"If only they were all like him" - Pat Nevin pays tribute to Damien Duff

Ex-Chelsea midfielder speaks to Off The Ball about Ireland legend and Premier League talking points

Damien Duff,

Damien Duff (Picture by: Brian Lawless / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Pat Nevin believes Damien Duff's attitude was just as standout as his skills on the pitch.

The former Ireland, Chelsea and Blackburn winger announced his retirement today after 20 years in the game and ex-Blues winger Pat paid tribute to the Dubliner on Off The Ball.

"Fabulous player, absolutely brilliant player. I liked him as much for his skill as the fact his attitude was precisely the attitude I would like to see from every professional footballer. If only they were all like him," he said.

"He is the least diva-esque player just about playing in the modern game. The fact that he was at the level he was and then dipped down but didn't care and kept on doing it, working and enjoying it.

"You will not hear a negative word from his Blackburn days, his Chelsea days, his Newcastle days. Fulham, [he's] adored down there."   

Looking back at his successful stint at Chelsea where he won the league twice under Jose Mourinho, Pat says he was "the right guy for Jose" rather than Mourinho being the right or wrong manager for Duff at that time 10 years ago. 

Pat, who also chatted about Louis van Gaal's troubles at Manchester United, also touched on Mourinho's Chelsea departure.

And if speculation turns out to be true and the Portuguese coach takes the United reins at some point in the near future, Pat believes Mourinho would have a complicated challenge on his hands.

"You look at that Manchester United team and he would have a problem coming in and I think anyone's going to have a problem coming in because a number of them are Van Gaal's guys. That's going to be a problem," he said. 

And Pat also revealed how a question he asked a reporter on a radio show in the UK about which players allegedly turned against Mourinho was twisted into him claiming that a particular player was the insubordinate one by the press.