Dunc talks coaching and hopes for eventual management

Tuesday 28 February 2017  49 Comments  [Jump to last]
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Duncan Ferguson says that he is loving his coaching role at Everton and hasn't ruled out one day moving into management, with the Blues' hot seat an obvious dream.

The Scot, who has moved into a first-team coaching role following his return to work with the youth teams at Finch Farm a few years ago under David Moyes, was interviewed in the gym at USM Finch Farm as part of Sky Sports' special coverage from Halewood today.

“I love it. It's fantastic being involved in football and it's fantastic being at this football club,” Ferguson said when asked how he was enjoying his current role at Everton. “It's something that I love and I'm very passionate about.

“[I didn't so much envisage] a coaching role. I think as a player you think about management right away — I want to be a manager and you can cut corners to get there.

“But obviously you realise you cann'ae and you've got to get involved in the coaching and you're got to get through your coaching. That's what I've done over the last five or six years.

“I think one day, being a manager would be a progression but obviously I'm happy doing what I'm doing at the moment. It's a fantastic job and I'm at the best club in the world.

“Everybody dreams of being Everton manager — I'm no different from anybody else but, of course, we've got a fantastic manager at the moment and I hope that continues and he stays here for a very long time.

“He's been brilliant,” Ferguson continued in reference to Ronald Koeman. “I cann'ae talk highly enough about him and his brother. They've really helped me and encouraged me, they've given me my own sessions, they've got me more involved and I cann'ae thank them enough to be honest with you.”

Asked about the potential of the current Everton squad, Ferguson was understandably upbeat, saying that there is still plenty to play for this season even though there still a gap between the Blues and the confirmed European places.

“I think in the last two or three months [the team] has really gelled together and found a winning mentality. We're grinding out results when we've not been playing brilliantly and I'm hoping that will continue.

“We're not far from the top four and if we can keep getting good results, we can push for the top four. That's what we're looking at to push on to next season.”


Reader Comments (49)

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Winston Williamson
1 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:11:31
I'd suggest Unsworth is above Duncan in the managerial pecking order, but it's good that he has so much positivity for EFC.
Will Mabon
2 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:38:09
The Sky cameras come in and all hell breaks loose. Elstone, Koeman, and now Big Dunc, surfing a huge wave of positive vibe. Hope we don't get battered on Sunday.
Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:45:13
Will (#2),

There speaks the voice of a seasoned Evertonian, but if the staff can't be arsed being positive about what they want to achieve then there is absolutely no chance of us ever being great or even semi-great again.

We may well come home with our tails between our legs on Sunday, but I'm hoping we don't and that the optimism grows with each positive result; if we can manage to break into the top six this season, we'll have done very well.

I also think that the club realises that this is a pivotal few months in the life of Everton FC, so they have to exhude positivity in order to maintain momentum both on and off the pitch. Just over 12 months ago, none of us dared dream of the possibilities currently on offer, and although we have a long way to go and many obstacles to overcome, we have to be a bit optimistic, don't we?

Will Mabon
4 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:01:32
You're right, Patrick. Things are moving in the right direction, and I'm optimistic, on and off the pitch. It's also bigger than one result.

However, I'm always wary of giving irony a chance to bite at this club...

Ray Smith
5 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:22:22
I'll take a point on Sunday.

The way Spurs are playing, not many teams will get a result there.

If we can shackle Kane and Alli, anything is possible.


Brian Wilkinson
6 Posted 28/02/2017 at 22:07:22
Winston@1 beat me to it, Unsworth over Ferguson any Day of the week for management.
James Marshall
7 Posted 28/02/2017 at 00:01:49
Of course history tells us all this positivity will bite us on the arse, and it will for a few years yet; that said, I'd love everyone to try & get on the bandwagon slowly but surely.

All of us have suffered for numerous reasons over the years, but this time it feels different to me. It feels as though finally we're getting somewhere, and over time I hope & expect all Evertonians to change their mindset, let go of the past and look forward as one.

As Moshiri, the manager, the CEO and now the coaches & players are all saying, it's time to be positive – change our mentality from top to bottom, and that includes us supporters as well.

