Superb condition, light age wear only. No-one did more than Sire Alex Ferguson to show British football the way forward… and this was from the point of view of a 1999 author. (bio)
Manchester Utd’s unprecedented treble of Premiership title, FA Cup and Champions’ League reserved Alex Ferguson’s seat at the table with Shankley, Paisley and Busby, and there can hardly be a more public expression of this acceptance into the British football aristocracy than his knighthood. So why, when Daily Mirror journalist Harry Harris asked a “Who’s Who” of the game’s leading figures to contribute their views of The Ferguson Effect, is the result something less than an unreserved celebration of the man and his methods?
The answer is that on and off the pitch Ferguson is guided by the same simple principle–you’re on his side or the wrong side, and for all the accounts of his personal charm and loyalty included here, the wrong side looks to hold the numerical advantage.
Several of the celebrity contributors portray an obsessive, bullying man with a violent temper who goes out of his way to oppose the right of others to express opinions. Others are less forgiving. Yet, in an era when club loyalty is something only the mediocre or the injured seem to practice, Ferguson has successfully nurtured a longstanding squad of international stars. Footballers who’ve made the first team since they were old enough to spit, and who could presumably go anywhere else, are apparently happy just to spend time on his bench.
Ferguson’s is a life lived between apparently irreconcilable poles of opinion and this entertaining book asks whether this is the principle catalyst of his extraordinary achievement. —Alex Hankin