Duncan Ferguson, take a bow

By Lyndon Lloyd 21/12/2019 69comments  |  Jump to last
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Everton 0 - 0 Arsenal

How quickly things can change in football. Just 15 days ago, Everton were a club approaching genuine crisis. Dumped into the relegation zone following yet more humiliation in the Anfield derby, they were forced to finally sack Marco Silva despite not really having laid any plan of succession.

Barraged by rumour, speculation and punditry suggesting that a Mark Hughes, David Moyes or Eddie Howe would be the logical step to take charge at a club that had lost its way under another failed managerial appointment, many Everton fans found themselves at their lowest ebb for many a year.

Thanks to some well-timed serendipity in Naples, Farhad Moshiri’s perpetually open purse strings and the work of a hitherto undervalued member of the coaching staff, Evertonians will spend Christmas pondering the fact that one of the most decorated managers in European football history will be in the dugout on Boxing Day when Burnley come to town.

It is to Duncan Ferguson’s credit that the Blues are not still on the proverbial canvas right now and there is a strong case for arguing that had he not wrung five precious points from three daunting-looking Premier League fixtures and lifted this club out of the bottom three, Carlo Ancelotti would not have become the third full-time manager of the Moshiri era.

The Scot cajoled, inspired and schemed to drive the Blues to that stirring 3-1 win over Chelsea and a creditable 1-1 draw at Manchester United and if the injuries, illness and plain fatigue plaguing his squad all conspired to serve up an ugly goalless draw against Arsenal this afternoon, he can at least be content that he ends his brief stint at the helm unbeaten over the course of 90 minutes in those four games he oversaw.

There was no escaping how poor this encounter was between two clubs trying to dig themselves out of the holes their respective form has created for them over the course of the season so far. Arsenal’s was bad enough that it cost Unai Emery his job at The Emirates shortly before Silva was dismissed at Goodison Park but save for a brief spell of attacking “lightning in a bottle” over nine minutes at West Ham in the Gunners’ previous away game, their caretaker boss, Freddie Ljungberg, hasn’t had quite the same impact as Ferguson.

It was felt that would give the Big Yin an advantage this afternoon but, drained by three matches in less than six days, and let down by some of their returning players, Everton couldn’t produce a repeat of that display against Chelsea or the closing stages against Leicester in the cup in midweek.

In truth, the number of goalmouth incidents worthy of mention from this game could fit on a postage stamp. For the first time since the tedium of the Sam Allardyce days, Everton failed to register a single shot on target — though it’s worth mentioning that two potentially goal-bound efforts, one from Gylfi Sigurdsson and another from Dominic Calvert-Lewin were blocked — and they had Jordan Pickford to thank for making the only genuine save of the match.

The England keeper batted away a close-range shot by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang early in the second half from a chance that looked for sure as though it would hand Arsenal the lead following Calum Chambers’s near-post flick-on. It was his only real involvement other than to field a tame shot from the Gabonese striker a few minutes later but it helped ensure that Ferguson hands the reins to Ancelotti with another point on the board.

Mostly, as the Italian watched from the Directors’ Box flanked by Moshiri and Bill Kenwright, he will have surveyed a team that needs a significant injection of talent if it is to get to where he no doubt envisages and plans it will. He will have been impressed with the effective way in which Everton pressed and harried the visitors, dropped back into a stubborn and disciplined shape when they didn’t have the ball and, for the most part, made Arsenal’s young side look decidedly ordinary.

But while there was clear evidence of mental and physical tiredness as countless passes went astray, there was also a desperate lack of quality. Sigurdsson returned from illness and went fairly close with a free-kick but once more disappointed when so much is expected of him; Delph was energetic and tidy in midfield but was unable to influence the team much in the final third; and Digne was frustratingly wasteful from dead-ball situations.

Sidibé brought his own intensity and energy back to the right flank, Pickford did his job, Mason Holgate demonstrated the poise he has exhibited so impressively in recent weeks, Richarlison was game and Yerry Mina was the standout performer on the day. Meanwhile, Calvert-Lewin played the role of tireless target man well but he was hampered by the utterly ineffective Cenk Tosun who had, in what might have been Ferguson’s one mistake on the day, been introduced after just 10 minutes when Alex Iwobi went off with a hamstring strain.

The Turk was not pleased to be substituted himself with 18 minutes to go — ironically enough in favour of Moise Keane, the sub who was subbed in controversial fashion at Old Trafford last Sunday — but he had offered next to nothing during the intervening hour of play and could have no complaints. Once again, you suspect that if a buyer or willing loan can be found next month, Tosun will be out the door.

Ferguson rightly milked the applause at the final whistle, however, for what has been an emotional fortnight. He galvanised a fragile team and rediscovered some buried spirit in a team that had been carved up Liverpool a day before he was handed the baton and suffered a dreadfully meek 2-0 home defeat to Norwich the week before that.