Lewis Barclay
9 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:45:36
** A win on Sunday = within 7 points off the team in 2nd place of the Premier League with 12 games to go. **

Gary Russell
10 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:51:47
My thoughts too, Lewis. We have to play the top 5. A lot can happen. Nothing is cut and dry, even Chelsea... although few would bet against them.
Don Alexander
11 Posted 01/03/2017 at 01:29:01
The notion that Duncan Ferguson is an Everton legend sticks in my craw. He chose, repeat, chose to squander the attributes he was given to be a legendary Everton centre-forward (and fans of Dundee Utd, Rangers and Newcastle will no doubt agree about his underwhelming performances with them given his God given qualities).

Instead, he chose to be a cynical bully, on and off the pitch. Some people adore the image of him with his hands round the neck of Stefan Freund during a game with Leicester. It made me livid. He'd just been sent off, again, but being mindful that further outrage would incur a lengthier suspension he did what he always did and chose the road that led to further suspension and therefore indolence.

It is a fact that, in in his eight Premier League sendings-off, he was never once sent off for bad/mistimed tackles. It was always for thuggery and usually just before Christmas/New Year and the plethora of fixtures where the demand is huge on true pros. He sold us all short in favour of going on the lash at our expense.

Added to all that, I have a mate who was a pro ref in a match against Sunderland just before Agent Johnson sold him to Newcastle. The match went to penalties and my mate, in the centre circle with the players, heard John Collins ask Ferguson why he hadn't taken a penalty before Ibrahim Bakayoko, who missed. Ferguson, laughing according to my mate, said, "Like I give a shit!"

Legendary Evertonian NOT! (And that's what Joe Royle, his manager, said in effect during Ferguson's most "successful" period with us.)

If he's truly become a good coach, I'm amazed... because the one side of Lukaku that's long needed addressing is his lack of input, graft and legitimate devil when not in possession of the ball, but what the hell does Ferguson know about any of that?

Peter Gorman
12 Posted 01/03/2017 at 02:43:53
Och aye the noo, what is with all the 'cann'ae' in the article?

Why do people write that instead of 'can not' or 'can't'? The Scotch seem to be getting more and more indulged in this.

Though I'm from Oireland originally tobesure, I'm hactually now living down my endz in London blad. Innit.

Nae matter. Just very odd.

Mick Davies
13 Posted 01/03/2017 at 03:35:12
I can't understand why he hasn't put in for the Rangers job; it would be a good place for him to learn his trade, and we could replace him with a top coach who can get the best out of Lukaku, as his work rate and team play hasn't improved since Dunc was brought into the dugout by Martinez.
John Daley
14 Posted 01/03/2017 at 04:02:51
"...his work rate and team play hasn't improved since Dunc was brought into the dugout by Martinez"

Whilst still not at the level one might wish, it should be obvious to anyone without blinkers on that Lukaku's all round game (including link up play, operating with his back to goal and willingness to put himself about a bit) has improved over the last couple of years. Whether some of that improvement is down to influence from Ferguson is open to debate (although the player himself has recently praised Ferguson for his input and if he believes it to be so then it matters little if others call bullshit on it).

I'm always curious as to why Duncan's coaching credentials are brought down to the base level of 'well, what has he done for Lukaku, like?'. Who has ever come out and said that his primary duty is playing 'personal Miyagi to Lukaku's Daniel San'? I thought his role was First Team Coach, not concentrating on one player only and fuck everyone else?

Lewis Barclay
15 Posted 01/03/2017 at 06:08:10
@Mick Davies #13 - I'm guessing that was a sarcastic comment? In which case it was very funny. If it wasn't I'd suggest that there was one rather obvious reason that Big Dunc wasn't going for the Rangers job or any other job in Scottish football.
Ian Hollingworth
16 Posted 01/03/2017 at 12:38:16
Don (#11) Some pretty harsh comments there on the big fella.

I don't think the current management team would tolerate him if he was not pulling his weight regardless of his past. Lukaku gave him plenty of credit on Sky yesterday saying how tough he was on him to improve.

