James McClean made headlines over the weekend when he deviated from the ‘Professional Footballer’s Guide to Interviews’ when he gave an honest view on the impact relegation would have on West Bromich Albion.
The winger’s response may not prove popular with fans but his honesty should be appreciated. The truth in McClean’s statement is without question.
The Baggies look to be fighting a losing battle for survival; they are bottom of the Premier League table five points from safety with two games remaining. As soon as Swansea collect their next point, the Albion will go down to the Championship.
McClean expects an exodus from the Hawthorns if the club go down and he has urged unhappy fans to think of it from a player’s perspective:
"Everyone wants to play Premier League football so I do think there will obviously be a lot of people looking at their next move or their future come the summer if the inevitable happens and we do go down," said McClean in an interview with expressandstar.com.
“The fans just see it as if you do go down and players leave then you're a snake, or you've taken the club for a ride and this and that but we've got families as well.
“We need to look after them. We've also got a career to look after as well, we want to be the best we can be. You have to look after yourself first and foremost."
The optics of a player exodus presents the picture of rats deserting a sinking ship, it won’t endear him to fans and the price he’ll pay for bailing on the Baggies will likely see him mercilessly jeered on any subsequent trips to the Hawthorns, even the most stubborn football fans must accept that there is nothing wrong with wanting the best for your career and your family.