It’s the end of an era and I am extremely sad. Each fan is allowed their opinion and this is just mine. This is not just a manager leaving. It is a crossroads for the club that so many of us adore. Although Darren Ferguson was one of many managers over the past two decades, he personifies what the ethos of the club has become. His brand of attacking football that regularly had the POSH near the top of the list for goals scored has become an expectation at the club. Therefore this is truly a monumental problem that the club must face. Bringing in any manager to “right the ship” will not maintain that ethos set during Ferguson’s tenure. Survival, no doubt is the aim but the long term health of the club will depend largely upon the way that things are done moving forward. I have an answer and almost no one is going to like it.
In order to keep the club from getting relegated and maintain a semblance of the club’s forward thinking style with the players that we have will take a particular type of person. Someone with a pedigree that will gain instant respect from the players but a willingness to take on a challenge of these proportions. In addition to these attributes comes the need for someone who recognizes the importance of giving opportunities to young players. Although I’m sure this will be written off as pure Americanism, my belief is that Jesse Marsch would be the best candidate that we could hope to get.
While I’m sure that most POSH fans have not studied Jesse’s career, I’ve gotten to see it develop over the past decade. His progression from my standpoint started at New York Red Bull. At that club, he helped to do a top to bottom overhaul of the club’s persona. The messaging that was used inside and outside of the locker room was consistent with the play on the field. His style of play was a combination of pressing with insurgent attacking that would be akin to what POSH fans would expect. He regularly brought players from the youth academy through to the first team. Several players, including Tyler Adams, were given their big break under Jesse Marsch. Although he could have continued to seek success in MLS, he chose to progress his career by moving to Germany as second in command at RB Leipzig. That opportunity was merely a waiting room for him to move to Red Bull Salzburg where he was very successful developing young talent while winning games along the way. This halftime speech may be mostly in German but the results that he was able to get from his players against Liverpool in the Champion’s League is exactly what we need. Based upon his success in Salzburg, he was given the reins at RB Leipzig. He was unable to find the same winning ways but that is probably the only thing that could give our club a chance at getting him. His last position could be viewed as a failure but having listened to Jesse speak many times, he will have used it as a learning experience. With something to prove and his Red Bull connection possibly severed, the opportunity to build up a small club in the Championship might be the exact type of challenge he wants.
My desire would have been that Darren Ferguson would have stayed. This season is not representative of what he is nor what he has meant to the club. His fate was possibly sealed when we did not sell JCH in the summer. His stock was at its highest and will not go that high again. Selling him for a few million to someone else would have funded many of the pieces that we needed to survive. Unfortunately the past is gone and Darren Ferguson is no longer the POSH manager. A fourth time around is not coming, so it is farewell and I wish nothing but the best for the “gaffer”!