Fergie Jr: Chapter 3

So Darren Ferguson and his assistant Gavin Strachan have signed a 3 year deal at The Posh. Normally contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, but something tells me it may well be on this occasion.

Whilst he probably wouldn’t have been my first choice I’m more than happy to have him in charge of the football club I support, however some of the Posh faithful see it as a backwards step. We’re going back to our most successful manager – I don’t understand why he’s disliked by a good chunk of the Posh fans. Yes, he’s been sacked twice, the first time both Darren and Darragh were young, arrogant and somewhat naive. The second time Ferguson needed a break from the game.

Although I’m conscious that by coming back again he could tarnish his record and reputation, I’d hate to see him overstay his welcome. What have we achieved in recent years without him? Absolutely nothing. I do believe it’s a “safe” option – Darragh knows how Fergie works, so in that aspect I think the owners are scared to appoint a “new” manager in case it all goes tits up once again.

In my last article I wrote about my feelings on the Evans sacking. My feelings haven’t really changed. I still believe he should have been given the season, despite his breakdown in relationship with Darragh. However, we are left with a Steve Evans squad with Fergie’s name above the door. It’s not a good match. Evans goes for more seasoned football league players with a more direct style of play. Fergie likes to play the passing way and work within the club’s previous policy regarding transfers with the young and hungry method – a policy the club shelved last summer. So it’s going to be a real challenge to turn this Steve Evans squad into a Darren Ferguson team.

It’s very hard to judge Fergie on his results since coming back for the third time. He’s had to come in, implement his style of play and training methods onto a team who’ve been used to playing a certain way. It’s not easy. I’ve wrote this season off. As I write this we are 2 points off the play offs with 8 games to go so of course it’s not over, but like Darragh said; he doesn’t believe the squad will make it to the play offs, and I agree. 

I’m looking forward to going back to old policies and ways of working that once had us comfortable in the championship. Next season I expect the end-to-end high tempo football of yesteryear. It’s not going to happen overnight though so patience is needed on this one. Next season will be our seventh straight campaign in League One. A couple more and I think we’ll be in a position to challenge for promotion.

Another point I made in my previous rant was the need for stability. It’s huge and I think it’s clicked with the owners also. We needed to break the cycle of hiring managers, backing them fantastically in the market then sacking them in the new-year. The owners seriously need to stick to their part of the deal and leave Fergie alone for 3 years. Let the man build a team, build our reputation back up, our identity as a football club.

I’d like to say that I’m a huge fan of the work the owners are doing, Jason seems to be spearheading a lot of these new initiatives and plans. The training ground has come on leaps and bounds, the schools initiative is a masterclass that coincides with the u12’s season ticket deal. The Academy is having a huge cash injection with the budget tripling, which will enable better coaching, facilities etc. I think the hope of 2 youth players a season then moving to 3 is wishful thinking – they can’t be shoehorned in if they’re not good enough. Joe Newell & Da Silva Lopes were mentioned when this news was announced but we need to be aiming a little higher as both, in my opinion, are not good enough for the levels they’re playing at. Having said that, it’s a fantastic positive. It’ll be great to produce our own players good enough for the starting 11. They’re building the club off the field in order for it to be able to grow on the field and I genuinely believe all 3 owners want the best for the club and will do their upmost to get us stabilized in the championship.

This is why I do not understand the portion of fans who want Darragh and now Fergie out of the door. These men have had great success with your football club, they’re working their bollocks off to make it happen again, they’re not ruining your club, they’re not putting your club at risk, in any way, financially or otherwise. So what’s not to support? Sure neither are perfect. I launched a verbal bashing to Darragh and the other owners when they sacked Evans, as well as Darragh with McCann, on the podcasts. I’m not blowing smoke so to speak, I just dont see the point in constant negativity. These people want the best for the football club we call love, so for me it’s simple, support them all! Ive seen comments on Twitter from Posh fans saying they’ll not renew their season tickets now because of Ferguson’s appointment, some saying they “hate” and “despise” him. This baffles me, I think alot of fans have seriously lost touch over the past few years, if having a manager you don’t like being in charge is enough to keep you away, I’d argue you’re not a fan anyway.

I’d like to add, we’ve spent around a third of our history in League 1, followed by league 2 and non league with only around 6% in the Championship so let’s just try and sprinkle some realism. We are at our level currently, but the owners and management team are planning on making our level the championship. It’s a tough task alone without all the shitty remarks and comments from fans.

Looking ahead to the summer, where do you start? We’re due to have 17 senior contracted players to the club once the shit loan players have gone back and contracts have expired. I’d keep around 5 or 6 of them, and I don’t expect Fergie to keep many more. So yet again, as last season, it’s a rebuild for the 30th time.

I know this season has been a mess, the club took a gamble and went against the grain it knows so well, which will of course take time to correct. If by some miracle we went up this season I think it would be too soon now we have a new manager, to find 12-15 championship quality players in one window is impossible for a club like us. So let’s build it over the next season or so and get this club in the best possible position, get behind them in doing so, we all want Posh to shine once again.

This is Darragh’s fault that we are facing another rebuild; you either see the campaign through with a manager and his players or face problems like we are doing currently. That’s my only real criticism of the chairman, hence why he needs to change in that aspect and let Fergie have the 3 years or we’ll be in the same position once again. It’s like foundations of a house are in place, then along comes a bulldozer and knocks it all down. We will never get anywhere working in that pattern. So let’s get behind Fergie and the club as a whole and support them.

By Jarred Farmer

Listen to the latest episode of The Yellow Block on Acast, iTunes, Spotify