Former Celtic and Ireland man Mick McCarthy set for Championship job

By Euan Davidson

January 22, 2021

Former Celtic defender Mick McCarthy is set to join Cardiff City, according to the BBC.

The former Ireland boss, who has immense managerial experience, had been tentatively linked to the Celtic job. A veteran coach with a focus on defending, some fans were keen.

However, that never seemed entirely likely. It’s impossible now, with Cardiff City set to dot the i’s on a contract for the ex-APOEL boss. Neil Harris was sacked after a poor run in charge of the Bluebirds this season.

McCarthy had a quick spell in Cyprus. Four consecutive defeats were enough for the famously trigger-happy club.

Formerly of Wolves, Sunderland and myriad others, McCarthy took the Republic of Ireland to the latter stages of the 2002 World Cup. His second spell was cut short, but that was largely out of his hands (Guardian).

According to the BBC:

“The length of his contract has yet to be decided but a deal is expected to be completed in a matter of days.

“McCarthy inherits a Cardiff side low on confidence after a run of five successive defeats in the Championship and six in all competitions.

“Harris, who succeeded Neil Warnock as Bluebirds boss in November 2019, had led the team to the Championship’s play-off semi-finals last season.

“However, his side failed to reach the same heights during this campaign, which Cardiff started by winning only three of their first 13 matches.”

Mick McCarthy takes in the Paradise sights / (Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

For Celtic, McCarthy probably wasn’t on radar

Celtic and Mick McCarthy. It’s an easy link to make, given the Barnsley-born man’s time at the club. Signed in 1987, McCarthy made 48 appearances for the Bhoys. Crucially, he was part of the 1988 Centenary double-winning side.

There’s also the Dermot Desmond connection. Celtic’s majority shareholder had been reportedly interested in bringing his fellow Irishman to the club in the past (Daily Business).

Still, it seems unlikely that Mick McCarthy was ever on Celtic’s radar, in terms of a Lennon replacement. Having bankrolled the Brendan Rodgers appointment, the board will understand the profile of coach the fans want.

Exciting, attacking football isn’t exactly McCarthy’s forté. The ex-Wolves boss obviously knows a thing or two about coaching. However, challenging for titles using a fan-pleasing style isn’t really in McCarthy’s repertoire.

Instead, links with Eddie Howe persist. The club need to act fast, with Newcastle United reportedly looking to replace Steve Bruce after a disappointing run of matches.

In any event, there’s never a bad reason to share this video of Mick McCarthy. Enjoy.