x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The art of managing

The well-organised book launch event by Sir Alex Ferguson harps his incredible managerial ability

Few books on football have generated quite so much excitement, curiosity, apprehension and anxiety among fans and professionals alike as the new work by Sir Alex Ferguson, the former manager of Manchester United.

It’s not difficult to understand why. Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography reveals some fascinating details about the life of a man who managed one of the world’s biggest football clubs through a period of unprecedented achievement. His record at the club is astounding, driving the club forward to 13 Premier League titles and two famous victories in the Champions League, Europe’s premier club football competition.

But it was Sir Alex’s ability to deliver a withering takedown and a piercing commentary on a rival or colleague that made him such a giant of the game in his active years. The few who wondered whether he might have mellowed in retirement need not have worried. His book is full of the same firecracker put-downs that characterised his years at United.

He’s also managed to do David Moyes, his successor at United, a favour. By kicking up such a storm in the publishing world, Sir Alex has diverted the attentions of those who have been underwhelmed by Mr Moyes’s faltering start. He always did have a knack for good timing.