Barry Ferguson delighted to be Birmingham City's pass master
He is Birmingham City's Little General, Alex McLeish’s on-field orchestrator.
And Barry Ferguson, one of the Premier League’s pass masters, couldn’t be happier with his footballing life.
For 13 years, apart from a spell at Blackburn Rovers, Ferguson was tied to Glasgow Rangers.
After leading them to the 2009 SPL and Scottish Cup double, it looked as if he would see out his career at Ibrox.
But Ferguson became restless and, with the infamous ‘Boozegate’ affair when on national duty continuing to loom large, he opted to cut his ties.
McLeish identified him as the ideal man to underpin Blues’ midfield following promotion from the Championship.
And Ferguson, 32, has revelled in his new lease of life.
“I love it here,” he enthuses. “I have said plenty of times before I wasn’t enjoying my football the last few months in Scotland.
“I made the decision with Rangers that I had to move on because I was going pretty stale up the road. I was playing the same teams week in, week out.
“The manager gave me the opportunity to come down and I think I had to prove again that I could play at this level.
“I’m enjoying every minute of it. The boys are fantastic, everything about the club is great and I’m enjoying my football.
“I have got another two years left on my contract now and hopefully I will see them out.”
Ferguson’s older brother, former Rangers midfielder Derek, revealed that Ferguson was finding the quiet life out of the Glasgow spotlight a pleasant change.
And it had contributed to his contentment.
That, and the worry about the media circus, made Ferguson’s decision to stay out of the Scotland fold all the more obvious.
“He is enjoying the quiet life down there,” says Derek. “He’s away from the goldfish bowl up here.
“I can see it in him physically, he is looking better. He’s a happier man, he is not in the spotlight.”
Ferguson, who was voted players’ player-of-the-year last season, said the togetherness in the ranks at St Andrew’s was strong, and it would help them through a sticky start to this campaign.
“People look at me as if I’m stupid, but it’s definitely the best team spirit I’ve ever experienced, I’ve ever played in. I’m not just saying that because I’m enjoying myself. You go in and you see at half-time, even when we are on top in a game, people are still at each other.
“Not fighting or anything like that, but it’s great. It should be like that.