Sir Alex Ferguson slammed former Real Madrid and England captain David Beckham in his autobiography... unfairly argues Stephen Pickering.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography has opened a lot of untold truths from his managerial career as Manchester United supremo.
Some of the comments in the book are frankly baffling whether they are coming from the most successful manager ever in the game, or a bloke in the street. They are hard to process, the two key examples are his views on Lampard and Gerrard!
There are plenty contradictory points in the book and non-bigger than his criticism of former England captain David Beckham.
David Beckham, for me and most people was probably not one of the best players in the world. He had two outstanding traits, one was long range passing and the other was set-pieces. However, he managed to carve a career out at the top of the game winning countless trophies, breaking countless records and nominated for countless accolades.
Whatever he was off the pitch or whatever he might have been behind closed doors doesn’t matter. When he stepped over that white line he was a consummate professional! He worked harder than anyone else on the pitch, he had the ability to drive teams on and was one of the best team players I have seen in my generation.
Sir Alex Ferguson quoted;
‘’The minute a Manchester United player thought he was bigger than the manager, he had to go.’’
‘’David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson.’’
I understand the sentiment behind these quotes and I do agree that the ‘boss’ should be the ‘boss’. I just can’t fathom the idea that Beckham did something worse than Rooney, who handed in a transfer request, criticise the structure of the club and its business acumen only to go back on the decisions once money was dangled under his nose. Beckham as far as I know didn’t hand in a transfer request and was a well-respected figure within the dressing room, with many people speaking highly of him – no problems on ego, as far as I am aware.
‘’David was the only player I managed who chose to be famous, he made it his mission to be known outside the game.’’
‘’I felt uncomfortable with celebrity aspects of his life.’’
Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world and fame is just one aspect that comes with playing for the club. He embraced the life-style and I won’t argue that but he has also used his popularity and image to do great, great things for the country, for football and for sport in general.
Again, I just find this ridiculously biased on his part towards Beckham. Ronaldo pushed the spot-light as much as Beckham ever did, both on and off the pitch so why wasn’t he mentioned? Ronaldo is without question the more superior footballer but does that mean he is exempt from the same criticism. Beckham never used the spotlight negatively; he was never found doing ridiculous things and breaking club rules. Again, when it came to carrying himself in the spotlight he was a consummate professional.
‘’He fell in love with Victoria – that changed everything.’’
This is not the first time he has publicly criticised his marriage to the woman he loves. If this turned out to be a fling that got in the way of his football career and ultimately messed up ‘what could have been’ then fair enough but it hasn’t. Football in the grand scheme of life should come second to your family and life. He was right not to dismiss the feelings he had over a woman due to what his manager thought at work.
Additionally, I don’t know what it apparently changed either! David and Victoria married on July 4th 1999. Just after Manchester United had claimed the Champions League and he was named ‘UEFA Club Footballer of the Year’ and ‘UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year’ and it’s fair to say he never reached them heights at Manchester United again. But, it wasn’t a miraculous wedding; they had been together for 2 years up to that point. I just find it a bit of an excuse from his point of view and he fails to notice that he was still one of the top midfield players in the world after that. I don’t know if there is any bad blood between him and Victoria but these comments just come across as bitter.
I will always respect Sir Alex Ferguson and will note him as probably the best manager in the game ever, at least in English domestic football. I just can’t listen, well, read the drivel about another well-respected figure in the game. Perhaps it’s just a case of using Beckham’s image to sell his book. I don’t know, I would hope he wouldn’t stoop so low and it makes a mockery out of his own sentiments.
For me, he is wrong on every level on the subject of Beckham. The most sense he manages to write about him is the praise for being a good role-model to every kid in the world.
What are your thoughts on the Ferguson book, particularly on the Beckham topic?
image: © nasmac