Not only is big Mick McCarthy back in management with Cardiff, he’s now – as of Friday, March 5, 2021 – part of an elite group of bosses to have amassed 1,000 games in the dugout.
The man all men want to be and all women want to be with graced us with his presence once more in January, when the Bluebirds decided that they needed the Yorkshire don to stabilise the rocking ship that Neil Harris had left behind.
If one man can turn their underwhelming season around, it’s Michael Joseph McCarthy – and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate his milestone moment than by looking back at his funniest moments.
When you’ve been in football management as long as Mick McCarthy you’re bound to make a few enemies along the way, and chances are you’ll be asked numerous questions about said enemies in a bid to get a reaction.
McCarthy’s relationship with Roy Keane following their falling out at the 2002 World Cup is, erm, rocky, and when the former Manchester United man was appointed the Republic of Ireland assistant boss, McCarthy was obviously asked for his opinion on the matter.
Most managers would tiptoe around the subject, giving clichéd responses while attempting to remain impartial. Mick McCarthy isn’t ‘most managers’.
The veteran boss just stared and smiled at the reporter who asked him the question, refusing to say a word before moving on to discuss his own achievements as the Republic of Ireland boss, and finally laughing as he was once again asked about the appointment. Both terrifying and hilarious in equal measure.
McCarthy’s final season in charge at Ipswich was a turbulent one, with the club never really looking like threatening the play-off places.
The Tractor Boys fan base hadn’t been afraid to voice their displeasure at their underwhelming campaign, with McCarthy taking the brunt of the abuse. So when Luke Chambers put Ipswich ahead in the 86th minute of their trip to local rivals Norwich, McCarthy was quite pleased…
He can be seen gesturing towards the Ipswich faithful, shouting ‘fantastic, get in’…or something along those lines…
McCarthy’s first full season in charge at Ipswich saw them flirt around the play-off spots, but ultimately a top-half finish was the best they could muster.
As with most sides in the Championship, inconsistency is what cost them a shot at promotion, and a 1-1 draw with Leeds in January epitomised their frustrating campaign.
When asked about the performance, McCarthy conceded it may have been a tough watch for some of their fans, he was sorry they couldn’t turn one point into three and that they were looking forward to putting it right in their next game.
Nah he didn’t really, what he actually said was ‘some people might be frustrated with that result. Some people can f*** off’.
Stop talking in riddles and tell us what you’re really thinking, Mick.
There are many qualities needed to become a top manager, but one aspect of the profession which often gets overlooked is the ability to act like you’ve not noticed the huge camera pointing at you from two yards away while you watch on from the technical area.
99% of managers awkwardly look away or pretend to chat to their staff, but big Mick took a very different approach one afternoon while in charge at Wolves.
He decided to impregnate every single person watching – men and women alike – by giving the most sultry, devilish little stare down the camera you have ever seen.
Those raised eyebrows, that smile. Why have Hollywood not considered a Barnsley-born James Bond?
Right, we get that people want to know what goes on behind the scenes at football clubs, but why ask a football manager to expand on the statement ‘it [the team bus] broke down’ before a game?
Personally, we couldn’t give a sh*t what went wrong with the team bus, and when McCarthy was asked the question prior to the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Gibraltar in 2019, he too refused to entertain the question, replying ‘it wouldn’t go any further’.
Have that journalist with your silly questions.
There’s just something about Mick McCarthy that oozes sex appeal. It doesn’t matter what he does – he manages to make it sexy. There’s just an aura about him.
He even manages to make the most menial of tasks, like stirring a cup of tea, look attractive. A few swift rotations of the spoon, glance over to the camera and smile. So simple yet so effective.
Also really weird, but still quality.
We’ve already discussed Mick’s lack or tolerance for ridiculous questions, and arguably the daftest one he’s been asked since becoming a manager was during his time at Wolves when one reported asked him if he was glad to see Steve Gerrard return just in time for Wolves’ trip to Anfield.
After all, which opposition manager wouldn’t be excited to see one of the best midfielders in the world return just in time to play their team? McCarthy echoed those sentiments, but funnier…
“Oh aye thrilled, I wonder if we can get [Graeme] Souness back, Phil Neal, see if Kenny [Dalglish] can come back and Rushy [Ian Rush], just get a team of them all back, yeah I’m delighted that they’re getting all their best players back to play us.
“I’m delighted for them, I don’t wanna go there and win, I wanna go there and let them play and have all their good players in the team. Yeah it’s great, thanks.”
McCarthy did a fantastic job at Ipswich on a shoestring budget, surpassing expectations in reaching the play-offs in 2014/15, however, his success ultimately proved to be his downfall as the club’s fans became irritated by mid-table finishes.
He left the club in 2018, and the following season they were relegated – still to this day languishing in League One.
McCarthy hasn’t forgotten his abrupt departure from Portman Road, and even eluded to it when asked about Chris Hughton’s sacking from Brighton in 2019.
“Maybe they [Brighton] just thought it was time for a change, same as me at Ipswich, they thought it was time for a change…that went well.”
Everyone’s seen the video of Sir Alex Ferguson getting scared out of his skin in the Chelsea away dugout after Mike Phelan decided to pop a balloon that rolled by the technical area.
Well, McCarthy had a similar moment at Blackburn, when he was scared by, well, nothing?
It must be every football reporter’s worse nightmare – you forget to turn your phone onto silent during a manager’s press conference and it goes off mid-interview.
It’s happened to the likes of Roy Keane in the past and he’s looked far from amused, but Mick’s cut from different cloth.
If someone’s phone starts blaring out some sultry music, what else is there to do as the world’s sexiest man than to start stripping?
Say what you like about his style of play, English football is a better place with Mick McCarthy in it and we’re delighted to see him back.