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What makes Darren Ferguson special

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Paul Fletcher | 14:33 UK time, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Darren Ferguson is the new manager of Preston North End - and according to Russell Martin, his former captain at Peterborough, the Lancashire club has landed a man heading to the top of his profession.

Ferguson, son of Manchester United legend Sir Alex, masterminded back-to-back promotions as he took Posh from League Two to the Championship.

A talented midfielder in his own right, Ferguson walked through the doors at London Road in January 2007 after impressing owner Darragh MacAnthony during a lengthy telephone interview.

His first full campaign saw the unfashionable Cambridgeshire club promoted after finishing second to MK Dons and the following year his team hugely upset the formbook by again clinching automatic promotion, this time as runners-up behind Leicester.

"Playing for Darren was thoroughly enjoyable," said Martin, who joined Posh in the summer of 2008 and was both skipper and an ever-present during the League One promotion campaign.

"When he left the lads were queuing up to see him. They wanted to thank him for what he had done for their careers."

Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson Ferguson was popular with his players at Peterborough

Martin, now at Norwich, talks in glowing terms of the balance that Ferguson struck between being one of the lads - he is, after all, still only 37 - yet understanding that there must be a divide between a manager and his playing staff.

"He knew when to have a joke and when to be serious - I think that is really important and something he did very well," added Martin.

The defender noted that Ferguson often joined in with the training sessions, which were always of a particularly impressive standard. He insisted on a constantly high tempo and even during pre-season all would involve at least some form of ball work.

In all tied in with the core philosophy of what defines Ferguson as a manager - his desire to see the game played in the right way, namely on the floor and in an attacking, attractive manner.

He wanted players who were comfortable on the ball and not afraid to show the sort of ambition that might occasionally lead to mistakes. Sometimes it would frustrate the crowd but if the players were faithful to what Ferguson asked of them he would always come to their defence.

"If the boys gave 100% he would back them no matter what," added Martin. "He took a lot of pressure off his players.

"If the performance wasn't right, he would let the lads know about it in the dressing-room, but he never doubted us and ultimately gave us the belief to succeed.

"He seemed to know when to pick his moments, when to stay calm at half-time and when to deliver a kick up the backside," he said. "If someone is going to be a top manager, then that quality is vital."

Ferguson was managed for six years at Wrexham by Denis Smith, who quickly recognised that his midfielder would go on to become a manager.

"Darren was always chatting before games, telling the players what to do, he took on responsibility and was good at relaying my orders onto the pitch," said Smith.

"Darren always wanted to know why and there is nothing wrong with that. I wanted my players to question my decisions, as managers are not always right and that's what he did.

"There are people who you know have a chance to become a good manager and he was one of them. He is a leader and a strong character."

According to Martin, Ferguson is quick to acknowledge when he makes a mistake. This attribute further endeared him to his players at Peterborough and helped to foster the feeling that they were all pulling in the same direction.

The former Manchester United, Wolves, Sparta Rotterdam and Wrexham midfielder further built up the confidence of his players by stressing that regardless of the opposition, whether playing home and away, his team were always to play their way. This meant a 4-4-2 formation, with two wide men and a quick and nimble strikeforce.

But he was also meticulous with his preparation. Often during the week the likely starting XI would play against a shadow team designed to mimic the formation of their next opponents. Ferguson would discuss with individual players the strengths and weaknesses of their direct opponents and how best to deal with them.

Occasionally, when particularly big games loomed, this would involve short video sessions but the manager was always careful not to overload his players with information.

I'm told that Ferguson and his backroom staff took in a lot of games as they scouted both the opposition and prospective signings. Ferguson would identify targets and often play a part in persuading a player to join.

Take Charlie Lee for example. The midfielder was reserve-team captain at Spurs and had attracted interest from 16 clubs when it became apparent he would be leaving White Hart Lane in the summer of 2007. Yet Posh, a League Two club, landed him, thanks chiefly to Ferguson's powers of persuasion.

Occasionally Peterborough would use Manchester United's training facilities ahead of away games in the north, while Sir Alex would often be seen at London Road watching his son's team in action.

But Darren has always been determined to forge his own way in management and the only United player he signed on loan was James Chester.

"I think without any shadow of doubt he has had to work harder because of who his father is," added Smith.

Darren Ferguson (left) and father Sir Alex Ferguson (left) is determined to forge his own managerial career

"Everybody expects more from him and it's been very difficult for him. But he's made sure that he's got where he is now off his own back and not his father's. He's proved his case now."

Darren did not have particularly long to test himself at that level with Peterborough, leaving the club shortly after their defeat at Newcastle on 7 November with the club bottom of the table.

I certainly thought that given what he achieved over the previous two years he had earned the opportunity to be given longer to show he could haul his team up the Championship table.

He will now get the opportunity at Preston to show that he is ready to take the next step on his managerial journey.

Smith, for one, believes North End have the right man.

"They are getting someone who is organised, hard-working, dedicated and who can spot a good player," he said.

"He doesn't suffer fools gladly and if anyone tries to muck him about he won't stand for it. Having said that, he is a very fair person and if you've got a fair answer he won't hold grudges."

"He will speak his mind, he is a leader, which is why I made him team captain. We had our disagreements but we got on because we were both trying to achieve the same thing and that was winning. And that is what he is. A winner."

Posh is a homely club who play in an old-fashioned stadium rich in character but limited in potential.

Preston have an excellent stadium in Deepdale and are desperate to reach the Premier League after a decade of near misses.

If the new manager can achieve this then there really will be only one Ferguson in Preston. And it won't be Sir Alex.

Additional reporting by Nabil Hassan.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I think this is a bit of a one sided view of his abilities. Ok he did quite well at Peterborough but they spent a relative fortune in the time he was at Peterborough. For instance i think Joe Lewis was 400K when they were in league two. When they couldn't compete financially in the Championship his tactical prowess didn't stand up to much did it. I dont think he'll last till the end of the season at Preston.

  • Comment number 2.

    It must be frustrating for Darren being known for what his dad has done than what he's done off his own back. I thought Posh was a great team to prove himself with but I have a feeling Preston will unlock his true management skills. Good luck to him

  • Comment number 3.

    When they couldn't compete financially in the Championship his tactical prowess didn't stand up to much
    ------------------
    It just proves Peterborough are only a L1/2 team and getting them to the Championship was a great job on Darren's part

  • Comment number 4.

    Sounds his style is more like bits of Revie and Clough rather than his Old Man. Interesting.

  • Comment number 5.

    Every Preston fan is waiting for Ferguson to fail because they didnt want Irvine to go. I can see this been another Megson / Bolton situation. Like YellowBadger, i cant see him lasting the season.

