VIRGO:

Fergie de­served bet­ter

The Football League Paper - - FRONT PAGE - Adam Virgo BRIGHTON LEG­END AND TV PUN­DIT

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.

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.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

GLORY DAY: Dar­ren Fer­gu­son cel­e­brates win­ning the Johnstone’s Paint Tro­phy with Posh last year

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