The Verdict: Every word and action of Mick McCarthy’s is being hyper-analysed – and that usually spells the end
Ipswich Town are on track for their lowest league finish since 1959 following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Fulham. STUART WATSON gives his verdict.
“It makes me feel like going home and having a beer.”
And with that Mick McCarthy placed both hands on the table, pushed himself up and exited stage left from his post-match press conference.
The Blues boss had been asked for his reaction to once again leaving the field to negative chants following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Fulham.
Feeling unloved and unappreciated, his response to criticism of late has been spiky, defiant, front-foot confrontation. Now there just seems a deflated air of resignation.
The proud Yorkhireman increasingly looks like a man who knows he is in the final throes of a near five-year reign. It’s as if he’s mentally ticking off the number of times he reluctantly has to face the same old questions about his popularity, team selections, tactics, budget, contracts and future.
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He knows there is nothing he can do to turn the tide of opinion now. And boy how it has turned. Even the most ardent of his backers have fallen silent in recent weeks.
Saturday was proof of that. Tommy Smith for the injured Steven Taylor aside, McCarthy stuck with the attack-minded team that had beaten Wigan 3-0 at Portman Road. His substitutions were bold too.
Yes, Town were thoroughly outclassed by the slick promotion-chasing Cottagers for a 20 minute spell in the first half. However, this wide open game could easily have ended 7-4. The Blues gave it a good go – is that not what we’d all been humbly asking for?
The problem is, there is too much water under the bridge now. Mick’s relationship with fans seems irreparably broken. Too often he’s thrown petrol on the flames rather than dousing them with water.
He’s ‘not bothered’ what fans think of him. He says supporters have to take responsibility for poor results when they create a negative atmosphere. He dismisses debate about team selection as ‘pub chat’.
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Talk about how to lose friends and alienate people. The cynic would say he’s on some kind of retreat and destroy mission. A final flick of two-fingers with a ‘you’ll miss me when I’m gone’ muttered under the breath.
This is the problem. Every word and action is being hyper-analysed. Are any of the above interpretations correct? Possibly not. Maybe we’ve all got too sensitive.
Wounds cannot heal if scabs keep getting picked at though. Unfortunately, the itch has become too severe to ignore.