In a period of not a lot happening for Everton FC Big Dunc emerged as a legend and will remain so. Is he worthy of it would be subject of many debates but he has always shown a passion for our club.

Yep, I can live with Big Dunc being a legend.

Paul Mackie
17 Posted 01/03/2017 at 12:45:58
So Lukaku, who presumably works with Duncan most days and also with Thierry Henry when he's with Belgium, thinks Ferguson has improved his play but ToffeeWeb once again knows better.

Anyone who thinks Lukaku hasn't improved this season must be watching different games to me.

Duncan McDine
18 Posted 01/03/2017 at 13:23:13
Peter (#12), that gave me a chuckle (not a good look when in public on my own). Being from the westcountry myself I can't say a sentence without adding "ooh aar"... even more so when having relations with relations/sheep etc.
Mick Davies
19 Posted 01/03/2017 at 22:56:17
Lewis @ 15, Dunc loves Rangers, it's the SFA he has a beef with. I understand it was strange to see a pro-footballer jailed for an on-the-pitch assault, but Dunc has always been a thug.

If he hasn't realised by now that his career was blighted by himself, and not the rest of the world, he shouldn't be training our players

Alexander Murphy
20 Posted 02/03/2017 at 05:24:25
Lukaku hits the net with the ball frequently. I like this.

What I really dislike is the inexplicable need for some Evertonians to happily, repeatedly sidestep his incredible scoring record and nitpick.

A game of football is decided by the simple measure of one team scoring more goals than they have conceded.

NOT by tracking back.

Lukaku scores goals.
William Ralph scored goals.
Tommy Lawton.
Roy Vernon.
Joe Royle.
Bob Latchford.
Graeme Sharp.

IDGAF if they never broke into a sweat. Because they hit the inside of the net with the ball. Then they did it again, again, again and again.

Frankly, Big Rom can sit in a deck chair reading "The Financial Times" for all I care. The moment he slots one away, I'm delighted. Job done.

Where do we ever ctiticise our goalkeeper's wing play? Irrelevant. Utterly irrelevant, and entirely unnecessary.

Romelu, score, score four, or score more. I bloody well love you, lad, so would William Ralph and no Evertonian knew more about scoring goals than him.

John Malone snr
21 Posted 02/03/2017 at 08:08:32
Murphy (#20), you have got it spot on.

I have just signed up on this site so as to emphasise your point. Well stated.

Liam Reilly
22 Posted 02/03/2017 at 08:27:43
Don (#11),

I'd be amazed if Ferguson said that, unless he already knew he was being sold against his will and was pissed off.

I'd agree that he got himself sent off and deservedly so, far too often but I also can't remember too many from either of his spells at the club that showed that 'it mattered' to them; because it mattered to me.

Kevin Naylor
23 Posted 03/03/2017 at 20:50:05
Only player in the '90s that got the crowd up when he played or came on as sub and who the RS were petrified of.
Chris Leyland
24 Posted 03/03/2017 at 21:27:44
Don (#11) "it was always for thuggery and usually just before Christmas/New Year and the plethora of fixtures where the demand is huge on true pros."

Apart from the fact that he only ever got sent off once in December out of the eight.

Don Alexander
25 Posted 03/03/2017 at 22:44:12
Ferguson (the player) had an abysmal games-per-season record in England, to go with his appalling disciplinary record. Alleged injuries haunted him like few others. I'm pretty sure an examination of his playing record over Christmas/NewYear will show his consistent absence.

I've previously posted a lengthy newspaper article on him after he re-signed for us where everyone who ever worked with him from the very start of his career pointed out his lack of work ethic, commitment and professionalism. He was all but described as a cheat, period. But maybe they were all wrong. Maybe he should have sued. But he didn't.

Today he's still accorded the status of "legend" by some of us whilst Wayne Rooney, who never left anything out EVERY time he played for us, is derided as a traitor by most. Weird.

Chris Leyland
26 Posted 03/03/2017 at 23:22:58

Duncan Ferguson did several notable things in an Everton shirt that Wayne Rooney didn't do such as:

Getting a winner's medal
Scoring in the Derby, both at Goodison and Anfield
Being on the winning side in a Derby
Scoring the winner against Man Utd.

