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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting confession of a man who marked English and world football...
"Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography" is an interesting confession of a man who marked English and world football for the last 30 years he spent as manager of Manchester United football team.

His book can be recommended to all fans of football, regardless of which club you are a fan because it provides a lot of information about the famous players that have marked...
Published 19 months ago by Denis Vukosav

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fergie Time
[ Review of the original version ]

I was looking forward to this as although I'm not a United fan (Millwall, for my sins) I enjoy football and cannot help but admire the man who dragged United out of the doldrums to domestic and European success and for so long. However when asked my opinion of this book, my response has invariably been "not great". The early...
Published 6 months ago by tallpete33


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting confession of a man who marked English and world football..., 3 Dec. 2013
"Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography" is an interesting confession of a man who marked English and world football for the last 30 years he spent as manager of Manchester United football team.

His book can be recommended to all fans of football, regardless of which club you are a fan because it provides a lot of information about the famous players that have marked the past years in one of the most popular sports in the world.

This is his second autobiography book, or continuation of previous one in which he focused on his career at Manchester United, though he's not only telling the story about his football manager career but also about his youth, his family and friends, even about him being an owner of a pub what is not so well known fact about him.

Media criticized this release due to alleged Ferguson's criticism to all and any that actually isn't true, although there are some places where Ferguson doesn't speak in superlatives about some players with whom he worked.

But when you read the book in its entirety you'll see that more often he speaks nicely about rival players, teams, even his colleague managers.

Therefore, this book can be recommended to all those who are interested to learn some truths (few of them spicy) about football matters from a man who was a top expert in his profession what kept him so long on the bench of one of the best football clubs in the world.
The reason why Ferguson still being alive already became the legend of world football.
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117 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fergie - bloody hell!, 5 Nov. 2013
I would have read this book in my own time, but the hyperbole and screaming headlines in the press, and reactions from those allegedly disrespected, prompted me to buy and read it quickly. After all, the single star reviews on Amazon were prolific and, if accurate, showed two surprising facts: 1) Sir Alex had betrayed the club; 2) there had been a sudden increase in the literary critique ability of the fans of other clubs. So I read it in three days - I had to as I could not put it down.

Sir Alex always maintained this was a book for the fans; fans who had remained steadfast with United and were owed an explanation of the gaps remaining in the journey of the last 26 years. And I found this was so. It is written in such a way as to be conversational, not great literary prose, but solid, honest words which every United fan would understand. He deals with his own errors of judgement and his drive to maintain a high standard, recognising early on that no man was greater than the club.

This is a book of Sir Alex's personal view of his time in charge and he lays everything out for a reader to digest. His dealings with Keane, Beckham, van Nistlerooy and his comments about Gerrard, Chelsea, Liverpool and all the rest from the headlines were not as reported. Even Wayne Rooney would find more praise than he may deserve - though he remains on the brink of becoming one of The Manchester United Greats, should he chose to [I hope he does]. I found the comments full, sound and robust, but not unfair. This is not a book about training methods and the technicalities of the game, though there are enough references as to tactics of particular games, or years, but a filling in of the gaps left unanswered from the last couple of decades.

If you are a Manchester United fan read it as a personal gift of information to you. If you are not, but love football, this will give you an insight to how the Premiership works, and how managers and players react to the demands. If you are not a fan, at least read the book with an open mind before dishing out a single star.

There is no ending to this book; just an open road to a new era by a man Fergie trusted to succeed him, and beyond.The updated version is equally pragmatic and answers the outstanding questions remaining over the demise of David Moyes and the next big step of the van Gaal era with the new group of stars. Sir Alex has earned his place as the greatest manager through hard work and a resilience seldom seen. I have to give this book five stars as it gave me a great deal of pleasure. And, yes, I am a United fan (since 1967).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fergie Time, 9 Dec. 2014
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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[ Review of the original version ]

I was looking forward to this as although I'm not a United fan (Millwall, for my sins) I enjoy football and cannot help but admire the man who dragged United out of the doldrums to domestic and European success and for so long. However when asked my opinion of this book, my response has invariably been "not great". The early chapters were more of a "This is Your Life" thankyou to people I've never heard of and not an account of his early life as is the norm for an autobiography. I was particularly looking forward to hearing of his childhood in Govan, his playing days and how he went from pub landlord to football manager but the details were scarce as if it was assumed you already knew them. A friend later told me a lot of this was in his other autobiography so had this been marketed as part 2 then this would have been understandable but it left me feeling short changed and slightly resentful.

