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Ferguson’s book press conference – Beckham, Keane, Benitez, Hargreaves and England job

David Beckham

Beckham “surrendered a part of his career” by joining LA Galaxy. “He lost the chance to become an absolute top-dog player… he never attained the level of an absolute top player”

Ferguson on the influences that changed Beckham: “The big problem for me…he fell in love with Victoria and that changed everything. David was the only player I managed who chose to be famous. I felt uncomfortable with the celebrity aspect of his life.”

Beckham had to leave Manchester United because he thought he was “bigger than the manager. You cannot have a player taking over the dressing room.”

Beckham swore at Ferguson before kicking boot at his face in 2003: “He rose to have a go at me and the players stopped him.”

Roy Keane

Fergie on being frightened of Keano’s eyes… “And I’m from Glasgow”. But “the hardest part of Roy’s body is his tongue.”

Ferguson on Keane MUTV interview: “If I’d let it pass, the players would have viewed me differently… Roy absolutely overstepped his mark’

Owen Hargreaves

Hargreaves was a “disaster”: “One of the most disappointing signings of my career.”


Rooney told Ferguson in 2010 to sign Mesut Ozil. Ferguson: “My reply was that it was none of his business who we should have gone for.”

England job

Ferguson turned down the England job twice. Once in 1999 when Glen Hoddle was sacked and again in 2000 after Kevin Keegan resigned.

Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez is “lucky” and his teams are dull. “The mistake he made was to turn our rivalry personal… I had success on my side. Benitez had more regard for defending and destroying a game than winning it. I found Liverpool hard to watch when he was there.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. samuel - united WE stand says:

    This is going to get nasty….. Typical fergie, he won’t be holding back. He is spot on about becks though, he’s always preferred that circus. I personally thought beckham was a limited he worked harder than most to expand his capabilities. Some are born with talent, beckham didn’t have much of it but he damn well maximised what he has….

    Regarding owen hargreaves, I would imagine fergie based that on his fucking injuries, bayern were laughing all the way to the bank but he was immense in the middle for united during 2007/2008 season, he got bitter though and fucked off to city. So, basing on the amount fergie splashed out for him and his contribution which were limited, he was disappointing in general.

    Fergie ripping rafa benitez again.. Another cunt that tries to ridicule the man from govan, he did get personal but he made himself look a,clown and he would probably respond to this book…

    Roy keane, never one to overstep the mark right? Ha….

  2. Mobi says:


  3. Mobi says:

    Anyone know the price of the book?

  4. denton davey says:

    What did TheWilyOldFootieKnight have to say about “ambition-gate” ?

  5. pissedOffRed says:

    SAF also mentioned Quieroz to be his natural successor

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Ferguson >>>> Becks

    Ferguson >>>> Roy Keane

    Ferguson >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Benitez….. end of.

  7. mjcRED says:

    Wonder if anyone will ask Roy for a response on itv tonight?

    I accept that the likes of Beckham, Keane, Stam and Ruud overstepped the mark, but fuck me, what I’d give right for a team of players with an ounce of the personality, ability and desire they showed so often during their time in a United side that casts a lame light on the current crop of timid, limited ability and lacking any sort of opinion yes men that have swamped our team over progressive seasons, resulting in us being over-run and left behind technically and tactically by most teams we’re facing on a regular basis.

  8. mjcRED says:

    Would love to know who the bed-wetters intimidated by Keane were? Pandering to these babies is surely part of the reason why we’ve ended up with so many yes-men and frightened players….

  9. The Truth says:


    Erm, those “bedwetters” and “babies” would be the likes of Rooney, Ronaldo, Fletcher, O’Shea and others who went on to help us to the most successful period in our club’s history. Thank God Fergie saw sense and got rid of the bitter angry old psycho Keane whose legs had gone and had become a hinderance rather than an asset to the team, and was dressing room cancer as far as squad spirit went.