John Daley
27 Posted 04/03/2017 at 00:52:33
"Today he's still accorded the status of "legend" by some of us whilst Wayne Rooney, who never left anything out EVERY time he played for us, is derided as a traitor by most. Weird."

ALL 49 TIMES HE GAVE HIS ALL (except for that period during his second season when he and Moyes got embroiled in a battle to see who could boast the biggest titty lip). 

HE NEVER LEFT ANYTHING BEHIND (when he packed his bags, even though he was rushing like fuck and couldn't wait to get out the door).

HE'S WORTH TEN OF THAT OTHER TOSSER (who only started 191 games, had two spells as a player, wept like a pathetic baby when told he was being sold and has never expressed anything but pride and gratitude over his 20+ year association with the club).


Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 04/03/2017 at 02:45:07
Chris (#26) and John (#27), all true, but just think how much more we'd have enjoyed Dunc if he had been even marginally sane.

Not sure how many games he missed during his three months in Barlinnie (has any other Everton player done prison time during the season?), but I do remember that clouting Scharner got him a seven-game vacation. And kicking the shit out of a guy on crutches also greases the skids on his alleged "legend" status from my perspective.

I got the same huge, perverse pleasure out of watching him play that you all did sorta the same pleasure I get from watching 173 bad guys go down in the Rambo movies. But Dunc is no more a legend than Stallone is an actor.

John Daley
29 Posted 04/03/2017 at 03:44:20
I don't consider him a 'legend' myself, Mike. 

However, I do believe an association with the club that has lasted for over two decades and included two spells as a player, the Everton captaincy and a current coaching role, merits more respect than being called  "a cheat" and a festive feigner of injury. 

Especially when these claims are based on such compelling evidence as a non-existent sleigh full of sending's off over the Christmas period, some stuff some unnamed people ("everyone who has ever worked with him from the very start of his career" apparently. Must have been a massive article, probably published in five weighty volumes like 'The Ponniyin Selvan'. 'The BigYin SitsOut' or something like that I bet, eh Don?) supposedly said in an unspecified piece some fifteen years or so ago, and a 'my mate was a ref, with really, really, good hearing' story.

A referee saying he heard Duncan Ferguson shouting off about how he didn't give a shit about an Everton defeat carries all the reliability of a cattle farmer in the Lincoln County War saying he caught Billy The Kid slapping his cock on a horses snout. You're talking about someone who was a marked man, with a reputation for making the life of those in that particular profession difficult and being an all-round pain in the arse. Any story they come out with is more often than not going to be slanted towards painting him in a bad light.

I find it even more bizarre that any Evertonian would claim not to be able to fathom why one long-serving player might be viewed more favourably than another who put in only two full seasons before legging it to greener pastures first chance he got.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 04/03/2017 at 08:31:09
John, I don't buy into those comments about him either... fact is, Duncan Disorderly had enough publicly-recorded idiocy on his record that irrelevant embellishments like the ones you cite aren't necessary.

(If anybody's looking for a true tough-guy Everton legend... just as ferocious as Dunc but without the thuggery, nearly as many games, similar strike rate and even more big goals... ladies and gentleman, please welcome Mr Tim Cahill.)

But I also don't buy into the foam-flecked hatred of Rooney from some quarters, and I hold no grudge about his departure. He wasn't just "legging it to greener pastures" – he was taking a spectacular talent to one of the world's most famous venues, choosing to play for a legend instead of a manager he didn't trust, and cash in for hundreds of millions. He was 18. He's now 31. Time to let it go.

Don Alexander
31 Posted 06/03/2017 at 22:53:23
John Daley, the article I referred to was published by the Guardian in 2003 under the title, "Duncan Ferguson – What a Waste of Money".

A small part of it;

'That deal is regarded here at Everton as the worst in the club's history. When Peter Johnson [then chairman] sold him behind Walter Smith's back to Newcastle the fans went ballistic. But in hindsight, had that been left alone, it would've been one of the best pieces of business the club has ever done. It was a huge fee – ٥ million. But to buy that man back does come to represent the one truly great mistake of the new era. The basic truth is that, since he came back to this football club, he has done nothing but drain away resources.'

