Why Malky Mackay shouldn’t get the Scotland job and why he won’t

first_imgShare on Pinterest comment If Malky Mackay’s role in the scandal that engulfed him post-Cardiff City is commonly exaggerated, so too is his level of managerial talent. There had been decent, not stunning, success hardly far removed from a host of other coaches even before the Scot’s brief and disastrous spell in charge of Wigan Athletic.Many would have had us believe Mackay represented the fresh face of Sir Alex Ferguson before Vincent Tan’s crucial intervention. Owen Coyle, Billy Davies and George Burley achieved similar things to Mackay, if not more, before sampling some harsh reality. Mackay’s transfer dealings after Cardiff had earned a Premier League place were threatening to undermine his earlier work even before the publication of text messages. Read more Share on Facebook Kevin McKenna It is controversy which provides the asterisk beside Mackay’s name. This is the reason the Scottish Football Association had to withstand a furious backlash when hiring him as its performance director last December. Although it seems unreasonable to assert that Mackay should never work again because of previous mistakes for which he has shown deep remorse, his position as an influence and role model to youngsters remains questionable. When appointing Mackay as Scotland’s interim manager for Thursday’s friendly with Holland – a vacancy created after time was called on Gordon Strachan’s failed tenure – the Scottish FA again found itself subject to vociferous abuse.Strangely, Mackay still apparently bears a grudge. He entered a room full of newspaper reporters when announcing his squad for this, an essentially irrelevant fixture, asserting this group were in place “to suck my blood”. Tea or coffee? “Something stronger to deal with this lot,” Mackay said. “Vodka maybe.” He was, of course, trying to be funny; the conduct seemed unprofessional and ignorant.It therefore seems rich that Mackay would rather people forgive and forget transgressions, given his own attitude. Eyebrows were raised further when Eric Black, his choice of assistant, admitted he spends little or no time watching Scottish football. Around 15,000 will take in the Holland friendly.Mackay picked an easy, soft-option squad which included only two strikers, one of whom has pulled out injured. The player with the highest number of assists in the Championship was ignored, as was Matt Ritchie; Mackay curiously insisted he knew nothing of the Newcastle United player’s refusal to join the Scottish party for crucial matches against Slovakia and Slovenia.Mackay has tiptoed through the tulips in refusing to rule out permanently succeeding Strachan. That much is understandable. Had he stated an unwillingness to lead his country, the 45-year-old would have been criticised. Nonetheless, after the Holland game has passed, Mackay should be left alone to continue a hugely important background job, thereby potentially re-establishing a solid professional reputation. Barring a strange occurrence, he will be; the World Cup play-off between Northern Ireland and Switzerland is pertinent in relation to that bigger picture, with the Scottish FA known to be a keen admirer of Michael O’Neill.Apart from anything else, Scottish football’s governing body can well do without the wave of external negativity and anger that would attach itself to letting Mackay lead the side. Sourcing performance directors has proved more troublesome than managers. David Moyes’s appointment by West Ham United is not relevant in a Scotland context; he was never a legitimate target to replace Strachan.Scotland’s players have been impressed with Mackay’s intensity, information flow and approach to training. Perhaps this says much about his predecessor. Mackay and his squad have utilised the recently built national performance centre on the outskirts of Edinburgh, where facilities – including for sports science – are first class and were always intended as a base for Scotland’s teams. Strachan ignored this centre completely.But for two scenarios, Mackay would not be in this position at all. The highly rated Austin MacPhee, who is part of Northern Ireland’s coaching staff, turned down the Scottish FA’s performance role in favour of becoming assistant manager at Heart of Midlothian. Had Scotland’s under-21s not been scheduled to play qualifying ties in the coming days their head coach Scot Gemmill – another man with a lofty reputation – would have been the obvious candidate to take charge of the Holland encounter. Instead, Mackay will return to the dugout. Inevitably, a win over Holland would trigger speculation that the man capped five times should switch jobs. Yet there is no available logic, recent or otherwise, to suggest this should transpire. If not already on the Scottish FA’s payroll, Mackay would not be quoted as a serious candidate.Scottish hope should partly lie in the identity of the opposition. Holland find themselves in international crisis after their own failure to reach the World Cup, with Dick Advocaat tipped to resign as the head coach before too long. That Advocaat wanted to bid farewell in Scotland makes sense, even if Pittodrie doesn’t; the former Rangers manager will be well aware of mutual hostility between his old club’s supporters and those of Aberdeen.“This is a beautiful match with a real personal touch for me,” said Advocaat. Unlike Mackay, the 70-year-old has earned the right to determine his own future. Scotland Read more Malky Mackaycenter_img Share on WhatsApp Malky Mackay takes on Scottish FA performance director role Share on Twitter God give us a few players who can tackle a fish supper Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Topics Share via Email Reuse this contentlast_img

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