    Maybe you’re right and we should have kept hold of Keane and Van Nistelrooy. Maybe added a few other madmen like Joey Barton and Luis Suarez to the squad. Hired Vinnie Jones and Dennis Wise as coaches. Imagine all the European Cups we’d have by now!

  10. mjcRED says:

    @ The Truth

    I agree, Keano did overstep the mark and Fergie was right to get rid of him when he did. What I would say is that there are far too many players who are getting in this current team with little competition or challenge for their place that are playing at a level that will never get anywhere the influence or ability of a Keane well past his prime even.

    Standards have slipped, of that there is no doubt. With it has come a self satisfied cosiness about the place that has been incorporated and is evident even in the early stages of Moyes time as boss. A consequence of this is that it seems to be strangling the ruthlessness that has been one of the key hallmarks of our great sides under Fergie.

    This has been missing over recent years and we’re at a stage now where OT has lost all of its fear factor to the opposition.

    Who are the players likely to stand up to Moyes and tell him he’s getting it wrong or at least offer an alternative opinion or viewpoint?
    I’m guessing no one, after all, look what has happened to Kagawa since he came out and said he couldn’t understand why wasn’t featuring regularly for United. The poor bastard doesn’t get a look in.

  11. spidey says:

    mcjred and truth

    very well said.. Even though hard tackling midfielders like keano are gone from the modern game his passion aggression and ability to stand up to others is missing in the current crop.. De gea has some of that attitude and probably Jones too.. .wish I could see those sides of 90s again

  12. Harty67 says:

    mjcRed does have some excellent points about our lack of a leader and aggressor like Keane and how we simply don’t have that fear factor anymore. He had to go though, but I think SAF was responsible for Keane getting as powerful and influential off the pitch as he did, because Fergie should have reigned him in a lot quicker than he eventually did and it was only Keanes wavering ability that saw Fergie clip his wings as he did in the end.
    It’s a shame that such a great player, even though we all knew he wasn’t ever courting popularity from his colleagues, has become such a wanker quick to have a go at United at every opportunity and turn the fans against him as we are now.

  13. Marq says:

    Let’s make this clear. By the time Keane overstepped the mark, he was on the wane already, so I wouldnt say Sir Alex fail to reigned him in properly. In fact, I think we kept Keane one season too many. But that said, that was a period where we had some strange signings, so, you kinda understand it a little the frustration Keane had. But then, Sir Alex and namely Fletcher had the last laugh, by going on to be an important player for us.

    But thinking back, you can now see how much trust we had with Sir Alex. Imagine if it was Moyes who signed Djemba, Bebe, and played the likes of Chadwick!

  14. sdoc99 says:

    @The Truth… your a muppet

  15. The Truth says:


    I think the supposed need for a Keano-style warrior is overstated. Remind me again who was the snarling aggressor for Barcelona, Bayern, Dortmund or Spain in recent years. Who played that role for us when we won the double in 2008? Could it be that having a character like him is not the key to success after all?

  16. The Truth says:


    Really? Thank you for that insightful comment. Sir Alex must be a muppet too as he was of the same mind as me with regard to ditching Keano for the betterment of the team. Personally I think it worked out well for us.

  17. englebert says:

    @TheTruth…I think you are spot on about Keano….but for the most part you write a lot of utter crap. So crap, in fact, you embarrass this forum….go and support man city.

  18. englebert says:

    Despite what Fergie says, should anyone forget, it was Owen Hargreaves who took one of the penalties that won us the European Cup. I am thankful for that. It seems there are a lot of Plastic Manchester United fans on this forum….you disgust me, frankly. The most embarrassing of these is ‘The Truth’…he is an absolute joker. He would be the sort of person who would have had Sir Alex out after 8 games…a complete tossbag..

  19. John says:

    I have to say that Fergie could have done better to reveal about Magnier court case that led to Glazer takeover, lack of support in transfers by Glazers and Whether he chose moyes just to shield Glazers choice from fans!!..Just to take on ‘who he can only’ is a bit let down for me!!..Anyway, it is a must read book without doubt..


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