So speaks a senior Everton insider on Duncan Ferguson, keen pigeon fancier, cult hero among the fans and, of all the multi-million-pound earners in 10 years of Premier League football, arguably the biggest waste of money of all. And Peter Ridsdale was not involved.

Ferguson will be 32 in December, and is nearing the end of a career that has never really taken off. As one of his former managers said last week: 'What has Duncan Ferguson ever actually done?'

Here's the answer:

● In the past 10 seasons, he has scored 59 goals and attracted transfer fees totalling 㾾.75 million.

● In three seasons since leaving Newcastle to return to Goodison Park, he has featured 41 times in the Premier League - 26 starts, 15 as a substitute – and scored 12 goals. During that same period, he has been paid more than ٣m, and the goals work out at more than 𧹈,000 each.

● Last season, he played a total of 192 minutes, all as a substitute. He did not score a goal. On a weekly wage of 㿎,000, that's ٧,000 a minute.

● He did not even make the bench at Highbury yesterday because, during those 192 minutes, he managed to get banned for three games for an elbowing incident. He has been injured. A lot.

David Moyes, the Everton manager, might even have picked Ferguson yesterday because his regular strikers, Wayne Rooney and Kevin Campbell, are injured. Instead, the former Scotland forward sits out another game and picks up another fortune. By the time his five-year contract runs its course in 2005, Everton will have paid him ٦.5m.

His very first manager, Jim McLean, said: 'Beyond a shadow of a doubt he has never achieved anything near what he could have done. I said to him time and time again: "The game means far too much to me, I know that. But it means fuck all to you."

Others quoted in the full article were Everton "insiders" who were presumably in jeopardy of the sack if identified and someone called Joe Royle who said in 1994, 'Ferguson's the legend, he now has to become the player.' There are plenty who would say it has never happened.

But what do they know?

Legend? My arse!

Bobby Thomas
32 Posted 07/03/2017 at 00:20:32
I've read that article Don, on more than one occasion. I've also read In Search of Duncan Ferguson by Allan Patullo.

I don't claim to be an authority on the big man, but I kind of get the feeling that when he was playing he really could take or leave football. He was one of those that it came easy to but wasn't THAT fussed.

As we all know, he was also a wild fella and liked a pint. I heard an ex Norwich player say during some FA Cup coverage on the radio recently that he was playing against Fergie when we beat them on the way to the final in '95. Fergie didn't do too much, was pretty quiet and the centre-back was glad of an easy game. The reason for this became apparent when Ferguson revealed late on that he had been out until 4am the previous night.

So the "take it or leave it" attitude, combined with the absence of the type temperament that lends itself to staying in and dedicating yourself to it, like an Owen for example, led to the underwhelming, injury plagued career he had.

But these days, and I think its been the case for many years, he's grown up. I think everything changed for Ferguson when he left the game. He had to step away from football and go to Magaluf to realise how much he missed it, or how lucky he had actually been in the first place.

After leaving on bad terms he went back to see Moyes, apologised, shook his hand and eventually from there got a day a week with the kids. He has packed in the drink and, as much as I can tell, dedicated himself to being the best coach he can. Jim McLean from Dundee United was very, very surprised he was coaching.

Its easy to criticise. I'm sure he would do things differently. I don't think we should have re-signed him. But you only get one go and suddenly, boom, your 20s are gone. In an interview given in the last couple of years he was asked what advice he would give to a young Duncan Ferguson.

"Stay in more."

Peter Gorman
33 Posted 07/03/2017 at 00:38:34
"I heard an ex-Norwich player say during some FA Cup coverage on the radio recently that he was playing against Fergie when we beat them on the way to the final in '95. Fergie didn't do too much, was pretty quiet and the centre back was glad of an easy game."

Didn't do too much other than score an emphatic finish in the 63rd minute you mean?

p.s. And we won 5-0 so I suppose it was an easy game for the Norwich centre-half. Perhaps he had been out drinking when he made the comment?