As for the rest of the book, it had it's moments but was very disjointed and bounced from subject to subject and player to player quite randomly. What I did note as strange was how certain players had a chapter each titled as their surname...all apart from the pretty uninteresting Rio. Keane obviously got his own and the knives got stuck in although not too deeply but where was Cantona ? The Rock of Gibraltar scenario was glossed over in a paragraph and a chapter dedicated to Mourinho was very weak with the Portugese only getting a few mentions before Ferguson started talking about himself again. Praise was given out grudgingly as Sir Alex proved himself to be the master of the backhanded compliment and nothing was said (in this edition at least) about the process of choosing his fateful successor.

Overall, not a great read unfortunately. It really needs tearing up and starting again - by somebody else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a Man!, 1 May 2015
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The only time I've been to a game at Old Trafford was in 1976. The supporters were not happy because the team was not doing very well. They were understandably irate because, "this is the greatest club in the world and we expect success". That is precisely the view of Sir Alex Ferguson. And with his record of achievement it is difficult not to admire him. So I treated myself to this acclaimed book. It's (ghost) written in a relaxed, informal style, with no foul language and little football-speak. He handles the technical side of management, and of the game, in a clear, understandable way. It is perhaps a little anodyne. He states that as a manager he was not in the business of openly criticising his players (though he was a strict disciplinarian) and he continues with this approach. His reservations about Mark Bosnich are unlikely to be challenged and the Van Nistelrooy saga is well known. And when it comes to Roy Keane, Sir Alex had little option but to outline the difficulties. (I have now bought Mr Keane's book The Second Half and am looking forward to reading it).

There are some interesting insights. Whilst the media and many in the football world are keen to encourage more home grown talent, Sir Alex argues for more freedom for top clubs to get work permits for non-EU players. And on another issue, I was interested that the Manchester United management takes a very dim view of players diving.

Off the pitch I don't think I'd realised what an interesting man he is. I'm thinking of his political views and contacts with politicians; his reading; his interests in wine and racing; and an admirably settled family life.

Incidentally the end of the book, I think the final twenty per cent, is full of statistics. That's the sort of thing I enjoy browsing, but that is not easy in the Kindle format.

All in all, this is a portrait of an admirable man. He is not without flaws (eg his disciplinary record), but he has a has achieved more than virtually anyone else in football; he is cultured and well read; a family man; and well able to hold his own at Harvard. Most impressive.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but incomplete, 24 Dec. 2013
By 
Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I'm not a football fan, but as a person who likes to read biographies of interesting people I thought I'd give this a go.

I grew up in a Manchester United supporting house, my dad a huge fan, but personally I never saw the appeal of the game. Living in Salford and later Trafford, Old Trafford was always a local landmark, and Alex Ferguson rarely out of the news, so when his first autobiography "Managing My Life: The Autobiography" was released I read and enjoyed it, although by the end I still wasn't a fan of the sport. Since then, Ferguson pushed the team to more triumphs before retiring, and I was interested in reading the closing part of the story.

It's an interesting read, each chapter focusing on a particular subject, be it a player, a season, or some aspect of Ferguson's life such as his family or outside interests, and an easy read too, the chapters mainly short, but the structure is also its downfall. It's obviously ghostwritten, and clearly based on interviews or conversations - you can imagine the author switching on a tape machine and saying "tell me about Rooney," then typing the words up later as a ready-made chapter - but it's not very cohesive, lacks the continuity of a "straight" autobiography ("Managing My Life" for example) and the final chapter doesn't seem to bring the book to a close, instead appearing to just stop without any kind of conclusion or epilogue, looking to the future perhaps.

If you've read "Managing My Life" and want to read about what happened next, or at least Ferguson's view of events, this is a decent book, but if you want to read about the man, his life and his career you'd be better with the earlier book. As enjoyable as this is, it isn't an authoritative account of his life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So that's why he did that, 7 Dec. 2013
It is hard not to read the conversational prose in SAF's own voice; it's an easy read and all the more enjoyable for that. He explains the background and reasoning to many of his decisions and situations in recent years and as a fan this is interesting and insightful. It helps to clarify what in his view went right, what went wrong and why and that rounds off the picture now that the facts as he recounts them are out there. His views of players, managers and his support network in the football business are interesting, but they may jar a little with supporters who don't share his confidence in some of the preferred players. This is a pleasurable read especially as a fan of both SAF and MUFC, although the content is bound together loosely in chapters that seem a bit disjointed, but this doesn't detract from the enjoyment.

