Many people were unsure in what direction Mick McCarthy's career would go after his underwhelming second spell in charge of Ireland and short stint at APOEL Nicosia, but after surprisingly ending up at Cardiff City, he did an excellent job with the club in the second half of last season.
Arriving in Wales with the side flirting with relegation from the Championship, he would push them towards promotion contention in the months ahead. Having originally been brought in on a short-term basis, he was rewarded with a new deal.
The club are probably now regretting that decision.
Cardiff City have been an absolute disaster this season. Having entered the campaign with promotion hopes, they currently sit in 20th place.
Perhaps even more worrying, their recent form suggests things are going to get even worse. The club have lost six of their last seven league fixtures, culminating in the 3-0 derby defeat to Swansea yesterday.
Many of their supporters had already turned on McCarthy prior to that fixture, but their abysmal showing against their biggest rivals has now been seen as the last straw.
Ireland fans will be familiar with many of the complaints levelled at McCarthy in recent times. He has been accused of being too defensive in his approach, too rigid in his team selections, and utterly stubborn in accepting that some form of change may be needed.
Mick McCarthy - tactical genius pic.twitter.com/YZz5YMIack
— wayne hennessey fan account (@hasbwla) October 17, 2021
The result is that many see now way back from him at this point.
Writing in a scathing column on Wales Online, Cardiff City fan Scott Johnson summed up just how dire things have gotten under McCarthy in recent times.
Things turned sour very quickly, but now it's unbearable. I now look forward to the international breaks, not so I can watch Wales, but for a break from watching Cardiff...
Supporters had been crying out for him to ditch five at the back, which over time incorporated five centre-backs, like a tag-team of wrestlers. When it finally happened, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and the switch appeared to be justified.
It remained to be seen whether or not that was due to the absence of Sean Morrison though and as soon as he returned, so did five at the back.
To do that for the derby is a cardinal sin. It was viewed as cowardly and the defeat that followed was embarrassing...
McCarthy is a great manager to have when things are going well because he doesn’t get carried away and feels like a safe pair of hands, which was exactly what was needed when he arrived. Those same qualities can be used against you when things take a turn for the worse though.
Now it feels like McCarthy is aloof and not particularly fussed. The fact that he has failed to nurture any sort of bond with Cardiff supporters is also significant. He is not one for acknowledging fans on the pitch after games and if that’s not your style, you can’t force it, but things like that go a long way and put credit in your account...
All we’re doing with McCarthy is delaying the inevitable and receiving greater collateral damage. There is no light at the end of this tunnel.
It certainly sounds like McCarthy's time at the club will very quickly be coming to a close.