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Mac won't be going dutch

Wolves boss claims Holland's style not for him, and wards off interest in ace striker Doyle FIRST, the good news.

Despite the fact that their manager spent most of the last few weeks in South Africa watching the World Cup finals, Wolverhampton Wanderers will not be following the example of Holland by kicking their way to success.

Mick McCarthy didn't come back from South Africa with some snazzy Mexican forwards or tricky Slovenian midfielders in his excess baggage, as the former Ireland manager has done most of his buying ahead of the new season.

But he did pick up some lessons from the tournament, the Wolves boss glad to see, as he played Kevin Doyle as a lone striker for much of last season, he was not the only one as many managers in South Africa did the same. He rued the fact that Ireland were not at the tournament as they could have done well, in the eyes of the man who led Ireland to the finals in 2002, while he regretted France's very presence at the tournament.

"I don't share a sense of dismay that Holland tried to stop Spain playing with the system Holland play but I don't condone the tactics that went on, certainly not de Jong," said McCarthy when he was gently asked if the players in the gold shirt of his Wolves side would copy the men in orange from Holland.

"The way the Swiss played against Spain, we did that a couple of times last season against the big clubs, and Kevin Doyle was the catalyst for that as he occupied the back four on his own.

"Holland played a certain way, but maybe they learned a bit from us over the years, maybe some of us rubbed off on the Dutch, but we never played like that," he added when asked about great Irish-Dutch battles of the past like their meeting at the 1990 World Cup finals.

"I didn't see too much that I'd like to copy, being honest. Being organised, being hard to beat - which most teams were, the first port of call is not to concede a goal.

"I didn't see too many brilliant free-kicks whether they were direct or well-worked, Spain took some nice short corners but I didn't see much else on that front.

"I didn't see any shapes or systems I hadn't seen before. I did see Spain winning the World Cup with one up front.

"We play that, it's much maligned at times, the first thing people shout when you're not winning is 'get two strikers on' but Spain played ok with only one striker. Most of the teams played that way, and controlled the midfield.

"I watched Switzerland against Spain. And the Swiss were brilliant, they did it with no badness, nastiness, a real solid defensive performance. I said at the time that Spain can't just turn up and beat everybody," added the former Ireland boss, who reckons that Giovanni Trapattoni's side could have made an impact with their 4-4-2 system despite the trend for a one-man-up-front system.

"Ireland play wingers and they do well, they nearly qualified for the World Cup, they were knocked out by default. There are variations of playing systems.

"Ireland would have fared very well because they are well organized. He (Trapapptoni) has got a way of playing. His wingers aren't really two wide players, they come inside, play narrow; and Ireland are hard to beat, hard to play against."

McCarthy had a true insight into the chaos that developed the French squad.. Not only had McCarthy a similar experience in 2002, with a key player leaving the squad a la Anelka, he also knows French coach Raymond Domenech as he played under Domenech at Lyon at the tail end of McCarthy's playing career.

"When Anelka was sent home, I said they should have waited three days and all gone home together. They shouldn't have been there in the first place," McCarthy joked.

"I enjoyed some of the games, but some of them were awful as teams just didn't want to get beat. I saw Greece v Argentina and that was awful as Greece never tried a leg. I saw Spain-Switzerland and that was a good game, Switzerland stopped the Spanish playing but in a different way, there was none of this falling over or time-wasting, they did it properly.

"I loved being there in South Africa. You don't enjoy it when you're with your own team, everyone keeps telling me that Japan's a great place, I say I didn't see it."

McCarthy's decision to play Doyle on his own up front is one of the foundations for Wolves, and he says he would like to change in the Premier League. "I'd like to play two up front in more games, it doesn't have to be wide open 4-4-2. When you come up against Chelsea, Man Utd - well I know I played reserves against them," McCarthy joked.

"You have to play differently, you can't just go and take Arsenal on. And I felt Holland were better than that. I was disappointed. I thought Holland could have made more of a game. And the same with Portugal, who didn't try a leg against Spain.

"I had a chew at Ronaldo but I could see his frustration; he just didn't get a kick, and he must have gone off feeling 'why bother?'"

Throughout his conversation with the Irish media as Wolves enjoyed a pre-season training camp in Carton House, just outside Dublin, yesterday, the name of Kevin Doyle cropped up time and again, the Wolves boss confident that despite repeated links with Arsenal, Doyle will remain a Wolves player.

"No, so you can say 'Mick denies Arsenal bid for Doyle'," he said. "If there is a bid, I'm not going to worry about it. I know we signed a really good player, but he's been better than anybody expected, he's been terrific.

"He's fabulous, do you want a scouting report? He can play wide right wide left, works for fun, he drops deeps, he scores goals, he heads it, he's selfless, and I'm lookingforward to seeing him in the gold of Wolves.

"We got him relatively cheap, even though it was a record fee for us. I know one or two Premier League managers who were screaming for what we got him for. Maybe they weren't looking there (Reading), Inter Milan is far more exotic than Reading," he added.


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