    P.S Still in dreamland after sundays result.

  • Comment number 6.

    What makes Darren Ferguson special

    Erm, being the son of Sir Alex Ferguson?

  • Comment number 7.

    Well, here we are again, another spin on the Two Year Managerial Merry-Go-Round”.

    I predict Ferguson Jnr. will a) Lead us to the Promised Land, then sign for a “bigger” club mid season. b) Fail to get us to the Promised Land and be fired... mid season. Either way !

    Sorry to be such a cynic but football is doing its level best to crush the last vestige of optimism from this particular fan at the moment.

  • Comment number 8.

    I rate Ferguson D and I humbly suggest that the price Peterborough will pay for his sacking is to never return to the CCC after this seasons relegation. I was critical of Preston's decision to sack Irvine, this appointment at least shows some ambition.

    P.S, ooking forward to playing PNE next season.

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't know that Ferguson's special. What I do think is that he knows how to get the best out of a squad. Peterborough, while decent, are punching above their weight in the Championship and I think they should be proud regardless of whether they're relegated or not. I'm still none the wiser as to why Ferguson left/was pushed after what he did for them, but either way it will be interesting to see whether lightning can strike twice. If he somehow gets Preston promoted via the playoffs he'll be one of the few managers (perhaps the only one?) to have achieved three successive promotions. But I think at this point Preston should just be happy to stay in the top half of the table and then press on next season.

  • Comment number 10.

    Does seem a one sided article. Ferguson sounded clueless during his recent appareance on Sky Sports.

  • Comment number 11.

    He looks nearly as orange as Phil Brown.

  • Comment number 12.

    When they couldn't compete financially in the Championship his tactical prowess didn't stand up to much
    ------------------
    It just proves Peterborough are only a L1/2 team and getting them to the Championship was a great job on Darren's part

    ----------------------------------

    It was a great Job on the chairman's part for spending all that money. A good manager can usually get more from his players than is expected and Ferguson couldn't do that obviously.

    I am just pointing out that all of this analysis into how Ferguson prepared teams for their next opponents is slightly flawed when they were poor this season against decent opponents. I agree he deserved more time at Posh though. I'll be suprised if he does any better with Preston. Who co-incidentally are not that much bigger than Peterborough as suggested above. Ok they have a richer history but they too have spent a fair bit of time in the lower leagues until David Moyes took over.

  • Comment number 13.

    As a Posh season ticket holder I, along with everyone I know, was gutted when DF left London Rd. We at Posh rate him very, very highly. He recruited from lower leagues and moulded a good team of young players. If what we read has any truth, the reason Fergie left us was partly due to him wanting to add some experience to the young squad but the spending, particularly on higher wages, would not be sanctioned (I'm not going to criticise our chairman if this is true as without him we wouldn't have reached the Championship anyway). But Fergie new we needed older, more experienced heads in the team and for whatever reason he wasnt allowed to get them. So it came to a head after the Newcastle game and Fergie left by 'mutual' consent (we all know what that means and seeing the TV footage of Fergie leaving London Rd that evening spoke clearly, as did what we have heard from within the club inc the form the players as above by Martin). now we have a young, low-league team with a low-league manager and are sure to go down.

    PNE have secured a sound manager. Its a top signing for them and as long as the club support him (PNE have reputation as a selling club) and his closeness to his Dad down the road, should prove a winner for PNE. Nowt's guaranteed in football, but PNE stand a better chance with Fergie than they would have done with a few others who might have been in the frame for the job. Well done PNE for appointing a young British manager and good luck.

    I look froward to welcoming Fergie back to London Rd on the 26 Jan where I'm certain he'll be given a rousing welcome by the Posh fans.

  • Comment number 14.

    Yellowbadger / Cuzza10

    It's worrying that fans who know nothing about a Manager are so quick to condemn him when he gets in charge of there club

    More worrying, is that you seem to think that the Bolton fans treatment of Megson is fine - hence you allude to the fact that you fans, might do the same!!

    Ferguson produced one of the best ever footballing teams to come out of L2, with a load of non-league signings. Such was his success, that it is now described as "trying to do a Peterborough" when Managers in this Division go down the non-league route

    Do you think your club is 'too big' for him or something?? Has Preston suddenly become a club who have a divine right to be in the Championship race??

    It just goes to show, as I say to the fans of my club, that supporters and commonsense do not go together

  • Comment number 15.

    Yes a lot of money was spent, but fair play to him he achieved 2 promotions in 2 years. Not bad at all. If I supported Peterborough I would be extremely happy with the job he did.

  • Comment number 16.

    YellowBadger - I really do welcome your comments. I started this article with a very open mind. Ferguson wasn't somebody I knew all that much about and I wanted to get a sense of what he is like as a manager.

    I spoke to a couple of people at Posh, his former skipper and a colleague chatted to Denis Smith, who obviously managed him at Wrexham.

    They were all pretty fulsome in their praise of Ferguson. I guess you could say that we have gone to 'yes men' and that they would be.

    Having said that, as I'm sure you know Ferguson described Russell Martin as one of the best full-backs in League One last season and yet dropped him for the start of the current campaign. Martin was surprised to find himself so out of favour and has now left the club. He clearly has reason to be less than gushing about Ferguson but only had good things to say about him.

    Even so, a counter point of view is most welcome.

    The issue of money spent is interesting. They clearly spent big in League Two - but surely the club spent less so in League One, when their promotion was even more unlikely and remarkable.

    I also read somewhere that part of the reason Ferguson left Posh was a wrangle over transfers - not so much because cash wasn't available but because he wanted to sign a few experienced players to bolster the squad and others didn't see it that way.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    I consider myself fortunate to have watched Sir Tom play in his prime and I don't envy any manager trying to do much with the present squad of players. Not one has any real pace yet the ball is mainly played into space, and far too frequently given away to the opposition when under no pressure because most of their ball control is a joke. North End don't need a new manager they need new players and they will only come if there is a huge cash injection and that seems very unlikely. Has it escaped notice that almost half the Premiership are Lancashire clubs and without some substantial finacial backing North End have no chance of competing with them. When I watched Sir Tom, Wigan were a rugby league town , but look what a difference the JJB link has made.I wish Ferguson well but I'm not expecting much in the way of improvement.

  • Comment number 19.

    Isn't this the same Darren Ferguson who was charged with and convicted of assaulting his wife?
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    pretty sure we're talking about his footballing managerial merits here.... or are you merely here to needlessly stir the pot?

  • Comment number 20.

