Duncan Ferguson has recorded another positive result as Everton’s caretaker manager.
The Toffees legend followed up last week’s 3-1 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
Victor Lindelof’s own-goal opened the scoring at Old Trafford – with an assist from VAR after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s clear elbow on David de Gea wasn’t punished. Man United huffed and puffed their way through the remainder of the match, before finally pulling level through substitute Mason Greenwood’s smart strike from the edge of the box.
A 1-1 draw was probably the fair result from a game that was high on effort but low on quality from both teams. So much so, that the match may be remembered more for one of Ferguson’s substitution decisions.
The Everton coach brought on Moise Kean for Bernard after 70 minutes.
Nine of touches of the ball and 19 minutes later, the 19-year-old was walking down the tunnel to the dressing room after his manager substituted him off for Oumar Niasse.
Kean, who joined the club from Juventus in a transfer worth a potential €30m, looked understandably baffled and hurt to be taken off so soon after coming on.
The Italian striker shook hands with Niasse but didn’t look at Ferguson who, strangely, didn’t engage with the player before he walked down the touchline.
Following the game, the former Everton and Rangers forward explained why he substituted Kean. Ferguson said that he wanted to kill some time and it wasn’t anything “personal” with the player.
“You know what, it wasn’t because of Moise Kean’s performance,” he told Sky Sports.
“I just needed to make a substitution to kill a bit of time, that’s all it is. I’ve got so many strikers on the bench that I just decided to make that change. It was nothing personal against Moise Kean.”
Here is Ferguson’s post-game interview in full:
While he was only on the field 19 minutes, Kean had a poor game, making no positive impact on the match whatsoever.
However, it could be argued that the decision to substitute him off was equally poor. Kean’s confidence is bound to be down after being embarrassed in front of almost 75,000 fans in the stadium and millions watching around the world.
Also, Ferguson’s reasoning – that the substitution would waste time – doesn’t really stand up when the referee adds on 30 seconds for every substitution made.
On beIN Sports, former Liverpool full-back John Arne Riise said Ferguson will have “destroyed” Kean’s confidence.
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