He will have earned his place on Ancelotti’s coaching staff and can look forward to the next chapter in his education under a fifth Everton boss knowing that he made an unmistakable contribution by stabilising the team, providing a platform from which the new man can build.

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Reader Comments (69)

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Dave Brierley
1 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:07:46
A fitting tribute to Duncan. You've captured it perfectly, Lyndon, and I wholeheartedly thank Big Dunc for, as quite a few contributors have said, returning our Everton. Onwards and upwards hopefully.

Jamie Evans
2 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:09:40
Great, measured article Lyndon and I echo your sentiments. Duncan has helped to make me feel proud of my team again.

And who would have thought 2 weeks ago that our new manager would be Carlo Ancelotti.

Just let that sink in for a minute folks.

Our new manager is Carlo Ancelotti.

David Greenwood
3 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:16:36
Very well said Lyndon.

We'd be bottom three if Marco was still in charge and headed straight for the Championship.

Duncan got them to show some fight, heart and spirit, something that's been missing for a long time.

Moving forward, it won't be easy and there will be setbacks but at least it feels like Duncan has got us moving forward and he should be very proud and we should all be grateful to him.

Cheers, Duncan.

Peter Mills
4 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:30:42
You are a tiresome man, Lyndon. You frequently express my thoughts before I have fully formulated them, and in a much more eloquent manner than I could muster.

Duncan has done superbly. He has surprised me, I suspect I am not alone in that. Well done to him, he is handing over a situation much better than it might have been.

This was an emotional day for me. My grandad Charlie Mills was watching matches at Goodison 100 years ago. Today, his great, great grandson Charlie Mills made his debut. I hope he can say in years to come that he was present at the start of a great new era.

Barry Rathbone
5 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:32:01
Hear, hear, Lyndon.

For some reason there seems a vociferous minority taking glee from rubbishing Dunc but not for the first time he has championed us against the odds and saved the day.

Well in, big fella! Your exploits in this time of need will not be forgotten – thank you.

Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:33:10
Ditto, all reports above, and Duncan, has done a “Lazarus” for EFC, as we have been at Hells Gate, and had lost at the playing level all pride, and belief.

Duncan deserves a medal for salvaging and restoring the pride and bringing the club back to respectability.

An outstanding motivator and Evertonian.

Now for Don Carlo, to take over, and start the new era.

Onwards and upwards.

David Greenwood
7 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:38:19
That's brilliant Peter, what a day for you.
Steve Ferns
8 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:41:15
Great Article Lyndon.

Duncan Ferguson joined Everton when I was 15. I'm right in the age group that idolised him. Our talisman. The guy that even though we were shite we could still beat Liverpool or Man Utd because Big Dunc was "unplayable on his day".

In the end, for me, Duncan never reached the heights he should have. The big games he won hinted at the level he could produce, but he never did it with consistency, although the mitigation was always that he lacked the teammates to help him.

As his career winded down, and injuries reduced him to a bit part player, a substitute in that glorious season under Moyes when we finished 4th, it was fitting that it was Ferguson who scored the goal that defeated the Mancs and all but sealed 4th position. As ever, he was the hero to me and my mates.

After that, for me and I think others, his hero status slipped. Frustration that our hero never led us to where he might have. The fact he never talked to us, but on signing for Newcastle, he was suddenly doing media interviews, grated. Everton were able to consistently finish high in the table after Ferguson, and it felt like we didn't really need him afterall.

All the rumours and stories turned into legend, and for some us, particularly myself, it diminished how we viewed the man. To the point, that for me, it became apathy. It seemed like his love for Everton is not really genuine. My thinking was that Everton are the only club (out of Newcastle, Rangers, Dundee and ourselves) who revered him and so he has to "love us" otherwise no one else will remember him or give that sense of importance back to him.

I've completely changed my mind on Duncan. These last few weeks have helped me fall back in love with the big fella who was the shining light in all those dark days when I was a teenager. So, Duncan, I'm sorry I doubted you. Thank you for all the memories and I was one of the ones who stayed until you finished your TV interview and the music was off (why did they put it on?) so we could pay our respects and sing you off the pitch. I'll never doubt your commitment to the cause again and when you do stuff like this I will know it is genuine, and nothing cynical about it. Thanks again.

Lyndon Lloyd
9 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:48:10
Peter, what a lovely milestone for your family. Brought a smile to my face.
Andy Crooks
10 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:53:07
Well done indeed Duncan Ferguson. I am happy to be wrong again. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Steve Ferns
11 Posted 21/12/2019 at 21:56:10
Peter, that's a brilliant story. I'm a 4th generation Evertonian myself. All the Ferns in my family have supported Everton. My Dad and both his brothers, my Grandfather, and my great-grandfather. I was wearing an Everton bib as soon as I got out of the hospital. I suppose I had better get on and do my duty by adding a 5th generation before it's too late!
Jack Convery
12 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:12:31
I said my thanks on the live forum but I am pleased TW officially said it for all of us. Well done, Lyndon, and well done, Duncan.

