They say a week is a long time in football. Ross County supporters must be wondering how their club managed to cram so much into the last seven days.
A week which started with the shock news John Hughes would not be staying at the club after keeping County in the Premiership seems almost a non-event given what has followed.
Malky Mackay is the new manager and it is fair to say his appointment has not been met with universal approval from the supporters.
The fans were still processing his arrival when news of a cull of the playing staff had taken place with several big-name first team players moving on. It has yet to be confirmed, but it seems Richie Brittain, former captain and member of the backroom staff, has also been told his services are no longer needed.
I gave my initial reaction to John Hughes leaving the club last week, so I’ll start with Malky’s appointment.
I’ve had meetings with him before from his time as performance director at the SFA and I can tell you he was nothing less than professional. I am good friends with Dave Kerslake, who was Malky’s assistant at Cardiff, and he speaks highly of him. I’m prepared to judge him on the basis of my dealings and from the opinion of people I know who have worked with him.
There’s no getting away from the fact he made some huge mistakes with some of his comments in text messages years ago. They are a matter of public record and not only has he apologised but he has taken part in equality and diversity training.
I read the comments of John Maxwell, the contributor of the fan view in the Press and Journal for Ross County, and it was clear he has been left very disillusioned by the appointment. He’s not alone in that sentiment.
But I take issue with this idea Malky should not be given a manager’s job because of his past. It’s okay to work as a coach at a club, but he should be the man in charge of first team affairs.
Football is littered with people who have been given a second chance. We had a very high profile debate about this very issue earlier in the season about Livingston manager David Martindale, who had served a sentence in prison for his role in drug and money laundering 15 years ago.
I don’t believe any of us have the right to dictate what penance has to be served before someone is rehabilitated. In Malky’s case, he has had to face up to his actions of almost a decade ago every day since they became public and continues to face it today.
He should be judged on his record as a manager and it is more than decent. He has worked at the highest level in England and he has spent years tracking young players in Scotland. Given that is the route County are looking to go down, he is a very good appointment.
It is clear he will be started with a blank slate in Dingwall, too, following several high profile departures. I’m sad to see many of the old guard go, but I’m not surprised.
Michael Gardyne is 35, Iain Vigurs is 33, while Billy Mckay and Ross Draper are 32. They are high earning players who are the wrong side of 30. The decision to let them leave is not an easy one to make, but their departure will free up a substantial budget for Malky for the rebuilding job which clearly needs to be done.
Decisions to be made for Scotland boss Steve Clarke this week
The dream will become reality for Steve Clarke and his Scotland players this week as the delayed Euro 2020 finally becomes a reality.
There are decisions to be made in the two games against the Netherlands and Luxembourg this week, although I imagine it will be Sunday’s second game before we really see what sort of team and shape Steve has in mind for the opening game against the Czech Republic on June 14.
The biggest dilemma is how he plans of compensating for the loss of Kenny McLean and Ryan Jack due to injury. Moving Manchester United’s Scott McTominay back into midfield is the obvious choice, but I am interested to see who will join him.
Could Christian Ramirez be the X Factor I’ve been looking for at Aberdeen?
I have been craving a name to get me excited at Aberdeen and Christian Ramirez may just be that man.
I have no issue with the new faces Stephen Glass has brought to the Dons so far, but I’ve been yearning for an unknown, someone to have me wondering what he will bring to Pittodrie.
Houston Dynamo striker Ramirez certainly fits the bill. Ask me about Scott Brown, Declan Gallagher and Gary Woods and I can tell you which clubs they have played for in Scotland and what they will bring to the Dons.
But I like the unknowns, the enigmas, the fresh new faces. Ramirez ticks that box for me and he is the type of player from a market which is new to Aberdeen. That is what I and I suspect many other Dons fans want to see the club looking at.
There’s still some way to go before he runs out in the red of the Dons, but the fact he’s being mentioned is a positive move for me.