    I think the comments slating Darren are unfair. Hes not even managed the team once and he's being written off.

    A team is only as good as a manager can make it, and he did a fantastic job at Peterborough, and I think he'll do the same at PNE

    Good luck Darren

  • Comment number 21.

    Posh were a fantastic side in league 1 last year with the likes of Aaron McLean, George Boyd and Craig Mackail-Smith causing problems for every side. I don't believe Darren was given the right funds this season to buy some players to support the quality ones he aready had. Posh's fortunes are hardly improving under Cooper and i expect them to go down this year. However, I think with the rigt about of time and backing, Preston will be in the playoffs in no time.

  • Comment number 22.

    19.

    The second one.

    :)

  • Comment number 23.

    Paul I appreciate you coming back to me and i think you raise some interesting points about him but i just think there are obvious flaws to his skills. Just to counter your point about them not spending last season. They actually spent nearly a million on players. Some of his signing have never really played for them either i.e. Scott Rendell who cost the over 100K and Liam Hatch for about 150K the season before. So he has had mixed success from his signings too.

    In answer to banbrotam i do know about Mr Ferguson as i am actually a Cambridge United fan not a Preston fan. I have been watching the events at Peterborough enviously for the last 3/4 seasons. I actually made the point that Preston are not that much bigger than Peterborough. I am not sure i have ever heard the phrase "trying to do a Peterborough" used before either!

  • Comment number 24.

    BeyondThePale

    Go back to the log you just pulled yourself out of and come back with something that might be worth talking about

  • Comment number 25.

    BeyondThePale

    Re. post 17 - this is completely unrelated to the topic. Agree with redthemadsheep2001 and city2promotion in condemning your comment.

  • Comment number 26.

    Cuzza10s comments that North Enders want Ferguson to fail because they supported Irvine is far from the truth. Irvine seemed to have lost his way, was unbearingly dour in interviews, played down any ambition and the team's performances were those of a relegation side. Ferguson's press conference today addressed the same concerns - he's a clever lad and knows he needs the fans behind him. He should be able to do better with the current squad which is of average Championship quality and if he adds some quality and motivation then he should do well. Cuzza10 wouldnt be influenced in his negative comments because of the Man Utd link by any chance?

  • Comment number 27.

    He looks like Steve Pemberton from the League of Gentlemen

  • Comment number 28.

    It just proves Peterborough are only a L1/2 team and getting them to the Championship was a great job on Darren's part

    ----------------------------------

    Agreed! We spent in L2, got promoted. Spent little in L1 and got back to back promotion with roughly the same squad that got us to L1. We didnt strengthen at all going into the CCC, and as a result we're going back to L1 which is were we are football-wise.

  • Comment number 29.

    27. At 5:35pm on 06 Jan 2010, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:
    He looks like Steve Pemberton from the League of Gentlemen

    -------------------------------------

    i knew there was something else! Top one!

  • Comment number 30.

    Preston beware!!!!

    Don't forget he left Posh when the going got tough. What I have seen of PNE this year, its going to be tough to keep them from sliding down the table.

    Maybe PNE are better off in L1!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    "Not one has any real pace yet the ball is mainly played into space, and far too frequently given away to the opposition when under no pressure because most of their ball control is a joke. North End don't need a new manager they need new players"

    The it's up to the manager to try and get the most out of these players by changing the style of play, surely?

  • Comment number 32.

    Disgusting!

    He only got the job because of who his dad is.

    Flagrant bias!

    There are so many ex-top professionals out there dreaming of a break like this.

    No doubt the Preston chairman has it on a nod and a wink that a steady stream of Man U loanees will be coming with him.

    Disgusting!

  • Comment number 33.

    DF did a great job at Posh, of that I have no doubt (as a Posh fan). He gets a lot out of his players. But YellowBadger is right that DF bought quite a few players who turned out to be flops, and the players that got us promoted from L2 and L1 were already at Peterborough when DF joined (Boyd, McLean, Mackail-Smith).

    He's a very good man manager but only an average tactician, and that combination wasn't good enough to help Posh in the CCC with our current squad. With PNE, I think he'll fare better, but have my doubts about whether he'll ever take them up to the Premier League

  • Comment number 34.

    @#30- What are you talking about? He left due to not being allowed to bring in experienced players who played at championship level to help posh try and stay up-surely thats a mark of his talents that he realised that the team would get relegated (as it look they're already doomed)with a young side?

    @#32 So the fact he got a posh side promtoed twice successfully had nothing to do with him getting the job?? The problem is too many ex-pro's think they have a divine right to walk into a club like PNE without having any managerial experience and more often than not the ones who do get sacked because their rubbish-or is that to difficult for ex-players and some fans to understand-not all the great players make great managers look at Walter Zenga-great keepre done nothing as a manager-Fergie Snr-done nothing as a player-as a manager however....

  • Comment number 35.

    Interesting fact of the day #459

    People who complain that Darren Ferguson only got the PNE job because of who his father is, are only complaining about Darren Ferguson because of who his father is.

  • Comment number 36.

    Spending money doesn't guarentee success, though it does help.
    He bought younger and lower league players, and making a success of them does require some skill

  • Comment number 37.

    I don't think anyone can question Mr Fergusons calibre. After many torrid years of having to deal with the 'character' that is Barry Fry, Darren finally did the unthinkable & impossible to many Posh fans. SHUT UP BARRY FRY! This undoubtedly show's a man of strong character and convictions as he was dealing with one of the true egomaniacs of modern day football. He always have a special place in my heart, some simply wonderful moments over the last two years. All the best Darren!

  • Comment number 38.

    I agree with some others, this is a very one-sided view of his ability. Although Fergie did very well at Posh, even in leagues Two and One, often we looked one dimensional and this became most apparent this year, and the fact that in those lower divisions he had relative wealth contributed to his success greatly, i very much doubt he would have got us promoted twice, even once with the players we had pre-macanthony era.

  • Comment number 39.

    it needs to be remembered that as much as he's done very well of his own back, an obvious incentive for any prospective chairman is going to be the contacts book he comes with, which can only be bolstered by having such a successful father.

    He is also going to carry a little bit more of an air of respect because of this too.

    I can't take anything away from him but its not what you know but who you know

  • Comment number 40.

    it's coz he looks like Steve Pemberton from the League of Gentlemen

  • Comment number 41.

