Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Is Mick McCarthy in the wrong?

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager, Mick McCarthy, has come under huge scrutiny in the past two days, as a result of his team selection against Manchester United on Tuesday evening.

The FA, Premier League managers and even their own supporters have all laid into the Irish manager, questioning his reasons behind the decision to make ten changes from the side that beat Tottenham on Saturday.

Under Premier League rule 20, section E, it states that teams must field a full-strength side in all top-flight matches. McCarthy has claimed that the team he put out to face United, was the fittest and best equipped to take on the Red Devils. But he also said he was resting players ahead of the game against Burnley on Sunday, which he saw as ‘winnable’
and more important.

I don’t understand why it has caused such an outrage, the top four sides do this on a weekly basis, but just because they have more strength in depth, it is overlooked everytime.

On the final day of the season last year, when Man United played Hull away, three days before a Champions League cup final, Alex Ferguson rested his whole team, and there was no Premier League inquiry. United did win the game, but it appears too many times that the people calling the shots attack the lesser teams.

Out of all of the Premier League managers to gripe, could you guess who it was? Yep, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has accused McCarthy of undermining the credibility of the Premier League. How can Wenger say such a thing? Especially after years of insulting and underrating both the FA and Carling cups. It was only last week, when in the Champions League, away to Olympiakos, he played pretty much his reserve team.

At least he was resting players for the league which he believes to be more important, but some clubs see these cup competitions as another way to bring in silverware.

It must be that time of the month for Wenger as he is also laying into the Premier League fixture list. It appears this guy could argue with a brick wall, let’s just leave him be.

The only thing I can relate to and understand in this latest football debate, is where the supporters stand in all of this. Following your team is always a tough procedure, but also a fun one and many Wolves fans would have been looking forward to the visit to the Theatre of Dreams. You only needed to listen to the supporters who travelled to the game on Tuesday, to find out how much it cost them to see their side play.

It cost £42 pounds a ticket and that's not including travel, food and other expenses, which are all involved on match days. It would have been nice of McCarthy to have warned fans, but he didn't.

The FA could deduct points from Wolves, but this looks highly unlikely. The famous saying of ’six pointer’ can be used for the fixture between McCarthy’s men and Burnley and if Wolves can grab all three points, then this could help ease the pressure on the manager. Let's judge McCarthy at the end of the season, and I am certain that Wolves supporters would take 17th place come May.