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Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography Hardcover – HTML, November 26, 2013
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Colourful, chewy and a fine example of how to mince your enemies but not your words.―Daily Express
If it were possible to copy Ferguson's management techniques, everyone would have done so long ago―Financial Times Weekend
His commitment to one club stands in stark contrast to Redknapp's peripatetic career, and it is a relationship that has won him adulation on the red side of Manchester and grudging respect elsewhere . . . Fergie's absorbing book reveals a man strong on principle and not short of self-belief.―Tablet
About the Author
Raised in the tough Govan district of Glasgow, where his father was a shipyard worker, Alex Ferguson started his own working life as an apprentice toolmaker. He went on to play for Queen's Park and five other professional football clubs including the idols of his boyhood, Rangers. Needless to say he was known as a hard and awkward opponent on the field as well as off it. Intelligent and quick-witted, Alex Ferguson followed his father's lead as a deeply committed socialist.
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Top Customer Reviews
Do not expect to find the story of the 1998/1999 famous European Treble. It is in the "Old Testament". This is the "New Testament", in the instance of stories from after the Treble. The book is divided into topics, and they are not told chronologically. There are special chapters about things from Rio Ferdinand, Liverpool, to the 2007/2008 UEFA Champions League Final in Moscow.
It is a very interesting reading, even more if you are a Manchester United fan, used to see him in 26 years of his tenure. Many of the anecdotes are interesting, and will certainly complete any knowledge you have about the Red Devils and the work of this outstanding manager. You will love the stories that he tells throughout the book, and more importantly, I think you will certainly learn a lot from him in leadership, managing people, and more.
The book can also be confusing at times, though. The way it is written, sometimes the content of a chapter may well be distracted than the title it intends to tell. It is as if he is chatting with you, and while he is telling a story of something, suddenly he finds some sort of connection to something else, and the story gets distracted. Not the biggest pain, but can be confusing. I find the "Managing My Life" to be tidier in writing.
At the end, I get the feeling of wanting more from Sir Alex. Wanting to know more and more stories. Not that there are a little things that he does cover.
P.S.: This is the "updated" version of his autobiography, with additional chapters telling about post-retirement life and the thing with David Moyes.
Still, good lessons and insight into another era of what leadership and sports meant, and from a cultural value and system that isn't dogged by the same short term commercialism of the major US sports. Which is ironic since, much of the experience comes from being in charge of one of if not the largest and most recognized teams in the world (world champion actually means something other than playing a few teams in Canada).
There were no real surprises as basically a professional manager needs two things: money and money to buy or develop players.
It was interest to learn of the inner workings of the professional manager in terms of the buying and selling of players as well as how players were developed by Man U. His chapters on his dealings with star players (Beckham; Ronaldo; Gibbs, etc.) lent insight as to his expertise in making their individual skills harmonize with the team's goals.
Ferguson also shared how important it was for the manager to work closing with the administrative side of a club. It is obvious that he was as skilled at "office politics" as he was in choosing lineups for the various league, European and international competitions Man U competed in.
Perhaps one tiresome aspect of the book as Ferguson's need to "name drop" as it seemed he knew of every football coach, owner, media person or referee in England and on the continent and felt a need to mention them in the book. Also the book seemed a bit disorganized as an anecdote appeared and then reappeared later on.
But if you lover soccer, it is a "must read," warts or not. Football at the level Ferguson engaged in is an extremely competitive proposition and after his sharing of his life in it, it is easily apparent as to why he was one of the most successful managers in the history of the sport.