Alex Ferguson: My autobiography
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In late September, following another disappointing defeat for a lacklustre Manchester United, this time by West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, BBC football pundit and eight-time league title winner Alan Hansen said that two of United’s last three championship successes were attributable solely to Alex Ferguson’s “sheer force of personality.”
It’s an assessment with which few observers would disagree.
While United manager, Ferguson never stopped urging his players on and motivating them, even when they had won everything in sight.
He was probably the greatest man-manager the English game has ever seen.
The inside cover to his eagerly-awaited autobiography declares that: “Sir Alex created a purposeful, but welcoming, and much envied culture at the club which lasted the test of time.”
Yet this conclusion may need revising because with Ferguson moving upstairs, his successor, David Moyes, has found it extremely difficult to carry on where the master left off.
Perhaps it’s only with hindsight that we can appreciate how good someone really was at their job, and even though just a few months have elapsed since Ferguson announced his retirement, it’s already apparent that Hansen’s words ring true – alarmingly so for United fans.
Ferguson may be portrayed as a teeth-gnashing, argumentative character, but as this fine book reveals, he’s a man of surprising contrasts.
Sure, he’s outspoken, but he’s also engaging company, a piano-playing raconteur with a lightning-fast temper, a man with a house at St Jean Cap Ferrat who was equally at home on the touchline in a League Cup tie, torrential rain hammering down, encouraging his charges to give a little more.
Inevitably, during the course of such a successful career, there have been many biographies which means that much of Ferguson’s story is already known.
More than 400 pages of well-written prose will not stop Ferguson’s life in football being regularly revisited, but for now, this book represents his definitive story – and you don’t need to be a United fan to enjoy it either.
Quiz question: We’ve teamed up with Sports Book of the Month and have a copy of Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography to give away.
To win, visit www.sportsbookofthemonth.com and answer the following question:
In what year was Alex Ferguson born?