    YellowBadger... “I actually made the point that Preston are not that much bigger than Peterborough. I am not sure i have ever heard the phrase "trying to do a Peterborough" used before either!”. Very good…. laughed out loud.
    On the other hand what does “Doing a Preston” mean? I have actually heard this term bandied about by the likes of Plymouth fans.
    Have we ‘failed’ all these years to reach the Prem, or have we ‘succeeded’ in staying in the Championship? Did we ‘fail’ to win the various playoffs or ‘succeed’ in reaching them?
    One thing is becoming acutely clear though… if Ferguson doesn’t take us to the Prem in 18 months he will be out of another job.
    How North End are perceived would seem largely to depend on whether you are associated with the club.... or not.

  • Comment number 42.

    DF bought quite a few players who turned out to be flops
    ----------------
    Haven't all top managers done the same thing in their time

    Sir Alex brought Veron and Taibi, Wenger brought Francis Jeffers, Mourinho brought Shevchenko and Benitez brought Keane and Babel

  • Comment number 43.

    Will people stop comparing him to Steve Pemberton!

    I think it would be a bit churlish of Posh fans to suggest that he wasn't all that after all - or that he was found out in the Championship.

    However, I certainly think he has his work cut out at Preston. I don't think he has the squad in place to play free-flowing, attacking football. For those people unhappy with the sacking of Irvine (I would place myself in that camp) I guess we will find out how good Irvine was doing (and I mean long-term here, not just the run of games towards the end) when we see what Ferguson can get out of the squad.

    I also think it will be very interesting to see whether the club manages to stump up some cash for Ferguson to spend.

  • Comment number 44.

    As I said at the time Alan Irvine was sacked I think there is currently something else occurring at Deepdale away from pure results. We are slightly unusual in that our major shareholder and benefactor is very low profile - Trevor Hemmings - and I suspect that he may have had views ( rightly so ) on who he was going to let spend his money. I think money will be available for Ferguson that would not have been available to Irvine and I think it has saved us from having to sell Lonergan and Wallace ( I still think St Ledger will go ). I think many fans were sad to see Irvine go but like in any business you never really know what is going on day to day and what the relationships are like. One thing I am certain of is that the fans will be pleased to see a whole new backroom team in - a big criticism of Irvine was always that he inherited and kept Paul Simpson's back room staff and I think it is right that there is that complete change. My personal view is that it is a gamble but no more than Moyes was and at Deepdale we all know Darren's dad loves us because we made Beckham the player he was in his 4 weeks with us so if things go a bit pear shaped I expect Rooney to be parachuted in on loan to help out !

  • Comment number 45.

    DF undoubtly did well to gain back to back promotions but it is true we spent large sums of money in L2 and in L1 so he had a very good squad to work with. There's not a great deal of difference between those two divisions either and momentum carried us forward after a slow start last season.

    This season we have always looked short on experience and have struggled to compete but due to the clibs transfer policy DF's hands were always tied. Sadly we were only 3 players away from being a mid table side in my opinion. But as was said earlier I don't want to criticise the chairman after what he has done for the club and I believe he has a longer term plan which is more important that just survival at all costs this season.

    I think DF is a great man manager but his tactics were often found wanting, and this season we couldn't overun teams with our pace and passing and we never had a plan B.

    PNE fans you will be assured of exciting football played the right way but the jury is definately still out as to whether DF will ever make it to the top of the game.

  • Comment number 46.

    YellowBadger, I appreciate your comment about PNE also having spent time in the lower leagues, ala Peterborough, but Preston are the team who have continuously been in the Championship for the longest time, and have been in Top 6 or 8 in the majority of those seasons, stretching back to 2000 (I think). I don't think they're comparable to Peterborough therefore, although their finances are obviously going to be an issue.

    Best of luck to Fergie Jnr anyway!

    P.S. BBC, as much as I disagree with the need to post comment #17, I think it is disgraceful censorship to ban that comment. After all, it is a finalised legal case that is absolutely true - there there is no risk of libel. I would like to know if I man who I am going to cheer for is a convicted criminal - and the BBC is arguably protecting them with their censorship. I am pretty shocked to be frank - it's elsewhere on the BBC website after all!

  • Comment number 47.

    WIFE BEATER????

  • Comment number 48.

    Peterbrough sacking him was ridiculous! He overachieved and then they seemed to think he would work wonders and just cruise through again, completely unrealistic expectations, he overachieved, which ironically contributed to his sacking.

  • Comment number 49.


    Darren left Peterboro in very strange circumcises which is puzzling however I will be surprised this time next year he is still Preston's manager --we will see---

  • Comment number 50.

    I think it would be a bit churlish of Posh fans to suggest that he wasn't all that after all - or that he was found out in the Championship.

    -------------------------------

    I think Posh fans have the greatest understanding of what he has had to achieve, what he has achieved and how he has dealt with situations every week, so to dismiss us as churlish is just rude. Im not saying he is a poor manager far from it, but the fact is the only time he had success was when he had relative wealth, he himself didnt sign (argubly) the best 'nonleague' players everyone rates him for, and when it came to changing tactics when something clearly wasnt working in this division (and in the lower leagues) he was unable to.

  • Comment number 51.

    What is everyone on about that he wont succed at Preston becsuse for a start every season preston punch above their weight. We have a very small squad so i think that everyone should just lay off him.

    He was given 16 matches in the championship with Posh winning only 3 and drawing 5 so he lost exactly half but he also took posh on a good cup run, in which they beat newcastle. In Irvines first 16 games he won 6 and lost 10. Which overall is only four points differnt.

    I dont understand how people can wright him off before he has started. Personaly i was quite excited to see we have a reconisable manager because when Irvine was appointed not many people knew who he was.

    Also the people saying that he is only where he is because of his dad is rubish because your basically saying that getting two succesive promotions dosent count because his father is who he is. Where did the help come from, from Sir Alex? He signed one player on loan that was it, Sir Alex wasent carting UTD youth players off to the Posh.

    I just feel that people can judge him after a couple of games

  • Comment number 52.

  • Comment number 53.

    Great blog as ever, Fletch.
    One thought: Is PNE the sort of club who needs an up-and-coming manager who might be so ambitious he is also fly-by-night?
    Seems to me that time has proven that clubs of a certain size are best served by a manager who is in it for at least the medium, if not long, term.
    I would bet Ferguson is a goner, if not this season, by early 2011.
    Not the stability that PNE needs.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head when you say his teams like to play attractive football - the problem being this wont work when your team is one of the weaker ones in the division and this is why Peterborough found themselves where they were. As a Wednesday fan I think this was part of Brian Laws' undoing too. Nowadays you cannot simply rely on 'playing football the right way', you have to have players that can fight and scrap for points too. Laws built a team to play the attractive game the problem being that a few bad results led to a lack of confidence which in turn made it all the harder to play a passing game. A passing game is all good and well at home, when you have the quality of players to pull it off. However, even the best squads in this division - the likes of Newcastle and Forest - play this style at home but revert to a much more hard-working, physical and compact game away from home. It's one thing sticking to your principles and wanting to play football in the right way, but it wont get you success and this is where many a manager is failing right now. Having said this, there are rumours that Preston are due to receive some investment. It may be for this reason that Alan Irvine got the shove in favour of someone who could build a more attractive attacking team to take Preston forward. Unfortunately, unless he wises up to the need for a bit of bite in your team, I can only see this appointment being a relatively short term.

