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Football - Bloody Hell!: The Biography of Alex Ferguson Hardcover – 14 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey (14 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224083058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083058
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Barclay has written a wonderful book. Football -- Bloody Hell! captures the contradictions and battery-acid sourness of this complex personality just as eloquently as it elucidates his genius." (Irish Independent)

"Firm but fair. A book in which thoroughness of research, richness of detail and proper celebration of achievement are never allowed to occlude the author's unsentimental view of his compatriot." (Richard Williams Guardian)

"Book of the Week" (Guardian)

Book Description

Britain's most respected sportswriter takes on the greatest football manager of all time

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Non Sequiter on 4 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a terrible book from start to finish. Why is it so bad ? It contains many spelling mistakes, many inaccuracies and huge inconsistencies. Mostly the language is tabloid speak and full of the most awful cliche and turn of pharase 'Ferguson has been casting his net wide in the transfer market', 'David Elleray, a leading whistler...' It was an exercise in restraint not to throw it out the window at every page turn. I can pick hundreds of mistakes throughout the book that annoyed me, irked me and generally made me feel that I was reading the latest Kerry Katona opus. For instance, Page 344 of the hardback edition (yes, I wasted that amount of money on this) cites that 'In 2008 he [Ferguson] was to use the fifth anniversary of the Munich disaster to motivate his players'.
However, the biggest sin that Barclay commits is not that he didn't bother to employ a proofreader or that he failed to double check simple facts on when players were bought or sold but that he created a book based upon an amalgamation of the various autobiographies on his bookshelf. There seems to be no new work done here at all and newspaper articles and players quotes are printed verbatim within insight or criticism. Honestly, avoid this lazy, tabloid rubbish at all costs, it really is only for the Manchester United supporter who didn't know Alex Ferguson was also once the manager of Aberdeen and honestly thinks 2008 was the fifth anniversary of the Munich disaster. Mr Barclay you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aaron_G on 10 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
It isn't the easiest of books to read. The chronology on the face of it is straight forward but in truth the author jumps around, leaping on an anecdote whenever it takes his fancy. This often leads to stories and relevant moments in Ferguson's career being repeated - some times ad nauseum. I'm reserving call this a 'hatchet job', because it isn't. However it is clear that while the motives and reasoning behind much of what Ferguson did is questioned and speculated to the nth degree, the motivation and reasoning behind many of those who have gone up against him over the years is not questioned.

Negative aspects and insinuations are dwelled upon although, probably for legal reasons, never is a single defensible accusation ever really made. Such as making sure Ferguson's name is tied closely. Such as the insinuation that Rune Hauge and Manchester United had a relationship that suspicion could be raised about. He also implies George Graham was simply unfortunate during his dealings with Hauge to have been cause, implying in a way in which the context of the project could leave little doubt about.

It's saving grace is its subject . One of the most interesting, colourful and controversial men in football. However this book does seek to exploit the latter attribute perhaps a tad more than would make it readable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kourosh on 25 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well researched book but the writer clearly does not like Sir Alex Ferguson. I usually don't write book reviews but Mr. Barkley's persistent attempts' to belittle Alex Ferguson's achievements' just got under my skin a little.
I don't think anyone would really enjoy this book, United fan or not. United fans would find it a bit insulting and none United fans would find it disappointing that someone would go through all the trouble to list Alex Fergusons' endless achievements' and then try to chip away at them with little success.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Oh dear, I read the previous reviews and kind of know the unhelpful votes will pour in. But so what, I am still going to try to provide an objective view of the book and if you chose to vote unhelpful because you have issues with either Fergie or United, then vote away.

Patrick Barclay is a respected sports journalist and he writes well. This is a biography of Alex Ferguson taking us from his youth through to 2010 - published just about the time of the recent Rooney crisis which actually helps you understand the handling of Rooney. This tries to be objective and highlights Fergie's faults and mistakes while also mentioning his fantastic record and a perceptive view of the man himself and what makes him tick.

I would have gone four stars had this been the first biography of Fergie I had read, but much is a repeat (although from a different perspective) of Fergies own autobiography although updated to cover the last 8 years or so. But while the perspective was different, I wasn't learning much that was new.

The books highlights are in the latter years, Fergie's Rock of Gibralter issues, the takeover and of course that focus on what makes the man tick and be such a winner. It's weakness was the lack of freshness and a failure to focus on key elements such as his views on Victoria Beckham - they hardly get a mention yet were instrumental in his relationship with Beckham.

Recommended if you have never read a Fergie biography but if you have, you may find too much in here you already knew.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By alex panayi on 21 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a really bad book. Patrick Barclay has few insights and most of the book reads as a chronoligocal history of Fergies achievemnets and matches at Aberdeen and Man Utd. If i wanted that i would have gone to wikipedia and got a list of matches, results and cup wins. Also his writing style is pathetic; bad grammar and meaningless sentences. Its akin to the writing style of a 14 year old school boy who is trying to cram some new words they have learnt into a sentence. Hers is one of the tamer examples:1st paragraph of book "the balmy end although the most exposed part of Aberdeen Piitordrie stadium is accurately named, it is fair to add neither malibu nor manly need fear for its place in the heirarchy of balmy suburban strands"...and then it gets worse and worse. Barclays obviously thinks he is a sophisticated writer; he isnt. Avoid and just go onto wikipedia and save yourself a tenner
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