The appointment of Mick McCarthy should be good news for any Ipswich fan but not everyone is convinced that he was the right choice.

A lot of people are saying they would have preferred Ian Holloway from Blackpool and others say they wanted a younger manager like Karl Robinson. As I have mentioned before I am a huge fan of both Holloway and Robinson but I also believe that McCarthy was a great choice.

The main criticism of the new Ipswich boss stems from the fact that he has not always been successful in the Premier League. However, Ipswich have been a Championship club for over 10 years now so we desperately just need a manager that will be a success at this level and then we can build on that.

Additionally; how many managers with a decent record at both Championship and top flight level would like to come to manage Ipswich? As far as I know only Alan Curbishley would come close to meeting that criteria but he has been out of the game for a while now.

McCarthy is not only very experienced at this level after managing over 407 Championship league games but he also has an impressive win ratio. His current Championship statistics are: Won 185 Drew 115 Lost 107, which gives the former Wolves boss a win ratio of 45.4%, draw ratio of 28.3% and loss ratio of 26.3%.

Those statistics are as good as any and if you actually go through McCarthy’s career in depth you soon realise that he should be a great appointment.

Once he impressed at Millwall he took Ireland past the group stages of the 2002 World Cup without star player Roy Keane. After a few bad results in qualifiers he then moved on to manage Sunderland who at the time were already destined for relegation. The following season McCarthy took the recently relegated Black Cats to a 3rd place finish but missed out on promotion through the play-offs. He then won the Championship with Sunderland but could not do enough to keep them in the division and was sacked with 10 games remaining.

The former Ireland international’s time at Wolves was very similar to that at Sunderland. He took them over when they were in the Championship and led them to finish 5th, 7th and then 1st. He also kept them in the Premier League for two seasons and was perhaps harshly sacked in his last season at the club.

I firmly believe that McCarthy would have kept Wolves in the top flight had he not been sacked as at the time they were sitting in 18th place but were level on points with the teams in 16th and 17th with 13 games remaining.

It is clear to see that whilst McCarthy’s Premiership record may not be overly impressive, his Championship record is undeniably good. Other managers like Karl Robinson may have been a success but they would have been complete gambles and the club can’t take gambles like that given their current position.

Perhaps Holloway or Curbishley would have been better choices. There is certainly an argument there but again Curbishley was too risky a choice to make because he has been out of the game for so long. Holloway may have been a success but there are certain stains on his Championship record like his time at Leicester that McCarthy does not have.

The bad news is that although the former Sunderland manager looks like the right man for the job I can’t see him turning things around straight away. Without a doubt he will give some of the players a much needed kick up the backside but we may need to wait until January before we see a drastic improvement. I am sure everyone will get behind him though and this is a great piece of news for the club.

 

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