Yesterday afternoon, Moise Kean was subject to one of the most humiliating occurrences possible in football as he was a “sub-subbed” by Everton caretaker boss, Duncan Ferguson. The man known as “Big Dunc” has come under a lot of criticism for his actions in subbing Kean given the tender age of the player, but was it all fair? Most definitely.
Getting sub-subbed in a football match, as I said above, is one of the most humiliating things that can happen to a footballer. It’s something you see so rarely in football, and not something I remember seeing in the Premier League since 2008 when Arsene Wenger did it to Emmanuel Eboue. Following his appearance as a sub in the league against Wigan, Eboue did just about everything wrong and was then subbed back off to the tune of 60,000 booing cockneys…
Yesterday, Moise Kean came on in the 70th minute at Old Trafford only to be subbed back off again 18 minutes later. Duncan Ferguson said that he did it because he needed “to make a sub to kill of a little bit of time”. To be perfectly honest, I think that’s utter tripe – he did it because Kean wasn’t playing overly well and he’s trying to show that he can make cut-throat decisions. If he really wanted to waste time with subs, he could have taken off one of the nine non-substitute players instead – Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin for example.
Why on Earth would any manager worth his seat in the dugout choose to embarrass a 19-year-old kid in front of 75,000 people, plus millions more watching around the world? Kean has been pathetically mis-managed since the moment he walked through the doors at Finch Farm – first from Marco Silva who just didn’t play him, and now with “Big Dunc” who seems to have taken pleasure in humiliating a teenager.
Was Kean’s play really that bad?
In all honest, it was clear that Kean was struggling to keep up with play. He couldn’t get into any of the areas he needed to be, he was mis-matched in all aerial duels and didn’t manage to have a single shot on goal. BUT, given that there was two minutes left, plus injury time, and the fact that he’s basically still a kid – common sense dictates that you let him finish the game.
Instead, he was hauled off, much to his bemusement, and replaced by Oumar Niasse. A lot of fans, coaches and pundits forget about the fact that a lot of these players are still just young lads with fragile confidence levels and the world of pressure on their shoulders. Yes, he may have cost a lot of money. Yes, he may be on a very high wage – but that doesn’t make him any less of a teenage boy.
We all know the world of professional sport is perhaps the most cut-throat there is, but there has to be a human element to it. Kean’s face as he walked off the field was one of pure disbelief and sheer disdain for his surroundings. His head sunk into his shoulders as his feet marched down the touchline and into the tunnel with the world watching on. The fact that Ferguson allowed him to just walk by him and down the line, without at least going to shake his hand, proves to me that his comments about it being “to waste time” are nothing but utter b******s.
What next for Kean?
He must leave Everton at the first opportunity he’s given – it’s as simple as that. I feel sorry for the lad – in his native country of Italy, he’s not welcome in many a football ground because of the colour of his skin, so why would he want to go back there? In this country, he’s taking a while to settle in, as most players do, particularly young ones, and he’s just been embarrassed in front of the whole country.
So then, where does he go next? Does he try and persist and find another English club? Does he accept institutional racism and go back to Italy? Or does he look for a club in another of Europe’s top leagues – making it three countries in less than a year? The lad is in a very tough spot right now, and he’ll need the guidance of those around him.
Normally, the manager is the person that you’d talk to about this kind of thing, but given that Duncan Ferguson is intent on managing Everton as though it’s 1974, that seems like a bad idea.
Everton might be tempted to keep Ferguson on at the club based on two good results so far as caretaker boss. If they’ve got any compassion or regard for their players, current and future, they’ll find themselves somebody who knows how to manage their staff. Ferguson is a footballing dinosaur – this incident proved it for me. It might seem like a breath of fresh air at first as he reverts back to old school football and managerial tactics, but it WILL end in tears if he’s appointed permanently.