Happy Xmas to one and all. Here's to our own Golden Era. COYBs !!!!!!

Stephen Brown
13 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:12:59
I was also a teenager when Dunc was playing! Loved him then and loved what he's done the last few weeks!

Duncan Ferguson an Evertonian and a legend in my eyes always!!

Peter Mills
14 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:17:31
Get to work, Steve!
Tony Hill
15 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:26:06
Yeah, those 5 points are very important. We were atrocious today but he has distinguished himself in his whole bearing.
Stan Schofield
16 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:30:56
Lyndon, great article. I always thought Duncan Ferguson a good and memorable player, but the last three weeks have been an eye-opener.

He's basically been working quietly in the background, just doing his stuff, and then when asked to step up in what was a very difficult time, he astonished us. It turns out he's a leader of men, utterly charismatic on the touchline, modest, diplomatic with the media, and praising of the players rather than himself.

He's managed to raise the hairs on the neck of this old cynic, and put a tear to the eye.

Thank you, Big Dunc.

Andrew Laird
17 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:42:39
Thank you, Duncan Ferguson.
Anthony Dove
18 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:49:01
I didn't always love Duncan as a player for, as we all know, he had a lot of baggage and wasn't great sometimes for the club's image.

However, what he has done over the last couple of weeks, when the club was at rock bottom, has been pure magic.

Keith Harrison
19 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:54:24
The best Blue wordsmith in town does it again. Imperious, Lyndon.

Duncan has galvanised both the team and the club, in an extremely difficult time in the tough fixture list, sheer number of games and the crippling injuries and illness decimating our squad.

However, an observation I made during attending the Leicester and Arsenal games was the fact we played progressively more Silva-like than in the Man Utd and certainly Chelsea games. Our centre-backs hung in the box for roll-outs from Pickford (who I am increasingly concerned is not the sharpest tool in the box).

Calvert-Lewin has had all centre-backs on toast in the last month, and we should be playing very early balls to him with a supporting centre-forward.

The fact our pedestrian midfielders in Delph and Sigurdsson were back led to us playing out from the back, and how many corners/free kicks near the box of ours today ended up going back to Pickford?

Some pace is desperately needed in our midfield, along with some urgency, which Davies and Holgate both manfully tried today.

Cenk being subbed was not a problem to me, indeed I predicted it to my mate when he came on. He did play for 70+ minutes, and hopefully did enough to convince Carlo he's not part of the solution.

Lucas' radar was nowhere to be seen on both dead ball and open play crosses, and Sidibe was okay without threatening. I personally would have fielded the team that started the second half against Leicester.

Kevin Friend had a mare, not booking Luiz at all, despite three separate bookable offences amid the minor fouls he made, which at least got the crowd going.

As regards the crowd, I did not notice any tub-thumping announcements that we had a new manager in attendance, or that it was Dunc's last game (for 4.5 years?) in charge. This is an area that Everton let themselves down in badly to me. I hope Mr Ancelotti's appointment leads to more professionalism right through the club, and not just on the pitch, or Barrett-Baxendale and Kenwright might just end up in the founds for our new stadium?

Ancelotti and Dunc are hopefully the dream team to turn the ship around and steam ahead.

Thanks Dunc, methinks your time will come in future.

Merry Christmas to all Blues, roll on Boxing Day.

Tommy Carter
20 Posted 21/12/2019 at 22:59:54
Hey. Remember when Romelu Lukaku scored 87 goals in 166 games and his own fans used to boo him?

Everton aren't we. Born, not manufactured. The People's Club.

Nicholas Ryan
21 Posted 21/12/2019 at 23:05:45
It seems to me highly likely, that the 3 League draws under Duncan , would have been 3 League losses under Marco. He has given Ancelotti a base from which to start. I still haven’t quite come to terms with those 4 words: ‘Carlo Ancelotti, Everton manager’!!
Richard Duff
22 Posted 21/12/2019 at 23:07:46
A legend before he was a manager.
Steavey Buckley
23 Posted 21/12/2019 at 23:14:04
Duncan got the very best out of players who were available to him, even though quite a few of the players just aren't good enough.

No doubt, Duncan wants to play a direct and fast game with players fighting for every ball. Today, that was not possible, especially, when Iwobi got injured early in the game. His replacement, Tosun, was not a good substitution because he plays like he usually does: ineffective both as a striker and front-man.

I don't believe Ancelotti can get the players working harder than Ferguson has, but he may be able to get them playing smarter. Everton fans will wait and see if he does. Most probably, Ancelotti will want some better players as soon as the transfer window opens, but whether he will get the necessary funds, that will depend on the generosity of Moshiri. He has already spent a lot with little to show for his massive outlay.

Paul Birmingham
24 Posted 21/12/2019 at 23:23:47
Steve Fearns, a proven formula, sardines, with rocket, and any Med Vedge, does the trick! Good shooting! Best of Luck.

