Taking the Mick or expecting the inevitable?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


On Saturday Wolves notched up their second straight win beating Tottenham 1-0 at White Hart Lane, yet come Tuesday night the fans turn on him for sending out a second string side against current league champions Manchester United.

I have to say it baffles me because Wolves have certainly not got the quality in their side to beat Manchester United, who even in their current injury crisis can still call upon players capable of getting a result.

McCarthy was totally right to rest his players making changes to all his outfield players who won at the weekend. Certainly people may look at this as McCarthy holding up a white flag and waving it in the air, but I think he was being totally realistic because they have got a very important game against Burnley coming up on Sunday.

It was a comprehensive victory for Manchester United who ran out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic and Antonio Valencia.

The result means that the Red Devils now go level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, which is why McCarthy will be frowned upon by his fellow managers, because they gave United and easy three points to catch up with Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

If you want to go and do a Louis Walsh and point to the rule book it clearly states that "In every League match each participating club shall field a full strength team".

Does that really matter though? In what world were Wolves going to beat the current league champions, Jedward land maybe?

Although it must be said Wolves' game against Burnley is not due to take place until Sunday, which gives the squad four days rest before playing again, unlike Manchester United who play on Saturday.

In facing the Clarets on Sunday it will now be billed as a must win game for Wolves for McCarthy's mid-week gamble to have paid off. As he said himself last night "My decisions will be judged by whether or not we stay in the Premier League"

McCarthy was most certainly NOT taking the Mick, rather expecting the inevitable, however it does raise the question: should smaller teams give in and rest their players against the big boys? The answer is no. Why? Just look at Burnley beating Manchester United and that is your answer.

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Touchline Views

This is a football blog by Ian Walsh, covering all aspects of the game - from the Premier League and La Liga to the slightly mental football stories we all love.

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