He is the most successful and famous football manager of all times, he reigned at Manchester United for over 26 years, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s auto biography published this week was always going to be explosive…
He won 13 Premier Leagues, 2 European Champions leagues and 5 FA Cups. He also built multiple teams in multiple generations, bringing on stars such as Cantona, Beckham, Giggs, Ronaldo and Rooney. The achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson can not be doubted. The other thing Ferguson was famous for is intimidating presence and an explosive temper. The incident packed tenure he oversaw was always going to provide some interesting opinions from the now retired 71 year old Scotsman. And his book does not disappoint, it is essential reading for any football or sports fan and is available worldwide. The British media has certainly enjoyed it, as Fergie has made all the major news headlines in his opinion on the likes of Beckham, Ronaldo, Rooney and other major footballing issues….
Ferguson on Beckham –
The two famously fell out over Ferguson’s disapproval of Beckham marrying a spice girl and courting publicity. Tension hit fever pitch when Ferguson kicked a boot at Beckham in a half time team talk, cutting Beckham above the eye. He was sold to Real Madrid soon after….
"As usual, with David at that time, he was dismissive of my criticism," wrote Ferguson.
"He was around 12 feet from me. David swore. I moved towards him, and as I approached I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye. He rose to have a go at me and the players stopped him. 'Sit down,' I said. 'You've let your team down. You can argue as much as you like.'
"I called him in the next day to go through the video and he still would not accept his mistake.
"The next day, the story was in the press. It was in those days that I told the board David had to go."
Ferguson on Cristiano Ronaldo-
There is little doubt that Ronaldo was the most gifted player to play under Ferguson, and to this day he is arguably the best player in the world at Real Madrid. Ferguson has nothing but praise for him.
Ferguson says Ronaldo was the "most gifted player" he managed, adding: "He surpassed all the other great ones I coached at United."
Ferguson on Wayne Rooney-
Wayne Rooney TWICE asked to leave Manchester United, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.
He also said his fall-out with the United striker towards the end of last season happened because Rooney “was struggling to get by people and had lost some of his old thrust”. “He didn’t learn very quickly, and he struggles for fitness”, could almost be translated as Fergie saying Rooney as thick and fat.
After the 3-0 win over Aston Villa that clinched United’s 20th league title in April, Ferguson revealed Rooney “came to my office the next day and asked away”.
Despite the breakdown in their relationship, Ferguson claimed his tough treatment of the striker had actually benefited Rooney, who has looked sharp this season.
He said: “The urge to fight and flourish would not be extinguished in Wayne. I left him to discuss his future with David Moyes, hoping to see many more great performances from him at Old Trafford.’’
Ferguson recalled about Rooney’s 2010 transfer request: “He was hugely sheepish. I felt he’d been programmed in what he was trying to say.”
In the meeting, Rooney told Ferguson he should have signed Mesut Ozil from Werder Bremen when the playmaker – now at Arsenal – signed for Real Madrid.
Ferguson told Rooney it was none of his business who he should be signing and to concentrate on his job of playing well:
“The thing was Ozil was not on our radar. I explained to Wayne to leave the signing of the players to me - and we got most of them right.”
Eventually Rooney made a dramatic U-turn and signed a new deal worth £250,000-a-week.
He came in the following day and apologised to Ferguson, who said: “It’s the fans you should be apologising to.”
Ferguson said the contract issue was a “sorry episode” for Rooney, which painted him as “a money man”.
Ferguson adds about Rooney’s better recent displays: “Do you think I would drop Wayne Rooney the way he is playing now? Absolutely no way. That is what we want to see from Wayne Rooney, in this form all the time.
“The expectation on him is huge. He is the one hope for England, one of the great players for Manchester United and when we see him in that form we see a different player. A fantastic player. And he is playing that way now.
“There seems to be more made of it than there probably is. Wayne asked away. He felt he was unfairly played out of position and I can understand that. For Wayne to say he is disappointed not playing in his normal position, I can understand that. But at the time Wayne wasn’t playing well enough. That was my judgement.”