Seriously, a superb few weeks for Evertonians, and the tempo, on the TW, forums, is optimistic and let’s take the challenge and to turn the corner.

Burnley is always a very tough game home or away in any era, let’s see Don Carlo, starts with a victory.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 21/12/2019 at 23:30:15
Nicholas - the three league draws?
John Boon
26 Posted 21/12/2019 at 23:35:10
An accurate summary of a forgettable game. After watching a game like today I feel as lethargic as the players seemed to be. By the time it finished, I felt myself lulled into complacency. As much as I wanted a win I was quite ready to accept a draw. For the same reasons I just couldn't get annoyed.

I don't think any fan should be critical of how Dunc has handled the last four games. I think he did a masterful job under very difficult circumstances. While I unwillingly accept today's bore draw I sincerely hope that Ancelloti can give us what every loyal Evetonian deserves, a winning team. However, we will still need to be patient because it will take time for him to leave his imprint on the team.

Also Kudos to Moshiri for still being willing to put even more money into our club. While I despise the fact that today"s football is all about money it is now a case of "If you can't beat them, then join them." I just hope he has zero involvement in any future signings because, in that area, "He doesn't know his arse from his elbow."

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 21/12/2019 at 00:02:46
An accurate description of the Everton performance and the good work that Duncan did, redeeming himself from the mistaking mediocrity of his job as coach.

This article is the watershed into the Ancelotti era. It will be very interesting to see what Ancelotti comes up with.

Though I have doubts about the Ancelotti appointment, I find it intriguing, regarding the potential that Ancelotti may have, over other candidates, given his experience.

Even as he sat between Kenwright and Moshiri, he looked as if he was realising the extent of the job he had to do to win anything. Kenwright or Moshiri may have thought of winning something, but they haven't a clue. He probably realised that.

Yes, supporting Everton is a never-ending journey.

Kase Chow
28 Posted 22/12/2019 at 00:30:13
With Duncan in charge, I felt a connection to the club and players that I haven't felt for ages. Maybe years...

I LOVED seeing Duncan celebrate. Loved it. And he really did do a good job.

I'd like to have seen Fergie argue into Klopp's face and if, (IF) we somehow beat them in the cup at Anfield, I'd have loved seeing Fergie run onto the pitch.

Ferguson really did do an excellent job: we beat an in-form Chelsea, drew with an in-form Man Utd (they'd just beaten Man City), and we got a draw against Arsenal (and I think the players let Fergie down: Delph was non existent – did nothing; Digne's deliveries were unforgivably bad; Tosun didn't even battle; our basic passing was atrocious).

We would have lost all 3 matches under Silva.

I appreciate us playing 2 strikers again. I really do.

I enjoyed the ‘up and at ‘em' approach that we adopted finally.

Fergie made a silk purse out of a sow's ear. We have a collection of journeymen players that he fashioned into a team.

Well done, Dunc. We'll miss you at the helm but you were brilliant. Just what we needed at a horrible and vulnerable time.

Mike Keating
29 Posted 22/12/2019 at 01:52:33
Kase - these ‘journeymen players’ are mostly internationals who cost a fortune to bring to the club. They played like a Sunday League outfit and the passing was atrocious. I don’t have much time for Jermaine Jenas but he was right to dub this ‘the worst game of 2019’. Our new manager looked horrified. Hope his contract is under lock and key in the Liver Buildings’ safe.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

30 Posted 22/12/2019 at 02:11:09
Well-merited praise for Duncan, Lyndon.

Barry @ 5. "For some reason there seems a vociferous minority taking glee from rubbishing Dunc".

Who and where? I can only presume that you mean away from TW, because I'm not seeing what you claim on this forum, only lots of praise and gratitude to the Big Man.

Phil Wood
31 Posted 22/12/2019 at 03:44:02
Jay Wood 30 stated:

Barry @ 5. "For some reason there seems a vociferous minority taking glee from rubbishing Dunc".

Jay, If you had read the many posts wanting Silva out of our Club over the recent weeks and/or months then you would have seen many including in their posts the wishes of taking Kenwright and the backroom deadwood naming the likes of Duncan Ferguson with them.

Barry @5 was not wrong with his observations of what has been posted and many such as Steve Ferns 8 have said as much.

Mike Gaynes
32 Posted 22/12/2019 at 04:23:16
Pete #4, I am elated for you and your family. With this milestone, the circle remains unbroken. Congrats to the smallest Charlie Mills.

What I loved most about the day was Dunc's emotional departure from the pitch. He put the captain's armband around one small fan in a wheelchair, hugged and kissed another, took off his tie and gave it to a young fan, and generally did everything he could to share the moment with the supporters as a whole. The result was almost irrelevant -- the man's sheer joy in managing the club with success was palpable. I never thought I would ever write this sentence, but... I am an admirer of Duncan Ferguson.

And Jamie #2, I share your wonder. Only time will tell the results, but yes, this particular managerial change is extraordinary.