  • Comment number 55.

    I'd tell his Dad to start giving the interviews he's contractually obliged to before you start doing puff pieces about his son. Who after all, is the Reason his Dad won't talk to you.

  • Comment number 56.

    Relatively speaking, Ferguson enjoyed a Man City style boom at Peterborough in leagues mostly made up of Portsmouths and Boltons. As soon as he had to use brains instead of braun, Peterborough hit the fan. I'll be interested to see what he can do. Certainly not a better option than Irvine in my opinion, only time will tell. Sorry for the Prem analogy, it's the only way to get through to some people.

  • Comment number 57.

    Fletch obviously bases his opinions on what he reads in The Sun, instead of listening to people who eat, drink and sleep their football club.

    Yeah Mr Fists is great, and he'll be better than his father...
    *mutters under breath*

  • Comment number 58.

    "This meant a 4-4-2 formation, with two wide men and a quick and nimble strikeforce."
    Doesn't bode well for Parkin, Brown, Mellor or Elliott. None of them are quick nor nimble. Think Ferguson is going to have to make do and change his style to suit the players at his disposal. Can't imagine him having much money to spend. Good Luck to him.

  • Comment number 59.

    As a Posh fan of many a long year, can I just point a few things out:

    1) Our three best players, who were between them largely responsible for our back to back promotions (Mclean, Mackail Smith and the awesome Boyd) were all signed by Fergusons predecessor, Kieth Alexander. The majority of Fergusons signings from non-league had little or no impact. There were a couple of exceptions (Coutts / Whelpdale) but that's it - close scrutinty of Fergusons activity in the transfer market shows his signings were average or worse.

    2) The myth that Posh played the ball on the deck during our two promotion seasons needs to be countered. Yes it was at a high tempo, and yes there were some good passing moves, but we put the ball in the air down into the channels for Mackail Smith to chase at least as often. A major criticism of the team by it's own fans was that we played long balls from the centre of defence far too often.

    3) Posh had a HUGE amount of money to spend by L2 standards - My grandad could have got them out of L2, and he's been dead for 13 years.

    4) Ferguson showed this season that he is tactically useless when his "Plan A" of give it to one of the front three and hope for the best" did not work - which against better quality opposition, was more often than not.

    Ferguson achieved a lot at Posh, but the succession of one sided editorials based on a) his parentage, and b) how quickly he left London Road when it all went wrong, do not tell the complete story.

  • Comment number 60.

    PNE will not move on appointing such a manager believe me....

  • Comment number 61.

    Interesting article even more interesting comments.
    I think the vast majority of Posh fans hold DF in very high esteem and I'm sure he'll get a warm welcome on his return later this month but I also think a lot of those fans are aware that the chairmans backing played a big part in his success. I think Posh were an ambitious L2 team who employed an ambitious manger but when his ambitions overtook the clubs achievable level he seemed to spit his dummy and walk away rather than digging in and trying something different.
    My concern for PNE is that if they fail to match his expectations and spend, he'll do the same again.

    1 note, none of us know what went on with his ex so maybe keep the petty comments to yourselves and concentrate on the football.

  • Comment number 62.

    I personally think this is an excellent appointment and eagerly anticipate seeing us playing better football as a result.

    Irvine has done a great job for us, I was gutted to see him go - undoubtedly like the majority of other north end fans. I can understand the decision though, we were playing terrible football, we only scored 6 goals in 10 games and have been sliding down the league after a decent start. I still think he could have been given more time though and believe he would have turned it around.

    Darren Ferguson was the one name when I heard of Irvine's sackings that I wanted to get the job. He's had remarkable success with Posh (irrelevant of spending), which he can hopefully build on at PNE. Fingers crossed he can also bring us a 20 goal a season striker which we so desperately crave, someone in the mould of Nugent who's got pace and the ability to create something from nothing, as our strikers are all too much of a muchness at present. Hopefully he also realises unlike a number of those before him, that Chris Sedgwick is not of Championship calibre. I couldn't stand to see Sedge 'chasing his tail' by the corner flag for another season!

    I will certainly be giving my full support to Fergie Junior, I hope he proves to be a great success and proves a couple of people that have already written him off wrong. I also hope that Irvine gets another role quickly and wish him all the best for the future. Hopefully that holy grail of the Premiership is realised before long - I just hope we do it automatically as I don't think I can bear going through another playoff campaign!!

  • Comment number 63.

    I keep hearing about 50% win rate with Posh. Not in the champioinship, and the lower leagues it appears as a result of spending, which he won't have at preston, unless more has gone on behind the scenes. However reading the above and seeing his interview I'm feeling there is more going on, and more impressed by DF. If he plays the ball on the floor, this will suit the team and impress the fans. If he does spend money only on finding quality nobody players, this will suit the board, as we appear good at turning nobody's into good players. You could make an entire team out of ex-preston players in the premiership. If a bit of money was to be present, we might be able to hold onto a few and build a solid promotion team, which would suit DF, who in the real world is well aware he is only a couple of phone calls away from getting better things- although never loaning united players surprised me, but that might change with a more local club, and more established only 1 league below maybe? However, I find it interesting that a popular manager still in charge of a team within realistic reach of the play-offs- 8 points at christmas, last season we were 6 off with 5 games to go- was sacked before the window, and just as our star player came back who publicly stated he went to Borough because they could spend in January if not doing as well as hoped, and turned down a lot of money to come back. Maybe our very rich shareholder Mr. Hemmings, who just happens to be a Preston fan has finally snapped seeing Blackpool above us and Burnley in the prem and decided to clear the debt and throw his platinum plated diamond crusted credit card on the table. Alternatively of course maybe Irvine got St. Ledger back, asked the board if he could keep him, knowing they've still made £2M from his loan, he's cut the squad, and set-up a youth team for future sales and reduced need to buy, but been told they are still selling in Jan, and the resulting converation was probably not suitable for publication. The team was however becoming a bit stale, so maybe shaking it up with a new manager, who it appears the worst he can do is stay mid-table is worth a gamble. I've never blamed the board until recently, as they have built a new ground, kept us out of debt and made us a championship team from being a mid table bottom tier club. However, in the last few years they do seem to have shown they have no bottle in this league, and perhaps they, like some managers, have taken us as far as they can, and movement is immenant there too. As a league 1/2 club we have a big enough fan base to afford big money signings at that level of 400k, but it doesn't cut it at this level. After Moyes and Davies, Irvine was the 3rd maanger they lost bottle in january when doing well to build on the backbone of cheaper good players they found with the last 2/3 more expensive players needed for a final push with a complete team. I think DF will be using Preston as a stepping club, and if he has taken his fathers advice will have told him the same as is a good steady testing ground, but he knows he needs to succeed, and if Peterborough were always punching above their weight, then DF will be suited as Preston punch above their weight getting in playoffs, as long as he can achieve that, and especially if this is a sign of hidden activities- 4th times a charm!!

