Christmas is just round the corner and, with calculated timing that epitomised his managerial career, Sir Alex Ferguson has released his second autobiography in which he talks about a number of his ex-players at Manchester United.
Within the book Sir Alex is critical of individuals who played under him at Old Trafford which surely cannot sit well for a number of the individuals involved.
Ferguson does clearly praise some of his former players as well but the criticism is what will make the headlines. Is this just a marketing ploy to enhance his book sales? I am sure Ferguson is not in need of a boost to his finances.
If so, Sir Alex severely risks his reputation in the game with his new book. Yes I can accept that to sell books there needs to be a certain amount of sensationalism but I do not agree with it being at the expense of former players, many of which have contributed to his success over his career. Nobody can take away the accolades and trophies that Sir Alex has won over the years but as a person he can attract criticism for the way he has acted.
Sir Alex may well have been under pressure from his publishers to add controversy to his autobiography but knowing how forceful the ex-United boss was during his managerial reign I am more inclined to believe that these are the Scotsman's true thoughts.
Some of the players to incur the wrath of Ferguson are high-profile names in the game, such as David Beckham, Roy Keane and Mark Bosnich. In their own right they have all responded. In typical Keane style he was not slow to voice his opinion live on television when he was working as a football pundit and Mark Bosnich also responded by saying he would ask to meet with Sir Alex when the Scotsman visited Australia for the Melbourne Cup to discuss the criticism he received.
Beckham, used to criticism during his career, has once again showed his dignity and class by refusing to criticise Sir Alex despite the opportunity to do so. Sir Alex was very critical of the Hollywood lifestyle that Beckham lived during his time at United and the influence that he felt his wife Victoria had over him but Beckham is indebted to him for the opportunities he has had. Also, Beckham probably realises that he does not need to lower himself to these levels because he is now a global superstar and arguably bigger than Ferguson could ever be.
Ferguson is unlikely to make a comeback in the game but if he did then his new book could do him no favours at all. Players will be very wary of him from now on knowing the potential criticism that could come their way. If he did make a comeback than the respect that he has automatically commanded previously will probably never be repeated.
We all have a right to express our thoughts in a free democratic world but has Ferguson betrayed those who have served him over the years?
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