Dan Murphy
33 Posted 22/12/2019 at 04:26:42
Ancellotti has already beaten Liverpool and got a draw at Anfield this season. Roll on the derby cup tie.

Dunc = true blue legend. Never in doubt for me.

Kieran Kinsella
34 Posted 22/12/2019 at 04:29:21
On the live forum and on Michael Kenricks report there were a few having a go at Dunc. Totally baffled me. Bottom 3, injury crisis, impossible run of fixtures and yet he ends his short stint undefeated in the league. If there was anyone out there who expected more then they must be mad. Dunc has done the club proud.
Matt Traynor
35 Posted 22/12/2019 at 05:21:36
Kieran #34, if TW has taught us one thing it is the diversity of people's opinions. Key dividers-in-chief being Kim Jong Bill, Moyes, and Dunc.

Personally, I never accorded Dunc the legend status as a player - for me he had a lot more in his locker than he ever showed on the pitch, however the way he's matured since Moyes brought him back into the fold after he got tired of "retirement" in Spain, is fantastic to see.

Journalists who never normally have a good word to say about Everton are waxing lyrical about his personality, humility, and people skills. He took us to his hearts very quickly after signing on loan, as Everton fans - desperate for a hero in desperate times - took him to theirs.

Hopefully he'll learn a lot under Ancelotti - and whilst he's in his late 40s, there's nothing wrong with starting management a bit later. For some reason I think he'd struggle to manage anywhere else - in the same way he hated playing for Newcastle - because it wasn't Everton.

Jamie Crowley
36 Posted 22/12/2019 at 05:46:36
Great, great article. What a wonderful four game ride this has been. Even today's shite, boring, talentless draw had a happy ending. The scenes watching Dunc leave the pitch were fantastic.

I will never forget that ballboy jumping into his arms. Never. That, for me, was precious.

No money, no PR, no contracts, no long-term strategic plans, no stadium talk. Just a man and a boy showing unbridled passion and joy, and magically they were both identical in age at 13 or so years, for just a few seconds.

That is why I watch sport.

Alex Kociuba
37 Posted 22/12/2019 at 07:51:35
Steve Ferns, after weeks of thinking you had lost the plot defending Silva, I completely agree with every word you said about Duncan. I am a similar age and I know what you said resonates with a lot of my mates too. To our generation at least, he's definitely still a hero.
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 22/12/2019 at 07:58:12
Excellent job, Duncan. Mission accomplished. I was one of the doubters but you did a sterling job steadying the ship.

I'm sure he'll learn loads from Ancellotti which will keep him in good stead for the future.

Jim Harrison
39 Posted 22/12/2019 at 07:59:07
Kieran 34

Have you not been on ToffeeWeb for a long time? Dunc could have won the league and some would still grumble!!

Really changed a lot of people’s perception of him this stint. He came across well in the media, 5 points from those 3 league fixtures is a good return. If at the beginning of the season we had been offered that, I bet the manager would have been happy!

Job done, I think the appointment of Carlo came at the right time though. Much longer and I think the strain would have told on big Dunc!

Derek Thomas
40 Posted 22/12/2019 at 08:31:46
"A winter's day, In a deep and dark December...
Gazing from my window, to the streets below,
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow."

Global warming these days, so no snow. But it was dark, somedays we were barely averaging a point a game. We'd lost (barely laid a glove on them) to Norwich at home, ffs.

Then Leicester away and we were teetering on the edge of the bottom 3.

Then to cap it all the rs put 5 on us without breaking a sweat, to put us right in the bottom 3.

After seemingly interminable delay Silva got to take his taxi ride into history.

Then it got worse, with the 3 main contenders for his job listed...mainly by malicious rs journalists...as Moyes, Hughes and rs Rafa (plus other nomarks)...we most of us knew that if it was up to BPB, he'd have Moyes back in an instant.

Then we got lucky, with the games coming thick and fast, the only man available at short notice drew the short straw (there was no long one)

Duncan Ferguson girded his loins and entered the fray. With Howards watch and a sweat band, from the halt and the lame, he cobbled together a starting 11, put the fear of god into them and sent them out...and the rest as they say, is history.

We got lucky again, a goal after 5 mins set us on our way.

Then Moshiri got lucky, 3 hard worked for and well earned points took the pressure off.

Then Moshiri got lucky again, one of the best managers in the world finally fell out with his President and was in the market place.

Christmas wasn't ruined after all. A deep and dark December of fixtures suddenly didn't look too bad.

Thank You Duncan for stepping into the breach, for 5pts. and most of all, for a timely reminder of what it should mean to be an Evertonian.

Over to you Mr Ancelotti.

It may take many weeks and months of 'one game at a time' for Ancelotti to arrest the slide, but if he can't, who can.
We got lucky, hopefully we stay lucky, or at least luckier than we have been.

"I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year.

All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.

They said there'll be snow at Christmas,
They said there'll be peace on Earth,
Hallelujah, Noel, be it Heaven or Hell,

The Christmas we get we deserve."

