I have to be honest and say that in the days before we lost so heavily to West Brom and then sacked Mick I had started to turn on him and moan that we were “Stuck With Mick” it appears I was wrong, we aren’t stuck with him any more and I now feel sad that he’s gone. The club I love and support felt like it had started to go into meltdown after Steve Morgan in his infinite Scouse wisdom had gone into the dressing room after the Liverpool game and started ranting at players in front of Mick, thus undermining him. I think the win at QPR is incidental as they had ten men and let’s face it, are very, very poor at the moment. Things weren’t right at Camp Molineux, maybe something more juicy and meaty had happened behind closed doors that we know nowt about.
But let’s ask ourselves, as Wolves fans, ‘why are we angry about being bottom three?’ Is it because the Premiership position we feel we so richly deserve was being taken from us by a man who’s abilities had turned a championship club with no players or direction or hope into a Premier league team who’ve managed to struggle but compete in said Premiership for two full seasons? Cus that’s what’s happened! We’ve sacked the architect of our success.
‘Success?’ Yes success. Mick McCarthy saved the club at least three more years of playing Championship football and gave us some great memories which I shall get on to shortly. In his first season (06-07) he managed to make a team made of begged, stolen and borrowed players along with some youth team members and the 14 or so pro’s we had left reach the play offs. We finished fifth with 76 pts in a league where we had previously (with full squads of players) struggled to reach a top 6 finish. He was truly Mick the fucking Merlin! I still don’t know how he did it and I’m pretty sure that Derren Brown and that guy who lived in a box for ten weeks or what ever don’t know the secret to that trick either. Of course we all know we missed out on the play offs to Watford the year after on goal difference but hey! 5th, 7th. Not bad for a manager with a transfer budget as big as your average kids lunch money!
And now for the great memories.
A lot of the footballing memories we have are single games, and this blog will be no different, but the 2008-09 season is a year long, season long memory that we all cherish. It was like the olden days (which for me where the 1987-1989 years when we won two league titles and the Sherpa Van trophy) and we had Sylvain E-scores loads on fire. It truly was party time for all footie fans in Wolverhampton and Mick will never know the joy he gave the city. It was truly, fucking, magnificent.
Our first top flight season will live in the memory of us all as our best league finish for a few decades. Fifteenth might be terrible for many people but for us it was our first top flight survival since the very early 80’s and we notched a nice double over Tottenham Hotspur too (and we aint seen the like of it since!)
The second season will become the season of legend, mostly because we are now on the edge of a very steep cliff and about to fall off it and we need something to hold on to. But it was again another fine season of struggling and heartbreak but some ‘god damn it’ great results. Taking points off the teams around you in a relegation battle is a must, but taking them off the top teams is unlikely, we managed to turn this philosophy on its head and we lost to shite teams but ate up so called great teams for lunch. Invincible Man Utd came to Wolves and they lost for the first time that season. We even gave them a goal head start. We beat Man City earlier in the season too 2-1 and also grabbed great results against Chelsea at home (1-0) Liverpool away (1-0) Villa away (1-0) and dunked Albion at home (3-1). But most importantly we stayed up and these results went a long way to us achieving that. (18 of our 40 pts came in these 6 games alone.) This season also gave us our first full England international since Steve Bull in 1990. Matty Jarvis came on as a replacement for Jack Wilshere with 23 minutes left to go against Ghana at Wembley in March 2011. It’s nice to see your own playing for your country and I know every Wolves fan enjoyed it.
And so I’m now talking about this season, with 13 games left to play I know we’ll talk about it for one reason and one reason alone and that is the sacking of Mick. The man who made all of the other stuff I just talked about happen. Will we stay up or won’t we? At this stage we just don’t know, but I’m hopeful… the groundwork has been done, by Mick McCarthy. We’re in a troublesome but not impossible situation; let’s not forget that this season we have managed to take points away from home against Arsenal and Spurs, teams who we’d expect to lose against. Mick left us those two points right there. If we stay up by the odd one or two points we can raise a glass to Mick and say, thanks for those.
Jez Moxey said in his statement today after he had sacked Mick, “The thought process is when you look back over the last 22 matches, where we’ve only picked up 14 points, we honestly looked ourselves in the mirror and thought that unless we made a change there was a sense of inevitably about our plight.” OK, that’s 0.64 points per game. Make sure we average more than that per game for the rest of the season Jez cus if we don’t questions will be asked of you and Steve Morgan too. Relegation is a possibility but not a certainty… right now. We could fly upwards or downwards quickly after your decision to sack Mick. You’ve rolled the dice Jez.
But what is a certainty is Mick McCarthy’s legend status at Molineux whatever has happened today. Build on his foundations and build well, or he’ll be the guy who gave us those years of football no one can replicate. It’s up to the club now, the players the board and whoever we take on in Mick’s place.
As a fan I know managers come and go, as do boards and owners, but we’re the guys who are around forever. You can’t sack us the fans just because you don’t like what we are doing or saying. We’re here to stay. We moan and whinge, we celebrate and shout and sing, we’re always doing something to keep you on your toes. Jez and Steve I hope you know where you are steering the Good Ship Molineux.
UP THE WOLVES and thanks Mick, thanks for the memories. Good luck to you in what ever you do next. You were a great manager and a great character and you always seemed like a bloody good bloke. As a Wolves fan I wish you all the best and plenty of success in whatever you choose to do next. Take it easy dude.