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 07/03/2017 at 00:44:46
Bobby (#32) what you are saying is everyone deserves another chance. I'll drink and say Amen to that.
Don Alexander
35 Posted 07/03/2017 at 01:25:26
The adulation of the bloke did at the time, and still does, really annoy me. Like any other sighted person, I saw what he had and how he squandered it all.

I don't expect anyone to live a perfect life and I don't begrudge anyone a second chance but correct me if I'm wrong, has Ferguson ever shown the slightest remorse for being the turd he was, ripping us, the fans, off year after year, never mind his repeatedly despicable behaviour and comments?

And I don't just mean financially. I said "was", but being a turd is something he totally remains unless he does genuinely apologise. Fat chance of that though.

Bobby Thomas
36 Posted 07/03/2017 at 03:12:34
Peter (#33),

You stated the score in the Norwich game & the fact Ferguson netted. Of this I am aware having been at the match & seen clips of it numerous times in the last 20 plus years. That match is also unique, as it's the only professional game ever in which a striker may have had a quiet game but slotted.

Bobby Thomas
37 Posted 07/03/2017 at 03:15:31

Please provide examples of repeatedly despicable comments by Duncan Ferguson.

Peter Gorman
38 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:10:57
Indeed Bobby, I have absolutely no idea what that Norwich player is talking about. If he said he was 'glad of an easy game' after a 5-0 tonking then perhaps we should rather study the long-term effects of heading a football sooner than later.

The game was so easy for Everton we even brought on our resident mascot Stuart Barlow to try and score.

Don Alexander
39 Posted 07/03/2017 at 12:06:18
The following is what he's quoted as saying re his persistent thuggery and bullying;

"Hand on heart, I never started anything, never once. That's the truth. I finished a few.” (Utter bollocks, witnessed repeatedly on and off the pitch, hence his imprisonment.)

Ferguson, who retired in 2006, has revealed he felt betrayed by the Scottish Football Association who he blamed for not backing him in his darkest hour. (Total failure to take responsibility for his own criminality.)

“I have spent an entire career trying to shake off a reputation I earned in one day. That's the way it has been for me, but I have never been someone who is that bothered about things I can't control." (Earned on one day?!! That's taking the piss to the max. How about controlling yourself?)

And then there's the comments overheard by my linesman mate in the game against Sunderland that went to penalties. They're not published admittedly but they follow the trend identified from the outset by his first manager, Jim McLean. To quote, "The game means fuck all to you!"

But maybe idolising a footballing nonentity is indicative of the way we've sunk in our expectations over the last 20 years. As the old adage says, "There's none so blind as he who will not see."

Chris Leyland
40 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:08:37
Don, I see that your 'mate' has gone from being the "pro ref in a match against Sunderland" in Post 11 to now being "my linesman mate in the game against Sunderland" in post 39.

Next week, I expect him to be "the fourth official who was siting in the Main Stand" and the week after he will be "my mate who lived next door to a bloke who had a cousin who used to be a pro referee".

Martin Nicholls
41 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:36:11
Don Alexander – we played Sunderland in the League Cup on 11 November 1998. Is that the game in which your "mate" was refereeing (post #11)? If so, your mate is Mike Reed – can you confirm that it was he who claims to have heard Ferguson make the remark you quote?

If, on the other hand, he was a linesman, as you state at post #39, why not simply say that originally instead of describing him as a "pro ref"? I do appreciate that linesman are also qualified refs but he was not THE pro ref in that game.

ps: As your "mate" was "standing in the centre circle with the players" (I assume during the shootout) I would guess he was not the ref, but one of the linesman.

Don Alexander
42 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:52:20
That was the very game Martin, and this is the match report from one of our own (not me) who watched it, Ferguson having been the captain (just Google the date and Everton v Sunderland for a full read);

"At 4-4 and sudden death, the Sunderland players must have felt awful, with memories of the play-offs last May. But it didn't show as the sixth strike from them marked the fifth conversion. The pressure was on now and the Captain Braveheart would stride up and put the pressure back on the Wearsiders...

