Fergie deserved better
SAY what you want about Peterborough’s wretched form but did Darren Ferguson deserve to get the sack? I don’t think so. When Darren walked into London Road for the first time in 2007, that club was in League Two and going nowhere.
Since then he’s won three promotions, two of them to the Championship. He’s won a play-off final and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, the biggest cup competition outside of the top two divisions. Even when they were relegated from the Championship, they had more points than anyone had ever gone down with.
When you take his career as a whole, he’s had one bad season out of seven.Whichever way you look at it, that isn’t bad. Sadly, the way football is these days, one bad season is all it takes for everyone to forget.
Look at how Gary Johnson was treated down at Yeovil. Last year, he led the Glovers to 24th in the Championship, the highest finish in their history.When he took over for his first stint in 2001, the club wasn’t even in the Football League. Like Darren, this was his first bad season in seven.
But that doesn’t seem to matter. It’s basically a case of ‘Thanks for everything but it’s time to move on’.
Maybe I’m being a bit old school, but you’d like to see the chairman back his man through this sticky period, to be a bit thick-skinned and appreciate what someone has done for the club long-term.
And let’s face it – the way Peterborough operate is pretty highrisk.They haven’t got a massive stadium.They haven’t got a massive budget or fanbase. Everything is built around developing NonLeague players and selling them on for a profit.
So far they’ve been very successful. Craig Mackail-Smith, Aaron McLean, Britt Assombalonga, Paul Taylor, Lee Tomlin, Dwight Gayle – every time a star player was sold, they seemed to unearth another one.
But their luck had to run out some time and, while I do rate Marcus Maddison, I think that’s what happened this season. Ally that dip in quality to a clear lack of confidence and you can see why they’ve slumped.
Whatever happens now, I think Peterborough will always be grateful to Darren for putting them back on the map.
And in some ways, I think it could benefit him. Darren’s probably achieved everything he could at Peterborough. Realistically, I don’t think there was much left to make him go into work every day and think ‘these are my goals, these are the new barriers’.
He’s ready to move on.Yes, he had that year with Preston which didn’t go to plan, but he’s a lot more experienced now.
I’m sure chairmen will see what he’s done, look at the money he’s made for Peterborough and will be tripping over themselves to give him a job.
I just hope he waits for the right one because I think he’s more than capable of managing in the Championship.
GLORY DAY: Darren Ferguson celebrates winning the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with Posh last year