SAF doesn't appear to have left out any of the more recent situations so as a reader it gives a feeling of completion and closure. Because of such frank explanations though, he will have trodden on a few corns and of course the press sensationalised these. In the context of the book though, they are less dramatic and appear to be fair; no-one comes out of it really badly once you realise that any negative comments (Gerrard for example) are his opinion and unsupported by facts. Not all opinions in the book will suit readers, but these are his entitled views. However, as others have suggested, there is an uncomfortable hint that his candid comments may be compromising confidentialities, but perhaps the topics that needed to be covered were never going to avoid this.

The pleasure in this book is definitely enhanced if readers are supporters and knowledgeable about MUFC history and day-to-day news. Not everything is explained fully and without the background something is lost.

At the end of it all, you have to admire a manager in such a capricious business and applaud his successes and longevity. May his successor enjoy the same.
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4.0 out of 5 stars For all football fans, 20 Nov. 2013
It is fair to start this review by saying I am a huge Manchester United fan so for me this book has a special feel. The book shows a unique sense of humour to Sir Alex Ferguson which was never very evident in his time on TV during interviews and matches.

This book has been well quoted in the media. I have to say after reading it the quotes of course are accurate but highly taken out of context. The well quoted opinions on Beckham and Rooney although accurate are largely taken out of context. What is missing from these quotes are the other highly supportive and complimentary opinions which Sir Alex includes. Of course positives don't sell as many papers and in all honestly may not have sold so many copies of the book itself.

The book details certain players and events in Sir Alex's managerial career. Although not chronological this is a fascinating insight to one of the most successful mangers ever. Mixed within the fact and opinions about Manchester United are antidotes and facts that will keep any football fan interested irregardless of which team you support.

This book took me longer to read than normal mainly because of the wealth of information that has to be digested. There were moments when I found myself realising that Sir Alex was talking about a match I had actually seen. As well as events you expect to be covered such as The Class of 92 and The David Beckham Boot Incident there are also other smaller events that are just as entertaining and were never reported in the media.

This is an amazing insight into one of the most successful football clubs and one of the most successful managers ever. For anyone who is interested in management, football or the man himself, this is a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intruiging Page Turner, 27 Nov. 2013
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This book provides an interesting insight into Sir Alex Ferguson's personality and mind set. He reveals elements of his character that led him to make some of the decisions that shaped the modern era of football and specifically, the Premier League.

For those more interested in his upbringing on his earlier years (whilst there remains elements of this present in this book), they may be better directed towards an earlier of Sir Alex's books which focuses more on his younger life. This version provides a reflective and at times spikey appraisal of his rivalries, decisions and personal of the past 20-30 years.

For those who claim this book is slander, insulting to those who helped create the legend of Ferguson (Roy Keane, for example) then they are missing the point. Ferguson often points to Keane's greatness on the field, yet fiercely disagrees with him on other aspects of his claims. It's not a linear train of thought, stating 'oh he was great' and 'he was bad'. Ferguson delves deeply into his relationship with players and often tells it how it is.

Much like his temperament on the touchline it is often fierce, boisterous, fiery and direct, yet he gives credit where credit is due.

I found it to be a thoroughly interesting read and was glad when it became apparent it was not a PR 'fence-sitter', rather, a true reflection of the greatest manager of the modern era.
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2.0 out of 5 stars All over the place and disappointing, 14 May 2014
A lot of what is wrong with this book is from an editorial stand point. The chapter titles, for example, are misleading. The chapter will start on point and then within a few pages go off on a tangeant which is completely unrelated.

'Mourinho - The Special Rival' should have been one of the more intriguing chapters, but instead too many pages actually concern Manchester United's own midfield.

'United's 19th title' should have been about the campaign which saw Man Utd overtake Liverpool's league title tally, but most of it is spent talking about signings made for the following season (2011/2012) such as Ashley Young and Phil Jones. Why?!

Then there are paragraphs which stick out like a sore thumb. In a chapter dedicated to Barcelona, the topic goes from the passing abilities of Xavi and Iniesta, to one paragraph about Premier League work permit policy, then back to being in awe of Barcelona with no clear link between.

Again, these are problems which should have been eradicated by Paul Hayward etc. More time dedicated to structure was desperately needed.

For Man Utd fans, there are some nice anecdotes about Scholes, Giggs, Neville etc. But mostly this is a very disappointing book with very few revelations. The media deserve some blame for contributing to the hype without even reading the thing first.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fergie Time...On Your Own Time (And Chair), 26 Feb. 2014
By 
The 90's Guy (North Devon, England) - See all my reviews
(WARNING: The review of this book may or more likely will contain spoilers!)

Do you know what's ironic, or at least has the potential to be ironic? In the opening chapter of Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography, he mentions that after an entertaining 5-5 draw with West Brom in his final league game in charge of Manchester United at the conclusion of the 2012/13 season, Ryan Giggs jokingly said in the dressing room that "David Moyes has just resigned." Well based on United's performances so far this season, that piece of supposed light humour may very well become a reality in the near future.

