By Joe Ellis

21st Jan, 2022 | 2:10pm

Pundit doubts Ferguson impact citing deeper issues at Everton

Duncan Ferguson reassumes his role as caretaker manager at Everton this weekend and excitement at Goodison Park is at an all-season high.

There is an ere of expectation around the club that with Ferguson at the helm, the club are going to hit form and carry themselves away from relegation fears.

The Atheltic’s George Elek however thinks Toffees fans need to come down from cloud nine and realise that Ferguson is not the answer they are necessarily looking for.

“There are a lot of issues with the squad itself,” Elek said on The Atheltic’s Football podcast, “Duncan Ferguson feels like the kind of appointment where you’re already in a bit of trouble.

“He might squeeze a little bit out of the side in the short term but to expect him to be an upgrade with the same group of players as Benitez is pretty fanciful.

“Whoever does come in is going to have a difficult time making this squad any better than a side just outside the relegation zone.

“I know they’re delighted to see the back of Rafa. It was an appointment that never should have happened given his history with their arch-rivals.

“But I can’t see the shackles all of a sudden being off and them going on a big run to the end of the season.”

Biding time

Elek is not wrong, and while you could see his views as pessimistic, there has to be an element of realism that takes precedent.

Ferguson is a very good option for the short term to get the fire in the bellies of the Everton players but no one knows how he would do on a longer-term basis.

The Toffees aren’t really in a position where they can gamble on him coming good beyond the first handful of games and their ongoing pursuit of a new manager says the board think the same.

It seems almost certain then that Ferguson will only be in charge for a minimal amount of time and games but they could be enough to keep Everton safe.

It certainly won’t be a lack of effort or heart that sees a Ferguson side beat on the day and the Goodison Park faithful will get right behind a team that tries their hearts out.

In other Everton news, there could be as many as four changes for Ferguson’s first game with our predicted XI.