Despite the emotional and divisive effect Mackay’s candidacy and then appointment had amongst club’s supporters, there seemed to be a general feeling among backers and protesters, and even the media, that his arrival would probably still give the team the “new manager” boost on the pitch.
What is surprising to me is that although there has been plenty written about dressing room trouble, which we knew plenty about well before Mackay’s arrival, few have written or spoken about how much further damage his appointment might have inflicted it in a young, multicultural squad. (No matter what forced public statements of support the captains GC/EB gave at the time). If one of the biggest problems under Uwe was dressing room unity, he was surely the most ill-suited appointment possible, given how divisive his own public debacle was and continues to be.
Many of the stronger voices of dissent on #wafc forums and social media were those of younger supporters, some foreign. Your average footballer might not be the most involved with social or political issues, and yes, the language on the training ground and “in football” is far from “politically correct” and therefore it is unlikely many of the players were shocked at the content of Mackay’s texts. But their generation is far more likely than previous ones to want no part in what his texts, and his appointment, represent.
Many of the more experienced influential players – Al-Habsi, Maloney, Boyce, Watson, Espinoza, Ramis – were brought in at a time when the club had a very strong ethos of family values and doing things the right way. It was a source of pride, was my sense, for players and supporters alike.
I’ll always be grateful to Whelan for all that he has done, and personally hope he acts to put things right. But this mistake looks costly on just about every front other than the actual money spent, which was probably DW’s priority. Mackay is hardly Mourinho. Just not worth the risk. Someone else could have gotten us out of the bottom three. And even if still Mackay does, and there is plenty of time for him to do so, would it really be worth the baggage?