During his time at Wolves; Mick ensured that pre-season every second season was spent in Ireland as a ”‘Thank you’ to the people and clubs here who have helped my teams so much.”
“I’m not Merlin the Magician,” - Mick McCarthy’s first words to the media as Wolves’ new manager back in summer 2006. In the intervening five-and-3/4 seasons; Mick has regularly been serenaded with chants of ”Super Mick, Super Mick, Super Mick McCarthy” and was of course re-named ”Merlin Mick,” such was how he changed around the fortunes of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.
Three quarters of the way through a difficult 2011-’12 season, culminating in a 1-5 Black Country home defeat to West Brom yesterday; Mick’s time at Molineux ended this morning. This observer had personally started to feel ”Does Mick really need this any more” and I was hoping that Mick would have seen the club to Premier League survival before stepping down at the end of the season. The Wolves Board however, made the decision for him today. The football watching public are set to be entertained by Mick’s punditry ability in the near future, though one imagines his love of the game will indeed see him ”pop up” at another football club (or national team) sooner rather than later.
Mick brought more than a tinge of green to his Wolverhampton Wanderers; with some 12 players in first team and reserve squad hailing from the Republic of Ireland and at one point or another there were 21 players from the Emerald Isle employed at the Old Gold club during Mick’s 70 months in charge. During his time at Wolves; Mick ensured that pre-season every second season was spent in Ireland as a ”Thank you” to the people and clubs here who have helped my teams so much.
Mick’s greatest moments as a player of course came in the green of Ireland; leading his country to the quarter-finals of a first ever (1990) World Cup. His proudest moment as a club manager would have been in charge of his (now former) Molineux outfit; taking them from the lower reaches of the Championship to Premier League promotion as champions – on a relatively small budget – and leading the club to two and 3/4 consecutive Premier League campaigns.
Having packed up his bags and baggage; Mick personally thanked every member of staff at Molineux today with many players Tweeting how sad they were to see him go. Photographers and journalists waiting outside the ground were greeted by Mick (who, as an unemployed man, was no longer contractually obliged to talk to media), with everyone shaking hands with the Barnsley born Irishman, before the 53 year-old sped off with a tear in his eye. Classy to the last; the world of top level football will be a poorer one without you Mick.