A moment of hesitation, nobody wants to take it. Bakayoko, not Ferguson, takes off his sweat top and makes his way to the box. He's stopped by the referee's assistant and asked to remove the T-shirt he was wearing over his Everton Shirt. Further delay. He eventually reaches the box and strikes the ball low to the left. Sorensen leaps towards it and pushes it away. 6,000 Sunderland fans went mental. 5-4 to them – they're through!

We could only wonder why our captain had failed us.

He'd failed to lift our spirits, he'd failed to find the target, despite several chances and he'd spurned the chance to level the score on penalties. I'd never questioned him before last night. In open play there's always the excuse that "it was a poor ball", "we don't get them into the box to him", "there were three around him but he still managed to find the target". According to the Opta statistics, quoted in the match programme, Duncan is the most accurate, if not the most prolific, striker in the Premiership. But when there was no hiding place he found a corner to hide in.

After that it can never be the same. It was like a marriage spoiled by a casual affair: the trust was gone; the feeling of being the last to know the real truth was all that I could think about as I walked to the car. The feeling was echoed around me.

The legend was no more."

But maybe he was talking bollocks too.

Apologies for referring to my pro ref mate as a pro ref when in fact he was the pro ref lino on the night. I'll try to do better in future.

Martin Nicholls
43 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:56:03
No apologies needed, Don! Just trying to clarify!
John Daley
44 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:46:06
Don ('t Talk No Bollocks),

How do a couple of quotes from 'anonymous Everton insiders', an 'unnamed former manager' and Jim McLean, amount to "everyone who ever worked with him from the very start of his career" and where do any of them stop a mere dust mite's dick away from dubbing him "a cheat, period"?

How does Joe Royle's well known one liner about Ferguson becoming 'a legend [amongst the fans] before he became a player' in any way back up claims about his poor character, lack of professionalism and borderline 'cheating' bastardry?

The most pertinent passage from the whole (14-year-old) piece you put such sway in is as follows:

"But is that Ferguson's fault? If Everton are paying money for old rope, it was their decision in the first place... When Everton signed him for a second time three years ago, they were aware of his injury record, which had blighted his time at Newcastle and, before that, his first stay at Goodison."

As for the rest, it was old news regurgitated to belittle, even back then, and the barely hidden resentment and bias from the journo who put it together is palpable, particularly when you get to the parts in which he half holds his hands up to it:

"Ferguson's off-field profile is not helped by his refusal to speak to the press – unusual for a club captain. People in the game seem reluctant to talk about him as well " [Err... except for all those unnamed 'insiders' suddenly lining up to slate him for your article, like.]

"Ferguson would certainly be offended to hear 'journalist scum' – his term for the press – suggest he might be a bad investment." [In what way at all is the subject's dislike of a particular profession relevant to an article about his worth as a professional footballer or the financial cost to Everton of his contract?]

"Is Ferguson embarrassed by his situation? The Observer cannot ask him because he would not speak to us." [Therefore, we'll just presume he wouldn't be, not in the slightest, whilst suggesting he really fucking should be.]

Putting the article to one side, how does a player's lingering resentment over the SFA failing to support him when he was (unprecedentedly) imprisoned for an on-field offence and him saying he feels his 'reputation' was undeserved, suddenly transform into a string of "despicable comments" on the subject of "persistent thuggery and bullying" as you put it?

Even Craig Brown, who was employed by the SFA for 16 years and would have loved to have been able to call on him when Scotland manager, could see the player's point of view: "He emphasised that not playing for Scotland was a point of principle, a stance taken against the establishment and while I couldn't say it in the media at the time, I have to tell you now, I had a lot of sympathy with him."

Ditto, that other dour arse, Walter Smith: "He didn't think he got the backing from the SFA and I don't think he did either. They just sat on their hands."

Total failure to accept responsibility? I suppose he went full Jake LaMotta when jailed in Barlinnie as well? Bloated up to fuck and started belting hell out of the wall, whilst wailing "It's not my fault! I'm not that bad! I'm not that bad!"?

