|Yet More Town Tinkering By Mick the Man Still Required|
written by Pessimistic Wednesday, 30th Jan 2013 15:52
"Every man has a wild beast within him," according to Frederick the Great; who is perhaps best known for his excellence in military campaigning and the the organisation of Prussian armies.
'Old Fritz' as he was known to his friends and foes certainly knew a thing or two about philosophy and more precisely what makes a man a man?
After Saturday's disastrous defeat at the hands of basement buddies Bristol City we must be grateful that in Mick McCarthy we have a man who has grey hair for a very good reason and that is because he cares. He worries. He gets angry. He hurts.
Paul Jewell may have recommended him to Marcus Evans and they may well be friends but this is largely where the connection ends. Where Paul Jewell wanted success badly Mick McCarthy DEMANDS it!
Never content with second best, what is happening to him at this moment equates to his greatest challenge to date. We know it. He knows it. And most importantly of all, the players know it!
Mick The Man is a straight-talking gritty Yorkshire man, who to this day, is the only man to put Roy Keane back in his box and this is no mean achievement. In managerial terms he is probably falls into the old school category of an ex-player who can relate to players in a forthright manner. He can understand the frailties that attach themselves to the modern day pro - but is ruthless in his quest for consistency and woe betide anyone who dares to cross his path or does not heed his words of wisdom.
With the addition of Anthony Wordsworth from Colchester on a permanent deal and a season-long loan agreed for Richard Stearman, Town will have used close to 40 players this season! How football has changed over the last 40 years. In Town's golden age of the seventies, it was normal for Town to use much fewer than half that amount and in the top flight of English football!
Loan deals are now the norm of course and with a 24-hour recall for most loaned keepers, this makes the whole process even more farcical in my view. Gone are the days when you could expect a player to sign on the dotted line for five years or more. Football these days is nothing more than a vehicle for the journeyman - or more brutally conveyed, the football mercenary.
Exceptions thankfully still exist however and I have heard from a little bird that the return of DJ Campbell is still a REAL possibility although it is understandable that the club are still playing this down. Mick McCarthy has been trying to persuade Simon Clegg and ultimately Marcus Evans to give DJ a three-and-a-half-year deal. They have hit stalemate at this moment in time but Mick is still testing the water here and if all fails, then this could in the end influence his relationship with the men who pull the purse strings at Portman Road.
I have good reason to believe that my contact is on sound ground here because it was he who informed me about the departure of Connor Wickham and quoted in advance the price that he would be sold for. His information was also spot-on a few years earlier with the Roy Keane appointment so I have very reason to think there is some substance behind his remarks.
Town are in deep trouble again now and let us not fool ourselves into thinking otherwise. Barnsley's win last night, with the second scored by Jason Scotland, just rubs further salt in the wound.
What we need most of all is to pick up a few points and if we had have gleaned more than a paltry one against relegation threatened Barnsley and Bristol City, then we could be clear of drop by now but this was sadly not the case.
Our infuriating tendency to give away sloppy late goals is nothing new though, as we all know. It has been a re-occurring theme many times already this season, and throughout the Jewell era and to some extent, the Keane era, it was also very apparent.
What then causes us to self-destruct? Is it defensive naivety or nerves or the inability of our players to concentrate at the most critical moments that lead to our downfall? Whatever the causes, we are in urgent need of a speedy remedy or otherwise we will fall ever closer to that dreaded trapdoor.
Having supported Town for more than 40 years these are some of the darkest days I can ever recall. Our inability to score more than a solitary goal per game is bad enough, without looking too closely at our horrendous defensive record.
These are the hallmarks of abstract failure of the lowest order and they will not improve until we can rekindle some confidence and start winning games once more. At least against Middlesbrough we will not be expecting too much and this might help us to kick-start our season once more. We badly need a win though and given our current form this seems to be decidedly unlikely.
I was never a fan of Mick McCarthy. He was never my preferred target. Now, however, I am more convinced than ever that ONLY Mick the Man can pull us clear of trouble and his no-nonsense approach to football management is just what is needed.
Mick is a proud man and for good reason. His record speaks for itself. He is hurting, make no mistake. Anger they say is the last thing to grow old. With this in mind, let us all hope that Mick McCarthy has a long and prosperous life at Portman Road.
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