Ferguson prepares for book launch
Published 22/10/2013 | 07:11
The football world is bracing itself for some typically brutal observations when Sir Alex Ferguson's biography is released.
While the contents have been kept a closely guarded secret, few expect Ferguson's view of life since Manchester United's historic 1999 Treble triumph to be bland.
Indeed, there is so much ground to be covered that barely a page will be turned without some fascinating insight from the man whose managerial career ended in May with a record 13th Premier League title.
With an afternoon press conference to follow, Ferguson will again capture attention in a way successor David Moyes can only dream of.
In an article on Saturday, journalist Paul Hayward, who was responsible for committing Ferguson's words to print, stated: "Ferguson decided several years ago to revisit the upheavals of the past decade, and to examine how he maintained control in the face of changes in United's ownership, the rise of player power and the new threats posed by Roman Abramovich's Chelsea and the Middle-Eastern wealth of Manchester City."
Hayward also stated Ferguson "recalls the great players he has managed", listing Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, and "shares his thoughts on Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez".
The last name itself gives an idea of what to expect.
In both public and private, Ferguson rarely had a good word to say about Benitez. He once described the Spaniard as "a baby" and will doubtless find many reasons to undermine Benitez, currently boss at Napoli, not least the failed attempt to prise Gabriel Heinze out of Old Trafford.
That is just one of a number of reasons to anticipate the book getting a frosty reception at Liverpool.
The fall-out from the racism row that ended with Luis Suarez getting an eight-match ban for abusing Patrice Evra should be covered, and that will not reflect well on Kenny Dalglish, with whom Ferguson had previous history anyway.
Although his relations with Wenger eased considerably during the latter days of his Old Trafford reign, it will be interesting to see whether Ferguson touches on Arsenal's failure to secure any silverware since the Gunners beat United in the 2005 FA Cup final, or the 'Pizzagate' row from 2004.
Ferguson's view of Keane will be significant, with an expectant public really wanting to know the content of that infamous MUTV interview in 2005 which got pulled from the schedules because of the damning criticisms of so many young team-mates and eventually led to the Irishman's abrupt exit.
And then there is Beckham, the most recognisable face of English football, scarred by a boot Ferguson sent flying across the Old Trafford dressing room, and his relationship and subsequent marriage to a member of the Spice Girls.
Peter Kenyon's part in failing to secure the services of Ronaldinho in 2003, the Football Association and referees are all fertile ground, and then there is Wayne Rooney.
Had Ferguson remained at Old Trafford, Rooney would surely have been shown the exit door. As it is Ferguson will need to tiptoe round the matter carefully so as not to cause Moyes any problems.