When it comes to saying it straight, few football managers get close to the one and only Mick McCarthy.
Born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire as the son of an Irish immigrant it’s no surprise Mick is rarely afraid to speak his mind when in range of a microphone.
Before becoming a manager, Mick carved out a more than decent playing career as a no-nonsense centre half, representing his hometown club Barnsley, Manchester City, Lyon, Celtic, and Millwall. At international level he won 57 caps for the Republic of Ireland, famously captaining Big Jack Charlton’s Boys in Green at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
After hanging up his boots in 1992, Mick has managed Millwall, Sunderland, Wolves, Ipswich, with his second spell as manager of the Republic of Ireland officially coming to an end today after the cancellation of Euro 2020.
Mick’s quick wit and brutal honesty have made for some legendary soundbites over the years, here are some of his best quotes and moments…
Pure savagery from Mick McCarthy after being asked about Chris Hughton’s Brighton departure:
🗣️ "Well, perhaps they needed a change. A bit like Ipswich getting rid of me. They needed a change…"
🗣️"That went well!" pic.twitter.com/Y54pHQ2MhS
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) May 22, 2019
”Ensure that you’re all inside the tent pissing out and get rid of any fellow who’s outside the tent pissing in.” On the type of wisdom, he gleaned from working with Big Jack Charlton.
“I told the Millwall chairman that if he ever wants to sack me, all he has to do is take me into town, buy me a meal, a few pints and a cigar and I’ll piss off.”
“At the moment we’ve got 16 first team players. My initials stand for Mick McCarthy, not Merlin the Magician.” After taking over as Wolves boss.
Who can forget the look that melted a million hearts? (volume on!)
“It was a very enjoyable, terrific performance full of energy and good football and creating chances. Of course, the one cruel bit is in the 92nd minute when we conceded.”
”Anyone who uses the word ‘quintessentially’ in a half time talk is talking crap.”
“F**king abysmal, that was what I f**king thought of it. C’mon, let’s get to it, I’m trying my best here. What did I make of it? I thought it was the best bit of f**king football I’ve seen in a long time. Do me a favour. It was a crap start to a game. There you have it, can you print all that? F**king rubbish, absolute tosh. Drivel. Sh**e. Bulls**t. That’s what I thought of it. Did that help? I’m quite pleased, apart from the fact that’s given them the poxy result, I’m f**king livid about it – of course I am. So, there you have it.” Never one to mince his words this was Mick describing Wolves going behind to Reading after 60 seconds.
“Before the goal it was two rubbish teams playing rubbish football.” On Sunderland’s 1-0 loss to Birmingham.
“I haven’t got enough time to tell you – Match of the Day only lasts an hour and 20 minutes, doesn’t it?” When asked what went wrong after Sunderland lost to Aston Villa.
“Like trying to turn around an oil tanker with a canoe paddle.” On Chris Coleman’s chances after he took over as Sunderland boss.
“That’s a b*****ks booking. We might as well all pack in and stop doing it. It was a fabulous tackle.” After Irishman Stephen Gleeson was booked playing for Ipswich.
“We’ve got the drug testers here today. They shouldn’t be going to see the players. They should go to see the officials instead.”
“Really thrilled to be coming back to Leicester because we got d**ked by six here when we came.” Mick said this while working as a pundit for Sky, for reason that work soon dried up.
“Some people might be frustrated with that result? Some people can f*** off.”
“Opinions are like backsides, we’ve all got them but it’s not wise to air them in public.” Mick’s not a big fan of Pundits.
I started [trying to give up alcohol] on Shrove Tuesday and then by Ash Wednesday something had happened, and I’d had a bottle of beer.” We’ve all been there Mick.
“I had a nice time over Christmas. I watched Eastenders – blimey, that makes my job look easy!”
The time somebody walked on his grave!
“No and I asked all the lads to go out there and knock seven bells out of everybody as well like I normally do. Shame that isn’t it? They went out there and played free-flowing football and were rampant for 45 minutes. What were they playing at?” When quizzed on his team receiving no yellow cards.
“I was feeling as sick as the proverbial donkey.” Mick showing off his mastery of the metaphor.
“It wasn’t a monkey on my back, it was Planet of the Apes.” Mick on the pressure of the job.
“No regrets, none at all. My only regret is that we went out on penalties. That’s my only regret. But no, no regrets.” On the 2002 World Cup.
Read – Jack Charlton’s last days of Champagne Supernova – 25 years on from Anfield
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