There was a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation as everyone waited to see how the hugely popular football club Manchester United (Man Utd) would cope with the departure of English football’s most successful manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. ‘Fergie’ as he is well known, announced his retirement from the game at the end of the last season (in May) after taking the club to their 20th league title.
Since then, Man Utd has struggled to keep up with Ferguson’s legendary score sheet, falling to number eight in the league table, their worst start to a league campaign in 24 years. The recent results makes one wonder if there can ever be another Sir Alex and if Man Utd can tide over their current abysmal run of form. For fans though there is a redeeming factor, which comes in the form of the man himself, but on paper. Come October 24, the autobiography of Sir Alex is due to hit bookshelves and football geeks cannot wait to get their hands on the 470 paged copy.
Humbly titled ‘My Autobiography’ (or maybe presumptious), anticipation for the book has been building up for sometime now as fans may get to read about everything the former football manager had experienced in his 26 year-long career, controversies included.
The longest serving manager for Man Utd, be sure to read about his infamous ‘flying boot’ incident with David Beckham in 2003 which eventually led to the star’s departure from the club, and his disagreements with other star players like Roy Keane, Jaap Stam and Wayne Rooney. The book may also touch upon the departure of prolific striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy from the club to Real Madrid in 2006, when the striker was at his peak form.
But what has got everybody psyched is the possible tale of Fergie’s rivalry with his counterparts, right from the horse’s mouth. Sir Alex’s friction with Rafael Benitez, with whom he shared a rather sour relationship when the Spaniard was in charge of Liverpool, was quite public. Benitez himself spoke of the bitterness in May this year, stating that the legendary Scot did not like him. While there was no love lost between the pair, it would be intriguing to see if Ferguson gives a more detailed look into their troubled relationship.
He also shared a rivalry with Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger since the Frenchman took charge of the club in 1996. Their early relationship was dictated by several high profile clashes and the two were involved in a number of confrontations, most notably the ‘pizzagate’ scandal which occurred as Man Utd ended Arsenal’s 49-match unbeaten run in 2004. However, things seemed to mellow down towards the end of Ferguson’s career.
Speaking ahead of the release of the autobiography, Wenger had in fact joked that “we all fear the worst”, indicating the possible turbulence the book may reveal.
Fans also hope to understand better why he had shown so much faith in fellow Scot David Moyes and chose him to be his successor, besides maybe even a sneak peek into his relationship with Wayne Rooney. His ‘truth’ about it could possibly damage the already struggling club which has barely managed to hold on to the Star England forward.
Well, damaging or not, a book by the man responsible for 38 titles, including 13 Premiere League titles and two UEFA Champion’s League titles, has to make for a very intriguing read.