By KEVIN KOCZWARA
There is no disputing Sir Alex Ferguson’s legend. He led Manchester United into the Premier League era and returned the club to glory. During his 27-year reign, Ferguson was able to shape and reshape the Manchester United squad over and over again and was able to keep up with modern trends in management while dealing with more than his share of egos. But little has been revealed about how Ferguson accomplished that.
On Tuesday, Ferguson’s latest autobiography was released and plenty of secrets have been revealed of how the United manager dealt with all the famous egos and tempers he dealt with, from Roy Keane to David Beckham to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ferguson appears to pull no punches in the book, stating that Beckham missed out on a chance to become a Manchester United legend due to his desire to be a celebrity and that Wayne Rooney questioned Ferguson about not signing Mesut Ozil in 2010.
Here are a few of the revelations to come out of Ferguson’s book:
Ferguson believes Beckham squandered his talent in a chase to become famous and to become a celebrity and live a celebrity’s lifestyle. Ferguson believes that Beckham could have become “one of the greatest Man United legends.”
At a press conference for the book’s release Ferguson questioned Beckham’s decision to play in Major League Soccer for the LA Galaxy.
“[Beckham] fell in love with Victoria and that changed everything,” said Ferguson. “I am a football man. If he had asked my advice when he left Real Madrid for LA Galaxy I would have told him exactly what I thought.
“Maybe in years to come he will think maybe he should have stayed at Real Madrid but I don’t think I have been too critical,” Ferguson continued. “How can you argue with how he has turned out. He’s a marvelous boy. He worked to get to the point where he became a great player.”
Ferguson admitted at Tuesday’s press conference for his autobiography that Rooney had in fact asked to move away from Manchester United after the last game of last season.
“Wayne asked away because he felt he was playing out of position,” said Ferguson. “I can understand that. My judgement was that Wayne wasn’t playing well enough. But when you see him playing like he is, do you think I would drop him? No way.
“He is England’s great white hope and a great player for Manchester United. The player who is playing now is a different player,” Ferguson continued.
Ferguson admits in his book that Rooney questioned him to why he did not sign Mesut Özil in 2010 during his standoff with the manager amidst a move to Manchester City in 2010.
Roy Keane was the rock for United for many years. He was the man in the middle who ran the show and pumped the blood for United heart. His temper was something people cherished and his ability to rust up and down the field was something to behold, but his attitude and demeanor got the best of him says Ferguson in his new book.
According to Ferguson, Keane thought he was above the manager and that his mood dictated the mood of the rest of the people at United. And the final straws that broke the back in 2005 were broken and Keane was sold, but, like other superstars, not without controversy.
RUUD VAN NISTELROOY
Ruud van Nistelrooy could score goals in bunches. He was a manager’s dream of what a poaching striker could do. He had finesse in the box, a knack for popping up in tight spaces, and an ability to get on the end of almost every chance created. But after a few seasons at United, Ferguson became disillusioned with the forward in the 2006 season and was finally tipped over the edge at the 2006 Carling Cup against Wigan when van Nistelrooy swore at the manager on the bench after not being selected.
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