Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson's book makes us all fear the worst, jokes Arsenal manager ... - Telegraph.co.uk

Ferguson's views on his main managerial rivals will also fascinate, not least with the acrimony between him and the then Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez, and his duels with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Wenger at Arsenal and his nominated successor David Moyes while he was at Everton.

He will also go into detail about his determination to reclaim the Premier League title from Manchester City during an intense final season as manager.

Ferguson will hold a press conference on Tuesday for the official launch of a book that has an initial print run of 100,000 and was already second on the Amazon bestseller chart before a word had been published.

Paul Hayward, Telegraph Sport's chief sports writer, helped Ferguson write the book and says its theme is the management of seismic change in a transformed football landscape.

United fans are likely to turn instantly to the chapters that deal with Keane and Beckham. Since leaving United in 2005 following an infamous – yet still unseen – interview with MUTV, Keane has clashed with Ferguson.

In his role as an ITV pundit, Keane was critical of the team after their elimination from the 2011 Champions League.

Ferguson responded by complaining in his programme notes before a subsequent home match about "people we thought were on our side".

Keane then hit back, saying Ferguson "does what is right for him" rather than United. He did not attend Ferguson's 25th anniversary dinner.

Ferguson will also address the famous 'flying boot' incident of 2003, when Beckham himself admits he "lost control" and had to be restrained by team-mates. "It was like some mad scene out of a gangster movie," wrote Beckham in his own autobiography My Side.

Ferguson remains a director at United and, as such, is likely to be diplomatic on the subject of Rooney, who wanted to leave in the summer.

Ferguson has already recently revealed that he turned down an approach to manage Roman Abramovich's Chelsea and, in his book, he is expected to further expand on the Glazer family's ownership at Manchester United.

He has also never fully explained the dispute with John Magnier, formerly a shareholder at Manchester United, over the Rock of Gibraltar racehorse that ended with legal action and a £2.5?million out-of-court settlement.

Ferguson's book has not been serialised ahead of five sell-out question-and-answer evenings, that start in Manchester next Monday and take in visits to London, his home city of Glasgow, Aberdeen, who he also inspired to numerous trophies, and Dublin.

Ferguson has previously promised that the book would be a candid look at his life in football.

At around the time that Ferguson is speaking, Moyes will be hosting his Champions League press conference for United's match against Real Sociedad. Ferguson will be supportive of Moyes when the subject of his successor is raised but there is little doubt who will be the main draw.

Wenger believes it is positive that Ferguson has written a book and says that his ongoing involvement at United should not cast a shadow over Moyes.

"I think it is good that he makes a book," said Wenger. "Maybe he does not have enough time to think about his whole career, it is a bit short between the moment he stopped and the moment he brings his book out. But maybe there are some other books coming later, there could be two, three or four.

"You do not want his personality to be a handicap for the club. You want him to be remembered as someone who has done extremely well for the club."

Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography (Hodder & Stoughton, rrp £25) is available from Telegraph Books (0844 871 1514) for £23 (plus £1.35 p&p)

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