He inherited a difficult situation.
Very above average season and then normality of mid table happened the next year with a weaker squad and people weren’t having it despite the team being top half for 3/4 of it.
Also lost pretty much all the good players from 15/16. In one summer Demetriou, Manton, Taylor and Henry, Downing, Bradshaw, Forde, Lalkovic and Sawyers all left. Now maybe they all had an extreme loathing of Whitney’s management style but given majority of them ended up at championship clubs I suspect they’d have left regardless as happened under Smith when Brandy, Grigg and Paterson all left within one summer.
For me 16/17 was perfectly acceptable season, no different to the vast majority of Smith years in how it played out albeit the pleasing on the eye style was pretty much eroded. Still he signed Oztumer who was joy to watch. Laird was also good pick up for that year.
Now 17/18 completely different and showed his weaknesses, tactically and man man management. Completely freezed out James O’Connor on eye of the season which was huge mistake given he was replaced by Guthrie. Then spent most of the budget on two mediocre FBs from Scotland, told them they would be in a 3-5-2 and then barely playing it. The odd good signing like Tyler Roberts was somehow on the bench for pretty much half the matches he was available.
I do think he’d have kept Walsall up if he’d lasted until May as DK only managed two wins and the odd draw and team stayed up before final game but his limitations have been exposed badly so only delaying the inevitable.
After the play off failure I do think any manager appointed would’ve been on hiding to nothing particularly with the restrictions.