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Ferguson doing the business

Posted 20th August 2010

After finishing last season as his club's Player's Player of the Year, it was no surprise that Birmingham manager Alex McLeish was keen to tie Barry Ferguson down with a new contract which will keep him at the side until 2012.

Despite bringing in big name signings Ben Foster, Nikola Zigic and most recently Matt Derbyshire, McLeish will view Ferguson's new contract as his best bit of business this summer. The club were reportedly close to signing Italian Mauro Camoranesi only to pull out with the player claiming the club weren't keen enough for his signature. Ferguson's form last season will have convinced his manager that he didn't need the experienced Juventus star. Ferguson also closed the door on a possible return to the Scotland national team, choosing to focus on his club side something which will be a big relief for McLeish who will be keen to keep the 32-year-old as fresh as possible.

Ferguson's presence in the Birmingham midfield was essential to their success last season as the club finished in the Premier League top ten for the first time. The Birmingham betting suggests they will have a hard time replicating that this season. The Scotsman quickly became a fans favourite at St Andrews, despite their less than warm welcome when he first signed. Not much was expected from fans who were judging Ferguson unfairly on his previous spell in the Premiership, when he suffered an injury ravaged two years at Blackburn. However, the midfielder has proved his quality since signing for Birmingham last summer from Rangers, stating he had "unfinished business" with the Premier League. Last season he silenced the old issue of whether players from the north of the border can compete in England's top flight.

Ferguson started this season with a good performance as his side came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with ten man Sunderland. The midfield general was tireless in the middle of the park and controlled the comeback after a poor first half for Birmingham. The Midland club's next match will see them travel up to Ferguson's former club Blackburn in what is sure to be fiery encounter.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool betting suggests the Merseyside club should head into the group stages of the Europa League after they beat Turkish side Trabzonspor 1-0 last night.