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Alex Ferguson Book quickly Reviewed by the Red News Editor

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    Fergie press conference quotes highlights

    You can expect a reaction from Roy because that's the type of person he is. We couldn't release that MUTV tape.

    Roy absolutely overstepped the mark.

    Do you think I'd drop Rooney in the form he's in now? He asked away but more has been made of it than there is.

    Three questions, from sky as per usual, greed

    Club read book only asked for one factual change on Cristiano Ronaldo

    No way I could have taken England job, it would have my job to relegate them. Think of me going back to Scotland, deary me

    I explained to Wayne leave the signing of players to me ozil

    Straight forward i had agreement with magnir that onfe agreement nothing more will be said wont be going back to that again, straight forward

    Mancini bought very nice wine! Im sorry hes left!

    He fell in love with Victoria. That changed everything. How can you leave Real Madrid for LA Galaxy

    It was the right time to retire. It's very difficult to leave the club, the Directors role was perfect, you have to remain active

    Money can change everything. But utd have always faced challenges. Utd accept challenges time and time again

    Challenge is not a problem for manchester united

    I mellowed a long time ago. I think I have mellowed. You do as you age

    No score settling here. You make sure you have control as manager. Theres bound to be one or two issues.its about explaining why i had to make certain decisions. And the most important reason if i wanted to remain in charge was to keep control

    Kagawa got an injury which has curtailed his season. Im sure hell play plenty of games. Hopefully he plays a part

    This press conference has come at a bad time for

    If id seen that fixture list id have been raging that. United are only club who can win the league from coming from behind believe me

    David moyes will be fine. United will be fine
    Last edited by Red News; 22-10-2013, 01:15 PM.

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  • Alex Ferguson Book quickly Reviewed by the Red News Editor

    Apologies for any typos. This has been done on the go.

    You can order the book with £13 off at

    Red News subscriptions

    So, rushing from book pick-up to Fergie's press conference, with a quick stop off for a coffee to try and skim rush through the book means this is only going to be a very quick starter; a full review with my thoughts will appear in the next RN206.

    Index first, to imagine some books don't have one, the savages and where to start? Glazers, Rooney, Dong?

    To his retirement though, to see what he says about when he decided, remember our November Red News had said he had decided to go nearly a year ago - and he confirms it: "The seeds of my decision to step down had been planned in the Winter of 2012". Sorry to self promote here, but fantastic work from Salford Red who does our Gossip column.

    He says the title defeat to city played its part, telling Cathy: "I can't take another one like that." Strange though that after he told David Gill in February, it took a few days for the Glazers themselves to call Sir Alex. On a subsequent visit to New York, Joel tried to get him to change his mind. As we had in the mag in the summer, the loss of Cathy's sister was too much, "it had changed our lives". Talk then to who to replace him. "There was a unanimous agreement - David Moyes was the man". Certainly as we said in the mag last November, this hints at United deciding long before official versions, Fergie says after New York - when was that? - "David came over to my house" - when was that? As we continually said at the time, this was not done in a rush.

    Glazers. 8 pages of mentions? Is that all? "the debt issue was never out of the news. But David's accountancy qualifications gave him an advantage in that respect". Er, and? Whilst many wanted full, and even more honest answers, the long said lines come time and time again, we were a plc, any takeover was inevitable. He talks of Andy Walsh ringing him to tell him "You have to resign". "andy's a nice lad but there was no temptation for me to agree to that request. I was the manager, not a Director. The takeover was not down to me in any way."

    Then to what about his staff...etc "It was a worrying time, I admit" And then he meets the Ginger clan. "All the things I wanted to hear from them, I heard that day." "United stayed solid under the new ownership, irrespective of the borrowings people talked about and the interest payments incurred." He says about being challenged by fans to define his stance. "I'm the manager, I'm working for a club owned by people in America". "I never thought it sensible to upset the management side of the club by adding to the debate on models of ownership... do you throw down your tools because some supporters want you to walk away from a lifetime's work?" And there we have it. Nothing new, any doubts deep down, behind closed doors, not said, is this what he really thought, possibly, however hard that may be to accept and the continual line - they never affected purchases, his job, but no real in depth analysis of it either. It's disappointingly consistently vague I have to say. And the Coolmore stuff practically non existent - come off it.