We all know about Ferguson's on and off field problems when he was younger, his Dirk Diggler length injury dossier and the fact he failed to make the most of his natural ability (no argument about any of that), but you're flailing about all over the place with some of your accusations and it's coming across as a case of long festering bitterness, over a former player you personally disliked, blagging a non-deserved (in your opinion, I presume) coaching role at the club, long after you thought you had finally seen the back of him.

Don Alexander
45 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:27:34
What I disliked at the time he first signed for us was lack of commitment to the fans, exemplified by his all-too-often seen "couldn'ae care less" attitude on the pitch, when he wasn't allegedly injured or regularly suspended.

The fact that on those very rare occasions he chose to put a shift in he was brilliant just amplified my annoyance with him, delighted as I was that he scored.

Just as I do with the present-day player, I expected total commitment in every game, and I'd be appalled if he's spouting anything else when now coaching us.

Admittedly Ferguson wasn't the only one systemically short-changing the fans in his era but he's the only one I know of who some people still consider a legend. His stats just don't fit unless you, John, want to try to use them to fit your infatuation.

In my view, then and now, his attitude puts him way below the likes of Tim Cahill who more or less matched his number of games played and goals scored, but in three less seasons and from midfield. As an aside, you'd also have had to kidnap Timmy to keep him off the pitch. He gave every ounce, every time, like every pro should.

Steve Carse
46 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:34:09
Strikes me Don you must detest Lukaku as well if what would seem to be an indifferent attitude to winning games is a key criterion.
Patrick Murphy
48 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:35:19
Well put, John (#44),

I also don't believe that Duncan deserves the status of Everton 'legend'; however, he was a really important catalyst for the Blues during that season and arguably his arrival and subsequent performances for the Toffees lit the blue touch paper for a) Everton surviving in the top league b) helped Joe Royle and the rest of the team to lift the last silverware to arrive at the club. Therefore I can understand why some supporters, particularly the younger ones afford him that status.

I have never met Duncan, so I have no idea what sort of person he is, but surely he can't have managed to pull the wool over the eyes of Moyes, Martinez and Koeman – not to mention all of the other staff and directors he has worked for during his time at Goodison Park?

I would ask Don if he would accuse Duncan face to face of being a cheat or any of the other things that he suggests about the big man, I don't suppose he would and I doubt that Duncan would give a hoot anyway.

Don Alexander
49 Posted 07/03/2017 at 17:00:52
Patrick, given his bullying nature, size and our relative ages I'd have cause to worry, wouldn't I?

And Steve, whilst I've made comment about Rom's tendency to go missing in games, especially in not pressing defenders, I've always recognised his scoring talents. After all, he's just overtaken Ferguson as our Premier League top-scorer having played about half the number of games.

So no, I far from detest the lad.

Peter Gorman
50 Posted 07/03/2017 at 21:26:57
Oh me, me, me! I have an anecdote which I hope you can glean as much from as Don's linesman/ref.

Many, many years ago, when I was still a young thruster, I attended some conference where I met a young man from Glasgow who turned out to be a Rangers fan. When I told him my own allegiance, which is of course customary to do within the first 2 minutes of meeting someone, he began extolling the virtues of Duncan Ferguson.

Turns out as a wee bairn he had stayed out well beyond his bedtime to get some signatures from the players. The last out was our Duncan (make of that what you will). Apparently Ferguson asked this lad what he was doing out so late in the pissing cold and who he was with. When the lad said he was by himself, Duncan said "hop in big man" or something similarly Scotch like the OP, and took him home to his ma and da.

And that is actually a true anecdote about someone else's anecdote. Make of it what you like. The point was, this man still thought Duncan Ferguson was a prince among men, mind you this was about the time we signed James McFadden from Motherwell and he promised me he would be an absolute star.

Martin Nicholls
51 Posted 08/03/2017 at 10:52:15
John Daley (#44) – well said! Whilst no footballer is a "hero" and few (arguably including Duncan) deserve to be accorded legendary status, Duncan most certainly does not deserve to be demonized as some seek to do.

Duncan's charitable acts are reasonably well documented/known; during the time he played for us, he was the one shining light in a very dark period in our history that young fans were able to rally round.

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