Former Celtic and Ireland man Mick McCarthy sacked by APOEL

By Euan Davidson

January 6, 2021

APOEL Nicosia have officially announced the sacking of former Celtic and Republic of Ireland man Mick McCarthy.

McCarthy had only taken over at the Cypriot club in November. However, his reign at APOEL came to an end today after four consecutive losses (talkSPORT).

It comes as especially bad news for Irish midfielder Jack Byrne, who only recently signed a contract with McCarthy’s former club (The42.ie).

McCarthy, who signed for Celtic in 1987 and made 48 appearances for the Bhoys, has had a mixed career as a manager. It’s easy to remember his heroics with the Republic of Ireland, with whom he made the 2002 World Cup. However he has endured difficult endings with Sunderland and Wolves.

Now, his time in Cyprus has come to an undignified ending. There wasn’t much chance of longevity at APOEL; they’ve hired and fired 15 managers within the last five years.

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Seemingly linked with the Celtic job every time it comes up, the Barnsley-born 61-year-old’s future is now wide open. It seems unlikely that he’ll coach in Cyprus again.

Former Celtic players Mick McCarthy and Packie Bonner / (Photo by Matthew Ashton/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

McCarthy at Celtic?

With Neil Lennon’s job safe until the summer, the board won’t be busting a gut to bring Mick McCarthy to Celtic. It does, however, feel like the kind of appointment that the Bhoys would make.

He has full ‘Celtic man’ credentials, having played in the famous Centenary year. In 1988, Billy McNeill’s Celtic won a league and cup double, as the club celebrated 100 years of existence.

McCarthy has also been the Republic of Ireland boss on two occasions, which would surely build his case. In the first spell, the former Wolves manager took the Boys in Green to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup. Yes, his second spell was cut short, but that was largely out of his hands (Guardian).

It seems unlikely that Celtic supporters would get excited about this appointment. McCarthy’s brand of football as a manager has generally been pretty agricultural. It would be worlds away from the fast-paced, high-tempo approach of Brendan Rodgers.

Still, never rule it out. McCarthy’s Yorkshire baritone could be a tempting prospect for the Celtic board.