Mick McCarthy to Celtic reports are surely off the mark

By Euan Davidson

February 25, 2021

According to Football Insider, Celtic have Mick McCarthy on their managerial shortlist.

The Cardiff City manager left APOEL Nicosia in January, joining the Bluebirds a month later. The Welsh side were struggling in the Championship, but McCarthy has put them in play-off contention [EFL]. Incredibly, the Barnsley-born Irishman has led Cardiff City to six straight wins [WhoScored?].

Former Sunderland boss McCarthy has a contract in south Wales until the summer, meaning he might become available in the summer. That is, unless the manager can continue his side’s excellent form and push for promotion. In the event Cardiff City return to the Premier League, they will surely offer an extension.

McCarthy spent 2 years as a Celtic player, most notably as part of the Centenary team which won a league and cup double. After the Bhoys, the Ireland international played for Lyon and Millwall. As a manager, his career has been more nomadic. His main success was with the Republic of Ireland, who he managed to the latter stages of the 2002 World Cup.

Known as a more pragmatic coach, McCarthy does not fit the Celtic profile. A defence-first manager, who specialises in promotions, McCarthy would maybe feel less inhibited at Parkhead. However, it would be a rapid change in style for a tactician who is more akin to Sean Dyche than he is Brendan Rodgers.

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However, links have emerged, as is always the case [Off The Ball].

Mick McCarthy in his first spell as ROI boss / (Photo By Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

A likeable figure, but Mick McCarthy to Celtic? No thanks

Mick McCarthy is a class, class guy. He’s got a brilliant, booming Yorkshire accent, and he’s excellent value in press conferences. I, for one, really like him.

However, I get the strong sense that he’s not the forward-thinking, attacking coach Celtic fans want. No doubt, he has automatic goodwill from his spells as the ROI coach, but he’s a manager who thrives in England’s second tier. He’s hardly the ambitious choice, put it that way.

Given that Brendan Rodgers was close to winning a title with Liverpool before joining Celtic, McCarthy is a huge step down in calibre. Since we’re also linked with Rafael Benitez, signing McCarthy would be the anticlimax of the 21st Century.

McCarthy is in his element somewhere like Cardiff City. He may harbour a great deal of affection for Celtic. A as a manager, though, he just doesn’t fit the fans’ criteria.

But that’s to say nothing of the board.

READ MORE: an exotic, Pat Bonner-approved choice has emerged.