Fascinating Details from Sir Alex Ferguson’s New Book

By | October 24, 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary Manchester United manager who stepped down at the end of last season, recently released a autobiography. Befitting a man widely lauded as the best manager of the modern era, the British press has thrust the book’s juicy details into the spotlight. In his own words, Ferguson Ferguson dishes on subjects ranging from his fallouts with stars such as David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney to his loyalty to United’s owners, the Glazer family, to his often testy relationships with managers Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger. The Guardian, likely knowing that I will not have time to read the book until winter break, has done a public service and released a synopsis of 10 stories that Sir Alex discussed.

Of The Guardian’s list, I found Ferguson’s admission that “there was an intensity and volatility about the modern media I found difficult” to be the most surprising. One example of this Sir Alex, as the article notes, did not speak to the BBC, one of Britain’s largest media entity, for seven years in response to a documentary that painted his son Jason in a negative light. Mostly though, I find this interesting because Fergie, as Manchester United fans call him, was known for his “mind games,” in which he ostensibly toyed with the minds of referees as well as opposing managers and players. That Sir Alex, often accused of manipulating the media for United’s advantage, found today’s omnipresent media overbearing demonstrates the pressure 24/7, instant media coverage places on managers. If Ferguson struggled to deal with the media in recent years, it is likely that even the most media-friendly of managers is merely treading water in their dealings with the press.

One thought on “Fascinating Details from Sir Alex Ferguson’s New Book

  1. Kavin Tamizhmani

    Sir Alex’s autobiography provides great insight into the players he coached and his rivalries with other coaches. In particular, his falling-out with David Beckham in 2003 was discussed in detail. Sir Alex spoke about one particular disagreement with Beckham after the 2003 FA cup loss to Arsenal. Ferguson had criticized Beckham intensely, and he also kicked a boot which hit Beckham in the eye. After this incident, Ferguson agreed to sell Beckham eventually to Real Madrid because he believed Beckham thought that he was above the team.

    It is also interesting to note Ferguson’s tense relationship with the media because one of the managers he most admired, Jose Mourinho, has also been accused of exploiting the media to his advantage. Mourinho has been known to play mind games with opposing coaches and players. As opposed to Sir Alex, Mourinho is much less reserved and deemed himself the “Special One” after winning the Uefa Champions League with Porto. Despite their contrasting styles on and off the pitch, the two managers shared a personal friendship unbeknownst to most casual observers of the game. In fact, Sir Alex had told Mourinho that he was planning to retire after the conclusion of the 2012-2013 season. Likewise, Mourinho expressed his desire to once again manage Chelsea if the opportunity presented itself. Despite their intense rivalries, these two managerial legends have conducted themselves very differently in the eyes of the press as they led their respective teams to European and domestic cup glory.


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