  • Comment number 64.

    Clearly Darren did a fantastic job at Peterborough, they were a nothing club who werent going anywhere. It really shows the impact that a good, young, fresh manager can have on a football club. Dazza didnt have much money to spend, but what was spent was spent very wisely. Again highlighting his ability as a superb manager. Im sure that he can be the one to get Preston where they belong amongst the big-boys.

    The comment made about his ability to blend in wih the squad i believe is particularly important, as the players will feel far more comfortable with a manager like that, opposed to one that lets the coaches do the work and is barely ever seen. Getting the players to trust, believe and feel comfortable around their manager is vital for a club to succeed.

    @comment 60: Ted, Preston will not have hired a manager who they believe will take the club backwards, he is definitely capable of getting the team promoted. Peterborough before ferguson took over were in the same position as preston, and look where he took them....

  • Comment number 65.

    I don't quite understand all the criticism aimed at Ferguson that is based around the fact that he spent a lot of money at Peterborough.

    Seriously?

    So he's not a good manager because he successfully navigated his way through the transfer market to take his team to the Championship without leaving the club on the brink of administration due to over-spending?

    I suppose Wigan and Fulham both rose through the leagues without spending a penny?

    Yes sometimes teams have money to spend. Doing it successfully though takes talent. After all, Notts County and QPR both seemingly had/have a massive pot to draw upon. How is that working out for everyone?


    At Preston, Ferguson will have VERY little to spend. They are badly in need of some major investment if they ever want to claw their way over the final hurdle. If Ferguson succeeds with the resources he has to work with, then he will have done VERY well.

    Can you not give him a chance to at least try before condeming him as a potential failure?

    Good luck Mr Ferguson.

  • Comment number 66.

    64. At 10:02pm on 06 Jan 2010, goldilox16 wrote:

    ... Dazza didnt have much money to spend, but what was spent was spent very wisely.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    He had a relative fortune to spend. The best players at the club, with the exception of Joe Lewis (£400k for a L2 club - how does that qualify as not much money to spend?) were signed by someone else. Most of his signings are, quite frankly, rubbish.

    Liam Hatch Rubbish
    Scott Mitchell Rubbish
    Joe Lewis Exceptional
    Scott Rendell Rubbish
    Russell Martin Reasonably good
    Tom Williams OK but poor attitude
    Sergio Torres Rubbish
    Dominic Green Rubbish
    Gabriel Zakuani Good
    Kwesi Appiah Rubbish
    Danny Mills Rubbish
    Dominic Green Rubbish
    Ben Wright Rubbish

    The list goes on. And on. And on. Almost 40 pro's at the club, and maybe 15 of them are any good.

    Sure, there are some good players but the majority of his signings are poor.

  • Comment number 67.

    Am I the only one who can see the irony in some of the comments here?

    Many are saying he was only successful because of the money he spent, but #59 (a longterm Posh fan) states the best performing players were already there. So he must have been successful then by getting those players to perform better than they had been doing then?

    Many people don't realised the gap in quality between the Championship and League 1 and struggle to make the transition between a team winning most weeks on the way up, and one being out-played and losing at the other end of the table. I know plenty of us Argyle fans struggled with this (we finished 17th in our first season back in the Championship), hence why we have several thousand less at Home Park nowadays sadly.

    Argyle are very similar in stature to Posh, our largest transfer fees are both about 500,000 where many other teams in the division have spent much more on a single player. I say enjoy it while it lasts, and if it lasts longer than expected then it's a plesant surprise. Be happy that Darren Ferguson took you up 2 divisions as many managers can seem to do it even with the tools and money already in place. Wish him well and back your new manager and the side.

    I think many forget football is followed for the enjoyment and the ride.

  • Comment number 68.

    Very interesting comments. I admit I have been surprised by how many Posh fans have come out to criticise one aspect or another of a managerial tenure that included back-to-back promotions. Comment 66 is particularly interesting about his transfer record, while several fans suggest he lacked a Plan B.

    I have to say, I don't think he will have a lot to spend at Preston so it is important he has a lot more hits than misses. The recent blog I wrote after Alan Irvine was sacked also had a few people criticising his transfer record.

    Spotting a theme here?

  • Comment number 69.

    'Nick the 69th White Brazillian', that is indeed my error, however Alan Irvine was responsible for much the same thing at Preston, yet his signings, unlike Ferguson's, were not a success, and despite what you say about almost all of his signings being rubbish, i sincerely doubt this is true. If all the 'good' players were already there, why was Ferguson hired in the first place. Obviously his signings did make a difference. And if you are a Posh fan, surely you should be grateful for what Ferguson has done for the club, despite the money that was spent.

  • Comment number 70.

    Yes Paul, managers who have a shocking record of spending money get the sack......

  • Comment number 71.

    goldilox16 - no mate, the theme I am talking about is managers coming in for stick from supporters over their track record in the transfer market. What I am not doing is suggesting that both in reality have dodgy records when it comes to buying players.

  • Comment number 72.

    Whatever the reasons for him leaving Peterborough, the important thing to note here is that Darren ferguson is highly thought of and highly thought of managers get work. He is only 37 years old and that means he is still learning the art of management but it seems clear that he has drive, ambition and leadership skills to steer a club to success. He had some funds to spend at Peterborough so it will be interesting to how he will cope with a tight budget and, if some of the comments on here about Preston needing new players are to be believed, then this will be a stern test of his abilities to manage a side with limited resources and "lesser-quality" playing staff. I wish him good luck in his new managerial position and hope that a home-grown manager will bring success to his new club.


    http://bigmatchcentre.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 73.

    There weren't so many comments about Nigel Clough benefitting from who his father was even though:

    - Burton Albion hadn't yet achieved promotion from the Conference to League Two.
    - He moved up three tiers to Derby County in the Championship.
    - He moved to Derby County, the club where his father made his name.