But while that debate rages in the football forums, I have a review to take care of...this book. It's been highly talked about since its release with some ex-United players not taking too kindly to Fergie's opinions and choice of words. As a Manchester United supporter (there, I said it!) I found it to be a highly enjoyable read; but even if I wasn't a supporter I still would've found it more than engaging enough to see it through to the end. I don't think it's quite the blow-your-eyebrows-off-of-your-face book that the media have made it out to be, but it certainly grabs your attention and gets you thinking.

While there is a bit of talk about Alex Ferguson's early life and managerial days at St.Mirren and Aberdeen, this book mainly focuses on the period between 2001/02 (the season he was supposed to retire but then changed his mind) and 2012/13 (when he did actually retire). He talks a lot about his thinking behind his transfer purchases, the United youth system, his methods of dealing of problematic players, and the in-game tactics used to ensure the Red Devils remained a competitive force both in the English Premiership and in the UEFA Champions League.

In the early chapters Ferguson talks about his no-nonsense temperate; the importance of keeping his teams focused and in line, reminding them that he was in charge and that they would be facing severe consequences if they stepped out of line. One example of this is when -during his early years of management- he fired a player for making a rude gesture in a team photo. He comes across as being a very, VERY passionate man when it comes to football (as if all that TV coverage wasn't obvious enough). In fact, in those same early chapters, he talks about having a steely determination, never giving up and always looking for a way to comeback and improve on previous results. The words are actually quite uplifting. If you're a person who's currently down on their luck and can't seem to catch a break, those are the kind of words you need to hear...the kind of words you want to hear. In spite of Ferguson's notable fiery temper though, the foul language is kept relatively light in this autobiography, unlike Harry Redknapp's offering which was pretty much profanity-laden from start to finish.

The so-called juicy bits can be found halfway through, and Ferguson doesn't mince his words for even a short line. He rates Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich poorly, portraying him as a greedy pig that couldn't stop eating; while Owen Hargreaves apparently disappointed him by having no confidence in his ability to overcome injuries. Even the better Manchester United players get a text book slapping. While Fergie acknowledges David Beckham to be a hard worker and a fine footballer of his generation, he does express a strong disliking towards his celebrity lifestyle, and that from his POV his focus was more on being famous than improving the United team. Having seemingly patched up their differences a few years back, you can't help but wonder if Fergie is trying to reopen old wounds with comments like that towards Beckham; and if so, why? Why bother kissing and making up when you're just planning to shoot him down again?

However the ex-United player who bears most of the criticizing brunt is the 90's midfield engine, Roy Keane. According to Alex, Roy's attitude was especially problematic during his final few months at Old Trafford with a series of petty arguments, and a general feeling that Roy was trying to take over the manager's hot seat in an underhanded manner. The chapter on Roy Keane plays out more like a well-written thriller, and every page turn builds up the excitement more and more and more until his eventual departure. Definitely a chatterbox worthy bunch of pages.

The truly unexpected stuff for me comes in Ferguson's interests outside of football. Sure he's dabbled in owning race horses for quite a while, but aside from that I couldn't help but feel that football was all he knew, that there was very little beyond the goalposts of the beautiful game. So to read that he has a strong fascination for former US President John F.Kennedy, and more precisely his assassination (with many books on the subject in his home), made me let out a sizeable "Huh?!" Mind you a few surprises are usually welcome in a book, and I suppose many of us do have an unexpected hobby or two, so it's all good.

One thing that'll surely get the football lovers talking is Ferguson's choice of words before and after matches, and in the media. Many a paper have stated that Fergie was playing mind games with his opponents (managers in particular) in order to unsettle the opposition and give his team the advantage. However Fergie insists that this has never been the case, saying that he was merely expressing his honest opinions about his opponents and that the papers (and other media) simply made it out to be mind games. Is he telling the truth? Well, I'm trying to look at it like this. This is his autobiography, his page-by-page opportunity to tell it like it is. Why would he lie about that in his own book, especially knowing that he is now in the late autumn of his life?

Overall Alex Ferguson's autobiography gets full marks from me. Its mixture of strong views and exciting action, mixed in with small amounts of surprises and even a motivational speech, all add up to make it one of the best books I've read so far. At times I even found myself reading about four chapters in one sitting, it is that good. Whether you're a diehard Manchester United fan, or an individual looking to bash them at every single opportunity, this is a book you simply HAVE to read.

Update - 26/4/2014: Well, looks like David Moyes is gone. More of a sacking than a resignation, but he is gone.
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