Alex Ferguson's autobiography stirs controversy
Sir Alex Ferguson’s much-anticipated, yet much-feared autobiography is finally upon us, where he digs up the affairs of many of his players, rival managers, and controversies.
Unveiled at a launch-cum-press-event on Pall Mall, Ferguson’s “My Autobiography” was available under strict pre-launch embargo from the publishers Hodder & Stoughton at 10 o`clock sharp on Tuesday morning.
Alex Ferguson`s autobiography entails the tantalizing prospects of the life as the manager of one of the world`s biggest football clubs -- Manchester United. Ferguson retired after 27 years at Old Trafford in May, giving him time to reflect on a career which has seen the Scotsman clash with the great and the good of world football.
Among those scathed in his new book, Sir Alex writes of David and Victoria Beckham who are, he claims, obsessed with `celebrity status`.
On the $100 million racehorse of Gibraltar , that nearly brought down Manchester United, when a major club shareholder owned the horse and gave a share to Sir Alex, who later filed a lawsuit for a cut of the horse’s fees.
And also about the furious boycott of the BBC; Alex Ferguson refused all interviews after a documentary of transfer deals involving one of his sons.
Best of all, there is a good, fresh chapter about his gathering sense of disappointment with Wayne Rooney, which starts with Ferguson signing Rooney from a weeping Everton chairman, Bill Kenwright (" they`re stealing our boy, they`re stealing our boy").
Elsewhere Ferguson rambles across politics, taking in his advice to Tony Blair in 1997 ("keep your government in one room and lock the door and you`ll have no problems.
On Roy Keane
If there is one player for whom Sir Alex retains not a bit of affection, it is the former United and Ireland midfielder Roy Keane.
Though Keane remained a core part of Ferguson’s squad for many years, he became increasingly sour as age took its toll. ‘ He thought he was Peter Pan ,’ sneers Sir Alex.
Roy Keane played for United between 1993 and 2005, acting as Ferguson`s general and captain out on the pitch, and its angry heart.
"He was the most influential presence in the dressing room in the time we worked together," says Ferguson. "Roy took a lot of the onus off me in making sure the dressing room was operating at a high level of motivation."
But Keane was fiercely critical of players who he deemed weren`t committed to the United cause and as his relationship with the club fractured, it would be his undoing.
"The hardest part of his body is his tongue," says Ferguson of Keane. "He had the most savage tongue you can imagine."
On Jose Mourinho
José Mourinho is treated with respect, albeit mentions of Roman Abramovich`s vast spending on his behalf at Chelsea are never far away.
When Mourinho was unveiled as Chelsea manager in 2004, Ferguson suspected he could be a serious rival to United in the pursuit of major honors.
"Jose was fresh in town, working for an employer with stacks of money, and with hype clearing his path," Ferguson says of the manager who arrived at Chelsea after guiding an unfancied Porto team to European Champions League glory in 2004.
"(Chelsea) were much better organized than before. I didn`t win a game at Stamford Bridge after Mourinho arrived."