    Perhaps Derby County fans were so enraptured by the Clough name that very few had anything adverse to say about the move. Also, while Brian Clough is revered posthumously throughout English football (more so than when he was alive), Darren suffers from the fact there is a great deal of hostility to Alex Ferguson amongst significant sections of football fans, which is vicariously directed at him, as his father's son.

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/in-their-fathers-footsteps/

  • Comment number 74.

    What makes Ferguson good? He's got a a Dad called Alex...

  • Comment number 75.

    I don't get it.

    Some people are slating his signings saying they were average are worse; while other people are saying that he effectively 'bought' his way to League One. This sounds very contradictory to me? Surely the 2 are mutually exclusive?

    You can't buy your way to L1 with bad signings can you?

  • Comment number 76.

    I think Fergie is an kay Manager so far. As others said, his signings recod is very poor. Preston will not give him a lot of money so we will see if he has the skills to work with a small squad and not spend lots.

    Fergie was not expected to get promotion last season and did very wll, especially late in the season when they wer behind MK Dons.

    For me the juy is still out. Promotion is unrealistic this season, too much to do. If next season he can get Preston to the play offs then he will have shown he is a good manager

  • Comment number 77.

    Darren Ferguson - talented midfielder?...hmmm. As sons of former managers go, he is closer to Paul Dalglish than Jamie Redknapp - hardly "talented".

    With regards to his Peterborough exploits. A manager either makes his name by doing one of 2 things

    1) Moulding a club in his own image, bringing in new players, recognising talent and engendering a mystical spirit - this takes years (read Shankly, Busby, Stein, etc)

    2) Spend money for quick wins (which is the modern day equivalent)

    Now at the age of 37, and recognising some healthy budgets Darren has spent, I would imagine that it is the latter, supported by the canny foundation in previous years by Barry Fry.

    If Darren Ferguson were not the son of Alex (who can we get straight, is not football's most successful manager - 24 trophies in 24 years based on the biggest (respective) budget in history, pales in comparison to that of Bob Paisley's), he would not get the column inches he has.

    I wish both clubs well. Preston have been the bridesmaids for a long time, which suggests that their time may have passed. Posh have much to look forward to.

  • Comment number 78.

    "P.S. BBC, as much as I disagree with the need to post comment #17, I think it is disgraceful censorship to ban that comment. After all, it is a finalised legal case that is absolutely true - there there is no risk of libel. I would like to know if I man who I am going to cheer for is a convicted criminal - and the BBC is arguably protecting them with their censorship. I am pretty shocked to be frank - it's elsewhere on the BBC website after all!"

    He's a Ferguson.

    What do you expect?

  • Comment number 79.

    I can think of plenty of other managers who are plying their trade with this type of football, not only in the Championship. Not much of a song and dance made about them. Why is that?

    I'd suggest the main reason is that they haven't just got new jobs. They don't need to. They haven't been sacked for being bottom of the league. Are there coaches better at that coaching style perhaps who deserve more credit?

    Although Daddy being one of the most successful managers in footballing history helps with the headlines. You can't escape it, Darren certainly isn't.

  • Comment number 80.

    To those who think Posh fans are being churlish about DF, I'd like to clarify that the vast majority of Posh fans would I'm sure acknowledge that he was a superb manager for us, that he got the best out of the team in L2 and L1, and that they were shocked and hugely disappointed to see him leave. I'm sure he'll get a great reception when he comes back to London Road.
    BUT I think it's also fair to highlight, given the negative press that Posh have received after DF left the club that:
    (1) DF was not the only person responsible for Posh's success
    (2) the players that were instrumental in guiding Posh from L2 to the CCC were signed a few weeks before Darren Ferguson joined (end Jan 2007) so @67 it's not fair to assume that "he must have been successful then by getting those players to perform better than they had been doing"
    For example, Boyd (signed early Jan 2007), McLean (early Jan 2007), Mackail Smith (late Jan 2007 but identified by previous manager), and even players like Micah Hyde (early Jan 2007) and Craig Morgan (October 2006)

    I wish DF the best of luck with PNE (except when they play Posh)


  • Comment number 81.

    * actually Morgan ws signed een later, in December 2006

  • Comment number 82.

    beyondthepale wrote,amongst his usual nonsense:

    "I would like to know if I man who I am going to cheer for is a convicted criminal"(sic)

    yet, you'll cheer a man who has a better lawyer, a man who with 4 mates will a attack 1 man because he looked at him funny- in "self defence".

  • Comment number 83.

    I enjoy reading your blogs but as a massive Southend United supporter that goes to every match I really cannot see the difference between Darren Ferguson and Steve Tilson. I know Tilly go all the accolades when he achieved promotion but that has all gone quiet now even though we nearly bounced back straight away and the last two seasons battled financially and having to rely on loans and frees and we are still in touch of the play-offs.

    Ferguson did well at P'boro but they got promoted by spending thousands of pounds on Conference players whereas Tilson had VERY little funds and had to use his football brain. I am not saying Darren Ferguson is not a good manager because he obviously is, but I do think Tilson is getting over-shadowed because he is a very good manager and is a true Southend United legend.

  • Comment number 84.

    "beyondthepale wrote,amongst his usual nonsense:

    "I would like to know if I man who I am going to cheer for is a convicted criminal"(sic) "

    No I didn't.

    Get your facts right.

  • Comment number 85.

    Some interesting reaction to this blog. As ever there are some statements being made that are non-factual. Let me just try and state the facts:
    Posh spent a lot more than the average L2 club before DF arrived, setting us up for promotion with very good players.
    In L2 we played great football and scored lots of goals.
    In L1 largely the same team ended up getting promoted. Transfer spending was still high but very few players made a difference to the team. Nevertheless, we still played great football and got promoted.
    The Chairman is the single biggest factor behind the promotions by providing significant finance since he arrived, pre-DF and post-DF. The transfer record shows that signings pre-DF were vastly more important than post-DF, hence why his record is being challenged. Nevertheless, other clubs have spent money and failed to get promoted, so DF deserves his share of credit in producing a consistent team, playing attractive football and achieving promotion. However, all at Posh contributed to that so it was not DF alone.
    The problems started with promotion to the CCC. The team neeeded to be reinforced, which it did not do (the jury is still out on why but I suspect the Chairman's well was running a bit dry). Without reinforcements we needed a better tactical plan and DF did not appear able to step up. Without the tactical plan, DF wanted new players and therein lies the disagreement with the Chairman and the parting of the waves.
    Ultimately, DF produces teams that play attractive football and he man manages well. His transfer record and tactical nous appear to be a bit behind the curve, however.
    I don't know Preston well enough to know what the team needs to improve, but there is more to his experiences at Peterborough than just managing the team to two promotions.