Brian Dagnall
41 Posted 22/12/2019 at 08:32:31
I really like the fact that Dunc shows great humility, always putting the club first, and already expressing how much he is looking forward to working with Ancelotti.

And many on here are expressing great optimism about this potential dream team.

Me too, but dare I say, ToffeeWebbers are not renowned as being the most patient people in town. We need to give the managerial team a break. They can't fix everything overnight and can't rebuild a whole team at the drop of a hat. Some underperformers will be with us a while yet. Just have a little patience!!

Dave Williams
42 Posted 22/12/2019 at 08:43:54
Stan #16, you put that better even than Lyndon; captures it all perfectly. He stood up when many on here had rubbished him without having a clue what he could do.

They know now!!

Kevin Prytherch
43 Posted 22/12/2019 at 08:48:44
Agree with everything on here...

Just one little niggle though - Alex Ferguson is “Fergie”, Duncan. Ferguson is “Dunc” or “Big Dunc”.

Like Big Nev, we only need his first name to know who he is.

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 22/12/2019 at 09:00:25
Peter (4), Charlie Mills was watching Everton a hundred years ago and yesterday another young Charlie Mills watched his first Everton game, brilliant. I hope young Charlie watches another few hundred games at Goodison Park and Bramley-Moore Dock.

A lovely story Peter and I hope young Charlie turns out to be a lucky mascot for the Blues. A lovely memory for you Peter having Charlie with you at the game today.

Tony Everan
45 Posted 22/12/2019 at 09:04:16
Well said Lyndon,

5 points unbeaten Chelsea, Man U and Arsenal is good work from Duncan. Especially as he would have had to pick them off the floor after Anfield. Massive credit to the big man, he bought us time and we now have the best possible manager available.

If we lost against Chelsea boardroom arguments may have shifted and we may have had Moyes as manager today. Dunc's impact could prove a big turning point for us.

Ancelotti will not suffer mediocrity, I am sure about that, and will be ruthless. He will have no room for sentiment, if you're not good enough you will be out. I think we are about to see a tidal wave of change at our club.

Ancelotti, better than anyone at the whole of EFC, knows what it takes to get to the top 4 and win trophies. His decsions cannot be easily countered.

It is just the type of appointment the club needed, as I think there are too many players, boardroom members, and staff who think they know better.

From now on they will all be singing from Carlo Ancelotti's hymn-sheet and the club will be transformed because of it.

Paul Tran
46 Posted 22/12/2019 at 09:08:12
When he first came to the club, I idolised Duncan, despite him nearly blinding me and the rest of the Main Stand after that header against United.

Then, if I'm honest, I resented him. He wasted his talent through lack of application; it was as if he disliked himself more than he loved Everton.

I always wondered why he hung around after each managerial departure. Now I know. He did the basics in organising and motivating the team. He made us competitive again. He was wonderfully straightforward and authentic on and off the pitch.

He will have learnt plenty from the many managers he's worked with. Now he has the chance to work with one of the best. The best thing we can say about Duncan is that he will use that knowledge the best he can, with us and for us.

Jamie Yates
47 Posted 22/12/2019 at 09:10:38
25 years ago Duncan scored the first goal of the Joe Royle revival vs Liverpool. Crucial. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn't and we'd lost that game? He also played a vital role in the early rounds of the FA Cup campaign that season.

In 1997-98, his efforts as captain in the second half of an awful season contributed more than anyone else to preserving our top-flight status (his goals helped earn 13 of the 40 points secured, he made more appearances than anyone else).

His goal versus Utd in 2005 secured 4th place and our only modern era Champions League qualification.

As caretaker manager, he has dragged us out of the bottom three, unbeaten in league games vs Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal no less, and off the back of a terrible run ending with a 5-2 hammering at Anfield.

To some he's still a lazy, half-arsed charlatan, "only up for the big games" (thank God he was!) who has stolen a living off Everton Football Club.

My question is: Who has tangibly contributed more in the Premier League era?

Tony Ateman
48 Posted 22/12/2019 at 09:20:12
What now for an overlooked Unsworth?
Eddie Dunn
49 Posted 22/12/2019 at 09:35:10
Lyndon, very well expressed; I agree with every word.
Peter, what a lovely tale, congratulations, and I hope young Charlie becomes a regular at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Duncan has restored some pride to the club at a point where we were being ridiculed. Even when Duncan got us up to beat Chelsea there were still patronising comments in the media and many Kopites hoped it was a one-off.

I was disappointed at our showing yesterday as our lack of pace reduced our effectiveness. It was also shocking how inaccurate our passing was.

Having said that, I notice that Leicester came up short against Man City. I think Wednesday night took a lot out of both sides.

One bright note. It was nice to see Liverpool play extra time in Qatar. There was an example (just like Monterrey) of a technically better team, running out of gas. Fitness won the reds both games. I hope Carlo can get our lads as fit as that lot.

Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 22/12/2019 at 10:15:14
I never booed Lukaku, Tommy C, but I criticised him when I didn't see him working hard enough, but surely it's not just Evertonians, who expect effort as a given?

It's why I used to also criticise Duncan Ferguson, because when he was up for it, he was very, very good, but when he wasn't he was was horrid.

Duncan has done a great job, restoring a bit of pride into a desperate fan base, because when you say we're Everton aren't we, I think that people were forgetting what Everton actually stands for after so many bad buys, and wrong managers, so let's hope we have finally found the dream team, and we can start meaning what we say, and hopefully that's going to be “We are fucking Everton, aren't we!”

Jerome, at least Kenwright has seen us win something but I've often thought we won't win anything again whilst he's part of our club. He's been the jinx imo, but a saviour to others, but maybe he deserves a bit of credit for keeping Duncan at the club for so long!

Robert Tressell
51 Posted 22/12/2019 at 10:22:23
Originally, I saw the timing as a bit of pragmatism from the club. Team spirit at rock bottom, injury crisis, awful run of fixtures. No new permanent manager would want to start in those circumstances.

Duncan's sheer strength of personality has carried us unbeaten through this period. A really remarkable achievement from where we were. He has handed Ancelotti a much better starting point than we could reasonably have expected in terms of league place and general positive vibes.

ps: The media seems to now be calling our new manager 'veteran italian coach Ancelotti' – implying we've got him after his sell-by date. They can't bear Everton showing ambition. Hope it bites them on the arse!

Joe McMahon
52 Posted 22/12/2019 at 10:27:10
Tony, If David Unsworth wants to a manager, then he will have to leave Everton and start in lower divisions.
Derek Knox
53 Posted 22/12/2019 at 11:05:41
Good article Lyndon, they say a week is a long time in politics, the last 15 days at Goodison have been almost unbelievable.

Although yesterday's performance was a bit of a damp squib, at least Dunc has brought back a lot of pride, and temporarily stepped aside/down, unbeaten.

Peter Mills, I can only echo fellow TW'ers, in congratulating you and your family's continued support of our great Club, and that the next generation are continuing that tradition.

Steve Ferns, I must correct you, and reprimand you in equal measure, you made reference to Duncan's other Clubs and mentioned Dundee (the enemy) when it was Dundee United, where Duncan virtually started his career. Tut Tut!

Xmas cheer to all on TW, and a great thanks to Lyndon and Michael for all their hard work in giving so much time and pleasure (to us members) for another year, good times ahead hopefully! 🎅💙👓😋

Steve Guy
54 Posted 22/12/2019 at 11:24:57
Duncan Ferguson has been great for us and has been assured off and on the pitch. However, (unfortunate for Iwobi) I was more than a little surprised that he was replaced by Tosun when there were direct replacements sitting on the bench. We consequently lost pace in our already slow side and Tosun's inability to find a man or hold the ball up only made things worse.

Anyhooo, thanks to Duncan for steadying the ship.

Adrian Evans
55 Posted 22/12/2019 at 11:48:19
Dun said honestly the team lacked energy after Tuescand two massive performances previously.

So no suprise we lacked a little quality in the final third.
But Tosun goes for £10 million and saving on wages.
Cant see even Ancelotti workingbinstant magic on Moise K.

So itll be finished article in Jan to knock in 20 goals by May,a proper central back four along side Mina.
Midfield ???can he keep Delph fit and get a world class creative midfield player in.
Think I ve just spent £100 million if their even available.
The rest of the squad ???

Depends how intends to set us up eventually.
But he aint stupid, points on the board before we see radicle change.
Will he get much more out of us,yes improve the players we got???
Depends on what he asks them to do.

He will want 7 wins without doubt asap.When we are safe we will see a revolution.Certainly in the summer.

Burnley.He will expect us to cut out giving the ball away.Bit more quality in their third,give them less chances.
Organisation,a lot more quality by cutting out mistakes.

Energy levels back up by Thurs,rested.
He will just chat to individuals,Dunc will set it up no doubts.But Carlo will add savvy.
Dont be suprised to see one or two suprises.
Baines in.
Keane start.
DCL wide of Keane.
Midfield ???Holgate will play, where ?
He might take a chance on M Kean, build his confidence??
Going to be an interesting ride Jan, Feb.
Just hope Goodison rocks and we at least get the RS at worstback at ours and make it un believably intimidating.

Brian Williams
56 Posted 22/12/2019 at 12:16:03
Jeez I hope he doesn't play Keane up front, he's bad enough at the back!
Derek Knox
57 Posted 22/12/2019 at 12:33:21
Filipe, so where does that leave Mane United? :-)
Steve Carse
58 Posted 22/12/2019 at 12:54:03
Tony (48), Wigan?
Steve Ferns
59 Posted 22/12/2019 at 12:56:36
DK apologies. I consider myself reprimanded!
Brian Harrison
60 Posted 22/12/2019 at 13:05:03
Duncan Ferguson has put some pride back into the players and the fans have responded as Toffees always do when players put a shift in. But I doubt many who played on Saturday will be first-team regulars 12 months into Ancelotti's reign. Most of these players are nowhere near the standard than Ancelotti is looking for, so I expect in the summer there to be a change around in players.

