Some of the Premier League's best known manager's have turned turned on Arsenal's Arsene Wenger in the wake of his comments about Wolves losing to Manchester United midweek. Stoke's Tony Pulis even went as far as to say he "moans like a drain."
In a week where Mick McCarthy's Wolves have been centre stage after the Irishman made ten changes to the team for their trip to Old Trafford to face the champions, Manchester United, after they had beaten Spurs 1-0 at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Wenger chose to voice his displeasure at the Wolves boss saying he had caused "a problem for the international credibility of the Premier League."
"We will have to compete with Manchester United over 37 games instead of 38," said Wenger.
"I believe it is a problem for the international credibility of the Premier League, but it is not my problem, it is a Premier League problem."However, some of the Premier Leagues other managers have come to Mick McCarthy's side and have accused Wenger of double standards.
Over the last number of years Arsene Wenger, Rafael Benitez, and Alex Ferguson have all fielded weakened teams in the Premiership when it suited them to rest players for the Champions League, and vice versa.
Although the path chosen by McCarthy attacks the game at it's very core, you cannot have one rule for rich clubs and another for the smaller teams.
"Wenger is moaning like a drain because it doesn't suit Arsenal," said Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager. "He ain't moaning because it doesn't suit Stoke.
"The players Mick played, most of them are seasoned professionals -- he hasn't played the youth team."Phil Brown of Hull City fame has also chosen to side with his Wolves counterpart in this dispute, "I think Mick is well within his rights. He has identified two games in a three-game period where he can possibly get points, Manchester United not being one of them. It is the season-long aim of Mick McCarthy and Wolves to be in the Premier League for another year."
It has been a strange week for McCarthy, who is best known for his being Ireland manager in 2002 where a bust-up between him and his captain, Roy Keane, led to the former Manchester United player leaving to go home.
Somewhat ironically Keane has joined Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancellotti, Pulis, Brown, and Owen Coyle in backing his former international manager.
A hugely popular figure with the media, the affable McCarthy has found himself the centre of a media storm this week after his decision and rival managers like Wenger are strangely fueling the fire.
McCarthy even quipped that he had "taken the pressure of Tiger..."The Wolves manager responded to Arsene Wenger’s criticism by saying he has "more integrity in my little finger than most of them that are accusing me". When told that the Arsenal manager is the chief architect among them, McCarthy mockingly fell off his chair, laughing.
While not mentioning Wenger, McCarthy had this to say: "Whoever it is, I am not bothered. I go through the season and I try my best not to complain, not to get involved in anyone else’s politics. I have had lots of messages of support, not because anyone thinks I need it because of my decisions but because of some of the ridiculous, scathing, outrageous comments that have been made about me and what I did."
"I had a lovely letter from Tiger Woods thanking me for taking the pressure off him," he quipped. “He is now driving around Florida, in an open-top car singing, ‘Super Mick McCarthy.’ And my latest e-mail is from Thierry Henry, who says I have taken the heat off him."
"The one person (in the Premier League) who has the right to bleat is Owen Coyle. He has seen it was the right thing to do and said it. He is a proper bloke. He has come up through the school of hard knocks. I don’t give a monkey’s about anyone else."Wolves play Burnley this weekend and many of the players McCarthy chose to rest are expected to return.
A hardly furious Coyle had this to say; "If that is the motivation for Wolves, to galvanise them (for our match), then so be it."
"Mick McCarthy is an outstanding manager and fantastic man, somebody I have a lot of time for.
"He has done a fantastic job at Wolves and does what he sees fit for Wolverhampton."
"My job is to maximise the resources of this football club," McCarthy said. "I would do it again. It doesn’t guarantee that we will beat Burnley, Liverpool or Manchester City. But it guarantees that over the Christmas period we will all be better prepared for those games. If we are, then that is for the good of the team and the club."When it comes to doing what's best for one's club, Arsene Wenger would agree, which only makes his comments all the more infuriating.