I like Kenny Jackett.
As a coach and a person.
But it’s becoming harder to defend a series of bewildering team selections, the latest being the biggest head scratcher yet.
I suppose it is possible that because the squad have been hamstrung by the loss of key attacking personnel, he’s just decided to shut up shop for the winter.
Stink out the place and scrape enough points to finish with a modicum of respectability.
Or maybe he’s just experimenting given that we’re effectively contesting dead rubbers until May?
Most harrowing though is the idea that he actually believes Rowe, Coady or Saville are all better choices than McDonald.
If that’s the case (which I don’t think it is), he should reconsider his choice of career let alone his Molineux tenure.
Instinctively, I think McDonald and Price sat it out because Jackett believes they leave our midfield over exposed, particularly when we don’t possess the talent further forward to dominate the ball.
There’s some logic to that, but after losing another turgid contest and the team winless in six, leaving out your best players is always going to leave you wide open to criticism.
It’s not time to push the eject button though.
You’ve got examine all the evidence. The bigger picture.
We know this coach can get a team playing attractive, expansive football when afforded the resources to do so.
We also know you can’t lose Sako, Afobe, Stearman, Dicko, Graham, Edwards and Henry (not mentioning Jacobs and Golbourne) in the space of six months and expect the good times to keep rolling.
Equally, the players that have come in simply haven’t been on the same planet as those going out.
Ojo, Le Fondre, Wallace haven’t been anywhere close to good enough. I also doubt Mason or Byrne are promotion material either, albeit on limited evidence.
But is Jackett to blame for this? I don’t think he is.
Firstly, the club don’t pay decent salaries. Several reliable sources have told me there’s a stringent cap that makes us among the lowest payers in the Championship.
This immediately limits the pool of players we can realistically attract in an ever more competitive market.
Secondly, does Jackett even sanction who comes and goes? We’ve never had definitive clarification over who has final say.
Yes, you can probe and pick at team selection but the reality is, whoever the head coach puts out at present would only make a slightly under average Championship team slightly better.
Dropping the axe now in the misguided belief someone can salvage this write-off season would be a mistake.
And with no seriously compelling alternative suggested, nobody will convince me otherwise.