  • Comment number 86.

    He'll be the next Roy Keane. When he had the investment to outspend the other clubs in his league he got his team promoted, when he no longer had the money advantage he came instantly unstuck because he has no talent. Nobody is saying he should have got Peterborough promoted again - if he took them up to the Premiership this season then you would be justified in calling him special - but they have been bottom of the league for the last 10 games or so without any hope of climbing out of the relegation zone. The only reason the man is considered special is because of his father Alex.

    Although I often wonder how well Alex Ferguson would do at a club where he didnt have the huge advantages of a massive stadium and tons of money. And even though he has been able to spend massive amounts on huge flops - Djemba-Djemba, kleberson, Massimo Taibi (signed to replace schmeichel!) and flop of the century, Veron - Man Utd's most successful period of his reign was the late 90's when he was lucky with the likes of Beckham, Scholes, the Nevilles, Butt, etc, coming from the youth set up. Nobody has come through the ranks before or since so he cant really be credited with orchastrating that. And he has now got to the point where he has almost totally dismantled the team. They have played bad football for the past 3 years - defending like Bolton under Sam Alladyce - but with Ronaldo to bail them out (although when they came up against Barca in the European Cup final even with Ronaldo they were made to look like a pub team). Fergie's obviously mismanaged the Ronaldo situation and now he's gone and they look awful, absolutely shocking. If he had Wenger's resources at Arsenal he wouldnt last 3 months in the job. But still, people put him up there with the best managers around and thus there is massive interest in his son. Good luck to Darren because he's going to need it, I'm just glad he didnt get the job at Sheffield Wednesday, although that whole situation has been woefully mismanaged by the board, but the issues at Wednesday are another story altogether...

  • Comment number 87.

    # 86

    SAF won the European Cup Winners Cup with Aberdeen, beating Real Madrid in the final. That is what he can achieve with a team with no money.

    I think talking about SAF is off-topic so I won't say any more other than to say that your post is complete rubbish.

  • Comment number 88.

    #87

    If i had to reply to the question 'What makes Darren Ferguson special' my two word answer would be - Alex Ferguson. So i fail to see how mentioning him is off topic. I feel Alex has been a decent manager but very much over-rated, he's certainly not up there with the all-time greats, and now his son, after only 3 years of management, is also being dramatically over-rated.

    Preston will be a good test for Darren, they are an established Championship side that have been in the play-offs for 3 out of the last 5 seasons, and so i would suggest that an achieveable target for the club is to continue this trend and to expect to be in the Premiership within 3 years. Altough Preston are currently in 15th place they are only 8 points off 4th position.

    My prediction is that without outspending other clubs in the league and without any loans from Dad then he will struggle to achieve these targets.

  • Comment number 89.

    two things:

    No-one has yet to explain how, if DF's signings are so average or poor, how he managed to get them promoted two years running? I couldn't care less if he signed a whole team of poor players, if he gets us to the Premier League!

    And, although off topic, I would hardly say that United are "shocking" at the moment - 2nd in the league, in the carling cup semi's and still in Europe - if that is shocking I dont think there is a word to describe us!

  • Comment number 90.

    The traits and actions attributed to Ferguson jr, strike me as the minimum expectation of ANY professional football manager. If all this guy is doing are the basics as described above, then what in gods name are the other managers doing!

  • Comment number 91.

    #89

    The good signings were already there before DF arrived. DF's signings hardly ever played for the first team.

    He deserves credit for managing a good side and playing good football but the key players he used (Boyd, McLean, Mackail-Smith) were primarily not his.

  • Comment number 92.

  • Comment number 93.

    @89

    SocraticPosh in post #91 is spot on. But also, because DF had a large spending budget for a L2 and L1 side he could afford to sign 30+ players and only have a hit rate of 1/8 good ones

  • Comment number 94.

    91

    Fair point. What we need at PNE is to get the underperforming players that we have playing like they should, is this something that he can do? Given the same players got us to the play-offs last season, its fairly obvious what they can do if someone can get them firing on all cylinders.

  • Comment number 95.

    #86 Totally concur with Sam's comments regards Alex Ferguson, spot on to point out he had the good fortune of huge resource, and with Beckham, Scholes, the Nevilles, Butt, etc, to bale him out of a prolonged bad spell early doors, and also spot on to compare against Wenger, who with very little money he has kept Arsenal in the top four for 6 years, and where he has continuely identified 16/17 year old players purchased for peanuts, who have gone on to be not just Premier, but International players. However, do not take away what Ferguson junior has achieved with very little at Peterborough. A club with very little resource and going no-where, has achieved 2 successive promotions, enviously leaving behind teams such as Leeds, Norwich, and Charlton. He took Peterborough as far as they could go, but you cannot get 150mph out of a Skoda! Preston will be a true test, he has a decent enough team to work with, so lets not judge him until the seasons end.

  • Comment number 96.

    93

    A large spending budget is something he will definitely not have at PNE. He'll have to make do with loans and free transfers

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    97,

    Milk, two sugars, luv.

  • Comment number 99.

    Why is everyone assuming DF will be 'getting loan signings from his Dad'. Did you actually read the article? "But Darren has always been determined to forge his own way in management and the only United player he signed on loan was James Chester."

    Football really does contain a bunch of whiny success hating fools - 'lets all try and belittle the achievements of DF cos of his successful Dad'. Like it or not SAF has been the most successful manager in English football, that's obviously enough to make some saddoes post irrelevant nonsense on here due to the family connection. And like it or not DF was successful in his own right at Posh hence he deserves his chance at Preston. If he succeeds or stuffs up it will be down to him not his Dad.

    Does look like Steve Pemberton though...

  • Comment number 100.

    As a Leicester fan, I was very impressed with Ferguson and Posh last season. It was hard not to be. They arrived at the Walkers in December 2008 on the back of a great unbeaten run and got beaten 4-0, yet still went on another fantastic run and looked set to pip us to the title at one stage, until they drew with Cheltenham and lost to Millwall over Easter while we beat Hereford and Leeds.

    I'd be interested to hear how Posh have been getting on since he left. Haven't really paid much attention to their results other than the extraordinary 4-4 with Cardiff recently.

    One thing I noticed about Ferguson in particular was his bullishness and confidence bordering on arrogance. That irritated the hell out of a few Leicester fans at the time although now it's obviously in the past. Will be interesting to resume rivalries with him now at Preston.

 

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