I think Saturday highlighted just how bad our transfer policy has been over the last 4 years. I hold Koeman, Walsh, Allardyce, Silva and Brands all responsible. Seeing only one of that group is left I hope Ancelotti makes it perfectly clear to Moshiri that he selects which players we buy and definitely not a DOF.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 22/12/2019 at 13:15:32
Fillips, listening to Danny Murphy in the studio, my only thought was that I bet you his opinion would have been different if that would have been any other team? Watch this space, and welcome to Goodison, “little Charlie Mills!”

Robert Tressell
62 Posted 22/12/2019 at 13:32:03
Brian @61. I can see our first 11 being built on Holgate, Digne, Sidibe, Davies and Richarlison. Gbamin and Gomes maybe if fit. Kean... who knows? It would be nice if Pickford can calm his trunks and remember how to be a safe pair of hands. Other spots up for grabs.
Peter Mills
63 Posted 22/12/2019 at 13:35:24
Thank you all very much by your kind comments.

Very best wishes to everyone on this site for Christmas and 2020.

Jamie Crowley
64 Posted 22/12/2019 at 14:23:46
Merry Christmas, Peter.
Mick Davies
65 Posted 22/12/2019 at 15:14:24
Remember this: when a player is getting stick, it's because the fans know he can do a lot better. When a player is shit, it's the manager who gets the flak for playing him, so Dunc and Rom received it because they WERE good. As for his caretakership, I was relieved he got the job and not Moyes; what he's done is give Everton FC breathing space to get a top boss in, and it worked out perfect as, good as he was, we all know that if Dunc had got the job until the end of the season, he wouldn't have been given the transfer funds I expect Carlo has been assured. It's all down to the Italian now to squeeze the cash out of Mosh, and build the new 'School Of Science'
Niall McIlhone
66 Posted 22/12/2019 at 17:31:47
A fitting tribute, Lyndon. I expect that neutral fans are used to seeing us as the "other" team on Merseyside, and I expect that some may have viewed Duncan's post-match outpouring with some bemusement after a turgid 0-0 draw to an unfamiliar looking Arsenal team. This, on a day that our dear neighbours boost kit sales yet again as "best team in the world".

Ancelotti is in the echelon of the very best managers. I think all Evertonians should acknowledge the boost Duncan Ferguson has given us, and it will definitely help the new manager that the likes of Calvert-Lewin and Holgate have shown another level under his watch.

Both Burnley and Newcastle are winnable games, so we will know whether some of the hitherto "under-performers" are up to it by the time we line up at Anfield.

Mr Moshiri has given the new manager a 4½-year contract. He has sold a vision to Ancelotti which sees him lead us to the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium, hopefully with a sniff of silverware along the way. I feel the CEO should be commended for this, as should Brands and Kenwright, but right now, hats off to the Big Yin for sterling work in steering this creaking old ship into slightly less turbulent waters.

Christy Ring
67 Posted 22/12/2019 at 19:38:39
A lovely tribute Lyndon, Duncan did himself and the club proud, a superb ambassador, his passion for the club and fans unbounded, all the doubters, now see he's a true blue, NSNO
Bill Watson
68 Posted 23/12/2019 at 02:05:31
Peter and Steve.

We owe a huge debt to Duncan as he's, somehow, managed to squeeze five points out of this under performing bunch of individuals and, at least, ensured we won't be in the relegation places over Christmas.

I'm not superstitious but luck does appear to play a large part in the success, or lack of it, in football. Silva appeared to be an unlucky manager in terms of injuries and VAR or, as at Milwall last season, the lack of it. Let's hope Ancelotti fares better in that respect.

Although a blue for over 60 years (omg) I have no family tradition, at all.

My dad had no interest in football and my granddad supported 'Spurs. It gets worse; my son has a season ticket for the RS!

Having said that, every con has a pro; it saved me a fortune in football kits and tickets when he was growing up!

Christopher Timmins
69 Posted 23/12/2019 at 09:14:46
Lyndon, I can only echo everything set out in your article. In addition to his ability to motivate I have been very impressed with his interviews and his appreciation of how we have to set up given the players at our disposal. He has a lot to offer going forward, much more than just a Mr. Motivator at 2.55pm on a Saturday.

Good luck to Carlo, he has a lot of work to do to get us close to the top 6. He needs time and I for one will be happy to give him until the end of the season to work out who stays and who goes.

Lets hope he enjoys the luck that Marco did not have and that the transfer dealings next summer are better than the ones carried out this year. Apart from Sidibe, and he has defensive issues, the rest of the transfer business has not worked out to date.

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