Day: February 13, 2012

McCarthy Out At Wolves

By all accounts he’s a decent guy, is Mick McCarthy. Unfortunately for him, such personality traits are seldom considered to be of great importance when deciding whether to keep the manager of a football club in his position, and his departure from Molineux after one of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ most embarrasssing results of recent years comes as little surprise. ¬†Time has been up for McCarthy since the club’s owner, Steve Morgan, came into the dressing room after their recent home defeat by Liverpool and gave the players a piece of his mind. He did manage to earn himself a short-lived reprieve as a result of an unexpected win at Queens Park Rangers, but a five-one defeat at home against bitter local rivals proved too much for Morgan to bear. McCarthy had spent a little over five and a half years at the club, which is a lifetime in comparison with the fragile job security that management offers these days. He managed to get to the end of part one of the Wolves quest for the holy grail by keeping them in the Premier League, but the last day of last season was unacceptably close to the wire, and it was clear from the summer that the club expected improvement on last season’s performance. This, Wolves supporters will hardly need reminding, has not been forthcoming. The severity of their defeat yesterday...

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Time To Draw A Line Under The Suarez Incidents

The football was always going to be overshadowed on Saturday lunchtime. It has been that sort of a season. At least, though, another gut-wrenching weekend of tribalism and mud-slinging, some good finally seems to have come from the poisonous atmosphere between Liverpool and Manchester United, and perhaps now we can get back to focussing on what continues to be a fascinating season in the Premier League. It is, of course, partly the fault of the Premier League and the FA that Saturdays match found itself being the source of so much controversy to whom. Introduced as part of the well-meaning but ultimately futile Respect campaign, the pre-match handshake has become a totem for how unsuccessful any attempts to breed a culture of respect into modern football are ever likely to be. It has become just another ritual to be tolerated. Never required when there was something passing for manners on a football pitch, it became a cursory, perfunctory pastiche of actual respect from individuals that are now trained for winning at all costs that nothing else is considered by them. And yet. Luis Suarez had a choice on Saturday lunchtime and chose not to take it. Moreover, he had led his club to believe that he would swallow a little pride and at least shake hands with Patrice Evra before the match. Even Kenny Dalglish, who had defended his player...

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