“Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography, One Year On”, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, London 2014.
Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to update his autobiography published last year. We reviewed the original version for Vavel.com at the time of publication and you can read that review here:
The question we would ask is why is he publishing an update after such a short time? The update consists of two additional Chapters over 24 pages of text, (in the paperback edition).
A lot has happened at and around United over the last year. Writing then we made the point that the underlying theme from the book was Sir Alex’s belief in the need to retain control; control over his players and the club as a whole. He does not return to this theme directly in the new material, but if anything this point is reinforced by the additions. Sir Alex no longer needs control over the players of course but the fact that he feels the need to update the book in the light of recent events suggests he still feels the need to control the world’s view of his legacy.
As such there is a look at the appointment and subsequent demise of David Moyes and Sir Alex attempts to downplay the extent of his involvement and responsibility for these events. Everybody will have their own view on whether any of this rings true; we would look at a couple of passages from the second of the new chapters, “United in Transition”. In attempting to eliminate one misconception regarding the appointment of Moyes he writes,
“There appears to be an accepted view out there that there was no process. Nonsense.”
But perhaps tellingly Sir Alex does not take the opportunity to describe the nature or detail of the process employed. On Moyes dismissal,
“I was flying back to Manchester and sitting next to me was a lad with a newspaper with a headline that ran ‘David Moyes to be sacked’.”
Is it credible to suggest that he had not been informed of the clubs decision prior to seeing the headline? He goes on,
“At the same time, David Moyes texted me. I wasn’t sure what to say to him at that exact moment. Ed Woodward had recently spoken to the directors to update us on the club’s thinking and gather everyone’s views individually, before he went on to manage the process with the Glazer’s”.
The words “at that exact moment” help provide some ambiguity here.
All of this suggests a concern on Sir Alex’s part to protect his reputation and the way in which his legacy is viewed. There are similar passages considering the nature of the squad he left behind which reinforce this.
A lot has happened at the club in the last eighteen months since he stepped down to the extent that after only a relatively short time it feels like we are in a completely new era with Sir Alex’s time as a fading memory. For genuine United fans the memories of that era burn brightly however and will do for years to come. He should not worry about our view of his legacy, but perhaps we should all move on.