    The Keane stuff is interesting. And brutal. It also suggests Keane used his "influence" to get Gary Nev to "moan about training" - he blasted both for daring to question. He and Keane will not repair. He suggests Keane picked on the young players rather than the experienced players after that MUTV unscreened sensation. That in the office at his departure: "He went on about John Magnier. I never understood his obsession with the Rock of Gibraltar affair." The agreement was that neither would talk about their fall-out. Grudges here, for sure then "I would have honoured that agreement, but for the fact that Roy breached it first." The club considered legal action over Keane's attacks: "My feeling was that Roy was looking for a day in court to impress the fans." "My advice to David Gill was to pull the legal action. I feel we preserved our dignity." Roy will not like this book. At all.

    Nor will David Beckham, though the criticism comes with a lot of respect, as much for what he achieved after he left United.

    There are mentions of the mistakes - "we acquired Kleberson too easily. It made me uncomfortable. When the boy arrived , we discovered he had married a 16 year old girl. In pre-season only the players were meant to come to breakfast. Kleberson bought his father-in-law. Perhaps the way Brazil had used him was not the way we wanted to employ him."

    There doesn't seem that many out and out attacks - he's still on the payroll, so is this too soon, because of what he won't/can't/wouldn't say - against many, but read between the lines: "Martin Edwards also had a good knowledge of the game, but there were no complications with David Gill". "I was always underpaid until David took charge."

    And then to Rooney. It doesn't say much, but what he does may stoke the fires. Suggestion of their relationship: "I would hammer him for any drop in condition." He questions his playing for England when not fit - he should not have gone to the 2006 World Cup,and moans about that trip to Vegas before the Euros. Last season: "I felt he was struggling to get by people and had lost some of his old thrust.. struggled more and more to do it for 90 minutes, and he seemed to tire in games. I took him off vs Villa, as their substitute was running past Wayne." "He came into my office and asked away". Now we already know how much trouble that version has caused for poor old "angry and confused" Wayne, but this could be reignite: "His agent Stretford phoned Gill with the same message." "I left him to discuss his future with David."

    However disappointing the expected is, not all of it is. Great jibes at Liverpool, on his turbulence with Beckham. Being offered the England job twice. The stuff on Benitez is enjoyable - he was tipped off that Rafa wanted to be asked about those facts that day. "Facts. The facts were all wrong", and leafing through other sections you can't help but be transported into the mind of a genius. Like all of them, they had their dark side. And how utd considered legal action against Owen Hargreaves. 'He created his own agenda'. He says there was something about him he didn't like as soon as he signed him! The Bebe deal barely a mention, bar that Real Madrid were definitely also in for him! Not much on Paul Stretford, and faint criticism of cuddly Pete Kenyon, Gill "a big improvement".

    You'll be the judge. This will be essential reading. There are a lot of gems - Gary Nev 'born angry' when a player up at 6am to text either Di Law or Karen Shotbolt about a story! Paul Hayward is hardly seen, these are Fergie's words leaping out at you, and good it basically doesn't go over the old ground of the first autobiography. But the definitive final thoughts of Sir Alex, and the whole truth about events that mattered off field so much, as much as the wonderful on field goonage? We'll wait for Godot on that one. Maybe David Moyes will be relieved! maybe not, that depends on how Rooney and his people take it.

    I look forward to delving into it properly now, but from my point of view, as with Fergie time itself, I was just left wanting more about certain issues where we knew deep down, the answers we wanted were never going to come. Parts are dynamite, as expected, and by some feared, not all we were after explodes but Whilst I hope for another tell all book one day, I'm still glad we got something now.

    One unusual aspect resonates - that Robin Van Persie needs 'that early pass to split the opposition defence. Until we grasped that we could not make the most of his marvellous mobility and killer instinct.' We have not done that since Swansea and that as much as anything you hope Moyes digests.

    Buy it. You will enjoy it. But left once again wanting more.

    Barney, Red News 21st October. 2pm

    You can order the book with £13 off at

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