Wolves fans let Mick McCarthy know their feelings with chants of “£42 to watch the reserves” in reaction to the side he put out to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
In fairness to the Wolves fans I don’t blame them for being unhappy with the situation and I now see the Premier League have asked the ‘village idiot’ McCarthy to explain his team selection.
I personally am against putting out teams in this manner as I believe it brings into doubt the integrity of the Premier League. Would McCarthy do the same against Chelsea or Arsenal? They would both have reasonable cause for complaint.
It is stupid really as Manchester United are struggling at the moment and a Wolves side bouyant after winning at Spurs on Saturday would have fancied themselves to cause another upset.
Some of the 10 players left out may well be pissed off with McCarthy over this, it will be interesting to see how they perform this weekend against Burnley.
Ultimately, if they beat Burnley and it helps them stay up, McCarthy will be vindicated and I’m sure those Wolves fans who are disgruntled about making a wasted trip will forgive him if they are still in the Premier League next season.
It does, though, set a dangerous precedent for the powers-that-be in the Premier League. They don’t want a situation to arise where all teams fighting relegation suddenly decide that it is not worth putting out a competitive team against the top four or five sides and just concentrate on playing each other, that would be a real league within a league.
The main problem they now have with punishing Wolves is that for years they have let the likes of Alex Ferguson get away with it. Liverpool have also recently been guilty under Benitez, who can forget Neil Warnock moaning about it (amongst other things) a couple of years ago when Sheffield United got relegated.
For these reasons I can’t see them doing anything and in McCarthy’s defence he did field six internationals and all the starting 11 have already played in the Premier League at some stage this season.
Something does need to be done though as I don’t want to see the Premier League reduced to this, with farcical team selections and the competitiveness taken out of some matches.
The power brokers of the Premier League who now practically run football in England had better come up with some rules to prevent this from becoming common place, and I think they will as if they don’t, their bargaining position when it comes round to next negotiating the TV deal with Sky won’t be as strong as it could be.