to face? By all accounts, Morgan is on a skiing holiday at present, and clearly was not around at Molineux yesterday to witness the harrowing defeat. However, if he just adopted the same approach the wonderfully understanding Dave Whelan has taken at Wigan and encouraged and engaged with his manager as opposed to undermining him as he did during their game against Liverpool, then the situation may have worked out differently. Some critics praised Morgan’s dressing down of the players, but truth be told the effect of this was to undermine the manager and condemn the players to a sense of panic that was patently obvious from yesterday’s game.

Morgan should take a long look in the mirror and be ashamed of himself for his ill-mannered conduct. I hope he enjoys his skiing holiday.

Certainly McCarthy made some errors while in charge of Wolves but what manager does not? When Man United faced Chelsea at Old Trafford in 2010 in what was effectively a title decider, Sir Alex got his tactics completely wrong, and United lost the league as a consequence but he wasn’t sacked. Unquestionably starting yesterday’s derby with three strikers proved a tactical error on McCarty’s part and as the game progressed the hold WBA managed to have on the game clearly originated from this poor piece of tactical judgement. Nevertheless, it is the players who are paid to perform and how many Wolves players can hold their hands up and say they have done the manager or their club justice this term?

Roger Johnson has been a complete and utter disaster since his transfer, and to compound matters the goalkeeper in spite of the occasional brilliant save has been defined by a catalogue of basic errors. For all the criticism DeGea has received, Wayne Hennessey in my opinion has had a torrid campaign and he more than most has to take a large portion of blame now that his manager has been sacked. The rest of the team haven’t been much better apart from the magnificent Fletcher and the dependable Ward. Too many players in a gold jersey have shirked responsibility on too many occasions this season and in the end they have cost a good man and a quality manager his job.

Perhaps tonight the players may feel a sense of shame for their pathetic performances on the field this season, but even if they do McCarthy will still be out of a job even if it is not for too long one suspects.

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  1. Chris Machin

    February 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

    The disposal of Mick was LONG overdue.
    His team selections favouring personality over genuine ability, and his immunity afforded to some whilst extraditing others was becoming torturous as he plodded on with misguided faith and blind loyalty with the same personnel week after week totally oblivious to the fact that we were getting cut further and further adrift.

    It is easy to say “we had a great chance of avoiding the drop” when you look at the table on face value, but if you watch what was being produced week in week out like myself you would realise that there are no longer what Mick has relied on the previous two seasons – i.e three worse teams than Wolves.

    Yes we have possibly the worst £7 million ever spent on Roger Johnson, Stephen Ward at left back who was originally a striker from the league or Ireland (and plays like it recently), Matt Jarvis who is the ultimate on trick pony but I feel his ability is tarnished by the limiting instructions he receives from Mick, David Edwards is a workhorse who would be better suited unloading lorries or stacking crates because yes he always “puts a shift in” but has no first touch, cannot header, pass or tackle so is rendered essentially useless in the midfield. These are the sort of people whom Mick entrusted all of his backing and with them and others being no more than Championship players punching above their weight, they were only taking us in one direction. The buck must and finally has stopped with the man solely responsible for picking the “gutless” let downs week after week whilst sending equally capable is not better players out on loan…

    Mick built a team in his own image; honesty, loyalty, integrity and endeavour. None of those traits were present in the most important game of our season on Sunday leaving the fans humiliated, ashamed and embarrassed. Mick has paid the price for it so should the majority of this beleaguered squad come the end of the season if by some miracle we are to survive by the skin of our teeth once more.

  2. Jon Sharp

    February 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

    As a neutral I thought it was a thrilling open game of football with two teams going for it and a lot at stake. West Brom clearly had the upper hand in the first half, but Fletcher’s wonderful goal just before half time turned the tables. Wolves were on the front foot in the early part of the second half. Had Roger Johnson’s header gone in instead of hitting the bar, it would have been even at 2:2 and things may have worked out differently. As it was, Mick’s tactical errors (four attacking midfielders?) left the back four too exposed and the Baggies were ruthless on the counter. I agree Johnson has not found the excellent form he had alongside Scott Dann at Blues, but he didn’t do too much wrong in this game and probably saved another goal or two with some excellent blocks and tackles. The principal weakness was on the left side of defence with the hapless Ward constantly losing out to Odemwingie and, with the midfield pushing forward, Wolves were often struggling to play out from the back. I was expecting a Battle Royale for the midfield given the importance of the game, but Mick surrendered the midfield before the game even began. This loss has to be laid at Mick’s door rather than the players. Sorry to see him go, but it was inevitable.

