*Mick McCarthy has since been appointed Cardiff City manager*
As we’ve come to expect, the odds in a next manager market are capricious in the immediate aftermath of a managerial departure.
In the case of Cardiff City, we saw the likes of Tony Pulis, Craig Bellamy, and Paul Cook swiftly trade places as the favourite to replace Neil Harris, who was relieved of his duties on Thursday afternoon following a run of seven defeats in eight matches.
It’s not even been 24 hours since Harris’ exit, but we now have a new - yet familiar - frontrunner at the summit of the market: Mick McCarthy, who at the time of writing is odds-on with most bookmakers.
It could prove to be a fairly quick return to management for McCarthy, who just two weeks ago was sacked by APOEL after all of eight games in charge.
While McCarthy’s record in Nicosia wasn’t great - he lost five of eight games, including his final four - he shouldn’t take the departure personally, as this is a trigger-happy club who put Watford to shame when it comes to managerial changes; McCarthy was their 13th permanent manager in seven years, while they had five different incumbents last season.
Prior to his stint in Cyprus, McCarthy oversaw just two more games (10) in a second spell at the Republic of Ireland, albeit over a longer period of time (18 months).
Straight-talking McCarthy took Ireland through to the Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs after they finished third in Group D, however he was denied the opportunity to lead the country into the tournament as it was postponed to 2021 - his successor Stephen Kenny would later lose out in the semi-final stage.
"It's been brilliant - I've loved being back,” McCarthy said after leaving. “I've thoroughly enjoyed it and it's been an absolute pleasure and an honour to do the job again.” In total he only suffered one defeat in his 10 games; away to Switzerland.
Could Mick make a swift return to management?
It’s now approaching three years since he last managed in the Championship, at Ipswich, where he became the division’s longest-serving manager following a lengthy six-year spell.
He finished in the play-offs once in 2015 but was unable to mount a promotion push and eventually stepped down towards the end of the 2017/18 season - in typical Mick fashion, see video below - the Tractor Boys haven’t fared well since he left, with Paul Lambert’s men languishing in League One.
🎥 | Mick McCarthy spoke with iFollow Ipswich shortly after the full-time whistle at Portman Road this evening as he confirmed his departure from the Club. pic.twitter.com/TEFfbLGOkA— Ipswich Town FC (@IpswichTown) April 10, 2018
McCarthy started his managerial career at Millwall in 1992, where he spent four years, before taking charge of Ireland, with whom he led into the knockout-stages of the 2002 World Cup. It was an impressive showing, yet there will always be a big ‘what if’ surrounding that team at that tournament because skipper Roy Keane flew home following a spat with McCarthy.
McCarthy would go on to win the Championship title with both Sunderland and Wolves, the second of which came back in 2009.
Mick McCarthy’s Managerial Win Rate:
- Millwall: 36.5%
- Ireland: 42.6%
- Sunderland: 42.9%
- Wolves: 38.5%
- Ipswich: 37.6%
- Ireland (2): 50%
- APOEL: 25%
McCarthy has been linked with the likes of Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday this season, now he’s now been installed as the new favourite for the Cardiff job, ahead of Mark Bowen, Bellamy and Cook.
For now, we’ll have to wait to see if there’s anything concrete behind his position in the betting. As stated, the odds change so quickly, there could easily be a new favourite come the evening (Friday).
See full odds below...