Ferguson on Liverpool-
Fergie destroyed local rivals Liverpool when at United, and lays into them here. He reveals he has only missed the United job so far when United lost to Liverpool recently, claiming he was “kicking every ball”. He adds that he didn’t rate Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard as “a top top player” and says that Gerrard “couldn’t get a kick” when up against Scholes and Keane in midfield. He goes on to label former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez a “bitter control freak”, “ a silly man” who was nowhere near as good as Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho. Ferguson perhaps did his talking best on the pitch in regards to Liverpool, he won 13 league titles in the time they won 0.
Ferguson on Liverpool racism support-
Sir Alex Ferguson claims that Liverpool's directors didn't have the courage to challenge Kenny Dalglish over his bizarre defence of Luis Suarez.
Suarez was found guilty of using racist language against Patrice Evra towards the end of 2011 and was banned for eight games as a result. Dalglish was manager of the Reds at the time and took strong measures to support his striker including having the entire squad wear t-shirts with his face on them during a warm-up session.
Ferguson says: "Liverpool wore those T-shirts supporting Suarez, which I thought was the most ridiculous thing for a club of Liverpool's stature.
"I think Kenny was falling back on the chip on the shoulder. The problem I felt was there was no Peter Robinson at Liverpool. He would never have allowed the situation to be handled like it was.
"The young directors there idolised Kenny and there was no-one to say: 'Hey, behave yourself, this is out of order, this is Liverpool Football Club."
Ferguson on former United Captain Roy Keane-
Keane left United in acrimonious circumstances in November 2005 after the breakdown of his relationship with Ferguson, his team-mates and staff over the course of several months.
Keane savaged his United team-mates in an MUTV interview deemed too damning to broadcast, which Ferguson said was the final straw in sealing his Old Trafford exit.
Ferguson, speaking at the launch of his book, recalled the meeting in which he told Keane he was leaving as “horrendous” but claimed his former leader on the pitch had left him no option with his conduct.
“Roy overstepped his mark, absolutely overstepped his mark,” said Ferguson at the launch.
“That's the sort of personality he has. For some reason he decided to criticise his team-mates. He did it in a MUTV show but we couldn't release that video.
“A few days later a few of the younger players were booed as a result of what he'd said. So we decided we had to do something.
“The meeting we had in that room was horrendous. But I just couldn't lose the control of that situation.
“If I had let it pass, the players would have looked at me differently, much differently.
“I think it's clear that I had to show I was strong enough to deal with issues like that.
“The hardest part of Roy's body is his tongue. He has the most savage tongue you can imagine. He can debilitate the most confident person in the world in seconds with that tongue.
“What I noticed about him that day when I was arguing with him was that his eyes started to narrow, almost to wee black beads. It was frightening to watch. And I'm from Glasgow." Keane has already hit back, saying Ferguson “doesn’t know the meaning of loyalty”
The best of the rest-
Star striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy was sold after squaring up to Ferguson and calling him “a c**t”.
Arsenals Cesc Fabregas threw a pizza at Ferguson following a United Arseanl game, leading to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Fergie squaring up with “fists clenched”.
Ferguson turned down the England job twice. “Can you imagine me doing that, a scotsman?”
On losing the 2012 title to Man City, Ferguson says it was the lowest point of his life, “the players ballsed it up”.
On Keane again, “he thought he was Peter Pan, but he couldn’t go on”.
Reveals respect for AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini, “we tried to get him, but his Dad said no way”. Maldini retired having played his whole career at Milan, winning numerous leagues and European cups.
On United defender Nemanja Vidic, Fergie praises his toughness and character, “he comes in and says he may be called up, but he wasn’t on about the national team, he was on about being called up to the army! He’s that kind of guy, he would have gone.”
There is much, much more…. But for that, you will have to buy the book. Amazon currently appear to have the best price, get on it, you will not be dissapointed!
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