  3. scrumper

    February 14, 2012 at 10:41 am

    “if he just adopted the same approach the wonderfully understanding Dave Whelan has taken at Wigan and encouraged and engaged with his manager” should read “Whelan thinks Martinez is just too nice to sack, even though he is a useless manager and they are heading for relegation”

    Whelan is misguided. Managers cannot be friends with their players and get results.Can anyone imagine Alex Ferguson having his team over for an evening of poetry and pleasant conversation? I’m not sure if MM is friends with anyone. He comes across too detached, which is the other extreme. A Premiership club is an operating business that is expected to turn a profit. Dropping into the Championship with dwindling attendances is not good business and Steve Morgan has every right to make changes at the club anyway he sees fit. I’m sure MM would be the first to say he expected no less.

    Owners like Steve Morgan didn’t achieve their success by being nice guys and everybody’s friend so don’t expect them to start now.

  4. Brett

    February 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Couldn’t agree more re Roger Johnson. I was so pumped when got him but what an absolute failure the bloke has been. He has single handedly cost Mick his job. The bloke seems more concerned with the fact that he hasn’t scored a goal than the 5 million he has helped the opposition score through poor marking and bad touches.

    I do think you’re a bit harsh on Hennessy. Agree he has made some errors in particular he struggles low down near his feet but it is the law of averages. If the defense puts no pressure on and allow heaps of shots on goal, the occasional one is going to get through. For mine, Hennessy has hand a wonderful season and we would be in far worse shape without him.

    The main pity in this is that if we go down now Fletcher will be gone and he is the only exciting thing about the place.

    I have been a massive Mick fan but it was clearly time for a change. However if they haven’t already earmarked someone fantastic to take over then it was the wrong decision (just like it was wrong of Mick to play 3 strikers on the weekend – where was Stephen Hunt! – and just like it was wrong in the first half of last year to not give Fletch a whole lot more game time. Anyone can see the bloke is a genuine gun.

    Love ya Mick, will miss the fist pumps and the dry humour. Good luck at Leeds. Think it will be a good fit!

  5. Pakapala

    February 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    MM has been doing a good job? Are we talking about the same team that has been battling to stay out of relegation all season long? The same team that McCarthy couldn’t keep the team out of relegation last year. They managed to stay up despite losing thanks to Alex McLeish outdoing McCarthy (in inept tactics) on the last day of the season.

  6. averagejoe

    February 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I think MM has done well and is a deent manager, however a baggies friend of mine summed it up when he said ‘it was the worse result he has seen supporting wolves for the past 30 years’

    simple fact is you cant lose a local derby, at home to a relegation rival 5-1. That is not acceptable to most of the fans

  7. DaveG

    February 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Sad to see, he is an honest manager, no BS with Mick…Warnock in and Mick off to Leeds methinks

  8. Pat

    February 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Love Mick, but the team has seemed uninspired all year. Not sure how much blame lies with Mick, but hopefully this wakes up the players.

    Wolves seemed so promising the last year or two, seems like they’re just treading water and might be doomed to drown.

  9. REDblooded American

    February 13, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Who could do better/worse than MM? I’m not the biggest Wolves fan but not every team can be top of the table. They have had a decent year–this is a big mistake.

    • Steve

      February 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      They’ve had a decent year? Did you mistype “abysmal”?

    • wwwebs

      February 14, 2012 at 3:00 am

      I think you mean descent.

  10. Karina

    February 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Look at the stats! Doesn’t look good does it?!

    I will always be grateful for what McCarthy has done for us, he’s been our best manager by far for a long time however we weren’t getting the results, we weren’t learning from the same weekly errors. At 2-1 yesterday he should have changed it, but he didn’t. It was a disgraceful performance!

  11. Jean

    February 13, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Well, then. As far as I see it, they’re doomed. Good luck in the championship, tho

  12. Simon Burke

    February 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I love Mick McMcarthy, very honest man. Right decision though. 5-1 at home to a relegation rival when things were already on the slide. You have to change it.

  13. Guy

    February 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Too many players in a gold jersey have shirked responsibility on too many occasions this season…

    I understand your feelings, but in the end isn’t it the manager’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen?

    Can they conceivably play worse under a new manager? We’ll see.

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