No matter what the sport, there will be characters who will forever be intrinsically linked to particular entities therein. For example, Kobe Bryant with the LA Lakers or Gary Neville being a one club man at Manchester United, Cian Healy in the blue of Leinster Rugby or Ruby Walsh aboard a Willie Mullins-trained horse.
It’s not overly difficult to affix a similar connection between Duncan Ferguson and Everton. Yes, the big Scot has been associated with other clubs, most notably Rangers, – and has recently taken over as manager of Forest Green Rovers – but this corner will always primarily associate the bustling centre forward with The Toffees with whom he played a leading role in their FA Cup victory of 1995.
Which is why it was absolutely no surprise to see him join the coaching staff at Goodison Park once his, eh, colourful playing career had come to an end. What was unexpected, though, was to see Bill Kenwright et al allow Big Dunc to leave Finch Farm and its environs after a couple of spells as Assistant/Caretaker Manager.
Granted, the former firebrand forward finally departed the toffee production line of his own accord to further his ambition of being a Manager in his own right.
However, even from the outside looking in, the baffling thing is how Kenwright and Mr Moshiri (I think I have the latter’s name correct) allowed the fan favourite – who wore the heart and soul of the club on his sleeve – to leave without giving him a shot at the top job.
Especially against a backdrop where there has been a higher turnover of managers than most meadows get in the height of haymaking season. Compared to a scenario where both Howard Kendall and Joe Royle enjoyed elongated – and relatively successful – spells in the Everton dugout.
In no particular order, this writer can recall David Moyes, Roberto Martinez, the late Walter Smith, Ronald Koeman, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benetiz, Frank Lampard and now Sean Dyche in not that long of a timespan. Even at that some have probably been forgotten.
If I were any Everton fan though, of even greater concern would be the club’s alacrity at cashing in on their better players rather than trying to build a team around them. Anthony Gordon and Richarlison only being the latest examples.
On the former of the two cases referred to above, out of respect to Gordon, the statement released by his now erstwhile employers was one of the coldest, most callous, crass pieces of material encountered by the one seeing eye here in a long time. In stark contrast to remarks given to the press by the young lad himself. Given their attitude towards the matter – and managers – it’s no wonder he wanted to move to Newcastle. Their gain is very much The Toffees loss.
All of which makes one wonder what the Merseyside outfit hope to achieve by constantly changing the direction from which the direction is emanating. Not to mention a pondering as to what Seamus Coleman must think of his decision to remain in situ when Manchester United on at least one occasion – during Jose Mourinho’s stewardship – made overtures regarding his acquisition.
Sean Dyche is one of the shrewdest and most pr-active managers around, good luck to him. You sense he’ll need it.