Former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy and George Elokobi set to run a cowboy ranch… in OTP’s imagination only
There’s not been a day gone by since his controversial sacking that OTP hasn’t wondered what Mick McCarthy is up to. A man who shirked sassy scarves and manipulative mind games, Mick was a noble no-nonsense bloke for whom we have always held a candle. It’s not a sexual thing, but admittedly we would feel nice and secure spending a night out on his arm.
The old school manager is a dependable figure who is as manly as they come in the Premier League. Sure he has a nose aligned like Spaghetti Junction, but it doesn’t bother him one bit.
It is for these reasons that we mourn the continued absence of Big Mick from football. It’s fair to say there is a Yorkshireman-sized shape missing in our hearts and playing Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ on constant loop hasn’t helped our sulky demeanour. The truth is there’s no one like Mick.
Ever since he got the sack – in the same week as Whitney Houston died, just to add insult to injury – we had heard zero about Mick’s post-Molineux life. With little chance of being papped falling out of a nightclub with Roger Johnson nor being linked to the England or Chelsea jobs, he was completely off the radar. OTP wasn’t angry, we just wanted a simple phone call to know he was safe.
Thankfully, Big Mick popped up last week at the Wolves training ground. According to the delightful vessel of truth and justice that is the Daily Mail: “The former manager returned to the club’s training ground to collect a few personal possessions.”
We can only speculate what those possessions were. Options include:
- – Tetley teabags
- – ‘MM’ embossed jogging bottoms
- – A dartboard with Roy Keane’s mug plastered over the treble 20
Like returning to an ex-girlfriend’s flat to pick up your pants and Phil Collins albums, it must have been a humiliating experience. The temptation to line up just one more defensive set-piece must have been unbearable.
Happily, Terry Connor eased the pain by reportedly inviting Mick to “stay for something to eat”. We can only hope Molineux chiefs Jez Moxey and Steve Morgan attended and ordered two large portions of humble pie. If only they would give the man a second chance, a resurrection of biblical proportions would be on the cards for Wolves.
Given the angst, pressure and unrelenting stress surrounding Mick’s career in recent years, it is great to also read that Mick had enjoyed a “few weeks’ break in America”.
OTP likes to imagine that he spent his time on a cattle ranch, dressed in cowboy boots, worn jeans and a 10 gallon hat, which he would tip to the ladies with respectful acknowledgment.
Perhaps he would spend his days in acres of cinematic and raw Oklahoma land, coaxing wild stallions into a rigid 4-4-2 formation and ejecting hot-headed buffalo’s from the camp just like old times. In this task and many more we think he would be ably assisted by his trusty companion George Elokobi.
The Cameroonian was a fine general for Mick last season, a friendship which escalated in a post-match appreciation of the defenders rippling six-pack.
The pair were cruelly separated when Elokobi went on loan to Nottingham Forrest in February, arguably the first domino in the league collapse that followed.
It thereby gives us undeniable warmth to think of the pair marshalling their herd by day and sleeping under the stars by night as they lasso back and forth fond memories of their last day escape from relegation.
We can’t say for sure that any of this happened and that such fantasies are healthy, but we mean well. Be it barking orders in a League One dugout or jovially straddling a bucking bronco down the local rodeo, we just want to see Big Mick happy.
Image: Provided by OTP Podcast pundit and insatiable Mick McCarthy fan, Paddy Cullinan