SOMETIMES, the old songs are still the best.
Like the current view at the top of the Championship, for example, which is a refreshingly old-school one. The sight of two seasoned Yorkshiremen looking down on the rest is one for the traditionalists who like their beer served out of proper pint pots and their chips cooked in beef dripping.
Both Mick McCarthy and Neil Warnock are two managerial types who call a spade a shovel. A bloody shovel. And for that, we should be grateful.
In an era when managers, not just players, trot out anodyne, meaningless musings on social media that would bore a glass eye to sleep, the presence of McCarthy and Warnock in keeping it real is surely to be cherished.
Granted, Warnock may not be everyone’s cup of tea at times, but that’s not the point.
Warnock’s Cardiff City – played four, won four – and ‘Barnsley Mick’s’ Ipswich Town, with the same record, occupy the top two positions, as it stands. Obviously, there is lenty of time for it to change and it clearly will ... but let the two managerial hacks have their moment.
The new broom with their gilets, computer-literate proficiency, all-singin-and-dancin’ PowerPoint presentational skills and plethora of coaching badges may have brought enhancement to the game. And football is, quite rightly, a game which will never stand still.
But there is still room for good old-fashioned man-management, the odd treatment or two via the hair-dryer and a dollop of man-in-the-street common-sense from the likes of Warnock and McCarthy. For that, we should be grateful.
The art of man-management, not just football management, is knowing which players to offer a cuddle to and which players to kick up the backside.
Both the aforementioned managers have been around the block in that respect many times over and know what it takes, by and large. Prospective managers may get served up with endless fictitious scenarios to deal with during seminars and courses at St George’s Park or wherever, but Warnock and McCarthy have dealt with it countless times. For real, not in a classroom.
And no, they won’t be on Twitter, WhatsApp or Instagram either.
It was McCarthy who defiantly and rather wonderfully stuck to his guns last season amid a cacophony of background noise from Ipswich fans, who were grumbling at the fare on show and the sight of the Tractor Boys going nowhere in mid-table – conveniently forgetting about the fact, of course, that their manager did not exactly have a king’s ransom to spend in the transfer market.
It prompted McCarthy to state at the end of last season that the No 1 song in Ipswich was likely to be: ‘Mick McCarthy your football is s***e’.
McCarthy has always done a good line in wry, sardonic Yorkshire humour. As he did on Saturday night when questioned about his and Warnock’s teams both being top of the pile.
“Two old farts who know f**k all about the game, eh? I’ll have to get my iPad out now.”