Mick McCarthy, manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, lost his temper at the behaviour of the club’s fans as his team was fighting back to avoid a fifth consecutive loss
It was a match that Wolves fans must have targeted as one to break a dismal losing streak. The opponents [20th Oct 2011] were Swansea City, newly promoted to the Premier League, and yet to win away from home.
Dreams were dashed
Wolves dreams were dashed within the first half as Swansea out-battled them and cruised into a 2-0 lead. There was little sign of a recovery as the second half developed. The Wolves fans, traditionally passionate and faithful, began to leave. Others began barracking their own team, and above all the manager.
The substitutions and the turn-round
McCarthy changed the pattern of play with two substitutions. The plan seemed to work, and Wolves scored. Then deep into the game they snatched an equalizer.
The post-match interview
At the post-match interview, The manager was visibly angry. He chose not to reveal the origins of his anger. This of itself was unusual. He has earned a reputation of the almost stereotyped no-nonsense, blunt-speaking Yorkshire man.
“I almost think some turn up hoping it is going to be that way so they can have their whinge and get shot of the manager. They are not going to get shot of the chairman or the players, so it’s a case of, ‘Let’s give it to the gaffer’.
I’ve done a great job here. I came five years ago, there were only 10 players here and just a million quid to spend. Five years on, we are in our third year in the Premier League and building the new stadium – but we are having a tough time. Come on, give the lads a bit of support. Don’t be giving us aggravation. I think they have short memories.”
The burdens of leadership
The burdens of leadership were pinpointed by McCarthy. You get credit if you succeed. You get the blame if things go wrong.
Within days, a former England team manager (Sven-Goran Eriksson) was fired. He had been brought in to rescue an under-performing club, Leicester City. His dismissal was widely judged to have been too soon for him to have put in place the needed changes to the team’s play. This was a clearer example of the image or reputation clouding the judgments of the Board, both in his hiring and his firing.
Within a week [Nov 26th 2011] Wolves faced the might on Manchester City who, having beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford 1-6, almost repeated the scoreline 2-5 at Molineaux [historic home stadium of the Wolves], and less emphatically, 3-1 [home, at Eastlands, Nov 29th 2011]. Enough to take my breath away
Take my breath away
U-tube above of Mick McCarthy, lyrics are “Take My Breath Away“, backing by Berlin, Top Gun soundtrack, available from iTunes