Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Home Football The expert view on what we can really expect from Mick McCarthy’s...

The expert view on what we can really expect from Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City including transfer policy and the monster he will ‘absolutely love’

10
0

requestAnimationFrame(function () {
setTimeout(function () {
window._perfMarker && window._perfMarker(“TTVR.ArticleContent”, true, true);
define(“c.articleContent”, 1);
}, 0);
});

The Mick McCarthy reign at Cardiff City is barely a few days old.

We had the uproar at his appointment, the quick turnaround in fans’ opinion, his intriguing first press conference and a glimpse at his first training session with the Bluebirds first team.

But, without a ball having been kicked just yet – his first game is away to his hometown club Barnsley on Wednesday evening – just what McCarthy’s Cardiff City looks like is still an unknown quantity.

Thankfully, we have sought the views of the expert.

We spoke with East Anglian Daily Times’ Ipswich Town correspondent ANDY WARREN, who gave us the lowdown on everything Mick McCarthy, following years of covering him at Portman Road.

Here is what Andy had to say and, importantly, what Bluebirds fans can expect…

Q. What was Mick’s immediate impact at Ipswich?

A. He did exactly what was asked of him. He arrived with Ipswich bottom of the Championship at the start of November and with the squad in a mess at the end of Paul Jewell’s tenure. The team was patched together with loanees, aging players and short-term contracts and looked destined to go down.

But Mick won his first game in charge at Birmingham, lost 5-0 to Crystal Palace and then 6-0 to Birmingham but then got things going quickly. They finished 14th in the Championship and never really looked in danger of relegation after McCarthy dragged them away from the bottom of the table.

Q. What style of football can Cardiff fans expect?

A. Solid is the word I’d use. His first job will be to try and make Cardiff hard to beat and then he’ll work from there.

Don’t expect free-flowing, champagne football, though. At its best, McCarthy’s style is solid, hard-working and effective. It’s 4-4-2.

He’ll get full buy-in from his players, who to a man love playing for him, and they will create an ‘us against the world’ mentality as a group. If you press the right buttons he’ll proclaim ‘I would take a point before I even got on the bus’ before the majority of away games and his style reflects that. It often works, though.

He will absolutely love having a monstrous defender like Aden Flint in his side. He caused McCarthy problems time and time again when he was at Bristol City, in both boxes. He’ll set up a back four with two rugged centre-halves and solid full-backs who will have some freedom to get forward, but not too much.

At its worst McCarthy’s football can be wholly uninspiring but he also gives his flair players a licence to express themselves. The trouble at Ipswich was he never had the budget to attract them, so having someone like Harry Wilson available to him will excite him.



a group of people playing football on a field: Aden Flint scores for Bristol City against Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town


© Pagepix
Aden Flint scores for Bristol City against Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town

Q. What is his policy in the transfer market?

A. McCarthy trusts his own eye for a player and those of his trusted allies stationed around the country, rather than using the more modern online scouting tools.

He regularly signed players he had previously worked with during his time at Ipswich (Christophe Berra, Stephen Hunt, Sylvain Ebanks-Blake to name just three), while also showing a preference for bringing in seasoned campaigners with veteran experience, rather than taking too many chances on up-and-coming players from the lower leagues.

He did have some successes in that area, though, most-notably singing Tyrone Mings for £10,000 from Chippenham Town and selling him to Bournemouth for £8million just a couple of years later.

Most of his signings are domestic, though he did recruit left-back Jonas Knudsen from Denmark and took punts on a few complete unknowns from countries throughout Europe from time to time. I doubt many Cardiff fans will be too aware of Balint Bajner, Kevin Bru or Larsen Toure, though.

There also brought plenty of young players over from Ireland.

It’s hard to say whether his business at Ipswich is a true reflection of his transfer philosophy, though, given the tight budget constraints he worked under.

Q. Youth is very important at Cardiff and Neil Harris worked hard on the academy, what is Mick’s philosophy on bringing through youth?

A. He isn’t going to rush to blood several youngsters in the side at once and his major focus will be on his first team, rather than the academy. But, when the right one emerges, he’s not afraid to throw them in.

The current Ipswich midfield trio of Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Flynn Downes were given debuts by McCarthy. Dozzell scored on his at 16 in the Championship while an 18-year-old Downes came from absolutely nowhere to being a regular starter during pre-season in 2017. Bishop did the same in 2014 and became the creative spark as Ipswich made the play-offs that season.

Given the current situation at Cardiff I wouldn’t be surprised if he went solely with experience between now and the end of the season. But if he takes the job beyond the summer, that’s when you might expect the odd youngster to break through.

Q. Why did Kieffer Moore never really thrive at Portman Road under Mick?

A. His signing was effectively a punt at £20,000 and some training kit when he was brought in from Forest Green Rovers.

He made 11 appearances, all as a substitute, and truthfully looked out of his depth at that time. He was very raw.

But a loan at Rotherham did wonders and he was soon sold to Barnsley for £750,000 at a time when there was a clamour for him to return and play for Ipswich.

I think things worked out perfectly for Moore and he’s clearly improved significantly from the player we saw here.

Q. Lastly, why should Cardiff City fans be excited about Mick’s appointment?

A. This one’s simple, really. For a club who have achieved recent success with Neil Warnock, it’s no surprise at all that the owners would now turn to Mick McCarthy.

Had he not been juggling dust in terms of budget here and been given funds to spend when top of the this time six years ago, there’s every chance he would have taken an Ipswich Town squad which literally cost £10,000 (Mings) in transfer fees to assemble to the top flight.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here